Saturday, August 2, 2014

About fist bumps: the new etiquette instead of shaking hands

U.S. President Obama fist bumps the cashier after paying for his order at Franklin Barbecue in Austin

Good Day World!

Have you ever met someone who refused to shake hands with you? If you have, were you offended?

Did they explain why they wouldn’t?

I expect to see less handshaking among people when they hear about a new study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The researchers found that fist bumps, where two people briefly press the top of their closed fists together, transferred about 90 percent less bacteria than handshakes. What a revelation!

A fist bump (also called dap, pound, fist pound, brofist, donsafe, spudding, fo' knucks, box, Bust, pound dogg, props, Bones,respect knuckles, bumping the rock, or knuckle crunching) is a gesture similar in meaning to a handshake or high five.

Fist bumping will probably take a while to catch on. Until it does you might want to check out some information on handshaking etiquette that’s in the upper right hand corner of this page under “Dave at Learnist” – Handshake Hack: Origins, Etiquette, Secrets.


Fist bumping first appeared in America in the 1940s, as biker gangs were becoming popular in southwestern areas of the United States.

Motorcyclists sitting next to each other at traffic lights would be unable to perform a proper handshake, due to riding stance, so a quick bump of closed fists was an easier way to greet a fellow rider at a stop.

The "fist bump" or "pound" can easily be traced as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s to the boxer's handshake as a way to greet when hands are gloved. via Wikipedia

I’ve never been a big hand-shaker, but not because of fear of getting bad bacteria. I’m just not a touchy, feelie kind of guy. I seldom hug anyone, with the exception of my wife, Shirley. So, if fist bumps become the new greeting etiquette…I’m good with that.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 1, 2014

A case of the ‘runs’ led to one of Raiders of the Lost Ark's most memorable scenes

I turned to today to verify the following urban legend.

Surprisingly, it’s true.

In the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, one particular scene consistently brings the house down: Indiana Jones, having survived an elaborate chase through a casbah, is confronted by an Arab swordsman whipping through a flashy routine with a scimitar.

Indy initially squares off against the deadly swordsman bearing only his trademark whip in his hands; then with a look of infinite fatigue and disgust, he casually pulls out his revolver and blows the bad guy away as seen in the video below:

That bit of unexpected humor flowed not from the pen of a screenwriter but from the desperation of Harrison Ford. His desire to spend less time on this scene and more in a washroom led to an actor-inspired script change that was ultimately worked into the film. (Read the full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Court Protects Gun Owners From Common Sense

Good Day World!

Today I’m sharing this outstanding editorial because it highlights the realities of living in a gun-crazy state – Florida.

From the state that brought us the Trayvon Martin trial, we now have a new gun law.

But it’s not the kind you’d think, like a bill to do away with “shoot first, ask questions later”  aka "Stand-your-ground" law.

No. The madness continues. Once again common sense is trumped by the gun culture in Florida.

Florida is considered "accommodating" to guns, by national standards. This opinion piece addresses that fact.

By Francis Wilkinson

“U.S. federal courts have issued two noteworthy rulings on guns. One is constitutionally significant: It overturns the District of Columbia's ban on carrying handguns outside the home, while showcasing the gun-rights movement's aggressive legal and political efforts to eliminate virtually all regulation.

It may go all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices could potentially use it to establish ground rules for concealed and open carry.

The other case has all the gravity of a Daffy Duck cartoon. It exposes an insular gun culture, addled by paranoia and determined to shut itself off from even the most anodyne expressions of common sense.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued a split ruling reversing a federal court decision and upholding Florida's "gun gag" law, which prohibits -- sort of -- physicians from inquiring whether a patient has firearms in the home.

The legislation is such a sloppy mess that it's impossible to tell exactly what it does and doesn't forbid. Now, two judges on the appeals panel have added to the legal buffoonery.

"The Act seeks to protect patients’ privacy by restricting irrelevant inquiry and record-keeping by physicians regarding firearms," the ruling states.

