08/20/2010 archive

There’s More To Being An Elder Than Being Old

It takes more than being old to be an Elder.  Not every senior citizen can be an Elder.  Or wants to be one. And it doesn’t depend on whether you’re healthy.  Or “spry” as younger people would put it.  It depends on something far more elusive.  It depends on whether one actually occupies the role of being an Elder.   And how.

What does it mean to be an Elder?  I’m going to be 64 in October.  I imagine that I should be assuming the role of an Elder, and that I would like to do that.  Am I ready to do this or do I need more time?  Am I ready to be a beginning Elder?  A novice Elder?  Am I ready to  start paying my dues to Elderhood?

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Unchecked migration would see Singapore swell, Haiti halve

by Jordi Zamora and Karin Zeitvogel, AFP

20 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Singapore, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia would see their populations triple if everyone who wants to move there were allowed to, a poll released Friday by Gallup shows.

At the opposite end of the scale, the populations of Sierra Leone, Haiti and Zimbabwe would fall by more than half if migrants were allowed to leave at will, the poll found.

Gallup researchers interviewed nearly 350,000 adults in 148 countries between 2007 and 2010 to calculate each country’s potential net migration score — the number of adults who would like to leave a country minus the number who would like to move in — seen as a proportion of the total adult population.

Ok, now what?

Everything is getting really blurry now and nothing makes any fuckin’ sense any more.

War is Peace now, poor is rich, the Gulf of Mexico is a never ending domestic supply of oil that will get us off the foreign oil habit, and everything else is upside fuckin’ down too. Or backwards or inside out, at least.

It’s anybody’s bet how long this planet is going to keep letting us do the shit we do before it shakes us off like a bad case of fleas, the ocean and the air are poison, it’s a good bet that some asshole somewhere is planning to start the next war, everybody’s broke, there are no jobs, my school wants to give equal time to the creationist bullshit and wants me to believe that it isn’t bullshit, we can’t even eat fish anymore much less feed multitudes with one, and you want me to pay for all your fuckups.

I’m not as dumb as you think, and you clueless so-called adults really piss me and my friends off, you know that?

Talk to me.


BP Oil Spill Settlements Likely to Shield Top Defendants

By IAN URBINA, The New York Times

Published: August 20, 2010

WASHINGTON – People and businesses seeking a lump-sum settlement from BP’s  $20 billion oil spill compensation fund  will most likely have to waive their right to sue not only BP, but also all the other major defendants involved with the spill, according to internal documents from the lawyers handling the fund.

“To be clear, it is BP’s position, consistent with this indemnification, that any settlement between Transocean and any of its injured or deceased employees must include a full release of all BP entities from any and all claims or liability in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident,” said the letter, from John T. Hickey, a lawyer for BP. “This full release of all BP entities would indeed bar any subsequent claims against the fund being established by BP and the claims facility that will be administered by Mr. Feinberg.”

On This Day in History: August 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

August 20 is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 133 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1911, the first around-the-world telegram sent, 66 years before Voyager II launch

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.

The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply “This message sent around the world,” left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores–among other locations–the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

The Voyager 2 spacecraft is an unmanned interplanetary space probe launched on August 20, 1977. Both the Voyager 2 and the Voyager 1 space probes were designed, developed, and built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, California. Identical in form and instruments with its sister Voyager program craft Voyager 1, Voyager 2 was launched on a slower, more curved trajectory that allowed it to be kept in the plane of the Ecliptic (the plane of the Solar System) so that it could be sent on to Uranus and Neptune by means of utilizing gravity assists during its fly-by of Saturn in 1981 and of Uranus in 1986. Because of this chosen trajectory, Voyager 2 could not take a close-up look at the large Saturnian moon Titan as its sister space probe had. However, Voyager 2 did become the first and only spacecraft to make the spaceflight by Uranus and Neptune, and hence completing the Planetary Grand Tour. This is one that is made practical by a seldom-occurring geometric alignment of the outer planets (happening once every 175 years).

The Voyager 2 space probe has made the most productive unmanned space voyage so far, visiting all four of the Outer Planets and their systems of moons and rings, including the first two visits to previously unexplored Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 2 had two sensitive vidicon cameras and an assortment of other scientific instruments to make measurements in the ultraviolet, infrared, and radio wavelengths, as well as ones to measure subatomic particles in outer space, including cosmic rays. All of this was accomplished at a fraction of the amount of money that was later spent on more advanced and specialized space probes Galileo and Cassini-Huygens. Along with the earlier NASA Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, sister probe Voyager 1, and the more recent New Horizons, Voyager 2 is an interstellar probe in that all five of these are on one-way trajectories leaving the Solar System.

Morning Shinbun Friday August 20

Friday’s Headlines:

Robert Fisk: US troops say goodbye to Iraq


‘Ground Zero mosque’: New Yorkers take dim view of rabble-rousing outsiders

Target feels backlash from shareholders


No longer unknown: Stories behind portraits of First World War soldiers are revealed

At war under Tuscan skies

Middle East

Iraq war by the numbers, as last US combat brigade leaves

Israelis and Palestinians to Resume Talks, Officials Say


Red Shirt v Yellow Shirt: Thailand’s political struggle

Pakistan is a ‘slow-motion tsunami’, UN chief says in emergency session


Police clash with S Africa strikers

Human trafficker jailed for trying to sell albino man

Latin America

Wyclef Jean not on list for Haiti election for legal reasons, official says

Prime Time

Thursday Night Throwball- Patriots @ Falcons.  Last Chance for our Boys until Monday.  I’ll be surprised if Rachel is back from Iraq yet.

At 10 pm Disney is running some Phineas and Ferb.  I ♥ me some good trainwreck, guess what I’ll be watching.


Jon has Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Jon Krakauer.  Did I mention new Futurama?  Alton does Wontons.  Now You Museum, Now You Don’t (thought this was last night, can’t tell you for sure because my cable was partly down for maintainance).

So I jump ship in Hong Kong and I make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas.

A looper?

A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Scores expelled in French crackdown on Roma

by Isabelle Wesselingh, AFP

Thu Aug 19, 11:08 am ET

BUCHAREST (AFP) – France expelled scores of Roma, packing them on planes and flying them back to Romania Thursday at the start of a crackdown ordered by President Nicolas Sarkozy which has drawn strong criticism.

A planeload of around 60 Roma landed at Bucharest’s Aurel Vlaicu airport in the early afternoon, the first expulsion since Sarkozy last month vowed action against Roma, Gypsy and traveller communities.

The group flew from the French city of Lyon, where they were bused to the airport under police escort and boarded without incident.