Saturday, April 21, 2012

It’s optical illusion time: See ‘The Eclipse of Mars’ …

See a new color you’ve never seen before!!…Well… at least never before on your monitor.

It’s a startling example of how poor the green/cyan element is on TVs and monitors generally. The color you are about to witness is actually true Cyan … a color that is heavily diluted on the vast optical illusions 10 majority of monitors (thanks to color pollution). It’s a pity one needs an optical illusion to demonstrate this, but at least you can see what you’ve been missing ;-) Anyway on with the illusion….

Stare at the white dot in the center of the red circle. The longer – the better (two minutes and you’ll get a much stronger effect). Always try to keep focused on the white dot. It’ll be worth it.
Soon after staring, you’ll start to see a thin rim of light around the edge. Don’t stop staring though yet! Wait another minute – keeping your head perfectly still.

Once you’ve done this, slowly – move your head backwards – making sure to keep your eyes focused on the dot at all times. The circle’s rim will glow brilliantly with true Cyan! Keep on moving your head slowly backwards, and it’ll glow very hot!…

The blue/cyan color chart to the right isn’t part of the illusion, but there to demonstrate that the ultra cyan you have just seen is not in the monitor’s color palette! It should be, but isn’t.
It’s an amazing effect. (source)

Corruption Scandal: Wal-Mart Executives Activities During Mexican Expansion Under Scrutiny By Both Countries

Wal-Mart leadership covered up corruption committed during it’s Mexican expansion in 2005. It’s been a secret until now. The New York Times launched an investigation of Wal-Mart’s growth into Mexico last December after a whistleblower came forward with a lot of information. (See Video here)

“The New York Times obtained hundreds of internal company documents tracing the evolution of Wal-Mart’s 2005 Mexico investigation. The documents show Wal-Mart’s leadership immediately recognized the seriousness of the allegations. Working in secrecy, a small group of executives, including several current members of Wal-Mart’s senior management, kept close tabs on the inquiry.”

From the start Wal-Mart executives decided damage control was more important than fixing the situation. It’s this kind of culture that energized activists to protest against Wal-Mart’s business practices. Look at what their response to the news was: 

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

The The New York Time examination found credible evidence that bribery played a persistent and significant role in Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico, where Wal-Mart now employs 209,000 people, making it the country’s largest private employer.”

Why did Wal-Mart do such a stupid thing?

“Under fire from labor critics, worried about press leaks and facing a sagging stock price, Wal-Mart’s leaders recognized that the allegations could have devastating consequences, documents and interviews show. Wal-Mart de Mexico was the company’s brightest success story, pitched to investors as a model for future growth. (Today, one in five Wal-Mart stores is in Mexico.) Confronted with evidence of corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing.”

Read the whole story here

Here in Humboldt County, folks are upset because we have a Wal-Mart store about to open at the Bayshore Mall on Broadway, in Eureka. A local blog – The Humboldt Herald – has an article today; Opposition to Wal-Mart universally understood  You might want to stop by and give it a read, just for the comments if nothing else.

No Clowning Around: Some People Have An Irrational Fear Of Clowns

                           Good Day Humboldt County!

Growing up I thought clowns were cool. Especially Bozo the Clown. From what I read recently everyone doesn’t look so kindly at clowns. As a matter of fact some people have coulrophobia (an irrational fear of clowns).

Symptoms of coulrophobia can include sweating, nausea, feelings of dread, fast heartbeat, crying or screaming, and anger at being placed in a situation where a clown is present. It’s not a laughing matter for those with this phobia.

I can’t help wondering if modern day evil clowns like John Wayne Gacy have contributed to people’s fear of clowns. Modern literature like “It,” by Stephen King, has added to the clown’s growing bad reputation. Ronald McDonald even scares some kids. However, before these examples, clowns were already scaring people.

“For those infected with the panic, the monsters typically pounce with mammoth feet as high-pitched, almost-joyful squeals emanate from their frightful noses. Scarier still, these creatures tend to travel in tight clusters, often arriving in the same manner. One teeny-tiny car.

Based on responses to a recent story on the TODAY.com about a 95-year-old clown named "Creeky,” many people harbor the heebie-jeebies for men and women who traipse around in greasepaint, frilly orange wigs and gigantic bowties.” (Read full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, April 20, 2012

Study claims people with multiple tattoos drink more booze

People with tattoos drink more than their tattoo-less peers, a new study from France suggests.

The researchers asked nearly 3,000 young men and women as they were exiting bars on a Saturday night if they would take a breathalyzer test. Of those who agreed to take it, the researchers found that people with tattoos had consumed more alcohol than those without tattoos, the researchers said.

Previous studies have shown that tattooed individuals are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, theft, violence and alcohol consumption, compared to people without tattoos. (Read story here)

EAT UP: Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions on today’s menu

I can’t stand seafood. When I see stuff like this (and people eating it) I gotta shake my head and ask if it’s worth it?

