Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Two anniversaries, same story...
"Open sores. Parasitic infections. Chewed-up-looking fins. Gashes. Mysterious black streaks. Two years after the drilling-rig explosion that touched off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, scientists are beginning to suspect that fish in the Gulf of Mexico are suffering the effects of the petroleum."
"After the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan, airborne radiation levels from the Fukushima nuclear power plant are expected to remain at or close to dangerous levels at least until 2022, according to a government report."
“Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality."
Shepard Smith, showing once again why he's the best thing about Fox News.
Looking for a cheap home? In Detroit, the median price for a home is $84,900, $13K less than any city in the USA. But with minimal effort, you can find gems like a 750-foot three bedroom home from $500:
Stoner Cooking: McDonald's Style French Fries
6 Idaho russet potatoes
Peel and square off potato ends. Cut into 3/8" batons. Soak for two hours changing water after an hour. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Heat about an inch of oil (or enough to cover potatoes) in a large, heavy bottomed pot to 290 degrees. Blanch potatoes gently for about two minutes until cooked through but still completely pale. Place on a paper-towel lined sheet pan and cool in the refrigerator to stop cooking process.
Re-heat oil to 370 degrees. Cook fries until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. If necessary, agitate gently with a spatula to prevent sticking. Remove from pan and toss with salt to taste (Myers doesn't blot but you can if you want less fat). Serve immediately. Recipe serves 4 to 6.
Burger King announced that all its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017:
Dubai Capitalism is back! Deep Ocean Technology has plans for a spaceship-shaped hotel with underwater rooms offering views below the sea surface. It looks less like a hotel and more like a lair for a James Bond villain:
Konformist Book Club: The Passage of Power
The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Written by Robert A. Caro
Published by: Knopf
On Sale: May 01, 2012
Pages: 736 | ISBN: 978-0-679-40507-8
Book Four of Robert A. Caro’s monumental The Years of Lyndon Johnson displays all the narrative energy and illuminating insight that led the Times of London to acclaim it as “one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age. A masterpiece.”
The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career—1958 to 1964.
It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.
By 1958, as Johnson began to maneuver for the presidency, he was known as one of the most brilliant politicians of his time, the greatest Senate Leader in our history. But the 1960 nomination would go to the young senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. Caro gives us an unparalleled account of the machinations behind both the nomination and Kennedy’s decision to offer Johnson the vice presidency, revealing the extent of Robert Kennedy’s efforts to force Johnson off the ticket. With the consummate skill of a master storyteller, he exposes the savage animosity between Johnson and Kennedy’s younger brother, portraying one of America’s great political feuds. Yet Robert Kennedy’s overt contempt for Johnson was only part of the burden of humiliation and isolation he bore as Vice President. With a singular understanding of Johnson’s heart and mind, Caro describes what it was like for this mighty politician to find himself altogether powerless in a world in which power is the crucial commodity.
For the first time, in Caro’s breathtakingly vivid narrative, we see the Kennedy assassination through Lyndon Johnson’s eyes. We watch Johnson step into the presidency, inheriting a staff fiercely loyal to his slain predecessor; a Congress determined to retain its power over the executive branch; and a nation in shock and mourning. We see how within weeks—grasping the reins of the presidency with supreme mastery—he propels through Congress essential legislation that at the time of Kennedy’s death seemed hopelessly logjammed and seizes on a dormant Kennedy program to create the revolutionary War on Poverty. Caro makes clear how the political genius with which Johnson had ruled the Senate now enabled him to make the presidency wholly his own. This was without doubt Johnson’s finest hour, before his aspirations and accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam.
In its exploration of this pivotal period in Johnson’s life—and in the life of the nation—The Passage of Power is not only the story of how he surmounted unprecedented obstacles in order to fulfill the highest purpose of the presidency but is, as well, a revelation of both the pragmatic potential in the presidency and what can be accomplished when the chief executive has the vision and determination to move beyond the pragmatic and initiate programs designed to transform a nation. It is an epic story told with a depth of detail possible only through the peerless research that forms the foundation of Robert Caro’s work, confirming Nicholas von Hoffman’s verdict that “Caro has changed the art of political biography.”
