He made no predictions about when or if he’ll be vindicated, but appeared convinced that he’s been right, even though voters repudiated his party in last month’s elections.
“We’ll come back,” he said of Republicans as he chuckled. “And I’ll be out there, the old sage, sitting around, you know (saying), ‘If you only did it this way.'”
Might be a good time to fill up your tank…and some gas cans.
A report on the AAA Auto Club South Web site says a U.S. Department of Energy statement indicates that gasoline inventories have dropped as a result of refinery shutdowns, resulting in the loss of about 20 percent of U.S. refining capacity. The Department of Energy report said supplies were the lowest since November 1967.
What about gas in the near future?
Randy Bly, director of community relations for AAA, says on the site, “We are still seeing some gasoline outages in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, particularly in Nashville and Tallahassee, but the situation in those cities are improving with more deliveries taking place. Refineries along the Texas and West Louisiana Gulf Coast which had been closed are gradually coming back on-line as power is restored in those areas. The gasoline supply situation is improving but it’s like trying to turn a huge ship. It takes time.”
Seventy-eight percent of all respondents said the country was on the wrong track. Broken down along racial lines, 77 percent of whites held that view, 91 percent of blacks and 74 percent of Hispanics.
Scientists don’t know it yet, but they have discovered the Gods as they cruise around the universe.
As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren’t vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered.
Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can’t be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon “dark flow.”
The stuff that’s pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude.
When scientists talk about the observable universe, they don’t just mean as far out as the eye, or even the most powerful telescope, can see. In fact there’s a fundamental limit to how much of the universe we could ever observe, no matter how advanced our visual instruments. The universe is thought to have formed about 13.7 billion years ago. So even if light started travelling toward us immediately after the Big Bang, the farthest it could ever get is 13.7 billion light-years in distance. There may be parts of the universe that are farther away (we can’t know how big the whole universe is), but we can’t see farther than light could travel over the entire age of the universe.
Scientists discovered the flow by studying some of the largest structures in the cosmos: giant clusters of galaxies. These clusters are conglomerations of about a thousand galaxies, as well as very hot gas which emits X-rays. By observing the interaction of the X-rays with the cosmic microwave background (CMB), which is leftover radiation from the Big Bang, scientists can study the movement of clusters.
The X-rays scatter photons in the CMB, shifting its temperature in an effect known as the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect. This effect had not been observed as a result of galaxy clusters before, but a team of researchers led by Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., found it when they studied a huge catalogue of 700 clusters, reaching out up to 6 billion light-years, or half the universe away. They compared this catalogue to the map of the CMB taken by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite.
They discovered that the clusters were moving nearly 2 million mph (3.2 million kph) toward a region in the sky between the constellations of Centaurus and Vela. This motion is different from the outward expansion of the universe (which is accelerated by the force called dark energy).
“We found a very significant velocity, and furthermore, this velocity does not decrease with distance, as far as we can measure,” Kashlinsky told SPACE.com. “The matter in the observable universe just cannot produce the flow we measure.”
The scientists deduced that whatever is driving the movements of the clusters must lie beyond the known universe.
A theory called inflation posits that the universe we see is just a small bubble of space-time that got rapidly expanded after the Big Bang. There could be other parts of the cosmos beyond this bubble that we cannot see.
In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn’t contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.
“The structures responsible for this motion have been pushed so far away by inflation, I would guesstimate they may be hundreds of billions of light years away, that we cannot see even with the deepest telescopes because the light emitted there could not have reached us in the age of the universe,” Kashlinsky said in a telephone interview. “Most likely to create such a coherent flow they would have to be some very strange structures, maybe some warped space time. But this is just pure speculation.”
Though inflation theory forecasts many odd facets of the distant universe, not many scientists predicted the dark flow.
“It was greatly surprising to us and I suspect to everyone else,” Kashlinsky said. “For some particular models of inflation you would expect these kinds of structures, and there were some suggestions in the literature that were not taken seriously I think until now.”
The discovery could help scientists probe what happened to the universe before inflation, and what’s going on in those inaccessible realms we cannot see.
The researchers detail their findings in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.
This is amazing. (Thanks Sarah!) If you have never thought of dolphins as people, this may change the way you think.
The attached video is of dolphins playing with silver colored rings which
they have the ability to make under water to play with. It isn’t known how
they learn this, or if it’s an inbred ability.
