Saturday, January 03, 2015

Great Headline

From WaPo Express comes this classic:

And, of course, the all time greatest, undefeated champion headline is HERE.

Found at The Volokh Conspiracy.

And how was your day

From the Want China Times:

A slurry tanker containing human waste suddenly burst spraying innocent bystanders and nearby shops in Hechi in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Saturday, according to a Chinese internet user named Han Lu.

Three photos posted by the netizen on a popular social networking website showed several bystanders and the sidewalk beside several shops in the city's Jichengjiang district covered in feces while shop signs were slathered in foul slurry.

The netizen and local government sources have not elaborated on what happened to cause the tank to burst.
I think mine was pretty good by comparison.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Some Science Humor

The first one has been around for a while, and I enjoy the word-play of the second.  But both should bring a smile to your Monday.

Back from the wilds

Well....Mr. Bear had a few problems in the forest which kept him away from this blog.  Hopefully we can get it back in shape and bring you some fun and interesting "stuff" down the road.

Let's start with a simple one.  It really hit home because I see this so damned often.  Being "unique", being "special"....such warm buzz-words but so empty.

So this sums up "unique":

Actually, it's a good thing if it really IS unique.....because then there isn't another one that I'll have to deal with later.  Over with and done.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Headline du jour

Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend

What more can you say after that....

Hat tip to Proof Positive.


More proof that American education isn't what it used to be.

Travel and Americans

From The House of Eratosthenes comes this piece of analysis:
Another thing I’ve been hearing is that Americans have a reputation around the world for being boorish, poorly-mannered, arrogant, intellectually stilted, incurious, et cetera. I’m seeing Americans criticized for reaching middle age without ever having held a passport, meaning they haven’t traveled outside their country’s borders. And it occurs to me: If these are the ones who have not traveled outside the country’s borders, shouldn’t we be looking to the enlightened, sophisticated, well-traveled nuanced-thinking blue-bloods as we try to figure out how we got our reputation? Some of them can act pretty boorish. Why blame the people who haven’t traveled anywhere?
He has a point.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where's the Rally Bear??

Some days, you can't make up stuff like this:

Back in October, a squirrel invaded Busch Stadium during the St. Louis Cardinals run to the 2011 World Series. Fredbird let it live out of kindness, and the rodent would become so popular, it took the place of Skip Schumaker on one of his baseball cards.

Finally, the mascot has been immortalized for all time on jewelry commemorating the Cardinals 11th world championship.

This is not satire: The Cardinals made "The Rally Squirrel" part of the design of their World Series rings, which they received on Saturday. You can clearly see it in the photo, under the "StL" logo and above the crest of the bats and home plate with Chris Carpenter's No. 29. If Schumaker thought a squirrel on his baseball card was "ridiculous," what must he think of the rodent on the most symbolic piece of bling a ballplayer can own?
 Here's the photo:

Read the whole story, and more, at Yahoo Sports.  Hat tip to I Own the World.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Frightening news on "settled science"

We hear so often about "settled science".  About research that "proves".  Now comes some troubling news.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer -- a high proportion of them from university labs -- are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future. 
During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 "landmark" publications -- papers in top journals, from reputable labs -- for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development
Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Begley's experience echoes a report from scientists at Bayer AG last year. Neither group of researchers alleges fraud, nor would they identify the research they had tried to replicate. 
But they and others fear the phenomenon is the product of a skewed system of incentives that has academics cutting corners to further their careers.

Read the whole story from Reuters at THIS LINK.

Now batting....Methuselah

Actually, it's pitching.  But since the Colorado Rockies are in the National League, he'll be batting as well.  Who?  Jamie Moyer, that is.

Moyer, entering his 25th major league season, posted a 2.77 ERA this spring and beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso for a rotation spot.  If Moyer wins one game, he will become the oldest player to win a game in the majors.  At 49 years of age, Moyer is older than eight current MLB managers and 16 general managers.

Sorta reminds me of George Blanda.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bacon anyone?

News for the bacon lovers out there.

