Dave Stancliff 2013-06-09 blogarama.com

Saturday, June 15, 2013

As It Stands blog: this old column has been around the block

Nolan Chart

Good Day World!

Back in 2008, this column was doing double duty in two publications: Nolan Chart (See right side of page) and The Times-Standard.

Seems like a week doesn’t pass without a good corporate scam to follow. Here’s the latest example - Corporate Records Service scam targets, dupes small businesses

I thought it would be fun to dust off a column I did under corporate scams and rackets for Nolan Chart in 2008. GO HERE There’s nothing new under the sun folks!

While I’m at it, here’s a satirical article(below)I did on GMOs, which is a hot topic right now:

Genetically modified 'Marijuana food' contest could end prohibition
Published: September 7, 2008

snippet…
”Then there's this very interesting thought that right now there's no states with laws against genetically modified "Marijuana Food." It's not likely that there's a ban against cannabis cantaloupes on any state law books at this time.”

For the record, As It Stands, was first published as a newspaper column in 1977, appearing in the Hornet Newspaper, at Fullerton Community College.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, June 14, 2013

As It Stands blog: Study says men are the cause of menopause in women!

    Good Day World!

Fair warning to my male counterparts!

I’ve got some disturbing news that’s probably not going to make life with your wife any easier!

She’s going to run across the following article, or see it on TV, so you might want to go into damage control before the accusations start flying:

“For decades, anthropologists and biologists have been puzzling over one of nature’s great mysteries: Why do women go into menopause?

At first blush, menopause doesn’t make much evolutionary sense. According to one widely accepted theory, the point of evolution is successful reproduction. After that, nature doesn’t have much interest in keeping us alive, and so we die. Why, then, keep women kicking for decades after they can no longer make babies?

Rama Singh, a professor in the department of biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, thinks he’s figured it out. Menopause, the Canadian researcher argues, is men’s fault.”

My initial reaction to Mr. Rama Singh’s discovery was anger and a feeling of betrayal! What the hell! What made him take up a study that’s going to put men on the defensive from here on out? Wives will be saying, “I knew it! You drove me to menopause you beast!”

And our only defense is going to be “biological imperative” which seldom stands up in the court of angry women. They were better off vaguely suspecting men were at the root of their menopausal miseries. Now, good old Singh boy has given them more ammunition in the battle of the sexes!

“In a paper published today in PLOS Computational Biology, Singh and two colleagues detail elaborate evolutionary computer models demonstrating that “male mating preference for younger females” leads to the development of a long menopausal period.

“I am saying what women have been saying all their lives,” Singh told NBCNews.com. “Men are to blame.”

Singh’s argument relies on one key fact: “Sex is fun,” he says.

In humans, sex isn’t just about making babies, it’s also about pleasure and bonding. Over time, he contends, men found that having that sex with younger women was more desirable than sex with older women, without regard to making babies.

As men began to prize younger women as sex partners, gene variants that led to infertility with advancing age were not eliminated. Menopause became built in, even as women lived longer and longer.”

Well, there you have it. Singh mans up to his nefarious deed and claims that men are thinking with their “other head” when it comes to sex, and not really worried about procreating. (There goes that defense!) (Story from here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

As It Stands blog: George Orwell's '1984' is a popular book once more!

  Good Day World!

Surprise! Surprise! Who would have guessed?

George Orwell's dystopian fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four is enjoying a renaissance.

According to the lastest sales rankings published by Amazon.com, sales of the classic novel's 2003 reprint have spiked 3,100% over a 24 hour period(from 6/11 to 6/12) as coverage widened with fresh reports (and new confusion) about the National Security Agency's data gathering programs and the 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton ex-employee, Edward Snowden, who leaked details about them last week.

The coincidence is striking for reasons beyond the sudden conversation about state-sponsored surveillance, which the society depicted in Orwell's novel takes to its extreme end. National Journal noted last week, the NSA revelations surfaced a few days before the anniversary of 1984's original publication date on June 8, 1949.

And Amazon itself encountered its own Orwellian controversy nearly four years ago, in July 2009, when the company remotely deleted thousands of digital copies of the novel from customers' Kindles.

