Saturday, August 9, 2014

Playing with Butterflies, Bombing Children, and a Weiner Turned Restaurateur

Good Day World!

What a crazy world it is.

One moment the media is talking about little Prince George playing with butterflies on his first birthday, and the next we see thousands of innocent children dying in Gaza during that dirty little war.

In the latest news, The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency Friday over the Ebola outbreak in western Africa. Meanwhile, a girl thought to have died in the Indian Ocean tsunami has been reunited with her family after being found alive nearly a decade late.

Yin Yang. Positive and negative news.

What story interests you the most:Image: A clown is part of the cabin crew on select El Al flights from Tel Aviv to New York and other cities this summer.

U.S. Navy Planes Drop Bombs on ISIS Forces


Clowning around: Airlines expand in-fight entertainment for kids


Photo: A clown is part of the cabin crew on select El Al flights from Tel Aviv to New York and other cities this summer. Courtesy El Al Airlines




Remember Anthony Weiner who resigned his seat in Congress in 2011 after admitting to sending explicit photos of his weiner to women who were not his wife?

He’s decided politics aren’t going that well (He ran for mayor last year and led the field before more sexting allegations sank his bid) and has decided to open a restaurant in Queens.

The eatery, which Weiner wants to open in the Rockaways, will be named The Rockaway Restoration Kitchen and will offer locally sourced food.

No word yet if they’ll be offering weiners. Stay tuned.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Become an Instant Vegetarian

Good Day World!

I’ve been thinking about becoming a vegetarian for several years now.

One of the reasons is the high price of meat. There’s other reasons of course, but I can’t seem to summon the strength to eliminate meat from my diet.

Then I ran across the story below. I was astounded to find out that there’s a bug that can make a person a sudden vegetarian!

After reading this story however, I think I’ll just live with my meat-eating habit. Bugs creep me out.


Doctors across the nation are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick.

This bizarre problem was only discovered a few years ago but is growing as the ticks spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts of the United States. In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has landed people in the hospital with severe allergic reactions.

Few patients seem aware of the risk, and even doctors are slow to recognize it. As one allergist who has seen 200 cases on New York's Long Island said, "Why would someone think they're allergic to meat when they've been eating it their whole life?"

The culprit is the Lone Star tick, named for Texas, a state famous for meaty barbecues. The tick is now found throughout the South and the eastern half of the United States.


The bugs harbor a sugar that humans don't have, called alpha-gal. The sugar is also is found in red meat — beef, pork, venison, rabbit — and even some dairy products. It's usually fine when people encounter it through food that gets digested.

But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar. (Read full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 7, 2014

From a Roar to a Hum: The New Electric Harley-Davidson Will Take Time to Embrace

                                             Good Day World!

Have you ever ridden on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle?

I’ve only had an opportunity to do so twice in my life. A big and brawny Harley-Davidson Electric Glide was my first time on a Harley. It was a great experience. The Softail I later rode on was fun to cruise around town in. It’s loud guttural grumbling enthralled me.

But Harley-Davidson has decided it’s time for a change. A Big Quiet one that I’m not sure Harley  enthusiasts are going to embrace.

The new model sounds like an airplane starting up!

It’s a far cry from Motorcycle Image GalleryHarley’s classics, like the 1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra-Glide. (photo right) with it’s loud and proud purr!

Nevertheless, history was made when Harley-Davidson unveiled its first electric motorcycle on June 4th, 2014.

Harley showed handmade demonstration models at an invitation-only event in New York. The company took several dozen riders on a 30-city tour to test drive the bikes and provide feedback.


Here’s a link to every motorcycle Harley has produced.


Harley will use the information gathered to refine the bike, which might not hit the market for several more years.

Predictions are they’ll sell based on performance, not environmental awareness.

With no need to shift gears, the slim, sporty bike can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. The engine is silent, but the meshing of gears emits a hum like a jet airplane taking off.