SEATTLE – Do you love bacon to death? Is your dying wish is to be buried in bacon?
The local company behind Bacon Salt and Baconnaise are making it happen. J&D’s Foods has created the Bacon Coffin, what they call the world’s first bacon-wrapped casket.
"Yes, this is really real," wrote J&D owners Justin and Dave in a press release. “Bacon Coffins are finished with a painted Bacon and Pork shading and accented with gold stationary handles. The interior has an adjustable bed and mattress, a bacon memorial tube and is completed in ivory crepe coffin linens."
The Bacon Coffins are available for $2,999.95 plus shipping.
In the email announcing the Bacon Coffin, Justin and Dave added, "And yeah, your (sic) right we’re probably going to hell for this one."

Of course, that coffin might be the natural progression from these:

Yep, bacon cheeseburgers inside Krispy Kreme donuts.

Say hello to your cardiologist for me.

Hat tip to I Own the World for the pointer to the King5 television story.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Obamacare Humor

Funniest line at the Supreme Court oral arguments:
JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?
For the non-ConLaw folks in the audience, the Eighth Amendment is the one that bars cruel and unusual punishment.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If browsers were weapons

Though I'm a Firefox user (and haven't really gotten to work with Chrome), I like this.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life imitates art.

From the Associated Press comes news that should warm the cockles of Sacha Baron Cohen's heart.  It's too good to paraphrase, so here it is in its entirety.

MOSCOW -- Kazakhstan has called the playing of a spoof of its national anthem at an international sporting event "a scandal" and demanded an investigation of the incident. 
Maria Dmitrienko won a gold medal for Kazakhstan on Thursday at the Arab Shooting Championships in Kuwait, but during the award ceremony the public address system broadcast the spoof anthem from the 2006 movie "Borat," which offended many Kazakhs by portraying the country as backward and degenerate.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov told the ITAR-Tass news agency the incident "is, of course, a scandal and demands a thorough investigation, which we intend to conduct."
ITAR-Tass quoted shooting team member Oksana Stavitskaya as saying that Asian Shooting Federation president Sheikh Salman al-Sabah had apologized to the team.
"Sheikh Salman personally apologized to us. He recognized that the use of the music from the scandalous film in place of the anthem of Kazakhstan was completely a mistake of the organizers. He explained that the awards ceremony was conducted by a firm under contract," Stavitskaya said.
The Kazakh news agency Tengri quoted team coach Anvar Yunusmetov as saying tournament organizers had downloaded various countries' national anthems from the Internet.
Later on Saturday, the event's organizers in Kuwait also apologized to the Kazakh delegation regarding the "unintentional" mistake of playing the "wrong national anthem" during the awards ceremony, according to the statement published on the state-owned Kuwait News Agency.
The organizing committee, in a statement, said the mistake was corrected and the national anthem of Kazakhstan was replayed afterward. The committee expressed "deep sorrow" for the mistake and reaffirmed that ties between the sporting communities of the two countries remained strong.
Somedays the real news reads like The Onion.

Hat tip to The Volokh Conspiracy.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Photo without comment

A campaign bus in Canada (likely Alberta):

Friday, March 23, 2012

Well done commercial

I happen to like it.  Now, if only my friends were as quick thinking.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Imagine what broke out at the hockey game

No, it wasn't a bench clearing brawl.  Instead, it was patriotism.

After the announcement that there would be no national anthem, you hear some boos.  And soon the crowd starts their own rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Cheers to those fans in Pittsburgh.

Hat tip to House of Eratosthenes

I think I've heard that before

From Denmark comes this little compilation.

The clip comes from Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR’s Detektor. The host is Thomas Buch-Anderson.

Hat tip to Powerline.

James Q Wilson

Political scientist James Q Wilson recently passed away.  For your consideration, here is one of his thoughts on why civil servants in modern bureaucracies work and think the way they do.
First, public sector agencies are not allowed to retain earnings, and therefore have no incentive towards economizing costs. A public agency that ends the fiscal year with a surplus because of efficient operations cannot distribute those savings to its managers and employees as incentives, but rather is likely to see its budget cut for the next year on the grounds that it was allocated too much in the first place. This explains the rush to push money out the door at the end of the fiscal year whether the spending is needed or not, and why bureaucracies are so often inefficient...
How true.

