Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sorry all of you political altruists and purists

But Romney just won Florida. And likely with it the nomination.

Get ready for the conspiracy theories to pop up again

Some newly released tapes from Air Force One after Kennedy was shot are sure to re-ignite all of the conspiracy theorists.  What will really stir them up is the 42 minutes of tapes that were not released originally by the White House Communications Agency.  There are also some poignant moments such as when LBJ and Lady Bird try to console Rose Kennedy on a condolence call.  However, the previously withheld audio transmissions and the part about USAF commander and Kennedy opponent General Curtis LeMay is what will set everyone off:
The full audio of transmissions from White House Communications Agency (which captured the tapes) that day includes 42 minutes edited out of the original public version. It's likely to peak the interest of conspiracy theorists who are already asking why this material was cut out of the original.
Then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay had been a frequent opponent of Kennedy's. His whereabouts on the day of the assassination has always been a mystery.
In the newly public audio, we learn that LeMay was airborne, even as JFK's body was being flown back to Washington. And an aide to LeMay tried urgently to reach his boss.
"General LeMay," the aide said, "is in a C 140. ... He's inbound. His code name is Grandson. And I wanna talk to him. ... If you can't work him now, it's gonna be too late, because he'll be on the ground in a half-hour."
Historian Robert Dallek suggests doubters will wonder if the aide's comments about not reaching LeMay within 30 minutes may be "too late" could have some sinister meaning. "I'd doubt these tapes will put the conspiracy theory to rest," he says. "They continue to believe it was a conspiracy and again, they just can't accept the proposition that a lone wolf, a single, and someone as dysfunctional as Lee Harvey Oswald, could have carried off this assassination of the president."

Record setting winter

It has been great in my neck of the woods this 'winter'. Although it started out rough with measurable snow before Halloween - in fact, a bunch of towns had to cancel trick or treating. By and large, though, I have barely seen snow and it has topped out north of 50 in three of the four weeks in January. With all of the anomalous weather, I was not surprised to learn that a new record temperature was recently set. Negative 81 degrees Fahrenheit in Jim's River Alaska. Better them than me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wouldn't it be cool to look in on the world's longest running scientific experiment?

World's longest experiment now on webcam (still going slowly)

Well, now you can via webcam.  This particular experiment has been going for the past 85 years.  It seems that one Professor Parnell in the Physics department at the University of Queensland wanted demonstrate that fluid mechanics applied to all fluids, including brittle ones like tar pitch, even if they move VERY slowly,  So he heated up the coal derivative and put it in a glass funnel that he had pinched shut.  Three years later in 1930 he cut the end off the funnel.  Starting on that date the first drop started to form.  More than eight decades later, about one drop per decade has fallen into the beaker below.  If my math is right, that would make tar pitch more than 100 billion times more viscous than water (all right, that would be their calculations, but some of my best ideas are other people's).  Alas, Professor Parnell only lived to see the first drop fall in 1938 and was dead before the second one dropped in 1954.  Well technically, he didn't see it actually fall.  In fact, no one has ever seen a drop of tar pitch hit the beaker.  Keep looking to the webcam and you may be the first!

You do not compute

Lost in Space ran from 1965 to 1968.  It was set way in the future: 1997.  And a bit of trivia, although several of the TV show stars had cameos in the 1998 big screen remake, who was the only one to reprise his original role?  That would be Dick Tufeld.  He was the voice of the robot in both the TV show and the movie made three decades later.  Mr. Tufeld had a storied career.  He had roles in many shows including "The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "The Time Tunnel."  More importantly, he was an iconic voice for fifty years of media broadcasts starting with "Space Patrol" on the radio in the 1950s and going all the way through "The Simpsons."  His was the voice that opened "The Wonderful World of Disney."  His voice could be heard on, introducing or during commercials for a myriad of TV shows during the golden age.  He also was the voice of game shows like "The Jokers Wild" and was the announcer on the "It's Garry Shandling's Show."  Sadly, Mr. Tufeld just died at the age of 85.  

Another one bites the (really expensive, paid for with your money) dust

Following in the great green porkulus tradition established by Solyndra, three more "green energy" con jobs backed by Obama with your money bit the dust last week. Globalwarming.org has the scoop:
Earlier this week, Stimulus beneficiary Evergreen Energy bit the dust. Then, Ener1, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and recipient of Stimulus largesse, filed for bankruptcy. And today, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Amonix, Inc., a manufacturer of solar panels that received $5.9 million from the Porkulus, will cut two-thirds of its workforce, about 200 employees, only seven months after opening a factory in Nevada.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I hear everyone who doesn't want to vote for Romney

But he is going to be the only alternative to Obama.  The newest poll has him up by 16 over Gingrich.  He is going to win in Florida.  He is going to be the nominee.  Maybe because I cut my early political teeth inside Republican party politics, but I always take a pragmatic approach.  I suppose, unless I were to completely lose my sanity and decide to run for office, I will never have the chance to vote for a candidate with whom I totally agree.  So I always vote for the one that is the closest to me.  However, I first have a minimum threshold requirement that I must believe they are electable.  If they do not pass that litmus test, then I will re-evaluate with the next closest candidate to my beliefs, and so on until I hit the one that will beat the guy I most disagree with.  Romney is where my calculus ends up.  My solace is that, as with most politicians, if he believes he is only serving because a bunch of people to the right of him decided to hold their nose and vote for him, he will likely try to appease that constituency to stay in office.  Either way, that will be your choice: Romney or four more years of hopeandchange.

I admit I am not too bright, but . . .