For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best “exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist.” In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.
To create his first book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Caro spent seven years tracing and talking with hundreds of men and women who worked with, for, or against Robert Moses, including a score of his top aides. He examined mountains of files never opened to the public. Everywhere acclaimed as a modern classic, The Power Broker was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. It is, according to David Halberstam, “Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.” And The New York Times Book Review said: “In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort.”
To research The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Caro and his wife, Ina, moved from his native New York City to the Texas Hill Country and then to Washington, D.C., to live in the locales in which Johnson grew up and in which he built, while still young, his first political machine. He has spent years examining documents at the Johnson Library in Austin and interviewing men and women connected with Johnson’s life, many of whom had never before been interviewed. The first volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, was cited by The Washington Post as “proof that we live in a great age of biography . . . [a book] of radiant excellence . . . Caro’s evocation of the Texas Hill Country, his elaboration of Johnson’s unsleeping ambition, his understanding of how politics actually work, are–let it be said flat out–at the summit of American historical writing.” Professor Henry F. Graff of Columbia University called the second volume, Means of Ascent, “brilliant. No review does justice to the drama of the story Caro is telling, which is nothing less than how present-day politics was born.” And the London Times hailed volume three, Master of the Senate, as “a masterpiece . . . Robert Caro has written one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age.”
“Caro has a unique place among American political biographers,” according to The Boston Globe. “He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured.” And Nicholas von Hoffman wrote: “Caro has changed the art of political biography.”
Caro graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.
Robert Caro is represented by Random House Speakers Bureau (http://www.rhspeakers.com).
'The Scream' sold for nearly $120 million:
A new look at a 425-year-old map has yielded a tantalizing clue about the fate of the Lost Colony, the settlers who disappeared from North Carolina's Roanoke Island in the late 16th century.
Experts from the First Colony Foundation and the British Museum in London discussed their findings Thursday at a scholarly meeting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their focus: the "Virginea Pars" map of Virginia and North Carolina created by explorer John White in the 1580s and owned by the British Museum since 1866.
"We believe that this evidence provides conclusive proof that they moved westward up the Albemarle Sound to the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers," said James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and author of a 2010 book about the Lost Colony.
"Their intention was to create a settlement. And this is what we believe we are looking at with this symbol — their clear intention, marked on the map..."
U.S. minorities now represent more than half of America's population under the age of 1, the Census Bureau said, a historic demographic milestone with profound political, economic and social implications:
YouTube Clip of the Week:
Nine Inch Nails - March Of The Pigs
"Closer" & "Hurt" are better remembered, but the opening single to The Downward Spiral perfectly represents the ferocity of the best album of the 90s:
Audio Short Story of the Week:
"- All You Zombies-" by Robert A. Heinlen
One of the greatest short stories of all time:
Maxim's 2012 Hot 100 List
1. Bar Refaeli.
2. Olivia Munn
3. Mila Kunis
4. Katy Perry
5. Olivia Wilde,
Stephen Colbert came in at #69...
New Planet Found in Our Solar System? Odd orbits of remote objects hint at unseen world, new calculations suggest:
Kool Website: Room & Board
As a Minnesota-based, privately owned company, we've been designing home furnishings for more than 30 years. Reflected in every piece of our assortment, you'll see the principles that have guided us from the very beginning.
As you browse our collection you will find beautiful, thoughtful designs. You will find natural materials shaped, welded and woven by dedicated craftspeople across the United States. And you will find all these things at an exceptional value. But most importantly, we hope you find inspiration. Because helping you create your ideal home is the cornerstone of our business. You are the reason we do what we love.
