30 January 2007

Stupid Human Tricks: Riding a bike indoors

Yikes, the previous post was number "666".. which would make this post "evil plus one" I guess.. What we have here is a demonstration by some guy wearing lycra, of how to ride a bicycle indoors. Please, no fat jokes.. it's early in the season and he has ten pounds to lose before he reaches peak form.. This was recorded after he completed an hour long work-out.. so his testicles have not yet descended..
Can you guess what's playing on the teli?

Tour of Qatar: Tom Steels Crashes out of Stage 1, Boonen wins again

This is as painful as it looks.. and a good time to explain why we shave our legs: "Road rash" injuries are easier to dress and keep clean when the legs are 'shorn'. The added benefit is that smooth skin is easier to massage than hair. The next most important issue here is just plain aesthetics. It looks better. Aerodynamics is a non-issue, but we 'feel' faster with smooth legs.. and this must have something to do with aethetics..

Predico-Loto team rider Tom Steels of Belgium falls during the final sprint in the first stage of the Tour of Qatar cycling race from Al Wakra to Doha January 29, 2007.Rabobank team rider Jan Boven of the Netherlands is seen on left. 29 Jan 2007 REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Today's Full VeloNews report and results: Tom Boonen wins stages 2 and 3 (above)

29 January 2007

All's well that ends well

Today started out on the low-end of the seratonin scale.. even though I was able to sleep in a little bit (I took the morning off). Dad's chemotherapy appointment was at 9:45.. I feel like a fish out of water whenever Ebru and Reis are not with me. So much to do.. so much free time to take advantage of.. a man can go insane, especially when they're afflicted with the 'all-or-nothing' OCD as I am.. I went to work at 1:30, sat through a production meeting and excused myself early to go "make some phone calls".. Thought about putting on my coat and going home not less than five times, but guilt- my other affliction, kept me at the office until 6:00.. Practising my new yo-yo technique while barking at clients and associates on speakerphone, blunted the pain of exerting minimal effort to my responsibilities. (For the all-or-nothing personality, anything between all or nothing, hurts) Now it's almost 11:00 and I just completed an hour's work-out on my rollers. Feeling strong enough now that I don't want to sleep again, not until I fall down exhausted. The chart you see represents my work-out. It shows my speed, heart rate (in red of course) among a variety of other technical info about my 'body machine'. Can you name another blogger who so literally puts his heart into his blog?

Chechen makes Hajj Pilgimage by Bicycle

"..He faced scorpions, snakes and hostile U.S. soldiers and his bicycle took a beating, but the 63-year-old Chechen now back home after cycling to and from Mecca says he is counting his blessings."
"..Having reached Baghdad and witnessed what he calls the country's "terrible war," Magomed-Ali ran into a group of American soldiers. "Because I hadn't got a visa, they broke my bicycle, smashed it against the ground and called me a Russian pig. I told them I wasn't Russian but a Muslim and they seized my passport and pointed to the crosses on the cover," he recalled."
"..He was then forced to turn around and head back to Iran and around Iraq through Armenia and Georgia, down through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and finally -- after further border wrangles -- into Saudi Arabia and to his destination, Mecca."

Full story by Agence France Presse @ VeloNews

Belt Parkway East: 30 Seconds to Mars

Wife and son hopefully arrived safely in Turkey today. They traveled together with mother and sister.. It was a three hour drive home for me from JFK International Airport. Here are the first few moments of my trip. Kind of depressing. Separation is not easy for us.

The Infidel: Playing the 'genocide' record in reverse

Not unlike a country music record played backwards.. (cowboy finds his horse, sobers up and gets his girl back) the videos which Infidel gives us this week are must-see material for anyone who seeks the whole truth about the Turkish Republic's early history. The hour long presentation which we find at The Infidel's blog under the entry titled The Turkish Armenian Debate Part 5, reveals a countless number of little known facts and historical evidence, proving that claims of genocide are not only fictional, they are completely dismissive of losses on the other side. Muslim casualties and suffering are an unsurprising non-issue for those in pursuit of reparations. Which countries should Turkey's claim for reparations be submitted to?
Hint: France, Italy, USA, Armenia, Greece, Russia, UK, New Zealand, Australia...

