Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bleeding Eyes in Fiction and Reality!

Good Day World!

I didn’t know vampires bled from their eyes when they cried until I watched “True Blood” on HBO. It was messy to watch, that’s for sure.

 I have to admit I thought the idea was kinda silly, but who cares right? It’s was just fiction. There’s no real vampires. But when I discovered an alarming true story about a man bleeding from his eyes without warning it shocked me!

For decades I’ve heard stories of religious statues of saints or Jesus Christ mysteriously bleeding from their eyes. It was too weird. The fact that there’s actually a condition called haemolacria (Bleeding from the eyes) and scientists have been aware of it for years freaks me out.

You really want to know what blows my mind regarding this whole topic? The people who have been medically documented with haemolacria ALL come from one place – Tennessee. Don’t ask me why. It seems no one knows the answer.

I really feel sorry for the guy in this article. His condition is making life hell for him. Read his story: 

A young man from Tennessee is living with an alarming medical condition — without warning, he begins to bleed from his eyes. And some of the best doctors in the country are completely stumped by his ailment. 

What's more confounding is that the condition is very rare, but some of the only other people known to bleed from the eyes — a condition called haemolacria — are also from Tennessee.

At age 22, Michael Spann was walking down the stairs of his home in Antioch, Tenn., when he was gripped by an extremely painful headache. "I felt like I got hit in the head with a sledgehammer," he told the Tennessean. Moments later, Spann realized that blood was trickling from his eyes, nose and mouth.

The bleeding and headaches became a daily occurrence for Spann; now, about seven years later, they happen only once or twice a week. Though he's hampered by a lack of health insurance, doctors in Tennessee and at the Cleveland Clinic performed an exhaustive series of tests, but were unable to pinpoint a cause or recommend a treatment, according to news reports.

The phenomenon of haemolacria has puzzled doctors for centuries. In the 16th century, Italian physician Antonio Brassavola described a nun who, instead of menstruating, would bleed from her eyes and ears each month. In 1581, Flemish doctor Rembert Dodoens examined a 16-year-old girl "who discharged her flow throughout the eyes, as drops of bloody tears, instead of through the uterus," according to a 2011 report in the journal The Ocular Surface. (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, October 18, 2013

Absurd & Sexy Halloween Costumes Compete with Creepy Ones

                                           Good Day World!

Sexy squidThis Halloween, no inanimate object is safe from being transformed into a "sexy" costume.

Just add a miniskirt and a tight top and you can have a sexy corn, sexy pizza, or sexy bathtub ensemble.The Halloween industry is scary big. Total consumer spending on costumes, treats, festivities, and even pets is expected to reach $6.9 billion this year, according to a National Retail Federation forecast.

As the unusual costumes sell, it becomes a bit of an arms race for women to stay ahead of the next alluring flight attendant or wanton witch at a party.

Today, dressing up for Halloween is more about novelty or sexiness rather than horror.

But back in the day, the costumes not only skewed scary, but are now unintentionally frightening a few decades later.

No matter what look these people were going for, the costumes look way creepier today. Seriously -- your planned "zombie" costume with the make-up you bought at Party City looks like a pretty princess compared to some of the costumes out there.

Costumes were scarier back in the day. They just were. Back before Halloween was sexy, before it was owned by Disney, back before everyone realized you’ll still get candy no matter how little effort you put into your costume.

This is a way to be sure to win for best costume at your Halloween party! Check out these costumes that use your smartphone to make super life-like images! Creepy!.

Looking for cheap and easy costume ideas? Five bucks + five minutes = Halloween for real people

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Current shutdown crisis ends – when can we expect the next one?

  Good Day World!

Like millions of other Americans, I’m relieved they decided to act like adults in Congress and end the government shutdown last night. 

Like millions of Americans, I’m pissed off at the 113th Congress and President Obama! I didn’t think our government system could get any worse…what a rude shock!

Unless I missed it, I didn’t hear a single apology from members of Congress, especially from the side that precipitated the shutdown. The president apologized once last week for all this. And he’s likely to talk about the workers and contractors who were caught in the middle of this later today when he speaks at 10:35 am ET. 

The thing that worries me now is when it comes time to re-negotiate our debt ceiling in February, the Conservatives in the House will monkey around again and try to derail our government.

I doubt if the extremist Tea Party chimps in the House learned their lesson. It was a stupid and harmful crusade which was never going to go anywhere. Shutting the government down is officially part of their playbook in the House now.

