Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Telescopes, Foot Fetishes, The Prolific Father, and Haiti

It's Wednesday, the Day of the Hump and Modern Family on ABC. Not the worst day of the week, if you don;t believe its nasty reputation. And it sure beats the piss out of Monday, without question....

A suicide bomber killed four in Afghanistan yesterday when he detonated his explosives just outside the nation's Parliament building. In a separate incident, a bomb killed four NATO soldiers while on patrol. Still three more were killed in a Taliban strike on a security depot near Kabul. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and it will be up to the police and other security forces to respond in the face of rising tension and violence. With the US now firmly departing in the near future, with some units already being called home, the meager and provenly unreliable security forces will be the only defense against these types of attacks. They have little or no history of success, and, in fact, are more noted in Western media for thorough corruption, violence and a repeated reluctance to engage enemy forces. The Bohunk is not a military expert, though I watch a lot of History Channel, so I can predict that those forces are not very reassuring.

If you frequent hobby shops and the like, you may have noticed that telescopes are expensive. Europe, which is an entity with deeper pockets than thou, is showing of the Planck space telescope which has been giving astronomers some dazzling views of deep space that we have never witnessed before. The Planck space telescope has discovered over 15,000 new celestial objects and 30 all-new galaxy clusters. The telescope is 937,000 miles from earth but still orbiting in our atmosphere, scanning the universe and looking through a fog of microwaves that exist in the void. The fog is caused by the constant and impossibly numerous granules spinning around themselves and colliding with others at several billion times a second. These granules collide with themselves, fast moving atoms and particles, and packets of ultraviolet light. Now that we can 'see' (which, remember, we can't; we only see aspects of the waves of a very distant light, and only through a severely limited spectrum) these far and distant places, we can learn very much about our universe and its behavior. Is the universe accelerating in expansion equally in all directions? Might there be, in the far distance, aspects of the universe we have not discovered in our own galaxy? We don't know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.

In the on-going case of Contador and the Tainted Spanish Beef, UCI President Pat McQuaid believes that Contador will not be able to resolve his doping issues and to compete in next year's Tour de France. The Spanish Federation regarding sports is handling the case, but even if it comes to a conclusion by the end of the month, an appeal by Contador or the UCI would drag the case on for even more time, almost certainly more than the few months left before the big race in July. While under suspension, Contador cannot participate in cycling events, making it nearly impossible to mimic race conditions and fitness. Frankly, the Pint-sized Pistolero from Pinto will not be involved in racing this season, and it will be very interesting, and no doubt a testament to his character, to see if he fulfills his vow to quit if he is found guilty. McQuaid believes his absence will fuel other riders to vie for the top step in Paris. The Bohunk says the Schlecks are going to extremely powerful, but do not count out Cadel Evans, one of my favorite riders and a man coming off a terrific and gritty 2010. Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre from Geox could also be dangerous, especially in this climber's course.

Those New York Jets sure can talk, talk, talk. From "Hard Knocks" to the Spanish reporter incident to Rex Ryan foot fetish videos, they are rarely closed-mouth. Reporters pointed out that, while the Patriots routed the Jets 45-3, the Flying Elvii quarterback gesticulated toward the Jets' sidelines, seemingly taunting them. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said that Brady "can't throw the ball" if he "beat(s) the s@#$ out of his receivers" a charge that is both accurate but, unfortunately, assault, not football. He must not have discovered such a tactic in their last meeting, as he gave up numerous chunks of yards and touchdowns. Cromartie was not hot last weekend against the Young Horses, giving up massive touchdowns to Pierre Garcon and looking, at times, quite bewildered. As a testament to his personality, note, my dear reader, that Cromartie has nine children with eight women in six different states. He also been named in five paternity suits in just the past two years, so it is entirely possible he has more kids. He famously, or infamously, failed to remember his kids' names in an episode of "Hard Knock" and, during that same time, received a $500,000 advance from the Jets to pay outstanding child support payments. As if I would doubt the Best Team In The NFL, I also needed no more reason to root against the Jets. On, ye Flying Elvii, and take that rounded orb across the plane of the End Zone!

The Haitian earthquake happened exactly one year ago today. Less than 5% of the country has been repaired, and no person escaped the event without the loss of a loved one. Over 250,000 people died when a 7.0 sized earthquake struck at 4.53 local time. Today, at that hour, the nation will observe a moment of silence for those lost and many will attend church services to honor the dead and to observe the plight of the 800,000 people still in temporary, make-shift shelters and camps. Former President Bill Clinton will be in the capital Port-au-Prince attending a church service and looking at reconstruction crews and Red Cross work around the capital. If you have a moment, think of the disaster and those affected by it.

That will have to be it for the Bohunk, as I am quite busy nursing my beloved after her car accident. Thanks for reading, everyone, and come on back tomorrow for more news and snide comments.

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