Saturday, September 15, 2012

Music Appreciation Corner: Kick back and listen to a generational contrast in music

                 These two examples of generational music are literally “Day and Night” apart!
Michael Franti & Spearhead– “Hello Sunshine…”
Simon and Garfunkel - “Hello Darkness…”







What do you think? Which selection do you like the most?

Vote Online Today: Help pick this year’s ‘Hambone award’ recipient

Will it be a showdown between the Labrador who shattered a 55-gallon aquarium and the dachshund-terrier who was nearly buried alive by a skunk?

Those are just two of the nominees for this year’s Hambone Award, given out annually by Veterinary Pet Insurance to the most outrageous pet insurance claim it receives all year.

There is one nominee for each of the 12 months, and the winner is decided by the public, which can vote online for this year’s contest beginning today.

Then there’s Peanut (below), a dachshund-terrier mix from Sicklerville, N.J., who scuffled with a skunk and had to be rescued by firefighters after being buried alive at 2:30 in the morning.

Rescue workers had initially given up their search for the dog when owner Christy Wolfram grabbed a shovel and started digging in the dirt underneath the family’s backyard deck to find the dog.

“When the firefighters saw Christy continue to dig, one of them decided to take a last look,” Wolfgram’s husband, Keith, told VPI. “I remember him shouting, ‘I see her paw!’ and my heart just sank. By the time they got her out she was barely moving. I couldn’t believe she was alive.”

If pooping out rocks was a skill, a pug (top right) from Rhode Island would be the most talented dog in the country. Instead, Harley the pug won last year’s “Hambone Award,’’ given out annually by Veterinary Pet Insurance.

Another Zombie-like attack: naked bloody man tries to chew woman’s head off

              Good Day Humboldt County!

This year some of the crimes committed have been like something out of Zombie movies. In nearly ever case “bath salts” a dangerous designer drug, was involved.

One of the first reports happened on May 26, when Miami police shot and killed a homeless man who was allegedly feasting on the face of another homeless man in a daylight attack on a busy highway.


Before now-infamous "face-eating cannibal" Randy Eugene (bottom photo on left side) was stopped by four police bullets, say authorities, he had gnawed the face of victim Ronald Poppo down to PHOTO: This combo made with undated photos made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. shows Rudy Eugene, 31, left, who police shot and killed as he ate the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, right, during a horrific attack in the shadow of the Miami Herald's hehis goatee.

Not long after that another “zombie” like attack happened in a Manatee County, Florida home, after a man under the influence of bath salts went into a fit of rage and bit a piece of someone’s arm off during a visit with his children.

According to ABC News, Charles Baker, 26, got naked, ate human flesh and wouldn’t go down without a fight, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

The latest candidate for Zombie Apocalypse comes from Ohio. A naked, bloody man broke into a home, jumped from a two-story window, tackled a passerby and chewed on her head while "screaming like an animal." The gory scene unfolded Friday night in Hawley, Pa., 40 miles east of Scranton, where 20-year-old Richard Cimino Jr. allegedly went ballistic on a woman and two officers, Patch reported.

Time for me to walk on down the road…carefully!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Governor Scott Walker gets hand slapped by Judge who strikes down Wisconsin law restricting union rights

                         It’s about time!

Gov. Scott Walker got away with breaking the law long enough. His attempt to bust the unions in Wisconsin has come to an end after one year. Enough was enough! I hope this ruling wakes up the rest of the Conservative wingnuts and puts them on notice: they can’t get away with breaking the law forever, because someone will stop them.

This is still America, and our country was built with unions. It’s heartening to see this ruling, but I know the wingnuts will never give up their attempt to destroy every union in America.

So the fight goes on against the corporations who would rule all. They aren’t content in just controlling the federal government, they want their victory to be complete at every level of government until we’re a Fascist State:

A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday that the law violates both the state and U.S. constitutions and is null and void.” Read story here.

Who is behind the hate film that sparked violence among Muslims worldwide?

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Matt Lauer speaks with security analyst Michael Leiter about the likehood that the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya was a pre-meditated act by a group of al-Qaida sympathizers rather than a spontaneous uprising over an anti-Muslim internet video

      UPDATES Below

Good Day Humboldt County!

It’s kind of hard to ignore what’s happening in the Muslim world right now, after 11 American embassies have been attacked and four Americans have been killed.

All over a hate-filled low-budget film made by one person(?) The events unfolding are like a bad movie.

How can such a relatively obscure video create such chaos in the Arab world? The following article explains some of the madness, but in the end it’s all about opening Pandora’s Box (the internet) to millions of Muslims who’ve never been in touch with society outside their small villages and towns.

