Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why did the CDC feel the need to tell the public zombies don’t really exist?

Why did the Center for Disease Control and Prevention decide to issue a release assuring the public zombies don’t exist? They could have also added, the Boogey Man, Vampires, and Werewolves, but chose not to. 

I can only speculate, but lately cannibalism stories seem to prove to some people that there are zombies. The #2 trending spot on Google is “zombie apocalypse.” Zombies have already invaded popular horror movies. Now they’re lurching around in our society seeking a spot alongside Vampires and other trending monsters. 

“A spate of bizarre acts of cannibalism in the last week have many people wondering whether to be afraid for their own flesh. The populous' collective curiosity has even driven "zombie apocalypse" up to the No. 2 spot on Google's list of trending search terms. But don't worry: according to government scientists, the zombies are not coming for you.

The flesh-eating living dead don't actually exist, said a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)," agency spokesman David Daigle told The Huffington Post.”

(Read the whole story here.)

Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

                           Good Day Humboldt County!

I like to explore. Living through the 60s, I joined millions of others in experimenting with everything from marijuana to LSD. Expanding my horizons has always interested me. And I’m not alone.

Taking drugs has always been a controversial subject. Drugs have been used since the dawn of time for many purposes. From medicinal to recreational, drugs have played a part in nearly all societies.

Today I thought it would be fun to look at the influence drugs have had on history’s most influential scientific and technological visionaries:

Is intelligence related to an increased likelihood of recreational drug use? It's an interesting hypothesis, and one that's been gaining momentum in recent years.

If a definitive link between intellectual capacity and drug use does exist, it will likely be sometime before anyone establishes one. Having said that, this much is for certain: history has more than its fair share of experimenting experimentalists. Let's meet 10 of history's most influential scientific and technological visionaries, along with their drugs of choice.”

                             Sigmund Freud — Cocaine10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

To Freud, cocaine was more than a personal indulgence; he regarded it as a veritable wonder drug, and for many years was a huge proponent of its use in a wide array of applications. In a letter written to his fianceƩ, Martha, Freud wrote: "If all goes well, I will write an essay [on cocaine] and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it... I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success."

Freud published such a review, titled "Uber Coca" in 1884. Interestingly, Freud's paper was one of the first to propose drug substitution as a therapeutic treatment for addiction. While replacing morphine with cocaine is something we now know to be counterproductive to recovery, the concept of substitution therapies persists to this day. (For a great overview of Freud's relationship with cocaine, check out this post by Scicurious.)

10 Scientific and Technological Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs

                         Francis Crick — LSD

Francis Crick — of the DNA-structure discovering Watson, Crick, and Franklin — reportedly told numerous friends and colleagues about his LSD experimentation during the time he spent working to determine the molecular structure that houses all life's information.

In fact, in a 2004 interview, Gerrod Harker recalls talking with Dick Kemp — a close friend of Crick's — about LSD use among Cambridge academics, and tells the Daily Mail that the University's researchers often used LSD in small amounts as "a thinking tool." Evidently, Crick at one point told Kemp that he had actually "perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD." [Image via NYT]

                                                               Go here for more examples

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Friday, June 1, 2012

This is a beautiful scene - But there is something more to it…

Hidden Woman and Child

If you look look enough you’ll see a woman and child praying. Do you see them now?                              (Source)

Jesse’s Story: How a Nervous Chicken-Plucker Made the Big Time

Let me tell you, Jesse hated this job. And you would too, I imagine, if you had to do it. Jesse was a chicken plucker. That's right. He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn't have to. It wasn't much of a job. But at the time, Jesse didn't think he was much of a person.

His father was a brute of a man. His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life. Jesse's older brother wasn't much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up.Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia. Life was anything but easy. And he thought life didn't hold much hope for him.

That's why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that darn few people wanted. In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick. Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head.

He was a small child, skinny and meek. That sure didn't help the situation any. When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground. He was a hypochondriac of the first order.
For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be l
ooked forward to. But, he had dreams. He wanted to be a ventriloquist. He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with Sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until He could get a real ventriloquist dummy.
When he got old enough, he joined the military.

And even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the military did recognize his talents and put him in the entertainment corp. That was when his world changed. He gained confidence. He found that he had a talent for making people laugh.don k

They laughed so hard they often had tears in their eyes. Yes, little Jesse had found himself. You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn't overcome it. Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars, and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it!

Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmy's given in a single category.The wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian who brought us Barney Fife was Jesse Don Knotts!

The Mystery of the Burning Rocks: If They’re Coated With Phosphorus How Did It Get There?

                Good Day Humboldt County!

  Life is full of mysteries, and I have one for you today. It’s about some rocks that burst into flames while in the shorts pocket of a Southern California woman, who wore them back from a day at the beach. Lyn Hiner, suffered third-degree burns from the bizarre incident which happened in the kitchen of her San Clemente home. 

  What gives? Chemistry experts have said they do not believe the phosphate was naturally occurring and have speculated that the rocks could have been coated with phosphorus, which can spontaneously ignite when exposed to oxygen.


Related story:
Burning rocks victim tells of strange horror


The big question now is, where would those rocks have picked up that nasty phosphorus? The woman and her children were walking on Trestles Beach at San Onofre State Beach. The land is owned by the Marine Corps, but operated by State Park Rangers.

I suspect there’s a heavily polluted area where phosphorus is leaking somewhere off shore. Maybe miles out. The few rocks that were discovered may be a small part of what’s yet to come.  

Results of tests taken by the state lab, released Thursday, confirmed initial testing by the Orange County Public Health Department that found elevated levels of phosphate on the rocks, but provided no explanation of its presence.

The fact of the matter is, no one is really talking much about those rocks. Interesting isn’t it?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hope for Humans? Paralyzed rats walk again in Swiss lab study

Image: rat walking

Lately I’ve been reading about “exo-skeletons” that researchers are using to give paralyzed people the power to move their hands, arms and legs.

There’s more research that may restore paralyzed peoples motion one day coming out of Switzerland.

The following story highlights another way to help paralyzed people. It appears to be a step in the right direction:

“Scientists in Switzerland have restored full movement to rats paralyzed by spinal cord injuries in a study that spurs hope that the techniques may hold promise for someday treating people with similar injuries.

Gregoire Courtine and his team at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne saw rats with severe paralysis walking and running again after a couple of weeks following a combination of electrical and chemical stimulation of the spinal cord together with robotic support.

"Our rats are not only voluntarily initiating a walking gait, but they are soon sprinting, climbing up stairs and avoiding obstacles," said Courtine, whose results from the five-year study will be published in the journal Science on Friday.

Courtine is quick to point out that it remains unclear if a similar technique could help people with spinal cord damage but he adds the technique does hint at new ways of treating paralysis. Other scientists agree.”

Mainstream media quick to judge a person quilty and slow to report they were innocent

Marvin Washington

                                    Good Day Humboldt County! 

  Sensational headlines followed by stories that stir the public’s anger or horror, compete daily in the nation’s newspapers, magazines and blogs. A war of words waged to get your attention.

  News outlets are constantly searching for stories designed to invoke a gut reaction among readers. You see them everyday. You don’t always hear about how they end up unless it goes badly for the accused.           

 The following story is a recent example of the media rushing to judgment, and then not following the case after learning a person is innocent:

When Marvin Washington Jr. (pictured) was arrested last month for allegedly spitting into a customer's sweet tea at a McDonald’s in Simpsonville, S.C., the incident made news around the globe. When the charges were dismissed a few weeks later? The media barely paid it any attention.

Since then, Marvin Washington, 19, has embarked on a campaign to clear his name and convince the world that he is not the person behind the initial headlines. The college freshman says he aims to get a graduate degree in healthcare and become a nurse practitioner. And he fears the incident will haunt him forever, or scuttle his job chances if a future employer Googles his name and finds the original story.