I think common sense is with me on anthropogenic carbon based global warming.  The Romans called it lex parsimoniae.  William of Ockham named a razor after it (not really, but you get my point).  Either way, mankind has intuitively known since the dawn of civilization that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible and should be assumed to be correct unless and until evidence is presented to prove it false.  Enron, Soros, Gore and everyone else who hoped to, has and is profiting tremendously from the global warming fraud has convinced people to buy into a Rube Goldberg theory about man's carbon output causing the world to warm.  Being not too bright, I think that the earth's temperatures are more likely directly correlated to, oh I don't know, maybe the source of heat energy--i.e. the sun.  The boys at the Met Office and the University of East Anglia very quietly released data from 30,000 measuring stations showed that global warming stopped (even by their interpretations of the data) in 1997.
The world average temperature from 1997 to 2012
 Their explanation for this inconvenient truth is that the solar cycle is waning, but do not worry!  By their model, atmospheric carbon has a greater influence on temperatures that the radiant energy from the sun.

Even the rats appear to be jumping off of the AGW ship, or at least they are questioning which side of Occam's Razor things are falling on.  The Daily Mail has a great piece:
Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several papers that argue the Met Office climate models show there should have been ‘steady warming from 2000 until now’.
‘If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,’ he said.
He believes that as the Met Office model attaches much greater significance to CO2 than to the sun, it was bound to conclude that there would not be cooling. ‘The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate,’ Dr Scafetta said. Meanwhile, one of America’s most eminent climate experts, Professor Judith Curry of the  Georgia Institute of Technology, said she found the Met Office’s confident prediction of a ‘negligible’ impact difficult to understand.
‘The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,’ said Professor Curry. As for the warming pause, she said that many scientists ‘are not surprised’.

Allow my simple, not too bright mind to translate: Earth's temperatures are driven primarily by the source of the heat.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Washing global warming's dirty laundry in the courts.

Being a Brother at the Bar (and no, Borepatch, not that kind of bar--well maybe that one too, but that isn't what I mean here), I have great faith in our unique judicial system.  Truth and justice will largely and eventually prevail.  One could quibble about costs and efficiency, but it works.  And as exhibit "A" I give you the freedom of information lawsuit against the University of Virginia to force the disclosure of all of the (publicly funded) emails sent or received by UVA climate 'scientist' Michael Mann.  Great editorial by the Washington Times excerpted below:
The American Tradition Institute (ATI) is going after 12,000 emails sent or received by Michael E. Mann while he was on the staff of the publicly-funded university. Mr. Mann is famous for coming up with one of the “tricks” used to “hide the decline” in global temperatures. On Wednesday, ATI released a small selection of emails it hopes will convince a Prince William County judge that full disclosure of the rest is in the public interest.
In March 2003, for example, a trusted colleague of Mr. Mann’s emailed to find out how the UVA professor arrived at his conclusions. Mr. Mannadmitted he was missing crucial data and “can’t seem to dig them up.” Though he was working on this project on the taxpayers’ dime, he provided the information for the researcher’s personal use only. “So please don’t pass this along to others without checking w/ me first,” Mr. Mann wrote. “This is the sort of ‘dirty laundry’ one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things.”
David Schnare, a scientist and lawyer who runs ATI’s Environmental Law Center, said he was shocked that anyone claiming to be a scientist wouldn’t keep a detailed log of his research activities. “In science, there is no dirty laundry,” Mr. Schnare told The Washington Times. “Science progresses by proving to yourself that you were wrong, that your hypothesis was in error. Every time you’re wrong, it means you can cut off some area of research and start on a better one.”

I told you Florida was Romney's firewall

ALL of the polls now have him up by between 7% and 9%.  He'll win and then it gets easier for him from there with states like Maine, where he won last time, and Michigan where his dad was Governor.  If I were an employer hiring the person I thought would do the best job as President (and I could fire him if I were wrong), I would hire Newt.  He did a great job as Speaker, he is bright and not afraid to speak his mind.  However, running for President and being President are political jobs.  Romney is gonna get the Republican nod and he will be an un-objectionable 'anybody but Obama' choice for the general citizenry.

This is really troubling

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death the right to say it."  That quote is generally attributed to Voltaire, though whoever said it certainly put forth perhaps the most basic principle upon which this nation was founded.  That is why this article in the Daily Mail is so disturbing:
U.S falls to 47th in press freedom rankings after Occupy crackdown

The article is about an annual ranking by a group call Reporters Without Borders.  I know nothing about them and cannot vouch for the reliability of the ranking.  However, the fact is that we should always and unquestionably be the most free of all countries when it comes to the freedoms of expression, including the press (even though I, like Voltaire, often disapprove of what the biased MSM says).  And as to the Occupods, we should let the idiots freeze in unanimity.  Giving them any air time or ink was more than they deserved.  Nonetheless, I will defend to the death their right to be frozen idiots.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Oh Mr. Kotter" nevermore.

Robert Hegyes, one of the great under-appreciated thespians of our time, who played the Hispanic Jewish member of the Sweathogs has died of a heart attack.  Godspeed to immortality Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I figured out how to balance the budget!

It's simple.  All we need to do is to get the staffers in the White House to pay their back taxes.  Apparently 36 aides working in the Obama administration White House are deadbeats that owe a total of $833,000.00 in back taxes.  Is it just me or should the President make sure his own house is in order in terms of paying their "fair share" of taxes before he goes off and drains them money from people who actually earned it in business?  The Investor's Business Daily has a good article on this issue:
The IRS' 2010 delinquent tax revelations come as part of a required annual agency report on federal employees' tax compliance. Turns out, an awful lot of folks being paid by taxpayers are not paying their own income taxes.
The report finds that thousands of federal employees owe the country more than $3.4 billion in back taxes. That's up 3% in the past year.
That scale of delinquency could annoy voters, hard-pressed by their own costs, fears and stubbornly high unemployment despite Joe Biden's many promises.
The tax offenders include employees of the U.S. Senate who help write the laws imposed on everyone else. They owe $2.1 million. Workers in the House of Representatives owe $8.5 million, Department of Education employees owe $4.3 million and over at Homeland Security, 4,697 workers owe about $37 million. Active duty military members owe more than $100 million.
The Treasury Department, where Obama nominee Tim Geithner had to pay up $42,000 in his own back taxes before being confirmed as secretary, has 1,181 other employees with delinquent taxes totaling $9.3 million.
As usual, the Postal Service, with more than 600,000 workers, has the most offenders (25,640), who also owe the most -- almost $270 million. Veterans Affairs has 11,659 workers owing the IRS $151 million while the Energy Department that was so quick to dish out more than $500 million to the Solyndra folks has 322 employees owing $5 million.
The country's chief law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, has 2,069 employees who are nearly $17 million behind in taxes. Like Operation Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently missed them too.

