Saturday, October 23, 2010

It’s a full moon tonight – not that we’ll be able to see it

Guerilla artist displays dark dolphin ride to make a point

banksy kiddie ride dolphin bp oil photo

World-famous guerilla artist Banksy has made many environmental statements in the past, but this one is particularly clever, especially with the events of the past few months.

Check out the video to see the coin-operated kiddie ride in action.

OK…it’s kinda bizarre, but it does make statement.

I think it’s a great reminder that BP still has a long way to go when it comes to cleaning up the mess they made.

Will college meth lab discovery spark some sense into the Feds?

I hope this wakes up some people on how pervasive meth is in our society today.

All we hear about are the Feds increasingly senseless attacks on marijuana. In a DEA report earlier this year there was a breakdown of how much money was allocated to fight drugs.Almost two-thirds of the monies went to fight marijuana while the remaining third went to cocaine, heroin, meth, prescription drugs, etc., al.

That imbalance is not only wrong, it’s criminally wrong in my book. Big Pharma and other corporations that have lobbied against pot for decades, purely for financial reasons, are the real criminals!

Making pot a priority and pouring millions of dollars into it’s pursuit isn’t logical, especially when you look at the damage done by meth, cocaine, and heroin. Any right-thinking person can see this. Take the politics out of the issue for a moment, and look at the statistics. Consider what’s really happening. People aren’t overdosing on weed. They don’t become addicted zombies ready to kill for their next shot of THC.

I hope this unusual news story shakes some people up and makes them realize the enemy isn’t pot – it’s the rest of the drugs the Feds fail to prioritize in their so-called “War on Drugs.”

 Suspected meth lab found in Georgetown University dorm 

“A dormitory for freshmen at prestigious Georgetown University was evacuated after a suspected meth lab was found in a room.

Washington fire and emergency services spokesman Pete Piringer said the department's hazardous materials team responded to Harbin Hall around 6:15 a.m. Saturday.

The dorm was evacuated, but seven people were exposed to noxious chemicals, including three students. No one was transported to the hospital.

The investigation is ongoing. Police are questioning possible suspects and believe some students were involved.

Georgetown spokesman Jordan Gray says about 400 students remained evacuated late Saturday morning while federal agents investigated. Students were sent to various campus buildings.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Woman drives around with corpse in car for months before being discovered

Remember Weekend at Bernie’s ?

I just ran across this true, but bizarre, news story.


A California woman drove for nearly a year with a dead body in her passenger seat…

You might ask “Didn’t she…aaahhh smell anything?” Apparently she did because police found a box of baking soda next to the decaying corpse. Isn’t that special?

The woman who carted the mummified remains around - like a scene out of Weekend with Bernie’s - is a 57 year-old real estate agent. She befriended the woman letting her sleep in her car because she was homeless.

When she died, the real estate agent didn’t know what to do and just covered her up. An interesting reaction to say the least. She put a blanket over her and proceeded to drive around for 10 months until accidently discovered.

One investigating police officer observed that she must have gotten use to the smell. How does a person get use to the very ripe small of a decaying corpse? I know it would take a lot more than one box of baking soda (a mountain wouldn’t suffice!).

Just another case of truth being at least as strange as fiction! 

The X name: candidates paint opponents as ‘extreme’


No matter what your political views may be, if you’re in a contested race for federal office this cycle, someone, somewhere, is probably calling you “extreme.”

Candidates of all stripes seek to label opponents 'extreme'

Reader profile: visitors are coming back in big numbers

Today’s featured reader is from Wroclaw: a city and administrative centre for Dolnoslaskie, Poland

The viewer spend 15 minutes with “As It Stands” this morning. With the return of school, I’ve seen a marked increase in readership. This blog is now averaging about 1200 daily visitors.

“As It Stands” is nearing the quarter million mark after two years online. It’s been fun, and I expect it will continue to be. Thanks to all the recent readers who have been returning to the fold once school started.

Wrocław [ˈvrɔt​͡swaf] ( listen) (German: Breslau (Ltspkr.png listen)) is the chief city in south-western Poland, situated on the River Oder (Polish: Odra). Wrocław is the capital of Silesia and, also of Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Over the centuries, the city has been either part of Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia or Germany. According to official population figures for June 2009, its population is 632,240, making it the fourth largest city in Poland.

