Saturday, December 08, 2007

Republican Candidate Scandal Updates

Upper Left

Rudy Giuliani let taxpayers pay for security for his lover Judith Nathan even earlier than first reported -- for months before their affair was public.

Mike Huckabee's former senior aide contradicts Huckabee, says Huckabee did indeed tell the Arkansas Parole Board that he supported the release of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond.

The painting company that painted rabid-anti-immigrant-crusader Mitt Romney's Belmont mansion last year is under investigation by the state for labor law violations including using illegal immigrants. Mittwit.

Hybrid Sales Up 82%

High gasoline prices are probably behind the increase in sales, as well as the fact that Toyota actually has enough Priuses available (last year I had to wait up to 10 weeks for one.) Half of the hybrids sold in America are Toyota Priuses. It was named the "most satisfying" vehicle to own in Consumer Reports Car Satisfaction Survey.

My Prius experience has been good overall. My summer mileage is 48.5 MPG and my winter mileage last year was 43.6 (mileage is lower in cold weather). Now that gasoline is at $3 a gallon again those high numbers are even more significant.

The car is roomy and comfortable for its small size. Downsides are the huge blind spot caused by the sporty styling and the horrible traction on snow and ice. I need to get snow tires.

Green Car Congress: Hybrids Post Strong US Sales in November; Up 82% Year-on-Year

Reported sales of hybrids in the US in November rose 82% year-on-year to reach 33,233 total units, representing 2.8% of all light-duty vehicles sold during the month. GM does not break out its hybrid sales separately, and so is not reflected in the hybrid number—thus, the actual hybrid total and new market share will slightly higher.


Toyota posted a strong month, with Prius sales hitting 16,737 units, up 109% from the year before. Camry Hybrid turned in 5,118 units, up 65% from the year before and representing 14.5% of all Camry models sold. Sales of the Highlander Hybrid were back up after a slump for several months to 2,577 units—an increase of 55% from November 2006 and representing 20.9% of all Highlander models sold.

Friday, December 07, 2007

John Lennon Died 27 Years Ago Today

I was reminded of this by BoingBoing, which links to Yoko Ono's website which has a letter she writes to John, and a great video of John Lennon.

Here are the lyrics and video of my two favorite John Lennon songs, which seem so appropriate today as we are ruled by insane and immoral torturers and murderers.

Imagine (yes, a song with its own wikipedia entry)

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Give Peace a Chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism
Isn't it the most
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Ministers, Sinisters, Banisters and canisters,
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes,
And bye bye, bye byes.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev'rybody's talking about
Revolution, Evolution, Mastication, Flagelolation, Regulations.
Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Oh Let's stick to it
Ev'rybody's talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bob Dylan,
Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

The More Things Change....

Not much has changed.
Civil engineering faculty in 1930 (MIT Museum photo)

Are you surprised?

Boston Globe: Tenure at MIT still largely a male domain

Just one out of 25 faculty members granted tenure this year at MIT is female, a gender imbalance that appears to contrast with the university's decade-old effort to boost the status of women.

Women have been achieving tenure at a lower rater than men at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the past 10 years, according to an MIT analysis of junior faculty. Of the tenured faculty, 16 percent are women, up from 10.5 percent a decade ago, but still too big a gap, several professors said.

The point was brought home recently when the school's in-house newspaper published a portrait gallery of the faculty members granted tenure this year; among the sea of male faces was the lone woman.

Hope Speaks

Sounds like Hope Solo is still reeling from the whole World Cup experience, which I summarize as:

Greg-Ryan-Makes-An-Idiotic-Decision, Solo-Gives-Ill-Considered-Interview-After-Goading-By-USSoccer-Press-Flack
Happy-Ending: Moron-Ryan-Fired-Pia-Sundhage-Hired

I hope she realizes how many rabid women's soccer fans support her. There is no proper way to react when your coach makes "the worst decision in the history of organized sports" and takes you out of the most important game of your career. There's no manual for that one.

She is interviewed by AP by phone: Hope Solo Talks About World Cup


In her first public comments since a brutally frank TV interview in which she criticized her benching, Solo told The Associated Press she never saw it coming and wasn't prepared for it.

"I had felt as though my childhood dream basically had been ripped away from me," she said.


"It is a little difficult to relive that," she said. "Mentally, I was full of all sorts of emotions. The World Cup was the only thing that kept me together after the death of my father (in June), kept me fighting and together and dedicated to the game.

