Saturday, August 7, 2010

200,000,00th visitor to this blog comes from South Africa

It took me a little while this morning to locate the exact 200,000,00th visitor to As It Stands – and he/she is from Vanderbijlpark Gauteng, in South Africa.

The viewer spent almost seven minutes reading posts. The last one they read was on a rare plant that could only be found in Namibia, Africa.

It’s called the Welwitschia Mirabilis


 Our visitor lives in the southern part of the country.

This is also a real nice vacation destination, and as you can see, it has all the amenities. There’s tours, 4-star hotels, water sports, and plenty of city shopping. It looks like a nice place to go.

So here’s a special shout-out to my unknown 200,000,00 visitor – thanks for the milestone!

Warning - tongue piercing leads to health problems, gaps between teeth, chipped teeth, and more

Tongue piercings are not removed in the way that earrings can be because "the tongue is so vascular that leaving the stud out can result in healing of the opening in the tongue," says professor Sawsan Tabbaa.Tongue piercing can cause chipped and fractured teeth, gum trauma, infection, hemorrhage and even brain abscess.

I’ve never met someone who thought barbells in the tongue was glamorous.It’s not that I don’t talk with younger people, I do. I’ve got nephews and nieces and friends of my sons who I can ask about fashion questions such as tongue piercing.

I’ll be blunt. I think it’s a piss-poor way to get attention (why else would you do it?) and it’s not a healthy thing to do. I suppose if you don’t mind experiencing the above side-effects of this tongue-in-check fad…it’s your way of making a statement. Unfortunately,that statement often comes with health drawbacks.




Vogue Italia's Off-Putting Oil-Spill Photo Spread: Art or Offensive?

I’d say this whole project is just a slick way to get people’s attention – and that I find it offensive.

What do you think?


“We're big believers in the power of an image to convey the drama, sadness, and gravity of world events. In the case of the BP oil spill, that power was never more apparent, both in the photographs that captured the devastation and in the photographs that were forbidden from being taken
The latest photos causing a stir aren't photojournalism but a fashion spread in Vogue Italia, titled "Water & Oil." Uber-edgy photographer Steven Meisel shoots model
Kristen McMenamy, clad in black, coated in oil, and draped across tainted beaches. In one shot, she has a black feather perched on her lips. In another, an oil-drenched feathered glove stands in for the hundreds of birds soaked in the spill.”

Maybe this is why some adults act like kids: our personalities may be set as early as 1st grade

Study: If you were at chatterbox at 6, you probably still areand so on…

“Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we're over the hill, according to a new study.

The results show personality traits observed in children as young as first graders are a strong predictor of adult behavior.”

image source

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meat-Eaters Beware: 1 Million Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled

7 people sickened by E. coli after eating meat from California company

A meat processor recalled about 1 million pounds of ground beef products Friday after seven people were sickened by E. coli contamination.

Valley Meat Co., of Modesto, sold the potentially contaminated beef patties and ground beef in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and internationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The beef was processed from Oct. 2, 2009, to Jan. 12, 2010. Most of the products were sold frozen and the company was working to remove them from grocery store shelves.

Friday Follies: America’s Strangest Roadside Attractions

Lucy the Elephant in New Jersey.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing (and exploring) 28 of the 29 roadside attractions featured here.

Here’s the one attraction I somehow managed to miss:

Lucy the Elephant, Margate, NJ

“Lucy the Elephant’s original role, back in 1882, was to sell real estate. In fact, she’s the first example of zoomorphic architecture in the U.S. and has the patent to prove it. Located in Margate, NJ, this much-loved roadside folly is artfully crafted from wood and tin and has proved far more versatile than her creator imagined. At 65 feet tall, and housing a spacious hall, Lucy has at various times served as a bar, an office, and a summer home.” —Adam McCulloch

As It Stands’s Latest Scum of the Month Candidate: HP’s CEO Hurd quits over sexual-harassment probe

Image: FILE: Hewlett-Packard Cutting 9,000 Jobs Worldwide

August is getting off with a bang as there’s already a bumper crop of scum eligible for the coveted, “As It Stands Scum of the Month Award.”