While the motivation behind the low-budget video "Innocence of Muslims" remains unclear, the reasons it has helped fuel attacks and protests at U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa are both emotional and political, experts say.

While it is true that images of Muhammad are not allowed by Islamic law, that doesn't explain the violent reaction, said Hassan Shibly, an imam and civil rights lawyer in Florida who works for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The reason for the prohibition in the Quran was that Muhammad wanted to discourage idolatry, he explained. "The Islamic tradition forbade depictions of any prophet or any holy people so that people throughout the years don’t start worshipping the prophet," Shibly said. "God is supposed to be the focus, not Muhammad or Jesus or anyone else."

Images like these are now making their way, via the Internet to Muslim populations who have never before been exposed to sharp critiques of their faith, which also helps explain the level of anger they have stirred.


The film, which has been blamed by some for fueling protests at U.S. diplomatic posts, including the violence at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, and Danish cartoons that caused so much protest in 2005 caused outrage among Muslims because they were seen as ridiculing or criticizing the prophet.

"Innocence of Muslims" features wooden acting, poor dubbing, awkward sexual moments and ham-fisted insults, with none of the production values of "The Last Temptation of Christ," or any serious exploration of Islam. Experts said it would almost certainly have remained obscure had it not ignited the protests and violence after being circulated in Arabic via the Internet.

So far, it remains unclear who produced the film, and who funded it. Initially, the maker was identified as an Israeli-American man identified as Sam Bacile. But by Thursday, published reports were suggesting that it was the work of a group of anti-Islam Christians.

The latest reporting suggests that  Bacile is actually Egyptian-born Coptic Christian named Nakoula Basseley who lives in the Los Angeles area. The Copts are a minority in Egypt, and often victims of discrimination in the majority Muslim country, as well as attacks by extremists.

In a geopolitical context, said Esposito, the film plays right into the hands of extremists in the region who are using anti-American sentiment to advance their own goals.”


"What we have here, and it’s significant symbolically ... on or around 9/11 (anniversary), two terrorist or extremist attacks in Benghazi and in Cairo. … They are attacking symbols of the U.S. They are playing to a population. … It would be anti-American, but (they are) using this (video) to legitimize what they are doing."

Shibly also wonders if the film itself was produced or circulated strategically to stir up well-known sensitivities. "The sad thing is these people are doing it on purpose," he said. "And unfortunately these Muslims fell right into the trap." (Read the whole article here)

Libyan Ambassador: "One of the saddest days in my life"

Updated Reports from the BBC                       UPDATE: Breaking NEWS from around the world.

From Raw Story: Anti-Islam video had adult film director and performers

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mom gets ticket after her two-year old son pees in the street

Awww c’mon man! Are you kidding me? Really? I think the cop that issued the ticket was having a bad day…

“A Philadelphia mom is peeved that police gave her a $50 ticket after her 2-year-old son peed against a street light post.

“I’m absolutely going to fight it,” Caroline Robboy told NBC News on Thursday. “It was a potty-training accident.” (Full story here)

Rapper tweets 'YOLO' just before dying in car accident

Twitter profile picture of Ervin McKinness (left) (via Twitter)

Is "YOLO" now being used exclusively on Twitter when people are doing something incredibly dangerous?

The acronym, which means "You Only Live Once," is unfortunately proving true for some of the people who use it. The latest YOLO fatality is rapper Ervin McKinness, who performed under the names Inkyy and Jew'elz.

His last tweet? "Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #F**kIt YOLO." Not long after he tweeted it, the rapper, along with three other passengers and the driver, were dead, after their car sped through a red light and crashed into a wall in Ontario, Calif. Police say both drinking and excessive speed were involved in the accident, but no bystanders or people in other cars were injured. [Source]

Health News: Here’s some Handy Tips to Combat the Carriers of West Nile Virus – Mosquitos

                     Good Day Humboldt County!

I’ve seen some mosquitos lately and naturally my mind shifts into semi-panic mode: BEWARE! West Nile Virus carriers at twelve o’clock high! Thankfully, as far as I know there’s been no cases reported in Humboldt County, but when I was down in San Bernardino recently there were documented cases showing up in nearby Fontana.

I don’t know where you are while you’re reading this, but if you even suspect there’s mosquitos nearby don’t take any chances. Defend yourself:

                                          Threat Level Keeps Rising for West Nile Infection

A glorious summer day is an invitation to be outside for hours on end -- but constant swatting, slapping, and scratching from a mosquito attack can ruin even the best days -- not to mention mosquitoes can also carry dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus. Studies have shown certain factors make some people more prone to bites than others, including being pregnant, having an elevated body temperature, or having Type O blood, but just about everyone suffers a bite now and then. If you're convinced that you just have sweeter blood than everyone else, follow these simple rules to keep mosquitoes from bugging you.

