Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deep in the forest….


Can you see the illusion?

It’s really quit simple when you squint your eyes.

Karl Kwasny is an Australian illustrator, currently based in Manhattan, New York

“Deep in the forest where heavy feet sink

You mightn’t be alone as you think!”

A cautionary tale for lovers: roll playing in public may land you in jail

I’m filing this little Valentine’s Day tale under “How embarrassing!”

At least nine police cars responded Tuesday to reports of a woman bound in duct tape and naked in a man's car, but the incident turned out to be a Valentine's role-play.

Shortly after noon, police converged on the New Seasons Market on North Interstate Avenue after receiving a report of a vehicle seen leaving the parking lot with a naked female tied up in the back with duct tape over her mouth.

According to police, a witness told officers that the driver of the car was a white male in his 20s, with a goatee and sunglasses and that the female "seemed hazy." The witness told police that the male stated they "were just having some fun."  Read the rest of the story here.

Anything but the Truth: Corporations plan climate change skepticism agenda in schools

Once again, American corporations are following an agenda contrary to the good of the American public. In this case, they’re trying to brainwash our children with lies about global warming. The corporation’s will do, or say anything, to keep the topic away from the harm they’re causing to our planet’s environment.

According to Bill Dedman Investigative Reporter,

“Internal documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago nonprofit think tank, showing its funding of leading skeptics of global warming and a plan to teach climate change skepticism in schools. An anonymous person leaked the documents to several publications and activists supporting the science of climate change.

"The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses, including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more," reports the DeSmogBlog, which published the documents on Tuesday. The blog opposes what it calls the "climate denial machine."

Read the following links for the corporation’s complete agenda and how they plan to go about it.

The first batch of documents is here on the DeSmogBlog, and a second batch dealing with fundraising.

Here's a copy of the group's fundraising plan, with a list of donors.

What do you think would be a good use for a Boeing 727 that didn’t fly?

                              Good Day Humboldt County!

   Let’s get off the beaten track today and check out what some people think Boeing 727 Jetliners should be used for beside flying. It’s unique people like this that make these detours so rewarding.

BAKERSFIELD, California (AP) – “A Swiss artist plans to bury an intact Boeing 727 jetliner in California's Mojave Desert and build a tunnel to give visitors a chance to see it.

Christoph Buchel has applied for a permit that will allow him to bury the 153-foot-long decommissioned airliner.The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reports the project, called "Terminal," already has approval from the local planning department staff.

The jetliner would be buried 38 feet below the surface. Visitors will be able to experience the subterranean art project via a tunnel connecting the plane to a parking area. And they'll be able to use the plane's restrooms, which will be connected to a septic system.”

Here’s a street legal Boeing 727 (photo right) or in other words, a converted Mercedes bus that seats up to 50 persons. At 24,000-pounds, it features a big screen TV, full bar, fog machine, tons of lighting (laser / strobe / etc.), ceiling mirrors, and "aerodynamic" seats. Click here for more pictures.

  For $500 a night you can stay in a fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage hotel suite. (Photo left)

  The owners salvaged the airframe, piece by piece, from its San Jose airport resting place, carefully transporting the pieces on five, big-rig trucks to the jungles of Manuel Antonio where they were re-imagined as a unique hotel suite. The classic airplane, nestled is perched on a 50-foot pedestal, on the edge of the Costa Verde National Park. From this vantage point, visitors can enjoy stunning ocean and jungle views.

I’m sure there’s more examples around the world of recycled Boeing 727s. It’s just weird enough, that I think it’s cool.

What do you think? What would you do with a Boeing 727 if someone outright gave it to you?

Time for me to walk on down the road..  


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Optical Illusion: Fantastic flooring finds way to museum

Imagine stepping into a room in the local art museum and suddenly not knowing where to step because the ground appears to be completely uneven. But that’s exactly what would happen if you  happen to visit Kunstraum München in Munich, Germany. At least, if you happened to visit after Heikie Weber finished putting her installations up at the gallery.

