When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Wednesday - May 13, 2009

Unites States ‘helped win Battle of Britain through American super-fuel’ Oh boy. Here we go.

Hey, I’m only the messenger in case any Brits out there wanna gripe about this.

It is interesting and I never heard about it before.  Wonder why now?
Bush did it, right?

Hey ... the war was won in great measure by American industrial output coupled with new technologies from both sides of the Atlantic.

Still tho, even if true re. the fuel.  In the hands of dimwits that fuel wouldda been worthless.  As it turned out, there were some damned exceptional pilots flying with the RAF. The right fuel, right planes, the right stuff.
And continuous unimpeded industrial strength from the USA.

The United States should be credited with helping Spitfire and Hurricane pilots to win the Battle of Britain because its engineers developed a super-fuel which made them fly faster, the Americans have claimed.

By Murray Wardrop
Last Updated: 1:36AM BST 13 May 2009

As a nation, we are used to watching Hollywood distort history to suggest that some of Britain’s finest moments of the Second World War were achieved by Americans.

However, a US science writer has now claimed that Britain’s two most famous aircraft were not as significant in defeating the Luftwaffe as we might like to believe.

Tim Palucka asserts that the British fighters were able to outmanoeuvre their German opponents because they were running on a special high-octane fuel created in the US.

He claims that the 100-octane fuel increased the Spitfire’s speed by 25mph at sea level and by 34mph at 10,000 feet.

This proved vital during dog fights over the Channel and the skies above England in 1940, Mr Palucka writes in the journal Invention And Technology.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is inviting experts to challenge the claims.

RSC spokesman Brian Emsley said: “If it’s refutable we want it to be refuted. All we’ve got to go on is the one report.

“The Spitfire is a wonderful bit of British design, it’s an icon, so we approach this with trepidation, but the possibility should be aired.

“It could mean that science and chemistry played its part.”

Mr Palucka claims that the fuel was made using a process invented by a Frenchman and supplied to the RAF by the US.

He said that it helped the aeroplanes gain superior altitude, manoeuvrability and rate of climb. The fuel replaced the 87-octane gasoline, which was previously used in the planes.

Mr Palucka said: “Luftwaffe pilots couldn’t believe they were facing the same planes they had fought successfully over France a few months before.

“The planes were the same, but the fuel wasn’t.”

He added that the fuel was made using a process invented by Eugene Houdry, who was born in France but settled in the US, where he developed one of the earliest catalysts to convert crude oil into high-octane fuel.

Mr Houdry revealed the “cracking” process at a Chicago chemicals conference in 1938.

The RSC said it was the first time it had heard the claim. If it remains intact the society will send the report to aviation and military historians to mark the newly-discovered contribution of chemists to victory.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/13/2009 at 11:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHistoryWar-Stories •  
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Stealth bomber photographed breaking sound barrier .

Have you folks seen this already?  I just found it. Wow. Imagine (I can’t) piloting something that can do this?
WOW again.

Wright Bros. could never have dreamed of this. 
I suppose now the question could be asked, why?
Answer. Cause.

Stealth bomber photographed breaking sound barrier
A stealth bomber is frozen in time as it breaks the sound barrier during a test flight above the Californian desert.

Last Updated: 10:37AM BST 13 May 2009


Its unmistakable teardrop profile is shrouded in the blur of a condensation cloud as it reaches high subsonic speed.

The striking image of the B-2, officially known as the Spirit Bomber, was taken as the aircraft soared over Palmdale, near Los Angeles.

It was released to coincide with the announcement of upgraded military software for the United States Air Force’s fleet of 20 B-2s.

The bomber is central to America’s air warfare capabilities and is the flagship of the nation’s long-range strike arsenal, with the ability to unleash conventional and nuclear weapons.

Its stealth comes from a combination of reduced acoustic, infrared, visual and radar signatures, making it difficult for opposition defences to detect, track and engage the aircraft.

They have seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The B-2 can travel as high as 50,000ft and weighs 153,700lbs without its payload of bombs.

The cloud effect is caused by a vapour cone also known as the “Prandtl-Glauert singularity”.

It appears when there is a sudden drop in air pressure around aircraft travelling just above or below the speed of sound.

These condensation clouds, also known as “shock collars”, are frequently seen during space shuttle launches but their precise nature is still under debate.

US defence contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation disclosed on Tuesday that it is installing upgraded software in the B-2 bombers’ flight management system.

A statement from technology group Semantic Designs, which designed the software, said the project “will enhance and extend the lifetime of the B-2”.

The company said: “Although the B-2 is the Air Force’s newest bomber, its computers and processors require upgrade to keep up with integration efforts.

“Expanded and more reliable systems are necessary to maintain the B-2’s leading edge combat capabilities.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/13/2009 at 09:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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Hero father wrestles armed raider to floor… and makes him cry. Score one for the good guys!

‘How dare you point a gun at me!’ Hero father wrestles armed raider to floor..
. and makes him cry

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:01 PM on 13th May 2009


This is the moment a have-a-go hero reduced an armed robber to tears - by grabbing his gun and pinning him down until police arrived.

Leslie Shott, 34, confronted the hooded youth after he burst into a shop brandishing an airgun.

The yob pointed the pistol at Leslie’s face but the brave welder simply grabbed the barrel, wrestled him to the ground and told him: ‘How dare you point a gun at me!’

I guess the guy couldn’t have smacked the gremlin around a bit first.  The photos are not too clear.
I’m just posting one of the two here. 
I guess the gremlin will now sue for being ‘humiliated’ no doubt.


