Sunday, December 23, 2007
In 1992 he was faced with a surplus of wreaths and hearkened back to a memorable trip he'd taken to Arlington National Cemetery when he was 12-years old. He took the wreaths to Arlington from his business in Maine and laid them on the graves of 4,000 who are laid to rest there.
The next year he decided to plan on taking 5,000 wreaths and has been doing it ever since. He said that there were only a few volunteers the first year and it took them five or six hours to place the wreaths. Now, however, he has so many helpers each year that the work is done in about an hour.
Worcester expanded the campaign and started Wreaths Across America. He is placing wreaths in each of the more than 230 State and National cemeteries and Veterans Monuments across the country.
For more information about the project go to:
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
By Dr S Fred Singer, President Science & Environmental Policy Project
Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.
Dr S. Fred Singer said: “The current warming trend is simply part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that has been seen in ice cores, deep-sea sediments, stalagmites, etc., and published in hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals. The mechanism for producing such cyclical climate changes is still under discussion; but they are most likely caused by variations in the solar wind and associated magnetic fields that affect the flux of cosmic rays incident on the earth’s atmosphere. In turn, such cosmic rays are believed to influence cloudiness and thereby control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface—and thus the climate.” Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless. – but very costly.
Shutting down debate on climate change is one of the principal objectives of many of today’s environmentalist crusaders. They have written numerous tracts denouncing the ideals of journalistic balance and objectivity, since applying such ideals to climate change assumes that there is more than one legitimate viewpoint on the subject. Journalists who seek balance on climate change are labelled ‘cowards’ for refusing to take a stand against Evil. Exhorting the media to take sides on climate change, instead of upholding balance, green crusaders resort to cheap and superficial comparisons between climate change and slavery or the Holocaust.
Quote of the Week:
(And I say it is promoted by facists determined to destroy our freedoms and make themself rich at the same time. It is about greed and power.)
Monday, December 17, 2007
From the 3 Doors Down Website at: http://www.3doorsdown.com/news/
The Christmas card was dated Dec. 23, 1914, and mailed to Ethel Martin of Oberlin, apparently from her cousins in Alma, Neb.
It's a mystery where it spent most of the last century, Oberlin Postmaster Steve Schultz said. "It's surprising that it never got thrown away," he said. "How someone found it, I don't know."
Ethel Martin is deceased, but Schultz said the post office wanted to get the card to a relative.
That's how the 93-year-old relic ended up with Bernice Martin, Ethel's sister-in-law. She said she believed the card had been found somewhere in Illinois.
"That's all we know," she said. "But it is kind of curious. We'd like to know how it got down there."
The card was placed inside another envelope with modern postage for the trip to Oberlin — the one-cent postage of the early 20th century wouldn't have covered it, Martin said.
"We don't know much about it," she said. "But wherever they kept it, it was in perfect shape."
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I've never been much of a fan of "beauty pageants", but I will be watching the Miss America Pageant next month (January 26, 2008) and rooting for Miss Utah Sgt Jill Stevens. She has two missions. One as a Soldier in the Utah National Guard and the other as Miss Utah 2007.
A YouTube feature about her:
For the past 6 years, Jill Stevens has been serving in the US Military as a Combat Medic in the Utah National Guard, while earning her degree in Nursing at Southern Utah University. In November 2003, Jill was deployed to Afghanistan, returning home in April 2005. She has earned 5 medals for her outstanding service. In addition to her US Military service, Jill recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Nursing program at Southern Utah University on a four-year leadership scholarship. Last summer, she placed 3rd in the Cinco De Mayo Sailboat Regatta in Mexico, and this summer, Jill was chosen one of four women for the “Women of Strength” featured in Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine September/October 2007 issue. Additionally, Jill has been a fitness instructor for Gold’s Gym for several years, as well as a bread baker for Great Harvest. Possibly one of the most unusual adventures for Jill though, has been her unexpected experience in becoming Miss Utah 2007, and looking forward to her national competition in the Miss America Pageant in January 2008.
