Dave Stancliff 2012-02-05 blogarama.com

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Goodbye Whitney Houston: you had a beautiful voice

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I just heard that Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.

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There’s car lovers….and then there’s REALLY CAR LOVERS!

In my ongoing travels, I particularly enjoy meeting people who take little detours in life and don’t always go down the same road as others.

Meet Nathaniel (photo), a true car lover if ever there was one -- literally. "My Strange Addiction," viewers will get a chance to see his love affair with a candy-apple red ride. Is it a need for speed? A passion for inanimate objects with bright colors? Heck, I don’t know. Guess we’ll have to view the show to find out..

Guest Blogger Post: What happens when we die?

                         Good Day Humboldt County!

Today we travel a path seeking enlightenment. The age old question is asked: “What happens when I die?”  

                                  By Eric Allen Bell

“In order to answer the question, "What happens when I die?" I feel it is important to take a look at something a bit less speculative and that is the question of what happens when we live.
There is no way to understand death if you don't know what life is. What happens between the moment you take your first breath and the moment you draw your very last?
Who is it that is looking out through your eyes?
Is it not the same quality of awareness that existed right before you read these words? Is that quality of awareness not the same quality that existed yesterday and the day before?
And that awareness, the pure state of awareness was there before you could form words or even knew your name. It is independent of personal history, of labels, of nationality of ethnicity of religion of political orientation or even a gender. This is the essential self. And the awareness of this self, even if momentary, is what is often referred to as "Self Realization".

Art by Alex Grey
The essential self is not contained within the boundaries of worldly identification, although it plays in those fields.
The essential self is not limited in perception by the five senses, although it enjoys experiencing them.
The self that is eternal is not limited by space and time, although it uses space and time to creatively express its essence.

The Realized Self came from nowhere and is going nowhere, but may choose different manifestations perhaps throughout the birth-life continuum.
The brain that tells the lungs to breathe will die with the body, but the Awareness that animates the organ called the brain is eternal.
You are not your thoughts. You are not your story. You are not your body.
Experience your thoughts, experience your story, experience your body, as none of it will last.
That which experiences remains constant. We can call that constant the "Self" - the real self and not that which masquerades as you.
So when you ask the question, "What happens when I die?" I would have to ask you a question in return...
Who is asking?”

Time to head on down the road…

Friday, February 10, 2012

For the last time folks! Nicolas Cage is NOT a Vampire!

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A Civil War-era photograph featuring a man with more than a passing resemblance to Nicolas Cage had the Internet buzzing last year when it appeared on eBay. On Thursday night's "Late Show With David Letterman," the actor chimed in on the image and addressed the ridiculous rumor that the man in the photo might actually be him.

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It’s an odd, odd world of facts and I have 20 of them for you

1. Henry Ford forgot to put a reverse gear in his first automobile.

2. Cut flowers become sleepy and wilt in the presence of Apples.

3. In 1913, the tax on a $4000 annual income was one penny.

4. Ninety Seven percent of all people offered a new pen to try, write their own name.

5. A dog is as old at 12 years as a man at 84.

6. Saturday is the most dangerous day to drive a car.

7. In the U.S. a person dies every 14.5 seconds.

8. If a color blinded woman marries a man with normal vision, all of their sons will be color blind,the daughters will have normal vision.

9. It cannot be proved by the bible that Christ ever smiled.

10. 60 days are required for a housefly to become a grandmother.

11. A mans beard grows about an inch in 8 weeks.

12. 7 suicides are recorded in the bible.

 13. Theodore Roosevelt was the only president not sworn in on the bible.

14. 72 muscles are used in speaking 1 word.

15. The eggs of a water flea hatch 10 years after they are laid.

16. During WW2 it cost the US $225,00 to kill an enemy soldier.

17. Mosquitoes prefer children to adults and blonds to brunettes.

18. When reduced to dust a diamond is as black as carbon.

19. The nine most useful words: and,be,it,of,the,will,I,have,you.

20. A normal person can lose as much as 1/3 his blood without fatality.

 

Abusers use schools in impoverished areas as stalking grounds

iugg                           Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s road leads us to a place where children are not safe. Especially the inner cities poor children. The arrest of two longtime teachers at Miramonte Elementary School opened a window to a problem that exists in other poor school districts.

