Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power grids fail, leaving 600 million without power in India

In India, it's doubtful this brave repair man gets hazard pay.

Story: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-07-31/india-power-outage/56600520/1

Pictures: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/what-670-million-people-without-power-look-pictures-blacked-out-india

Monday, July 30, 2012

US Treasury Bond Yields Hit All Time Low

A rate of return only The Fed could love.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

UFO Hovers in the Sky at the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: What are the odds?

Story & More Videos: A clear video of an UFO hovering in the sky at the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony

Think the bookies are really going to pay off on this one?

Story: Long jump, long odds: Brit bookmakers taking bets on all things Olympic – even who wins

  • UFO expert Nick Pope says massive summer events like the Olympics would be a prime time for an alien encounter
  • Ministry of Defence 'has planned for the worst outcomes - attack and invasion'
  • 'We should be prepared for even the most seemingly unfathomable'

Story: Keep an eye on the skies for saucers during the Olympics Games, warns former MoD UFO expert

Aquarius: The undersea laboratory

Just off the coast of Florida, 17 metres below the surface, lies Aquarius - the world's only operating undersea laboratory. Scientists can live in Aquarius for up to two weeks, giving them plenty of time to study the coral reef community. But with budget struggles ahead, the US Congress may withdraw funding for the lab. Mark Schrope dived down to meet the researchers who are trying to save this iconic underwater base.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Webbot Project - Clif's Wujo - July 23, 2012

Confirmation from remote viewing experiments.

Obama Will Kill the 2nd Ammendment Today, July 27, 2012

The U.N. and gun control

By Gary Hartman, Lebanon (July 19) via the Albany Democrat-Herald

Hillary Clinton was scheduled to meet this month [today] with the United Nations to sign the U.S. into the U.N. Small Arms Control Treaty.

Although the media message is that gun owners in the U.S. have nothing to fear from this, we need to ask ourselves, “Did President Obama back the Supreme Court decision that the Second Amendment supports an individual right to keep and bear arms?”

No, he did not! His entire record in Illinois and the U.S. Senate was against gun rights, and the White House did not support the Heller case when it came before the Supreme Court.

So, once this treaty is signed, he will have the backing of “international law” to support inroads into interfering with U.S. individual gun rights. (Even Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has made comments to the effect of allowing international law to override U.S. sovereignty!)
To trust these officials with our rights is absolutely foolhardy, and their assurances only make it all the more suspicious.

It is a historical fact that nibbling rights away, particularly with gun rights, has worked in the past.
And certainly the U.N. is abundantly supplied with countries who despise the U.S. or are run by corrupt dictators and leaders.

Always the last to act in horrific human rights violations throughout the world, the U.N. is most certainly the one organization to be least trusted for supporting personal liberty.

Please contact your congressmen over this impending action. Do you want the U.N. having any say over our affairs? -- ###


Screwed!: How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off and Plundering Our Economy-and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It

Update: UN fails to reach deal on global arms trade treaty, as US asks for more time

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies

97% of Greenland Surface Ice Melts in Days

Total thaw (Image: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory and Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI and Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory)
Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.

Full story:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gun Control: Just the Facts

Link: http://justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

• General Facts
• Ownership
• Crime and Self Defense
• Background Checks and Criminals' Sources of Guns
• Right-to-Carry Laws
• Accidents
• Politics
• Constitution

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Make a Calcium Supplement

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hyperinflation Warning For US

 h/t: Jim Sinclair

 "In a social democracy with a fiat currency all roads lead to inflation"  -- Bill Fleckenstein

~ ~ ~ 
UBS Issues Hyperinflation Warning For US And UK, Calls It Purely "A Fiscal Phenomenon" 

From UBS: "We think that a creditor nation is less at risk of hyperinflation than a debtor nation, as a debtor nation relies not only on the confidence of domestic creditors, but also of foreign creditors. We therefore think that the hyperinflation risk to global investors is largest in the US and the UK. The more the fiscal situation deteriorates and the more central banks debase their currencies, the higher the risk of a loss of confidence in the future purchasing power of money. Indicators to watch in order to determine the risk of hyperinflation therefore pertain to the fiscal situation and monetary policy stance in high-deficit countries. Note that current government deficits and the current size of central bank balance sheets are not sufficient to indicate the sustainability of the fiscal or monetary policy stance and thus, the risk of hyperinflation. The fiscal situation can worsen without affecting the current fiscal deficit, for example when governments assume contingent liabilities of the banking system or when the economic outlook worsens unexpectedly. Similarly, the monetary policy stance can expand without affecting the size of the central bank balance sheet. This happens for example when central banks lower collateral requirements or monetary policy rates, in particular the interest rate paid on reserves deposited with the central bank. A significant deterioration of the fiscal situation or a significant expansion of the monetary policy stance in the large-deficit countries could lead us to increase the probability we assign to the risk of hyperinflation."

