Saturday, January 29, 2011

So how do you shut off a whole nation's Internet?

MIT experts say it depends on ISP ownership, and doubt it'd happen in U.S.

“To silence dissidents, the Egyptian government made a move Thursday that has no precedent: It turned off the internet nationwide. How did they do it — and could the same thing happen here?

According to David Clark, an MIT computer scientist whose research focuses on Internet architecture and development, a government's ability to control the Internet depends on its control of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the private sector companies that grant Internet access to customers.”


Friday, January 28, 2011

Keebler Fudge Shoppe Jumbo Sticks recalled due to mislabeling

If you don’t have a peanut butter allergy this recall won’t adversely affect you, other than to give you a flavor you didn’t want. Because peanut allergies are serious I wanted to pass this along to you. Especially if you’re a Keebler fan.   

“17,000 eight-count cartons of Keebler Fudge Shoppe jumbo fudge sticks because the mislabeled cartons contain individually wrapped jumbo peanut butter sticks. The company says consumers with peanut allergies the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they eat the fudge sticks. More information: 888-746-3679;”

Live and Learn Department: a ‘fantasist’ is nothing more than a liar

Greg Lance-Watkins... The man who duped Robert Green!

 Greg Lance-Watkins (photo right) is accused of being a “fantasist.”

Posted by Clydeside TV. Guardian Agents


Spy, Olympian, musician? Top official exposed as fantasist

New Zealand's prime minister admits situation is 'a little embarrassing'

“Stephen Wilce, the former director of defense technology, resigned in September and the following month a military court found he had embellished his career in the military, education and life in general, The New Zealand Herald reported

Smugglers with "medieval catapult" nabbed at border

A seized catapult that Mexican smugglers tried to use to hurl drugs north over the U.S. Border is seen in this undated handout photo

Just when you thought you heard it all…there’s this “new” method of smuggling! You have to hand it to the bastards, they sure try hard don’t they?

“In a brazen attempt reminiscent of a medieval siege, Mexican smugglers tried to use a hefty catapult to hurl drugs north over the U.S. Border, authorities said..

The Mexican military seized 45 pounds of marijuana, a sports utility vehicle and a metal-framed catapult just south of the Arizona border near the small town of Naco last Friday, following a tip-off from the U.S. Border Patrol.”

Story Here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Somewhere there’s a sunset more spectacular than you’ve ever seen


West Virginia Purple Mountain Sunset

unknown photographer

Hole-y cow! Guts could lead to holy grail for cheap biofuels

Image: Cow with hole cut into it to allow placing switchgrass inside to incubate

Researchers report breakthrough in search for cleaner energy

“It may not be glamorous, but the holy grail for efficient biofuels — the kind that don't compete with our food supply — could end up being found inside the guts of cows.”

Story Here

New projections show Social Security fund will be drained by 2037

Here’s a cheerful little item to contemplate.I’ll be 87 when the year 2037 rolls around. If I don’t die before then, I’ll be faced with a loss of a good part of my income to survive with. Not a pleasant thought. The pols better get off their asses and straighten things out fast!

“Social Security's finances are getting worse as the economy struggles to recover and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement.

New congressional projections show Social Security running deficits every year until its trust funds are eventually drained in about 2037.”


image of cow                                                                                              “Join the March” image

I’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling from watching those partisan pols snuggle up next to each other during the State of the Union address

R.J. Matson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An end to military dictatorship? Will Egyptians get good alternative?

Things have been shaking in the Arab world since the Tunisian people toppled their oppressive regime. Countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have a lot of young, smart, and freedom-loving people who deserve to live in better conditions and their speaking out.

