Saturday, May 12, 2012

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is…


Google Images

The odd story for Saturday…a dead man wakes up at his funeral

I couldn’t resist sharing this story. I’ve read a lot of others like it where the supposedly deceased wakes up startling (and sometimes scaring the hell out of) funeral attendees.

All’s well that ends well, I suppose:

LUXOR, Egypt — The funeral of a 28 year-old waiter in southern Egypt turned into a celebration when he woke up after being declared dead. (Full story)

Weird Inventions by Guys Series – Part I: Fuzzy Wonders and Invisible Paddles


        Good Day Humboldt County!

Where would we be without visionaries who come up with crazy contraptions? This country has a rich history of inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

But what about those inventions that didn’t become household names? We can’t let them slip into the trash pile of history…because their too damn funny!


     The Invisible Paddle Machine

The initiate, thinking he is showing off his manliness with an ordinary strength-testing device, is surprised by the sudden simultaneous actions of a 32-calibre blank cartridge exploding at the rear, a paddle striking "where his mother used to apply her slipper," and a spray of water discharging in his face. $21.00 $33.50 (with electrical shock attachment) $0.45 (box of 50 extra blanks)


                        THE FUZZY WONDER

"Fuzzy Wonder" is a spectacular Goat in every respect. It gallops, rears,wobbles, kicks,and bucks by the up-and-down motion of the handle-bar. The body is well-upholstered with best tanned wool skin, and has horns and eyes. Goat is packed in a chest with hinged cover, lock and key. Weighs about 200 pounds. $82.00 Horse, Donkey, Tiger or Camel Body, instead of goat body, extra...$10.00   (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, May 11, 2012

How many Dolphins can you spot in the image below?

                    Okay…who is lifting the Moon?











 There’s more than two dolphins in this picture…

U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam


If anyone’s interested, this is how genocide gets it’s start…through extreme religious intolerance that boils over into all out war.

History tells us that by demonizing a sector of people – by race or religion – it becomes easier to involve the common citizenry in atrocities in the name of homeland security.

So don’t be surprised by what you’re about to read here. This is how it starts. Now we have to wonder how it’ll end?

from the DANGER ROOM:

The U.S. military taught its future leaders that a “total war” against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists, according to documents obtained by Danger Room. Among the options considered for that conflict: using the lessons of “Hiroshima” to wipe out whole cities at once, targeting the “civilian population wherever necessary.”

The course, first reported by Danger Room last month and held at the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College, has since been canceled by the Pentagon brass. It’s only now, however, that the details of the class have come to light. Danger Room received hundreds of pages of course material and reference documents from a source familiar with the contents of the class.


The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to make sure it doesn’t contain similarly hateful material, a process that is still ongoing. But the officer who delivered the lectures, Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, still maintains his position at the Norfolk, Virginia college, pending an investigation. The commanders, lieutenant colonels, captains and colonels who sat in Dooley’s classroom, listening to the inflammatory material week after week, have now moved into higher-level assignments throughout the U.S. military.

For the better part of the last decade, a small cabal of self-anointed counterterrorism experts has been working its way through the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, trying to convince whoever it could that America’s real terrorist enemy wasn’t al-Qaida — but the Islamic faith itself. In his course, Dooley brought in these anti-Muslim demagogues as guest lecturers. And he took their argument to its final, ugly conclusion.

We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,’” Dooley noted in a July 2011 presentation (.pdf), which concluded with a suggested manifesto to America’s enemies. “It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”

Dooley’s ideological allies have repeatedly stated that “mainstream” Muslims are dangerous, because they’re “violent” by nature. Yet only a few of al-Qaida’s most twisted fanatics were ever caught musing about wiping out entire cities.


“Some of these actions offered for consideration here will not be seen as ‘political correct’ in the eyes of many,” Dooley adds. “Ultimately, we can do very little in the West to decide this matter, short of waging total war.”

Dooley, who has worked at the Joint Forces Staff College since August 2010, began his eight-week class with a straightforward, two-part history of Islam. It was delivered by David Fatua, a former West Point history professor. “Unfortunately, if we left it at that, you wouldn’t have the proper balance of points of view, nor would you have an accurate view of how Islam defines itself,” Dooley told his students. Over the next few weeks, he invited in a trio of guest lecturers famous for their incendiary views of Islam.