 Read more from Zero Hedge


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Music From the Movie Hanna


Written by Pedro Ricardo Miño

Performed by Pepa Montes, Ricardo Miño, Fabiola Perez, David Rodriguez, Jallal Chekara, Alexis Lefevre, Rafael 'El Electrico', Jesús Ortega, Abel Harana, Manuel Bellido, El 'Lebri', Silvia Rios Bastos, Salvador Antonio Bellido Vizcaino, Ana Maria Garcia Garcia, Soledad Salazar Carrillo, Maria Del Carmen Garcia Salazar, David Crespo Gabarri, Ricardo Heredia Salazar, Maria Ester Salazar Carrillo, Beatriz Amaya Trigo, Antonia Rodríguez Saborido, Catalina García Ventura, Inmaculada Bejar Ruiz, Juan Carlos Muñoz Guajardo.

[Too bad this is not the whole scene. The movie is worth watching just for this clip. - c]

10 things you must know about home invasions

10 things you must know about home invasions

Reposted from FerFAL’s blog minus some of the gory details.

1)You are a sitting duck. If your door can be easily kicked open by the average person, if simple glass is all that separates your family from the outside, if you don’t even remember to close your door at times or leave the back door opened for convenience. If after doing a bit of self-criticism about your home security you admit to yourself that anyone can be inside your house in less than a minute, you are a sitting duck and the only reason why nothing serious has yet happened to you or your similarly set up neighbors is because no one has yet put you to test.

2)Secure your entry points. Starting with the micron thin door with all that nice glass and the wooden match thick frame its set on, to the windows that have no burglar bars, aren’t shatter proof and don’t even have an anti-riot/security film to buy you a few seconds to get to your gun. I know some American house designs are just hopeless. At least get a real door and install some thick window film. It improves your house’s insulation too so it eventually pays for itself.

3)As the hardware is getting done (the physical part of your home security) work on the software right away. How do the family members behave? Are they aware of the potential dangers? This is the part where you sit with your family, thank God for having been safe so far, but explaining it clearly to everyone that God helps those that make His job a bit easier. If your not the religious type just luck at is as a simple matter of luck eventually running out.

4)Don’t leave tools in the yard that would facilitate the entry to your house. In this story a brick was used. Don’t leave bricks or rocks, ladders, or hoses that could be used for climbing. You shed is not only full of potential breeching tools, its full of potential weapons as well!

5) Take added measures so as to make your house the less appealing to your potential attackers. The alarm system adds to the deterrent factor, even more so does a couple big dogs. If your not a dog person German Shepards have great instincts and are easy to live with. If you had the patience to read this long, then you probably should consider owning a firearm as well, a recurring topic in this blog. Not only should you get the needed training to use it proficiently, it must also be put away yet available enough so that you can get to it within the timeframe your home security setup allows. If all it takes is a brick through your window to get in, that time frame is reduced to one second for putting the rock/brick through it, and another 3 seconds to kick the broken glass away and stepping inside.

6) Criminals go after cash, jewelry, guns and drugs (legal ones work for them too). You have any of those? Of course you do. There’s no such thing as a “poor” house when it comes to criminals. I’ve known of cases where they robbed from some of the poorest people in the planet. Of course showing off fancy HD TV through the window or having the latest luxury car on the driveway makes you even more attractive, but don’t think that just because you don’t have much that you will be spared.

7)Keep an eye on suspicious activity. The more professional criminals will do some intelligence work ahead of time. Notice recurring strangers walking around or vehicles passing by or parked within sight. Its not a bad idea to take the license plate and maybe ask the police to check it out. When this sort of activity is detected, your awareness level should go up to red for the following couple weeks.

8)While cameras may not stop home invaders or robbers, it does help to identify them quicker. A more visible camera would mostly be a deterrent, others hidden are the ones that will go by unseen and help ID the criminals later on.

9) Information such as you leaving town or business transactions that may involve cash should be treated as “top secret”. You don’t speak about it, and your kids know they shouldn’t either. In so many cases the robbers new exactly what they were after. A common story victims later tell here is that the robbers tell them the exact sum of money they are looking for “We know you just sold your car and have $5.000 cash in here somewhere.”

