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Sunday News – Science Section

Lockheed Martin's Proposed L2-Farside Mission

The regular news is just to irritating with Obama working hard to cut Social Security benefits, surprise, surprise, among other things. So I thought I’d focus on just the science section of the TC paper today. Oh, and I’m horribly late due to getting back late from an away game (i.e., meetings, yuk), and sleeping in. So let’s see what’s happing with people actually trying to do something good in the world unlike our politicians.

First up, stars, stars, stars, my god, look at all the stars. It turns out we have been underestimating the number of stars, even in our own galaxy, by an order of 100. That’s a lot:

Red dwarfs are stars like the sun, but smaller, fainter and cooler, with somewhere between one-half and one-tenth the sun’s mass. They may be small, but they are legion—astronomers estimate that red dwarfs outnumber sun-like stars in the Milky Way by a factor of 100.

Until today’s result, astronomers had been forced to assume that the 100-to-1 ratio held in other galaxies, too. But evidence has been mounting recently that elliptical galaxies—which lack the distinctive spiral arms of galaxies like the Milky Way and are usually made of older, redder stars—had more stars relative to their dark matter than spiral galaxies do.

“Within these galaxies, a good chunk of the mass that had been ascribed to dark matter is probably stars,” said Pieter van Dokkum, the lead researcher on the project.

And of course you know what that means. More stars, more planets, more planets, more places where life exists. More things that say “eep, eep.” Wave at your new neighbors tonight.

Oxygen has been found on Saturn’s moon Rhea. The Cassini probe did a fly by and sniffed some sweet, sweet oxygen:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has taken a breath of oxygen while passing over the icy surface of Saturn’s second-largest moon, marking the first time a spacecraft has directly sampled oxygen in the atmosphere of another body. Cruising just 60 miles above Rhea, one of more than 60 moons orbiting Saturn, Cassini found an extremely thin atmosphere of oxygen and carbon dioxide likely sustained by high-energy particles slamming into the moon’s frozen surface.

Rhea’s isn’t the only other atmosphere in the universe, but it is so thin that Cassini had to fly through it just to confirm that it was there at all (other atmosphere’s have been detected and studied from afar by tools like the Hubble Space Telescope). According to Cassini’s onboard science instruments, Rhea’s atmosphere contains something like 50 billion oxygen molecules per cubic meter, matched by 20 billion carbon dioxide molecules.

Lockheed is pitching a program to go to the dark side of the moon (see image above). Of course the obvious question that comes to mind is, no, not can we afford it, but will Pink Floyd music be involved:

The mission, Lockheed says, will serve several purposes. Most immediately, it would allow astronauts to study, via unmanned robots, some lunar real estate that hasn’t been seen with human eyes since the Apollo missions. But its real function is to test out technologies and skills that will be necessary to make a manned trip to an asteroid, and then on to Mars.

The idea is to park an Orion space capsule at the L2 Lagrange point about 40,000 miles above the moon’s far side, where the combined gravity from the Earth and the moon would allow the spacecraft to essentially hover in one place in sync with the moon. From there, the astronauts would deploy and conduct remotely-operated surface science, collecting rock samples and exploring the South Pole-Aitken basin, one of the oldest craters in the solar system. From the L2 point, the capsule would continuously maintain line of sight with both the Earth and the far side of the moon.

I think unmanned missions is the way to go for a lot of these explorations. Much more cost effective and quicker to execute. We can revolutionize our materials science, our manufacturing, and our economy with such efforts. Or if we don’t, China can.

Some amazing progress has been made in our understanding of the aging process lately. Here are some recent results of interest:

Harvard scientists may be a step closer to a medical fountain of youth after figuring out how to reverse the aging process in mice. The breakthrough could lead to a way to slow the aging process in humans which in turn could extend quality of life by reducing the impact of age-related ailments like heart disease or dementia. That is, if it doesn’t kill them first.

Harvard Medical School scientists turned unhealthy old mice into youthful versions of themselves by tampering with an enzyme called telomerase. While the aging process is not totally understood, one of the many factors that causes the deterioration of the body’s tissues is tied to telomeres, which protect the end of each of the chromosomes in DNA. When cells divide, the telomeres are cut shorter and shorter until eventually they stop working altogether and the cell either dies or goes into a dormant state.