Thoughts for a Thursday

This is from a pamphlet by a Presbyterian minister, William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962) and entitled The Ten Cannots. It was originally published in 1916 but its message is very fitting to us today

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Oh, those Europeans

Steven Hayward nails it, so I'll just quote him:
Today’s comedy segment comes courtesy of the madcaps at the European Union. Picking on the Europeans has become cliché, especially when they hand you such lame material, like the EU-produced video below that is supposed to convey . . . what, exactly?  Moviegoers may think it a slightly wacky homage to Tarantino’s Kill Bill, showing that Europeans are so much more civilized because they’d sit down and charm their opponents rather than slice them up.

But the real punch line is that the European Union has withdrawn the video because it is—wait for it—racist!  As Denis Boyles comments over on NRO’s Corner, “And for all we know, this isn’t a propaganda film so much as a security breach: It clearly reveals the E.U.’s defense strategy, which is based on stern disapproval.”
So let me get this straight....the EU, which is having problems with its current fringe members, makes a video about how we get better when we get bigger.  And we can all come together by just....well, whatever.

But the use of "non-European" characters is now "racist".  How fitting for the drones in Brussels.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The name's Bond...

From the University of Pennsylvania:

These flying quadrotors are completely autonomous, meaning humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.

More details in the description at YouTube.

Wedding News

Again, thanks to I Own the World.

A woman's place??

This label is from the inside of a pair of pants from the British clothing firm Madhouse:

I wonder what Mrs. Bear might have to say about that.

Hat tip to I Own the World.

We're all equal

Well, maybe not in the Crescent City:
When it comes to paying for tickets generated by New Orleans' traffic cameras, some of the biggest scofflaws are city employees driving taxpayer-financed vehicles. As of September 2011, at least 400 city vehicles had racked up fines totaling $547,580, according to records provided by City Hall in response to a public-records request. 
And five of the 20 vehicles that owe the city the most money are city vehicles, the records show.
All that is about to change. But not before the slate is wiped clean, said Andy Kopplin, chief administrative officer to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Kopplin said he doesn't think it would be fair to try to go after employees who have racked up tickets because the city has not spelled out clear rules thus far.
I guess that all is forgiven if you are "one of us".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sensitivity gone amok?

The UK bookmaking firm Paddy Power has run afoul of the Advertising Standards Authority for an ad that is "offensive" to transgendered individuals.  From the Guardian:
The advertising regulator is to investigate a TV ad by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power that asks viewers to spot the "transgendered ladies" among a crowd of racing fans at the Cheltenham festival. 
Paddy Power and broadcaster BSkyB were accused of inciting transphobia with the campaign, which promised to make the festival's Ladies' Day "even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies: Spot the stallions from the mares".

I think it was creative. You be the judge.

Hat tip to Moonbattery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tech problems at work

A bit of a laugh for this Tuesday:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is this a portent?

More downgrades for European sovereign debt.  Shorting the Euro looks better and better every day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Vodka Burner

Watch this takoff of a Russian IL-76 cargo plane.  It uses EVERY bit of runway to become airborne.

Sound is low, so turn up your speakers.

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.


From Greg Mankiw's blog:
Consider these two policies:  
A. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance that covers birth control.

B. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance.  The health insurance company is required to cover birth control.

I can understand someone endorsing both A and B, and I can understand someone rejecting both A and B.  But I cannot understand someone rejecting A and embracing B, because they are effectively the same policy.  Ultimately, all insurance costs are passed on to the purchaser, so I cannot see how policy B is different in any way from policy A, other than using slightly different words to describe it.

Yet it seems that the White House yesterday switched from A to B, and that change is being viewed by some as a significant accommodation to those who objected to policy A.  The whole thing leaves me scratching my head.
Me too.