Joe Biden has hit a new level of foot in mouth disease, even for him

And you cannot make this stuff up.  During an event in New Hampshire.  Our Vice President went on a rant about call center jobs going overseas.  He used a fake Indian accent to emphasize his point.

The medical/scientific community finally seems to be coming around

After decades of them telling me that basically my entire diet is bad for me, they seem to have given up. As I said in one of my posts yesterday and others, studies are increasingly being published about the health benefits of beer. Then it was shown that your morning jolt of java was good for you.  Now there is more good news.  Turns out that whole thing about fried foods clogging your arteries kinda like spackling them with plaque is not true.  A recent Spanish study followed more than 40,000 people over a decade.  It was just published in the British Medical Journal.  The study, based in Spain, found no correlation between heart disease and the amount of fried food in the diet.  So stop by the Colonel's for a bucket on the way home tonight.  The stop and pick up a six-pack to go with it.  And since I seem to be the new model for healthy dietary consumption, I suggest you get ahead of the curve and start loading up on potato chips, cheesecake and pork sausage, too, cuz they're part of my well rounded and now medically vindicated diet, too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Don't screw with grandparents in Daytona

I read an intersting story last week about a miscreant who was shot and killed breaking into a home to rob it.  That miscreant is, or was, the late Mr. 24 year old Tyler Orshoski.  Mr. Orshoski's lovely mug shot is below:

He has a long record.  He also made an bad error in judgement when he picked Charlie Robbins Daytona home to break into.  A little before 6 AM, Mr. Robbins awoke to the sound of an intruder busting his door and grabbed his psitol.  As the burglar started to open the door, Mr. Robbins shot him.  Dead.  Did I mention that Mr. Robbins is a recently widowed 82 year old grandfather (pictured below)?

Then this morning another story out of Daytona catches my eye.  This time it involved 64 year grandmother Karen Granville.  It seems Granny Granville was up at 3 AM one night watching TV when she heard a Police chopper overhead.  She looked out the window in time to see a 22 year old car theft suspect named Roderick Willis jump out of a car and race into her back yard.  She grabbed her 38 and raced after him.  She caught up with him as he was trying to scale her fence:
"My adrenaline was just flowing at 100 mph," she said. "I just said, 'Stop right there (expletive), or you're going to be dead where you stand."
Unlike the late Mr. Orshoski, Mr. Willis decided to freeze until the police arrived.  A picture of Granny Granville's 38 is below.  Oh, and that is her holding it.

I know there is a bit of an age difference, but since Mr. Robbins is a recent widower, I'm thinking he and Granny Granville make a cute couple.

The Interplay between Protein L-Isoaspartyl Methyltransferase Activity and Insulin-Like Signaling to Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

Let me translate: ANOTHER REASON TO DRINK BEER!!!!

Yet another peer reviewed scientific study by a real scientist (Steven Clarke in PLoS) found a link between alcohol and living longer.  He used these little worms called  Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes (see image below):

He basically boozed them up.  Normally, these tiny worms have a lifespan of 15 days.  After he put them on a beer diet, they lived for 40 days!  Heck, that means I should live past 200 years.  One draw back was the tiny amount of alcohol he gave them.  It turns out he diluted it to about the equivalent of a tablespoon of beer in a bathtub of water.  However, I figure if a little is that good for you, a lot must be a whole lot better.  So with my rate of beer consumption factored in, I am damned near going to live forever.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Remember all my earlier tirades about the poor state of our schools in America?

Consider this another one.  A short one with visual aids.  I direct you to the below picture which is on the road right in front of Marta Valle High School in Manhattan.

WRITE & WRONG: Painter needs to go back to school.

I am not a big golf fan

But I think I like Bubba Watson.  He just bought the original General Lee.  It is the one in the opening to the Dukes of Hazard TV show that jumps the cop car.  It was wrecked, but Lee 1 has been restored.  PGA tour pro Bubba Watson was the successful bidder at a mere $110,000.  If he drives this up the tony azalea bordered drive in Augusta, Georgia to tee it up for the Masters, he will become my favorite golfer.

I notice these guys don't do a lot of hand shaking after firing

Wonder if their shoulders are a little sore?

Monday, January 23, 2012

My favorite NHL goalie and no this is not a post about sports

You may have gathered that I am a somewhat ardent New England sports fan.  Plus I grew up in Maine, so I like hockey.  And I certainly like the (reigning Stanley Cup Champion) Boston Bruins.  Furthermore, I have very much liked their goalie, Tim Thomas.  Thomas has won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie for two of the past three years.  Without his superhuman play, the Bruins do not win it all last year.  You even have to like the guy's story.  He played at the University of Vermont, but really got no good offers out of college.  He toyed with giving up his dream, but instead played in Finland for a while.  By all accounts he was outstanding, but still nothing.  He finally caught on as a back up.  Maybe it is because his style is unconventional that the hockey world never appreciated him.  He charges out at players instead of waiting back in the goal.  He spins, flicks and dives instead of dropping and spreading like a classic butterfly goalie to block shots.

So there is much to like about Time Thomas.  But now, I like him even more.  The Bruins went to the Whitehouse today to receive the President's congratulations on winning the Stanley Cup.  All the Bruins except Tim Thomas, that is.  He refused for "political reasons."  Way to go Timmy.


So let me get this straight.  They put a flammable ball of wax on the poor things horns and then light it.  That, apparently, passes as a fun time in the town of Navajas, Spain.  Then they have a festival.  Only this time, the bull decided to have his own party.  So he gored a guy and killed him.  Good.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ever notice how internet geeks that have something to do with internet security all look alike?

