Thursday, January 31, 2013

Join me a for live chat at #Learntalk about Bias in the Media

  Good Day World!

This is my last post until February 9th, but please feel free to explore past “As It Stands” columns, and more, at the right side of this page.

Coming up on Feb. 11th, I’ll be hosting my first #Learntalk at 5:00 p.m. pst - 8:00 p.m. eastern time. The topic is going to be Bias in the Media.

Note the Learnist board on the right - click the top and you’ll go to Part III of a 3-part series about Bias in the Media. The other two parts are available on my other Learnist boards. After reading all three boards you’re going to be somewhat of an expert on the subject! No kidding. Check them out.

Here’s the website where the chat will take place, so mark it on your calendar and we’ll talk then. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If you have a Facebook account, or a Twitter account, you’ll be able to participate in the conversation.

Coming SundayFeb. 3rd, As It Stands takes a look at “Women in Combat” in the Times-Standard.

Coming SundayFeb. 10th, As It Stands has a “Note to GOP: Changing the rules isn’t going to help” in the Times-Standard

Time for me to walk on down the road…




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Second takes: it’s incredible what some people do…

     Good Day World!

Sometimes when I go through the news I see stories that make me stop and shake my head at how incredibly stupid people can be.

Most people would not light up at a oil storage facility – those flammable signs would be enough warn them to keep their cigarettes in their pocket. Despite that two people (reportedly not employees but trespassers) were critically injured in an explosion and fire Tuesday morning after smoking on a catwalk over oil storage tanks, officials say.

This story about a female Texas trooper who performed a roadside cavity search on two Irving women really made me take a second-look. Excuse me? What was with that anyway? The trooper will be terminated according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The trooper cited them for littering - throwing cigarette butts out of the car – but ended up putting on latex gloves and doing a cavity search in front of the whole world! CLICK HERE TO VIEW DASHCAM VIDEO (WARNING VIDEO MAY BE DISTURBING)

Police in New Mexico found an 8-year-old girl locked in a cage in a darkened mobile home, authorities said on Tuesday, adding that they charged the girl's adoptive mother, who had gone to the movies, with child abuse. He said police, acting on a tip from the woman's estranged husband, found the girl in the corner of a bedroom locked inside the cage, about four feet high, slightly more than two feet wide and about five feet long.

This story about incompetent carjackers made me smile while wondering why they didn’t know how to drive a stick shift? Two men in an attempted stickup were confounded by a car’s stick shift.Neither of the would-be carjackers knew the basic mechanics behind a manual transmission! I guess people don’t get driver’s education anymore – unlike prior generations – and that’s why those two bozos were foiled in their attempt.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

See? I told you they’d bring back Twinkies one way or the other!

The indestructible Twinkie is ready for it’s comeback according to this source which hints that Hostess Brands has narrowed down the bidders for their brand to just two. 

I remember a lot of people rushing into stores to buy up Twinkies because they were sure their demise was imminent and forever. Tsk ! Tsk! I told you then they’d be back. That favorite American Icon for junk food (who can forget the famous “Twinkie Defense?) will be returning to market shelves sometime soon. Strap your feedbags on and be ready for a rush on the sweet treats! (image source)

Show Me the Monkey! Iran claims space flight successful

   Good Day World!

Iran better stop monkeying around with the world. Their leaders claim to have sent a monkey into space and brought it back safely. So where’s the monkey? No one is saying.

Folks in Washington couldn’t – or wouldn’t – confirm if Iran even launched a rocket. But the message was clear, If Iran did launch a rocket then they’re in more hot water with world powers.

It would be a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, whose text bars Iran from "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology."

In other words, the Iranians would probably be smart to NOT have a parade in the space-traveling simian’s honor. The U.S. won’t play that game and may send some drones over to ruin some fanatics day! So here’s the story:

“Iran said on Monday it had launched a live monkey into space, seeking to show off missile systems that have alarmed the West because the technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead.

The Defense Ministry announced the launch as world powers sought to agree a date and venue with Iran for resuming talks to resolve a standoff with the West over Tehran's contested nuclear program before it degenerates into a new Middle East war.

Efforts to nail down a new meeting have failed repeatedly and the powers fear Iran is exploiting the diplomatic vacuum to hone the means to produce nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic denies seeking weapons capability and says it seeks only electricity from its uranium enrichment so it can export more of its considerable oil wealth.

The powers have proposed new talks in February, a spokesman for the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Monday, hours after Russia urged all concerned to "stop behaving like children" and commit to a meeting.

Iran earlier in the day denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its most sensitive, underground enrichment plants, describing them as Western propaganda designed to influence the nuclear talks.

The Defense Ministry said the space launch of the monkey coincided "with the days of" the Prophet Mohammad's birthday, which was last week, but gave no date, according to a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA.” Read the rest here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Maddness: a dancing baby and flying cars!