As if by magic the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring
appears in front of its pointed beak. The ring is a solid, donut shaped
bubble about 2-ft across, yet it doesn’t rise to the surface of the water!
It stands upright in the water like a magic doorway to an unseen dimension.
The dolphin then pulls a small silver donut from the larger one. Looking at
the twisting ring for one last time a bite is taken from it, causing the
small ring to collapse into thousands of tiny bubbles which head upward
towards the water’s surface.
After a few moments the dolphin creates another ring to play with. There
also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a
dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.
An explanation of how dolphins make these silver rings is that they are
“air-core vortex rings”. Invisible, pinning vortices in the water are
generated from the tip of a dolphin’s dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly
and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into
a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is
at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is
injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin’s blowhole.
The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for
a reasonably few seconds of play time.
I admit it. I’m blogging from class. Forigive the choppy nature of this post.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was feted by Russian media on Sunday for saving a television crew from an attack by a Siberian tiger in the wilds of the Far East.
Putin, taking a break from lambasting the West over Georgia, apparently saved the crew while on a trip to a national park to see how researchers monitor the tigers in the wild.
Just as Putin was arriving with a group of wildlife specialists to see a trapped Amur tiger, it escaped and ran towards a nearby camera crew, the country’s main television station said. Putin quickly shot the beast and sedated it with a tranquilizer gun.
Jerry Reed from the Smokey and the Bandit movies died today. As far as we know, it was emphysema not Putin that killed the actor/singer.
As a singer in the 1970s and early 1980s, Reed had a string of hits that included “Amos Moses,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “East Bound and Down,” “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)” and “The Bird.”
In the mid-1970s, he began acting in movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit” with Burt Reynolds, usually as a good ol’ boy. But he was an ornery heavy in “Gator,” directed by Reynolds, and a hateful coach in 1998’s “The Waterboy,” starring Adam Sandler.
Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is trying to start a war with Russia by rallying former Soviet countries.
BAKU (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was on his way to ex-Soviet Azerbaijan on Wednesday for the first leg of a trip to show that Washington stood by its allies in the region despite Russia’s military intervention in Georgia.
As Cheney headed into a region Russia sees as its backyard, the Kremlin renewed its rhetorical attacks on Washington, accusing it of helping trigger the conflict by backing a pro-Western Georgian government bent on aggression.
I got a gaping hole in my molars filled this morning and while that was happening discussed how terrible it has gotten to fly lately with my dentist and hygienist. Here are just a few of the things we came up with at 8 am while my gums were being numbed:
1) Hawaiian Airlines now charges $15 to check a bag (1st bag! more bags are more!)
2) Some airlines now charge $1 for soda
3) Some airlines now charge for blankets and pillows
4) Airfares are higher than any of us can ever remember them being
5) American Airlines recently removed all their video monitors so no more movies
6) The seats are the same size but the people on either side of us are twice as large as we are
7) Stewardesses tend to look more like babushkas than pinup girls
8) Security will take away a pocketknife but miss the chef’s knife in the bag
9) Lounges are groddy and more expensive than ever
10) More people are freaking out on planes than ever before (and if you wonder why, just read 1-9 on the list above)
If they freak out bad enough they can start a blog from death row and if they get fat enough on death row, they can claim to be too fat for the death penalty.
My friend Kim (who is not in prison or on death row or fat for that matter) sent me this article from the Honolulu Advertiser called Urban Survivor(Thanks Kim!)…so not only did that dishrag of a paper not cover my walk around the island, they gave this guys project a title that seems awful close to the name of my Urban Survival Manual. While I think his project is pretty cool, he was going home to sleep in his bed every night while I slept on the beaches…is there someone at the Advertiser with a grudge against me or something?
by the way, that is not Obama on the cover…I’m developing a serious dislike for candidate Obama. Now he wants to open up the oil reserves…Obama is starting to look a lot like candidate McCain in 2000 while McCain is looking like…well we all know he looks like Bush…Cheney for VP anyone? But back to Obama…as Obama moves to the center I am reminded of how the Democrats didn’t contest the election of 2000, how they threw away the victory they could have easily had in 2004, and how they are probably going to screw this one up too! Okay, I admit it, it’s not Obama I have a grudge against, it’s the Dodd Gamned democratic party machine. They don’t deserve to have a party. Please everyone, come to your senses and get Nader to 10% so he can participate in the google debates. If you hear him, you will want to vote for him.
