Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nervous over Irene Day 2 - hurricane makes landfall in N.C.

So far it’s not been as bad as expected…


Good Morning Humboldt County!

I skipping my usual format to follow the course of Hurricane Irene. Note yesterday’s post.

My wife (who is in Baltimore, Maryland) is doing fine and is in good spirits. Because the storm hasn’t been more than a CAT 1 I have hope this supposedly “historic storm” will not be so bad.    Breaking News

11:15 PST:

Hurricane Irene batters N.C.; 3 confirmed dead

NYC closes transit system as Hurricane Irene nears

According to my wife, the weather is not bad in Baltimore. Just overcast.

photo source

2:55 PST

Six dead as Hurricane Irene edges into Virginia

Boy killed when tree slams into home; surfer dies in huge waves off Florida

6:05 PST

Eight dead as Irene churns to Virginia

Eight people, including two children and a surfer, were dead, a million people were without power and the East Coast was a solid wall of red hurricane warnings Saturday as Hurricane Irene lashed the Virginia coast. Forecasters and authorities warned that its run north could be catastrophic.

!0:30 PST

At 11 p.m. ET, about 450,000 homes and buildings were without electricity in Maryland where Shirley’s staying. Maryland emergency officials said a tree fell on a house in Queen Anne's County, killing one person.

Tropical storm conditions spread north into Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. With Virginia, they make up the so-called DelMarVa peninsula, where tornadoes were reported.

Maryland Police also said they spotted a tornado in a wooded area of the lower eastern shore.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nervously waiting for Irene: my wife is in the path of what may be an historic hurricane


Quick backround: my wife, Shirley, is in Baltimore, Maryland and is driving 100 miles a day (round trip) to a VA Hospital in Washington D.C. to be with her brother, Tom, who is enduring chemo treatments for leukemia.

When the quake hit the east coast she was in Washington D.C. at this hospital which is located four miles from the White House. The hospital sustained minor damage in the basement area. I know this because Shirley said they had to take her brother down to the basement for a cat scan and discovered water everywhere from burst pipes and ceiling tiles all over the floor.

Obama: All signs show Irene will be 'historic' storm

Talking with her last night, she said they expect Irene to hit them Sunday. Shirley, her sister-in-law, and niece, are planning on riding Irene out at the VA hospital with Tom. Throughout the bad weather she’s been experiencing, Shirley has maintained an amazing calm. I wish I could say the same! Listening to the news and wondering how hard D.C. is going to get hit is nerve-wracking.

She was greeted with rain on her first day in Maryland - nearly three weeks ago – and the weather has been weird since. Some of the hospital staffers kid her and say that she brought northern California weather with her. Rain and earthquakes.

At times, I feel like I’m in a surreal movie, helplessly watching an oncoming train and powerless to do anything about it. All I can do is stay tuned….

UPDATE at 11:18

Shirley just got back from shopping for supplies. Crazy people everywhere.Her plans have changed. Looks like they intend to ride out Irene in Baltimore. It’s raining now.

UPDATE at 5:55

2.5 million people ordered to safer areas as Irene nears

“It’s a monster storm”

Is it just me, or is Ron Paul trying to get some attention by displaying his stupidity?

After a lunch speech today, he slammed FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary. Oh really?

I’m trying to process his statements, but the red idiot light keeps coming on…

Ron Artest changes name to Metta World Peace, wireless system works when disaster hits, and Mexican president berates U.S.

New Orleans Hornets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two


 Ron Artest’s name change was to become official, that he Ron Artest Paradewas to become Metta World Peace. And he was excited about it.

But the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly. As the Associated Press explains.

A Los Angeles court commissioner delayed ruling on a name change petition by the Lakers forward until Sept. 16. Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez says the court cited Artest’s outstanding traffic warrants as the reason for the delay. If we’ve all waited this long for World Peace, we can wait another few weeks, can’t we?

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Good to see you. Pull up a chair, ottoman, bean bag, rocker, or carpet, and let’s get the day started with a few stories making news today: 

Lakers player changes name to Metta World Peace

The Lakers flamboyant forward, Ron Artest, is officially changing his name today. It’s important to understand the guy’s a bit odd but is living life large. “You can call me Ron today and then it’s over. It’s a wrap,” Artest said. “It’s about love, world peace. Everybody can relate to that, whether it’s in the same community or the same state or the same country or whether it’s a country going to war. “It’s about world peace. You know what I mean? The kids need to know that, and they know that now.”

