Saturday, June 4, 2011

Family dog “bears” hugs from furry visitor…

Family adopts cub

Look at the tolerance in this dogs eyes. Pretty impressive considering the cub is obviously nibbling on him!

A Slovenian family adopted a three-and-half-month-old bear cub that  strolled into their yard about 30 days ago. Although the Logar family would like to put the cub in a fenced enclosure, veterinary authorities would prefer to move it into a shelter for wild animals.

My guess…he ends up in a shelter. I hope it’s a good one.


Interesting Prison Life: Prisoners Can Do Anything, Except Leave

Image: Inmates party

On the outside, the San Antonio prison on Margarita Island looks like any other Venezuelan penitentiary. Soldiers in green fatigues stand at its gates. Sharpshooters squint from watchtowers. Guards cast menacing glances at visitors before searching them at the entrance.

But once inside, the prison for more than 2,000 Venezuelans and foreigners held largely for drug trafficking looks more like a Hugh Hefner-inspired fleshpot than a stockade for toughened smugglers.

Bikini-clad female visitors frolic under the Caribbean sun in an outdoor pool. Marijuana smoke flavors the air. Reggaetón booms from a club filled with grinding couples. Paintings of the Playboy logo adorn the pool hall. Inmates and their guests jostle to place bets at the prison’s raucous cockfighting arena. STORY HERE

Saturday Coffee Break: Dad waves at son’s bus in costume every day and more stuff

Some of the costumes are down-right scary though..

Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffees nice and hot this drizzly Saturday morning, and there’s a number of interesting items I’d like to share with you.

Starting with the video on the right, we have a Dad who wants to leave a life-long impression on his son. Something he can share with his children about grandpa.

Okay…what a legacy.

I can’t help wondering what the grandchildren are going to think some day when they see his costumes.


US strike kills top al-Qaida operative in Pakistan

A top al-Qaida commander and possible replacement for Osama bin Laden was killed in an American drone-fired missile strike close to the Afghan border, a militant group and Pakistani officials said Saturday.

Ilyas Kashmiri's apparent death is another blow to al-Qaida just over a month after bin Laden was killed by American commandos in a northwest Pakistani army town. Described by U.S. officials as al-Qaida's military operations chief in Pakistan, the 47-year-old Pakistani was one of five most-wanted militant leaders in the country, accused of a string of bloody attacks in South Asia, including the 2008 Mumbai massacre, as well as aiding plots in the West.




New Mexico boy, 9, becomes youngest to fly balloon solo

I could just see one of my grandchildren doing this. What a feat for a youngster.

A 9-year-old boy has lifted off from a desolate patch of central New Mexico and floated into history.

Bobby Bradley became the youngest trained pilot to fly solo in a hot air balloon early Saturday morning in Tome. He took off in the company of three other balloons, whose pilots included a designated balloon examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration. A crowd of about 50 supporters, including family, friends and classmates, cheered as they took off.

Saggy pants mean no ride on one Texas bus system

Don't get on the bus in Ft. Worth, Texas, if you're not properly dressed.

The Ft. Worth Transportation Authority, known as "The T," has implemented a new policy that prohibits any passenger from boarding a bus with "saggy" pants that expose the person's underwear or buttocks.

"Riders don't want to see a person dressed like that on a public bus," Joan Hunter, communications manager for The T, told Reuters on Thursday. "Our customers think it's disrespectful."

The saggy pants look has been around for more than a decade, tracing its roots to prison attire because inmates are not issued belts. It spread to the rap and hip-hop music community, and from there became a popular symbol of freedom and cultural awareness for many young people.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by. Time for me to head on down the road…

Friday, June 3, 2011

Finally Friday: man’s stolen photo becomes the face of revolution and other stuff

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Pull up a rug, chair, or beanbag, and join me for a cup of Joe this morning as we look at what’s happening in this wacky world of ours:

He became the face of revolution -- because his picture was stolen

His is the face of revolution in the Middle East and in Latin America. He's on the cover of a book published in Mexico. He's an unforgettable image of anger on T-shirts everywhere.  He's an icon painted by graffiti artists on city walls in Spain and on castle walls in Iran. But really, he's none of those things.

