Wednesday, November 22, 2006

15 Richest Fictional People

Forbes has updated their list of the 15 richest fictional people. Featuring Daddy Warbucks, Mr Burns, and Prince Abakaliki (of Nigerian spam fame), it is a treat, worthy of The Economist's double Christmas issue.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

As Rumsfeld leaves

Admittedly, this is a repeat from March 2004, but as Donald Rumsfeld packs up his office at the Pentagon, it's worth remembering the many kung fu styles he used at press conferences and Congressional testimonies.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trent Lott - Da Return

It's interesting to see Trent Lott back in the Republican leadership, elected as the minority Senate whip. It's been four years since he was turned out for the racially insensitive remarks he made at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. I wonder if that's long enough for people to forgive. I have to think that any ground gained at that time thanks to the Republicans' perceived principles will be more than lost now. Moral convictions that hold only when you have an iron grip on power are not terribly impressive. But I suppose that most people either saw it in 2002 as simple political in-fighting or have by now forgotten.

More amusingly, Lott's competitor, Lamar Alexander, apparently had been lobbying to be the whip for a year and a half and, the night before the vote, predicted he would win by as many as 30 votes. Oops. Way to demonstrate - after the fact - that you aren't the right guy for the job.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

War by the numbers

There's a statistic I've heard any number of times that goes something like: World War I was the first major conflict in which more soldiers died battlefield trauma than of camp illnesses and wound infections. Indeed, such progress continues: Cousin E informs us that, on average, it takes a wounded US soldier three days to get from Iraq to the US, versus 41 days in Vietnam. And yet, The Economist (2 Nov 06) reports that, of the approximately 2,800 US soldiers who have died in Iraq, some 600 (21%) of those deaths were from illnesses or accidents. The figures don't exactly compare, I realize, but it's a sobering observation on the messiness of war, even in our most modern armed forces.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Duct tape - Is there anything it can't do?

Well, maybe.

According to Dutch researchers, duct tape actually isn't an effective cure for warts. But then again, according to the same Reuters article, the Army apparently said it was, even better than freezing warts. When it comes to duct tape and warts, who has more credibility: the Dutch or the Army?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Garry Trudeau article

The Washington Post recently ran an interesting article on Garry Trudeau, author of Doonesbury, and the story he has told over the last 2-1/2 years of BD loosing his leg in Iraq. The article was good enough that I almost missed my train this morning.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sublime hot dogs

My close-reading friends will not permit me even a moment of retro-chauvinism. So be it. I'll share a recipe. (But at least it's a hot dog recipe.)

On the camping trip, we hit on an awesome preparation of hot dogs: with Desert Trading Co. black bean dip, Old Bay seasoning, and ketchup. Kind of like a chili dog, but better. In fact, with a fire-toasted bun, it may have been the best hot dog ever.