Friday, September 26, 2014

Cow conundrum: Do cows have built-in compasses?

Good Day World!

What would be the advantage of aligning one’s self with magnetic fields? 

Would it mean instant good karma?

Two groups of researchers came away with different results when they tested cows to see if they lined themselves up with the world’s magnetic fields.

Why cows? 

Who knows, but in 2008, the world’s media was captivated by a bovine study  conducted by Hynek Burda, a zoologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, apparently showing cows have magneto-reception.

But recent attempts to replicate his findings has led to another group of researchers (a Czech team) calling bullshit on Burda and his colleagues.

Burda published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences three years ago using data from Google Earth to show that domestic cattle seem to prefer to align their bodies along Earth’s magnetic field lines.

Inquiring minds must know.

Magneto-reception has been detected in animals from turtles to birds. Basically, it’s the ability to pick up on magnetic fields, which helps them know what direction they’re going.

I certainly wouldn’t mind knowing what direction I’m going in at all times.

A built-in compass would really be cool. You’d never get lost.

As for the cow conundrum…the results have been challenged. I say the two groups should meet on a neutral pasture somewhere and re-test those cows. That way the conditions would be equal and both sides should get the same results.

Burda and his buddies have already moved on to testing other animals to see if they have magneto-reception. The Czech team meanwhile is waiting in the wings for the final results so they can challenge them.’

Burda’s latest study is the first to show a mammal change its behavior in response to sensing the magnetic field.

The study analyzed how 70 dogs oriented themselves during over 7000 bathroom breaks. At first, there was no clear pattern of a preferred direction.

Once natural variations in the Earth's magnetic field were taken into consideration by comparing the orientation data to daily magnetograms, which shows variations in the Earth's magnetic field, the researchers discovered a potty preference, according to an excited Burda.

This knowledge could mean a major breakthrough for pet owners!

Sadly, we may never know if cows have built-in compasses.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2016 Presidential Election & Legal Pot for 4 states

Good Day World!

As is usually the case with me, I’m looking down the road.

I expect 2016 to be a very interesting year for a couple of reasons:

The Presidential Election; and there’s going to be Marijuana Legalization ballots for voters in California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada.


Neither party has trotted out their candidates yet.

Names have been dropped. If Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president, I’ll be surprised. She’s considered the only viable presidential candidate for the Democrats.

Hillary has been coy however, and hasn’t firmly thrown her hat into the ring.

Guessing who will run for the Republicans is an exercise in futility right now.

I just heard that Jeb Bush is thinking about taking up the family business. Another Bush in the wings would be like watching the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murphy, but not as entertaining.

Three times is not the charm in this case. The country is still paying a stiff price for George “Dubya” Bush’s regime.

What the hell? Do we want a family dynasty ruling us? Do we want to start another family dynasty with the Clintons?


Food for thought; if Hillary is elected it’ll be the first time two American presidents had sex! Forgive me, but I’m not the one who came up with that. Sounds funny though eh?


Moving on to legalizing marijuana:

The Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork with the California secretary of state's office registering a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot.

The measure would be similar to those passed in 2012 by voters in Colorado and Washington, the first U.S. states to legalize commercial sales of marijuana to all adults over 21.

California, long the national leader in illegal marijuana production and home to a thriving, largely unregulated medical marijuana industry, is one of the 21 other states that currently allow marijuana use only for medical reasons.

The Washington, D.C.-based group also has established campaign committees to back legalization measures in Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada in 2016.

The state I live in, Oregon, is voting on legalizing marijuana this November.

From my observations and conversations, legalization is not a shoe-in.

There’s lots of resistance by groups who don’t want to see it happen. One group is currently running a total disinformation campaign on TV, and in the local media.


There’s a lot of mud piling up for both the presidential campaign and the pot legalization campaign in 4 states.

I predict new nasty lows in both campaigns, with the presidential campaign being the worst. Aren’t politics grand?

One more prediction: we’ll have the lowest turnout for a presidential election in modern times. No saviors – from either party – are forthcoming.

Okay. One more prediction: There’ll be above-average voter turnouts in the 4 states looking at marijuana legalization.

Time for me to walk on down the road…



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Woman chews up cop car upholstery, cocaine for votes, and Pizza Pie that gets you high!

Good Day World!

For your entertainment today, I’ve gathered three short articles with interesting twists.

You want angry? You want really pissed? I’ve got the woman for you.

How does one go about buying votes with dime bags of cocaine? Easy.

Finally, the day you’ve been waiting for has arrived: pot infused pizza premiers on the West Coast. Sky high pizza pie!


