Dave Stancliff 2011-04-10 blogarama.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some humorous thoughts & observations this Saturday Night Live

I’ve heard that the immune system of sharks is superior to humans… with the except of lawyers who also have other shark-like attributes. My apologies to the sharks for the comparison.

They say ants have no eyelids. I’ve never been able to get close enough to tell. Fact is, snakes don’t have ears, but don’t try sneaking up on one!
Male rats are known to mate with their mothers, sisters and any other females in their family. A pair of rats are capable of having 15,000 offspring in one year. Is it any wonder we use the word “rat” in a negative way when referring to someone?

Some animals can be gay. Really. Among them are the African Elephant, brown bears, buffalo, dogs, giraffe, chickens, emus, jewel fish, salmon, common garter snakes, the red diamond rattlesnake, and even some insects, to name some.

Snails have the ability to sleep for three years. Don’t ask my why this is a good thing but some researchers think it is. Starfish are brainless creatures of the sea, but I still like “Patrick” in “Sponge Bob, Square Pants” cartoons.
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Ants can lift objects 50 times their own weight. There use to be a comic book superhero called “Ant Man,” (DC Comics) who wouldn’t have been stopped by that nasty insecticide “RoundUp.”

Eels have two hearts. I’ve heard the phrase “slippery heart” by that’s ridiculous. And what’s with hagfish having four hearts? I’ve known hags that didn’t even have one heart!

Time to call it a day, my friends. Thanks for stopping by. (image source)

Inspirational words for a slow Saturday…

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”                                                                     ~ Mark Twain

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What does the future hold for a species bent on energy consumption?

Wind turbines follow a modern highway into twilight.

So here we are, one foot on the bow of the sinking ship Fossil Fuel, the other on the bow of the U.S.S. Renewable Energy:

5 Myths About Renewable Energy

1. Renewable Sources Can't Replace Fossil Fuels

2. Renewable Energy Is Worthless Without Government Incentives

3. Wind Turbines Are Noisy, Costly Bird Killers

4. Solar Energy Doesn't Provide Enough Juice

5. Clean Coal Is the Answer

                                                                                             Photo -John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Humor Break – here’s a smile or two just for you…

image005 image011

image019 image031If you think these photos are cool there’s lot’s more to see here

I get a kick out of humorous photos of all kinds and based upon reader feedback…so do you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

As It Stands shares some stuff you might not have seen today…

 

Not a lot of news happening, but here’s a few interesting tidbits:

An Oregon mailman was suspended for taking a crap in a yard on his route.

Man bites dog — then sues over police canine's act

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They say that the World's Oldest Man died in Montana at 114

Image: Walter BreuningWalter (shown here) Breuning's earliest memories stretched back 111 years, before home entertainment came with a twist of the radio dial.

That’s all from me bunky! Have a good one, and be safe on this Friday night Live!

Victim of PTSD: Ex-Marine, veterans' advocate kills himself

One of the military's most vocal suicide prevention advocates tragically took his own life.

Stories like this touch my heart.

I grieve for these young men and women returning from war with PTSD.

I suffer from PTSD, and when I read about others who appear to be handling theirs well and they suddenly snap…

I can’t help but shuddering. There, but for the grace of God, goes me. Someday my story could end the same way.

There’s no time limits with PTSD. There’s no predicting when it will overwhelm you. I live with that reality. Survivor’s guilt is common among those of us who go into combat and live while others die. It can be traced back to ancient times.

But this is my life right now… and I grieve for Clay Hunt, a vibrant Iraq veteran that was chosen to be in public service announcements reminding veterans that they weren't alone…but you see he was alone, or thought he was. That’s the damn thing. Each one of us face the possibility of Clay’s fate. Even those who appear to be doing just fine.

I’ve seen those “just fine” veterans in Stand Downs as they try to convince me that they’re different. That they don’t think about their time in combat or have nightmares. Or, the fact they saw their best friends head explode before their eyes. No. they can handle it. Just like Clay Hunt could handle it.

As It Stands, rest in peace brother, the war is finally over for you.

Excerpt:  

"He was very despondent about why he was alive and so many people he served with directly were not alive," said John Wordin, 48, the founder of Ride 2 Recovery, a program that uses bicycling to help veterans heal physically and mentally.”

STORY HERE

U.S. urged dealer to continue gun sales despite concerns, inquiry finds

 

The Arizona gun dealer repeatedly raised red flags about weapons ending up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels as part of Project Gunrunner, but his concerns were brushed aside, congressional investigators say.