27 January 2007

www.amerikanturk.com

I have owned the domain: "amerikanturk.com" for the past year, yet I just recently realized that I could easily re-direct visitors to my blogspot address. So this site can now be reached using either address:
www.americanturk.blogspot.com or.. www.amerikanturk.com
Yes I also own www.amerikanturks.com, which is where the Amerikan Turks Forum resides. Don't go there.. It now has about 500 members, 95% of which are spammers.
I'm going to shut down 'word verification' for a while and see if the spamming parasites notice or not.. Might not last long, but I'm sick and tired of typing illegible letters every time I comment at my own blog..

Tugba Karademir scores a top-ten finish in Warsaw

Her 10th place overall required 13th place in the Short Program and 8th place in the Free Skating (out of 38 entrants) Previous European Championship results: 19th in 2005, 13th in 2006.. Remember this?.. A must-see
Looking for pictures!

25 January 2007

The Hitch-hiker's Guide to Turkish Blogs continues

Next in my crosshairs... (mind you it's ladies first) we have Gulay, Galatasaray and the Dogs. Isn't that a mouthful? Sure is.. and her content lives up to it, that is, we find mouthfuls galore of anything and everything to do with soccer. Especially of one asshole team in particular (as Borat would have put it.. her team is like the Uzbekistan of the league).. because they suck. My favorite thing about her blog? Well for one she links to me using the correct spelling: "Amerikan Turk", with a 'k' . More importantly, Gulay is a maven on matters of the round ball.. to the point of making most of us men feel like sissie boys. Can you just imagine Gulay conducting post-game interviews in the men's locker room, or in the skybox calling the games as they unfold? I can. Easily.
I must say I am a little puzzled about her recent posts though. In
this one, she draws a line on the Armenian issue, like most of her red-blooded compatriots.. but in this one, she disappoints me with an assault on Article 301. Two incompatible positions Gulay! You can't support the official state position on genocide and then say that it's okay for journalists to run their mouths against it! There there.. simmer down- I'm not a fascist.. (See comment number 23) I'll let you sort that one out among yourselves..
On a brighter note, Gulay at last justifies 60% of the words in her blog title. In this recent post, I discover that there are indeed
some canine friends in the Gulay household: Kimi and Lucky! Here's an idea: A line of dog sweaters and accessories themed with Turkish soccer teams.. Who but Gulay to be the first in line for some Galatasaray dog booties.
Many thanks to Gulay's better half (Andy- a fellow bicyclist and former racer) for contributing to the comments here at AT..
they are worth repeating
PS: To the piece of shit who
"insulted Galatasaray-ness" with gutless anonymous profanity directed at Gulay, may a pack of wild dogs eat your heart out..

You, Me, and Joan Osbourne: A Travel Video

Not only did I drive 270 miles between Providence, Hartford, Boston and back to Providence today.. Not only did I survey and field measure about 40 classrooms of a new elementary school.. Not only did I receive a verbal assault from a team of architects and contractors at a meeting.. I also took lots of video while flying down the interstate at 80 mph. I'll admit it isn't exactly the most engaging content, but I challenge you to find another who also went to the trouble of sharing their day with you thusly:

24 January 2007

A Hitch-hiker's guide to Turkish Blogs- 3rd Edition begins now

I've decided to give this a slow start in lieu of no start, because it does indeed take a long time to cover everyone in one sitting. Hopefully you don't mind if I add 1-2 blogs to this list every couple of days.
The Need To Know: Phanja is one who could not possibly have lived only in Turkey. Such excellent command of the English language normally requires one to be born and raised in the US. What's quite deficient though is the frequency of posts in her blog. I'd love to discuss her latest contribution, but you'd be more entertained by watching paint dry.. I think we're averaging one post every two to three months. Gets to be quite a disappointment every time I visit and search for life.. which consists primarily of occasional comments left by myself and others. I am selecting Phanja as January's recipient of the coveted "Waste of Bandwidth Award".. A distinction which underscores the position of blogging within her list of priorities, and which is intended to get her off her tookus and typing..something..anything!. Hopefully this reaches her and we get to read an acceptance speech in a few weeks. Until then.. click here if seeing cobwebs and hearing crickets chirp is what turns your crank..
Recipients of the "Waste of Bandwidth Award" get to choose next month's recipient (Unless of course you ignore this and receive it again next month by default, Phanja) Just please avoid plagiarizing yourself.. review your last episode of excusitis: Because I just don't care..

