Dave Stancliff 2009-12-06 blogarama.com

Friday, December 11, 2009

Extraordinary Usage For Lots of Coins

Extraordinary usage for lots of coins - without glue or scaffolding.

 Just very carefully put one coin on another. A few hours a day months of practice and maybe you will be able to do something similar to these structures?

Amazing physical law showed in a different way.

Go here to see more photos.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Teeing off on a golfing legend…

Via tigersholes.com

World's First Novel (1007): Tale of Genji

More than a thousand years ago, on 1007, a Japanese court lady put the finishing touches on what is considered the world's first novel.

Spanning 75 years, more than 350 characters, and brimming with romantic poems, the "Tale of Genji" tells the story of an emperor's son, his quest for love, and the many women he meets along the way. It is attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu.

Art and text via Bezbrige

A bad Santa is Collared in Ohio

Cops: Costumed Ohio man tried to abduct 12-year-old girl

 An Ohio man dressed as Santa Claus and carrying a red sack brimming with candy canes was arrested this morning after he allegedly tried to abduct a 12-year-old girl.

“According to cops, Anthony Russo, 46, was hiding in the bushes adjacent to a Parma intersection when he asked the girl, who was walking to school, to come to him.

When the child continued walking, Russo twice grabbed her arm, though the girl broke free and eventually sought help from a business owner.”

 Read the rest at The Smoking Gun

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

World record: 0.01mm nano-snowman

You're looking at the tiniest snowman ever built. Well, it looks like a snowman, but this minuscule model — about a fifth the width of a human hair — is not made out of snow.

It's constructed of two tiny tin beads that are usually used to calibrate an electron microscope, and welded together with platinum.

It's built by David Cox, a nanotech expert at the Quantum Detection Group of Britain's National Physical Laboratory. He's accustomed to working with such astonishingly small objects, and used his nano-particle manipulation tools to demonstrate the astonishing accuracy of his work.

He bathed the snowman in blue light to give us this entertaining, snow-blown image. The remarkable flourish of his smiling snowman is its little happy face, carved into the top orb using a focused ion beam. That's no small feat.

Daily Mail, via Gizmo Watch

A life lesson we can all benefit from

Slurping my coffee happily this morning, I read this inspirational, and thought-provoking, story by a Native-American elder – Kent Nerburn.

The message is positive, despite some sad elements to it. In other words, it’s reality and not TV. 

Excerpt:

"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.”

Continue reading here.

from The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget
by Kent Nerburn

Note: For more inspiring writing by Kent Nerburn, see his website: http://kentnerburn.com. The above story is taken from his book Make Me an Instrument of your Peace: Living in the Spirit of the Prayer of St. Francis, available here. The author has personally confirmed that this story is true

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pentagon asks party crashers for covert advice

Questions for the Crashers

By Daniel Kurtzman, About.com Guide

Financial investigative reporter who tackled the Fed dies suddenly at 52

You may never have heard of Mark Pittman, but if you have you know he was one of the old school reporters who fearlessly sought the truth.

He dared to challenge the Fed’s inner workings, and now he’s gone. They say he had a heart attack. Others suggest it might have been murder!

To see a one-minute video of a mind-blowing US Congressional testimony on a CIA dart gun which can easily cause a heart attack, click here.

The poison from this gun is undetectable during an autopsy. Could such a weapon be used by the rich and powerful bankers who might want to silence someone who threatens literally billions of dollars of profits, someone like Mark Pittman?

 Mark Pittman, Reporter who challenged Fed secrecy, dies at 52 

He was one of the great financial journalists of our time,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics. “His death is shocking.”

A former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg News in 1997, Pittman wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage industry.”

Go here to read the rest at the Bloomberg.com

The Power of Determination - The Glenn Cunningham Story

Nothings better than to sip that first cup of coffee and to start your day with a positive story. Enjoy…

By Burt Dubin

“The little country schoolhouse was heated by an old-fashioned, pot-bellied coal stove. A eight-year-old boy named Glenn Cunningham had the job of coming to school early each day so that he could use kerosene to start the fire and warm the room before his teacher and his classmates arrived. One cold morning someone mistakenly filled the kerosene container he used with gasoline, and disaster struck.

The class and teacher arrived to find the schoolhouse engulfed in flames. Terrified on realizing that Glenn was inside, they rushed in and managed to drag the unconscious little boy out of the flaming building more dead than alive. He had major burns over the lower half of his body and was taken to a nearby county hospital.”

Go here to read the rest.

Photo via Google Images

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Power of Nightmares

This highly revealing BBC documentary digs deep into the roots of the war on terror, only to find that much of the widespread fear in the post-9/11 world has been fabricated by those in power for their own interests.

The intrepid BBC team presents highly informative interviews with experts and top officials in combating terrorism who raise serious questions about who is behind all of the fear-mongering. These experts and riveting footage also show how the media have been manipulated to support secret power agendas.

