Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tough as nails

As you are no doubt aware, this blog has recently about guns and big vehicles and other big heavy manly things.

So here are some kittens to take the edge off.

More at the link


100 Greatest Hits of youTube

As a YouTube-aholic I was glued to my monitor whilst this was on.

And I laughed hysterically.

And hurt my ribs a bit too.

Hope you do too. (The laughing bit, not the pain).

Hat tip to Now That's Nifty (again!)


Get streamlined

We recently moved and in the process of packing and unpacking, we managed to get rid of a lot of irrelevant rubbish that we had been hoarding over the years.

Over at SoBe Organized there is a little home truth being told;

It's Not About The New Boxes

It's not about the new boxes, folders, files or colored labels we buy. It's not about the new resolutions we make to 'be organized now!', it's about the moment we realize that a streamlined life is one with minimal stuff. It's about making tough decisions over what will be thrown and what will be giving away. It's about finding your shoulders soft and relaxed as you enter an uncluttered space. It's about finally realizing that less really is more.

Fowey Rocks Light, near Key Biscayne, FloridaImage via Wikipedia

So let's get out there and clean up our space and our lives!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First M-ATVs Deploy to Afghanistan

oops I sent out an old blog by mistake.

What I wanted to say was:

I blogged about M-ATVs a while ago in 'Me wants one. Or two' and today The Marine Corps Systems Command has announced that only 3 months after placing the first order they are deploying the M-ATV to Afghanistan.

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2009 – With unprecedented speed, the first of thousands of mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles —known as M-ATVs -- are being deployed to Afghanistan just three months after a delivery order was awarded.

Conventional MRAP vehicles feature a V-shaped hull to deflect roadside bombs, and are proven to be lifesavers on the battlefield. The procurement of the M-ATV grew from an urgent requirement to provide troops a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle that can travel off-road and navigate Afghanistan's difficult, mountainous terrain, Marine Corps Systems Command officials said.

“We have pulled out all the stops to collapse the schedule and get these vehicles into theater,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Michael M. Brogan, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command and joint program executive officer of the MRAP program. “We are doing everything that’s required to ensure that they are safe, that the risk assessments are complete, [and] that they’re fully integrated and flown into Afghanistan.”

The M-ATV supports small-unit combat operations in highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments that include mounted patrols, reconnaissance, security, convoy protection, communications, command and control, and combat service support. It is designed to replace the up-armored Humvee in Afghanistan. The M-ATV will carry up to five personnel: four plus a gunner.

The Defense Department has ordered more than 4,300 of the all-terrain mine-resistant trucks, and another 1,400 are planned. Oshkosh Corp. is producing the vehicles.

They really do look very mean don't they? Let's just hope they save lives and keep the boys safe over there.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Medics & Miniguns

I'm a huge fan of Micheal Yon and his reporting from today's war zones. He recently wrote an excellent article on armed medics. I wasn't sure whether or not to share it as its all a bit serious and has guns in it and I'm sure some people won't like that.

On the other hand, if I were in a war zone and had the need for a helicopter rescue squad I would really appreciate it if they were armed to the teeth.

Decide for yourself - here's the link


Cairo - what a pile of rubbish

The genius minds in Cairo decided to stop the H1N1 virus, aka Swine Flu, by killing all of the pigs in the city boundaries. I guess its akin to the logic of killing off all of the local human population as that too would stop the spread of the virus.

What was not taken into account is that the pigs in the area ate the tons of organic rubbish thrown out by the dynamic and evolving population.

Ramadan Hediya, 35, who makes deliveries for a supermarket, lives in Madinat el Salam, a low-income community on the outskirts of Cairo.

“The whole area is trash,” Mr. Hediya said. “All the pathways are full of trash. When you open up your window to breathe, you find garbage heaps on the ground.”

What started out as an impulsive response to the swine flu threat has turned into a social, environmental and political problem for the Arab world’s most populous nation.

New York Times, 19/9/09

The article continues;

It has exposed the failings of a government where the power is concentrated at the top, where decisions are often carried out with little consideration for their consequences and where follow-up is often nonexistent, according to social commentators and government officials.

View from Cairo TowerImage via Wikipedia

“The main problem in Egypt is follow-up,” said Sabir Abdel Aziz Galal, chief of the infectious disease department at the Ministry of Agriculture. “A decision is taken, there is follow-up for a period of time, but after that, they get busy with something else and forget about it. This is the case with everything.”

