Saturday, September 24, 2011

As It Stands: NASA not sure where 6-ton satellite landed on earth

Scientists have been predicting where a spent 6-ton satellite (weighing an estimated 1,200 pounds upon re-entry) would land for weeks now.

 Looks like the whole pack of them were (and are) clueless as to the final destination. Nearly 24 hours after vague reports of impact “somewhere over the Pacific” NASA spokesman Steve Cole told the Associated Press “Officials really didn’t know for certain where the satellite hit.

Hold on there! That’s not okay. Since when do we lose track of a satellite as it enters our atmosphere? Was some NASA geek asleep at the switch during the critical re-entry?

More likely, NASA loses track of them all the time (see chart above via source) and it’s pure luck no one has been killed by one yet. Or have they? If you’re aware of people who have been killed by space debris please feel free to share on the comment section at the end of this post.

Because there hasn’t been any reports of injuries yet from this one, officials have been downplaying the importance of losing track of it. There’s been unconfirmed reports of it’s path and from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite over Alberta, Canada.

As It Stands, the bottom line – it’s only a matter of time before space debris makes more than a splash in the ocean and causalities are suffered by the unwanted return of our own technology.

Diplomats owe $17 million in NYC parking fines, Scores get sick and one dies fighting bedbugs, and new internet rules coming out

Diplomats owe $17 million in New York parking fines

New York City is owed nearly $17 million (10 million pounds) in parking tickets issued to diplomats, a hefty amount that may have grown this week as world leaders gathered for the U.N. General Assembly.

The city's Department of Finance said unpaid tickets totalled $16.7 million through the end of July. Egypt topped the list with $1.9 million in tickets, followed by Nigeria with about $1 million and Indonesia with about $725,000. U.S. congressmen Michael Grimm, Peter King and Edolphus Towns have introduced legislation that would impose sanctions on countries with diplomats who fail to pay parking fines in New York City.

Scores got sick, 1 died trying to kill bedbugs

Bedbugs don't make you sick. But the poisons used to kill them can. A government study released Thursday found that dozens of Americans have fallen ill from the insecticides, and a North Carolina woman died after using 18 cans of chemical fogger to attack the tiny blood suckers.

Because many of the cases, including the lone death, were do-it-yourselfers who misused the chemicals or applied the wrong product, federal health officials are warning consumers to be careful and urging them to call professionals. The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 80 illnesses and one death linked to the insecticides over three years. Most of the cases were in New York City, the apparent epicenter of a recent U.S. bedbug comeback.

    U.S. Internet rules to take effect November 20

    Long-delayed U.S. Internet rules that tackle the controversial issue of balancing consumer and content provider interests against those who sell access to the Web will take effect November 20.

    The Federal Communications Commission's "open Internet" order was published in the Federal Register on Friday, and immediately drew threats of court and congressional challenges. The rules were adopted by the FCC late last year after a lengthy debate, but only recently cleared a review by the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

    Criticized by opponents as a legally shaky government intrusion into regulating the Internet, the new rules forbid broadband providers from blocking legal content but leave flexibility for providers to manage their networks.

    Time to walk on down the road…

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Copyrights and images from Marilyn Monroe's first photo shoot are hitting the auction block

    A bankruptcy judge in Florida ruled earlier this week that photos taken in 1946 of Norma Jeane Dougherty — who went on to become the iconic Monroe — will be sold at auction to settle the debts of the photographer.

    Joseph Jasgur's photos, negatives and image copyrights will be sold in December by Julien's Auctions. The collection also includes several model-release forms Dougherty signed for Jasgur in Hollywood.

    Darren Julien, chief of Julien's Auctions, said the photos have not been widely distributed and the collection has been locked up in court battles for more than two decades. He said the sale is significant because "it's very rare to see something where you can buy a copyrighted image of (Monroe), especially of her first photo shoot."                                                           article source

    Photo - Norma Jean Dougherty in 1946. Joseph Jasgur / Julien's Auctions via AP

    Harper’s Story: She was in a trash bag but got a new lease on life

    Image: Harper the puppy displaying "swimmer puppy syndrome" I might as well admit that I’m a sucker for animal stories that end well. I’ve always loved animals, and as the years go by I’m constantly amazed at what they’re capable of.

