Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December 24th, 2008

Gretzky and catstaff

Posted by Charles II on December 24, 2008


The above is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s holiday card.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Sweet Christmas

Posted by Charles II on December 24, 2008

As elsewhere in media, these have been desert years for cartoons. But here’s a cool, sweet drink of water, from the BBC:

A new animated version of Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales has been co-produced by Caernarfon-based production company Cwmni Da.

Special Christmas Eve screenings have been arranged by the Welsh Assembly Government’s office in New York. …

Directed by established UK animator Dave Unwin, the 30-minute film is a mix of 2D hand-drawn and computer animation and live-action sequences filmed in Swansea Bay and at Thomas’s childhood home on Cwmdonkin Drive in the Uplands area of the city. …

The film will be shown to children’s organisations and institutions including public schools in the Bronx, the Blythedale Children’s Hospital, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the United Nations International School in Manhattan.

Posted in Good Things | Comments Off on Sweet Christmas

Very small dog diatribe

Posted by Charles II on December 24, 2008

I once asked a very small dog owner: “Is that a real dog or just a down payment?”

Gene Lyons (subscription required):

Since the election, Barack Obama apparently doesn’t care whom he offends. In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, the president-elect insulted her dog, a Havanese named “Cha Cha.”

“It’s like a little yappy dog?” Obama asked. “It, like, sits in your lap and things? It sounds kind of like…a girly dog.”

Never mind that our normally articulate leader sounds as if he’s, like, seen too many “Beavis and Butthead” episodes; he speaks for men everywhere. A Havanese is one of those shrill, rodent-like creatures a certain kind of woman likes to carry around in her purse and baby-talk.

Cha-Cha, Boo-Boo, Tu-Tu, the names alone make you want to light out for the territory, like Huckleberry Finn.

Absolutely. With exceptions, very small dogs tend to be neurotic, needy, irritating, and noisy. One always wonders whether their owners want noise and neurosis in their lives. And now Barack Obama is in trouble with people who thrive on it.

Posted in Barack Obama | 9 Comments »

Christmas Eve News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 24, 2008


The cost of conventional silicon solar cells is set to drop slightly next year, thanks to a marked decrease in the cost of the silicon used to make them.

— Speaking of renewable energy: Venezuela, a nation known for its vast oil reserves, is getting into wind power with a 100-megawatt wind farm facility. Construction is set to commence by this time next year.

— Want solar heat and hot water, but live in a cold climate? Evacuated-tube technology is the way to go. It makes use of even cloudy-day sun and is good down to minus 40 degrees F. below. They cost twice as much as conventional solar panels, but need far less space, which may be a good trade-off for urban dwellers with limited roof space. The other downsides are that it doesn’t work during the evening, and that the heat energy isn’t stored as electricity, but in the water itself — and even with insulated tanks this energy dissipates after a few days without sun, so it’s probably not an option for polar climates or as your sole source of heat or hot water.

— And on another note, American scientists are giving rave reviews to Obama’s science team.

Posted in Barack Obama, climate change, energy, environment, science and medicine, solar, technology, Venezuela, wind power | 1 Comment »

Something About This Smells Funny

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 24, 2008

Funny strange‘, not ‘funny ha ha’:

Coffee powerhouse Colombia hopes early next year to join other producers to buy an influential share in Starbucks, with Brazil and Central American growers also interested, a top coffee official told Reuters.

Colombia, the world’s No. 3 producer, has held talks with banks for a year about a share in the U.S. giant, which would allow growers more say in the supply chain, said Gabriel Silva, director of the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

“There is an opportunity the crisis offers us; Starbucks’ share value is at one of its lowest points in history,” Silva said in an interview late on Monday. “We want to have a position of influence … a voice sufficiently strong to be able to contribute to the development of the company.”

On the one hand, the idea of producers having more control and profit from their produce is a good idea in principle. On the other hand, Colombia’s government is made up of hard-right fascist thugs, so I suspect that the peasants who grow the beans will see very little benefit.

Posted in big money, Colombia | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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