OK. Then it gets weird: "It is no exaggeration to state that a patient may be in some cases essentially at the mercy of his or her physician."

In effect, the court ruled that when gun-owning adults are asked about firearm ownership by the race of superhumans known as doctors, they are powerless to resist.

Really, no exaggeration.

Doctors are expected to ask about your sex life, your relationship to illicit substances and how often you go to the bathroom. But for those delicate Floridians who own guns, being asked if they keep firearms in a gun locker is more trauma than they can bear. (And for those patients so seriously ill that a doctor holds the key to "mercy," firearms protocol is no doubt top of mind.)

The case stemmed from anecdotes of gun owners taking umbrage at routine questions, including the rote variety that appear on standard questionnaires issued by some physician offices. The emotional distress was so intense that the National Rifle Association begged the Florida legislature to intervene.

Why do these nosy docbots want to know about firearm ownership, anyway? For the same reason they ask about drug and alcohol use and the storage of poisons in homes with small children: They prefer living patients to dead ones.

And 30,000 times a year in the U.S., a firearm doesn't just reduce a patient's life expectancy, it eliminates it. Earlier this month, a Florida three-year-old shot herself in the stomach with a loaded, unsecured gun in her home.

Last month, a 15-year-old Florida boy died of a gunshot wound, apparently after playing with a similarly "accessible" gun. ("Child kills self with irresponsible parent's gun" is a story that never gets old in Florida.)

As a lengthy dissent, written by a flabbergasted Justice Charles Wilson, stated: "A vivid imagination is not required to think of the innumerable adverse health consequences that go along with unsafe firearm ownership."

Even Florida legislators, who seem to specialize in harebrained gun laws, appeared to grasp that logic. They added a condition to the law:

Doctors could continue asking about firearm ownership in cases in which such a question was "relevant" to a patient's care. When is it relevant? No one, least of all Florida legislators or doctors, appears to know.

Physicians challenged the law on grounds that it's both unconstitutionally vague and a blatant, four-alarm abridgment of free speech (let alone professional responsibilities).

But put aside the subjugation of the First Amendment to the Second, and other constitutional issues. How did a modest, discrete effort to limit morbidity and mortality ever inspire such an overblown reaction in the first place?

If you live in fear of being questioned about your conduct, or readily confuse common sense with condescension, you might be suffering from insecurities associated with dubious public policy positions. See your doctor.”

You can contact the writer, Francis Wilkinson at This article originally ran in Forbes.

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lawsuit against Obama: Ruminations on Republicians & Democrats

Good Day World!

Opening Act:

A cry comes down the corridors of Congress;

“The sky is falling…the sky is falling!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Boehner is planning to impeach the president.”

The GOP base meanwhile is loving all the impeachment talk (via Sarah Palin, Allen West, Drudge, and the rhetoric from some sitting House members).

Another example of pathetic politics. Both parties engage in lies and rhetoric.

House Speaker, John Boehner, has used the threat of impeachment to galvanize conservative enthusiasm for the midterm elections and get them to open their wallets and donate to the cause.

Pelosi’s tactic was to motivate the liberal base by parroting “The president is going to be impeached. Help him out! Contribute money” 

The cynical game took on new legs Wednesday when the House voted to sue Obama for supposedly exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority - 225 to 201.

Republicans said the legal action, focusing on Obama's implementation of his prized health care overhaul, was designed to prevent a further presidential power grab and his deciding unilaterally how to enforce laws.

Democrats say the lawsuit will go nowhere. It was, they claim, designed only to encourage conservatives to vote in this November's congressional elections.

In an AP article, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. said: "The lawsuit is a drumbeat pushing members of the Republican Party to impeachment."

Because the Democrats are already using that argument to mine campaign contributions, the game goes on. "The GOP is chomping at the bit to impeach the president," Democratic staffers wrote. A common email theme: "We've got to get the president's back."

