Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV’s Fantasy Island and the title character in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, died Wednesday morning at his home. He was 88.
Here’s a few stories that caught my eye:
German billionaire kills himself over losses. The funny thing here is that he probably still had about a billion more than me and I’m having a great time. What the fuck is wrong with people? Try living life instead of thinking life is all about the cash. I sure don’t have much, but what do I really need anyway?
and this in case you forgot the economy is sour.
And finally, instead of talking about the economy or the fact that Israel is on a genocide mission, maybe we should focus on some important news like the Bush cat being dead…the one member of the Bush family that was probably innocent…unless you count killing birds.
Do you think they will spend more on the cat funeral than on the funerals of all the Palestinians that are being massacred?
I would say that this raises the armageddon meter considerably…of course, it could also be the result of way too much planning…
LIMA (Reuters) – Virgin Mary, a 20-year-old Peruvian woman, gave birth to a baby boy on Christmas day and named him Jesus, Peru’s state news agency said on Friday.
The baby’s father, Adolfo Jorge Huamani, 24, is a carpenter. Religious Peruvians compared him to Joseph the Carpenter in the Bible.
“Two thousand years later the story of Bethlehem is relived,” read the headline about the birth in El Comercio, the main newspaper in Peru, a predominantly Catholic country.
The mother, Virgen Maria Huarcaya, delivered the 7.7 pound (3.5 kg) boy, Jesus Emanuel, in the early hours of Christmas at the central maternity hospital in Lima, the capital.
“A few days ago we had decided to name my son after a professional soccer player,” the father said. “But thanks to a happy coincidence this is how things ended up.”
I know that I haven’t written in a while about the dramatic changes that I think we are just beginning to see, but I don’t want you to think that I’ve stopped believing. We are living in the midst of the most incredible events in human history. Things are changing and they are changing very fast. Mumbai is, unfortunately, the first link in a fairly terrible chain of events. As usually happens when things such as this go on, there are signs visible to those who are willing to look. Here is one that you can see in a couple of nights:
Monday evening, Dec. 1, a slender crescent moon, just 15-percent illuminated, will appear in very close proximity to the two brightest planets in our sky, Venus and Jupiter.
Venus has adorned the southwestern twilight sky since late August. No other star or planet can come close to matching Venus in brilliance. During World War II, aircraft spotters sometimes mistook Venus for an enemy airplane. There were even cases in which Venus drew antiaircraft fire.
This winter, Venus is the unrivaled evening star that will soar from excellent to magnificent prominence in the southwest at nightfall. The interval by which it follows the Sun will increase from nearly three hours on Dec. 1 to almost four hours by Jan. 1. It’s probably the first “star” you’ll see coming out after sunset. In fact, if the air is very clear and the sky a good, deep blue, try looking for Venus shortly before sunset.
Jupiter starts December just above Venus and is moving in the opposite direction, dropping progressively lower each evening. By month’s end Jupiter meets up with another planet – Mercury – but by then Jupiter is also descending deep into the glow of sunset. In January, Jupiter will be too close to the Sun to see; it’s in conjunction with the Sun on Jan. 24.
A very close conjunction of the crescent moon and a bright star or planet can be an awe-inspiring naked-eye spectacle. The English poet, critic and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) used just such a celestial sight as an ominous portent in his epic, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” In addition, there are juxtaposed crescent moon and star symbols that have appeared on the flags of many nations, including Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Tunisia.
Also on Monday evening, you may be able to see the full globe of the moon, its darkened portion glowing with a bluish-gray hue interposed between the sunlit crescent and not much darker sky. This vision is sometimes called “the old moon in the young moon’s arms.” Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was the first to recognize it as what we now call “earthshine.”
As beautiful as the view of Venus, Jupiter and the moon will be from North America, an even more spectacular sight awaits those living in parts of Western Europe where the moon will pass in front of Venus.