As they waited for the police the 19-year-old started sobbing and begged forgiveness from shop owner Mohammed Ullah.

Leslie said he was ‘just acting on instinct’ when he tackled the thug at Staverton Convenience Store in Trowbridge, Wilts.

The father-of-one - who lives above the shop - said: ‘I just acted on instinct and would do it again if I had to. Every man should have the right to protect the area where he lives.

‘I have family here and I don’t like the idea of people like this causing trouble and thinking they can get away with what they like.

‘It was quite scary and was a dangerous situation as the lad was swearing and putting up a fight. He seemed willing to fire the gun.

‘But once I got him on the floor and told him the police were on their way he started begging and crying.

‘It was pretty pathetic and he was pleading for me to let him go but people need to know they cannot do what they want and get away with it.’


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/13/2009 at 09:01 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDaily LifeUK •  
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Another Busy Day

It’s the busy season in the window cleaning world. I’ve got a bid in on a nice sized house, that hopefully will give me work for next week. I’m on my way over to the other side of the state right now to put in a bid on another home. I’m really loving those map pages on the internet, because their street level and bird’s eye view features let me get a general idea of how big a project is before I even go there. Nice.

So I’m not blogging that much right now. I’m earning a living instead. I’ll put up something when I can. Kill the pirates, smash the Taliban, Obama sucks, buy a gun. There ya go. 4 posts in 11 words.

Summer bowling league started last night. Hey, fun! It was the typical screwed up mess, with one of our teammates in the “maybe, maybe not” category - he wasn’t there, and we’re not sure if he’s going to even be on the team, so we used a vacant score for him. The other guy on our team is on vacation in Hawaii [green with envy], but at least he prebowled. And the team we were playing didn’t show up. Typical. So my wife and I got the Bye, so we had to Earn The Points. So, after watching how Team Anthony did things last winter on our Monday league, we decided to try some tactical bowling. That means you go for the win, but just barely. This lets you get the points, but keeps your average down. And we did it. We won the 3 games by 17, 24, and 6 points respectively, so took the wood too and we earned all 7 points. Positions are determined by Points Won first, and then by Pins Bowled in the case of a tie. So we probably won’t be in 1st after this week because of Pins Bowled, but the Points Won carries so much more weight that it isn’t worth worrying about.

The bowling alley does all the work for summer leagues. Right down to providing the bylaws. So, of course, those bylaws have a line in them “The legal lineup shall consist of two regular bowlers. A vacancy counts as a regular bowler.” GRRRRRR. So they didn’t accept what I said about that rule, even when I showed them the words from USBC, and gave them the name of the person on the national rules committee who made this clarification. “That’s how we’ve always done it” trumps The Law here in liberal land. But I didn’t say anything. It’s not worth it.

I hope my wife can find a little time to pick up her new gun tomorrow. It’s been sitting at the gun shop for 2 weeks now waiting for her. Her job keeps her hopping, and the gun shop is only open 9-5 M-F when she’s at work. Not the best way to run a retail business, but it’s their decision.

UPDATE: I got the contract. It’s a 70 window job with storms and screens, so it looks like 2, maybe 3 days work. Washing windows for well heeled homeowners pays just as well as writing computer programs in the corporate world. I just wish it was as steady as working in the corporate world.

And one nice thing about the state I’m living in: driving halfway across New Jersey is only a 40 minute ride, and that’s with traffic.  I stopped in on my way home and said Hi to my old audiophile equipment pusher over in Verona. The guy is totally into analog and tubes. Sweet smooth sound, but a bit dull for my tastes. When I went digital I went for the details, and got the smooth part via first class Class A amplifiers. Still, it was nice stopping by and saying hello for a couple minutes. John Rutan is good people. Maybe that’s why he’s always getting covered in the audio magazines.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/13/2009 at 08:42 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 12, 2009

Council says ‘you’re not disabled enough for meals on wheels’. How’s this for contrast to next story

Elderly couple live on cornflakes and sandwiches after council says ‘you’re not disabled enough for meals on wheels’
Last updated at 3:23 PM on 12th May 2009

An elderly couple who are too frail to leave their home have been refused meals on wheels after a council ruled they were not disabled enough to qualify for the service.

Wallace Rowley, 91, and wife Lillian, 89, live on cornflakes for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch and a cup of Horlicks in the evening because they are unable to cook for themselves.

The only hot meal they receive during the week comes courtesy of a neighbour who provides them with occasional ready meals which she warms up for them.

Today, a former councillor who is backing the couple said it was ‘obscene’ that elderly people could be left ‘starving to death in their own homes’ because they did not meet ‘restrictive’ eligibility criteria.

The pensioners, who have been married for 68 years, asked for help from Coventry City Council in December as their failing health was leaving them increasingly weak and unable to cook.

Mrs Rowley suffers from crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her arms and legs which means she can barely carry a plate, open the microwave door or push the button to start the kettle boiling.

Her husband has high blood pressure - causing dizzy spells and fainting which could be potentially dangerous in a kitchen if he were to attempt to cook - and ulcerations on his legs, meaning he can only stand for minutes at a time in any case.

Both need Zimmer frames but claim a council worker who assessed them said they ‘were not disabled enough’ to qualify for meals on wheels because they were capable of dressing themselves.

Mr Rowley, a former factory worker who served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during World War II in Northern Ireland and Holland, said: ‘I am old and haggard and fought for my country but I feel like I’ve been thrown on the scrapheap.

‘We’ve paid our national insurance contributions all our lives but when we need help in our old age, the state turns its back on us. We’re desperate and feel abandoned.’