I’ve been following this issue for three years now and the one thing that sticks out to me is the denial by the NRA and gun groups that the cartels are getting their weapons from American gun dealers through the use of “straw buyers.” I’ve been reviled for even suggesting it in my columns. I’ve got comments to the effect that, “Most of the cartels guns are coming from mass shipments from Russia and Third World counties.” I’ve never seen any evidence of that contention.

What I do see is the NRA continuing to fight any efforts to curtail gun sales. As long as the NRA has Congress in it’s big pockets we’re going to continue to see American border agents murdered, and innocent American citizens on our southern borders will not be safe.

PHOTO - A U.S. Border Patrol agent passes photos of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry during a memorial service in Tucson. Two guns involved in the Gunrunner operation were found at the scene of a shootout in southern Arizona in December in which Terry was killed. (John Moore / AFP/Getty Images / January 21, 2011)

Excerpt:

“The investigation into a federal operation that allowed Mexican drug cartels to acquire U.S. weapons escalated Thursday with new revelations that an Arizona gun dealer repeatedly expressed fears that his guns were falling into the "hands of the bad guys" but was encouraged by federal agents to continue the sales.

Employees of the dealer videotaped gun buyers — suspected "straw purchasers" who could legally buy the guns, though cartel members could not — exchanging money with other individuals on the dealer's premises.
The aim of the ATF program, called Project Gunrunner, was to gather intelligence on suspicious weapons sales and arrest senior members of international trafficking chains.
In an eerie case of premonition, the gun dealer expressed fears that the guns he was selling could be used against U.S. border agents
.” Full Story

Related:

Assault rifle used in U.S. agent's killing in Mexico traced to Texas - U.S. authorities say one of three men they arrested this week purchased an AK-47 at a Texas gun shop that was used in the attack last month that killed a U.S. federal agent and wounded his partner.

U.S. gun-tracing operation let firearms into criminal hands - A federal operation aimed at tracing weapons to Mexican drug cartels lost track of hundreds, including two guns found at the scene of a Border Patrol agent's killing in Arizona.

Key figure in ATF's Gunrunner operation cooperating in congressional inquiry - George Gillett Jr. is expected to reveal crucial information about how a federal operation allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass into the hands of Mexican drug gangs.

Arizona Legislature passes stupid presidential 'birther' bill

imagesCA2R5IF2

What is it with these people? The myth that Obama was born in Kenya has been dispelled but they continue to act stupid.

Should we fear stupid people? I think so, but we also need to challenge their bigotry and single-minded focus to get rid of a black president.

“Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, said he was embarrassed, the Republic reported.

"Arizona is the first state to pass a birther bill. We look pretty much backward," Gallego said. "You might as well change Arizona to Alabama."   Full Story

'Desperate idiots' jailed over failed plot to kidnap Columbia Sportswear boss, 87

Image: Gert Boyle

'It couldn't have been worse if you tried to kidnap Santa Claus,' judge tells defendants who targeted Gert Boyle

“In the 1980s, a national ad campaign showed Gert Boyle (pictured) putting her son and the products through extreme tests and her flexing her biceps tattooed with the words "Born to Nag."

Story Here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding is at fever pitch–who gives a damn?

Who cares?

It’s a question strangely missing from the exhaustive coverage of the Royal Wedding.

Americans have been subjected to a month-long countdown complete with surveys of souvenirs ranging from commemorative plates to condoms to a signature airsick bag. Flotillas of news correspondents have been dispatched across the Atlantic to ensure that no question goes unanswered, from whether William will wear a wedding ring to whether Kate is still a virgin.

Didn’t we fight a war so we wouldn’t have to pay attention to this sort of thing? Story Here

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2012 Presidential Race: Ladies, Gentleman, Politicians…it’s time to start up your rhetoric!

Windbags unite! Hot air aficionados are ready for a chance to heat up race with meaningless rhetoric…

That’s right folks…we’re going to have us an election. In 19 months. Between now and then, make sure you’re wearing your high boots during the debates as the shit will be piling up fast!

Republicans presidential hopefuls have been noodling around and sending up hot air balloons of interest for several months now. Most recent is former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick (I sometimes lose it and call the president a liar) Santorum. He’s setting up a fundraising committee that allows him to take the first steps toward a 2012 presidential campaign.

