Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday Night Plushy Fix

To combat the general malaise that seems to be going around, I will be posting daily doses of plushiness for the forseeable future.

Yeah, yeah... we're No. 1 and all that.

I felt like I had to photograph the tower, since it will probably be another 35 years before it's lit up for UT football again.

This view is from the south mall- the fountain is the Littlefield fountain, one of the most beautiful pieces on the campus. Sadly, the fountain is almost never turned on these days, thanks to the republican lege. (UT's funding from the state has fallen 70% since I was a student there.)

A closeup detail of the fountain.

A view from the east mall, which is across the street from Memorial Stadium.

Working the Refs- Pt. II

When is the tradional media (I'm talking to you, Washington Post) going to figure out that the real story isn't "Some vague unsubstantiated smears against admistrative critics"?

No, the real story is that GOP shills caculatedly use the media to smear and destroy anyone who has the balls to criticize chimpyco.

Jane Hamsher at firedoglake explains. Again:

How It's Done, Pt. 3

The Washington Post prove themselves the willing bitches of BushCo. this morning as they play a big part in spreading the pernicious lies salted by Brent Bozell's Cybercast News Service hit piece yesterday.


It starts in some quote-unquote "news source" run by a GOP operative like "Talon News," which then leaks over into the sheeplike mainstream media where people like Howard Kurtz run with it.

But rather than point out that this is an obvious GOP shop, Howie facilitates a pre-emptive defense against any such assertion. He refers to them as a "conservative website" (much like WaPo Editor John WATB Harris referred to the website of GOP operative Patrick Ruffini) and asks no probing questions about a story which even a monkey could see is conceived, bought and paid for by the GOP.

As Jane says, even a retarded monkey could see through the plot. So which is it Howie? are you really so stupid you don't see through this?

Or are you a willing co-conspirator?

After watching you in action the past 5 years, I'm gonna go with "complete and utter whore for chimpy."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Plushy Blogging

Maxx finally sits still long enough for me to pimp him out.

Meanwhile, Back at the War

Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq again?

Billmon has a rather startling post up about the invasion of reality TV into the armed insanity that is now Iraq. Apparently the insurgents (yeah, the same ones who are on their last legs) have acquired TV studios and talk shows.

The Abu Zarquawi Hour

Given that Paddy's dark vision of the future of broadcast journalism has since become the programming bible for an entire generation of cable news executives, I guess it's no great surprise that the Mao Tse Tung Hour has also reached the little screen -- but in Iraq, not the U.S., and suitably updated to reflect both modern political realities and the rise of the Internet.

Iraqi blogger Nibras Kazimi (a neocon fan of Ahmed Chalabi, but also an increasingly disillusioned witness to Iraq's "democratization:") tells the story at his blog, Talisman Gate:

Remember the days when a bunch of ragtag hoodlums in ski-masks and training suits would hover over a hapless victim to read their jihadist manifesto? Remember those same thugs brandishing Kalashnikovs and RPG-7s under crackling fluorescent lighting, with a tattered banner advertising their group’s name and slogan as a backdrop?
Well, times have changed if the latest video installment from the “Media Division of the Jaish Ansar Al-Sunna” is any measure to go by. In this 30 minute video, we see two individuals, Abu Munther Al-Ansari, and Abu Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, comfortably sitting in a studio modeled along a talk-show format. Yes, they are SITTING IN A STUDIO! And I’m not talking about two stools and a desk; this is a modern studio with ample lighting, three camera angles and nice woodwork. They’ve even got the name of their organization, Jaish Ansar Al-Sunna (‘JAS,’ the no. 2 organization on the terrorist charts after Al-Qaeda in Iraq), engraved up at the front.


Desperate as he is, Abu Zarqawi isn't going to let a rival network steal audience share so easily. According to Kazimi at Talisman Gate, he put up the first installment of his own new show the same week that the JAS version of 60 Minutes (well, 30 Minutes) debuted. I guess it must have been sweeps week.

Zarqawi's little show ends with a televised "confession" and an execution. (Oh, and they blew up the guy's house for good measure.)

See what happens when you put a bunch of incompetent asshats in charge of America's foreign policy? I'm off to bang my head on Watertiger's desk now.

They warned me...

AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari

"Sheesh, you really are a douchebag, aren't you?"

Daily Space Blogging

Watertiger already has this photo up, but it's so fabulous I had to put it up too.

From the Galaxy Evolution Explorer website at Caltech:

A new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer completes a multi-wavelength, neon-colored portrait of the enormous Cartwheel galaxy after a smaller galaxy plunged through it, triggering ripples of sudden, brief star formation.

The false-color composite image, available at, shows the Cartwheel galaxy as seen by Galaxy Evolution Explorer in ultraviolet light (blue); the Hubble Space Telescope in visible light (green); the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared (red); and the Chandra x-Ray Observatory (purple). "The dramatic plunge has left the Cartwheel galaxy with a crisp, bright ring around a zone of relative calm," said astronomer Phil Appleton of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "Usually a galaxy is brighter toward the center, but the ultraviolet view indicates the collision actually smoothed out the interior of the galaxy, concentrating older stars and dust into the inner regions. It's like the calm after the storm of star formation." The outer ring, which is bigger than the entire Milky Way galaxy, appears blue and violet in the image.

What makes this image so interesting is that it's a composite of images of the same galaxy taken from three different observatories.

Who needs an invisible cloud being when the universe is this wondrous?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Working the Refs

Jane Hamsher at firedoglake has an extremely important post up about what happened when Knight Ridder attempted to write a serious, well researched, well-reported article on Judge Alito and his judicial record.

This is How it is Done

The republicans didn't like the truth, so they set out to inject a little truthiness into the process, and succeeded.

It's enough to make me weep.

Daily Plush

I'm going to attempt to wipe out the bad juju of having karl's ugly mug on this web page with a dose of plush.

Sadly, Maxx is too busy playing outside to get his picture taken so we'll just have to make do with vintage plushiness. Here he is in repose after vanquishing the evil alien carrot of doom.

I thought I smelled something foul

AP Photo/Harry Cabluck

Isn't this just special? Karl Rove was roasted in Austin tonight as part of the 50th anniversary of the Headliner's Club. It appears all the hoi-polloi attended and partied down like Karl doesn't have a cloud on his horizon.

Mary Matalin, left, and Karl Rove, right, the deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President Bush, pause at a reception held before a roast honoring Rove, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006, in Austin, Texas. Matalin, one of the roasters, served as assistant to President Bush and counselor to Vice-President Cheney. She left the White House in 2002.


Cool kitties

AP/Mary Schwalm

I loves me some big puma kitties.

Hello America...

I am going to continue to fuck with you. I hope you don't mind. Your stupid president doesn't seem to.

Space Tornado! Danger Will Robinson...

Something beautiful to make up for all of the ugliness chimpy has brought into the world:

Via, Space Tornado! Cosmic Front Packs a Punch

WASHINGTON, D.C.—High-energy particles spewing out of a young star in a nearby stellar nursery are plowing through interstellar clouds and creating a giant spiral structure in space that looks like a glowing, rainbow-colored tornado, scientists said today.

The star spewing the particle jet lies 480 light-years away in a star-forming region known as Chamaeleon I.

In a photograph taken with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, that star is actually not visible because it is located off the upper edge of the image.

The luminous tornado-shaped structure is known as a Herbig-Haro object and estimated to be about 0.3 light years, or nearly 2 trillion miles, long and shows up in the infrared.

Go read the rest, it's quite fascinating.

Such an asshat

Reuters/Larry Downing

"Look!! Ahhm sitting next ta a bald guy!! kewl!!"

I forgot my line....

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

"Now, what did they say I should say?"

The Galaxy is on Orion's Belt!

This stunning new photograph is courtesy of the Hubble Space Observatory. You know, the one that the preznit would like to defund.

Via, The Splendor of Orion

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Scientists have created the most detailed portrait ever of the closest known star factory, the Orion Nebula. They have also uncovered new details about the stellar winds responsible for carving out the nebula's ghostly shapes.

Meanwhile, another research group identified a glowing gas cloud in another region of the night sky that might replace Orion when it fades from view in about 100,000 years.