Noam Galai is a photographer who's had his self-portrait stolen and misused all around the world -- a stunning case of global intellectual property theft and identity theft that illustrates how life in the digital age can easily rob people the very essence of their identity.

Image: Rielle Hunter and John Edwards

John Edwards charged in felony indictment

The recipient of the “As It Stands Scum of the Year 2010” was John Edwards. Today a federal grand jury indicted the two-time presidential candidate over $925,000 spent to keep his mistress and their baby in hiding during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

In this Dec. 27, 2006, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, is shown with videographer Rielle Hunter in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, La.

Image: BeerSurprising -- and fun -- ways to cut diabetes risk

Beer, wine and coffee can minimize your chances of developing Type 2. Cheers to that!

A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed a link between moderate alcohol consumption and lower diabetes risk.

Next time you wine and dine, have your last glass as dessert. Australian researchers found that one and a half glasses of wine downed shortly after a meal plunges insulin back to pre-meal levels. Avoid syrupy-sweet dessert wines, such as port or sherry, and ask for a Riesling instead; it's sweet but won't boost blood sugar.

I think this dog looks like he’s “totally stoked” riding the waves.

Surfs Up Dog!

I’d like to enter my Pug Millie in this competition but there’s a slight problem…Pugs really don’t swim that well. Basically they just sink like rocks.

The only way I could consider entering her is to get a little wet suit and rig her up with an oxygen tank. That may be against the rules however. I guess I’ll have to contact the organizers and find out!

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to head on down the road…

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meanwhile back at Pakistan …right next to the former bin Laden compound

elvisda 5

Cam Cardow / Ottawa Citizen,

Thursday Thoughts: carnivorous ATMs and other stuff

Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffee is especially good this morning. Have a cup with me as we explore what’s happening in the world. There’s a negative 2 tide this morning and my eldest son is out at Clam Beach getting his quota. It’s shaping up to be a real nice day. Now the news: 

ATM machine won’t let go of man’s hand!

A Pennsylvania cash machine apparently took all those cracks about service fees costing an arm and a leg a little too seriously.

Firefighters had to free a man who got his hand stuck in the ATM at a suburban Pittsburgh bank on Monday.

Moon Run Fire Chief Paul Kashmer told WPXI-TV his crew used special equipment to free the man after he got his hand stuck in the automated teller machine at the First Commonwealth bank in Robinson, Allegheny County.

Soldier home on leave thwarts Fla. bank robbery

An Army staff sergeant home on leave in southwest Florida chased down a suspected bank robber and held him until authorities arrived.

Eddie Peoples was at a Bank of America branch in Sarasota with his two young sons Tuesday when a man walked in with a handgun and demanded cash from the tellers, officials said.

Peoples told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune he sprang into action after the man, identified as 34-year-old Matthew Rogers, threatened his sons.

Fearsome lawn ornament shot dead by cops

File this story under “Shoot first and ask questions later.”

When an alligator was spotted near a suburban Kansas City pond, local police decided they were taking no chances: They would shoot the fearsome creature from a distance with a rifle. But the alligator took the first shot to the head without batting an eyelid, and then the second one bounced off.

At that point, the officers realized the animal was not a bulletproof beast; rather, it was just a concrete lawn ornament, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Now we know where sports fans got the idea…

Penguins do the wave to keep warm

Anyone who's watched "The March of the Penguins" knows that Emperor penguins huddle together to cope with the harsh temperatures and winds of the Antarctic winter. It's a great deal for the birds inside the tightly packed scrum, but how do the penguins on the periphery get their turn?

Researchers spent a whole winter in 2008 tracking the movements of an Emperor penguin colony at Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, and they present their answer this week in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. It turns out that the penguins engage in a series of continuous, coordinated shuffles that cause the birds on the outside to shift toward the interior, and push other birds toward the outside." Every 30-60 seconds, all penguins make small steps that travel as a wave through the entire huddle," the researchers write. "Over time, these small movements lead to large-scale reorganization of the huddle."

That's right: Penguins know how to do the wave.

