Thursday, August 31, 2006

We All Scream For Ice Cream

From Yahoo News:

Munch's stolen "The Scream" recovered by police

By Marianne Fronsdal
Thu Aug 31, 3:01 PM ET

"The Scream" and another stolen masterpiece by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch were recovered by police on Thursday, two years and nine days after gunmen seized the paintings from an Oslo museum.

"'The Scream' and 'Madonna' are now in police possession," police chief Iver Stensrud told a news conference. "The damage is much less than we could have feared."

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

All Your Jobs Are Belong To Us

From AJC:

RadioShack uses e-mail to fire 400 employees as part of planned job cuts

Associated Press
Published on: 08/30/06

FORT WORTH, Texas — RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts.

Employees at the Fort Worth headquarters got messages Tuesday morning saying: "The work force reduction notification is currently in progress. Unfortunately your position is one that has been eliminated."

Company officials had told employees in a series of meetings that layoff notices would be delivered electronically, spokeswoman Kay Jackson said. She said employees were invited to ask questions before Tuesday's notification on a company intranet site.

Read the rest here.

Browzar, Anyone?

From Infoworld:

Web browser leaves no footprints

Browzar deletes Internet caches, histories, cookies to protect user privacy

By China Martens, IDG News Service
August 30, 2006

The latest entrant to the crowded Internet browser market is the appropriately named Browzar, a tool specifically designed to protect users' privacy by not retaining details of the Web sites they've searched.

Most Web browsers like Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer automatically save users' searches in Internet caches and histories. Users do have the option of deleting the history folder and emptying the Internet cache, but many people either don't know how to do that or tend not to, leaving a trail of where they've been online behind them in the browser.

Browzar is being officially launched Thursday but can already be run or downloaded from its Web site. Users don't have to register to use the free browser.

Read the rest here.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Read the story of Remi Frazer.

Structural Failure


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Blogging The Day

I had the day off today, but it wasn't really a day off, cause I had to go to a work meeting in downtown Saint Paul in the AM. Well, I shouldn't even say 'had to go,' because it's not an onorous undertaking at all. The meeting is a monthly event that's always scheduled on my flex day (Wednesday) but I try to go as often as I'm able, because it's important to my job. There's alot of important information that's dissemminated. What's more Donna B. - the woman in charge of these meetings - does a terrific job of putting everything together and running the show. I'm always amazed at how she makes a rather difficult task look easy, and I've made a point in the past of telling her so on more than one occasion.


On my way home from the meeting I stopped at a huge for-profit thrift store, a shabby place, in a shabby strip mall, on a shabby street, full of the dank smell of body odor wafting throughout the store. It's the kind of place that one hopes to not be forced to shop at, and yet there are bargains galore to be had, and I find myself stopping in several times a year, just to be sure I'm not missing anything. What's most amazing is the vitality of the place. The customers are the poorest of society, and are willing to buy someone else's castoff clothes, and shoes, and dishes, and TV's. Most of us would rather buy new, to be sure, but to Thrift Store customers this store is a God-send. And I must say, it's the ultimate recycling program.


I took daughter number two LK to her last OT appointment this afternoon. Yes, last. She has been getting occupationaol/physical/play therapy for two years, twice a week, in addition to her twice-weekly speech therapy sessions. But when her therapist conducted her latest assessment this summer, it was determined that LK has made enough progress that she should be discharged. She will still be going to special pre-school to address her Autism issues, but today was a graduation, of sorts. Congratulations, Hunny Bunny.


After OT I took the girls with me to meet up with Mrs. Muzzy at daughter number one AE's school to meet her 2nd grade teacher, and go over the next year's curriculum. The principal greeted everyone at the door, and seemed to know each of the kids by name. We had several schools to choose from when AE was going into kindergarten, and we chose this school, mostly because it was closest to our house. It's proven to have been a good choice, and we've been extremely pleased. AE told me tonight she doesn't know if she can wait for school to start again.


Last night's Rockstar Supernova was amazing. Everyone did a splendid job, but South African Dilana, Aussie Toby and Iceland's Magni were simply spectacular. And on tonight's show, after some killer performances - and a repeat from Toby - I was surprised that Ryan was sent home, as I was sure that Storm was going. And then there were five.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina Photo Montage

Found On Ebay This Evening

Going To Waist

From Yahoo News:

Waistlines continue to grow in U.S.

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
Tue Aug 29, 12:27 PM ET

The gravy train — make that the sausage, biscuits and gravy train — just kept on rolling in most of America last year, with 31 states showing an increase in obesity.

Mississippi continued to lead the way. An estimated 29.5 percent of adults there are considered obese. That's an increase of 1.1 percentage points when compared with last year's report, which is compiled by Trust for America's Health, an advocacy group that promotes increased funding for public health programs.

Meanwhile, Colorado remains the leanest state. About 16.9 percent of its adults are considered obese. That mark was also up slightly from last year's report, but not enough to be considered statistically significant.

The only state that experienced a decrease in the percentage of obese adults last year was Nevada.

"Obesity now exceeds 25 percent in 13 states, which should sound some serious alarm bells," said Dr. Jeff Levi, executive director of the advocacy group.

Read the rest here.

Remembering Katrina

From Wikipedia:

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third-strongest landfalling U.S. hurricane ever recorded. Katrina formed in late August during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and devastated much of the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States. Most notable in media coverage were the catastrophic effects on the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and in coastal Mississippi. Katrina's sheer size devastated the Gulf Coast over 100 miles (160 km) away from its center.

Katrina was the eleventh named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season. It formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some damage there, before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and becoming one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. The storm weakened considerably before making its second and third landfalls as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29 in southeast Louisiana and at the Louisiana/Mississippi state line, respectively.

Read the whole entry here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bollywood iPod

From Wired:

IPod Gray Market Booms in India

By Scott Carney
02:00 AM Aug, 23, 2006

CHENNAI, India -- It's the same ritual every month. On the first, my wife sends the rent check to our landlord, a Punjabi cloth merchant with an enormous mustache. Five days later, he knocks on the door and tells us he never received it. As we fish around for the checkbook, he makes his way over to the couch and proceeds to lay down demands.

"When you go back to America I want you to send me a laptop. Get me a Macintosh like yours and I'll take it out of your rent," he says.