One hurdle the company has yet to address is the limited range offered by electric motorcycles. The batteries must be recharged after about 130 miles, and that can take 30 minutes to an hour. That kinda puts a crimp on hitting the open rode like in Easy Rider.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An argument for neutrality: ‘Will America ever stop waging wars?’

 Good Day World!

Do you think it’s possible America could withdraw from all the dirty wars it’s involved in across the globe and embrace an isolationist policy?

It’s a possibility – perhaps even a long shot – but if things keep going the way they are anything could happen.

It’s helpful to remember that during the 1930s, the combination of the Great Depression and the memory of tragic losses in World War I contributed to pushing American public opinion and policy toward isolationism.

In essence, isolationists advocated non-involvement in European and Asian conflicts and non-entanglement in international politics. That was then. This is now:

A December Pew Research poll “determined that more than half of Americans now think the United States should mind its own business and let other countries ‘get along the best they can on their own.”

History reminds us that President George Washington once advocated non-involvement in European wars and politics. The “father of our country” knew no good would come from meddling in other countries wars and affairs.

President Woodrow Wilson made a case for U.S. intervention in WWI. He argued that it was in the America’s interest to maintaining a peaceful world order.

All that happened was the American experience in that war served to bolster the arguments of isolationists; they argued that marginal U.S. interests in that conflict did not justify the number of U.S. casualties.

As a combat Vietnam veteran, I can tell you that wars don’t solve anything.

The earth’s map constantly gets rearranged by the emersion of new governments seeking power periodically. Like addicts, the American hawks keep us mainlined into the global war machine …which in turn feeds the international (and U.S.) weapon and ammunition manufacturers.

It’s no secret that these corporations have no conscience.

Even though I’m encouraged that more Americans are waking up to the fact that we need to mind our own business, I know it’s going to take a much higher percentage (like 90%) to even bring our government to the negotiating table.

Our gun culture, the NRA, weapons and ammunition manufacturers, and hawks in Congress are responsible for waging war worldwide. It’s profitable. How can that be changed?

Will the day come that the majority of Americans say “no more wars?”

Sadly, I don’t think so. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…    

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wine for the dying, prayer discounts, and smoking human remains

Good Day World!

I’ve got a few interesting stories for you on this terrific Tuesday.

From a hospital that serves wine to terminally ill patients; a restaurant that gives discounts for praying; and a case where a burglar smoked human ashes; you’ll find these off-beat stories either fascinating or weird. Maybe both:

“A hospital in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand is to open a wine bar where terminally ill patients will be able to enjoy a "medically-supervised" glass or two with their families.

"Why should we refuse the charms of the soil to those at the end of their lives? Nothing justifies such an prohibition," the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital Center said in statement. (the rest of the story)


Diners get discount for praying at restaurant

The owner of a diner in North Carolina said she and her servers will often give customers a 15 percent discount for publicly praying before eating their meal.

Mary Haglund, owner of Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, said she's been giving the discount for four years, but the tradition made headlines last week after one customer posted her receipt on Facebook. (the rest of the story)


Alleged Alabama burglar smoked dead woman's ashes thinking they were drugs

Vietnam War veteran Phillip McMullen likely saw some bad things during his time in the service, but what he saw when returned to his Alabama home ranks right up there.

McMullen came back to his Citronelle residence after visiting some friends out of town and discovered that his home had been burglarized.

The gun safe at McMullen's house had been damaged, but it wasn't broken into. The same could not be said for the plastic box which held his deceased wife's ashes.

"They even took my wife's ashes off my headboard, strewed them around, looked like they tried to smoke some of them or something," McMullen told FOX10 News.

"I bet that was a nasty taste when they (did) that."
McMullen and his wife were married for 22 years and he says the violation makes him "want to fight again."

If the Mobile County Sheriff's Office is able to catch the crook, it's possible they will be charged with desecration of a grave.

"It's hard to put in words, it makes me want to fight again, and I don't like to fight," McMullen said. "I don't know if God will forgive them for what they've done or not." (source of article)

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, August 4, 2014

Did ‘Edible Arrangements’ Support Hamas Through Donations?