I mean, Kim Dotcom:


and Borepatch, separated at birth?


Of course, about at the end of the video, Borepatch would drop Bambi with a slug round out of his twelve gauge.

I think this may have been planned

Mitt Romney
Romney has decided to release his tax returns.  I think he always intended to.  He wanted someone to make a BIG DEAL out of them and the release will be anticlimactic.  Plus people kind of want a guy who knows his way around business and the economy right now.  Class warfare in terms of the "fairness" of a guy who honestly made a lot of money in America so it is only "fair" that he give a bunch of it away to people who haven't made a lot of money in America may play well with Obama's core constituency, but it does not play well with middle America.  And Obama's core constituency would never vote for Romney (or any Republican) any way.

I believe this would be the definition of irony

I will not editorialize.  This is the headline from the Daily Mail:

Woman dies of heart attack caused by shock of waking up at her OWN funeral
Irony ensues.

I have one question for the Obama administration: what are you afraid of, that she may not live out her full and complete life if you let her back in her home?

Texana Hollis, 101, who has been evicted from her Detroit home since September, talks with Jahzara Cheeks, 5, the granddaughter of Hollis' longtime friend who offered her a room in her home.

Above is Texana Hollis.  She is 101 years old.  And Obama's boys over at HUD evicted her from her home after her 67 year old son failed to pay her property taxes on a reverse mortgage.  So the Obama administration foreclosed for a breach of that covenant in the mortgage.  Then the spin boys realized  that it might not look good in an election year to go around throwing little old ladies in Detroit out on the street.  So a mere two days later the Whitehouse gave public assurances that she could live in her house "for as long as she wants."  Of course, that was before the mighty bureaucracy started to turn.  HUD inspected the house and decided it was not suitable for her to live in.  So they said she could not go back into her long tome home.  For her own protection.  Really!?  Seriously!?  Are you afraid she won't live to a ripe old age!?  

A couple of quick thoughts about South Carolina before the kick off

Newt (read that as 'anyone but Mitt') won.  I think he may make the best President of the whole field, but he is too unlikable, too flawed and has too much baggage.  Plus he is too unorganized.  He isn't even on a number of (important) States' ballots.  I have recently been hearing the pitch to conservatives that the best bet is try for a brokered convention.  Won't happen and has not happened since Adlai Stevenson in 1952.  Mitt has the money and the organization.  He is going to be the winner.  It is just too bad he needs to expend the resources (and get beat up) now.

Now let's watch some football!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tom Brady is always right

Even back when he was first drafted in the sixth round.

You can't call it arrogance if he is right, just ask his boss, Bob Kraft:
“I still have the image of Tom Brady coming down the old Foxboro stadium steps with that pizza box under his arm, a skinny beanpole, and when he introduced himself to me and said ‘Hi Mr. Kraft,’ he was about to say who he was, but I said ‘I know who you are, you’re Tom Brady. You’re our sixth round draft choice,’” recalled Kraft.  “And he looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.’ It looks like he could be right.”

Whoa! This may turn South Carolina


Chuck Norris has endorsed Newt.  I mean, come on!  It's Chuck Norris!!  No one else stands  a chance.  Of course he backed Huckabee in 2008, but still.  In all seriousness, but for the last minute "open marriage" slam, I would think South Carolina had turned to Newt and the consensus "anyone but Mitt" choice of the right wing of the party.  All is fair in love and politics, but one has to wonder about the timing of the ABC interview with Newt's ex-wife.  I do not think it matters, because Romney has a pretty strong firewall in Florida.  It would make things a little interesting, though.  The only thing I do not like about the spectre of an "interesting" primary is that I agree with Chuck in that the real opponent is Obama.  And I do not want Mitt to be too much of damaged goods when he wins the nomination, which he will.

Sorry about the slow blogging, but it is his fault

Above is Coco.  Coco is fifteen and a half years old.  He used to be my parent's dog.  My Mom and Dad always loved dogs and cats, so when their old dog, a brittany spaniel named Suzy died, they wanted to get another dog, but they were both getting on.  I told them to go ahead and get the dog and I would take care of it if they could no longer do so.  Well, my mother died about 8 years ago and my Dad went into assisted living five years ago (no tears please--their average age at death was north of ninety and my Dad published his last scholarly paper in an Oxford University journal at 93).  So about five and a half years ago, I took Coco.  He is ridiculously smart, which is not a good thing.  He can drive me nuts, and he knows exactly how to annoy me so he gets what he wants (yeah, yeah, I know he did a good job training me, but YOU try to best him).  However, when I got him he was already ten years old.  I figured, how long could he last, for crying out loud. Well, fast forward five and half years and people still ask if he is a puppy when I walk him.  He fricking bounces around.  He eats more than a St. Bernard.  He is half deaf and doesn't see well at night, but if a 100 pound dog wanders into "his" yard, he will try to take the poor thing's head off.  So just recently, he had a few accidents (tinkle) in the house, and to his credit, that had never been an issue.  Aha!  His kidneys were finally shutting down!  Time for him to go meet the big poodle in the sky.  I have waited for other symptoms to show up.  But he still bounces around, eats like a horse and is still the same annoying dog that runs the house instead of playing by the house rules.  I finally took him to the vet--that is why my whole schedule is out of whack.  Freaking urinary tract infection.  Two weeks of pills and he is back to "normal".  And I just read the other day about a dog in England that died at 30 something years old.  Since I am convinced the highest joy in Coco's life is to annoy me, I am going laying bets right now he lasts another 15 and a half years . . .