"Moreso, the moment I realized we didn't have the opportunity to win the gold medal, my world came tumbling down. I had nothing to immediately give back to my father. I was wound so tight emotionally, and the moment after the loss I broke."

The worst part, Solo said, was her comments seemed directed at her teammates as well as at Ryan, who recently was replaced at coach by Pia Sundhage.

"Of course I know I have some friendships to rebuild and teammates to rebuild relationships with," she said. "But there is nothing I can go back and do.

"Never did I intend to put down a teammate, and that is the thing that hurts the most. I always have respected and will respect Bri. And that is the thing that hurts me the most."


"I have reached out to her, but beyond the Mexico series we have not really spoken, which is not unusual with my teammates, because we're often not together for long (stretches)," Solo said.

"I have spoken to a handful of different teammates here and there at different levels. In the end, we are all professionals and have a common goal to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. I can only hope we put our differences aside because we have a job to do.

"It's important we respect each other on the field; we don't have to be best friends off the field."

The 25-year-old keeper from Richland, Wash., chuckled at the irony of the Olympics, for which the Americans must qualify in April, being staged in China.

"China is going to bring back a lot of memories for me, no doubt," she said. "But I've been through a lot of worse things in life."

Particularly the death of her father, Jeffrey. Would getting that gold medal in the Olympics ease the pain from the World Cup fiasco?

"My father was even more excited about this World Cup than I was," she said, her voice cracking. "Looking back, it is not just gold medals that I have to celebrate his life and give back to his passing. If I never see a gold medal in my life, I will be doing what I can to make my father proud."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If You Lived In Iowa or New Hampshire: The Rethugs

A compilation of snippets (actually, pretty funny) of the TV ads being run by the Republican candidates. Hat tip to Talking Points Memo.

More on CraigsList

US Republican Senator Larry Craig, who pleaded guilty after a police sex sting operation in an airport bathroom, Monday denied a new flurry of gay sex allegations in his home state newspaper.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Alex Wong)

OK, I know a million other people have made the Craigslist joke, but it seems appropriate. This weekend, the Idaho Statesman published a story in which 5 more men have come forward to testify about "sexual encounters" with Senator Larry Craig. That makes the total 8 after the initial expose in the Statesman identified three men who claimed sexual encounters with Craig.

But remember, he is not gay, he has never been gay. What a hypocrite.

Idaho Statesman: More gay men describe sexual encounters with U.S. Sen. Craig
Allegations made since news of the Minneapolis case broke lend weight to rumors about Craig.

We Love Diners

In its previous location

Have to check this one out the next time I'm in New York.

NYTimes: Diner Opens in Catskills After a Hell’s Kitchen Worth of Trouble

When last spotted in its ancestral home, there was the Munson Diner, steel and chrome shining off the streetlights, noirish blue exterior like a ghost from the ’40s, loaded onto a flatbed truck and lumbering toward the George Washington Bridge, bound if not for glory, at least for Liberty, a faded resort town in the Catskills.

It was May 5, 2005, and, as it turned out, getting a 50-foot-long, 30-ton diner onto a truck was the easy part. One of its new owners and a cameraman were taken off the George Washington Bridge by the police as they tried to film the big event without a permit.

The diner hit not one, but two highway bridges on the way up.
And when it finally arrived, dinged up but more or less intact, the crew lowered it triumphantly onto its new foundation ... backward, with the vintage neon sign and steel facade facing away from Main Street.

Times Herald-Record: Long wait, but Munson Diner finally open

Roadside Architecture: Diners

Arrival in Liberty, 2005

Headline of the Day: In A Stunning Development, Telling Horny Teenagers To Save It For Jesus Proves Ineffective

The state of Nebraska features this brochure on its DHHS page

From Blue Texan at firedoglake. Who'd a thunk it?

From the AP article that inspired the post:

In a troubling reversal, the nation's teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years, surprising government health officials and reviving the bitter debate about abstinence-only sex education.

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. On Wednesday, government statisticians said it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The reason for the increase is not clear, and federal health officials said it might be a one-year statistical blip, not the beginning of a new upward trend.

However, some experts said they have been expecting a jump. They blamed it on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that doesn't teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The rising teen pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

"It's not rocket science," she said.

Kids are going to have sex. Give them real education about safe sex and birth control. Stop pretending that the world is a giant Ozzie and Harriet episode.

I Hate Huckabee

Because he's a dope: The Politico: Huckabee not aware of NIE report on Iran Two days after it came out, the night after Bush gave his lying press conference, and dim Huckabee wasn't aware of it. Probably too busy consulting his Bible, and I also hate him...

