Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not Ready for Prime Time

Jan Brewer had an abysmal performance in her debate with Terry Goddard. So she's making a smart move by avoiding any more debates. Well, unless she starts losing:
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has had only one debate against Terry Goddard, her Democratic challenger in the gubernatorial election, and she didn’t have a choice: since she took public funds for her campaign, she had to agree to one debate under Arizona election law. Given the option, Brewer prefers not to debate again — and she admitted to a local reporter yesterday that she would only debate the issues again if it was politically advantageous:

“Maybe there would be a possibility that we would debate if my numbers starting dropping dramatically,’’ she said. “And, of course, I’m working hard to see that they don’t.’’ [...]

She said her reticence to meet with Goddard again should come as no surprise.

“We made that decision long ago,’’ the governor said, saying the single debate was part of the game plan all along.“So far, we’ve been right on the game,’’ Brewer said, adding, “And I’m winning.’’

Brewer brushed aside a question of whether Goddard will be disappointed with her stand. “And you think I care?’’ she quipped.

It’s not surprising Brewer doesn’t want to have another debate. In her first one, she struggled to name her accomplishments and subjected the audience to a long, awkward pause; she also advanced a falsehood about beheadings in the Arizona desert and was unable to justify it after the debate. She quietly retracted her claim a few days later.

The question to be determined is whether the semi-comatose Goddard can take advantage of this. Given that he's shown the typical democratic aversion to actually winning elections, I'm betting against it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Smart Lock

The best device to keep someone from carrying away your Smart car.

Nice Looking Boobies

A nice pair of Masked Boobies. Is it really October already?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fire Up the Starship!

Cosmic Log - Alien planet looks 'just right' for life
We've found a 'livable' planet. Can we get there before we completely destroy this one?

Astronomers say they've found the first planet beyond our solar system that could have the right size and setting to sustain life as we know it, only 20 light-years from Earth.

"My own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent," Steven Vogt, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, told reporters today. "I have almost no doubt about it."

The discovery, published online in The Astrophysical Journal, is the result of 11 years of observations at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Astronomers participating in the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey detected the planet by tracking the faint gravitational wobbles it produced in its parent star. Now they say there may well be many more planets out there like this one.

"The fact that we were able to detect this planet so quickly and so nearby tells us that planets like this must be really common," Vogt said in a news release.

Only 20 light years away, which is very close in astronomical terms. The slogan "Earth First! Then We'll destroy the other planets!" comes to mind.
(BTW, Glad to see this came out of UC Santa Cruz, which was the first college I attended. Go Banana Slugs!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For Old Geeks

In the beginning there was the computer

At Least One War Will Be Over

I'm always happier when a war ends, so Sunday should be a good day:

The First World War will officially end on Sunday, 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.

Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper.

Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the 'war guilt' clause, accepting blame for the war.

Of course, I thought WW1 was already over. Learn something new every day (or at least I try to.)

Baseball History

50 years ago today, Ted Williams swung a bat for the last time in his major league career:

Fifty years ago today, Ted Williams walked up to the plate on a chilly, overcast
day at Fenway Park and stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning against Baltimore pitcher Jack Fisher. He took his familiar stance, looked at the first pitch for a ball, swung and missed at the second, then drove the third pitch into the bullpen for the most famous farewell in baseball history.

Williams had gone out the way so many players dream about and almost none accomplish: He homered in his final at-bat.

"I was gunning for the big one," Williams said in the clubhouse after the game. "I let everything I had go. I really wanted that one."

Some tidbits about that farewell shot:

OK, I was to young to know. But my Dad always said it was the most dramatic at bat he ever saw.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vintage Truth

Walt Kelly was a genius, and some of his cartoons are remarkably relevant to this day. Here, he anticipated political debate over 45 years ago.