Friday, January 20, 2012

What do you get when you cross James Bond with Fred Flintstone?

x-ray of fake rock in Moscow spy row

You get a fake rock that was obviously made by Q over at the MI6 lab. Kinda like the ones you hide your extra key in, only this one had electronics instead of keys. The only problem was that the FSB knew about the cliche bit of spy craft. So what did Putin do when he found out? What any politician would have done. He sat on it until he could get some political leverage out of it. In this case, he had the state TV do a documentary on it, complete with grainy footage of the British agent kicking it one night in a park to try to get it working correctly again. Putin first released the footage in 2006 so he could enact provisions that gave him far tighter reigns on so-called NGOs or non-governmental organizations--basically anything not run by the government or one of his oligarch buddies. And he has trotted it out again in the wake of criticism of the last election. Good job James, er, Fred.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kinda neat and a little eerie

In 1900 John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. published a list of predictions for the 21st century in the Ladies Home Journal.  Some, of course, seem silly.  But a few are almost eerily accurate considering they came from someone who thought of a steam locomotive as the fastest thing on earth.  Electricity was fairly new and definitely rare.  Bell's patent for the telephone was only 23 years old.  The Wright brothers hadn't flown on the sandy beach at Kitty Hawk. Willis Haviland Carrier had two more years before he would invent air conditioning. Henry Ford wouldn't incorporate Ford Motor Company until 1903, nor roll out the first Model T until 1908. Below are some of Mr. Watkins visions of the world we live in today as he looked forward in 1900:

Prediction #1: There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America and its possessions by the lapse of another century. ***

Prediction #2: The American will be taller by from one to two inches. His increase of stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine, sanitation, food and athletics. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five as at present – for he will reside in the suburbs. The city house will practically be no more. Building in blocks will be illegal. The trip from suburban home to office will require a few minutes only. A penny will pay the fare.

Prediction #7:  There will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and water vessels for passenger or freight traffic. They will be maintained as deadly war-vessels by all military nations. Some will transport men and goods. Others will be used by scientists making observations at great heights above the earth.

Prediction #10:  Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place. Thus the guns of a distant battle will be heard to boom when seen to blaze, and thus the lips of a remote actor or singer will be heard to utter words or music when seen to move.

Prediction #15:  No Foods will be Exposed.  Storekeepers who expose food to air breathed out by patrons or to the atmosphere of the busy streets will be arrested with those who sell stale or adulterated produce.  Liquid-air refrigerators will keep great quantities of food fresh for long intervals.

Prediction #21: Hot and Cold Air from Spigots. Hot or cold air will be turned on from spigots to regulate the temperature of a house as we now turn on hot or cold water from spigots to regulate the temperature of the bath. Central plants will supply this cool air and heat to city houses in the same way as now our gas or electricity is furnished. Rising early to build the furnace fire will be a task of the olden times. Homes will have no chimneys, because no smoke will be created within their walls.

Prediction #23: Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today. They will purchase materials in tremendous wholesale quantities and sell the cooked foods at a price much lower than the cost of individual cooking. Food will be served hot or cold to private houses in pneumatic tubes or automobile wagons. The meal being over, the dishes packed and returned to the cooking establishments where they will be washed. Such wholesale cookery will be done in electric laboratories rather than in kitchens. These laboratories will be equipped with electric stoves, and all sorts of electric devices, such as coffee-grinders, egg-beaters, stirrers, shakers, parers, meat-choppers, meat-saws, potato-mashers, lemon-squeezers, dish-washers, dish-dryers and the like. All such utensils will be washed in chemicals fatal to disease microbes. Having one’s own cook and purchasing one’s own food will be an extravagance.

There are more here.

Let me get this straight

The Keystone Pipeline advocates say that the project will immediately start creating about 22,000 jobs:
"You've heard President Obama say that the American people can't wait to take action on jobs," Boehner said. "Well, the Keystone energy project is the very definition of an idea that the American people can't wait for Washington to take action on."
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on Fox News Sunday, also talked up the job impact of the "shovel-ready project."
"Three years of environmental studies have already been done; the secretary of state was ready to sign off on it. The president called it to the White House and delayed it for a year," he said. "This would create 22,000 jobs almost immediately, ready to go, with no money."
However, the Obama administration rejected the 1700 mile pipeline construction project in part on the grounds that the job creation was overstated.  But the Obama administration gave One Billion of your dollars to San Francisco to extend a subway line about 1.7 miles and claimed it would create 37 to 43,000 jobs:
The project will serve as an engine for economic growth and recovery in San Francisco, creating thousands of job opportunities. Recent estimates indicate that the Central Subway will support between 37,000 and 43,000 jobs over the life of the project.
So a 1700 mile entirely privately funded pipeline project (apart from obvious and extraordinary energy and security benefits) will not create 22,000 jobs, but a publicly funded pork barrel in Pelosi's district will create up to 43,000 jobs.  OK.  Must be the same math that they used to show how we can tax our way out of a recession.  Of course.

Ice fishing in Maine Part Deux

I posted earlier about my childhood memories of ice fishing in Maine and about a guy who got a nice trout up there recently. Turns out that sucker was just a guppy. Check out this fish tale about Bruno Doucette who landed a 38 inch, 21.2 pound trout.

It's been a few decades, but I'm thinking of taking ice fishing back up. For the record (pun intended), Mr. Doucette's fish is nice, but not even close to the biggest trout ever landed in the state. The reord is more than ten pounds heavier at 31.5 pounds.

SOPA may be DOA

Wow. Who knew Borepatch was this persuasive. It looks like SOPA is not going to pass. A whole bunch of the rats that used to be steering the ship are now jumping off of it:
The protest seemed to change the minds of lawmakers, including those that had strongly backed the bills in the past.

"We can find a solution that will protect lawful content. But this bill is flawed & that's why I'm withdrawing my support. #SOPA #PIPA," Republican Sen. Roy Blunt wrote on his official Twitter page.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who was an initial co-sponsor of PIPA, reversed his position.

"I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet," Rubio wrote on a Facebook post.

Rep Lee Terry (R-Neb.), an original co-sponsor of SOPA, also said he had changed his view.

