Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Evaluating Earthquakes: Lots of Places are Waiting for the ‘Big One’

Image: A screenshot of a USGS map showing earthquakes off the northern coast of Chile in the past seven days.

Good Day World!

I was raised in Southern California and the most popular topic there growing up was, “When the Big One hits.”

I grew up waiting for a catastrophic earthquake that never came. Sure, there were a couple of bad earthquakes, but nothing like what geologists expect to happen along the San Andreas Fault some day. Any day.

I moved to Medford, Oregon, last September only to find that I was once again in range of where a “Big One” could happen. Sitting on a major fault line, Medford, Oregon, is "like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now" for a major earthquake, according to a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management the same month I relocated.

Most recently, it’s been Chile’s northern coast that has been hit by more than 300 earthquakes in the past week. Seismologists warned Tuesday they could be the precursor to a long-overdue disaster. In other words, “A Big One.”

Experts analyzing this flood of data are worried the increased seismic activity could be a sign the region is about to experience its first devastating quake in 137 years. The last event, a magnitude-8.5 quake in 1877, killed thousands of people and created a deadly tsunami that reached Hawaii and Japan.

I guess there’s just no way around it. The earth is rocking and rolling all the time. Despite experts and advanced technology, no one knows when the “Big One,” will arrive – regardless of where they live.

You can take some precautions and have an emergency plan and supplies ready if that horrible day does arrive. But that’s all you can do. That, and pray you’ll live through it!

Time for me to walk on down the road…carefully

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baby Boomers Experience Cultural Shocks Every Day

Image: Karen Scot prepares for her first day teaching as a transgendered woman

Good Day World!

I’m a baby boomer – born in 1950 – and am speaking for my peers today.

We were trendsetters and proud of it. We encouraged change and tried to spread peace and love like it was some kind of social butter back in the sixties.

After sixty plus years, a lot of us are questioning new trends in the 21st century. It’s not that we’ve become intolerant, it just seems the world has gone kind of crazy and up is now down.

Yes, I know every senior population in the history of civilization thought new generations were inferior to theirs. Comes with the territory of age.

Still, I think baby boomers are doing their best to adapt to the new social mores where homosexuality is no longer considered wrong, and our children’s teacImage: Karen Scot prepares for her first day teaching as a womanhers can be one sex one semester, and another sex the next.

I can’t help wondering if something like that happened when I was in school, how would I have handled it back then?

Which leads me to the following story:

Transgender Teacher returns to School a Woman

“A California high school science teacher gave students and colleagues a new lesson in biology Monday, showing up for the first time as a woman a week after her plans to switch genders became suddenly public.

The former Gary Sconce, 56 — an award-winning educator, husband, father and grandfather who has taught at Yosemite High School for 24 years — will now be known as Karen Adell Scot, she said.” (Read full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, March 24, 2014

Corporations Aren’t People & Have No Religious Beliefs

Good Day World!

On Tuesday, March 25, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments from Hobby Lobby, a nationwide chain of craft stores, whose CEO objects - on religious grounds - to funding certain types of contraception under the Affordable Care Act.

If the Supreme Court makes good on 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement that “corporations are people too,” investing them with “freedom of religion,” there will be no end to such claims in the courts.

It’s hard to believe it’s come to this. Here we are in the 21st century and people are claiming corporations are like humans! With human feelings and beliefs. What’s next?

If all this reminds you of the anti-anti-discrimination bill recently vetoed by the governor of Arizona and other such “license to discriminate” bills popping up all over the country, you are paying attention.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t stop treating corporations like people we can count on chaos. The following quote makes a lot of sense.

“The separation of church (synagogue, mosque, etc.) and state is a foundational pillar of American democracy. But while granting freedom of belief and religious practice, the Bill of Rights does not promise the right to practice one’s religion at the expense of the rights of others.

Do the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s CEO really trump an employee’s right to access the reproductive healthcare choices provided under the Affordable Care Act? Are we really ready to give corporations the right to control the lives of their employees, all in the name of a corporation’s “religion?”

- The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson is the IX Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Washington, DC.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, March 23, 2014

About Owl Monkeys and Monogamy

Good Day World!

 A shout out today to Jocko my monkey friend!

Meet the owl monkey’s of Argentina.

These little buggers are cute and apparently make up solid family units where Dad doesn’t cheat on Mom!

