Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brain Teasers: Optical illusions that trigger your brain…


Go HERE to see more examples of this tricky art.

I’m Under Arrest for What? Fifty Bizarre U.S. Laws

I’m Under Arrest for What? Fifty Bizarre U.S. Laws

It seems no state is without some wackaloon law that was drawn up by either inebriated or stoned legislators. I’m just saying that in…

It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. Apparently it was a problem at some time in the state’s history!

Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited. I bet Sarah Palin knows that.

Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term. I can’t imagine what would happen if you cut down a tree!

It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas. I’m trying to picture people walking around in crowds listening for offenders.

You may not eat an orange in your bathtub. Don’t even ask.

It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver). It can’t be easy being a good neighbor there.

A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces. Okay.

It’s illegal to get married on a dare. I wonder if this law was drawn up on a whim?

Go HERE to see the rest

Feds arrest Somali-born teen, thwart car bomb plot in downtown Portland

Image: Mohamed Osman Mohamud

A Somali-born teenager plotted to carry out a car bomb attack at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland on Friday, but the bomb turned out to be a dud supplied by undercover agents as part of a sting, federal prosecutors said.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would blow up a van laden with explosives but instead brought federal agents and Portland police swooping in to take him into custody.

The thwarted attack occurred at Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square before the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, The Oregonian reported.

Mohamud yelled "Allahu Akhkbar" (translated, God Is Great!) and tried to kick agents and police as the arrest came, according to prosecutors.

He was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dave’s Hoop Dreams: or Confessions of a Basketball Jones


I’ve always loved to play basketball. From the moment that first made shot whispered through the rope (4th grade) I was hooked. I’m also a Laker fan dating back to the sixties. 

Playing the game has always been pure pleasure for me. I recall shooting away on the basketball courts in the school next to where I lived, until darkness forced me inside. As I got older I discovered pick-up games in my neighborhoods, and always played my heart out in them.

My best basketball buddy fanatic is Larry who I went to high school with. We played many classic pick-up games, but there’s one in particular I’m going to share with you:

First, this is a true story. After I got out of the Army in 1971 we went to a gym in La Mirada, California, hoping for some b-ball action. At first, it was just us on one half court and a few people on the other. They weren’t interested in playing with us. We really didn’t let that bother us as we were both in a great mood. And why not? We’d dropped a hit of Orange Wedge acid a half hour earlier and were starting to “come on” to the trip.

That’s when two older men walked in carrying gym bags. They came right up to us and asked if we’d like to play some two-on-two and we said okay. What followed was a surreal experience. Even today when we talk bout this unusual game, it’s hard to recall all of the details. I know, no surprise.


So there we were, playing these two guys and they’re roughing us up! Throwing elbows and aggressive screens, they took an early lead. Not sure how much. At one point, as Larry and I were watching the ball, we could see “follow-ups” like something out of a cartoon. We asked for a time out and got one. As we stood there, sweat pouring down our t-shirts, we tried to get a hold on all of the pretty little colors that seemed to have sprung up everywhere. As our opponents headed for the water fountain, we heard one say, “Good job Sarge…” the rest a blur! We looked closer at their bags up against the gym wall. Sheriff logos. Oh no. What to do?

They came back and we resumed the game. Not sure what happened. Either we temporarily “came down” off our highs, or were inspired to play the best two-on-two basket of our lives. The upshot: we beat them. can’t tell you the score, but we did beat them. Their shock at the turnaround in our suddenly inspired play was complete.   

When I was in my late 40s, I tried to get Sports Illustrated to do a piece on me playing in a basketball camp sponsored by the LA Lakers. By then, I could barely jump. One dislocated knee, two broken ankles, numerous back injuries, and all. I thought it would make a good humor article. They didn’t, but sent me a nice letter politely declining my offer.

Haven’t been able to play the game since my back surgery in 1995 when I got stainless steel rods put in to hold it together. I still watch the game, and dream about the days when I played.

Finally, this little news item caught my attention today. I sure wish I could have been up to playing in this pick-up game!


President Barack Obama received 12 stitches in his lip after being hit during a pick up basketball game, the White House said on Friday.

