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What We Believe – Poll August 31, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle, News and politics.
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The latest 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, which surveyed 847 adults by telephone nationwide earlier this month, tracks Americans thoughts on a variety of topics from Afghanistan and illegal drugs to Mel Gibson and sexual harassment at work.

Some highlights:

— 33% of people think ghosts are likely to actually exist; while another 30% voted for the existence of U.F.O.’s. A smaller percentage of folks think vampires, the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot could exist. Sadly, King Kong and Godzilla did not make the list.

— Nearly 90% of Americans would not try LSD, ecstasy, heroin, crystal meth or crack one time — even if  there was no possibility of harmful physical consequences, criminal charges or addiction.

The October 2010 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll | The Magazine | Vanity Fair.

Religionization of American Politics August 30, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in philosophy & politics, Religion.
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Obama isn’t the first president to have to deal with this. Abraham Lincoln, who never joined a church and was notoriously ambiguous and secretive about his religious beliefs, famously said, “The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” In his later years, despite denouncing those who were “enemies of” or “scoffed at” religion, he reiterated, “My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”

And Lincoln wasn’t alone, either. In fact, the United States was created by a very skeptical group of Founding Fathers. (more…)

What Gin & Sitcoms Have In Common August 29, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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I was recently reminded of some reading I did in college, way back in the last century, by a British historian arguing that the critical technology, for the early phase of the industrial revolution, was gin.

The transformation from rural to urban life was so sudden, and so wrenching, that the only thing society could do to manage was to drink itself into a stupor for a generation. The stories from that era are amazing– there were gin pushcarts working their way through the streets of London. Alcoholism was also rampant in the US, during our industrial Revolution, until Prohibition’s push-back. (more…)

Hawaiian Fire Tornado August 29, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Video.
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According to KITV, the daunting spectacle was a product of a brush fire that firefighters were attempting to contain near the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island on Sunday. The blaze claimed at least 1,400 acres. You can actually see the tornadic-cloud rotation around the flame increasing in size.

How Many Wives Do You Have? August 29, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle.
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In coming years, researchers may also be able to shed light on the impact of language on more subtle areas of perception. For instance, some languages, like Matses in Peru, oblige their speakers, like the finickiest of lawyers, to specify exactly how they came to know about the facts they are reporting.

So if, for instance, you ask a Matses man how many wives he has, unless he can actually see his wives at that very moment, he would have to answer in the past tense and would say something like “There were two last time I checked.” After all, given that the wives are not present, he cannot be absolutely certain that one of them hasn’t died or run off with another man since he last saw them, even if this was only five minutes ago. So he cannot report it as a certain fact in the present tense.

via Does Your Language Shape How You Think? – NYTimes.com.

Is Cricket the Most Crooked Professional Sport? August 29, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Sports.
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In the most sensational sporting scandal ever, bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif delivered THREE blatant no-balls to order.Their London-based fixer Mazhar Majeed, who let us in on the betting scam for £150,000, crowed “this is no coincidence” before the bent duo made duff deliveries at PRECISELY the moments promised to our reporter.Armed with our damning dossier of video evidence, Scotland Yard launched their own probe into the scandal.

via Cricket in the dock as we expose match fixing scandal | England Pakistan Test, no balls, bribes | News Of The World.

We Didn’t Start the Fire August 25, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Cool Sites, Geopolitics, Music, Video.
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Whether you are a Billy  Joel fan or not, you probably remember his great song, ‘We Didn’t Start  the Fire..’
Here it is, set to pictures… . It’s a neat flashback  through the past half century. I never did know all the words. Turn up  volume, sit back and enjoy a review of 50 years of history in  less  than 3 minutes! Thanks to Billy Joel and some guy from the   University of  Chicago  with a lot of spare  time and  Google. Top left gives you full screen….top right lets you pause.   Bottom left shows the year.  The  older you are, the more  pictures you will recognize.  Anyone over age 65 should remember over  90% of what they see. But it’s great at any age.

click  below:

Click here: We Didn’t Start The Fire

Great White Shark Becomes Dinner August 18, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos.
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(Pic: Courier Mail)

The great white was savaged after it got snared on a drum line – a baited hook attached to a buoy – near North Stradbroke Island, east of Brisbane.

The wounded creature was still alive when a crew hauled it onto a boat, close to Deadman’s Beach.

Experts said its rival may be 20ft (about six metres) long, judging by the size of the huge bites.

via Shark Mauls Great White: Fears In Australia After Shark Bitten Off Stradbroke Island, Near Brisbane | World News | Sky News.

Who Cheats, Depends On Who Is the Bread-Winner August 18, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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Findings suggest that disparities in moneymaking play a significant role in infidelity, at least among the young couples they studied. “With women, they were less likely to engage in infidelity the less money they make relative to their husband,” said study author Christin Munsch. “But for men, the less money you make relative to your spouse, the more likely you are to engage in infidelity.”

Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and research professor at Rutgers University, said it makes sense that men with more money would be more likely to fool around. “He probably travels a lot and drives nicer cars, and he’s probably in finer restaurants. He’s advertising the kind of resources that women are looking for from an evolutionary perspective,” she said. “Around the world, women go for men who are on the top of the pile.”

But there’s less reason, from an evolutionary perspective, for a man to stray if he makes less money than his female partner, she said. “You’d think a man would want to stick around those resources himself. That may have more of a purely psychological explanation.”

As for women, she said, wealth brings them a greater power to do what they want, whether it’s leave a bad relationship or have an affair.

via Infidelity Rises When She Makes More Than He Does.

The Science of Pouring Champagne August 12, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Food, In The News.
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The researchers say they looked at two ways of pouring Champagne: the “traditional” method, with the liquid poured vertically to hit the bottom of the Champagne flute; and the “beer-like way,” executed by tilting the glass and gently sliding in the Champagne.