But it’s the “Donald” (as in Trump) as a GOP presidential candidate that really tickles me – “Your fired!” host and Real Estate Czar, is already a frontrunner along with (Gasp!) Mike Huckabee! And why not? They’ll fit in nicely with the other clowns whose names are floating around looking for infusions of hot air and money.

There’s Newt (Two Failed Marriages and loon) Gingrich;  former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who believes in a guy named Joseph Smith and money;  and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (can you say former lobbyist?) with  his vision of the “New South.”

This past weekend, attendees of the Awakening 2011 conference for American values voters selected Rep. Michele Bachmann as its straw poll winner. Bachmann won 23 percent of the vote, while Huckabee garnered 22.8 percent and Newt Gingrich placed third with 21 percent of the vote.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll revealed Huckabee and Trump are neck-and-neck (or dollar for dollar) in the race. Frank Newport, the editor in chief of Gallup, says “this is a very unusual year” for GOP candidates because, unlike previous presidential races, there is no clear leader.” No kidding?

The Democrats, of course, are going with the guy in office right now. President Obama didn’t waste any time in announcing his intentions for the next election. It’s safe to say the 2012 presidential race is off and running and he’s in the campaign mode.

Isn’t that special? Obama and the GOP are going to have their hands out asking for taxpayer money (elect me with your money) and on the other hand they’re busy trying to balance a budget on the backs of the middle and lower class while giving the wealthy and corporations tax breaks.

Makes me warm and fuzzy all over knowing that the circus  election is going to be taking up most of those reprobates time trying to get re-elected, or elected for the first time, while the rest of us suffer through their meaningless rhetoric and this never-ending recession.

As It Stands, at least we don’t have to buy tickets to watch the “horse and pony” shows…or wait…do we?

Lakers earn Second Seed in the West with overtime victory

Francisco Garcia, Kobe BryantOkay…you knew it was inevitable when you saw the picture of me sitting in my den surrounded with Laker memorabilia on the top of this page. I’m going to talk about the LA Lakers at some point.

The occasion today is their narrow victory last night that kept them from sliding into the third spot in the West. It also means they won’t have to face a hot Portland team in the 1st round.

That doesn’t mean their opponent, The New Orleans Hornets, are going to be a pushover. The Lakers do have a winning record against them this season, which is a favorable sign. However, as any sports fan will tell you, the Playoffs are a whole different animal! Everyone’s A game, every game, makes for epic matchups. And upsets.

I frankly don’t know what to think about this year’s Lakers. They’ve been more unpredictable than the stock market or a thoroughbred racehorse this season. Watching them play the last seven games produced plenty of “Tums” moments for me. Watching their five-game swoon was equivalent to someone scratching their fingernails on a blackboard (or white board) for a dedicated fan such as myself.

Will the Lakers repeat? Three Peat? Tie the Boston Celtics for the Most Championships? I’d like to say YES! resoundingly…but reality tells me…the competition is tougher this year in the wild wild West. When the smoke clears the winner is going to face stiff competition from a new guy in the East:

I predict the Chicago Bulls are going to be the Beast that manhandles ALL opponents.  Lakers VS Bulls….hmmmmmm …the last time that happened (1995) the Lakers lost. Or was it 1998? See…I can’t even get that straight I was so traumatized!

If the Playoffs Started Today

Go Lakers!   Photo Source

GE target of hoax saying it will return tax refund

Good Morning Humboldt County! I got a good chuckle while sipping my coffee this morning when I read this little news item:

“General Electric Co, embroiled in controversy over its low 2010 U.S. tax bill, was the target of a bogus press release claiming that it would donate billions of dollars to the federal government.

The official-looking release, complete with the GE logo and slogan "imagination at work", said that GE would send its $3.2 billion tax refund from 2010 back to Washington.

The Yes Men, an activist group known for issuing hoax statements claiming major attitude changes in corporate America, said it sent the release in an e-mail to media outlets on Wednesday.” Story Here.

Graphic Source

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Somewhere in Space Tonight Someone is Looking at the Earth…

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Spring isn’t the only Thing in the Air– Feds curb Coreflood malware

Cyber crime is also blooming as Botnets infect 2.3 million computers worldwide. 

