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The 150th Carnival of the Vanities

Welcome to the 150th Carnival of the Vanities. This week's Carnival contains over 50 submissions. It should go without saying that the views expressed by contributors are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect my own opinions.

Next week's edition will appear August 10th at Generic Confusion. And now, on with the show!

The Environment

The Dread Pundit Bluto cites some sources suggesting that NASA's switch to an environmentally-friendly foam may be the reason chunks of it keep shearing off the Space Shuttle's external fuel tank and damaging the main craft.

Mister Snitch thinks that by the year 2020, we might be importing barrels of Chinese hydrogen along with our barrels of Saudi oil.

Do you walk or bike to work? If so, Kiril Kundurazieff wants to hear from you. (I don't think my 1300cc Honda is the kind of bike Kiril has in mind, though.)

Last week's Carnival host Melinama blogs about a failed attempt to start a biodiesel company. Along the way, she discusses blueberry patches, hot sauce, Celtic music, and fried twinkies.

Birth Control

Running for the Right says that NPR has completely mischaracterized the debate over pharmacist distribution of birth control pills.

Nicholas Schweitzer looks at New York Governor George Pataki's plans to veto a bill that would make the "morning after pill", RU-486, available over the counter.


Greg writes, "While in Europe recently, I saw firsthand that the European Union is doomed. See the pictorial evidence!"

Joseph Cutler points out an even more important European problem.

Guido Fawkes warns that Tony Blair is "stealthily installing a one-party dictatorship" in Britain.


Making his Carnival debut, Justin compares some inspiring and uninspiring examples of foreign language learning.

Justin's is the only even vaguely Japan-related entry in the Carnival this week. I recommend checking out Japundit for quirky finds and good reads on all things Japanese, while for a pan-Asian blog roundup, Simon World is excellent (although Simon is currently having guest bloggers fill in for him while he's on vacation).

Supporting the Troops

Is there a Carnival of the Podcasts? There should be. Holly Aho interviews Patty Patton-Bader, the founder of Soldier's Angels. (UPDATE: Holly has apparently just launched a Carnival of the Podcasts.)

Kiril Kundurazieff has two blogs, so he submitted two posts. Is that kosher? Anyway, he shares the sad story of a man who spent years cleaning up the tombstones of almost 200 Union soldiers from the Civil War — only to find that local officials aren't too fond of his work.

Buckley F. Williams lists Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll's favorite pastimes besides handing out her business cards at military funerals.

Liberals vs. Conservatives

Mr. Right imagines what a telethon to save Air America would be like. Seriously, if no one listens to these guys for free, who's going to tune in when they're asking for money?

Charlie Quidnunc has a very well-done podcast that finds House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unable to back up some serious allegations she makes against the Republicans. Charlie's podcast also covers Air America and moderate Muslims as an added bonus.

John Ray conducted a study, published in the Australian Journal of Psychology, which found that left-wing beliefs correlate negatively with intelligence. Maybe that explains why Kerry got lower grades than Bush at Yale?

Watcher points a finger at bloggers who pointed fingers at Bush's finger.

Islam and Islamic Terrorism

Ferdinand T. Cat notes that Laura Ingraham interviewed Imam Yahya Hendi on her radio show. Hendi is a member of the Fiqh Council of North America, which recently issued a fatwa against terrorism.

GM Roper says that if we're serious about stopping Islamic terrorists, we should be focusing on people who fit the profile.

J. Random American thinks that a surveillance society might actually make us more free — but it all depends on who is under the microscope and who is doing the watching.

Rick Moran says Islam is overdue for a Martin Luther-style reformation.

In a very detailed post, Dan Melson compares the history of Chrisitianity and Islam, and considers the prospects for reforms in Islam today.

Brian J. Noggle wonders whether the British are sinking into a quagmire. No, not in Iraq. In Britain.

Opinionated Bastard notes that the Global War on Terror has become the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. But he thinks there's another name for it that would be even more accurate.

In the aftermath of the London bombings, Dave L. considers why second-generation Pakistanis in Britain often prove more radical than their immigrant parents. He thinks a New York Times article on the same phenomenon left much to be desired.

Neal Phenes says the locals aren't the problem in Iraq.

After calling Islam itself a "terrorist organization", radio talk show host Michael Graham lost his job when the Council on American-Islamic Relations threatened to boycott his station's advertisers. The Maryhunter calls for a boycott until he's hired back.


Harvey takes a look at the state of Florida, in a post that reminded me of Johnny Carson's famous monologue, "What Democracy Means to Me".

On a more serious note, Zendo Deb says Florida is coming to grips with the problem of domestic violence.