"I worry that people will only remember the first part -- that I got arrested. They probably won’t care that the case got dropped, they will probably assume I did it. And I want to tell them, 'I didn’t do that, I’m not that type of person.' I want them to know, 'I’m a good young man' and that these allegations were false," he told the Los Angeles Times.” (Read full story here.)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Forecasters say Internet traffic is going to explode by 2016


Buckle up and hold onto your phones, tablets, digital video clips and Wi-Fi connections, because they're all contributing to a global explosion in Internet traffic.

It's expected to increase four times to 1.3 zettabytes by 2016, according to Cisco's VIsual Networking Index Forecast.

That's a lot of traffic and a whole lot of bytes (one zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes).

By 2016, Internet traffic globally is expected to reach 150 petabytes an hour, or "the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie ... simultaneously," Cisco says. The highest-traffic generating countries in 2016 will be the United States, followed by China, says Cisco.


‘The Times They are a Changin’ - Bob Dylan awarded the Medal of Freedom

                   Good day Humboldt County!

 As a longtime fan of Bob Dylan, I thought it was really cool to see him recognized for his achievements … by the establishment.

Ironic isn’t it? Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest.

 A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in 1965. However, his recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

Dylan's lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, as well as the music and performance styles of Buddy Holly and Little Richard.

Singer, songwriter, poet, artist and now Medal of Freedom Winner.

“On Tuesday, Bob Dylan received the nation's highest civilian honor, accepting the Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

"There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music," Obama said of the singer.The Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made "meritorious contributions to the national interest of the United States, to world peace, or to other significant endeavors," according to the White House.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Art Today: Luiz Luxvich makes startlingly clear images of splashing water

High-speed liquid photography and the excitement of resulting abstract-modernist compositions.

Luiz Luxvich, a master of liquid photography lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a fantastic gallery online, bursting with variety of colorful creations. Enjoy!

(images credit: Luiz Luxvich)

Living Underground: The past merges with the present in the caves of Cappadocia

 underground-cities-of-cappadocia[1] underground-city-above-ground[1]underground-city-homes[1]

                                                           Good Day Humboldt County!

The road traveled today is in Turkey. It takes us to a place where people still live in the vast Cappadocian Cave Homes that date back 3500 years. Cities, empires and religions have risen and fallen around these unique underground havens once used by early Christians to hide from Roman armies, yet they remain occupied to this day. Stretching 100 square miles with 200+ undergrounderground-cities-secret-passages[1]und villages and tunnel towns complete with hidden passages. Visitors can still explore secret rooms and ancient temples and see the remarkably storied history of each new civilization building on the work of the last. Centered in modern day Turkey, this region has passed between hands many times. Contemporary residents speak a hybrid of Greek and Turkish. Bus tours, hotels and other visitor-oriented services comprise much of their current economic system. Built up over time for defense as much as shelter, narrow passageways have made it notoriously difficult for invaders to penetrate the perimeters of many of these underground cave complexes.

In part, due to their secret locations and the naturally tunderground-cities-ancient-temples[1]emperature-controlled nature of the cave interiors, many religious artifacts and artworks have survived for over a thousand years. All the while, surface structures have been erected and destroyed while modern architecture mixes in strange hybrids with historic temples and above-ground houses.

While many buildings remain occupied, many more are now deserted – from homes to entire churches and underground cathedrals. For all we know, some rooms and structures are forever lost and buried, hidden so well they will never be found again. (Images via Mekiares)

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, May 28, 2012

Reflections from WW II: ‘Hemp For Victory’ - view entire film by U.S. government


Produced by the US Government in 1942.

You may be Interesting to learn that Dupont Chemical funded the anti- hemp / marijuana effort. This is because they had patents on new synthetic fibers and Hemp had a new machine that would put them out of business if hemp were to be used for clothes. Dupont also sold - and still does many of the chemicals to wood pulp producers... so we continue to cut down forests... when Hemp could save millions of trees, be used as an alternative bio fuel and the US could easily grow enough hemp to eliminate the need for oil... so Big oil does not want hemp legal either. Neither do the drug companies... they can't patent it. They would rather keep selling you their drugs. By keeping it illegal the lawyers, courts etc... also make a buck.

