Saturday, February 25, 2012
Vintage Illusions are still mind bogglers despite the years. Here’s three examples:
Published as a postcard, this work (left) by James Montgomery Flagg from 1913 is called “Map of the World”. As you can see (in the planisphere) a girl’s face is hidden. The artist is better known as the poster artist who created the image of a finger pointing Uncle Sam with the slogan “I want you!”.
The Painter Salvador Dalí is the author of a great many surreal canvasses, also of this photomontage (right), created from two photos which show some skiers coming down a slope and a box or bed of puppies.
The bodies of the skiers becoming the eyes and noses of the puppies…
Yes, our grandfathers too were great teases and appreciated 'subtle' naughty allusions and jokes!
Like this drawing which plays on the ambiguity of bald headed gentlemen that appear also as the large chest of the lady.
Postcards with optical allusions such as this were in the early past of the last century printed in their millions.
text & graphics source
The word from the WiseFather today:
“In today’s edition of Crap You Don’t Need, I bring you the necktie.
For some reason, men (and occasionally some women) are forced to wear a strip of overpriced fabric around their necks. Before I investigate the true origins of this custom, here is some wild speculation.
Ties demonstrate the wearer’s willingness to submit to asinine traditions. It sends a good message when you show up to your interview wearing your own leash. If this guy conforms to this, he’ll have no problem with wage slavery.
Perhaps ties are a phallic symbol. It could explain why it’s a guy thing. It could also explain why some people find women wearing neckties kind of creepy. Either she’s growing one (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or she’s appropriated one in a Lorena Bobbit way and has decided to make it an accessory. For the younglings out there, go ahead and Google Lorena Bobbit. You’ll have a good laugh or a nightmare; maybe both.
If the necktie idea is phallic, I fear the trend setters will one day evolve their custom and force us to wear erect ties. The style will be called “The Dilbert.”
It will make eating difficult, and we will eventually be banned from wearing ties while driving. However, the engineering involved in creating such a marvel would be interesting to see. I’ve heard they are doing wonderful things with carbon nanotubes.
Now, scanning the interwebs about the true origin of the necktie reveals that the custom has no practical purpose. That’s right: you’re not wearing that fancy silk tie to keep food off your less expensive shirt. It’s all fashion.
Finally, here’s a more sensible reason
for wearing a tie…
Happy birthday to actor Abe Vigoda, who turns 91 today! Yes, Abe Vigoda is still alive. No, I’m not kidding.
Vigoda's longevity has turned him into a punchline, a standing joke representing all those actors and actresses who are still with us, but seem perhaps like they might have passed on years before.
No insult to the man intended, but when there's a website (abevigoda.com) solely devoted to which side of the dirt you're waking up on, you've got to acknowledge and have fun with it.
The term "red tape" has many mythical origins, but the National Archives believes it has the right answer: red ribbons were used to bind piles of government documents dating back to the Civil War. Opening the files required someone to "cut through" the red tape.
Just how long a relationship will last can be predicted by the amount of "love hormone" in the bloodstream of a newly smitten person, a new study says. Researchers measured levels of oxytocin in people who had recently begun relationships. Six months later, the couples with the higher levels of oxytocin tended to still be together, while the others had split.
Your cell phone and your shoes have whole communities of microbes living on them, as distinctive as the germs on your fingers and in your mouth. Among the bacteria that typically live in your pocket are the relatives of nasty bugs that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and gonorrhea. In contrast, the soles of your shoes could harbor bacteria related to E. coli, salmonella and the microscopic critters that cause pink eye.
Good Day Humboldt County!
The future has always fascinated people and guessing what it’ll be like has been a favorite subject of science fiction writers since Jules Verne.
The road to roller coaster fame is dotted with such legends as “The Cyclone” at the Pike in Long Beach (below) during its glory days, and Coney Island’s “Hurricane” that left more than one rider puking their guts up. It seems people never get tired of screaming and hurling in the name of entertainment. Make ‘em sick, and they’ll come back. Here’s the latest way to lose your lunch:
“Think about the tallest, wildest roller coaster you've ever been on. If a Southern California design firm has its way, you haven't felt anything yet. BRC Imagination Arts is proposing a "zero gravity" roller coaster that would give thrill seekers a stomach-churning ride including at least eight seconds of microgravity.
The proposed ride takes cues from NASA's KC-135A aircraft, which was used to train astronauts and test equipment for spaceflight. The aircraft, nicknamed "the Vomit Comet," flew specific flight paths to mimic various states of microgravity.”
