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Initial Unemployment Claims: Light at the End of the Tunnel? December 31, 2009

Posted by geoff in News.
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The initial unemployment claims data for December looks promising – around Thanksgiving we broke through the 500,000 claims/week barrier, and last week there were only 432,000 claims (seasonally adjusted). Here’s what the last couple of years look like:

So we’re still losing jobs, but at a slower rate. If we use the data since the peak to project when the unemployment rate itself might max out (when the line gets into the “Breakeven Zone”), we get this plot:


The IB Guide to Practical New Year’s Resolutions December 31, 2009

Posted by BrewFan in Art, Ducks, History, Stupid shit.
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Tired of making New Year’s resolutions that are too hard to achieve and end up making you feel bad about yourself? Me too! Let’s make a list we can live with. You leave something in the comments and I’ll update the list here.


  1. spend more time with my wife, …..um…..uh…..what’s-her-name
  2. Try to steal Cathy away from Michael
  3. Masturbate less often than Dave
  4. Douche less frequently than wiserbud
  5. Scritch what needs scritchin
  6. learn how to get in touch with my emotions and reveal how I really feel
  7. Not vote Democrat
  8. Travel
  9. Clean the dead links off of the Hostages blogroll. Starting with IB
  10. smoke cigars, drink booze, and watch pr0n
  11. Be funnier than Dave
  12. Shave
  13. Not light my crotch on fire
  14. Buy more ammo…and more guns
  15. I resolve to eat less fish
  16. Be a nicer person than Wiserbud
  17. Think about boobies
  18. Insult The Hostages at least once every week
  19. Ignore the laundry
  20. Have Hugh Jackman over for a tickle fight and slumber party
  21. Buy another gun. Guns.
  22. Beat on more trolls
  23. Finish this tin of caramel popcorn
  24. Eat ice cream for breakfast
  25. Work diligently on my marksmanship skills until I’m a better shot than Michael
  26. Be a partisan hack
  27. Spend less time giving back to the community and doing charity work
  28. date Beyonce
  29. Blog
  30. Gain weight

Say Goodbye to 2009. December 31, 2009

Posted by Michael in Music.
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Time don’t change a thing.

That’s actually a religious idea, counter-intuitive to humans, and the antithesis of Marxist ideology.

Just sayin’.

If you did not like this song, something is wrong with you.

Play it again, and TURN UP THE VOLUME!

If your woofer is not sending the bass line to the soles of your feet, you are doing it wrong.


Tilt-Shift Photography December 30, 2009

Posted by Michael in Art.
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Tilt controls what is in focus and shift allows you to change the line of sight while keeping it parallel to the subject being shot. In both cases, the results are simply amazing. Just have a look at these photos!

Thanks to Scottw for the emailed tip.

I never heard of tilt-shift photography before.

This is  a Plaza Duomo in Italy somewhere.  If it’s Florence, I have been there.  If it’s Milan, I missed it.


Who Loves Ya, Baby(s)? December 29, 2009

Posted by BrewFan in Art, Economics, Family, Religion, Sports, Travel.
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Does life get any better than this? I think not.

42% of Black Women Never Married December 29, 2009

Posted by Michael in Family.
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Huh?  The number goes up to 70% of successful black women with college degrees.

Those are numbers I never heard before.

Wait for the idiot who says that black women don’t have to “settle” but they have to “compromise.”  What’s the difference?

A “back pocket girl”?


The Known Universe December 29, 2009

Posted by Michael in Science.
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From the Himalaya Mountains, to the afterglow of the Big Bang, and back.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

By the American Museum of Natural History.

Are The Iranian Protests Heating Up Again? December 28, 2009

Posted by Edward von Bear in Heroes, Politics.
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It appears that Round 2 of the protests in Iran may be starting up. The Jawas have footage of some of the activity taking place, including protesters rushing the gallows in an attempt to free prisoners about to be executed.

***WARNING*** Some of the footage is graphic.

Keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers.

“Noise” December 27, 2009

Posted by Michael in Politics, Science.
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Here’s a map showing the 877 snowfall records set last week.

The Gore Effect Is Everywhere!

And that’s not all, for the week ending Dec 13th, there were 815 new snowfall records set. December 2009 is shaping up to be quite the snowmaker.

via Watts Up With That?

Here in Dallas, by the way, we had our first white Christmas in over 80 years.

Of course, the AGW alarmists dismiss such observations as “noise” in the data which does not challenge the “settled” science of catastrophic warming caused by CO2.

Noise.  It’s a term which conjures up static on the radio, mere “interference” with the broadcast that must be tolerated.  “Noise” matters not, you must simply ignore it to hear the program. Watch for that term “noise.”  It’s a favorite of Al Gore, for example.

I’ll tell you what it means.  It means “pixie dust.”  It means “I can’t explain what is happening.”

