Friday, June 30, 2006

Thank you New York Times...

Sorry but this is just plain funny...

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all of the color ran from Bush's face. Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken. Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thoughts on Myers-Briggs and relationships

I ran across a web site that let you take a Jung - Myers-Briggs type of personality test. Not anything elaborate but interesting none the less. I sent it on, to my wife to take too. Three weeks go by and she had not taken it yet so I remind her and take it again myself, to see if I come out any differently based on the time/attitude difference.

She scored as an ESTJ and I scored as an INTJ. I scored identical numbers on two of the traits and fairly close on the other two so I guess my "score" could be considered accurate within the parameters of the test.

The site also allows you to see a relationship matrix. How one group might relate to another. It seems that ESTJ and INTJ are considered counterparts. This side defines counterparts as perform similar functions in totally different realms.

This got me thinking about compatibility and some of those online sites that promise to find you someone that is compatible (what ever that means). I would be curious to see the results of a test with three groups; group 1 would be people that the site says are ideally suited and compatible, group 2 would be people that the site says are absolutely not compatible and group 3 would be totally randomly selected. Each group would be told that they are ideal matches. I would like to see the results of the percentage of those that work out in each group. I am wondering how the interactions of a couple would be affected if they both thought that they were “ideal matches”. Would that cause them to work harder at making their relationship work? The reasoning being “if I can’t make it work with my idea, what chance do I have with anybody?”

Continued Palestinian Chutzpa

Again, I thought there was a cease fire going on!?!

In a leaflet distributed in the Gaza Strip, the group, which belongs to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party, said the weapons were the result of a three-year effort.

According to the statement, the first of its kind, the group has managed to manufacture and develop at least 20 different types of biological and chemical weapons.

The group said its members would not hesitate to add the new weapons to Kassam rockets that are being fired at Israeli communities almost every day. It also threatened to use the weapons against IDF soldiers if Israel carried out its threats to invade the Gaza Strip.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bill is back (Whittle that is)!

Always worth a visit. Welcome back Bill, we missed you!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I think that these air keyboards are cool but I also think that these virtual (laser) keyboards are cooler (here and here)!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Palestinian Chutzpa

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that "an Israeli missile strike in the Gaza Strip late Thursday killed a prominent militant who was the security chief of the Hamas-led Palestinian government."

The strike killed Jamal Abu Samhadana, 43, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, a group responsible for many recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and suspected in the 2003 bombing of an American diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip in which three security officers were killed.

To me the important part here is the line: a group responsible for many recent rocket attacks on southern Israel. But wait, this can’t be so! It is just not possible because I read just this past week that Israel was once more threatening the cease fire between Palestine and Israel. But this Chicago Tribune article alludes to “recent rocket attacks” originating in Palestine. If this is true, how can Israel be threatening a cease fire that apparently Palestine is not trying to honor?

This appears to be a common theme with the Western press. Palestine and Israel declare a cease fire, the Palestinians routinely ignore it and as soon as Israel takes defensive action the press screams that Israel is threatening the cease fire.

I also like this part: called the killing an assault on the government and said that militant groups vowing revenge had a right to respond.

OK, so this guy is the head of a group that is responsible for recent rocket attacks against Israel and when Israel kills the person responsible, a Hamas leader says they vow revenge and have a right to respond. That is what Israel was doing, responding to a series of rocket attacks. In part: the group was responsible for a series of deadly attacks on Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Gaza Strip before the settlers were withdrawn from the area last year.

The only word for this is chutzpa!

P.S. for anyone unfamiliar with the word, I found this great definition online: A classic example of chutzpa is someone who kills his father and mother, then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.

Media bias? What media bias?

A recent CBS poll finds that 60% of Americans say it's likely "that the United States will ultimately find success in Iraq," and more than 50% say "Iraq will eventually become a stable democracy."

Any normal person would view these results and think that was good news. Not CBS. What was their headline for this survey? "Poll: Zarqawi Death Has Little Impact."

The data that CBS chose to highlight in order to support their headline includes:

Half think the level of violence in Iraq will be unchanged by Zarqawi's death, while 30 percent say it will actually lead to more attacks against U.S. forces. Just 16 percent think the number of attacks will decrease as a result of his death.

Sixty-one percent also say Zarqawi's death won't have any impact on the terrorist threat against the United States, while 22 percent it will increase that threat. Thirteen percent predict a decreased risk of terrorism.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where have all the crispy M&Ms gone?

I really liked the crispy M&Ms. I can not find them in any of my local stores anymore. Are they no longer made? Rats…

9/2015 update: I should have come back here sooner and posted an update. They are back. Don't know for how long but they are back for now and I am loving it!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Andrew Sullivan on a roll

"A reader captures what has been in my mind and gut for the last few days: 'The BBC just released a video alleging yet another covered-up massacre of civilians by American personel [sic] in Iraq. 5 women, 4 children, and 2 men in Ishaqi in March. Just when I think I'm totally numb, I find out a fellow American may have executed a 6 month-old baby in the name of protecting me, and I can't hold back tears. What country are we in?' The same country that now practices torture. Cheney country." -- Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan, June 2, 2:55 p.m

"Raw Story has now posted some photos of the corpses of children murdered in Ishaqi. Don't go there if you are squeamish, or believe that possible war crimes should not be covered by the media. Investigations continue, and exactly what happened has not been established. But the omens are grim. And these pictures of infants with bullet holes in their skulls simply defy my comprehension of what has happened to this country." -- Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan, June 2, 3:49 p.m

"The conclusions about Ishaqi also seem to me to be provisional. More evidence may yet emerge. We should be cautious about drawing any firm conclusions yet." -- Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan, June 2, 7:54 p.m, responding to the news that an investigation has cleared U.S. troops of wrongdoing at Ishaqi.

Interesting how his tone and excitement changes as the story moves from quite possible U.S. atrocities to just atrocities. Andrew starts out opining "what country are we in?" and moves on to a bit of the standard not in my name but as the story continues to unfolds and it looks like this might (oh my) not be the result of U.S. action, we "should be cautious about drawing any firm conclusions yet." Most definitely Andrew, let us not get too far ahead of ourselves. Though you could still luck out and this tragedy may yet have been the direct result of U.S. action then you could go back to crowing.


The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last four years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for four years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation. --John Kerry, Oct. 9, 2002

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Popular Mechanics has a summary of the Katrina report...

I wonder if this report will get as much coverage as the media gave their wild and speculative Katrina stories (somehow I doubt it).

Government or contractor negligence was not discovered. The practices and design criteria did vary however since 1965. The piecemeal construction of levees, floodwalls and gates over the decades led to “inconsistent levels of protection.” Protection erected around the 17th Street Canal for example was not as strong as those at the Orleans Canal, which incorporated more conservative designs and practices. Materials also ranged in strength and fortitude.

IPET also determined Katrina’s surge levels were as much as six feet higher than design levels in the eastern and southern portions. And the waves were “long period ocean storm waves” allowing them to run over the levees. Some waves generated velocities of 10 to 15 feet-per-second over levees.

All but four breaches were due to overtopping and erosion. A key element leading to failures at the 17th Street Canal and London Avenue was the formation of gaps behind I-walls. The morning of the hurricane, water had already rose 1.7 feet above the tops of the levees and floodwalls to an elevation of 14.2 feet. As the water passed over the levees, it eroded the soil supporting the walls degrading their stability and resulting in catastrophic flooding.