Dave Stancliff 2012-05-20 blogarama.com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Frog man gets his kicks at the Jumping Frog Jubilee in Calaveras

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               “Wow! I didn’t know frogs could fly!”

That’s what Brent Bloom looks like he’s saying while urging on his frog, Jumping Bob, at the Jumping Frog Jubilee, May 20, in Calaveras County, California.

photo source - Chris Weeks / AP

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Repressed but Rediscovered: World War II Army film dealt with returning veterans having PTSD (they didn’t call it that back then)

After watching this video do you think it’s still relevant today?

              Good Day Humboldt County!

  Sometimes we have to undergo painful journeys in our lives and we’re forever affected by them. As a combat Vietnam veteran I have had my share.

  I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). So you can see my interest in sharing this article with you. This being Memorial Day Weekend and all, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to remember those old warriors from WW II and how they dealt with PTSD, or what they called it back then… “Shell Shock.”

The original film “Let There Be Light,” was considered too controversial and was suppressed. It broke ground by showing both black and white soldiers freely mixing at the hospital, sharing both group therapy sessions and playing sports together.

"The guns are quiet now," is the first line in John Huston's 1946 short film, "Let There Be Light," which focuses on World War II veterans dealing with what we'd today call post-traumatic stress disorder.

A fully restored version of Huston's original film is available for free online viewing for three months on the National Film Preservation Foundation's website. And in a time when modern veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are dealing with similiar issues, many believe that the 65-year-old footage can still be relevant.

"We don't know what combination it was that (the Army) didn't like," said Annette Melville, director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, which funded the film's restoration.

Not only was the film suppressed, but in 1947, the Army released "Shades of Gray," a film that's essentially a remake of Huston's work, even lifting dialogue from "Let There Be Light" and putting it into the mouths of actors -- all of them white.” (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, May 25, 2012

From The Nuts File: To raise ‘awareness’ man serves up his genitals for dinner

Awwwww nuts! They’re everywhere. Crazy people who do crazy things. Like lopping of their “special parts” to make a point about something.

I’ve heard stories about people giving their all for certain causes, but this one has to be the ultimate sacrifice – short of death. 

“You know what they say: Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you feel like cooking your nuts and serving them to paying customers. Japanese artist Mao Sugiyama had his penis and testicles surgically removed, prepared them under a chef's supervision and presented them on plates to five customers who paid $250 for the, uh, privilege. Sugiyama, who says he is "asexual" (or at least he is now), hosted the stunt to "raise awareness about sexual minorities, x-gender [and asexual] people."

The high cost of the meal will apparently go toward his hospital bills. Despite the massive "ick" factor, everything Sugiyama did was legal.We also sincerely hope he offered the diners an after-dinner mint. Or 50.”   (source)

Last chance to see two major Egyptian exhibits before they return and never come back again

    Good Day Humboldt County!

Walk like an Egyptian…

I’ve got vacations on my mind lately. Been thinking about going to Southern California to visit relatives and when I read about how the Cleopatra exhibit is at the California Science Center in Los Angeles right now, I’m even more motivated to get down there.

I’ve always been fascinated with Egyptian History. I got to see the Tutankhamun exhibit a few years ago and was very impressed. As a history buff who particularly enjoys the great civilizations like the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, this is an opportunity that can’t be passed up. Especially as how these artifacts may never come back to this country again. 

“Two major exhibits of ancient artifacts relating to the best-known figures from ancient Egypt, King Tut and Cleopatra, are in the last stages of their U.S. tours — and their departure could signal the end of an era.

"Cleopatra: The Exhibition" opened at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, while "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" began its run at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle yesterday. By the end of next year, the more than 250 artifacts from the two exhibitions will be back in Egypt, possibly for good.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Going on vacation? Like wild rides? Here’s some new ‘screamers’

        Good Day Humboldt County!

 With summer looming and schools letting out, many people’s thought’s are turning to entertainment parks.

Thrill-seekers are in for a treat with a coaster crop of six new rides designed to make make them scream like they never screamed before! 

From outstretched wings to water elements, ride designers and theme park operators are upping the thrill factor through design and technology rather than vying for new records for height or speed.

Manta (above), at SeaWorld San Diego, opens May 26, features 20-seat, manta ray-shaped trains that skim the water. This launch coaster won’t be the tallest (highest drop: 54 feet) or fastest (top speed: 43 mph) ride when it opens on May 26 but it may be the most unusual. Sitting in 20-seat, ray-shaped trains, riders are launched out of a tunnel enhanced with oversized projections of rays and put through more than a dozen turns, including one in which the train’s wings skim through the water. “It doesn’t have a big vertical span,” said Slade, “but when you’re that close to the ground, it can really heighten the sense of speed.”

