Dave Stancliff 2009-04-05 blogarama.com

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Polish politician upset because zoo bought a gay elephant!

OH REALLY? A GAY ELELPHANT. NOW I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING!

WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish politician has criticized his local zoo for acquiring a "gay" elephant named Ninio who prefers male companions and will probably not procreate, local media reported Friday.

"We didn't pay 37 million zlotys ($11 million) for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there," Michal Grzes, a conservative councilor in the city of Poznan in western Poland, was quoted as saying.

"We were supposed to have a herd, but as Ninio prefers male friends over females how will he produce offspring?" said Grzes, who is from the right-wing opposition Law and Justice party.

The head of the Poznan zoo said 10-year-old Ninio may be too young to decide whether he prefers males or females as elephants only reach sexual maturity at 14.

(Reporting by Chris Borowski; editing by Andrew Roche)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Every time you go on the Internet another robot goes to heaven!

From "Every Time You Use the Internet, a Robot Goes to Heaven" - verseguru

These fanciful robots from the fifties are what I grew up with. I had a couple of these whirling, twirling, wind-em up mechanical wonders. Of course, I never saved them. Like most people, I regret not having them now. They'd be antiques and worth something! Oh well...I had some good times with them, and I guess the memory makes up for the material loss. Note that they are all made of metal, not plastic like now. My favorite was Robby The Robot.

"The Robot Hut" is where all good robots end up in afterlife...

John Rigg from The Robot Hut built a whole barn for his immense collection of toy and movie prop robots. Most of the movie prop robots he builds himself including Robby, B-9, Star Wars droids and Huey, Dewey & Louie from the movie "Silent Running" to name a few. He also built a replica of the Time Machine from the classic movie.

(images credit: darkroastedblend.com

Mexican drug cartel violence featured on YouTube & video games

FROM USA TODAY THERE'S AN ARTICLE ABOUT MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS USING YOUTUBE TO BRAG ABOUT THEIR ACTIVITIES.

TO THE RIGHT IS THE COVER FOR ONE OF THE RECENT VIDEO GAMES GLORIFYING THE CARTELS. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS IS A TRUE REFLECTION OF MEXICAN SOCIETY TODAY.

THE POWER OF THE CARTELS IS ALMOST UNIMAGINABLE, AS THEY HAVE PENATRATED NEARLY EVERY STATE IN THE USA, WITH THEIR DRUG ACTIVITIES.

IT"S JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY TAKE CHARGE OF MEXICO. OUR BORDERS ARE VIOLATED DAILY. SO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO STOP THE VIOLENCE FROM THESE GANGS SPILLING OVER INTO OUR COUNTRY? SO FAR, PITIFULLY LITTLE.

THESE MURDEROUS PUNKS THINK THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. UNTIL WE ACTUALLY GO AFTER THEM BIG TIME, IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE HERE. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IS RAPIDLY BECOMING AN EXTENSION OF MEXICO, AND IT'S GANGSTERS.

YouTube riddled with drug cartel videos, messages

By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

The violence among Mexican drug cartels is not filling just the streets of Mexican border towns: It's also spilling into gruesome online videos and chat rooms.

The videos on YouTube and Mexican-based sites are polished — professional singers croon about cartel leaders while images of murdered victims fade one into the next.

In the comment area, those loyal to the opposing cartels trade insults and threats.

Such videos are used to intimidate enemies and recruit members by touting "virtues" of cartel leaders, says Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence for Stratfor, a Texas-based global-intelligence company.

Read the rest of the story here. Image via tinypics.com

 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vietnamese Art: Works by Southeast Asian artists reflects their culture

Buoi Som Dung Street by Pham Binh Chuong

To see more examples of art by other highly-skilled Vietnamese artists click here.

Believe it or not: Scientist says sending pollution into outer space could control global warning, and it's a future option!

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THIS MORNING WE HAVE A REALLY STRANGE SOLUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING...

"Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday.
That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month.
The concept of using technology to purposely cool the climate is called geoengineering. One option raised by Holdren and proposed by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays."

Read the whole story here. Image of John Holdren/science advisor via J. Scott Applewhite, AP Photo

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Walking with Millie, and a shout-out to all viewers in the last 24 hours

