Saturday, October 1, 2011

10 Examples of Incredible Starry Night Sky Photography, and a How-To Video

Times Past II

Wild Horses Monument in Washington  Go Here for the rest of the photos and the video.

This 11 year old is so good at football he’s being penalized

In the continuing attempt to make this country as soft as possible, there’s now the “Madre Hill” rule.

Meet 11-year-old running back, Demias Jimerson, who plays in Arkansas’ Wilson Intermediate League. Jimerson is so good that the league implemented a little known rule named after Arkansas Razorbacks great, Madre Hill. If a player has already scored three touchdowns and his team has a 14-point lead, then he’s banned from the endzone. This is the first time the rule was trotted out since coming up with it. What a message to the kid; “Don’t be too good now…wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

My question is if Jimerson gets close to the goal line, is he supposed to fall down and do snow angels or is there some kind of invisible fence that will shock him and prevent him from scoring? I mean c’mon man!

What’s this world coming to?

Some people say that Stetson Graves was too young for his first rifle

prize fail

Some people said Stetson Graves was too young to have a rifle, but the Tri-County Moose Service Center #2613 – who gave him the 17-caliber Marlin rifle - said that was a bunch of crap!

In other related news, the NRA petitioned for a waiver on the age limit for hunting licenses siting examples of early starters like Stetson Graves.

photo source

Friday, September 30, 2011

Feds to offer mother of all garage sales, kids find dad 6 days after accident, and man regains some sight with new drug

Image: Plum Island Animal Disease Center Building in New York

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Step right in, pull up a chair, and have a cup of coffee with me. Have I got a garage sale for you! Plus, two stories about lucky people. Enjoy:

Beachside fixer-upper among offerings in $22 billion federal garage sale

Like Americans trying to raise quick cash by unloading their unwanted goods, the federal government is considering a novel way to reduce the deficit: holding the equivalent of a garage sale.

Among the listings: Plum Island, N.Y.(photo), off the North Fork of Long Island, which the government has already begun marketing as 840 acres of "sandy shoreline, beautiful views and a harbor." As former home to the federal Animal Disease Center, it may need a bit of "biohazard remediation," making it a real fixer-upper.

Image: Los Angeles County firefighters in Angeles National Forest, north of Castaic, Calif.

Six days after cliff plunge, kids find dad

A 67-year-old man found alive days after his car plunged 200 feet off a mountain road built a makeshift camp, ate leaves and drank water from a nearby creek to survive, his daughter said.

After several days of radio silence from their dad, David Lavau's kids reported him missing to police. As rescue workers conducted an official search for the missing man, the Lavaus set out on thier own.

The family members were the ones who located David Lavau at the bottom of a ravine in the Angeles National Forest in California Thursday. Photo - Los Angeles County firefighters in Angeles National Forest, north of Castaic, Calif., after two vehicles plunged 200 feet down the canyon below.

 Blind parachuter regains some sight with experimental drug

Mike Scholes was training for a freefall parachute jump five years ago when his vision began to fail.

“I went for an eye test at the optician, and on the way to pick up my glasses five days later, I nearly crashed the car,” says the 58-year-old adventure junkie from Lindfield in West Sussex, United Kingdom.

Within days and without warning, he had lost most of the sight in his left eye. “This meant an abrupt change in my life,” Scholes says. “I had a very successful hot air balloon business, and I had to stop flying. I had to sell my cars as I could no longer drive.”

After seven months of screening — including CT and MRI scans, X-rays and a spinal tap — a DNA test detected Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, an inherited condition that causes people who can see normally to lose sight in one eye. Months later, they lose sight in the other eye — for Scholes, this happened around the time of his diagnosis. At that point, he couldn’t see in an increasingly large area in the center of both eyes. Colors gradually disappeared, until he could only make out hues of blue.