There’s a lot of versions of gangnam stylevideos, but this has to be the cutest!


Good Day World!

Thanks for stopping by. I’ve got a couple of inspiring videos to share today, starting with the baby on the left.

  This little tyke got me powered up and laughing at the same time. The second item, flying cars, is a real 21st Century-like thing to report on.

  I’ve got a lot of doubts about how many will be made and where they can fly safely, but only time will tell. Still, the video is worth listening to because it’s inspiring in a different way. A person’s dream come true is always a positive story.  

“Even if you’re over Psy and wish this craze would go the way of the Macarena, you’ll have a hard time not smiling at (or dancing along with) this adorable baby.

Uploaded on Jan. 18, “7 m.o baby dancing to gangnam style” already has more than one million views, and it’s not hard to figure out why. For a little tyke, this babe’s got some moves. Every so often you hear about someone who could dance before they could walk, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case here. This baby's not just rockin’ out, he's doing it to the beat, with the whole routine down pat. The pure joy and delight on this kid’s face is priceless and the moves are… awesome. Admit it, if Psy brought this baby onstage, you’d totally go to his concert.

One commenter summed it up: “That awkward moment, when a 7 month old baby can dance better than you :(“    (source)-


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

Keep an eye out for these babies in skies near you!

Your looking at the Skycar 200 (right) the culmination of one man’s lifetime dream.

Dr. Paul Moller has finally gotten all the financing – he’s been trying for years - he needs and told NBC News that his first one will roll off the assembly- line in one year.

The Skycar has been classified as a “Light Sports Aviation” vehicle. I can’t wait until these Jetson-like cars are on the market. Just think of all the problems their going to encounter with small aircraft, etc.? What fun!

It’s time for me to walk on down the road… 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

As It Stands: Sounds of Fury: misophonia sufferers try to cope

By Dave Stancliff/For The Times Standard
Imagine that certain sounds sent you into a violent rage and you don’t know why. That you can’t stand the sound of your own mother’s voice or even hearing her breath. That you can’t eat in public because the sound of people eating could trigger an uncontrollable physical frenzy.
It really happens to people. The condition is called misophonia - literally "hatred of sound" - and occurs when a common noise, whether it's something like a person chewing loudly, water dripping or someone sighing, causes you to become anxious or angry.
People with the disorder are not bothered by loud sound - rather, it’s the softer, repetitive, common sounds that drive them up the wall, according to an article in the The New York Times (9/5/11).
Misophonia is often used interchangeably with the term Selective Sound Sensitivity. Sadly, there’s no known cure for it, Dr. Aage R. Moller, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, said in an interview with the New York Times.

Little is known about the anatomical location of the abnormality that causes these symptoms. People with misophonia may be diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
According to researchers, misophonia sufferers are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people eating, breathing, or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds.
For unknown reasons, most people develop misophonia in late childhood, around the age of 10. Often there is a single initial trigger (such as a parent's or sibling's noises), after which the triggers expand over time to include both auditory or visual elements.
As they get older, the condition usually gets worse. They may also be annoyed by other people’s repetitive movements, such as leg-tapping, nail-biting, the rising and falling of the belly, and typing.
Some researchers have speculated there is a genetic base for this disorder, but no studies have been done to prove it. The prevalence of misophonia is currently unknown.  However, groups of people identifying with the condition suggest it is more common than previously recognized.
Among patients with tinnitus, which is prevalent in 4-5% of the general population, some surveys report prevalence as high as 60% while prevalence in a 2010 study was measured at 10%.

 With no cure in sight, what do people afflicted with this disorder do? They have to develop coping methods. There are no definitive books out detailing these. I expect that will change in time, as researchers continue to try to unlock the secrets of the brain.
Everyone with the condition is unique and has to personally develop coping methods to address their own challenges. Most simply avoid the offending sound by leaving the area, while some try to block it with earplugs or music.
I’m not sure why, but from everything I’ve read on the subject it appears that sensitivity to offending sounds is often far more severe when the sound comes from a person emotionally connected to the sufferer.
Misophonia is not a well-known diagnosis and few treatment options are available. As a matter of fact, there’s a good chance your doctor never heard of it. There are reports that suggest the use of cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful in managing the anger (in response to a trigger sound) associated with misophonia.

Some doctors use a mindfulness based therapy, training, and treatment. It basically offers individuals ways to deal with and work out their issues with a treatment plan that is life long and provides them tools to handle and alleviate their issues.
I wish I could wrap this column up and say a cure is on the way. The first step is always to recognize a problem. That’s happened. There’s a huge learning-curve ahead for doctors and we can only hope they discover a cure for it soon.
  Perhaps with celebrities like Kelly Ripa of the Today Show sharing their own experiences with misophonia (she has a mild case), it will spark more research on the condition.
  As It Stands, I wonder if I’m a borderline case? It drives me to distraction to hear people chewing and clacking their gum!

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...