Never mind that the cost of a new MacBook is several times our rent; my landlord is just one of millions of Indians who have a taste for all things Apple. But it's a taste very few can satisfy since all imported computer goods are so heavily taxed they are out of reach to all but the most affluent Indians.

Read the rest here.

Why Is This String On My Finger?

From Scotsman News:

Switch off TV and switch on your memory

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Turning off the television, picking up a crossword and eating more fish could be the key to a better memory, an Australian survey has found.

Results of the on-line survey of almost 30,000 people, conducted as part of Australia's science week, also found people who read fiction had better memories than those who don't, while heavy drinkers found it more difficult to recall names.

But neuro-psychologist Nancy Pachana said television was not necessarily bad for memory, with wider health and diet and an active lifestyle more crucial to a good memory.

"Your memory is dependent on good health and good mental health," Pachana, from the University of Queensland's school of psychology, told Reuters on Monday.

Read the rest here.

Well, Since You Asked: I'm 6'6"

From Yahoo News:

Taller people are smarter: study

Fri Aug 25, 5:53 PM ET

While researchers have long shown that tall people earn more than their shorter counterparts, it's not only social discrimination that accounts for this inequality -- tall people are just smarter than their height-challenged peers, a new study finds.

"As early as age three -- before schooling has had a chance to play a role -- and throughout childhood, taller children perform significantly better on cognitive tests," wrote Anne Case and Christina Paxson of Princeton University in a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The findings were based primarily on two British studies that followed children born in 1958 and 1970, respectively, through adulthood and a U.S. study on height and occupational choice.

Read the rest here.

Music Monday - Dumb 80's Videos Edition

Toni Basil


'Safety Dance'
Men Without Hats


Steve Miller


'Get Out Of My Dreams'
Billy Ocean


'Dancing In The Street'
Bowie and Jagger


'Karma Chameleon'
Boy George


Sunday, August 27, 2006

They Couldn't Print It If It Wasn't True

From the Weekly World News:


By Scott Stevens

LORENZO, Italy -- Tightrope walker extraordinaire Felipe Wallakeen has often worked without a net. But now the 24- year-old Italian circus performer has told his manager that he intends to walk without a tightrope.

"The whole world is wireless," Wallakeen told Weekly World News. "How does it look that the Great Wallakeen uses a wire?"

Wallakeen's manager, Octavio Lombardi, is disconsolate.

"I tried to explain that 'wireless internet' and 'wireless tight rope walker' are not the same, but he doesn't listen, that boy."

Read it all here.

All Your Locks Are Belong To Them

From Newsweek:

Beware the 'Bump' Key

As lockpicking gains traction as a hobby, a surprisingly easy new technique has been circulating online and among hackers.

By Brian Braiker

Updated: 1:43 p.m. CT Aug 5, 2006

Aug. 2, 2006 - How many locks figure prominently in your daily routine? Maybe one or two to get you into your house or apartment? One for your office, your car and your mailbox? Once you turn the key, chances are you feel pretty secure. That's what locks do, after all, they keep things shut; they keep you protected. How naive.

A large majority of locks that open with a key, called pin tumbler locks, have structural weaknesses built into them that can be exploited with picks and practice. But a relatively new lockpicking technique known as "bumping" takes advantage of that weakness and requires no real understanding of how locks work. "You don't need expensive tools or anything," says encryption expert Barry Wels. "Any 15-year-old who's motivated can learn how to do it in 15 minutes on the Internet."

Yikes. Read the rest here.

Invisible Enemies

I'm currently reading 'Invisible Enemies,' by Jeanette Farrell, and am finding it an amazing account. From the book description on

First published in 1998, here are the surprisingly fascinating stories of seven diseases that changed the course of human history - updated to reflect new medical and social developments such as:

- the ravages of AIDS in Africa, Asia, and other locations - the bioterror threat posed by smallpox eradication
- a primitive yet effective new measure for fighting cholera in India
- an important new drug to treat malaria
- and more

Illustrated with over fifty reproductions of photographs, newspaper cartoons, public health posters, and the like, Invisible Enemies is an intense and intriguing mix of history, biography, and biology.

The book tells - in words a layman like me can understand - the story of how we've confronted smallpox, leprosy, plague, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, and AIDS. It's a relatively easy read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to get an overview of these diseases, several of which have ravaged the human race for most of its recorded history.

Autism 'Affects All Of The Brain'

I must say, as the parent of two lovely daughters who've been diagnosed as being mildly 'Autistic Spectrum,' none of the findings presented in the study referred to in the following story from BBC surprises me a bit:

Autism worse than thought

Autism does not simply affect how people relate to others but has a wide range of effects, a study suggests.

US researchers compared 56 children with autism with 56 who did not have the condition.

Those with autism were found to have more problems with complex tasks, such as tying their shoelaces, suggesting many areas of the brain were affected.

A UK autism expert said the Child Neuropsychology study showed how pervasive the condition was.

People with autism are traditionally identified as having problems interacting with others and with both verbal and non-verbal communication.

They can also display repetitive behaviours and have very focused interests.

But this study suggests autism can affect sensory perception, movement and memory because it prevents different parts of the brain working together to achieve complex tasks.

Read the whole article here.

Also see this BBC story on the high incidence of Autism

The Case Of Lina Joy

From the New York Times:

August 24, 2006
Kuala Lumpur Journal

Once Muslim, Now Christian and Caught in the Courts


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug. 19 — From the scant personal details that can be pieced together about Lina Joy, she converted from Islam to Christianity eight years ago and since then has endured extraordinary hurdles in her desire to marry the man in her life.

Her name is a household word in this majority Muslim country. But she is now in hiding after death threats from Islamic extremists, who accuse her of being an apostate.

Five years ago she started proceedings in the civil courts to seek the right to marry her Christian fiancé and have children. Because she had renounced her Muslim faith, Ms. Joy, 42, argued, Malaysia’s Islamic Shariah courts, which control such matters as marriage, property and divorce, did not have jurisdiction over her.

In a series of decisions, the civil courts ruled against her. Then, last month, her lawyer, Benjamin Dawson, appeared before Malaysia’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, to argue that Ms. Joy’s conversion be considered a right protected under the Constitution, not a religious matter for the Shariah courts.

