Tarry for the Nonce

February 28, 2008

A Winning Foreign Policy

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 10:40 pm

Since I disdain Barack Obama for his virulent pro-abortionism, I haven’t paid much attention to his campaign, but I was amused by this piece, which seems almost Clinton-esque to me:

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.

The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

Is this indicative of Obama’s international expertise? He will maintain diplomatic ties by assuring them that his “policy positions” are “baseless rhetoric.” (Which air quotes should be believed?)

At least we know that he can use both sides of his mouth.

Break Out the Aerosols!

Filed under: Science — lmwalker @ 10:23 pm

We are cool, but not in a good way.

All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously . . .

The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year’s time.

Speaking from the vantage point of a snow-covered Chicago at the end of February, I could have told ’em that a month ago. The cold and snow have been merciless.

Anyone got some spare CFCs they care to release into the atmosphere?

(Hat tip to an equally frozen Andrew Pavlis.)

The Men of Austen

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 1:41 am

The predictable choice is in the lead, but I voted for Frederick Wentworth.

I don’t mind Rupert Penry-Jones in the role, but I much prefer Bryan Marshall. This preference is helped along by the fact that I very much appreciate that the 1971 version didn’t feel a need to Bronte-ize the ending. (Stupid Americanized 21st century melodrama.)

For what it’s worth, George Knightley would have been my second choice, followed then by Fitzwilliam Darcy, Henry Tilney and Edward Ferrars. Frankly, Edmund Bertram holds absolutely no attraction for me. And I don’t waste my time with the underlings. (Sorry, Janice. I know you carry a torch for Henry Crawford. And thanks for the link!)

The Shiny Guy Always Worries

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 1:11 am

This is the best distillation of Star Wars I have ever, ever heard. Or, as Toly Delm aptly puts it, “that was more coherent and with better dialogue than Episode III.”

I also really enjoyed the review of the review.

(Hat tip to Janice Walker.)

February 27, 2008

Imagine Rapunzel’s Results

Filed under: Science — lmwalker @ 5:08 pm

Scientists are now able to determine where you lived by the isotopes in your hair.

[Jim Ehleringer’s] technique is possible because the hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water people drink are replicated in hair, bones and teeth, and can therefore be pegged to the geography . . .

Teeth and bone also reflect the water we consume, but over a much longer time frame than hair, which grows quickly and is shorn away.

Athwart History

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 4:52 pm

William F. Buckley Jr. was one of my heroes.

Best of the Web gives him a nice send-off.

February 19, 2008

Are You Blu?

Filed under: Science — lmwalker @ 5:33 pm

Did the HD Defeat inconvenience anyone?

Toshiba said Tuesday it will no longer develop, make or market HD DVD players and recorders, handing a victory to rival Blu-ray disc technology in the format battle for next-generation video . . .

Friday’s decision by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest U.S. retailer, to sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware appeared to deal a final blow to the Toshiba format. Just five days earlier, Netflix Inc. said it will cease carrying rentals in HD DVD.

Several major American retailers had already made similar decisions, including Target Corp. and Blockbuster Inc.

Also adding to Blu-ray’s momentum was the gradual increase in sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 home video-game console, which also works as a Blu-ray player. Sony has sold 10.5 million PS3 machines worldwide since the machine went on sale late 2006.

HD DVD supporters included Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp. and Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp . . .

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game machine can play HD DVD movies, but the drive had to be bought separately, and Nishida said about 300,000 people have those.

How embarassing for Microsoft.

(Hat tip to Sridhar Rao.)

February 18, 2008

In Honor of the Day

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 9:45 am

I only got 6/10 on the Presidential Myths Quiz.

I only got 7/10 on the Presidential Trivia Quiz.

I need a refresher course in history, I think. Or just a review of the 20 Things You Didn’t Know About U.S. Presidents.

February 15, 2008

I Would Be the Undead

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 1:57 pm

I can’t get the image to display correctly, but I have a 29% of survival.

(Hat tip to Andrew Pavlis.)

February 1, 2008

A Little Bling

Filed under: Business — lmwalker @ 10:56 am

Take, for example, the $94,000 cell phone.

(Hat tip to Arvind Natarajan.)

Blog at WordPress.com.