Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Predictions For 2010

Andrew Breitbart will release another ACORN video. Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe tell workers at the ACORN office in Baltimore that they are CRU scientists seeking to purchase a small office building under assumed names, where they plan to set up a document storage facility.

The X Prize Foundation will announce a prize for makeshift ballooncraft. It will pay $2 million to the first person to build a lighter-than-air craft from common retail goods and safely fly the vehicle 1,500 miles, roughly half the distance across the lower 48 states.

A band of Somali pirates will relocate from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean, in a plot to hijack the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas. In a case of bad timing, Chuck Norris and Steven Segal will be among the passengers when the strike occurs. Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren will also be on board; she will incapacitate one of the pirates with a sand wedge.

During the Daytona 500 trials, Michaele and Tareq Salahi will mysteriously emerge from Mark Martin's car.

Dan Brown of will release yet another Da Vinci Code sequel, in which symbologist Robert Langdon discovers clues in the CRU climate data that ultimately lead to the Bavarian Illuminati.

Rush Limbaugh will be invited to make a guest appearance on Lost. The offer will be withdrawn when an anonymous source alleges that the popular talk show host joked that the DHARMA Initiative is hiding Obama's birth certificate.

In a rare collaboration between MSNBC and Fox News, the two networks will host a debate between Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann. British bookmakers will place 200-1 odds that during the exchange one or both men's foreheads will spontaneously spurt blood.

Controversy will rock the the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit once again, with the discovery that climate data got mixed in with the researchers' fantasy rugby notes.

Pharmaceutical companies will report strong second-quarter profits, owing to a surge in headache remedy sales during the final season of Lost.

An apparent victor in the race for the Makeshift Balloon X-Prize will be disqualified when the pilot is identified as Bernie Madoff. Chuck Norris and Steve Segal will personally escort him back to the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.

SEIU members will threaten a Tea Party protester waving a "Don't Tread On Me (Or Kenny)" banner in Des Moines, Iowa, but will back off then they notice that the protester is using a sand wedge as a flagstaff.

Hackers will post on a Cyprus-based FTP server a file revealing that the entire cast and crew of Lost is invested in McNeil Laboratories, the maker of Tylenol. The SEC will launch an insider trading investigation. Sporting a bandaid on his forehead, Keith Olberman will remark, "Are you kidding me? Have you seen the previous seasons? Who DIDN'T see this coming? The Girl Scout troop down the street from me made three grand off Bristol-Myers Squibb."

Rush Limbaugh will be invited to join the X Prize Foundation. The offer will be withdrawn when an anonymous source alleges that the popular talk show host once said that the Hindenberg disaster "had its merits."

The Nobel Peace Prize committee will win the 2010 IgNobel Prize for Representative Democracy, for awarding Barack Hussein Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize despite the fact that only two of the five committee members supported the decision.

Tareq Salahi will win a write-in candidacy in a nonexistent Congressional district.

During the Thanksgiving game at Cowboys Stadium, a punt will collide with the Jerrytron. The force of the kick will force a 33-pound mass of pigeon guano to fall, injuring one of the referees.

Sporting a bandaid on his forehead, Glenn Beck will arrive at the Capitol Building on Christmas Eve with a gigantic stocking filled with coal. Congressman Henry Waxman will react by issuing a promise to introduce a retrograde fossil fuels tax after the holiday recess.


Monday, December 28, 2009

News Bits

Woman jumps over barrier and knocks down the Pope. Did the Vatican outsource its security to the Washington Redskins defense?

I'd trust the Redskins over the Transportation Security Administration, though. They let a guy with known terrorist connections get on a plane. Fortunately we had alert citizens foil Umar Abdulmutallab's alleged attempt to set off explosives. It's time to start firing the TSA and Homeland Security folks responsible for this. Don't just kick them out of their jobs - kick them out of the District of Columbia. Abdulmutallab got past security in Lagos and Amsterdam, too - there needs to be some firings there, too.

Uh oh, Obama gets dissed by Ahmadinejad, Chavez, and the Cuban foreign minister. His unpopularity is no longer limited to America's allies.


Friday, December 25, 2009

The Reasons For The Season

(Original posted on December 23, 2002)

While Christmas is officially a celebration of the birth of Jesus, for much of the Western world December 25 has come to be a celebration of family and community. No other time of the year is so thoroughly saturated with images pointing to our highest hopes for such relationships - and no other time of the year so effectively highlights the difference between our ideals and the world as it really is. Jesus came to Earth to bridge not only the chasm between humanity and God, but also that rift that separates people from each other. Christmas reminds us that we live in a broken world, and it seeks to encourage us by showing us through religious and even many secular trappings how that brokenness can be fixed.