Because he's a religious fanatic dope who believes things like this: dailykos: Huckabee: Gay Marriage Would End Civilization

Oh, c'mon. That's just ridiculous.

And finally, and here's the thing that should keep him from the nomination, because he forced the pardon of a convicted rapist, Mike Wayne Dumond, and Dumond promptly raped and killed at least one other woman. He did this "despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again." And why did Huckabee do this? Because the first woman the scumbag was convicted of raping was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. Clinton hatred taken to its nth degree.

He's been lying about it ever since, and this week journalist Murray Waas dug out the letters from the rape victims that Huckabee has been hiding and denying for a decade. He is a liar and a loon, a fitting successor to George W. Bush, but in no way qualified to be President of the United States.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Congratulations Congresswoman Gillibrand!

She's expecting a new baby in May, to join her 4-year-old son Theo. Congratulations to the Gillibrands!

Albany Times-Union: Exclusive: Gillibrand pregnant

On The Hunt for Civil War Gold

Tom Ewart / For The Times
CODE: Bob Brewer points out arcane symbols on a tree in western Arkansas that he believes are clues to a treasure stashed away by the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secretive Confederate group.

Fascinating story in the LATimes today about a guy who's been looking for the gold supposedly squirreled away by Confederates during the Civil War. Bob Brewer has been compiling clues and tracking the missing gold since 1977, and one of the clues he found was this:

[] Brewer soon was trading stories and information with others who shared his esoteric interest.

In 1993, one of them showed Brewer a book about Jesse James, with passages about the Knights of the Golden Circle, buried Confederate treasure and cryptic symbols.

Founded in the 1850s by George Bickley, a former Virginian living in Cincinnati, the group was reputed to include prominent political figures and Confederate leaders, among them Gen. Albert Pike, a high-ranking member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

I visited Meramec Caverns in Missouri a few years back and they have a (really horrible) diorama showing how Jesse James used that cave to hide out and escape after a bank robbery. (Don't get me wrong, the caverns themselves are spectacular and well worth the visit, but the dusty dummies on the cave floor next to the fake bank bags -- pathetic.)

Maybe there really is something to this hidden Confederate gold legend. Let's hope Mr. Brewer finds it.

LATimes: Shadowy path may lead to treasure

Meramec Caverns: wikipedia

Better Fit Than Fat

An elder woman keeps fit by using fitness machines at a 'fitness playground' in Berlin, in August. People over 60 who exercise and are fit live longer than their sedentary peers, regardless of weight and body mass, researchers said in a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).(AFP/DDP/File/Yannik Willing)

Boston Globe: Being fat and fit is better than being thin and sedentary, study says

WASHINGTON - When it comes to living longer, fitness may trump fatness, US researchers said yesterday.

Men and women who were fit, as judged by a treadmill test, but were overweight or obese had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed.

Exercise specialist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina and colleagues tracked about 2,600 people age 60 and older, examining how physical fitness and body fat affected their death rates over 12 years. Those in the lowest fifth in terms of fitness had a death rate four times higher than participants ranked in the top fifth.

"Being fit provides protection against mortality in these men and women 60 and older, whether they're normal weight, overweight, or obese," Blair said.

Note to self, bring up this study the next time my doctor drones on and on about how I need to be as thin as she is.

Note to self, get a doctor who's not a size 6. I wasn't size 6 in 8th grade!

Pia Sundhage To Hold USWNT Mini-Camp

Image: ESPN

Boy, wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall at this camp.

SoccerAmerica: Pia Sundhage sets first camp for U.S. women

THE FIRST TRAINING CAMP CONDUCTED by recently hired U.S. women's national team camp Pia Sundhage will be brief, but it will be important. She has just eight months to repair the effects of a goalkeeping controversy and a humiliating 4-0 loss to Brazil in the Women's World Cup semifinals before the Americans defend their 2004 Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Sundhage named a squad of 23 - including 16 players from the WWC roster - for five days of training at Home Depot Center starting this Saturday.

