Saturday, December 31, 2011
If only we had pipelines to carry it.
Fear not: for, behold,And suddenly there was with the angel
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
Which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day
In the city of David
A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Lying in a manger.
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace,
Good will toward men.
Nora's Freezin' On The TrolleyFood and Drink
The Original Version
Reading St. Luke
Anton Raphael Mengs
The Charlie Brown Christmas Story
At Badger's TableFun and Family
Grandma Hammersley's Old-Time Mincemeat
Tom and Jerrys
Marielle's Gingerbread Dunkers
Retired 'Workampers' Flock to Remote Towns for Temporary Gigs; RV Parks Are Full
FERNLEY, Nev.—Behind the piles of smiley-faced Amazon.com Inc. boxes arriving on doorsteps this holiday season are workers like Ray and Sarann Williams.
The retired couple are part of the swarm of seasonal employees taking up temporary residence in this small desert city—home to one of Amazon's warehouses—to help the online-retail giant fulfill its influx of holiday orders.
Amazon, the world's biggest e-commerce purveyor, sees a sales spike every fourth quarter, when it makes nearly 40% of its more than $34 billion in annual revenue. To meet that surge, the Seattle-based company hires hundreds of temporary workers at each of its 34 U.S. warehouses.
... Pinker has things to say, backed by sound numerical evidence, that should be of interest to any educated person. The facts and numbers are skillfully woven into a story that belongs ultimately to the mystery genre. In Pinker's closing words: "What do we make of the impression that human history contains an arrow? Where is this arrow, we are entitled to wonder, and who posted it?" As with all the best mystery narratives, we are left pondering at last, each of us according to his own inclination and understanding .(Non-subscribers can read the review on johnderbyshire.com.)
Seventy years after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. finds itself in much the same situation that it was in prior to World War II. There is a great effort to cut military spending, bring troops home from abroad, and scale back our international exposure. The country's critical financial situation is one reason. Yet a nuclear-obsessed Iran, an emerging China and Russia, along with smaller rogue actors are enough of a threat to justify a vigilant and even aggressive guard. Add to this the weariness of two prolonged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the comparison is complete.Historian Warren Kozak in The Wall Street Journal. (Behind the pay wall, unfortunately. Email me and I'll send you a free link.)
Two weeks ago, National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" examined Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's statement of concern about the possibility of an "EMP" attack on America....
NPR's guest, Wired magazine reporter Noah Shachtman, was skeptical. He called Mr. Gingrich a "charter member" of the "professional EMP, scare-monger, worry-wart crowd," and he wondered if it really made any sense that "Iran or North Korea or some other country is going to be so mad at us" that they would actually do something like this.
The doubters may indeed be right. But 70 years ago similar doubters believed Japan would never be so foolish as to take on the United States of America—until, of course, it did.
For decades, its main stomping grounds were in the developing world—exotic locales like the Persian Gulf and the desert sands of North Africa, the Niger Delta and the Caspian Sea. But in recent years, that geographical focus has undergone a radical change. Western energy giants are increasingly hunting for supplies in rich, developed countries—a shift that could have profound implications for the industry, global politics and consumers.Read the whole thing. And rejoice.
Driving the change is the boom in unconventionals—the tough kinds of hydrocarbons like shale gas and oil sands that were once considered too difficult and expensive to extract and are now being exploited on an unprecedented scale from Australia to Canada.
The U.S. is at the forefront of the unconventionals revolution. By 2020, shale sources will make up about a third of total U.S. oil and gas production, according to PFC Energy, a Washington-based consultancy. By that time, the U.S. will be the top global oil and gas producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, PFC predicts.
In fiction, time travel is an amazing new invention. In reality, it's a fact of nature. Your GPS has to be corrected for it, since fast-moving satellites gradually shift in time compared with the Earth. A frequent flier, crossing the Atlantic weekly for 40 years, travels 1/1,000th of a second into the future.A thousandth of a second, you're saying. Big whoop. But the effects are, as we like to say in software, highly scalable.
Nearly half the residents of the German city of Koblenz are being forced to leave their homes this weekend after the discovery of a 2-ton, unexploded World War II bomb, marking the biggest bomb-related evacuation in Germany's post-war history.In The Wall Street Journal.
The British bomb in Koblenz, now covered by just 16 inches of water, is thought to have been dropped in the night of Nov. 6, 1944, when Royal Air Force planes blanketed Koblenz with bombs and destroyed much of the inner city. By the war's end, air raids had destroyed some 80% of the city.
Horst Lenz, the 56-year-old head of the regional bomb-disposal squad tasked with defusing the devices Sunday, said the bomb is the largest among the hundreds of World War II-era bombs he has tackled since beginning his hair-raising career in 1984.
Mr. Lenz added that as unexploded bombs grow older, they are becoming ever more unstable, and increasingly likely to explode, as the elements deteriorate their chemical detonators. Still, he says Sunday's job should be fairly routine.
"There don't appear to be any special challenges to this one," he said by telephone. "It could maybe take an hour or two." As with most bomb-disposal assignments, Mr. Lenz said he isn't nervous ahead of this one. "The shivers always come afterward."