Good Day World!

Urban legends, and rumors, are often interesting reads. There’s usually just enough truth in them to tweak our curiosity. Examples abound on the internet.

Today, I’m sharing one of those – shall we say rumors? – with you. It’s a recent story that will cause many Americans to pause before patronizing this business.

This story also serves as a backdrop for the war between Israel and Hamas.


Since at least as far back as 2012, rumors have circulated claiming that brothers Tariq and Kamran Farid, who founded Edible Arrangements International, are "devout Pakistani Muslims" who have, through their Tariq Farid Foundation, donated money to organizations linked with Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist movement engaged in armed resistance and terrorism against Israel.

Edible Arrangements International is a U.S.-based business that specializes in selling "fruit bouquets," fruit baskets designed like floral arrangements. As of 2014, the company was a 1,200-store chain with outlets in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Italy, Turkey, Hong Kong, Oman, India and China.


The Anti-Defamation League (whose stated mission is to "stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike") said of such rumors back in 2012 that:

We have received several such inquiries regarding recent allegations by Debbie Schlussel in an article critical of the owners of Edible Arrangements, which sells fruit baskets and the like. Schlussel claims that the owners of Edible Arrangements are funding Palestinian terror organizations, including Hamas, through their Farid Foundation.
In our judgment, Schlussel's allegations lack context and nuance and she does not offer any clear evidence to support them. Even if the Farid Foundation has provided funding for some of the American Muslim groups she references, we believe it is an unsupported stretch to conclude that the Foundation or Edible Arrangements is funding Hamas.


In June 2014 Islamic Relief WorldWide (IRW) was banned from operating in Israel due to that country's belief that IRW "funnels cash to Hamas":

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon [has] signed a decree banning Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in Israel.

Israel believes IRW, which markets itself as a charitable agency that solicits donations from all over the world, funnels cash to Hamas. Ya’alon’s ban was decided upon after the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.

The organization has representatives worldwide, including Australia, the United States, and Britain, where it is headquartered. Some of their local branches in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria are run by Hamas operatives.

Ya'alon's decree makes it illegal for IRW to function anywhere in Israel, Judea, and Samaria. It will also be forbidden from transferring funds to any destination in Judea and Samaria.

“The IRW is another source of funds for Hamas, and we have no intention of allowing it to operate and assist terrorist activity against Israel," Ya'alon said.

"This is another in a series of steps that we are taking against Hamas in Judea and Samaria and the pressure we are applying, the goal of which is to harm the organization’s leadership and rank-and-file as well as its civilian infrastructure. These serve as the foundation from which Hamas operates among the local population."


Farid Foundation makes significant contributions to Islamic causes and organizations, including the Farid Foundation Pakistan; the Salma K. Farid Academy; Islamic Circle of North America Relief; the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut; the Inner-City Muslim Action Network; the Wallingford Islamic Center; Masjid AI-Islam; and the Islamic Association of Southern Connecticut.


SNOPES isn’t really sure who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying. Read full article here.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Virtual Therapist Will See You Now


                                        Good Day World!

In Afghanistan, a new therapist is talking with soldiers. Her name is Ellie. She is the face of a computer program and she could be the key to identifying PTSD in America’s military.

Equipped with a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor, she nods at the right time, urges patients on with a well-timed “uh-huh,” and knows when to stop talking.

A study released earlier this month found that patients were more willing to open up to Ellie than to a human therapist, mostly because they felt like they were not being judged by the computer program.

Ellie isn’t designed to replace therapists. Instead, her program, called SimSensei, could be used as a screening tool for the military and hospitals.

Currently, it’s being tested by members of the National Guard in Afghanistan, but eventually it could be used by civilians suffering from everything from depression to cancer. Other technology, like the Oculus Rift virtual reality glasses, is also being tested by researchers to help treat PTSD.

 (Read the full story here)

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...