Captain Kristine Lilly is among the absentees; goalkeepers Briana Scurry and Hope Solo, who were swept up in a media firestorm when former coach Greg Ryan switched Solo for Scurry as the starter prior to the semifinal, have both been summon

Defender Heather Mitts, who suffered a knee injury May 12 that knocked her off the WWC roster, has been invited to the camp. Also selected were seven collegiate players, only two of whom - Casey Nogueira and Angie Woznuk - have been capped for the senior national team. New U.S. coach picks goalie Hope

Sundhage's roster for the five-day training camp reflects her stated desire to play a more possession-oriented style. On it are USDHS alum Angie Woznuk, a talented central midfielder who recently finished her career at Portland, and North Carolina sophomore forward Casey Nogueira, the daughter of former Sockers goalkeeper Victor Nogueira.

The Sports Network: Sundage gets first look at U.S. WNT players

Below is the mini-camp roster by position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).

DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).

MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.).

FORWARDS (6): Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Breaking: Bush not a Chimp

Not George W. Bush, not a White House aide.

A young Chinese girl poses with a chimp at the Shanghai Wild Animal park, in May. Young chimpanzees have an extraordinary memory that is far better than that of adult humans, a Japanese study said Tuesday.(AFP/File/Mark Ralston)

Hmmmm, maybe I'll have to stop calling Georgie-Poo the Chimperor, and calling for Chimpeachment. Because a new study says chimps have much better memories than humans. And we all know that George isn't known for his memory. I mean, for crying out loud, he had to testify before the 9/11 Commission with Darth Cheney holding his hand. He's no chimp. He just plays one in the Oval Office.

AFP: Chimps have better memory than adult humans: study

TOKYO (AFP) - Young chimpanzees have an extraordinary memory that is far better than that of adult humans, a Japanese study said Tuesday.

The research, published in the US journal Current Biology, said young chimpanzees can remember numbers flashed on a computer screen after just one glance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We Love Lists

Prevent this.

Especially environmentally friendly ones:

hat tip to Great Green Goods (nominally, a "green" shopping site):

Recycled Plastic Bags - 5 easy starter steps

Things you can do today to stop using so many plastic bags:

1. only buying a couple of things? CARRY THEM IN YOUR HANDS

2. keep a stash of bags in your car so that whenever you decide to shop you can use your own bags.

3. put your produce directly into the grocery cart.

4. count how many bags come into your life in one week - then try to reduce the number every week.

5. recycle your plastic bags! only 5% of plastic bags get recycled in the US

High School Kid Discovers 65 Million-year-old Duckbilled Dinosaur

WaPo: Scientists Get Rare Look at Dinosaur Soft Tissue

Fossil May Shed New Light on the Creatures

A high school student hunting fossils in the badlands of his native North Dakota discovered an extremely rare mummified dinosaur that includes not just bones but also seldom seen fossilized soft tissue such as skin and muscles, scientists will announce today.

The 25-foot-long hadrosaur found by Tyler Lyson in an ancient river flood plain in the dinosaur-rich Hell Creek Formation is apparently the most complete and best preserved of the half-dozen mummified dinosaurs unearthed since early in the last century, they said.

The pictures are great, too:

Gallery: Unearthing a Dinosaur Mummy

Vanity Fair Nails Giuliani On Federal Election Law Violations

Hmmmm....just today, Rudy Giuliani has "stepped down" from his position as head of Giuliani Partners. Weird, isn't it, that he would do this just one month before the Iowa caucuses? Why now? Why not six months ago, or two years ago when he began campaigning in earnest?

It's probably because of this article from the January issue of Vanity Fair, now on the web, which calls him out on the fact that he's flouting Federal election law by being paid for a no-show job:

Vanity Fair: Risky Business
A Tale of Two Giulianis

These days Giuliani’s office sits mostly empty as he canvasses the country for money and votes in his bid to become the Republican nominee for president in 2008. Is he even still working for Giuliani Partners? It’s a relevant question, because if he isn’t—and, really, how could he be in these busy weeks of campaigning before the first Republican presidential primaries?—then he shouldn’t be drawing a salary from the firm. According to a former top Federal Election Commission official, that would be a breach of election law: the firm would in effect be making undeclared campaign contributions.

(The bold is mine.)

So, it's not a sudden resignation. It's oops, the media noticed that I am violating Federal Election Law resignation.

Jeez, when the media does its job, good stuff happens. It just doesn't happen very often anymore.

Globe Nails Mittwit On Immigration Hypocrisy

Our beloved Mittwit, the blowdried wonder (aka Slick Willard) today fired the lawn company that keeps up his palatial estate in Belmont, Massachusetts. This is the very same company that The Mittwit employed in December of 2006, when the Boston Globe published an article exposing the fact that The Mittwit's lawn company employed undocumented Guatamelan immigrants.

