Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sochi by TV: It’s safer than being there!

Good Day World!

You couldn’t get me to go to Sochi for the Winter Olympics if you gave me free tickets to all of the events, and provided free food and lodging.

I’ve got at least three good reasons (see news stories below) why I wouldn’t go. Sure, I hate flying and the idea of visiting Putin Land Russia is less than attractive.

You could return to the states with all of your personal data stolen by hackers, you might end up on a plane with a person carrying a toothpaste bomb, or you’ll be poisoned by urine-colored tap water.

Throw in some “Black Widows” looking to blow themselves up and as many people around them as possible, and it’s hard to argue with my reasoning.

Call me silly, but I think I’ll watch the games on television in the security of my own home where the tap water is drinkable, I have Norton Cyber Protection, and don’t have to worry about some nut with exploding toothpaste tubes!

Hacked With Minutes: Sochi Visitors Face Internet Minefield

Tourist and visitor’s to Sochi can expect to be hacked the moment they log on the the interenet with their smart phones and computers. Local criminals clutter cyberspace with traps to pick up your personal data the minute you do. Russian authorities aren’t even warning visitors.

Feds Warn Russian Planes About Toothpaste Bombs

The U.S. government has sent an advisory to airlines that fly into Russia, warning them that recent intelligence suggests terrorists might try to smuggle explosives onto planes by using toothpaste tubes.”

Welcome to Sochi: Beware the water

“Welcome to Sochi 2014, the dystopian-like Games where a simple shower poses a threat to your face, fire alarms ring constantly and several hotels remain unfinished. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent more than $50 billion on these Games — the most expensive Olympics, winter or summer, ever — yet he seemingly forgot to pay the water bill.

When the water eventually came back on at my hotel - my temporary housing for a night until my scheduled room could be finished - the water that poured through the faucet was dark yellow. It was the color of apple juice or a performance enhancing drug test specimen. The shower left what looked like fish food flakes coating the tub.

I took a picture of the water and tweeted it out. "On the bright side," I wrote, "I now know what dangerous face water looks like."

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Is there something fishy about the castaway Mexican fisherman’s story?

  Good Day World!

Call me a skeptic.

I want to get on board and believe a Mexican fisherman defied all odds and set a record for survival while helplessly adrift at sea.

But something about the story smells.

 Jose Salvador Alvarenga does not fit the classic image of a person lost at sea for months on end. It looks too damn healthy. Look at those chubby cheeks.

From all reports, he was pretty healthy, despite having trouble standing due to swollen joints. The really odd part is there was no fishing gear…nothing to catch the fish, turtles and even sharks he said he survived on.  

Here’s  a recent news report about Alvarenga’s miraculous feat of survival:

“Pacific castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga's claim that he spent more than a year drifting in the ocean before he washed up on the Marshall Islands last week is being supported by fellow fisherman in Mexico who remember when he vanished and assumed he was dead.

"It’s a great surprise," fisherman Belarmino Rodriguez Solis told the El Universal newspaper. "Nobody survives more than two or three months in those conditions.” Full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How has heroin become an epidemic in the 21st Century?


Good Day World!

 Growing up in the 1950s, I knew heroin was dangerous like every other kid on the street. That was nothing cool about it. It was actually scary.

Alcohol, in the 1950s was an excepted risk. If you got drunk and killed yourself or someone else, society shook it’s head but didn’t ban alcohol.

Generations of Americans grew up with the knowledge that heroin was the worst thing there was to get addicted too in the 19th and 20th centuries. Cigarettes and caffeine, despite being addictive have always been legal and are accepted risks in our society.

Heroin never had a good name or reputation. It’s always gone hand-in-hand with low life characters, thieves, and murderers. Yet, here we are in the 21st Century looking at a growing population of heroin addicts and wondering why now?