ISU European Figure Skating Championships

The list of competitors includes none other than our national pride, Tugba Karademir. Looks like she will be competing this Friday and Saturday. If I find that it's being televised, I will update. Looks like we have a Turkish entry in the Men's Competition as well. Look for Alper Ucar in the results for today and tomorrow. Let's wish them both great performances and results.
Full schedule and results. Check the prize list!

21 January 2007

Feeding the anti-Turkish Monster: Your enemy is my enemy

I've come to a realization... it's a real forehead slapper.. Nationalist thinking is easily born from exposure to any of the militant blogs of Kurds, Armenians and Greeks. Here's a prime example or Kurds and Armenians kissing up to eachother in solidarity of their shared hatred of Turkey. My point is this.. you can avoid being a G-d forsaken nationalist.. all you have to do is close your eyes and be ignorant to those who hate you and your country.. After all, ignorance is bliss.. You can take the red pill and be loved, or take the blue pill and be hated. Don't let anyone fool you into believing there is some kind of middle ground. The forces which are at work against Turkey, by those whose very existence depends upon Turkey, are the real propagators of the Nationalism which they so hate.
Bottom line: Hatred towards Turks breeds Nationalism.
One other important distinction: Love for one's country isn't a symptom of Nationalism. It's the other way around.

20 January 2007

Hillary Clinton: "I'm In"

Story Highlights
• Sen. Barack Obama welcomes Clinton's entry
• Clinton's announcement comes days after Obama launched his bid
• Clinton is considered the front-runner
• She wants troop cap in Iraq, more focus on Afghanistan
I couldn't help searching and finding this old post from last April: Of Rice And Men: Which Way Did He Go George?

Rest in peace, Hrant Dink.. look at how many bloggers hold a candle for you..

I wasn't really interested in covering this horrible news, but since so many others are talking about it, let me direct you to their blogs:
Erkan's Field Diary: We are All Armenians Today!, 62nd assassinated journalist, Fury in Turkey at Editor's Murder, A beautiful human is murdered here!, Hrant Dink is assassinated
The White Path (Mustafa Akyol): I am Armenian Today
The Infidel: Obituary: Hrant Dink (1954-2007)
Talk Turkey: Hrant Dink & Turkish Taboo
Turkish Torque: Thousands of Turks March to Protest Dink's Murder, Hrant Dink, 1954-2007, What did Turkish Columnists write about Hrant Dink's murder?
Mavi Boncuk: In Memoriam Hrant Dink (1954-2007)
James In Turkey: In a crowded street, on a busy morning
Turkish Digest: Visit here frequently for all the latest news feeds from Turkish news groups. The latest entry at TD indicates that the murder suspect, Ogun Samast, has been identified and arrested.

Altinbasak Family Reunion

Something taken for granted by a lot of families is just plain being together, all at one time, all in one place. Well for the first time since about 1990, the first time in 17 years, the whole family is together under one roof. Sister Elif, Brother Ali, Mother Kiymet and Father Irfan.. and me. Reis is there too, and dear Ebru took the picture.. Sure there's some tension in the air, but there is also the realization and the appreciation that this is quite a rare and historic event.

17 January 2007

Coming Soon to a theater near you: Broken Angel starring Nehir Erdogan

This project is starting to generate quite a buzz. Broken Angel, the upcoming film about a Turkish girl who immigrates to America, is a project which I hope the Turkish community of America will stand behind and support. Visit the website and become mesmerized.. As I learn more, I will post updates here. From a recent promotional e-mail I received:
Broken Angel, based on the novel, “Ruzgarli Sehir” by Chicago resident Tulay Pirlant, will star “Yabanci Damat’s” Nehir Erdogan and will be shot completely in Los Angeles in both Turkish and English. Director Aclan Bates-Buyukturkoglu is determined to revolutionize the Turkish film industry, not only in the acting and storytelling techniques, but also technically.

Coming soon!: The latest Hitchhiker's Guide to Turkish Blogs

Yes it's coming.. my third installment of the "Hitchhiker's guide to Turkish blogs".. so make sure and give me some engaging material to use for making the usual sarcastic tongue-in-cheek remarks. This time I won't be so nice to the blogs I don't like.. Should you be worried? You tell ME. This feature of my blog is going to occur a lot more regularly.. keep you slacker bloggers on your toes.. Here are the two previous such entries:
From August 10th, 2006
From December 3rd, 2006

16 January 2007

Turkish Oriental KANUN (Autoharp, Zither) as built by Irfan Altinbasak


This latest creation of my father's arrived in the US this past Friday.
Click the title above to be directed to the ebay listing.