    Sometimes the only humane thing to do is to put a dog to sleep. Just three weeks ago, Erica Daniel steeled herself to take that difficult step with Harper, a small puppy in her care.

    Daniel, 26, fosters dogs that need serious help, and Harper had come to her in the most desperate of circumstances. On Aug. 31, a woman in Sanford, Fla., first encountered the little dog when she spotted a squirming garbage bag.

    Top Photo - This is how Harper looked when she was rescued. Born with a condition commonly called "swimmer puppy syndrome," Harper had a flattened chest wall and could not walk or hold her head up. Dolly's Foundation

    There was a man outside the Save-A-Lot selling pit-bull puppies for $50 a pop,” Daniel explained. “This woman approached him and noticed a noise coming from a garbage bag he was holding. She asked him, ‘What’s in the bag?’ and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ ”

    Image: Harper the puppy walking in grass

    The woman pressed the issue and the man opened — and gave her — the contents of the bag. Inside was a puppy so deformed that it couldn’t walk or hold up its head. Shelter workers and veterinarians grimaced when they saw the dog and came to the same conclusion: It really should be euthanized.

    That’s when Daniel, a regular at the local animal shelter, stepped in. She decided to take the puppy home for one full and final day of unabashed affection. “I had to show her what it was like to be loved,” Daniel said. “I’d planned on taking her home that night, letting her sleep in bed with us, and having her humanely euthanized in the morning.”

    Photo - Three weeks ago, Harper was so afflicted by a rigor-mortis-like condition that she could barely move. Today, she's walking almost like a normal dog.

    What a difference a day can make. Today, Harper is not only alive — she’s thriving. The frisky gray puppy is gaining more and more mobility each day, to the astonishment of onlookers and medical professionals.

    article source

    Ban lifted on Mark Twain book, $1 million quest to embarrass Perry, and what would you name a new worm?

    Good Morning Humboldt County!

    Time to view something new while enjoying your first cup of coffee at CafĂ© Dave. I’ve got a trio of stories that will give you a few things to ponder going into the weekend.

    Library lifts 1906 ban on Mark Twain book

    A Mark Twain book with nude illustrations, added to a Massachusetts public library after a century-old ban was lifted, was plucked from the shelf within hours on Thursday.

    Trustees of the Charlton Public Library lifted the 1906 ban earlier this week of "Eve's Diary," Twain's satirical version of the Adam and Eve story, said Cheryl Hansen, the library's director.

    Larry Flynt, head of Larry Flynt Publications, speaks to the news media about the Washington sex scandal involving U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and accused "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jean Palfrey and the possibility that other high-ranking U.S. elected officials may be involved during a news conference in Beverly Hills, July 11, 2007. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

    Porn magnate funds $1 million quest to embarrass Perry

    Pornographic magazine publisher Larry Flynt offered $1 million on Thursday to anyone with proof of "an illicit sexual liaison" involving leading Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    The offer by the politically left-leaning Flynt targeting Perry was similar to past efforts by the Hustler magazine founder to embarrass public figures he dislikes. Los Angeles-based Larry Flynt Productions, which publishes Hustler, said it bought full-page advertisements in the weekly editions of the U.S. satirical tabloid The Onion and the Austin Chronicle, a Texas alternative paper, seeking evidence of any Perry peccadilloes.


    "What would you name a new worm?" asks museum

    What name would you give to a species of Antarctic, sea-dwelling worm that spends its time 2,000 metres below the water's surface, wriggling in the rotting carcasses of whales?

    The public will get to name five newly discovered species of this deep-sea worm, the Natural History Museum in London said on Friday, as it opens its doors to explain that taxonomy -- the practice of naming new species -- is not taxing, but fun.