The scientists at the University of Reims say pouring bubbly at a slant, as you would a beer, preserves more of the tiny gas bubbles that improve the drink’s flavor and aromas.

The study – “On the Losses of Dissolved CO2 During Champagne Serving” – appears this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a U.S. publication.

via Champagne fizzics: Science backs pouring sideways.

What The Russian Fires Reveal August 11, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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The disastrous Russian heat wave has exposed a key failing of Russian society: The flow of information has stopped.

A New York journalist friend often drills me on the state of Russia. As I find myself saying, “I don’t know” more frequently, I think he has begun to suspect me of being evasive. The truth is, no one, inside or outside the country, knows what is going on in Russia—unless something catches fire or blows up. Until then, we are in a haze, in silence.

There is not a single newspaper that even strives to be national in its coverage. The television is not only controlled by the Kremlin; it is made by the Kremlin for the Kremlin, and it is entirely unsuited to gathering or conveying actual information. Even the Russian blogosphere is bizarrely fragmented: Researchers who “mapped” it discovered that, unlike any other blogosphere in the world, it consists of many non-overlapping circles. People in different walks of life, different professions, and different parts of the country simply do not talk to one another. The same is true of political institutions: Since the Russian government effectively abolished representative democracy, canceling direct elections, there is no reason—and no real mechanism—for Moscow politicians to know what is going on in the vast country. Nor do governors need concern themselves with the lives and the disasters in their regions—they, too, are no longer elected but are appointed by the Kremlin.

As a result, no one knows where the fires are burning—unless they are burning right next to you. The government, too, lacks the information that would be required to evacuate vulnerable towns and villages, to mobilize the resources necessary to fight the fires, or even to know exactly where they are burning.

via The deadly fires have exposed a key problem in today’s Russia: No one knows what’s going on. – By Masha Gessen – Slate Magazine.

After the Fairy Tale Ending… August 11, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor.
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Vancouver artist, Dina Goldstein, has focused her lens on what happens after the Fairy Tale ending. Thanx to Juan Marcos.

See the pictures at her web-site fallenprincesses.com

The Balfour Declaration: The Origin of the Arab Israeli Conflict August 8, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics, Religion.
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According to Schneer (London 1900), an expert in modern British history at Georgia Tech, intrigue and British doubledealing defined the 1917 Balfour Declaration of British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine as much as bravery and vision, leading to the disillusionment, distrust, and resentment that still dominate the region today. British Jewish chemist and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann orchestrated the campaign to persuade powerful men that support for Zionism would benefit Britain’s wartime cause and the ensuing peace. Perhaps most shrewdly, Weizmann lobbied former prime minister Arthur James Balfour, then a member of Britain’s War Council. Meanwhile, Grand Sharif Hussein and his sons had won British backing for an Arab kingdom, which would presumably include Palestine, and with British encouragement rebelled against the Ottomans in 1916. Through British duplicity, the French also believed they had a interest in Palestine. And three months after the Balfour Declaration, British prime minister Lloyd George proposed a separate peace with Turkey, with the Ottomans remaining in Palestine.

via Amazon.com: The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the….

Update on The Mexican Drug Wars August 8, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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Good LA Times article about the war with the upstart Zeta and La Familia Cartels. Here is the dirty little secret that has been whispered around for awhile.

The arrests have been unevenly distributed. Fewer than 1,000 of the 53,000 drug-trafficking arrests studied in a report this year by Edgardo Buscaglia, an international expert on organized crime and a legal scholar at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, involved people working for the Sinaloa cartel, the oldest and mightiest of the narco-empires.

Those figures have led many in Mexico to conclude that Calderon’s government is going easy on the Sinaloa traffickers, whose leader is the country’s most wanted fugitive, billionaire Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman. The motive, this argument goes, would be to reduce violence by allowing one group to essentially win. Calderon has vehemently denied favoritism.

via Mexico drug cartels: Mexico drug cartels thrive despite Calderon’s offensive – latimes.com.

Is College Tuition the Next Bubble? August 8, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Right now, people are still borrowing heavily to pay the steadily increasing tuitions levied by higher education. But that borrowing is based on the expectation that students will earn enough to pay off their loans with a portion of the extra income their educations generate. Once people doubt that, the bubble will burst.

Many people with college educations are already jumping the tracks to become skilled manual laborers:  plumbers, electricians, and the like.  And the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that seven of the ten fastest-growing jobs in the next decade will be based on on-the-job training rather than higher education.  (And they’ll be hands-on jobs hard to outsource to foreigners).  If this is right, a bursting of the bubble is growing likelier.

via Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Further thoughts on the higher education bubble | Washington Examiner.

Maybe You Shouldn’t “Make Your Bed” August 8, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in health.
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Researcher Dr Stephen Pretlove said: “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body.

“Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”  Thanks to Suzanne in France.

via BBC NEWS | Health | Untidy beds may keep us healthy.

Burkas for Blackberry August 6, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor, Science & Technology.
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New laws in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will require that every Blackberry user dress their phone a miniature burqa and face veil.

‘The Blackberry burqa means that people can still use their phones,’ said a Saudi government official, ‘but the tiny niqab that covers the screen will stop them from reading emails or accessing the Internet.’

The introduction of the burqa is intended to conceal the Blackberry from unwanted attention. With the veil in place only a tiny slit remains revealing just the time and date, thus preserving its modesty.

via Gulf states order Blackberry users to cover their phones in a tiny burqa | NewsBiscuit. (more…)

Akinator, the Web Mind Reader August 3, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Cool Sites, cool stuff.
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Akinator, the Web Genius.

Click on the link and find a great new time-waster. The Genie, with a few clues, can guess what you are thinking of.

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