Saturday, February 14, 2009


image via

Refuting the latest pot scare: testicular cancer results

Well, all you male pot heads need not worry. Your balls aren't going to fall off because you smoke the ganja! As usual the mainstream media has it all wrong. 

According to Google News, more than 750 media outlets — that’s 7-5-0, folks — have now weighed in on this week’s pot scare story du jour:Smoking marijuana causes testicular cancer.”

So is there any truth behind the provocative headline? Some, but hardly enough to justify the media’s feeding frenzy.

To read more click here

Smoker image via

Ripe bud image via Google Images

Friday, February 13, 2009


Image via

Valentine's Day Online Dating Resistant to Recession - Cyberspace Romance Weathers Hard Times

WALKER SIMON of RUETERS has found a bright spot in this gloomy depression.


"It's crippling for businesses but the credit crisis is giving Cupid a boost ahead of Valentine's Day as more people hunt online for mates to weather the economic storm.

Unlike other companies where revenues are dropping and layoffs are climbing, online dating seems to be resistant to the recession.

Internet dating sites usually see a spike in would-be Romeos and Juliets in the build-up to Valentine's Day but hard times this year have driven it higher."


image via Google Images

GOP is desperately searching for new identity!

A friend passed this on to me this morning while checking  AlterNet out:

This is a very well-written commentary titled:


Posted by Bob Cesca, Huffington Post

"They're screaming about fear-mongering, even though we had eight years of this.

They're screaming about fiscal responsibility, even though we had eight years of this.

They're screaming about free speech, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.

They're honest to God screaming about fascism, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.

Yes, the Republicans have claimed to have "found their voice." If this is true, then their "voice" sounds exactly like Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Malkin, depending on the day.

So what are these voices saying exactly?"


GOP image via Google Images

Another theory for why Friday the 13th is unlucky

The Story of the World's Most Popular Superstition (Avalon, 2004), author Nathaniel Lachenmeyer argues that the commingling of "unlucky Friday" and "unlucky 13" took place in the pages of a specific literary work, a novel published in 1907 titled — what else? — Friday, the Thirteenth.

The book, all but forgotten now, concerned dirty dealings in the stock market and sold quite well in its day. Both the titular phrase and the phobic premise behind it — namely that superstitious people regard Friday the 13th as a supremely unlucky day — were instantly adopted and popularized by the press.

It seems unlikely that the novelist, Thomas W. Lawson, literally invented that premise himself — he treats it within the story, in fact, as a notion that already existed in the public consciousness — but he most certainly lent it gravitas and set it on a path to becoming the most widespread superstition in modern times.

cat image via Google Images

FRIDAY THE 13TH: One explanation for a bad luck day

The Knights Templar
One theory, recently offered up as historical fact in the novel The Da Vinci Code, holds that it came about not as the result of a convergence, but a catastrophe, a single historical event that happened nearly 700 years ago.

 The catastrophe was the decimation of the Knights Templar, the legendary order of "warrior monks" formed during the Christian Crusades to combat Islam. Renowned as a fighting force for 200 years, by the 1300s the order had grown so pervasive and powerful it was perceived as a political threat by kings and popes alike and brought down by a church-state conspiracy, as recounted by Katharine Kurtz in Tales of the Knights Templar (Warner Books, 1995):

    On October 13, 1307, a day so infamous that Friday the 13th would become a synonym for ill fortune, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated dawn raid that left several thousand Templars — knights, sergeants, priests, and serving brethren — in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities, and homosexual practices.

None of these charges was ever proven, even in France — and the Order was found innocent elsewhere — but in the seven years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures intended to force "confessions," and more than a hundred died under torture or were executed by burning at the stake.

Templar image via Google Images

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Laugh and the world laughs with you!

If you missed the post at the NCJ Blogthing by Ryan Burns (Feb.9) satirizing my As It Stand column on Angels last week...check it out.
It's great satire. I'm flattered to be satirized. It's not the first time, and probably won't be the last.
We need more humor during these dark days for the economy, and this Winter's discontent.