Never heard of an owl monkey? Well, today is your lucky day:

“The wide-eyed, smiley-faced male Azara’s owl monkeys of Argentina are among the most faithful mates and best fathers in the world, according to a study that also found a strong link between fidelity and the quality of child care in 15 mammalian species.

Azara's owl monkey is the first primate and only the fifth animal species shown to be perfectly monogamous. The other animals are the California mouse, certain coyotes, the Malagasy giant jumping rat, and Kirk's dik-dik, a small antelope.

Two studies published last July offered conflicting explanations for the origin of monogamy. One argued that males stuck with their mates to protect their offspring, while the other suggested that males clung to females to protect their breeding rights with their mate. That question remains unresolved.” (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stop By and Learn All About the ‘Green Fairy’ Today

 Good Day World!

 Have you ever danced with the “Green Fairy?”

I had the opportunity once. It was in 1970, and I was in Japan, a stop-over to my eventual destination - Vietnam.


Here’s a wealth of information on Absinthe, aka the “Green Fairy”:

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams
The Bohemian Realm of Absinthiana
Absinthiana are the trappings and accessories associated with the drinking of absinthe.

This anise-flavored spirit is made from the flowers and leaves of wormwood, green anise, sweet fennel and other herbs.

Absinthe has a natural green color and was referred to as the Green Fairy, although it can also be colorless. Absinthe has a high alcohol level and is normally diluted with water for drinking. It’s also very bitter and was often poured into a glass of water over sugar on a perforated spoon.

Absinthe was invented in 1797 and by the 1850’s it had become a firm favorite with the upper classes. It was originally a wine-based drink, but the Great French Wine Blight of the mid-19th century destroyed many of the French vineyards. Absinthe was based instead on grain alcohol.

This made it more affordable and the Green Fairy became very popular as an alcoholic drink in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early eighteenth century, absinthe would be served in an ordinary glass, with water added from a standard jug or similar container. With the increasing popularity of absinthe, specialty glassware, elaborate spoons, carafes and fountains made their appearance.

(images via 1, 2)
Absinthe was said to be both a narcotic and an aphrodisiac. It was adopted by the bohemian culture and Parisian authors and artists claimed that absinthe stimulated creativity. Well-known absinthe drinkers include Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Green Muse by Albert Maignan from 1895 shows a poet succumbing to the dubious charms of the green fairy.

(left: painting by Albert Maignan Pyushhiy "The Green Muse" from 1895; - right: "The Absinthe Drinker" by Edouard Manet, c.1859)

Absinthiana refers to the tools related to absinthe, along with the preparation and drinking of the beverage. At first, absinthe was served in perfectly ordinary glasses, with water was added to the drink using a straightforward jug or carafe.

As absinthe grew in popularity, more accessories appeared, including spoons, carafes and specialty glassware. Original copies can today command high prices in the antique market.

Time for me to walk on down the road…unsteadily

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tattoo fails and the price you’ll pay to make them go away

Good Day World!

Seems like everyone has a tattoo these days.

Everyone but me.

Nearly every member of my family has a ‘tat’ somewhere on their bodies. But all tattoos are not created equally.

By that I mean some tattoos are simply awful, the result of shoddy workmanship or getting one at an early age – like a picture of Ozzy Ozbourne eating a live bird on their chest.

Still other tattoos happen when a person is drunk, or drugged, when they get one on the spur of the moment (which they usually regret).

There’s hope however for the tatted masses who want to come clean and reclaim their flesh. Check out this article:

“Life doesn’t offer a lot of do-overs; the choice you made is often the choice you’re stuck with. But a terrible tattoo — that’s something we can work with. More than a third of younger Americans now have at least one tattoo, and a lot of them are regrettable, apparently.

According to the latest figures from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 45,224 tattoo removal procedures were done in 2013, up from 40,801 in 2011. That means that, for many estheticians and medi-spas, tattoo removal accounts for a big chunk of their business. 

There are two main types of laser, Q-switch and PicoSure. PicoSure is a newer, faster technology, zapping away a fist-sized tattoo in about five treatments, compared to 10 or 20 treatments in the past.

It can cost up to $1,000 per treatment for larger tattoos, like something taking up most of the back. For smaller tattoos — like, smaller than a business card — it’s about $200 per treatment. Full Story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The World’s Most Expensive Dog: Puppy Love Equates to $2 Million


 I’m a dog lover.

I love my pug, Molly. But there are limits.

But not for everyone.

