Archive for the 'Photos' Category

First Female POTUS?

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Only four days into her reign as John McCain’s “soul mate,” or “Trophy Vice,” as some bloggers are calling her, on the ticket known as “Maverick Squared,” Palin, the governor of Alaska, has already accrued two gates (Troopergate and Broken-watergate), a lawyer (for Troopergate), a future son-in-law named Levi (a high school ice hockey player, described by New York magazine as “sex on skates”), and a National Enquirer headline about the “Teen Prego Crisis” with 17-year-old daughter Bristol.

from Todays NYTimes Maureen Dowd OpEd

And the French think they are so chic having a sex symbol as the WIFE of the President. With Sexy Sarah a chicken bone away from the Red Phone, we might all be in for a rootin’ tootin’ straight shootin’ surprise…..

Robots can be mush-brained, too

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Meet Gordon, probably the world’s first robot controlled exclusively by living brain tissue.

Stitched together from cultured rat neurons, Gordon’s primitive grey matter was designed at the University of Reading by scientists who unveiled the neuron-powered machine on Wednesday.

Their groundbreaking experiments explore the vanishing boundary between natural and artificial intelligence, and could shed light on the fundamental building blocks of memory and learning, one of the lead researchers told AFP.

from Breitbart.com

Some days our brain feels as though its been stitched together. These developments raise a number of interesting questions. Will a robot with an organic brain be an android? Will organic carbon-based computers replace inorganic silicon-based ones? Will organic processors be susceptible to sunspots, moon tides, or seasonal affective disorder? Won’t upkeep be messy?

Mercedes High-Bred Announced

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mercedes
The automotive world is abuzz over the latest entry into the hybrid auto market, the Mercedes Benz High-Bred. Available this fall in Sedan, Sportster and SUV version, the High-Bred reportedly gets over 75 miles per gallon of petrol on the highway.

The move is seen as a response to the runaway success of the Toyota Prius.

“Obviously, energy efficient cars are the wave of the future,” according to Otto von Schwineherter, director of corporate confabulation at Mercedes, “but going green needn’t mean you have to forgo a superior driving experience.”

He added, “There are many unsatisfied customers walking around with serious cases of Priapism.”

OS Wars

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Afghan Dog Fights Enrage Taliban, Not US

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition killed 80 people and wounded scores on Sunday, an Afghan governor said. It appeared to be the deadliest terror attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Unlike in the U.S., where star Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation, dog fights are a popular form of entertainment in Afghanistan.

German shepherds, bully kuttas and Afghan mastiffs do not fight until death but rather until one dog pins another or one of the fighters runs away. The dogs have clipped ears and tails and carry the scars of battle.

The events can attract hundreds of spectators who cram into a tight circle around the spectacle. The sport was banned under Taliban rule.

from the AP

Let me get this straight. We lock Michael Vick up in the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth for organizing dog fights, and then we send thousand of troops to die in Afghanistan defending the right of our Afgan allies to organize dog fights.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Photo of the Day

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Journalist Kenji Nagai was shot and killed by a soldier.

It doesn’t get much more real, or more deadly, than this. Japanese reporter Kenji Nagai lies in the street, mortally wounded, trying desperately to catch a final shot as his life flows out of his busted body and a young soldier sprints over his prone form.

To the Dowbrigade, a pajama pundit to the core, a picture like this serves as a reminder that, all citizen journalism and alternative media aside, there is a categorical difference between a blogger or a commentator and a practicing professional journalist. We in the ‘sphere would do well to remember that without brave and crazy men and women like Kenji putting their lives on the line every single day, we pundits would have nothing to pontificate on from the comfort and safety of our digital cocoons.

He Just Doesn’t Get It!

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tantoh

U.S. President George W. Bush holds the hand of four year-old Baron Mosima Loyiso Tantoh after presenting the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington May 30, 2007. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)

Ah, the blindness of privilege. Even when he tries to show the compassionate side of his Compasionist Fascist persona, he pick a member of Africa’s colonial-relic royalty – and a Baron no less, to show off his “common” touch!