As the dust settles, economists are adding up the collateral damage. The results aren’t pretty:

  • The loss of government services during the three-week shutdown will take a roughly $3.1 billion bite out of gross domestic product, according to economists at IHS Global Insight. That represents just the hit from lost government services.
  • The shutdown also forced non-government business losses, temporary layoffs and other interruptions in business spending. The full extent of the damage won’t be known for some time. Economists at Standard & Poor’s estimate the total cost at about $24 billion, or a 0.6 percent GDP haircut. Others guess it's about half that. Either way, it's a heavy price to pay.
  • Then there's the loss in U.S. economic prestige, which is also hard to gauge, but keeps getting whittled away every time Washington goes into gridlock over spending.

A lot depends on whether the three-month extension produces a resolution to the underlying political standoff. If no agreement is reached the next time the debt ceiling approaches, confidence will fall further.


Obama: If you want change win the next election!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How Haunted Houses Became a Mega Industry

  Good Day World!

With Halloween lurking around the corner like Freddy Krueger, the scariest thing happening is the government shutdown.

The economy may be teetering on the brink of disaster, but there’s one industry that’s not only surviving, it’s thriving:

Haunted Houses.

Over the decades, I’ve watched the haunted house craze go mainstream with amusement. I remember when I was a kid in the late 50s and early 60s, some houses would have more Halloween decorations than others and the hosts sometimes dressed up in scary costumes.

One Halloween, my brother, sisters and I, were trick-or-treating and came to a house with an open garage door. Cobwebs were hanging down between strips of black material and an eerie light shimmered from the concrete floor.

When I rang the front door bell the occupant of the house burst out from the garage dressed like a Vampire!  That scared the crap out of all of us!

Those Halloween memories of mine were the foundation for the current Haunted Houses. Who knew an industry would result? It was a more innocent time when kids imagined old unoccupied houses were automatically haunted – but seldom dared to approach and investigate.

Remember what Halloween was like in the 70’s and 80s? The nation’s first commercial Haunted House was called “The Edge of Hell.” The Bequeaith family opened it up for business in Kansas, City, MO., in 1975.

Meanwhile, other (non-profit) Haunted Houses were springing up like toadstools across the country. Colleges sponsored haunted houses as fundraisers for students.

Fireman got in the act and sponsored their own Haunted Houses to raise funds for their daily operations.

Haunted Houses really hit the big time when Knott’s Berry Farm offered it’s visitors a higher tech experience…resulting in a lot of people pissing their pants and coming back for more! Nothing like getting the adrenaline (and urine) running!

So, here we are in the 21st century and Haunted Houses are now a mega industry. Check out the following story:

It’s aliiiive! Haunted-house industry scares up big money

What used to be a one-day kids' holiday of candy and homemade costumes has morphed into a season long commercial juggernaut that has growing numbers of adults forking over cash to get scared out of their wits.

Haunted houses, once a homespun hobby for dedicated horror fans that netted maybe a few million dollars a year in sales, has mushroomed into a $300 million industry.

Today, there are around 2,500 haunted attractions worldwide, most in the United States, said Patrick Konopelski, president and owner of Shocktoberfest in Sinking Spring, Pa., and president of the Haunted Attraction Association.

"It's a legitimate industry now," he said. "Now we're a season."

Indeed, Americans plan to spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween this fall. And about 20 percent of the 158 million consumers who plan to celebrate Halloween say they will visit haunted attractions this year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual Halloween survey.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BREAKING: Fitch drops USA AAA credit rating–gridlock is the reason

It’s getting worse by the hour…

TREASURIES-U.S. bond prices hold losses on Fitch's watch on U.S. AAA-rating


U.S. AAA Rating Put on Negative Watch by Fitch on Delayed Budget

Stocks are closing lower as hopes fade for a quick solution to the gridlock in Washington over how to avoid a U.S. government default.

The borrowing limit on is two days away. Are we going to default?

The market jumped all over the places today in an on-again, off-again rumors of talks in Washington. Meanwhile, investors are wondering whether the U.S. could avoid defaulting on its debt.

We can only hope the GOP Kool aid drinkers in the House are defeated and common sense is restored. The Republican Party is poised for it’s darkest hour ever if we default on our debts!

A growing gap between rich and poor in America – what’s the tilting point?

The numbers don’t lie…but politicians do about protecting the wealthy!

Good Day World!

It’s no secret that our society is becoming increasingly unequal.

According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans are currently worth the same as the bottom 150 million combined, with the US suffering greater income inequality than Yemen, Pakistan, the Ivory Coast, or even Ethiopia.

This trend currently shows no signs of reversing—suggesting it could take us to a very dark place indeed.

A recent Pew study revealed that 66 percent of Americans think there are “strong” or “very strong” conflicts between rich and poor. That’s more than believe there is strong conflict between black and white, Christianity and Islam, or even left and right.