“She’s trying to live her life with someone she loves,” Mr. Dawson said in an interview.

Threats against Ms. Joy had become so insistent, and the passions over her conversion so inflamed, he had concluded there was no room for her and her fiancé in Malaysia. The most likely solution, he said, was for her to emigrate.

For Malaysia, which considers itself a moderate and modern Muslim country with a tolerance for its multiple religions and ethnic groups of Malays, Indians and Chinese, the case has kicked up a firestorm that goes to the very heart of who is a Malay, and what is Malaysia.

Read the rest here.

Crop Circles

From Wikipedia:

Crop circles are areas of cereal or similar crops that have been systematically flattened to form various geometric patterns. The phenomenon itself only entered the public imagination in its current form after the notable appearances in England in the late 1970s. Various scientific and pseudo-scientific explanations were put forward to explain the phenomenon, which soon spread around the world. In 1991, more than a decade after the phenomena began, two men, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, revealed that they had been making crop circles in England since 1978 using planks, rope, hats and wire as their only tools. Many other people around the world are also openly making crop circles, notably Although the commonly accepted view today is that crop circles are a man-made phenomenon, paranormal explanations, often including UFOs, are still popular.

Natural? Supernatural? Man-made? I dunno. I suspect they are made by humans, but who's to say for sure? No matter who makes them, they are amazing. You can read the full discussion here.

This Is Just Wrong

Make that blessed sandwich or pancake, and sell it for big bucks on eBay. Or not. Either way, it's simple with the Jesus Pan. I still say it's just wrong: something about graven images and mocking the religion of others. Then again, there are probably some religious types who might just buy this. You just don't know with people. That's all I'm saying.

Royal Flush

And while on the subject of personal hygiene, spend a few moments checking out Clark Sorensen's unique vision of man's best friend:

Clark Sorensen has created some of the most amazing and beautiful urinals one is likely to ever see. Each is meticulously hand built and one of a kind - formed from high fire porcelain and fired to cone 10 (2300° F). These pieces are magnificent works of art but they are also fully functioning vitreous porcelain fixtures that can be plumbed and used in a bathroom. They are made of the same material as a commercial toilet but the similarity stops there. Clark hopes that his sculptures can be exhibited as art and installed as urinals in galleries and bathrooms around the world.

Read - and view - the rest here.

Introducing the Swash

Are you tired of, um, well, having to clean up after yourself? Brondell gives you options:

"The Swash line of high-tech toilet seats combines the latest innovation and design to bring you a new level of luxury and hygiene. Better than a conventional toilet seat or bidet, the Swash features a heated seat and delivers a warm water wash with temperature, pressure, and pulsation adjustability."

and there's more:

"Water is the best way to clean just about anything. We use it to wash our bodies because it's effective, comfortable and leaves us feeling refreshed. In fact, it's hard to imagine washing without it. You certainly wouldn't use dry paper to clean your face or a dirty dish. Yet, when we go to the toilet we use dry paper to clean the most sensitive areas of our body. In truth, toilet paper is abrasive, unsanitary and just plain ineffective.

The Swash changes all that. As you sit in comfort on the heated seat, warm water provides a gentle and soothing cleansing, leaving you feeling shower fresh at the push of a button. And its hygienic benefits can be enjoyed by anyone: male or female, from children to the elderly.

The various settings on the Swash can be adjusted to suit your personal needs. Regardless of your circumstances, the ease, comfort, and hygienic qualities of the Swash will play an integral part in promoting a healthy lifestyle."

Hey, it might be just the ticket.

Word Spy

I've linked to this before, but it's worth linking again, one of my favorite sites: Wordspy.

From their website:

"This Web site is devoted to lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases. These aren't "stunt words" or "sniglets," but new terms that have appeared multiple times in newspapers, magazines, books, Web sites, and other recorded sources."

Now go have some serious fun with it.

Better Go See It

Samuel L. Jackson sends out personalized messages to get your friends to go see Snakes On A Plane.

Pluto, Outcast


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Saturday, August 26, 2006

State Fair - 2006

I got up today not feeling too well - I haven't felt well most of this past week - but decided to head for the fair to meet up with Mondo and The Finger. We've made it a ritual for the past number of years to go as a group, and this year was no exception. I was a few minutes late, but Mondo was late by a couple of hours, and thanks to cell-phone co-ordination, we were all able to end up in the same spot by 11 AM.

(The Finger's son was with us for few hours before he had to head for work. We were also joined via cellphone by NCB for a few minutes, since he always used to come with us when he lived in Minnesota. And at one point I ran into David L, an old college classmate, whom I've not seen for ages. He looked as I remembered him, but for being slightly older, and little more grey.)

Since my stomach has been acting up alot over recent days I didn't eat as much as I usually do. I did have breakfast there, as well as a Cheesebread, a Corn Dog, Fried Cheese Curds, and a Malt and a couple of Pepsi's. Just the stuff for an upset stomach. Well, upon review, I guess I *did* eat a quite a bit, but then again, I was there for a full 12 hours, and I *do* usually eat more.

We wandered around and looked at random things, but we really didn't have any real agenda. We watched a bit of the Northern Alliance show live, and I chatted with a Hugh Hewitt for a few short minutes at the Patriot booth. I made a point of stopping by the booth where Joey G works, to say hi. We also spent a few minutes relaxing in the cool of the backyard of the Republican Party booth, and chatted with one of the pleasant young workers who asked us to fill out questionaires.

Anyway, even though the day was relatively uneventful, the weather was great, and it was nice day, even if I wasn't feeling the best. I'm glad I made the effort to go.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Don't Download This Song

No, really. Don't do it. Weird Al said so: Don't Download This Song.

A Happy Place For Sad Rainbows

Mission Statement of Rainbowpuke:

Mission Statement:

RainbowPuke exists so that fans of puking rainbows have a place to make their collective voices heard. In this celebration of the greatest dichotomy, you don't have to be an artist to join in the wave of multi-colored vomit that's sweeping the world. Simply email us your best attempt at a drawing of a rainbow puking up a rainbow of colors and we'll post it here on for the everybody to see.

Alrighty, then.

Warning: Techie Article Below

From Infoworld:

Q: Is Windows inherently more vulnerable to malware attacks than OS X?