He said the social worker who was sent to assess them at their bungalow in Potters Green, Coventry, laughed when they explained their predicament and joked about sending somebody to teach them to cook baked potatoes.

Mrs Rowley, a retired cleaner, added: ‘If I keep eating microwave meals and sandwiches, I’ll go mad.

‘All we can do now is look at these four walls. It’s not safe for us to cook as we don’t have the strength in our arms and legs.’

Guidelines for Coventry City Council social care were tightened in 2005 to exclude meals on wheels for people whose needs were rated ‘moderate’ or ‘low’.

A social worker now has to class the couple as having a ‘critical’ or substantial need for help.

Former Labour councillor Brian Patton, who has taken up the Rowleys’ plight, said the move was purely to save money.

He said: ‘It’s obscene in this day and age that you could have elderly and disabled people starving to death in their own homes who have money and can afford to pay for services but can’t get them because the eligibility criteria is too restrictive.’

Neighbour Lynn Brooker, 46, who brings the couple meals such as cottage pie or roast chicken, said the council had treated the Rowleys ‘appallingly’.

She added: ‘They can’t even get a meal out the oven without dropping it.

‘I just can’t believe they don’t qualify for help.’

The Rowleys have one son Les, 57 - a web developer who lives on his own 15 miles away in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire - and no grandchildren.

Leslie doesn’t have a car but takes meals when he visits each weekend.

Today he said: ‘Social services have let mum and dad down. It’s an outrage that old people can be left to rot in their own homes. What exactly is social services for?’

The council recently raised the cost of the meals by 40 per cent to £4.10 a meal as part of multi-million pound budget cuts.

It said the couple wanted to try meals on wheels out of choice, not necessity.

A spokesman said: ‘A social worker visited Mr and Mrs Rowley and found that both were able to meet their own needs for shopping and hot food and wanted to try home meals as a choice.

‘The outcome was that their needs were assessed as moderate, and did not meet the criteria in terms of being critical or substantial.

‘If their circumstances change through health problems, then a further assessment could take place.’


Something isn’t quite right about this.  I feel sorry for them.  Their son is 57 and has no car. ? Visits them on wkends.  They say they have all these ailments but someone assessed them and found that they were able to go shopping. ??? How they manage that?
Hey, if the old boy is 91 I can well believe he needs help and his wife too.  Even if things weren’t really,really as bad as they say they are, I’d rather give a hand to help them then give the cash to politicians so they can live in a lifestyle I can’t afford. Of course not. How can I afford it when I’m helping to pay for theirs?


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/12/2009 at 10:34 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeHealth-MedicineMiscellaneousUK •  
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I want more handouts, says 18-year-old mother-of-three who left her £1m home.

It just hasta be something in the water here.
The idea that the state owes or should be obligated to this worthless slag beggars belief.

Not entirely her fault of course. Not all of it.  She’s grown up in a society that says it’s ok to burden others with the results of your own foolish behaviour.

Now when I say it’s not ALL her fault, I do NOT mean to imply she is some sort of innocent and is guiltless. Far from it.  I just believe that the culture has been sending messages for years to ppl just like her, that she and they are not responsible for their own acts.

Gee, how thrilling to know that some of our tax money will go to folks like her and the rest to the sniviling, thieving while thriving MPs for another swimming pool or a load of horse manure.  Yeah really.  One of them passed off that last to the taxpayers.

Meanwhile in other news, yawn, yet another man has been beaten to death outside his own home by a group of drunks when he went outside at 11:30pm and asked them to quiet down. They were making lots of noise apparently, neighbors confirm drunken behaviour.  But that was yesterday and it’s forgotten by now I’m sure. Except by his family of course.  Nuther day, nuther killing. 

Last updated at 10:47 PM on 11th May 2009

At the age of 14, Catherine Scott left her wealthy parents’ home to have a baby.

Four years later, she has just had twins by another man more than twice her age.

As a result, she is demanding a better home from the council and more handouts so, she says, she can teach her children not to turn out like her.

The 18-year-old rebel, a solicitor’s daughter from a £1million house in Sevenoaks, Kent, is not satisfied with the three-bedroom flat, thought to be owned by a housing association, where she and her fiance live in Margate.

She says taxpayers should provide a four-bedroom house in a more affluent area for her, jobless 40-year-old Dean Evans and their children.

Miss Scott, whose boyfriend has five other children by three ex-wives, is also demanding more benefits, saying that £16,000 a year is not enough to live on.

‘It’s a farce,’ said Miss Scott, still in Pembury Hospital after giving birth to Presley and Amber by caesarean section ten days ago.

‘We’re not being fussy but we don’t know anyone and there are 52 steps up to our front door. We also have to share the garden with six neighbours.’

Miss Scott says she refused to attend school from the age of 12 and became pregnant a year later by a 29-year-old she met at the station.

At 14, she gave birth to a son but after six months she left him with her parents Katherine and John, saying she could not cope. She moved in with a friend and moved out with the friend’s husband, Mr Evans, after beginning an affair in 2007.

The couple have already been evicted from one flat for not paying their rent and claim their human rights have been breached because the council will not rehouse them.

Miss Scott told Closer magazine: ‘I’ll make a good mum this time.’

Puffing on a cigarette, she added: ‘I’m a natural with the twins because I’m more grown up. I can’t wait to take my babies out of the hospital to show them off. We’ll be OK - we’ll get child benefit, child tax credits and milk tokens.’

The mother, who plans to have Amber and Presley’s names tattooed on her shoulders, added: ‘We don’t want the twins to turn out like us. We want them to do well at school. I didn’t, because I left at 12, and now Dean’s 13-year-old son Dylan is better at maths than me.