        Good Day Humboldt County!

 It’s a sad way for a proud country to end. Poisoned by greed, pollution, and politics. We can’t seem to stop killing ourselves.

It’s like a mass suicide. The evidence of our destruction on this planet is everywhere. This Sunday (4/22), As It Stands talks about how we’ve been shitting in our own back yard for too long! We’re paying a price today.

Americans worry less about pollution in down economy” is a glance at how desperate Americans have become with a flawed food chain and the other consequences of pollution. Stories of pollution have to be epic – like the Deepwater Horizon spill – to keep the mainstream media’s interest.

Now and then, we get updates like the story below (and video above)…reminders really…that we’re in trouble:  

“Fishermen are pulling more deformed seafood, like eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions, out of the Gulf of Mexico, and suggest that BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill is to blame. Scientists, however, say they are more concerned about the long-term effects on populations of fish, like red snapper and grouper, than on the potential for making human consumers ill.

The Food and Drug Administration has also insisted that seafood from the Gulf is safe. Still, it's hard to feel assured when you see a black-gilled lobster - and realize the black is from contamination and not a Cajun-style preparation.” (Source) 

Related: Long-gone lead factories leave dangerous poisons

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pot-infused wine is all the rage in dope-friendly California

Red wine & marijuana (© John Foxx/Getty Images; Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

How could you make a substance like wine, with chemical properties that make you pleasantly woozy and a bit euphoric, any better? Infuse it with another substance whose chemicals make you pleasantly woozy and a bit euphoric, of course! Enter marijuana-laced wine. A bit like the pot brownie's more refined big sister, the aromatic red spirit is on the rise in California where increasingly lax pot laws have brought the decades-old fad back into fashion. The recipe calls for dropping a pound of pot into a fermenting cask of wine, which yields about 1.5 grams of weed per bottle. Plenty enough, I think, to get a group of sophisticated vintners chanting "duuuude" and eating Funyuns. (source)

Scientists say we’re using all – not part of - our brain, which surprises the hell out of me!

                      Good Day Humboldt County!

  For the longest time I really believed that humans only used a portion of the brains, and that a genius was somehow able to tap into the other unused areas. They accessed places that average guys like me would never see.

  I think I was comfortable with that. It’s an old well-traveled belief that there has to be a reason why some people are so exceptionally intelligent.

  I admit I’ve been blissfully operating under the assumption there might even be a day when humans could use more of their brains and a worldwide Utopia would result. Everyone would be too smart to fight and be deceived by stupid, power-mongering individuals if they could use all their brain power right? That’s the way I had it figured. I should have known better.

The fact is, if we are already using all of our brain power (like the experts say below), then we are indeed in trouble. Just look at the world around us. For decades an urban myth – “we only use 10 percent of our brains” - traveled across the country and was accepted as gospel.

Turns out this urban myth wasn’t true:

“If we did use only 10 percent of our brains we’d be close to dead, according to Eric Chudler, director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington.

With the rise of the human potential movement in the 1960s, some preached that all sorts of powers, including bending spoons and psychic abilities, were laying dormant in our heads and that all we had to do was get off our duffs and activate them.” (source)

I remember hearing in high school that if we only used 20 percent percent of our brainpower we’d be flying, reading people’s minds, and doing all kinds of cool things. I don’t recall that 10 percent figure being used…but I suppose it doesn’t matter one way or the other. The big surprise is that we’re using all of our brains (well, not all of us) and we’re not superhuman.

“The brain, Chudler said, isn’t like a disc drive with some set amount of capacity. It’s a dynamic maze of wiring where new connections can be created in response to new stimuli, or lost with disuse. And much of it is constantly occupied not with intellectual thinking, but running our systems. When recordings are made from brain EEGs, or PET scans, or any type of brain scan, there’s no part of the brain just sitting there unused.” (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AS IT STANDS Features Pugs Gone Wild Part II : This Pug is for You!

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2012-04-09 16.02.06 (left) My 8-year old pug Millie contemplates her world from her special viewing spot.

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I love Pugs. They are great companions and clowns that will always entertain you. If you ever get a chance to rescue one please do…you’ll never regret it!

Coalition calls for a Day of Action on 4/20 to Pressure President Obama to Stop Assault on Medical Marijuana Patients, Providers and Educators

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On a traditional day of celebration for the cannabis community, this April 20 there will be a CALL TO ACTION to contact the Obama administration by phone, email and fax as well as visits to re-election headquarters in protest of misguided marijuana policies.