A wireless system that works when disasters hit

One of the first things to disappear in the wake of a major disaster is reliable communication. Without access to cell phone service or the Internet, it's difficult for first responders — or anyone who wants to help out — to speak with each other.

And while satellite phones work in these situations, they're too expensive for many first responder organizations to purchase en masse.

Mexico's Calderon berates U.S. after casino attack

Mexico's Calderon berates U.S. after casino attack

President Felipe Calderon declared three days of mourning on Friday and demanded a crackdown on drugs in the United States after armed men torched a casino in northern Mexico, killing at least 52 people.

Under intense pressure as violence soars, Calderon said he would send more federal security forces to the city of Monterrey, where gunmen set fire to an upmarket casino on Thursday in one of the worst attacks of Mexico's drugs war.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 25, 2011

‘To transform the emptiness of loneliness, to the fullness of aloneness. Ah, that is the secret of life’

quote by - Sunita Khosla   photo source

Rogue Panda rampage, newly weds arrested for stealing food, and Bull semen spill causes scare and closes highway

Good Afternoon Humboldt County!

I got a late start today. Friends in town. Grab a chair, a cool beverage, and let’s take a quick tour of the news today:

Hoax sign warns Arizona drivers of panda rampage

A wave of "panda-monium" has swept through a northern Arizona city thanks to a mischievous street sign hacker who warned motorists of a "ROGUE PANDA ON RAMPAGE." State transportation officials said Tuesday that a person was able to post the hoax warning by hacking into an electronic message board in Flagstaff, Arizona, over the weekend.


Bride, groom arrested for stealing food for wedding feast

The hot hors d'oeuvres for a wedding reception in central Pennsylvania were a little too hot, and landed the newlyweds in jail on theft charges, police said on Thursday.

Arthur Phillips, 31, and his bride Brittany Lurch, 22, were arrested on Saturday for stealing groceries valued at $1,049 for their wedding feast that evening, Patton Township Police Chief John Petrick said.


Bull semen spill causes scare, closes highway

A spill of frozen bull semen bound for a breeder in the state of Texas triggered a scare on Tuesday that temporarily shut down a U.S. interstate highway during the morning rush hour.

The incident began when the driver of a Greyhound bus carrying the freight alerted the fire department he had lost a part of his load while negotiating the ramp on a highway near Nashville.

"We didn't know what it was, but we were told (the canisters) were non-toxic," said Maggie Lawrence, a fire department spokeswoman.  image

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Study says moods and weather go together, East Coast quake sets tweet record, scientists say global warming causing extreme weather

Good Morning Humboldt County!

I’m looking forward to another beautiful day. Have a cup of coffee, or tea, with me while we check out the following weather-related stories:

Moods really are tied to the weather

According to popular belief (not to mention popular music), there's long been a link between mood and weather. Some of us can't stand the rain. Others aren't happy unless we can feel the warm glow of sunshine on our shoulders.

But does rain really make us blue? And does the sun really cheer us up? A new study in the journal Emotion explored this popular belief by surveying nearly 500 adolescents and their mothers and found that for some of us, weather does indeed have a direct affect on our mood.

According to popular belief (not to mention popular music), there's long been a link between mood and weather. Some of us can't stand the rain. Others aren't happy unless we can feel the warm glow of sunshine on our shoulders. But does rain really make us blue? And does the sun really cheer us up? A new study in the journal Emotion explored this popular belief by surveying nearly 500 adolescents and their mothers and found that for some of us, weather does indeed have a direct affect on our mood.

East coast earthquake beat bin Laden (in tweets per second)

Almost immediately after a moderate earthquake shook up the east coast yesterday, people rushed to Twitter — for news and humor. And in that process, they managed something notable: They tweeted more (per second) than they did when news of Osama bin Laden's death broke.

According to an initial statistic posted on the official @Twitter account, the earthquake tweets came in at a rate of 5,500 per second. The bin Laden news, on the other hand, peeked at 5,008 tweets per second (TPS).