The top 20 baby names of 2011:
It was a pretty good spring for movies, with a hilarious reboot of The Three Stooges & the Indonesian action film The Raid leading the way. Two other noted films: John Cusack playing Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven, and the Jason Statham action film Safe, described by Salon as possessing "Charlie Bronson, bullet-in-the-teeth authenticity" that is "trashy, bloody, riveting":
Meanwhile, the summer opened with The Avengers making a record $207.4 million in it's first weekend:
Representatives of Chinese company Wanda signed a deal in Beijing Monday morning to buy AMC, the second-largest theater chain in the USA:
A doctor claims to have found the G-spot. And he's so confident, he's putting ads in the back pages of Penthouse, Maxim and High Times touting his discovery, with the promise of sharing the details in a manual costing only $19.95 plus shipping & handling:
An Australian billionaire has signed up with a Chinese shipyard to create a replica of the Titanic:
The top two picks in the NFL draft are Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin:
Josh Hamilton hits 4 home runs in a game:
The NFL Pro Bowl could be gone for good:
LeBron James wins his 3rd NBA MVP. It should've gone to Kevin Durant:
From Ken Segall's new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success, illustrating Steve Jobs' genius in plans to celebrate the millionth iMac sold:
"Steve's idea was to do a Willy Wonka with it. Just as Wonka did in the movie, Steve wanted to put a golden certificate representing the millionth iMac inside the box of one iMac, and publicize that fact. Whoever opened the lucky iMac box would be refunded the purchase price and be flown to Cupertino, where he or she (and, presumably, the accompanying family) would be taken on a tour of the Apple campus.
Steve had already instructed his internal creative group to design a prototype golden certificate, which he shared with us. But the killer was that Steve wanted to go all out on this. He wanted to meet the lucky winner in full Willy Wonka garb. Yes, complete with top hat and tail."
Microsoft's $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble for its Nook e-reader should allow it to survive and compete against the Amazon & Apple:
Notorious 1980s drug dealer James Corley arrested in NYC:
The "99.9% Positive" Guy Is Wrong
Ball Park "99% Sure" Commercial
Am I the first guy so obsessed with obscure baseball stats to realize the guy who is "99.9% positive" in this commercial is actually wrong? Nobody hit .386 in 1938. He may be referring to Arky Vaughan, who in 1935 (the same year as the first guy alleged) hit .385. This may be the strangest baseball geek inside joke in history...
Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory comes out. Between Parsons, Neil Patrick Harris & Jane Lynch, the best three actors on TV now are openly gay actors...
That Junior Seau, a 12-time NFL Pro Bowler and likely first ballot Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, chose to take his own life at the age of 43 is an absolute tragedy.
But if Mr. Seau’s passing is eventually linked to depression-like symptoms stemming from brain trauma incurred over a lifetime of repeated hits, then this tragic tale acts as yet another signal that the NFL’s biggest challenge in the foreseeable future is dealing with the task of minimizing head trauma in the game today while fighting off lawsuits from retired players dealing with mental and emotional illnesses which are a byproduct of their football past.
Glory days on the gridiron seem to be increasingly turning into gory days for NFL retirees. And the evidence of the ties between football, “hit counts”, and brain trauma is mounting...
Adam Yauch, aka MCA of The Beastie Boys, 47:
Though he isn't dead, Mariano Rivera, the greatest relief pitcher in MLB, may have ended his career at 42 after a torn anterior cruciate ligament. I'm sure Adam Yauch would be honored to have his obit next to the Yankee great's farewell, so we'll include it here:
Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are fame:
Donna Summer, Queen Of Disco:
Robin Gibb, Bee Gees co-founder:
Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon:
Carroll Shelby, creator of the Shelby Cobra:
Duck Dunn, bassist for Booker T. and the MG's:
Meow, the 39-pound cat:
Desperate Housewives & House end their TV runs:
Kerry Wood, who in his rookie season became one of three MLB pitchers to strike out 20 hitters in nine innings, has retired after 15 seasons:
Last but not least, the lovable George Lindsey, Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD from 1964-71 and a regular on Hee Haw from 1971-73: