Suggestive Scientific Citation of the Day

"Scrotal Inflation: A New Cause for Subcutaneous, Mediastinal and Retroperitoneal Emphysem," G. Bush and R. Nixon, Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal, vol. 17, no. 3, Fall 1969,pp. 225-6.

from HotAIR: The Science of G. Bush


Dr. Seuss on Homeland Security:

Amid our long and drawn-out fight, Jap loyalists pass out dynamite, recruiting the help of the slanty-eyed sneetches, whose yellow skin soils our Pacific coast beaches. (cartoon)

Now this time around when the threat is jihad, we round up the towel-heads treading our sod. We lock them all up and we turn out the lights and all in the name of protecting our rights. (story)


Merry Christmas, you filthy animals

Hundreds of U.S. Residents in southern California who were born in Muslim countries found themselves herded into holding tanks when they went to register with their local INS office under a new Federal Order. The INS will not discuss how many were detained. It is probable that most of them will be trucked to Arizona for processing.

Don't you just love compassionate conservatism? (Reuters Story on Yahoo! News)


Hunga Rican History Minute

Frederick Karl Pruetzel (Freddie Prinze) was born on June 22, 1954 in New York City. He attended the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, but dropped out to pursue a career as a stand-up comic. Prinze's early material revolved around his unique ethnic heritage. His mother was Puerto Rican and his father was a Hungarian Jew. He frequently referred to himself in his act as a "Hungarican." It was this early ethnic-based stand-up work that led to his big break on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, where Prinze impressed both Carson and casting directors. Soon Prinze was cast in the title role of Chico in Chico & The Man. [...] Sadly, he was not prepared for the stresses and pressures that came with the level of fame he had achieved so quickly. Prinze struggled with drug abuse and his marriage failed. On January 19, 1977 Freddie Prinze made what was to become his final public appearance at the Inaugural Ball for President Jimmy Carter. One week later, Prinze wrote a good-bye note and took his own life.

- See what you can learn at TV Land!


Twelve Days of Catechisms

You may have seen the story going around that the Twelve Days of Christmas is a veiled catechism. A lot of things about that story don't make any sense at all. Fortunately I didn't have to do much research...

""The Twelve Days of Christmas" is what most people take it to be: a secular song that celebrates the Christmas season with imagery of gifts and dancing and music.[...]Nonetheless, plenty of writers continue to expound upon "the beauty and truly biblical and spiritual meanings locked away in this wonderful song that puts Christ into Christmas where he doesn't appear to be." Emphasizing that Christ is part of Christmas is a fine thing, but achieving that goal by inventing and spreading phony explanations about purely secular aspects of Christmas is not. And perhaps those who consider this tale (regardless of its literal truth) to be "beautiful" and "inspirational" should consider its underlying message: that one group of Jesus' followers had to hide their beliefs in order to avoid being tortured and killed by another group of Jesus' followers. Of all the aspects of Christianity to celebrate at Christmastime, should this really be one of them?"

From the moderately researched but exhaustively explicated debunking at Snopes.com


Observations from Hong Kong

"When I was being given directions to the tram up the peak, those giving me instructions searched their wallets for a bit to drag out currency. Rather than having presidents or monarchs, the banknotes all have images of banks on them, and my instructions went "Go to the building on this bill, then turn towards the building on this one...". Good that a city knows where its leadership really comes from." - Dan Lyke

Read the rest on Dan's weblog, Flutterby!


Which Problems?

Trent Lott told an audience at Strom Thurmond's birthday party that, had the segregationist Dixiecrat been elected president of the United States that "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years."

I can only imagine the problems we WOULD have. (shudder)

Coming Soon: Info on the 1948 Dixiecrat Party Convention Held in Birmingham, Alabama at which Thurmond was nominated with a platform of "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race."

Thanks to Dan for the heads up.


Oranges and Tangerines

These sweet citrus fruits are described exhaustively by Tony Tantillo. I was going to do some research and write a whole article here a la my Red Velvet Cake investigation, but Tony's already done the hard work. (Unless he's cribbing some uncredited reference...)

In any case, the important thing today is the Clementine. Clementines (Algerian tangerines, if you like to be redundant) are a cross between a Mandarin and a Seville orange. They are small, usually seedless with an intense sweetness and delicate texture. Most are imported from North Africa and Spain. Like Mandarins, they are easy to peel and divide by hand and you don't get your hands all sticky dealing with them. Along with spice cookies and chocolate, they are emblematic of the gifts given to good children of the Netherlands on Sint-Niklaas Day.

Nicholas was a Bishop of Myra, in Fourth Century Asia Minor (modern Turkey). He is the patron of gift-givers (as well as sailors, pawn-brokers and brewers). According to the Dutch story he arrives each year on the night before his feast day (December 6) by steamship via Spain to the port of Antwerpen. He is accompanied by his young assistants, Zwarte-Pieten (Black Petes) who used to be African slaves, but modern theory has it that he is one normal (white) boy who has gotten covered in soot from sleeping by the fireplace. Not sure which is better. Anyway, Sint and Piet(en) embark from their steamer and ride across the lowlands filling up the shoes of good little children with gifts. Among these, of course, are the clementines, chocolates, and speculoos (spice cookies) recalling the biggest-ticket colonial imports (which took basically the same route with the same help).

Of course, Sint-Niklaas or Sinterklaas became, in Niewe Amsterdam, Santa Claus - and the rest is history. Happy Feestdagen!


Of Course the People Don't Want War

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

- Hermann Goering to Gustave Gilbert during the Nuremburg Trials in 1946. Goering was found guilty of crimes against humanity and killed himself hours before his scheduled execution. Gilbert was an Allied intelligence officer given free access to the accused. The above is quoted from his book, based on notes taken during the trials.

Found on Invisible City (Source reported by the oft-useful debunkers at Snope's)


Today is World Aids Day

And also my 30th birthday. I've had a really wonderful weekend. Thanks to all involved. I love you very much.
(And now back to my new toys)