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Strange Art - Scraping away the Skin on Skull nickels

Skulls Carved into Hobo Nickels Skulls Carved into Hobo Nickels

The term “Hobo Nickel” describes any small-denomination coin (though, normally soft nickels) that people carve to create miniature reliefs of…well, all sorts of things. It started sometime in the 18th century but continues to this day; There’s even an entire society dedicated to the art of nickel carving. Go here to see more examples of this unusual art form.

While walking through the Redwoods Claire was horrified to find out that all trees are not created equally

'huge' treephoto source

National Coffee Day, Mr. Penguins dream, and Pizza Parlor Policies

Good Morning Humboldt County!

It’s that time again when we share some hot coffee and stories to start the day. I’m glad you could stop by. Don’t forget to check out the locations where you could find some free coffee below.

National Coffee Day Freebies and Deals

Today is an important day for caffeine addicts across the country. It's National Coffee Day! Celebrate the wonders of the buzz-bearing-brew with, what else, a free (or at least dirt cheap) cup of coffee from one of the establishments who are honoring the day. Here is a list of places to choose from.

Alfred David, a 79-year-old Belgian man nicknamed "Monsieur Pingouin" (Mr. Penguin), dressed in his favourite hooded black and white penguin suit, talks with neighbours near his home in Brussels September 28, 2011. The ultimate dream of senior Brussels resident Alfred David is to be buried in a coffin decorated with penguins, with his body dressed in a penguin suit, somewhere near Antarctica. Picture taken September 28, 2011 REUTERS/Yves Herman

Belgium's "Mr Penguin" dreams of Antarctic funeral

Belgian pensioner Alfred David dreams one day he'll find eternal rest in the icy waters somewhere near Antarctica, dressed in his penguin suit and laid out in a coffin decorated with penguins.

The 79-year-old "Monsieur Pingouin" (Mr Penguin), as he is known to locals in his Brussels neighborhood, dons his favorite hooded black-and-white penguin costume as he looks back at more than 40 years of obsession.

"My ultimate dream is to be buried in a deep ocean close to where penguins live," David told Reuters.

A slice of pizza is served a in Sao Paulo, September 28, 2007. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Insurance broker launches pizza parlor policy

In the specialized world of insurance, this one takes the cake -- or perhaps the pie -- a new policy called "SLICE" specifically designed to protect the owners of pizza parlors.

California insurance brokerage EPIC Programs Group said late Wednesday the "Safety, Loss Control, Insurance, Coverage, Expertise" program would address liabilities pizza parlor owners face from their delivery drivers.

The program, available in 40 states, includes mandatory driver training and other risk control measures. EPIC said the program was being underwritten by an unnamed insurer that specializes in auto coverage.

Time to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chill Out: Man in Ice Cream Cone Costume Mistaken for KKK Protester

Daniel Aviles wave to motorists from The Ice Cream Family Corner & Sandwiches in Ocala, Fla. (© Doug Engle/Star-Banner/AP)

This guy – unlike his employer who’s from Puerto Rico – has probably heard of the KKK, but didn’t think his ice cream cone suit looked like a klansman (or didn’t care). I know these are hard times and people will do whatever for money. That outfit must have been uncomfortably warm under the Florida sun.

An ice cream shop in Florida (where?) was hoping that he would drive more business into the store.

But apparently the pointy white hood bore too strong a resemblance to a Ku Klux Klan uniform and some people got upset. The owner, who's from a Caribbean island, told the local newspaper she had never heard of the white supremacist group.                                              news source & photo

Have you taken time to smile today? Go ahead…it feels good



photos via Google images

Exploding toilet in fed building sends employee to hospital

File this story under Unlikely Ways to Get Hurt while Going Potty: I can’t even imagine what it would be like sitting there and suddenly going airborne! Who could? Life is full of unexpected surprises.

“Restrooms are back in service at a General Services Administration building, where a toilet exploded and injured two federal workers.The bathrooms at the GSA Regional building were declared off-limits after two Department of Homeland Security employees were injured Monday by the toilet blast, GSA spokesman William Marshall said.