That’s because the artist’s surreal creations convert ordinary rooms into mind-melding creations that seem impossible to walk on…of course, with art this fantastic, it seems a shame to trod on it anyway! But the most impressive part is how Heike does it… Go here to see more.

NYPD Suicides: 4 officers take their own lives in last month

What’s going on? Why are cops killing themselves? On the surface, there’s no relationship between four recent suicides. Each had a different story, but with the same sad ending. The only commonality I can see is that they were all from the same police department.

Perhaps that’s the one clue to solving these suicides: is something wrong within the force itself? Are cops who admit to having depression summarily canned? Despite what the NYPD website says about the counseling all officers have available to them, there’s a reason why very few take advantage it. That reason is fear. Fear that word will get out to their superiors they can’t handle their jobs. So, they remain silent.

One of the four deaths fits the scenario I’m suggesting. That’s Officer Terrence Dean. The 29-year old killed himself while on duty after receiving a call from his fiancée, who reportedly told him she called his precinct about the depression he was struggling with.

One last observation on the subject of law enforcement officers killing themselves: NYPD is not alone when it comes to officers having to hide their depression to protect their jobs. It’s happening nationwide. I can give examples from all over the country. The point is, something has to change in the crime-fighting culture or these senseless deaths will continue.

Valentine’s Day: Kiss your honey and go on a special date

             Good Day Humboldt County!

We’re going down Lover’s Lane today. A road that stretches back to antiquity. A road traveled by lovers worldwide. So what do to for Valentine’s Day? 

“On this Valentine’s Day, one of the more unorthodox activities available to lovebirds is the ability to take that special someone for a tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.

“New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection is offering a tour of the sewage treatment facility that lasts just under two hours and culminates in an expansive view of the Manhattan skyline and the 53-acre Newtown plant from 130 feet up.

“To celebrate the occasion, guests will each be given a Hershey kiss candy while they tour a plant that is responsible for breaking down toxic waste into harmless sludge. They also get a Valentine’s Day story that will almost certainly be unique among their friends.” via Today

Pizza Hut also has you covered for Valentine’s Day, especially if you plan on making a marriage proposal to your date and want to do it over a medium one-topping pizza with some breadsticks and cinnamon sticks. The pizza chain has 10 packages available to ‘tie the knot” in which it offers a $10 dinner box, a red ruby and diamond engagement ring, limo service, flowers, a fireworks show, a videographer and a photographer for a mere $10,010 plus tax.

For those who just want to go right to dessert, Cupcakes Gourmet in Philadelphia has a $55,000 cupcake featuring an eight-carat diamond ring perched on top of the frosting.

My honey will have to settle for a kiss, a nice dinner, and my company today, unless the MCKinleyville Water District is offering a Valentine Day tour of their wastewater treatment plant!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, February 13, 2012

Washington govenor signs gay marriage bill: group seeks to overthrow it before it’s signed into law this June

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a bill that legalizes gay marriage in Washington state, making it the nation's seventh to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. Before she even put pen to paper anti-homosexual groups were girding for war. A holy war in their narrow minds. But who are THEY in this case?

Who thinks homosexuals don’t deserve the same treatment as the rest of the population? Who thinks gays and lesbians will ruin the sanctity of       marriage?                                                                                         Who are “They????”

They” are members of organizations like the Family Policy Institute of Washington who are already organizing a campaign to overturn the new law that is set to go into effect on June 7th. Check out their web site. Look at the smiling, fresh faces that think Jesus hates homosexuals and denies them the key to Heaven.

God and Politics have become a quasi-religion where stiff-necked religious hypocrites judge everyone that doesn’t believe as “They” do. Read the “alerts” and calls for donations on FLI’s website, which is a thinly disguised effort to marginalize their fellow Americans in the name of God and man-made moral values that “They” don’t even keep.

