Friday, November 30, 2007




Surprise Ending

Mr. Fish interviews Dennis Kucinich, and it's not pretty. It's pretty strident, and even pretty glib, and pretty completely ridiculously too literary, but a couple pretty not trivial observations are made, and the whole thing ends up being very worth our time. So click on the image above and have a read.

UPDATE: Davis wants a money bomb....

Better get to it because the other money bomber is kicking ass and taking names....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Be Careful What You Sign!

Recently on the campus of the University of California Santa Barbara petition takers were caught using a dirty trick to get unwanted legislation entered into the upcoming election. Using a petition for aid to cancer victims as bait the petition takers were also gathering signatures for the Electoral College Reform Initiative which would divide California's Electoral votes.

With the cancer petition on the top of the clip board, a rubber band was placed over the petitions just above the signature boxes. By doing this the body of the petitions below the cancer one were hidden from the signers. The petition takers then gave misleading information about these hidden petitions and managed to get people to sign them without reading them.

From the No More Dirty Tricks website:
As you know, California Counts -- a cabal of right-wing political operatives linked to Rudy Giuliani -- are working hard to steal the White House (again) in 2008. They want to fool California voters into changing the rules so Giuliani -- or some other regressive Republican presidential nominee -- can rob at least 20 Electoral College votes from California.

When Steven Attewell, an eagle-eyed member of the blog Daily Kos, alerted Courage Campaign staffer Erik Love that California Counts petition-gatherers at UC Santa Barbara were gathering signatures to help "children with cancer," he headed out to investigate. And, sure enough, Erik noticed that "children with cancer" was just a sneaky tactic to get people to sign the so-called "Electoral College Reform Initiative" -- what we call the dirty trick initiative. Erik and a Courage Campaign film crew caught these sneaky tactics. [Video Above ]
If you come across this tactic being used here in California please report it to the Courage Campaign at where it will be passed on to Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Debra has promised to take action on the matter if she receives enough complaints.

More on the Electoral College Reform Initiative

A special thank you to Z for finding the video and providing the links.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Parallel Universe

In 1960 Bell Labs built a giant radio telescope in Holmdel, New Jersey as part of the Echo Satellite system. The echo Satellites where large metallic balloons used as reflectors for radio waves to send transmissions over wide areas. Obsoleted by the Telstar satellite in 1962 the telescope caught the eyes of Bell Lab Radio Astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.

As soon as they began to use the telescope they became aware of an annoying background signal similar to static on a radio. Consisting of a uniform microwave signal coming from all directions it was at first assumed it was an artifact of the telescope itself. Although it didn’t interfere with the Echo program, they needed to get rid of it make the types of observations they were planning.

After four years of studies ruling out possible sources they reached out to Robert Dicke at Princeton University. Dicke was pursuing the Big Bang theory and postulated that if there had been a Big Bang the residue would now be in the form of a low level background radiation throughout the universe.

At first they discounted the theory that the noise they were dealing with was in fact the background radiation postulated by Dicke. In fact others during the 1950s had also observed this radiation but didn’t know what it was. However by the mid 1970s, based on the work of Penzias, Wilson and Dicke as well as earlier work by Edwin Hubble, the Big Bang Theory had become the standard model. Penzias and Wilson received the 1978 Nobel Prize in physics.

Enter the COBE Satellite

The next step in mapping this Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) was carried out with the use of NASA’s COBE satellite by US scientists John C Mather – senior astrophysicist at the US Space Agency and George F Smoot – University of California, Berkley physics professor. Although the resolution was fairly low, they were able to produce the first precise measurements of the CMB. The pair was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics for their research.

The next step is the WMAP.
Click photo to enlarge.
In 2001 NASA launched the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to further study the CMB with high resolution instruments. Initially proposed as a two year mapping mission it has been extended until 2009. Several sets of papers detailing their findings have been released by the mission’s science team.

Example of the progress made in the resolution of these various instruments. The red band is the microwave radiation from our own galaxy.
Click photo to enlarge.
Among the latest findings is a large void in the universe. Although other such holes have been found and are expected, the immense size of this void – 10,000 times the size of our galaxy at one billion light years across – is way beyond what can be explained by current theories. Some scientists have put forward the theory that it is caused by a giant knot in the universe known as a topological defect.

The Void

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton has a different interpretation. She is convinced that this void, found in the constellation Eridanus, is in fact the imprint of another universe beyond our own.

