Saturday, June 16, 2012

Some Bizzarre and Odd things around us…

                           Good Day Humboldt County!

Thanks to the wonders of photography, we can see things in this wonderful world that would have otherwise gone unseen. Most people don’t get the opportunity to see a skyscraper shaped like a Crescent Moon, or hot air balloons flying over the caves of Cappadocia.

But thanks to skilled photographers that cover every corner of the planet searching for the odd and bizarre things around us, we can sit back in comfort and be awed.

 So sit back and relax. Let your imagination wander while you feast your eyes on these wonders:

(TOP) Gibraltar Airport is one of the most extraordinary airports around the world.

         (BELOW) Morning Glory – kind of clouds observed in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia.

                                The river above the river: Magdeburg Water Bridge, Germany.

                                     Heavy fog in Sydney, which enveloped the whole city.

                                       Skyscraper-Crescent Crescent Moon Tower (Dubai).

                                                  Photo of storm in Montana, USA, 2010.

           The Lighthouse guard in Mare, France must be one of the most courageous people on the planet!

                 Airport in the Maldives is located on an artificial island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

In northwestern Montana, USA. The water is so transparent that it seems that this is a quite shallow lake. In fact, it’s very deep.

This is a unique geological phenomenon known as Danxia landform. These phenomena can be observed in several places in China. This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu. The color is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks.

                                              View of the sunset from inside the wave.

                                                                  Autumn camouflage.

                                                              Balloons in Cappadocia.


Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weird Festival for the Month for June: ‘Hollerin’ Contest’ in North Carolina

“On Saturday, the tiny town of Spivey’s Corner, N.C., will host the National Hollerin’ Contest, which promises to be a howling good time.

The event, now in its 44th year, celebrates the “lost art” of hollerin’, the traditional form of communication that people used before telephones became commonplace. It’s also apparently the highlight of the festival calendar in Spivey’s Corner, which despite its small size — pop. 48, give or take — proudly calls itself “The Hollerin’ Capital of the Universe.”

 (Read more here)

Universe Shattering Breakthrough: Scientists Discover Mickey Mouse Face on Mercury

              A mouse worshipping alien civilization?

Did Mickey Mouse’s ancestors come from Mercury? Questions upon questions. What’s next? Madonna on Mars?

“We've had the Face on Mars, the Smiley Face on Mars, even the Elephant Face on Mars — and now we've got the Mickey Mouse Face on Mercury, courtesy of NASA's Messenger probe.

The mousy shape comes from three overlapping craters in Mercury's southern hemisphere, northwest of a larger crater known as Magritte. The biggest crater in this scene, which serves as Mickey's head, measures about 65 miles (105 miles) across.”


Did Oregon man get the plague from the cat or the mouse? Attempted rescue results in fight for his life

                Good Day Humboldt County!

There’s a lot of mysterious things happening every day. I enjoy discovering mysteries, and solving them even more.

  However, I wouldn’t know where to start to try and explain why Oregon holds the dubious record of having the most modern cases of the plague in America!

A very unlucky Oregon man got the plague from either a feral cat or a mouse recently. Don’t ask me why he tried to wrench the rodent out of a feral cat’s mouth. I’m still shaking my head. Perhaps Oregon’s state public health veterinarian, Emilio DeBess summed up the situation best:"Taking a mouse out of a cat's mouth is probably not a good idea."

“An Oregon man appears to be suffering from the plague after he tried to rescue a mouse from the mouth of a feral cat. "This can be a serious illness," Emilio DeBess, state public health veterinarian, tells the Oregonian. "But it is treatable with antibiotics, and it's also preventable."

The unnamed man, in his 50s, is receiving medical attention and is listed as being in critical condition. Doctors have not officially confirmed that he is suffering from the plague but say he is showing several symptoms leading to a likely diagnosis.

