Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Notice To Readers: I’m on my annual blog break until Aug. 28th

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Just to keep it real I pull myself away from my blog once a year.

That time has come. I’m going to be wandering in the hinterlands and heartland of America just because.

If you haven’t gone through my blog archives (they go back four years), you may find them amusing. Then, there’s my newspaper column archives – on the right. Feel free to leave comments, I always answer acknowledge them.

PEACE OUT!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Livestock Pollution Unchecked: FDA doesn’t even know where all the livestock farms are!

A report to Congress in 2008 said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was failing to regulate pollution from the nation's livestock farms because it lacked information as basic as how many farms existed. Four years later, the EPA still doesn't know the location of many livestock farms, let alone how much manure they generate and how all the waste is being handled.

Environmentalists say they were flabbergasted when the EPA recently decided against adopting a rule that would require livestock operators to provide the agency with information. But industry officials say there's no reason for farmers to have to give the EPA information. An EPA spokeswoman says nobody at the agency is available to discuss the decision. (source)

Table Dancers Turn Tables, Show Up To Church To Protest Being Protested

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            Good Day Humboldt County?

I can’t help thinking about that popular song back in the day, “Harper Valley PTA.” The following story really struck me as funny and full of irony.

The dancers at the Foxhole in Coschocton County, Ohio, are used to arriving at work to the sounds of protests from members of the nearby New Beginnings Ministries church. But the same couldn't quite be said for the churchgoers, who showed up for services on Sunday and were greeted by the sight of bikini-clad protesters.

For the last four years, the pastor at New Beginnings has led a protest outside the Foxhole every weekend. Beyond just voicing their disapproval of the strip joint, the church members also videotape the license plates of the bar's patrons and then post the info online.

So the crew at the Foxhole decided to give the churchgoers a taste of their own medicine, sitting outside the church in skimpy outfits and cooling each other down with Super Soakers as they grilled up burgers.

They also held signs with Bible quotes like:
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing
Revelations 22:11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still

The strip club's owner has unsuccessfully tried to sue the church for their protests, but now he's hoping that this table-flipping will help to put an end to things. "When these morons go away, we'll go away," he said. "The great thing about this country is that everyone has a right to believe what they want."

One of the Foxhole dancers, a married mother-of-six, says the protesters outside the strip club every weekend are ill-informed:

These church people say horrible things about us... They say we're homewreckers and whores. The fact of the matter is, we're working to keep our own homes together, to give our kids what they need.

The New Beginnings pastor counters that he and the other protesters aren't there to condemn the dancers, but to offer them a way out. "I tell them, 'I will put a roof over your heads, and your bills will be paid, and your children's bellies will be full,'" he explains.

The pastor says the protests outside his church of only served to confirm the churchgoers' feelings. "They have now seen the evil firsthand," he says. "This has just made us stronger." The Foxhole owner sees things differently. "They're just mad," he said, "because their wives won't let them come to my club." (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, August 20, 2012

WEBSITE PICK OF THE DAY: History of swords and armor, types of swords and armor, and sword information

                                                                   Roman swords
History of Roman swords. Roman gladius sword, Roman spatha sword and gladiator swords. Roman pugio dagger. Sword history.
roman legionaries

The Roman Sword or Gladius is one of the most widely recognized swords of any culture. These swords were in use between 4th century BC and 3rd Century AD.

The Romans where highly skilled and disciplined and great weapons such as the sword were a must especially for cavalrymen and infantrymen. The skills of these men and the advances in sword making techniques made this sword a deadly weapon and was one the major factors behind a long and successful military reign. To identify a person’s sword the name was often etched into the blade.

GO HERE TO READ MORE

Meandering Monday: some views on current news

                   Good Day Humboldt County!

Let me start by saying this world gets weirder by the day; exhibit A:

A former hacker wanted by Swedish authorities for rape and sexual assault charges, Jullian Assange, steps out on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in Great Britain (where he’ll be arrested if he dares set foot outside it) and calls for the President of the United States to free a member of the American military who was caught leaking Top Security information to Assange (or whoever gave it to him)??? Really?

Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican who recently won a senate seat did so despite his lame ass remarks on abortion rights in instances when a woman is a victim of rape. You want ignorance? Listen to this baby-faced (see photo on right) woman-hater explain his wacky rationale regarding some rapes:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said. Yes, I know, it’s an incredibly insensitive remark to make about rape, but he still won the election. What’s with the GOP assault on women anyway?

composite image, with magnified insets, depicts the first laser test of Curiosity Mars rover

I’m trying damn hard not to imagine how many millions of dollars are being spent as we watch NASA’s new play toy on Mars break a rock with a laser beam!