Travel alert

Before you decide to spend a bundle to vacation in the picturesque island nation of Maldives:

MALE (AFP) — At the Maldives’ National Museum, smashed Buddhist statues are testament to the rise of Islamic extremism and Taliban-style intolerance in a country famous as a laid-back holiday destination. 
On Tuesday, as protesters backed by mutinous police toppled president Mohamed Nasheed, a handful of men stormed the Chinese-built museum and destroyed its display of priceless artifacts from the nation’s pre-Islamic era. 
“They have effectively erased all evidence of our Buddhist past,” a senior museum official told AFP at the now shuttered building in the capital Male, asking not to be named out of fear for his own safety. 
“We lost all our 12th century statues. They were made of coral stone and limestone. They are very brittle and there is no way we can restore them,” he explained. 
“I wept when I heard that the entire display had gone. We are good Muslims and we treated these statues only as part of our heritage. It is not against Islam to display these exhibits,” he said.
Five people have since been arrested after they returned the following day to smash the CCTV cameras, he said. 
The authorities have banned photography of the damage, conscious that vandalism of this kind which echoes the 2001 destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban is damaging for the nation’s image.

Thanks to Weasel Zippers for alerting us to this story.  Complete story from AFP can be found HERE.

Clint's Super Bowl Ad Redux

The great Iowahawk skewers the Chrysler ad.  A sample:

Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. Diagramming plays. Texting their agents and German supermodel wives. Reviewing Belichick's aerial spy photos. 
It’s halftime in America, too. People are hurting, and it isn't because of towel snapping and the ol' Kramergesic-in-the-jockstrap prank. They’re beat up and bruised, and wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. We’re all scared, because this isn’t a game. And because we're up against the Dragons and their all-Asia linebacker Hong Kong Chong with his crazy 'roid rage chopsockey chop-blocks. 
The people of Detroit know a little something about this. Okay, yeah, so this isn't Detroit, it's actually New Orleans. So sue me. We were supposed to film this in Detroit, but GM rented it out to film their Chevy Truck Apocalypse ad. But imagine this really was Detroit, with all its gritty inspiring he-man decay. When the chips were down we all pulled together, hosed down the streets, and turned up the dramatic shadow lighting. Now Motor City is fighting again - as the world's cheapest location shoot for zombie movies.

Read the whole thing HERE.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We'll toss in a fire extinguisher

Well, the Volt may be smokin' but its sales sure aren't:
Washington- General Motors extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt had its worst sales month since August, as negative publicity over fire risks hurt vehicles sales in January.
GM sold just 603 Volts - above its sales in January 2011, but far below GM's best-ever sales month in December, when GM sold 1,529 Volts.
Why might that be happening?  Other than folks seeing through the whole "eco-friendly" pitch?  (Which by the way gets demolished by one simple question - So, just where does the electricity to charge the battery come from?)

Last week, GM North America President Mark Reuss said sales of the Volt have been hurt by bad publicity.
Reuss said bad publicity from the government's investigation into fire risks of post-crash Volts is "definitely a component" of the decline in sales.

You might think that Government Motors would have been shielded by the administration.  I guess that a series of blazing cars is something that's kind of hard to hide.

The whole story can be found HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Canadian justice

Guilty verdicts announced in a Canadian "Honor Killing" trial.
KINGSTON, Ont. — Three members of a Montreal family have been ordered imprisoned for life after a jury found them guilty of murdering four other family members in a what the judge called “cold-blooded, shameful murders” based on a “twisted notion of honour.”

Mohammad Shafia, 58, his second wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, were each found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder after a jury deliberated for 15 hours.

Hamed appeared to collapse onto the front railing of the prisoner’s box as the verdicts were announced. His father, standing next to him, put his hand on his shoulder and then on top of his head. Yahya appeared to begin crying.

“There is nothing more honourless than the deliberate murder of, in the case of Mohammad Shafia, three of his daughters and his wife … in the case of Tooba Yahya, three of her daughters and a stepmother to all her children, in the case of Hamed Shafia three of sisters and a mother,” Judge Robert Maranger, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice said, before he passed sentence.

“The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your twisted notion of honour — a notion of honour that is founded upon the domination and control of women, a sick notion of honour that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”
An in-depth story and analysis from Christie Blatchford of the National Post is HERE.