Beauty in Reality: Photographs that transpose emotions

No matter how skillful you are as a painter, reality, and natural light is still the winner. Here is very evocative shot of moonlight at seaside, and (below) a riot of colors at sunset.

(images credit: Toby Keller)

See many other Toby Keller's light "paintings" here and on flickr.

Mattel’s Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Wins Worst Toy of the Year; CCFC Honors Doll with Inaugural TOADY Award

BOSTON – February 12- Barbie’s big year just got a little more exciting.  On the eve of the world’s most famous doll’s fiftieth birthday, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood announced that Mattel’s Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll won its inaugural TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year.  In an online vote by more than 6,000 CCFC members, Barbie handily beat four other nominees.

“The toys we give children reflect our values,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe. “And no one who cares about children’s wellbeing could produce a toy like the Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader doll. It embodies a host of harmful expectations about what girls are supposed to be like.”

Rated by Mattel as appropriate for children age six and up, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll comes with the shortest of short shorts, stiletto boots, and a revealing halter top.  The preposterously skimpy outfit allows children to get a better view of Barbie’s impossibly long legs and dangerously thin body. 

“When you combine two classic symbols of gendered stereotypes – the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and Barbie – you get one terrible toy,” said CCFC Steering Committee member Joe Kelly, of “Do we really want to teach our young daughters that they belong on the sidelines, not in the game, and the way to get noticed is to show a lot of skin?”

“The Bratz dolls get a lot of well-deserved negative attention,” said CCFC’s co-founder Dr. Diane Levin, co-author of So Sexy, So Soon. “But it’s important to recognize that Mattel is also all-too-happy to contribute to the sexualization of young children.  The Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll teaches girls to focus on their appearance, to aspire to an eating-disordered body, and to play at being sexy before they’re even capable of understanding what sexy means."

CCFC created the TOADY award in response to the Toy Industry of Association’s TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards, which celebrate the most popular brands and toys often with little regard for their impact on children’s wellbeing.  Each TOADY nominee was selected for epitomizing one or more of the troubling commercial trends of the toy industry, such as marketing sex and/or violence to young children, promoting brands and screen time at the expense of creative play, and encouraging excessive and conspicuous consumption. In addition to Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll, the 2008 TOADY nominees were Baby Alive Learns to Potty by Hasbro, the Lego Batman Video Game by Warner Brothers, the Power Wheels Cadillac Escalade by Fisher-Price, and the Smart Cycle by Fisher Price.  For more information on why these toys were nominated, please visit

Location, location, location.. this dream home provides a great escape!

Seen in one Russian journal ..

This Boeing 727 is a work-in-progress home conversion, built by Bruce Campbell from Hillsboro, Oregon. He maintains that anybody can do it, given desire, luck (acquiring decommissioned plane) and determination. As he points out, this house gives
"A feeling of strength, security, capability and ergonomics that eclipses any other, almost as if you were in a home designed 50 years in the future. Imagine removing all the clutter, such as the seats, the overhead compartments... What's left is an open, ultra high tech home". Besides, he says, it's a great toy.
On his site (below) there is a million of pictures of the work-in-progress, both exterior and interior of jet-house, and FAQ, in which he elaborates on the cost of the project (it's possible to do it for under $100K) and a cool possibility to build a house out of wide-body 747 jet (you would need a bigger yard for that)

This is his website:

Controversy surrounds Octuplets and their single Mom

Different views on Nadya Suleman's recent birth of octuplets are reflected in the following columns:


By Debra Saunders
Feb 10, 2009

This is not going to be a column that dumps on the misguided and clearly troubled Nadya Suleman -- the 33-year-old unemployed single Whittier mother of six who gave birth to octuplets last month. Of course, a single mother of six has absolutely no business having more children. Click here for Saunders full column.

From the Huffington Post this morning;

Octuplet Mom Nadya Suleman On Food Stamps, Three Kids Receive Disability

Photos of California octuplets released; mom receives death threats

By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer

Associated Press

Posted: 02/11/2009 10:43:12 PM PST

A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman's 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California's taxpayers, compounding the public furor in a state already billions of dollars in the red.