    "Our goal is to show that taxonomy, the scientific discipline of naming new species, is interesting, fun and crucial to the advancement of science," zoologist at the National History Museum, Adrian Glover, said.

    Time to walk on down the road…

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Solar-powered village rises in nation's capital

    Image: Solar homes being built in DC


    Hundreds of college students from around the U.S., and even a handful of other countries, have been busy this week building a village of solar-powered homes on a park at the nation's capital.

    Story: GOP lawmaker: Solar panel industry could fail

    Story: Salazar says solar push to continue

    Reflections: here’s an example of what’s taking this country down


    There’s a lot of things right and wrong in this country. Perhaps one of the most frustrating things  is how people legally scam the system. Here’s another example of a “good old boy” arrangement that happens everyday throughout the country:

    “A retired Chicago labor leader secured a $158,000 public pension — roughly five times greater than what a typical retired public-service worker in the Windy City receives — after being rehired for just one day of active duty on the city payroll, local news reports said.

    According to The Chicago Tribune, Dennis Gannon stands to collect approximately $5 million in city pension funds during his lifetime. He now draws the pension while working for a hedge fund, the Tribune reported.

    Gannon’s pension is so high that it exceeds federal limits and required Chicago’s pension fund to file special paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service to give it to him, the Tribune reported.” source

    Koalas need tunnels, kindergartener brings crack pipe and meth for show and tell, and $16 muffins and $8 coffee served in Justice audit

    Koala joey named 'Boonda' sits on his mother's head in their enclosure at Wildlife World in Sydney

    Good Morning Humboldt County!

    C’mon in…bring your coffee mug and I’ll serve up some hot coffee and a few stories to start your day. I’m all about saving the Koalas and their story is about survival. Teachers never know what a child is going to bring for Show and Tell. To wrap up this morning’s trio of headlines we have a story on government waste. Need I say more?

    Koalas need tunnels, speed limits say Australian politicians

    Special koala tunnels and tougher road speed limits would help avoid one of the leading causes of death of Australia's iconic marsupial, lawmakers said on Thursday.

    No-one knows how many koalas are left in the wild -- experts estimate anywhere between 43,000 to 300,000 -- but the numbers are slowly falling and road deaths are the second biggest cause. An inquiry by the upper house Senate urged national and state government to take action to nurture the much-loved furry marsupial.

    Kindergartener brings crack pipe, meth for show-and-tell

    A kindergartener in rural Sweet Springs, Missouri, brought a bag of crystal meth and a crack pipe to school for show-and-tell, but an alert teacher kept the boy from sharing his treasure with others at the school, an official said on Tuesday.

    "He was very excited when he got to school," Superintendent Donna Wright said of the September 6 incident. "But I don't think he knew what he had." A teacher recognized the drugs and pipe and police were called to the elementary school. "It didn't ever get into the classroom," Wright added.

    $16 muffins, $8 coffee served in Justice audit

    As the U.S. government grapples to find ways to trim the bloated federal deficit, a new report suggests officials might start with cutting out $16 muffins and $10 cookies.

    "We found the Department (of Justice) spent $16 on each of the 250 muffins served at an August 2009 legal conference in Washington," said a DOJ Office of Inspector General report recently released.

    The DOJ spent $121 million on conferences in fiscal 2008 and 2009, which exceeded its own spending limits and appeared to be extravagant and wasteful, according to the report that examined 10 conferences held during that period.

    Time to walk on down the road…

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    ‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science’

    --  Albert Einstein

    photo source

    Here’s a twist to the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees’

    Money Trees trees plants currency

    In several wooded areas around the UK, passersby have been stopping for decades (if not centuries), meticulously hammering small denomination coins intro trees. Most of the trees seem to be in and around Cumbria and Portmeirion, and I didn’t find a single example of a tree like this located outside the UK. According to this recent article by the BBC, the practice might date back to the early 1700s in Scotland where ill people stuck florins into trees with the idea that the tree would take away their sickness.

