Katherine Hepburn dead at age 96. We have a softspot for crabby, independent people who don't have kids and tell people what they can do with themselves.

Sabine Herold, 21, has been called France's answer to Margaret Thatcher. From this Telegraph article she sounds like a true French libertarian. Oh my...
A picture of her at her group's website (in French of course)..


It appears tha Baghdad Bob/Comical Ali has resurfaced. I miss that guy.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D.-R.I.) carries on a family tradition (scroll to bottom).

Okay, the 20th Century is now officially over.
Strom Thurmond died Thursday. He was 100 years old.

Stop telemarketers dead (or near enough) - National Do Not Call Registry.

Glad to see MM's friends have been legalized by the Supreme Court. There are so many more important things to worry about than other people's private lives.

Got this one from boingboing - wreckedexotics.com - over 2,000 photos of wrecked exotic cars.


The NBA Draft was yesterday - a lot of foreign players & high school kids. Given the opportunity I'd draft college seniors (like the beloved Dallas Mavericks & the hated LA Lakers (1, 2) did). They've already been coached and can help right away, unlike these projects who can ditch you in three years anyway.

I thought the economy was in bad shape (according to Democrats):
Markets on course for global five-year high - Financial Times.


Apparently Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) does not understand the concept of separation of powers within the American government.

Anthony Daniels reviews A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson in The Telegraph.

Ben Franklin & his kite. Reconsidered in The New Yorker.

Can a 'Danish-made transcranial magnetic stimulator' make you smarter? A wacky Australian scientist at the University of Sydney is trying to figure this out. - NYT (caveat emptor).

Top Ten ways the world might come to an end - from Wired.

Camille Paglia interviews Matt Drudge with Radar Magazine. A match made in internet-political-geek heaven.


Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has proposed a new positive term for identifying people who are atheists, agnostics, humanists, free thinkers - those who have a world view that is free of supernaturalism and mysticism - Brights. A couple of websites that would be of interest to Brights - The Secular Web and the Celebrity Atheists List.

World Wide Words is the place for finding the origins of unusual phrases.

I'm embarrassed. I appear to have this psychosomatic ailment - leisure sickness.


The capture of the Ace of Diamonds - Abid Hamad Mahmud, one of Saddam's top aides, - has led to new reports that U.S. Forces may have killed Saddam Hussein & at least one of his sons.

More on Orrin Hatch being hoist with his own petard - Wired News.

Edge.org is the website of a group of scientists previously known as The Reality Club. Several scientists whose work we like are involved in this, including Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Daniel C. Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. They are the kind of scientists who move the human race forward with few people ever knowing about it.


New Russian Space tourism for only $20 million - Tourist-Class Soyuz Seats Open for International Space Station Trip

Orrin Hatch pt.2 - If you'll recall, the other day Senator Hatch suggested that the computers of people who download copyrighted material illegally should be remotely destroyed. It appears that Sen. Hatch's website site may have been made with unlicensed software. Oh my...

Ann Coulter pulls no punches and her latest comes out next week - TREASON: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.


I may have discovered the greatest fansite of all time, just in time for the movie - The Hulk Library.

These Russian lesbian teenage pop stars, t.A.T.u., are a perfect example - who knew?

I mentioned the Lycos 50 yesterday as a place to check up on pop culture. Similar places are Google Zeitgeist, and Yahoo Buzz. I am essentially a misanthrope, but I've got to know what's going on.


I usually go to the Lycos50 for pop culture info & instead I found a new science history story - The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth by Alan Cutler. Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) was the founder of geology and a scientific groundbreaker who was not supressed by the Church. We'll have to get this one.

Not to be outdone, the Red Chinese (I miss that) are preparing to send up astronauts (scroll down to June 16).

We're sending out new Mars probes!

Orrin Hatch, with whom I occasionally agree, seems to have completely lost it - "The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet." Oh my...

Missed yesterday - I had managed twelve straight. Better at least. I did "work" from 6:45am til almost 10pm yesterday, so I have a decent excuse.


These NASA guys have provided us with a list of cool robot projects. (/.)

Hypocrites everywhere - Massachusetts liberals, who pay lip-service (& checks) to environmental causes, are up in arms against a wind farm - in Nantucket Sound, which separates Cape Cod from Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. NIMBY. (Of course, this is from the NYT, so caveat emptor). (/.)


My dad came to visit today. I got to use a chainsaw on our fallen trees, probably the next best thing to an M-16. I cooked these 3" thick steaks he brought from Bannister's in Oxford, AL and we ate Pecan Pie. Plus, we got to hear my dad tell several great stories (so I come by it naturally).


"Fighting squirrels is a very big part of what we do." - from Dave Barry.