Shireen Burki declared during the 2008 election that “Obama is bin Laden’s dream candidate.” In her Joint Forces Staff College lecture, she told students that “Islam is an Imperialist/Conquering Religion.” (.pdf)”

Read the rest of the story here.

It’s a nice day to take a carousel ride down memory lane …

               Good Day Humboldt County!

 Todays trot down memory lane leads us to carousels and a little history about them. I vaguely recall my first ride on one and how fast it seemed to be going. My grandfather stood next to me as I clutched my steed for dear life.

I’ve taken all three of my sons on carousel rides when they were little and am now working on taking my grandchildren – all five of them – on carousel rides.

                    Here’s a bit of fun history: 

“The carousel was the first form of mechanical recreation and the original root of modern amusements,” says Bette Largent, president of the National Carousel Association. The earliest carousels date back to around A.D. 500, though you’d hardly recognize them: rather than lit-up spectacles, these were baskets hand-spun around a central pole. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that carousels as we know them came into existence.” Source

In the photo above - Jane's Carousel has 48 glass-eyed horses, with ornate saddles and gold-leaf detailing, that are housed in a pavilion in N.Y.'s Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was originally built in 1922 – Photo by Kate Appleton

We’re lucky to still have a beautiful working carousel in Humboldt County right off of highway 101 in Eureka. It sits in front of a car dealership – Harper Ford – that has been around for 100 years.

It was completely restored in the last decade, and continues to give children (and adults) rides when the weather allows. I’ve seen the craftsmanship of the wooden horses up close and can tell you they are real works of functional art.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doctor’s group tell President Obama to quit eating hamburgers and hot dogs

File photo of (from left) President Barack Obama & British Prime Minister David Cameron eat a hot dog during a basketball game (© Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

                 Is nothing sacred anymore?

Pushy. Pushy. A group of hot dog and hamburger haters posing as doctors are telling the prez he can’t eat ‘em in public?

Say what? They want him, his family (that probably includes Bo) and his Cabinet members to stop eating such unhealthy foods as burgers and hot dogs in public because it sets a bad example.

Processed meats "kill more Americans every year than tobacco does," said Susan Levin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "The White House would never set up a photo op showing the president buying cigarettes, so why is it OK to show him eating a hot dog?"

What next? Don’t let Obama be seen watching or playing baseball, or eating an apple pie? C’mon folks…give me a break here. How many generations of Americans have survived eating hot dogs and hamburgers? As long as you don’t eat too much of either, things should be fine. Pass the mustard please…


Prophets of Doom will need to find a new date as archaeologists find proof that Mayan Calendar DOES NOT END this year

There’s some recent news about the Mayan Calendar that is going to set some doomsayers back on their heels in shock.

The world is not ending this year…at least according to the Mayans who planned on existing well beyond Baktun 13. With this discovery, a lot of debate about the so-called doomsday date in 2012 can come to an end: 

“Archaeologists have found a stunning array of 1,200-year-old Maya paintings in a room that appears to have been a workshop for calendar scribes and priests, with numerical markings on the wall that denote intervals of time well beyond the controversial cycle that runs out this December.

For years, prophets of doom have been saying that we're in for an apocalypse on Dec. 21, 2012, because that marks the end of the Maya "Long Count" calendar, which was based on a cycle of 13 intervals known as "baktuns," each lasting 144,000 days. But the researchers behind the latest find, detailed in the journal Science and an upcoming issue of National Geographic, say the writing on the wall runs counter to that bogus belief.

"It's very clear that the 2012 date, while important as Baktun 13, was turning the page," David Stuart, an expert on Maya hieroglyphs at the University of Texas at Austin, told reporters today. "Baktun 14 was going to be coming, and Baktun 15 and Baktun 16. ... The Maya calendar is going to keep going, and keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future." Read the rest here.

PHOTO: Boston University archaeologist William Saturno carefully uncovers art and writings left by the Maya some 1,200 years ago. The art and other symbols on the walls may have been records kept by a scribe, Saturno theorizes. Saturno's excavation and documentation of the house were supported by the National Geographic Society. -  photo by Tyrone Turner / National Geographic

Parents acting badly: children suffer humilation and drunken disregard for their safety

                Good Day Humboldt County!

Raising a child right is one of the most important things a parent can do. They need to be flexible, compassionate, fair at all times, but in charge until that magic age of 18 arrives. Above all they need to demonstrate love through their actions.

A child is raw material waiting to be molded and taught between right and wrong. Good parents protect their children. Sadly, there are too many examples in the news every day of parents acting badly towards their offspring.

In the news:  

“Police say a Minnesota mother and her husband shaved the head of her 12-year-old daughter, then forced the girl to run around in a diaper in public as punishment for a failing grade on her report card.”

Parental discipline is one thing, but intentional humiliation of a child is abuse no matter what.

“The child’s 38-year-old mother and the woman’s 34-year-old husband were charged on Wednesday with malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor, according to Lt. Mike Monsrud with the Fridley Police Department. The offense is punishable up to a year in jail and or a $3,000 fine. is not identifying the family.

What is perhaps the most disturbing is that all the way up to the jail, the couple was laughing and joking, not believing they were involved in anything inappropriate," Monsrud said. "They questioned police involvement. They believed it was their decision as parents to discipline the girl." Monsrud said the girl and three other children in the family have been placed in foster care.” (News source)


From the Long Island Press

“Riding around in your dad’s car with the windows down is fun. Being tied to the hood of your father’s car while he drives home from the liquor store, not so fun.

An Indiana man, Aaron Stefanski, reportedly believed his children were enjoying being strapped to the top of his vehicle while he was driving home from the liquor store, according to the Journal Gazette.

Stefanski, 29, tied down his 4 and 5-year-old sons, his 6-year-old daughter and Jessica Clark’s 7-year-old daughter to the hood by using a tow strap, police said. Stefanski and his children, Clark and her daughter, were all riding together in the vehicle when the adults decided to make a pit stop at Belmont Beverage.

One of the liquor store workers called 911 when he noticed Stefanski strapping down four kids to the hood of a large white vehicle. Luckily for the children a U.S. Marshal was in the area and heard the dispatch. After spotting Stefanski’s car, the U.S. Marshal reportedly pulled him over.

Authorities who arrived at the scene alleged they smelt alcohol on Stefanski’s breath. They determined his blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, the Journal Gazette reported. The father of three was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent, driving while intoxicated and criminal recklessness. Clark, 29, who is the mother of the oldest child involved in the incident, later told police that Stefanski might have not used the best judgment. She was also arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent.”

Not a news day passes without stories like this and much worse where children are killed by parents. Parenting is a challenge for adults and children. I think there’s more good parents than bad ones. I sure hope so.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mickey packing heat but TSA saves the day…or something like that

Here’s a good parting shot for this day. Talk about odd, TSA authorities allowed a man and a 4-year old boy to continue their travel to Detroit after concluding the man didn't pose a risk despite carrying stuffed toys with a loaded gun in them!

“Gun components and ammunition were found hidden inside three stuffed animals carried by a passenger at Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport on Tuesday, federal transportation officials said.

                  Read the whole story here.

Obama first president to support gay marriage–‘same sex couples should be allowed to marry’

Image: President Barack ObamaOkay…I’m really surprised. Sooooooo surprised…

After waffling on the subject of gay marriage for three and a half years, president Obama suddenly came out in support of it today.

Forgive my suspicious nature, but it looks to me like he’s really worried about losing the election and plans on doing some things he promised to do the first time around. For example, this 11th Hour decision to support gay marriage.

I also will be soooooo surprised if Obama’s next announcement is that he’s calling off the DEA dogs and will stop the senseless attacks against medical marijuana and the states that have legalized it.

Don’t you just love presidential campaigns? They’re full of surprises… 

New Era of Medicine: Robots study how humans think and then gives them drugs to treat disorders

                              Good Day Humboldt County!

