Depressed People

Should avoid exposure to negative information.

No, really.  It’s scientifically proven.  And the last thing a person with depression should do is try to think happy thoughts about depressing things.

Hell, where was this info when I was 19?

Deficit doesn’t matter?

Certain people I know who like to dwell on financial doom and gloom will love this article.

Think it’s hot where you are?

We had spontaneous combustion in a playground (link has video)!

MacKenzie: NATO is shirking

No shit?  Check for political language, and even the NATO website describes meetings held to determine whether or not NATO members actually have any intention of fulfilling their treaty obligations.

And the shirking is going to continue for the foreseeable future, because the chances of the US responding to the post-9/11 environment with “you failed your Chapter 5 obligations, therefore we are no longer in alliance with you” is unfortunately unlikely.

Though such a move would be quite the “muscle tonic” for our allies.  And, for those of you who don’t have the background, this IS one of our allies talking.

Considering Skype

Anybody used it?  Its international rate is 2.1c per minute.  At least, so some locations.

Stick it to poison ivy with electrics

No, I’m not really on a do-gooder crusade this week… more like just brainstorming various possibilities.

One of which is that if the Chinese manage to figure out how to convert to nukes, maybe we’ll see a little less poison ivy crawling all over everything…

Sign the petition: restrict 7.62×39

If the bright boys can get together and put together a treaty banning land mines, then this is the next obvious step.  Strategy Page knocks this one right out of the park.  With millions of AK47s floating around out there, getting rid of the weapon isn’t practical.  But blocking the manufacture of the round would force the guys using these to keep the peaceful poor in Africa terrified to start developing an economy if they wanted to have some actual military power… in other words, to play by the rules, rather than sucking off the leftover teat of the Cold War in order to keep ruining their corners of the world.

But here’s the deal:  arms control sucks.  The good guys (including the tens of thousands of Americans who shoot and hunt with their SKS) need ammo, and aren’t doing a thing to hurt anybody else.

But a voluntary set of restrictions would make the ammo much more expensive, which would achieve much the same thing… raising the price to those least available to afford them, and least deserving of their own private armies.

So here’s my pledge:  “I will buy six cases of ammo from any manufacturer that will pledge both to drastically cut its production of 7.62×39, and to not export same.”

Sure, it’s a rough draft, but why not?  The great part with the land-mine treaty is that it may result in a lot fewer poor kids walking around with one leg and 3/4 of one of their arms… but the “armaments theory” of warfare is outdated bunk.  The guys producing the weapons are not the bad guys… asshats using the weapon to gun down defenseless civilians in the third world are the bad guys.

Sickness and Hermitage

Folks, just an fyi:  if you haven’t seen me yet or heard from me, it’s because I caught a summer cold, and every time I think I’m over it, the bell dings, and some gigantic sumo guy puts me into a tag-team involving my three-sizes-too-large head.

Summer colds suck and are hard to shake.

I haven’t had a “standard head cold” like this in a long time, so I’m keeping my (overstuffed) head down rather than risk spreading it around, on the off chance that it’s more virulent than your normal case.

Clinton and Obama unqualified for Presidency

WaPo notes that they’ve both taken nukes off the table.

Which means that they are unfit to be Commander in Chief.  Nuclear weapons are a threat.  And they have been a threat that has actually  contributed to peace — because we are the only country that has actually used them.

Zombies and the President

Hat Tip:  Samizdata.

How was my flight?

Let me put it this way.

 Am I really angry at BA, angry enough to fire off a letter somewhere?  Nope.  What I really am, is sad, that an entire country has to put up with such an incredible joke of an airline.  Put aside the broken chair, lack of audio, and sadly-broken lamp.  Disregard that torture known as English Cooking.  This is an airline where the stewards expect the passengers to accept that water dripping from the ceiling during the flight is normal and to be expected.

British Airways sucks.

Varfalva and the suckling dragons

From the wall of a 10-11th century church in the appropriately-named Varfalva.

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Can you say “dual belief,” boys and girls?

Ladislas and the Cuman

This is a medieval depiction of two things:

1. The battle of Kerles, in which the Hungarians defeated the Oguz. (This is recent scholarship… previousy it was thought that the battle was against the Pechenegs).

2.  An absolutely ancient steppe story that stretches from Hungary all the way to Korea, easily pre-dating the Scythians.

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Picture quality could be a touch better, but if you click it and then look closely, you’ll see that fire is coming from the Cuman’s mouth.  This is also traditional.  Kind of like Hotel California, stabbing him with your steely lances just isn’t good enough… you have to have a chick to help you win.

The Tordai Hasadek

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The Tordai Hasadek is a canyon in Transylvania.  Lots of folks go here to camp and hike.  You could almost drive right past that gap if you didn’t know what you were looking for, as the “wild mountains” nearby are famous for their odd shapes.

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Getting in is a trip, as you have to drive down a 20% grade.  Whether or not our Suzuki WagonR+ was going to be sufficient for the return trip, on the other hand, was interesting.

It made it… first gear all the way up the slope.

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Once you’re in, though, it’s well worth the sweat-equity.

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We were on a tight timetable, so we couldn’t do the photographer thing and hang around for great light, but maybe these shots will give y’all an idea…

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Why I’m Fat (Summer 2007 edition)

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Burger King Ad.  The poster reads “easy AND good-looking.”

(This kind of humor is pretty common in Hungary — you can only imagine the riots we’d have here in the States…)

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Yes, folks, it’s every bit as bad for you as it looks.  But god-damn, the cooking’s good.

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And in case that’s not enough, perhaps you’d like a (little?) dessert?

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