The researchers genetically engineered mice that lacked telomerase, an enzyme that stops telomeres from shortening. As such, the telomeres rapidly grew shorter and the mice aged quickly, developing all the signs of old age including damaged organs, a shrinking brain, and infertility. The researchers then injected the mice with a cocktail that reactivated their telomerase. This didn’t just slow the aging process, but actually reversed the effects of aging, essentially making the mice grow younger.

But rejuvenating old organs in mice does not necessarily mean a human treatment is on the way, the researchers warn. For one, mice make telomerase throughout their lives, but the enzyme is switched off in adult humans, as it can cause unchecked cell replication (read: cancer). None of the mice in the study developed cancer, but there’s no telling if human tissues would tolerate the treatment so well.

A lot of anti-aging research seems to come down to age vs. cancer. That is, if you can change cells so they don’t age, then the chances of cancer increases tremendously. And in fact there seems to be a direct relationship. It may turn out that in order to make more progress in dealing with aging issues, we need to get better at understanding and dealing with cancer. A win win in my opinion. More efforts to figuring out and stoping or reversing cancer sounds good to me.

We might be on the verge of a whole new computer technology revolution. Nanophotonic computing, or light based vs. electron based computing, has been under investigation for some time. IBM just showed off some new results lately that look promising:

Silicon chips will be communicating with pulses of light instead of electrical charge starting in 2011, according to International Business Machines Corp., which described its CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics (CISN) technology Wednesday (Dec. 1) at a tradeshow.

At Semicon Japan in Chiba, Japan, IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) heralded silicon nanophotonics as the enabler for future exascale processors that can execute a million trillion operations per second (1,000-times faster than today’s petascale supercomputers).

“The CMOS silicon nanophotonics technology we have developed at IBM can meet the requirements for exascale systems, by scaling up per-chip transceiver bandwidth and integration density,” said Will Green, an IBM researcher involved with the CISN project. Green worked on CISN with Yurii Vlasov, manager of silicon integrated nanophotonics at its T.J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and fellow researchers Solomon Assefa, Alexander Rylakov, Clint Schow and Folkert Horst.

I for one welcome our new nanophotonic based overlords.

In the slightly creepy news department, researchers are able to tag eggs and embryos with bar codes:

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona have come up with an ingenious solution for keeping track of embryos and egg cells during in vitro fertilisation procedures: microscopic bar codes.

These mouse eggs were tagged by injecting microscopic silicon bar codes into their perivitelline space, the gap between the cell membrane and an outer membrane called the zona pellucida, which binds sperm cells during fertilisation.

The bar codes, which carry unique binary identification numbers, are biologically inert: they do not affect the rate of embryo development and are shed before the embryos implant into the wall of the uterus. The technique aims to simplify individual embryo identification, streamlining in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer procedures.

OK, sounds like it’s for a good reason. But still, a bit creepy.

And speaking of new technology and creepy, or rather bad, all our new wifi broadcasting may be hurting trees:

Studies on the impact of wireless radiation on humans are endlessly inconclusive, but a recent study on the effects of Wi-Fi radiation on trees–yes, trees–indicates that our woody friends may be much more vulnerable than we are. And trees can’t even enjoy the benefits of Wi-Fi. It’s all very unjust.

The study, conducted by Wageningen University, investigated findings that trees in areas with high Wi-Fi activity (urban areas, especially) were suffering from symptoms that couldn’t be tied to typical bacterial or viral causes. The symptoms included bleeding (!), fissures in the bark, the death of parts of leaves, and abnormal growth.

Oops. Of course it’s not an issue if forests and in rural areas. But still, it’s something to look into. Perhaps they’re only hurt by certain frequency ranges that we can avoid.

And finally, a nice development in methods to desalinate water also includes the ability to easily extract hydrogen:

Fresh water and reusable energy. Humans are on a constant hunt for a sustainable supply of both. Water purification requires a lot of energy, while utility companies need large amounts of water for energy production. Their goal is to find a low-energy-required treatment technology. Researchers from the University of Colorado Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science may have discovered an answer.

Last year, a study published in Environmental Science & Technology incorporated desalination into microbial fuel cells, a new technology that can treat wastewater and produce electricity simultaneously. However, putting it into practical use proved to be challenging due to current fluctuation. Zhiyong (Jason) Ren and his team with the University of Colorado Denver discovered, after six months from the initial hypothesis to completion, that they could produce hydrogen gas, which is collectible and storable, thus making improvements in the technology.

[…]

A recent study by Logan group at Penn State University also demonstrated similar findings in that the energy contained in hydrogen gas not only can offset the energy used for the desalination process but has surplus that can be used for downstream processing.

That would solve our two biggest resource problems, water and energy. Nice bit of work there people. More of that please.

There’s a bit of science news for you. Chime in with more of that or with other news. This is an open thread.

111 Responses

  1. DT,
    Nice post, plenty of interesting stuff, by gawdfry.
    Cyber Monday:

    1. A subscription to wired magazine
    2. A subscription to steam (half-life set)

    City 17, texas (refuge for wikileaks)

  2. Thank you for the Obumbles reprieve. When the Obots thought that he was the next coming, his exploits were always in the news. Now that they see that he is an empty suit , he is all over the news looking weak. For a nerd like me, this post was a nice substitute.

    I had heard about the new computing platform, but I didn’t think it would be ready til 2012, AND I thought that Intel was perfecting that technology.

    I’d really like to see the rejuvenating enzyme cocktail used first on organs, then on load bearing structures and/or joints. This may be the first and best cure for RA.

    Kudos on the send out the probes section. We are too broke as a nation to send people as far as we can send modified probes. Plus, its initially a safer bet, like you said.

    Keep up the great posts, DT! 🙂

    Hillary 2012

    • Blue Waters is due to be released in 2011 by IBM. Another world’s fastest supercomputer with a terabit interconnect.

  3. This is Off Topic but, does anyone know where to find Candy Canes that are made in the USA … or at least not in China? And, normal traditional canes. Not orange or other flavors.

  4. Clinton uses WikiLeaks disclosures to draw a laugh

    Clinton said she found it extraordinary to greet so many talented people. She then said: `I am writing a cable about it, which I’m sure you’ll find soon on your closest website.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101205/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_clinton_wikileaks_1

  5. KB –

    Your best bet is the 104 year old Spangler’s candy canes are made in OH:

    http://www.spanglercandy.com/order/large_candycanes_jar.php

    Vermont Country Store has a large selection of old fashioned type candies, including peppermint straws and cream filled straws. Check the country of origin for each:

    http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/products/all-natural-food-and-classic-candy/Holiday-Sweets/Holiday-Straws.html?evar3=search

    http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/products/all-natural-food-and-classic-candy/Holiday-Sweets/f17335.html?evar3=search

    The 115 year old Goetze’s Candy Company still makes all it’s products in Baltimore, MD They require 2 weeks delivery time. They don’t have candy canes, however.

    No luck at the “Made in Fairfield, USA”, Jelly Belly’s either.

    • PERFECT!!! Thank you!! xxoo (Memorizing: Spangler)

      I knew there had to be at least one left!

      • Here is another link to Spangler Candy


        Spangler Candy Company is headquartered in OH

        Spangler Candy Company is a family-owned private company making candy since 1906. Our products include lollipops,candy canes, and marshmallow candies.

        Our familiar brand names are Dum Dum Pops®, Saf-T-Pops®, Spangler® Candy Canes, and Spangler® Circus Peanuts.

        We manufacture and market the licensed brand names of Jelly Belly®, Shrek®, Sour Punch®, Smarties®, and Cinnabon® on select candy cane items.

    • Hey, you remember Brown Cows and Sugar Daddies? It turns out that the guy who owned that company was a super duper right wing reactionary crazy.
      I used to love those things. I liked softening the caramel and pulling a hunk of it up into a curly-q shape at the top of the sucker.
      Makes me gag now to think about it.

    • They’re made in Mexico now but, I don’t think Mexicans cook with melamine.

      Country of Origin: Manufactured for Spangler Candy Company. Made in Spangler’s co-manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico. Ingredients, equipment, and processes are owned and controlled by Spangler Candy Company. “

  6. OK, it’s official, I’m an extreme geek. I’m seriously thinking about a watch band for my iPod Nano (6th Gen). Though not so geeky that I’m not embarrassed by the thought. 🙂
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/05/frontal-concepts-infuse-ipod-nano-watch-strap-wins-imaginary-de/

    • Go for the one that secures your earbud cord to your arm. I don’t think that would look too geeky.

  7. Ok, I was listening to Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd and Susie Madrak and they were talking about primarying Obama. The usual losers, er, suspects were mentioned: Dean, Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold. Why the left has a fixation for candidates who have lost their seats or previous candidacies or have never run for office before in their lives is beyond me.
    But Susie did mention one possibility who has a good shot at running and winning: Ed Rendell. He was a Clinton superdelegate until the bitter end in June 2008, he’s a pragmatic liberal and he was a former two term governor. She says he’s got that personal charisma thing goin’ for him. AND he’s no fan of Obama.
    He did put that stupid Hound Dog post up after the RBC hearing. He must have thought we were aging bobby soxers but I wasn’t even a twinkle in my Dad’s eye when Elvis swivelled his hips to that tune. So, Ed needs to start paying attention.
    Ok, Ed, what have you got? What’s in it for us working class liberals?

    • And let us hear why you were an idiot in 2008 and why you won’t be an idiot like that again. I’m mean, hound dog, what a dweeb he was.

      • Yep. Pretty frickin bad. It totally pissed me off. But he might be forceful enough to get the job done.

    • I suspect it will take someone from Ohio or PA to take a good hard run at Obama.

      (and Please! NO Evan Bayh!)

    • Dang it! I meant to listen to it. That show is on at the worst possible time for me. Too much Sunday stuff going on.

      • The one I’m referring to was from last thursday. You can stream it. Susie’s pretty good, actually. Great to listen to. But she has a tendency to apologize for liking Hillary, which, at this point seems kind of pointless. Hillary is the most successful person in the Obama administration. She deserves credit for that even if the blogger boyz don’t like her.
        I wish Susie would stop doing that. It makes her look and sound weak as a female blogger. They already know what Susie thinks of Hillary. Why apologize? I wouldn’t. If Ackroyd wants to expand his audience, pissing off the Clinton Democrats is not the way to go.

        • Does he seem to want to piss of the Clinton Dems? I talked to him a few times before the primaries. He didn’t seem nasty. Still I let it slide away in 2008 … I just sensed he’d be an Obama guy.

          • You know, I have the sense that he’s a reasonable guy. He’s judiciously critical of Obama, and the smoke seems to have cleared from his eyes. He sees things clearly and knows that Obama needs to be primaried.
            But he is still clinging to the idea that Dean would be a good replacement if only he would give up DFA and run. So, he hasn’t quite touched down yet.
            You wanna know what I think? Probably not but I’m going to tell you anyway: if people like Jay and Jane and Digby et al don’t firmly touch down to earth pretty soon, they will be completely overwhelmed by the dirty mongrel working class horde that rolls over them. They are quickly making themselves irrelevant by ignoring working class people and assuming that they are too ignorant and low information to make any difference. I think they will be shunted to the side. So, Jay, if you’re out there reading us, don’t diss the Clinton voters and FDR bloc. Your numbers are small and your movement is a dead end.
            Ours will be like a phoenix.

          • (shiver) I like that.

            A phoenix. Alive.

          • I’m seeing the Fairness, Dignity Respect t-shirt with the rising phoenix now…

            and a reference to a website…

        • I’ll find that show and listen. Susie’s not apologetic in print. It must be a vocal thing.

          • She was definitely apologetic. it irritates me to no end when an otherwise assertive female voice performs an act of submission to some clueless and obviously wrong male in order to make herself acceptable to him and his cohort. Fuck that shit, Susie. Tell him how you really feel. Hillary was a Democrat and never hid that. Obama never was. She would have been a hell of a lot better than Obama and you know it.

    • I like Ed Rendell, he’s been a pretty good governor and he definitely knows how to realte to lunch-bucket dems, but he was reported recently as saying BO & Pelosi have to get real about the deficit and implying support for the Catfood Commission.

      • Or he could mean that rescinding the Bush deficit increase measures for the wealthy. That could mean a lot of things. But you’re right. We need to investigate further.

    • I don’t get this argument progressives have been making lately that someone from the left should primary Obama even if that someone has no chance, because it would pull Obama further to the left. If that someone has no chance, why would Obama care or budge because of a symbolic primary challenge. He knows he’s going to win anyway. He would keep his eyes on the general election. Now an independent challenge in the general would be a different story. He’d pay attention to that for sure.

  8. I have a question ….

    Has anyone flown Southwest Airlines recently? Is it worth it to get Early Bird check-in?

    • Not lately. It’s always worth going early though. the earlier the better. Sleep in the airport.

      • I don’t mind getting there early but, I just wish a person could tell how many others have already signed up for this service (It’s like a # for the line) My flight is Thursday.

        I’m kind of thinking that since I’ve got my Nook & my knitting, I don’t really care where I sit….

        (Can you tell I don’t travel much? I’m getting so excited!!! Oh, and NY City too!!)

  9. Right wing heads could explode 🙂

    Texas judge to hold hearing on death penalty law

    HOUSTON – In the deeply Republican state that has executed more convicts than any other and the county that has sent the most to death row, an unusual legal proceeding will begin this week: A Democratic judge will hold a lengthy hearing on the constitutionality of the death penalty in Texas.

    State District Judge Kevin Fine surprised many Texans last spring when he granted what is usually a routine and typically rejected defense motion and ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. His ruling came in the case of John Edward Green Jr., who is awaiting trial on charges he fatally shot a Houston woman and wounded her sister during a June 2008 robbery.

    It seems to me the key are arguments over the process which has almost certainly led to wrongful executions.

    The debate over possible wrongful executions in Texas has been fueled by the cases of Cameron Todd Willingham and Claude Jones.

    Willingham was put to death in 2004 after being convicted of burning down his home in Corsicana in 1991 and killing his 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old twins. His execution has been questioned since several fire experts found serious fault in the arson findings that led to his conviction.

    Jones was convicted in the 1989 killing of a liquor store owner during a robbery near Point Blank, about 75 miles north of Houston. His 2000 execution was called into question after a new DNA test showed a hair that had been the only piece of physical evidence linking him to the crime scene didn’t belong to him.

  10. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I sense that you guys are not too fond of the O Man. It’s subtle, but my keen instincts have picked up on it.

    Assuming the Presidency in the best of circumstances must be like getting clubbed in the back of the head and kneed in the groin simultaneously. Dropping into the Oval Office after Bush must have been like stepping into an elevator shaft after the elevator has passed your floor. I still hold out some qualified hope, with serious reservation. That hope is fading as the lame duck Dems play political theater rather than cutthroat poker.

    It’s frustrating to see that much promise underdeliver on such a massive level; but Obama obviously learned something from watching Clinton’s failures – healthcare, notably – and missteps – triangulating to Right of Center – and resolved to not repeat them. Instead he made his own mistakes, notably pursuit of bi-partisanship instead of bringing out the flamethrowers. Then there were the stupendous f–k ups of giving Roberts and Alito passes to the Big Dance That Never Ends, which helped tee up Citizens United. I’m disappointed, too; but I don’t know who would have done much better, fighting the Right’s hate and division machine. There’s so much hash on the grill, I don’t think Clinton, Kennedy and Johnson together could have sorted this Charlie Foxtrot out much better than O has to date. I could have, of course… but modesty precludes my participation in the electoral process, along with a few other things.

    • (grinning) I LOVE your post. Thank you for sharing what the New Words are. We don’t get much of that here since the primaries.

    • It’s frustrating to see that much promise underdeliver on such a massive level; but Obama obviously learned something from watching Clinton’s failures

      ROFLMAO
      😆 😆 😆

    • Ok, let me get this straight. You acknowledge that Bush made a complete botch of things, that he left destruction and chaos in his wake. But you didn’t think that Clinton would have been better, despite the fact that she was a two term senator, a hard working first lady for 8 years, a first lady of Arkansas before that and was respected around the world and who would have had the benefit of the best presidential mentor you can get. No, you don’t think she or LBJ, who only managed to get a major Civil Rights bill passed during his term and ushered in the Great Society including medicare, or Kennedy who stared down Kruschev on missiles in Cuba, not those three people COMBINED would be any better than sending in a guy who used to run away from the label “Democrat” and had so little experience that sending him into the Oval Office would be like sending bambi to defeat Godzilla.
      I hope you don’t expect to be taken seriously.

      • Yeah, send a guy who voted over 100 times “present” to avoid accountability for his votes or who praised Reagan, who began the destruction of the working class.

      • Okay, let ME get this straight.