The city's name was first recorded in the year 1000 by Thietmar's Latin chronicle called Thietmari Merseburgensis episcopi Chronicon as Wrotizlawa. The first municipal seal stated Sigillum civitatis Wratislavie. A simplified name is given, in 1175, as Wrezlaw, Prezla or Breslaw. The Czech spelling was used in Latin documents as Wratislavia or Vratislavia. At that time, Prezla was used in Middle High German, which became Preßlau. In the middle of the 14th century the Early New High German (and later New High German) form of the name Breslau began to replace its earlier versions.

The city is traditionally believed to be named after Wrocisław or Vratislav, often believed to be Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia. It is also possible that the city was named after the tribal duke of the Silesians or after an early ruler of the city called Vratislav.

Man with first mind-controlled bionic arm dies after car crash

Image: Christian Kandlbauer

Remains unclear whether a fault with the prosthetic was to blame

“An Austrian man who lost both his arms in an accident but was able to drive because of a mind-controlled prosthetic has died after a car crash, a doctor said Friday.”

PHOTO - Christian Kandlbauer, who lost both of his arms in a high voltage accident, and makes the journey to his place of work in September.

Opps! 'World's most advanced' nuke sub runs aground!

Image: HMS AstuteBritish vessel is said to be 'virtually undetectable' — normally

I would hate to be the captain of this $1 Billion dollar sub right now.

This isn’t exactly the kind of PR the British want for their “World’s most advanced sub.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Check out this great MSN video: Clown elected to Brazil Congress

Check out this great MSN video: Clown elected to Brazil Congress

Behind the Redwood Curtain: my local candidate endorsements…

Note: all three of my picks are write-in candidates, but don’t let that bother you. At least, they’re honest about being clowns…unlike their competition.

For District Attorney: Oboy the Clown (left). He’s never lied about his qualifications for being a DA or claimed to be a college professor. He’s never lost a court case, or gone surfing.

For Assessor: Bobo the Clown (right). Beside being a snappy dresser, Bobo doesn’t have “good old boy’ ties going back five generations, which means some new blood might turn this office around.

Finally, for Healthcare District: Meme the Clown (left) She’s another newcomer with no political agenda who just likes people and makes them laugh. She won’t do any worse than her predecessors!

ROAD MARVELS: extraordinary cars from before the war

Talbot-Lago T150 C Figoni et Falaschi 'Goutte d'Eau'

4 liter 6 cylinder in line engine.

Only 16 units built.

Valued at $3 million US

Go here to see more stunning examples of auto craftsmanship from the 1930s.

Toad-al shock: Couple find frog in bag of frozen veggies

Image: Frog in vegetables

What’s going on? Frogs are turning up in bottles of wine (see recent post below) and in bags of veggies. Is this some sinister conspiracy against frogs?

Most important, what happened to the frog? It sounds like he woke up to a screaming woman who re-sealed him back up in the bag!

This chilling tale of unexpected protein has changed a Michigan family’s life

Tim Hoffman is getting used to all the frog jokes. He smiles along when co-workers walk past him and say, “Ribbit! Ribbit!”

He understands why his story captures the imaginations of frozen-vegetable buyers everywhere, and he’s even able to chuckle about it a little bit in hindsight. But that doesn’t mean it’s really a laughing matter.

Schneider of the Lansing State Journal said it’s been entertaining to watch the buzz building online over the frog story.

“Some of the comments have been pretty funny,” Schneider said. “People were saying, ‘What’s he complaining about? It’s a complete meal in a bag! He should be going back and paying Meijer another $3!’ ”

Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

L.A. prosecutors charge 1968 Playboy playmate of the year with attempted murder


“The 1968 Playboy playmate of the year has been charged with attempted murder after Los Angeles police said she shot her husband of 20 years this weekend during a dispute, authorities said Wednesday.

Victoria Rathgeb, 66, is due in court Nov. 1 to answer to the charge that she intentionally shot her husband with a semiautomatic handgun.

Rathgeb, being held in lieu of $1.5-million bail, was arrested Saturday after police said they responded to a reported shooting at an apartment in the 7000 block of Hawthorn Avenue in Hollywood.”