Best of holiday wishes to all my readers.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

More Holiday Music

Part of the soundtrack to my childhood.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just In Time For Christmas

Motorcycle with built-in rocket launchers.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Music


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Political Analogy

Imagine three male juveniles who hang out together. One likes to pick fights, and hits hard enough to break bones. The second likes to pick fights, but punches hard enough only to leave bruises. The third doesn't like to pick fights at all, but sometimes goes along with the other two because he'll get beat up otherwise.

The second kid gets along with the other two, but the first and the third really don't like each other. Sometimes the third kid can get the second kid to refrain from picking fights, and thus trump the first kid - but that isn't often. Teh team racks up scores and scores of fights; the seriousness of each one depends on whether the first or second kid prevails at the time.

School administrators address the problem by sending the latter two to detention and by making the first kid hall monitor.

The first kid is the Democratic rank-and-file fiscal liberals. The second kid is fiscally liberal-moderate Republicans. The third is fiscally conservative Republicans. The school administrators are those voters who want to put an end to government overspending but insist on having the Democrats in charge.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Seat

If the GOP can't win that race next year, Massachusetts Republicans are truly the most pathetic politicians on the face of the earth.

Democrat candidate Martha Coakley should be a Republican campaign manager's dream. As Middlesex district attorney, in 2002 she lobbied then-governor Jane Swift to block clemency for Gerald Amirault, one of the victims of the day care sex abuse witch hunts of the 1980s. He and several others were convicted of sexual abuse charges at the Fells Acres Day Care Center.

Katha Pollitt of The Nation wrote this in 2002. The WSJ wrote this following Amirault's 2004 release. Ann Coulter wrote this last week.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Cheer


Monday, December 07, 2009

Heroes - Carnival Visit

(Episode: The Fifth Stage. Aired last week. Spoilers ahead.)

The title refers to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief. Angela wants Peter to skip straight from the first stage (denial) to the fifth (acceptance) - Nathan Petrelli is really dead.

Peter's not ready, and he has a plan. He leaves the hospital with a bag full of tranquilizers - and the Haitian's power. He's off to find Sylar, but he doesn't have to do any looking. Using his changeling power to disguise himself as a black woman, Sylar finds him in the elevator.

They fight on the third floor, an abandoned part of the building under construction. Sylar quickly discovers that the tranquilizers were a ruse - the real weapon is the Haitian's power. They duke it out, and Peter eventually finds a nail gun. He thinks he can force Sylar to cede control to the Nathan mind. He eventually does.

Peter and "Nathan" go to a rooftop where they spoke in the first season's second episode. "Nathan" says he can't fight the Sylar mind any more, and jumps off the roof. Peter catches his wrist, but "Nathan" convinces him to let go. He falls, crashing into the top of a parked vehicle, and regenerates; Sylar stolls away, giving Peter a casual salute.

Bennett invites Lauren over. He discovers the compass is still missing, and figures out who has it. Bennett leaves a message on Claire's cell phone. Lauren whips out a laptop and uses CIA resources to track her cell phone's location - she and the carnival are in Ohio.

Bennett tells her about their close brush with starting an affair. Lauren doesn't remember, because she had the Haitian wipe her memories of the events.

They are interrupted by Samuel's new right-hand man, who has the ability to project illusory images of himself. One of the images vamishes when Bennett shoots it. When Bennett and Lauren go into the bathroom to recover more pistols, the guy makes off with his prize - Bennett's old Primatech bios on various mutants.

Claire and Gretchen tour the carnival. They visit Lydia; she uses her unique "fortune telling" to generate a tattoo of Claire and the caption "Indestructible girl." In the tattoo Claire appears to be wearing a cheerleader uniform. Lydia tells people about their desires, not their futures; my guess is that Claire's desire is to be emotionally "indestructible."

The two watch a ball toss carny. From their vantage they can see him making hand gestures as customers toss the ball - he is obviously using soem sort of telekinesis. A paunchy guy misses several tosses and walks away in a huff, while a little girl wins on the first try.

Samuel invites Claire and Gretchen to the backstage area. She briefly sees Eric Doyle, the puppet-master guy who had kidnapped Claire and her mom. He wants to have a chat with her later.Claire is coaxed into telling the carnies' children a story, after Samuel finishes telling one himself. Paunchy guy shows up and confronts Samuel for ripping him off, and throws a few punches. Claire exchanges some words with the irate customer. He breaks a bottle and takes a swipe at Claire's cheek. He watches the wound regenerate, and runs off in fear.

Claire decides to stay at the carnival a few days. As Gretchen drives away, viewers see paunchy guy lying in the bed of a pickup, probably dead. Samuel remarks to Lydia that it's not Claire he's after - he must be referring to Bennett, unless this subplot is more convoluted than we think.

The carnival's current location is a plot of land they've visited before, and where Samuel wants to build a permanent settlement for "his people" - including others with abilities who haven't discovered the carnival yet.

What is on Doyle's mind? What will Sylar do next? Will he continue to pose as Nathan and live the life of a US Senator? Will he still go after the Petrellis? Will Peter go after him? Stay tuned.