Click photo to enlarge

Homeless in America:students with no homes is on the rise!

Poynter Online has a story this morning reflecting another side to the homeless situation in America today.

Just read this heartbreaking lead from a Washington Post story about homeless students:

The economic plunge has generated a growing wave of children nationwide who are sleeping in shelters, motels, spare bedrooms or even the family van as their parents seek to keep them in school. Educators are scrambling to help, with extra tutoring, clothes, food and cab fare.

D.C. school officials have registered about 462 homeless students this school year, twice as many as the same time last year. Schools in Fairfax County, one of the country's most affluent areas, counted 1,314 homeless students early last month, up 20 percent from the same period last year. Prince George's, Montgomery, Loudoun and Arlington counties have also reported increases.

Read on for resources from the National Center on Family Homelessness and other organizations.

Read the Entire Post

Posted at 1:32 AM on Feb. 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Honor of Upcoming Valentine's Day: Lovers in Love


(images credit: Botinok)

KBR (formerly part of Halliburton) is at it again - Gets $35 million contract from Pentagon!

TIM FLEMING, writing for OP Ed News has this tidbit about more graft in high places...

"The news is as stunning as it is disturbing. KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root...until recently a part of Halliburton) was awarded a $35 million contract for major electrical work in Iraq, according to the Associated Press, "...even as it is under criminal investigation in the electrocution deaths of at least two U.S. soldiers in Iraq."


Retail gasoline goes up as wholesale gasoline goes down!

The last time I looked at the price of local gas here in Humboldt it was $2.49 a gallon. Listening to the news this morning, I saw that the price of a barrel of crude oil has gone down to $36 a barrel. So how does this justify the increase? It doesn't! When will we ever be free from the greedy oil barons?

cartoon via Multinational Monitor

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Capitol Hill Police arrest a man with rifle who wanted to see President Obama!

According to

Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider says the man did not make an explicit threat against the president. -- (6:35 p.m.)
More details on Capitol Hill arrest: The man walked up to a “birdcage,” one of the Capitol Police guard shacks in the driveway. When challenged for identification, the man was "talking funny," according to a CP officer. Police asked whether he had any weapons, he told them that he had a .22 caliber rifle. -- John Bresnahan (5:56 p.m.)
Capitol police have arrested a man on the Hill who said he had a delivery for President Obama and a rifle. -- Josh Gerstein
(5:30 p.m.)


Send your Valentine a Butterfly Message of Love!

Nature Speaks in English Sometimes...
Today I stumbled upon a really fascinating little site:
Butterfly Alphabet.

Meticulously sought-out and collected there by scientists and amateurs alike are the LETTERS, NUMBERS and SYMBOLS found in everyday nature patterns and particularly in butterfly wings.
Here is the
Butterfly Alphabet...(right)

What's more, on this site, you can write your name, or any text in the butterfly (or other nature pattern) letters and send the card to your romantic interest for this Valentine's Day!



Some of the endearing faces found on that site. They have heart pictures, too!

Just 20 more feet Gary! I think I see a water hole ahead!

Source unknown

Whose side is Geithner really on? He's making sure the wealthy come first in the Stimulus Bill!

A wolf in sheep's clothing?

Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, fought against putting severe limits on executive's pay for companies that are getting government aid.

He managed to prevail in his arguments with Obama's staff who wanted more accountability from the fat cats running banks, etc. I forget now, why did Obama appoint him despite his personal tax troubles?

If you have the answer to that question please tell me! Meanwhile for a comprehensive overview of the actions of Gaithner, and what he's said, click here and see what their saying over at the New York Times about all of this.

Geithner pic via Google images


Peanut Butter Peril: Just what type should we avoid?

The FBI is involved now. Our national peanut butter crisis is taking on the aspects of a criminal investigation.

Five people have died from salmonella poisoning and hundreds have been sickened from eating it. I love peanut butter but am afraid to eat it in any form right now, for fear that those jars of it are also tainted, regardless of what's being reported right now.

