Saturday, July 11, 2009

Have you heard the one about the 'Dear John' letter?

 There's nothing like a twist to an old stereotype. I was stumbling along the web when I ran across this clever take on the "Dear John" genre. Frankly I never heard of the Gather web site, but it appears to be something like FaceBook or MySpace. Enjoy...

Paula C. (I'm not sure which of these ladies is Paula, but it's the only pic posted on the site) is from Bryant, Arkansas, and she posted the following humorous story on her Gather page:

  A Marine stationed in Afghanistan recently received a "Dear John" letter from his girlfriend back home. It read as follows:

 The Marine, with hurt feelings, asked his fellow Marines for any snapshots of their girlfriends, sisters, ex-girlfriends, aunts, cousins, etc. In addition to the picture of Becky, Ricky included all the other pictures of the pretty gals he had collected from his buddies. There were 57 photos in that envelope...along with this note:


Childhood dreams are this photographers muse...

My images are not photoshop collages.I use photoshop to finesse details and to adjust color and contrast for printing.I use friends and family members as actors and crew.Everyone works for free. We do it for fun.” says Joshua Hoffine whose eye catching artworks may remind us of our very own childhood fears!

Click here to see some photo art that will creep you out, yet leave you wanting more from

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet Won Park - The Master of Origami Paper Folding


Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and crease patterns preferably without the use of gluing or cutting the paper, and using only one piece of paper.

Won Park is the master of Origami. He is also called the “money folder”, a practitioner of origami whose canvas is the United States One Dollar Bill. Bending, twisting, and folding, Won Park creates life-like shapes inspired by objects living and not– both in stunning detail. Click here to see more at The Design Inspiration


GOP's youngest Hatemonger John Avlon speaks out

 By John Avlon

There is a culture war going on inside the Republican Party,” says one of the attendees, Lenny McAllister, a co-founder of

For example, you've got the Christian right—including some from the Jimmy Swaggart crowd that have judged others publicly on family values only to cry 'I have sinned' themselves somewhere down the road—and then you have the folks that understand that you can have strong conservative principles but you can't create a time portal to take us culturally back to the 1950s.... At some point, we will see one of two things from my party: either a decline that comes from our inability to move away from the image of an older, exclusive, white-males-only party or to a party that befits the Party of Lincoln, one of more diversity that reflects America today.”

A spokesman for Shay’s most important supporter, the governor of her home state, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, said his boss was traveling and couldn’t comment on these new details about Shay. But one of her better-known Facebook friends, conservative activist Grover Norquist, was keeping his distance.

Grover's aware of the two candidates, but he doesn't really have a dog in a race,said a spokesman. “He's friends with Audra on Facebook like he's friends with everybody else. He accepts all friendships."

Shay’s most recent post on her Facebook quotes the 23rd Psalm (“Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”)—she’s apparently in full victim/martyr mode, a far cry from the jaunty confidence she just displayed a few days ago in the face of the “coons” controversy (“amazed at all the fuss so here is what you need to know.

The 6th song on the new Billy Currington CD is the most awesome song!”). Tomorrow’s vote will resonate beyond its usual dimensions. At a time when the GOP is increasingly old and regionally isolated, it is up to young Republicans to modernize the party. This requires confronting the mistakes of the past—and turning the page.

John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. He writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast and is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Previously, he served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

article and art via The Daily Beast

Interesting Carnival Posters available at Phreequesh




To see more posters, with drop down menus of carny acts click here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The final thought for today....

image via cool cards

Daniel Kurtzman's Political Humor Blog blasts Palin

Sarah Palin's Life in Pictures

As Sarah Palin prepares to step down as governor, we salute her unforgettable time in the national limelight by looking back at her political life in pictures. OK, they're fake pictures, but they tell a story of a woman who is destined for a higher comedic calling.
Letterman Contributed to Palin's Resignation
Joking about Sarah Palin's resignation Monday night, David Letterman quipped, "Was it something I said?"
As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Sarah Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein said in an interview with CNN that Letterman's jokes about Palin and her daughter contributed to her decision to resign.
"When people don't accept normal bounds of decency making jokes like that about children, maybe this is not good for the state right now," Van Flein said. "And maybe somebody else who is not the subject, and whose family is not the subject of this scrutiny, can move the state forward."

So let's get this straight, Palin was prepared to stare down Putin and nuke Ahmadinejad, but a comedian proved too much for her? Lord only knows what she had in store for the likes of Letterman and Tina Fey if she were ever given the power to torture people.
'Department of Law' to Protect President Palin

Sarah Palin's says she resigned because she's been hounded by too many ethics investigations. So what if she were president?
Her answer to that question has been added to our list of the 10 dumbest Sarah Palin quotes of all time:
"I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," Palin told ABC News.

Sorry, Sarah, there is no Department of Law, but you may have better luck with the Department of Homeland Hilarity.