A false rape conviction, 22 years in prison — and now an $18.5 million award

'It’s been a long time getting to this point,' NYC man says of jury verdict

Try to imagine how this man feels. Would $18.5 million really make things better?

And what are the odds he’s going to collect this award?

The lawyers have already filed an appeal. The bastards will keep it in the courts for as long as possible hoping he will die or disappear! It’s the last we’ll probably ever hear about this case.

Psychic objects and symbols to watch for in your everyday life


I admit to being somewhat skeptical of psychics. Having said that, this is a well-written and thought-provoking article about psychic energies and psychics.

I try to keep my mind open about things I don’t totally understand. That’s why I’m sharing this:

‘Human beings perceive the world through many filters so we are not overrun with information like a dog caught in the middle of traffic.

Scientists know that there are all kinds of things going on around us that we are completely unaware of and therefore we have no idea that they affect us at all.’

  “Part of what makes a psychic a psychic is their ability to tune in to these energies and get information from them. This is possible because we are not separate beings as we are led to believe, but instead, interwoven parts bound together by the same tapestry of life. Therefore, everything is a reflective macrocosm or microcosm of the other parts of life, illustrated by the fact that the course the planets travel across the heavens is a reflection of our own life's journey.

 PsychometryObjectsEvery object on Earth, even a stick, can have a psychic meaning at one time or another. An object can be infused with the psychic power of all those who have held or used the object. A place can also give an object psychic power, as in a stone that comes from the Moon.

Many ancient cultures believe that every object has a spiritual identity whether inanimate or mobile. Therefore, every object in our daily life has the potential to give psychic insight or affect a situation.
Some psychics who work with the police can find a missing person by just having a piece of their clothing or a photograph. There are other psychics who can pick up the energy left behind by events that have taken place in the room.

Many musicians say that an instrument that has been played by great players carries their spirit. Even wearing someone else's shoes can make you start to feel like them.
People witness the psychic power in everyday objects daily, but quickly forget about them because they usually haven't created a file in their brain that stores that kind of cryptic information.
How many times have psreiki_i0f2ychic things happened to you in your daily routine? For instance, you hit every green light on a street you don't know and the first red one to stop you was the one you needed to turn on. Or, you saw something - anything from a car to a tree - that you had envisioned before in a dream.

These types of psychic occurrences happen to us all through our lives, but they happen to a psychic on an everyday level. These interactions with objects give them another source of information about the nature of things.

 Religious objects like crosses and pendants are often believed to have all kinds of psychic power from protecting like a talisman to making a bond with a holy spirit. Every day we see people wearing objects that they believe give them a power or connection.
Outside of wearing religious objects, are world is covered with their symbols. There are few places in the world where large religious icons are not displayed in public places. They are so common that we tend not to even notice them.

imagesCAGTB2YS  Objects do not have to be exotic, flamboyant, or religious to have psychic power. Any electrical appliance - including radios, televisions, and computers - can be a transmitter of psychic energy. In fact, there are those who argue that computers have had the psychic energy to change our entire civilization, as televisions and radios did before them.
There is no doubt that common everyday objects can have psychic power, the question is learning to perceive the power and use it properly.”

Article from MSN Astrology no author name given

Pre-caffeine tech: This monkey's gone to heaven

Apple's expected to announce big upgrades today for Macbook Air and iLife.

Whatever else Apple announces, they best get to revealing a Verizon iPhone sometime soon.

And despite what Steve Jobs rants, there may have been a 7-inch iPad somewhere at some point.

Also expected today, a new Nook e-reader. 

Speaking of rants, Facebook developer Joe Hewitt ripped into what Android' calls "Open."

Photo - Hey! Remember when this came out? Yeah, you're officially old.

And the Pixies are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Doolittle (THAT'S TWENTY YEARS! DANG!) by letting you download the LP pretty much for free! (You just have to get on the the Pixies mailing list.) GO! GO NOW!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

17,000 doctors cash in drug company money, report finds

Payments are legal but reveal pharmaceutical marketing tactics

“More than 17,000 doctors and other health care providers have taken money from seven major drug companies to talk to other doctors about their products, a joint investigation by news organizations and non-profit groups found.”


"Tens of thousands of U.S. physicians are paid to spread the word about pharma's favored pills and to advise the companies about research and marketing," the group says in its report, available at

The groups used information from seven drugmakers -- AstraZeneca, Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer.”