What may be the most fascinating aspect of his condition is that this is not the only recent case of the plague in Oregon or in the U.S. In fact, The Oregonian says it's the fifth such case in the Beaver State since 1995. DeBess says Oregon holds the record for modern cases of the plague in the U.S. with about one case per year since 1934. In that time, four people have died from their symptoms associated with the blood infection.

There is a plague vaccine, but the illness has become so rare in the U.S. that the vaccine is no longer sold here. Even though cases of the plague are rare, the bacteria that causes it still exists and is fatal in more than 90 percent of untreated cases.

The man was reportedly bitten on June 2 and checked himself into a hospital on June 8. He is said to be suffering from symptoms of septicemic plague, the rarest of the three known forms of the blood infection in which the Yersinia pestis bacteria can manifest.

And before anyone starts pointing fingers, DeBess said doctors still aren't sure whether the man contracted the illness from the cat or the mouse. The cat, which has since died, has been taken to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. "Taking a mouse out of a cat's mouth is probably not a good idea," DeBess said.” (source)

I hope the unidentified man survives. We all make mistakes. Some worse than others.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh Boy! Time for More STUPID LAWS: Today We’re Visiting Indiana

2308_stupid-laws It’s that time again folks…when we take a look at stupid laws of the land. Today we’re going to the great state of Indiana.

* Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide.Full text of the law.

* A person must get a referral from a licensed physician if he or she wishes to see a hypnotist unless the desired procedure is to quit smoking or lose weight.Full text of the law.

* Liquor stores may not sell milk. Full text of the law.

* One man may not back into a parking spot becasue it prevents police officers from seeing the license plate. Full text of the law.

* Men are prohibited from standing in a bar. Full text of the law.

                CITY LAWS in INDIANA-------------    

Beech Grove - It is forbidden to eat watermelon in the park.

Elkhart - It is illegal for barbers to threaten to cut off kid’s ears. (Makes you wonder if they had a problem)

Fort Wayne - You may not sell or play on a radio broadcast, the record “It`s In the Book”.

Gary - Within four hours of eating garlic, a person may not enter a movie house, theater, or ride a public streetcar

Indianapolis - Hopefully, residents of the city have spedometers on their horses, for they can not ride them in excess of ten miles per hour.

* One may only throw a stone at a bird in self-defense. Full text of the law.

* No person may collect rags on Sunday. Full text of the law.

Warsaw - No one may throw an old computer across the street at their neighbor.

                         That’s all for the now folks…you all come back again now you hear?

Try, Try, Try Again…Until You Get Busted: Woman Robs Same Store 3 Times in 2 Days

A woman who robbed the same liquor store three times in less than 24 hours was arrested at her home in Fall River, Mass., police said.

Latasha Singletary, 30, is charged with two counts of armed robbery and one count of robbery while masked. And Singletary was on pre-trial probation involving an armed robbery in April 2011 at the same store.

"People really stepped up to the plate to help us," Detective J.D. Costa told The Herald News. "We got a lot of community cooperation. It really made a difference."

Today’s Question: Does organic food turn people into jerks?

             Good Day Humboldt County!

I’ve noticed that people into organic foods tend to be vegetarians or vegans. Not a particularly astute observation I admit, but one that comes on the heels of another observation…I tend to feel guilty in the presence of such selective eaters.

My sister Linda is a vegetarian. She sneers at my steak or turkey sandwiches while eating multi bean concoctions and colorful veggies. She manages to do it with an air of superiority that I try to ignore.

Linda’s jabs about my carnivore diet have increased over the decades, yet I still eat meat. I’ve been in social situations where I was the only “carnivore” in the group and was treated like an animal that escaped from the zoo. I just showed my teeth and smiled.

I admit that I don’t eat as much red meat as I use to 10 years ago. Perhaps those years of my sister working on me have had some effect. I like the idea of fresh organic food and try to eat it whenever possible. My oldest son runs an organic farm on the north coast. Even he however, eats meat.

I ran across the following article and found it interesting – especially the results of a new study about food snobs:

Renate Raymond has encountered her fair share of organic food snobs, but a recent trip to a Seattle market left her feeling like she'd stumbled onto the set of "Portlandia."

"I stopped at a market to get a fruit platter for a movie night with friends but I couldn't find one so I asked the produce guy," says the 40-year-old arts administrator from Seattle. "And he was like, 'If you want fruit platters, go to Safeway. We're organic.' I finally bought a small cake and some strawberries and then at the check stand, the guy was like 'You didn't bring your own bag? I need to charge you if you didn't bring your own bag.' It was like a 'Portlandia skit.' They were so snotty and arrogant."

As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. In fact, a new study published this week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, has found that organic food may just make people act a bit like jerks.

"There's a line of research showing that when people can pat themselves on the back for their moral behavior, they can become self-righteous," says author Kendall Eskine, assistant professor of  the department of psychological sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans. "I've noticed a lot of organic foods are marketed with moral terminology, like Honest Tea, and wondered if you exposed people to organic food, if it would make them pat themselves on the back for their moral and environmental choices. I wondered if  they would be more altruistic or not."

To find out, Eskine and his team divided 60 people into three groups. One group was shown pictures of clearly labeled organic food, like apples and spinach. Another group was shown comfort foods such as brownies and cookies. And a third group -- the controls -- were shown non-organic, non-comfort foods like rice, mustard and oatmeal. After viewing the pictures, each person was then asked to read a series of vignettes describing moral transgressions.

The results did not bode well for the organic folks."We found that the organic people judged much harder compared to the control or comfort food groups," says Eskine. "On a scale of 1 to 7, the organic people were like 5.5 while the controls were about a 5 and the comfort food people were like a 4.89."

When it came to helping out a needy stranger, the organic people also proved to be more selfish, volunteering only 13 minutes as compared to 19 minutes (for controls) and 24 minutes (for comfort food folks)."There's something about being exposed to organic food that made them feel better about themselves," says Eskine. "And that made them kind of jerks a little bit, I guess."

Why does eating better make us act worse? Eskine says it probably has to do with what he calls "moral licensing." "People may feel like they've done their good deed," he says. "That they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on. It's like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar."

Eskine says he was surprised by the findings ("You'd think eating organic would make you feel elevated and want to pay it forward," he says) and hopes to do additional studies that look at conditions that might prompt people to act differently. Until then, organic eaters may want to rein in those self-righteous stink-eyes.

"At my local grocery, I sometimes catch organic eyes gazing into my grocery cart and scowling," says Sue Frause, a 61-year-old freelance writer/photographer from Whidbey Island. "So I'll often toss in really bad foods just to get them even more riled up." (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quote Of The Day: from uber-wealthy Sheldon Adelson on Super PACs


Sheldon Adelson, casino mogul defending decision to donate $10 million to Romney super PAC:

"I'm against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it's doable I'm going to do it"

No End To Soaring Beef Prices Seen: Consumers Are Turning To Other Alternatives

It won’t be long before people will be saying “Where’s the beef?” in grocery stores and fast food restaurants, as rising prices start taking it off the restaurant menus and grocery stores.

Consumers are turning to pork, chicken, and other options to beef. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing however.

From what I’ve been reading in the last decade, beef has been under assault for things like steroids in it and lapses in the industry safety net resulting in diseases like e-coli happening too often.

I also think there’s more Americans eating less beef, not just because it’s expensive, but out of safety concerns and a growing vegetarian trend in the middle class. I actually know people who quit eating hamburger after the “pink slime” controversy came to light. I admit to being a bit queasy about hamburger meat myself. So here’s what’s happening according to the experts:   

Mealtime choices are changing across America, a country that has raised generations on red meat and potatoes. The beef is disappearing.
Americans are eating less beef, and the size of the cattle herd has fallen to its smallest since 1952. Beef prices are rising, and fast-food chains and other companies are worried about increasing materials costs.
Beef consumption has fallen for six years straight, Bloomberg

There are a number of reasons, including the "pink slime" controversy over treated meat. Americans are also more concerned about their health. And beef has become very expensive - ground beef hit an average of $3.02 a pound in March, the highest since 1984.