America is hooked on drugs that’s why. If it isn’t meth, it’s Purple drank. Heroin is the granddaddy to all of our drug addictions, a close cousin to opium and other powerful drugs. It’s more than just the cost – heroin can be affordable like meth – it’s the message that is being sent out to a population of people who are feeling helpless in this world that we must pay attention too.

Check out this video on the Heroin Crisis

Do we have to start a new drug campaign and educate people to the dangers of heroin? Has it slipped alongside the rest of the other drugs out there because of universal despair? Heroin is deadlier today than it’s ever been.

Find out why in this article:

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent overdose of heroin has, like the death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith, highlighted the resurgence in use of a narcotic that once seemed to be fading away.Philip Seymour Hoffman

In recent years, another danger has popped up. Heroin laced with the powerful anesthetic fentanyl, or fentanyl simply labeled as heroin, has killed hundreds of people.

Last spring, the CDC conducted an investigation into a sudden spike of overdose deaths in Rhode Island. It found a cluster of 12 deaths in people aged 19 to 57 attributable to a synthetic version of fentanyl called acetyl fentanyl which is much more potent than heroin.

Though acetyl fentanyl has no legitimate pharmaceutical use and is not available by prescription anywhere, similar reports of fentanyl-related deaths have occurred around the country.

Reports have stated that bags of heroin in Hoffman’s office were stamped “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts.” It was too soon Monday to know if the heroin Hoffman injected was tainted.”

Read full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, February 3, 2014

Beer Drones – Sign Petition to Get FAA OK…okay?

 Good Day World!  

 How much more American is it than to have your beer delivered by drone?

We might as well face up to our fascination with drones. We like to kill our enemies with them and their really great for spying on traffic and giving us tickets.

Hobbyists want to see air space cleared for them when they whip out their drones and demonstrate ways to invade our privacy. I heard about one town in the Midwest that wants to declare “open season on them.”

Personally, I don’t trust them. But entrepreneurs everywhere are waiting to get on the “Drone Train” to deliver their wares. Here’s a good example for you:  

“The Internet cheered when Minnesota-based brewing company Lakemaid Beer demo-ed a new way to deliver their seasonal special to thirsty customers fishing on a faraway frozen lake: by drone! But the FAA quickly shut down the plan.

"The problem of ice anglers is they’re way, way out on the lake and they’re there for the whole weekend so we needed a way to keep them in beer," Jack Supple, president of Lakemaid told NBC News.

But days after the company posted a YouTube clip showing a successful delivery of a 12-pack of Frosty Winter Lager ("a nice craft lager, all malt, with an icicle sparkle of hops at the end") by hexacopter, Supple got a call from an inspector and regional supervisor at the FAA — whose guidelines prohibit the operation of drones by commercial entities — explaining that the flights were in violation of guidelines.

Now beer-by-drone enthusiasts have signed a statement petitioning the White House to "Force the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Certificate for Beer Drones (BUAV's)."

The goal is to get 100,000 backers by March 1 — and as of Friday evening, 128 people had signed on.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bowl Buzz – Not the Super Bowl – another Bowl Title, ‘World’s 1st Pot Pavilion

Dana Cain, director of the Denver County Fair, showDana Cain, director of the Denver County Fair, shows a poster advertising the fair on Monday. Colorado's Denver County is adding cannabis-themed events to its 2014 summer fair. s a poster advertising the fair on Monday. Colorado's Denver County is adding a cannabis-themed contest to its 2014 summer fair.

 Good Day World!

 Did you miss me? I took a blog break yesterday.

As everyone on this planet knows … it’s Super Bowl Sunday!

Between the commercials and all the hype – see the Battle of the Puppy Bowl vs Kittenseverything that can be said about today’s Football Game has been said.

 (Photo - Dana Cain, director of the Denver County Fair, shows a poster advertising the fair on Monday. Colorado's Denver County is adding cannabis-themed events to its 2014 summer fair. AP/ Ed Andrieski)

So I’m not even going to bother, other than to say, I think the Denver Broncos are going to carry the day.