Its a very interesting article that combines government ineptitude, paranoia and environmentalism.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Plain clothes Ferrari F1 car

Thought you'd enjoy this video of the creation a Ferrari F1 car by the staff of one of the Puma brand shops. Its quite fun really.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The cheapest toy

Like most people in the current economy I try to save money wherever I can. We just moved house and so now our budget is smaller than ever before.

Even I couldn't have hoped for this;

The cheapest toy.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pilot arrested over 1,000 deaths in Dirty War

So whats the big deal? A pilot was arrested over the murder of 1,000 more people in the Dirty War. Fine. Just desserts.

But the Dirty War was not in some Third World dust bowl and the pilot wasn't some Russian mercenary who had a drinks problem and a spare plane like in the movies.

The Dirty War was alluded to in many of the Falklands War books I have read. It is given as one of the reason for the creation of the war back in April 1982 - not that long ago by many people's standards.

In his second book 'Spearhead Assault' John Geddes specifically mentions not only battalion 601, the now notorious army unit who created the concept of The Disappeared, but also The Naval Mechanics School which the Times article in the headline mentions.

Cover of Cover via Amazon

Copyright John Geddes, Spearhead Assault

The young man is dropped out of the back of the plane whilst it flies over the River Plate. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the pilot knew when taking off that he was going to be coming back with at least one less passenger.

I apologise. I was a bit naughty. I cropped some words from the headline to this blog from the original article in The Times. It originally read;

Budget airline pilot, Julio Alberto Poch, arrested over 1,000 deaths in Dirty War

A short stop pilot flying between Italy and Holland was arrested yesterday for assisting in the murder of over 1,000 people.

We have moved away from that war-torn Third World country in central Africa that the original headline alluded to, and are now discussing Argentina in the 1970s through to the 1990s killing people for their political beliefs. The victims who became known as 'The

Poster by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo NGO w...Image via Wikipedia The Disappeared


I don't know much about this period in time in South America but I do intend to find out more about how so many people could go 'missing' without there being more of an outcry throughout the world.

Argentina is after all the country who not only hid high ranking Nazis after the Second World War, but the only democratic nation I can think of, that could not decide which side to be on during the war. (France {probably} doesn't count).

I guess we should all be happy that we weren't on the flight that was delayed because of the arrest of the Captain due to Mass Murder. I just hope that some families in Argentina, and those who escaped to restart their lives scattered around the world, sleep better tonight knowing that one more killer is getting brought to justice.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I just watched the season opener for "House" and it was probably the best TV show I have seen in years. And trust me, I watch a LOT of TV shows.

So what was so amazing about this episode? Well, first of all there was no old supporting cast. One can come into this 6th season knowing only that Dr Greg House is a selfish, arrogant, diagnostic genius and it all flows on from there.

I have never seen a season opener that is so intense, focused, dramatic and, lets not forget, entertaining!

I have watched quite a few season premieres of shows that we have been looking forward to. Nothing comes even close to the impact that "House" has.
And its a double episode! Which genius thought of that?

Personally I had no idea where the plot could go on this series, it has always been a standard setup in each show:

Gregory HouseImage via Wikipedia

1. Odd symptoms
2. House gets the diagnosis wrong
3. House annoys students / interns / anyone /everyone
4. House gets diagnosis right
5. Smiles all round!
This episode just blew me away and I look forward to watching the rest of the series.

As Glen Diaz on BuddyTV states:

The House season 6 premiere was a one-man show for Hugh Laurie, and I'm pretty sure all die-hard House fans had a grand time. And as much as I hate to admit it, much less admit it, I kind of did not miss the supporting characters. Maybe I miss Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) a bit, but only when she interacts with House, so I guess the doctor is still the integral part of that missing element.
Apparently "House" was the most watched premiere:

The two-hour season premiere of Fox's drama House emerged as the runaway ratings winner on the first night of the broadcast networks' premiere week. The show averaged a 6.1/16 with 15.8 million viewers at 8 p.m. before rising to a 6.8/16 and 17.2 million viewers in its second hour. It's a significant jump for the show, whose one-hour premiere last fall averaged a 5.6/16 and 14.4 million viewers.

By David Tanklefsky -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/22/2009 12:17:22 PM EDT

So may I suggest you go and watch it?


Gun control argument #5485

I read a few blogs about 2nd Amendment rights and gun control - about 35 blogs actually. As a Brit living in Israel I have gone from a country allergic to the thought of gun possession to a country that depends on them being in every house, available for use at a moment's notice.

At the cunningly named 3 Boxes of BS (Soap Box, Ballot Box and Ammo Box –An average person's view on society, politics and firearms) Bob has an excellent article which left me angry, upset and slightly scared.

Glock Model 21Image by Michael @ NW Lens via Flickr

FORT WORTH — Jasbahadur “J.B.” Rai worked for 10 years to bring his children to the United States.

Once they arrived, he only had a little more than two months with them.

On Jan. 6, Rai, a 48-year-old convenience store clerk, was repeatedly shot inside the TL Food store on East Lancaster Avenue by Leonard Junior Coulter, a drug addict in need of money for his next fix. Rai, a native of Nepal who had just become a U.S. citizen seven months before, died that same morning at a Fort Worth hospital.

A legal immigrant, who worked within the system to come to our country and more cut down by a thug looking for his next fix.

Rai’s widow said it well:

Rai’s widow, Toukta Rai, took the stand to describe to Coulter the loss he had caused her and her family. She said her husband would have helped him that January morning, had he only asked.

“My husband had only 2 1/2 months to get to know his children when he brought them here and he never got to see them grow up like young adults,” Toukta Rai said. “He worked for 10 years to get them here from Nepal. Because of your selfish action, he is no longer with us. It is not right that you killed my husband just for your own pleasure of getting high.”

Go read the article to see the sting in the tale at the end. Well worth it I assure you.


Redneck Vasectomy

After having their 11th child, an Arkansas couple decided that was enough, as they couldn't afford a larger bed. So her husband went to his veterinarian and told him that his cousin didn't want to have anymore children. His doctor told him there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem but it was expensive. A less costly alternative, said the doctor, was to go home, get a cherry bomb, light it and put it in a beer can, then hold it can up to his ear and count to 10.

The Arkansas man said to the doctor "I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear and counting to 10 is gonna help me." "Trust me" said the doctor. So the man went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can. He held it up to his ear and began to count:






At which point he paused, placed the can between his legs and resumed counting on the other hand.

Thanks to Throw The Ball Already


Monday, September 21, 2009

30 days on JetBlue

To raise support and create awareness for a new elementary school in Zambia, Africa, Greg Krause has committed to fly via jetBlue airlines for 30 days, virtually non-stop. He auctinoed off the rights to advertise on himself during the course of this journey, with the entire amount of the winning bid being donated to a new elementary school in Zambia.

Greg will be flying over 55,000 miles on close to 50 flights and passing through 25 different cities. This is all possible with the jetBlue All You Can Jet Pass. For $599 Krause purchased this pass and has been able to book unlimited flights on any of jetBlue routes.

jetBlue planeImage via Wikipedia

As Greg states on his website

4 Years ago, my parents were asked to start an elementary school in the village of Macha, Zambia. This school now has 75 students and a boarding home. One of the greatest needs is a reliable 4X4 vehicle to transport the children and bring supplies into this remote village. Together we can make a difference!

What a great commitment and sacrifice!

A non profit organization called Orphan’s Promise won the eBay auction to advertise on Greg's shirt. Let's just hope he has more than one shirt to travel with!

The abc Family Channel, CNN, NY Daily News and Aviation Week have all written articles about him and he does get recognized at airports all over the place.

Go to his website and support him if you can, or just help his website stats if you can't!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

A note on hotlinking

In my last post I added an image from Robb Allen's blog 'Sharp as a Marble'. I always found his blog interesting and actually laughed out loud (aka lol) at this one today.

Its about how to bloggingly behave.

Read the post and realise that lazy / selfish bloggers may have more than they bargained for on their pages.

They put up this (as I did)butafter stealing his bandwidth got this.

Rob is one funny guy!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy New Year

Toa ll of my Jewish readers out there in Blogland

Happy New Year!!

And well over the fast next week.


Carter is an awful fall full fool

Well, its not Fall yet but Autumn is round the corner and Autumn rhymes with nothing. Except 'caught 'em'. But I digress. President Carter recently showed us all what kind of a nincompoop he is.

I think Rob Allen over at Sharp as a Marble shows it best;

Normally I wouldn't bother to pass on my opinion to you all, but President Carter has made some rather stupid comments about the area where I live and I'd like the world to know what a complete fool the man is:

Jimmy CarterJimmy Carter via

Greg Bluestein, Associated Press Writer

– Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a black president.

"I think it's based on racism," Carter said in response to an audience question at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

Okay then President Carter, when exactly will people be allowed to show an opinion that isn't President Obama's without being called a racist? 2011? 2024?? Or just plain never argue with the Obamassiah?


