Tuesday, July 29, 2008


When I started this blog I thought a good 25-30% of the posts would be sports-related, maybe as an outlet for my lack of ability to watch American sports over here and my even greater lack of ability to talk about American sports over here, even with Americans. But there's been close to none. So here's a rare sports-related one.

Who would've ever dreamed things like this would one day be happening?
Real NBA talent choosing to leave the NBA to play in Europe.
And actually getting offers the NBA can't match. Completely unbelievable 20 years ago, and actually still is to me. I had no idea this ever happened EVER. but 7 times this year already?

I think it's great in one sense. That the game is becoming so global, even at the highest, professional level. I guess it shouldn't be too surprising having watched the USA teams world performances recently: yes, they can play the game over here.

On the other hand, don't players in the NBA get paid ridiculously large amounts of money already that we don't really need even more market competition driving these salaries up?
It'll be great when players start actually transferring between American and European teams for similar salaries, or even pulled away for less.
And then perhaps one day there will be a real basketball "world championship", playoffs from teams in leagues around the world. And not the NBA's self titled "world championship".
I wonder if the NBA will slow down on their campaign to bring basketball to the world, now seeing they may have some competition, or try to get into the action abroad, like the NFL's ill-fated "World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa"

Monday, July 28, 2008


I'm having a hard time motivating to scan in all my slides from my safari adventure. So here's one of the batch that I did. It's not exactly in focus cause the sun had gone down. But with the colors it almost looks like a drawing. These guys were cool. But extremely skittish. Usually you only saw them as they were high-tailing it outta there. Like literally, often you would only see their little tails stuck straight up in the air in the high grass speeding away.

Friday, July 25, 2008

He's losing it.

Last week the "Iraq-Pakistan border"
This week just making up more shit, then actually trying to explain it away later with some first class diarrhea of the mouth.
He constantly fucks up, which is inevitable to happen in the course of a campaign, but not all the time, and in this case not just having trouble with words and self-confidence like the president, but seriously getting some shit wrong, and then literally making up crazy shit to try and cover it up. I mean, you just can't do that and expect people to believe you. He seems to be really in over his head, but in a very different way than our current president.

To his credit he is taking questions in front of the cheese section. Hey, I shop for cheese in the grocery store. He's like me, a good ol' cheese-shopper, not some jet-set "change-the-world" elitist.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Live-blogging Obama Berlin speech

Okay Live blogging Barack’s speech
Try this out.
I’ve got CNN, BBC, SKYnews, and Al Jazeera to switch between here.
Quotes guaranteed not to be accurate

SKY: Somebody just said that this is being compared to JFK’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate, which is partly why he wasn’t allowed to speak there. Which is just wrong. Even I know that. JFK didn’t speak at the Brandenburg Gate.

19:20 No Barack yet

On sky news the commentator just referred to Obama as a “black JFK”. WTF? Why they gotta bring up black?

BBC and Sky have gone to continuous live shots of the crowd

19:21 Here he COMES!!!!

Al Jazeera is not covering it.

19:23 Okay he brings up being black right off the bat. So shut my mouth.
“I don’t look like the other Americans that spoke here before"

Said he's here “Not hereas a candidate for president, but as a citizen of the world.”
Yeah, RIGHT.

Brings up the airlift.
“soviet shadow”. Hmmm bringing up the evil Russians kinda.

Okay some good Berliner ass kissing. Yes yes

Okay Al Jazeera is on board.

19:30 still talking bout berlin and the wall.

Side note to self: Get piece of wall next time in Berlin (there’s still sections left! Is that illegal?)

19:32 laundry list of bad things happening in the world

Do the press have American flags?!?

Talks shit about soviet union again

Okay now coming out of general terrorism and into talking about Afghanistan specifically.
Taliban Al Qaeda, taking them down. Rebuilding the nation.
Note: NO mention of Iraq here. Word.


Now comes out strong on nuclear weapons. Prevention and disarmament
No mention Iran specifically.

Brings up cold war again more then into we need to “Work with Russia when we can” still linking Russia with old Soviet Union as evil foes, IMO.

19:43 Now talks about Iran.

And now brings up Iraq, but in terms of bringing the war to a close, not a front line on the war against terrorism. Stark contrast to Afghanistan.

Kisses some german ass on Carbon emission, says US should be better.
Well, could have said more about this actually.

“The moment to give children BACK their future”

19:45 "US planes over Berlin did not bring BOMBS to defeat the oppression, brought food and candy, won hearts and trust and people." Yes. Nice contrast to our bombing all over now.
nice one.