Perhaps the verdict will bring this horrific practice more into public view.  It amazes me that modern liberal feminists seem blind to this problem.  I guess it's a feeling of "it can't happen here".  Yet the leaders of the "sisterhood" somehow find it easier to protest for equal pay and similar measures - even when women are dying.  Maybe it's not their kind of  women who are suffering.  In any case, I await NOW to make this issue number one.  I fear that I will be waiting for a long while.

Friday, January 27, 2012

No drilling in ANWR

We don't want to be disturbing the animals in their natural environment.

Did anyone think that it might be providing a form of playground equipment?

Some relatives??

Captured by US Geological Survey remote cameras.  The cameras are motion-sensor activated.

I like getting my back scratched as well.

The homeless man

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?"

"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.

"Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?" the man asked.

"No, I don't waste time fishing," the homeless man said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on hunting stuff instead of food?" the man asked.

"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't hunted in 20 years!"

"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you money. Instead, I'm going to take you home for a shower and a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."

The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that? The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up drinking, fishing and hunting ."

Politically Incorrect Radio Ad

At least he's honest about his opinions.  This is an ad for a concealed carry gun license course in Texas. Listen the whole way through for the zingers.

From an email.

Just who should be punished?

Once again, Big Brother wants to punish the one who points out the truth.

A ninth grader who snapped a picture of a snoozing substitute teacher with his cell phone camera and posted it on a social network is in hot water with his school district.

The unnamed student, who attends Mustang Mid-High School in Mustang, Okla., was suspended, according to ABC affiliate KOCO. The picture shows a "close-eyed man reclining behind a desk", The Oklahoman reported.

Let's protect the sleeping teacher and punish the kid who documented the truth.  Much like the man arrested for recording his run-in with the TSA at the Albuquerque airport.

From the ABC News/Yahoo blog.

What a difference four years will make

From a Bloomberg story on the SOTU:
Of all the themes and subjects absent from Obama’s speech, however, the most depressing omission was also the most unquantifiable: hope. The word itself appeared just once. Obama as candidate was all about offering hope. Obama as president -- somewhat understandably -- has been more about staving off despair. Double-digit unemployment will do that to a president. 
Guess we won't be seeing those HOPE posters this time around.

Pipeline thoughts

Most all but the Greens would agree.

A motivator for you


Sometimes, you really need to rely on your friends.

See cool images at

Of course, some may say that the girl with the plaid shorts is just being used by her compatriot.  Those folks see oppression everywhere.  Sometimes, it's just helping out.

I think they will be friends for life.  Early shared experiences mean so much.

Hat tip to I Own the World.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Those kind folks at Costa

Passengers from the Costa Condordia have received settlement offers from Costa.
The owners of the Costa Concordia are offering survivors of the disaster a 30 per cent discount off future cruises as they battle to stave off law suits expected to cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

One British survivor of the disaster, which claimed 12 lives with 20 people still missing, branded the offer as "insulting".

It was disclosed that in an attempt to help survivors the ship's parent company, Carnival, has been telephoning passengers daily asking if they are suffering nightmares or sleepless nights.

But that move also appeared to backfire when a psychologist said such questioning could trigger post traumatic stress rather than relieve it.
And other tidbits including:
An emergency services log showed that the Concordia's captain, Francisco Schettino, abandoned ship more than four hours before the last passenger.

Read the whole article from The Telegraph at THIS LINK.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The joys of dash-cam

Sometimes you need proof that you are being scammed.

She stops, then backs up on the street, finally coming out of the car in indignation. All that's missing is grabbing the neck and crying "Whiplash".

Go back and you'll see that the man walks out of the BMW with a briefcase in hand.  Why, after a traffic incident, do you grab your briefcase?  Maybe he had a tape recorder in there....or legal forms....or whatever.

