Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from October 2008

Fooled again: Your bailout billions at work

October 25th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Christmas came early to US banks, says the New York Times, when Treasury Secretary Paulson decided to use the first installment of the $700 billion bailout money to recapitalize banks instead of buying up their toxic securities. That would be, he claimed the fastest way to get banks making loans again. If Congress didn’t hand over the money at once, recession would hit us!

By October 17, banks had figured out just what to do with all that free money, and making new loans was not part of their plan.

Is it too late for Congress to rein Paulson in again, just to attach a few strings to the rest of the bailout?

Tags: Editorial · politics · voting

Five minutes well spent with boy band for Obama

October 20th, 2008 · Comments Off on Five minutes well spent with boy band for Obama

Just when you thought this election could not get crazier, it’s… BoyBama!

Funny, warm-hearted, and charming, from the wild and crazy dudes at Portal-A Interactive, who explain:

we decided to make this parody music video in support of the Obama campaign and to show women everywhere that we can shamelessly pander with the best of them.

Thanks to the always awesome Liz Lawley for sharing this!

Tags: Editorial · funny · politics · Wide wonderful world

Thumbs up for Nambu, big thumbs down to Reuters

October 8th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Frank Wilczek and Yoichiro Nambu

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

What wonderful news that Yoichiro Nambu finally got a Nobel Prize! Frank and I were just beaming at each other when the announcement came. It felt like having the Red Sox win the World Series, although minus the cars honking and people screaming in Harvard Square.

Frank is a big admirer of Nambu, whose work he praised in in a postcript to his own 2004 Nobel Lecture (pdf):

I’d like to mention specifically a trio of physicists whose work was particularly important in leading to ours, and who have not (yet?) received a Nobel Prize for it. These are Yoichiro Nambu, Stephen Adler, and James Bjorken. Those heroes advanced the cause of trying to understand hadronic physics by taking the concepts of quantum field theory seriously, and embodying them in specific mechanistic models, when doing so was difficult and unfashionable.

In fact, Nambu won the prize yesterday for a different part of his work, which just goes to show how brilliant and creative he is. I hope he will have as lovely a time in Stockholm as we did; it is a wonderful party.
Meanwhile, I quickly uploaded my own snapshot of Nambu to Wikipedia. And that photo soon went to the front page of Wikipedia, which delighted me. But it also soon went up all over the Google News with a credit to Reuters instead of to Betsy Devine and/or Wikipedia. That is a violation of the photo’s license, and I think that Reuters should be ashamed of itself.

Tags: Nobel · Wide wonderful world · wikipedia

Why I love the Netherlands

October 6th, 2008 · Comments Off on Why I love the Netherlands

Dutch dentist

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

This Dutch dentist’s window is full of no-nonsense examples of what a dentist can actually do for you. I love this, and this is so Dutch. Teeth that human beings might have or might want to have or might need to get help with.

No glossy photos of impossibly retouched glamor teeth.

Real teeth.

This is just one example of why I love the Netherlands and the people who live here.

Tags: Editorial · Travel · Wide wonderful world

Kikker and kakkerlak

October 4th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Bird nest hidden in maze

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Hortus Haren, just south of Groningen, is the largest botanical garden in the Netherlands, but flowers were not the main attraction yesterday.

Just beyond its greenhouses is the insectarium, a small one that specializes in really big creepy things, e.g. tarantulas, a scorpion, stick insects, and cockroaches the size of dinner plates. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating on that last point. Cockroaches big enough to make Sarah Palin reach for the gun she uses when she’s hunting moose.

I learned a bit of Dutch when we lived here ten years ago, and one of the Dutch words I think is much better than its English equivalent is “kakkerlak,” which means “cockroach.” Another word where Dutch is better is “kikker,” for “frog.”

The “mystic” time tunnel, the Celtic tree horoscope, the rescued parrots, and the traditional Chinese teahouse that serves delicious traditional Dutch sandwiches are also fine features of the Hortus Haren. I recommend it! (But go with a Dutch friend or at least a Dutch dictionary–signs are all in Dutch.

Tags: funny · Travel · Wide wonderful world