‘Of course, if Amber fell pregnant when she was young I’d support her, but I’d rather she was a ballet dancer or a model.’

The couple compare themselves to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Mr Evans, who claims to have slept with more than 200 women and aspires to have ten children, hopes Presley will be a footballer.

He was not present at the birth of the twins. But he asked his first wife Sue Blake, 51, with whom he split in 1998 after cheating on her, to hold his fiancee’s hand.

The former builder pays no maintenance for his children as he has been unable to work since suffering a groin injury when he was impaled by a steel girder in September 2006.

Now he is hoping for a £200,000 compensation payout to give his new family a ‘good start’.

He said: ‘I do my best on my benefits, but more money would be nice. I got a crisis loan off the DSS and topped it up with the government maternity grant so I could get them nice stuff. More than £1,000 went on clothes - I got Presley a Spurs kit and bib. I also bought a double buggy, a couple of cots - and a new puppy.’

At the Scott family home, Catherine’s sister Charlotte, 20, said: ‘What has she done now, for God’s sake? We do not want to talk about her.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/12/2009 at 09:46 AM   
Filed Under: • MiscellaneousUK •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - May 11, 2009

Absolute Vindication

This is an update on that post I made several weeks ago, about what seemed to me to be an illegal rule in the bylaws of that rinky dink league I belong to. Since I was the league’s secretary this year, the guy in charge of actually applying the rules, I fought against the league’s bylaw of “Legal lineup: A legal lineup shall consist of 2 regular bowlers. A vacancy counts as a regular bowler.” as hard as I could, because I knew it was wrong. And I lost. Even when the illogical conclusion occurred: if a vacancy is a regular bowler, then another vacancy is another regular bowler; thus a team that has 2 or 3 vacancies can never forfeit, because the vacant “bowlers” are never absent. This is blatantly wrong, since a team full of actual people can forfeit - and equal treatment under the law is about an American as a concept can get. But that didn’t matter. They wanted me to do it their way, because “that’s how we’ve always done it” and “a past president several years ago said he called the USBC and that’s what they said to do”. [ Welcome to life in New Jersey. “We know it’s wrong, but it’s our rule, and it’s there because somebody we never liked or trusted said it should be there, so follow it.” Um, yeah, right.

So of course I ignored them and their stupid illegal rule. And I got away with it for almost the entire season. Then they found out, got all uppity, had their revenge and voted me out. Plus they screwed me out of $120-170. That’ll teach me alright. And they did it with the bowling alley owner’s unspoken consent too. As he put it to me afterwords, “Lessons learned, huh?”

Well, all is not lost. The money loss isn’t going to kill me, and the secretary job sucks eggs anyway, so let somebody else have it. But what they don’t know ... yet ... is that I’ve been having these emails going back and forth with the rules people at USBC. When last I blogged on this subject, I’d just had a fight with the VP. So I wrote my first epistle, got my response, and showed it to him. All the while making nice-nice and saying how it wasn’t him I was mad it, it was my frustration with the rule, and look here, USBC says it’s wrong, and if you extend their thought just a little you’ll see the rule is illegal and should be ignored. Well, that mollified him, but “extending a thought a little” isn’t a capability that too many people seem to have. Especially on this league. So I had a big meeting with the guy who runs the alley. Took my rulebook and the email, and sat and talked and asked questions for the better part of 2 hours. I very gently and innocently painted him into a corner, then nailed both his feet to the floor. And then got out the matches. But he managed to untie his shoes and escape, giving me a big weasel-ly speech about how such a rule was Ok after all, and it wasn’t really ever applied except in my oddball league, so leave well enough alone.

Uh huh. Ok, that league is over now. All done. Bad evil arrogant Drew has been spanked and sent packing. Humbled. Crow eaten.


So I wrote right back to the nice lady at the USBC, and asked the same question again, looking for a stronger response ....

> From: Drew Pearce
> To:
> Date: 05/10/2009 01:49 AM
> Subject: Re: Fw: Rule 105 questions - a vacancy is not a regular bowler
> Thank you for your response. Could I ask please for some more clarification?
> I understand what you said. I think I understand it perfectly. But when I extend the thought a little, that “A vacancy is not a bowler, cannot be counted toward the legal lineup.”, it begs the
> question: Is a bylaw that states that a vacancy IS a regular bowler an illegal bylaw? And given an illegal bylaw, is it better to ignore it, or just go along with it because “that’s how we’ve always done > things”?  Especially when the discovery happens most of the way through the season.
> I had a 2 hour meeting with the owner of my local bowling alley about this.  I took my rulebook and a copy of this email. He read it carefully, looked things up in the rules, and gave it a lot of
> thought. A lot, because many, perhaps most, leagues in his alley have such a rule in their bylaws. And after much thought, he said that such a bylaw existed to be nice to people. Because you don’t > want to “stick it” to a regular team who couldn’t make it to league one night (and didn’t prebowl or ask for a postponement). And if people were made to pay for the week they were out and then
> found out that they couldn’t even get any points for that night, then they’d be upset. And let’s try to not use the forfeit word, because nobody understands it, as forfeiting in bowling - with it’s earn the
> points method - is different than forfeiting in any other sport. So if a team has a vacancy, they should be cut a little extra slack if they forget to show up one night. After all, they’re already at a
> disadvantage because they don’t have a full team.
> Ok, I see his point. To him, as a business owner, it’s very important to keep the customers coming back. So it’s better to look the other way a little, unless those people on the team with vacancies
> get really behind on their dues, in which case screw ‘em.
> This is my first foray into flexible rules. So of course I found the exception that proves it: a dinky little league trying to survive by allowing a team to exist with only one member on it. And that one
> member isn’t too dependable. And of course she eventually quit the league. But for about half the season, her team was either in BYE status or had just one member who would only show up half the > time. And I scored those nights as “earn the points opportunities for the other team”, seeing as I should avoid “the F word”.
> But I really would like to know if your reading of the rules makes such a bylaw illegal. And if it is, what to do about it before, during, or after the season.
> confused and annoyed,
> Andrew Pearce
> ( now FORMER secretary, league #845145 )