Astronomers refer to this phenomenon as an “occultation,” taken from the Latin word occultāre, which means “to conceal.” This eye-catching sight will be visible in complete darkness across much of Eastern Europe. Farther west, Venus will disappear behind the dark part of the moon either during evening twilight or just before the Sun sets. When Venus emerges, it will look like a brightening jewel on the slender lunar crescent. For virtually all of Europe, the Sun will have set by then, the exception being southern Portugal (including Lisbon).
Such favorable circumstances are quite rare for any given location. For example, the last time London was treated to such a favorably placed Venus occultation such was back on October 7, 1961. And after 2008, there will not be another similarly favorable Venus occultation for the United Kingdom until January 10, 2032.
Suddenly the United States is becoming a socialized capitalist consumer society.
We are entering a new and unsettling phase in the relationship between government and business, one that neither sector particularly wants but cannot avoid. One result is that the line between public and private interests increasingly is being blurred so much as to become unrecognizable.
Nowhere is that more obvious that at Fannie and Freddie, two massive enterprises that combined their government-sponsored creation and backing with publicly traded stock. Fannie and Freddie were perfect fodder for the sort of mischief that privatizes gains while socializing losses.
That’s what happened at Freddie and Fannie, which used their below-market cost of credit as much to reward shareholders as to fulfill their mission in providing secondary market liquidity to encourage homeownership. Meanwhile, the companies effectively lobbied Congress to keep their capital requirements lower than they should have been.
The federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie, which combined own or guarantee roughly half of the nation’s $11 trillion in mortgages, marks the biggest government intervention in financial markets in decades — arguably since the Great Depression. The ultimate cost of bailing out Freddie and Fannie alone could easily top the roughly $125 billion spent in the late 1980s and early 1990s seizing failed savings and loans and selling off their assets.
You may ask, Is it time to murder my neighbor and steal his canned goods?
That’s probably a little premature, unless he’s wondering the same thing, and is planning on murdering you. In that case you’re probably justified in murdering him a little bit, or at least sleeping in the nook behind your bedroom door with a loaded crossbow cradled in your lap. (stolen from Cracked.com)
On August 23, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain Al Shahristani flew out of Iraq and headed for China. Five days later, he signed a $3b contract with the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The agreement revived an earlier deal signed in 1997 for the development of the Ahdab field, located 160 kilometres southeast of Baghdad.
Contrary to post-invasion predictions, the first foreign contract for the development of an Iraqi oil field has not gone to a western oil major. In fact, the deal with a Chinese company has signalled that Iraq might have begun to strongly resist western oil interests, seeking a free run over its mammoth energy resources. The jury is now out on whether the deal with China will set a precedent that will derail the American oil project in Iraq.
And apparently, the end of the world has been put on hold until a transformer is repaired…of course, as I mentioned before, it will not be a sudden and violent end, it is more an end to the empirical and rationalist world views of the enlightenment.
Here is a question for you, who do you think lost more
1) the folks that were primary stockholders in mortgage banks that allowed predatory lending practices to drive the value of their stocks artificially high or
2) these folks in Wai’anae
There was a time when I was a little kid when I used to dream of coming to Hawaii. It was because of the friendly kids, beautiful landscape, and happy music in the C & H Sugar commercials. That was long ago and these days there is not much ‘pure cane sugar, from Hawaii, growing in the sun’ and ‘when you cook, when you bake, for goodness sake’ you certainly can’t use C& H any longer. Well, one of the last two sugar plantation/mills in Hawaii has just announced that it will be closing down operations. Gay and Robinson Sugar on Kauai is stopping their sugar operation after 116 years. This leaves just the sugar plantation mill on Maui. Remember when there were pineapples on Lanai, Coconuts in Waikiki, and sugar on Kauai and the big island? Cause it is just a memory now.
Meanwhile, the idea of a third party in the United States is perhaps going to rise from memory to the future. Today, upstart Republican candidate Ron Paul refused to endorse John McCain and instead met with Ralph Nader and told supporters that instead of voting for Obama/McCain they should ‘vote for anyone else’.