At least one of the employees was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, fire officials said.”

Authorities said the explosion was due to a control system malfunction that caused a rise in pressure in the water storage tank. That in turn caused the plumbing system to over pressurize and the toilets to "malfunction" when flushed. Or in laymen’s terms, the pots blew up!

Feds provide pot in decades-old program, teen murder suspect says she’s a vampire, and FBI catches militant fugitive from the 70s

Image: Elvy Musikka, 72, who suffers from glaucoma, lights a marijuana cigarette

        Good Morning Humboldt County!

Grab a cup of coffee and join me this morning in scanning a few stories to start the day. It’s another day in paradise and the weather looks to be beautiful again.

For your reading pleasure I have:

In decades-old program, Uncle Sam provides pot

For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing a handful of patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around. The program grew out of a 1976 court settlement that created the country's first legal pot smoker.

Photo - Elvy Musikka relies on the pot to keep her glaucoma under control. She entered the program in 1988, and said that her experience with marijuana is proof that it works as a medicine.

Advocates for legalizing marijuana or treating it as a medicine say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation's 40-year war on drugs — maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it.

Government officials say there is no contradiction. The program is no longer accepting new patients, and public health authorities have concluded that there was no scientific value to it, Steven Gust of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse told The Associated Press. At one point, 14 people were getting government pot. Now, there are four left.

Stephanie Pistey thinks she’s a vampire and part werewolf …

Fla. teen murder suspect says she's a vampire

Last week, police in Parker, Fla., claimed the people involved in the July murder of 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot may have been involved in a vampire cult. Now one of the suspects is confirming that information. Stephanie Pistey, 18, was arrested last Monday and was charged with accessory to murder.

She says she believes she's a vampire. Parker Police originally believed Hendershot was beaten to death because Stephanie Pistey accused him of raping her. "Jacob didn't deserve to die. I didn't even know he was going to die, but I honestly knew that they were going to beat him up and in my opinion he deserved to get the s*** beat out of him. He didn't deserve to die," Pistey said in an interview Monday. Investigators say a group of Pistey's friends lured Herndershot to a house, killed him, then dumped his body in a concrete enclosure.

George Wright

For decades, NJ fugitive enjoyed idyllic life in Portugal

A 1970s militant who carried out one of the most brazen hijackings in U.S. history lived for decades in an idyllic Portuguese hamlet near a stunning beach with his Portuguese wife and two children, his neighbors said Wednesday.

George Wright, 68, worked odd jobs around Almocageme, 28 miles west of Lisbon, most recently employed as a nightclub bouncer, said two neighbors who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared being ostracized for speaking out.

Wright, taken into custody Monday at the request of the U.S. government , also spoke very good Portuguese, they said, adding that his children were now in their 20s. Wright used the alias of Jose Luis Jorge dos Santos, U.S. officials said, and townspeople in Almocageme knew him as "Jorge" and "George."

Wright was convicted of the 1962 murder of gas station owner Walter Patterson, a decorated World War II veteran who was shot during a robbery at his business in Wall, New Jersey. Eight years into his 15- to 30-year prison term, Wright and three other men escaped from the Bayside State Prison farm in Leesburg, New Jersey, on Aug. 19, 1970. The FBI said Wright became affiliated with an underground militant group, the Black Liberation Army, and lived in a "communal family" with several of its members in Detroit.

In 1972, Wright — dressed as a priest and using an alias — hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami with four other BLA members and three children, including Wright's companion and their 2-year-old daughter.

Time to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

‘Pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures’



photo source

Cliffhanger: brave lioness saves her cub’s life

(Far Left) A lioness looks around helplessly after her cub fell down a ravine and couldn't make it back up the cliff.

(Left) Other members of the pride attempt to rescue the cub but stop trying when they realize it is too steep.

(Below) Only the mother lion is willing to take the risk.

(Below) Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws, according to the Daily Mail. She then begins the difficult journey back to the top.