Submit Your Comments and Questions OnlineThe White House

Here’s Obama’s re-election site Headquarters

Got a beef with the Obama Administration’s stepped up efforts to criminalize medical marijuana patients and the dispensaries that serve them? Let the First Flip-Flopper (who did not keep his campaign promise to stop harassing states that allow for medical marijuana) know about it. Go ahead… Submit Your Questions or Comments Here

The medical cannabis community is demanding that we utilize our resources for safer communities by keeping cannabis away from our children by controlling and regulating it.  Contact the president to call a stop to failed and outdated policy of marijuana prohibition, which further drives control of the marijuana trade into the hands of violent drug cartels and other illegal operators, endangering both patients in medical marijuana states and citizens everywhere.  A few ideas:

1. Cannabis should be de-scheduled to allow for research and education.

2. An immediate cessation of all federal intervention in the legal medical cannabis system in California.

3. An immediate halt to any action that threatens the community, homeowners and jobs in California.

4. A response from the White House on the reasoning behind this latest assault and how it squares with Obama’s plan to expand the economy and a decent respect for democracy.  “We the patients” are “We the People”.

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To find out about what you can do, visit - www.OaksterdamUniversity.com.”

Oaksterdam’s employees are members of UFCW Local 5, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the largest retail workers organization in the country.  Dan Rush, Director of UFCW’s Medical Cannabis and Hemp Division said, “We are very disappointed in this misguided enforcement action by the federal government.   Almost 100 of our members, my sisters and brothers, lost their jobs and benefits as a consequence of this raid.”  

Medical cannabis pioneer and founder of Oaksterdam University, Richard Lee, is officially retiring to pursue drug policy reform full-time.  Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam’s executive chancellor, is licensing the Oaksterdam University curriculum to continue its stated mission of quality training for the cannabis industry.  Richard Lee promises he will still teach at OU, but he feels that continuing as president could draw further harassment to the school from the federal government.   He is formally stepping away to allow the school to fully separate itself from Lee and his other previously affiliated cannabis businesses, considered illegal under federal law.

The Chair of the Mendocino County (CA) Board of Supervisors, John McCowen, stated after US attorneys shut down his successful zip-tie program stated, “It's almost as if there was a conscious effort to drive [medical marijuana cultivation and distribution] back underground. My opinion is that's going to further endanger public safety and the environment – the federal government doesn't seem to care about that.”

Are you sick of Obama’s lack of concern for medical marijuana patients and the dispensaries that serve them?

I suggest you let Obama know he’s not getting your vote this November…for starters.

                                                                   Contacts: 

Dale Sky Jones, Executive Chancellor Oaksterdam University, www.oaksterdamuniversity.com phone: (949) 680-5452 or (510) 251-1544 - e-mail: daleskyjones@gmail.com twitter: daleskyones

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Tom Angell, Media Relations Director
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com -phone: (202) 557-4979 - e-mail: tom@leap.cc

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Dale Geiringer, Director, CA NORML - www.canorml.org (415) 563-5858 dale@canorml.org

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John Vasconcellos, California State Senator (retired) (408) 298-1993 senjohnv@aol.com

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Goodbye Greenbacks – Hello Smart-Device Swiping someday soon

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                Good Day Humboldt County!

No one can foretell the future. Our road ahead is a mystery. You can forecast something (make an educated guess), but cannot say for sure. In an interesting study, 1,021 nerds came to the conclusion we’ll be using our cell phones to purchase things because our $1, $5,$10,$20,$100 bills will no longer be accepted as payment for anything in some moneyless future.

Those sometimes crisp, often wrinkled, always bacteria laden greenbacks are doomed the tech experts say. No more pulling out your wallet or purse and fumbling around for the folding stuff. Of course, if you ever lose you cell phone you might as well commit hari kara!

I have my reservations about this forecast and hope it isn’t true. Actually, I wish everything would be free someday… but then there’s this pesky little thing called reality.

“Take a look at the green stuff in your wallet  (if you have any) and prepare to say goodbye to it in the future: By 2020, most Americans will be using their cellphones, not cash or credit cards, to make payments.

That's what 65 percent of the 1,021 tech experts surveyed by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University said is likely to be the case, with consumers not only adopting, but embracing, the use of "smart-device swiping" for purchases.

"So many people are already accustomed to buying a cup of coffee with a credit card that smart-device swiping is only a very small next step," John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, told Pew in its report, "The Future of Money in a Mobile Age."
Mobile payment technologies are in the early stages in the U.S. among manufacturers: Google is among those leading the way with its Google Wallet partnership with Citibank and MasterCard, using near-field communication. The technology allows for very short-range communication between devices, such as a phone and a payment terminal. Google Wallet has only been available in the U.S. on the
Nexus S phone, which has a built-NFC chip.
Wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have joined with credit card companies American Express, MasterCard and Discover, to develop a similar NFC program called "ISIS" that will be tested in pilot cities around the country mid-year.”
(source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Scary Halloween Costumes: What Would Happen If There Wasn't a Dress Code in Congress?

Inspired by Rep. "Gym" Jordan's refusal to wear a suit jacket in the Capitol (or anywhere else), I have a stunning prediction...