Image: A Thai customs official holds a confiscated turtle

Rats on a plane! (And crocs, turtles on another)

A flight crew checking the cabin of a Qantas plane before takeoff found rats in a compartment holding medical equipment, grounding the plane for more than a day.

Crews did a visual check of the plane Tuesday afternoon and found no more rats or any damage.

The rodents had been in a cabinet holding a defibrillator. The plane returned to service Thursday morning, officials said.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Conference set Thursday - global report encourages nations to legalize and regulate drugs


On Thursday the former presidents of several countries, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former U.S. secretary of state George Shultz, former U.S. Fed chairman Paul Volcker and other luminaries will release a report calling the global "war on drugs" a failure and encouraging nations to pursue legalizing and regulating drugs as a way to put a stop the the violence inherent in the illegal drug market.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of police, prosecutors and judges who have waged the "drug war" on its front lines, is cheering the report and its conclusions.

"It's no longer a question of whether legalizing drugs is a serious topic of debate for serious people," said Neill Franklin, LEAP's executive director and a 34-year veteran police officer from Baltimore, Maryland. "These former presidents and other international leaders have placed drug legalization squarely on the table as an important solution that policymakers need to consider. As a narcotics cop on the streets, I saw how the prohibition approach not only doesn't reduce drug abuse but how it causes violence and crime that affect all citizens and taxpayers, whether they use drugs or not."

Some of the world leaders who signed on to the report will speak at a press conference and teleconference on Thursday:

When: Thursday, June 2 at 11 am, EST

Where: The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue, New York (Beekman Suite)

By Phone: USA -- 1-800-311-9404 (Password: Global Commission)

From Outside the USA -- 1-334-323-7224 (Password: Global Commission)

The full report will be available at

Tom Angell, Media Relations Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Visit LEAP's *NEW* website:

phone: (415) 488-6615 or (202) 557-4979


Wet Wednesday – fire crews watch man die and other stuff

Good Morning Humboldt County!

I’m sipping some hot java and enjoying the morning. Pull up a chair, or whatever, and join me. As usual, the news has it’s share of tragedy and triumphs. Let’s see:  

'Handcuffed by policy': Fire crews watch man die

Fire crews and police could only watch after a man waded into San Francisco Bay, stood up to his neck and waited. They wanted to do something, but a policy strictly forbade them from trying to save the 50-year-old, officials said.

Image: Some of the 44 Kemp’s ridley hatchling make there way past spectators as they head to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico during an early morning release at the Padre Island National seashore near Padre Island, Texas

Oil spill survivors: Nesting turtles make comeback

Donna Shaver, has been working for more than two decades to save the endangered reptiles. Each spring, she counts their nests and collects the eggs for safe incubation before releasing the turtles' tiny offspring into the sea. Shaver knows this year that each nest she spots has added significance: the turtle that created it survived the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

I wrote about this same subject two years ago. It’s back in the news again.

Cellphones 'possibly carcinogenic,' report suggests

An international panel of experts says cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing details from dozens of published studies.

The statement was issued in Lyon, France, on Tuesday by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a weeklong meeting of experts. They reviewed possible links between cancer and the type of electromagnetic radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar. I wrote this column two years ago.

122 million miles later, Endeavour makes last touchdown

The space shuttle Endeavour and its six astronauts returned to Earth on Wednesday, closing out the next-to-last mission in NASA's 30-year program with a safe middle-of-the-night landing.

Endeavour touched down on the runway a final time under the cover of darkness, just as Atlantis, the last shuttle bound for space, arrived at the launch pad for the grand finale in five weeks.

That’s all for now. Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guess whose coming to dinner? Palin to dine with Trump tonight

Just in case you thought that Sarah Palin's press-goosechase bus tour of the I-95 corridor couldn't get any more surreal...

Just think about all the good campaign advise “the Donald” can give to Mama Grizzly as they devour a buck she killed the day before!

Trump can also give her some of his insights into attracting the media’s attention. His formula is very similar to most circus barkers – speak real loud and get the crowd’s attention by whatever means necessary. If it means embracing extremist conspiracies like the “Birther” bullshit then Trump is up to the task. It’s no secret Palin admires him and applauded his efforts to discredit Obama’s place of birth before he dropped out of the race.     