> From:
> Subject: Fw: Rule 105 questions - a vacancy is not a regular bowler
> To:
> Date: Monday, May 11, 2009, 5:02 PM
> This is in response to your e-mail below.
> We understand the center [ie bowling alley] point of view as a business owner however, Rule 105 does not have any options for use of the absentee or vacancy score.  A legal lineup must be
> present.  The problem at hand is usually that the league rules limit the composition of the legal lineup.  For example the league will require two regular players be present in a league with a playing
> strength of four, when the league could adopt one eligible player as the legal lineup.  One player means a regular bowler or substitute.
> For the 2009-2010 season a one person legal lineup can be used for a five person team, should the league adopt such a rule. 
> Feel free to contact us should you have additional questions regarding this matter by replying to
> Sincerely,
> Kathy Andersen
> Rules Extra Editor and Senior Rules Counselor


Well, that was better. But still not what I was looking for. So I tried again ...

Again, my thanks. My only question is what to do when such a rule is in the bylaws. Maybe you can’t really answer that one. I understand. Having fought against it, and lost, I chose to ignore it. Nobody paid any attention to me the Secretary anyway, so I got away with it almost to the end. This was not the best course of action, but I felt it was necessary.

We have such a bylaw in my league. “A legal lineup shall consist of 2 regular bowlers. A vacancy counts as a regular bowler.”. I know it’s wrong. Several emails back and forth with you have only enforced my awareness of that wrong. My president feels it is right. My vice president admits that it’s unfair, but the rule stays because a past president contacted the USBC 4-5 years ago and that’s what he was told. (I think that past president was being less than honest.) As I wrote, a long discussion with the alley manager only resulted in a nebulous response.

I am no longer Secretary, probably because of this. We have another new crop of officers next year, so maybe I can try to get it changed at the opening meeting. But that’s all I can do.

Such an improper bylaw rule is very common, likely because people are trying to be nice. Perhaps this topic would be worth a “know the rules” column in the magazine. I’m glad that next year’s rules will allow a work around, with the “one person who shows up can be enough if you want it” rule. Maybe you could publish a few paragraphs on how this new option helps eliminate this long standing misinterpretation, especially if you repeatedly emphasize that a vacancy is not now, nor ever was, an eligible player. Or a regular bowler!

thanks again,

The rule is in conflict with USBC Rules and cannot be enforced.  The USBC rule prevails.  Rule 100a states leagues can adopt rules that do not conflict with USBC rules. 

Kathy Andersen, Senior Rules Counselor

Thank you. Black and White. Straight up as it’s going to get, so even the most feeble minded can understand. A vacancy is not a regular bowler. A vacancy is not a member of your team. A vacancy is only a score you are given because you don’t have enough people. And you only get that score once your team has put forth a legal lineup (in other words, the minimum number of people on your team has shown up to bowl that night, or at least pre-bowled.) And since you can’t adopt a rule that conflicts with USBC rules, “A vacancy counts as a regular bowler” is an invalid rule. “Illegal” if you will. Unenforceable, even if “that’s how we’ve always done things”.

In your face!

Gosh, sometimes it’s so satisfying to be petty. Nyah nyah, na nyah nyah! fuckyou 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/11/2009 at 07:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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An Out Of This World Way To Spend Your Tax Money

NJ Funds Defunct Food-In-Space Program

A quarter of the money goes to pay a dead woman

N.J. legislators question funding for defunct food-in-space program
by Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin/The Star-Ledger
Monday May 11, 2009, 6:06 AM

For more than five years now, the state has been sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to a small, nonprofit organization with the Star Wars-sounding name, E3CO, whose mission is teaching elementary and high school students about growing food in space.

But if the mission of E3CO seems a bit strange, what happens to its money each year may be even stranger. Records show that much of the money has gone to pay the salaries of two people—one with political connections and the other a woman who has been dead two years.

The E3CO funding comes in the form of a state appropriation tacked onto the Rutgers budget each year. Tax records show that the nonprofit group has been receiving an annual payment of more than $100,000 to cover its operating expenses, with $60,000 going to the salary of executive director Patricia Rowe. Another $33,388 went to Sara Crane, the ex-wife of Joseph Salema, the one-time chief of staff to former Democratic Gov. Jim Florio.

The university said Rowe died in 2007 and it put a freeze on the money this year because it had no evidence the group has been doing anything since her death. University officials could not say what the organization has done with the money in recent years. E3CO has filed no records or receipts to account for any expenditure.

But despite the freeze by Rutgers, the Legislature again added a $130,000 special appropriation in the new proposed state budget to continue the funding to the South Jersey-based group.

Senate Republicans charge that Democratic lawmakers kept the funding to the group intact for political reasons.

“Nobody has seen any report of what they are doing with the money,” said Sen. Marcia A. Karrow (R-Hunterdon). “It looks like New Jersey is basically funding two salaries.”


New Jersey Sen. Marcia A. Karrow, (R-Hunterdon)

photo credit: Jerry McCrea/The Star-Ledger

Hey, she’s MY representative!