Famous people's yearbook photos

My Yearbook MosaicImage by RobW_ via Flickr

Nice set of photos over at Now That's Nifty

And blogger won't let me show them to you. So nip over there and have a look. Okay?


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'll explain my love to you

Actually I'll allow the masterly Joe Saward in his Grand Prix Blog explain it. The mixture of love for Formula 1, in it's purer form, and the desire or need to blog;

Blogs are about opinions, not just straight journalism… I would rather write of the good things that Grand Prix racing has to offer, rather than the latest sleazy scandal. .... It is a universal truth that those who live by the sword must accept that they will likely die by the sword as well. Flav knew the rules of the game and he has only himself to blame if he has been caught.
And he continues straight into the meat of the matter, and the reason that I was shaking my head last night and kept telling Her Indoors (aka Mrs Jumblerant) 'I don't get it, I just don't understand why they did it'.

Renault F1 RS01Image by Patrick Mayon via Flickr

The sordid tale of Singapore 2008 has no place in F1. It is a tale of miserable cynical people, people with no souls. Where is the passion in doing such things? Where is the joy? Where is the pride? Where is the honour? It was all just to keep them on the Renault gravy train. To keep their jobs when they did not deserve to be kept....

Winning is not about finishing first, winning is about passion, about pride, about the joy and the thrill of the contest.

And if you have to manufacture that, then you are lost… and have no place in the sport.
Yes Joe, that is how I feel. And thank you for putting it so eloquently. That is why I read your blog.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nelson Piquet Jr crashed for Alonso and Renault

So, what the gosh darned rooting tooting is that title all about then?

I am a fan of Formula 1. Any sport that can end in serious pain if you make a mistake gets my attention. Formula 1 has the added draw of having a large amount of information flowing throughout the year and not just on race day.

Crashes are not uncommon but generally do not alter the final result as they either happen at the first corner to some back markers or later on in the race to a couple of cars who are fighting for position and then take each other out.

There are some famous crashes such as Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton deSilva Senna's fatal crashes (in the same weekend), as well as Michael Schumacher taking himself or nearest competitor out, and a couple of beauties when cars went, literally, flying over others.

That's not the point though. The level of danger involved is the point.

Any crash involves pieces of car flying at high speed in all directions. This allows the energy in the crash to dissipate without harming the driver. But it also means that basically, bits go flying everywhere. Tyres have landed in the crowd killing spectators and we are coming to terms, in F1, with the fact that Felipe Massa is going to be out for the rest of the season because he was hit in the head by a piece of debris that fell off another car in front of his during a practice session.

He was hit in the helmet with a 800g piece of coiled metal at over 180mph that left him unconscious. He is recovering now and has a beautiful scar (above) to tell the tale.

And that is where today's revelations leave me with my mouth agape and my mind not comprehending what happened.

Nelson Piquet Jr.'s intentional crash, in the the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Today it was revealed that one team, Renault, had asked one of its drivers, Nelson Piquet Jr., to crash on purpose. The FIA stated that Renault had planned and carried out actions:
to cause an intentional accident with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of their other driver, Fernando Alonso, who went on to win.

The team stated
“The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the F.I.A. concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix,”
Which is pretty damn shameful, dangerous and ultimately, suicidal for the careers of those involved.

So what also gets my goat here, and you may notice that I'm still very annoyed and shocked by it all, is that they actually thought that they could get away with it.

In an industry where millions of dollars hang in the balance for every point a driver can make people are going to be ruthless. And they are going to have very long memories.

The chap on the left, Flavio 'Flav' Briatore, has been in Formula 1 for a very long time. He helped to bring Michael Schumacher into the limelight. He was teh Team leader for Renault.

The chap on the left is Pat Symonds. He too has been in F1 forever and he was Flav's no. 2 man.

Today they both left their current (and probably last) Formula 1 team after the team admitted that these two individuals had in fact conspired with their no. 2 driver, Nelson Piquet Jr., to alter the outcome of the race.

Nelson Piquet Jr.Image by eugeneflores via Flickr

And the chap on the left got immunity. He is the driver of the car, Nelson Piquet Jr.

What a super chap, eh? He told the governing body of Formula 1 about the evil team leader's plans to corrupt the outcome of the Championship Race.

Except that he waited a year to tell them.

And only after he was fired by his manager and team leader, Flavio Briatore.

Revenge may be sweet Mr Piquet but I think you kinda shot yourself in the foot this time.


All photos are copyright people who can afford, or get invited to Grand Prixes.