Should her theory of Entangled Universes prove correct, it would bring new support to the string theory as well as other debates central to the science of astrophysics. Her theory is such that one is able to make testable predictions which can either prove or dispute the theory. Her model predicts two such voids, one in each of the North and South hemispheres of the universe. The currently discovered void is in the Northern hemisphere. Her team expects further observations by WMAP as well as other cutting-edge experiments will prove her correct, leading to a whole new way of cosmological thinking.

The expanding universe.
Click photo to enlarge.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Final Inspection Passed
Occupancy Permit Issued

We have passed the final inspection of the recent remodeling project. The building department has issued our Occupancy Permit so the Lair is once again open for business.

Click Photo to enlarge.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Night Music Videos

Come into my lounge and I'll open the Vault for you.
Stomp them feet and slap them thighs - it's time for some bluegrass from Yonder Mountain String Band!
(click on banner above)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Under Construction

The Lair is in the process of being moved from the old Blogger template to the new format. Some features will be temporarily missing as the side-bar code is transfered.


Link list still coming.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

44 Years Ago Tomorrow

An Administration of Lies

Keith Olbermann and David Shuster discuss Scott McClellan's new book revealing that as spokesman to Bush he spread the administrations lies.

John Dean discusses the implications of Scott's revelations.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Democrats in Action

Censure Dianne Feinstein! Little kerfuffle in an anonymous meeting room, and pft. Then begins the name-calling, finger-pointing and the ever-popular whining.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dennis Kucinich is the Democratic Front Runner
Why don't we know that?

In a recent poll of Democratic voters on their choice for president among the current candidates, Dennis Kucinich came out on top with just under 32%, beating second place Al Gore (24.77%).
Hillary scored a paltry 5th place with only 4.21% - behind John Edwards (15.6%) and Barack Obama (13.86%).

Yet every day we hear nothing but Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, from the main stream media. Once again the press has already decided who the candidate will be and is totally ignoring the actual front runners. Anyone remember Pravda?

Grass Roots poll results.

Dennis For President Website

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Oddity

SIGUR RÓS (untitled)
[click on the word "ZOOM" on the player for full screen....]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Night Music Videos

Come into my lounge and I'll open the Vault for you.
It's time to get loopy with Arthur Lee Land!
(click on banner above)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Having Privacy Issues?
Redefine it!

What is the issue and the implications?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

DU Storm

When my friend and fellow blogger Homeyra sent me this photo my first thought was that this was a dramatic photo of a natural event which occurs frequently in desert areas such as Iraq.

Then I took a trip to neufneuf where Agent 99 reminded me of something.

For the last 4 1/2 years, as well as during the Gulf War, we have been disposing of tons of radioactive waste in the form of Depleted Uranium all over the Iraqi countryside. Pulverized into minute particles upon penetrating tanks and the like, it is easily inhaled but remains in the lungs causing damage over time.

Also blamed for birth defects and other abnormalities, traces of it have been found on the wind as far away as Europe and other areas surrounding the Mideast.

So not only is that dust cloud obnoxious, it is


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Japan's Kaguya Moon Probe

The Japan Space Agency's (JAXA) Kaguya moon probe has begun its mission and is returning High Definition photos such as the one above. It has also released two probes, one of which will eventually land on the moon.

On a mission to map the moon using High Definition photos the satellite is currently going through its initial tests prior to starting the actual mission.

This photo clearly shows how finite our world is and gives meaning to the causes to save its environment and its people.

More can be found at the Kaguya website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

They're Killing The Bay

On Wednesday November 7th a container ship leaving the Port of Oakland clipped the footing of a tower on the Bay Bridge. Although the bridge was undamaged the ship sustained a long gash in its side.

Originally it was reported that only 140 gallons of oil had been spilled. It wasn't until the next morning that the true extent of the 58,000 gallon spill was realized.

The Coast Guard response was far from stellar. They have been backpedaling on various aspects of their response or lack of it.

Volunteers work to help save the wildlife.

UPDATE 11/14/07:

The pilot of the freighter that struck the Bay Bridge last week, fouling the bay with 58,000 gallons of fuel, told federal investigators that the accident occurred after the ship's radar failed and the captain of the vessel made a monumental error, a lawyer for the pilot said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger postponed the start of the bay's normally vibrant fishing season, while cleanup crews made significant headway on the worst-hit beaches, and politicians and environmentalists braced for a flurry of state and federal hearings into the spill.

