Dave Stancliff 2013-01-20 blogarama.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Special military German unit populated with men who have big boobs from precision drills

   Hello World!

I’ve read where men who smoke pot a lot get big boobs, but was amazed to find out that there’s another way for men to get big boobs -without surgery of course.

All they have to do is smack a rifle against one side of their chest in countless precision military drills and the other side will sprout a boobie.

It’s important to note that the soldiers mentioned only end up with one big boob.

No really! I wouldn’t kid you…well maybe some times – but not this time. Fact: Over 70 percent of the German Wachbataillon Battalion's soldiers have been diagnosed with significant gynecomastia (big boobs).

I’m not really sure anyone – including the men affected – is too worried about this odd development. I suppose they still feel macho enough, but they do have to be careful beating their chest in a typical guy-like reaction when excited.

Meanwhile, German military officials have promised to keep an eye on the men's breasts. (That just doesn’t sound right you know?) Here’s the story ripped from today’s headlines:

“Like armies everywhere, the German military is filled with macho, chest-thumping rituals. But one battalion has found there's a downside to all that chest-thumping: The male soldiers are growing breasts — and only on their left sides.

The Wachbataillon unit performs precision military drills at official ceremonial functions, the German Herald reports. Many of their drills involve smacking their rifles against the left side of the soldiers' chests. And all that pounding on the same spot has stimulated the production of hormones that cause man boobs to grow.

"There is a very significant link between the activity in the … battalion and the development of the breast on the left side," Dr. Bjorn Krapohl, director of plastic surgery at the military's main hospital in Berlin, told the Herald. "They need to change the way they drill."

The growth of male breasts isn't altogether uncommon: The condition is known as gynecomastia, and it's caused by an imbalance in testosterone and estrogen levels. There have been cases where chest injury has caused gynecomastia, though it's rare. Plastic surgeons report that teenage boys — who are particularly prone to the condition — often have breast tissue removed when gynecomastia becomes a big psychosocial problem.

In a study of the German soldiers, published in January 2012, Krapohl and colleagues found significant differences between the guards with gynecomastia and a control group of healthy males without signs of gynecomastia. Those in the Guard Battalion in Berlin had lower testosterone levelsand higher body mass indexes (BMI), or a measure of body fatness. [ The 9 Most Bizarre Medical Conditions ]

While the researchers hypothesize the mechanical stress from daily drills may be the underlying cause, they are not sure exactly how the "chest thumping" causes the breast growth. "There are no experimental studies identifying possible mechanisms at the cellular level that might induce gynecomastia mechanically," they write in the journal article, adding that these findings may provide new impetus for such studies. The research is detailed in the journal GMS Interdisciplinary Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery DGPW. (Read the rest here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, January 25, 2013

Optical illusions for a freaky Friday…

    Good Day World!

Today let’s look at changes of perspective and optical illusions just for fun.

The link here will take you to 40 interesting examples that speak for themselves. Over the years I’ve found that viewers really enjoy mind tricks.

This current crop of crazy but cool photos takes you to where your mind softly wraps around them and emerges fresh with new ideas and perspectives.

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Opinion: ‘The NRA Uses Uppity Obama Card to Sell More Guns’

     By Amanda Marcotte

“Boy, what’s it with the NRA and their disdain for the very real threat of assassination that black leaders face?

First they put Gun Appreciation Day on MLK weekend, because there’s no time like the public mourning of an important leader felled by a racist gunman to celebrate guns. Now they’re trying to drum up resentment about the first black family in the White House having the same security detail that all presidential families get.

Needless to say, the ass-cover to deny the obvious racism and general eliminationist bent of the NRA’s base is an argument so profoundly stupid that even the dumbest ass gun nuts won’t buy it. No one buys the notion that the President has security detail because he’s an “elitist” who is hoarding all the awesome guns for himself. Everyone knows that it’s a direct and necessary reaction to a society where political assassination is sadly common, in no small part because it’s ridiculously easy for any asshole with a vendetta to get a gun. Josh Marshall had the appropriate response:

There are so many vile things about this ad. But one thing to note is the ad is really only designed to appeal to people who have a deep — really deep — animosity toward the President. The sort of people who don’t think he and his daughters should be in the White House and wish him the sort of ill citizens should never wish upon a freely elected head of state.