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Day Of Infamy, Day Of Hope

See my annual Pearl Harbor remembrance here.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

In Hell, The City Planners Are British

Exhibit A: The Magic Roundabout, Swindon, UK

See the other 17 world's strangest roads. Dallas has one of 'em - the High Five interchange.


Obama Vindicates The Decision To Invade Iraq

James Taranto explains:

There weren't a lot of surprises in President Obama's Afghanistan speech last night, but here's one: The president quietly repudiated the myth that Iraq has nothing to do with al Qaeda. The acknowledgment came in this passage:

We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region. Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is not just America's war. Since 9/11, al Qaeda's safe havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali.

Amman? Do you remember the attack on Jordan's capital? It happened Nov. 9, 2005, as the New York Times reported:

Terrorist bombs ripped through three hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman, tonight, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds more in what appeared to be a coordinated suicide attack, Jordanian officials said.

At least 57 people were killed and more than 300 injured when bombs exploded at a wedding party at the Radisson SAS, the lobby of the Grand Hyatt and outside a Days Inn, Jordanian officials said.

Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher gave varying casualty estimates to CNN, saying at least 53 initially, then as high as 67. Early casualty tolls in such chaotic situations often fluctuate wildly, and it was impossible to know with any confidence just how many people had been killed and injured.

Mr. Muasher also said that while there was no initial claim of responsibility, he regarded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, as a "prime suspect."

When a U.S. air strike killed Zarqawi in June 2006, the Times noted that he was indeed behind the 2005 attack in Amman, as well as two earlier operations:

The only attacks outside Iraq known to be directed by Mr. Zarqawi were in Jordan, said an American counterterrorism official who spoke on condition of anonymity because his agency does not permit him to discuss such matters on the record. Those attacks include the 2002 murder of Laurence Foley, an American diplomat; a foiled plot in 2004 to attack the United States Embassy and Jordanian intelligence headquarters; and bombings of three Amman hotels in November that killed 60 people.

Little wonder Obama also said in his speech that "the wrenching debate over the Iraq war is well-known and need not be repeated here." That's easier than admitting that he has changed his mind and now regards Iraq as having been an al Qaeda safe haven and source of international terrorism.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Good News For The Population Control Folks

Global warming will kill off 90% of humans.

But the cat population is a different think Alf might have something to do with global warming?


Heroes - Family Time

(Episode: Thanksgiving. Aired last week. Spoilers ahead.)

Bennett hosts his first thanksgiving. The guests are Claire, his old Company co-worker Lauren (who he meets at the grocery store), his ex-wife and her youngish boyfriend. Claire wants to drop out of college. During the argument Claire impulsively takes a knife to her arm in front of Doug. He faints. Later Sandra says she has an explanation to convince Doug he didn't see what he saw.

Bennett has a surprise for Claire - ex-roomie Gretchen shows up after the incident. Seems she's still at the college after all, just in a different dorm room. She's not so scared about Claire's adventures now, and wants to move back in.

After almost everyone leaves, Bennett shows Claire the compass from the safe deposit box that Edgar Sullivan tried to seize. Claire secretly steals it. She drives off with Gretchen, intending to follow the compass to the carnival. Gretchen bravely consents.

Angela brings Thanksgiving dinner to Peter's. The guys confront her about the truth about Nathan/Sylar. She eventually fesses up. Sylar's personality returns, but only for a time; as he begins to cut Angela's head the Nathan personality fights back, using Sylar's own electrical power to shock him. Nathan reemerges, and flies out a window.

At the carnival, Hiro confronts Samuel about their agreement as the latter watches the Chandra Suresh film. Samuel won't budge. Edgar overhears, and asks Lydia why Hiro didn't save Joseph when he fixed the past for Samuel.

Lydia and Hiro talk. She wants him to take her to the night of Joseph's murder. They discover that Samuel killed him out of rage for withholding the film reel that explains his earth powers. They return to the present. Samuel sees a twig in Lydia's hair and silently surmises that she and Hiro saw the murder.

At the dinner table Samuel announces that a traitor killed Joseph - Edgar. Hiro freezes time without freezing Edgar before a small rock can do a Lee Harvey Oswald on the back of Edgar's head. Hiro convinces Edgar that Samuel must be stopped, but they need time, and Edgar must hide. He flees with super speed.

But Samuel knows the speed alone didn't save Edgar. He confronts Hiro later, and Damien uses on Hiro his memory manipulation power. Hiro sees a few memories flash; he exclaims, in Japanese, "Must rescue Watson... Beam me up, Scotty" - and vanishes.

When and where is Hiro? Who is Watson? Where is Sylar/Nathan? Where will Edgar go? What will Claire and Gretchen find at the carnival? Will she see Tracy there? Does Angela know a good doctor who doesn't ask nosy questions about frontal skull lacerations? Stay tuned.

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