Having said that, I’m more interested in sharing the news about another bowl title: This summer, the city’s National Western Complex will be home to the world’s first Pot Pavilion Aug. 1-3 during the Denver County Fair.

The announcement of the Pot Pavilion has clearly put the festivities on the county-fair map with the news being reported as far away as Dublin, Ireland and Perth, Australia. It’s going to be interesting to see how this works out as you can’t smoke pot in public, despite the fact the state legalized it for recreational use.

Events will include a joint-rolling contest — using oregano instead of pot — and a Doritos-eating contest, which will likely appeal to those who may have pre-functioned before arrival at the fair.

Marijuana plants will be judged off-site, and the winners will be displayed at the Pot Pavilion.

I think it’s a great idea because there’s going to be a lot of people with munchies and you combine them with all the award-winning pies, pasty, stews, etc., and you have some serious partying down! That’s just the way folks roll in Denver these days!

Time for me to walk on down the road…



Friday, January 31, 2014

A Blog Break and a New Chocolate Flavored Toothpaste

Crest chocolate toothpaste

Good Day World!

Remember when toothpaste tasted like…toothpaste?

Apparently consumers in the 21st Century want to have an adventure when they brush their teeth and that means new flavoring.

Nothing is out of bounds. Pickle, cupcake and bacon toothpaste is on the shelves with the newly minted flavors from Crest.

(Attention Readers! I’m taking a Blog Day Off Saturday February 1st – just because.)

And now back to Crest’s new products:

“The new Mint Chocolate Trek flavor is part of the new line called Crest Be, toothpastes meant to excite and inspire while still providing all the standard oral-hygiene benefits. The other two flavors in the line so far? Lime Spearmint Zest and Vanilla Mint Spark.

There's actually a whole world of food-flavored toothpastes out there. Perhaps cupcake toothpaste appeals to your sweet tooth?

Maybe a pickle-flavored toothpaste would be a nice complement to that deli sandwich you had with dinner? Or does bacon toothpaste appeal to your desire for—well, everything bacon?”

Read full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Modern Man’s link to Neanderthal Man: skin coloring and red hair

Image: Neanderthal and human Good Day World!

 I’ve been accused of acting like a Neanderthal numerous times in my 63 years. It was never meant in a good way, anymore than a “knuckle-dragger” is a compliment.

My detractors were often women. They like to drag that term – Neanderthal - around a lot when describing males. Well guess what ladies? 

You too are kin to those knuckle-dragging ancestors you’ve been dissing all these years! And if you’re a redhead…look out!

I came across the following study that proves the link between modern man and Neanderthal man is closer than ever suspected:

A double-barreled comparison of ancient Neanderthal DNA with hundreds of modern-day genomes suggests that many of us have Neanderthal skin and hair traits — but other parts of the Neanderthal genome appear to have been bred out of us along the way.

The findings, reported Wednesday by two separate teams of researchers in the journals Science and Nature, follow up on previous studies showing that Neanderthals interbred with humans outside Africa. Even though the Neanderthals went extinct about 30,000 years ago, they left traces of their genetic code in non-African DNA — and now scientists are starting to discover exactly what that code does.” (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…dragging my knuckles as I go! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Black Hole or a Gray Hole? Hawkins is at it again…

Image: Stephen Hawking

 Good Day World!

 A Black Hole, or a Gray Hole?

That’s the question for today.

British physicist Stephen Hawking whose earned worldwide attention for his surprising claims about black holes, is doing it again with a new paper claiming that "there are no black holes."

Actually, Hawking isn't denying the existence of the massive gravitational singularities that lurk at the center of many galaxies, including our own Milky Way. He's just saying the classical view of a black hole as an eternal trap for everything that's inside, even light, is wrong. In his revised view, black holes are ever so slightly gray, with a chaotic and shifting edge rather than a sharply defined event horizon.

It just so happens that this is a big month for Hawking: He turned 72 years old a couple of weeks ago, and he appears to be keeping active despite his decades-long struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

And this week marks the television premiere of "Hawking," a PBS documentary about the good doctor's life and work.