"After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the president received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, according to NBC News. Gibbs did not release the names of the people playing with the president.”

Ahead of the curve: Colorado Mulls Difficulties Of Pot Rules

What's in that joint, and how can you be sure it's safe?

“Colorado is working toward becoming the first state to regulate production of medical marijuana. Regulators say pot consumers deserve to know what they're smoking, and producers should have safety regulations such as pesticide limits for plants destined for human consumption.”

Read story here.

Scum Of The Month:Tom DeLay Found Guilty of Money Laundering, Faces from Five years to Life in Prison

The un-coveted As It Stands award for “The Scum of the Month” goes to Tom Delay. This automatically makes him eligible for “Scum of the Year” on this blog.

Tom DeLay, the former U.S. House majority leader whose name became synonymous with the Republicans’ controversial rise to power in the Texas House, was found guilty of laundering money in connection with the 2002 elections.” Story here.

image source

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As It Stands wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

image source



Crack down: U.S. moves to make synthetic marijuana illegal

imagesCAXGLY57 imagesCABPC2PL

I’ve seen ads in magazines for these fake pot blends, but didn’t really think anyone was stupid enough to buy them. This article explains what’s involved and it’s not pretty. The synthetic crap they use is dangerous and can even be addicting. Here’s a wake-up call for those unaware of this problem:

Government is seeking to outlaw five chemicals used to make the fake pot

“Cracking down on fake pot, the government began emergency action Wednesday to outlaw five chemicals used in herbal blends to make synthetic marijuana. They're sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet to a burgeoning market of teens and young adults.”


“It was the fastest action the agency could take to get these products off the legal market. DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno said makers of fake pot blends like "Spice," "K2," "Blaze," and "Red X Dawn" label the mixtures as incense to try to hide their intended purpose.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All new TSA Luggage Tags - hot off the tarmac & holiday travel news

!cid_9C29A8E981304658AF8C340E6583E198@DavePC A friend sent me these luggage tags today and I thought I’d share since this is such a hot topic. Especially today.

America’s net pat down procedure isn’t going  over well, but at least it looks like there hasn’t been any major flight delays caused by a groundswell movement of pissed-off passenger types.

There’s always one in a crowd…

This whole subject of personal freedoms threatened by a need for enhanced national security is partly being pushed by the mainstream media looking for sensational headlines. 

According to a recent poll, 71% of frequent flyers aren’t protesting the enhanced past downs. The protests seem to be coming more from holiday infrequent flyers

Airports see few delays despite planned protests

Image: A lone protester

National Opt-Out Day organizers urged travelers to not fly, boycott full-body scans

“Lines moved smoothly at airports around the country Wednesday despite a loosely organized campaign urging air travelers to boycott the controversial full-body scanners at security checkpoints.”

Hold the stuffing! Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkeys

Image: Obama pardons a turkeyThe tradition of pardoning turkeys goes back to President Harry Truman in 1947. He pardoned a bird and when the press left, he sent it to the White House kitchen and ate it! Future presidents continued this silly little show of forgiveness in an effort to show  what nice guys they were. I have a hard time separating this custom from other presidential pardons where turkeys get out of jail, or trouble, because the president is in a forgiving mood, or is a lame duck that doesn’t care what people think.

image source - NBC News

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spotlight: Medusa – artists turn in their interpretations of mythical monster


             Art by Jsimeth                             Mark Winters                         

In honor of the shopping season here’s some vintage ad flyers for men in the 1970s


Men in the 1970s didn’t just automatically know how to look good. They had to see photos and ads of their fellow men wearing the trophies of their work…work that involved silently stalking the elusive jungle couch until it could be turned into pants. I’m not even going to share any photos of me wearing the pants of the day! One example was my brown-and-white checkered bell bottoms…I still can’t believe I actually wore them!


All image sources

Heaviest attack yet: North, South Korea exchange fire today

2 soldiers killed by North's rockets; Seoul vows 'enormous retaliation' if North opens fire again

“North Korea fired scores of artillery shells at a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing two soldiers, in one of the heaviest attacks on its neighbor since the Korean War ended in 1953.