Meanwhile, as our President hobnobs with Princes and Barons and Queens, us authentically common folk have to figure out what to do about gas, both kinds.

Springtime by the Charles

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In New York City, where there has been no snow at all this season, the cherry trees are beginning to blossom in temperatures that have been inching up all week and could hit 70 degrees on Saturday.

from the New York Times

New York, hell. This year, there’re probably tulips up in Nome. We know for a fact that the cherry blossoms are out along the Charles River in scenic Cambridge, Massachusetts, and we took some pictures to prove it.

Note the White Whale in the foreground, parked in front of the home court of the Just Don’t Suck Tennis Club in Riverside Park. We have played outdoor on these courts every weekend for the past year, with no end in sight. Tomorrow we expect to be out there again, clouds and sun predicted, temps near 70. Another record for the date, ho hum.

Word is that Atlanta is the new Miami, which means New York is the new Atlanta, and Boston is, well, it gets pretty complicated at that point. One thing that is undeniable, they don’t make winters like they used to. A few years ago we were rushing towards retirement so we could move somewhere we could play tennis outdoors year round. Scratch that one off the to-do list…..

News Foto of the Year Nominee

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This photo was on the front page of the New York Times today, and for our money is an immediate finalist for news photo of the year. Actually, a smaller, black and white version was in today’s Boston Globe, but we glanced at it and read on – it is a good example of how size, color and placement can completely change the impact of a photo.

As to the photo itself, pictures like this are worth a million words, but if we may waste a few – the swirling black smoke darkening the top of the frame, the swirling wind seen in the sky and reflected in the swirl of the man’s fuchia robe and the wind strewn detrius of corrugated steel, the eerie echo of the man’s elbow in the crock of the desolated tree, and the pale, shiny, plastic washbasin at the center of the shot, now used to rinse off soot, but minutes before certainly one of the containers being used to haul away the illicit gas. Fantastic shot, taken by Akintunde Akinleye.

The story behind the story, from the New York Times:

Tapping is common in Nigeria, a major oil exporter, where many of the 130 million people live in woeful poverty amid widespread graft that makes a handful of people wealthy. One pilfered can of gasoline sold on the black market can earn the equivalent of two weeks of wages for a poor Nigerian.

Highway Blogging

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It takes only a bedsheet and 18-gauge wire for Bruce
Macdonald to stir road rage in some motorists.

For eight months the Cambridge lawyer has been stringing homemade banners from
highway overpasses, including those crossing Interstate 93 and Route 128. His
neatly painted messages usually take short jabs at the Bush administration or
the war in Iraq.

Like noxious fumes and traffic snarls, a well-placed road sign can’t be ignored
by a driver, he said. Tens of thousands of cars can stream beneath an “Impeach" or
“U.S. Out of Iraq" banner before it is ripped down, usually by a passerby
or road crew. “If they stay up a day they’re doing well," Macdonald said.
“Some people get upset ."

Macdonald, 59, is one of an increasing number of “highway bloggers" –
loosely connected activists who favor bridges over websites as posting places
for their antiwar slogans. They say it is an easy, inexpensive way to reach large
numbers of people, especially those who may not be receptive to their opinions.

Randall promotes freeway blogging on his website, freewayblogger.com , and through a two-minute instructional video, "How to Reach 100,000
People for Under $1.00."

from the Boston Globe

Photo of the Day

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rayarc

Two of nature’s most spectacular phenomenon create an unusual alliance in this news photo from the affluent city of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

from the Daily Mail

Preserved for Posterity

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GUBEN, Germany — Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the German
inventor of a body-preserving process called plastination, is always
eager for volunteers, people willing to donate their corpses for his
public anatomical displays. He says 6,800 individuals have pledged
their mortal coils so far .

He hopes to add to that list when his traveling show reaches Boston later this
month. Body Worlds 2, which opens July 30 at the Museum of Science in Boston.

"Think of it as an alternative to being eaten by worms or going up in smoke," von
Hagens said by phone from his Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany.

from the Boston Globe

This is how we envision ourself ending up some
day, edifying the scientific and sensationalist curiosity of generations
of jaded youth, preserved for posterity with a fat joint still in our
hand and another between our
legs…..