Saturday, July 29, 2006

Plat du jour


Beware of Starbucks

Man Drives Onto Starbucks Patio; 10 Hurt
As I've said before, Starbucks is a dangerous place, so avoid it--not that I always follow my own advice. At least the Starbucks (Starbuckses? what is the plural?) here don't have patios.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Talking back at the headlines

From the Associated Press "Top News:"

Hezbollah Fires New Rockets Into Israel

Bush, Blair Urge Multinational Force
But not US or UK troops, I'm sure.

GOP Makes Conditions on Wage Increase
Give a little to the poor, and a lot to the rich.

AP: Priest May Have Misspent $1.4 Million
It's better than if he had molested kids.

Floyd Landis Proclaims His Innocence
I hope it's true.

Jury Convicts 4 White-Supremacists

Scientists Identify 2 Ancient Reptiles
Dino and Dinny?

Mel Gibson Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Plat du jour

I guess spelling isn't on the curriculum in New Haven.

Experiment results

A few days ago I ran a little experiment, listing the top ten searched-for terms, to see if it would get any more people to my site. It took a day or so for Google to do its scan, and then I waited. The result: zero additional hits on my blog. Not a single person came here looking for any of the items.

Which does make sense. I'm sure my site was way, way down on Google's list for any of those terms (the only way I knew I was on the list was to add the additional terms "caprice glob" to my search).

What did noticably increase the traffic on my blog yesterday was my articles on Floyd Landis. Almost as soon as I posted the first one I started getting hits--Google indexes blogs very quickly. I got a good number of people searching for Landis with "testosterone" or "doping." I ended up with my second highest traffic day of the last month.

So I guess if I really want to increase my visitor count I should post stuff on the breaking news as quickly as I can.

Living with bears XIV

Canada: Police Confirm Bear Sightings
Florida: Black bear spotted again in North Naples

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Landis update

The Associated Press has issued an updated story on Floyd Landis. It does seem unthinkable that he would take a chance on getting caught like this, but who knows how one thinks under the huge stress of competing in Le Tour de France--particularly after the disasterous performance Landis had in Stage 16.

UPDATE: Landis has denied cheating.

Floyd Landis a doper?

Floyd Landis has failed a drug test taken the day he made his remarkable recovery in Le Tour de France. Excessive testosterone was found. If this is confirmed by a test of his back-up sample he will lose his championship, and probably be banned from cycling for two years.

Testosterone is not easily administered. It can't be taken orally, and must be injected or gotten topically with a patch or a gel spread on the skin. So the chance that Landis got this drug accidentally (assuming the test was not in error) is small.

It will be sad if Landis is disqualified. And it could dampen the popular enthusiasm for cycling, already reeling from one drug scandal right before this year's Tour. I find the whole thing very disheartening. I have already lost a great deal of my interest in track and field because of past doping scandals. Now this. Phooey.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Plat du jour

This one is a bit of a puzzle. I'm guessing that the "4" was substituted for an "A," which would make this read "ALKY DOG"--as in "alcoholic dog."

Living with bears XIII

Connecticut: Bear making a habit of wandering where people live
Colorado: Bear nabbed after snack in Red Mountain home

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A little experiment in attracting visitors

Yahoo has a "Buzz Log," a list of what the most popular Yahoo searches are each day. So I'm wondering what will happen to my visitor count if I mention the top 10:
1 Miss Universe
2 Ashlee Simpson
3 Miss USA
5 Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza
6 Kurara Chibana
7 Jessica Simpson
8 Wikipedia
9 Nicole Kidman
10 Paris Hilton

A very ambiguous headline

Artie Shaw's Ex-Wife Gets Half of Estate
He was married eight times.

Amnesty International may back right to abortion

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organization Amnesty International is considering altering its "neutral" stand on abortion and birth control, to include them among the rights of women they will fight for. Naturally, anti-abortion people, including some who have some who have previously supported the group, are opposed. Some have already ceased their contributions, even though the change in policy is only in the early discussion stages--it would not be voted on until August of next year at the earliest.

While I think Amnesty International has occasionally gone overboard in declaring certain government actions violations of human rights (not that I can remember a specific instance at the moment), they do good work in general. They should support all human rights, including the right of women to choose to have an abortion. If they do actually change their policy, I'll think I will start to contribute to them.

The 10:1 ratio

Israel seems to have lessened its efforts in Lebanon, at least looking at the death toll--or perhaps it's that Hezbollah is resisting more effectively. The Associated Press has it at 391-43. Of course, as was pointed out in a comment to my previous post on the subject, these are only the reported deaths.

UPDATE: Now (5:26pm ET) the AP has it at 422-42 (Israel's went down one?).

(slightly) Weird websearch

Someone found my blog searching for "thai food." Someone from Thailand!

Monday, July 24, 2006

That's a relief

I took the test, and it said:
You Will Die at Age 79

You're pretty average when it comes to how you live...
And how you'll die as well.

UPDATE: If I floss my teeth every day I can add three years!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Plat du jour

A well-balanced Californian.

The last stage of Le Tour de France

Right now they're about 50 miles from the end of the Tour. In case you haven't heard about it, Floyd Landis did take the yellow jersey (the overall race leadership) in the time trial yesterday.

This last stage, ending with several laps up and down the Champs Elysée in Paris, is ceremonial--sort of. It does count, but the unwritten rules prohibit attacks against the jersey holders. The racers are taking it easy, talking with each other, having a nice ride. Landis, surrounded by his teammates for protection, stays up front, to avoid any entanglements with others in the peloton. At the end some of the lesser lights will probably fight for the stage win, but Landis will play it safe, ensuring his victory.

The 10:1 ratio holds

Now the Lebanon-Israel death count is 375 to 36. My prediction still looks good.