This will also make Hurd eligible for the “As It Stands” highly selective “Scum of the Year Award” that comes with a Life-time membership in the National Asshole Hall of Fame!

CEO filed erroneous expense reports to cover up relationship

Hewlett-Packard Co. Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd has resigned after a sexual-harassment probe that found he violated company standards, the computer maker said Friday.

Don’t worry: some food is good long past the expiration date

Image: Eggs

Eggs can last weeks, cereal up to a year past the 'use by' date

I’m one of those people guilty of not checking dates on food packaging. If it’s in my refrigerator, or kitchen cupboards, it’s fair game.

Fortunately, my wife keeps a sharp eye out and seems to always be marking containers when she opens them. Sometimes, a product (like eggs) will be past it’s expiration date and she still serves them to us. That made me uncomfortable, but the alternative would have been to forage for myself. Naturally, I trust her judgment (as I’m pretty clueless about this subject), but now I’m feeling much better after reading this article!

What’s in a name? Public schools court corporate sponsors

Image: The Black Knights softball team plays at Schwanger Bros. Field, which is sponsored by a home services company

The final bastion has been breeched.

School districts are turning to advertisers to pay their bills.

Perhaps in a few years, we’ll see Humboldt Schools with playing fields and buildings named after the county’s biggest cash crop. 

Think about it: Local farmers could hock their special brands while supporting our local school districts!  HSU could have “PURPLE KUSH FIELD.” The College of the Redwoods could have “Sour Diesel Study Hall,” and other schools could have their ball fields and buildings adorned with names like; “Grandfather Daddy Library,” or “Headband Field.”


         Districts nationwide seek lucrative naming-rights deals for facilities

“It’s too soon to know yet whether Flamy will show up next spring when Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pa., opens its softball season.

Flamy — a smiling electric, well, flame on blue legs — was there in April when the Black Knights took the field en route to a 13-9 playoff season. That’s because it’s his field they play on.

Flamy is the corporate mascot of Schwanger Bros. & Co. Inc. (“serving Central Pennsylvania for more than 70 years”), a heating and air-conditioning company in nearby Lancaster that owns the rights to the name of Hempstead’s softball diamond — Schwanger Bros. Field. There’s a big yellow Schwanger Bros. banner on the fence. Schwanger Bros. banners hang from each foul pole and along the bottom of the scoreboard. On Opening Day, a Schwanger Bros. logo even graced home plate.”

PHOTO: Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pa., has sold the names of several of its sports and academic facilities. The Black Knights softball team plays at Schwanger Bros. Field, which is sponsored by a home services company. That’s Flamy, the company’s corporate mascot — not the school’s — on the right

Thursday, August 5, 2010

That’s embarrassing : forget about ever running for President now Rudy!

*Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, his daughter Caroline and son Andrew pose for photographers as they arrive at Gracie Mansion for Giuliani's wedding to Judith Nathan in this May 24, 2003, file photo.

I’ve heard rumors that Rudy Giuliani has aspirations of someday becoming the President of the United States. This little caper might prove to be a pothole on that road to power.

Being entirely clueless of the average American’s needs, almost qualifies him for a place in one of the Houses, but let’s face it…the little creep wouldn’t look good in the Oval Office and what party would sponsor him?

He’s got other things to think about right now:

The rebellious daughter of former law-and-order Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was busted today for allegedly stealing makeup from an upscale beauty and skin care shop near her Upper East Side home, officials said.

Cops said Caroline Giuliani, 20, a student at Harvard University, was arrested after security cameras caught her stuffing makeup into her jacket pocket at a Sephora store at E. 86th Street and Lexinton Avenue shortly before 2 p.m.

Giuliani, who was in the store by herself, was confronted by a sales clerk and a store security guard, who called police. Sources said she allegedly stole five items, worth about $100.”

PHOTO- Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, his daughter Caroline and son Andrew pose for photographers as they arrive at Gracie Mansion for Giuliani's wedding to Judith Nathan in this May 24, 2003, AP file photo.

Mysterious tunnel discovered under Mexican ruins

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Blocked-off chamber may be a tomb for Teotihuacan’s rulers

Russian Satanist Sect Members Sentenced For Slaughter Of 4 Teens

Moscow, Russian Federation (AHN) -- Seven members of a Satanic sect were meted two-to 20-year prison terms for killing three high school boys and one girl in 2008 as part of an initiation ritual.