As recently as July 7, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had said that tapping the 727 million-gallon reserve should be “reserved for a genuine emergency.” But on Monday, Obama, speaking in Lansing, Mich., proposed selling 70 million barrels from the reserve “for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.” He’d eventually replace light crude with heavier crude oil; light crude is easier to refine into gasoline.
The United States is in the second inning of a recession that will last for at least 18 months and cause hundreds of banks to fail, economist and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini told Barron’s. “The regulators should investigate themselves for bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the creditors of Bear Stearns and the financial system with new lending facilities. They have swapped U.S. Treasury bonds for toxic securities. It is privatizing the gains and profits, and socializing the losses as usual. This is socialism for Wall Street and the rich.”
HOOPER, Utah – A farmer has erected a fence in his backyard made of three old cars sticking up in the air to send a message to new neighbors that he can do whatever he wants on his farm. “This is just a fun way for me to say, ‘Hey boys, I’m still here,'” said Rhett Davis. “This is my redneck Stonehenge.”
Davis came up with the idea after neighbors who recently moved into homes next to his hayfield complained about his farm.The area has grown recently with new residents who desire a country atmosphere but don’t want the smells and noises of farm life, Davis said.
Where to begin. Did back to back tours again today and yet when I see my paycheck for the last two weeks, it still isn’t enough to pay my bills. Definitely this job won’t do once I have to pay back student loans too. Of course with a degree…well, you guys know what a degree gets you. It get’s you moved out of the ‘working class’ and into well…the ‘working class’. Time will tell. Scooter guys ended up tacking another $10 on to my bill and I thought about carping about it and realized that the best thing to do was just pay it and let the universe handle it. I’m fairly certain that the way they do business will cost them a minimum of the $30 they underquoted me to begin with…hell, just from me never going back there again. Used to be a time when I might have tried to short circuit that process and have more actively cost them what they overcharged, but it’s not worth my time or energy. In fact, that comes out to negative energy that ends up costing me more in the long run.
Back when the Marines once made me go to AA meetings after a alcohol related incident, I can remember getting a one week chip and then trading it for two drinks at the bar next door. It has to be a matter of wanting to stop our bad habits, no one can force us. So my metaphysical chip floats somewhere in time/space and buys me more than a couple of drinks this time. Besides, those meetings always made me want to drink. As it is now, not at all.
Here is a bit of what I’m looking at in the news. People are fatter than ever in America.
More than a quarter of Americans self-report that they’re obese, and in three states — Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee — more than 30 percent do, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.
Inflation last year in Russia was 11.9 percent, according to state statistics. In the United States, where inflation concerns are rampant, that figure was just under 3 percent in 2007.
And it turns out that I’m not the only one that has switched from four wheels to two and this has safety officials very concerned.
Although 45 percent of motorcycle accidents involve only the bike, a large percentage of the crashes with other kinds of vehicles are believed to be the fault of the person driving the car or truck.
“They don’t pay attention, they don’t see them (motorcyclists), they’re not looking for them,” said Robert Karney, a Charlotte lawyer who specializes in biker injury cases.
Sales of scooters were up 25 percent and smaller motorcycles were up 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2008 over a year earlier, while sales of more expensive models were down, said Mike Mount, a spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Those figures don’t include the sale of used motorcycles – which most riders buy.
But increasing sales of motorcycle batteries, chains and tires suggest those sales are also up.
SAN FRANCISCO – A measure seeking to commemorate President Bush’s years in office by slapping his name on a San Francisco sewage plant has qualified for the November ballot.
The measure certified Thursday would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.
Supporters say the idea is to commemorate the mess they claim Bush has left behind by actions such as the war in Iraq.
Local Republicans say the plan stinks and they will oppose it.
If the most dire climate predictions come to pass, the Arctic ice cap will melt entirely, and polar bears could face extinction.
So why not pack a few off to Antarctica, where the sea ice will never run out?
It may seem like a preposterous question. But polar bears are just the tip of the “assisted colonization” iceberg. Other possibilities: moving African big game to the American Great Plains, or airlifting endangered species from one mountaintop to another as climate zones shrink.
