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Beets, Cabbage, Guava and Swiss Chard

Swiss chard doesn’t even sound edible

Check your readability scores



Huckabee a fiscal con?

Random Link o’ the Day:


Christmas Gift Guide Vol. VI

For the Politico

Many of my readers are Politicos, people just a little too interested in politics. Politicos are so into politics they make others around them, normally family members and co-workers, feel just a little bit uncomfortable whenever they’re around. I’m not here to judge for I too am a Politico. What I am here to do is introduce some Impact gift concepts which will go a long way towards bridging the gap between Politicos and normal people.

The first gift is funny and would be appropriate for Politicos of any persuasion…

The Hillary Nut Cracker:

Through the whole nutcracking process, her smile doesn’t change a bit. East or West, right or left, right or wrong for that matter, you gotta love this one. Hillary the Thighmistress has rock-solid stainless steel thighs for getting the job done; details are sculpted in resin. 9″H x 3″W.

If only the Democratic frontrunner could live up to this product (you know, rather than complain about the men ganging up on her when she commits a blunder in a debate).

Shucks, I was going to try to be apolitical in these…

Okay, another option here is to get these Tree Huggers:

Put your front-runner in your front yard. These clever, detailed tree huggers securely attach to a tree trunk, looking like Hillary, Barack, Rudy, John or Fred is making a campaign stop on your lawn. Each has their own flag to wave and is made of sturdy, weather- and mudslinging-proof polyresin to endure a long, looong election season. 12″H.

Despite the Tree Hugger name these items work for members of either political party. They are also effective in keeping the neighbors kids off the lawn.

Political seasons become very hectic, I know this from several angles (activist, volunteer, campaign manager, blogger) and keeping track of time is very important. To get on schedule I suggest this Hamster Clock (assuming you’re not already buying the Homer Simpson cuckoo clock). See it as a way of attracting eyes to watch the time:

The colorful Hamster Clock features a furry, mechanical hamster inside of a hamster exercise wheel. Once every minute, THE HAMSTER RUNS and the hamster wheel goes around one revolution. The wheel is connected to an intricate series of 12 gears — So when the hamster wheel goes around, it makes the clock’s minute hand move 1-minute forward.

But we’ve save the most astounding fact for last — the entire clock is DRIVEN BY THE HAMSTER. The timing mechanism is INSIDE THE HAMSTER itself. Each minute, when it starts to run, it forces the wheel around, setting the clock in motion.
It must have taken a lot of engineering to get everything exactly right, but the clock works perfectly. The only drawback is that when the clock starts spinning each minute, it is kind of noisy. But what can you expect — you have a running hamster robot, 12 gears, and a spinning exercise wheel — it’s gonna make some noise.

Finally, an environmental pick, Carbon credits:

As part of the greening plan, the Institute [of Ecosystem Studies] is selling C02 credits. By purchasing these credits, donors will be helping the Institute invest in energy-saving technology. Our goal is to retire up to 1000 tons of C02 emissions at a rate of $30 per ton. To date, nearly half of the C02 credits have been purchased, raising $14,600 of the $30,000 goal.

The Institute’s C02 reduction initiative was patterned after the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, which is helping the EU meet Kyoto Protocol targets on greenhouse gas emissions. Participating donors will receive a certificate of acknowledgement and their name engraved on a plaque in the IES Greenhouse.

According to IES Development Director Ms. Diana Salsberg, individual donors have purchased the credits to commemorate spouses, children, weddings, and their own personal interest in the environment. “The credits are a way that people can help reduce local C02 emissions,” Ms. Salsberg notes. Adding that, “It’s nice to visit the Greenhouse and see the names of those who helped launch the first phase of the greening project.”

The best part about carbon credits is they can be used by both political parties. Democrats like Al Gore can hide their hypocrisy with carbon credits (he’s got a passion for private jets) while Republicans can hide their apathy with the same. It’s a perfect tool for the Politico in need of PR perfection.


English Grammar, wikibook

Buckley Life stuff

CQ on elections

Koran on wikibooks

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Antwan L. WalkerSgt. Antwan L. Walker

22 years old from Tampa, Florida
2nd Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
May 18, 2005

Sgt. Antwan Walker was excited about coming home from Iraq to celebrate his 23rd birthday with his family and friends. His mother, Andrea Pringle, was busy planning the party when an Army official unexpectedly came to her house.

She said he told her Thursday that her son was killed the previous day by a bomb blast in Ramadi. The Department of Defense hasn’t publicly confirmed his death.

Sgt. Antwan Walker, known as Twan to his friends and family, joined the Army in 2000. Pringle said her son joined to earn money for college.

“Twan had a lot of goals in life,” She said. “He was very ambitious and very smart.”

Sgt. Walker had been in Iraq for about a year. He called his family often but didn’t want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about starting a real estate career and his three children.

“He was such a good dad,” his mother said. “All he wanted to do was make a good life for his kids.”

In April 2005, Walker wanted to talk about the fighting. He told his mother five soldiers he was traveling with were killed. His phone calls became more frequent after that.

Pringle said she had days when she couldn’t eat or sleep because of her worries. But she never forgot to give her son her support.