These dramatic frames were taken by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot at Kenya's Masai Mara game reserve in August.

(Top) Safe and sound, the lioness gives the cub a big welcome-back lick.

Coffee to the rescue, scientists can see what’s on your mind, and a massive floating stage in Austria

            Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffees on. Come on in and grab a cup while it’s hot. I rustled up a trio of stories to start your day. Good news about coffee for woman (I’m assuming it’s good news for men too), your mind is an open map to scientists, and a floating stage on lake Constance. 

                Coffee cuts depression risk in women

Drinking coffee may lower women's risk of depression, a new study says. Women in the study who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression over a 10-year period compared to those who drank one cup of coffee or less per week.

The researchers cautioned, however, that the new study only shows an association between coffee consumption and depression risk, and cannot prove that drinking coffee reduces risk of depression in women.


                                    Scientists: We Can See What's In Your Mind

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that by looking at brain activity, they could get a fairly good picture of a human's visual experiences. The study is published in the current issue of Current Biology.So how did they do that? They made people watch short video clips and then they measured brain activity using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and they were able to recreate the clip people were watching.

The floating stage of the Bregenz Festival in Austria

The Seebühne, a massive floating stage on Lake Constance, is the centerpiece of the annual Bregenz Festival in Austria.

The stage hosts elaborate opera productions that are famous for their extraordinary set designs, for audiences of up to 7000.


Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gary really didn’t want to go for a walk with those stupid sandals on

photo source

Reflections: I can’t believe there’s a chance the Dodgers will get kicked out of the league!

I’ve been a Dodger fan all of my life. I have many good memories associated with them and to hear that they could be kicked out of Major League Baseball is unthinkable! The world has been upside down lately – my Lakers didn’t win it all last year – and Peyton Manning may never take a snap from center again. 

Now MLB is willing to boot the Los Angeles Dodgers from its ranks if the league cannot come to terms with the team's embattled owner Frank McCourt in bankruptcy court, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Attorneys for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said the league would consider revoking the Dodgers' membership before it would allow the team to sell off its future broadcast rights without league approval in a deal that would allow McCourt to settle his personal financial woes, including his pending divorce settlement. MLB blames McCourt for the team's current situation, saying he took on too much debt while siphoning money from the team to finance his lavish lifestyle.

Man survives 4 days in desert with broken leg, new book about the mysteries of southpaws, and a woman who flies the Confederate flag in her neighborhood

Humboldt-County-sign           Good Morning Humboldt County!

Are you ready to start a new week? Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a seat, and prepare to meet a man with a broken leg who survived for four days in the desert. Then there’s a new book that tells us all about southpaws/lefties. The wrap up is about a southern woman who flies a Confederate flag despite her neighbors protests. I believe she has that right, even if her stance is unpopular. 

Man with broken leg survives 4 days in Utah desert

Salt Lake City - A North Carolina man crawled four days across the Utah desert after breaking his leg on a solo hike, inspired by a Hollywood movie about a man who cut off his own arm to save himself after being trapped by a boulder in the same canyon.

Canyonlands National Park rangers found Richards four days after he fell 10 feet in Little Blue John Canyon on Sept. 8. Along with the leg injury, he dislocated his shoulder but was able to work it back into place.

New book explores the mysteries of southpaws

How do we explain that through the centuries, all over the world, there has always been a consistent left-handed minority of people of around 10 percent? Author Rik Smits attempts to answer this question in his new book "The Puzzle of Left-handedness."

There’s no definitive reason why one person is a rightie and another is a leftie, argues Smits in his book. There are several theories, though, and plenty of left-handed lore.

Photo - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is among the nation's famous lefties. Mark Wilson / Getty Images file

Image: Annie Chambers Caddell

S. Carolina neighbors wage battle over Confederate flag

 A year ago, dozens marched to protest the Confederate flag a white woman flew from her porch in a historically black Southern neighborhood.

Earlier this year, Annie Chambers Caddell's neighbors built two solid 8-foot high wooden fences on either side of her modest brick house to shield the Southern banner from view.

