Get Your Nobel Peace Prizes Here 


Just remember to wait your turn. Everyone gets one not based on deeds or accomplishments, but just by showing up.

The committee has forever tarnished this once prestigious award. Hey, good intentions are all that matters now, not actually doing anything. What a bunch of maroons.

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Consolation Prize 
BHO has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe this is a consolation prize for not being able to land the Olympics for war-torn, poverty-stricken Chicago.

From the BBC:

"In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honouring his intentions more than his achievements"

What a joke. What a joke. So much for any credibility that organization may have once had. On the bright side, it appears that US Congress isn't alone in being run by knuckleheads and buffoons.

What a joke, a bad joke at that.

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My Plan 
I was thinking of some common sense requirements that should be included in any health care reform legislation:

1. Everyone who is uninsured, mail them a letter (the gov't does know who these 47 million uninsured people are and where they live, right?) and ask them if they would like to be covered by a government plan, if such plan is implemented. If forms are not returned within 90 days, it counts as a “no.”

2. Anyone who replies “yes” would be required to get a physical. If that person is obese, as defined by the FDA BMI scale, said person should submit an action plan on how he/she will lose enough weight to get within a BMI index of 25. Said action plan must be submitted within 90 days of acknowledgment of “yes” response. Said plan must include reasonable goals.

3. Anyone who qualifies for the plan must submit to regular physicals which will include drug testing. Failing any physical will result in immediate discharge.

3a. If the public (taxpayers) pay for the health insurance of an individual, the public will be allowed to dictate what said person eats, drinks, and ingests into said person's body. Excess sugar and salt, tobacco use, and failure of drug tests will be cause for policy cancellation. Other ingestables will be brought to public forum for vote.

4. Discharged persons or persons deemed ineligible for health insurance who demand a right to health insurance will be provided a one-time payment that will dictate that they to move (and revoke their US citizenship) to Cuba, Venezuela, or France. Refusal of option cancels the payment.

5. Government will reserve the right to require beneficiaries of said plan to offer their services on a subcontracting basis to manufacturers of clothing, shoes, computer components, books, furniture, and food staples in order to maintain manufacturing facilities within the United States.

It's just a start but if I'm going to pay for health coverage for someone who makes no effort to care for his/her body, then I think these and like provisions are more than reasonable. Number five needs some work but I think it can be done.

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Great Opening Lines 
Recently I read Neuromancer, the novel that is credited with launching the cyberpunk genre. The opening sentence of Neuromancer also seems to be widely acclaimed as of the great literary opening lines:

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

Here are some of my favorites:

It was a pleasure to burn. Fahrenheit 451

Elmer Gantry was drunk. Elmer Gantry

Howard Roark laughed. The Fountainhead

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want the truth. The Catcher in the Rye

By ten-forty-five, it was all over. The Moon is Down

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Nineteen Eighty-Four

These lines are mostly simple and almost summarize their respective texts in a nutshell. Holden's opening statement is long but that's about as close to a nutshell summary as Holden can get. The opening sentence to 1984 is just chilling. And, the more I think about it, 1984 was cyberpunk way before cyberpunk; and a whole lot more, obviously.

Edit - as I revisited this topic this morning I remembered that 1984 has a very memorable closing sentence.

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Blight 
In May I planted 12 tomato plants, 12 pepper plants (banana, anaheim, jalapeno), and started two pumpkins from seed. Due mostly to the fact that March lasted about 115 days this year, I have nine peppers still standing and of the 12 original tomato, it appears that only about three will really produce. None are dead yet but many have the ecru-colored leaves indicative of blossom-end rot and the plants are withered and appear to be dying. Most have tomatoes but I don't know how long that will last. On the bright side, the peppers are producing and the third attempt at pumpkins has finally given me two flourishing plants but I don't think the pumpkins will be ready by the end of October.

The constant rain and cooler temperatures of the 3.75 Marches we had this year have wreaked havoc on the tomatoes. The three pepper plants I lost were due to wind gusts from the maelstrom of rainstorms knocking them down and uprooting them - even as they were staked.

So, next year - what to do to guard against this? I will have some work to do.

