December 25th, 2010

That child is surely me...

Plastics Converted into Oil!

Several types of plastic can now be converted into oil, thanks to a Japanese machine the size of my old television!



Please imagine what this could mean for recycling, local jobs, and for those who would sell their garbage plastic waste back to the city. <3 If 1kW of energy is $.20, and a US Standard Barrel of Oil is approx. 159L (currently $91.70/barrel), a barrel of this converted oil would only cost $31.80!
xmas

Something sweet and non-ragey for the holidays

For the War's Wounded Troops and Families, Elmo Can Help

How can you gently explain to a 4-year-old that Daddy has been killed in Afghanistan and will never come home?

How does a combat-wounded Marine convince his scared young son that he's still the same loving Dad, even though his thighs now end in stumps?

How does a family cope with their returned soldier who looks the same, but whose traumatic brain injury from a near-miss IED slurs her speech and dims her memory and sometimes wracks her with unreasoning spasms of hot fury?

How does a family celebrate Christmas while a loved one is hundreds of miles away in a military hospital ward?

War doesn't pause for the holidays, and for American military families who have suffered beyond the "ordinary'' stress of a year-long combat deployment, this can be an extraordinarily difficult season.

In nine years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 5,800 families have lost a mother, father, son or daughter to the war. Some 42,000 families are caring for a family member with physical wounds or the less visible damage of traumatic brain injury or combat stress. Many of these painful struggles have gone on for years.

Among those most severely affected are the children of military families, kids struggling with sorrow, fear, anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal: My Dad promised he'd be OK but he isn't, and the military didn't keep him safe either, so who can I trust?.

For these children and their families, a new hero has emerged: a Muppet named Elmo.

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Didn't bold because it's a great read and not really all that long. The video mentioned is at the source.  Happy holidays, ontd_p!
Bree Gun

Whoopi Takes On Bill Donohue: "Yes I had abortions, so what?!"



Below is the original posting Whoopi refers to.


DELIRIUM OVERCOMES "THE VIEW" GIRLS

December 22, 2010

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on today's episode of "The View" which featured a discussion about the Catholic Church and abortion:

It is an ugly site: grown women sitting around bashing a religion that none belong to. Though at one time three did: Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are all ex-Catholics. They went bonkers today—the crosstalk makes them look downright delirious—ripping away about the Catholic Church because a nun was excommunicated for allowing an abortion at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. What they didn't say was that the nun gave her formal consent to the killing of an innocent child. More important, since none of the panelists are Catholic, it is none of their business anyway.

The fact is (though one would never know it by watching this extended diatribe) the parent organization to this hospital, Catholic Healthcare West, has a long record of flagrantly violating the teachings of the Catholic Church. In other words, the San Francisco-based organization is a serial offender.

Had the non-Catholics focused only on this issue, that would be one thing. But, no, they trotted out miscreant priests, painted the Catholic Church as anti-women, etc. That's what happens when the bigotry is deeply embedded—one issue is enough to set off an explosion.

Behar is no stranger to Catholic bashing, so it was expected she would join in while the others piled on. Hasselbeck poses as a conservative, but her pathological hatred of Catholicism reveals who she really is. Sherri Shepherd, who usually keeps her mouth shut during these harangues, unwisely spoke up. As for Whoopi, who reportedly has had at least a half-dozen abortions—beginning at age 14 [click here]—it is no wonder she looked the most delirious.

Contact producer Bill Geddie: bill.geddie@abc.com</center>

Source
Middleman

Miracle on 22nd Street



Two New York City men feel a tremendous responsibility to respond properly when they mysteriously receive hundreds of letters addressed to Santa Claus at their Chelsea apartment.

Video at Source

D'awww. Santa Claus lives in Chelsea! Happy Solstichristmahanukwanzivus, ontd_p!

ETA: Embedding doesn't work; you can watch the video at the source.
sunglasses

Fabulous, fabulous demolition of Bush's political memoirs...

Damn right,’ I said
Eliot Weinberger
Decision Points by George W. Bush




In the late 1960s, George Bush Jr was at Yale, branding the asses of pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity with a hot coathanger. Michel Foucault was at the Societé française de philosophie, considering the question, ‘What is an author?’