The Vomit Comet would be more than a theme park attraction according to it’s creators:
“While the Vomit Comet would be primarily for entertainment, Bob Rogers, BRC's founder and chief creative officer can foresee scientific and research applications. Experiment time on NASA's KC-135A, or other planned suborbital vehicles, is expensive and can sometimes involve a lengthy testing and approval process, he noted.”
Time for me to walk on down the road…
Friday, February 24, 2012
The wild scene erupted about 9:45 p.m. as hundreds of people packed the mall's parking lot, hoping to buy the new shoe at midnight.
As the crowd grew, a large contingent of Orange County deputy sheriffs arrived, braced for problems.
Similar shoe releases have caused violence at shoe stores across the country.
Two people were arrested on trespassing charges Thursday at Florida Mall. A third person — a woman — was arrested this morning for fighting outside Foot Locker.
Here’s the difference between citizens serving their communities & politicians supposedly serving the public…
One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.
After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, “I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.” The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a “thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.” The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a “thank you” card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.
Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.” The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.
The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut!
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
BOTH POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!
Good Day Humboldt County!
Today, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane. Are you feeling blue?
Remember when a despondent Kermit the Frog sang "It's not easy being green"?
Well it isn’t easy being blue either. I mean literally blue-skinned. People with the condition have no connection to so-called Blue Bloods.” No, the blue-skinned people we’re talking about today all belong to one family!
“Benjamin "Benjy" Stacy so frightened maternity doctors with the color of his skin -- "as Blue as Lake Louise" -- that he was rushed just hours after his birth in 1975 to University of Kentucky Medical Center.
As a transfusion was being readied, the baby's grandmother suggested to doctors that he looked like the "blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek." Relatives described the boy's great-grandmother Luna Fugate as "blue all over," and "the bluest woman I ever saw."
In an unusual story that involves both genetics and geography, an entire family from isolated Appalachia was tinged blue. Their ancestral line began six generations earlier with a French orphan, Martin Fugate, who settled in Eastern Kentucky.” (Read the rest of the story here.)
Time for me to walk on down the road…
Thursday, February 23, 2012
You may have noticed.
Turkey’s are running and programing TV programs throughout the country.
All TV programs. From the news full of views, to rednecks catching big ugly fish with their fists, there’s been a movement afoot. Turkey scratchings showing senseless images of people doing stupid things.
Somehow, rafters of turkeys have consolidated their clueless agendas into our lives while we sat drooling in front of the vast panorama of boob tubes stretched across the country.
It was bound to happen. Minds were turned to mush the moment the American family gathered around little oval screens in huge cabinets and watched blurry black-and-white images of commercials selling Alka Seltzer and Ipana tooth paste.
I didn’t just notice. I just decided to vent about it. To lament the dumbing down of America. To sigh with sadness as little girls dressed up like slutty women parade on shows that must be considered “candy” to pedophiles. Where have we gone so wrong?
The turkeys don’t have limits. Nothing is too half-baked, or raw, to make a hit series. No amount of shows humiliating fat people, little people, or just plain stupid people (I’m thinking “Jackass”) seems to be enough. There’s constantly new shows coming out trying to butter up an increasingly jaded public.
As It Stands, the final irony is we have met the turkeys…and they are us! Gobble, gobble, gobble…
During my high school days in Azusa, California, my favorite hamburger came from “In-N-Out,” not from the nearby McDonalds. It was the FIRST In-N-Out location. Someday, the building should be enshrined as a place to visit the birth of the best hamburger in the state.
Back in those days, a cheeseburger and fries from In-N-Out cost a tiny bit more than McDonalds, so most of the kids I knew went to Mickie’s D’s for financial reasons. I went to Mickie D’s most of the time for the same reason. But, when I wanted a treat, it was off to the In-N-Out on Azusa Ave. My future brother-in-law lived in a little green house right next to it. Whenever my friends and I visited him he’d buy us those wonderful burgers and fries.
In-N-Out has always had a mystique based on quality, scarcity (fewer than 250 locations), and apocryphal tales of secret menus and lavish, six-figure pay for employees. It's a quintessential southern California attraction— the first stop for savvy out-of-towners on the way out of LAX. The rare restaurant opening has been known to alter a city's traffic patterns and bring hours-long lines and news helicopters buzzing overhead.
In-N-Out is welcomed where other fast food outlets are not. Love for the double-double burger is publicly professed by chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Thomas Keller and influential food writers like Gourmet's Ruth Reichl and Jonathan Gold. Even Fast Food Nation's muckraking Eric Schlosser gives it a thumbs-up.
