Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Investment Bankers . . .


One afternoon an investment banker was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"

"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass."

"Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the banker said.

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree."

"Bring them along," the banker replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us, also."

The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!

"Bring them all, as well," the banker answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was.

Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the banker and said, "Sir, you are too kind."
"Thank you for taking all of us with you."

The banker replied, "Glad to do it.

"You'll really love my place.

"The grass is almost a foot high. 

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Cut Taxes. We don't need this stuff.

 
Hat tip:

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Bestselling Books 2009: Hardcover

 
 
 Fiction
 
1 The Appeal. John Grisham. Doubleday (11/08) ##
2 The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. David Wroblewski. Ecco (9/08) 1,320,000
3 The Host. Stephenie Meyer. Little, Brown (5/08) 1,240,005
4 Cross Country. James Patterson. Little, Brown (11/08) 1,181,458
5 The Lucky One. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central (9/08) 1,150,023
6 Fearless Fourteen. Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's (6/08)1,058,427
7 Christmas Sweater. Glenn Beck. Threshold (11/08) 900,800
8 Scarpetta. Patricia Cornwell. Putnam (12/08) 800,000
9 Your Heart Belongs to Me. Dean Koontz. Bantam 784,645 (11/08)
10 Plum Lucky. Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's (1/08)748,414
11 7th Heaven. James Patterson. Little, Brown (2008) 700,313
12 Sail. James Patterson. Little, Brown (1/2008) 665,358
13 A Good Woman. Danielle Steel. Delacorte (10/2008) (636,375)
14 Divine Justice. David Baldacci. Grand Central (11/2008) (633,607)
15 The Gate House. Nelson DeMille. Grand Central (10/2008) 606,845
Nonfiction
 
1 The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch. Hyperion (4/08) 4,388,137
2 The Purpose of Christmas. Rick Warren. Howard (11/08) #1,290,000
3 You: Being Beautiful. Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz. Free Press (11/08) #910,000
4 Outliers. Malcolm Gladwell. Little, Brown (11/08) 821,721
5 A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity. Bill O'Reilly. Broadway (9/08) 776,608
6 Dewey. Vicki Myron with Brett Witter. Grand Central (9/08) 758,931 7 Audition. Barbara Waters. Knopf (1/08) 702,000
8 Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. Ina Garten. Clarkson Potter (10/08) 641,741
9 The Snowball. Alice Schroeder. Bantam (9/08) 634,546
10 Hot, Flat and Crowded. Thomas L. Friedman. Farrar, Straus & Giroux (9/08) 625,363
11 When You Are Engulfed in Flames. David Sedaris. Little, Brown (6/08) 621,873
12 Multiple Blessings. Jon and Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson. Zondervan (10/08) 523,000
13 American Lion. Jon Meacham. Random (11/08) 463,678
14 Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. Chelsea Handler. Simon Spotlight (4/08) #460,000
15 Just Who Will You Be? Maria Shriver. Hyperion (4/08) 418,721
 
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6645568.html

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Washington Post Invitational

Here is the Washington Post Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. The winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
12. Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes and it's a serious bummer.
13. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you
14. Glibido: All talk and no action.
15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
18. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Niagara falls froze over in 1911

These are amazing pictures almost 100 years old.
Can you imagine walking on Niagara falls ?

The Year is 1911 and the photo is of Niagara Falls 

 
 

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Monday, April 20, 2009

2010 Camaro SS

2010 Ford Mustang

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bentley Continental GTC Speed

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Socotra Island


 

 


 


VERY UNUSUAL ISLAND

 

 

 

Socotra Island

 

 It is like being on a different planet ...

 

These pictures and information are excellent viewing 
and reading. Socotra Island: you have to see it to 
believe it This island simply blows away any notion 
about what is considered "normal" for a landscape on 
Earth.

 

Socotra Island, you'd be inclined to think you were transported to another planet - or traveled to another era of Earth's history.
This island, which is part of a group of 4 islands, has been geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.

 

The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet - the most amazing plant life thrives there. Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen, the wide sandy beaches rise to limestone plateaus full of caves (some 7 kilometers in length) and mountains up to 1525 meters high.

The name Socotra is derived from a Sanscrit name, meaning "The Island of Bliss"...
Is it the beaches? The isolation and quiet? or the strange and crazy botanical allure?
Alien-looking plants: H. P. Lovecraft's secret inspiration?

Was the famous Chtulhu myths creator aware of these forbidding mountains with their hauntingly weird flora (think of plant mutations from his "The Color out of Space") ? We almost tempted to call 
Socotra the other "Mountains of Madness" - the trees and plants of this island were preserved thru the long geological isolation, some varieties being 20 million years old... We begin with the dracena cinnibaris or Dragon's Blood Tree, the source of valuable resin for varnishes, dyes, and "cure-all" medicine; also (predictably) used in medieval ritual magic and alchemy -

The branches spread out into the sky and from below appear to hover over the landscape like so many flying saucers... and from above they have a distinct mushroom look:

 

There is also the Desert Rose (adenium obesium) which looks like nothing so much as a blooming elephant leg:

 

Dorstenia gigas - apparently does not require any soil and sinks roots straight
 into the bare rock:

 


  It also has a distinct personality and likes to smile for the camera:

 



 
Somewhat similar to the weird Dorstenia gigas, is this "bucha" vegetable, found as far north as Croatia. I hope it's not pregnant with anything malignant inside this sack. John Wyndham (with his "The Day of the Triffids") would've loved it:



 
Also found in Socotra's landscape is the ever-strange and extremely rare Cucumber Tree (dendrosicyos socotranum) - and yes, it's related to what's sitting in a pickle jar in your fridge:

 

Getting around can be a challenge, as there are almost no roadsDespite the fact that this island has around 40,000 inhabitants, the Yemeni govenment put in the first roads just 2 years ago - after negotiations with UNESCO, which has declared this island a World Natural Heritage Site. I would prefer a camel ride to what is bound to be a bumpy and slow 4x4 ride... It is a quiet and peaceful enclave in an otherwise troubled world. If you decide to visit there, you can forget about beachfront hotels and restaurants; this island is geared towards eco-tourism and sustaining the local economy and way of life.


 

 

This island is a birder's paradise as well, with 140 different species of birds; 10 of which are not found anywhere else in the world. A unique Socotra warbler, sunbird, starling, bunting, sparrow and cisticola are among the ones found here. There are also Socotra Cormorants:

 

Want to see some fairy-tale (and possibly haunted) shipwrecks? There are diving tours available...


   
To give you a glimpse of Socotra's and Yemen's in general totally unique architecture, check out this place located on the mainland:
Al Hajarah, Yemen - Walled city in the mist

 

 


 

 

 



See and download the full gallery on posterous

See and download the full gallery on posterous

See and download the full gallery on posterous

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Camaro: GM's power play

With the 2010 Camaro, GM reminds America that there's still a lot to like about "The General."

 
 
Stop and stare
 
Power play
 
Turning the wheel
 
Cockpit view
 
 

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