The two, needless to say, never met. Foucault may have visited Texas on one of his lecture tours, but Junior, as far as it is known, never took his S&M revelry beyond the Ivy League – novelists will have to invent a chance encounter in a basement club in Austin. Moreover, Junior’s general ignorance of all things, except for professional sports, naturally extended to the nation known as France. On his first trip to Paris in 2002, Junior, now president of the United States, stood beside Jacques Chirac at a press conference and said: ‘He’s always saying that the food here is fantastic and I’m going to give him a chance to show me tonight.’

Foucault found his theories embodied, sometimes unconvincingly, in writers such as Proust or Flaubert. He died in 1984, while Junior was still an ageing frat boy, and didn’t live to see this far more applicable text. For the questions that he, even then, declared hopelessly obsolete are the very ones that should not be asked about Decision Points ‘by’ George W. Bush (or by ‘George W. Bush’): ‘Who really spoke? Is it really he and not someone else? With what authenticity or originality? And what part of his deepest self did he express in his discourse?’

Decision Points holds the same relation to George W. Bush as a line of fashion accessories or a perfume does to the movie star that bears its name; he no doubt served in some advisory capacity. The words themselves have been assembled by Chris Michel (the young speechwriter and devoted acolyte who went to Yale with Bush’s daughter Barbara); a freelance editor, Sean Desmond; the staff at Crown Publishing (who reportedly paid $7 million for the book); a team of a dozen researchers; and scores of ‘trusted friends’. Foucault: ‘What difference does it make who is speaking?’ ‘The mark of the writer is … nothing more than the singularity of his absence.’

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Despite the sales, it’s unlikely that many will ever read Decision Points, and even fewer will finish it. Those who do will find three revelations, besides the foetus in the jar. Junior killed his sister Doro’s goldfish by pouring vodka in the fishbowl. He was convinced he should run for president after hearing a sermon about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. And, as a man who likes to go to bed early, at 10 p.m. on the night of 11 September 2001, President George W. Bush was complaining that he needed to get to sleep.

He believes that this book will ‘prove useful as you make choices in your own life’.

SOURCE: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n01/eliot-weinberger/damn-right-i-said
amy

(no subject)

Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten

by Daniel Lyons

Can the billionaire philanthropist and the president of the American Federation of Teachers find common ground—and fix our nation’s education system?

Our schools are lagging behind the rest of the world. Why is that? How did we fall so far behind?

Gates: Well, it’s the big issue. A lot of other countries have put effort into their school systems. So part of it is the competition is better. The Chinese, who have a 10th of our wealth, are running a great education system. There are some things we can learn from other systems. They have a longer school day in most countries, and a longer school year in most countries. And some of them have elements of their personnel system that are worth learning from.

 

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http://www.newsweek.com/2010/12/20/gates-and-weingarten-fixing-our-nation-s-schools.html

 

I definitely agree that there are problems with the US education system and that a review system for teachers can be a good thing. Ultimately however, I think that Gates and Weingarten are missing a big point in all of this: other countries with better education systems have things like universal health care and less of a wage gap. I'm sure that they don't have as much of a problem with urban schools (little money, crappy school buildings, etc.) as the US does.

That’s uncanny, we were just thinking about sport, thousands facing redundancy tell Queen

 The tens of thousands of people facing uncertain futures in the new year as cuts and redundancies loom have fully endorsed the Queen using her Christmas message to highlight the importance of sport.

In her speech the Queen emphasised how sport can be used to build communities and create harmony, but failed to point out that it doesn’t pay the bills.

“It was amazing how the Queen seemed so in tune with what I was thinking myself,” revealed public sector worker Paul Giddens from Chatham.

“I was just telling the wife about how sporting activities are common throughout the world and play a part in providing a different perspective on life, when bang! The Queen said the exact same thing.”

“The wife wasn’t too interested though as she was too busy trying to work out how we were going to pay the bills we racked up making sure the kids had a nice christmas.”

“I dunno, women aay” He added shaking his head.

Queen’s Speech

Some people weren’t so impressed with the Queen’s message with 3 year-old Freddie Thompson blasting “Why the doesn’t she search her tiny brain for something of relevence to say instead of reading what she’s told in the vain hope that people will suddenly become interested in sport.”

“Even a 2 year-old can see through the fact that all her speech was designed to do was drag people out of the apathy they feel about the 2012 Olympics.”

“We’ve got more important things to worry about you know.”

Source