Meanwhile, this latest demonstration of pathetic politics continues to rankle the American public. It means another partisan battle when they should be serving the nation by passing laws and getting important things done.

Researchers know why more Americans are choosing not to vote.

But it doesn’t take a degree in political science to know why. People are fed up with politicians and their lies. They’re electing not to participate in a corrupt and partisan system because they know it isn’t working.


Time for me to walk on down the road….



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

‘Mysterious Woman in Black’ is a U.S. Army veteran

Woman in black passes through Hillsboro

Good Day World!

PTSD manifests itself in many, often disturbing, ways.

People who suffer from PTSD are often angry and they lash out at the world.

But not always.

Sometimes, like in the case of the “Mysterious Woman in Black” they suffer silently and find themselves on “missions” others don’t understand. Like the character Forrest Gump, she’s walking through states and picking up followers.

She has been dubbed the "Woman in Black," by TV stations, police and followers on the Web, including those on a Facebook page where she has been tracked on a nearly 500-mile journey with a black bag and walking stick in hand that has taken her from Ranger, Georgia, to Athens, Ohio, since July 18.

Raymond Poles told Reuters he is the woman's brother, identifying her as Elizabeth Poles, 56, a U.S. Army veteran, mother of two children and a widow from Motts, Alabama. Elizabeth Poles had been receiving treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to deal with the deaths of her husband in 2008 and her father in 2009, he said.

Her brother said she was doing better, but suddenly took a turn for the worst in early July, and began disappearing for days at a time. Then one day she was gone.

Her pilgrimage was soon noticed by curious passer-byes, who would stop and ask if she needed help. She politely turned them down according to reports. At other times, she wouldn’t speak at all. She just kept walking.

While there are no people walking behind her, like in the Forrest Gump movie, she is being followed by thousands of people across the country. Most don’t know her story.

As someone who suffers from PTSD (combat Vietnam veteran), my heart goes out to her. I hope she finds what she’s looking for…which no doubt would be peace.

Time for me to walk on down the road…



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Tribute to Drive-in Movies: most are gone, but not forgotten

Good Day World!

I’m feeling pretty nostalgic today.

Growing up, one of my favorite sources of entertainment was going to the drive-In movies. In the 50s when I was a kid my whole family would go to the drive-in every Friday night – which was payday for my Dad. My brother, sisters, and I would watch the movie from the playground most of the time.

When high school rolled around, the drive-ins took on an even more entertaining aspect, necking with your girlfriend and steaming up the car windows. I knew some guys who had vans, the ultimate make-out vehicle. They’d back up to the screen and open the rear doors.

When my wife and I were dating we went to a drive-in theatre every weekend. Those were great times in the early 70s.

Now most of the drive-ins are gone.

The lights haven’t completely gone out on all our open-air theaters: there are 357 still-operating drive-ins in America (from a peak of 4,063 in 1958).

But they are last remnants of an industry whose decline — like Ernest Hemingway's famous description of a bankruptcy — came gradually, then suddenly. Many more sit abandoned and neglected.

Here’s one example:

Lufkin, Texas
Opened: unknown
Closed: unknown
Drive-ins represent a carefree time straight out of American Graffiti. Now, many of them just attract American graffiti. The long-defunct Redland, which ran adult movies in its final days, is a handsome reminder of a once-thriving business, with its remaining neon tubing seemingly just a flick of a switch away from beautifying the night sky again.

A salvage yard now sits behind the so-called “screen tower” (on which the screen was mounted). And, yes, that’s a home, also abandoned, built onto the bottom of the tower. Note too, the extensions added on both sides of the tower to accommodate the various widescreen formats (like Cinemascope) that were popular in the 1950s. Go to source for more examples.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, July 28, 2014

Controversial tweet, tortoise springs alligator from zoo, and smelling healthy farts

Good Day World!

I hope your Monday is going well. I have a few articles that may tweak your interest. Enjoy!