Here’s a brief world round-up on what’s happening today:

from The Times of India…

Egypt president's son, family flee to Britain

“Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son, who is considered as his successor, has fled to Britain along with his family, a US-based Arabic website reported.
The plane with Gamal Mubarak, his wife and daughter on board left for London Tuesday from an airport in western Cairo, the website Akhbar al-Arab said.”

from CBS World News…

Egypt Cracks Down Amid Deadly Protests

“Egyptian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and beat protesters to clear thousands of people from a central Cairo square after the biggest demonstrations in years against President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule.” STORY

from FOX News…

Deadly Egyptian Protests

PHOTO TOP RIGHT - Jan. 26: Egyptian anti-riot police block the way leading to a journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo, Egypt. A small gathering of Egyptian anti-government activists tried to stage a second day of protests in Cairo Wednesday in defiance of a ban on any gatherings, but police quickly moved in and used force to disperse the group. STORY

from The Boston Herald

Officials: 860 protesters arrested in Egypt

Egyptian security officials say 860 protesters have been arrested during two days of anti-government demonstrations. The officials say nearly 600 were detained in Cairo. The remainder were arrested in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and elsewhere. They say not all protesters would be referred to prosecutors, suggesting some of them would be freed after questioning by police.” STORY

from NPR…

Harsh Police Crackdown Reported in Egypt

“CNN's Ben Wedeman just reported there has been a "harsh police crackdown" on protesters today in Egypt, where for the second day in a row people have taken to the streets in anti-government demonstrations.” STORY

'Godzilla-like creature' nabbed at Riverside condo complex

Image: 5-foot long Monitor lizard

In my humble opinion, this monitor lizard is hardly Godzilla-like (heck…anyone knows Godzilla stood on two legs and breathed fire), but he is larger than any other type of lizard normally found wandering around in California.

Black-throated Monitor lizards are carnivorous, legal to own in California and native to the African grasslands and parts of Asia

The 5-foot Monitor lizard wandering around a condo complex in the city of Riverside was way bigger than animal control officer Jenny Selter (right) could have imagined.

"She said she saw it and almost jumped back in her truck," said John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services. "The residents were freaking out because here's the Godzilla-like creature walking down the sidewalk." STORY HERE

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It’s Fast Food Bashing Day: McDonald’s getting away with a crime

Why the Happy Meal is a crime—and not just a culinary one

“Ample science, along with statements by various professional organizations tells us that marketing to young children is both deceptive and unfair. Why? Because young children simply do not have the cognitive capacity to understand that they are being marketed to; they cannot comprehend "persuasive intent," the linchpin of advertising. Here's how the nation's trade group for kids' doctors puts it: "The American Academy of Pediatrics considers advertising directly to young children to be inherently deceptive, and exploits children under the age of 8 years."

So, if advertising to young children is inherently deceptive, and deceptive advertising is illegal under federal law and in most states, how is it even happening? And doesn't this mean that not just food, but all marketing to young children is currently illegal? The answer is yes.

GO HERE for the story.

Tuesday Morning’s Political Primer: Today We Have Libertarians

image source

Fox News can lie with impunity according to Florida Court Appeal

This story merely confirms what Fox news has been doing for years: lying to it’s viewers to pursue a political agenda. What do they do when their caught lying?

Fox News wins “right to lie.”

In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Lawyers paid by Bill O'Reilly's bosses argued in court that Fox can lie with impunity.

It's their right under the 1st Amendment

FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves.

Story source

Where’s the beef? Taco Bell’s under fire for false advertising

Alabama law firm to Taco Bell: That's not beef

“An Alabama law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" in its products.

The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as "beef," according to the legal complaint.

Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell's "meat mixture" tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bishop Castle: one man’s lifelong project continues to amaze

Bishop Castle

Have you ever gone here? Did you know it exists?

Located outside Colorado City in the San Isabel National Forest, Bishop Castle is the ongoing, lifelong project of a single man: Jim Bishop. The strange castle has been under construction since 1969, and now stands over 70 feet tall. Working alone, Bishop harvests the rocks from the national forest and has been building his own castle for 41 years. The multi-room castle boasts a tower, stained-glass windows, and a fire-breathing dragon, with future plans for a moat, drawbridge, and possible second castle. The exhibit is free and visitors are welcome to enter and explore the castle at their own risk after signing the guestbook (waiver of liability).