Of course, we all know this bus tour is nothing more than getting the mainstream press’ attention – one way or the other. She’s motoring around with her entourage in a colorfully painted luxury bus testing the waters to see if she should run for president. Which brings us back to the dinner in NYC. When it comes to making money Palin shines. Maybe the real reason for this dinner is she’s hoping to be on his stupid show. That way she could make some money AND announce her plans for running for president!

Meanwhile, I’m sure she’ll convince Trump she can see Russia from his back porch too. 

10:23 a.m.Tuesday - deer happily munches away outside our house


This is one of our three regulars that visit us nearly every morning. My wife, Shirley, decided to take some photos with her new camera this morning. God, I love this place!

Tuesday thoughts about sugar and other stuff…

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Good to see you here this morning. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and let’s see what’s happening today:

Sugar may be sapping your memory

Do you ever forget people's names? Enter a room and forget why you went there? Forget a word mid-sentence? As we get older, these types of "senior moments" happen more often. Many of the people I evaluate worry that these slips mean they are getting Alzheimer's disease. In most cases, they aren't. They're just part of normal, age-related memory decline. Starting at about age 30, our ability to process and remember information declines with age.

New app allows your unborn child to choose his/her name

Nathan Parks created the 99 cent "Kick to Pick" iPhone app for parents undergoing that conundrum of being responsible for that ultimate act of choosing a name for their child, placing the choice in the hands — and kicking feet — of the unborn child.

Image: A worker carries a bundle of rice stalks at a rice field at Gowa district in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province








Food prices set to double
by 2030, aid group says

Food prices could double in the next 20 years and demand in 2050 will be 70 percent higher than now, U.K. charity Oxfam said on Tuesday, warning of worsening hunger as the global food economy stumbles close to breakdown.

"The food system is pretty well bust in the world," Oxfam Chief Executive Barbara Stocking told reporters, announcing the launch of the Grow campaign as 925 million people go hungry every day.

General admits protesters in Egypt subjected to 'virginity tests'

General admits protesters in Egypt subjected to 'virginity tests'

Things have gone from bad to worse since President Mubarak was ousted. I can tell you one thing, I wouldn’t want to be a woman in that part of the world! They’re treated like cattle with less rights.

A senior Egyptian general told CNN Tuesday that officials performed "virginity checks" on women arrested during the uprising that led to former President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the first time the authorities have admitted they performed such tests during the revolution.
The tests were first reported by the human rights group Amnesty International, weeks after a March 9 protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in which female demonstrators were allegedly beaten, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to procedures that supposedly determined whether they were virgins.

Rep. Anthony Weiner leaves his apartment amid controversy surrounding a lewd Twitter photo.

'Weinergate': The 'strange' scandal of a congressman and a lewd Twitter photo

Finally this morning, I’ve saved the best for last. This weekend, Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter account sent out a photo of a man in underwear from the waist down. Weiner says his account was hacked. What's going on here?

A "lewd" photograph of a man in underwear, shot from the waist down, was sent from the Twitter account of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on Friday night, then quickly deleted — but not before Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website posted the photo. Weiner says his Twitter account was hacked, and has hired a lawyer to explore criminal or civil action against the perpetrators of the "prank." Conservative bloggers claim Weiner sent the photo to a Washington State college student, dubbing the "strange" saga "Weinergate."

PHOTO - Rep. Anthony Weiner leaves his apartment amid controversy surrounding a lewd Twitter photo

That’s it for this morning. Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, May 30, 2011

Life is like a rainbow… You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear


photo VIA Stumble

Watch out for those mosquitoes during your Memorial Day barbeque

Some folks seem to be magnets for mosquitoes, while others rarely get bitten. What makes the little buggers single you out and not the guy or gal you're standing next to at the Memorial Day backyard barbecue?

The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20 percent of people are high attractor types, he says.

Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision, explains Day. People dressed in dark colors -- black, navy blue, red -- stand out and movement is another cue.