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Free Shipping 
I bought a 4GB usb flash drive from Newegg on Tuesday. I haven't received it yet. Here's the tracking chart:

8/7/2009 6:05 PM ET LEHIGH VALLEY, PA, US SHIPMENT ACCEPTED BY USPS
8/6/2009 7:10 AM ET ELKRIDGE, MD, US TENDERED TO USPS
8/6/2009 12:49 AM ET ELKRIDGE, MD, US ARRIVAL DESTINATION DHL GLOBAL MAIL FACILITY
8/5/2009 9:48 AM ET RUTHERFORD, NJ, US DEPARTURE ORIGIN DHL GLOBAL MAIL FACILITY
8/5/2009 1:48 AM ET RUTHERFORD, NJ, US PROCESSED
8/4/2009 11:45 PM ET RUTHERFORD, NJ, US ARRIVAL ORIGIN DHL GLOBAL MAIL FACILITY
8/4/2009 7:00 PM ET EDISON, NJ, US PICK UP

The item came with free shipping and, boy, it sure is shipping. Another funning thing is that Edison is only about 50 miles from my house. According to Google Maps, Edison to E. Rutherford to Elkridge to me is 399 miles.

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Letter to the Editor Today 
Letter to the editor, in today's Express-Times:

If life deals you lemons, sue, sue, sue

Original article: http://bit.ly/10bE7n

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Shoot for the Moon 
"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."

--John F. Kennedy
Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs
25 May 1961

"... There he is, there’s a foot coming down the steps. ... So there’s a foot on the moon, stepping down on the moon. If he’s testing that first step, he must be stepping down on the moon at this point. ... Well, look at those pictures. It’s sort of shadowy, but we sort of expected that in the shadow of the lunar module. Armstrong is on the moon — Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old American, standing on the surface of the moon, on this July 20, 19 hundred and 69."

--Walter Cronkite
20 July 1969

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Find Don Lynch 
FOUND

Local man, and father of three, has been missing since 06/29/09. more information: finddonlynch.com

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Gas Prices 
At this point in June of 2001, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.58 per gallon, an 8.5% increase from the third week in January of that year when it was $1.456.

Currently, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. is $2.60. In the third week of January of this year, it was $1.813 per gallon. That is a 43.4% increase.

Whereas it took Bush over four years to hit that percentage increase (March '05), BHO has done it in less than five months! He does work miracles! Alleluia!

source

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Mayor Dumbass 
Providence mayor wants to tax college students

Hey dumbass, pull those universities and colleges out of town and watch your local economy go into the crapper and you'll also eliminate just about every reason anyone would want to visit your city. College students provide an enormous benefit to any area. They eat. They drink. They shop. They have friends and family who visit who also happen to eat, drink, shop, and often pay for lodging. For some odd reason, I have a feeling all those are already taxed. Let's not forget the lawyers who stay employed for the lawsuits the colleges always face - workman's comp., discrimination, etc. College students also tend to look for jobs in the immediate area of the college they attend after they graduate; who wouldn't want freshly minted BA's and BS's and MBA's and PhD's and MD's staying local? Plus, colleges provide a plethora of runoff businesses too, akin to what factories and businesses do in any locale. But, hey, if Mayor Dumdum isn't satisfied with that $1 billion a year (I think a low-ball estimate) and 9K employed and the various immeasurables, maybe some other town would be. Yes, Brown, et al, aren't going to move which is why they should all just engage in some resistance to make the mayor can this stupid idea. After all, with schools like Brown and Providence College, we can safely assume that the smartest people in town are not in the mayor's office.

Let's hope this doesn't pass. For if it does, it will set a precedent and sooner or later, most colleges will employ this shameless tactic. As if students don't have enough to pay for - tuition, which always increases higher than inflation, texts - price a textbook lately? Yikes! Plus all those hidden fees the colleges zap the students with - "technology" fees, "activities" fees, et al. It never ends. Hopefully, someone will educate and enlighten Mayor Dumbass before every town with a college has a Mayor Dumbass too.

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Hype 
Swine flu may be less potent than first feared

No kidding. Just like SARS, Bird Flu, Killer Bees, the coming Ice Age, Global Warming, and so on. *yawn*

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