A northern Idaho woman has been charged with a felony after police say she chewed up the upholstery of a patrol car seat.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports ( ) 42-year-old Staci Anne Spence was charged with felony malicious injury to property and misdemeanors including resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

Prosecutors say Spence was arrested after deputies came to her home to investigate a battery report. The deputies wrote in a court statement that when they arrived at the Bonner County Jail, they found that Spence had chewed through the patrol vehicle's upholstery and into the foam cushioning. (AP Report)’


This story is nothing to sniff at…

Federal prosecutors say a 47-year-old man provided cocaine to secure votes for school board candidates in South Texas.

A federal judge in McAllen on Monday scheduled the arraignment of Francisco "Frankie" Garcia of Donna for next month. He's facing voter fraud and other charges.

The Monitor newspaper reports ( ) that an indictment alleges Garcia paid voters by giving them a "dime bag" of cocaine. Others were paid $10 for their votes in the 2012 Donna school board elections.

FBI agents arrested Garcia last week in Illinois. He's the latest to be implicated in a conspiracy to buy votes for the school board elections. Three women pleaded guilty earlier this year to voter fraud. (AP Report)


L.A.-based Podey Pizza has started selling jars of pot-infused pizza sauce at marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington State and Colorado.

Each 5-ounce jar of Podey Pizza sauce sells for $20 and contains 300mg of medical cannabis per jar, enough for one large pizza or two smaller ones, according to Steve Thomas, Podey Pizza's vice president of operations.

Thomas believes his pot-laced pizza sauce is a good option for medical marijuana users who don't to rely on sweets like candies and cookies to get their cannabis.

But getting there wasn't easy.

"We spent a lot of time getting it right so the sauce didn't taste 'green,'" Thomas said. "We probably made 150-200 pizzas and would invite three or four people to try them. We even put ads looking for people who were 300 pounds plus to make sure the dosage was right."

Thomas said the sauce is slightly sweet and uses tomatoes, mixed with cannabis-laced safflower oil.

"We may come out with a garlickly version or more of a butter sauce," he said.

Podey Pizza is marketing itself as the world's first pot-laced pizza sauce, but since Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, a number of companies have been trying to make a lot of dough by selling pot-infused pizzas, and pizza products.

Stoned Oven Gourmet Mandibles, also based in Los Angeles, just started selling six-inch pot pizzas for $10 each.

Each pizza contains 250 mg of ethanol-extracted tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC concentrate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Best of all: The company will deliver its cannabis pizzas to stoners who live in the right neighborhoods. (Originally published in Huff Post Weird News)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Study outlines a perfect storm of unsafe food

Good Day World!

American consumers have been deluged with reports of contaminated food in recent years, from salmonella in peanut butter and spinach to E. coli in cookie dough and ground beef.

A Center for Science in the Public Interest report found that the top 7 riskiest foods regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration accounted for nearly 40 percent of all foodborne outbreaks in the U.S. between 1990 and 2006, spawning nearly 50,000 illnesses with symptoms ranging from stomach cramps and diarrhea to kidney failure and death.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers tracked more than 1,500 separate, definable outbreaks involving not only high-risk foods like meat and dairy, but staples of a healthy diet, such as fruits and vegetables.

These outbreaks are only the tip of the iceberg of foodborne illness. For every case of salmonella poisoning reported, for instance, the CDC estimates that another 38 cases go unreported.

#1 - Leafy Greens

Can salad really be bad for you? Although considered a healthy food, nutritious greens can also be coated in disease-causing germs.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest identified 363 separate outbreaks linked to leafy greens, making them the No. 1 entry on the top 10 list of riskiest FDA-regulated foods.

#2 - Tuna

Many consumers are familiar with warnings about tuna and methylmercury, but the fish has also been implicated in 268 outbreaks and 2,341 reported cases of foodborne illness. Tuna has been linked to scombroid, the illness caused by scombrotoxin.

#3 Oysters

Contaminated oysters can ruin more than just a gourmet dinner. Oysters have been linked to 132 outbreaks, with 3,409 reported cases of illness. Not surprisingly, the majority of outbreaks from oysters occurred in restaurants. Illnesses from oysters occur primarily from two sources: norovirus and vibrio.

#4 Cheese

Cheese has been linked to 83 outbreaks involving 2,761 reported cases of illness since 1990, with salmonella the most common hazard. Cheese can become contaminated with pathogens during production or processing.