The sales spike could be even more pronounced than current data indicate. Earlier Wednesday morning (6/12) Geekosystem reported that sales for the same 2003 edition has spiked nearly 7,000%, a moment captured by a screenshot at Gawker.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

As It Stands blog: recalling those wonderful drive-in movies

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The first drive-in theatre opened 80 years ago in Camden, New Jersey.

Good Day World!

I grew up watching drive-in movies in the 50’s and early 60’s. To me, that was the golden age of movie-going.

You could load up on 15-cent McDonald hamburgers and fries if you didn’t want to buy the expensive (and usually horrible) food at the snack bar.

I still remember the intermissions with cartoons about dining at the snack bar. The food never looked great, unlike in real life. The smiling families that triumphantly parading around on the big screen with luscious-looking hot steaming pizzas didn’t exist. And the lines. Forget about it. Unless you bolted for the snack bar moments before intermission you faced a long line of mom and dads with hyped-up kids in pajamas.

Pimply young high schooler’s went to those drive-in movies. They were accepted make-out venues. Hormone-addled young men tried to get past “first base” with nervous young ladies before the movies were over. That’s right. Movies. There were always two, along with some news shorts and cartoons. What a deal!

Once, there were over 4000 drive-in movies. Now there’s about 400 nationwide. The video above highlights one of those theatres keeping up with the old traditions.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

As It Stands blog: feeling the pain at the pump with more to come!

        Good Day World!

 In my part of the world we pay the highest gas prices in the nation. Yes, little old Humboldt County consistently clobbers locals with insane gas prices. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. There is no real reason other than greed, and because the locals can get away with it. What are you gonna do? Move? No sweat off their pocketbooks.

In three decades I’ve read, and written, articles wondering why our prices are so high. Most come off as puzzled attempts to explain the unexplained. Without getting real and risking a lawsuit, there’s nothing that can be done.

I’m always amused at other areas of the country complaining about gas hikes when none of them hold a lighter to the scorching prices in paradise, aka Humboldt County. Nationally, reporters working for corporation run media outlets serve up the same plate of pathetic excuses for Big Oil.

Make no mistake, we are all mere serfs in Big Oil’s kingdom, and can expect it to stay that way until we finally utilize enough alternative methods to propel our vehicles, planes, and boats. Americans may have meekly accepted the status quo of fossil fuel as a primary source of giddy-up for our go-machines, but they do wonder why the prices fluctuate so frequently.

The following article pulls out the same old violin music about why prices go up and down like puppets on crack, but winds up with the following interesting snippets:    

Snippets:

“I don’t buy it. I think gas prices are up because somebody is manipulating prices.”

So do European regulators. Last month, the European Commission announced it was investigating whether BP, Shell and others got together to fudge prices reported to a widely watched market index. No charges have been brought, and the oil companies have said they are cooperating with the investigation.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last month asked the Justice Department to join that investigation and look into whether price fixing had boosted pump prices for U.S. consumers.

"Efforts to manipulate European oil indices, if proven, may have already impacted U.S. consumers and businesses, because of the interrelationships among world oil markets and hedging practices," Wyden, who chairs the Senate's energy committee, wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Go here for the full story

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, June 10, 2013

As It stands blog: You know ‘Thrones’ is popular,but did you know about it’s hilarious spin-off parody?

Alfie Allen and Jonathan Van Ness in Ep. 3, "Gay of Thrones."

    Good Day World!

Unless you don’t have a TV, smartphone, or computer, you’re aware of the hot HBO series, “The Game of Thrones.”

The creators decided to ramp up the gore for the last few episodes of the season and guess what? Ratings have risen like a murder of crows and people are talking about “The Red Wedding” two weeks ago.

Last night was the season finale. There’s a good chance you saw it…but if you didn’t stay off of FaceBook and Twitter, and anywhere else people are talking about last night’s show. Otherwise, you’re going to hear how the episode ended. More shocks for fans lie ahead when they view the conclusion. The finale was a flop according to lots of fans!

The thing I really like, is the show is so versatile that it can go from being a bloody drama to a hilarious comedy! If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the following parody – Gay of Thrones – I highly recommend you check out the links provided in the article below.

"It's like the '80s all over again," says Erin Gibson, writer and director of the increasingly popular (though not safe for work!) "Gay of Thrones" episode recap show on FunnyorDie.com. "If you didn't watch the show, you don't get to talk about it the next day."