A court in the Russian city of Yaroslavl sentenced ringleader Nikolai Ogolobyak, 21, to 20 years imprisonment for murder, robbery and desecrating a corpse. His accomplices, four boys and a girl, were ordered to serve from eight to 10 years imprisonment.

A sixth accomplice was meted a two-year jail sentence and the eighth suspect, Anton Makovkin, 21, was sent to a mental institution for being insane.

The convicted killers cut apart their dead victims, who were joining the Gothic group, before burying their bodies.

The relatives of the victims protested the verdict for being too light. However, under Russian law, 10 years was the maximum prison term for underage criminals.

The beginning of the end of ‘net neutrality’: Google, Verizon near deal on pay tiers for Web – consumers should prepare to get screwed in cyberspace now!

I knew it would happen eventually. What we have here is the opening gambit to soak more money out of Internet users.

If you’re old enough to remember TV before cable, then you have a pretty good idea where all of this is leading. 

                Closed-door deal may be big hit against 'Net neutrality

Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.

 The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers.

The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users.

UPDATE 10:14 a.m.

Google, Verizon deny talks about Web pay tiers!

New York Times report is 'mistaken,' says Verizon Wireless

"We've not had any convos with (Verizon) about paying for carriage of our traffic," Google said on Twitter. "We remain committed to an open Internet."

David Fish, Verizon's executive director of media relations wrote on the company's public policy blog. "It fundamentally misunderstands our purpose. As we said in our earlier FCC filing, our goal is an Internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC authority, while maintaining investment and innovation. To suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect."

I’m not sure what to make of this announcement. Did someone let the cat out of the bag too soon? Did a reporter misinterpret information provided to him/her? It’s anyone’s guess what is really going on here.

I know one thing, I don’t trust these corporations. Profit is the end-all (regardless of how it’s achieved) to their corporate philosophies. It’s called capitalism, corruption, and corporate rule of the airways.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

U.S. has a problem: Karzai is thwarting bribery case

Image: Afghan President Karzai after a news conference in Kabul

A top national security aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai was arrested last week on bribery charges —then released the same day “at the direction of the palace,” a senior U.S. official tells NBC News.

The handling of the case of Mohamed Zia Salehi, the chief administrator of Karzai’s national security council, has infuriated U.S. officials and raised new questions about Karzai’s commitment to cracking down on corruption within his government.


President Barack Obama's special envoy Richard Holbrooke recently testified that up to 30 percent of Afghan police salaries — paid in cash and financed with U.S tax dollars — are being stolen by their superiors.


 Overall, as much $1 billion a year in cash, often stuffed in suitcases, is being flown out of Afghanistan and taken to Dubai, U.S. investigators say.

I remember going to Disneyland in 1955, when it opened

July 17th, 1955 – The night before…

The anticipation of going to a place full of rides for kids kept my sisters, brother, cousin, and I talking late into the morning hours.

Our parents allowed us all to spend the night in the living room (sleeping bags and all), and we pretended we were camping out.

We must have gotten some sleep because we were ready to go at the crack of dawn. By the time we got to Anaheim (we lived in the San Fernando Valley) a mob (see photo below right) of people were pouring through the gates. I guess they didn’t know much about crowd control in those days.

It’s hard to say what I remember most about that magical day. I was five-years old and quickly overawed at the magnificence around me. One of the most impressive was the “Rocket to the Moon/Flight to the Moon/Mission to Mars” exhibit that instantly made me want to be an astronaut.

Indian Village(© 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

I thought the “Indian Village(left)” was neat, as I loved playing Cowboys and Indians. Looking back, I can see how people might think we were racist or politically incorrect by today’s standards.

But, back then we were innocent of such things because they were all around us and we didn’t know any better. The movies told us the Cowboys were the good guys and the Indians were the bad guys.

Back to Disneyland:

I recall riding in Dumbo, who gently went up and down and around. I thought the people dressed up like cartoon characters were cool. I asked my dad how the people inside could stand the heat? Unfortunately, I can’t remember exactly what he said. It was something along the lines of “They get paid to do it.” I sure remember the heat.