That high tech little off-road vehicle called Curiosity fired 30 pulses at a nearby rock in a 10 second span and guess what? It put a hole through it! Okay. For the sake of science you say?

 Like all good Martian land rovers, Curiosity has a  social media team who made a reference to Austin Powers when it tweeted, "Yes, I've got a laser beam attached to my head. I'm not ill-tempered; I zapped a rock for science." Then it signed off "#PewPew," a nerd reference to the sound lasers make when discharged.

 So that you have it folks; we’ve destroyed a rock on a distant planet with a laser gun, and are heralding the moment as historic and only the first in many more to come. Man’s calling card, “Mindless destruction.” Don’t you just feel “tingly” about spending your tax dollars on this? I sure don’t.

Another reason to hate Mondays: Mondays really are the worst day of the week for the stock market.

Records show Monday is the only day the stock market is more likely to fall than to rise. The Dow Jones industrial average has been down 10 of the past 11 Mondays. And the two worst days in market history are both known as Black Monday.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 19, 2012

AS IT STANDS: Contemporary Art is Not for Everyone

                         

The people no longer seek consolation in art. But the refined people, the rich, the idlers seek the new, the extraordinary, the extravagant, the scandalous. I have contented these people with all the many bizarre things that come into my head. And the less they understand, the more they admire it. By amusing myself with all these games, all this nonsense, all these picture puzzles, I became famous... I am only a public entertainer who has understood his time.” (Pablo Picasso)
                     By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard 
   One person’s junk can be another’s treasure. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase used in many contexts before. There’s no better example than contemporary art. For those not familiar with what constitutes contemporary art I’ll give you a brief description: anything goes.
  That’s right. Contemporary art is basically a tangible piece of art or installation ranging from a row of porcelain men’s urinals on a wood frame to a rock tied up with colorful ribbons.

Artists and gallery owners say the most important thing to remember is that contemporary art is a frame of mind, in addition to taking action. That said, I freely admit I don’t get it.
  I’m certainly not going to make the same mistake Morley Safer did twenty years ago on a 60 minutes segment, when he made fun, scorned, and satirized the whole contemporary art movement.


  With knowing winks, he showed odd-looking displays that seemed to be nothing more than stuff pulled out of peoples garages, cellars, recycling bins, and trash cans. The art world took notice of this infamous snub.
   Last April, Safer followed up on that controversial segment. He gamely took the “I told you so’s” from art dealers and collectors who were enjoying unprecedented sales, like a good sport. Most of those interviewed for the new segment were people who remembered his earlier attitude.
   I won’t say Safer seemed convinced contemporary art was “legitimate” art in this last segment, but I think he regrets his original condescending attitude. The prices contemporary art commands today make an argument for some legitimacy.

  I’ve discovered that most people who buy contemporary art are wealthy. As in uber-wealthy and ready to pay any amount for the latest “hot” piece. Status comes with owning a collection of electrical cords arranged around a sculpture of a broken telephones that sold for $1.2 million dollars.
  Contemporary art is a billion dollar a year industry in America, according to Safer’s report. There’s nothing laughable about that.

    If you’re interested in buying, or investing in contemporary art works I recommend reading In Art Auctions: A Survey of Empirical Studies (Working Paper No. 8997) by Research Associate Orley Ashenfelter, and co-author Kathryn Graddy.
  They review what is known about how the art auction system actually works and discuss whether art makes a good investment. They also assess the accuracy of expert estimates of value, and examine the determination of reserve prices.

   Just be prepared to enter unregulated territory where insider knowledge is the norm, and fixed prices among art gallery owners is the way business is done. It’s like the stock market on steroids. Like an artificial bubble, that when it bursts, won’t really affect the main players. They mostly spend their pocket money anyway. 

   Getting involved with contemporary art is easy. Google “ArtBook Guy” to see how. I wish you the best of luck. I think it’s kind of silly to pay for things I perceive to be everyday objects going for astronomical prices, so I’ll never be a collector.
  I suppose that’s just a sign of my art ignorance. Somewhere down deep in my brain the “art spot’ must be underdeveloped. I would like to add that I do appreciate more traditional art, and I’m not a complete art philistine.

  Thus far, no contemporary art pieces have rivaled traditional ones like Paul Cezanne’s “The Card Players” which sold for $250 million in 2011, to the country of Qatar. Needless to say, that was the most expensive piece of art ever sold.
  Pablo Picasso was among the first contemporary artists to be internationally recognized for his work. It’s interesting to note that he had no illusions about what he was doing. He was amusing himself at the expense of others and getting famous for his efforts.
   As It Stands, when someone sells a pair of dirty socks for a new art record, I’m going to become a contemporary artist!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can you Guess What the Most Dangerous Drug in the World is?