The charges are shocking, but the choice of victims comes as little surprise.

At Miramonte, the victims could hardly have been more disadvantaged: The 1,400 students are virtually all from poor Latino homes, a majority from immigrant families where English isn't spoken at home, and some with parents lacking legal immigrant status. It's a voiceless community where fear is ingrained — fear of authority, fear of the police, fear of immigration enforcement, fear of retribution.

The hard-pressed barrio school is just the kind of place where an adult with bad intentions could take advantage of a child, knowing there was little chance a victimized family would report the acts. Or if they did, little chance they would be believed.

You have lots of the very poor who don't even know what their rights are. Miramonte is not Malibu. It's not a sophisticated community. It's a perfect recipe for a predator. According to Lisa Aronson Fontes, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts who wrote Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families, "There's a culture of silence at most schools … and a culture of disbelief and denial."

In the case of Miramonte Elementary, administrators fired the whole teaching staff. I’m not sure that’s the answer for dealing with this situation, but they felt they had to. I wish I knew the answer to protecting these disadvantaged children throughout our nation. Sadly, I’m not sure there is an answer.

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Take a look at this Awesome Artwork made with Sharpies

Nowadays, Sharpie markers come in more than basic black––they’re available in every color of the rainbow, and in just about every size and shape. They’re great for everyday labeling and organizing, but did you know that they could also be used to decorate everything from guitars to fingernails? From a Lamborghini turned objet d’art to a wall mural, check out how different artists uncapped their creativity.

George Ramos spent two weeks on this intricately designed Lamborghini––he used Sharpie markers to create the design and then topped it off with a clear coat of paint to protect the pattern. The car was displayed at the Concorso Italiano, a festival celebrating Italian style, in Monterey, California, and received plenty of appreciative nods. Photo courtesy of George Ramos.

Peter Bragino created a custom design on his Ibanez guitar using an industrial-strength Sharpie marker––no sanding or topcoat was needed to preserve the long-lasting design. He penned this intricate work of art at his Brooklyn, New York, art gallery, THECEEFLAT. Photo courtesy of Peter Bragino.

Would you like to see more examples? Go here.

$1.6 million just bought the world’s most expensive dog

 

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Big Splash, or “Hong Dong” in Chinese, is an 11-month-old Red Tibetan Mastiff. He already stands nearly three-feet-high at the shoulder and weighs more than 180 lbs.

He was recently purchased by a Chinese coal baron.

Read more at The Telegraph.

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And you thought you had a bad day? Check this man’s story out

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Firefighters rescued a man who got stuck twice on elevators Sunday night in a downtown Chicago building. The man called for help after getting trapped in an elevator at 65 East Monroe St. around 9:15 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Michael Gubricky.    For more, visit NBCChicago.com

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Doctor’s lie to us sometimes according to study

                         Good Day Humboldt County!

Everybody lies — even doctors.

I’ve been saying this for years. Not only do they lie as a matter of convenience, but they often can’t agree on things like medication, or if vitamins are necessary to promote good health. For example: I have a civilian doctor and a VA doctor who are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to taking Vitamin D. One says you can’t take enough and the other says Vitamin D doesn’t do anything good at all.

Take this new study that found 11 percent of doctors say that they have told a patient or a child's guardian something that was not true in the past year, and about 20 percent say they have not fully disclosed a mistake to a patient because they were afraid of being sued. The results also show 34 percent of doctors surveyed did not "completely agree" that physicians should disclose all significant medical errors to affected patients. Instead, these doctors said they only somewhat agreed, or disagreed.

Between lies and individual opinions on what is good and bad for us, the hunt for a “good” doctor looks like a lost cause. The fact that they lie to us at times comes as no shock to me. Patients should be aware that doctors don’t always have their best interests in mind. And, when they do screw up, they often hide the fact.

Time to walk on down the road… 

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I’m sorry…I don’t recognize your face…

                         Good Day Humboldt County!