There are no freezers, microwaves, or heat lamps at an In-N-Out. Nothing is ever frozen—even the hamburger beef is butchered at their own SoCal site, which has kept outlets within a day's drive of that location. No meal is prepared until the customer orders it, the fries are cut by hand in the store, the shakes are real ice cream, and burger prices hover around $3. Except for the addition of 7-Up and Dr. Pepper, the menu has barely changed in its 60 year history.
Now the big news is that In-N-Out is planning for expansion. The company is opening a regional office and second distribution center in Dallas, making it possible to open new outlets within driving range of the fresh hamburger patties it produces in Texas. Three new locations will be up and running this spring. Maybe by April 1st. And that's no joke.
Good Day Humboldt County!
As we walk down the road of life, we sometimes stumble upon good fortune. A side road to riches not traveled by others. A turn of events that can change our lives. As surprising as a Jack-in-the-Box, these moments pop up when we least expect them.
Today’s story is a good illustration of what I’m talking about:
“A Michigan family was cleaning out an old farmhouse and accidentally stumbled across a long-sought after collection of football cards worth thousands of dollars and considered perhaps the rarest such collection in history. The set is highlighted by an "anonymous" card of former Harvard football player John Dunlop, which was first issued in 1894.
The Dunlop card alone is reportedly worth $10,000, according to Lou Brown, president of Legends Sports and Games. "If it was in the right condition, it could be worth up to $60,000," Brown told Yahoo! News in a phone interview.
There are only 10 Dunlop cards known to still exist, with some valued as high as $18,000. The entire collection is the first ever to dedicated to football players. And since there was no NFL at the time, the set focused entirely on the nation's 35 best Ivy League college players, according to the site FootballCardShop.com. You can view some of the other rare cards from the collection here.
Time for me to walk on down the road…
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Beware Smartphone users! Ominous rumblings from tech experts, Javelin Strategy & Research: Identity thieves are back in bigger numbers than ever before after last years slight decline.
Right now, this very moment, someone is checking to see if you, or some other unsuspecting Smartphone user are using a screen password. This new research claims Smartphone users are 30 percent more likely to report being hit by I.D. fraud in 2012. The survey said about 36 millions Americans have been victimized.
Disclaimer: I’m clueless when it comes to mobile phones. Smart and dumb ones. I have a dumb one that doesn’t access the internet. I still have trouble with it when it comes to make the slightest changes. I don’t text, but my wife says my phone is set up for texting.
But, I do read a lot, and after reading this article this morning I informed my tech savvy wife that her phone was at risk. She immediately took steps to rectify the situation. If I may be so bold, it would be a good idea for you to protect yourself and use a screen password if you have a Smartphone. Of course, if you already do, then you can just yawn and move on.
If, however this is news to you, consider taking action to protect your I.D. Don’t feel bad if you weren’t aware of this threat. According to the researchers, 62 percent of Smartphone users say they do not use a screen password to protect their devices.
Finally, the survey suggests some connection between active use of social networks and ID theft. Slightly more than 10 percent of LinkedIn users say they were hit (10.1 percent), while 7 percent of Google+ users and 6.3 percent of Twitter users reported being victims -- all three above average. Facebook users, at 5.7 percent, were barely above the national average of 4.9 percent.
Good Day Humboldt County!
Call me a cynic, but I have a strong feeling that the Supreme Corporate Court is preparing to turn the clock back on race diversity in higher education.
They’re confronting the issue of race in university admissions once again. This time, there’s an appeal by a white student who says she was denied a spot at the flagship campus of the University of Texas.
“A broad ruling in favor of the student, Abigail Fisher, could threaten affirmative action programs at many of the nation's public and private universities,” said Vanderbilt University law professor Brian Fitzpatrick in a recent interview.
Erwin Chemerinsky, a constitutional law scholar and dean of the University of California Irvine's law school, has called the Fisher case "potentially momentous."
To what extent does the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” permit race to be used as a factor in efforts to achieve greater diversity in higher education?
For more than three decades, the Supreme Court has said that although race may be one of numerous factors taken into account, it cannot be the predominant consideration in an admissions process. I suspect tea party groups across the country are supporting this appeal.
As It Stands, what do you think the chances are that the Supreme Corporate Court will rule in her favor?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Can you spot the hidden face in this “Coffee Bean Man Illusion?”
Once you find the face in this coffee beans pile, every next time you look at this picture you will see it immediately!
See that beady-eyed little prig between the two women in the photo?
