Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Inspirational Beer Fridge

This video was an inspiration to me, and even brought a tear to my eye. It was so beautiful.

(via Gizmodo: thank you, thank you, thank you.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

X-Men - stop whining!

The immutable Frank J at IMAO rants (with a point) against the X-Men and their whining:
One thing, is the constant whining about how discriminated against they are, and you know how much everyone loves it when heroes whine! “People are so mean to us mutants! People say they don’t want their kids in the same school as mutants just because we’ve blown up classroom’s six or seven times!” So while we’re expelling kids for just drawing a picture of a gun, we’re supposed to feel bad that most people don’t want mutants around them who can touch things and cause them to explode.
And know who blows stuff up all the time and whines constantly about being discriminated against? Radical Muslims.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The sky's the limit.

When you were a kid, your parents said you could do anything. Listen to your kid-parents. You actually can do anything.

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, team member of Expedition 24, on board the International Space Station. Floating in the cupola, she is wistfully gazing out on the Earth just a day before leaving space to come home once again. (via: Bad Astronomy)

Friday, December 17, 2010

I have seen the future, and it is now.

Augmented reality iPhone applications have historically been nifty ways of viewing information, but has been nothing more than just cool. That is, until now. Word Lens is a new app which actually, well, augments reality. It translates stuff you see through your camera, but live. Watch this video. In it you will see the future, which you can buy today on iTunes.

(via Gizmodo)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Digital Irony - Wikileaks Edition

In an astonishing display of Digital Irony (or should I say Chutzpah?) the man responsible for the publishing of hundreds of thousands of major diplomatic secrets, which have almost definitely cost lives, and whose secrets may yet start wars, has asked in court to keep his home address secret...

Maybe it's Digital Karma?

From The Daily Mail via JammieWearingFool:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tried to hide his bail address from the public in an astonishing move for the man responsible for leaking thousands of diplomatic secrets.

Assange's lawyers argued that the location - a 10-bedroom stately home - should not be disclosed on grounds of privacy during yesterday's hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

But the move was dismissed by District Judge Howard Riddle, who ruled not to reveal the address would conflict with Assange's commitment to open justice.

The judge insisted the address - Captain Vaughan Smith's Ellingham Hall on the Norfolk/Suffolk border - was read out in open court as usual.

What Missile Crisis?

President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense McNamara. (Wikipedia)

Elder of Ziyon remembers the news tidbit from two weeks ago regarding Iran installing medium range missiles in Venezuela, and asks a poignant question:
Why isn't this story on the front page of every major US newspaper?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A man cured of HIV

The poor dude had both cancer and HIV. After the aggressive treatment for the leukemia, a funny thing happened:

The treatment Brown underwent was aggressive: chemotherapy that destroyed the majority of his immune cells. Total body irradiation. Finally, a risky stem-cell transplant that nearly a third of patients don't survive—but that appears to have completely cured Brown of HIV.

Doctors were savvy when they chose a stem cell donor for Brown. The man whose bone marrow they used has a particular genetic mutation, present in an incredibly small percentage of people, that makes him almost invulnerable to HIV. With Brown's own defenses decimated by treatments, the healthy, HIV-resistant donor cells repopulated his immune system. The initial indications that the virus had abated were promising. But only just now, having taken no antiretroviral drugs since the transplant, and following extensive testing shows no signs whatsoever of HIV, have his doctors given the official word:

He's cured.

Where is the siege?

Gaza under siege
(pic from here, by way of Israellycool)

The following was quoted inside of a great article about Gaza by Barry Rubin.
"There are a slew of products here, and beautiful restaurants. Is this the Gaza we have been hearing about?" asked a Sudanese official arriving there, as quoted by the Palestinian news agency Maan. "Where is the siege? I don't see it in Gaza. I wish Sudan's residents could live under the conditions of the Gazan siege."
(hat tip: Power Line)

Dear General Eisenkot,

dis·com·fort  [dis-kuhm-fert] – noun
1. an absence of comfort or ease; uneasiness, hardship, or mild pain.
2. anything that is disturbing to or interferes with comfort.

Dear General Eisenkot,

As a resident of Israel, and having a strong command of the English language, I would like to help you with the use of the word 'discomfort'. Discomfort is when you are slightly irritated, or in very mild pain. Discomfort is being a little chilly, or slightly too warm. Discomfort is having an itch on the middle of your back, and not being able to reach it. However, discomfort is not watching high explosives rain down on your home. Discomfort is not having a metal cylinder penetrate your cement living room roof and explode next to your sofa. Discomfort is not huddling beside a cement wall trying to cover your child while praying for his life. Discomfort is not having to teach your toddler 'boom-boom' songs to defray the psychological trauma of those falling rockets.

That is called pain. Pain is what Israel went through in the past. Pain is what we would feel should it happen again. Don't belittle our suffering. Don't belittle our pain. Tell us the situation straight up, and don't mince words. Exalt our bravery and our sacrifice. Praise us for steadfastly manning the front lines of our wars. And lastly, damn those bastards who are aiming for our children, and send them all to hell.

Thank you,

Excerpt from General Eisenkot's speech delivered December 12, 2010:
The [missile defense] systems are designed to protect military bases, even if this means that citizens suffer discomfort during the days of battle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Israeli Airport Security

I'm sure you've read the countless previous articles extolling the virtues of the Israeli method of airport security (you know, find the bad guys, not the bad stuff). This well-written one from the Daily Mail is another of those articles, but it is updated with some new facts, introduces a funky new technology concept, and includes one startling tidbit which shocked me:
How many times in the history of aviation have the scanners and security procedures that currently cause such huge anger and inconvenience actually found explosives in baggage or on a passenger? ...

The answer, shockingly, is zero.