Exactly. This ad isn’t making the case for guns—if anything, drawing attention to the ever-present danger that the President lives under of being shot is an argument for more gun control—but it’s just feeding off the not even subtly racist obsession right wingers have with telling each other that it’s obscene that the President and his family get to live the same lifestyle as all the white Presidents and their families. (Example!) You know, even though it’s more humble than that of their preferred candidate who lost and had to return home to his dressage horse.

This is what the NRA’s sole purpose is: To drum up racist resentments and gender anxieties so that their industry funders can sell more guns to their customers. This ad, which I’m not linking, might as well just come out and say it: “Mad that the President thinks he’s all that because he’s the President? Well, why not buy a gun? It won’t make you President, but it will give you the illusion of having more power.”

The NRA is an ad company pushing a marketing ploy that’s more transparent than Axe Body Spray’s. It’s time to start treating them like it.” (Source)

The LA Lakers Dream Team on Paper is Facing a lost season –making the playoffs is a long shot

    Good Day World!

Sigh…

The LA Lakers worst season was in 1957-58 when they went a pathetic 19-53 (.264). As a Laker fan for over 50 years, this one seems like the most painful season. I was only seven years old when they had their worst season. At 62, I’m concerned the Lakers are poised to post nearly as bad a record this season.

Being a fan isn’t easy. Not for a real fan when faced with their team racking up a lousy record when everyone had high expectations of them. You still have to root for them. No matter what. Through good times and bad.

As a Laker fan I realize I’ve been spoiled. They are the greatest basketball franchise on the planet. But right now they look like a disoriented group struggling to survive the season. Last nights blow out at Memphis put’s the Lakers down another rung in the Western rankings.

It’s been like watching Rome crumble from within. When Jim Buss decided he couldn’t put the team above his own stubborn ass and hire Phil Jackson, the Lakers were doomed. A pissed-off Kobe has been speaking out about his frustrations.

Dwight Howard has disappeared. Other teams are asking about him as trade fodder before the deadline. The return of Nash has been less than spectacular. He’s a step too slow and hasn’t been given a chance to bounce the ball more than three times on any offensive set before having to pass it to Kobe.

Forget about pick and rolls between Kobe and Howard. They don’t like each other. Pau Gasol has been benched, and is also the subject of trade talks. Jordan Brown, the backup center, was injured and is out for the season. I could go on…but it’s not necessary. You have the picture.

What started out as a Dream Team on paper in the pre-season, has ended up a nightmare, a train wreck, a lost season with everyone pointing the finger at each other. As a fan, all I can hope for is next season…maybe things will chance by then.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

‘Birther Queen’ Accuses President Obama of being involved in Sandy Hook Massacre

Orly Taitz

   Good Day World!

It’s the story that won’t go away…birthers in our society who hate the president and will literally blame every bad thing that happens on him.

 Some, like Donald Trump, enjoy the notoriety, and don’t mind being called a “birther,” a badge of honor for some and a term of derision by others. The Donald enjoys making crazy offers whenever the news cycle slows down.

But people like Orly Taitz have gone overboard into fantasyland when it comes to accusing Obama of mysterious crimes. She has reinserted the word idiot into the national dialogue when talking about “birthers.”

It’s hard to say what motivates a person, but Taitz appears to like the press she gets when she publically makes an ass out of herself. Skeptics resent being associated with the obviously brain-rattled Taitz.

And wait till you read what The Tea Party had to say about the murders. They blame the Sandy Hook tragedy on too many sex movies! No, really.

