Saturday, July 3, 2010

What’s next ? Russian spy ring in jail, but no one knows what they were looking for

In an upcoming As It Stands column (July 11th) readers are asked to channel their inner Ian Flemings…

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Beware of ‘Qwerty Tummy’ - your keyboard can give you food poisoning

Keyboards can be up to five times dirtier than toilet seats, study found

As if there aren’t already enough ways to contact germs, I found another “hot zone” that could ruin your day.

Stomach sicknesses caught from computer equipment have been dubbed "qwerty tummy" after the "Q-W-E-R-T-Y" keys on a keyboard.

“The major culprits for this grodiness are people not washing their hands after using the restroom and eating food at their desks. In the latter case, sticky fingers transfer sauces and edible particles onto and between the keys.”

Great balls of fire! Grill injuries can ruin your cookout


18,000 people head to the ER each year with burns and blisters

As the Fourth of July holiday shifts barbecue season into high gear, doctors and fire officials warn that grilling accidents can have serious, even deadly, consequences.


Friday, July 2, 2010

GOP chair Steele makes stupid Afghan war remark, stirs firestorm

Image: Michael Steele

Steele called Afghanistan 'a war of Obama's choosing'

I can’t believe how stupid Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is.

This guy is setting a standard for moronic remarks that eerily reminds me of George Bush. What world does he live in? Afghanistan is Bush and Cheney’s other war. Obama inherited the hot potato and is having problems dealing with it.

But to say this is “Obama’s war,” that’s just downright moronic. Just think, this clown is the head of the Republican Party. I don’t see the Republicans going anywhere in 2012 with such uninspired leadership. Maybe that’s a good thing when you look at some of the people the GOP are considering as presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee anyone?  

Believe it or Not: Ripley's reopens in S.F. with Mirror Maze

Image: Grace McDaniels figure

After $5 million renovation, Believe it or Not! Odditorium unveiled

A figure of Grace McDaniels, who once complained about a publicist calling her "the ugliest woman in the world," is shown on display at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in San Francisco.

Suryia the swimming ape shows off in pool

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Summer bummer: Ocean swimming can make you sick

You seldom see people swimming in the beach here in Humboldt County.

However, people do surf these coastal waters. Are the surfers at risk then?

A new study by Florida scientists trying to account for pollution suggests that staying out of the water might keep you healthier than going for a dip.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Last moment visions and common deathbed experiences

Photo: Shutterstock


A renowned expert – and former Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross co-author – offers a new book on death and grief and shares visions reported by loved ones before their final breaths.


Feds raid Butte County medical marijuana dispensaries today


This report just in:

“Reportedly some 100 agents were dispatched to raid all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Butte County today.

   Although labeled an "investigation," agents acted more like pirates, seizing medicine, cash and computers.

   The Butte Co Sheriff's Department and District Attorney owe an apology for their atrocious misuse of law enforcement resources.”

  - from Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML

Go here for the story by Channel 7 News.

He’s Back! Pee-wee Herman coming to big screen

Pee-wee Herman

Judd Apatow set to produce new movie about Paul Reubens’ character

The new Pee-wee picture will reportedly take him on the road in "a gigantic adventure."

If you ever saw his first movie, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”then you know this guy is a crack-up.

Weird? Yes. Bizarre? Yes. Funny? Yes. Stay tuned for the latest antics of Pee-wee Herman.

Free conflict management workshop offered

Mediation in Progress

Humboldt Mediation Services Presents Conflict Management Training One Day Workshop To Be Offered July 17 June 29, 2010, Eureka, CA - Humboldt Mediation Services, a local non-profit known for resolving community disputes since 1983, will once again be offering their popular conflict management workshop from 8:30am to 4pm on July 17.

(PHOTO: Three trained volunteers (facing camera) mediate a dispute between two individuals.

"Anyone can benefit from this class," said HMS Case Manager Jessica Adkisson.  "You will learn proven techniques for good communication, effective listening skills and practice collaborative strategies for creating workable solutions to all kinds of problems.”

The training will be held in Eureka, and requires advance registration. Discounts are available for people signing up in pairs, but space is limited. To reserve your spot, call (707) 445-2505 or visit

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Largest leviathan yet: Giant whale-eating whale discovered

Image: Leviathan melvilleiis


Skull of 13 million-year-old fossil found off coast of Peru

The giant 3-meter (10-foot) skull of what's been dubbed Leviathan melvillei (in honor of the author of "Moby Dick") was found with teeth in its top and bottom jaws up to 36 centimeters (14 inches) long. The discovery is reported in the July 1 issue of the journal Nature.


Little miss muffets sought for fear study

2007 Hancock, Andra Little Miss Muffet


Phobia researchers on the hunt for girls, 8-13 who are afraid of spiders

An Austrian university is on the hunt for girls who recoil at the sight of spiders for research into how fear affects the processes of the brain.

