Tuesday, April 28, 2009

PA to have 2 Democratic Senators as of later today, Democrats to have even bigger less filibuster-prone majority!

Wowzers... so PA has played big this year... the Phillies won the World Series, the Steelers the Superbowl... the Sixers and Flyers made the playoffs (at least I think the Flyers did, right?) but no sports action can quite rival what's going on in Washington today thanks to the Keystone State. With almost 30 years of service in the Senate, stalwart independent/moderate Republican Arlen Specter is announcing later today that he will switch party affiliations to join the majority and (once the whole Minnesota debacle is settled) provide a filibuster-proof margin to the Democrats in the US Senate.

Now, Specter has been facing up with the prospects of a concerted challenge from right-wingers in PA come the next round of elections, and while he enjoys a high degree of popularity back home the state laws are such that only registered Republicans can vote in their party's primary for the Senate seat. If Specter lost the Republican primary he would not be able to run as an independent like Lieberman did up here in CT... so there certainly is some smart political calculus behind the decision. Anyway, this is a pretty monumental day in politics, PA state politics and a big day for Democratic priorities up on Capital Hill!
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. - from a statement released by Specter today
Thanks, Arlen!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oklahoma suddenly a much much cooler state, after all

Why? Because their official state rock song (how many states are even cool enough to have one of those?) is "Do You Realize?" by the Flaming Lips, one of my all-time favorite bands! If you don't feel the coolness yet, read more about the epic legislative battle and internets vote that lead to this triumphant outcome.

Or you could just listen to some of the song and get the idea of what a Flaming Lips show is like below!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weren't they going to secede already?

Wow... Texas produces another of its wonderful turdblossoms in the form of this amazing exchange that took place in the house of representatives on the pressing subject of where oil comes from.

Wow, it's frightening to think this guy helps write/decide on our laws. What a dingbat.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Turkish Um... You know... thing, with music and craziness

Wonkette posted this, and I couldn't resist passing it along.

Happy Friday folks! It's getting up to the 70's here in CT today! Wahoo!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

R.I.P. Harry, Voice of the Phillies and the summers of my childhood.

I've been waiting for the right video to post about this, and since Jayson Stark, who is now a baseball commentator for ESPN wrote about sports and baseball in Philly for many years I think this one, narrated by Jason is the right one:

... from a description of yesterday's game:
After Victorino homered in the third, he crossed himself and then pointed up to the booth at Nationals Park where Kalas was supposed to be working.
The day was full of tributes to a man who will be dearly missed.

From a story on Phillies.com about tributes to Harry:
...But to properly honor Kalas throughout the remainder of the 2009 season, players, coaches and manager Charlie Manuel will wear "HK" patches on their uniforms. The black circular patch will be located on the front of the jersey near the heart.

It seems a fitting tribute for a man who Phillies fans loved for 39 years.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Will your job be outsourced to Dr. Roboto?

Yahoo News reported yesterday that scientists have created robot scientists, capable of reasoning about scientific data and drawing conclusions, planning subsequent experiments, etc.
At Aberystwyth University in Wales, Ross King and colleagues have created a robot called Adam that can not only carry out experiments on yeast metabolism but also reason about the results and plan the next experiment.

It is the world's first example of a machine that has made an independent scientific discovery -- in this case, new facts about the genetic make-up of baker's yeast.

"On its own it can think of hypotheses and then do the experiments, and we've checked that it's got the results correct," King said in an interview.
Watchout! It's only a matter of time until they advance so that the robot scientists are made of liquid metal and can shift into any shape or form they like, then we're all doomed!!!