For still more about the world's best-known physicist, check out his recently published memoir, "My Brief History."

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Florida to Vote on Medical Marijuana Legalization in November

Good Day World!

 If there’s one state that needs to mellow out, it’s Florida. With their insane gun laws I would rather bump into someone smoking pot than drinking alcohol!

The good news is a measure that would allow the use of medical marijuana has cleared its final hurdle to be placed on the November ballot.

The state Supreme Court on Monday approved the language for the proposed constitutional amendment.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running for governor again this year, said Monday afternoon that he supports the amendment.Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Nan Rich also supports medical marijuana, while the Republican incumbent, Gov. Rick Scott, is opposed to it.

Scott says he will vote against marijuana because he’s seen the terrible effects of alcohol and drug abuse (I know weed isn’t a drug but in Scott’s fevered brain it is) first-hand.

Okay…but how about marijuana abuse? Tell us about the horrific effects of marijuana while more states are approving it’s usage because they know it has positive medical properties.

Marijuana haters just don’t give up easily. They’re playing to an increasingly smaller audience these days, but are too stupid and stubborn to catch up to modern science that shows the benefits of cannabis.

I have a hunch voters – read this - will approve the measure, because it’s the right thing to do.

Time for me to walk on down the road…   


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Stock Market Blues and another Big Retailer Hacked

Good Day World!

Let’s take a look at two money-related stories that are going to affect millions of Americans.

The first story comes to us from Wall Street.

The stock market had a bad week last week in case you weren’t following. I have no idea what will happen this week, but experts sure seem gloomy about the chance for a sudden turnaround. Traders and market analysts are saying a 10 percent “correction” isn’t out of line.

A big reason why is the Federal Reserve has announced it’s intentions to turn off the money flow since the banks are back on their feet, house prices are rising again and the unemployment rate keeps falling.

So, in what appears to me to be a toss of the dice, the Fed is gambling the economy is strong enough to keep gaining strength, even if interest rates begin to rise. Players in the stock market don’t agree.They think it’s too soon to be pulling the plug.

The second story is about another retail giant being hacked: Michaels

Just when you thought it might be safe to buy at a giant retailer again…

Michaels, the nation's biggest arts and crafts retailer, said that it may have suffered a “data security attack” on its computer system that processes payment cards and that federal law enforcement and a computer forensics firm were investigating.

Word of the possible attack on the Irving, Texas-based retailer, first reported by security blogger Brian Krebs, comes in the wake of recent data theft breaches at major retailers Target Stores and Nieman-Marcus.

Last year’s findings revealed the retail industry is now the top target for cybercriminals.  For the first time, the retail industry made up 45 percent of Trustwave data breach investigations (a 15 percent increase from 2011) with e-commerce attacks emerging as a growing trend surpassing the amount of point-of-sales attacks.

Experts believe thieves are using a device known as a RAM scraper, which enables them to grab encrypted data by capturing it as it travels through the live memory of a computer, such as a checkout stand.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tearing Old Dixie Down: Will Virginia be the 1st State in the Old Confederacy to allow Same-Sex Marriages?

Good Day World!

 It’s time for the Old South to catch up to the 21st Century.

It’s time to end the senseless intolerance which has been interwoven into the fabric of White Southern life with stories of slaves and the good old days.

 The same goes for same-sex marriages. If Democrat Mark R. Herring, who started in his new post as Virginia's attorney general on Jan. 11, has his way, same-sex unions will be legal.

Herring announced he had reviewed the state's ban on same-sex unions, and concluded that the ban was unconstitutional. He said he would support gay couples who have filed lawsuits challenging the ban — and if he wins his fight, he will make Virginia the first state in the old Confederacy to allow gay marriage.

Currently, only Washington, D.C., and 17 states allow gay marriage, most of which are in the Northeast. This defection from the would be neo-Confederacy is going to shake up the Old South and tear Old Dixie down!

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...