    Money Trees trees plants currency


    Money Trees trees plants currency


    (photos courtesy shaun whiteman, drew, ken werwerka, rachel bibby, paul moriss, ministry, donald mcdougal, heartbeeps, via lustik and hrtbps)

    It’s that time again: Who did what? Guinness World Records 2012

     How did it all start?

    On May 4, 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went on a shooting party in North Slob in County Wexford, Ireland. He became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, then later realized it was impossible to confirm in reference books. He then thought that a book supplying answers to such questions could be popular.
    The first 197-page edition of the "Guinness Book of Records" was bound on Aug. 27, 1955, and went on to the top of the British best-seller list by Christmas. Over 400 million copies have sold since.

    (Above) Most dogs skipping on the same rope

    Who knew dogs could skip rope -- much less 13 of them at the same time. The record was achieved by Uchida Geinousha's "Super Wan Wan Circus" in Japan.

                       Longest ears on a dog                 (Right)

    A Black and Tan Coonhound named Harbor has the longest ears of any living dog, with measurements of 12.25 inches for the left ear and 13.5 inches for the right.

             (Left) Fastest time to enter a suitcase

    The fastest time to enter a zipped suitcase is 5.43 seconds achieved by Leslie Tipton from the U.S. on Sept. 14, 2009 in New York, USA on the "LIVE! with Regis & Kelly" show.

    GO HERE to see more winning contestants.

    There once was an ugly penguin...

    Good Morning Humboldt County!

    Glad you could stop by. Grab a cup of hot steaming coffee, or tea, and check out today’s special edition about a rejected penguin who gets a second chance. It’s a feel good story and a nice way to start your day.  

    There was once an ugly penguin

    (Left) A bird of no feathers flocks alone: A poor little featherless penguin born Aug. 17, 2011, was abandoned by its parents just days after its birth. An aquarium keeper said: "Its parents kicked it out from time to time, or even left it on the icy ground to let it die," according to Rex Features.

     (right) Keepers at the aquarium decided that the sad baby penguin's lack of feathers and weak condition were due to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrition.

    (left) Spokeswoman Wang Dan said: "In the beginning we tried to send it back to its parents, hoping they would still take care of it and help it grow stronger, but they neglected it and even kicked it out. We then decided to feed it by ourselves".

    all photos Quirky China News via Rex USA

    (right)The keepers at LHT Pole Aquarium in China set up a penguin group to care for the youngster around the clock. After a month of hand-feeding, the little penguin was much stronger and, to the delight of keepers, even grew feathers.

    It was then successfully reintroduced to its family group.”

    I really enjoy positive stories about animals. I believe they are a very important part of our lives and their struggles and triumphs are worth sharing with everyone.

    It warms my heart to see people help out animals. Just look at the smile on the woman’s face (right). The penguin looks pretty happy too. I wonder what they’re going to name him now that he made it?

    Happy Feet?

    Time for me to walk on down the road…

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Rhetoric vs. reality: President says he backs immigration reform


    I think it’s important to judge politicians by what they actually do…not by what they say they’re going to do. Guess who is on pace to outdo Bush on deportations?

    “President Barack Obama says he backs immigration reform, announcing last month an initiative to ease deportation policies, but he has sent home more than 1 million illegal immigrants in 2 1/2 years — on pace to deport more in one term than George W. Bush did in two.

    The Obama administration had deported about 1.06 million as of Sept. 12, against 1.57 million in Bush's two full presidential terms.

    This seeming contradiction between rhetoric and reality is a key element of debate over U.S. immigration policy, and stakes are high for 2012's presidential election as Obama faces criticism from both conservatives and liberals.”

    ‘In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.’

    photo source                                       quote by Francis Bacon

    Aussie comedy scene ticks off conservative lawmakers, Chinese sit- com ordered off the air, and PETA to launch porn site

                  Good Morning Humboldt County!

    Don’t be shy, come on in and have a cup of coffee, and enjoy some unusual entertainment stories to start the day. The weather man is promising another beautiful day today so make sure to get out and enjoy it. We don’t have that many up in this neck of the woods.