A: Yup.

One more reason to use a Mac.

Extreme Parallel Parking

Up In Smoke

From Yahoo News:

Tom & Jerry in trouble in for smoking scenes

Tue Aug 22, 9:26 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - They chase each other at high speed, wielding axes and hammers. But the famous cartoon duo of Tom and Jerry are in trouble in Britain for smoking on screen.

Media regulator Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer who took offence at two episodes involving smoking.

In one, "Texas Tom," the hapless cat Tom tries to impress a feline female by rolling a cigarette, lighting it and smoking it with one hand. In the other, "Tennis Chumps," Tom's opponent in a match smokes a large cigar.

Read the rest here.

Mug Shots Of The Rich And Infamous

Who Knew?

From BBC News:

Row over Hitler-themed restaurant

By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

The Jewish community in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) is outraged by a new restaurant named after Adolf Hitler.

The restaurant, Hitler's Cross, opened last week in the city's outskirts, initially displaying a giant poster of Hitler at the entrance.

The 5,000-strong Jewish community say they were insulted and want the owner to change the name of the restaurant.

The restaurant owner says the poster has been taken down but he told the BBC that he would keep the name.

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

Space Filler

This is old as the hills, and twice as dusty. Enjoy. Or not:

You have two cows...

"You have two cows" is the beginning phrase for a series of political joke definitions. They are meant to show the limitations of the barter system, leading to the eventual introduction of currency and money. The "two cows" parodies, however, place the cow-owner in a fully fledged economic system where cows are used as a metaphor for all currency, capital, means of production and economic property. The intent is often to point out flaws and absurdities in those systems.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. The cows decide you have no right to do anything with their milk and leave to form their own society.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. You steal your neighbor's bull and ignore the government.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. You keep the cows and steal another one. You ignore the government.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

ANARCHISM: You have two cows. Your neighbor hits you over the head with a brick, steals your cows, then shoots them for fun. You later discover that he is a Nazi.

ARISTOCRATISM: You have two cows. You sell both and buy one really big cow - with a pedigree.

ARTIST -- VISUAL: You have two cows. You stuff them and put them in glass display boxes. In London.

BAHRAINISM: You have two cows. Some high government official steals one, milks it, sells the milk and pockets the profit. The government tells you there is just one cow and not enough milk for the people. The people riot and scream death to the government and carry Iranian flags. The Parliament, after thinking for 11 months, decides to employ ten Bahrainis to milk all the cows at the same time to cut back on unemployment.

BRITISH: You have two cows. They are crazy. You try to sell them in Europe.

: You have two cows. One has BSE. You get a vet to give the other one the all clear, and then declare there is no problem from BSE in your country.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. To register them, you fill in 17 forms in triplicate and don't have time to milk them.

: You have two cows. The EU loses one cow, milks the other and then spills the milk.

: You have two cows. The government takes both, loses one while moving it to a farm in Puerto Rico and forgets to milk the other.

CANADIANISM: You have two cows. The bank takes both of them, shoots one, throws away the milk and you shoot yourself.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

CAPITALISM -- AMERICAN: You have two cows. You sell one of them, and buy a bull. The cow and bull have a great love life; you sell the movie rights to Hollywood. Then you go into real estate.

CAPITALISM -- HONG KONG: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt / equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the feng shui is bad.

CENTRALISM: You have two cows. And a problem finding them in the middle of the field with 100,000,000 other cows.

CONSERVATIVISM: You have two cows. You freeze the milk and embalm the cows.

CONSERVATIVISM: You have two cows. You lock them up, and charge people to look at them.

COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and gives you part of the milk.

COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both cows. The government sells the milk in government stores. You can't afford the milk. You wither away.

COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The state takes both, and gives you a little milk ... once.

COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and gives you spoiled milk.

: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

: You have two cows. The government sends a teenager in a red bandana to shoot them, then he shoots you.

COMMUNISM -- CHINESE: You don't have any cows. The government sets up a joint venture with McDonald's.

COMMUNISM -- CHINESE: You have two cows. You take care of them. The government takes all the milk, but you are encouraged to steal some of it back (before someone else does).

COMMUNISM -- CHINESE - MAO STYLE: You have two pigs. The government launches a campaign to convince you to donate them "voluntarily" to provide meat for workers in the city. The government then declares that people don't need pigs to make pork. Quoting the correct phrases from your little red book, you and your neighbors try to create pork from sheer willpower. Your local party leader reports that you have exceeded all expectations. Your neighbors starve.

COMMUNISM -- CUBAN - CASTRO STYLE: Fidel Castro has two cows. They are F1's, a cross between the Cebu cow and the Holstein cow. Only one cow, "White Udder," works. When she dies she is stuffed and placed in a museum by Castro, "The Dictator of the Cows," where "future generations could admire her magnificent udders." You have not seen cow milk since 1985.

COMMUNISM -- CUBAN: You have two cows. Fidel tells you some undercover CIA agents have infected all of the cows in your region with a foreign disease that kills the cows. You and your family become malnourished. It begins to occur to you that Fidel doesn't know what he is talking about.

COMMUNISM -- CUBAN: You no longer have any cows. They sailed to Miami. You still have no milk - but you do have Fidel.

COMMUNISM -- "PURE": You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

COMMUNISM -- "PURE": You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk. Well, maybe the local bully gets more, or a few neighbors band together to kill you so that there is more milk for everyone else.

COMMUNISM -- SOVIET: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. Then the government sends you to prison.

COMMUNISM -- SOVIET: You have two cows. You count them and realize you have four cows. You drink more Vodka. You count the cows again and realize you have eleventy six cows. You drink even more Vodka. After a while, you realize that eleventy isn't a real number. You count the cows again and have two cows. You open another bottle of Vodka and try to drown the loss of eleventy four cows.

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. They outvote you 2-1 to ban all meat and dairy products. You go bankrupt.

DEMOCRACY -- AMERICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk and then blame Japan while border guards beat up Mexicans sneaking into the country. People are outraged for a week or so and then go back to televised sports where there's no violence.