The most startling of the day's revelations came from attorney John Meadows, who represents John Cota, the pilot of the Cosco Busan last Wednesday. Cota said the Chinese captain of the ship guided the freighter toward a bridge tower in the fog, the attorney said.

Meadows said his client told him and investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is looking into the crash, that the Cosco Busan's radar "conked out" twice - first before departure and again as the ship was near the lighthouse on Yerba Buena Island.

More Here - includes a time line of the incident plus numerous links to orginaztions involved in the cleanup.

My question is why this 900 foot long ship was allowed to navigate in the fog with 300 feet visibility and a faulty radar?

UPDATE #2 11/14/07:
The Coast Guard and the owners of the Cosco Busan freighter apparently botched the drug and alcohol testing of the crew of the ship after it hit the Bay Bridge last week and dumped 58,000 gallons of oil into the bay, Coast Guard officials told The Chronicle this morning.

The agency informed lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday that ship's operators had failed to test all the crew members for drugs within the 32 hours required by federal law. In fact, some of the crew was not tested until 53 hours after the incident last week.

The immediate testing of the crew after an incident is the responsibility of the owner and operator of the vessel, but the Coast Guard is responsible for making sure the testing rules are strictly followed.

The Coast guard, for whom I have always held the highest regards, is beginning to look like FEMA:

"It certainly shows the operator missed a crucial detail," Lt. Commander Tony Guild, who oversees inspections, investigations and analysts for the Coast Guard's western region.

Guild said a Coast Guard casualty investigator only learned on Friday that the drug testing of the crew had not taken place from an agent for the ship's owner, Regal Stone Ltd.

"(The agent) said, 'We only tested the master for drugs, so the Coast Guard investigating officer said, 'You need to test everybody,' " Guild said.

Guild said the Coast Guard investigator moved quickly to order the drug tests, but acknowledged the agency bore some responsibility for failing to get the tests done on time.

"I think we could have done a better job of that," he said.

There also seems to be a huge discrepancy in the amount of oil recovered so far:
More than 2,745 gallons of oil has been collected from the water so far, the command center for the spill reported this morning. Another 580 gallons have been dispersed naturally, and an estimated 4,060 gallons of oil has evaporated.

The total has been revised in recent days from a total of 20,546 reported recovered from the water last week, as emergency officials were able to more accurately gauge the precision of what was water, what was oil, and what was actually pulled up from the bay.

So they were reporting over 20,000 gallons last week but now it is only a little over 7,000 gallons including that which was "dispersed naturally" - about 1/3 of what was originally reported.

What exactly is "dispersed naturally" - was that the oil stuck on the dead birds?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Probably Worth the Twenty Bucks

[click picture]

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Night Music Videos

Come into my lounge and I'll open the Vault for you.
Tonight another trip back to the '60s!
(click on banner above)

Friday, November 09, 2007


Who's Watching You?

Have you sent an email?
Used any internet messenger service?
Browsed the internet?
Used a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone service?

Do you know who is recording all of it?

Raw Story has this report on Mark Klein's lobbying efforts to prevent immunity for the telecoms which broke the FISA laws.

The Intelligence Committee bill faces substantial roadblocks because of its immunity provision. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) has placed a customary "hold" on the bill, and he says he would filibuster if a bill that grants immunity comes up for a vote. Dodd, a dark-horse presidential candidates, has been joined by the Senate's more prominent White House contenders like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Activists credit pressure aimed a lawmakers from whistleblowers and others alleging abuse from telecom companies.

"That makes me feel like maybe we've had a teeny bit of impact," said Mark Klein, a former AT&T employee who has alleged the company has allowed the National Security Agency to monitor all Web traffic on the company's network. Klein's allegations and internal documents he obtained form the basis of a key lawsuit against AT&T brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of AT&T customers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Land of Contrasts

In America some people live in a house like this:

Others live in houses like this:

In America some people go out to diner here:

Others go here:

In America some people wake like this:

Others wake like this:

In America some people have compassion:

Others don't:

Land of Contrasts

Davis Fleetwood Rocks the Cosmos

Monday, November 05, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Night Music Videos

Come into my lounge and I'll open the Vault for you.
Tonight I bring the sweet sounds of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
(click on banner above)

Friday, November 02, 2007

CONTROL Emergency Requisition #70211a

For Immediate Release

CONTROL has issued Emergency Requisition #70211a for the immediate delivery of one Ice Cream Sundae to Agent 99.

Before He Invades