September 2012 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Art Glass 2

Pique the Geek 20120902: Why we do not burst into flame — Oxygen

Oxygen is one of the most fascinating elements for many reasons.  Before we get to it, I first want to point out that the column of the periodic table that starts with nitrogen are called pnictogens, whislt the column starting with oxygen are called chalcogens.  The term pnictogen is recent, dating form the 1950s.  It comes from the Greek plural noun pnikta which means something on the order of “those that are suffocated” in reference to the fact that nitrogen will not support life.  The “gen” part is from the Greek gonos, “born” or “generated”.

Chalcogen comes from the ancient Greek chalkos, meaning “ore” and gonos, and in fact an extremely large number of metal ores contain oxygen or sulfur of both.  Selenium and tellurium are chalcogens that are often found in gold and silver ores.

Time before last we discussed nitrogen and molecular orbital diagrams for it.  If you are not hip to MO diagrams, I suggest you read that part of the link before you try to tackle the MO diagrams for oxygen.

The Underlying Issue: the War on the Constitution

The Republican and Democratic parties have accomplished an amazing feat with the red state/blue state paradigm. They’ve convinced everyone that regardless of how bad they are, the other guy is worse. So even with 11 percent of the public supporting Congress most incumbents will be returned to Congress. They have so structured and defined the question that people no longer look at the actual principles and instead vote on this false dichotomy.

John Cusack’s interview with Jonathan Turley is a good read if you like intelligent discussions by smart people who put what is important about an issue to the fore. This is in marked contrast with the Mainstream Media that puts trivial, ephemeral concerns front and center of any discussion and utterly ignore the underlying issues that do underlie all our major issues. In a way, it is not their fault since they see their job as merely to mirror the concerns of ordinary citizens who don’t want to think too deeply about anything whether it is the world of national and international affairs or even personal issues. Once there was a notion that the media would serve three important purposes, inform us on significant events that are bound to affect our lives, provide education about the world, and to keep track of the truth and hold politicians accountable. This has not even come close to be its role in recent years and is unlikely to be because the general consensus reality that this media has been presenting to us is the normal American consensus reality. This is the world we live in. Thus Obama is on the left and Romney is on the right. Never mind what left and right means or whether these people really fit the mold-they actually don’t because they are both opportunists-essentially, guns for hire who will pretty much represent their clients’ interest and guess what? We will never be their clients.

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Charlie ChaplinCity Lights (1931)

City Lights is one of those silents Chaplin was able to get released after 1929 (when Hollywood went talkie).  It is still considered among the top 10 romantic comedies of all time.

On This Day In History September 2

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 2 is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 120 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1969, America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.

Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers’ account balances, was introduced.

ATMs eventually expanded beyond the confines of banks and today can be found everywhere from gas stations to convenience stores to cruise ships. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-banks lease the machines (so-called “off premise” ATMs) or own them outright.

The Mitt Romney Story

A person who built that (:30)

A person who built that (Full)

Part 1

Part 2- Ann

There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Training suspended for new Afghan recruits


 By Greg Jaffe and Kevin Sieff, Sunday, September 2

KABUL – The senior commander for Special Operations forces in Afghanistan has suspended training for all new Afghan recruits until the more than 27,000 Afghan troops working with his command can be re-vetted for ties to the insurgency.

The move comes as NATO officials struggle to stem the tide of attacks on NATO forces by their Afghan colleagues. The attacks, which have killed 45 troops this year, have forced NATO officials to acknowledge a painful truth: Many of the incidents might have been prevented if existing security measures had been applied correctly.

But numerous military guidelines were not followed – by Afghans or Americans – because of concerns that they might slow the growth of the Afghan army and police, according to NATO officials.

Special Operations officials said that the current process for vetting recruits is effective but that a lack of follow-up has allowed Afghan troops who fell under the sway of the insurgency or grew disillusioned with the Afghan government to remain in the force.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Brahimi says change ‘unavoidable’ in Syria

Curiosity starts quarter-mile journey that could reveal secrets of Mars

Honest Italian pays heavy price for defying mafia

Angola stays loyal to Dos Santos

Immigration conundrum: Deport moms of minor U.S. citizens?

Late Night Karaoke

What’s Cooking: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Lover’s Trifle

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

It’s the last holiday weekend of Summer and what better way to celebrate than with a backyard Clambake. So what’s for desert? S’mores are passe but who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Lover’s Trifle is really easy to put together with a minimum amount of cooking. It does require a large serving bowl, preferably glass so guests can see the luscious layers.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Lover’s Trifle


  • Either a box of brownie mix, or a homemade batch of brownies. You can also use chocolate cake. Store made is a quick substitute
  • Whipped cream, about two cups. Canned (use the heavy cream version) or homemade.
  • Peanut butter sauce (melt one 10 ounce package of peanut butter chips with 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 tsp of vanilla over low heat until combined, let cool).
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
  • Kit Kat bars, chopped or Reese’s Pieces
  • 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding made according to their directions.
  • Directions:

    Layer the bottom with broken up brownies or cake. Top with vanilla pudding, peanut butter sauce, Reese’s peanut butter cups & Kit Kat bars or Reese’s Pieces, and a layer of whipped cream. Continue building your trifle with these layers until you’ve run out of ingredients or room 🙂

    Kari Goodwin who created this recipe for her blog, Minute on the Lips didn’t post how many chocolate lovers this recipe would serve but there was plenty for 8 guests with left overs. As for calories per serving, if you need to ask you probably shouldn’t be eating this. But hey, it’s a holiday, take an extra lap around the track for the next week.

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    What We Now Know

    What we have learned this week is discussed with Up with Chris Hayes guests Josh Barro (@jbarro), writes Bloomberg View‘s “The Ticker“; David Sirota, (@davidsirota) writes a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column and hosts a radio show, “The Rundown with Sirota and Brown“; Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox), columnist for “The Guardian” and founder of the political blog Wonkette; and Bob Herbert (@bobherbert), distinguished senior fellow at Demos and former New York Times columnist.

    During the RNC Convention, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney partied with millionaire and billionaire donors on a yacht registered in the Cayman Islands.

    South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told the Washington Post: “The demographics race, we’re losing badly ….

    We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term

    90% of the GOP is white.

    Projected US White Population in 2050: 50.1%

    NBC/WSJ Poll: Romney has 0 % Of African-American Vote.

    Only 2% of the delegates at the RNC Convention were Black.

    Federal judges are overturning controversial laws passed by Republican controlled states that discriminate against minority and disenfranchised voting rights.

    Texas: Court rejects Texas legislative districts as discriminatory

    Federal court overturns Texas law requiring voters to show photo ID

    Texas is appealing both of these rulings.

    Florida: Federal Court Blocks Florida Early Voting Restrictions

    Ohio: Federal court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions

    We now know what a gay bar at the RNC Convention looks like: It’s hard to tell who is gay or straight since they’re all dressed like Alex B. Keaton; what really identified it as a Republican Gay Bar was the Go-Go dancers were all wearing t-shirts and long pants.


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