“The FBI and the Justice Department on Wednesday began dismantling a ring of international computer thieves who have stolen an undetermined amount of money by infecting more than 2.3 million computers with malicious software, the biggest such enforcement action U.S. authorities have ever taken against cyber criminals.” Story Here

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Spring is a good time to enjoy street art…

More info.                                                                       More Banksy on streetartutopia.com.

Oh That’s Right! Spring has Sprung and It’s Time for the Young

Hey Ewe!

A pair of lambs sit in the shade of a tree among daffodils at the Hall Farm in Stratford St. Mary, eastern England.

Chris Helgren / Reuters

VIA

A ship-based laser tested by the Navy's research arm could put the heat on Somali pirates.

I know that I just posted something on this new weapon of the Navy’s yesterday, but I didn’t connect the “bobbing boat” in the test with Somali Pirates…silly me. Perhaps this weapon was designed with those rascals in mind. You never know.

No matter how you look at it, it’s Buck Rodger’s stuff to old coots like me!

Excerpt:

“The baseball-sized laser beam, though, could be used to stop small crafts from approaching naval ships. It could also target pirates.

"You can use the laser to ward off an attack, or you can dial it down to a non-lethal level where it basically becomes a very bright light so they know they are being targeted," Michael Deitchman, the director of air warfare and weapons at the Office of Naval Research, said Wednesday.

Deitchman said the laser provides two benefits not seen in other military weapons. The laser is precise, unlike bullets that can ricochet and hit unintended targets, and the laser's strength can be dialed down from a lethal level to a nuisance level.” Story Here

PHOTO: An optimistic artist's rendering of a fully operational Maritime Laser Demonstrator.Office of Naval Research

Good morning Humboldt County! Another post from ‘As It Stands’ to greet your day…

Video stills of (clockwise from left) Snuggie infomercial, Katsak product demonstration, Chia Obama infomercial & Rejuvenique infomercial (© APG; QVC; Joseph Enterprises & Rejuvenique)

Well here we are on a wacky Wednesday where the improbable is possible, and the world continues to turn…    

From a salesman falling on his sword to ingenious and improbable products, infomercials entertain as well as shock and enlighten us.

Skip ahead to read about:

The Katsak

A presidential Chia Pet

An electric facial mask

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Collection of the Best and Historic Magazine Covers of All Time

Captureclint

 Esquire: December 2000: Clinton

It was said that this photo was inspired by Lincoln Memorial, but everybody interpreted it with reference to Monica Lewinsky.

timemag

           TIME: June 21, 1968:

A figure by Roy Lichtenstein, representing a hand with a pistol. This cover was released after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. It demanded a legislation about restricting the arms sales.

Texas Monthly: January 2007: The Dick Cheney Cover

Capturecheney

After the famous lampoon cover (the sixth from the top in this list) the same idea was remade here, with a few modifications, of course.

This cover also became a huge success and won the Best Cover Line of the Year award from Magazine Publishers of America in 2007.

 

GO HERE TO SEE THE REST

I’m getting ready for the 2012 elections and already know who I‘m voting for…

Captureoghytc

If you think this sign is funny GO HERE and see 22 more examples of humorous signs…

Marking 150 Years since the Civil War – Let’s Get One Fact Straightened Out…

The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, featured in the film Glory, was not the first black unit to fight. That’s right. Forget what Hollywood told you.

“Black regiments from three other states -- Louisiana, South Carolina and Kansas -- have stronger claims to being the first organized. The 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, military historians seem to agree, engaged the enemy on the battlefield before any other black unit.” Story here.

No ‘rollin on the river’ this year the way things are looking

 Hey Mon! Why no Reggie in Humboldt dis year? What a   bummer. I was sipping my coffee this morning when I read this in the T-S: 

Reggae Rising falling: Ticket-holders looking for refunds

Sounds like a foregone conclusion that there won’t be a Reggie Rising in SoHum this year.

What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recent techie news: Navy uses laser gun with success, sinks boat

Buck Rodgers would be proud. Or, would he? Things were different back in the 20s…they used their ray guns to go after that rat Merciless Ming and his minions, and didn’t waste them on helpless little boats. Leaner times and all.

Navy raygun disables boat with new high energy laser marks the first time that a high energy laser has properly functioned as a weapon on the high seas.

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Another Manic Monday – or, How is Your Day Going?

A portable Texas Department of Transportation ...

It’s Monday, and the start to another week that will surely bring surprises, both good and bad.

Scanning the headlines this morning I see that there were Three strong aftershocks jolt Japanese quake zone.