They” don’t think all Americans should have the same opportunities. Even when it comes to their own love life. “They” can’t seem to respect anyone that doesn’t believe the way “They” do. In conclusion; “They” have a different view of the Constitution that assures us all equality. “They” are the reason why more people are leaving churches today.

They” are religious extremists, and one of their many missions is to keep same-sex marriage illegal…because they say, the Bible says it so.

As It Stands,They” won’t give up trying to take other’s rights away because “They” are heavily funded, and on a crusade to clean up Amerika.

One Rotten Apple: bad press forces company to look into labor issues while shares rise to an all time high

You wouldn’t be reading this right now if The New York Times hadn’t exposed Apple’s blind eye towards it’s supplier’s inhumane treatment of workers.

Apple said Monday that it had hired a non-profit labor group to examine working conditions at some of its suppliers in China, as the company tries to calm a growing storm over how the workers who build iPads and iPhones are treated.

“One particular supplier, Foxconn, has come under fire for working conditions at its facilities including alleged child labor violations and unsafe work environments. Labor advocates have long noted the problems. The Foxconn plants have seen a rash of suicides in the past year.”

Shares of Apple Inc. are at an all time high right now. Management must deal with this labor controversy in order to keep those shares viable. Combine that and The New York Time’s well-researched story and it’s just what it took to motivate Apple bigwigs into some sort of action.So they contacted a non-profit group - The Fair Labor Association (FLA). 

The FLA’s job will be to conduct what Apple calls, “special voluntary audits” of Foxconn’s plants in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. I think it’s obvious these “inspections” will be dog-n-pony shows. Think about it. Apple and the Chinese like their business arrangement. It’s going to take more than one article to really change things. 

"The entry of Apple to FLA is a welcome development," said Mary Gallagher, director of the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies, and associate professor for political science. "However, I'm not optimistic that conditions in Apple's supplier factories will change if we only rely on occasional inspections from an overseas group."

Chinese workers, she continued, "are increasingly aware of their legal rights at the workplace but they often lack the proper tools to realize enforcement of those rights, such as the right to strike and the right to organize collectively."

Li Qiang, director of China Labor Watch based in New York, said "FLA speaks on behalf of the companies, not workers. If Apple wants the inspections be accurate and trustworthy, it should have labor advocacy groups who speak for the workers involved in the inspection process."

And there you have it. The inspector (FLA) is cozy with companies…not workers. This harsh reality (inhumane treatment of workers)is a reflection of what’s happening across the country, as we mindlessly continue to outsource work to countries with little (or no) labor laws. Keep one thing in mind, we’re also outsourcing our worker’s future.

As It Stands, Apple management made it clear years ago that profit was everything and providing jobs for American workers was not in their best interests.


Humboldt’s Dirty Little Secret: We’re always the Nation’s Leader when it comes to paying the highest gas price in the land


               Good Day Humboldt County!

Our path today is one that keeps changing as we walk the energy highway. Factors, often a mystery to the common American, cause the price of gasoline to go up every year. This annual rape of our wallets usually starts in the Spring, but this year we’re having a false Spring so what what the heck? Why not jack the prices up earlier than planned?

“The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 12 cents in the past three weeks to about $3.51, due in part to higher prices for North Sea crude oil, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.” Reuters

Let me see now, we’re paying more at the pump because North Sea crude prices are going up? Why don’t I believe that crap? The same reason you don’t believe it. Oil speculators are the real culprits why we’re paying more at the pump. Can’t forget regional greed. 

“Among cities covered by the survey, the lowest average price was in Denver at $3.01 per gallon. The price was highest in Long Island suburbs of New York, at $3.82.” Reuters

No! The highest price for gasoline in the nation is here in Humboldt County. Try $4.09 a gallon! We’d be happy to have it at only $3.82!

Where do these news services get that their stats anyway? No one every seems to notice anything about our county except that it’s famous for quality pot. Humboldt County also constantly leads the nation in gasoline prices. That’s our dirty little secret.

