Found this WaPo story, from 2007, buried in a long comment thread:

Even in a country gripped by daily bloodshed, the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam has alarmed American officials, who have concluded that it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet, said Abdulkhalik Thanoon Ayoub, the dam manager. "The Mosul dam is judged to have an unacceptable annual failure probability," in the dry wording of an Army Corps of Engineers draft report.

Haven't seen any mention of it anywhere else. If the described scenario is correct (both in ease of destroying the dam and the size of the resulting catastrophe,) it would seem like an easy way for ISIS to keep at bay any attempt to get them out of Mosul. Just wire up the dam and say "If you come for us, and we need to retreat, we will blow it up." 

the big game today at noon. i expect to be despondent by 12:05 and then i will turn on the tv and start watching the game. i already have a headache so im confident i can make this happen.

in other good news, the field is supposed to be drenched from torrential rains. not sure who that could ultimately help. also, in the other game ghana has some turmoil on their side as one of its better players had it out with the coach and was sent home. and another top player is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. so a weakened side might help tip the balance in favor of portugal and as we recall a portugal win means the us advance automatically.

the final set of matches has belgium (already through) v. south korea and algeria v. russia. algeria is in the best position to advance with three points going into the match while south korea and russia have one. i havent seen alot of these teams but lets just hope that the us and algeria advance along with germany and belgium as the odds would suggest.

also, suarez was banned from soccer for four months including his club soccer in england. he plays for liverpool (at the moment). i believe they might say that throws a spanner in the works, or more likely, something far less tame. didnt know fifa had the authority outside of the international events but outside of liverpool and uruguay he will have few supporters crying foul.

argentina just need to draw against nigeria to secure the top of their group while nigeria on four points would appreciate if bosnia knocked off iran who have a chance to advance should nigeria lose and they win. after that comes down to goal differential. argentina could use a solid victory going into the next round as they have yet to impress beyond a couple of game savers from messi.

late games have france v. ecuador and the swiss v. honduras. france have not yet advanced on six points but they have a considerable goal differential buffer so only a massive defeat coupled with a huge win by the swiss will keep them out. so switzerland have the advantage in their present tie at three points with ecuador as they have the easier match with honduras. though ecuador will advance on goals if they both tie in their matches today.

likely outcome then is that argentina, nigeria, france and switzerland advance.

the ugly

the big early match today at noon is uruguay v. italy. italy advances with a tie or a win as each team has three points but they lead in goal differential. england plays costa rica in the other early match. costa rica would like to maintain top position in their group so they still have something to play for.

group c leading columbia who have already advanced play japan while greece and ivory coast face off in the other late afternoon match. a number of permutations exist for the final spot but the only certainty is that ivory coast advance with a victory as they have three points while japan and greece only have one.

Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night?

final matches of the group stage begin today. all teams in each group play simultaneously to avoid any advantage. in group b at noon spain and austrailia play for pride while netherlands and chile face off for the top spot in group. the winner avoids playing the top team in their opposing group in the next round, in this case group a. brasil with a win against cameroon will take the top slot in group a unless mexico score an inordinate amount of goals while defeating croatia. mexico can also advance with a tie while croatia need an outright win to knock mexico out. those games begin at 4pm.

Pierre Soulages ultra-black paintings


is the funeral for the wrong corpse? An interview with Hal Foster.
buying the war
applies to art production?

Challengers emerge to replace divisive Maliki. As I started reading I couldn't help but joke to myself that Chalabi should be one. Lo and behold: 

The names floated so far — Adel Abdul Mahdi, Ahmed Chalabi and Bayan Jaber — are from the Shiite blocs, which have the largest share of the total seats in the Parliament.

Unbelievable. It's like there's no difference between actual world news and the Onion.

Origin of the spiral jetty. / just to beat Alex to the punch.

fallen off the pace a bit though ive watched parts of every match. had a bad feeling going into the spain game and for whatever reason they just did not completely show up. just really sloppy passing for a team that needs to control the ball in order to wear their opponents down and score the precious few goals that come their way. and the goalie has probably seen the end of his reign as captain come euro 2016, the next big international tournament.

i was impressed with columbia after their initial match and they did not disappoint except for their excessive injury time wasting in an effort to hold out against a very good ivory coast team. outside of that mexico played very well against brasil but continue to have trouble finding the goal. brasil play cameroon in their final match so they should have no trouble advancing which leaves mexico and croatia fighting it out for the final spot in their group. mexico only need a tie to advance.

lastly, the belgians who are everyones dark horse needed to overcome a goal they ceded early to algeria. not completely sold on them but their group is really soft and one they will want to win outright to avoid germany in the next round.

what a nutritional food pyramid really looks like

It's not what the USDA is telling you.
Do people get to keep balls kicked into stands?
the pitch
Henri Langlois
monti rock III kills at don't tell momas NYC
"There is no doubt that we are living in a time of total aestheticization. This fact is often interpreted as a sign that we have reached a state after the end of history, or a state of total exhaustion that makes any further historical action impossible. However, as I have tried to show, the nexus between total aestheticization, the end of history, and the exhaustion of vital energies is illusionary. Using the lessons of modern and contemporary art, we are able to totally aestheticize the world—i.e., to see it as being already a corpse—without being necessarily situated at the end of history or at the end of our vital forces. One can aestheticize the world—and at the same time act within it. In fact, total aestheticization does not block political action; it enhances it. Total aestheticization means that we see the current status quo as already dead, already abolished. And it means further that every action that is directed towards the stabilization of the status quo will ultimately show itself as ineffective—and every action that is directed towards the destruction of the status quo will ultimately succeed. Thus, total aestheticization not only does not preclude political action; it creates an ultimate horizon for successful political action, if this action has a revolutionary perspective." -bg

nyc italian goes gf

wtf pepe! he shouldn't have been on this team with his history. estupido!

with all the other goings on i almost forgot that lebron & co face elimination tonight in san antonio. he had 17 in the first quarter so maybe he can will them back to miami for a game six by himself.