The Livestock Marketing Information Center predicts record beef prices this year, Bloomberg reports. We could see those higher costs at stores and at restaurants.
The main reason beef prices are climbing is that there are fewer cows - only 90.77 million head at the beginning of this year, a decline of 2.1% from the year before, Bloomberg reports. Drought across America has forced farmers to keep herds low.

Don't expect many changes, either. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts beef stocks to decline further in 2013, though beef imports may rise slightly to help meet the shortage.
These higher prices are weighing heavily on the minds of executives at fast-food companies and grocery stores. Costco (
COST -1.21%) said it's dealing with rising beef prices this year, Bloomberg reports. Wendy's (WEN -0.90%) and McDonald's (MCD +0.53%) are feeling the pain as well.

The result? America will continue to move away from beef to pork, chicken and other options. Prices are simply getting too high. A juicy steak will become an indulgence, a treat that we can't afford too often.”


Happy Birthday or Not? Study says we’re more likely to die on the day we were born than any other day in the year

        Good Day Humboldt County!

  Birthdays are an interesting subject. When you’re young you look forward to them because they represent a certain day of the year when friends and family all give you presents.

  However, as the years turn to decades, many of us would rather skip the whole birthday thing and not be reminded that we’re another year older. Mortality becomes a subject to avoid. Of course this is a sweeping statement because there’s a lot of people who enjoy celebrating their birthday no matter how old they are.

As I’ve cautioned in the past, we must take studies with a grain of salt and consider everything that goes into them. My thought on a study like the following one is that it’s interesting, but hardly the last word on the subject.

In (less than) full disclosure, I’ve let my birthday slip by more quietly every year for several decades until now it’s almost a state secret!   

“A new study suggests that men and women are 14 percent more likely to die on their birthday than any other day of the year.  This effect was strongest in people aged 60 and older, who were up to 18 percent more likely to die on their birthday.

In this large study, which was published in the Annals of Epidemiology, researchers analyzed data from more than 2.4 million Swiss people who died between 1969 and 2008. They tried to determine if there was any relationship between when people died and the cause compared to their birthdays.

"We were surprised that our findings apply to specific causes of death," says Ajdacic-Gross. Both violent causes, such as suicides and falls, as well as strokes and cardiovascular deaths were tied to birthdays. "In addition, older people are distinctly more vulnerable than younger people," he adds.

Men were more likely to have a violent demise on their birthday, as their chances of suicides spiked by nearly 35 percent and their odds of being accident victims rose by almost 29 percent. Deadly falls in men rose by 44 percent on their birthdays, and, interestingly, the number of falls started to increase about four days before the celebration took place.

When it came to natural causes of deaths, women were at greater risk -- almost 22 percent -- of passing away from a stroke on their birthday. For both ladies and gentleman, there was a nearly 19 percent increase in dying from heart-related reasons.” (Read more here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking For An Exciting Career? No Problem - Crocodile Handlers Wanted, No Experience Required

I know it’s the Great Recession, but I can’t imagine too many people wanting to work with up to 15-foot long crocodiles on a daily basis. Just look at the attitude of the croc on the left.

A day on the job might well be your last day on the job. Even in my younger years when I displayed little sense in most things that I did…I would not have taken up capturing wild crocs.

Nope. it takes a special person to want to spend their days with these reptilian monsters.  

 “Looking for a job with a little adventure to it? Florida conservation officials are recruiting "crocodile response agents" to help corral the wayward reptiles. No experience required.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is planning to hire two to four more part-time agents — there is currently just one — to respond to calls when crocodiles stray onto human turf in the Florida Keys, the string of wetland islands at the southern tip of the state.

Crocodile response agents "assist in handling human-American Crocodile conflicts," wrote Carli Segelson, spokesperson for the Florida commission’s south region, in an email response to questions. "Their duties include, site visits, captures, translocations, carcass recoveries, other duties as needed." (Read the rest here)

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...