    Aussie TV in trouble over PM comedy sex scene

    Australia's national broadcaster faced calls for a review of funding on Tuesday over a television comedy scene with a fictional Prime Minister Julia Gillard draped in a national flag after having sex on her office floor.

    Conservative opposition lawmakers said the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had overstepped good taste with a scene in which actors playing Gillard and her partner Tim Mathieson cuddled naked and used the flag -- with its historic ties to Britain and Australia's Queen Elizabeth -- as a sheet.

    "Having sex in the prime minister's office under the Australian flag is the last straw for me. It is sick. I'm offended and we should take a stand," one lawmaker who could not be named told a closed door meeting of MPs, a conservative spokesman told a press briefing.

    China suspends popular talent show for "exceeding time limits"

    China has ordered a popular television talent show off the air for a year after it exceeded broadcasting time limits, replacing it with programs that "promote moral ethics" such as public safety and housework tips, state media said on Monday.

    Episodes of talent show Super Girl, akin to American Idol or the X Factor, were supposed only to run for a maximum of 90 minutes, according to rules set in 2007, but sometimes exceeded the limit, the China Daily reported. Hunan Satellite Television, which produces Super Girl, has agreed to follow the broadcast regulator's ruling to remove the show and replace it with public service programming, the newspaper quoted deputy editor-in-chief Li Hao as saying.


    PETA to launch porn site in name of animal rights

    An animal rights group, which is no stranger to attention-grabbing campaigns featuring nude women, plans to launch a pornography website to raise awareness about veganism.

    The nonprofit organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) whose controversial campaigns draw criticism from women's rights groups, said it hopes to publicize veganism through a mix of pornography and graphic footage of animal suffering. "We're hoping to reach a whole new audience of people, some of whom will be shocked by graphic images that maybe they didn't anticipate seeing when they went to the PETA triple-X site," said Lindsay Rajt, PETA's associate director of campaigns.

    Time to walk on down the road…

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Enjoy the Awesome Artwork of Andrew Mar

     asrn moytvkg Go here to see more

    Search on for toe-sucking assailant, beware of the stinky gray blobs, and a man tries to smuggle snakes in his skivies

    Good Morning Humboldt County!

    I hope you brought your coffee cup because I have a pot of steaming joe ready to go! From toe-suckers to snakes in a man’s underwear, I have several odd stories to start your week out: 

    Arkansas town searching for toe-sucking assailant

    There's nothing illegal about a foot fetish but police in Conway, Arkansas, are looking for a toe-sucking man they said has crossed the line into assault. Police have received two complaints in the past week about a man who seems desperate to suck women's toes -- whether they want him to or not.

    "We want him off the streets," said Conway police spokeswoman LaTresha Woodruff. Last Saturday, Ruth Harris, 83, told police she was sitting in a chair in front of her apartment when a man approached and said he liked her feet. According to a police report, the man took off one of her shoes and began sucking on her toe.

    You say potato, I say stinky gray blobs

    Along with ruined homes and massive flooding, turns out Hurricane Irene left a few "presents" in her wake: Beaches covered in mysterious, stinky, gray blobs. The blobs were found on several Virginia beaches (and no, they weren't tourists), confounding the locals. Scientists later identified them as "potato sponges," which normally live in shallow waters, attached to the sea floor.

    The strong sea currents from Irene kicked up a bunch of these sponges, which then washed up on shore and eventually died. Peace out, potato sponges.

    Snakes in underwear smuggler fined $400

    A Brazilian man who was caught at Miami airport trying to smuggle seven baby pythons and three baby tortoises concealed in his underwear and pockets was fined $400 by a U.S. judge on Wednesday.

    Simon Turola Borges, 30, who had been detained since August 25, pled guilty to smuggling and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz to time served, two years of supervised release, and a $400 fine. He was ordered to be deported.