Nader appeared on CNN with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to talk about the third-party candidates. When Blitzer asked Paul whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain was the lesser of two evils, Paul responded, “I don’t do that. Evil is evil.”
Nader brought up that Paul, himself, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin all sat down together and discussed four major things that desperately need attention that just aren’t being discussed by the Democrats and Republicans: foreign policy; revising FISA; revising or repealing the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and eliminating torture; and the government in and of itself that the Federal Reserve has become, with no oversight from Congress and the will and capability to do as they please with our national deficit.
Nader is now on the ballot in 45 states and has qualified as a write-in candidate in four more. The only state which denies its citizens the right to vote for Nader at this point is Oklahoma. The campaign is considering a lawsuit there since the state does not allow write-in votes and requires tens of thousands of signatures to qualify for the ballot, which places a heavy burden on campaigns that shun corporate financing.The media is finally starting to give him a little bit of attention. If he can make it to the debates, he might be able to get the votes needed to really shake things up.
And on to the big bang experiments that will end the world…it turns out today was just the day they started the machine. They will annhilate the world another day.
Cern has not yet announced when it plans to carry out the first collisions, but the BBC understands that low-energy collisions could happen in the next few days. This will allow engineers to calibrate instruments, but will not produce data of scientific interest.
Actually, it won’t be a total instant destruction at all. What is actually going to occur is that the electro-magnetic world will actually be completely opened up to the gravistatic-atomic world that we live in. This erasure of the dividing line will mean that scientific laws we have observed and counted on being constant, will no longer be so. The fundamental relationship of cause and effect will begin to morph into something quite different from everything we have known. Essentially, it will be the dawn of a time when the impossible will begin to be possible. This is what I know. Expect the unexpected in the wake of these experiments. Try to remember that there is neither good nor bad, but more than ever it is how you respond and comprehend the external world internally. Perception is going to start being the rule more than concretion. This concludes the section where I reveal a profound revelation within an otherwise mundane posting. If you found it, congratulations.
One has to wonder why we allow our shit and piss to foul the earth when instead we can use it to light the night.
San Antonio unveiled a deal on Tuesday that will make it the first U.S. city to harvest methane gas from human waste on a commercial scale and turn it into clean-burning fuel.
San Antonio residents produce about 140,000 tons a year of a substance gently referred to as “biosolids,” which can be reprocessed into natural gas, said Steve Clouse, chief operating officer of the city’s water system.
“You may call it something else,” Clouse said, but for area utilities, the main byproduct of human waste – methane gas – will soon be converted into natural gas to burn in their power plants.
Following the agreement, more than 90 percent of materials flushed down the toilets and sinks of San Antonio will be recycled, he said. Liquid is now used for irrigation, many of the solids are made into compost, and now the methane gas will be recycled for power generation.
Speculation was mounting last night over the health of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. He has not been seen in public for more than three weeks, and, according to a source who has seen intelligence reports, five Chinese physicians entered North Korea about a week ago and are still there.
The 66-year-old leader was last seen on 14 August, when he inspected a military unit. State media carry reports every time Mr Kim attends a public event, but never comment on his health. An official with South Korea’s main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, has said Mr Kim has chronic heart disease and diabetes but that his illnesses have not affected his public duties.
North Korea next week marks 60 years since its foundation. An annual military parade is usually staged on the anniversary. If Mr Kim doesn’t attend, this may indicate his health has worsened, South Korean officials believe.
And have you ever wondered what would happen if Florida gets slammed by more hurricanes?
a series of studies have made it clear that if the Big One or even a Pretty Big One strikes, Florida is going to have very serious problems. The state-run insurance firm and the Catastrophe Fund have just a few billion dollars on hand, so a major storm would force both entities to float massive bond issues in an unfavorable market, and to make up their shortfalls through gigantic assessments on policyholders. A House committee recently warned that the state would have “extreme difficulty paying its obligations” after a 100-year storm, and that premiums on nearly every property, car and business could skyrocket. A report for the state Office of Insurance Regulation found that even a 50-year storm would cause extreme financial stress, especially given the current credit crunch.
