Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Recovery?

I keep hearing about this alleged "recovery" without seeing any signs that it actually exists. Well, it would appear that I'm far from alone.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Top 15 Consumers of Alcohol

The U.S. is clearly behind in a number of areas with alcohol consumption being one of them. We don't even make the top 15!

The World Health Organization compiles these studies and this one is an interesting aside for a Wednesday morning.

15 Countries That Consume The Most Alcohol

Unsuprisingly, the list is dominated by former Soviet bloc countries with a smattering of western usual suspects at the bottom (Ireland, UK, France). South Korea was a surprise to me, checking in at #11. Who knew?

Drink up!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

News Flash for the Shallow

Gawd, the fact that there are people who actually give a damn about this crap is scary.

Pippa Gaining Ground on Top Baby Name List in 2011

She's been capturing headlines all over the globe since her famous sister Kate became British royalty, and now Pippa Middleton is sparking a baby naming trend, too.

Reuters reports the baby name website Nameberry analyzed 23 million page views of baby name pages on various naming sites and found celebrities are having a serious impact on the monikers folks are bestowing on their little ones.

"Five years ago, I might have said that the biggest overarching factor was personal meaning, now the biggest factor is celebrities," Nameberry's Pamela Redmond Satran tells the news service.

True, Isabella, Sophia and Emma were the top names for girls last year, with Jacob, Ethan and Michael winning out among boy names, but names such as Pippa, Elula (the name actress Isla Fisher and actor Sacha Baron Cohen chose for their daughter), Mila (as in "Black Swan" actress Kunis) and Flynn (the name of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr's son) are gaining steam.

"There is a culture of the celebrity baby," Satran tells Reuters. "The whole world goes on name watch. By not telling the name, it becomes a big news event."

Yeah, name your baby after a celebrity; they're such pillars of integrity and elegant people:

Why Are Militant Atheists So Obnoxious?

Atheist Group Files Lawsuit Against Display of WTC Cross at 9/11 Memorial

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit claiming the display of the World Trade Center cross at the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan is unconstitutional, calling it a "mingling of church and state."

The American Atheists, which advocates an "absolute separation" of government and religion, filed the lawsuit Monday to stop the display of the cross, arguing that it should not be included if "no other religions or philosophies will be honored," according to a statement on the group's website.

The cross, which consists of two intersecting steel beams that were found intact in the rubble at Ground Zero, was initially constructed on a side of a church in lower Manhattan. The cross was then placed inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum during a ceremony over the weekend.

Geez, give it a rest, already. People who hyperventilate over these types of issues have far too much time, and money, on their hands; it's just a cross, no one is being harmed, and one would be hard pressed to find anyone who is legitimately offended. Except, of course, for these professional victims of imagined transgression. What ever happened to the high-minded concept of tolerance, eh?

If a cross at the 9/11 Memorial is the subject of your ire, you really should broaden your horizons - perhaps a more deserving target would be those that made this memorial necessary.

So, Who's Making These "Estimates"?

One has to wonder if these economists that were polled are nothing more that shills for the administration. If not, how do you explain this:

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Unexpectedly Sink

New orders for long-lasting goods fell 2.1% in June from May, missing economists estimates of a 0.3% increase.

How in the hell does the actuality turn out to be -2.1% when the estimate was +0.3% unless your estimates are based on wishful thinking.

Then, of course, there's the "unexpectedly" tripe that accompanies every bit of bad economic news these days. If one is continually given news that is unexpected, shouldn't one revise one's expectations?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Morning Chuckle

Found on the Intertube, author unknown, humorously relevant.

Barack Obama was in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted John Boehner below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised Michelle I would meet her an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

John Boehner replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be a Conservative,” said Barack Obama.

“I am,” replied John Boehner, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered Barack Obama, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”

John Boehner responded, “You must be a Marxist.”

“I am,” replied Barack Obama, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said John Boehner, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.