Fitness fanatic Jack LaLanne dies; pushed pumping iron and juicing fruit well into his 90s

Jack LaLanne was prodding Americans to get off their couches and into the gym decades before it was cool. And he was still pumping iron and pushing fruits and vegetables decades past most Americans' retirement age.

The fitness fanatic ate well and exercised — and made it his mission to make sure everyone did the same — right up to the end at age 96, friends and family said.
LaLanne died Sunday at his home in Morro Bay on
California's central coast, longtime agent Rick Hersh said. The cause was respiratory failure due to pneumonia.” Story here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

As It Stands: Speed Kills -- so why is meth still scourging our society?

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 01/23/2011 01:21:42 AM PST

I was getting ready to go home when a sheriff's deputy walked into my office and asked if I'd like to have exclusive access to a major news story. It was the summer of 1982, and I was the editor of The Desert Trail Newspaper in 29 Palms, Calif. Of course, I jumped at the invitation.

It meant leaving immediately. I had just time to grab my camera and to tell my secretary to call my wife and say I'd be home late. The deputy drove me to the local sheriff's substation where other law enforcement types had gathered for the night's operations. They were putting on their SWAT gear and checking their assault weapons. A sign on the wall read, “Speed Kills.”

One of the men stepped forward and introduced himself as Floyd Tidwell, county sheriff. He was obviously excited and told me I would accompany him on a series of meth raids throughout the Morongo Basin. We boarded a helicopter to our first destination; a meth house in the middle of Wonder Valley.

We went to six other locations, ranging from bars to motel rooms, busting addicts and recovered lots of crystal meth. I got home at 3 a.m. and wrote the story. At the time, desert meth labs were more plentiful than red ants in San Bernardino County.

Flash forward. I'm retired and living in Humboldt County. It's 2004 and Humboldt has the highest rate of methamphetamine use of any county in the state. I wonder if the meth addicts migrated north? A strong effort on the part of the Humboldt County Health Department addressed the problem by organizing a community coalition to combat meth addiction.

A one-hour documentary called “Life After Meth” shown on KEET-TV in May 2006. It was the result of a project called “Community Voices for Meth Awareness.” Claire Reynolds, director of community relations and outreach for KEET-TV, spearheaded the project.

“The Methamphetamine Fact Book: A Community Handbook and Resource Guide” was produced and has been updated numerous times since. Tracking laws designed to catch profiteers who buy over-the-counter pills with pseudoephedrine in them and sell them to meth makers were enacted in 2006. The problem is the number of meth busts is climbing again as people take advantage of the huge markups meth producers pay for the ingredients.

According to an Associated Press analysis of federal data on the 2006 law's consequences, it's not slowing down the meth market. There was a small decline for two years until people figured a way around the new law.

”It's almost like a sub-criminal culture,” said Gary Boggs, an agent at the Drug Enforcement Agency in a recent AP interview. “You see them with a GPS unit set up in a van and a list of every single pharmacy or retail outlet. They'll spend the entire week going store to store and buying the limit.”

Last September, the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported a 60 percent one-year increase in the number of meth users. There's no doubt that meth use is on the rise in this country.

The only thing that can be done is to continue to educate people about the harm meth does to users and everyone around them. If you want to know if you live near a former meth lab go to and put in your address, state, or ZIP code in the search area. I came up with three addresses in Eureka.

To get help for meth addiction call the Humboldt County Health and Human Services Department at (707) 441-5400, or the Humboldt County Drug Addiction Treatment and Alcohol & other Drug Programs at (707) 476-4054. They offer guidance and information for addicts and their families.

I know when I first came up to Humboldt in 1979, meth was not a problem. As I left and came back twice over the years, I noticed meth addicts becoming more common. I like to think we've made some progress since the dubious notoriety we had in 2004, but when I see strung-out meth users in stores and on the streets, I have to wonder.

As It Stands, we've known “Speed kills” since the '60s, so it's discouraging to see that meth is still popular nearly a half-century later.

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...