Illustration source


Major earthquake hits southern Mexico – no casualties reported

Image: Locals wait outside their homes in Mexico City, Mexico, after an earthquake

People in capital flee their homes as 6.2 temblor strikes

Locals wait outside their homes in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday after an earthquake rattled buildings at 2:22 a.m. local time (7:22 GMT).


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The End of an Era: Larry King to step down from CNN's 'Live'

Image: Larry King

Goodbye Larry.

I enjoyed many of his interviews over the years. He had a style that was unique, low key, but still penetrating when it came to asking the right questions.

Larry King, who has interviewed statesmen and stars from a prime-time perch at CNN for 25 years but has seen his ratings sag recently, said Tuesday that he will step down this fall from his nightly show.

Test Case: Medical marijuana user sues over Walmart firing



ACLU acting on behalf of employee who suffers from brain tumor, cancer

A man who uses medical marijuana to treat symptoms of an inoperable brain tumor and cancer claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday he was wrongfully fired from a Walmart store in Michigan after testing positive for the drug.


Myths and realities about vampires vs romantized movies



Bloodsucking humans in medieval times

This 16th-century woman, whose remains were excavated during an archaeological dig near Venice, apparently had a brick shoved into her trap because she was thought to have a thirst for human blood.

Scholars trace the myth that humans rise from the dead and suck the blood of others to medieval ignorance about how diseases spread and bodies decompose.


Video Violence: here’s some of the games kids play

This video game is called “ETHNIC CLEANSING” and was developed by Resistance Records, an underground music label specializing in Neo-Nazi and White Supremist bands. You can choose to be a Skinhead or a Klansman that goes out and kills minorities.

See 11 more controversial video games that American youth play. And we wonder why there’s so much violence in this country. It starts right here folks!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cold War revisted? 10 alleged Russian secret agents arrested

Image: Drawing of five suspects in court


I thought the days of the Red Scare were gone, but then I ran across this:

U.S. says they posed as civilians, tried to infiltrate policymaking circles

Five of the 10 people charged with being Russian secret agents appeared in a New York court today.


Viral emails: creating a 29th Amendment to the Constitution

The following email is one of those forwards that is going around lately. The reader is asked to pass it on to 20 more people, and so on.

I normally ignore forwards but this one is an interesting subject so I thought I’d pass it on to you: 

----- Original Message -----

From: LLOYD Evans

To: A BOH Communication

Cc: NC House- all members ;

Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 6:09 PM

Subject: A constitutional Convention is up to you...if you care for an America that works, LLOYD

I have written my state reps to ask them to draft the wording for a Constitutional Convention, and aside from this 28th Amendment proposal (below), I want a 29th. Amendment to our Constitution: One-term-for-life amendment in the federal house or senate. 

Our federal representatives are being extorted with "If you don't vote the way we want you to...." by unions of all stripes and being paid for by other special interests groups. It is time to get the citizen back into doing their civic duties: Two years in the house in your lifetime; 6 years in the senate. We already have limits on the Office of the President so I can see no reason for not imposing them on the federal legislative bodies.

I’m fatigued with modest income representatives being elected to office only to see them retire as millionaires - how'd that happen folks? Examples: Clinton and Obama a soon-to-be-zillionaire. The name list is endless, it includes scores of those from all parties.

But YOU have to bang on the doors of your state's General Assemblies to get that ball rolling. 28th amendment not withstanding and a 29th.

              Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

So what do you think? Is this a good idea?

What were they thinking? Supreme Court limits local gun bans

Oh Boy! Now Chicago can get back to the good old days of Al Copone!

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Justices rebuff Chicago, which defended ban as reasonable exercise of local power

Sunday, June 27, 2010

As It Stands: Misunderstood connections: The Crusades, jihads and 9/11

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 06/27/2010 01:27:21 AM PDT

Who cared about the history of the Crusades before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks? History buffs, I suppose. If you were like me, your history classes barely scratched the surface on why the Crusades were waged.

My knowledge of the Crusades, after graduating from high school, was easily summed up in one paragraph. When Osama bin Laden described the United States' war on terrorists as a new crusade against Islam, I decided to revisit the subject. After some research, I thought I had a better understanding of the Crusades, and moved on to other subjects.

In a sound-bite world, a crusade quickly became a term freely used by both sides to resurrect past conflicts between two world religions. In the popular view, when I was growing up, the Crusaders were the good guys. Living in the West had something to do with that, I'm sure. The rationale was that the Crusaders spread the word of God and saved souls from Satan's minions, the Muslims.

My view changed, as the years went by, to the opinion the Crusaders invaded a peaceful Muslim society more advanced than their own. Their purpose was to loot, take land and force their religion on to those they subjugated. I saw them as opportunists jumping on an imperialistic bandwagon called the Catholic Church.

Read the rest here.

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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...