    Prosecutors said Borges initially denied having anything hidden in his pants when Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at the airport pulled him aside for a further search after he went through a body scanner while preparing to board a flight to Brazil last month. "Subsequently, he was asked to empty his cargo pants pockets, and he removed two hatchling pythons tightly wrapped in nylon pantyhose," prosecutors said in a statement. When he was asked to remove any foreign objects from his groin area "Borges pulled his underwear away from his body and removed two nylon pantyhose containing numerous snakes and tortoises," the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida added in the statement.

    Time to walk on down the road…

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    As It Stands: Don’t like the way mom raised you? Take her to court

    Leave It to Beaver tv show photo

          By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard

     Have you ever seen an episode of “Leave It To Beaver?”
    The iconic sitcom, which debuted on October 4, 1957, was about a suburban family (The Cleavers) and their daily life. The main character was Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers. The show followed his adventures at home, in school, and around his neighborhood. 
    If you will, imagine the following episode and this summary of the sitcom in TV Guide:
    “Wally (played by Tony Dow) and Beaver sue Their Parents! The boys have had enough. After drawing up a list of complaints they get a lawyer to take their case pro bono. Their father, Ward (played by Hugh Beaumont) and mother (played by Barbara Billingsley) have to dip into their savings to defend themselves.”

    Lawyer - Judge, I submit this recent birthday card as evidence A of Beaver’s hardships. It did not come with cash or a check.
    Judge - Duly noted.
    Lawyer - On behalf of my other client Wally, I submit another birthday card as evidence A. On the front, if the court will note, is a group of indistinguishable cartoon tomatoes. One of them is different and has funny-looking eyes. Inside it reads, “Son I got you this birthday card because it’s just like you ... different from all the rest!"
    Judge - Hmmmm…okay. Anything else?

    Lawyer - Yes, your honor. I submit these two detailed lists of complaints from both of my clients citing dates and times when hardships were suffered. They also accuse their parents of being evil. (Loud gasp from the audience) You’ll note that Beaver has listed physical abuse because of spankings.
    Judge - Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver. Do you have anything to say to the court?
    Ward - Your honor, I’m doing my best to teach the boys good old American values.

    June - I may have gone overboard once and asked Wally to do the dishes, but I was recovering from back surgery.
    Judge - I’m going to give you time to respond, point-by-point, to the accusations next week when we reconvene this trial.
    (Music in backround - theme song from the “Omen” Ave Satani, composed by Jerry Goldsmith)
     Where am I going with all of this? Two children who grew up in the lap of luxury sued their mother in 2009, for doing a bad job of raising them. They wanted her to pay - literally. I’m serious. An Illinois appeals court disagreed with that assessment in June.
     Steven Miner II, now 23, and his sister Kathryn, 20, were hoping to get $50,000 from their mother, Kimberly Garrity, for “emotional distress’’ from “bad mothering.’’ The court ruled that finding in their favor “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to ... excessive judicial scrutiny and interference."

      Gee, you think? How did this ridiculous case ever go so far? It sure wouldn’t have happened during the Cleavers time in the fifties. I may mock the judicial process today with my imaginary episode, but there’s nothing funny about what these children of privilege (they were raised in a $1.1 million dollar home) did.
       Look what happened. Their mother had to pay for a lawyer to defend herself and go through two years of stress wondering when the madness would end. Are you sitting down for this? The children’s lawyer was none other than their father, Steven A. Miner, who filed the lawsuit for free. Not getting money in a birthday card, having to wear seat belts, and other incredibly stupid items were listed as evidence against the mother.
       Isn’t there a law about filing frivolous lawsuits? How could anyone have taken this case seriously? It looks pretty obvious from the initial filing, dad was seeking the ultimate revenge by claiming his ex-wife was “an inadequate mother.”
      I couldn’t help but laugh when I read from the court report, “I tried to talk my children out of filing the lawsuit.” Say what? His kids have that much control over him? Doesn’t sound very convincing to me.
      As It Stands, I bet Ward Cleaver never had control issues with the Beaver and Wally.

    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...