It could happen this week…we will see. Speaking of the credit crunch. The U.S. has taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Desperate measures for desperate times.
Officials announced that both giant institutions were being placed in a government conservatorship, a move that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said allowing the companies to fail would have extracted a far higher price on consumers by driving up the cost of home loans and all other types of borrowing because the failures would “create great turmoil in our financial markets here at home and around the globe.”
Hang on to that gold! The federal takeover is one of the largest bail-outs in US history. ACtually don’t worry, The CERN goes on Wednesday ending all existance as we know it.
GENEVA – It has been called an Alice in Wonderland investigation into the makeup of the universe — or dangerous tampering with nature that could spell doomsday.
Whatever the case, the most powerful atom-smasher ever built comes online Wednesday, eagerly anticipated by scientists worldwide who have awaited this moment for two decades.
The multibillion-dollar Large Hadron Collider will explore the tiniest particles and come ever closer to re-enacting the big bang, the theory that a colossal explosion created the universe.
The machine at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, promises scientists a closer look at the makeup of matter, filling in gaps in knowledge or possibly reshaping theories.
The first beams of protons will be fired around the 17-mile tunnel to test the controlling strength of the world’s largest superconducting magnets. It will still be about a month before beams traveling in opposite directions are brought together in collisions that some skeptics fear could create micro “black holes” and endanger the planet.
The project has attracted researchers of 80 nationalities, some 1,200 of them from the United States, which contributed $531 million of the project’s price tag of nearly $4 billion.
“This only happens once a generation,” said Katie Yurkewicz, spokeswoman for the U.S. contingent at the CERN project. “People are certainly very excited.”
The collider at Fermilab outside Chicago could beat CERN to some discoveries, but the Geneva equipment, generating seven times more energy than Fermilab, will give it big advantages.
The CERN collider is designed to push the proton beam close to the speed of light, whizzing 11,000 times a second around the tunnel 150 to 500 feet under the bucolic countryside on the French-Swiss border.
Once the beam is successfully fired counterclockwise, a clockwise test will follow. Then the scientists will aim the beams at each other so that protons collide, shattering into fragments and releasing energy under the gaze of detectors filling cathedral-sized caverns at points along the tunnel.
CERN dismisses the risk of micro black holes, subatomic versions of collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong they can suck in planets and other stars.
But the skeptics have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii and in the European Court of Human Rights to stop the project. They unsuccessfully mounted a similar action in 1999 to block the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state.
CERN’s collider has been under construction since 2003, financed mostly by its 20 European member states. The United States and Japan are major contributors with observer status in CERN.
Scientists started colliding subatomic particles decades ago. As the machines grew more powerful, the experiments revealed that protons and neutrons — previously thought to be the smallest components of an atom — were made of still smaller quarks and gluons.
CERN hopes to recreate conditions in the laboratory a split-second after the big bang, teaching them more about “dark matter,” antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time.
Meanwhile, scientists have found innovative ways to explain the concept in layman’s terms.
The team working on one of the four major installations in the tunnel — the ALICE, or “A Large Ion Collider Experiment” — produced a comic book featuring Carlo the physicist and a girl called Alice to explain the machine’s investigation of matter a split second after the Big Bang.
“We create mini Big Bangs by bumping two nuclei into each other,” Carlo explains to Alice, who has just followed a rabbit down one of the hole-like shafts at CERN.
“This releases an enormous amount of energy that liberates thousands of quarks and gluons normally imprisoned inside the nucleus. Quarks and gluons then form a kind of thick soup that we call the quark-gluon plasma.”
The soup cools quickly and the quarks and gluons stick together to form protons and neutrons, the building blocks of matter.
That will enable scientists to look for still missing pieces to the puzzle — or lead to the formulation of a new theory on the makeup of matter.
