Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yeah, But Can She Hit?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will throw out the first pitch at today's Red Sox-Yankees game:

NEW YORK -- United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a lifelong Yankees fan who grew up not far from Yankee Stadium, is set to take the mound on Saturday afternoon for a ceremonial first pitch.

The Bronx native will take the mound on Saturday, prior to the Yankees' 4:10 p.m. ET game against the Red Sox on FOX.

Sotomayor, 55, has been dubbed as "the judge who saved baseball." In 1995, as a federal trial judge, Sotomayor issued a preliminary injunction that helped end the Major League Baseball strike of 1994-95.

Hit the strike zone, judge!

(photo added)

(I'm guessing she could over rule the umpires call anyway)

More on the Anglo-Saxon Treasure Find

I posted a couple of days ago on the man with a metal detector in the UK finding a huge cache of gold and silver artifacts, but the story is even cooler.

The "Staffordshire Hoard" is about 1,500 items, and is thought to be the largest archaeological find of Anglo-Saxon artifacts in history.

The items appear to date from around 700 AD, likely from the Kingdom of Mercia, but there's still some debate.

Of course, in keeping with human nature, there's already a dispute about ownership between the treasure hunter and the owner of the property where it was found.

Anyway, it's a really cool piece of Archeology. Those of us with Anglo-Saxon ancestors should enjoy the history.

A larger gallery is here:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stopping Terrorists

What a difference a new administration makes. Compare how Obama's team handles the arrest of accused terrorists to how shrub and crew acted:
The FBI has apparently disrupted a terror plot centered on Najibullah Zazi of Colorado; it conducted a sting operation that led to the arrest yesterday of a man charged with attempting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper; and it conducted another sting that led to the arrest of a Muslim convert in Illinois who allegedly tried to detonate what he believed was a bomb outside a federal courthouse.
But where are the huge press conferences with the Attorney General calling the accused "enemy combatants"? Where's the color coded fear mongering? Where's the suspension of Habeaus Corpus?
Instead, we're seeing criminal charges in courtrooms as a result of solid FBI/Police work. And an administration quietly going about conducting their jobs.
The Cheney said Obama was making us 'less safe", but the facts prove otherwise. Which is just another reason that no one should ever listen to the Cheney.

Here Are Boobies

Looking up on Friday.
Go to Girls Are Pretty and you will be told what to do.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

These Things Never Happen To Me

I've played around with a metal detector on some beaches, but this is cool:

A man using a metal detector in a rural English field has uncovered the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever found -- an "unprecedented" treasure that sheds new light on history, archaeologists said Thursday.

The hoard includes 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of gold and 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of silver. That is more than three times the amount of gold found at Sutton Hoo, one of Britain's most important Anglo-Saxon sites, said the local council in Staffordshire where the latest haul was found.

It's an "incredible collection of material -- absolutely unprecedented," said Kevin Leahy, an archaeologist with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary group that records finds made by members of the public. "We've moved into new ground with this material."

Because the find is so large and important, experts haven't been able to say yet how much it is worth. They hope to make a valuation within 13 months, Staffordshire Council

The hoard was discovered in July by Englishman Terry Herbert, who was using a metal detector he bought more than a decade ago in a jumble sale for only a few pounds (dollars). He belongs to a local metal detecting club in Staffordshire and was just out enjoying his hobby when he made the find.

There was so much gold at the site that Herbert said he was soon seeing it in his sleep.

"Imagine you're at home and somebody just keeps putting money through your letterbox. That's what it was like," Herbert told Britain's Press Association. "As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns. I didn't think it was ever going to end."

Herbert found 500 items before he called in experts, who then found a further 800 articles in the soil. Officials aren't saying exactly where the gold was found, other than to say it was in Staffordshire, in north-central England.

A gold strip with a Biblical inscription was among the 1,500 pieces unearthed in an English field.

Just the history alone would make me happy.
But all that gold...would make a person...very rich.
(h/t to Zandar, who's being added to the roll)

On the World Stage

Barack Obama presides over a UN security council meeting on nuclear weapons.
Barack Obama presides over a UN security council meeting on nuclear weapons. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Although I'm sometimes disappointed in President Obama, there are times that I'm quite glad that we have him. One area that I feel he's handling very well is international diplomacy. Today:

Barack Obama today hailed a UN security council resolution on disarmament and non-proliferation as a milestone along the way to "a world without nuclear weapons".

Obama, the first US president to preside over a security council session, said the next twelve months would be "absolutely critical" in ensuring whether the resolution would succeed in reversing the spread of nuclear weapons and setting the world along the path of multilateral disarmament.

He said he had no illusions about the difficulties ahead, but he added "there will also be days like today" when the world came together for the common goal of disarmament and countering proliferation.

Today's resolution calls for the nuclear weapons states to ratify a ban on nuclear testing - something the US senate has yet to do - and negotiate a new treaty to stop the production of fissile material. It also calls for on them to join the disarmament process being led by the US and Russia, who account for more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons between them.

The document also endorses a string of measures intended to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ahead of a major review conference next May.

I can't imagine shrub engaging the nuclear proliferation issue, or getting any support if he had attempted to. It's nice to have an articulate President who other world leaders listen to with respect.
I know we're a long way from a nuke free world, but as a child of the cold war 'duck and cover' drills, it's nice to see the world getting a little safer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

California's Celebrity Politics

For political junkies (like me), no other state offers as much entertainment as California. Which celebrity will run for office this time? Having actors as governors and congress persons has become traditional for California.
But I'm seeing a new trend in celebrity candidates this time: the rethugs are turning to female former CEO's of high tech corporations. Meg Whitman of ebay fame is running for Governor, and Carly Fiorina from HP is running for the senate. Both are quite wealthy, so they should have no problem getting their message (government=bad; taxes=bad; wealth=good) out.
We'll see how they do with actual voters, but they certainly represent something new in celebrity politics.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox

Ah, the changing of the seasons. Summer ends, fall begins. And here locally, Ma nature is taking the change literally. Today is about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, and there's a freeze warning for tonight. Summer was much too short.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Rule

The Baucus bill now has 564 amendments proposed. I'll propose a new rule, where any bill that gets more than "X" number of proposed amendments must be rewritten. "X" could be 200 or 300 or whatever, but at some point we need a good bill without hundreds of changes.

Boris, That's Why We Have Delivery

This story made me chuckle:

In a new book recounting 79 taped interviews with President Clinton while he was in office, author Taylor Branch has bestowed us with some gems, such as this one about Boris Yeltsin's drinking:

Yeltsin was visiting Washington in 1995 when, late at night, Secret Service agents found the Russian president stripped to his underwear and trying to hail a cab on Pennsylvania Avenue. He wanted a pizza, he slurred.

I hope they explained to Mr. Yeltsin how to call for delivery. That's what Americans do when we're drunk, in our underwear, and want a pizza.