Monday, August 14, 2006

Liquid Ban Shocker

Mel Gibson Protests FAA's Ban on Liquids

Actor Enlists Support of Billy Joel, Liza Minnelli

Days after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ban on passengers bringing liquids on board flights in their carryon luggage, actor Mel Gibson came forward to vehemently protest the FAA's new restrictions.

At a press conference in Malibu today, the 'Braveheart' star said today that banning liquids on board planes was an example of 'persecution at its worst.'

'There are many examples of people for whom liquids are an important, life-sustaining part of their daily routine,' Mr. Gibson said. 'To keep them from bring those liquids on flights is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.'

The actor added, 'I'm all for profiling, but this is discrimination against all Americans who really need liquids.'

The actor said he had enlisted many other prominent members of the entertainment industry to join in his protest of the FAA's liquid ban, including the singers Billy Joel and Liza Minnelli.

'There is no way that Billy, Liza and I are getting on board a plane without our liquids,' he said. 'That just isn't going to happen.'

Mr. Gibson took his argument one step further, saying that when he learned about the FAA's ban he felt that it was 'yet another conspiracy to single me out personally.'

When asked who he thought was behind the conspiracy, Mr. Gibson was not specific, but added, 'Let's just put it this way -- they're banning liquids on flights, but they haven't touched the kosher meals.'

Elsewhere, President Bush ordered the Homeland Security Department to launch a full investigation to determine whether terrorists could smuggle snakes on a plane."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Breaking 40

It's been a while since I posted anything original so I figured I'd put up something quick for people to read. Summer is here and that means lots and lots of golf. Over the weekend I hit 87 at Pequot and 88 at Shennecossett. That's the fourth time I've been sub-90 this summer. This evening I matched my best score for nine holes on a regular course so as a public service announcement for those golfers who happen to read this blog, the following is how to break 40 for nine holes on a regular length course (in this case the front nine at Pequot).

Hole 1 - 353 par 4

Pull driver off tee into the second hole's fairway. Take drop from unplayable lie against rock wall that runs along the road. Hit 8-iron to just in front of green. Putt onto the green from divot where the ball is lying. Two putt from four feet. (6)

Hole 2 - 329 par 4 uphill

Hit driver dead center of fairway leaving 70 yards to green. Shank approach to right rough. Pitch to about seven feet. Two putt. (5)

Hole 3 - 358 par 4 from elevated tee

Hit driver to dead center of 8th fairway. Hit 6-iron just shy of green. Pitch to within six inches. Have opponent concede putt. (4-first par)

Hole 4 - 287 par 4 over huge tree in middle of fairway

Hit 5-wood dead center of fairway, over tree leaving 30 yards to green. Pitch well short of green. Chip with 7-iron to within three feet. Make the putt (4-second par).

Hole 5 - 328 par 4 hard dogleg right.

Draw 10-iron around tree line to about 120. Hit wedge downhill short of green into rough. Chili dip pitch shy of green. Putt from fringe into the hole (4-third par).

Hole 6 - 179 par 3 downhill

Push 8-iron into trees on left. Hit provisional onto green. Find first ball, hit approach into bunker. Hit bunker shot to within two feet of pin. Sink putt (4).

Hole 7 - 379 par 4 dogleg left

Hit driver uphill to 150 mark into right rough. Hit 7-iron onto green eight feet from pin. Two putt for par (4-fourth par).

Hole 8 - 376 par 4

Hit driver inside 150 mark into left rough. Hit 9-iron downhill onto green 30 feet from pin. Make disgraceful 3-putt for bogey (5).

Hole 9 - 209 par 3 uphill

Hit 3-wood uphill overshooting green into rough. Pitch downhill to fifteen feet from pin. Sink gorgeous, uphill, right-to-left putt for par (3-fifth par).

And there you have it. Nine holes that add up to 39 (13 putts) when all is said and done and really nothing too spectacular, but when some putts fall and you don't have to take too many drops your score starts to look much better.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Confused Immigrants Stay Home

Not Sure If They Will Be Welcomed, Shot

As President George W. Bush's policy on immigration has become increasingly confusing in recent weeks, a growing number of potential illegal aliens have given up trying to figure it out and have decided to stay at home instead.

The confusion over the president's immigration policy has been at the top of the agenda of the annual meeting of Future Illegal Aliens of America, which is gathering in Juarez, Mexico this week.

The organization, which offers travel tips, restaurant suggestions and other information for those planning to sneak across the border, spent the better part of Tuesday and Wednesday trying to decipher the president's immigration policy but with no success.

'We do not know whether we will be granted guest worker status or shot on sight by the National Guard,' said Manuel Javier Davalos, who until recently had been considering sneaking across the U.S.-Mexico border. 'Just trying to figure out the whole thing makes my head hurt.'

Mr. Davalos said he had been planning to sneak into the U.S. in order to get prescription drug benefits, but added, 'President Bush's prescription drug plan is almost as confusing as his immigration policy.'

At the White House, President Bush said that the addled response from potential illegal aliens was 'proof that my policy of intentional confusion is working.'

'By changing my policy on an almost daily basis, I have succeeded in stemming the flow of illegal aliens,' Mr. Bush said. 'It's only a matter of time before the same thing works in Iraq.'