A recent Newsweek story about Jill:
The Military's Miss America Candidate
By Linda Fantin
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Dec 6, 2007
While serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan, Sgt. Jill Stevens could always count on her Army buddies to shield her from the less sensitive aspects of a mostly male military. The soldiers, she says, developed a warning system. Off-putting jokes, racy movies and stories filled with foul language were introduced as "NFS": Not for Stevens.
Until a few months ago the Miss America Pageant would have carried the same disclaimer. Now here she is, Miss Utah, a self-described klutz in heels, competing for a crown that symbolizes femininity and well on her way to becoming the crowd favorite.
So many military members are expected to attend the Jan. 26 finale in Las Vegas that Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, mused that the televised event could resemble a USO show.
"Jill has the advantage of bringing in a big support team," McMaster says, noting that Las Vegas is only a five-hour drive from Salt Lake City. "That's exciting."
Stevens is not the first Miss America to work in the military. Miss Tennessee 1992, Miss California 1992 and Miss New York 2001 all had credentials in the service, according to pageant officials. But Stevens is the first to serve in a combat zone—and the first to enjoy the benefit of such public support from Uncle Sam, an asset that provides a boost as the big night draws near. "I love it. These guys are like brothers and, once again, they've got my back," Stevens says.
It was the Army's idea for Stevens, 24, to chronicle the journey from Stars and Stripes to star of tomorrow on a blog titled G.I. Jill , she says. Same goes for the profile in this month's Soldiers magazine, an official Army publication.
Stevens enlisted three months before her high-school graduation and six months before the 9/11 attacks. Even then her parents worried that the military might change her. "My personality is fun and goofy, and they thought the Army would take that away," she says. But once in Afghanistan Stevens took on the role of morale booster, surprising despondent soldiers with bread made with a bread machine her mother shipped to her and birthday cakes baked in an oven constructed from aircraft parts. She held muffin-eating contests and staged Family Feud game show nights. She even planned the occasional girls' night out for the 30 or 40 females on the base. "That was the first time I ever painted my nails," she says.
Complete story at:
Jill's Photos at:
Other YouTube stories about Jill Stevens:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdWoVh-liIo&feature=related
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEIknMxvqyk&feature=related
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lml-FzRhA4&feature=related
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg1memZ_DsU&feature=related
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaAOt3QGn3o&feature=related
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyD_izryybA&feature=related
Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q66jIHg6D2g&feature=related
Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTOWPxUcHFc&feature=related
Part 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8lH0RLVbRM&feature=related
Part 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Wke3vDHbU&feature=related
Part 11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5GRIVrJfg&feature=related
Friday, December 7, 2007
TOKYO -- Compared to the English-speaking world, the Japanese have gone blog wild. They write Web logs at per capita rates that are off the global charts.
Although English speakers outnumber Japanese speakers by more than 5-1, slightly more blog postings are written in Japanese than in English, according to Technorati, the Internet search engine that monitors the blogosphere.
Unlike Americans, who often times blog to stand out, the Japanese blog to fit in. "There is no question that in this culture the nail that sticks out gets hammered in," Pickard said.
By some estimates, as much as 40 percent of Japanese blogging is done on mobile phones, often by commuters staring cross-eyed at tiny screens for hours as they ride the world's most extensive network of subways and commuter trains.
Blogging in Japan, though, is a far tamer beast than in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world. Japan's conformist culture has embraced a technology that Americans often use for abrasive self-promotion and refashioned it as a soothingly nonconfrontational medium for getting along.
Bloggers here shy away from politics and barbed language. They rarely trumpet their expertise. While Americans blog to stand out, the Japanese do it to fit in, blogging about small stuff: cats and flowers, bicycles and breakfast, gadgets and TV stars. Compared with Americans, they write at less length, they write anonymously, and they write a whole lot more often.
"Behavior is more important than technology," said Joichi Ito, a board member at Technorati and an expert on how people around the world use the Internet. "In Japan, it is not socially acceptable to pursue fame."
Technorati found that of all recorded blog postings in the fourth quarter of last year, 37 percent were written in Japanese, 36 percent in English and 8 percent in Chinese.