Karrow said there should be an investigation.

“It’s one little item in the budget, but it’s in your face and it’s got the perception of something very personal here,” she said.
“All my colleagues should know by now that I will not be silenced as I fulfill my duties to the citizens of Warren and Hunterdon counties, no matter how many times they shut off my microphone,” Karrow said. “It’s hard work and we’re meeting with lots of resistance in Trenton, but we can and will rescue New Jersey from waste, fraud and abuse.”

I wish her lots of luck. It’s going to be a long, long, uphill battle.

Please, go read the rest. In New Jersey, not only do the dead still vote, they hold tenured positions and are government funded. Heck, they probably get great performance reviews and raises too! LOL

UPDATE: Roaches run and hide when the lights are turned on!

TRENTON—The mission of E3CO, a small, non-profit group that received $130,000 in annual state funding to teach kids about growing food in space, was abruptly aborted today, following revelations that much of the money was earmarked for the salary of a woman who is dead.

“We’re going to take this one and send it to the moon, where it belongs,” declared Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), who promised that E3CO’s funding was being pulled. “It’s over. It’s buried. It’s dead. Should never have existed.”

It’s CYA time in Trenton again!
Yesterday both Gov. Jon Corzine and Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) said they would pull the plug on the program’s funding.

“I don’t really understand why New Jersey is in the business of space program funding,” said the governor. “I can assure you it will not be either funded in 2009 or funded in 2010.”

The money came through a special state appropriation entered in the Rutgers budget each year. Rutgers did not control or administer the program—but was simply the conduit for the funds from the legislature. More than $400,000 in state funding has gone to the group by way of the university’s budget since 2003.

Sen. Marcia A. Karrow (R-Hunterdon), who first raised questions about the grant more than a week ago during a budget committee hearing in Trenton, said the elimination of the funding does not answer how the money was put in the budget in the first place.

“They’re going to eliminate the funding, but when is the AG (attorney general) going to investigate why this has been in the budget at all?” she asked. “Perhaps we deserve a refund.”

She said the controversy over the funding shows why the state grants system needs to be reformed, so that applications for state funding are filed before money is awarded, and that the funding is then audited after the fact to document how it was spent. She added that the governor could have vetoed the spending at any time over the last four years, but did not.

Goodman said E3CO had first gotten started with a NASA educational grant to teach school children about living in space and how to grow food for long-term missions aboard the International Space Station and to Mars.


The state money was first appropriated for E3CO in 2003, according to budget records, when former state Sen. Wayne Bryant co-chaired the powerful Budget and Appropriations Committee. Campaign finance records show Rowe and Crane contributed money to the re-election campaign of Bryant, who was convicted last year on federal corruption charges.

Ayup, that’s the New Jersey way alright. Buy yourself a Senator and then collect the sugar forever. And there are so many many spoons in the sugar bowl that an extra can stay in there for years and nobody will ever notice. Until a Republican comes along and gives the bowl a kick.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/11/2009 at 05:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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Atlantis Rising

Once More Into The Breach


Space Shuttle Atlantis has picture perfect lift-off for its last mission. Their mission is to do some repairs and maintenance on the Hubble Telescope. The flight is deemed risky because it will require at least 5 space walks, and because the Hubble is in an orbital path strewn with space junk.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The seven-member crew of space shuttle Atlantis lifted off Monday for one of the riskiest shuttle flights yet — so risky, in fact, that another space shuttle is ready to launch in case they need to be rescued.

Atlantis launched at 2:01 p.m. EDT on one last maintenance mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, the 19-year-old orbiting observatory that floats at an altitude littered with space debris.

lift off

The spacecraft rocketed into mostly sunny skies right on schedule at 2:01 p.m. ET. Atlantis will spend five days upgrading the Hubble, the orbiting observatory that’s been scanning the universe for almost two decades.

For the seven members of the shuttle crew, that means added pressure.
“I think [this] is motivating us because we know there’s nobody coming after us to do anything we don’t get done,” said Atlantis Commander Scott Altman. “This is it. We either get it done or it doesn’t happen.”
It’s been seven years since NASA’s last Hubble servicing mission in 2002, and the space telescope was designed to go only about three years between fixes.

NASA canceled an Atlantis mission to extend Hubble’s operational life in January 2004 because the trip was considered too risky in the wake of the 2003 Columbia tragedy that killed seven astronauts. But public pressure and the development of safer shuttle technology led the U.S. space agency to reconsider.Video See shuttle astronauts discuss Hubble repair mission »

Still, some risks remain. NASA has estimated there’s a 1-in-221 chance the shuttle could be struck by orbiting space debris from past missions. Thousands of objects hurtle through the heavens, some as large as several feet in diameter, and the Hubble’s orbit is more crowded with space junk than that of the international space station, which orbits at a lower altitude, NASA said.

While the Atlantis’s shields would likely deflect a small piece of debris, a larger object could cripple the spacecraft, NASA said. Space shuttle Endeavour is on standby in the unlikely event that NASA will need to rescue the Atlantis crew members during their 11-day mission.

During five grueling space walks some 350 miles up in space, a pair of two-man teams from the Atlantis will work on the Hubble inside Atlantis’ cargo bay.

Nearly 30,000 people were at Kennedy Space Center for the launch, including space-center workers and guests.

On this fifth and final repair mission, Atlantis’ crew will replace Hubble’s batteries and gyroscopes, install two new cameras and take a crack at fixing two broken science instruments, something never before attempted.