When you walked your feet stuck to the newly laid asphalt (they kept slipping out of my sandals!) that looked wet under the blazing sun. Women were getting their high heels stuck, much to my amusement. I saw more than one person fall down, only to quickly get up red-faced and embarrassed, trying to act like nothing happened. If people tripped and fell today (and it was the amusement park’s fault) they’d sue and get part ownership!

My overall impression of that day’s

big adventure (See Photo left), was one of bliss.

As we drove home I struggled to stay awake and talk with my older sister Linda, but lost the battle and passed out.

I ran across the following article this morning and it inspired me to reminisce. Enjoy:

10 Things I Miss About Disneyland

By Rick VanderKnyff


“When Disneyland opened in 1955, Westerns were still the biggest thing on TV and the early Disney rides and attractions reflected that. Orange County also had Knott's Berry Farm, which comprised mainly the ghost town -- with free admission -- and chicken dinner restaurant until owners decided to go whole hog into the Disney-style theme park business. In those days, young fans would head to Disneyland or Knott's with their cap pistols strapped onto their hips and felt cowboy hats on their heads.

The Indian Village, with real people in full Native America garb hanging out amid the teepees and other paraphernalia, was one of Disneyland's original attractions in those quieter, less culturally aware times. This attraction -- with people in native costume on display -- would never fly today, and rightly so. But it's interesting to remember when this was all part of the Disney experience.”

Good Dog! Canine chews off owner’s toe, saves his life

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Is he the next Picasso? 8-year-old sells paintings for $235,803

Collectors are snapping up his works: The next Picasso?

Kieron Williamson, who just turned 8, is drawing collectors from as far from New York City and South Africa to his little British town of Holt. An exhibition of his paintings fetched the equivalent of $235,804 in under 30 minutes. London's Daily Mail dubbed him "Mini Monet." (Alban Donohoe / ©

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Warning :many dietary supplements are contaminated

Retailers sell pills despite warnings, and FDA has little power to regulate

Many popular dietary supplements contain ingredients that may cause cancer, heart problems, liver or kidney damage, but U.S. stores sell them anyway and Americans spend millions on them, according to Consumer Reports.

Study suggests men should wear red shirts to attract women

 Men who want to be more magnetic need only don an article of red clothing, scientists now say.

Dave the 4th of July

Researchers from the University of Rochester and other institutions around the globe have discovered that the color red makes a man more attractive and sexually desirable to women, according to a report published this month in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

PHOTO: here I am trying to attract the ladies with my red shirt. I have to report it didn’t work, therefore I suspect  this studies findings!

Life is full of illusions that sometimes elude us!

Stairs To Eternity...

Life is full of illusions. We often are unaware of them, but they exist, waiting to be studied, even admired. Perspective is one of the steps illusion uses to confound our brain while opening up new doors of awareness. 

I like to share illusions because they are often magical and make me think anything is possible. Illusions can open our “Third Eye” and lead to revelations.The photo above even gives me an audio treat as I hear the beat of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” in my head.

Take moment and enjoy this clever illusion. If you’d like to see more go here for the source.

Prick and run? Botox bandits rip off wrinkle shots

Cosmetic crooks spur surgeons to nip and tuck payment practices

You might call it a new wrinkle on the old dine-and-dash.

Last month, a woman waltzed into a cosmetic dermatology center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., spent two-and-a-half hours getting $3,300 worth of Botox and dermal fillers, then told staff she needed to duck out to a nearby ATM.

It was the last they saw of her.

PHOTO: All-American beauty (and "Botox bandit") Jaime Merk in her Tampa police mug shot

Monday, August 2, 2010

‘Scum of the Week’ Waters Broke House Ethics Rules

Image: Maxine Waters

A California lawmaker is the second Democrat in two weeks to be accused of ethic violations. She is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, which handled the recent rewrite of legislation that regulates financial institutions and has strong protections for consumers.


Rep. Maxine Waters!