“I always told him I’m proud and be safe”.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Wednesday Heroes are written by Indian Chris as part of a non-partisan effort to recognize the bravery of our men in uniform.

Others Participating in the Wednesday Hero effort:


Stephen King Suggests Waterboarding Jenna Bush

Storyboards at Wiki

MRI scans of second hand smoke lungs

Hueristics Work?

10th blogiversary

101 mad scientist projects

Random Link o’ the Day:


Christmas Gift Guide Vol. V

For the Kids

Despite what some teachers’ unions say, conservatives don’t hate kids. In fact, conservatives are much more likely to make the life decisions that lead to spending several years around kids than are today’s liberals. It’s just that conservatives understand kids don’t contribute to the GDP. It’s not their fault and it’s well known by conservatives that children will eventually be productive members of society.

Because of the conservative economic understanding of children we do our best to balance investment in children (which will reflect the potential GDP of the future) with what they drain from our current GDP. Many people believe you can’t spend enough on “The Children.” Those people aren’t very bright. Destroying wealth isn’t going to lead to prosperity. “The Children” might just have to go without laptops in kindergarten as the money saved is probably better spent investing in solar energy research or cooler ways to destroy cars in movies.

For this reason, I have never really focused on kids’ gifts in the Christmas Gift Guides. I realize this is in error as kids can be impacted by the right gifts the rest of their lives. And my first gift choice could keep future therapists employed long after I’m gone:

Bears in Tanks:

If you think bears are frightening in the woods, you should see them on the battlefield. Researchers have discovered that bears possess an uncanny ability to operate heavy machinery and field artillery. In addition, their skills in map-reading and military tactics are unrivaled in the animal kingdom.

Now, Stupid.com celebrates nature’s unsung heroes with this remarkable set of…


Each beautifully crafted figure features a heroic bear astride a fierce armored vehicle. One bear is about to throw a hand grenade, another mans a machine gun. (or is it “bears a machine gun”) There are four styles in all.

The Bears in Tanks figures are made from hand painted polyresin and measure about 4″ each.

Unbelievably, Bears in Tanks are available at a substantial discount.

If sending conflicting messages regarding cuteness and war aren’t you style, maybe giving an electronic pet is the way to go:

Not only does Pleo move and react autonomously, he looks just like a mini dinosaur. Pleo’s lifelike motions and realistic interactions will have you treating him like part of the family in no time.

Frankly on our list of cool pets robots rank #1 with dinosaurs a close second, so Pleo is certainly the best of both worlds. Plus we were happy to notice the addition of a mini USB port and SD memory card slot which will hopefully lead to some sweet Pleo hacks. Enough blabbing. Check out the Pleo video below and all will be revealed.

Robots are great, especially for the kids that have a hard time making friends. (See, when you have an army of robots you don’t need friends.)

Another option for the socially inept is to get one of those drinking bird things:

These “Dippy Birds” have been around for years, and you can’t fool us – you’ve always wanted one. Now’s your chance! But do you understand how it works? Do you get the complex relationship between chemistry and physics that makes this simple heat engine operate?

Is it a perpetual motion machine, or is it something more than that? Well, the answer is it’s more than that. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states (paraphrased) that energy can neither be created nor destroyed in a closed system. So how does that relate to our little glass birdie here?

The goop in his butt is methylene chloride has a very low boiling point, and therefore evaporates quickly. At room temperature, one or two degrees temperature difference causes the bright red chemical to climb to his head. Suddenly topheavy, he falls over. The felt head, soaked in the water from the cup, cools the methylene chloride, and it drains back to the bottom. The bird rights itself, and it starts all over again.

Sadly, I found out about this little bird when it became the proxy safety inspector for Homer Simpson when he became too fat to work in season seven. Just imagine the hours a child could spend in quiet contemplation. Be careful though, this gift can delay the proper diagnosis of autism.

If there’s a child who’s afraid of the dark and needs a way to hide their fears by using something remotely cool as a night light (at least as cool as astronomy gets) try giving them the light up moon night light:

Authentically detailed, the R/C Moon Phase Light hangs on your wall and shines moonlight just like the real moon. It is light sensitive too, so it will only shine in a darkened room. Capable of twelve different phases, the Moon Light can be set to cycle through each phase (in 5 second intervals) or set to hold your favorite phase. And the best part is, your Moon is run by a little remote control, so you can turn on the unit or change the phase or mode without taking it down off the wall. We like the waxing gibbous phase the best because, well, it just sounds funny.

This is also a good gift for kids who are too lazy to, you know, get up and walk over to a window.

Finally it’s time for our environmental choice, Twig Crayons:

For the child or adult that has everything! These beautiful collection of crayons are salvaged from Polands sustainable forest areas.

Each kit comes complete with 60 crayons (5 of each color) in a beautiful birch holder.

Crayons are easy for budding artists to hold and vary in length in size (as with all handmade, natural products)

Adult supervision for sharpening

Yeah, and at 150 bucks you’ll be doing a lot of sharpening.

Personal Update

I was going along there without a hitch until I picked up a copy of Vince Flynn’s latest novel, Protect and Defend. I just can’t put it down but I’ll be done with it and blogging again on the morrow. BTW, Protect and Defend is a perfect gift for anyone who reads this blog, man and woman alike.