This was not an aberration. In the past three years, Japanese has been running ahead of or about even with English as the dominant language of blogging, according to Technorati. About 130 million people understand Japanese, while about 1.1 billion understand English.
Those numbers startle no one more than the Japanese. For even as they use personal computers, Web-enabled mobile telephones and a ubiquitous high-speed Internet network to blog anytime and anywhere, they keep awfully quiet about it.
About 40 percent of English-language bloggers said their primary goal was "to raise visibility as an authority in my field." Only 5 percent of Japanese bloggers said that was their primary motivation. Instead, they said they blog to create a record of their thoughts and of information they have collected.
Read the complete story at:
Not really knowing what a Hillary fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except one boy.
The teacher asked Johnny why he has decided to be different.
Johnny says, "I'm not a Hillary fan."
The teacher says, "Why aren't you a Hillary fan?"
Johnny says, "I'm a George Bush fan."
The teacher asks why he's a George Bush fan.
The boy says, "Well, my mom's a George Bush fan and my dad's a George Bush fan, so I'm a George Bush fan!"
The teacher asks, "If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"
So Johnny replies, "That would make me a Hillary fan."
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday.
Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.
During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.
It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me.
As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago.
At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.
Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration. I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates.
The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.
But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited.
I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.
The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face ..and I wanted to be with them and share their table.
In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner.
They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time.
To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa Claus, Santa Claus" as if the party were in his honor.
At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know no-one hugged me.
Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one?
I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.
Every year it gets worse. People only remember the gifts, the parties, to eat and drink, and very few remembers me.
I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life.
I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you.
Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.
I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still making the final arrangements..
Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.
Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party.
Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great party.
See you soon. I Love you!
Monday, November 26, 2007
The democrats' hero's are hillary, osama, kennedy, castro, chavez, and just about anyone who is anti-AMERICAN. The democrats will go down in history as the people who were for the enslavement of the American people and against FREEDOM. The democrats are working hard to take away our freedom, so we must work even harder to stop these anti-American facists.
Most Americans know who the real hero's are: Those who truely serve their country and put their lives at risk for the USA and the freedoms we still have.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
By Ranit Mishori ( family medicine resident at Georgetown University/Providence Hospital )
It may be a dangerous, germ-filled world out there, but with your little bottle of -- choose one: Dial, Safeguard, Palmolive -- you can stroll worry-free through it.
Or so you may think.
The problem about our obsession with killing germs, some scientists and public health advocates warn, is that it may ultimately do us more harm than good.
Stuart Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine, says, despite several "potential negative consequences" of these products, including weakening the immune system, which could lead to a greater chance of allergies in children, and their possible link to the emergence of antibiotic resistance -- the very problem that is making some diseases so difficult to treat.
What's more, many illnesses such as flu and the common cold, which prompt people to wipe down telephone handsets and doorknobs, are caused not by bacteria but by viruses -- and antibacterials can't slow a virus at all.
"For general use, antibacterial soaps are not superior to cleansing with regular soap and water," says Shmuel Shoham, an infectious disease specialist at Washington Hospital Center. His view is backed by the conclusions of an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration, which voted 11 to 1 in 2005 that, when it comes to keeping us healthy, antibacterial soaps and washes are no more effective.
While the arguments continue over whether antibacterial soap does any good, there's a second concern over whether it may actually do harm.
"Evidence is accumulating," Shoham says, "that chemicals used in antimicrobial soaps may be causing bacteria to become more resistant to commonly used antibiotics."
Beyond the drug-resistance worries, some scientists are concerned that antimicrobial soap is an indiscriminate killer.
Some bacteria are bad for us, but some are good. The antimicrobials kill both. And when the good bacteria are gone, there's more room for the bad bacteria to grow, raising our risk of becoming sick.
Besides, a germ-free environment may actually weaken our immune systems, some critics say. They are referring to the Hygiene Hypothesis -- the theory that children build their immune systems from infancy by putting in their mouths all those dirty objects they find lying around.
A number of studies have linked the development of allergies, asthma and skin problems in children to their having been raised in environments that are too sterile. "You need a little dirt," Levy says, "to train your immune system correctly."