This eye-opening documentary shows that, especially after 9/11, fear has been used widely in the media to manipulate the public into giving up civil liberties and turning over power to elite groups with their own hidden agendas. The Power of Nightmares clearly demonstrates that the nightmare vision of a powerful, united terrorist organization waiting to strike our societies is largely an illusion. Wherever the BBC team looked for al-Qaeda, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the sleeper cells in America, they found that we are chasing a phantom enemy. For all citizens who care about the future of our world, this is a must-watch video.

View Free: All Three Parts of the BBC Documentary Power of Nightmares

Each episode is one hour. Part 3 is the most revealing. A 22-minute summary is also available.

For 22 minutes of the best excerpts from this three-hour documentary, click here
Click here to watch Power of Nightmares on Google Video.
Click here to watch and read reviews of Power of Nightmares on archive.org.
For the downloaded copy of an excellent review of Power of Nightmares in the Los Angeles Times, click here.
For a full written transcript of each part of Power of Nightmares: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
For transcripts, audio and video downloads, and other excellent information on the series, click here.
To order all three parts of Power of Nightmares on one DVD, click here.
Another excellent, highly revealing BBC/Adam Curtis documentary, Century of the Self, delves into the history of mass propaganda and its power to shape public perception. Click here to purchase. Click here to watch it free.

Why is Santa naked? kids want to know

A Texas homeowner who adorned his front lawn with Michelangelo's "David" as a scantily clad Santa got more than just jolly laughs from his neighbors.

Barry Mcbee said he was aiming to make people chuckle by adding a Santa hat and white beard to the 5-foot-tall replica of the Renaissance statue with six-pack abs — an image at odds with usual depictions of a fat, jolly St. Nick.

Then, parents started calling Big Spring city officials saying their children were asking why Santa was naked.”

Go here to read the whole story.

An inspirational Christmas Story: The Christmas Truce

 I thought this story should be shared for the seasonal aspect, and the fact that a war “stood still” for Christmas in 1914 -

 By David G. Stratman

 From his book We Can Change the World

 “It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I.

 German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas."

"You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.

Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. "Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radio host. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?' "

I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.”

WW I Photo via the Daily Mail

Peanut Butter Plan to feed the homeless spreads

The world is getting better, one peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a time. It's called the Peanut Butter Plan.

Like many of the best plans, it's simple: Strangers get together, make peanut butter sandwiches and immediately pass them out to homeless people. No federal subsidy, no foundation, no vouchers.

No official sanction from anybody. Just strangers, good will and peanut butter. Jory John, a San Francisco children's book writer, got the idea for the PBJ stealth campaign this spring. John put forth the idea on Facebook and, over the past few months, PBJ handouts have taken place in Los Angeles; Berkeley; Phoenix; Little Rock, Ark.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Austin, Texas; and London.

"People are joining from all over the place," John said. "I thought it was about time to use a social networking site to do some good." The monthly gathering took place the other evening around a conference table inside a publishing house that had donated its office for the cause. Some sandwich-laden volunteers [went] to the Tenderloin and some others to the Haight and South of Market.

There was no shortage of people who found the idea of a complimentary peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich to be just the thing. Outside the BART station at 16th and Mission streets, a dozen folks accepted sandwiches.

When the sandwiches were gone, [the] sandwich makers retired to a nearby tavern for a beer. The camaraderie of doing something nice, along with the beers, made everyone feel pretty good and some of the strangers exchanged phone numbers. "The smallest actions make the biggest difference," [John] said.

"There are some cynics who say it's not really curing hunger, and it isn't curing hunger. But it's curing one person's hunger. There's nothing wrong with that."

Note: Information on the Peanut Butter Plan and its operations in various cities around the U.S. is available at www.peanutbutterplan.org.

Photo of little girl by John Wollwerth | Dreamstime.com

Article from wanttoknow.info

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Here’s another reason why I wrote today’s column on shoddy Chinese products

Today’s column has been picked up by a web site called “Made in China Product Recalls,” and it gives links to other stories about what else is happening with our major trade partner.

Here are some other articles dealing with this latest recall involving lead again. The irony of this particular product is that it was so popular that shoppers couldn’t find it on the shelves this weekend and have been bidding on eBay for it – with prices going up to $100! It retailed for about ten bucks!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE:

Zhu Zhu Pets Recall Could Be Just Around The Corner.Toys Found To Be Toxic
IndyPosted (blog)
No surprise here, but the Zhu Zhu pets are made in China which has had many problems with unsafe levels of lead being used in the production of toys. ...
Zhu Zhu Hamsters May Pose Health RiskCBS News
Zhu Zhu Pets Have High Levels of Antimony, Risking the Health of Your ChildEverything PR
Toxic Zhu Zhu petsGather.com

It's as simple as ABC: 'You get what you pay for'

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 12/06/2009 01:27:13 AM PST

Once upon a time, Country A was a major trading partner of Country C and bought huge amounts of their shoddy products. Country B, a much smaller trading partner of Country A, exported quality products.

Country C's exports were cheap and often dangerous to the public health and the environment. Country B, on the other hand, turned out superior products and carefully monitored them for quality.

Who do you think was the better trading partner? Go to The Times-Standard for the rest of this column.