Residents in Guthrie, Okla., salvage belongings after a tornado in May. The previous month, Oklahoma reported a record number of tornadoes, 50.

Nation's weather extremes may be the new normal

A record-setting winter in much of the country has been followed by more records: tornadoes, flooding, drought and heat. Climate change is largely to blame, scientists say.

Oklahomans are accustomed to cruel climate. Frigid winters and searing summers are often made more unbearable by scouring winds. But even by Oklahoma standards, it's been a year of whipsaw weather.

Residents in Guthrie, Okla., salvage belongings after a tornado in May.… (Sean Mullins, Associated Press)

Time to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Part IV : 60’s & 70s psychedelic posters on display

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image_199 image_188 MOBY_GRAPE[1]

Google images

NEWS ALERT - D.C., N.Y. areas evacuate as quake felt across East

My wife, Shirley, was in a Washington D.C. VA hospital (just four miles from the White House) visiting her brother when the quake struck.

She said the whole building rolled and woke her brother up who had just had an infusion to treat his leukemia. Everything was back to normal pretty quickly she said (phones and such were down shortly). The hospital staff has been on alert since it hit. No injuries reported. A lot of scared people according to Shirley.

On the lighter side (yes there generally is one) some of the staff accused Shirley of bringing the rain (it’s rained since she got there every day) and now an earthquake!

Here’s some details from NBC News:

Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated buildings across the East Coast on Tuesday after a moderate earthquake in Virginia that was also felt as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. No tsunami warning was issued, but air and train traffic was disrupted across the East Coast.

Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were among the areas evacuated.

At the Pentagon in northern Virginia, a low rumbling built and built to the point that the building was shaking. People ran into the corridors of the government's biggest building and as the shaking continued there were shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"The quake even broke a water main inside the Pentagon, flooding parts of two floors, NBC reported.

Centered some 90 miles south of the nation's capital, the quake was a magnitude 5.9, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Skydiving Pug, iconic Japanese cartoon cat gets museum, and the oil market smells a rat in Libya

Odin looks like a rock star skydiving with his best buddy!

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Pull up a seat, grab of cup of Joe, and let’s go: My Pug Millie insisted I post this video of Odin the Pug (she thinks he’s hot).

Iconic Japan cartoon cat gets his own museum

He's a small, blue robot cat from the future who's been the inspiration for an animated TV series, served as Japan's cartoon cultural ambassador and is beloved around the world.   graphic


Libyan Rebels Take Tripoli

The Oil Market Smells A Rat Forbes

Libyan rebels, we are told this morning, have captured Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

On the news this morning, the Dow rallied 125 points and is close to 11,000 again after Friday’s late-day sell-off.

Nothing like a little regime change to take our minds off the prospect of total economic collapse this morning, eh? So far the undeclared Libyan war has cost the US alone an estimated $6.6 billion – a drop in the bucket of a $3.8 trillion annual budget. But the oil market is sniffing a rat.

With two drawn-out, unaffordable, imperial wars already under addition to the three covert wars in Yemen, Somalia and long’s it going to take and how expensive will it be to “wage the peace” in Libya now? Getting Libya’s 1.3 million barrels a day of light sweet crude production back online will be no small task, either.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, August 22, 2011

‘Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky’

quote - Rabindranath Tagore

Fortune-telling scam rakes in millions, weird food festivals, and Ferry captain stuck on toilet while ship goes aground

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Thanks for stopping by. Pull up a seat and have a cup of coffee, or tea, with me as we look at today’s headlines. The first story is a cautionary tale for those who think fortune-telling is legitimate. Most of the time it’s not:

8 charged in alleged $40 million fortune-telling scam

Prosecutors say a family of gypsies amassed $40 million in a fortune-telling scam, warning victims that if they didn't follow their advice, terrible things would happen to them or their loved ones. The Sun Sentinel reported that one victim, a bestselling author, gave an estimated $20 million.


Image: La Tomatina food festival

The weirdest food festivals in the world

From launching tomatoes to heaving tunas, people love to throw food, and some of the most spirited annual events offer an excuse to do so.

Slideshow: World’s weirdest food festivals

La Tomatina food festival in Buñol, Spain (right), is the world's largest food fight, with tens of thousands of people throwing more than 250,000 pounds of overripe tomatoes at one another.