Josh Cohen wonders why a quick nude scene earns films the "R" rating, while graphic violence often slides by with a "PG-13". Warning: Readers under the age of 17 will not be admitted to Josh's post unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

Pete reveals "the last message you ever want to hear on your answering machine."

In a truly baffling post, BPG imagines the leaders of the G-8 nations as Victoria's Secret models. There is absolutely no reason why any sane person would ever, ever want to do this.

Shaggy's Girl thinks she's figured out what men really want. How did she know I want a Ducati Multistrada 1000S DS?

Sister Toldjah warns that legalizing gay marriage puts us on a slippery slope.

Blogs and the Internet

Barry Welford wonders if AskJeeves might actually be able to catch up to the "big three" search engines.

Flexo looks at the negative impact of commercial forces on blogging, including the problem of spam blogs and the risk that advertisers will turn bloggers into paid shills.

If you're trying to figure out how to get more visitors to your website, Wayne Hurlbert says your referrer logs may hold the answer.


Kevin says an environmental lawsuit against the makers of Teflon is bogus. I guess he thinks the charges won't stick.

Tom Bowler notes a push for a Constitutional amendment to negate the impact of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.

Warren Meyer muses about Roe v. Wade and whether the notion of a Constitutional right to privacy will grow stronger.

The Boy Scouts' 2005 National Jamboree was hit not only by a tragic electrical accident that killed four adults, but also by an ACLU lawsuit. Denis Ambrose has more.

Business and Economics

When I read this post by Ashish Hanwadikar about the Laffer Curve, I thought he was rejecting it because it predicts that two different tax rates can yield the same amount of tax revenue. But Ashish wrote to tell me, "I am not disputing Laffer Curve at all. My question, 'So what's wrong with Laffer Curve' is rhetorical." You had me going there, Ashish.

Ironman thinks AFL-CIO boss John J. Sweeney is doubling down on a losing bet.

Bruan works in a department store, and lists some of the weird things its customers do.


Look, do you want a happy God or a vengeful God? Northstar wants a happy God, but suspects the members of Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church do not.

Bussorah Merchant has a joke about a couple of golf-playing nuns.


High school history teacher Betsy Newmark says that students lose out when history is replaced with "social studies".

Chris Hallquist thinks that concerns about Ball State University forcing freshmen to read "leftist" books are overblown. He agrees with this comment by Stanley Fish: "As a genuine academic value, intellectual diversity is a nonstarter."


From Skippy-san comes a list of the 10 stages of drunkenness. I'm not sure what stage he was at when he wrote it.

Elisson has a bittersweet post about how the right pop song can trigger powerful emotions and bring back vivid memories.

Kevin Pho, M.D., reviews Dick Cheney's latest physical examination in impressive detail.

Mark A. Rayner knows how to ward off another NHL lockout: Robot hockey on Mars.

In the creepiest post of this week's Carnival, Chris J says it's better to suffer through the misery of life than to commit suicide. Maybe a more brightly-colored blog template would cheer him up?

And if that doesn't work, Steve Pavlina has some tips on "Overcoming Negative Emotions and Boosting Motivation." Remember, Chris — you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.


Anonymous said...

This is regarding my entry about Laffer Curve. I am not disputing Laffer Curve at all. My question, "So what's wrong with Laffer Curve" is rhetorical. I intended it for the author of article that I cited in my post. Please see additional comments below my post. Please change the description of my entry.  

Posted by Ashish Hanwadikar

Anonymous said...

I split an ear to ear on your commentary regarding my DP bit. I'm not so morbid, usually, but every now and then that funk just comes and steps on your head. I didn't intend for it to be creepy, but considering the laughing fit that your reaction to it just inspired, I'm glad I wrote it. Thanks Gaijin! 

Posted by DubiousChrisJ

Anonymous said...

Linked at Blog d'Elisson .

Gaijinbiker-sama: Arigato gozaimashita! Anata-no banichi-no carunibaru-ga subarashi deshita!  Fuhgeddaboudit!

Posted by Elisson

Anonymous said...

Hi Gaijin! Thank you kindly for the link in this Carnival. 

Posted by Mr. Snitch!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gaijin!

Thanks for allowing me to participate in the Carnival of the Vanities. I happened upon your blog because I was looking for other sensible "gaijin" in Japan.

Good luck in the blog wars.

Posted by Shaggy's girl

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links.

From the both of us! :-D

We have been honored to be participants in this Carnival for many, many, editions, and think it, and its many off-spring, are some of the best ways for people to learn of blogs they may never knew existed. 

Posted by Kiril Kundurazieff

Anonymous said...

'Round the 'Sphere: August 6, 2005 

Looking for something good to read? Let me help you out... 

Posted by Mr. Right



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