         Why Mosquitos Bite You More Than Your Friends

               Choose Chemical-Free Repellents

The easiest way to banish bugs is with repellent, but you don't want to douse yourself with DEET every day, do you? Safer alternatives include oil of lemon eucalyptus, a major mosquito enemy. Try the brand "Repel," which uses the fragrant oil to ward off bites.

                    Natural Chemical-Free Repellants

                                                                 Time Your Outings

Stay indoors during dusk and dawn -- that's when many breeds of mosquito are at their peak biting time. You can see the sunrise just fine from your window.

                            Toss the Kiddie Pool

Mosquitoes love to breed in standing water, so make sure to clean out the pool often. And watch your back (and front, and sides) near any ponds or lakes.

                               How Safe Is Your Backyard?

                                         Wear White

Dark colors attract the bugs like no other -- supposedly because they look like the dark fur of animals they normally prey on. Wear light, bright colors to make yourself less attractive to feeders.

                                       Avoid Flowery Perfumes

Sure, it's nice to smell like a rosebush, but at the price of dozens of bites? Mosquitoes love nectar from flowers almost as much as they do humans, so stick with a less floral fragrance for the summer.

                               How Odors Affect Your Health

                                     Steer Clear of Beer

Mosquitoes have been shown to prefer beer drinkers over those who drink water. It's not confirmed if the extra biting also happens with other alcohols -- but just to be safe, keep the bottles indoors. Via Healthy Living

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Forever New: Scientists find out how nature makes colors that never fade

Image: Blue fruit

                     Good Day Humboldt County!

There’s so much negative news today I thought a change of pace might be nice.

Scientists have found nature's way of creating color that never fades, a technique they say could replace pigments used in industry with natural plant extracts in products from food coloring to security features in banknotes.

Layers of cellulose that reflect specific wavelengths of light — "structural color" found in peacock feathers, scarab beetles and butterflies — make a particularly intense blue in the Pollia condensata plant, scientists say. Samples of the fruit in plant collections dating back to the 19th century had not lost any shine or intensity, they found. (Read the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Court rules that L.A. can't destroy homeless people's property

Federal appeals court rules that L.A. can't destroy homeless people's unattended property

A panel of the 9th Circuit Court says that under the 4th Amendment, Los Angeles can seize some unattended possessions but must notify the owners.

Up to 7,000 people congregate in downtown Los Angeles' skid row each day, says an attorney representing the homeless. A federal appeals court ruled that even when warned of cleanups, homeless people have a right not to have their belongings seized. (Wally Skalij / LA Times - Read story here)

Bad News for Folk who like Egg Yolk: Study Warns Eating the Whole Egg is as Dangerous as Smoking

            Good Day Humboldt County!

I’m not sure I can digest the fact that something I’ve been eating for 62-years is suddenly going to kill me. I like to ignore studies like this, but I think it’s only right that I share this information and let you judge. 

 I’m trying to imagine what warning labels would look like on cartons of eggs. The graphics shown here could be a blueprint for cartons of eggs in October. “Boo-Ware! Of Egg Yolks!”

Just as you were ready to tuck into a nice three-egg omelet again, comforted by the reassuring news that eggs are not so bad for you, here comes a study warning that for those over 40, the number of egg yolks consumed per week accelerates the thickening of arteries almost as severely as does cigarette smoking.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal Atherosclerosis, measured the carotid wall thickness -- a key indicator of heart disease risk -- of 1,231 patients referred to a vascular prevention clinic, and asked each to detail a wide range of their health habits, from smoking and exercise to their consumption of egg yolks. Just as smoking is often tallied as "pack-years" (the number of cigarette packs smoked per day for how many years), egg-yolk consumption was tallied as "egg yolk years" (the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years they were eaten).” (Read the rest here)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Question of the Day: Why does coffee never taste as good as it smells?

Why does coffee never taste as good as it smells?

              Good Day Humboldt County!

What’s more stimulating than the smell of coffee in the morning? Nothing, as far as I’m concerned.

The smell of freshly ground coffee beans gives me the strength to crawl out of bed in every morning.

I always wondered why when drinking the coffee it didn’t taste as good as it smelled. Well, I found out why: 

“ For many it is the first highlight of the day, just when you need it most: the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the house first thing in the morning. But scientists claim to have solved the mystery of why coffee never tastes as good as it smells.