My Lakers looked real bad in losing their 5th straight game to the Thunder.

Here’s one headline that really got my attention: Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise. The article suggests it’s a puzzling decline because Americans usually curb driving only as last resort.

Photo - A portable Texas Department of Transportation sign in downtown Houston displays a message programmed by an unknown prankster who gained access to the onboard computer that controls the sign, Sunday, March 13, 2011. … Read more

Sunday, April 10, 2011

As It Stands: Next stop online: Humboldt Blogs, a slice of Americana

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 04/10/2011 02:40:31 AM PDT

The Humboldt Blogisphere, where increasingly more county residents go for information on natural disasters or local news, is part of a national movement of online citizen reporters.

Local bloggers can instantly pass on information that may not come from more traditional sources in times of emergency. A prime example of this is Kym Kemp's blog “Redheaded Blackbelt.”

Her online viewers are given up-to-the-moment information on area events. After the recent massive landslide on Highway 101 (Photo by Kim Sallaway posted on Kym’s blog), she provided emergency updates, links and photos, with help from her many resources. She's also a well-known marijuana activist whose articles have been published in national magazines like “High Times.”

I'm not saying we don't have great radio stations and print media. I am saying local blogs offer a wealth of information on all things Humboldt.

If you're a liberal, brace yourself for ridicule when you visit and make a comment at the Humboldt Mirror. This right-wing blog's “Bugs” like to slice and dice “Progs” (the slang for progressives). If you're a conservative, be ready for scorn if you stop by and make a comment at The Humboldt Herald blog whose motto is, “Provoking Humboldt Since 2006.” Capturemorror

Both popular blogs provide lively local news and political debate. The “Bugs” cutting-edge humor is one reason to read them. The author(s) of the Humboldt Mirror (Do Good, look good. Do Bad, look out.) are unknown, which is probably a good thing.

Equally mysterious is The Humboldt Herald's spokesperson, Heraldo, who seems to have a lot of resources when it comes to local government news. Check out The Humboldt Herald's blog list for links to the majority of other Humboldt County blogs.

Tom And Cynthia

Combining their radio expertise successfully with their own blogs are Tom Seaborn (shown here with Cynthia McKinney), program director for KGOE, the only progressive commercial news talk station in Humboldt County, and Eric Kirk, who covers Southern Humboldt and does a one-hour talk show on KMUD on the third Thursday of the month.

For local history I recommend a trio of blogs. “Lynett's NorCal History blog” has historical articles and old photos of Native Americans who lived on the North Coast. “Adventures of the Klamath Librarian” by blogger Adrienne R.S. Harling deals with the history of the Klamath River region. Adrienne is from Orleans.

The third one, “Ernie's Place,” features “Tales of the Eel River Valley and the wisdom of the people who live there.” Blogger Ernie Branscomb (shown on firetruck) finds time to talk about most anything, so the reader gets a blend of history and his wit and observations on daily life. Ernie is a businessman anbenbow_bear_fire_truck_1d a volunteer firefighter and very much involved in the Southern Humboldt community.

Another Southern Humboldt blog, out of Garberville, is called “Always a Vixen, Mostly a Vegan” by blogger Sundara. She features great vegan recipe, and her food photos will make you salivate. Some “down home” advice and insightful dishes make this a pleasant blog to visit.

And for just plain fun, there's “Planet Tapperass” by blogger Sal. He features a humorous quasi-competition for all Humboldt blogs each year. Basically, Sal introduces new, or lesser known, blogs to the Humboldt Blogisphere. This year it came down to Tom Seaborn's Blog and The Plazoid, featuring Tad, a local homeless activist. He also comments on local issues in Arcata. Tom Seaborn's Blog prevailed among some really tough competition.

According to Sal's website, he used the 2011 NCAA Men's College Basketball Division 1 Tournament to determine the winners of each match-up. He matched each blog up with a college team and then followed their progress. Tom Seaborn got the University of Connecticut Huskies, who won the championship this year.

I started my blog “As It Stands” nearly three years ago. I recall my early efforts at starting it up and how hard it was for me. I've always been technically challenged and nearly gave up the idea.

I'm glad I didn't, or I would have missed out on the online community that ties in so closely to our lives here. I got help from some local bloggers and endured. Setting up a blog these days is a more user-friendly experience. Even for people like me.

As It Stands, if you want a slice of true Americana, then check out a region's local blogs. You'll be glad you did.