Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Iraq elections make our complaints seem petty



With two hours to go until the polls close in Iraq, there have been several suicide bombs detonated and at least two dozen people dead in various areas. Despite that, people continue to line up in that country's first free election.

One good thing about this election is that the danger in Iraq has made the presence of exit pollsters virtually zero. Two hours into this, the networks weren't able to prematurely say, "At this point, based on exit polling data, CBS News is comfortable in calling the Sunni Triangle for Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari."

The people gladly lining up to vote even with the threat of death looming should make us feel a tad petty for whining about standing in line for 90 minutes.

Post election predictions?

The voting will be considered a success by everybody but Ted Kennedy and CNN. Jesse Jackson will fly halfway to Baghdad to protest on behalf of disenfranchised Iraqi voters, then say to himself, "What the hell am I doin'?" And have the plane turned around so he can come back and complain about it from Chicago. Finally, there will be around a dozen unexplained votes for Pat Buchanan.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The powers that be

The powers that be may refer to:
The powers that be (phrase)
In literature:
The Powers That Be (book), a book by David Halberstam
The Powers That Be, a book written by Anne McCaffery and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Powers That Be, an American comic book series published by Broadway Comics
"The Powers that Be", overruling entities in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series

Monday, 29 November 2004

Nobody's "failed upward" more than you, Babs

Barbra Streisand's at it again, blasting Condoleeza Rice as someone who has "failed upward." Babs says that Condi has "been judged by **experts as 'one of the weakest National Security Advisors in recent history'."

(**Chances are these "experts" are James Brolin and her hairdresser...assuming they're not one in the same)

I'm noticing a distinct change in strategy from the Hollywood left. They were criticizing Bush himself for many years, saying he was an idiot and illegitimate president, and was handed the Oval Office by a partisan Supreme Court. Now, Bush had a clear, large victory on election day, so that argument has been taken away. They're working on those who work for the Bush administration now. To Babs, if a black woman makes it any higher than a seamstress, something crooked, dishonest, and dangerous must be in the works.

Keep chattering, Barbra. You're one of the right wing's best assets. And keep charging $500 for tickets to your concerts, where you launch into between-songs diatribes about the evils of corporate greed. I like my irony thick, and you provide just that. Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003

Actinidia


(Actinidiacea - silver vine family)
"Kiwi fruit" About 55 species of climbing woody vines, native to Asia. Cultivated as ornamentals and for their edible fruit. Actinidias climb by twining; most species are quite vigorous and capable of growing to a large size. Plants are long-lived, having been known to produce fruit for at least 60 years. The fruit can contain several times as much vitamin C, ounce for ounce, as citrus fruits. The fruit can keep for weeks (or months, in some cases) if picked when mature but still firm and refrigerated. Tolerant of varying soil conditions, including infertile soil. Good drainage and an adequate moisture supply are needed. As is true of most other fruit plants, it is advisable to select a location with good air drainage in order to avoid spring frost injury. Not subject to serious disease or insect problems in North America at this time.

In most cases the vines produce only male or only female flowers. Only female plants will produce fruit, but male vines are usually needed for pollination. A few selections produce both female and male flowers, and will self-pollinate. Even with self-pollinating selections, however, it is probably best to include a male pollinator in the planting to assure good pollination. Under favorable conditions, the vines can yield heavy crops of fruit.

Various means can be used to provide support for the vines. They can cover trellises, arbors, or fences, or serve as a screen for porches. Overhead trellises have the advantage of making the fruit easier to pick, as it hangs below the foliage. Depending on one's gardening style, the vines can even be grown in trees. Properly pruned Actinidia vines will remain more compact, and will bear somewhat larger fruit. The vines can, however be grown quite satisfactorily without care.

Monday, 18 August 2003

Actinidia


Actinidia ( /ˌæktɨˈnɪdiə/) is a genus of woody and, with few exceptions, dioecious plants native to temperate eastern Asia, occurring throughout most of China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and extending north to southeast Siberia and south into Indochina. The genus includes shrubs growing to 6 m tall, and vigorous, strong-growing vines, growing up to 30 m in tree canopies.

The leaves are alternate, simple, with a dentate margin and a long petiole. The flowers are solitary or in axillary cymes, usually white, with five small petals. Most of the species are dioecious with separate male and female plants, but some are monoecious. The fruit is a large berry containing numerous small seeds; in most species the fruit is edible. In particular this genus is known for the species Actinidia deliciosa, the kiwifruit, and for the hardy A. kolomikta of gardens.