Gibson's Web series stars real-life California hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness, who subjects a new client each week to his over-the-top run-throughs. Van Ness calls the platinum haired Mother of Dragons "Christina Aguilera," tells a client they're "serving Winterfell realness," and enviously describes Jaime Lannister's severed hand necklace as "fetch."

As silly as it sounds, this is high-quality comedy with gravitas. In one episode, Jonathan’s client is none other than Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy on the actual show. Each episode is funnier than the next.

"You can't do this kind of recap with 'Duck Dynasty,'" Gibson says. "GoT" works "because there's so much meat, it gives us something to talk about." She adds, "So much comedy makes fun of how stupid things are — it's great to celebrate something that's actually good."

And many are getting in on the celebration. Along with "Gay of Thrones," FunnyorDie.com also posted "Where Are My Dragons?," a reality show spoof about Daenerys-like single mom. And there was"School of Thrones," a Degrassi-style mashup with a "Prom is coming" theme. Following the "Red Wedding," Second City gave grievers an "It Gets Better" parody, not for bullied gay teens, but anyone who endured the horrific violence . It gets better, "GoT" fans are told.

Hold on to your sides and check out the recaps of Episodes 1 & 2 of Gay of Thrones.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, June 9, 2013

As It Stands: A word of wisdom: remember to be wise in your whining ways!

    
 By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
 I’m a whiner when it comes to pain these days.
Seems like I get a new pain everyday when I wake up. I can strain a pinkie doing something stupid the day before, and the pain will greet me in the morning like an unwanted in-law seeking to move into my den.
I try to take solace in the fact experts say my habit of cracking my knuckles when I was young didn’t cause the arthritis that I currently suffer. They say cracking my knuckles was simply forming - then popping - an air bubble in my synovial fluid. That’s the gooey stuff in the cavities of your joints.
  I have a lousy left knee. It crunches when I walk. When I had it examined and the word surgery came up, I decided it still had mileage left despite the near constant pain. So I wear a brace - sporadically - and whine for all to hear as I lumber along.

 I just read an article about a sugar solution injected into the knee for pain relief.
The technique - known as dextrose prolotherapy - has been around for 75 years but is still considered an "alternative" therapy. If I used this method for pain relief I’d probably get sugar diabetes! Alternate pain solutions have produced problems for me in the past and I‘m gun shy of shooting myself in the foot again!
Seriously, I do look for ways to alleviate my pain without taking meds. I use relaxation techniques and dieting. I’m careful not to twist my back when I bend over and pet one of my pugs. Basic stuff. I use the cane when my right leg goes totally numb, as it will after I stand upright for long periods of time. Comes from nerve damage in my back.

  If I don’t resort to the cane after a certain point, I look like Big Bird on a binge!
  I’ve discovered that whining can feel good. People pay attention and you might even get babied for your efforts! If you’re really lucky, they offer to get whatever you want, and are happy to run to the store for your favorite chocolate peanut butter ice cream!
  I just have to remember to be wise in my whining ways. Too much produces the opposite effect of what I want. Everyone disappears suddenly, and I’m left to lament in solitude. There is a fine line.
  I whine about bruises. The darn things pop up out of nowhere on parts of my body that barely got bumped the day before. If it’s a really dark bruise I display it as proof that I have a reason to whine. “Look at this dear,” I tell my wife, displaying a dark spot on my forearm. She patiently nods in sympathy.
  I don’t know what good it does to whine when I hurt. When I was younger it was the last thing I would let anyone know. Heavens no! I was way too tough to let on I was human. Especially in the Army.

  Age does something to a person however. As I settle into my sixties, all the abuse I subjected my body to is coming back to haunt me like old competitors on steroids! Decades of basketball are partially to blame for my pain, but excesses like jumping off roofs of houses when I was in elementary school, contributed to the overall breakdown of my body.
  Pain comes home to roost in older birds like me who didn’t take good care of themselves. I lived hard, played hard, and still play hard even when it hurts! In that I don’t have any regrets.
  I’m in my so-called Golden Years, I’m gimping around like Popeye on pot, but I’m lucky to have a wife who’s understanding and will listen to my whining without wanting to see me lose my voice!
  I was talking with another fellow my age the other day and we did a dueling banjos thing where I would whine…then he would…then I would whine even louder.. and he would.. Well, you get the idea.
  As It Stands, they say humor is the best medicine, so I try to remember to laugh after a good whining session!