David Brinkley is dead. There are very few like him.


CRL says to check out libertarian radio guy Neil Boortz.

This is a skunk. That is my driveway.
He's one of at least two skunks & two opossums who've dropped by in recent days. The food was theoretically for the feral cat who's probably our babies' daddy. We call him BD. The skunk's name, btw, is Mr. Pitch (from MST3K-521).

I've been reviewing and taking notes from the science fiction writers' guide - Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction. One of the authors, Cory Doctorow, has written some short stories (1, 2) I've enjoyed. He writes on a group blog - Boing Boing.

While we may be unhappy with the French (okay, we've always hated the French), the demand for stinky, raw-milk cheese remains high. (from Arts & Letters Daily).


A comforting article - British Scientist Puts Odds for Apocalypse at 50-50. The stuff of scary sci-fi ...

Huntsville city councilman proposes to mimic NYC smoking ban. Restaurant & bar owners are worried. If we don't like something let's make it illegal. This renewed Puritanism is the element of the Republican Party that keeps me a pro-defense libertarian.


The reports of museum looting reported from Iraq were grossly exaggerated, in fact a hoax, and were a weak attempt to tarnish the American success.washpost, wsj, national geographic.

Three more weeks of summer school & then a little vacation. Woohoo!
Today was the first day of summer football workouts. It went well.
Carry on.

I'm ambivalent about Martha Stewart's plight. I like her mainly because so many people hate her (my usual contrariness). If she's guilty of insider trading then she should be tried like anybody else, but I suspect she's being singled out. I think at first a lot of the news media vilified her, but now there seems to be a movement to rise to her defense (SaveMartha.com). Maybe they found out she was a big contributor to Democratic candidates. She appreciates the support, gracefully of course.


I also watched the first 10 minutes of Austin Powers in Goldmember. Man it was awful. As CRL said, "It was a one-movie joke".

I've watched most of a couple of relatively recent 'sword & sorcery' movies - Kull the Conqueror with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and The Scorpion King with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). They were both just awful. I guess it's a little much to expect all sci-fi to be Lord of the Rings or The Matrix, but the plots to these things are so simplistic that it's almost insulting. Oh well...

The new kittens turned 8 weeks this weekend. Here's an evening shot of them with their mom, Mrs. Doyle (her namesake). The darker orange one on the right is Penn and she will go to live with our friend Rush.


A couple of weeks ago two of our favorite movies finally came out on DVD. Both are Coen Brothers' movies - Miller's Crossing, one of my top 10 favorites of all time and Barton Fink, one of CRL's favorites (of course, we both like both).

Watched the end of a Joe Don Baker movie on MST3K this morning on SciFi. Even the later ones on SciFi with Mike (which I don't like as much as the early ones with Joel) are still funnier than 99% of anything. Episode List at Satellite News.


I still love to read Dilbert. I wait about a week and then read them all at once. Geek...

The New York Times has imploded while we were away: Editors resign, following the embarrassments of Rick Bragg & Jayson Blair. Just desserts for their anti-American coverage of the War in Iraq.

I'm teaching summer school. 7:45am-3:10pm with 8 kids who could not care less about US History since Reconstruction. We're just rocking along definitions, notes and a flurry of worksheets. An extra paycheck.


I found out about this fantasy/sci-fi writer Gene Wolfe by searching Amazon & other places & I'm reading Shadow & Claw: The First Half of the Book of the New Sun: The Shadow of the Torturer/the Claw of the Conciliator. I'm really enjoying this thing. It is so different from Martin & Jordan, in that it's one point-of-view and is in distant future Urth that is more like our past. It has a dense language and philosophical speculations that have been a nice change of pace. (turns out there's a GURPS worldbook).

I also have begun reading & taking notes on books on writing - starting with: The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile.

I've started some reading this spring & I've reread George R. R. Martin's three Song of Ice & Fire books and am waiting for the fourth.

In addition to spring football & fantasy baseball, we've got a new batch of kittens who turn 8 weeks tomorrow. See them here at four weeks. We won't have any kids, so this is a cute as we'll ever get around here.


When I've been online I've spent a lot of time "worrying" (as CRL says) over my espn.com fantasy baseball team - the GateTree Mockingbirds. As of today I'm 1/2 point out of first place.

One major reason for inactivity was spring football practice at Austin High School. I've become the running back coach and will actually be paid to coach this year (my 9th year coaching, 4th getting paid for it). In the spring game my side won the game 27-19. My backs on both teams did quite well.

Ok, I haven't posted in over a month. I will make my apologies to my reader(s) by posting what we have been up to for the last several weeks and links to the cool stuff I've seen.