Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rush Rewrites History the Way he’d Like it to be in New Children’s Book!

Image: Book cover for "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims"

              Good Day World!

Oh, Hell No!

 A former OxyContine zombie, conservative radio extremist, and crazed loon, Rush Limbaugh, wrote a children’s book! A children’s book!

 He’s not satisfied with the current group of racists and rednecks he attracts, so now he’s going after the next generation! What’s scary is those extremists will force feed their young on Rush’s propaganda, assuring a continued dummying-down of another generation in America.

 The book follows the time-travel adventures of Rush Revere, a character that adorns Limbaugh’s line of iced tea known as Two If By Tea. The character is cast as a “modern-day Paul Revere who rides around America espousing fundamental American values.”

For the purposes of the book, however, Revere is a substitute middle school teacher who travels with a couple of students back in time to meet the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower. Revere is also accompanied by a talking horse named Liberty.

Though Limbaugh insists the book isn’t about politics, he said the inspiration to write it came from a belief that children aren’t “learning about the greatness of America.”

Excuse me. What Rush means is we now teach history as it really was and not the fantasy world depiction the baby boomers grew up with. You remember that don’t you? I spent a good part of my childhood believing Indians were the bad guys.

I lament what's going on in schools all the time,” he said. “But this is my way of doing more than what I'm doing now. It is a way of teaching what isn't being taught.”

And that would be lies. Rush’s interpretation of anything is a cartoon version of the good guys versus the bad guys as seen through his eyes. His vision of the Pilgrims coming to America and helping the stupid savages who lived here is bound to be a classic.

The book is called "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans." It’ll be released this fall. 

It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Death on Wheels! Massive steel tank cars carrying DOT-111 pose growing dangers

                Good Day World!

 Growing up I use to watch “Engineer Bill,” a kid’s show where you played this little game with your milk.

When Engineer Bill turned on the green railroad sign for “Go,” I’d rapidly slurp down my milk! When he changed it to the red sign, I’d stop drinking (mid-gulp) and firmly set my glass down.

Trains were fun growing up. I still remember my Lionell Train Set that I got for Christmas in 1956. I wore my train conductor hat with pride and spent countless hours watching it go around the oblong track. Those were the days.

Nowadays, I see trains in a slightly different way. I dislike having to wait for one to to pass in my car. Especially when it’s two miles long! But, that’s not too bad. What’s disturbing about trains today is the loads they’re carrying. In specific, cars that carry oil and ethanol, known as DOT-111.

When one of those babies get in an accident all hell literally breaks loose! A dramatic example happened this summer in Quebec, killing 47 people. Here’s a story that should concern all Americans – especially if you live near railroad tracks!

The number of freight trains carrying oil across America has soared in the past five years, but federal officials warn that the massive steel tank cars that carry most of that oil through towns and past schools – the same cars that exploded in Quebec this summer, killing 47 -- may be unsafe and prone to rupture.

For two decades, federal officials have warned that the tank car that carries oil and ethanol, known as the DOT-111, has a serious design flaw and can split open in an accident, turning a derailment into a fiery catastrophe. At least five times since 1991, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has raised concerns about the car’s design, including its relatively thin metal skin and the possibility that cars could tear holes in each other during accidents, creating a domino effect of spills. Full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, September 5, 2013

F**K Frackin! It’s ruining my birth state of Ohio!

Fracking

    Good Day World!

I was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1950. Perhaps that’s why I am particularly sad to hear what’s happening near my birthplace; fracking causing earthquakes!

The practice of frackin has become the 21st century’s  oil boom and few are taking the proper precautions to keep from polluting the environment.

(This map shows the intensity of shaking in the area of a magnitude-3.9 earthquake that struck near Youngstown, Ohio, on Dec. 31, 2011. Research has linked this earthquake to the underground injection of wastewater from fracking.)

The following story is troubling because it’s not the first time experts said frackin was going to destroy our environment. Pro-industry lobbies claimed it was a safe way to get to the huge underground reservoirs.

The reality is frackin is a real bad idea! We need to push for alternate energies and quit trying to use up what resources we have with dangerous methods.

It’s what I believe in a nutshell. Many won’t agree with me. But I’ll bet they’re somehow tied into the industry! Here’s the latest proof of how invasive frackin can be:

Confirmed: Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes

Wastewater from the controversial practice of fracking appears to be linked to all the earthquakes in a town in Ohio that had no known past quakes, research now reveals.

The practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting water, sand and other materials under high pressures into a well to fracture rock. This opens up fissures that help oil and natural gas flow out more freely. This process generates wastewater that is often pumped underground as well, in order to get rid of it.

A furious debate has erupted over the safety of the practice. Advocates claim fracking is a safe, economical source of clean energy, while critics argue that it can taint drinking water supplies, among other problems.

One of the most profitable areas for fracking lies over the geological formation known as the Marcellus Shale, which reaches deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia northeast into Pennsylvania and southern New York. The Marcellus Shale is rich in natural gas; geologists estimate it may contain up to 489 trillion cubic feet (13.8 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas, more than 440 times the amount New York State uses annually. Many of the rural communities living over the formation face economic challenges and want to attract money from the energy industry.

Before January 2011, Youngstown, Ohio, which is located on the Marcellus Shale, had never experienced an earthquake, at least not since researchers began observations in 1776. Read full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I’m back! A new house, state, and slate for the Stancliffs

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  Good Day World!

We survived the move.

Shirley and I are utterly exhausted after packing up one house and relocating to another one a state away. Goodbye, California, and hello, Oregon! The house we bought came with mature landscaping. It’s the only way to go. The prior owners put countless hours into the front and back yard and the results are evident.

A nice drip system takes care of every plant and all the trees. The front and back lawns are automated (pop-up sprinklers). Conservation of water was considered when installing this system because when I checked past water bills for the house they were all very reasonable. And of course, that means less work.

To top that off, we have a Victory garden ripe with vegetable offerings! Tomatoes, cucumbers, several types of peppers, squash, lettuce, pickles, strawberries, raspberry's, corn, and a few herbs we haven’t identified yet! I picked three ripe tomatoes trhe first day and we had them with our lunch. Yum! 

Shirley is the gardener. When we decided to buy the house it was the first things we agreed on when buying the house. I hate yard work. She says she loves it, but the collection of exotic plants, bushes, roses, numerous other flowers, trees, hedges, victory garden, and mowing the lawns is going to be the most challenging outdoor project she’s ever taken on. I wish her well.

The key to avoiding a heat stroke here in this warmer climate, according to our new neighbors, doing your yard work in the morning and in the evening after it cools down.

What a contrast to our former abode. The sun was an occasional visitor in Humboldt County. It’s practically a permanent resident in Medford. You don’t rust here, but you also don’t have those giant redwoods we loved. The biggest difference is there’s more year around sunlight in Medford.

There’s also a lot more things to do here! More places to see and stores to chose from like the Rogue Valley Mall, Outlet stores, and The Shoppes at Exit 24  (The Shoppes at Exit 24 is located conveniently off I5 between Medford and Ashland.  The 82,000 square foot shopping center offers a variety of shops for southern Oregon travelers to choose from.)

Shirley and I enjoy wine and were both attracted to the number of wineries in Southern Oregon.

On the first night in our new home we had a bottle of 2009 Claret from RoxyAnn Winery. It was also our 39th wedding anniversary! What a day! It was great.

It’s nice to be settled into my blogging routine again. I’m going back to work today. That means I look up the website I work for – Learnist – and start creating learning boards on all kinds of interesting subjects. What a fun job. I learn something new every day and I get to share this with my readers. You’re invited to visit me there anytime. Now…

It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 30, 2013

Moving Brings Blog Break & Timely Observations

      Good Day World!

I’m taking a blog break because I’m moving to Southern Oregon. I will report back on September 4th, and let you know how things went.

I hate moving, but there comes a time when we need to. As for California…I’m not going to miss living in the #1 worst state for retirees due to excessive taxes! You get taxed for farting in California.

So, it’s on to Oregon and the adventures that this move will surely bring. At 62, I’m a little long-in-the-tooth for all the lifting involved, but I’ll be damn if I’m going to pay some professional movers! Two of my sons will handle the heavy stuff.

A few quick observations:

20101007_34631

File the next story under the “I’ll believe it when I see it” department:

“The Justice Department will not sue to prevent the states of Washington and Colorado from permitting recreational marijuana use for adults.

Officials said that Attorney General Eric Holder called the governors of both states on Thursday to inform them that federal authorities won’t pre-empt their state laws permitting recreational use of the drug, which voters approved last year via ballot initiatives.

Holder told the two governors that the Justice Department will use a “trust but verify” policy, saying the federal government won’t step in to prevent the implementation of the marijuana laws if the states develop a sound, workable regulatory structure.” Story here

If this turns out to be true, California needs to get some long-awaited respect for their vote on Medical Marijuana. The feds have trampled on California voters for years now with blatant disregard for their decision to legalize it for medicinal use.

I’m taking bets on this next story. What do you want to bet this Wall Street bigwig beats this rape rap?