DEMOCRACY -- AMERICAN (a republic): You have two cows. The government exercises those powers delegated to it by the people, who are sovereign. The majority does not rule because the people and their representatives (elected, appointed and employed) are constrained by various checks and balances, including the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the three co-equal branches of government, and the 50 state republics (see, e.g., Article IV, section 4). So what the government does with your cows and with the milk from those cows depends on the interaction between the people and the checks and balances mentioned above.

DEMOCRACY -- BRITISH: You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

DEMOCRACY -- REPRESENTATIVE: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both cows and drafts you.

DUBAISM: You have two cows. You create a website for them and advertise them in all magazines. You create a Cow City or Milk Town for them. You sell off their milk before the cows have even been milked to both legitimate and shady investors who hope to resell the non-existent milk for a 100% profit in two years' time. You bring Tiger Woods to milk the cows first to attract attention.

EGYPTIANISM: You have two cows. Both are voting for Moooooobarak!

EUROPEAN UNIONISM: You have two goats. The EU declares them to be fruit in order to conform to a rare Belgian custom of making Cow Jam (jam being required to have at least 45% fruit).

EUROPEAN UNIONISM: You have two cows. The EU develops a quota system that "limits the gas emissions from flatulent cows." You sell your carbon allotment, not the milk.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

FASCISM: You have two cows. You give the milk to the government and the government sells it.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes one away and presses it into military service.

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

FRISBEETARIANISM: You have two cows. One of them flies up on the roof and gets stuck. You hope the government provides cow ladders.

IDEALISM: You have two cows. You get married and your partner milks them.

INDUSTRIALISM: You have two cows. You dissect them both and figure out how to build a milk-factory instead.

IRAQISM: The British Government sends in a herd of 20 cows in a trial run to help a village outside Basra. The villagers are extremely grateful for the extra milk and the health of the children improves daily. A terrorist group then kidnaps the cows and accuses them of being traitors to "the cause." The terrorists then produce signed confessions from the cows and systematically assassinates each one in front of Al Jazeera television cameras.

KUWAITISM: Upon hearing how popular cows are in the Gulf region, a group of young male Kuwaitis buy a herd. Unfortunately, they attach so many accessories (ski-racks, 3500 watt sub-woofers, nipple lights, etc.) that the cows almost collapse under the weight and/or embarrassment. The herd are all tragically killed in a massive pile-up while their owners are attempting to perform donuts by the Towers.

LEBANONISM: You have two cows. One is owned by Syria and the other is controlled by the government.

LIBERALISM: You have two cows. You sell both to the rich. The government then taxes the rich one cow and gives it to the poor.

LIBERALISM: You have two cows. You give away one cow and get the government to give you a new cow. Then you give them both away.

LIBERTARIANISM: You have two cows. You let them do what they want.

LIBERTARIANISM: Go away. What I do with my cows is none of your business.

MARXISM/LENINISM: The proletarian cows unite and overthrow the bourgeoisie cowherds. The egalitarian democratic cow revolutionary state with the cow party as vanguard disintegrate over time. Marx choked on a veggie-burger before he could explain what happens to the use-value, exchange-value and sign-value of bovine leather.

NAZISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and then shoots you.

NEW DEALISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and pours the milk down the sink. The government insists there is a giant storage tank where all the milk goes.

OMANISM: You have three cows. They are all healthy and produce good quality milk for sale at the market. Unfortunately, your son discovers that the money he received at the market can be used to buy beer. Your grand expansion plans for a new high-tech farm are put on hold indefinitely.

PACIFISM: You have two cows. They stampede you.

PEROTISM: You have two cows. You aren't allowed to sell the milk to Mexico.

PLATONISM: You have two cows. You look for two other cows to milk.

PLATONISM: You have a reflection of two perfect cows. Their milk tastes like water. You look for two real cows to milk.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESSISM: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of nonspecified gender.

PROTECTIONISM: You have two cows. You can't buy a bull from another country.

QATARISM: You have two cows. They've been sitting there for decades and no one realizes that cows can produce milk. You see what Dubai is doing, you go crazy and start milking the heck out of the cows in the shortest time possible. Then you realize no one wanted the milk in the first place.

REDISTRIBUTIONISM: You have two cows. Everyone should have the same amount of cow. The government takes both cows, cuts them up, and spends more than the cows are worth giving everyone a little piece of cow.

SAUDIISM: You have two cows. Since milking the cow involves nipples, the government decides to ban all cows in public. The only method to milk a cow is to have a cow on one side of a curtain and a guy milking the cow on the other side.

SIMPSONISM: Don't have a cow man!

SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes one of them and gives it to your neighbor.

SOCIALISM -- BUREAUCRATIC: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you should need.

SOCIALISM -- PURE: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

SOCRATIC METHODISM: How many cows do I have? Why?

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

SURREALISM: You have two aardvarks. The government paints one green and requires you to take harmonica lessons.

TALIBANISM: You have two cows. At first, the government makes them wear burkas, but later shoots them because "they are Hindu religious symbols."

UNITED NATIONISM: You have two cows. France vetoes you from milking them. The United States and Britain veto the cows from milking you. New Zealand abstains.

YEMENISM: You once had a cow. But then it got kidnapped.

Okay, I didn't count, but that's alot of cows.


Doug is effing back.

Disproportionate Response II


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Monday, August 21, 2006

Road Trip Travelogue

Daughter Number One AE and I drove down to Madison this past weekend for my great Aunt's Memorial Service. I underestimated the amount of time it would take to drive the 270 miles, and didn't account for the many, many potty breaks that AE required. But it worked out fine. We managed to get checked into our hotel, get changed, and strolled into the back of the Presbyterian Church just as the service was starting. My two cousins played guitar and keyboards for most of the special music, including a couple of songs of their own composition. During the homile the pastor asked for attendees to offer up rememberences of Aunt B, but I choked and didn't rise. I guess I was afraid I'd make some recollection but be wrong on the details, and that my Uncle - who has a keen memory - would be embarrassed. One neat touch, the recessional at the end was to one of my Auntie's favorite songs: 'Happy Trails.' Following the service there was a reception in the basement, with simple but tasty food fare, and afterwards immediate family - AE and I were only ones from my Uncle's side who were able to be there - were then invited to Uncle N's condo to visit.