Those instruments, loaded with bolts and fasteners, were not designed to be tinkered with in space.  They also will remove the command and data-handling unit that failed in September and had to be revived, and put in a spare that was hustled into operation. Fresh insulating covers will be added to the outside of the telescope, and a new fine guidance sensor for pointing will be hooked up. Five spacewalks will be needed to accomplish everything.

Lift-offs at NASA sure have changed since I was a kid. Or maybe we’ve just become so blase about it. I remember that voice “This is Mission Control”, and the TV being on, with the news cameras watching the rocket for hours and hours before the event. And it was, Look! Here come the astronauts! And the mission clock. Oh, the clock. So many times it had to be stopped because of some little problem. But finally everything would be right, the clock would be running and the final seconds ticking down. There go the liquid oxygen lines. There goes the main gantry. And the whole country sat on the edge of their seats watching, sharing that “T Minus 5, T Minus 4 T Minus 3” countdown as we sweated, worried, and prayed that huge but spindly thing off the ground, with Our Boys up there on the pointy end. “We have ignition!” and a fireball the size of your neighborhood lit off. The secondary gantry fell away as the ship began to move; how could such a great ungainly thing stay balanced? How could it fly straight, it doesn’t even have fins? The whole launch platform engulfed in roaring burning thunder as the rocket rose against implacable gravity. And faster and higher she went, a tongue of fire rising into the clouds. And so another mission began. And the whole nation exhaled.

I caught the lift-off in real time on TV a little while ago. I didn’t even know there was a launch today. The TV news station didn’t cue the voice-over to Mission Control. Is there even still a voice of Mission Control? There wasn’t even a countdown, or a countdown clock on the screen. The announcer just kept right on talking as the engines fired off. It was like “yadda yadda yadda, there it goes, yappity yap yap.” But at least the cameramen still knew their jobs, and we got to see the ignition, the lift-off, and that arcing awesome amazing action as Atlantis rose to skies, one last time.

Godspeed Atlantis.

Space Shuttle Mission: STS-125
Liftoff! Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-125 Astronauts En Route to Hubble

Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today, rising on twin columns of fire to embark on ST-125, the final shuttle mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Veteran astronaut Scott Altman is serving as commander, and retired Navy Capt. Gregory C. Johnson will serve as pilot. Mission specialists rounding out the crew are: veteran spacewalkers John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino, and first-time space fliers Andrew Feustel, Michael Good and Megan McArthur.

Main Engine Cutoff: Atlantis Reaches Orbit
Mon, 11 May 2009 02:11:10 PM EDT

After a smooth countdown and picture-perfect liftoff, space shuttle Atlantis and a crew of seven astronauts are in space, ready to begin their 11-day mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis lifted off Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:01 p.m. EDT.

From the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the booster officer confirmed Atlantis’ trio of main engines cut off on time at 2:10 p.m. With Atlantis safely in orbit, its giant external fuel tank was jettisoned. Onboard cameras recorded the tank’s condition as it fell away from Atlantis and descends toward Earth.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/11/2009 at 01:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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Pakistan ‘kills 700 Taliban militants’.  That the latest claim anyway. We can only hope it’s true.

No comments from me. Have a nice evening, or day depending on where you are.

Pakistan’s senior government security official, Rehman Malik, claimed that up to 700 Taliban militants have been killed in fighting in the past four days.

By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad
Last Updated: 12:29PM BST 11 May 2009

The claim made by Mr Malik, the head of the interior ministry, could not be confirmed and exceeded that given by the military on Sunday by at least 200.
Mr Malik’s announcement came as fighting continued in the Swat Valley and the northeast of Pakistan faced a worsening refugee crisis.

“The operation will continue until the last Talib,” said Mr Malik. “We haven’t given them a chance. They are on the run. They were not expecting such an offensive.”
The army’s senior spokesman said on Sunday that so far some 400 to 500 militants had died. But Mr Malik also said that the figure of 700, was expected to “rapidly rise”.

Official figures given for the number of enemy killed are notoriously exaggerated in Pakistan.
In a television interview aired on Sunday, the US Central Command chief, Gen David Petraeus, said Pakistan’s actions in the next few weeks could prove “pivotal” to its future.

“Certainly the next few weeks will be very important in this effort to roll back, if you will, this existential threat, a true threat to Pakistan’s very existence that has been posed by the Pakistani Taliban,” the general said.
The army says 12,000 to 15,000 troops in Swat face 4,000 to 5,000 militants, including small numbers of foreigners and hardened fighters from the South Waziristan tribal region.

The UN said today that 360,600 displaced people had registered in camps and centres since May 2 after fleeing Swat and neighbouring Dir and Buner districts.
Some 500,000 people had already registered as displaced due to offensives over the past year.

An official in Swat said he was confined to his station due to heavy fighting but added that he could see a decapitated body lying outside along a road where a clash between military forces and the Taliban yesterday left six militants dead.
Elsewhere in Pakistan’s northwest on Monday, a suicide bomber exploded his vehicle at a checkpoint, killing 13 people in the town of Darra Adam Khel.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/11/2009 at 10:51 AM   
Filed Under: • TerroristsWar On Terror •  
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Taliban fighters use civilians as ‘human shields’ as battle for Pakistan tears Swat Valley apart

This article is over a day old by now but no less interesting and informative.

Like a lot of others here, I wondered what made the govt. in Pakistan think they could deal and then trust the Taliban.  Made no sense to me but then who asked me?


By Liz Hazelton
The Daily Mail

Taliban fighters are reportedly using terrified civilians as human shields today as fierce fighting tore through Pakistan’s north-west frontier.