The act of swallowing the drink sends a burst of aroma up the back of the nose from inside the mouth, activating a “second sense of smell” in the brain that is less receptive to the flavor, causing a completely different and less satisfying sensation.

In contrast, some cheeses smell revolting but taste delicious because their whiff seems more pleasant to us when passing out of the nose than in, experts explained. Speaking at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen Prof Barry Smith, of the University of London, said: “We have got two senses of smell.

“One sense is when you inhale things from the environment into you, and the other is when the air comes out of you up the nasal passage and is breathed out through the nose.” The phenomenon is down to the fact that, although we have sensors on our tongue, eighty per cent of what we think of as taste actually reaches us through smell receptors in our nose.” (Read the rest here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, September 9, 2012

AS IT STANDS: A look back at the Republican National Convention

                   By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
It was disturbing to watch two delegates thrown out for throwing peanuts at a black female CNN camera operator and shouting, “This is how we feed animals!” at the Republican National Convention.
I think I heard strains of “Dixie” playing (…old times there are not forgotten), but won’t swear to it.
 I didn’t see a unified Republican Party.
Convention Chairman John Boehner
wasn’t exactly Mr. Popular. When he called for a voice vote on the rules it sounded like the “Nayes” won it, but Boehner ruled “The Ayes have it” and all the rules went through.

 Chaos erupted, but the dog-and-pony show went on despite early mention of minority reports sent to the Chair that would have offered an alternate version of the rules. However, no minority reports were voted on. It was as though no opposition had ever existed. Boos and fury followed. The unsatisfied Maine delegation walked out in disgust.

  A floor fight was narrowly avoided  and alternate delegates threatened to spark a mass rebellion by supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, as well as opponents of the proposed rules.

 Chris Christie, a increasingly popular conservative politician and keynote speaker at the RNC, made no mention of his “New Jersey Comeback.”
Here’s why: when Christie took office in Jan. 2010 unemployment in New Jersey was 9.7 percent. It dropped to 9.0 percent earlier this year, but has since ballooned to 9.8 percent – the highest it’s been in 35 years.
Out of all the speakers, all the proclamations, and all the political rhetoric at the convention, one topic concerned me the most; war. Romney suggested that we might have to attack Iran. He also said he wants “a military so strong no one would dare attack us.” What Romney didn’t say was that our wars are causing our huge national debt.
The thing about that statement is no one would dare attack us now. The implication was that we are weak and he wants to beef up our military for more interventions into other countries. I find that unacceptable and fear mongering.
Unlike past Republican conventions, there was little talk of foreign policycrazynever. There was a  good reason for that. Recent polls show Obama holds a considerable lead in that subject.
Romney’s short campaign tour overseas, where he managed to seriously “tick-off” our  British allies during the Olympics, was a preview of his speaking skills abroad.  
 I found it ironic that the theme of the second night was: “We Built It,” in response to a speech earlier this year by Obama that was taken out of context. The night revolved around the bogus theme (lie) with testimonials from selected small business owners vetted by GOP convention organizers.

I was mildly surprised to see that Paul Ryan was named Romney’s Vice-President. He has a past history similar to Romney’s, as he’ll flip flop on political positions like an acrobat. His acceptance speech was full of lies (a Ryan trademark). 
For a detailed analysis go to and
I wonder how Romney is going to square his quotes on abortion (he’s repeatedly told reporters there should be some exceptions) with the GOP Party platform announced during the convention which states, “No more abortions regardless of the reason.”
  Lots of tea party luminaries were featured, and rightly so, as they are taking over the Republican Party. 
 Romney’s acceptance speech on the last night was preceded by mystery guest Clint Eastwood, who proceeded to ramble on to an empty chair for 12 minutes before miming, “Make my day” and shuffling off. The audience exploded in nervous relief while convention organizers scrambled to adjust the schedule, since Dirty Harry used twice the time allotted to him.

Clint was right when he said Obama disappointed people by not getting us out of Afghanistan. The speech was, however, one of his more bizarre performances. He still stole the show.
Romney’s speech was full of  rhetoric and nostalgia. As usual, no detailed plans were given, only vague future promises. The only thing he and Ryan  really scored political points on was the fact that so many people are unemployed. They promised jobs - 12 million of them if they get elected.
As It Stands, perhaps the saddest footnote of all regarding the convention was that a spin-off reality show, “Honey Boo Boo,” drew more viewers than the convention on the final night.

WEBSITE carrying this column:

1) GOP Convention

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...