Haute dog! World’s most expensive frank costs $69

Image: World's most expensive hot dog

Foot-long garnished with truffle oil, foie gras sets record

“Restaurateur Stephen Bruce has already gotten folks to pony up $1,000 for an ice-cream sundae. So what’s a measly $69 for a hot dog?

Make that an “haute dog.” Bruce’s famous Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York City celebrated National Hot Dog Day June 23 by marrying a foot-long tube of meat with such decidedly nontraditional accoutrements as black truffles and foie gras, served on a pretzel roll grilled in white truffle butter.”

RIP - 'Happy Days' star Tom Bosley dead

Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley, the patient, understanding father on television's long-running "Happy Days," has died. He was 83.

Bosley died of heart failure early Tuesday at a hospital near his Palm Springs home. Bosley's agent, Sheryl Abrams, said he was also battling lung cancer.

TV Guide ranked Bosley's Happy Days character No. 9 on its list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in 2004.

The show debuted in 1974 and ran for 11 seasons.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Calls for End to Marijuana Prohibition

Former U.S. Surgeon General — and MPP VIP Advisory Board member — Joycelyn Elders appeared on CNN recently to argue against the criminalization of marijuana users.

“Marijuana has never caused anybody directly to die,” she said. “It’s not a toxic substance … We can use our resources so much better. I think we need to legalize marijuana for adults, and tax it so we can use the money for much better things.”

Report: Ancient ruins worldwide 'on verge of vanishing'

“Twelve historic sites around the world are "on the verge of vanishing" because of mismanagement and neglect, according to a new report.

The report, by San Francisco-based Global Heritage Fund (GHF), identifies nearly 200 heritage sites in developing nations as being at risk, highlighting 12 as being on the verge of irreparable loss and destruction.

Three sites in the Middle East, Iraq's Nineveh, Palestine's Hisham's Palace, and Turkey's Ani, are among those most in danger.”

Photo – Palestine’s Hisham’s Palace.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cannabis Tales: new pot growers and America’s last pioneer movement under assault

Indoor marijuana cultivation


They're indoors, upscale and have values their hippie parents shunned.

Tony Sasso’s story profiled.


In the Triangle, he said, "indoor allowed the kids of hippies and rednecks to get rich."

AND.. “All this would have been unthinkable 40 years ago when hippies, runaways and Vietnam veterans headed to the Northern California outback in one of America's last pioneer movements, called Back to the Land.” assault

U.S. Senate candidate’s private security guards handcuff editor/irrational liberal blogger for asking questions

Alaska Dispatch founder and editor Tony Hopfinger sits with his hands cuffed in a Central Middle School hallway after being arrested by private security, left, while he was trying to ask U.S. Senate republican candidate Joe Miller questions as Miller was leaving a town hall meeting on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010.  An APD officer, second from right, gathers information from the scene.


The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate, Joe Miller's, private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.

The Miller campaign released a written one-paragraph statement from Fuller, then followed with a statement titled, "Liberal Blogger 'Loses It' at Town Hall Meeting." In that statement, Miller accused Hopfinger of assaulting someone and of taking advantage of the meeting to "create a publicity stunt."

He said his personal security detail had to take action to detain "the irrational blogger."

Crystal Cathedral Ministries: a ‘Disneyland-like’ megachurch files for bankruptcy

Image: Robert A. Schuller

How about this? Now they won’t have to pay their taxes or their debts?

What a racket.

Anyone foolish enough to be associated with these Mega Churches and their false prophets, deserves to get financially fleeced and become morally bankrupt.

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, an Orange County landmark and megachurch founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday morning.”

Look at those two grinning clowns. You’d be smiling too if you got rich doing nothing but babbling about your interpretation of the Bible while passing the plate around. 

PHOTO - Robert A. Schuller, left, poses for a photo with his father, Robert H. Schuller, outside the Crystal Cathedral on Feb. 9, 2006, in Orange, Calif. On Monday, the megachurch filed for bankruptcy.

It’s time to ask questions: An Open Letter to the Tea Party

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.

You didn't get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.

You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans. . .oh hell no!