Ferry runs aground after captain stuck in toilet

A Finnish ferry has run aground while its captain was stuck in the bathroom. One member of staff managed to slow the island-hopping tourist ferry down, but the vessel, carrying 54 passengers, slammed onto a rock near the shore of Helsinki, the Finnish coastguard said Friday.

The captain got stuck in the bathroom because of a jammed lock and yelled for help, the coastguard said.Some passengers were bruised and tableware was broken in the incident. The coastguard is investigating whether the captain's actions amounted to criminal endangerment. "He was stuck in the toilet. As soon as the staff member got the door open, it was too late," said Jan Sundell, head of investigation.    image

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 21, 2011

As It Stands: ‘Flash robs’ - the evil evolution of ‘flash mobs’


   By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

        Posted: 08/21/2011 02:30:25 AM PDT

The first time I heard the phrase “Flash Mobs” in 2003, instant images of flashy gangsters came to mind.
Then I read an article about them. It described a bunch of fun-loving young people meeting in public places to do goofy things like dancing on a street corner to a Michael Jackson tune.
The first flash mob was created in Manhattan in May 2003, by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine. His first attempt was unsuccessful after the targeted retail store was tipped off about the plan. Waik was persistent and set up a second flash mob on June 3, 2003. He sent participants to preliminary staging areas – in four prearranged Manhattan bars – where they received further instructions about the event and location just before the event began.

As the people gathered in the lobby and mezzanine of the Hyatt hotel they told curious salespeople they were shopping for a "love rug" and they made all their purchase decisions as a group. At the prearranged time, 200 people simultaneously applauded for about 15 seconds.

The flash mob was born. Over the years, I followed various flash mob events like Worldwide Pillow Fight Day (or International Pillow Fight Day) on March 22, 2008. Nearly everything I read about flash mobs indicated they were a fun thing to do and non-violent.

That changed this year. I’ve noticed an ominous trend for flash mobs. They’re getting violent. They’re often politically charged too, and are reshaping parts of the world like the Middle East.
The so-called “Arab Spring” couldn’t have happened without tech smart young people organizing political protests with social media tools like smart phones and the internet. They called for a universal flash mob against their oppressive governments.

The evolution of flash mobs has brought the common people a new way to get their word out. That’s the good news. The bad news is an increase in mass civil disobedience - outright criminality- in countries like England and the U.S. The recent riots in London were fueled by mobs protesting the death of a man shot by the police. But criminal elements took advantage of their sheer numbers and set out on a path of destruction and looting.

A notorious gang boss was observed by police standing on a corner in Manchester, talking into his cell phone. He was flanked by teenagers dressed in black. Police reportedly suspect that he orchestrated the riots and looting.
 The criminals stayed one step ahead of the police by staying in cell phone contact and reporting every move the police made. It was a slash and grab orgy that stunned the British people at first. Now their reclaiming their neighborhoods from the hoodlums who trashed them.

It seems like every good technological advance, like cell phones, has a dark side when people abuse it. What started out as harmless fun is now the tool of revolution and increasingly a tool for crime.
Sure, there’s still fun flash mob activity. It’s the increasing reports of flash mobs gone bad that concern me. For example the violent flash mob that recently gathered (June) in Philadelphia causing fear and mayhem.
The 27-year-old online editor for The Onion, a satirical newspaper, had her leg broken when she and her friends were attacked by a group of 40 teens looking for trouble. They also hospitalized a man with major injuries.
 In cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia we’re seeing a new and violent kind of flash mob — gangs of young men suddenly converging to harass or attack unsuspecting pedestrians or to “flash rob” a local merchant. They quickly disperse before the police can respond. (Recommended reading - 8/14 Associated Press article, “From bling to lingo, US inspires UK gangs.”)
What’s causing these violent flash mobs? There’s more ethnic diversity than ever before. Racial tension; gangs; historically hard economic times; desperation, rage, hopelessness, frustration; high, unrelenting summer temperatures and short tempers; and easy access to drugs and guns are all possible explanations.
As It Stands, it looks like my initial reaction to the phrase “flash mobs” so long ago was almost intuitive.

Websites carrying this column:

#1 Broken Controllers – #2 TV Deck – Browsing Eureka #3 Interceder – Flash Mobs

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...