“It’s a showdown. The impacts of climate change on animals have become apparent. And it’s time to decide whether we’re going to do something,” said Notre Dame ecologist Jessica Hellmann, co-author of an influential 2007 Conservation Biology paper (.pdf). “Reducing CO2 is vital, but we might have to step in and intervene.”
Once dismissed as wrongheaded and dangerous, assisted colonization — rescuing vanishing species by moving them someplace new — is now being discussed by serious conservationists. And no wonder: Caught between climate change and human pressure, species are going extinct 100 times faster than at any point in human history.
And some scientists say that figure is too conservative. The real extinction rate, they say, is a full 1,000 times higher than normal. The last time such annihilation took place was during the time of the dinosaurs. And though many conservationists say that saving species by transplanting them is foolish, others say there’s no choice.
It turns out all the jokes about cops loving donuts are true…check this out:
Three law enforcement agencies in Sonoma Co., Calif., responded quick as lightning to a robbery at a donut store Tuesday afternoon. The Sonoma Co. Sheriff’s Dept., California Highway Patrol, and Santa Rosa police swarmed to Sam’s Donuts after the 2:40 p.m. robbery. The Sheriff’s Dept. was on-site within one minute.
Turns out Watermelon eaters make better lovers…here’s why…(did I mention I love watermelon?)
Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the nation’s top producers of the seedless variety.
Found in the flesh and concentrated in the rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body’s enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.
“Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.
Speaking of Watermelon, I ran into my friend Wally Amos (Famous Amos of Famous Amos Cookies) the other day when I was doing an eco-tour in Kailua. Wally stopped my van and chatted with my passengers for a while. They were confused about who the friendly black man in the watermelon hat was until I told them when we left. Turns out they all love his cookies.
To bad the dollar can’t eat some watermelon…it is suffering from severe erectile dysfunction since Bush came to power. It has declined 41% against the Euro in that time. Cute, huh? The U.S. now has $9.5 trillion debt — up from $5.7 trillion when Bush took office — and this has driven down the currency. The decline was accelerated by the subprime crisis that plunged the U.S. into an economic tailspin.
Here is a cute picture with a tragic story attached and it isn’t what you would think:
In this undated photo, Ram Singh Munda, 35, rides a bicycle with his pet sloth bear Rani in Gahatagaon village, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Bhubaneswar, India. When wildlife officials learned of Munda, who brought the orphaned bear cub home from the forests of eastern India, where it became part of the family, he was arrested and jailed for violating wildlife laws, the bear was sent to a zoo where it’s refusing to eat and his abandoned six-year-old daughter has been shipped off to a state-run boarding school.
Police were close-lipped about the type of shoe encasing the fifth foot, its size and its gender — but did reveal that it is the first left foot to be found.
The other four were all right feet encased in running shoes, and beginning last August they washed up on area islands, said Annie Linteau of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s national police force.
A little south in Ashland, Oregon, Jen Moss, known as “The Naked Lady” is raising controversy with her plans to be in Ashland’s Fourth of July parade free and independent of all clothing but a hemp G-string.
Even further south, here is a beautiful piece of vandalism. Hats off to the genius who put a picture of a sailor over the ‘sub’ in submarine.
And, just in case anyone thinks there is nothing else in San Francisco besides same sex weddings, don’t forget about the hipsters.
And of course there are always the dogs in wigs.
Here is what I think a suicidal sky dive instructor’s stream of consciousness might sound like:
Maybe I shouldn’t pull the cord. Nah. That’s crazy. I would never do that. Somewhat disturbing to think about what it would be like to do it though. It wouldn’t really be hard. I mean, it wouldn’t haunt me because I would be dead. Right? I mean, that’s what it is.
But to not pull the cord. The strength it will take to not pull the ripcord. To not choose life at the last moment. There really can’t be much more difficult than that. I have my doubts about whether I could really do it.
Fuck, I’m late. Fuck it, today will be my 1000th dive. Cool. Shit. Gotta go. I’m sick of working. Sick of having to be anywhere.
It’s a cool job though. I do have that going. I’ve got to be there, but it’s pretty cool. I just hate strapping myself to strangers and pretending to feel the thrill of their first airplane jump as if it is my first time too. Fuck. This all used to seem so cool.
This was penned after I took my first skydive. I was strapped to a guy who told me it was his 1000th dive. He didn’t seem very keen on living. We jumped out of the plane after the other skydivers and we landed first. As they pulled their ripcords we plummeted past them one after the other.