Looks like we’re a couple of years behind the British when it comes to recognizing the deadliest drug available to man today…Alcohol!!!
2010 Findings – Study says “Alcohol More Dangerous Than Heroin

MCDA modeling showed that heroin, crack cocaine, and metamfetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals (part scores 34, 37, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively). Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places.

Interpretation

These findings lend support to previous work assessing drug harms, and show how the improved scoring and weighting approach of MCDA increases the differentiation between the most and least harmful drugs. However, the findings correlate poorly with present UK drug classification, which is not based simply on considerations of harm. (source)

The Battle Goes On: Medical Marijuana Supporters Sue City of Los Angeles to Stop Ban

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                   GOOD DAY HUMBOLDT COUNTY!

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What did voters vote for when they passed the 215 Law?

That’s the question poised at the heart of this controversial crack down. I doubt if there’s any way to check out that assertion, yet it’s the argument used by supporters of the pot ban. Nothing short of total legalization of marijuana will solve this issue. Meanwhile the battle goes on… 

“A medical marijuana trade group sued the city of Los Angeles Friday, seeking to stop officials from enforcing a new ban designed to shut down more than 1,000 pot dispensaries. The Patient Care Alliance, Los Angeles, or PCA-LA, announced that it filed a lawsuit Friday seeking an injunction against a controversial ordinance approved by the city council last month that supporters said was needed to grapple with the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.

"The city council's actions are not only reckless, heartless and pointless, they're just plain stupid," said Marc O'Hara of PCA-LA. "The city knows that it will never be able to successfully defend this lawsuit."

It comes the same week that the city sent out letters to 1,046 locations where medical marijuana dispensaries are thought to be operating, according to the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. The letter -- sent to 1,774 business and property owners, according to the city -- is cited in the lawsuit.

The letter, mailed Tuesday, instructs business owners that a new ordinance making their operations illegal becomes effective Sept. 6. The new city ordinance affects any "medical marijuana business," which is defined as "Any location where marijuana is cultivated, processed, distributed, delivered or given away to a qualified patient, a person with an identification card, or a primary caregiver," the letter states.

"Continuance of a medical marijuana business at this location may subject you to legal action resulting in a court ordered closure and imposition of monetary penalties of $2,500 a day, as well as prosecution for a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine," the letter states. "Each day that the property is used in violation of city law is a separate violation."

The city attorney's office said in a statement that the letter "is not part of any enforcement scheme," noting it advises business owners to consult with their attorneys. The city's ordinance, approved unanimously after many hours of debate before a packed council chamber on July 24, generated lawsuit threats immediately.

Medical marijuana advocates also vowed to put a referendum on the ballot asking voters to halt enforcement of the ban until a forthcoming California Supreme Court decision is issued clarifying pot-shop regulation. Many dispensaries in the city have in recent weeks been gathering signatures for the ballot measure.

When the ordinance passed, city officials said Los Angeles had 762 registered dispensaries. The list of 1,046 locations that received letters this week were compiled from several sources, the city attorney's office said, adding that the locations had not been verified.

At the same time it approved its ban, the council also passed a measure asking city attorneys to study and draw up plans to allow 182 pot shops -- ones that registered with the city under a 2007 ordinance attempting to regulate the dispensaries -- to continue to operate. That seemingly contradictory move could take months to realize.

Friday's lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 patients who have been prescribed medical marijuana for serious medical conditions, according to the complaint. It states that the city's ordinance is in conflict with California's 1996 law legalizing the medical use of marijuana – legislation that was passed by voters through Proposition 215.

Supporters of the city's pot-shop ban say that voters who approved of medical marijuana use never envisioned the development of a multi-billion-dollar industry in the state, nor the explosive growth of dispensaries and pot-focused medical clinics. The lawsuit argues that the city ordinance is unconstitutional and denies business owners due process.”  (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, August 17, 2012

The question is why are Army suicides becoming so common? There were 38 in July for a new high

                    Good Day Humboldt County!

When is the Army (and the rest of the armed forces) going to get at to the root of the suicide problem? They all claim to have programs to assist with PTSD after coming back from overseas, but what happens after multiple employments?

I think the answer is obvious. The chances of having PTSD multiples with each deployment. Our voluntary military servicemen and women are being abused…asked to to what no human should have to endure. There’s no question at all about why the suicide rate continues to climb. The hawks at the Pentagon know the answer, but it isn’t curbing their imperialistic plans in the least. Old men have no trouble sending young men into battles. It’s always been thus.    