Once the mosquito keys in on a promising visual target, she (and it's always "she" -- only the ladies bite) then picks up on smell. The main attractor is your rate of carbon dioxide production with every exhale you take.

Those with higher metabolic rates produce more carbon dioxide, as do larger people and pregnant women. Although carbon dioxide is the primary attractant, other secondary smells coming from your skin or breath mark you as a good landing spot.

Lactic acid (given off while exercising), acetone (a chemical released in your breath), and estradiol (a breakdown product of estrogen) can all be released at varying concentrations and lure in mosquitoes, says Day. Your body temperature, or warmth, can also make a difference. Mosquitoes may flock to pregnant women because of their extra body heat.

But with more than 350 compounds isolated from odors produced by human skin, researchers have barely scratched the surface behind a mosquito's preference for certain people, says Joseph Conlon, a medical entomologist and the technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Although it may all boil down to human odor and genetics -- studies of twins have revealed they tend to be attractive or repellant to mosquitoes in the same measure -- it's more complicated than that, suggests Conlon.

He says the latest thinking is that it might not be about what makes people more attractive to mosquitoes, but what makes them not as repellant. It could be that individuals who get less bites produce chemicals on their skin that make them more repellant and cover up smells that mosquitoes find attractive.

Mosquitoes don't bite you for food, since they feed off plant nectar, Conlon explains. Females suck your blood to get a protein needed to develop their eggs, which can then send more pesky insects into the world to annoy you.

But keep this in mind when you're outdoors this summer: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people after they drink a 12-ounce beer. It could be that people breathe a little harder after a cold one or their skin is a little warmer, suggests Conlon. But that won't stop him from having a brewski, even though he considers himself a mosquito magnet.

Here are more fun facts about mosquitoes and bites:

  • Eating bananas will not attract mosquitoes and taking vitamin B-12 will not repel them; these are old wives' tales.
  • Some mosquito species are leg and ankle biters; they cue into the stinky smell of bacteria on your feet.
  • Other species prefer the head, neck and arms perhaps because of the warmth, smells emitted by your skin, and closeness to carbon dioxide released by your mouth. 
  • The size of a mosquito bite welt has nothing to do with the amount of blood taken and everything to do with how your immune system responds to the saliva introduced by the mosquito into your skin.
  • The more times you get bitten by a particular species of mosquito, the less most people react to that species over time. The bad news? There's more than 3,000 species worldwide.
  • article source

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What happened to the real meaning of Memorial Day?


By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard

Posted: 05/29/2011 02:30:30 AM PDT

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Today, I'd like to talk about how it has been transformed into something else, and what it means to most Americans.

Barbecues and beer. Getting into vehicles and traveling for fun. A three-day weekend. A time to go to the beach and burn ourselves to a crisp. A day off from school. A break in the work week. All of these activities and more go through the average American's head regarding a holiday originally designed to mourn our military dead.

What a bizarre twist for Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day. Once it was a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's service. Now it's a time to hope that gas prices don't get too high for travel.


While Waterloo, New York, was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove the origins of the day. Historians think the day had many separate beginnings as towns held spontaneous gatherings to honor the Civil War dead in the 1860s.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

It's not important what was the very first town to honor the war dead. It is important that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Were you aware of this history? Are your children aware of thisimagesCAC6FANN history? Did you know the first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873? By 1890 it was recognized by all the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I when the holiday changed from honoring those who died in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in all of our wars.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has faded over the years. Many Americans have forgotten its meaning and traditions. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember to fly the flag at half-staff for the day.

While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, not just those fallen in service to our country.

What happened? How did this day turn into a free-for-all, three-day vacation? Many feel when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”


To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000, which asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans: “Voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to taps.”

What we need is a full return to the original day of observance. On Jan. 19, 1999, Sen. Inouye introduced bill S 189 which proposed to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May.” To date, there have been no further developments on the bill. Go to if you think that we should restore the traditional day of observance.

Meanwhile, if someone wants to start a new three-day holiday at the end of May, I say go for it. Call it “Barbecue Day and Travel Too,” a day of escape from drudgery.

As It Stands, the true meaning of Memorial Day is rapidly becoming a trivia question!

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...