And today the Globe revisited that story. Guess what? Same company mowing Mitt's lawn, cleaning Mitt's pool, once again employing undocumented immigrants.

Romney, who's been bleating against illegal immigration on the stump for the last year and half, immediately fired the company he'd continued to employ for almost two years after finding out that their workers were undocumented.

I love the smell of hypocrisy in the evening.

Rudy Giuliani's Tryst Fund

I'm a little late to this story, but did you know that the loathesome Rudy Giuliani starred in "Sex On the City", with supporting players Judith Nathan, the NYPD, and various obscure NYC agencies?

How'd he do it? Giuliani spent New York City tax dollars for "security" (NYPD cops) for himself and Judith Nathan his mistress while they were having their affair. Giuliani began traveling to Nathan's home in the Hamptons (while still married to his wife Donna Hanover, who was living in Gracie Mansion with their children) in 1999. He took NYC security with him, and mysteriously those expenses got dumped into the coffers of obscure city agencies like the New York City Loft Board (and a not so obscure agency, but certainly marginal in a Republican administration,

So New York's finest, the police who should have been protecting the city, were pulling double duty -- guarding Rudy's family, and guarding Rudy's love nest.

And they went wherever his love nest, and wherever his lover, went. Judith Nathan got NYPD escorts for trips to her parent's house in Hazelton, Pennsylvania (a house which Rudy & Judi bought last week, coincidence?).

Here's how Talking Points Memo summarizes the sleaze:

The Shag Fund not only paid for the 11 tryst visits to Hamptons.

-- It paid for hotel and other expenses for mayoral aides -- in addition to the security detail -- who also went with the mayor to the Hamptons on the tryst weekends.

-- Nathan's NYPD-chauffeured trips (without Rudy) to visit her parents in Pennsylvania, 130 miles outside the city.

-- NYPD detectives and city-owned undercover Dodge to drive Nathan around the city.

-- NYPD detectives and city-owned undercover Dodge to drive Nathan's friends and family around the city even when she wasn't in the car.

-- NYPD security detail for Nathan, personally approved by Bernard Kerik.

-- NYPD cops to walk Nathan's dog.

Lowest of all -- NYPD walked Judi Nathan's dog.

Maybe even lower: Rudy Giuliani is trying to capitalize on the story! Watch this video for the awful truthL

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Not Jacoby! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Bob Lobel is reporting on Channel 4 that the Red Sox are now willing to trade Jacoby Ellsbury to get Johan Santana.


Can you hear me now, Theo? John Henry? Larry Lucchino?
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Just no.

Married in Massachusetts

Patricia Cornwell, author.

Who knew? (Well, I knew, but that was because of my law school friend who had gone to Davidson.) I like these "now I can finally be happy" gay marriage stories. Heartwarming! Wingnuts, go grind your teeth elsewhere.

"The old boys club? That's alive and well."

Christine Grant, former women's athletic director, University of Iowa

Quote from Vivian Acosta, professor emerita at New York's Brooklyn College, who had to file a Title IX complaint against Brooklyn College in 1992 to get the law enforced there. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then, except the numbers of women's coaches of women's teams continue to fall. This LA Times article says that 40% of the coaches of NCAA women's teams are female; that means 60% of the coaches are male. The numbers of men running athletic departments continues to remain very high, and women make up less than 2% of the coaches of men's sports. So now less than 25% of coaching jobs are held by women. That's a disgrace.

LATimes: Number of female coaches in women's sports shrinks to all-time low
Officials in athletics say there is no one simple reason, but most add that sexism is part of it.

Footie News

bbc photo gallery: David Beckham enjoys a traditional Maori greeting as he arrives in Wellington, New Zealand, with the LA Galaxy

I always have to ease back into blogging after an absence. Easy topics like soccer.

Damarcus Beasley tore ligaments in his knee last weekend and is probably done for the SPL season. Hope he can rehab himself back into shape again.

Legendary women's soccer coach
Anson Dorrance's sexual harassment trial scheduled for April 2008.

The groups for Euro 2008 were drawn this morning: Group C (Italy, France, Holland, Romania) nominated as "Group of Death".

The Guardian (uk) has a gallery of photoshopped pics of what the England players will be doing during Euro 2008.

No surprise here: Kaka wins the Ballon D'Or, Europe's top player; Christiano Ronaldo a distant second.

Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra and their 8-month old twins visit the University of Texas. Cute!

Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra and their 8-month-old daughters, Grace and Ava, with Mack Brown [UT head coach]