Waters took the wannabes As It StandsScum of the Week” award on a Monday! That’s never happened before. But this gal really ran up a score…

She’s accused of breaking rules when she requested federal help for a bank where her husband was a board member and owned stock? Hmmmm…

Silverdome to Host First International Cannabis Convention

The Silverdome  in Pontiac, Michigan is to host the first International Cannabis Convention & Halloween Harmony & Harvest Fest over the coming Halloween weekend.


The event will feature entertainers, exhibits, vendors, guest speakers, and edibles for qualifying patients with current medical marijuana cards. Attendees must be at least 18.

Pontiac Silverdome spokesman John Mozena says a medical marijuana trade show will be held Oct. 29-31 at the recently reopened stadium.

Is Global Warming a Reality? Recent Reports repudiate skeptics

IN A DEPRESSING case of irony by juxtaposition, the death of climate change legislation in the Senate has been followed by the appearance of two government reports in the past week that underscore the overwhelming scientific case for global warming -- and go out of the way to repudiate skeptics.

First came a report on global climate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which confirmed that the 2000s were by far the warmest decade in the instrumental record -- as were, in their turns, the 1980s and the 1990s. Unlike year-to-year fluctuations, these 10-year shifts are statistically significant. Further, the report notes that it derived its conclusions from an array of data sources -- not just the land-surface readings that doubters challenge -- from ocean heat uptake to melting land ice to sea level rise.


Second was a strongly worded response from the Environmental Protection Agency to petitions that it revoke its finding that "climate change is real, is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities and threatens human health and environment." As with much climate-change skepticism, the petitions were based "on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. Among other things, the agency reviewed every document from the "Climategate" e-mail hack at a respected British climate research unit. The EPA found what four other independent studies did: that the e-mails contained some "candid" language but nothing that seriously discredits the scientific consensus on global warming.”

Going to college this Fall? Explore some dorm gadgets that you never knew you needed

From ramen timers to bed-shaking alarm clocks to fridge lockers

I think the Mini-donut factory sounds like a must! Yum. Fresh donuts in the dorm every morn!

Writer Sean Fallon offers a list of eleven items you probably never heard of, but once you see them…well, see what you think.


30,000 dog bites in 6 months: rabid dogs bring death to island paradise of Bali

Image: Kadek Wirayani, 8, and a puppy

Epidemic kills 78 in two years on Bali, one of Asia's top tourist destinations

"Culturally, it is difficult to convince people that dogs can carry disease," Sutedja said. "In the traditional Balinese faith people believe that dogs will take them to heaven."

The Indonesian government says it's overwhelmed, with more than 30,000 dog bites reported in just the first half of this year across Bali.

Photo: A vet at the nonprofit Bali Animal Welfare Association injects a puppy held by Kadek Wirayani, 8, with a rabies vaccine.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

As It Stands: 'I know I'm right' syndrome or being stupid and proud of it

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 08/01/2010 01:30:22 AM PDT

Regardless of the way some of us act, no one is perfect. That's where stupidity comes in. Because we know we're not perfect we often try to cover up our mistakes, or even the mistakes of others. That's stupid because everyone knows their time to screw up will come. It's as inevitable as taxes and death.

I won't even attempt to number the stupid mistakes I've made in my life. I sometimes talk about my stupidest failures and joke about them, hoping to get a smile or laugh that could help take away the sting.

James F. Welles, Ph.D, the author of “Understanding Stupidity: an Analysis of the Unnatural Selection of Beliefs and Behavior in Institutions and Organization,” wrote that not all failures are stupid. It seems in a behaviorist's universe, there is no such thing as stupidity. Behavior, Welles asserts, “is simply (or complexly) caused, and the corruption of the learning process and limitations on a living system's ability to adapt are inherent in the process of life.”

An understanding of how stupidity affects us could make us better people. We call self-deception stupid because we ignore facts that could help or hurt us. For example, say you're a politician arguing there's no such thing as “Global Warming” and you find new relevant information that proves otherwise.

What do you do? Change your position to reflect the truth or ignore it to further a political agenda? If you do the latter, you are stupid, greedy, or you have a broken moral compass.

Facts enlighten us and result in clear thinking. Accepting facts is acknowledging the truth. To turn away from facts is stupid. But not everyone is interested in the truth.

Go here to read the rest.

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...