Monday, February 27, 2006

Baseball in March?

Yes, something is coming and it's called the World Baseball Classic. It's modeled after the soccer World Cup where professional players from various leagues get together and play for their country. It's going to be a short tournament in March of baseball playing countries. People are going wild about it in the Dominican Republic and Central America, and Americans may get into it once it starts. The Classic is run mainly by Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, and the American baseball players union.

Not surprisingly the usual jerks arose to push their weight around and cause problems with something that should be fun. The NY Yankees lead by their owner George Steinbrenner objected to their player's involvement for fear they'd get injured. They can't officially block their players from participating, but have informally discouraged Yankees from playing. Then the Bush administration worked to prohibit the Cuban national team from entry into the tournament. The Puerto Rican professional league threatened to pull out in protest to another stupid call by Bush and friends. Losing the Puerto Rican league and Cuban team would cripple and in fact invalidate the tournament. Fidel Castro offered to donate all proceeds from the games to victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the Bush Administration gave in. Cuba will be in the games.

As suggested above, Puerto Rico, although not an independent country, has a team in these games. That’s just a cool move and of course well earned by Puerto Rican baseball players.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Old School Freak managed to outdo Bluefish Canoe by reporting on a recently discovered Jurassic era freak animal called Castorocauda lutrasimilis. Castorocauda lutrasimilis is Latin for "beaver tail and similar to the otter". The nytimes article provides no explanation of how beaver tail and similar to the otter is expressed in only two words in Latin. Nor is there any account of why the scientists didn't name the newly found species the Latin equivalent of similar to the platypus. I have no explanation either, but the nytimes does concede Castorocauda lutrasimilis is pretty much like a platypus (but not a relation according to the article).

Anyway, if you didn't go to the link this is what it looks like:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Guy with Two 1,000 Gallon Fish Tanks

Fred Hamilton of Cincinnati, Ohio has two 1,000 gallon fish tanks for a total of 2,000 gallons of indoor aquatic habitat. Naturally, he has also published on the Internet. I don't mean to disparage Mr. Hamilton or his colossal effort. I, in fact, have the utmost respect for a guy who just really likes big fish tanks. Check out the web site. It’s pretty cool.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I can't believe I forgot Downhill Battle

I didn't have a link to downhill battle on the blog till now. I should have, but it just slipped my mind. It's a cool site and the dudes who make are super cool Worcester people.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney Resignation Pool

I believe you all know the tune to this one:

Na na naa na
Na na naa na
Say hey, hey

May that ditty be the anthem to the Dick Cheney Resignation Pool. Here the rules: you guess a date for Dick Cheney’s resignation, leave it on the comments section (you do not need a username or password although you can make one, but you must copy the squiggly letters). The contestant who guesses the date closest to Dick Cheney’s actual resignation wins a mix CD made by me. You can guess a date past the inevitable resignation—it’s purely closest date wins.

Dick Cheney’s years of arrogance, secrecy, insolence, and incompetence followed by a high profile shooting accident dumb and sad enough for the media to jump on—oh yes it’s on. He’s a liability, and it’s time for him to go!

My guess = March 15th.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Plame Was Spying on Iran when Cheney "Outed" Her

For the first time, and possibly the only time, we may actually have breaking news at Blue Fish Canoe. According to Larisa Alexandrovna of a blog called the Raw Story, Valerie Plame Wilson was investigating an underground network of terrorists who smuggled nuclear bomb making materials to Iran when she was “outed” by Cheney & co. This story is corroborated by Stephen Clemens, the Executive Vice President of the centrist think tank, the New America Foundation. Mr. Clemens appeared today on the Brian Lehrer Show where he mentioned the connection, and if Stephen Clemens is good enough for the great NYC radioman, Brian Lehrer, then he’s is good enough for me.

The underground network of nuclear smugglers that Plame infiltrated included known Pakistani granddaddy of proliferators, A.Q. Khan. The report is vague on what exactly Plames role was as a spy, but said her outing did “severe” damage to America’s ability to monitor the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

If this turns out to be true, will we finally have enough evidence to show Bush and friends have done far more to harm American security than to bolster it? During the elections two years ago only one candidate, Dean, clearly said Bush makes us vulnerable, but now it seems pretty obvious. The Iraq war has emboldened Iran to pursue nuclear weapons seeing we’re too weak to stop them. The only chance we have to slow Iran appears to be Russian diplomacy (imagine being dependent on Russia six years ago). The North Koreans have been forgotten and left to build who knows what—and again thanks to the war in Iraq we’re powerless to stop them. And now, our own efforts to keep tabs on a volatile nation, a nation run by people who openly hate us, were undermined by our own VPs office.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What's Wrong with Park Slope: Exhibit A

I’d like to draw your attention to the link to the right called the Muk Report. This dude, Muk, said he made these joke tee-shirts making fun of Park Slope and people from “the Slope” freaked out. I should say Park Slope is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY known for being a bit on the yuppyish side in a sanctimonious, young parent kind of way (it's as bad as it sounds). Check out the blog and the subsequent comment section for nauseating dose of self-righteousness from PS breeders.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Nature's Freak Part IV: The Platypus

This species I believe to be the king of nature’s freaks as well as my favorite animal. In English we call him the duckbilled platypus. When the English first discovered the platypus, they sent a stuffed one back to the British Museum in London and officials in the museum thought it was joke. They assumed the explorers had sewed a beak onto a baby beaver. The platypus lives in limbo between mammal and marsupial. It’s toothless, venomous, egg-laying; it has boobs, and it poops, pees, and gives birth through the one hole, the cloaca. It also has the ability to hunt by sensing electrical charges. The platypus paddles through the water with two webbed and clawed hands that are hyperactive and completely out of sync with each other—like a guy in a rowboat who rows with one arm and then the other. It's a tremendous animal and I salute all platypus.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Nature's Freak Part III: The Viperfish

This is the viperfish, Chauliodus sloani. There’s not a whole lot to say about this fish besides it’s one ugly mother. However, I will share some marginally notable trivia. 1) The viperfish is found in deep water all around the world from Maine to Australia. 2) It’s got bioluminescent fins, meaning its fins light up the color of glow-in-the-dark stickers. 3) It's usually about a foot long. And 4) it'll mess you up.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Nature's Freaks Part II: The Chimaera

This hideous sad looking freak is a shark relative known as the chimaera.

The name comes to us from ancient Greek mythology. The Geeks were creative in ways that may never again be matched; however in dreaming up mythological animals they were largely lame and lazy preferring to just combine traits of existing animals into one freak animal rather than make up new animals. That, animals in a blender approach, was the route they took with the chimaera claiming it was fire-breathing part lion, serpent, and goat.

Even lamer by wide margins are those who name newly found animal species. I'm not sure which part of this fish resembles a lion, serpent, or goat, but nonetheless it's a chimaera.

How Long Should I Microwave Things?

I can't figure out microwaves. Everything I try to microwave comes out either lukewarm with patches of cold or several degrees chiller than the sun. Does anyone have any advice on this? What about one potato? How long should I microwave a potato?

On the other hand, I am good at estimating volumes of liquid in practical situations such as number of glasses left in a partially drunk bottle of wine or shots in a bottle of whiskey. Can I trade volume estimates for microwave times?

Help me.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Another Good One from the Bush Administration

Christie Whitman, the Bush appointed head of the EPA in 2001, mislead New Yorkers by telling them that the air around Ground Zero was safe according to Deborah A. Batts, a Federal Judge. Whitman knew that 2,000 tons of asbestos went into World Trade Center construction, but somehow she announced time and time again that Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn were safe.

May I extend a sarcastic thank you to the Bush administration?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Possibly my favorite Iraq war corruption story yet

Uber dirt bag, Robert J. Stein Jr., served as comptroller for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. During his tenure he used his position and tax payer money intended for Iraqi reconstruction to acquire first class plane tickets, cigars, alcohol, watches, jewelry, and 2 million dollars in cash including 1 million in outright bribes. He also kept women in his villa who dispensed sexual favors to spice up the already delightful deal. Mr. Stein had been convicted of felony fraud before taking the job in Iraqi, although this charge was somehow overlooked by the administration that hired him. Check out the story for yourself.

Nature's Freaks Part I: The Sea Butterfly

A recent underwater documentary I received from my brother as a Christmas present has sparked my interest in natures most bizarre species. The discovery coincided with figuring out how to upload pictures to the blog (I click on a picture of a picture--who knew?). This serendipitous conflation can only lead to a reoccurring blog theme: nature’s freaks.

The freak depicted here is the sea butterfly. It's a snail relative that floats around in the ocean fishing for plankton using a "mucous net".