Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who wouldn't want to drink something called Coolpis?



Top Ten Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks

By Steve Levingstein

Ahh, refreshing Coolpis... THE soft drink to offer guests - before removing their blindfolds.

Actually a Korean copy of the disturbingly named Calpis, Coolpis comes in Peach flavor and (stop reading now, if you can...) Kimchee flavor.

Kimchee, for those unacquainted, is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and LOTS of red pepper.

Makes Peach flavored Coolpis almost appealing, doesn't it?

Anyone for a Calpis vs. Coolpis taste test? We could call it a pis-ing contest.

Stimulus money goes toward removing lethal lead paint in low income neighborhoods

I wrote this column Lead Exposure From House Paint Study Shows Ties With Criminality on October 19th, 2008.

In it, I talk about the poorer neighborhoods being the most affected by lead paint, and some surprising results from that exposure when it came to criminality. I discussed how the children were the main victims of lead in the home, and some the symptoms involved.This news article looks like a step is being taken in the right direction to combat this deadly lead exposure.

(From the Associated Press today)

     Nearly $100 million in federal stimulus money will go toward a program to remove lead- based paint and other health and safety hazards from low-income homes, Vice President Joe Biden announced Friday.
Biden announced the plan in the courtyard of an affordable-housing devel­opment operated by a community group that is getting $875,000 of that money to help identify and remove toxic paint and other health hazards from 225 Los Angeles homes.
      Biden said the program will immediately employ workers to do the lead­abatement work. He said it will also save the country millions in future health care costs that otherwise would be spent treating peo­ple suffering from neurolog­ical damage, slowed growth and other ailments connect­ed to growing up in contact with lead-based paint.
     “This is a real bang for the buck here,” he said. “You have people from this community filling good jobs, helping other fami­lies, helping children to stay healthy.”
South Los Angeles’ Esper­anza Community Housing Corp. was among 53 local programs in 20 states and Washington, D.C., getting grants through the U.S. De­partment of Housing and Urban Development to re­move lead-based paint and other hazards such as mold.

Image via

Chocolate, running shoes, and Spam sales are recession busters!

  •   By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
  •   Sat May 16, 12:27 pm ET
  • It's not all doom and gloom in the U.S. economy. Some products are bucking the recession and flying off store shelves.

    Sales of chocolate and running shoes are up. Wine drinkers haven't stopped sipping; they just seem to be choosing cheaper vintages.

    Gold coins are selling like hot cakes. So are gardening seeds. Tanning products are piling up in shopping carts; maybe more people are finding color in a bottle than from sun-worshipping on a faraway beach.

    Strong sales of Spam, Dinty Moore stew and chili helped Hormel Foods Corp. post a 6 percent increase in first quarter sales in its grocery products unit.

    Consumers have trimmed household budgets and postponed buying cars, major appliances and other big-ticket items. Yet they still are willing to shell out for small indulgences and goods that make life more comfortable at home, where they are spending more time.

    Read the rest of the story here.

    Photo via AP and is from a recent promo ad by Hormel Company.

    The following links are being provided to you to so that you can track all information sources used in the article.

    National Sporting Goods Association

    Information Resources Inc.

    Mintel International

    National Gardening Association

    W. Atlee Burpee

    The Wine Institute


    Leo J. Shapiro & Associates


More News From China: 'Love Land' is China's 1st-ever Sex Theme Park!

Things are sure changing in this communist country that once banned all forms of porn. It almost looks like their entering a "sexual revolution."

Westerners are flocking to China in record numbers. It must be the "new attitude" that Chinese have about Capitalism (once their sworn enemy).

From Most Emailed from Yahoo today.... 

Visitors try to get a glimpse of "Love Land", billed as China's first-ever sex theme park, in southwest China's Chongqing municipality.

The sex theme park is slated to open in October, but detractors hope the project will never see the light of day, as the exhibits of naked human sculptures, giant genitals and boasts a sex technique workshop is stirring up howls of protest.


A Strange Hen: Caught laying two eggs simultaneously!

FROM China Daily...

A chicken farmer named Mao Rui'an in Qingdao, Shandong province, is giving special attention to one of his chickens.

The unique hen is able to produce two eggs at the same time through two excretory openings. An expert said the hen probably has two separate reproductive systems.

He discovered the strange hen while he was giving vaccine shots to the chickens two months ago.

The lucky hen is enjoying a private henhouse and is fed with wheat seedlings instead of grass.

(Peninsula Metropolis Daily)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bilderbergers are back and they're still not talking...