Kate McAlpine, 23, a Michigan State University graduate at CERN, has produced the Large Hadron Rap, a video clip that has attracted more than a million views on YouTube.
“The things that it discovers will rock you in the head,” McAlpine raps as she dances in the tunnel and caverns.
CERN spokesman James Gillies said the lyrics are “absolutely scientifically spot on.”
“It’s quite brilliant,” Gillies said.
About as brilliant as using poison to make your dinnerware and waterbottles out of.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Scientists reported this week new evidence that low doses of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), widely used to make plastic food and drinking containers, can impair brain function in primates, extending the findings of previous research conducted in rats.
Whether the amount of BPA that leaches out of containers into food and beverages represents an environmental risk is a subject of controversy.
“Our primate model indicates that BPA could negatively affect brain function in humans,” study investigator Tibor Hajszan said in a press release from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
Hajszan and colleagues examined the influence of continuous exposure to BPA at a daily dose representing the US Environmental Protection Agency’s current reference safe daily limit (50 micrograms per kilogram) in young adult African green monkeys.
According to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, BPA completely abolished the formation of some nerve connections in two key regions of the brain – the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
These findings have “profound implications,” the investigators maintain, given the critical role of these nerve connections in cognition and mood.
“Based on these findings, we think the EPA may wish to consider lowering its ‘safe daily limit’ for human BPA consumption,” Hajszan said.
Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, the tourist industry is starting to go into a flat spin here in Hawaii. Yes, it is going to get worse. Sometimes it’s hard to put a human face on the economic woes of these times, it’s hard to remember that real people are in trouble here. This reminder comes this morning. through the years, these guys have been great friends to me. I’ve dived with them, played poker and scrabble with them, and watched them go through serious shit while keeping a smile on their faces. Oahu, just became a little bit less than it has been while the Oahu Dive Center has been operating. This totally sucks. Oahu Dive Center
Subject: ODC closing
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 06:45:23 -1000
Aloha one and all:
Okay, after much deliberation, lack of sleep, 20 hour days, legal wrangling, truck breakdowns, malfeasance, etc…..Oahu Dive Center, the greatest little dive shop in the world, is closing down.
We are gone.
By the end of September, and probably before, the little cinder block, tin roofed building that has been the site of so much friendship, poker, Scrabble, tomfoolery, education, beer drinking and gut laughs is going to be a pleasant memory. Remember all those times when we said, “These are the good old days.” Those really were the good old days, and those times are going to be relegated to the dusty corners of memory and remembrance.
We appreciate all of you more than you can ever imagine.
It may not always have been a bed of roses, but we always managed to keep smiling.
We created a lot of new divers, saved some lives, influenced others, and hopefully have done a ration of good in this world.
Along the way we have met our share of comics, clowns and creeps.
We have been entertained and returned in like.
We have been stolen from and embezzled and bamboozled.
We have made a lot of friends and sent a lot of people back from their vacations with smiles on their faces.
We have rubbed shoulders with charlatans and saints, benefactors and bad guys. We have seen the absolute best and worst of people and always tried to take a lesson from it.
We have been slandered, libeled and lied to.
We have been, without a doubt, the safest dive operation on Oahu for the entire time we have been here.
We have turned absolute strangers into friends, and friends into family.
We have always strived to deal squarely with people in an industry that is pockmarked by endless schemers and persons willing to sacrifice safety standards to make a buck.
We may have wounded some feelings along the way, but we never did it intentionally.
Oahu Dive Center was conceived out of the conviction that what this island needed was an honest place where people could learn to dive, and divers could learn to enjoy diving at a good price with the expectation that they would be safe and cared for while having a good time.
As owners we have gone without pay so others could work.
We have taken side jobs so that we could keep our staff employed.
We have cut costs and given discounts at a loss for us just to get those with little or no money on a dive, or into diving.
We have showed up at 3:00 am, we have stayed past midnight to keep the behind-the-scenes wheels greased.