The takeaway message: If you are worried about MRSA, E. coli, SARS, influenza or simply the common cold, you already know you should wash your hands.
Regular soap and water will do.
Read the complete story at:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/09/AR2007110902114.html
Also read my blog entry: Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your Health?
When I was 12 years old (1954) I saw Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and for the first time fell in love with a woman, Jane Powell. I have seen the movie countless times over the years and still love it and Jane.
Looking for Jane: Yore Beautiful Hide
Jane teaching the brothers: Goin' Courtin'
Why don't they still make beautiful movies like this one?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
And a big THANKS to Hot Air:
Friday, November 9, 2007
It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming... It is a SCAM.
Some scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long-term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.
Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.
Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15-minute documentary segment.
I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.
However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science, the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.
I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril.
I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.
In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As temperatures rise, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern will all fail to occur as predicted, and everyone will come to realize we have been duped.
The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.
I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.
A lot of good articles about the scam of global warming at this web site:
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome.
A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from “Chosen” Company 2-12 Infantry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope.
The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. ” Thank you, thank you,” the people were saying. One man said, “Thank you for peace.” Another man, a Muslim, said “All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian, is brother.” The men and women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged land between two rivers.
Michael Yon does not receive funding or financial support from any network, movie, book or television deals at this time. He is entirely reader supported. He relies on his readers to help him replace his equipment and cover his expenses so that he may remain in Iraq and bring you the stories of our soldiers. If you value his work, please consider supporting his mission. You can support him by donating here:
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
By Nina Teicholz,
For decades, Americans have been told that saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease. But there's just one problem: No one's ever proved it.
Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat — about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of the Masai, a nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania.
In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of heart disease.
Scientists, confused by the finding, argued that the tribe must have certain genetic protections against developing high cholesterol. But when British researchers monitored a group of Masai men who moved to Nairobi and began consuming a more modern diet, they discovered that the men's cholesterol subsequently skyrocketed.
Similar observations were made of the Samburu — as well as the Fulani of Nigeria. While the findings from these cultures seem to contradict the fact that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease, it may surprise you to know that this "fact" isn't a fact at all. It is, more accurately, a hypothesis from the 1950s that's never been proved.
Read the whole story at:
At least one is letting them know of his disapproval of the planned memorial. Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo condemns the continued use of the giant crescent in the Flight 93 Memorial. Rep. Tancredo sent a letter of complaint to Park Service Director Mary Bomar. It notes the continued presence of the crescent:
"Unfortunately, it appears that little if any substantive changes to the most troubling aspect of the design – the crescent shape – have been made. And while I regret having to contact the Park Service again about this issue, I sincerely hope that you will direct the committee to scrap the crescent design entirely in favor of a new design that will not make the memorial a flashpoint for this kind of controversy and criticism."
For the full story and the complete letter that RepresentativeTom Tancredo sent to the Park Service Director go to:
Hat Tip to: Atlas Shrugs
Monday, November 5, 2007
Trofimko Lysenko is not a household name; but it should be, because he was the model for all the Politically Correct “science” in the last hundred years.
There is such a thing as pathological science. Science becomes unhealthy when its only real question — “what is true?” — is sabotaged by vested interests, by ideological Commissars, or even by grant-swinging scientists. Today’s Global Warming campaign is endangering real, honest science. Global Warming superstition has become an international power grab, and good science suffers as a result.
Hat Tip: Sister Toldjah
If a survey found that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe lawmakers are using global warming hysteria to raise taxes, would the climate change obsessed media report it?
Highly doubtful, wouldn't you agree?
Well, Britain's Daily Mail published an article Monday that seems quite unlikely any major U.S. press outlet would dare cover for fear of contradicting the media meme of the debate being over concerning this controversial issue.
Nearly two-thirds of the public believe ministers are using environmental fears as an excuse to raise tax revenue, according to a poll.
And research suggests their cynicism is justified - with green taxes raking in £10 billion more for the Treasury than it would cost to offset the entire UK's carbon footprint.