Most cheeses are now made with pasteurized milk, lowering the risk of contamination. In August, California officials warned consumers about eating Latin American-style cheeses such as queso fresco or queso Oaxaca, which may be made by unlicensed manufacturers using unpasteurized milk that could contain harmful bacteria.

#5 Ice Cream

Whether served in a cone or in a cup, America's favorite frozen treat occasionally can carry a load of dangerous bacteria. Ice cream has been linked to 74 outbreaks involving 2,594 reported cases of illness from pathogens such as salmonella and staphylcoccus since 1990. Soft ice cream can be particularly hazardous to pregnant women.

Listeria can survive on metal surfaces — such as the interior of soft ice cream machines — and may contaminate batch after batch of products.

#6 Sprouts

Sprouts are a popular way to add crunch to salads and in Asian dishes. As the popularity of sprouts increases, however, so too does the potential for foodborne illnesses.

Sprouts have been implicated in 31 outbreaks involving 2,022 reported cases of illness since 1990. The CDC and the FDA recommended in 1999 that people at high risk for complications from salmonella and E. coli — such as the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems — not eat raw sprouts.

#7 Berries

Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and other berry products have caused 25 outbreaks and sickened 3,397 since 1990.

In 1997, more than 2.6 million pounds of contaminated strawberries were recalled after thousands of students across several states reported illnesses from eating frozen strawberries in their school lunches.

Hepatitis A was the culprit, and contamination may have occurred through an infected farm worker, according to the CSPI report.

Condensed version from Center for Science in the Public Interest

Food safety

  1. Raw milk sickened scores, despite inspection
  2. Contaminated ground turkey found in 21 states
  3. Contaminated cucumbers sicken 73
  4. Mini quesadillas, pizza recalled over E. coli fears

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday, Monday: What do you know about Monday?

Good Day World!

Most people don’t like Monday.

There’s a variety of interesting reasons for this.

I’ve gathered seven of them for you today. There’s more, but who wants to read a ton of stuff first thing on a Monday morning?

1) According to this source most of us can’t summon up the gumption for a smile until 11:16 a.m. Sounds a bit early to me.

2) Researchers claim that most of us find the start of the week so grim nearly half of us are late for work. Again, a conservative estimate in my humble opinion.

3) Social scientists claim that people between the ages of 45 and 54 are likely to suffer the most Monday blues.

4.) Numerous work studies have shown that Monday is the least productive day of the week. If you put in three productive hours you’re probably doing pretty good.

5) I couldn’t find suicide statistics for Mondays in the United States, but I did come across one conducted by the Office for National Statistics in England. It found 16% of male suicides and 17% of female suicides occurred on Mondays, compared to 13% on the weekend days.

6) Monday mornings could seriously damage your health, according to research carried out by Japan's Tokyo Women's Medical University and published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

7) The term ‘Mondayitis’ has become a popular saying among employees who work a common working week starting on Monday.

In times past Monday also became known as ‘Blue Monday’, named when the first day of the week was set aside for doing laundry. Bluing was used to keep clothes white and from that product the day became known as ‘Blue Monday’.

Although today Mondays are not typically set aside for laundry as they once were the term ‘Blue Monday’ still exists as many employees begin their working week after a weekend break.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Reflections on Paradise: Is It Attainable?

                             Good Day World!

Paradise is not a place. It’s a condition.

Some believe it’s obtainable through religion.

According to the Bible, “Heaven will be like you've never imagined.”

In other words, it’ll be paradise. Revelation 7:16 states There will be no heat. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat.”

That sounds dandy doesn’t it? All religions have that in common: they believe when we die we’ll go to some version of a paradise.

Not everyone adheres to that belief, but it is a common denominator among those who embrace religion.

For example, if you’re a loyal male follower of the Qur'an you’ll end up with 72 virgins in paradise after you die.

It’s not clear what the women can expect, but I can assure you it’s not 72 studs in waiting!

Then there are those among us that believe in a version of paradise on earth.

The notion of a utopia—a perfect, egalitarian, and harmonious paradise on Earth—has been a recurring theme in literature and storytelling for hundreds of years.

It all started with the philosopher Plato’s book Republic, and it’s since been expressed in other books including Thomas More’s Utopia and Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, as well as in films like Lost Horizon and Things to Come.

It seems to me, that no matter how hard people try to find paradise on earth, it eludes them. However, some efforts come pretty close. Here’s some interesting examples:

Top 10 Experimental Towns and Communes

The bottom line, in my mind, is paradise is an internal condition that allows you to enjoy life wherever you live.

There’s no need to die to attain it. There’s no place on the planet that’s really a paradise – as in everything’s perfect.

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...