"Thank you for your concern about #SOPA. I have asked to have my name removed from the bill. However, the economic impact of IP theft is real and a solution is needed," Terry wrote on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Borepatch says I oughta got dark today in protest of SOPA

I probably agree with him on SOPA.   In fairness, I haven't really focused on the issue enough to make a rational decision on my own.  However, my gut reaction is that regulation is inherently a bad thing, though sometimes necessary.  Purported regulation of thoughts and communication is an evil thing that cannot be tolerated.  So I'm going dark today, too, but will try to make up for it a little bit with some extra posts tomorrow.  That and because I don't want to hear him whining at me for ignoring him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Obama is going to have a hard time raising the "Bain issue" against Romney

Apart from the fact that the voting public seems to view the venture capitalist work experience asjust a bit above work experience as a community organizer when it comes to straightening out the economy, I think there is now very little chance of Obama trying to use Bain against Mitt. Especially considering he just named Jeffery Zients as the new head of his Office of Management and Budget. And guess what Mr. Zients is an alum of... That's right, Bain & Company.

Perry Is polling behind Romney

In Texas. No, really. A recent Public Policy poll showed Perry, at 18%, trailing Romney, at 24%, and even Newt, 23%. Compare that to September when Perry had 49% and Romney trailed him by 39%! Worse, Perry was beating Romney in Texas in a hypothetical one on one race by 72% to 18%, and now Romney wins 46% to 45%--a collective 55% shift in Romneys favor.

New polls indicate trouble for Obama's re-election

Forget about focusing on Romney, or any other Republican challenger.  Who that person will be and what he says may well be irrelevant.  A brand new Rasmussen poll shows Obama's approval rating has dropped to seven points below his disapproval rating--46% to 53%.  Worse, the people who strongly disapprove are almost twice those who strongly approve--41% to 21%.  In every election since 1940, only Richard Nixon in 1972 won re-election when he started his election year with a lower approval rating than disapproval rating, and he was only a point off.  Gallup's daily tracking shows Obama has averaged only 44% since the first of the year. Out of the last eight incumbents, seven have out polled him at the same point of their Presidency.  More bad news for Obama can be found in the new CNN poll.  To begin with, Romney, who is taking shots from all sides as the Republican Primary is for all intents and purposes winding to a close, is out polling Obama among likely voters in a head to head match up.  More interesting to me is the very large lead Romney has over Obama on who can get the economy moving--53% to 40%.  I think maybe the whole Bain Capital thing is actually working in his favor because the electorate figures a venture capital guy must know business and the economy--and they are right.

Because going through that drive through is just too much effort

Burger King has decided to start delivering to your home.  That's right, if it is too much effort to get in your car and find the nearest BK drive through, you can have it your way in your own house.  The "Whoppers on Wheels" program is currently only available in a few locations around D.C., but according to Bloomberg, they are ramping up 16 more areas which should offer delivery by the end of January.  The rules are that you place a minimum $8.00 order and need to be within 10 miles of the nearest restaurant.  Burger King has even already rolled out its website for on-line delivery ordering.  I think this is a great idea.  You wouldn't want to burn off any of the 40 grams of fat in a Whopper actually walking to your car, would you?

Since there are and have been a lot of people who far surpass my feeble mind

I give you three quotes which nicely sum up my response to Obama's irresponsible past three years of spending (pissing) away my children's future money:
"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."— Winston Churchill, British prime minister.
"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."— Milton Friedman, American economist.
And finally,
"If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."— Will Rogers, American humorist.
Elizabeth MacDonald whose first list of quotes was great, put up round two.

I remember when news of a study broke that linked coffee to pancreatic cancer

Not that it slowed down my coffee consumption, but it did make me sad that one of my relatively few vices and pleasures in life was, in fact, bad for me. Fortunately, subsequent research thoroughly debunked the first finding. Now we find out that it is actually good for you. A Chinese study has been released that shows several compounds in coffee are quite good in warding off type 2 diabetes. Insulin, the hormone that is required for the body to metabolize glucose, is made by the pancreas. An amyloid protein called hiAPP can accumulate to the point of killing pancreatic cells. It turns out that caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and even caffeine all prevent the formation of hiAPP and thus protects the pacreatic cells. So have another cup of joe. It's good for you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This would be a beach I will never swim at

The beach is Second Beach, Port St. Johns, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.  A poor guy was wading in waist deep water yesterday when a great white decided he looked tasty.  One arm was nearly severed and he died on the beach.  And that was one year to the day from when an 18 year old surfer was killed as he waited for a wave at the same beach.  In fact, there have been six fatal attacks at Second Beach in the past five years.  So no thanks, I am going to stick to big brook trout.

Sure, TSA, we believe you

After years of pooh-poohing concerns about the new airport scanners giving off dangerous levels of radiation, the LA Times broke the story that the TSA has decided to start testing its employees for exposure:
After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide.
But the TSA does not plan to retest the machines or passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanners.
They go on to quote a TSA spokesman who, when confronted with the accusation that the Agency has decided to implement the radiation testing, said:
"TSA is dedicated to the health and safety of its employees," TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said.

So let me get this straight, you have decided that you better test your employees because the scanners give off unsafe levels of radiation.  But they are safe for the people going through them.  Uh-huh.  Yup, I believe that...

How I see it going down

I see it like one of those WWII air battle movies.  The plane is hit and it is pouring smoke.  Still we have this hope that it can limp back to the home base.  But then it starts to lose altitude.  It dips in and starts to spiral down, slowly at first then faster and tighter.  Then she augers in--in a spectacular fireball.  The Eurozone was hit and has been trailing smoke for a while.  The spiral started with Greece.  And it got tighter at the end of last week when the talks to write down the Greek debt fell apart.  Greece will drop out and the focus will shift to Portugal next.  And the spiral gets tighter.  Then Standard and Poors downgraded France and Austria--but not Germany and the Dutch.  So Germany is the only big Eurozone country left with a AAA rating.  And the wedge is driven deeper between France and Germany because the relationship is becoming very unbalanced.  Nothing new here, but I think the downgrade is the tipping point.  The pilot could have all the skill in the world, but parts are flying off and she's auguring in.  With a spectacular explosion. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another one bites the dust

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman smiles as he speaks to supporters during a primary night rally at the The Black Brimmer on January 10, 2012.