Video: Neighbors protest woman's Confederate Flag

Late this summer, Caddell raised a flagpole higher than the fences to display the flag. Then a similar pole with an American flag was placed across the fence in the yard of neighbor Patterson James, who is black.One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War began about 20 miles away in Charleston Harbor, fights continue over the meaning of the Confederate flag.

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

As It Stands: Entertainment is no excuse for sexualizing little girls


By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

The models gyrate suggestively onstage in skimpy outfits. The audience  enthusiastically encourages them to strut their stuff as they perform skits dressed as prostitutes and divas. Just another fashion show? Just another beauty contest?
litttgirNot quite. The girls wearing full makeup and suggestive costumes on stage are only five years old. Not much more than babies, and their mothers are already sexualizing them. If that sounds like a harsh statement, it’s meant to be.
Why are so-called reality programs like “Toddlers & Tiaras’’ allowed to air? The series is about the controversial world of pint-size beauty pageants. There’s a sick culture of mothers in America who think it’s okay to display their daughters in sexually suggestive costumes. (The good news is “Toddlers & Tiaras” is in it’s last season after a five-year run.)
Their excuses for doing that range from “I was a model once and see nothing wrong with helping my daughter get an early start in the business,” to the model wannabe moms who live their fantasies through their daughters - but claim it was the daughter’s idea to model.

imagesCAS4VVBZHow far has this trend gone?  Perhaps you’ve heard of the latest fashion model featured in French Vogue. Her name is Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau. She’s a pre-pubescent 10-years old. Her career started at age four.
The fashion industry has long been known to have models as young as 13 parading down the catwalk in sexy swimwear and lingerie. We’ve become so immune to the sexy gazes of teen models in high fashion advertising campaigns that their age goes unnoticed. But what happens when the model is so young? Should we turn our heads and pretend what’s happening is okay?  
Considering the crime rate involving sexual images of children, it’s hard to believe these kiddie fashion shows and beauty contests have become so popular. Then again, maybe it’s not so hard to understand when you consider those young girl’s sexy outfits and attitudes are a reflection of a sexist society. These shows are also popular with pedophiles, but that should come as no surprise to anyone.  
Shows like "Toddlers and Tiaras" have spawned spin-offs such as a recent viral video of a children's dance team bumping and grinding. For parents looking for a primer on how not to raise your daughter go to
imagesCALYPIU9Why aren’t these sexual displays of children illegal? People worry about child sex trafficking and then tune into an episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras.” It doesn’t make sense.  In a recent conversation I was told that this is a free society and there shouldn’t be any form of censorship on controversial shows.
 My reply; there have to be limits to protect children from exploitation. What’s happening to these young girls who skip a normal childhood and step into an adult world as young as four years old? Go to  to see what the eventual effects are. I assure you they’re not pretty.
One example is a trend for an increase in parents condoning plastic surgery for their daughters. Since 2000, the number of invasive cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States on girls 18 or younger has increased 15%, to 77,000.

imagesCALO8XCRAs a parent there are things you can do to help your daughter get through our sexually-charged society without becoming a victim. The American Psychological Association released this excellent report that offers advise to parents and daughters:
 We must not forget dad in the overall equation. The relationship between dads and daughters, particularly during the early adolescent years, can help boost self-esteem in girls and help prevent the development of body image dissatisfaction. A website devoted to dads and daughters ( imagesCA8AZQLO) outlines ways in which fathers can lend their support.

If you see clothing companies, advertisers, TV, and movie producers encouraging young girls to focus too much on looking “hot,” you can write a letter to express your opinion. There are things we can do about this trend of sexualizing young girls.
 Girls face enough challenges in this society, where shock value trumps common sense, without being subjected to it from the moment they can walk.
 As It Stands, it’s not too late to reverse this trend of exploitation.

Websites carrying this column:

#1 Lifestyle Today  #2 Cosma 

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...