There were 38 suspected suicides among active-duty and reserve soldiers in July, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Army.

That figure outpaces the 24 active-duty and reserve suicides the Army reported for the month of June and is the highest monthly number of suicides since record-keeping began a few years ago. 

The Department of Defense did not attempt to explain the abrupt surge in suicides for the month of July in a statement announcing the figures.

Bruce Shahbaz, a medical analyst on the Army’s Suicide Prevention Task Force, told Time that experts did notice the deaths of non-commissioned officers outnumbered those of junior enlisted members for the first time since 2001. NCOs are more likely to be older, married and at home between deployments, a period of time that can be turbulent and exacerbate stress, according to Shahbaz.

"Issues like minor depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances -- those things that are kind of related to post-traumatic stress -- begin to surface after a service member has been home for more than a year, and start to reintegrate with their family … I liken it to a pot that’s on simmer -- having that person stay back home and reintegrate with their family sometimes allows that pot to boil over," Shahbaz told Time.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a non-profit organization that provides counseling resources to suicide survivors, estimates that each death personally impacts 10 people. TAPS said that each week, eight to 10 people grieving for a service member who died by suicide seek its services.

"We are deeply saddened by these numbers, and renew our commitment to support the families left behind who are grieving the death of soldiers by suicide," the organization said in a statement.

So far in 2012, the Army has confirmed 66 active-duty suicides and continues to investigate 50 more, for a total of 116 cases. There were 165 confirmed active-duty suicides in 2011.” (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TRENDING: REPLYING TO AN INVITATION TO A SCIENTIST'S BALL…

          Good Day Humboldt County!

I’m feeling a little quirky today and when I found this little essay, it made my day!

            REPLYING TO AN INVITATION

                TO A SCIENTIST'S BALL

  •  Pierre and Marie Curie were radiating enthusiasm.
  •  Einstein thought it would be relatively easy to attend.
  •  Volta was electrified and Archimedes, buoyant at the thought.
  •  
  • Ampere was worried he wasn't up to current research.
  • Ohm resisted the idea at first.
  • Boyle said he was under too much pressure.
  • Edison thought it would be an illuminating experience.
  • Watt reckoned it would be a good way to let off steam.
  • Stephenson thought the whole idea was loco.
  • Wilbur Wright accepted, provided he and Orville could get a flight.
  • Dr Jekyll declined -- he hadn't been feeling himself lately.
  • Morse's reply: "I'll be there on the dot. Can't stop now must dash."
  • Heisenberg was uncertain if he could make it.
  • Hertz said in the future he planned to attend with greater frequency.
  • Henry begged off due to a low capacity for alcohol.
  • Audobon said he'd have to wing it.
  •  Hawking said he'd try to string enough time together to make a space in his schedule.
  •  Darwin said he'd have to see what evolved.
  • Schrodinger had to take his cat to the vet, or did he?
  •  Mendel said he'd put some things together and see what came out.
  •  Descartes said he'd think about it.
  • Newton was moved to attend.
  • Pavlov was drooling at the thought.
  • Gauss was asked to attend because of his magnetic personality.
  •  JP Clark & Siegfried the Deerslayer Wanna-Be

source

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Discovery and Revival of Lost Ancient Wisdom: The Triptych Temples Of Atlantis

  • By Richard Casaro

  • Unprecedented New Archaeological Evidence That A Highly Advanced “Lost Civilization” Once Flourished—In A Remote Age Older Than Recorded Time

  • Did the world’s first cultures inherit the same high wisdom from the same more ancient but now-vanished Mother Culture?

  • Journalist, speaker and author of Written In Stone: Decoding The Secret Masonic Religion Hidden In Gothic Cathedrals And World Architecture.

  • The ancient pyramid cultures all built these Triptych (Three-Door) Temples. Does this mean they shared the same religion?

  • The book uncovers a lost Wisdom Tradition that was practiced globally in antiquity, found memorialized in pyramids, Triptychs, and identical images worldwide. The central tenets of this tradition have been perpetuated in Western "Secret Societies." The most visible of these is the so-called "Masonic Fraternity," an age-old chivalric Order whose ranks have included Europe's Gothic cathedral builders and America's Founding Fathers: www.DeeperTruth.com                                 Source

Founder of the 'Stop The Steal' Rally Will Comply With House Subpoena

Ali Alexander, who takes credit for being the founder of the " Stop The Steal " rally on Jan. 6, is going to cooperate with the ...