Huntsman.  Good enough man, but not a great politician.  Or least not ready yet.  He's gonna withdraw tomorrow. 

Angels are real

And one of them is named Allison Batson.  She is pictured above with Clay Taber.  Clay is 23 and just starting life.  He is engaged to be married.  Allison is a transplant nurse.  Clay came into Allison's unit at the Emory University Hospital in a state of renal failure.  Clay had just graduated from Auburn University and gotten engaged.  So when he developed the night sweats, his Dad wrote it off as nerves, but he very quickly got worse.  He was diagnosed with a rare genetic autoimmune disease called Goodpasture syndrome which caused his body to start going after its own kidneys.  Quickly.  That was how he ended up at the hospital.  How he ended up on Allison's floor which is normally filled with post transplant operation patients is fortuitous happenstance.  The hospital was overbooked so they stuck the poor guy whose kidneys were failing and needed dialysis desperately in one of the free beds which happened to be in her unit.  They bonded.  Actually, Allison bonded more with his Mom.  She saw herself and her own kids in Clay and his Mom.  Once Clay was stabilized and the disease in remission, they put Clay on a transplant list from a cadaver.  He was behind 90,000 people nationwide who were already waiting.  Not quite the way Clay saw life unfolding when he graduated and got engaged a few months earlier.  Almost on a whim, Allison checked and found she was good match as a donor.  So she gave him one of her kidneys.  Allison is why I know angels are real.

Great quotes

Liz MacDonald compiled a list of her favorite humorous quotes.  I compiled (stole) a few that I liked the most, but you should peruse her full list:

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."— W. C. Fields, American humorist
"Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.”— Mark Twain, American author, humorist
“It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you.”—Will Rogers, American humorist
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."— Winston Churchill
“It is doubly tainted. Taint yours and taint mine.”— Mark Twain, when challenged on the wealth of his friend, Standard Oil magnate H.H. Rogers, as being ‘tainted’
“Standing in the middle of road is very dangerous--you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.”— Dame Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, Great Britain
“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”— Dame Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, Great Britain
“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”— Dame Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, Great Britain
“If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn't swim.”— Dame Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, Great Britain
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”— Dame Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, Great Britain
“I am ready to meet my maker. Whether He is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”— Winston Churchill.
“If you live like there’s no God, you’d better be right.”— Anonymous
"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."— P.J. O'Rourke, American humorist
"Bull markets are born in pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die of euphoria."— Sir John Templeton, American businessman, philanthropist
"The four most dangerous words in investing are, 'It's different this time.'"— Sir John Templeton

The Definitely Not Coordinated With Stephen Colbert Super PAC

In order to run for President, my man Stephen Colbert had to give up his Super PAC.  So he turned it over to Jone Stewart.  However, he is having second thoughts:

"To do this exploratory committee, I had to give away my Super PAC," Colbert told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview Sunday morning on "This Week." "That's my baby. Do you know how hard it is to give away a baby? Now imagine if that baby had a whole lot of money. Imagine how much harder that would be to give away."

Yup. It's over.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has Romney up by 21 in South Carolina:
The poll showed 37 percent of South Carolina Republican voters back Romney. Congressman Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second place with 16 percent support.
Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has fallen far back after holding a strong lead in South Carolina in December. He was in fourth place at 12 percent in the Reuters/Ipsos poll.
"In primary races things can change quickly but it does look like Romney is in position to win South Carolina, and if he wins ... that's sort of the end of the road for most of his challengers," Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson said.

Every so often, I worry about the future

Then I see stories like this one about Angela Chang.  Angela is a high school student in Cupertinio, Washington.  And she may have just cured cancer.  Seriously.  In most respects, Angela is like other teenage high school girls.  For example, she likes shoes and is trying to master the fine art of driving a car.  She also wrote a research paper "for fun" in her spare time about an intriguing method for curing cancer.  Angela came up with the idea of mixing cancer medicine with a polymer that would attach to nanoparticles.  The nanoparticles were crafted to attach themselves to cancer cells.  Actually, I am getting ahead of myself.  First she just concentrated on getting the nanoparticles with a heavy metal to attach to the invasive cells so an MRI would show a doctor exactly where the tumors were.  Once that worked on mice, she jumped to the idea of adding in the targeted cancer medication.  Then she zapped the cells with infra red light and voila the polymer melted and the cancer drugs were released straight into the diseased cells, leaving the healthy ones untouched.  So with the future in the hands of young women like Angela, I worry a little less about where we are headed.

The Prayer vs. The Player


And The Player won.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm going with werecat

After all, Victorian England was the real birthplace of vampires and werewolves.  So when I read that very strange happenings are afoot in the village of Woodchester in Gloucestershire, and a big cat is becoming the suspect, then I immediately jump to the logical conclusion that it must be a supernatural feline.  The Independent reports as follows:

Now, even the National Trust is suspicious and experts are carrying out DNA tests on the carcasses of two roe deer found mutilated in the Gloucestershire countryside.

It began with dark mutterings in the local pub, that a strange beast might be stalking the woods around the little village of Woodchester, savaging the local wildlife and frightening local dog walkers.
Then a second similar carcess was found.  The article continues:
Experts said that injuries to the neck, the plucking of fur and the removal of the stomach and the intestines from the carcass were all hallmarks of a big cat kill.
The locals are on edge:
“I’ve lived here for 20-odd years, and there’s always been a rumour,” said Ben Powell, manager of the Old Fleece pub in Woodchester. “But nothing’s ever been proved. It’s not often talked about – but you do hear the odd rumour.”
So if you are walking the pup at midnight, with a full moon in Gloucestershire, I would personally advise packing a little heat.  With silver bullets just to be safe.