Last year I wrote an article on this shadowy group of world leaders  -

'Shadow Government of the West' aka The Billderberg Group is the New World Order -

For Nolan Chart

Today From

Are the people who 'really run the world' meeting this weekend?

By Adam Abrams

The Bilderberg Group, the topic of many conspiracy theories, is now meeting behind closed doors in Greece.

From today until May 17, approximately 150 of the most influential members of the world's elite will be meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in Greece. They are called the Bilderberg Group or the "Bilderbergers," and you have probably never heard of them.
The group, co-founded by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, has been meeting in secret every year since 1954. This year, says the British broadsheet
The Times, they are meeting at the Nafsika Astir Palace in Vouliagmeni.
The individuals at the meeting come from such power houses as Google and the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate and European royalty. Governments, the banking industry, big oil, media and even the world of academia are amongst the Bilderberg ranks.

Read the rest here.

Photo via Wikipedia commons. This is the Hotel de Bilderberg,

Oosterbeek, the Netherlands

- scene of the first Bilderberg Conference in 1954.

Pelosi's claim of ignorance sounds fishy to ex-Democrat

FROM Neo-Neocon...

About the author:

 Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


"My answer to the first question is: nobody, not even Pelosi. Maybe especially not Pelosi. Her story on the waterboarding briefings has changed so many times, and is stated with such verbal hesitancy and telegraphing of prevarication, that even the commenter's on the liberal blogs I’ve visited don’t seem to think she’s telling the truth." Read the full column Does anyone believe Nancy Pelosi? And does it matter?

Things you should know about your rights on the web...

Are you interested in knowing what your rights are when it comes to Internet usage? Do you want to be kept informed of anything that may interfere with your First Amendment Rights on the web? Then here's a good link for you this morning:

FROM the Electronic Frontier Foundation...

EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit group of passionate people—lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — who depend on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of our budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight —and win—more cases.

Click here for the whole article.

image via Google Images

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Here are some Links and Resources on Media Reform...

WARNING! This information is scary if you value free speech and oppose mind control...


"In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation."

Read the rest of the story here.

Lost robot crosses city by asking directions!

FROM New Scientist...

Robots are getting better at finding their way around unknown areas, and making their own maps as they explore. But robots lost in urban areas don't need to rely on their own faculties to get from place to place, German roboticists have shown.

Their mobile robot simply rolls up to any humans nearby and asks for directions. By using that strategy, their robot has become one of the first to be properly let loose in the real world, not just carefully controlled environments.

Martin Buss's team at the Technical University of Munich dumped their mobile robot outside the university and instructed it to find its way to the Marienplatz in the center of Munich, some 1.5 kilometers away.

Click here for the rest of this story.

Wildlife Crew Finds Rare Albino Raccoon At Construction Site

It's not exactly one in a million - more like one in 500,000. But it's still a pretty rare sight. A Toronto wildlife company responding to a request for help has found a rare while albino raccoon at a construction site at Yonge and Eglinton.

The animal was one of a litter of five babies, and looks almost like a pig instead of one of the traditional "black masked bandits." It also lacked a striped tail.

How rare are the creatures? Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control, whose company was behind the discovery, says over the past 25 years, his people have only ever come across the phenomenon twice - the other time was in Mississauga. He estimates it's a 1-in-500,000 shot.

He tells it's "a busy construction site" that's about to be sealed off and they needed to finally get rid of the raccoons. What happens to it now? It will be given back to its mother - arrangements are being made to trap her sometime on Monday night.

The entire family will then be "relocated" elsewhere in the area.

When asked if they won't just cause more problems for some other resident, Gates admits it's possible. But he says once a raccoon gets used to living in a city environment, it can't be sent back to the wild. He notes the mother will "teach the babies everything they need to know" to survive in the urban jungle.

Photo courtesy: Gates Wildlife Control

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Scientific breakthrough proves there's water on Mars!

Credit & Copyright: Ellen Roper (GCC)



I don't remember saluting the flag at all when I was in elementary school in the 1950s. We did put our hand over our hearts however. I find it interesting that this was the way American's saluted the flag prior to the Nazi's infamous salute. You learn something new every day...

From Slightly Warped Curiosities...

When the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who was - ironically - a socialist magazine writer, he included instructions on how to properly salute the flag while reciting his oath.

Dubbed "The Ballamy Salute" after its creator, school children were instructed to recite the pledge with the right arm out in a stiff salute outstretched to the flag.  This practice actually was adopted and continued until the early 1940's when it was noticed that the American salute bore a striking resemblance to a salute that another country was using.