   Before I ramble off in another direction with Millie my pug, I would like to thank “Taide” for becoming the sixth regular follower of this blog by subscribing to it. I appreciate that you are interested enough to want to read this blog daily. Hopefully, I won’t let you down.
   Speaking of readers, there’s been an interesting string of schools and colleges this last 24 hours. Here are some of them:
   Bishop Kearney High School; University of Phoenix; Trumbull Public Schools; Purdue University; Park Hill School; State of Tennessee Department of Education; Katy Independent School; Danbury Public Schools; University of Masssachusetts; Pennsylvania State College; Confederate College (in Ontario, Canada); and Wayne State University.
     There has been 148 international visitors in the last 24 hours. Here are some of them:
    Tirana, Tirane, Albania; Belmont, New South Wales, Australia; Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium; Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Nicosia, Cyprus; Copenhagan, Staden Kobenhaven, Denmark; Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland; Marseille, Provence-alpes-cote-D’azur, France; Brotterade, Thuringer, Germany; Athens, Attiki, Greece; Milan, Lombardia, Italy; Pune, Maharashtra, India; Tel Aviv, Israel; Amman, Amman Governorate, Jordan; Tokoyo, Japan; Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania; Kuala Lumpor, Malaysia; Auckland, New Zealand; Bergen, Hordaland, Norway; Porto, Portugal; Volgograd, Russian Federation; Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa; Meyrin, Geneve, Switzerland; and Istanbul, Turkey.
      Nationally, 178 readers from all over the USA, and Hawaii, have stopped in to visit the last 24 hours. None from Alaska however! I almost always get one from there.
      Moving on....
       As usual I did some good thinking while walking Millie today. Lines of verse teased me as I observed the beautiful countryside here in Dow’s Prairie. Signs of Spring made the walk all the more enjoyable.
      Green leaves provided lush canopies to stroll through, as the sun struggled to pierce the clouds that hinted at rain. Tree limbs, once winter-barren, now explode with buds and new life. The scents of numerous animals made Millie’s walk an adventure. Like every day. She knows to live for the day, and I meekly follow that tactic.
      Life is too short to live it in misery. It’s too short to hold grudges and to feud with family. We are here for a brief blink of time, and it’s up to us to enjoy it. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Walking, going to a good play, or sailing in a boat for the day.
       No matter what life has-or hasn’t- given us, it’s out choice to make it a good day. Walking with Millie helps me to see that. Taking deep breaths from the cleanest air in California, I feel like I’ve won the lottery...just to live here.
       As It Stands, my blog is going somewhere, and touching people out there, and I hope it brings good vibes! 

What should be done to stop Somali pirate attacks on international ships?

My column on March 1st dealt with this problem...

Avast Mate! There are pirates on the high seas, the Web, and Wall Street!

From the Associated Press this morning...

SOMALI PIRATES HIJACK SHIP; 20 AMERICANS ABROAD

By Katharine Houreld/AP

Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard, hundreds of miles from the nearest American military vessel in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

The 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, said Peter Beck-Bang, spokesman for the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk. It was the sixth ship seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden. Read the rest of the story here.

From Somalilandpress.com we have more information on the pirates and what's happening in Somalia

Pirates: The Massive Threat To Somaliland

The pirates illegally operate in Puntland coastal area have enormous threat to Somaliland in term of its social structure, currency value and youth mentality in near future unless the government has not taken tight security measurement.

The fact that pirate has get much publicity in Puntland state with the positive reaction from its society has expressed overwhelming treat to Somaliland, which may effects it’s social institution – marriage.

Read the rest of the story here. Image via somalilandpress.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Master photographer makes clear images from splashing water

Luiz Luxvich makes startlingly clear images of splashing water. This master from Rio de Janeiro,

Brazil, has a good presence on flickr, so make sure to checkout the rest of his colorful creations.

(images credit: Luiz Luxvich)

Blog Wars rage in Humboldt County cyberspace! Who holds the high ground?

  As I sipped my coffee this morning while surfing the local blog community I was surprised to see a war being waged.

  WatchPaul's, Rose, was out to expose the Humboldt Herald's Heraldo for his/her use of censorship.

  Rose's repeat volley of an October 2008 thread about Heraldo's habit of suppressing sentences that don't serve his/her needs, greeted visitors of her blog today.

  Apparently, there was a reason to shake Heraldo's cool (thread back by popular demand).

  When I see this type of Internet warfare I can't help cringing. Yes, it makes for a good read, and that's what all blogger's strive for.

  My blog averages about 350 viewers a day, but only a small fraction ever make a comment, and the majority are either national or international visitors. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.

  Then again, all blogs are not alike. I'm learning this slowly, and it really makes me wonder what each's purpose really is. I suspect that there are people who use blogs to further their own political agenda under the guise of something else.

   Local blogs (as in the area we live in) seem to be very vibrant with news that newspapers couldn't possible come up with. There's some excellent blogs here in Humboldt - and that includes both WatchPaul and Heraldo.

  I'm constantly amazed at the information both come up with. Sometimes I think both blogs have a legion of reporters cruising the highways and byways. If you really want a blog about this area's history (written by someone who grew up here) then check out Ernie's Place.  

  For those who love beautiful photos we have the Redheaded Blackbelt, aka Kym's blog. Another great local photography is Jack Durhham, whose website Rambling Jack's Laboratory is a bike-guided tour through Northern Humboldt. For a Southern Humboldt  insider's viewpoints, we have Erick Kirk's blog SoHum Parlance II.