10) Network. Talking about this sort of thing with your neighbors and having them on board is a huge asset. Make an actual effort to get everyone involved. Maybe organize a picnic or BBQ and specifically explain your concern and what you want to talk about. Its more eyes on the neighborhood in general, more people watching each other’s back. Something as simple as asking the guy that lives across the street to please call the cops if he sees something happening on your house, or calling you to check if everything is OK, that’s the sort of simple measure that may save your life during an attack. Around here, in most cases where people got saved by the police during a home invasion, it was because a neighbor saw strange movements and made the call. This sort of community organization extents to suspicious people lurking or any sort or strange circumstance.

Take care folks, FerFAL

Related: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Home Invasion - Pouplar Mechanics

Tiny Purple Creatures Invade Hawaii

Biologists have been left mystified by millions of tiny purple creatures washed ashore on beaches in Hawaii.

The pea-sized, crab-like animals are dotting the beaches in Honolulu but scientists are yet to determine what they are, TV station KHON2 reports.

"The lifeguard called and asked what these things were because she had reports of surfers were actually have these things crawl up on their boards and onto them," Waikiki Aquarium biologist Norton Chan said.

"There's a lot of things we don't know about the ocean so any opportunity like this is a great learning experience."

Mr Chan said the creatures are likely to be crabs in the larvae stage, but he could not positively identify the species.

Source: KHON2. Author: Nick Pearson, Approving editor: Henri Paget

One of the tiny purple creatures. (KHON2)

Friday, July 13, 2012

On the Water's Edge


SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: Earth Directed X1.4-Flare And CME (July 13th, 2012)

X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th. Because the sunspot is directly facing Earth, everything about the blast was geoeffective. For one thing, it hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) directly toward our planet.

According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will hit Earth on July 14th around 10:20 UT (+/- 7 hours) and could spark strong geomagnetic storms.

The UV pulse partially ionized Earth's upper atmosphere, disturbing the normal propagation of radio signals around the planet. Monitoring stations in Norway, Ireland and Italy recorded the sudden ionospheric disturbance.

Finally, solar protons accelerated by the blast are swarming around Earth. The radiation storm, in progress, ranks "S1" on NOAA space weather scales, which means it poses no serious threat to satellites or astronauts. This could change if the storm continues to intensify. Stay tuned. -- Space Weather

The Webbot Project - Clif's Wujo - July 10, 2012

Clif High discusses: oyster larva, spirograph, atoms, stream, kalapas, energy, interstellar boundary, global coastal event, Fukushima, radiation, more.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Eat The Weeds: Blueberries and Huckleberries

Blueberries and their relatives huckleberries are among the most popular of wild and cultivated berries. Learn what to look for and how to identify them.

Simon's Cat in 'Window Pain'

A playful cat helps things get squeaky clean.

Solar Water from the Air and Ground

Solar Water from the Air and Ground - Distilled Survivalist Water

This is a simple super clear acrylic uv resistant dome. Any glass bowl will work. This dome averages 1 ounce every 45 minutes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Higgs Boson: "I think we have it."

Professor Peter Higgs
Peter Higgs is best known for his 1960s proposal of broken symmetry in electroweak theory, explaining the origin of mass of elementary particles in general and of the W and Z bosons in particular. This so-called Higgs mechanism, which had several inventors besides Higgs at about the same time, predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson (often described as "the most sought-after particle in modern physics"). CERN announced on the 4th of July 2012 that they had experimentally established the existence of the Higgs Boson. The Higgs mechanism is generally accepted as an important ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics, without which particles would have no mass. -- Wikipedia

Professor Peter Higgs weeps at the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

The Higgs for me

"They got sentimental when thinking of Higgs" - Physicists give their thoughts on the Higgs Boson: including Nobel Prize winners Gerhard 't Hooft, David Gross, George Charpak, Jerome Friedman, Murray Gell-Mann plus Vivek Sharma, Guido Tonelli and Gigi Rolandi (CMS), Eilam Gross and Joao Guimaraes da Costa (ATLAS) and theoretical physicists Guido Altarelli and John Ellis.

Soundbytes from the interviews to Peter Higgs, Francois Englert, Carl Hagen and Gerald Guralnik, recorded at CERN on the announcement of the latest results from ATLAS and CMS on the Higgs boson searches.

~ ~ ~

To High Treason

The Declaration of Independence

Ben Gates: A toast? Yeah. To high treason. That's what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and - Oh! Oh, my personal favorite - had their entrails cut out and burned!

[brief pause]

Ben Gates: So... here's to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right...


Ben Gates: what they knew was right.

Ben Gates: Of all the words written here about freedom, there's a line that's at the heart of all the others.