The road we’re taking today may be a familiar one to you. Have you ever had a hard time recognizing someone’s face? Someone you knew, like a celebrity perhaps? I know I have because of my short, and long term, memory loss from PTSD. It actually happens a lot to me.

There’s another reason why people have trouble recognizing faces. A study,published Jan. 23 in the journal Brain, talks about individuals who have prosopagnosia. If you’ve never heard of prosopagnosia, don’t feel alone. I know I haven’t. Apparently it’s a disorder rendering people unable to distinguish another's mug. Researchers say the reason for that is a breakdown in a brain pathway used to process faces. Study researcher Bradley Duchaine, of Dartmouth University, told LiveScience there are probably different types of prosopagnosia.

Anyway, I’ve learned something new today. Read the entire article here.

Time to walk on down the road…

 

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Now you see it, now you don’t: the Impolite Fish Optical Illusion

This one of those “When you See It…” type of photos that really throw you off at first.

But then when it suddenly popped-out, I spilled my drink all over myself. Hint: with a little luck…you’ll see the word

_ _ _ k

So how long did it take before you were able to see it?

Do you like random illusions and stuff like that?

Because if you do I have just the place for you here.

The one that didn’t get away: Fishermen reel in shark the size of a school bus

Fishermen tie ropes around the carcass of a whale shark in a harbor in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 7, 2012. The 40-foot whale shark was said to have been found dead in the Arabian Sea.

How can we tell what the face of evil looks like among us?

Good Day Humboldt County!

We meet people on the road though life who look normal (well, how about non-threatening?) who do things that shock us. Terrible, unfathomable things. Dark, senseless, stupid things that literally ruin other people’s lives.

Are these people evil? You read about them all the time because of the sensational impact of their crimes.

Do you know what the face of Evil looks like? Could you tell if a serial killer stood beside you in line at the super market? In my life experience, I’ve seen Evil’s un-remarkable face many times. After the fact. There was never a warning. Age and gender never mattered.  

One day a kindly male elementary school teacher beloved by parents, staff and students, the next a pedophile. Mothers killing their children because low life boyfriends don’t want them around. Then you have this ripped from current headlines:

 A father who murders his two young sons after murdering their mother.   

Anyone following Josh Powell, the Utah man suspected of killing his wife in 2009, had to be skeptical about his camping story with two young sons in the middle of a snowy night. The same night his wife Susan Powell, and the boy’s mother, disappeared. Yet, the police were never able to find her body, or come up with enough evidence to charge him with anything.

Then, when he looses custody of his two sons (photo right), he murders them, and kills himself in the family’s house rigged up like a giant Molotov cocktail. To compound this tragedy, the grandparents who had custody of the boys, were told shortly before allowing the fatal visitation with Josh that, “Mommy was in the car’s trunk,” during their camping trip! A bombshell. Did word leak to Josh Powell his kids were talking?

We’ll never know. All we can do is shake our head and look at the photo at the top of this page of Josh and Susan Powell, and their two sons. Who would of guessed that normal(?) looking family would have such a sad ending? Just look at those smiles. They all seemed to glow with happiness. Gone now.

Time to walk on down the road…

 

 

 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Democracy, hypocrisy, walk hand-in-hand in world politics

                    Good Day Humboldt County!

Put on your walking shoes and let’s stroll down a long and winding trail with political pitfalls, and other challenges to true democracy. Here and in Egypt.

Despite giving Egypt millions of dollars every year in poorly concealed bribes described as relief funds, the current Egypt government is arresting Americans for promoting democracy. Quick! Does anyone remember the so-called Arab Spring last year?

Now things have gotten ugly and American pro-democracy workers face trial in Egypt for spreading the word about democracy. If you’re a little confused by this reversal of attitude in Egypt, don’t be. Just remember that the military led the coup against Mubarak, and they’re still in charge, despite what the majority of people in Egypt want today.

imagesCAPAPFEZ

To my utter disgust, the US resembles a fascist plutocracy with the military being able to detain suspects  without charge…  just like Egypt our good buddy. Americans live in a Democracy as long as they do it in a designated free speech zone. Otherwise, its pepper spray and jail here too.