Naturally, the salute quickly fell out of style and was replaced by placing the right hand over your heart as we do today.

Using the outstretched salute is a tradition that goes all the way back to the Romans, but after the Nazis, it's unlikely we'll see a resurgence of the original Pledge of Allegiance salute anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS and get in touch with your inner kid!


 Your "inner child" has long been waiting for a chance to usurp control of your body and force it to perform certain actions.

The time is now at hand. Read and follow the these instructions 

  The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into maturity."  -   T. H. Huxley

John Moran's: River of Dreams - Fireflies on the Ichetucknee

"...Night settles in and the fireflies begin their flickering dance in the woods. Rising at my feet, the endless gushing waters of a living planet complete the seduction. Once again, the river affirms that magic still happens in the dark."

John Moran's, Florida Nature Photography studio, offers some beautiful original works like the one above.


What would you pay for a heart-shaped watermelon?

Having mastered the art of making square watermelons and even pyramid watermelons, Japanese farmers turned to making heart-shaped watermelons.

These 15,750 yen ($160) watermelons were grown by a couple and took three years to perfect down to the point where they were good enough to convince people to pay $160 for them. There's only 20 melons in this batch, but we're sure Mr. and Mrs. Hiroichi Kimura will grow more next season. image/story via Gizmoda via Asahi via Japan Probe via Inventor Spot via Boi

Drive-In Memories: Car Culture meets movies for successful run

I can clearly recall going to the "outside movies" during the 1950s and 1960s, with my siblings and parents. We'd stop at McDonalds and load up on 15 cent burgers and fries (they were cheaper than the movie snack bar), and head to the show.

Us kids use to spend our time on the playground on the swings or the merry-go-round, while sometimes stopping to see what was happening on the big screen. I had an appendix attack when I was 10-years-old while playing on the playground. I went down writhing in pain so my sister ran back to the car to get Dad.

He didn't know what to think but rushed me to the hospital where I had my appendix removed that night! Oh the memories! In the 1960s, I took more than one young lady to a drive-in movie, as it was an established place to make out!

From ... 

The first drive-in movie was shown in the driveway of Richard Hollingshead's Camden, New Jersey home. Hollingshead sat in his car while his 16 millimeter projector displayed a movie on a screen he projected.

He took this concept and expanded it with the idea of allowing hundreds of people to watch a movie from the privacy of their own automobiles.

On June 7, 1933, Hollingshead opened the world's first drive-in movie theater in Camden. Within the fan shaped, tiered parking lot and inclined ramps, more than 400 cars in eight rows came to watch a movie on a 30 x 40 foot screen. The theater was an immediate success and Hollingshead and his cousin created a drive-in movie theater franchise throughout the United States

Click here for the rest of the story.

image via

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just 'Monkeying' Around: Near Great Ape Escape Causes Zoo Closure

 Here's some monkey shines to start the week with a smile. Karta, the orangutan, shows keepers just how smart she is when she successfully short-circuits an electric fence surrounding her enclosure! 


 "An ingenious orangutan short circuited electrical wires and climbed a fence using a makeshift ladder in an aborted escape attempt from Adelaide Zoo today.

  The elaborate plot by 27-year-old Karta got her to within meters of the public, and resulted in the closure of the zoo on one of its busiest days of the year."

 photo via

From China with Curiosity: Blog Visitors, and Ruminations

This blog was visited by a viewer from Beijing, China this morning, who looked at the post "It Took Nine Years & 24 Generations To Get These Little Pigs!" I imagine anything to do with generations is interesting to someone in China with their rich long history. This is a picture of tourists at The Temple of Heaven.

I picked 10 international visitors from the last 24 hours to feature:

Someone from Warsaw, Poland viewed the post "Underground Living: What Do You think?" I think the Polish people had to learn how to live underground (off and on) since the Nazi invaded them in 1939. So I can see a post like this being of some interest.

Every now and then, someone from the Islamic Republic of Iran stops by and reads this blog (along with Homeland Security no doubt!) Today the Iranian viewer checked out the post "The Latest Pot Scare Refuted." I wonder what the laws are in Iran regarding smoking the Ganja? I wouldn't be surprised if it was illegal and body parts get lopped off if caught with the green bud!