You can check out the other five rides here.

Time for me to head on down the road….

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Under ‘They’ll Never Forget It’ stories: Pooping Camper Attacked by a Bear!

 This guy leaves the outhouse door open to “enjoy the view” and has it ruined by a bruin!

A 65-year-old Canadian man had a trip to the outhouse that he’ll never forget. Gord Shurvell of Winnipeg says he was doing his business when a black bear barged in and attacked him, leaving him with scratches and a head puncture wound, before his friend shot the animal. Shurvell recounted his tale of survival  to CBC News on Wednesday.

For the record: I couldn’t find a photo of a black bear breaking into an outhouse, but was able to come close with a brown bear. Points right?

What are you looking at? Haven’t you ever seen a zebra and a parrot in the parking lot of a bar?

Here’s a variation of the popular movies “Hangover 1 and 2” where three guys wake up and find out what happened to them the night before after a raging drunk.

Here’s the difference: the main character here is drunk, but quite aware that he’s towing around a baby zebra and a parrot.

An Iowa man was arrested for drunk driving after he left a bar, and it appears his "kids" are to blame -- a baby zebra and parrot that were with him and his girlfriend.

It’s Alive! Scientists turn skin cells into beating heart muscle

                      Good Day Humboldt County!

                                    It’s alive!

Frankenstein is a horror classic about an obsessed scientist who assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. There’s this great line when the monster opens his eyes and Dr. Frankenstein loudly gloats….It’s alive!

                                  Cut to today:

Scientists have for the first time succeeded in taking skin cells from patients with heart failure and transforming them into healthy, beating heart tissue that could one day be used to treat the condition. The researchers, based in Haifa, Israel, said there were still many years of testing and refining ahead. But the results meant they might eventually be able to reprogram patients' cells to repair their own damaged hearts.

Researchers have been studying stem cells from various sources for more than a decade, hoping to capitalize on their ability to transform into a wide variety of other kinds of cell to treat a range of health conditions. We’re entering a new age of medical miracles, I read about these fantastic advances in medicine and wonder if someday mankind will achieve near immortality though science?

It’s an interesting thought. Would we then become gods and go out into space and colonize other planets with our breakthroughs in science?

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everyone in the Pool! The Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort, Chile is the biggest pool in the world!

                         Good Day Humboldt County! Ready to take a cooling Dip?

A little slice of the Pacific: The world's biggest pool is three fifths of a mile long and draws water from the ocean, cleaning it and allowing the sun to warm it to 26C

  I thought I’ve been in some pretty large swimming pools in my life, but this enormous man-made lagoon takes the cake. It’s set halfway up the country's Pacific coast, in the city of Algarrobo, and is filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.
  It also holds the Guinness record for the world's deepest - so if you don't feel like diving 115ft to the bottom, it might be best to bring some spare goggles. The pool opened in December 2006 after nearly five years.
Swimming a length in this, the world's largest outdoor pool, would mean stroke after stroke for more than three fifths of a mile - that's 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Dazzling blue: A small boat sails round a platform jutting into the lagoon's 20-acre expanse Man-made paradise: A computer-generated image of the San Alfonso del Mar resort shows how its semi-circular artificial beaches and filtered waters sit right next to the real thing
  Man-made paradise: A computer-generated image of the San Alfonso del Mar resort shows how its semi-circular artificial beaches and filtered waters sit right next to the real thing. Whatever floats your boat: The record-breaking dimensions mean visitors can paddle or sail their way around the pool instead of swimming.  (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Monday, May 21, 2012

‘Outlive the End’ by purchasing your own ‘Apocalypse Pak’

Image of Apocalypse Pak and included gear (© http://bit.ly/MdguPX)

Sold under the tagline "Outlive the end," this "Apocalypse PAK" presents everything you might need to survive fire, brimstone, zombies, bears, and more. With all of its ingredients available at major retailers (except the prescription drugs), the Apocalypse PAK includes a 36-liter Gregory backpack, climbing rope, and a Mountain Hardware sleeping bag. And that's just the normal camping stuff. There's also a semi-automatic pistol, a shotgun, and a massive machete, not to mention plenty of ammo and a portable medicine cabinet of antibiotic Cipro, painkiller hydrocodone, and anti-malarial Malarone. (source)

In U.S. Steel town, fatal gas explosion goes unpunished by OSHA

                Good Day Humboldt County!

  Americans are dying by the thousands every year from work-place related accidents. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration — OSHA – doesn’t have enough people to enforce safety laws, and the laws are not stiff enough to make employers pay heed.