Don’t believe me? You check it out. It’s a fact of life for motorists behind the Redwood Curtain. Bicycles, and walking, have never looked better.

Time to go on down the road…


Sunday, February 12, 2012

As It Stands: Why Nigeria became the scam capital of the world

                                By Dave Stancliff/for The Times-Standard
 If you’ve ever received an e-mail from someone asking you to help them claim a fortune, chances are that someone was in Nigeria. They hoped you were greedy and stupid enough to go along with their bogus offer.

                                        Why Nigeria?

How did this African nation become scam central for the entire planet? I looked into that question and here’s what I found: 
Not all scams originate in Nigeria. They just seem to be more persistent there. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa (158,423,180 as of 2010). International population estimates say 65 percent of Nigeria’s citizens live on less than $1 a day. If that isn’t incentive for crime, nothing is. It’s a “short con”  that can be carried out cheaply with limited Internet access.
  The Nigerian Scam, or the “419 Advanced Fee Fraud,” as it’s known to the Internet savy, came from the Nigerian criminal code for such a crime (419), according to Wikipedia.

The modern 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based Nigerian economy declined. During this chaotic time, several unemployed university students first used this scam, spawned from shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector.
It’s very simplicity, someone willing to share part of a fortune for a large sum of money given by the victim, has made it a success.     
Businessmen in the west had targets painted on their check books. The scam was so successful it grew wings and flew around the world. Greed, being what it is, assured these scammers of a long haul with a short scam.
The spread of e-mail and easy access to email-harvesting software significantly lowered the cost of sending scam messages. According to Insa Nolte, a lecturer of University of Birmingham's African Studies Department, "The availability of e-mail helped to transform a local form of fraud into one of Nigeria's most important export industries."

During the 1900s, the Nigerian Scam spurred imitations from other locations in Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Here we are decades later and just about every American who owns a computer has been contacted by someone using the Nigerian Scam. The thing that gets me is the bad English used in the scam letters. It seems to me they should take more notice of such an important detail.
Then again, it’s a formula that has worked for decades and scammers might be nervous about messing with success. The fact that practically any person, educated or not, can make money with very little effort using the Nigerian Scam, assures it’s continuance.
For the record, the Nigerian Scam, also known as an “Advance-fee fraud” is similar to a much older scam known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam in which the trickster told the victim that a rich prisoner promised to share treasure with the victim in exchange for money to bribe prison guards.
An older version of this scam existed by the end of 18th century, and is called "the Letter From Jerusalem" by Eugène François Vidocq, in his memoirs. I point this out not only to show the evolution of the Nigerian Scam, but to prove that greed has always opened doors for those willing to use it for their personal advantage.

I think it’s only fair to point out that not all Nigerians are criminals and the honest ones are probably fed up with the reputation their country has because of the scammers.
Disclaimer: this column is not a master’s thesis on why Nigeria is “scam central” in today’s world. I’ve only outlined why I think it is, based upon the facts presented. I have nothing against Nigerians. I do have an insatiable desire to explore why things are the way they are.
If you’d like to know more about the Nigerian Scam and others similar to it, I recommend going to Scambaiter at  There’s a lot of good current information available there.
As It Stands, knowledge is power, and the more articles you read warning about internet scams, the safer you and your bank account will be.

Websites carrying this column:

1) All Voices – Mainstream News

2) Nigeria ‘70

3) Nigeria Live Music

4) Counter Fraud

5) Fraud Blog

6) SiloBreaker News

7) News Blogged

8) The Daily Breeze

9) Scam Central

10) Christian Money

11) Baltimore Daily Deals

12) Nigerian Newsline

13) Lost Coast Outpost

14) The North Coast Journal – Humboldt Blog watch

15) Neizer

16) Scam Blog

17) Crime Seen

18) One World New Media – A Unity Broadcasting Company

19) The Willits News

20) Latest News about Nigeria

21) United Kingdom Newswire - Comprehensive Real-Time News Feed for United Kingdom

22) Scammer List Malaysia




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