Madison has a reputation for being a haven for liberals, a kind of Berkeley of the midwest, and as long as I can remember my cousins have fit that profile. But although we disagree on many things, even as teenagers we always enjoyed more-than-cordial relations. For the most part we just avoid anything remotely political, and we've gotten on just fine. In fact, whatever I've thought of their politics, I've always liked them both very much, and I'd like to believe the feeling is mutual. Anyway, it was good to spend some time with them, and to catch up on what they've been doing. Photos were taken, and email addresses exchanged, and - given the circumstances - I'd say a pleasant time was had by all.

AE and I got back to the hotel around 10 PM, and I made good on my promise to let her go for a swim in the hotel pool. Well, almost. We both thought the water in the pool itself was a bit cold, so we hung out in the otherwise-empty 10-person jacuzzi/spa, with its hot-water jets, and frothy water. By the time either of us got to bed it was after midnight, and yet while she dropped off to asleep in under two minutes flat, I couldn't get to sleep, still wound-up from the events of the day. I tried watching TV, but there was nothing good on. I finally just read a magazine until I felt my eyelids drooping, and then turned out the light and went to sleep.

The next morning we got up and made it downstairs for the complimentary continental breakfast, which for me included Frosted Flakes, a hard-boiled egg, toast, milk and juice. AE pretty much had the same thing, but for a freshly-cooked waffle, and some Fruit Loops. After breakfast I loaded up the car, filled up on gas and we headed out.

We'd stayed in the lovely southern suburb of Monona, and hadn't seen any of Madison proper, so I decided we would drive through downtown as we departed, to see the sights. Coming north we passed thru a charming but run-down-looking neighborhood full of ethnic shops and check-cashing joints, but when we turned to drive up into downtown, everything suddenly appeared upscale and gentrified. Downtown Madison itself is an interesting place, located on an isthmus, between two large lakes, which gives the feeling of being on an island. The downtown area itself appeared leafy and properous, and the houses that faced the lake had an expensive appearance about them.

(As we drove through this progressive/lefty mecca, I couldn't help but think how much more likely it was that new immigrants to the Madison area would not share the collectivist views of those who could afford to live right on the lake. While the lefties live in relative affluence off their publicly-subsidized jobs in Governement or Education, the immigrants are busy opening restaurants, curio shops, and leasing owner-operated taxi cabs. Those hard-working people are future of this country, and I am encouraged by how each new wave of immigrants revitalizes the local economy of nearly every town where they settle.)

After we got out of Madison, we also decided to stop at the Wisconsin Dells, some 50 miles down the road towards home. Since I'd not been there in years - and AE had never seen the place - it sounded like a fun time for both of us.

As a tourist attraction, the Dells was originally known for its scenic beauty, rock formations and hiking trails. When I was a little kid, travelling to and from the Twin Cities, we'd often stop and ride The Ducks, which was about the only thing there, besides the Tommy Bartlett water show, and the Circus Museum at Baraboo. Today the place resembles nothing less than a mini Las Vegas, albeit without the gambling. (Though the Ho Chunk Casino is nearby, within easy driving distance.) There are dozens upon dozens of theme parks like Mount Olympus, Noah's Ark and the Kalahari, and thousands of hotel/motel rooms available at everywhere from small mom and pop style motels, to luxury resorts. Since we were short on time, AE and I just hung out for while: we drove around and looked at the sights, played a round of mini-golf and walked around the downtown Dells area. It was enough to get a feel for the place, and AE definitely wants to go back.

Anyway, it was a nice trip, and it was worth the effort to go down and back. I'm glad AE could go with me. I don't usually enjoy travelling much - if at all - but this was actually an okay trip, and it felt right and proper that I should be able to go there to remember my Aunt B.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Monkees Edition

'Daydream Believer'
The Monkees


'Pleasant Valley Sunday'
The Monkees


'I'm A Believer'
The Monkees


'Last Train To Clarksville'
The Monkees


Friday, August 18, 2006

About LG15

From NY Times:

July 28, 2006, 11:30 am

A Single-Camera Dramedy, Just in Time for the Fall Season

Give this girl a show.

Will someone in Broadband Hollywood just give lonelygirl15 — and, all right, her producer and sidekick danielbeast — their own show already?

In her videos, she perfects the emo girl-in-her-room pose, balancing playful and moody as she muses about her life and times. She has huge online fame; repressive, religious parents who probably know nothing about YouTube; and a sibling-ish love affair with her video editor. What could be more 2006? Obviously the implication from the stills that promote her videos is that she’s going to strip, but she never does, and she controls that shell game by being sweetly deaf to innuendo.

One of her critics — a guy who thinks she’s a fake in part because she’s lighted too beautifully — says her life so far is “almost Shakespearean in the way it played out.” And that cowboy-hatted critic is appealing too! (Of course, she also has her share of protectors. Warning: plenty of cussing ahead.) So it’s time to get “lonelygirl15,” the full-on series, going. Invite the parodists and critics to round out the cast, give some play to the idea that she’s a fake, and create a perfect “My So-Called Life” for the MySpace hordes.

MTV Overdrive, I’m talking to you. (And while we’re at it, MTV, get your broadband channel to work on a Mac NOW.)

How Kissing Works

From How Stuff Works:

How Kissing Works

by Tracy V. Wilson

When you really think about it, kissing is pretty gross. It involves saliva and mucous membranes, and it may have historical roots in chewed-up food. Experts estimate that hundreds or even millions of bacterial colonies move from one mouth to another during a kiss. Doctors have also linked kissing to the spread of diseases like meningitis, herpes and mononucleosis.

Yet anthropologists report that 90 percent of the people in the world kiss. Most people look forward to their first romantic kiss and remember it for the rest of their lives. Parents kiss children, worshippers kiss religious artifacts and couples kiss each other. Some people even kiss the ground when they get off an airplane.

So how does one gesture come to signify affection, celebration, grief, comfort and respect, all over the world? No one knows for sure, but anthropologists think kissing might have originated with human mothers feeding their babies much the way birds do. Mothers would chew the food and then pass it from their mouths to their babies' mouths. After the babies learned to eat solid food, their mothers may have kissed them to comfort them or to show affection.

Read the rest here.