Authorities are saying the jars of peanut are okay. That's today. What about tomorrow?

The Chicago Tribune talks about the current FBI investigation here.  

Peanut pic from Google Images

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roy knew he would be lunch if caught hitchhiking but he couldn't stop himself!

Getting a free ride:
Red-winged Blackbird on top of a Red-tailed Hawk

(image via Vineri Triskaideka)

Happy Hamsters: Have you ever had one for a pet?


Two of my grandsons recently got a pair of hamsters (not the duo shown above). They saved up their money and bought a big plastic hamster home full of tunnels and things to play on.

When my wife and I got married in 1974, our first pet was  a hamster. We were in an apartment and both worked, so we needed a low maintenance kinda pet. We bought "Zig Zag" thinking he'd fit the bill and got him a little Ferris wheel and fancy food. But there was something not quit right about him. For starters he never stopped running on that Ferris wheel! Day and night. His every waking moment!

I entertained evil thoughts about him for awhile, and then one day I came home and my wife said he was dead. "How" I asked? She had no idea. She just found him laying limp on that damn Ferris wheel. In retrospect, I think he was an older hamster and the pet shop passed him off as a youth. It was either that, or he was just crazy and ran himself to death!

Hamster images via archives

GOP blockheads don't care about the economy... They just want to fight and be ornery!

 Robert Parry of Consortium News talks about the Republican's attempts to derail any recovery plan for America. It's obvious the Republicans are going to take a hard partisan stance to stifle efforts to stimulate the economy, unless it's done "their way." The problem is the GOP is in the minority! Remember guys and gals?

Here's a bit from Parry's post today:

"The only thing close about the vote is whether the package can overcome a Republican filibuster and get 60 votes for “cloture.” To reach this super-majority, Democrats have been forced to accept a higher percentage of tax cuts, even if leading economists consider tax cuts one of the least effective ways of stimulating the moribund economy.

Yet, this anti-democratic fact about the GOP strategy – that it seeks to frustrate the will of the American majority, which rejected the Republicans and their policies in the last two U.S. elections – is rarely mentioned in the news."

To read the entire article click here.

GOP image via Google Images

Un-Natural Smiles: Smile and the world smiles with you!



images from archives

An Underwater Stonehedge? Lake Michigan discovery sparks controversies with archeologists

One blogger dubbed the discovery of a circle of stones on the floor of Lake Michigan as an underwater stonehedge.

Underwater archeologist Mark Holley found the circle of stones 40 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan.

Holley is shown here investigating a circle of stones on the Grand Traverse Bay floor near Traverse City, Mich.

Scientists are not sure whether the stones were arranged by humans or natural forces.

For the whole story see this mornings Chicago Tribune article here.

(photo by Chris Doyal / February 7, 2009)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lamar and the Lakers ruin Cav's perfect home record!

What a game!

Kobe was feeling crappy with the flu (he still scored 19 points), Andrew Bynum was out, and someone had to come up big to beat a Cleveland teams that thought it couldn't lose at home this season.

That someone was Lamar Odom. He had a season high for 28 points and 17 rebounds while basically taking over the game during the third period when the Lakers started the period down 12 points.

Pau Gasol chipped in 18 points and 12 rebounds to help break the Cav's winning streak. The Lakers took the lead by the end of the third period and never looked back. They out quicked the Cav's, and out rebounded them in the fourth period, to win by 10 points with a 101-91 final score.

It was a real team effort and the Lakers made a statement to the entire league:

... they can beat the best of the West, and East, at their own houses. That's what it takes to win a championship. They wrapped up this six-game road trip with a perfect 6-0 record. Way to go Lakers! Way to go O!

photo of Odom from

Today's As It Stands: Messengers from Heaven: Do you believe in Angels?

This Sunday in the Times-Standard I write about Angels. They are recognized worldwide in all cultures. The question I ask is; have you ever seen an angel? Click here to read the whole story. image from HBO Films

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...