The tweet wasn’t sweet so airline tells man to delete

A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

Watson told TV broadcaster KARE in Minneapolis on Wednesday that after he boarded, an announcement came over the plane asking his family to exit the aircraft. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard.


Alligator escapes from zoo with help from a tortoise

An owner of a zoo in Michigan's Upper Peninsula says a 12-inch alligator has escaped, possibly with some help from a tortoise.

TV stations WWTV-WWUP and WPBN-WTOM and report the alligator named Carlos got out of an enclosure over the weekend at the GarLyn Zoo near Naubinway. He was spotted by people nearby, who called police, but he wasn't caught.

Gary Moore, who runs the zoo in Mackinac County with his wife, says he suspects the alligator slipped under a fence. Moore says a large tortoise that walks in the area, wearing away dirt, likely was an inadvertent accomplice in Carlos' getaway.

Study 'Says' Sniffing Farts Is Good For You, But Something Doesn't Smell Right

Forget "silent but deadly." How about "rank but restorative"?Fart

Media sites recently reported news that delighted flatulence lovers: Scientists had published a study that said smelling farts is good for you. The only problem was, reports on the study kinda ... stunk.

Here's what happened.

Researchers at the University of Exeter said the hydrogen sulfide that we emit when we cut the cheese protects mitochondria, which are the cell's "power producers." Dr. Mark Wood, a researcher at Exeter, explained that hydrogen sulfide is the stinky component of passing gas "and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases."

Somehow that was taken to mean that smelling farts could ward off harmful diseases.

But read the following before you start pounding down dried apricots and baked beans: The Guardian pointed out that the study never mentions that smelling your farts is healthy. And NBC News reinforced the skepticism.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wonder Woman gets a new costume in upcoming film

Good Day World!

Wonder Woman is getting another do-over.

Remember when she looked like the illustration on the right? (1941 DC Comics). Over the decades there’s been various modifications to her costume.

DC's super heroine will be starring in the upcoming film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Wonder Woman will be portrayed by the talented actress Gal Gadot. Her costume (photo left) is a far cry from the original one. It’s certainly isn’t as colorful, but that’s because she’s more of a bad-ass than ever!

View image on TwitterWonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston.

The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941, and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942.

She’s been a hit ever since.

The character is a warriorprincess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and is known in her homeland as Princess Diana of Themyscira.

She possesses an arsenal of weapons, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.

Remember the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter? There was also two animated series, the Super Friends and Justice League. Since Carter's television series, studios struggled to introduce a new live-action Wonder Woman to audiences.

I think they found a winner in Israeli actress Gal Godot. The film is slated to come out in 2016, so we’ll have to wait for awhile to judge just how cool her costume is, and how effectively she portrays DC’s most famous heroine.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Understanding the deep hatred between the Palestinians & Jews

Good Day World!

The world does not understand what it’s like to be a Jew in an Arab world. Israel stands alone in the midst of it’s traditional enemies.

Civilized countries are appalled at the terrible civilian toll this latest war is taking. The Palestinian people are caught between a defiant terrorist organization – Hamas – and Israel.

When Hamas decided to lob hundreds of rockets into Israel the response was automatic; the Jews struck back harder.

The rockets continue to come despite the Israeli Defense Forces retaliatory invasion of the Gaza strip. The battle has settled into urban guerilla warfare – something that Hamas has been planning for a long time.

The battleground has shifted below the earth’s surface into tunnels where Hamas soldiers slink in the dark looking for targets behind their enemies lines. There is no end in sight.

Peace between the two adversaries seems impossible. The deep-seated hatreds on both sides will take generations to heal if a peace process ever takes root.

To illustrate this deeply ingrained hatred here’s a short story:

Arieh Eldad is a medical doctor specializing in plastic surgery and a member of Israel's Knesset. He served as the Director of Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem's Department of Plastic Surgery from 2000 to 2003 and is the Founder and Chairman of the Israeli Burn Association.