I guess if someone is rich enough to pay $2 million for a much-coveted Tibetan mastiff, then it’s not for me to judge. just seems like a lot for a big shaggy dog.


(An unidentified man poses for a photo with two Tibetan mastiffs after they were sold at a "luxury pet" fair in Hangzhou, eastern China. One of the Tibetan mastiff puppies, left, was sold for almost two million U.S. dollars, in what could be the most expensive dog sale ever.)


Did you know that Tibetan mastiffs – an ancient breed of dog, with long coats - have become a status symbol among China's growing wealthy classes? You don’t hear that much about rich Chinese, unless it’s about how much one paid for some rare animal/object. Not sure why that is.

Can you imagine feeding one of these 200 pound puppies? The pricey things pet owners do worldwide, eh? In America, the Pet Industry profits run in the billions annually. Just saying.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

U.S. doctors concerned over generic drug quality from India

Good Day World!

I’m wondering how many generic drugs I take (or have taken) that came from Indian manufacturers.

The reason I bring this up is some U.S. doctors are becoming concerned about the quality of generic drugs supplied by Indian manufacturers following a flurry of recalls and import bans by the Food and Drug Administration.

India supplies about 40 percent of generic and over-the-counter drugs used in the United States, making it the second-biggest supplier after Canada.

In recent months, the FDA, citing quality control problems ranging from data manipulation to sanitation, has banned the importation of products from Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, Wockhardt Ltd and, most recently, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who recently returned from her first official visit to India, is urging greater collaboration between the two countries. During her visit, the FDA and India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed a statement of intent to cooperate to prevent the distribution of unsafe drugs.

Shortly afterwards, India's drug controller general, G.N. Singh, said in an interview that the country will follow its own quality standards. "The FDA may regulate its country, but it can't regulate India on how India has to behave or how to deliver."

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t sound like things are really going to be changing soon to me. India flipped us the bird and basically said, “Take it or leave it buddy!”

Excuse me…I’ve got to find my meds and see if I can’t start getting the “real” thing from here on out.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An empirical window on the universe at almost the beginning of time?

Good Day World!

A snapshot of the Big Bang?

Nobel Prize Discovery?

According to scientists the evidence comes from the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole, which captures and analyzes the faint glow left over from the Big Bang.

BICEP2's researchers found a subtle twisty pattern in the polarization of that light, which would be characteristic of primordial gravitational waves.

The results support a concept known as inflationary Big Bang theory, and they can be further analyzed to reconstruct how the Big Bang blew up 13.8 billion years ago.

MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark wrote that "before long, it will lead to at least one Nobel Prize."

"These results are a smoking gun for inflation, because alternative theories do not predict such a signal," Linde said in a news release.

MIT physicist Alan Guth, who is credited with articulating the inflation concept in 1980, told The New York Times that he was "bowled over" by the results.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, March 17, 2014

Don’t make your March Madness picks until you read this

Illinois v Michigan State
Good Day World!

 Well it’s that time again.

 No…not St. Paddy’s Day! Although it is, and I wish you the best luck in all things.

Including your March Madness picks!

I’ve gathered some links for you that will give you an edge in selecting this year’s winners. Here they are:

 East Region Preview: Are Michigan State and Iowa State the two best teams?

West Region Preview: Arizona rules, but chaos could reign
Midwest Region Preview: Is 4-seed Louisville the favorite?
Eight teams that can win it all in 2014
2014 NCAA Tournament Printable Bracket
SMU headlines the list of bubble teams that got snubbed

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Start Your ‘Sunday Morning’ with the Maroon 5

Good Day World!

A change of pace today.

I don’t have anything to say.

I do have something positive to send your way.

I hope this song by Maroon 5 will make your day!

(Verse 1)
Sunday morning rain is falling
Steal some covers share some skin
Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
You twist to fit the mold that I am in
But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew
That someday it would lead me back to you
That someday it would lead me back to you

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave

(Verse 2)
Fingers trace your every outline
Paint a picture with my hands
Back and forth we sway like branches in a storm
Change the weather still together when it ends

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave

But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
Sunday morning rain is falling and I'm calling out to you
Singing Sunday it'll bring me back to you
Find a way to bring myself back home to you
And you may not know

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning and I sometimes want to leave.
Yeah, yeah,... flower in your hair...
[Fade out]

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Like I said, 'Putting Up A Fence Is A Declaration of Fear'

Justice for J6 Rally. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Less than 200 attended the right-wing event. I asked the question are we overreacting to J6...