13 February 2011
Wednesday/February/16 2011 Filed in: Philosophy / World View
Iraq Coalition Military Fatalities: Year by Year: 2003 through 2010
Total Iraq Coalition Military Fatalities: 4,748
The US accounts for 93% of all coalition fatalities in Iraq: 4.430
US forces wounded since the 2003 beginning of the war: 30, 718
Afghanistan Coalition Military Fatalities: Year by Year: 2001 through 2010
Coalition military fatalities have been on a distinct upward trend over the last decade.
Total Afghanistan Coalition Military Fatalities: 2,271
If this trend continues, the war will soon have caused the deaths of more people than did the 9/11 attacks it was launched in response to.
The US accounts for 63% of all coalition fatalities in Afghanistan: 1,440
More US forces have died in Afghanistan under the two years of the Obama administration than died in the eight years of the Bush administration.
US forces wounded since the 2001 beginning of the war: 9,256
Total cost of Afghanistan and Iraq Wars since 2001
Total $1.124 Trillion
Cost of Iraq War: $747.307 Billion
Cost of Afghanistan War: $377.255 Billion
By Household Iraq and Afghanistan: $9,597
Cost of War in !raq: $6.377 / Household
Cost of War in Afghanistan: $3, 219 / Household
Cost Comparison: The Moon Times Ten
The Artemis Project estimates that the total cost of putting men on the moon (the combined costs of Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo) was $100 Billion.
That is one-tenth the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan endeavors.
It took less time to put men on the moon (1961 - 1969) than it has taken to win the still ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
Sources: icasualties.org, National Prioriites Project
Tuesday/February/15 2011 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
Stevie Starr has found fame and perhaps fortune by swallowing things and then throwing them up on command. Coins, cue balls, tennis racquets, whatever. Stevie turned dry heaves into high art.
But as crazy as Starr's act is, there was one in the early 20th Century that was crazier still.
Classical Gas: Enter Le Petomane
Joseph Pujol enjoyed a successful decades-long stage career by releasing gas from his anus on cue. Pujol performed crowd favorites like O Sole Meo by forcing air out of his rectum on time and in tune.
He also used his talent to do animal impressions and to simulate battlefield artillery.
Hell, by using a rubber tube, he could even play La Marseilles on the ocarina.
And the man was versatile. It's reported that he could blow out a candle from several yards away.
Pujol was billed as Le Petomane, the French Flautulist. What he did, however, was no school boy prank.
During a swimming accident as a young boy he discovered that water had somehow been sucked into his rectum.
By manipulating his sphincter and abdominal muscles, he was able to force the water out at high velocity.
By learning how to suck in air rather than water, Pujol realized that he could do something that had never been done before -- something that the world was waiting for.
He was sitting on a gold mine.
You see, the air streaming out of his anus was fresh -- well relatively fresh -- air as opposed to the intestinal outgassing that we're all more familiar with.
This was an act he could take on the road.
Before long Pujol was at the Moulin Rouge tooting up a storm for the likes of Kings and Queens.
It's reported that even Sigmund Freud was a fan.
We have no idea if the audio clip below captures a real stage performance by Pujol from the early 1900's as the uploader claims.
But if this is Pojul, we wonder just what the hoopla was all about.
This isn't exactly what we'd call a virtuoso performance.