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

The Weekend

It will be light (if any, at all) blogging this weekend: I'm headed out of town for a short road trip with Daughter Number One AE to attend my Great Aunt's Memorial Service in Madison. It's a bit of a drive, but since it's all freeway, I should be able to set the cruise control and relax a bit. If we make good time we might even stop at the Wisconsin Dells for a look around.

BTW, for those of you in the Twin Cities, remember that State Fair starts next Thursday. I'm planning to attend at least twice, once with Mondo and The Finger, and once with the family. It will be the 27th year in a row that I've been to the Great Get Together, and I admit that there's very little that changes from year to year, but I think that's the appeal of it. It's like a ritual, of sorts, and acts as a marker for the unofficial end of summer. I've gone in large groups, alone, with dates and with family, and even though much of it all is the same, each experience is a little different. And it's all good.

And, do note, if you are into such things, that Hugh Hewitt will broadcast live from the AM 1280 Patriot booth on Thursday and Friday, from 5 to 8 PM, Dennis Prager will broadcast live on Monday and Tuesday, from 11 to 2 PM, Michael Medved will broadcast live Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 5 PM, and Bill Bennett will broadcast live on the second Friday from 5 to 8 AM. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to be in the audience at any of those events, but I may try to take in the Northern Alliance show, on either of the Saturdays.

May your weekend be a safe one.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

This And That

Crime One:

There was finally an arrest in the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case this past week, and I hope the cops got the right person, though it sounds like it's possible they do not.

From Wikipedia:

On August 16, 2006, the case returned to the news with the arrest of an American schoolteacher in Bangkok, Thailand. The suspect was identified as 41-year-old John Mark Karr, who has claimed to have drugged, sexually assaulted, and accidentally killed JonBenét Ramsey. However, no drugs or evidence of sexual assault were found during the autopsy of JonBenét, and Mr.Karr's ex-wife has stated that they were vacationing in Alabama at the time of the murder. As a result, the validity of the confession has been called into question. He is to be extradited to the US and charged with 1st degree murder.

I must say that for the past decade I've thought the dad was guilty, but I may well have been wrong on this one. I hope so.


Crime Two:

In an unrelated but equally gruesome matter Alfonso Rodriguez's trial for the killing of Dru Sjodin has been all over the papers and TV this past few days. I fully realize that Rodriguez has not yet been convicted, but it looks grim for him. I'm not generally in favor of the death-penalty but I dunno, I might be persuaded on this one, if he is convicted of this heinous matter.


I almost never go to the cinema to watch movies, but I actually took in two of them on DVD the other night, as opposite as two films can be, both directed by women: 'Bride And Prejudice' and 'Movern Callar.'

'Bride' stars the lovely and talented Aishwarya Rai, and the handsome but less-than-stellar Martin Henderson. The story is lifted straight out of Austen, and the song-and-dance numbers are incredible, but having the story ping-pong forth and back across continents made the film feel less than honest. Aishwarya was wonderful as Lalita, but the direction was lacking, and left her at times stranded, out of water and out of sorts, as it were. Some parts lingered far too long, and others were rushed to the point of absurdity. I know the director was trying to give a western twist to classic Bollywood, but I'm not convinced she fully succeeded. If I were rating the film, I'd give it a seven, mostly because it's such a fun romp. It's certainly worth spending an evening watching, for the first musical number alone.

'Movern Callar' is a different kettle of fish altogether. Virtually lacking in anything resembling a linear story, it tells a riveting tale, nonetheless. The film showcases the incredible acting talents of Samantha Morton, who is less than a classic beauty, but still quite winsome, nonetheless. The movie has very much of an Art House feel to it, with wonderful cinematography and thick Scottish brogues, to confound the American ear. Rating? I'd give it a nine for fine acting, and great filming.



My Summer TV Guilty Pleasures:

'Rockstar Supernova': I keep wanting to not like this, but the band members are quite watchable, and the performances are grand. It's a great show, and I'm hoping Magni gets the job.

'Windfall': I've been hooked from the first episode, but it's got more twists and turns than the Pacific Coast Highway. It's corny and melodramatic, but it makes for great TV. I'll watch till the eye drops run out.

'America's Got Talent': With Regis Philbin at the helm, and David Hasslehoff as a judge, how can you go wrong? Utterly corny and stupid with a capital STU, AGT brought jugglers and tap-dancers into livingrooms across the land, making it safe to like the old-fashioned variety show again.




Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Swede Hollow

I took the girls On Adventures this afternoon to a place called Swede Hollow. It's a lovely urban park, nestled into a ravine just a mile from downtown Saint Paul, and virtually unknown to many of the city's residents. In the mid-1800's the valley situated just below the Hamm's brewery had a railroad running thru it, and its steep sides made it undesirable for development. That didn't stop Swede Hollow from being settled by several hundred of the poorest of the early Swedish immigrants to the area. Later waves of immigrants from other countries landed there for a season, as they worked hard to become established and/or educated, but the name Swede Hollow stuck. In the 1950's it was determined that the lack of sanitation and the inaccesibility of the location made it unable to be used for habitation any longer; the city destroyed all the shacks in the hollow, and evicted the residents. Over the years the Hollow has been made into a wonderful park, unique in layout and character, though somewhat hard to get to for casual visitors. One of the entrances - the one we used today - is only accessible by descending a series of stairways into the ravine that are roughly equal to the height of an 8-10 story building. Anyway, the girls loved it, and we will probably go back, but on a slightly cooler day, as it heat and humidity took their toll on all three of us.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Video Music Monday - Weird Al Edition

'Amish Paradise'
Weird Al


'Jedi Knight'
Weird Al


'Smells Like Nirvana'
Weird Al


'Like A Surgeon'
Weird Al


Weird Al


Play Suduko


Diving Miss Daisy

Scuba-Diving Cat

Found On The Web

(Thanks to Boing Boing.)

Why The World Hates The Jews

From Frontpage Magazine:

Why the World Hates the Jews

By Michael Medved | August 10, 2006

Many of the bitter controversies in every corner of the globe inevitably raise the same ancient question: why does the world hate the Jews?

Whether it’s the angry international reaction to Israel’s efforts to defend itself in Lebanon, or Mel Gibson’s drunken rant in Malibu, the age-old specter of anti-Semitism refuses to disappear. With only 13 million Jews in the world – less than one fourth of one percent of the earth’s population – why does this tiny group inspire such bitter, widespread and often violent animosity?