Someone from Barcelona, Spain checked in on the post "Recycling Woes." A post titled "Car Chop Shop Furniture Can Liven Up Your Life" caught the attention of a viewer from Campania, Italy. Hey...maybe it'll start a new fashion trend over there! I can imagine the viewer from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, got a good laugh when they read the post "Officials Plan On Taping Magnets To Crocodile Heads to Disrupt their Homing Ability!" I know I had a good laugh posting it.

Perhaps it was an avid art collector from Belgorod, Russian Federation, who viewed the post "Classic Paintings Meet Classic Horror in these Works!" A really popular post these last few weeks has been the one titled "Willie the Parrot is Honored for Saving a Little Girls Life!" A visitor from Ontario, Canada checked it out, along with 75 other viewers in the last 24 hours.

I can't help wondering what the viewer from Al Iskandariyah, Egypt, thought when he/she viewed the post "75-Year-Old Woman to be W hipped for Letting in 2 Deliverymen Unrelated to Her!" I'll bet the person from Jakarta, Indonesia who viewed the post "Don't Get Froggy With These Guys if You Value Your Life!" was really paying attention. Some of the poisonous frogs mentioned were from his/her part of the world.

Someone from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia looked at the post "Messengers From Heaven: Do You Believe in Angels?" along with 35 other viewers this morning. This has been a popular post in the past and keeps re-emerging. Over five thousand viewers have checked it out since it was posted earlier this year.

And for the last of the dirty dozen for the day we have someone with a sense of humor from Santiago, Chile, who viewed the photo of a polar bear slipping and falling on the ice - with nearby sign warning "Caution-Slippery Ice." The caption read, "Peter Never Did Learn How to Read!" 


I can't believe "my team, The Los Angeles Lakers, got beat by the Houston Rockets last night! The Rockets played without their star center Yao Ming so the Lakers must have thought they were going to lay down for them. Not! They kicked the Laker's ass! I hope it wakes them up. The series is now tied at 2-2 and goes back to LA Tuesday night.

Cheney Loves Rush: Democrats are Delighted with Neo-Con Match!

FROM The Washington Monthly...

CHENEY HEARTS RUSH.... The good news for Democrats is that Dick Cheney, despite assurances about exiting the stage, keeps talking. The better news for Democrats is the message the former vice president chooses to emphasize.

One of the main goals of the DNC this year, for example, has been to position Rush Limbaugh as a leader, if not the leader, of the Republican Party. Yesterday, Cheney helped move this argument forward.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said on Sunday that he preferred Rush Limbaugh's brand of conservatism to former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's, saying Mr. Powell had abandoned the Republican Party when he endorsed Barack Obama for president last year.

"Well, if I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh, I think," Mr. Cheney said in an interview on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican."

Mr. Cheney said he "assumed" Mr. Powell's support of Mr. Obama over Senator John McCain was "an indication of his loyalty and his interest."

This is, of course, music to the DNC's ears. Putting aside the question of whether Powell's image deserves rehabilitation -- there's ample reason to believe his Bush administration service tarnished his reputation beyond repair -- the former Secretary of State remains a respected public figure. For most of the country, I suspect, admiration for Powell dwarfs toleration for Limbaugh.

Which is why Cheney's comments yesterday were so helpful for the GOP's detractors. As the Republican Party shrinks, and more Americans would prefer to see more influence from moderates like Powell and less influence from right-wing radio hosts, a wildly unpopular former vice president publicly embraced the opposite line. Indeed, he effectively dismissed the very idea of Powell even being a Republican anymore, throwing his support to the loudmouth who wants to see the president and his policies fail.

Dick Cheney, the DNC's manna from heaven.

In the same interview, Cheney effectively argued that a failure to torture will kill Americans; said he may be willing to testify under oath about the administration's torture policies; conceded that Bush personally "signed off on" the torture program; and added that he has "no regrets" over his alleged wrongdoing.

If you missed yesterday's interview, you can a) watch it online; or b) wait for Cheney's next national television appearance, which if recent history is any guide, should be any day now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today's AS IT STANDS: Witnessing the resurrection of the WHIG PARTY

In today's Time-Standard...

They're back.

They are one of America's oldest political parties.

President Abraham Lincoln was one. So were four other presidents. The party was formed in 1833, and for the next 22 years they opposed the powerful Jacksonian Democrats.

They formed because there was no meaningful opposition to what they felt was Jackson's autocratic rule. They gave voters another choice: to support the legislative branch and states' rights.

The Whig Party, is now experiencing a rebirth. The Modern Whig Party officially announced on Lincoln's 200th birthday (Feb. 12, 2009), that they had members in 26 states and were growing daily. The current membership estimate is 20,000.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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...