        I’ve met Bill Clinton, and I love the guy, but “best presidential mentor”? This is the same Bill Clinton who triangulated to the tune of the Republican band, winning by taking the arguments away from the other side; but simultaneously disappointing liberals and progressives bitterly. That’s one of the lessons Obama should have learned to avoid and my greatest disappointment. Clinton also backed down on taking action against Al Quaida because of the Lewinski scandal and the attacks he feared from the GOP. Do you think HIllary would have repudiated her own legacy? Do you think Bill’s going to cease burnishing his? Never happen. By the way, I was FOR Hillary. And if she runs again, I would consider her. Her experience at State would make her a much stronger candidate today.

        And regarding LBJ, I was growing up in a sundown town in the latter days of the civil rights struggle. I was part of that era of US History, I knew a lot of people active in it, and I had a private breakfast with Rosa Parks, her assistant Elaine Steel, and her attorney Home McLaerty. Johnson was a latecomer to that game, and while he was a master dealer in a time when Dems and Reps would still speak to each other; he totally screwed up Vietnam and handed the White House to some Dick. By the way, I stood in the last lottery for Vietnam.

        I loved JFK, and experienced the national crisis of his death. I’m incensed about the hatchet job miniseries “The (un)History Channel” is doing on them. if you want to compare facing down a banana republic dictator in a time before the 24/7 news cycle with all the world behind him, when we had a strategic and tactical advantage over the USSR to dealing with two wars, a cratering economy, and a totally polarized and poisoned political environment without uniform global support, go ahead. I also lived through that time, and it was scary. But it was a much clearer stand in a time when we were stronger. I just pray North Korea – or Iran – doesn’t turn into Cuba for our times.

        By the way, Kennedy escalated our involvement in Vietnam, a trend that LBJ accelerated with the bogus “Gulf of Tonkin” incident, his version of “WMDs in Iraq”.

        In short, Yes, I do expect to be taken seriously, And I think you’d do well to think before you leap down someone’s throat with that insulting insinuation. I don’t think you do yourself or this forum a favor with that kind of judgmental incivility and unquestioning certitude in your own right.

        “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.” – Lawrence O’Donnell.

        • I don’t think you do yourself or this forum a favor with that kind of judgmental incivility and unquestioning certitude in your own right.

          We’ve been doing it all wrong from the the day we started this thing.

          Luckily we have successful bloggers like you coming by to point out our inadequacies and mistakes.

          We’ve lived in a hermetically sealed biosphere all our lives so we have no personal knowledge of the events that took place in the last 50 years.

          Everything we know we learned from Wikipedia.

          We are eternally indebted to you for your wisdom and guidance.

          • Curious, how you can’t rebut, but only grace us with your wit. Or what passes for it.

            Remember, “twit” is “wit” with an extra “t”.

            Maybe you should learn to use “no” instead of “know” appropriately. And when tempted to tell us what you know, just say no.

          • You appear to be operating under the misapprehension that anyone here gives a fuck what you thing.

          • OMG. Just got around to reading this retort and it is SO CLEVER. Twat is Twit without the I! Hooray for SPELLING!

        • If you’re looking to redeem yourself for supporting Obama by bashing the Clintons, I would suggest another strategy.

    • Everyone wants to be a comedian. That’s pretty funny material.

    • Yes, Obama learned is that all you have to do is give Republicans everything they want and then you “win!” You don’t “fail” because the vote for the hideousness passes! You just don’t do anything that is good for the common person.

      Health ‘care’ is a case in point of that. Obama himself admitted that the bill was essentially written by the Heritage Foundation. Affordable Care Act — what a cynical name.

      A LEADER — ANY LEADER would have done better.

      • That’s an argument I’d expect to hear in a middle school civics class, if such a thing still exists.

        • LOL, you don’t understand the issues at all, do you.

        • Yes. Because even a twelve year old can grasp the idea that democratically elected leaders are public servants. Odd how sophisticates like yourself are unable to get that one.

    • He’s an Obot in love…the uncurable variety I would say. It’s a difficult thing to see the afflicted brain up close, disintegrating before our eyes even as he blabbers away.

      • And you’re a crack-headed crank. Gee, isn’t that a persuasive argument…

        Step up your game: you’re a few wickets short of being a real player in a political debate.

        “Snide comments do not a persuasive argument make.” – Yoda

  11. H/T Cannonfire, patched and wounded Democratic Party

    I disagree about the stitches. That party is bleeding.
    My attempts at posting images have failed me.

