Saturday, February 17, 2007

NASCAR Goes Nippon

Fans will be leaving the NASCAR tracks in droves. Why? Because Toyota will be racing a Japanese built car. Yeah, it's ok to race "American" cars that are built in Mexico and Germany but we sure don't want those Nip cars racing on our beloved NASCAR tracks. What to hell is wrong with people?

The anti-Toyota fans even have their own website.
Many of us are angered by Toyota and their flood of money into out sport. I remember when less than 50,000 people attended a NASCAR race at MIS. Where was Toyota then? It’s a shame that old washed up drivers had to sell out their name to a foreign manufacture because they could never own a team on their own. On top of that, Toyota could never have race teams if they had to just build one like Jack Roush or Richard Childress did with hard work and honest sweat. Some say we have no right to our opinion well to them I say when you look at the American flag remember, unlike Japan, here in the good old USA anyone can speak their mind.
Ummm, Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Let's face it, this is an example of Nationalism on the part of American fans.

The real problem is that if Toyota starts winning NASCAR races, even with cars driven by Americans, this hits a certain group right in the gut. Another example of the USA not being #1 in their weak minds.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

After the Snow


I shoveled 8 inches of snow off the entire driveway in the morning. This is the way it looked by 8:30 PM. Yes, I had to call the "Plow Guy". I'm guessing 22-23 inches total.

The deck was pretty much clear of snow before yesterday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

House and the Fish Tapeworm

Anybody watch Dr. House pull that nice long cestode out of the girls abdomen last night? As soon as I heard them mention vitamin B12 I thought of diphyllobothriasis. It also seems that they really like parasitic diseases on that show. Diphyllobothriasis is a disease that is caused by infection with the fish tapeworm Diphyllobothrium latum and you get it by eating poorly cooked fish. These tapeworms live in the small intestine and get to be up to 10 meters long.

The eggs of this cestode are easy to identify. They have a "hatch" or operculum at the top and a knob at the bottom of the egg (not easy to see in this picture).

The proglottids (segments) have a characteristically shaped uterus and the segments are wider than they are long.

The most important pathological effect of diphyllobothriasis is anemia caused by the competitive uptake of vitamin B12 by the worm. D. latum absorbs 80-100% of radioactive B12 added to an infected persons diet.

The plerocercoid larvae in fish are killed by freezing, even if frozen for only 15 min.

The Catholic League

I'm not a very good Catholic although I attended 12 years of Catholic school. But this really gets my goat. The Catholic League meddling in presidential election politics.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue called on John Edwards to fire Melissa McEwan today:

“It is not enough that one foul-mouthed anti-Christian bigot, Amanda Marcotte, has quit. Melissa McEwan must go as well. Either Edwards shows her the door or she bolts on her own. There is no third choice—the Catholic League will see to it that this issue won’t go away.

“The Edwards campaign is in total disarray and the meltdown will continue unless McEwan is removed from his staff. The fact that Marcotte had to quit suggests that Edwards doesn’t have the guts to do what is morally right. He has one more chance—fire McEwan now.”

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, wouldn't know Catholic values if the Pope whispered them into his ear. Donohue, BTW, is the guy going around defending and making excuses for the clerical pedophiles. You see it was the boy's fault that they got molested. Mr. Donohue was also kind enough to point out that ONLY .02% of catholic priests were involved in molesting children in 2005. Shouldn't it be 0%?

Bill Donohue is a big, fat, slob and if there is a hell he will probably rot there.

War with Iran?

It sure looks like excuses for war with Iran are being sought. Sort of another "Gulf of Tonkin" to rile up the American populace. The sad thing is, I doubt the current members of Congress have the cohones to stop any "preventive action" that the "Decider" might take against Iran.

Will the American people fall for Bush's "you better be scared" tactics again? Bush once said "Fool me once shame on ...." well anyway he screwed that one up too. But he was wrong when he said fool me twice can't get fooled again. I think there is a segment of the US Congress and the American public that can easily be fooled again. We fight them over there or we fight them on our shores. The same kind of talk we heard during the Vietnam War. Nothing has changed.

Is Iran the only country supplying aid to Iraq? I doubt it. Iran is made up of Shia muslums and obviously has an interest in helping the Shias. Saudi Arabia is likely helping the Sunnis, at least with financial backing because the Saudis are Sunni. US arms are ending up in the hands of militants also.

The scare talk about Iran has been going on for years. "Cherry picked" intelligence is now starting to arrive and the Carrier Stike groups are in place.

We have at least two Carrier Strike groups in the region right now. Each strike group consists of an aircraft carrier with its complement of ~90 aircraft and at least one crusier, two destroyers and one attack sub. Each cruiser carries about 125 vertically launched missles, each destroyer about 90 missiles. That's over 600 missiles total and that doesn't count the 60 or so attack aircraft available to drop bombs.

Unfortunately, Congress seems reluctant to reign in the "Decider". It might hurt someones chances of being re-elected.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin (and Maureen)

Born 198 years ago today. Charles Darwin not Maureen.

Winter Carnival Pictures

I don't have any. Yes, I went to the parade with every intention of taking lots of pictures. But we decided to stop and get a warm drink. We went into the Meet n' Eat Grill which sits separated from the street by only the sidewalk. We were amazed to find that the table at their front window was empty. So we had lunch and watched the parade in comfort.

The Meet n'Eat Grill opened late last August. It's highly recommended that you eat there. The chef John Vargo is experienced and really good. The menu is eclectic. The food is delicious. It's also a small market.