Militants blocked roads with rocks and trees as the the army stepped up a ferocious ground and air assault.

The military had relaxed a blanket curfew in the area, which should have allowed many thousands to escape the Swat Valley, the frontline in a bloody conflict between extremists and the government.

But witnesses said civilians were forced to dodge blockades as well as bullets as the Taliban resorted to increasingly desperate tactics.

Ayaz Khan, 39, from the Kanju area of Swat, said he had attempted to flee with his family by car but found that the road was blocked by rocks, boulders and tree trunks.  He was forced to turn back. ‘I am helpless, frustrated and worried for my family,’ he said in a phone call.


On the streets of Mingora, Swat’s capital, witnesses reported seeing heavily armed Taliban fighters roaming the streets as residents cowered in their homes.

One health worker said she had been warned to stay inside by militants.

‘During the whole of last night, I heard firing, and again this morning,’ said the woman, who would only give her first name, Maryam.

‘I don’t know when some weapon will hit our home and kill us.’

The two-pronged attack in Swat and in neighbouring Buner province was launched on Tuesday, pounding the regions with mortars and artillery fire.

On Wednesday, Taliban reinforcements poured down from their mountain hideouts in a bid to beat back the onslaught as a spokesman declared any peace deal was over.

As fighting spread through the area, thousands of men, women and children fled Mingora, the Swat capital, fearing an imminent major military operation.

At least 38,000 refugees have already left but the government believes that figure could reach 800,000.

‘It is an all-out war there. Rockets are landing everywhere,’ said Laiq Zada, a 33-year old who fled the valley on Tuesday and was now in a government-run tent camp out of the danger zone.

‘We have with us the clothes on our bodies and a hope in the house of God. Nothing else.’

‘I do not have any destination. I only have an aim - to escape from here,’ said Afzal Khan, 65, who fled with his wife and nine children.

‘It is like doomsday here. It is like hell.’

There are no official figures on civilian casualties though the Taliban claim more than 100 people have died.

At least ten soldiers were killed and another nine wounded in clashes with militants.

A Pakistan intelligence official said helicopters and mortar teams were pounding militant positions in Mingora, which is 80 miles from the country’s capital Islamabad, and other parts of Swat.

‘The situation is very tense there. Taliban are present at the homes of local residents,’ he said.

‘They are also present at strategic positions. They are using light weapons to ambush troops,’

The clashes follow the collapse of a three-month-old truce in Swat that was widely criticised in the West as a surrender to the Taliban.

Under the agreement, militants were given control of the valley, which has a population of 1.6 to 1.7 million and were allowed to impose Sharia law.

But the peace broke down after fighters attempted to seize control of neighbouring Buner.

There are a lot of photos HERE along with the rest of the article which is a long one.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/11/2009 at 07:31 AM   
Filed Under: • RoPMATerroristsWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 10, 2009

A Good Day

Pakistan: 200 Taliban die in 24 hours

Ah, so sweet. Can we get a year or two of days like this please?

Pakistani forces have killed as many as 200 Taliban militants in the past day in the Swat and Shangla areas, the military said Sunday.

CNN could not verify the account, because journalists are barred from the region. The military blamed the Taliban for injuring civilians as the offensive entered its third week.

“Indiscriminate mortar firing and planting of IEDs in the streets and roads by the miscreants in the populated areas of village Thana, Malakand and Mingora, resulted into civilian casualties,” the military said in a statement.

The military has been releasing regular reports saying it has killed Taliban militants in the region, but it has produced little evidence of the successes it claims. Journalists have not been permitted to observe the offensive and the army has not shown the bodies of the dead militants.

Yeah, I know. Those numbers are probably 10 times higher than reality. Which makes this news release just a little bit less than straight up propaganda. But still ... it’s nice to dream.

President Asif Ali Zardari’s has vowed he will not withdraw his decision to defeat the militants, according to reports. Speaking to Washington’s Pakistani community on Friday, Zardari said: ”This is my pledge to you, the step we have taken will not be withdrawn.”

He explained why he had not at first ordered the army to fight the Taliban in Swat: “It is easy for an army to fight the enemy in another country, but to launch a military offensive inside your own country is not easy. They rejected our peace gesture and challenged the government, we accepted their challenge.”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/10/2009 at 08:58 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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“Trinken Sie nicht das Wasser, die Kuhe und die Schweine haben in ihm geschissen!”

H/T Doc Jeff ....

Jeff sent this and of course I couldn’t resist posting it.

Cheers All ...


An Amish farmer walking through his field notices a man drinking from his pond, with his hand.

The Amish man shouts:

“Trinken Sie nicht das Wasser, die Kuhe und die Schweine haben in ihm geschissen!”

Which means: “Don’t drink the water, the cows and the pigs have shit in it!”

The man shouts back: “I’m a Muslim, I don’t understand your gibberish.. Speak English, infidel!”

The Amish man shouts back in English:

“Use two hands, you’ll get more!”


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/10/2009 at 01:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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A free college-level course: An American Citizen’s Guide to Government and Politics

Yes, it’s free. College level? So far, I learned most of this stuff in 4th-grade Civics. I should note that my younger sisters didn’t have Civics when they hit 4th-grade. I mentioned that in a speech I gave to my Toastmasters Club in January. Further evidence of the ‘dumbing down’ of the electorate.

So, for those of you who didn’t have Civics in grade-school, here is a FREE college-level course, courtesy of BYU.

An American Citizen’s Guide to Government and Politics

You’ll have to register, accept cookies, and reply to the email they’ll send. Enjoy!


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/10/2009 at 12:39 PM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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