More Sarah Palin Humor:

Top 10 Real Reasons Palin Resigned
Funny Sarah Palin Pictures
Sarah Palin Cartoons
Sarah Palin Jokes

text and photos via Political Humor

Polish Mom sues hotel claiming pool got her daughter pregnant!

Okay...this is one of those things that does nothing positive for the Pole's image. I'm sure the stereotype of "dumb as a pollock" gets fuel when someone pulls a stunt like this mom did. I'm mean get real! Mom and daughter obliviously don't communicate all that well. See what you think...

"A Polish mom is suing an Egyptian hotel after claiming her daughter got pregnant using their mixed swimming pool.

The bizarre claim surfaced as Magdalena Kwiatkowska demanded compensation after her 13-year-old daughter came back from the family holiday expecting a baby.

Tourist authorities in Warsaw confirmed they had received the complaint which states that the girl conceived because of stray sperm in the pool.

"The mother is adamant that her daughter didn't meet any boys while she was there and is determined to go ahead with the case," said one travel industry source."

text and photo via Ananova


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If it's not Canadian geese then it's turtles delaying flights at JFK

Hey, kid, need a job? Photo: Tony the Misfit

"First, it was Canadian geese that caused transportation problems at New York City’s JFK Airport. Today, it was… turtles.

It was a beautifully sunny day here in New York City, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when I heard the alert that flights were delayed at JFK… until I learned the reason.

Seems like dozens of turtles–diamond black terrapins, to be specific–were feeling randy, and their runway love fest caused delays of up to 1.5 hours. Wonder how pilots notified their passengers about that news.

JFK, which is bounded by a bay on one side, actually seems to be a haven for wildlife. According to the New York Times City Room blog, 78 turtles were ultimately removed from the runway safely and returned to a safe place."

text and photo via MatadorPulse

White House among targets of sweeping cyber attack!

Experts are saying the North Koreans are behind cyber attacks against South Korea and the United States. It looks like they are doing everything in their power to provoke a war. It's scary to think they hit the White House, the Pentagon, and the New York Stock Exchange.

I think President Obama should be devoting a lot more time to the building crisis posed by North Korea. It's nice to go abroad and glad hand some countries, maybe sign a treaty or two, but I think he should be paying more attention to what's happening with the openly belligerent communist regime.

A show down may come sooner than anyone thinks...

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, AP Writer Lolita C. Baldor, AP Writer 25 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies for days was even broader than initially realized, also targeting the White House, the Pentagon and the New York Stock Exchange.

Other targets of the attack included the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post, according to an early analysis of the malicious software used in the attacks. Many of the organizations appeared to successfully blunt the sustained computer assaults.

The Associated Press obtained the target list from security experts analyzing the attacks. It was not immediately clear who might be responsible or what their motives were. South Korean intelligence officials believe the attacks were carried out by North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces. Click here to read the rest.

photo via Google Images

Would you like to remember everything you see forever?

I wonder what it would be like to remember every little thing you see everyday forever? Would there be drawbacks? Would our brain overload with so much stored memory? And what about bad memories? Who wants to retain them? This drug, if ever passed out to humans, could pose some interesting situations.

By Annalee Newitz

Imagine if you could look at something once and remember it forever. You would never have to ask for directions again. Now a group of scientists has isolated a protein that mega-boosts your ability to remember what you see.

A group of Spanish researchers reported today in Science that they may have stumbled upon a substance that could become the ultimate memory-enhancer. The group was studying a poorly-understood region of the visual cortex. They found that if they boosted production of a protein called RGS-14 (pictured) in that area of the visual cortex in mice, it dramatically affected the animals' ability to remember objects they had seen.

Mice with the RGS-14 boost could remember objects they had seen for up to two months. Ordinarily the same mice would only be able to remember these objects for about an hour.

The researchers concluded that this region of the visual cortex, known as layer six of region V2, is responsible for creating visual memories. When the region is removed, mice can no longer remember any object they see.

If this protein boosts visual memory in humans, the implications are staggering. In their paper, the researchers say that it could be used as a memory-enhancer – which seems like an understatement. What's particularly intriguing is the fact that this protein works on visual memory only. So as I mentioned earlier, it would be perfect for mapping. It would also be useful for engineers and architects who need to hold a lot of visual images in their minds at once. And it would also be a great drug for detectives and spies.

Could it also be a way to gain photographic memory? For example, if I look at a page of text will I remember the words perfectly? Or will I simply remember how the page looked?

I can't see much of a downside for this potential drug, unless the act of not forgetting what you see causes problems or trauma.

image and text via io9

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Robert McNamara: The man who gave us the Vietnam War

A lot of people will never forgive McNamara for his roll in starting the Vietnam War. At one time I was one of those people.

But as I watched what he did in his later years, I realized he regretted his actions. He said so in his book. With age, I've learned to forgive a lot of people. I feel sorry for the man who thought he was doing the right thing, and the tortured soul he became because of his decisions. He's gone now, but his troubled legacy lives on.

As Secretary of Defense he became the driving force for our involvement in Vietnam...