What wonders the future holds. I recently read about a robotic eye that gives the once sightless vision! I’ve always had my reservations about robots – see my column - Workplace Reality: more robots, fewer humans – but it hasn’t dampened my curiosity about them.

Do you remember Robby the Robot a fictional character who made a number of appearances in science fiction movies and television programs after his first appearance in the 1956 MGM science fiction film Forbidden Planet?  Robby is the root of my interest in “artificial intelligence.” And walking talking tin cans.

Robby the Robot made several appearances in other movies and TV shows over the next few decades, including episodes of The Thin Man and The Addams Family. While Robby's appearance was generally consistent, there were notable exceptions, such as the 1962 Twilight Zone episode "Uncle Simon", where he was given a slightly more human "face."

So, it’s no surprise that I bring you the latest in robotics. Enjoy…

“Brain scientists have built a robot that can find and record information from individual neurons in the living brains of mice. Yes, robots are becoming real-world brain scientists.

In the future, these same robots could be studying how humans think and even deliver targeted drugs to the brain – to treat disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, autism or epilepsy. The robotic procedure automates the well-known, albeit time consuming, difficult and mind-numbing, task for human neuroscientists known as whole-cell patch clamping.

The technique involves bringing a tiny, hollow glass pipette in contact with the cell membrane of a neuron, then opening up a small pore in the membrane to record the electrical activity within the cell, explains MIT.The skill took graduate student Suhasa Kodandaramaiah four months to learn.

“When I got reasonably good at it, I could sense that even though it is an art form, it can be reduced to a set of stereotyped tasks and decisions that could be executed by a robot,” he said in a news release. And so, that’s what he and his colleagues did – building a robotic arm that lowers a glass pipette into an anesthetized mouse with more superior precision and speed than humans.

Their procedure is described in the May 6 issue of Nature Methods. The same technique can be used to determine the shape of the cell and they are working on a way to extract a cell’s contents to read its genetic profile.

According to the MIT news release, this is a new era for robotics:

The researchers are now working on scaling up the number of electrodes so they can record from multiple neurons at a time, potentially allowing them to determine how different parts of the brain are connected.

They are also working with collaborators to start classifying the thousands of types of neurons found in the brain. This “parts list” for the brain would identify neurons not only by their shape — which is the most common means of classification — but also by their electrical activity and genetic profile.

“If you really want to know what a neuron is, you can look at the shape, and you can look at how it fires. Then, if you pull out the genetic information, you can really know what’s going on,” [team member Craig Forest at Georgia Tech] says. “Now you know everything. That’s the whole picture.”

--Via MIT

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

There’s no such thing as a routine day – it’s the first day of the rest of your life


              Good Day Humboldt County!

For those of you who actually read this blog daily you’ll notice I didn’t post something new on Monday. I took a blog break. Went to Oregon. On the way home, my wife and I stopped in Crescent City to watch one of our grandson’s first musical recital (he plays the trumpet – think Satchmo someday I told him… and he looked at me like I was crazy!)

Moments like that are fleeting and you can’t count on them. They are precious moments when you connect at some level with loved ones. Each day brings promise, or grief, depending on your current path in life. You can expect the unexpected with assurance. It’s going to happen. Good or bad. Every day. It’s best to live each day like it was your last.

         Recent examples in the news:

 FAMILY TRAGEDY IN TENNESSE - Jo Ann Bain and her daughters, Adrienne, 14, Alexandria, 12, and Kyliyah, 8, are believed to have been abducted by a family friend, Adam Mayes. Police believe the two younger girls are still with Mayes.

A Tennessee medical examiner identified two bodies Monday as those of Jo Ann Bain and her eldest daughter, Adrienne, 14, who are believed to have been abducted from their home in Whiteville,Tenn. on April 27, 2012----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Missed: Terry Hays, seen with the couples' two daughters, said that the car would serve as a way for the girls to remember their father's spirit      Community Comes Together To Fulfill Fallen Soldier’s Final Wish

Bruce Hays was a member of the Wyoming Army National Guard and had been in Afghanistan for less than a month when he was killed

Story contains video via Daily Mail |

It took more than a village to help bring the last wish of a fallen soldier to come true, but ten months and the help of strangers led to its completion.