Elsewhere, in an effort to increase his nation's birth rate, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered citizenship to Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline. "

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ambien users invade countries in their sleep

Wake Up With No Memory of Reasons for Invasion, No Exit Strategy

A mounting pile of anecdotal evidence suggests that users of the popular sleep medication Ambien may invade countries in their sleep, and then wake up with no memory of the reasons they invaded, according to a study released today.

The study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, attempts to shed light on a little-known side effect of Ambien, in which users who are fast asleep go on country-invading binges.

Dr. Davis Logsdon, who supervised the University of Minnesota study, said that Ambien users who have no memory of invading countries while asleep wake up with no idea of what to do with the country they invaded.

'Making matters worse, they have no exit strategy, either,' Dr; Logsdon said. 'Their only option is to remain in the country they invaded, and keep taking Ambien.'

The University of Minnesota study highlights several other troubling side-effects of Ambien, such as the tendency of Ambien users to concoct incomprehensible prescription drug programs while asleep.

'They wake up having no memory of creating these prescription drug programs and are unable to explain how they work,' Dr. Logsdon said.

In what is perhaps the most disturbing revelation in the study, Ambien users may give away control of U.S. ports to foreign interests while totally unconscious.

'Unfortunately, there's no treatment for these destructive sleep episodes,' Dr. Logsdon said. 'You just have to wait, and after eight years it's over.'

Elsewhere, televangelist Pat Robertson said today that Muslims are 'motivated by demonic power,' thus making himself the latest cartoon character to enrage the Muslim world. "

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Avian Flu now more popular than Bush

Bird Pandemic Surges Ahead of President in Latest Poll

In a seemingly ominous development for the White House, a new survey released today indicates that the avian flu is now more popular than President George W. Bush.

The poll, which was taken by the University of Minnesota's Opinion Research Institute, puts the President's approval rating at 34 percent, well behind the avian flu at 46 percent.

While the President's numbers have been trending downward for the last several weeks, the White House was reportedly stunned to learn that the President is now significantly less popular than a deadly bird-borne pandemic.

'There's no way for the White House to spin these numbers,' said the University of Minnesota's Davis Logsdon, who supervised the survey. 'When a pandemic that threatens the world's bird population is more popular than you are, you're in serious political trouble.'

According to Mr. Logsdon, the avian flu gets higher marks for honesty than President Bush does: 'The bird pandemic at least comes out and says it is a bird pandemic, and voters find that refreshing.'

Mr. Logsdon said that the one way for the President to increase his popularity vis-�-vis the avian flu would be to eradicate the avian flu, possibly by having Vice President Dick Cheney take out his shotgun and shoot at the world's birds.

But even this strategy carries with it certain risks: 'Thousands of people could wind up getting shot in the face.'

Elsewhere, the Penguin Group paid a reported $8.5 million for former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan's memoirs, hoping to appeal to the millions of Americans who currently use Ambien.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The next book I read was a historical novel which detailed the early generalship of George Washington and the beginning of his struggle against the British. 1776 was written by David McCullough, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his Truman biography in 1993 and again for John Adams in 2002.

This is one of the better histories I've read. The writing style and action reads more like a novel than a deeply researched historical piece. Yet the book is heavily annotated with documents drawn from the period, including the memoirs and letters of the principals involved. He deftly touches on both sides of the war, with the feelings of the British Parliament given some weight as well as those of the founding fathers. He then turns to some very detailed military action, running through Washington's notes as well as those of his adversaries. What you come away with is how badly beaten back the newly formed Continental Army was, and how close to a military catastrophe it so often came. If I had one complaint about the book it is that, at under 300 pages, it is too brief, only really covering the year of its title. I found myself wanting to read more when it ended. Perhaps he'll cover subsequent years in future books. In the meantime, it makes a terrific read for anyone interested in that period or military history in general.


It seems like it's been a while since I've posted something that wasn't simply a cut and paste from an email I received from someone else, so I figured I'd put something in that I actually took the time to type out.

Over the holidays (formerly known as 'Christmas') I received several books as gifts. I hadn't actually sat down and read a book in a while and so with these books on hand I decided to go ahead and enjoy them. I'd forgotten how long it had been since I'd read a good book and how much I missed the whole process.

The first one I'd read was the 2002 Hugo and Nebula award winner for best novel by Neil Gaiman, the same author as the Sandman graphic novel series.

American Gods is a very good read. In a nutshell, all the old Gods, led by Odin, have fallen on hard times as their followers have all died off or drifted away. The New World is not a suitable breeding ground for them and they find themselves prey to the 'new' Gods-the internet and the onslaught of mass media. They carry out their feud in good old fashioned shootings and mafia-style hits. While the story's main protagonist isn't what you'd call a well fleshed out character, the concept is so well done that you find yourself seeking what happens next. Recommended if you like your fantasy a little gritty and find yourself drawn to the concept as I was.

Monday, February 27, 2006

No problem. Just move to Iraq. There's plenty of US money there.

WP: Two-thirds of Katrina donations exhausted

Six months after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to the Gulf Coast, charities have disbursed more than $2 billion of the record sums they raised for the storm's victims, leaving less than $1 billion for the monumental task of helping hundreds of thousands of storm victims rebuild their lives, according to a survey by The Washington Post.