As the New York Times noted, the rising income gap is easily the biggest source of tension in the modern USA, and that discontent could spill over into something nastier at any time.

The future of American society could be one of underemployed and trapped workers violently lashing out against the wealthy. Right now, the basic conditions (rising prosperity for an elite few, falling living standards for everyone else, a perception of unfairness) are worryingly similar to those before some hefty historical revolutions.

FACTOID: When you're wealthy you make mistakes. When you are poor you go to jail.

Yes, it is like comparing apples and oranges. That is the point though. We have built two very different societies with two very different sets of values.


China’s Poor vs. America’s Rich

Rich-Poor Gap Widens to Most Since 1967 as Income Falls

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Drone on! Do you have a driver’s license for that thing?

    Good Day World!

 Growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, I use to enjoy watching airplane hobbyists display their mastery of model airplanes.

They’d usually go to parks or schools on the weekends and you’d hear the whine of their engines from a mile away. Some of the planes were quite large, but most where just around 24 inches or so.

I can’t remember ever seeing someone lose control of his aircraft. If it happened, I never saw it. Which leads me to today’s subject: drones. Hobbyist drone pilots are becoming common. Which is okay up to a point.

Compare the safe and reliable model airplanes of my day with these new notoriously temperamental and accident-prone drones and you have to wonder why their even sold without a hand full of warnings and a drivers license! These drones are no joke.

You may have seen YouTube videos of camera-carrying quadcopters and hexacopters getting tangled up in trees and falling to the ground. It happens. The drones can also be deadly as one 19-year-old hobbyist pilot found out. He was killed when his remotely operated helicopter hit him on the head during a flight in a park in Brooklyn.

Before company-operated drones are integrated into U.S. airspace in 2015, as the Federal Aviation Administration's Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 mandates, safety regulation is one of hurdles the FAA will need to clear.

A panel of experts at a recent Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC) conference agreed that before drones become a daily sighting, technology and humans both need to start behaving just a little bit better.

Small drones like quadcopters can be bought online, and adding warnings to the bots could be an easy first step. Right now there are no warnings. Heck, even McDonald’s warns you their coffee is extremely hot.

One way to assure a minimum level of competence could be pre-use certification, a "driver license" of sorts for pilots who fly the birds. Why not? Operators of small military drones like Ravens are trained before they can use them.

By classifying the crafts by weight regulators, they could come up with an effective safety strategy, according to several DARC panelists.

Small drones range from a few grams in weight to several pounds. Just as driver licenses are distinguished by vehicle class — trucks or or limos or motorbikes or cars — it makes sense to separate the qualifications for drone users, too.

The safety risk they pose differs depending on their size, according to Mike Winn founder of DroneDeploy.

Others DARC panelists are less sure that humans, even trained ones, can be trusted at all. Drones would need to come with software-based "training wheels," or "safety bumpers," to protect amateurs and reckless pilots from harming themselves and others, Missy Cummings, who studies drones and autonomous systems at MIT told the panel. (information via NBC News Technology)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, October 13, 2013

911: When Private Parts are in Peril!!!

              Good Day World!

There’s a lot of subtle differences between people living in England and in the USA.

For example, most of our firefighters consider it taboo to talk about emergencies seeking help in removing foreign objects stuck on — or inside — people’s bodies. The very hint of sex makes them blush. Not so in merry old England.

London firefighters have launched a public shaming campaign targeting people who get carried away with their sexual organs and find themselves in very bad situations.


TWEET From London Firefighters:

Top tip from us today: Don’t put your penis in a toaster. Read our most unusual incidents here: #FiftyShadesofRed


The exception in America is Los Angeles. Firefighter medical director Dr. Marc Eckstein acknowledges that 911 operators do receive a small number of sexually bizarre rescue pleas and do dispatch ambulances, including instances in which they must assist men with heavy steel rings lodged around their private parts.

LA Firefighters, paramedics or emergency medical technicians use bolt cutters or, when necessary, the blazing torch of a plasma cutter to burn the rings off of the men’s penises’. They just downplay the number of cases per year.

But in London, fire officials aren't holding their tongues about how they must perform tasks like freeing a man's penis from a vacuum cleaner.

The London Fire Brigade has launched a public campaign dubbed "Fifty Shades of Red," theorizing that an increase in such randy rescue calls in that city is perhaps propelled by the popularity of the erotic romance novel "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

CBS late night talk show host David Letterman heard about the issue and decided Wednesday to dedicate a top 10 list to "Thoughts Going Through The Mind Of The Guy Who Had Sex With A Toaster." 

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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...