Meanwhile Taitz’s latest rant for the ages: 

“ Birther queen Orly Taitz blames President Barack Obama for the Sandy Hook school massacre, saying the president is "trying to show that some person can appear out of the blue and slaughter people" so he can ban guns and "gain an absolute power."

Taitz, an attorney and dentist from California, has been using her website in recent days to raise conspiracy theories about the school shooting, which left 28 people, including 20 children, the shooter and his mother. Taitz questioned whether Adam Lanza, 20, who police have identified as the killer, could have been under mind control or drugged to fulfill a political mission.

Taitz wrote on her website:

Where was Adam Lanza in the days leading to the massacre? Was he handled by someone? Was he drugged? Was he subjected to hypnosis?

The word assassin comes from the Arabic word “Hashish”, name for a drug, I believe correct translation is opium. For thousands of years, since ancient times assassins were drugged.

Was Adam Lanza drugged and hypnotised by his handlers to make him into a killing machine as an excuse as the regime is itching to take all means of self defense from the populace before the economic collapse?

In a separate post, Taitz questioned whether Obama was trying to ban all guns.

"Obama and his regime are trying to disarm all of us, in order to gain an absolute power," Taitz wrote. "They are trying to show that some person can appear out of the blue and slaughter people."

Some of Taitz' conspiracy theories are circulating on other websites. Talking Points Memo reported one conspiracy theory that involved Lanza's father, Peter, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the Libor scandal and needed to cancel the hearing. TPM said no hearing is scheduled.

Tea Party Nation accuses sex in the media, teachers' unions and the education bureaucracy for playing a role in the shooting. Tea Party Nation member Timothy Birdnow wrote that people are "overstimulated" by sex in the media and do have an outlet for it, which he said may have caused the shooting.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Small Smile for Mankind: Mona Lisa has been transmitted by a laser beam from Earth to a Spacecraft & that’s a big deal!

    Good Day World!

Those jokers at NASA sure come up with some interesting experiments. Your going to have to read the following story to find out why they used the Mona Lisa as their groundbreaking transmission.

  The Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile has become the first digital image to be transmitted via laser beam from Earth to a spacecraft in lunar orbit. I guess the scientists wanted any onlookers to know that we’re a classy race with a sense of wry humor.

Check out why we should be impressed with this breakthrough:

(The composite image on the right shows how the Mona Lisa image looked after its trip to the moon. The left side shows the picture before error correction, and the right side shows how it looked after error correction.)

“NASA has turned the Mona Lisa into the first digital image to be transmitted via laser beam from Earth to a spacecraft in lunar orbit, nearly 240,000 miles away, thanks to a technology that may soon become routine.

The experiment took advantage of the laser-tracking system that's in operation aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the moon for the past three and a half years. NASA sends regular laser pulses from the Next Generation Satellite Ranging station at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to the space probe's Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, or LOLA, to measure its precise position in lunar orbit.

For last March's Mona Lisa maneuver, researchers encoded a black-and-white version of Leonardo da Vinci's enigmatic masterpiece as a series of values in a 152-by-200-pixel grid. Each value represented a shade of black to gray to white, ranging from zero to 4,095. The signal for each pixel was then piggybacked on the ranging station's laser-tracking pulses: Each pulse was fired during one of 4,096 super-short designated time slots, at a rate of about 300 bits per second.

As the pulses were received in lunar orbit, LOLA's software used the precise timing of each pulse to figure out the grayscale value for a given pixel — and reassembled the black-and-white image. The process wasn't perfect: Atmospheric turbulence introduced laser transmission errors, even when the sky was clear. To accommodate the 15 percent error rate, the researchers used Reed-Solomon data coding, which is the same method used to smooth out the bumps in the playback of CDs and DVDs.

The picture was reprocessed and sent back to Earth using the orbiter's standard radio communication system, just to make sure that Mona survived the trip intact. Throughout the experiment, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter conducted its regular mapping tasks without interruption.