We have shouldered additional tasks as various partners bowed out and/or did not fulfill our expectations.
We have gone well beyond the realms of adversity many times and come back, but right now it feels like it is time to lay it to rest.
All things come to an end, and now it is Oahu Dive Center’s time.
We had looked at the options of relocation, revamping, and refinancing.
We have considered upsizing and downsizing.
We have looked at ways to save on costs, but many of those areas where we could definitely save money would put us into the same arena as the operations of other dive shops. We WILL NOT operate at less than a safe level just to turn a dime.
Running our options against reality leaves us with little room to operate, and we feel this is the best way to go.
We will miss the ability to have friends drop in at any time to say hello.
We will miss having a focal point for our efforts.
We will miss the OMMTF (Outdoor Multi-Media Teaching Facility)
We will miss the ever-present little fridge-o-beer.
We will miss the impromptu Scrabble games, and the ability to draw the unwary into our particular den of idiocy.
Dwell on the good, and leave the rest as history.
Breaking developments will show up on the website.
There are going to be some absolutely killer deals, so if you need SCUBA toys, or know someone who needs SCUBA Toys, now is the time.
EVERYTHING in the shop is going to be coming up for sale: Cases, display shelves, lighting, fans, racks, compressors, signs……….EVERYTHING. (well, maybe not the OMMTF, we may need to bronze that)
No, we are not interested in a new location any longer.
No, we are not going to renegotiate our lease here.
We are going to live a normal life for a time with spare hours and full nights of sleep.
We are going to have dinner with our wives.
We are going to have days off.
We are going to wake up in Hawaii and try to find ways to fill our spare time.
We are going to surf, and swim, and walk on the beach at sunset.
We are going to ride a bicycle through town just for the sake of doing it.
We are going to accept dinner invitations and know that we can actually show up.
We are going to make plans and keep to those plans.
We are going to turn off the cell phone.
We are going to take time off on our birthdays, Christmas, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and New Years day.
We are going to be able to visit with our family members when they are on the island.
We are going to miss this all more than you can ever imagine.
Oahu Dive Center
345 Hahani street
Kailua, Hi 96734
Dear Terror Suspect,
Did you like the Olympic opening ceremonies? What about the Olympics? Do you have a favorite sport in the games?
~Tracy ….Cary, NC
I can’t remember if I wrote about this or not, but I am convinced that the opening games of the Olympics were more than they seemed. Personally, I am fairly certain they were the mark of the center of power in the world being transferred from the United States to China.
Here’s the thing. The moneyed power that sits behind all the thones and has for a long time now, moved capital and power to the United States from the Old World in Europe. Europe had been exploited and divided too many times and it was no longer a safe place to consolidate the wealth of millennia. That is what the world wars were about. They were about making the United States the center of the world where in the past it had been England, Spain, France, or Egypt.
The consolidation worked. Now after a century of using the natural wealth of the U.S. and now leveraging it to the highest degree possible, Capital is moving to a safer place where there is less chance of losing power. China is it.
It is my opinion that the opening ceremonies marked the completion of that transfer. China is now the dominant power in the world. Russia invading Georgia and the future conflict that seems to be coming between the U.S. and Russia will complete the process of turning the U.S. into a second class or perhaps even third world power. This rivalry between the United States and Russia is not to see who is the world power, it is to see who gets to be the second place power. In Olympics terms, we are seeing who gets the silver and who gets the bronze.
For a long while I thought that the E.U. was the future of capital and power, but it was a diversion that fooled many of us.They had no intention of going back to Europe.
Now is the time when the United States of America starts to come apart at the seams. Look for more war, less money, more working hours, less benefits, and an overall not as good life in the future.
Don’t be surprised if this image leaves U.S. currency sometime in the near future. In other words, it might be time for the U.S. to become the center of exploited labor it has turned so many other nations into.
I’m not a huge fan of the Olympics, but I love badminton. It’s the best spectator sport on the planet….next to curling.