  12. What a wonderful roundup, Dandy Tiger! Thank you!!

    I am confused about the statement about Hershey kisses being made in China. I recalled hearing something on NPR re Hersheys building a new factory and laying off workers, but I believe the new factory is still in Pennsylvania:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130079220

    I hope that is still correct!!

    djmm

    • I was just in Hershey this summer and it still smelled like chocolate cake.

    • When they did the layoffs that was party because they were moving more operations over the China. Including kisses. They may not have moved it all over yet, but that’s the plan from what I heard.

      • On the plus side, domestic chocolate making is really flourishing, so there is plenty of great chocolate to be had. But those tend to be smaller operations and because of that a bit more expensive. There are even several good ventures going here in C’ville.

        • Yeah, but sometimes don’t you crave a Hershey’s with almonds? Nothing fancy or creamy or high in cocoa content. Just chocolate and nuts embossed with big letters.

          • I’m a migraine sufferer. I steer clear of REAL chocolate but I can eat Hershey’s. I figured out it’s because it doesn’t have much chocolate in it! Thanks, Hershey for making chocolate that isn’t so chocolate.

          • I beg to differ. Hershey’s chocolate has plenty of chocolate. In fact, I really feel like I’m eating chocolate when I eat a Hershey bar. But it’s not tarted up or anything. It’s probably not conched for long or picked over for impeccability or whatever. It’s just sort of unadorned. I’ve had the higher cocoa content chocolates but they always taste a little bitter and astringent to me. Hershey’s doesn’t require a specialized palate to pick up the fruitiness or earthy notes. It doesn’t ask for an intellect. It’s just simple. It’s recreational chocolate. That’s why I love it.

          • Recreational chocolate. I love it.

        • Are they making chocolate or enrobing candy? I suspect many of the candy makers are importing the chocolate.

          Name names.

  13. This just in: Jeffrey Kindler, CEO of Pfizer and the guy responsible for laying off most of my friends and former colleagues after a merger, depriving them of their careers, probably permanently, has unexpectedly resigned after arranging a $68 billion merger with Wyeth and getting rid of 19,000 employees in the aftermath.

    In a surprise announcement late Sunday evening, Kindler, 55, said he’s leaving Pfizer after 4 1/2 “extremely demanding” years to recharge his batteries. Kindler said he plans to spend more time with family for a while and prepare for new challenges.

    Take all the time you need, Jeffrey. And for god’s sakes, stay away from the other companies in the industry. We have enough trouble as it is.
    Mr. Kindler has been the single most important force in turning former Independents and Republicans into howling socialists.

    • He got his tax break today, so he’s all set.

      • In my Chanel no. 5 fantasy, people like Kindler hop on their private jets for a nice relaxing vacation at one of those resorts that we can never gain access to and instead of reaching his destination, he is rerouted to the Cayman Islands, forever, so he can spend eternity with his money.
        Yep, some tiny little islands near enough to the mainland US and right smack dab in the middle of Hurricane alley. No way off the island. And no cable or satellite. Just years and years of Gilligan’s Island reruns and all the insipid tropical vegetables he can eat.
        Ahhhh, bliss.

        • How about the island from Lost?

          • Never watched it. Is it hot and humid without AC, primitive wrt contact with the outside world, subject to unusual and destructive weather patterns and devoid of geological and environmental interest? Because that’s where I think Kindler and his buddies should be redirected so they can get closer to their tax free millions.
            Or maybe he’s developed a conscience and the burden of guilt he carries from ruining so many lives has finally taken a toll on him.

            Nahh.

          • How about Bikini Atoll circa 1946?

  14. I found the comments so interesting I had to add my two cents….I have received letters and e mails from all across the country after Candyman:the David Klein story aired on the Documentary channel. This is the story of how I created Jelly Belly jelly beans with my last 800.00. Yes everyone it will be repeated on December 25 on the Documentary channel at 8:00 pm eastern.. Thank you David Klein

  15. Aol plots breakup, then merger with Yahoo.

  16. Martin Feldstein at 34:10 writes the script for Obama that the “Republicans twisted his arm” to extend G.W.’s tax cuts for the rich.

  17. My Morning Sneeze – why are so many people now a days spending effort to deconstruct Obama?
    http://wp.me/p38IU-4fc

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