Well my friends, after far too many months of stress and financial wrangling, I'm happy to say that yesterday we closed on the sale of my late grandfather's house.
It's not only a financial windfall that (partly, at least) offsets the losses of my dad's extended unemployment and health problems, but it finally lets us get some emotional resolution about my grandfather's death, and about the shoddy and shameful treatment his second wife gave us. I found myself feeling about ten pounds lighter today, actually whistling singing as I was grocery shopping..."Sarge" was something of a whistler, I remember him whistling little tunes when he would take my brother and I for after-dinner walks around the neighborhood when we were boys.
This story was pointed out to me by our good friend Mike Gurklis, who notes, "There's nothing better than things that are both beautiful and strange."Indeed. You really need to follow the link and see the photos on this one!
NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.
"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added.
I'm just enough of a comics fan to get some laughs from the bizarre covers and outrageous outtakes at Superdickery.com. In their discussion of propaganda in comics, they linked to a contemporary bizarre right-wing comic:
It is the year 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is up to an underground group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North to thwart Ambassador Usama Bin Laden's plans to nuke New York City ...And wake the world from an Orwellian nightmare of United Nations-dominated ultra-liberalism.
Seems that folks in our newest colony thought that our talk about giving them sovereignty was serious. Now they're upset that our British allies busted two of their soldiers out of an Iraqi jail. Officials in Basra say they will not cooperate with coalition forces until Britain formally apologizes for the raid; they are also asking for the return of the arrestees to Iraqi custody, and compensation for casualties and facility damage from the jailbreak.
This comes after the recent condemnation of a UN Security Council resolution giving the US military immunity from Iraqi law by Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal.
The Baltimore Sun printed my letter regarding federalism and the response to Katrina (as first seen here). Hurray for me.
Ironically juxtaposed against the death of Lenny Bruce's ex-wife, Honey Bruce Friedman, comes this story from the New York Times on the "psychology of swearing":
In fact, said Guy Deutscher, a linguist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the author of "The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention," the earliest writings, which date from 5,000 years ago, include their share of off-color descriptions of the human form and its ever-colorful functions. And the written record is merely a reflection of an oral tradition that Dr. Deutscher and many other psychologists and evolutionary linguists suspect dates from the rise of the human larynx, if not before.
Rolling Stone has more on the death of, and memorial service for, Hunter S. Thompson:
"Fuck you, Hunter," [Johnny Depp] joked one afternoon not long after Hunter died. "You want a Gonzo Cannon? We'll give you a Gonzo Cannon."
Following Hunter's thirty-year-old blueprints, the Colonel commissioned a construction crew to build the cannon. Cost was not a factor. So what if the price tag was $2 million or $3 million? Depp's recent hits Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were financial grand slams, earning the forty-two-year-old actor enough money to buy his own island near the Bahamas. Doing it right for Hunter was all that mattered. "I loved him and wanted to make sure his last wish was fulfilled," Depp says. "It's that simple." He galvanized Hunter's inner circle to share his vision of building the most spectacularly weird monument ever erected for a writer.
Ok, this is just funny:
If you witness a crime, it is your civic duty to report the crime to the police.
When a crime is committed, you have the right and responsibility to make a "Citizen's Arrest".
Thus, if YOU commit a crime, it would be extremely helpful (and provide a savings of tax dollars) for you to perform a Citizen's Self-Arrest
The Independent reports on a record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer, and how this may mean a "tipping point" in the climate has been passed:
Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.
They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating.