Wednesday, April 27, 2005

From Rebels to Hurricanes

WECT TV6 & - Wilmington, NC news and weather - From Rebels to Hurricanes:

"APRIL 27, 2005 -- Cape Fear Academy is changing its nickname. Come July the school's sports teams will no longer be known as the Rebels.

Students at the private school in Wilmington voted to drop the Rebel name because some felt uncomfortable with its connection to the Confederate cause during the Civil War.

After a student vote and contest for the new logo, Cape Fear Academy has chosen the Hurricane as their new mascot.

Although it was late last spring when the vote was taken to make the change, it was just weeks ago that the logo was finalized.

The Hurricanes logo goes into effect July 1."

Hmmm. When I first heard this I thought "Rebels" might be dropped because of the "Rebels" in Iraq, but it looks like some people are still more hung up on the war between the states, which ended some 140 years ago. Hurricanes...sheesh, what a lame name. At least be original, like say "Red Rovers", or "Marshmellows". Or even better, make the name more distasteful, like, "Redrum Rebels" or "Drunken Pirates". Those would sell some gear!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bono at the Gates'

Top News Article |

"When U2's lead singer came to Seattle over the weekend for a concert, there was only one logical place to stay -- the home of Bill Gates, who shares Bono's passion for Third World development and relief efforts.

'I was one of 20,000 screaming fans,' Microsoft Corp.'s co-founder Gates told Reuters. Gates, the world's richest man, said he got to know Bono through his work with his philanthropy.

Gates said that Irish rocker Bono was staying with him and that the two hung out together after the concert in Seattle.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of $28 billion, is the world's biggest charitable organization and aims to improve the health of people in the developing world.

'We're big believers that more needs to be done in developing countries,' Gates said. 'Let me tell you, Bono has had a huge impact.'

Bono is a vocal advocate of Third World debt relief and Gates' foundation has given out more than $4 billion for global health since its inception to fight diseases such as AIDS and malaria.

Asked if their friendship would entice him to buy one of Microsoft rival Apple Computer Inc.'s black-and-red U2 edition iPods, Gates said: 'Absolutely not.' "

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Normalization of War

The Normalization of War:

"Thus has the condition that worried C. Wright Mills in 1956 come to pass in our own day. 'For the first time in the nation's history,' Mills wrote, 'men in authority are talking about an ‘emergency' without a foreseeable end.' While in earlier times Americans had viewed history as 'a peaceful continuum interrupted by war,' today planning, preparing, and waging war has become 'the normal state and seemingly permanent condition of the United States.' And 'the only accepted ‘plan' for peace is the loaded pistol.'"

Long, interesting article is worth mulling over. Are we blind to what we have become?

America's Peak Experience

America's Peak Experience:

"'Please sir, just one thin mint.'"

In the fifties, geologist M. King Hubbert coined the term, "peak oil," to describe the tipping point at which petroleum supply reaches its maximum annual output. Total US oil production reached its peak in the seventies. Now, the question is when the world supply will reach its zenith.

Recently a number of academic papers have been published that forecast the peak year for world oil production. Most place this event in a time period between 2005 (Princeton Geologist Ken Deffeyes) and 2014 (Germany's Deutsche Bank). Not surprisingly, the most optimistic projection - 2037 - comes from the Bush Administration's forecasters at the Department of Energy.

When peak oil will occur is more than an academic issue. It represents an important milestone for policy makers because it sets a "drop dead date" for our preparation for a time of oil scarcity. Experts believe that it will take at least 10 years for the economy to make the transition from oil to the various alternatives; the longer we wait to start this, the more extreme the economic turmoil will be. "

All the more reason to leave the Arctic alone...we will need to save that stuff for the future.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Bono baptism: This fan found the light

Bono baptism: New book creates convert, fosters respect | | Tacoma, WA: "All that has changed now. I am a Bono convert. Seriously. I respect his humanitarianism. I accept his preening and self-righteousness. I even can overlook the too-cool shades.

Credit – or blame? – should go to a new book I picked up the other day, “Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas” ($23.95, Riverhead Books). I almost didn’t make it past the cover jacket, which shows a close-up of Bono in one of those savior-like poses, fist raised in righteousness, visage a study in sacredness."

Looks like the U2 fandom goes 2 ways, old fans (see below) stop liking them, and those who've resisted now like U2.

That's Watson, not Watts | Music | World Leader Pretend | 2005-04-21
"World Leader Pretend

U2's self-invented legacy is a figment of Bono's imagination"

"As preposterous as it was that Zooropa won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album over Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream in 1993, I belted out a thunderous "Hell, yeah!" and rubbed it in every hater's face."

Maybe that's this guy's problem...he never was in the right spirit of being a U2 fan if he had this reaction to an award. Plus, that was the first time Bono said the F-word on live TV. I remember because my sister called me (I hadn't noticed!)

Just to clarify, this linked article is by Joe Watson, not me, Watts. Here is my comment:

Not that I disagree with everything, but dude, you just lost the faith. I've been re-listening to Atomic Bomb and it keeps getting better. If you can't appreciate the brilliance of the song Vertigo, then ...what am I to say? The fact is, that Apple ad allowed them to share that uber-song with the masses, something that's difficult to do these days (unless it's in a TV ad). So, they ran with it. Get over it. It's still about the music, and many of the songs on Atomic Bomb are top-tier U2 songs. I also appreciate that U2 and Bono in particular try to use their stardom for a worthwhile's part of who they are and why the music is what it is. Maybe you'd rather have them in the Tobloids OD'ing on something, or having sex with monkeys. That's what rock stars are supposed to do, right? Wake up, pal. It sounds like you never did get the meaning behind U2's songs, and a cynical-post-angst/Henry Rollins subconscious is vying for your very soul.

It's all right over here in U2 fan land. Sure, it's more crowded than ever, but that's because they're good........U2 can still be popular, and good at the same time. There, feel better?

(Don't know where that monkey thing came from, but it was so funny I had to leave it in there)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

U2: New Charlotte Arena Sell Out....In 59 Minutes

Tickets For U2 Tour Stop At New Charlotte Arena Sell Out In 59 Minutes

April 23, 2005 - Tickets for the December 12, 2005 U2//Vertigo World Tour stop at the New Charlotte Arena sold out today in less than one hour. Over 17,000 tickets were sold in 59 minutes.

The concert, which was announced earlier this week by the Charlotte Bobcats organization along with tour promoters The Next Adventure and Cellar Door Concerts, is the first event to go on sale for the New Charlotte Arena. This is the Irish rock band’s only appearance in the Carolinas.

U2//Vertigo has broken ticket sales records in almost every city in which it has gone on sale. In New York, ticket demand resulted in eight sold-out performances at Madison Square Garden. Chicago has six sold-out events, and in Boston U2 will perform a total of seven sold-out events this year. In Toronto, fans were quick to sweep up tickets for four performances in just 45 minutes, and additional quadruple performances are confirmed for concerts in Philadelphia and Los Angeles."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Mysterious Ways

Mysterious Ways, originally uploaded by cindiann.

Roof blown off, heavenly light shines down on the Edge. Love it!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

See Sunshine

DSC07915, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Fish Eyes?

Phone1(17), originally uploaded by watts4u2.

HIV vs. a strain of lactobacillus

WN: Wired News:

"Despite the untested nature of the idea, it is worth pursuing for a number of reasons. First, repeated attempts at developing a vaccine to protect against HIV have so far failed. While a vaccine is the best answer in the long term, an HIV-capturing lactobacillus would certainly be welcomed.

It would be safe and easy to use, said Tao, and provide 'broad spectrum' protection against all subtypes of HIV (a vaccine would only be specific to a few types). It could protect infants against HIV in breast milk and, by inoculating the mucosal surfaces where HIV transmission occurs, it could protect women against sexual transmission of the virus.

This is particularly important, given that AIDS is quickly becoming a women's epidemic. Soon the majority of HIV-infected individuals will be women, according to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

Its cost, however, might be its best asset. Billions have been spent so far on vaccine-related research, but billions more are required, according to experts.

'The developmental cost for a vaccine is about $100 million to $1 billion,' said Tao, 'but a probiotic may only cost a few millions.'"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

smile, it's a beautiful day

smile, it's a beautiful day

Your Drugs are like Bad Medicine The Voice of Southeastern North Carolina

"...The number of prescriptions has swelled by two-thirds over the past decade to 3.5 billion yearly, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical consulting company. Americans devour even more nonprescription drugs, polling suggests....
Well over 125,000 Americans die from drug reactions and mistakes each year, according to Associated Press projections from landmark medical studies of the 1990s. That could make pharmaceuticals the fourth-leading national cause of death after heart disease, cancer and stroke....
..."What the drug companies are doing now is promoting drugs for long-term use to essentially healthy people. Why? Because it's the biggest market."

In fact, relatively few pharmaceutical newcomers greatly improve the health of patients over older drugs or advance the march of medicine. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified about three-quarters of newly approved drugs as similar to existing ones.

Confronted with mounting costs, drug makers churn out and promote uninspired sequels like Hollywood: drugs with the same ingredients in a different form for a different disease...."

Yes, medicine is good and we should be happy about all the new drugs that can save people, but when you look at the big picture, we have a problem. Capitalism and medicine are in conflict. What is best for the drug makers' bottom line does not mesh with what is best for Americans' health. How can we overcome this? I'm asking is all....

Monday, April 18, 2005

From North Carolina, U2!

"...are pleased to announce a Charlotte appearance for U2//Vertigo//2005 at the New Charlotte Arena on December 12, 2005."

YAY! Maybe I'll get to see this tour after all.

When did Charlotte get in the coliseum and stadium building business? I wonder what will happen to the old place? Didn't we North Carolinians use a lot of tax money building roads around that place? Hey, wait a minute, this was supposed to be a "praise U2" post and now I'm gettin' all political on y'all. Didn't mean to bug ya;-)

See you Dec. 12 in the new Charlotte arena

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pandemic Flu Virus Sent to Thousands of Labs

Scientists Scramble to Destroy Vials of Pandemic Flu Virus Sent to Thousands of Labs Mostly in US:

"It was not immediately clear why the 1957 pandemic strain, which killed between 1 million and 4 million people - was in the proficiency test kits routinely sent to labs.

It was a decision that Stohr described as 'unwise,' and 'unfortunate.'

That particular bug was 'an epidemic virus for many years,' Stohr said from the U.N. health agency's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 'The risk is low but things can go wrong as long as these samples are out there and there are some still out there.'

The 1957 strain has not been included in the flu vaccine since 1968, and anyone born after that date has no immunity to it.

Dr. Nancy Cox, chief of the influenza branch at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said her agency was notified of the situation Friday morning. She also said officials strongly doubt someone deliberately planted the dangerous germ or that this was an act of bioterrorism.""

Why worry about terrorists at all, when we have scientists with this little common sense, sending out dangerous viruses...
"Hey, at least our demise wasn't a deliberate act of terrorism, it's because of incompetence". That makes me feel better.

Electrical Storm ending

tropheemain, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

So that's what happened to the mysterious beast from U2's "Electrical Storm" video. Poor fella lost his "velvet violet voltage hue" and got stuck up on a cement block wall.

Gen U2

Gen U2: "'The Eagles and the Rolling Stones, I respect them, but they seem like they're from a different time. U2 might have gotten big in 1980, but they're very much in the current right now. They haven't gone downhill one bit.'

Paul Peterson, music director for the Valley's KDKB-FM (93.3), says drive and creativity keep U2, which has sold 120 million albums, relevant with both new and longtime followers.

'They have reinvented themselves, and some of the reinvention has been more successful than others, but it keeps putting them out where there's interest.'

U2's latest phase finds it mixing some of the straight-ahead rock that bought early fame with slick synthesizer and ever-more-atmospheric guitar work by the Edge (born David Evans) on November's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album.

It's a sound that, like such older hits as I Will Follow, With or Without You and Pride (In the Name of Love), appeals to any rock fan who is young at heart.

The two young children of longtime fans Greg and Julia Reeve of Scottsdale already are familiar with U2's music.

'The energy that they (U2) have hits little kids right at their core,' says Greg Reeve, 41. 'There's something pure about it. The kids start jumping around when (the 2001 single) Elevation starts. It's just classic.' Five-year-old Matthew sings that song when riding in the car, while 7-year-old Mia sings the current single, Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own, inspired by the death of Bono's father.

'When my little daughter sings that part, I almost want to start crying,' Reeve says."

Yeah, I love it when AGC sings "Ber-digo".

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bordering on Madness

Border family's strange encounters with illegal crossers |

"Mr. Garner, a carpenter, his wife, and three daughters (age 10, 12, and 15) tell countless stories that are as alarming to outsiders as they are matter-of-fact to them. Theirs is a life dominated by self-defense lessons, family practice drills to huddle in the master bedroom, obligatory two-way radios for kids who walk to school, and a handgun on the hip for mom."

OK, we're going to defend our country, where do we start? Seal the borders first, right? "Nah, let's let people come here illegally and accept that" the politicians say.
We must control our borders, and if our government won't do it's job #1 for national defense, then I am proud to see citizens out there trying to help (within reason). I'm all for legal immigration, but this illegal border crossing must's our first line of defense as a nation from terrorists. Seems like that's a good place to start, and a place we can make a real difference quickly with not too much money (compared with say, the war in Iraq).

Google Sightseeing

Google Sightseeing

Google now has aerial mapping, and this blog is finding some of the coolest shots, including photos with airplanes in flight and bombing ranges in Nevada.

Arthur Weds

GOP Consultant Weds His Male Partner: "Adam Nagourney"

"Mr. Finkelstein, 59, who has made a practice of defeating Democrats by trying to demonize them as liberal, said in a brief interview that he had married his partner of 40 years to ensure that the couple had the same benefits available to married heterosexual couples.

"I believe that visitation rights, health care benefits and other human relationship contracts that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners," he said.

He declined further comment on the wedding, which was in December.

Some of Mr. Finkelstein's associates said they were startled to learn that this prominent American conservative had married a man, given his history with the party, especially at a time when many Republican leaders, including President Bush, have campaigned against same-sex marriage and proposed amending the Constitution to ban it. Mr. Finkelstein has been allied over the years with Republicans who have fiercely opposed gay rights measures, including former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and has been the subject of attacks by gay rights activists who have accused him of hypocrisy. He was identified as gay in a Boston Magazine article in 1996. "

I wonder why they call them "log cabin" it because of the Lincoln rumours or just the "log" reference?

The Rasterbator

The Sect of Homokaasu - The Rasterbator

Yes, that's an "R".... for Re-dick-ulously cool....another interesting photo program that makes giant wall hangings from your puny photos. I'll post my stuff if anything worthwhile comes from it.

CD/DVD combo, a winner!

DualDisc: Double the format, double the fun |

"Record labels have also noticed that their cousins, the film studios, are selling billions of DVDs by stuffing them with bonus features. That's led record executives to conclude that music buyers can be enticed by new albums or back-catalogue reissues by adding similar extras to DualDiscs, which have the capacity for 30 minutes of video in addition to a surround-sound mix. For example, a reissue of Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" includes a documentary about the making of the celebrated work. The Springsteen album, which will retail for the price of a regular CD, includes, among other things, footage of the Boss playing songs acoustically. It's surely only a matter of time until some artist includes a "commentary track" to play over the music."