Furthermore, could you imagine any major American press outlet reporting that the public had actually been overtaxed.
Using previous international research into climate change, the report estimated that covering the social cost of carbon emissions would have cost £11.7 billion in 2005.
But receipts from green taxes such as fuel duty, road tax and the Climate Change Levy totalled £21.9 billion. On average every household in the UK paid £400 more in levies than it cost to cover their own footprint, the TPA claimed.
It's all about the money, folks. And, our friends across the Pond know it.
You keep saying that Social Security has lost 14 years of solvency on President Bush’s watch. In 2000, your husband’s last year in office, the program’s trustees said it would be solvent until 2037. Now they say it will be solvent until 2041. As the most serious female candidate for president we’ve ever had, aren’t you setting a bad example by not being able to do math?
You’ve repeatedly denounced Halliburton’s “no-bid contracts.” Did you object when the Clinton administration awarded a similar non-competitive contract to Halliburton for reconstruction work in the former Yugoslavia? If not, why not? If so, why didn’t your husband listen?
Can you explain — without accusing anyone of anti-Asian bigotry — why so many Chinese criminals keep giving you and your husband piles of cash?
You’ve claimed that you are the Democrat best able to “deal” with the Republicans’ natural advantage if there is another terrorist attack. Why is it wrong for Republicans to say they’re tougher on terrorism than Democrats, but O.K. for you to say so?
Hat Tip and more at:
Monday, October 29, 2007
Halloween stirs imagination in costume-loving Japan
Sun Oct 28, 2007
By Sophie Hardach
TOKYO (Reuters) - A handful of giggling Japanese women wearing devil's horns and cat costumes gather under a giant neon-orange pumpkin outside a Tokyo shopping mall.
"Halloween is different," Saori says, giggling as she tugs at her hooded cape with cat ears.
The cult around fancy dress, and Japan's love of quirky festivals and eccentric trends in general, may go towards explaining why Halloween has turned from an obscure foreign celebration into a popular cultural event here.
"Japanese wear suits every day, so at the weekend they like to be different," says Saori's friend Akiko.
In fact, the street party in Kawasaki, on the outskirts of Tokyo, is just a warm-up to Halloween on October 31.
Shopping malls in other Asian countries, too, have picked up on this aspect of Halloween. Around this time of the year, cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns adorn shops and bars in Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and Seoul, tapping into a deeper Asian interest in the otherworld that shows through in local festivals for the dead.
Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, has its roots in Celtic tradition and marks the night before All Saints Day.
Ei, a father of two, has organized trick-and-treat evenings for children in his Tokyo neighborhood for the past four years together with other Japanese, American and European families.
Last year, Ei dressed up as a huge traffic cone to watch over little princesses and Spider-men trick-or-treating in his street. Some twenty-odd families in his neighborhood agreed to open their houses that year, and were swamped by more than 500 children. "I hope it doesn't grow more," he said.
Full Story at: http://www.reuters.com/article/inDepthNews/idUST12652320071029?feedType=RSS&feedName=inDepthNews
Saturday, October 27, 2007
He's the world's most famous gorilla, playing the drums to an audience of millions in the Cadbury ad. But how's it done? With 27 radio-controlled motors, a three man team and countless hand-tied yak hairs.It was what you might call a hairy situation. But, as the ape picked me up and swung me around a deserted car park, somewhere in the middle of California, a feeling of surprising calm and security washed over me. I rubbed his paunch. He patted my head, clumsily, and I don't mind telling you it was a beautiful moment. For this was not your average six-foot primate. This was the world's first celebrity gorilla, whose televised drum solo has led to instant stardom, worldwide renown - and a monster surge in chocolate consumption. It was a privilege to meet him.
There is something utterly compelling about the 90-second Cadbury's commercial which first aired two months ago and features the beast in private rapture as he drums along to Phil Collins's In The Air Tonight. And the result has been a quite astonishing success. So far, the advertisement has received six million hits from viewers on the internet. It has even prompted the re-release of Collins's 1981 hit, pushing it back into the Top 20 - an even more improbable occurrence, you might think, than a drumming gorilla. Most pertinently for those concerned, though, Cadbury's unique brand of wild rock has resulted in a nine-percent rise in sales of Dairy Milk chocolate bars.