Is this something that interests you?

Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government

Story contains video via TED |

Can government be run like the Internet, wide open and no rules? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can.

Jennifer said that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments -- and their neighbors.



Everyone loves to hear about people beating the odds.


Svante Myrick, Ithaca’s Youngest-Ever Mayor, Grew Up Homeless

Story contains video via MSNBC |

Svante Myrick, Ithaca's newly-elected 24-year-old mayor has an incredible story to tell.

Not only is he the town's youngest mayor in history, he also surmounted huge odds to get there.


Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 6, 2012

AS IT STANDS: Holy Hackcalypse Batman! What should we do?


           By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
  Beware of the coming Hackcalypse!
A worldwide reckoning among competing hackers is coming sooner than you think. Future generations will refer to this monumental Clash of the Nerds as the day we went back to the Stone Age.
 We know governments have hired hackers for years to steal state secrets, scientific advances, and to sabotage other country’s networks, causing internal chaos. Hackers prank the FBI and break into credit card networks to steal people’s personal information.
   Some hackers claim to be for the common man and attack corporations they don’t like for political reasons. Others have no problem going onto social websites and creating havoc there. ESingles has been relentlessly mocked, both by LulzSec Reborn and other hackers who have compared the stolen data with what's on the site.

  LulzSec Reborn broke into ESingle’s  database and stole passwords, email addresses, and other information from nearly 171,000 accounts, according to several security experts on the case.
   Hackers hack because they can. For every one that gets caught, ten more are laughing safely behind numerous firewalls and other people’s IP addresses. A hacker can be 12 years old or 89 years old. There are no age requirements.
   Hackers hang with con artists and scammers and often help them rip off unsuspecting victims by setting cyber traps.
   The US has a high powered cyber team fighting 24 hours a day against thousands of attacks from around the world seeking to break into sensitive government, military, and corporate websites. There’s never a time out.

  China, Russia, and the Ukraine currently have the worst reputation when it comes to using state sponsored hackers to attack American interests. A recent article in Data Protection - Ukraine seen as a growing 'haven for hackers' - by Taylor Armerding, talks about Ukraine's would-be major crackdown on cyber crime.
  The article suggests that the government’s efforts increasingly look futile.
In the view of analysts, including some Ukrainian security officials, the country is becoming a haven for hackers.
   Taras Kuzio, editor of Ukraine Analyst, quoted extensively from a 2011 book by former Guardian Moscow correspondent Luke Harding titled, "Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia." Harding says organized crime hackers have close ties to senior leaders of both countries.

   Most recently, Chinese hackers have been linked to a cyber-espionage campaign that planted data-gathering malware in a total of 233 computers of Tibetan activists and military and industrial entities in Japan and India.
   According to security vendor Trend Micro, the so-called "Luckycat" campaign has been active since at least June 2011 and has been linked to 90 attacks that use malware tailored for each victim.
   Here comes the scary part. You may want to sit down while you read this. There is not a thing we can do about hackers! That’s right. It’s virtually impossible to stop people from hacking. For every new security patch that comes up, a new malware attack, or virus, is created. Cyber security is a huge business, and so far there’s enough good Nerds to keep providing remedies to buy time. Still, our days are numbered.

   There’s no fix that will stop hackers from growing more sophisticated. We have a desperate race in cyberspace trying to hold off the growing power of very smart hackers. At some point, vital infrastructures worldwide (from power grids to water supplies) will be sabotaged.
  Governments everywhere will be crippled. Totally unable to function for the good of the people. Almost like right now, but they won’t be able to make the hackers pay taxes!

  With no power, automatic doors and vaults on timers won’t open. Gas pumps won’t work. Hot tubs won’t heat. The bright lights in cities and homes will dim and die. The ensuring panic will outdo any disaster movie ever made.
    Those who somehow survive this final hackcalypse will find themselves in a new Stone Age. Now, the good news: there will be no more hackers! Problem solved. Amid the smoking debris of crashed computers littering the planet, the survivors can start over.
    As It Stands, is my apocalypse scenario any stranger than some people’s concerns about an ancient Mayan calendar predicting the earth’s end in December?

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...