Although he was a prime architect of the Vietnam War and repeatedly overruled the Joint Chiefs of Staff on strategic matters, McNamara gradually became skeptical about whether the war could be won by deploying more troops to South Vietnam and intensifying the bombing of North Vietnam, a claim he would publish in a book years later. He also stated later that his support of the Vietnam war was given out of loyalty to administration policy

He was born on June 9, 1916 – and died on July 6, 2009. He was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense.

McNamara served as Defense Secretary for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968. Following that he served as President of the World Bank from 1968 until 1981. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis in public policy, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis.

image via Truth Dig via

The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

"We are conducting a vast toxicological experiment in which our children and our children's children are the experimental subjects." Dr. Herbert Needleman.

The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.

The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer.
At the same time, boys are now far more at risk of suffering from ADHD, autism, Tourette's syndrome, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia.

The Disappearing Male takes a close and disturbing look at what many doctors and researchers now suspect are responsible for many of these problems: a class of common chemicals that are ubiquitous in our world.
Found in everything from shampoo, sunglasses, meat and dairy products, carpet, cosmetics and baby bottles, they are called "hormone mimicking" or "endocrine disrupting" chemicals and they may be starting to damage the most basic building blocks of human development.

            Factsheet: Male Infertility
* There are more than 20 heavily industrialized nations where the birth of baby boys has declined every year for the past 30 years - amounting to 3 million fewer baby boys.
* The number of boys born with penis abnormalities and genital defects has increased by 200% in the past two decades.
* Boys have a higher incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, Tourett's syndrome, cerebral palsy and dyslexia.
* Boys are four times as likely to be autistic.
* The average sperm count of a North American college student today is less than half of what it was 50 years ago.
* The quality of sperm is declining. Eighty-five per cent of the sperm produced by a healthy male is DNA-damaged.
* Damaged sperm have been linked to a 300% increase in testicular cancer - a form of cancer that affects young men in their 20s and 30s.
* The chemical industry has developed more than 90,000 man-made chemicals in the last sixty years. Eighty-five percent of them have never undergone testing for their impact on the human body.
> Backgrounder: Endocrine 101
> Backgrounder: The Chemicals
> Profiles: Scientists

photo and text via Information Liberation

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pee Powered Cars: Producing hydrogen from urine

Nothing like starting off your Monday with weird, but educational, news while you sip that first cup of coffee. I never would have guessed that the term "pissed off" would take on a new meaning...  

( -- You do two things at motorway services: fill up one tank and empty another. US chemists have combined refueling your car and relieving yourself by creating a new catalyst that can extract hydrogen from urine.

Chemistry World reports that the catalyst could not only fuel the hydrogen-powered cars of the future, but could also help clean up municipal wastewater.

Gerardine Botte of Ohio University uses an electrolytic approach to produce hydrogen from urine - the most abundant waste on Earth - at a fraction of the cost of producing hydrogen from water.

Urine's major constituent is urea, which incorporates four hydrogen atoms per molecule - importantly, less tightly bonded than the hydrogen atoms in water molecules.

Botte uses electrolysis to break the molecule apart, developing an inexpensive new nickel-based electrode to selectively and efficiently oxidise the urea. To break the molecule down, a voltage of 0.37V needs to be applied across the cell - much less than the 1.23V needed to split water.

Her work is described in the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Chemical Communications.

During the electrochemical process the urea gets adsorbed on to the nickel electrode surface, which passes the electrons needed to break up the molecule,” Botte told Chemistry World.

Botte believes the technology could be easily scaled-up to generate hydrogen while cleaning up the effluent from sewage plants. “We do not need to reinvent the wheel as there are already electrolysers being used in different applications.”

More information: B K Boggs, R L King and G G Botte, Chem. Commun., 2009, DOI: 10.1039/b905974a

Text provided by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Sunday, July 5, 2009

To see why the bear crossed the road, read this column

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 07/05/2009 01:27:19 AM PDT

I nearly hit a black bear crossing the road on Central Avenue in McKinleyville the other day. The bruin darted out in front of my car and I had to swerve to keep from plowing into him!

My wife thought I was having a seizure or something until she saw the brown blur loping into an empty lot on the far side of the street.

We quickly agreed it was the first time we ever had to dodge a bear -- either on foot or in a car -- despite countless trips to national and state parks over the years. I suspect the bear was foraging through someone's trash when he realized (for whatever reason) it was time to beat paws to a safer place.

I wondered if there might be a more sinister reason why that bear was running around town. Lately, there have been numerous reports of rabid foxes, and a few attacks on humans, during the day.

I checked out The International Association for Bear Research and Management, also known as the International Bear Association (IBA), Web site and discovered it wasn't unusual for a bear to forage for food during the day. That was nice to know.

It's likely the bear we saw was a young male (the full-grown ones can weigh from 350 to 500 pounds and our busy bear didn't look half that size). Relieved, I scanned the Web site and discovered there are eight different bear species. Click here to read the rest.

image via Google Images

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...