Thought for the day: change is almost inevitable in mid-term elections

A short History lesson: A president's party almost always loses House and Senate seats in a midterm season…

Some political pundits say this is NOT an average midterm correction. Are we headed for a third-straight change election? If so, this is truly historic, something most of us have never experienced.

Will the Tea Party candidates fracture the GOP? Or give it a lift?

On the heels of his event last night in Ohio, which was attended by an estimated 35,000, Obama embarks on another busy campaign week. He’s going to be all over the map encouraging Democrats to vote for their party.

The AFL-CIO has released a memo to reporters that puts its influence squarely on the line in its efforts to mobilize union voters.

Here's a potential problem for Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck (R), who has been leading Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in most polls. The Denver Post: "Buck suddenly elevated the culture wars from minor player to center stage in the Senate race … when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism in a nationally televised debate.

Questions of decency and Aqua Buddha: And it's getting personal in Kentucky. "A debate filled with unabashed personal attacks concluded Sunday night with Republican Rand Paul briskly brushing past Democrat Jack Conway, refusing to shake the hand of an opponent who raised questions about his religious beliefs," the Lexington Herald-Leader notes. "'Jack, have you no decency? Have you no shame?

In New York, a New York Times poll has Andrew Cuomo (D) leading Carl Paladino by 35 points among likely voters (59%-24%).

Talking about voting : we have made some progress since the 20s


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Supreme Court to consider banning violent video games for minors

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/17/2010 01:20:52 AM PDT

Eleven years have passed since two teenage boys massacred 13 people at Columbine High School. During that investigation, it was revealed that they were avid players of weapon-based combat games Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.

Newspaper articles across the country focused on the allegation that video games were the cause of the tragedy.

Violent video games are still a problem among America's youth today. That's no surprise, considering their popularity.

A study (Grusser, 2007) said 11.9 percent of video game players fulfill diagnostic criteria for addiction concerning their gaming behavior. Researchers say that 8.5 percent of video game players ages 8-18 exhibit pathological patterns of play, exhibiting at least six of the 11 symptoms of damage to family, social, school or psychological functioning (Gentile, 2009).

In Broward County, Fla., two attacks among the same group of middle-school students at Deerfield Beach Middle School left police and parents wondering why. The first involved a girl being beaten nearly to death by a 15-year-old boy over a text message.

As if that's not bad enough, this is the same school where students nearly killed another student by setting him on fire last year. Where's this aggression coming from? A quick review of popular, violent video games will show you the connection between them and violent acts by America's impressionable youth.

According to the National Institute on Media and the Family:

* Over-dependence on video games fosters isolation, as they are often played alone.

* Practicing violent acts may contribute more to aggressive behavior than passive television watching. Studies also find a relationship between watching violent television and behavior.

* Women are often portrayed as characters that are helpless, or sexually provocative.

* Game environments are often based on plots of violence, aggression and gender bias.

* Playing violent video games may be related to aggressive behavior (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004).

* Games can confuse reality and fantasy.

* In many games, players must become more violent to win. In the “first person” violent video games, the player may be more affected because he or she controls the game and participates through the eyes of his or her character.

I think anyone can reasonably see that exposure to violent video games has an effect on young people. Studies suggest even occasional exposure to violent games has a negative influence on young players.

The reality is, video games are here to stay. The U.S. video game industry reached over $21 billion in sales in 2008, according to the NPD Group Inc. (, a leading global provider of consumer and retail market research information for a wide range of industries since 1967.

The group also said video games account for nearly one-third of entertainment industry spending in the U.S. I don't foresee the popularity of video games fading soon.

I want to mention that not all video games are violent and bad for children. Actually, they can be very helpful instruments in learning. According to one study (Graf, 2009), children use about two-and-a-half times more energy when playing Wii bowling and doing the beginner level activities than they do while watching TV.

California passed a law in 2005 that would have required violent video games to include an “18” label and criminalized the sale of these games to minors. The law was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, whose ruling was upheld in February 2009 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Then the case went to the Supreme Court.

This is the first time that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on any of the state laws attempting to ban certain video games. Until now, lower courts have struck down these kinds of laws. Oral arguments are scheduled to take place on Nov. 2.

As It Stands, parents can't stop violent video games from being sold, but they can censor what their children play and educate them about the dangers.


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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...