Eldad wrote about a burn patient who became a suicide bomber:

On 20 June 2005, twenty-one-year-old Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss was detained at a crossing into Israel when something about her gait struck the guards on duty at that post as somewhat amiss.

This Palestinian woman was arrested after a search revealed she had been carrying 22 lbs. of explosives strapped to her body.

While al-Biss had ostensibly been attempting to enter Israel to attend a follow-up appointment at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, questioning revealed that it had been her intent to detonate the payload she'd been carrying at that institution.

The would-be bomber had been treated there five months previous for severe burns received after a gas canister exploded on a fire while she was cooking at her refugee camp home in the Gaza Strip.” (source/Snopes)

This story is shocking because it assails our Western way of thinking. We think, How could someone repay such kindness with such hate?” We’re appalled that someone would commit suicide in order to kill others. 

The answer lies in generations of fear and hatred. Without being a Palestinian, or an Israeli Jew, there’s no way anyone else can understand. All the world can do is watch innocent people die over an ideological battleground.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, July 25, 2014

A basketball legend in my own mind – and that’s fine


 Good Day World!

 The older we get the more daring we perceive our past deeds to have been.

Memories, blurred by the passage of time, take on heroic proportions when recalling our younger days. People, like myself in their mid 60s and older, like to recall past glories sometimes.

I always loved basketball. I spent countless hours playing pickup games throughout high school.

I passed on playing for the high school team because I knew my grades weren’t good enough – and besides…I learned more on those outdoor courts than the scholars did playing their organized ball games in gyms with wooden floors.

Over the years I played pickup games across the country, stopping at schoolyards with my buddy, and challenging the locals to two-on-two. Sometimes it was full court and we made sure to be on the same team.

I played for the 101st MPs when I was in the Army and stationed at Ft. McArthur. I didn’t start because the other two guys playing guard were better than I was. At 6’2, I was small, even for a guard.

Later, I played in a city league while working for Ford Motor Company in Cleveland, Ohio. I was the only white guy on the team and the shortest. I earned the right to start, and played point guard. We won the city league title that year. It was probably the high point of my basketball glory days.

I kept playing pickup games after getting married and having three children – all boys. I made sure to teach them the game and other sports. We would play 3 on 1 at an outside basketball court located at the nearby high school.

The decades slipped by, and the stories I told my boys about my basketball power’s were often embellished. In short, I became a legend in my own mind (see top left photo).

I wonder how often that happens to people? 

These days my back and knees are shot. I walk slowly. Running and jumping are becoming memories. But you should hear some of the great stories I have about playing hoops and lessons in life learned on the basketball court.

Perhaps someday, I’ll write about them.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The year was 1989 & I was the publisher of ‘The Arcata Union’


Good Day World!

My contribution to Throwback Thursday goes back 25 years when I was in the newspaper business.

The Arcata Union was a weekly newspaper that published from 1886 to 1995 in and for the city of Arcata, California.

I was the publisher of this historical newspaper from 1988-90, when I moved on to manage a group of newspapers in the Palm Springs area.

In the photo on the left, I’m showing elementary school children from Arcata how a newspaper is made at the old Arcata Union building.

I was sharing how a page was created by pasting up images and text that would go on to be shot by a camera in the net step of the production process.

Note: this method is a dead technology now thanks to computers.


The photo on the right shows my editorial staff -

Left to right front row: Joan, Tony, Karen

Left to right: Yep! that’s me, and Paul DeMark the editor.

I really enjoyed being associated with a newspaper that had such great history. It was the second time I had the honor of running a historical newspaper.

Prior to my arrival at The Union, I was the manager/editor of The Desert Trail, in 29 Palms California. It was another 100 year-plus publication.

I went from the desert to the Redwoods, getting to experience totally different climates.Today, I’m happily retired in Medford, Oregon.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Are You Extremely Proud to be an American? Then You're in the Minority

Just 36% of Americans   recently told Gallup pollsters they were extremely proud to be an American.  That's the lowest percentage   sinc...