I know you have all been waiting, so I will now reveal who I am endorsing in the Republican primary

This OpEd piece by comedian Dean Obeidallah has finally tipped my mental balance in Stephen Colbert's favor.  He points out too many of Colbert's spot on positions for me to sit on sidelines any longer:

 -- Unemployment: "Suck it up, unemployed. It is your own damn fault that you don't have a job ... So stop scapegoating Wall Street." ***
-- Corporate taxes: "If we raise taxes on corporations, what incentive will they have to make money other than the fact that it's the sole reason they exist."***
-- Government helping Americans in need: "I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible. I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical!"
-- Gays: "There is nothing wrong with being gay. I have plenty of friends who are going to hell." ***
-- America's role in world: "If our Founding Fathers wanted us to care about the rest of the world, they wouldn't have declared their independence from it." ***
-- Immigration: "This is America. I don't want my tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
And he advocates arresting illegal immigrants and throwing them in "jail -- then we can force them to pick our crops as prison labor."
-- Civil rights: "I just think Rosa Parks was overrated. Last time I checked, she got famous for breaking the law." ***

-- Muslims: "Every permit granted to a mosque is one denied to an American house of worship." Colbert is to the right of Newt Gingrich on this issue, and keep in mind Newt has compared Muslims to Nazis.

Plus the man has great hair.

I remember ice fishing on Pushaw Pond when I was a kid growing up in Maine

And it was cold.  But it was fun, especially when the little red flag popped up and you ran out and pulled up the fish.  Normally pickerel or perch, but every once in a while a nice brook trout.  Maybe it would have been a whole lot funner if I'd ever got a more than four and a half pound trout like Scott Hersey did.  Scott used to go to lakes and ponds in his grandfather's airplane as a kid in the early seventies.  His gramps used to strap an old "Swedish spoon" hand auger to the skis of his plane that he had used as a kid in the '30s.  That type of hand auger was what I remember using--and auguring through a foot of ice was the only time I remember being warm.  Nowadays, Scott and most everyone else uses a nice gas powered auger that makes life a whole lot easier.  But for some reason he decided to bring his grandfather's old hand auger along on a trip to Moosehead lake.  That forced him to auger in near the shore where the ice is always thinner, and also where his grandfather always said the brook trout winter.  His gramps was either right about the the winter location of the brookies, or he was watching over Scott (or maybe both), cuz look what Scott got:

Pigs at the Obama energy trough

I often rail against the Main Stream Media.  But when a member of said media doggedly pursues a story and her network actually runs it, I have to tip my cap.  And speaking of tips, Solyndra was just the tip of the rotten Obama administration iceberg when it came to blatantly funneling your and my cash to their cronies under the guise of "clean energy."  So I give all appropriate kudos to CBS News's Sharyl Attkisson.  Sharyl was the one who broke the Solyndra scandal, and she hasn't stopped there.  So far she has found 11 more scam "green energy" companies that Obama has given over $6.5 Billion to.  We're talking five outright bankruptcies already and the rest are at junk bond status with the clock ticking:

And there are a lot more coming.

I knew it!

Not that it would cause me to stop drinking beer, but it is always nice to be vindicated.  I suspect my body instinctively knew how good beer was for me.  It is just nice to have the medical community catch up with me.  Beer has been determined to have some great health benefits (I'm talking about the physical benefits, the mental ones are obvious).

  1. Strong bones.  Beer has silicon which is important for building bone density.  Better still, a 2010 study showed that the rich, hoppy micro brew type beers were the best for you and the light lagers and the non-alcoholic beers were the least good for you.
  2. Stronger heart.  A study last year aggregated the data from 16 previous studies which meant they ended up with 200,000 subjects.  And the evidence of the heart health benefits was startling.  People who quaffed a pint of beer daily had a thirty one percent lower risk of heart disease.  We will just skip over the part about how those benefits declined and went the other way if you drank too much...
  3. Healthy Kidneys. A recent scandanavian study showed that people who drank a beer a day had a forty percent lower chance of developing a kidney stone.  They postulated that the beer helped lessen leaching of calcium from the bones and also flushed out the kidneys.
  4. My personal favorite-increased brain capacity.  A 2005 study found that daily beer drinkers had up to a 20% lower risk of dementia or Alzheimer's.  They also scored 18 months mentally younger than non-drinkers.  I know the scientific reason why beer makes you smarter, too.  So I am not accused of academic plagiarism, I first saw it postulated by Cliff Claven on Cheers.  Everyone knows that beer kills brain cells.  And everyone knows that's nature's way is for the weakest to die off first and for the strong to survive.  Ergo, the more you drink the more you kill of the weak brain cells so only your strong ones thrive.
  5. Lower caner risk.  Apparently it must be haute cuisine to marinade steak in beer in Portugal.  That is the only reason I can come up with as to why they would do a study about the effects of such marinating, but they did.  And the miracle fluid that is beer once again came through with shining colors.  It showed that a 70% reductions in the carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines or HCAs.  Maybe it was the antioxidants or the sugars that blocked formation of HCAs, or maybe just a Divine protection from Bacchus, but it works.
  6. More vitamins.  Beer drinkers had a 30% higher level of B6 in their blood than non-drinkers or wine drinkers according to a study in the Netherlands.  It also found higher levels of folic acid and B12.
  7. Stroke preventor.  No less than the Harvard School of Public Health found that moderate beer intake lowered the incidence of strokes.  The theory is that it literally thins your blood and helps to prevent the formation of clots.
  8. Lower risk of diabetes.  Staying with Harvard, another study of 38,000 middle aged men (no, I wasn't asked to participate) revealed a 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Apparently beer increases the body's insulin sensitivity which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes.
  9. Lower blood pressure.  Maybe I should have gone to Harvard because they seem to drink a lot of beer there.  In yet another study they did, this time of 25-40 year olds, there was a twenty five percent lower risk of high blood pressure if you were a moderate beer drinker.
  10. Live longer.  Here is the really cool thing.  A paper published by the US Department of Agriculture that looked at 50 previous studies in 2005 showed that beer drinkers lived longer than non-imbibers.  So you get to drink more beer!!