  By my third cup of coffee, I realized that I didn't have a local blog. Yea, I live here, but you would hardly know it by viewing my posts. I've already admitted -from my 1st post last July- that I'm using my blog to shamelessly promote my newspaper column - As It Stands.

  Now, I'm feeling kinda lonely locally. Maybe I should make more of an effort to get local readership. Yesterday's post about my grandchildren and other family members was probably the closest I've come to commenting on anything local.

  Perhaps I ought to join Humboldt County's Blog Wars. Then again, I would probably get sliced-and-diced by the experienced bloggers out there right now!

  As It Stands, I think I'll just get breakfast now, and stop worrying about the state of my blog.

image via Google Images

Monday, April 6, 2009

Generations of young entrepreneur's exploits are entertaining and educational

                                                                                  By Dave Stancliff
 The other day, two of my grandsons, nine-year-old Haydin, and seven-year-old Roanin,  started a business.
  

Their mom, Jassmine, told me the boys sat down one afternoon - with real eye-to-eye contact - and drew up a partnership to sell some colored glass they had dug up. Apparently a local business, Fire & Light, sends their scrap chunks of glass to a local company that sells an aggregate mix speckled through with the colorful stuff.

After sifting through a pile of this material (location kept secret)  for hours, the boys had collected enough pieces - most of which are about size of small beads - to set up shop. They put up a little stand and offered them to customers for 25 cents. (I’m not clear as to how many pieces the buyer got for his/her quarter.)
      

In no time they were also selling and bartering some of their toys (ones mom approved of), to expand their little enterprise. Alas, as good business starts often find, competition sprang up in the neighborhood! Other little entrepreneurs soon offered toys as well.
      
Haydin and Roanin then came up with “friend coupons.” The coupons offered two dollars off any item over three dollars. Eventually all of these venturesome children got together and held swap meets in the neighborhood. I’m still waiting for further reports of their business acumen.
      

 I have some great memories of other family members who jumped into the business world at tender ages. One of my favorites concerned my cousins in Michigan about forty years ago.
      

My Dad had a mining claim in the late 1970s and through the 1980s. It was located in the Lytle Creek area of the San Bernardino mountains, just north of Mt. Baldy. The area had once been the site of a short-lived placer gold frenzy.
     

To keep the claim active, my Dad had to show signs of improvement every year, so he hired  heavy equipment every so often to move things around. He also got regular assay reports on the ore that showed a small amount of gold per ton.
     

  The gold content was never high enough to interest a big organization in the claim. The price of gold on the market during the 1980s went from $589 an ounce (1980-1981), down to $327 an ounce by the end of the decade.
      

Still, Dad’s grandchildren and my brother Steve helped over the years in their spare time. I was too lazy for that kind of hard work, but did go up there now and then and share a small bottle of Irish single-malt with Dad, as I watched the others expand the latest hole in the mountain. My two oldest sons, Richard and Nathan, spent time there, too.
     

Some of those tunnels went straight down. There was always the risk of running across rattle snakes, scorpions, and other nasty little critters. As far as I can remember, no one ever got bitten by a snake while working there.
     

  During this period, my cousins (who were about the ages Haydin and Roanin are now) came up with their business enterprise in school. They sold stock to their classmates, offering shares in grandpa’s mine!
      

 When my uncle Harold told me, I thought it was pretty funny, but apparently the school didn’t. The boys got suspended for a week. I was amazed that they knew what stocks were. Of course, I don’t compare their larceny to my grandsons’ business venture. They at least gave people something for their money.
        

I’ve kinda lost touch with those cousins but wouldn’t be surprised if they became stock traders. They weren’t afraid to take risks with other people’s money! Surely a must for anyone playing on Wall Street.
       

I wish I could tell you I was a great little entrepreneur in my youth. My approach was to gamble. We’d flip coins and call odd or even. Sometimes we threw coins up against a wall, and the coin that fell closest to the wall won.
      

There was even a period during junior high when I carried dice in my pocket and gambled with my buddies in the school bathroom. I lost interest in gambling when I was in the military, after watching near deadly encounters during card games. Recently my interest in gambling has returned and I play those quarter slot machines, while on a strict monthly allowance.
        

To be an entrepreneur, you can’t be afraid to gamble sometimes. Gambling, however, is a sure way to lose money. Starting your own business, provided you have a good plan and plenty of seed money, offers better odds for success.
      

 As It Stands, I enjoy stories of successful entrepreneurs of all ages, especially in this down economy.
                                                                

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today's As It Stands: Let's just say no to prescription drug commercials on television

The television brings us commercials on prescription drugs that we can not go out and buy ourselves.

A doctor has to prescribe them. So why do the makers of Flomax and other drugs bother advertising on television? Because they know you will see something that you think you need and you'll ask your doctor for it.

The subtle hidden messages in these commercials hypnotize viewers into wanting them. See today's As It Stands in the Times-Standard on prescription drug commercials

Image via Google Images