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security."

~ ~ ~

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Iran Prepares to Close Strait of Hormuz Amid U.S. Mine Sweeper Ships

The Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf beyond it, as seen from the International Space Station in 2003. Iran is to the right.

"The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates." -- NYT

Full Story: US Military Re-Surging In Persian Gulf As Turkey Scrambles Jets For Third Day And Iran Fires Medium-Range Missiles
~ ~ ~

BAHRAIN (June 23 2012) Tugboats pull the mine counter measure ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) into position as Devastator and three other mine counter measure ships arrived in Bahrain. Devastator is assigned to Commander, Task Force 52, supporting mine countermeasure operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area or responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jayme Pastoric. - Released)
MCMs Arrive In U.S. 5th Fleet via U.S. Navy

Four U.S. Navy mine countermeasures (MCM) ships arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations aboard M/V Tern.

USS Sentry (MCM 3), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Warrior (MCM 10) were transported from San Diego aboard M/V Tern to support a U.S. Central Command request for additional MCM assets in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

MCM ships conduct operations with coalition forces in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in international waterways.

The arrival of the MCMs and the additional capability and capacity they provide, offer greater opportunities for cooperation with regional partners.

The MCM ships are scheduled for a seven-month deployment with rotational crews from San Diego to provide continuous manning.

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 20 countries, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.-- ###

BAHRAIN (June 23 2012) Tugboats pull the mine counter measure ship USS Pioneer (MCM 9) off the Military Sealift Command chartered M/V Tern, a float-on/float-off transport ship. Pioneer and three other MCM ships arrived in Bahrain the same day. Pioneer is assigned to Commander, Task Force 52, supporting mine countermeasure operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jayme Pastoric. Released)

Negotiations Behind U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

~ ~ ~

Who Needs a WeedWacker When You Can Use a Scythe?

Who Needs a WeedWacker When You Can Use a Scythe?

By Barry Newman, WSJ

With a WeedWacker under his arm, Dan Kowalsky was at work trimming the median strip of U.S. Route 1 in suburban Westport, Conn., when he was asked, above the din: Why not use a scythe?

"You mean that Grim Reaper thing?" he yelled. "Can't get grass nice and short with that thing, nice and perfect."

People who scythe put up with a lot of Grim Reaper cracks. Then again, long-handled, crescent-bladed scythes don't use gas, don't get hot, don't make noise, do make for exercise, and do cut grass.

Which is what Jean-Paul Pauillac, a 55-year-old French chef, was doing a five-minute drive away. "This is my samurai chop," he said in his backyard, swinging a scythe through ankle-deep growth. His neighbors' lawns were cropped like putting greens. "They come to the fence and look," said Mr. Pauillac. "Maybe they think I'm cuckoo."

While Americans persist in cutting grass with labor-saving devices, faithful scythers believe their old tool has plenty of life left in it. In the dozens just 10 years ago, U.S. scythe sales are nearing 10,000 a year now, for a kit that costs about $200. Predictably, scythe buyers are small, green farmers; unpredictably, they are also city folk and suburbanites.

At Marugg Co., which has been selling scythes out of Tracy City, Tenn., since 1873, the typical scythe buyer used to be an Amish farmer or a horror-movie prop master, according to Amy Wilson, the current owner. Now, it's "anybody and everybody," she says. "It makes it difficult for advertising, but still…"

Read more & watch video -- P.S. Never scythe downhill, or that Grim Reaper joke might be à propos.

~ ~ ~


Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, Washington shows off his scythe with a homemade snath.

His side job is not really being the grim reaper.

He sharpens the scythe with a whetstone every ten minutes or so. And every few days he peens the blade.

Brian tells a story of the story of a strapping young lad with a string trimmer competing against a barefoot maiden with a flowing dress and a scythe. And maiden won the 100 yard dash and all of her grass was laid nice and neat while the string trimmer has stuff scattered everywhere.

It takes a little practice to get the hang of using the scythe.

Brian talks about making his own snath or buying a snath.

He talks about how with the string trimmer you have to take it to the shop every spring to get it tuned up; regularly buy string (where does the string go?); the gas mixed with oil; make sure to wear pants because you will get slug parts and other stuff flung at you; annoying the neighbors when they are trying to sleep in.

Brian demonstrates using the scythe on short grass and on tall grass and shows how the cut grass can be left nice and orderly.

music by jimmy pardo

flattr this https://flattr.com/thing/128228/scythe-faster-than-a-string-trimmer

A 14-year-old girl with a scythe, cutting circles around a tractor equipped with a mowing machine!