This is a good direction, and hopefully a good sign that future U2 releases will be bundled with goodies usually left on the cutting room floor. U2 included the Unforgettable Fire documentary on the Slane DVD, and that was a great bonus. The digital box set has about a dozen previously unreleased tunes, many of them outtakes that would normally have gone unreleased. Hopefully U2 will include those tracks as bonus material on a future release. Yes, give us more!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Poster

mj23poster, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

The Shot

mj1me, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Some say "The Shot" came against Georgetown, but for me, this is The Shot. I was posterized. This is the shot I took and you can see Dad and me in the poster above (I'm right beside MJ's knee....the one with the camera :-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sean Films Me

Sean Films Me, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

We made it to Chapel Hill today, met up with Libba, Pook, & Jack, and hit the Dean Dome for the big welcome home. Sean May is the MAN! and we are National Champions! Hallelujah! More photos in the flickr site....

Lookin' at...

3514988_7_2, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

The National Champions! Mike & Dean say, "Way to go Heels!"

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Under here

Under here, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Ah! I almost forgot to gloat about the Heels being in the Finals tomorrow night. I'm not gonna do it. Hope to see y'all in Chapel Hill on Tuesday. Hasta Lugie!

From the Phone camera

motion, originally uploaded by watts4u2. really catches the motion and that makes for some interesting shots, but mostly duds. Light sensitivity is a major issue, as well as the shutter-lag, lack of flash & zoom, insufficient storage and incompatible video-mode, but other than that, it's fun to have around.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Roy, Ray & May

Roy, Ray & May, originally uploaded by watts4u2.

Heels Have Good Practice

Friday Final Four Practice Photos -- posted -

From the insidecarolina boards, a fan reports from St. Louie:

"Carolina came out and had a full-out, full-court scrimmage (check out the pictures and you'll see them grabbing their shorts due to the workout). Damion Grant (aka The Man Mountain) was actually suited up and running the floor. They were going at it pretty good. Not really backing off that much. Unfortunately, due to weather I understand from talking to some Carolina fans, the Carolina charters were delayed and we didn't have much of a fan showing at the practice, but those that were there were very supportive.

They did do some shooting around but not nearly to the extent of Illinois (and we were making more!).

The best part was the end of the session where it turned into a dunking exhibition. I watched the slam dunk contest last night and they didn't have much on our guys. The usual suspects (Marvin, Rashad, David, etc.) had some fantastic dunks. The sleeper of the crowd was Melvin. He pulled off one of those pull the shirt off on the way in dunks. The best part, nobody got injured!

Anyway, moral of the story. We actually practiced and we looked pretty loose, coaches and players. I really liked the way they went about it. I left with a good feeling. I sure hope we bring the 'a game' and leave it all on the floor for forty minutes tomorrow. I'll be in the house to cheer 'em on!

Go Heels!!"

Fingers crossed, I can't wait for the game!

More Applause for U2

U2 news article - from @U2:

"There's a consumer-freshness that U2 has miraculously maintained over the years that has no parallel. Consider what song leads off the latest Now! That's What I Call Music compendium of inescapable youth-geared hits. Not something by Gwen or Snoop or Ashlee. It's 'Vertigo.'

No band -- its original lineup intact -- that has been together as long could manage such a trick. No one else over 40 is even on Top 40 radio now."

No parallel....dare I say they're better than the I better resist, but you know what I'm thinking.....

Another U2/Beatles Comparison

U2 news article - from @U2:

"While thousands of bands have experimented with the rebellion and irreverence, U2 has explored the idealism with a dedication and conviction that would not only have impressed the Beatles but that has earned it a place alongside that band at the very creative heart of rock."

Ah, yes, they're catching on.

Duke Fans One-Upped

JJ is....well...., originally uploaded by blizzog.

Is this wrong?