How bad is it here? The U.S. workplace fatality rate remains roughly six times that of the United Kingdom, which has stricter safety rules.

“Nick Revetta was among 4,551 people killed on the job in America in 2009, carnage that eclipsed the total number of U.S. fatalities in the nine-year Iraq war. Combine the victims of traumatic injuries with the estimated 50,000 people who die annually of work-related diseases and it’s as if a fully loaded Boeing 737-700 crashed every day. Yet the typical fine for a worker death is about $7,900. The latest government tally — 4,690 worker deaths in 2010, up 3 percent from 2009.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, American workers are entitled to “safe and healthful” conditions. Nick Revetta’s death and the events that followed lay bare the law’s limitations, showing how safety can yield to speed, how even fatal accidents can have few consequences for employers, and how federal investigations can be cut short by what some call a de facto quota system.” (READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AS IT STANDS - Coming Soon: a Superhero near you

 
                      By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
   Have you ever, even for just a moment, felt like you were stuck in between two worlds? You know, like you were in a Twilight Zone episode?
   Perhaps it’s because of the recent release of The Avengers movie, about a group of Marvel Comic Superheroes. I’ve seen a lot of stories about real life superheroes lately and it’s kind of strange. Case in point; have you heard of the Xtreme Justice League?
   It’s members are everyday Joes who dress up like flashy comic book superheroes and patrol the city streets of San Diego, California in search of crime. The group has an uneasy alliance with local law enforcement (that may be putting it lightly) who’d prefer they take their capes and go play video games.
   Here’s a list of current members: (taken from their website) Mr. Xtreme, Shadow Hare, Urban Avenger, Good Samaritan, Vigilante Spider, and Radnor.
    NBC's "Law and Order: SVU" featured a group similar to the Extreme Justice League recently. They were portrayed as a group of vigilantes who sometimes clashed with the police. Reality and entertainment blended once again. Seattle police have been dealing with a group of superheroes patrolling the streets at night for over two years. They call themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement and say they're part of a nationwide movement of real-life crime fighters.
  Their superhero names are:  Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope and Phoenix Jones, the Guardian of Seattle. No need to stop there. Go to reallifesuperheroes.org and prepare to meet a lot of superheroes patrolling the mean streets of America.
   I recall a time, from 1964 to 1966, when I bought every Marvel Comic that came out. Spiderman was my favorite. I read some DC Comics, like Superman and Batman, but considered Marvel the home of the coolest superheroes.
   Little did I imagine how decades later, my favorite superheroes would emerge in full blown movies and cartoons on TV. And running around in real life! Maybe you can see my point about feeling like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode.
   Lately, I’ve had to pinch myself to make sure I’m not in an alternate universe. The cops in San Diego are concerned the Xtreme Justice League may take on more than they can handle when they make their next big move into the gang infested areas in South East San Diego.
  Things get a little funky when I consider superheroes who don’t have super powers. How can that be? Anyone stupid enough to dress up in tights and a cape better have super powers if they intend to take on organized gangs.  Mr. Xtreme and his peers carry some self defense weapons, like stun guns and mace, and they all study Kenpo karate. Automatic pistols and rifles trump those trinkets big time! As for getting in a karate move before being shot point blank, I think the outcome is predictable.
    I have nothing against these civic minded superheroes (they could do a better job of designing their costumes) and I wish them well. I just hope they don’t let their flashy alter egos completely take over and have a bad ending for their efforts. There are no second chances in the real world, unlike the comics.
   I was hooked on comics in my teenage years because they provided an escape from reality. Today, I don’t read comics. I don’t watch comic book cartoons characters on TV. I have to admit I may see The Avengers movie because I’m still a kid at heart, and I love how realistic the characters look. To my ever lasting credit, I understood I was reading fiction back in the sixties when I eagerly devoured the latest issues of The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and  X-Men. 
  Today’s movie audience practically becomes part of the movie with 3-D cinema photography and stunning sound systems. Some theaters even have seats on platforms that rumble the viewer for additional effect. Disaster movies, especially ones with earthquakes, can literally be a jarring experience.
   The whole viewing experience in theatres is designed to blur reality. It seems to be working too well for some folks. Sorry Mr. Xtreme and loyal side kicks, but you appear to be a good example of what I’m talking about.
   I know, I’ve treated this subject in a somewhat whimsical fashion, but there’s nothing funny about people losing touch with reality. Especially if they, or others are hurt.
As It Stands, superheroes are cool, but I’m afraid they don’t exist in the real world.

WEBSITES THAT HAVE PICKED UP THIS COLUMN:

1) www.squidoo

2) Everything About Comics: Comics Blog

3) Comprehensive real-Time Self-Defense Newswire