The findings were announced here at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Orion is located 1,500 light-years away and is the nearest region of massive star-formation to Earth. Located at the center of the Orion Nebula is a group of four young, massive stars; they are collectively referred to as the "Trapezium" because of the shape they make. The Trapezium is surrounded by a halo of 1,000 faint, low-mass stars similar to the Sun. has delicious, geeky, astromony goodness everyday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Daily Dose of Plush

What's a day without a little plush?


Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

n African giraffe, Mas Sura, licks its four-day-old baby at Malaysia's National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur January 3, 2006. Standing at 1.2 metres (four feet) and weighing 40kg (90 lb) at birth the baby giraffe was born on Friday, becoming the 11th African giraffe in the zoo.

Teh Scary

Joshua Robers/Rueters

It looks like smiling isn't an activity that the Alito family gets much practice with.

Picture of the Day

Check out National Geographic News's feature- Photo of the Day, selections from their extensive archives of stunning photographs of nature from some of the world's best photographers.

Here is today's photo:

2003, Michael K. Nichols

An armored cricket heavy with eggs stood its ground.

—From "Gabon's Loango National Park: In the land of the surfing hippos," August 2004, National Geographic magazine

Link here.

Otters Saved!!

This cutie is one of a trio of otter cubs rescued in the UK. I loves me some cute animal babies.

Orphaned Trio of Otter Cubs Saved

Three orphaned otter cubs have been nursed back to health after a farmer found them half-frozen under his shed.
The trio, who have been called Splish, Splash and Splosh, are being cared for by the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre in Highbridge, Somerset.

The cubs were chilly and hungry when found but are doing well and will soon need to be taught to swim in a bath.

They are now six weeks old and are being bottle-fed every four hours.

Maxx and I hope there will be otter-babies-swimming-in-bathtub photos soon.

Bipartisan Scandal? Yeah, right.

Billmon has the quote trail that puts the lie to the current GOP meme that Abramoff is a democratic problem too. From Bush on down, they're all lying. Quelle surprise.

A Bipartisan Scandal

Welcome back, Billmon.


A rare picture of Watertiger and her sister as babies. No doubt they were sneaking out to meet some boys.

Please Avoid Small Planes

Holy moly!!

Risen's source at the NSA has outed himself and is prepared to tell all to congress.

NSA Whistleblower Alleges Illegal Spying

Jan 10, 2006 — Russell Tice, a longtime insider at the National Security Agency, is now a whistleblower the agency would like to keep quiet.

For 20 years, Tice worked in the shadows as he helped the United States spy on other people's conversations around the world.


President Bush has admitted that he gave orders that allowed the NSA to eavesdrop on a small number of Americans without the usual requisite warrants.

But Tice disagrees. He says the number of Americans subject to eavesdropping by the NSA could be in the millions if the full range of secret NSA programs is used.

Millions. They might have spied on millions. Good grief. ( tip from shycat)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Still in the Bag.

Let's see... Alito lies to the senate and the NYTimes runs this headline?

Judge Alito Proves a Powerful Match for Senate Questioners

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 - If Senate Democrats had set out to portray Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as extreme on issues ranging from abortion to government surveillance of citizens, they ran up against an elusive target on Tuesday: Samuel A. Alito Jr. For nearly eight hours, Judge Alito was placid, monochromatic and, it seemed, mostly untouchable.


Still Roving

This very cool photo was released by NASA to celebrate the Mars Spirit Rover's January 3rd 2nd anniversary on the red planet.

To commemorate the event, NASA yesterday released the latest images captured by Spirit, including this self-portrait within a 360-degree panoramic mosaic of the Martian landscape. The image shows the rover's solar panels gleaming in the sunlight, marred by only a thin layer of red dust.

Spirit captured the hundreds of frames needed to create this image between August 24-27, 2005, from the summit of Husband Hill inside Mars' Gusev Crater. The composite image is the largest panorama ever photographed by the rover.

Via National Geographic News. Congratulations to NASA and the Mars Exploration Team.

Before and After....

At the request of Thersites, here's a rather startling before and after of lion kitty Maxx. Maxx was abandonned, completely matted and starving when I rescued him this summer.

And here he is five months later:

A happy ending for all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Living the Plush Life

I think it's fitting that this blog is inaugurated by the premier practioner of plushy living. Meet lion kitty Maxx, indulging in a decadent session of plushyporn.

We should all have his life.