15 January 2007

Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti executed at dawn Monday

Here is the wiki with all you need to know about Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti. Sorry, no video of today's hangings, but if witnessing death is what blows your hair back, try these: Beheading Decapitation and Execution Video Clips.
If you have a weak stomach, I do not recommend that you watch these videos... Scroll down and watch some Schoolhouse Rock instead..Or, if you just want to see Saddam again..The REAL Saddam Execution Video

14 January 2007

Courtney Love: Unpack Your Expletives

A nice little spoof on the original "Unpack Your Adjectives" cartoon by Schoolhouse Rock.. I'll post the original later.

Below is one of my favorite original Schoolhouse Rock cartoons from the seventies. I grew up watching these and am still overcome with a soothing feeling of comfort thirty years later.. Good stuff.




12 January 2007

Visit #50,000 today!..and now for something completely different..

To commemorate my 50,000th visitor (a reader from Casablanca, Morroco, who was searching the phrase "Sex Amerikan" and who viewed three pages for a duration of 4:29).. I give you the following video. I consider it to be among the top three Simpsons episodes ever. Enjoy this: THE SIMPSONS Time Traveling Homer GetPedia.com

11 January 2007

Cost of Iraq Invasion: $357,000,000,000

Video: War's cost to taxpayer
The equivalent of $1190 cash from every man, woman and child in the USA. This averages:
$7.76 billion per month for the past 46 months
$258 million per day...
$10.8 million per hour..
$180 thousand per minute..
$3 thousand per second.
I wonder how many families living in poverty could have been fed, clothed and sheltered with this money.. How many who can't afford life-sustaining prescription drugs could have been saved or comforted? How many kids who can't afford college could have completed a four year degree at an Ivy League School? (2,380,000 graduates at a cost of $150,000 each, double that for a good state school)
These figures have the potential to DOUBLE when one considers the depreciation and replacement cost of our over-extended military's hardware and equipment..

10 January 2007

Lance Armstrong Announces 2008 Presidential Bid

It's what crossed my mind in the instant that I saw this picture. He has no such inclinations at this time, of course... but Lance looks pretty effing good in front of the capital building, don't you think?
The real story is about Armstrong's displeasure with the government's apathy towards cancer. Hear, hear!
If this is some kind of "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" posturing, then I believe there might be some hope for this country after all. Call me biased if it pleases you, but I believe that in order to be President of the United States, you ought to be the world's best at something other than invading relatively defenseless countries and causing their disintegration... If that something happens to be mastery of the most physically demanding sport in the world, all the better. Full story

Travel plans are finalized

I will be in San Diego February 21 thru 27, staying at the Naval Air Base in Coronado. This was arranged by an old friend who I raced with, back when I first started in the sport of cycling. We were quite the dynamic duo when we raced together, attacking the GVCC club races on a weekly basis. Whenever we took off on an attack, you always heard the words "there they go" from the rest of the field.. So it's been 17 or so years since we've ridden together, and I'm stoked about having good company during my training camp.

It's how you "pray"

Someone said this to me one day, in an attempt to explain my fanaticism about bicycling, racing, competing etc.. I liked hearing this because it explained many things.. Some people find relief by pressing their forehead to the floor and reciting Arabic words which have no meaning to them.. Not that there's anything wrong with that.. I just like my way better. As I contemplate what lies ahead for me and my family in 2007, it's clear that I should be riding my bike as much as possible, and as soon as possible.. because I will be asking for a LOT.
Is it sinful to worship one's own body? ('Worship' is a misnomer which you can replace with 'care deeply about'.) I kind of doubt it, because it is actually considered sinful (haram) to abuse one's body, isn't it? So the reverse could not possibly be true. Could "worshipping" the health of your heart, lungs, muscles, brain, circulation, bones, and organs.. be anything but good? Sorry G-d, but there's no time for prayer, not when you've limited our life spans with so many fucking diseases.. I have a family which I must stay healthy for,... and they need me more than you do.. Amen.