Most importantly, it really means “my CO2-based AGW hypothesis has been falsified”  — and the AGW alarmists don’t want to admit it because there is so much money, power and corruption involved.

The hypothesis has been falsified by:

(1) the missing thermal signature of CO2 in the tropical atmosphere which the IPCC model requires (in order to trigger a water vapor feedback loop), an inconvenient truth that they continue to kick under the rug.  Keep in mind, everyone sorta has to admit that CO2 by itself doesn’t do much.  Even at current concentrations, it’s a teensy weensy bit of the atmosphere (.00038) that soaks up only a teensy weensy bit of the sun’s long-wave radiation at a particular high altitude in the tropics (the tropics account for about 80% of the Earth’s energy budget).  Moreover, we have long since passed CO2 concentrations which are more than sufficient to flag down 99% of that wavelength.  So, a hypothetical  “feedback loop” is necessary in order to make CO2 scary.

(2) new and better data from Antarctic and Greenlandic ice cores showing that CO2 does not cause warming, but is a feedback effect.

(3) the recent demonstration by German physicists, published in International Journal of Modern Physics, that the IPCC model violates the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics (i.e., their predictions are impossible) and that the atmosphere does not faintly resemble a greenhouse.  (Because, there’s no frickin’ glass wall around the planet to make it a closed system.)  In other words, ignore Al Gore when he smugly asserts that the “greenhouse effect” has been proven in the lab.   He is referring to glass enclosures, not an atmosphere open to space.

(4) both surface station data and new satellite data (which is not subject to distortion from the “urban heat island effect” or rigging by undisclosed computer models used by AGW alarmists) indicate that the warming trend had stopped by 2002 while CO2 continued to increase substantially — which the IPCC model does not permit.  Whoa, it’s really getting noisy, huh?

(5) recent publication, in a prestigious peer reviewed journal, of evidence that the modern global warming correlates with CFCs interacting with cosmic radiation, and does not correlate with CO2.  Unfortunately for the politicians, bureaucrats and grant pimps, CFCs are a problem that has already been fixed, and the ozone holes over the poles are repairing themselves.

How can the AGW alarmists maintain their religion in the face of such science?

And, by the way, has climatology even earned the status of a science?   There was an interesting observation in the article linked at #3 above — the climatologists you read about today never took a single course in climatology when they were in college.  The field did not exist.  They are making stuff up as they go along to invent this new “ology.”

Most of what you read about global warming is not actually science, i.e., the application of the scientific method to observed data to test an hypothesis.  It’s computer modeling based on assumptions that are literally pulled out of one’s ass (about stuff we don’t know like the actual effect of cloud cover at various altitudes), and breathless predictions about the awful things that could happen if AGW accelerates, like the drowning of London if the Greenland and Arctic ice sheets melt real fast.  (Last I read, the retreat of the northern ice sheets had stopped and they are starting to rebuild, and the Antarctic ice sheet continues to grow to record levels.)

Mark my words.  You are going to hear a lot about “noise” in the weeks and months to come.

Update:  Bonus Graph Below the Break


Jetting Through The Grand Canyon in 1959 December 27, 2009

Posted by Michael in Entertainment.
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Apparently back then military pilots didn’t have to fuss with stupid shit like air safety regulations.

Thanks to Your Crazy Uncle.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Mom is Santa December 26, 2009

Posted by Michael in News.
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Thanks again to a tip from Doug.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Aunt Mina’s Peanut-butter Fudge December 26, 2009

Posted by Pupster in Art, Family, Food, Man Laws, Personal Experiences, Philosophy, Religion, Sex, Women Ranting.
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An old family favorite, from the hills of West Virginia where my mother’s family comes from. Pretty simple fudge recipe if you have some time to knock your family out with sugary rich awesomeness.

Aunt Mina’s WV Peanut Butter Fudge
In a heavy saucepan place:
3 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 -12 oz can evaporated milk
3/4 stick margarine

Mix, bring to boil, turn down heat and keep at a rolling boil until reaches the “soft ball” stage.

(Pupster’s note: I boil the sugar mixture at least 20 minutes, I don’t have a candy thermometer and I’ve never seen this mixture turn into soft balls in cold water, but after about 20 minutes at a good boil while pretty much constantly stirring to keep it from burning, I get good results. Mix will stick together and stay firm when it cools. )

Remove from heat and add:

7 oz jar marshmallow creme
2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well and pour into cake pan greased with margarine (or Pam). Put into fridge until sets. (A couple of hours.)
I’ve made changes to this recipe on accident, the last batch I used Marshmallow Fluff instead of cream, and it came out a little bit more crumbly and less sticky.
Peanut-butter fudge is freaking awesome even if you mess it up. Best if served with a glass of cold milk and good friends.