The South fired back and sent a fighter jet to the area, which is close to a disputed maritime border on the west of the divided peninsula and the scene of deadly clashes in the past. South Korea was conducting military drills in the area at the time but said it had not been firing at the North.”


Dow drops below 11,000 amid Korea clash

Triple-digit slide amid ongoing worries about European debt

“Stocks fell early Tuesday after North Korea and South Korea exchanged artillery fire near their disputed sea border, killing at least two South Korean marines. Treasury prices, the dollar and gold all rose as investors sought safe places to park money.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

There’s snow in the hills today as I try to hold on to the Fall

image source

Marketing Missteps: 10 toys that likely won't be on holiday wish lists

Image: Security checkpoint toy

What kind of moron thought the Harry Potter vibrating broom was a good idea?

The TSA action figures may get up close and personal with travelers (right).

Make sure you talk to it while its mouth is open (below).Image: Play Dough


Image: Cleaning girl

Just give her the real thing and cut down on housework (right).

“'Tis the season when toys come front-and-center in our consciousness. In the drive to produce thousands of new toys each year, the industry occasionally missteps, producing toys that anger rather than amuse the buying audience.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

As It Stands: A look at the 'Toad in the Moon' and other lunar lore

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 11/21/2010 01:27:13 AM PST

There will be a full moon tonight. Most Humboldters probably won't be able to see it, but you never know. We can hope for an unusually clear night sky.

We do know that tides will shift strongly, animals and people may act weird and strange things will happen tonight. Anecdotal stories about animals' reactions to the effects of the full moon abound.

According to a July 2007 study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, full moon emergency room visits for pets increase compared to the rest of the month, to 23 percent higher for cats and 28 percent higher for dogs.

Why? No one really knows.

Animals are more sensitive than humans to the natural world. I think we can all agree on that. We shiver at tales of werewolves baying at the full moon. A full moon can be a great setting for a horror movie or a romance.

In China, the dark shadows on the moon are seen as “the toad in the moon,” not the “man in the moon” of Western culture. The toad is considered one of the five poisons of yin. It is believed eclipses occur when the “toad in the moon” tries to swallow the moon itself.

There's loads of evidence that full moons affect humans. Doctors report an increase in epileptic seizures and bleeding ulcers at the time of the full moon. A recent poll showed 86 percent of casualty nurses and 64 percent of doctors believe a full moon affects patient behavior.

Researchers at psychiatric hospitals in New York found a dramatic rise in admissions on the days of full moons. Law enforcement studies nationwide show motiveless crimes trebled around the time of full moons.

Experts tell us Earth is about four times the size of the moon. If you were to fly once around the moon (however unlikely that sounds) it would be the equivalent of a round trip from New York to London. If the moon were placed on the surface of the continental United States, it would extend from San Francisco to Cleveland (2,600 miles).

Here's more perfectly useless trivia about Luna (you don't have to be a Latin student to know that Luna means moon):

* Golfing enthusiasts may find it interesting that astronaut Alan Sheppard once hit a golf ball that went 2,400 feet (nearly one-half mile) while he walked on the moon. What a course, eh?

* With no competition in sight for the foreseeable future, it looks like the Apollo lunar rover will hold the surface speed record on the moon at an exhilarating 10.56 miles per hour.

* The U.S.S.R. captured the first photo of the moon taken from space in 1959, an image of the dark side of the moon. Fourteen years later the rock band Pink Floyd made an album by that name. If there's a connection, let me know.

* The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will not erode since there is no wind or water on the Moon. Men and women sporting lab coats and degrees in science say the footprints should last at least 10 million years. I wonder how they know that?

* For all you lefties out there, astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon with his left foot. Take that, you righties!

* Your desktop computer contains five to 10 times more computing power than was used to land a man on the moon. Think about that for a moment. OK, you're cleared for takeoff!

* Everyone knows who the first man on the moon was, but did you know that in 1972 Gene Cernan was the last man to step on the moon?

* NASA claims when the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, the impact caused the moon's surface to vibrate for 55 minutes. It appears we made quite an impact.

Quick! What was the name of the guy/gal who timed it? Now there's some serious trivia for you.

As It Stands, look out for lunatics and if you see the “Toad in the Moon,” would you please report your encounter to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News?

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...