His name is Bob Morris, and he says the Girl Scouts are bent on promoting communism, lesbianism and subverting "traditional American family values."
Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Neither did I, but Morris talked to some well-informed constituents, and did a “small amount” of Web-based research, and what he found disturbed him.
The Girl Scouts of America and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts "have entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood” he told his Republican House colleagues in a letter obtained by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Morris, who owns a chain of nutrition stores, claims there’s an agenda behind the cookies the Girl Scouts sell. That’s the reason he insists he won't go along with a resolution meant to honor the Girls Scouts on the organization's 100th anniversary.
As proof, Morris notes that the "radically pro-abortion" Michelle Obama is honorary president of Girl Scouts of America, which "should give each of us reason to pause before our individual or collective endorsement of the organization."
Michelle Tompkins, a spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, responded to Morris' assertions by telling NBC station WISE of Fort Wayne, "Not only is Rep. Morris off the mark on his claims, it's also unfortunate in his limited research that he failed to discover that, since 1917, every first lady has served as the honorary leader of Girl Scouts, including Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush."
For its part, Planned Parenthood of Indiana called Morris' comments "inflammatory, misleading, woefully inaccurate and harmful," saying he'd insulted not only it but also the Girl Scouts and Obama.
"Planned Parenthood currently has no formal partnership with the Girl Scouts, but supports their mission and recognizes their century of contributions to our society," the organization said in a statement to NBC station WTHR of Indianapolis.
After nearly a week of suspense, I found out the name of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s puppy today. It’s Lupo, according to the Associated Press. I know. Pretty odd name, but it probably has royal significance to it. Lupo may have been a past king in Britain. Little Lupo (who was really named after the Latin word for wolf) has already become a viral sensation.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear the biggest BMW dealership in the world recently opened up for business in The United Arab Emirates. It’s located in Abu Dubai. Just knowing that we have a BMW dealership here in McKinleyville makes me feel connected with the universe…
I can relax now that I know Elvis Presley’s was not part ape!
A Florida man today claimed to be Elvis Presley’s brother, and that he was also half orangutan. If true, it would have meant the King was part ape. I realize some people said he went ape when performing, but I don’t thing it’s the same thing.
After a call about a man flashing a handgun at a woman, police arrived on the scene. They reported the man said he "needed to call the 'Fusion Center' to ask about his monkey blood," according to the Naples Daily News. The arresting officer noted "that he had jurisdiction over me since he was the director of the CIA," in his report.
I have to agree with the officer's assessment that "it did not appear as if he was all there mentally," but have to admit I admire his delusional creativity.
Good Day Humboldt County!
Our path today will take us down a road where cars don’t need drivers.
I was 12-years old when the Jetsons animated sitcom originally aired in prime-time in 1962. I can remember sitting down with the whole family and watching it on Thursday nights.
One of the things I thought was really cool was how their car drove itself. Mr. Jetson (or one of the others) would hop in a car and tell it where they wanted to go. The car took over from there. Flash forward to today’s news.
“This month Nevada became the first state in the nation to formally approve legislation authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles on its roadways.
The once far-fetched idea is becoming more and more grounded every day as manufacturers work to develop technology that could permit a motorist to plug in a destination and let the vehicle drive there automatically. Indeed, Google has become a leader in autonomous technology, with several prototypes already logging over 160,000 miles in test runs.
While most experts contend the technology is still years away from widespread application, Nevada lawmakers apparently couldn’t wait. Last summer, lawmakers there ordered state regulators to establish rules covering the use of autonomous vehicles.
The regulations have now been finalized -- and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will now have to formalize licensing procedures for companies that want to test their vehicles in the state.”
Time for me to walk on down the road…
Monday, February 20, 2012
In a glimpse of superstitious hysteria we don't usually see outside of a middle-school reading of "The Crucible," a Nepalese woman was horrifically burned alive after being accused of using evil magical powers.
According to CNN, the mother of two was set on fire by family members after one of her shaman condemners claimed that she had cast a spell on a relative.
I just got off the phone with ex president Bill Clinton and told him it’s okay to inhale now. I want to share this interesting new product with you too:
“U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement.
AeroShot went on the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and it's also available in France. Consumers put one end of the canister in their mouths and breathe in, releasing a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly. Each grey-and-yellow plastic canister contains B vitamins, plus 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, about the equivalent of the caffeine in a large cup of coffee.” (Source)
Good Day Humboldt County!
Are you ready to walk down a trail that promises to lead you into the future of food in America? Fair warning: It might not be pretty.