A Goldman Sachs Group managing director has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of raping a 20-year-old woman during a party last week at a house he rented in the up-market Hamptons area of Long Island, according to court filings.

Jason Lee, 37, was indicted on Wednesday on one felony charge of first-degree rape and two misdemeanor charges of assault and sexual misconduct, according to the filings.

Police said last week that Lee was arrested on Aug. 21 in East Hampton, New York, after police, responding to a complaint about a stolen car, found the unnamed woman, who alleged she had been sexually assaulted. Lee was released on $20,000 bail. 

This last story is kinda scary when you think about it:

Addicted to Facebook fame? Blame your brain's nucleus accumbens

It only makes sense: Neuroscientists see a link between your drive to build a better reputation and the intensity of your Facebook usage. They say the two activities stimulate a reward center in the brain, known as the nucleus accumbens, in a similar way.

The nucleus accumbens figures in a wide variety of cravings, including food and sex as well as gambling, booze and rock 'n' roll.

That little knot of neurons also plays a part in how good you feel about financial gain — but in a series of experiments, researchers in Germany found that Facebook usage seems more closely related to a boost in reputation than a boost in the bank account.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 29, 2013

‘How cute! I want a dozen of those little brains!’

    Good Day World!

Dr. Frankenstein would have approved.

Mad scientists worldwide are rejoicing! Science fiction writers are smiling smugly and saying “I told you it was just a matter of time.” What is everyone referring to?

Drum roll ….

Researchers have learned how to grow human brains out of a petri dish! The pea-sized brains (cloned from Republicans) are probably best suited for tiny insect implants, but brains nevertheless! I’m stunned, but probably shouldn’t be. It was inevitable.

When I first heard about stem cells, I quickly grasped they spelled trouble. It was just a matter of time as researchers cloned everything from goats to human body parts. There’s even been talk about cloning a mammoth found perfectly preserved in the frozen Siberian tundra.

The brain, being the most difficult to reproduce, was naturally the last frontier. Are these “minibrains” capable of doing anything? Hint, they were cloned from GOP DNA so don’t expect much from them!

Here’s a snippet:

“The first complete living model of the developing human brain has been created in a lab dish. Researchers grew human stem cells in an environment that encouraged them to form pea-size gobs of brain tissue, which developed into distinct brain tissues, including a cerebral cortex and retina.

The minibrains were used to model microcephaly, a human genetic disorder in which brain size is dramatically reduced.” Story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

U.S. Secretly Sends SPY Satellite into Space Today

Image: Delta 4 Heavy launch

The United States' largest rocket launched a spy satellite on a hush-hush mission today. An unmanned Delta 4-Heavy rocket lifted off the pad at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:03 p.m. ET (11:03 p.m. PT) Wednesday, carrying a classified payload into a polar orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

"Today's launch is dedicated to the men and women who serve for our nation's freedom," a commentator said a few minutes into the liftoff. [See more photos of the spy satellite launch]

Hackers Attacked Everything from the NY Times to Baby Monitors!

      Good Day World!

Hacking is back in the news.

Two current stories of hackers demonstrate how they can touch anyone in the world when they feel like it. It can be serious stuff, or just pranks.

But, hacking is hacking, and it sucks to be hacked! 

This time a group known as the Syrian Electronic Army was the culprit. The New York Times website, nytimes.com, was hacked Tuesday, taking the the site down for a second time in two weeks.

Perhaps it was just coincidence, but the attack on one of the nation's major media organizations came as the United States weighs penalizing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military for using poison gas on his countrymen.

Domestically, I ran across an odd story of hacking.

Marc and Lauren Gilbert were terrified when they heard a strange voice calling out to their 2-year-old daughter Allyson, through a baby monitor in her room. The Texas family learned the hard way that almost anything connected to the Internet can get hacked.

A voice coming through a baby monitor, that was hooked up to the home's wireless Internet system, appeared to be operating on its own. CNN reports that the hacker used the device to curse and say sexually explicit things to the sleeping girl - calling her by name and telling her to wake up.

Gilbert says the hacker was able to take control of the camera and see his daughter's name on the wall. In a panic, he pulled the plug on the device. The girl was not disturbed by the hacker's calls because she was born deaf, having to depend on a cochlear implant to hear.

Parents can protect their homes by setting a strong password. Experts recommends using Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) to set up a password because it uses better encryption standards and is very difficult to crack, especially combined with a good password.

This kind of thing may go unreported, but I’ve heard of a phenomenon called "wardriving" -- where people drive around looking for homes with weak wireless security. When they find one, they hack into whatever is easiest.

Even baby monitors.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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...