You can only get high from the female flower - nobody has ever died from smoking a joint. Of course the alcohol and tobacco companies would prefer to keep their monopoly as well. So we have all the BIG Corporate players... against legalizing it. Yet if it were legalized - we would solve many issues and have a multi billion dollar hemp economy as it can be used for 1000's of products.

Strange Geographies: the forgotten High School of Goldfield, Neveda

goldfield high 1908

                Good Day Humboldt County!

  I felt like exploring the past today, and found this story. My father and I were touring Nevada back in 2000, looking for remnants of the Old West when we came upon this old high school.

  It was in pretty bad shape. At the time we weren’t aware of it’s history and knew little about Goldfield’s colorful history.

  Goldfield High School, was built during the boom years in 1907. It graduated its last class in 1952, and has stood proud but shuttered ever since, impressive on the outside, decaying within.

Over the past few years, a small team of dedicated volunteers has begun trying to save the high school, but restoring it to its former glory is a gargantuan task. Vandals and the elements have had their way with the building for many years, and it will take many more to lift it from the beautiful state of decay it’s in today.

Photo - The teacher’s writing on this board is still readable. Looks like a pop quiz: 5. What is the most important country in the Western hemisphere? Anyone care to take a guess?

by Ransom Riggs/writer for Mental Floss

“At the turn of the last century, Goldfield was a mining boomtown — prospectors were pulling millions of dollars worth of ore outIMG_4797 of the ground each year, and with a population that ballooned to more than 30,000 by 1904, it was the largest town in the state of Nevada. It was a classic Old West success story: gun-slinging heroes like Wyatt Earp trod its wooden sidewalks, and in a society where the real measure of a town’s worth was its bar-and-whorehouse scene, Goldfield had the rest beat: Tex Rickard’s Northern Saloon had a bar so long it required 80 bartenders to run it. Of course, I wouldn’t be writing about Goldfield if everything had kept going like gangbusters.

By 1920s, the gold mines had started to peter out, and in 1923 a moonshine still exploded and started a fire that took most of the town’s wooden buildings with it. Today about 400 people remain in Goldfield, a semi-ghost town set among the barren wastes of Nevada’s high desert, surrounded by ghost stories and empty buildings — many of which are impressive stone and brick structures that survived the 1923 fire.” (More photos here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, May 27, 2012

As It Stands: What happened to the real meaning of Memorial Day?


                   By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
 Tomorrow is Memorial Day. I’d like to talk about how it has been transformed into something else, and what it means to most Americans.
Barbecues and beer. Getting into vehicles and traveling for fun. A three-day weekend. A time to go to the beach and burn ourselves to a crisp. A day off from school. A break in the work week. All of these activities and more go through the average American’s head regarding a holiday originally designed to mourn our military dead.
What a bizarre twist for Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day. Once it was a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's service. Now, it’s a time to hope that gas prices don’t get too high for travel.
While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove the origins of the day. Historians think the day had many separate beginnings as towns held spontaneous gatherings to honor the Civil War dead in the 1860s.

  Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30th, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s not important what was the very first town to honor the war dead. It is important  that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

 Were you aware of this history? Are your children aware of this history?  Did you know the first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873? By 1890 it was recognized by all the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I when the holiday changed from honoring those who died in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in all of our wars.
Traditional observance of Memorial Day has faded over the years. Many Americans  have forgotten its meaning and traditions. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember to fly the flag at half-mast for the day.
While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, not just those fallen in service to our country. What happened? How did this day turn into a free-for-all three-day vacation? Many feel when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.’

 As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in Dec. 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, all Americans "Voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps."

  What we need is a full return to the original day of observance. On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 which proposed to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day to May 30th instead of "the last Monday in May." To date, there have been no further developments on the bill. Go to Http:// if you think that we should restore the traditional day of observance.
  Meanwhile, if someone wants to start a new three-day holiday at the end of May, I say go for it. Call it “Barbecue Day and Travel Too,” a day of escape from drudgery.
  As It Stands, the true meaning of Memorial Day is rapidly becoming a trivia question!

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...