A research report on the experiment, with Goddard's Xiaoli Sun as principal author, was published online by Optics Express on Thursday. (Read the rest here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 shot on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in New Orleans Today

Some cowardly shooters, firing from a passing car, shot five people just after a Martin Luther King Jr. parade finished today.

It’s a sign of the times. This new generation doesn’t seem to be getting King’s message.

The irony of this happening on a street named for him, on the day everyone was celebrating his birthday, is practically off the charts. Check it out: 

“Five people standing outside a grocery store on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in New Orleans were wounded in a drive-by shooting on Monday, police said.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, officials said.

The incident took place at the intersection of LaSalle Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, police said.

Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who was among those who responded to the scene, told NBC station WDSU that six teenage boys or young men were outside a small grocery when a late-model white sedan drove past, with shots fired from inside the car.

The car then sped off.

A New Orleans Police Department official told the station that a captured the incident and that video recordings were being reviewed.

The violence happened shortly after New Orleans' annual parade honoring slain civil rights activist and nonviolence standard-bearer Martin Luther King Jr. passed through the neighborhood.

The irony was not lost on police or residents.

"It's ridiculous this violence happened on this day," one witness told WDSU."It's the state of affairs in our nation that young men do not heed the words of Martin Luther King Jr.," Serpas told the Times-Picayune, which also reported that the shooting did not appear to be linked to the parade.” (Source)

Bias in the Media: Join Me Live on #Learntalk Twitter

On February 11th, I’ll be hosting my first Live #Learntalk Twitter for Learnist. Join me (here at Learntalk) at 5 p.m. PST, 8 p.m. Eastern time. You’re invited to attend and see if I screw up my first hosting attempt! I picked the subject “Bias in the Media” because it’s a topic people generally have strong feelings about.

I’ll be sharing my research from a three-part series featured in Learnist titled: Bias in the Media. We’ll look at the history, where we are now, and examples of demagogues who rule the airways. Do you know that we have a near monopoly on our media? Some say it is one because only six corporations own all American media outlets!

I hope you stop by because I think you’ll find the conversations interesting.

Thinking about thinking…or, how we use language

            Good Day World!

Today’s post is for all you wordsmiths out there. It’s about language and how we use it in our heads before speaking or writing it down.

This interesting concept was fueled by Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, who was in the forefront of “thinking about thinking.” The following article from Dictionary.com will give you food for thought:

“How do we use language? We use it to express ourselves through speech, to record our experiences or to invent and tell stories in writing. But before all that begins, before a word leaves our lips or a pen hits the page, we use language in our heads. This code we share is more than a “simple naming process.” It’s the means by which we form our thoughts and interpret the world around us.

One of the first people to articulate this concept was a Swiss linguist named Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure wrote and taught in the late 1800s, and though he died in 1913. Saussure understood that thinking about language was essentially thinking about thinking. He put language under his own theoretical microscope the way biologists study cells, looking at words as the building blocks of our thoughts.

The foundation of his project is breaking down our idea of a word into its component parts: the concept and the sound-image. Let’s do an experiment. First, picture a tree. It can be a tree you’ve climbed or a generic tree you’ve invented in your head. Regardless of the exact form, this abstract idea of a tree is a concept. Now picture the letters T-R-E-E. These four letters, when placed in this order, form the sound-image in that they can be spoken, written, or read. But without the imagined tree behind them, the letters are meaningless. Only by uniting concept and sound-image will “tree” evoke the mental picture you just conjured.

Saussure does not call this fusion of concept and sound-image a word, instead he calls it a sign, and it was through this code of signs that he built the discipline that’s given us so many tools to know our language: semiology. In Saussure’s words semiology is “a science that studies the life of signs within society,” named for the Greek word semeion, meaning “sign.”

In his book A Course in General Linguistics (the ground-breaking tome that this is coming from), Saussure replaces the term conceptwith signified(referring to that which is signified, i.e. the image of the tree) and sound-imagewith signifier(that which does the signifying, i.e. the written/spoken “tree”).