So where does this political mess leave the U.S. taxpayer whose funding of these open bribes for cooperation from third world countries continues to flow? Nowhere. Oblivion. The bottom of the well. The silent majority with no hope of ever getting a voice.

Despite the hypocrisy of our interpretation of what democracy means, our warlords continue to spread the doctrine like a religion. The question is: “Should we export democracy?” The next question is: “Can we export democracy?” 

Democracy, in the minds of the minions in our military industrial complex, is a wedge into another country in order to seize their natural resources. A righteous club to bludgeon the unbelievers. The patriotic thing to do.

As It Stands, the true meaning of democracy has been submerged in the slime of politics, conquest, and greed since we decided to colonize the rest of the world in the name of “freedom.”

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, February 5, 2012

PAC-Man Gone Bad: Icon Represents Unfair Elections Today

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Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted:   02/05/2012 02:40:03 AM PST

When Pac-Man, the arcade game, was released it caused a social phenomenon that spurred sales of cross-merchandising throughout the U.S. It became an icon for the 1980s.

Pac-Man is the highest-grossing video of all time. According to the Davie-Brown Index, it has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers and is recognized by 94 percent of them.

Up until a year ago, when I heard comments about Super-PACs, the thought of that entertaining little yellow gobbling face made me smile. Now that iconic image has been perverted into a political Pac-Man with unlimited support from special interests.

This is the year of the Super-PAC. Randy Cable of South Carolina's conservative talk radio station WORD put it in context during a recent interview. “They're (Super-PACs) a game changer,” he said.

I couldn't agree more. This is the first presidential race to feel the influence of Super-PACS, political action committees that can receive unlimited money from individuals, corporations and unions. Think about that.

Thanks to our Supreme Corporate Court, some of the emerging Super-PACS are nothing more than powerful outside organizations devoted to electing a president of their choice.

It's early in the race, but Super-PACs are clearly outspending candidate committees two to one. That means they control the air time and limit their opponents' opportunity to reply to the lies and false information they spew. It makes for an uneven fight from the start.

“These Super-PACs don't have reputations to protect, so I think there is a tendency for them to get nastier in the ads that they run, and they don't have the same restraints operating on them as candidate committees do,” said Ellen Weintraub, member of the Federal Election Commission in a recent interview.

Every presidential candidate has a Super-PAC supporting his campaign this year. The Super-PACs are supposed to operate independently of the candidates, meaning they can't communicate directly with the politicians and their campaign staff.

Actually, the Super-PACs are run by people who know what the candidates think. Many of them are former staffers and advisers to the presidential candidates.

For example, a Democratic Super-PAC founded by two former aides to President Obama, “Priorities USA,” is busy running an ad campaign trashing Mitt Romney, who is beginning to look like the GOP's pick for the presidency.

Another good example is Romney's campaign, supported by the Super-PAC called “Restore Our Future.” Carl Forti, a former political director for Romney, helped launch “Restore Our Future.” He said the PAC will have raised between $300 million and $350 million by the end of January.

Newt Gingrich is supported by the Super-PAC “Winning Our Future,” which is heavily funded (a reported $10 million) by billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

“I don't think it's buying a presidency any more than it was when Joe Kennedy helped his son,” Sig Rogich, a veteran Republican operative who serves as Adelson's government affairs consultant, said in an interview about the massive donations that the casino mogul has made to Gingrich's Super-PAC.

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010 allowed these unique political action committees (Super-PACs) to form. In the case of Citizens United against the Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Corporate Court ultimately ruled that the government could not limit political spending by corporations. Big surprise there, huh? Don't expect your vote to count for much this election.

Let's get real. We face enough challenges with other forms of election fraud. Letting the Super-PACs gobble up our remaining chances for a fair election is the last straw. What chance do common Americans have when candidates openly try to purchase tpac3dthumbsuphe presidency with the blessing of the highest court in our land?

It's really sad to think about the entertaining little yellow ball with the big mouth that use to make many people happy and is now being associated with corporate greed and voter fraud.

As It Stands, the other day I saw a cartoon of Pac-Man gulping down wads of cash and couldn't help thinking the artist should have added our Bill of Rights!