The answer is obvious to anyone who monitors anti-Semitic propaganda from all its multifarious sources. People who express hatred, resentment or fear regarding the Jews almost always focus on charges of Jewish arrogance, elitism, aggressiveness and lust for power.

According to the logic of anti-Semites everywhere, Jews deserve harsher treatment than anyone else because they work harder than anyone else to enshrine their own superior status. This argument suggests that the only way to answer constant Jewish demands for special treatment and privilege is to impose special limitations and restrictions on their instinctive will to dominate.

According to such logic, the rest of the world must work together to cut Jews down to size; only then will they function on the same plane as everyone else. As Hutton Gibson (Holocaust-denying father of the scandal-tarnished star, Mel) revealingly declared to interviewer Steve Feuerstein: “I don’t know what the Jewish agenda is except that it’s all about control. They’re after one world religion and one world government.”

Read the rest here.



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Talking Head

Eva - The Female Robot Head
From Roborama


Thirteen Songs

01) - A Song That Reminds Me Of My Best Friend (Deceased 25 Years):

'Wish You Were Here' - Pink Floyd

02) - A Song That Gets Me All Worked Up:

'Cochise' - Audioslave

03) - A Song That Makes Me Want To Get Up And Dance:

'Stayin Alive' - The Bee Gees

04) - A Song That Makes Me Laugh Out Loud:

'Rednecks' - Randy Newman

05) - A Song That Gives Me Chills:

'Lacrimosa' (Requiem) - Mozart/Sussmayer

06) - A Song That Reminds Me Of My First Teenage Crush:

'My Sweet Lord' - George Harrison/The Chiffons

07) - A Song That I'm Surprised I Know All The Lyrics To:

'American Pie' - Don McClean

08) - A Song That Makes Me Feel Worshipful:

'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' - Martin Luther

09) - A Song I Like Singing With My Toddler Daughter:

'Itsy Bitsy Spider' - Folk Nursery Rhyme

10) - A Song I'd Like To See Banned From Being Performed At Weddings For The Rest Of Time:

'Canon In D' - Pachelbel

11) - A Song That Makes Me Sigh With A Deep And Abiding Sadness:

'House Of Broken Dreams' - Mark Heard

12) - A Song I Think Is Oh-So-Sexy:

'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' - Cathy Dennis/Rob Davis, as performed by Kylie Minogue

13) - A Song That Makes Me Feel Hopeful:

'What A Wonderful World' - Bob Thiele/George David Weiss, as performed by Louis Armstrong

Space Invaders

Watch the human game video, and play the regular video game.

Found On The Net

Click on the image to see how this works.
GoSleepGo.Com - Adventure Travel

Tasty Secret Ingredient? Human Hair

From The Internet Journal of Toxicology via ISPUB:

The Cheap Soy Sauce That Aroused the Public

In late 2003, there was an alternatively produced soy sauce named “Hongshuai Soy Sauce “ in China ( 14 ). The soy sauce was marketed as “blended using latest bioengineering technology” by a food seasoning manufacturer, suggesting that the soy sauce was not generated in a traditional way using soy and wheat ( 1 , 3 ).

The Hongshuai Soy Sauce was sold at a relatively low price in Mainland China and became very popular among the public. The people found its taste to be similar to other brands. Because of its low price, many catering services in schools and colleges decided to use this new product ( 1 ).

The Stunning Alternative to Soy – the Human Hair

In mid-January 2004, a team of journalists of the “Weekly Quality Report” program from the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) investigated the production of the Hongshuai Soy Sauce. The Chinese journalists went to the food seasoning manufacturer in Hubei province. They pretended to be buyers and enquired about the soy sauce ingredients. They were told by a manager that the soy sauce was made from the amino acid syrup, and mixed with water, sodium hydroxide, red sugar; hydrochloric acid and other chemical additives ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) (see lower part of chart 1). They also learnt that the soy sauce manufacturer purchased at least a thousand tons of amino acid syrup (or powder – the dry form) per month from another manufacturer in producing few thousands tons of soy sauce. As a result of the preliminary investigation, the journalists decided to explore the source of amino acid syrup ( 1 ).

The journalists then found the amino acid syrup manufacturer (a bioengineering company) in Hubei province. When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair ( 1 , 2 , 3 ). Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc (figure 1). After filtered by the workers, the hair would then cut small for being processed into amino acid syrup (chart 1) ( 1 ).

Read the rest here.

Saturday Cartoons

'Popeye For President'


'Pink Valient'
The Pink Panther


'To Beep Or Not To Beep'


'Herr Meets Hare'
Bugs Bunny


How Convenient

From USA Today Op Ed:

Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe

By Peter Schweizer
Thu Aug 10, 6:46 AM ET

Al Gore has spoken: The world must embrace a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To do otherwise, he says, will result in a cataclysmic catastrophe. "Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb," warns the website for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. "We have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin."

Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.

For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

In The Beginning Was The Verb

From Yahoo News:

Surprise for Linguists: Nouns and Verbs Sound Different

Sara Goudarzi

Fri Aug 11, 4:45 PM ET

Linguists have long believed that the sound of a word reveals nothing about its meaning, with a few exceptions of words like “buzz” or “beep” that are known as onomatopoeia.

But a new study analyzing the sounds of nouns and verbs challenges that view.

“What we have shown is that the sound of a word can tell us something about how it is used,” said Morten Christiansen, associate professor of psychology at Cornell University. “Specifically, it tells us whether the word is used as a noun or as a verb, and this relationship affects how we process such words.”

However, if you are mouthing a whole bunch of nouns or verbs and listening for a similar sound in each group, you're out of luck.

"It's not a particular sound," Christiansen said. "It's much more subtle than that."

Read the rest here.

Incredible Insight

I challenge you, gentle reader, to spend a little time perusing the following DU discussion thread of this August 10th BBC story about the past week's foiled terror plot, in which thoughtful analysis is the order of the day. Okay, busted: I'm kidding.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Night Videos - Radiohead Edition

(Live SNL)


'The National Anthem'
(Live SNL)


'Paranoid Android'


'Karma Police'


'Fake Plastic Trees'


'Knives Out'