From there he drops a bomb that puts a new spin on the whole business: the signifier (written/spoken sound-image) is arbitrary. That’s right, according to Saussure the only function of the word “tree” is to be different from every other word. For all he cares it could be “blarg” as long as every speaker of a language recognizes that “blarg” signifies a leafy wooded plant.

Saussure points to the fact that onomatopoeias for the same sound vary greatly from language to language, and speakers are often conditioned by their language to perceive certain sounds as beautiful.” (What words do English speakers find beautiful?) (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, January 20, 2013

As It Stands: 5 Steps to Motivate the Miscreants in Congress

  “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”
- Mark Twain


  By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
  The 113th Congress is stumbling along like the old Congress and on track to be as ineffective. I find this intolerable, unprofessional, and really irritating. We, the American people, are being screwed by the stooges who are supposed to be protecting our rights.
   So what can we do about it? I’ve given the subject some thought and here are my recommendations:
    1) Institute a new payroll system for Congressmen. Here’s how it works; they do not get paid until a law is passed. Once they pass it, they get what’s due up to that point. For example; if they take two months to pass a bill then two months salary is due
upon passage.
    2) If #1 is still not working, then all insurance and special perks are put on hold, until a law is passed.
    3) All Congressmen will be required to complete a special team work course designed to break deadlocks or filibusters. Briefly, the course will included activities such as a group carrying a 20 ft. long tree trunk from point A to point B.

  If you’re familiar with our military training, this is a common team-building exercise that’s been used since the ancient Greeks and Romans. I’m just putting a spin on it.
       Setting the pace for The House of Representatives will be majority leader, Eric Cantor and minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. For the Senate, we’ll have majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell steering the log to its destination.
       Here’s the kicker; no one get’s to quit until the log is taken to point B. For those who can’t get there, they’re doomed to get calluses on their shoulders. My thought is extreme political ideologies will wilt under reality and they’ll come out of the experience ready to honestly negotiate on behalf of the American people.
      But why stop there?
   4) We could have a new reality show (they’re really popular) called “The Men and Women of Congress.” Viewers could tune in to watch what’s happening live in the Senate and the House. So what? It’s already available? Not like I envision this reality show.

Thanks to hidden cameras, we’ll also get to see behind the scenes negotiations and other antics our lawmakers indulge in. Think about it for a moment. Torrid affairs. Secret deals. Viewers will tune in by the millions.
Then when you see them on the floor, and our government in action, you’ll know the whole story. Insights gleaned from this reality show will be valuable to the voting public. Remember when Mitt Romney talked about the 47% ers during a private fundraiser. I think you can see the potential.
   5) Throw out all the current clowns in Congress and start over with a clean sweep. The new lawmakers will be held to the above standards of teamwork and must be ready to be totally accountable for all their actions. 
  I think anyone willing to go along with my first four suggestions would be a real asset to our government. Just imagine the amount of cooperation. The rest of the world would stop laughing at us. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  I’m not the only one who has some extreme ideas for solving the gridlock in Congress. There are quite a few folks out there who are very angry with the inability of our lawmakers to do the job they were elected to do. Some people are actively calling for some radical changes. I love it. They’re not kidding around either.
   I invite you to visit Make Congress Work (http://www.nolabels.org/work). The organizers bill themselves as The No Labels Action Plan To Change the Rules and Fix What’s Broken.
   Sounds good. I think it’s really interesting to see people taking action instead of just whining like me.
   Another site I recommend visiting is The “Kick Them All Out” Project (http://www.kickthemallout.com/) whose solution to our uncooperative Congress is to fire them all and start over.
   As mentioned in #5, I think a new slate would be great. Those “Kick Them All Out” folks have all kinds of information and are in the vanguard of change…hopefully.
  As It Stands, meanwhile I’ll keep shining a light on the miscreants because someone needs to do it.