I love how the driver of the rear car points to the dash-cam, and how the perps slink away.  With any luck, the cops traced the license plate and nailed them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Changes in Higher Education

For your consideration - a long, but thoughtful piece on the coming revolution in higher education from National Affairs. It starts with:
In recent decades, key sectors of the American economy have experienced huge and disruptive transformations — shifts that have ultimately yielded beneficial changes to the way producers and customers do business together. From the deregulation that brought about the end of AT&T's "Ma Bell" system, to the way entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs forever changed the computer world once dominated by IBM, to the way the internet and bloggers have upended the business model of traditional newspapers, we have seen industries completely remade — often in wholly unexpected ways. In hindsight, such transformations seem to have been inevitable; at the time, however, most leaders in these fields never saw the changes coming.

The higher-education industry is on the verge of such a transformative re-alignment. Many Americans agree that a four-year degree is vastly overpriced — keeping many people out of the market — and are increasingly questioning the value of what many colleges teach. Nevertheless, for those who seek a certain level of economic security or advancement, a four-year degree is absolutely necessary. Clearly, this is a situation primed for change. In as little as a decade, most colleges and universities could look very different from their present forms — with the cost of a college credential plummeting even as the quality of instruction rises.

Worth reading in full at THIS LINK.

Solar Energy in Germany

The expense of solar energy subsidies is prompting a re-thinking of governmental efforts for "Green" energy to replace traditional electricity sources.  From Der Spiegel:

The costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, but poor results are jeopardizing the country's transition to renewable energy. The government is struggling to come up with a new concept to promote the inefficient technology in the future.

Note....that's Billion, with a B.  100 billion euros.  Even with the recent fall in the value of the euro, that's a LOT of money.  With the demands on Germany to bail out the PIIGS, politicians are realizing they can't have it all.

Read the whole story from Der Spiegel at THIS LINK.

Pass the nuts, mate

Having journeyed to Australia, Mister Bear knows that it's a spirited place with plenty of individualism to go around.  Leaving out the part about those koalas that try to be "bears" but aren't, the Land Down Under is a great place.  They've also got some common sense, IMO, in their legal system.  Or at least in this case.

From the Daily Mail comes this story:
A nutty snack company in Australia has won the right to call itself Nuckin Futs, despite an official ruling that it was offensive.

A solicitor representing the Gold Coast company argued that the name was not offensive because the words it suggested were commonplace in everyday Australian language.

It has taken almost a year but after rejecting the initial application, the Trade Marks Examiner has now agreed to accept the Nuckin Futs trademark - as long as the company does not aim its marketing at children.  Mr White said that would not happen.

Hat tip to the Language Log.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More thoughts on the Strike

Jonah Goldberg had a suggestion that he posted yesterday, the day before The Strike:

Very soon Wikipedia will go dark for a day to protest something called SOPA. During this event — future historians will call it a “knowledge eclipse” — no one under the age of thirty will know how to confirm or disprove a statement of fact.

It’ll be awesome.

Tomorrow you should go up to a 20-something and tell them things like “the fern is the world’s most popular carnivorous plant” and “Henry VIII invented the internal combustion engine, but kept it secret to protect the environment” and they will have no choice but to believe you as they will have no idea how to use, never mind find, a “reference book.”

Cats have gills, Larry Storch was the 37th president, the 48-53rd floors of the Empire State Building contain the real White House, the pre-internet Wikipedia took up 700,000 floppy disks, Al Gore was once the Vice President of the United States: True? False? It doesn’t matter. These are just a few things you can tell these kids today and they’ll have to believe you. What choice will they have?

Why didn't I think of that?

The Strike

Much is being made today of the "strike" by many websites, including Wikipedia, to go "dark" in protest over two bills pending in Congress.  Richard Fernandez writes at PJ Media that this may just be another useless gesture:
But one or two day ‘strikes’ aren’t going to do much as a long as the forces which are creating a gargantuan and intrusive state are at loose.  The administration may simply wait the ‘Internet strike’ out and try again until they get what they want.  An activist government wielding ever-growing tools of central planning has its own dynamic. The rise of favored groups is an essential feature of a highly regulated economy.

The process is often simple. Find a bogeyman — corporations will do — and by “fighting it” get the power to pick winners and losers whether in health care, finance, energy and the Internet.  And soon all problems will be ‘fixed’.