07 January 2007

Fighting Melancholy with Consumerism

Is that the prettiest race bike you've ever seen? (Click to enlarge) Even caked with dirt and road grime, even standing still,it looks like it's flying, .. Our new Honda Odyssey is also featured here. I must say we're quite pleased with it. This 2007 model makes our old 2003 Odyssey look like a pile of puke.. I don't know whether to look for other ways to mask my anguish, or to just spill my guts about it, here and now.. I guess it can wait. Until I sort my feelings out a little bit regarding this impending loss, I think I'll refrain from sharing. Thanks for reading.

06 January 2007

As the wheel turns: Murat is s.o.o.l. lately

Today's temperature soared to an unseasonable 60+ degrees, and you can be sure that Murat took advantage of it. But my luck has gone to Tahiti or something because for the 4th time in as many rides, I had a mechanical mishap. First there was the off-road incident, where a stick jammed my rear derailleur and shattered it.. I replaced it at considerable expense. A week later I took Reis out for a ride in his trailer, towing him behind me for 1-1/2 hours. On that ride, just 100 meters from our driveway, my chain disintegrated, destroying the newly replaced derailleur.. Grrr. A week or so ago I went for a one hour road ride on the LOOK bike and had a flat tire on the bike path. Today's ride was no different. Another pffffffffft meant that the rear tire was punctured again. Being that the roads were all wet today, my hands turned black with grime by the time I repaired it and rode home.. These Vredestein Fortezza tires have flatted on me about ten times since I bought this bike. So today I ordered a pair of the Continental 4 Season tires which are tried and true. On the bright side, I find that I have not lost much form, in spite of skipping the indoor soccer this winter because of my sprained ankle of last June. My weight is coming down too- 176 today (One year ago today I was over 180) Picture is of a racer who hit the deck in the Elite Cyclocross National Championships last month in Roger Williams Park. His fork snapped from the impact. Ebru and I made sure he had some water to drink after his fall, as you can see by the bottle in his hand.

05 January 2007

Turkish Delight: Delal's delightful disposition

Delal has recently returned from a trip to India and if you want to read some very captivating stories about her experiences, I strongly recommend a visit. I re-enacted all of it in my mind, as if I was right there with her... Welcome home!
Snake Charmers and other ways to get paid for just...
What's an American Yogi like you doing in a Pizza ...
That isn't dark circles under your eyes, it's just...
American Muslim?
Everyone Needs a Good Bum Kneading
Welcome back to the land of the living...or so I t...
Jetlag Haze
India-Part 3
India Part 2
India Part 1

A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Today Murat was out of bed by 4:00 am, at the office by 5:00, drove Providence to Salem (north of Boston) by 7:45, left at 10:00 for Hartford, had to pull over in a rest stop to sleep for 20 min, arrived in Hartford CT at 12:30, arrived in Wallingford CT at 2:15, and arrived home at 5:00. You'd think that after 330 miles of driving and three appointments in one day, I'd be exhausted and in bed, yet here I am.. You'd also think that after so much solitary driving time, that Murat would have engineered all kinds of new materials in his mind... I have nothing.. and it bothers me.

Bought my ticket to San Diego

Feb 21 thru 27.. only $243 round-trip from JFK! Also rented a compact car for one weekfor only$128! Can someone please recommend a good hotel- one of the extended stay types? I want to be near bicycle friendly mountain/country roads, away from the city. More to come..

04 January 2007

Where I stand in 199 words

Had the most severe episode of sleep paralysis last night.. Terrifying. Went to work 3 hours late on Tuesday.. apparently the new year also scares me. Weighed in at 179 this morning.. Need to keep it under 180 if I'm going to have a strong early season on the bike. Trading in our Honda Odyssey tomorrow for a brand new one.. Love that new car smell, but parting with the old one will be emotional. Discovered today that you can be declined life insurance if you tell them you plan to travel to Turkey for two weeks a year.. They should put my mouth in a circus- you can park a truck in there sometimes. Cancelled HBO service today.. new Sopranos season doesn't start until April 8th. Big Love? Who knows.. Going to be all alone during February.. Ebru and Reis are going to Turkey for a month and I miss them already. Spring training camp in San Diego? Majorca? Argentina? I will be in a warm place for at least a week in February. Anyone down south want to take in a Turkish has-been bike racer for a week? Florida or SoCal preferred. I can house-sit!