"Will we reject torture?"
Yes, I see that as thinking about US torturing and criticisms of this admin.

"We’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality.
made mistakes, etc."
ouch, there will be criticism of this statement by the right. Reminds me of Michelle’s line about ‘first time I’m proud.'
But his statement was completely correct.
Tries to bring it home with how much I love America.
Not gonna do it for naysayers.

19:49 Yeah, yeah, talking up America. It’ s getting emotional. The REAL American dream.
Oh came down too soon.

This is TOTALLY a campaign speech. Of course.
And then ends it.

Post analysis:
CNN: Good point about comparing this reception to how it is when Bush goes abroad. He speaks to little groups if US troops. It would be a disaster of he tried to speak in Berlin.

Well, yeah, I think I coulda missed that. Watching in TV gets the message across.
Nice speech. But of course he's preaching to the choir. Nobody in the US is going to be watching this at 1pm on Thursday. but the coverage did capture the excitement of the giant crowd. Hopefully they can play that up.

Before I go while I'm writing this up, on CNN they just said this, no joke:
"Not to be out done, John McCain ate at a German restaurant in Columbus."
Obamamania in Berlin

At 7pm tonight Obama will deliver a super-hyped speech in the middle of Berlin, the same place that held the "fan mile" of madness during the world cup. I thought about going up to check it out, but then again, it may just be frustrating dealing with that many people. Plus I'm thinking of heading up to Berlin Saturday anyway.

I do want this t-shirt though.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I crave corn on the cob

This is what I get for corn here. Look at this. This is typical. God, I would kill for a big fresh crispy ear of corn. If anybody in Dresden knows something, please let me know.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Strange times

This short AP article really sums up the madness of the Pope’s visit to Australia.
And when you step back to look at these things, it’s a little weird. The term 'cult' even comes to mind.
For example, take the 12.5 foot wooden cross that has been hauled all over Australia of the last year, with people reacting to it like like they’ve gone mad, lunging though crowds to touch it. With people weeping. And even shouting, to the tune of the famous Aussie cry, “Holy Holy Holy! Spirit Spirit Spirit!”
…said Wilkins, 55, of Sydney. "To touch it makes me feel I was an integral part of it."
Hundreds lined up to kneel before the cross, place their hands on it and pray.
Where else can an 18 year old from Texas come all the way to Sydney, Australia, then say the day after she arrived, with ‘tears streaming down her face' no less, “We’re homesick..but it’s a sacrifice” Homesick? In Australia? After one day? A sacrifice? AHHHHHHHH!!!!! open your eyes.

And then for all the crazy cultish madness the Pope will come out and as a main topic tell all these people how sorry he is that his church has been responsible for endless cases of child sexual assault.
And the people will weep and kiss everything.

And then and THEN, the article references a LAW that was placed that ‘prevents people from doing anything considered ‘annoying’ to World Youth Day Pilgrims. Annoying to world youth day pilgrims? Anything annoying? So suspend some freedoms for these guys? What about the rest of the residents of Sydney? Think they are a bit ‘annoyed’ by anything the "World Youth Day Pilgrims" are doing? I’m SURE NONE of the 200,000 of them are doing anything annoying AT ALL.
Goodness. Well.
Maybe I'm a little extra wound up since I just watched “There Will be Blood".

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cover Madness

The Rude Pundit has the best reaction I've read yet to the insanity over the friggin cover of the New Yorker with the Obamas.
The more often than not entertaining Jon Swift post has some good parts, but not up to standard. I guess he had to get it out quick to be topical.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mike and the Maasai

Someday I will post pictures of my recent trip to East Africa with stories and what not. But until that day, here is one video from the trip that made me laugh out loud. Mike in Kenya with the Maasai.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I can blog from my phone. Berlin. Plenary talk on calcium vesicle signaling in neurons. Not my thing.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back (sort of)

Got back last night to Germany from Dar Es Salaam. Exhausted. But now I'm hanging around Berlin for a few days for an HFSP awardeees conference. I haven't thought about science for nearly 3 weeks.
And I feel like I need to relax and have a vacation.
There will be posts and photos from Africa - but it may take a while as I took half my pictures with that ancient stuff called film and I'll need to get it developed and maybe even scan in the slides myself.

Trip log:
Nairobi - Masai Mara Reserve - Nairobi - Stone Town
(Unguja Isl., Zanzibar) - Nungwi (Unguja Isl., Zanzibar) - Wete, (Pemba Isl., Zanzibar) - near Makangale (Pemba Isl., Zanzibar) - Pujini (Pemba Isl., Zanzibar)- Pangani - Dar