Mister Bear doesn't have enough readers for a strike here to be more than useless.  So I stayed "light" today.  Read Fernandez's complete article for more thoughts on the inevitable governmental urge to control the Internet.

What was that definition of insanity??

You know....the one about doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

This concluding paragraph from a story about Greek sovereign debt brought it back to mind.  It quotes Edward Parker, Managing Director for ratings agency Fitch's Sovereign and Supranational Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"(Disorderly default), would be, for us, the really damaging situation, but one which we are certainly not expecting to happen because, clearly, in a rational situation you would think Greek politicians and European policy makers would ensure that it doesn't happen." 

Of course, Greek politicians and European policy makers haven't acted rationally in past debt situations, including the most recent package of bailouts.  So, why should we expect them to do so now?

Hope you're shorting the Euro.  That would be my forex currency play.  The only question is, how long will Germany, and the German people allow themselves to be dragged down by the wasteful actions of other countries?

Full story can be found HERE.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More evidence to confirm common sense

For years, I've scratched my head at the headlong rush to provide unearned praise on our schoolchildren.  It spilled over into sports and interpersonal relationships.  Everyone has heard the stories of soccer games where no one keeps score and everyone gets a trophy.

Turns out that the common sense response of "You have got to be kidding me" is turning out to have scientific support.  From the Washington Post:

A growing body of research over three decades shows that easy, unearned praise does not help students but instead interferes with significant learning opportunities. As schools ratchet up academic standards for all students, new buzzwords are “persistence,” “risk-taking” and “resilience” — each implying more sweat and strain than fuzzy, warm feelings.

“We used to think we could hand children self-esteem on a platter,” Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck said. “That has backfired.”

They say that free advice is worth what you pay for it.  Seems that unearned praise has the same value.

Read the whole story HERE.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Controlling the uncontrolable

Charles Crawford, from the UK, writing about Tom Harris, the "Social Media Tsar" (sic) of the Labour Party:

Of course the really idiotic thing about all this is that Labour thinks it needs a 'Social Media Tsar' at all. The whole point, Labour, of social media is that it is a spontaneous crowd-sourcing Towers of Babel chaotic phenomenon in which order emerges as it does. It's utterly unsuited to any sort of political busy-body Tsardom. See?

But, if your natural inclinations run towards central control, you want to control everything.  Much like the old line "If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail".

Sunday, January 15, 2012

White Stuff

Mister Bear lives in a forest that has a relatively moderate climate. Not like Minnesota or Phoenix, to mention two extremes. Mostly, it's just pleasant and comfortable. All that changed yesterday, when OMW (Old Man Winter) decided to drop about 3 inches of the white stuff outside the cave.

Now, compared to Buffalo, that's just a dusting. But MB has grown to like the milder climes. So it looks as though it was a good idea to stock up on milk, bread, steaks and the like. There's a snow shovel somewhere, but I'm hoping that Al Gore's global warming comes in the next day or two.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rube Goldberg contraption of the month

I had to watch it more than once to catch exactly how it did everything. But, you know, some mornings I'm just this lazy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mexican Hat Dance??

From Fox News, with a hat tip to iOwnTheWorld:

MEXICO CITY – Mexican medics are drawing catcalls after they dropped a heart being rushed to a hospital for a transplant.

Mexico City police say they used a helicopter to deliver the heart in "a rapid, precision maneuver." But after exiting the chopper, a medic stumbled and the plastic-wrapped heart tumbled out of a cooler onto the street.

The medic returned the heart to the cooler, and the Health Department confirms it arrived at the hospital where the recipient was waiting.

There has been no information on whether the transplant was successful.

Was this a governmental health care system? Or just their version of an HMO?

Not a rug

Mr. Bear didn't end up as a rug in some cabin. Though he was close to being declared legally dead for being missing for so long. Nothing serious, though. Just a bit of life getting in the way of blogging. A couple of my friends in the forest have started expressing themselves with their own blogs, so I couldn't let them be the only ones.

See you around.