03 January 2007

Bloglar Alemi: Blog of the Month

It was by accident that I recently (and happily) discovered that Amerikan Turk earned a distinguishing achievement: Blog of the Month over at the number one Turkish blog portal, Bloglar Alemi. You can read what was said about yours truly, in both Turkish and English, by clicking here. My open message of thanks to those responsible for requiring me to continue working hard at this, is as follows..
I am eternally grateful for your generous recommendation. Receiving such a good
review of Amerikan Turk is very intoxicating- you practically have to pull me
down from the ceiling like a balloon!Recent enhancements to my template were
added before I read this! Call it my seventh sense or intuition, my sixth sense
being the detection of and aversion to, unnecessary work..All kidding aside, I
hungrily accept any comments ideas, criticism, compliments and hate-mail
regarding Amerikan Turk's design and layout. I'd even pay money for a competent
person to go in and tighten up the code, add a 3rd column and make it more
attractive..Lastly, I must salute the team of BLOGLAR ALEMI for creating such an
excellent venue for Turkish blogs and their readers. You are distilling out all
of the white noise of the blogosphere and serving up the refined purity for all
to consume. Lest we forget, information has a shelf life, and fresh content is a
perishable and consumable commodity requiring continuous replenishment..I am
proud to count Amerkian Turk among the previously selected 'blogs of the month'.
Thank you.

02 January 2007

Why does Abdullah Ocalan still draw breath?

Via Erkan's Field Diary, who gives us the link to Execution Culture from the blog Human Rights in Turkey
"..In fact, Turkey has an excellent example of why it is useful to keep killers alive. The former leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, was captured in 1999 and sentenced to death on charges of terrorism. But Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002. Since, Öcalan has
been held in solitary confinement as the only prisoner on the İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara. Since his arrest, Öcalan has campaigned for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict. And has called for a "Truth and Justice Commission" to investigate crimes committed by the PKK and Turkish security forces. Since his capture, he has urged his followers to abandon violence and seek peace.."
More..

Unedited Video of Saddam Hussein's Hanging

Via Robert Lindsay, with whom I once crossed swords on the topic of Turkish nationalism (which he defines as an illness, more or less) His latest post (which contains the unedited video), receives my salute for excellent, informative commentary:

"..Although in many ways he was a terrible person and a mass murderer, Saddam's behavior prior to being hanged was dignified and proper, in my opinion.
No matter how he would have behaved, his enemies would have spun it in such a way as to make Saddam look malevolent, humiliated or weak. Despite propaganda that he seemed frightened, I did not think he seemed that way. Nor did he seem especially defiant,except when taunted. At any rate, all of those gloating that Saddam seemed a wee bit frightened, I would like to see how they hold up to being hung by a rope.
Saddam surely deserved this fate but I cannot see any good come of this.The fact that praise for Sadr was being shouted means that Saddam was hung by militiamen of the Mahdi Army, who are rightly
referred to as sectarian militiamen.
When you hear about X number of bodies, tortured, blindfolded and handcuffed, found in Baghdad on a given day, it is the Shia Mahdi Army, not the Sunni guerrillas, who are responsible for all, or
almost all, of those killings. This fact is conveniently almost never explained by the US media. The media simply says that X bodies were discovered, describes their state, and says, "militias" killed them.."

01 January 2007

Sitemeter Fixed!

Appears that my template tinkering was the cause of the past few days drought of traffic.. Sitemeter was reporting only 60-70 visits per day, causing me all kinds of personal anguish.. then I discovered that Google Analytics was reporting about 180-190 visits a day. Seems I accidentally deleted some Sitemeter code from the very bottom footer of my template. Problem solved. All systems are 'go'.

Everything you never wanted to know about "Squat Toilets"

Via "Me and others" who has some choice words about "alaturka" and "alafranga" toilets... as do I.
The good: Squatting makes elimination faster, easier and more complete.
The bad: Potential for splattering of urine or feces on the legs, feet, clothes, and mouth. This is a particular problem when one has explosive diarrhea. (is there any other kind?)
Here's the complete 411.

The Economist: mock flight safety announcement

via Hakan Aydin's blog, Aydin.net (Thanks.) Not for those who fear traveling in a huge beer can at 600 mph, 7 miles above the earth (That would be me)
Your life-jacket can be found under your seat, but please do not remove it now.
In fact, do not bother to look for it at all. In the event of a landing on
water, an unprecedented miracle will have occurred, because in the history of
aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings
on water is zero.

Is Bush an Idiot?

via Ziddiblog..