Don’t like the idea of killing animals, but have a soft spot for a good beef hamburger? I’ve got news for you, and for vegetarians: the first-ever Culture Dish Hamburger is going to be taste-tested by a world celebrity taster.
If you want to be crass about about it, this unique hamburger cost $330,000 to make. It’s funded by an anonymous investor reportedly interested in “life-transforming technologies." Someone out there is rubbing his hands together in anticipation of revolutionizing the food industry.
According to this news source:
“The patty will be much like a regular quarter-pounder — but with one big difference: This one will be created by growing bovine stem cells in a vat, transforming them into thousands of thin layers of beef muscle cells, mincing them into tiny pieces, then combining the bits with lab-grown animal fat to form a lump of meat the size of a golf ball.”
Yum Yum… doesn’t that sound tasty? (As I try to keep from gagging) Culture Burgers. Somehow they lack the pizazz of cheeseburgers, don’t you think?
More about the future of food:
- Scientists turn stem cells into pork
- Beef producers see America losing its appetite
- The skinny on milk nutrition: Cow, goat, rice or soy?
- Future of food: Drinkable bagels and beyond
Time for me to walk on down the road…
Sunday, February 19, 2012
By Dave Stancliff/for the Times-StandardPlease try to keep a straight face. What I’m about to share is true, so go easy on the folks involved, okay?
Quick history note: Utah has Cougars, snakes (Diamond Backs), Falcons, and other creatures, and it’s not uncommon to see them as school mascots. If you were to check, you’d see that Cougars are a common name for mascots in the state. Fair enough?
Not for the school board members of a new school slated to open in 2013. Recently named Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah (photo), it already faces a controversy.
The school board members polled students on what they’d like for a team name. They voted in favor of the Cougars. Cougars inhabit territory all across Utah. According to the Division of Wildlife Resources, the only place in Utah they're not found is in the salt flats west of the Great Salt Lake.
Cougar was a natural choice. The students didn’t foresee any problem with having a Cougar for a team mascot. Why should they? They had heard of schools with Cougars as mascots at different grade levels throughout their lives.
Superintendent of Canyons School District, David S. Doty (I’m not making up that last name), made a surprise announcement; Cougars was not an acceptable team mascot name! How could that be? Why did everyone say the name was okay when it was voted on?
Now here’s the part where I ask your indulgence. Try not to laugh too hard at the reason why Cougar suddenly became banned as school mascots. One more thing, I’m not making this up.
Doty said Cougars was unacceptable because it “has a negative double entendre,” as in older women who date younger men. No, really. I guess we can thank the television show, "Cougar Town," starring Courteney Cox, for those votes overturned. Apparently their Moms and Dads watch the show.
When some parents (the story doesn’t say how many) called the school board and complained, saying Cougars was a negative term, the board dissolved into Cougar scat.
I can’t help wondering about schools like USC who use “Trojans” as a team name. Is it time something was done about that obvious double entendre? Are TV shows the next barometer for a school’s team name?
Back to the Draper school board. They also felt the school’s blue/white/silver color scheme looked too much like Brigham Young University team colors. I don’t know what they said behind closed doors about the longtime university team name, the Cougars. One can only imagine.
This really isn’t the end of the story. The school board, in it’s infinite wisdom, voted unanimously to select Charger as the mascot, noting no other high school in the state had used it. A curious fact.
Cool. But what happened to the student input? Am I missing something here? The school board happily noted the alliteration of Corner Canyon Chargers, and said a Charger, a war horse, was selected because it is “a prominent animal in Draper and an image of strength that could unify the community," according to the Board of Education summary.
There’s no word on how the students felt about the new team name. I wouldn’t be surprised if some conjure up the image of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. That might be acceptable because it’s on the beach in California, where I suspect the students would rather live!
Still, it’s just not right. Kearns High School football coach and athletic director Bill Cosper recently told The Salt Lake Tribune, "To me, a mascot is usually an animal - I mean, I don't know how to even respond to Chargers.”
Perhaps reflecting what a lot of people think, Cosper said, "In all my years here, or in all of sports, that's never been brought up before.” I’m not sure he’s right, but I can’t readily recall any other case about animals becoming a problem as a team symbol.
The whole thing is laughable, but sad too. People are so easily swayed by what they see or hear in the media. Common sense is often suspended in the name of political correctness.
As It Stands, if you still feel like laughing, I don’t blame you.
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By Dave Stancliff / For The Times-Standard I’ve got an idea that could break the gridlock in Congress. Not immediately, but by the ...