Viewers have been left both gripped and bewildered by the joyful ape, which is life-like down to the flaring nostrils and the curling lips. Many believe a real animal was trained to work the pedals and the sticks. Some have claimed that Phil Collins himself was wearing a hairy suit.
Today, however, I can reveal that the man behind - or should that be inside? - the gripping performance is American actor Garon Michael, a primate specialist who has starred as a great ape in the films Congo, Instinct and the recent Planet Of The Apes remake.
If you missed the performance or want to see it again I have it posted here:
Full story and good pictures at:
By LiveScience Staff
posted: 26 October 2007 03:00 pm ET
Researchers at New Mexico State University have discovered the world’s hottest chili pepper. It's called the Bhut Jolokia, a variety originating in Assam, India.
In tests that yield Scoville heat units (SHUs), the Bhut Jolokia reached 1 million SHUs, almost double the SHUs of former hotshot Red Savina (a type of habanero pepper), which measured a mere 577,000. The result was announced today by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences collected seeds of Bhut Jolokia while visiting India in 2001. He grew the plants for three years to produce enough seeds to complete the field tests.
"The name Bhut Jolokia translates as 'ghost chile,'" Bosland explained. "I think it’s because the chile is so hot, you give up the ghost when you eat it!"
Thursday, October 25, 2007
By Jerry Adler and Jeneen Interlandi
NEWSWEEK Oct 29, 2007 Issue
Behold yourself, for a moment, as an organism. A trillion cells stuck together, arrayed into tissues and organs and harnessed by your DNA to the elemental goals of survival and propagation. But is that all? An electron microscope would reveal that you are teeming with other life-forms. Any part of your body that comes into contact with the outside world—your skin, mouth, nose and (especially) digestive tract—is home to bacteria, fungi and protozoa that outnumber the cells you call your own by 10, or perhaps a hundred, to one.
Their ancestors began colonizing you the moment you came into the world. There are thousands of different species, found in combinations "as unique as our DNA or our fingerprints," says Stanford biologist David Relman, who is investigating the complex web of interactions microbes maintain with our digestive, immune and nervous systems. Where do you leave off, and they begin? Microbes, Relman holds, are "a part of who we are."
As antibiotics lose their effectiveness, researchers are returning to an idea that dates back to Pasteur, that the body's natural microbial flora aren't just an incidental fact of our biology, but crucial components of our health, intimate companions on an evolutionary journey that began millions of years ago. The science writer Jessica Snyder Sachs summarizes this view in four words in the title of her ground-breaking new book: "Good Germs, Bad Germs." Our microbes do us the favor of synthesizing vitamins right in our guts; they regulate our immune systems and even our serotonin levels: germs, it seems, can make us happy. They influence how we digest our food, how much we eat and even what we crave. The genetic factors in weight control might reside partly in their genes, not ours. Regrettably, it turns out that bacteria exhibit a strong preference for making us fat.
Some bacteria seem to be both good and bad. The best-known is Helicobacter pylori, a microbe that has evolved to live in the acid environment of the stomach. It survives by burrowing into the stomach's mucous lining and secreting enzymes that reduce acidity. Nobel laureates Barry Marshall and Robin Warren showed it could cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer. But then further studies discovered that infection with H. pylori was protective against esophageal reflux and cancer of the esophagus, and may also reduce the incidence of asthma. H. pylori, which is spread in drinking water and direct contact among family members, was virtually universal a few generations ago but is now on the verge of extinction in the developed world. The result is fewer ulcers and stomach cancer, but more cancer of the esophagus—which is increasing faster than any other form of cancer in America—more asthma, and … what else? We don't know. "H. pylori has colonized our guts since before humans migrated out of Africa," says Blaser. "You can't get rid of it and not expect consequences."
And there's one more thing that microbes can do, perhaps the most remarkable of all. Mycobacterium vaccae, a soil microbe found in East Africa that has powerful effects on the immune system, was tested at the University of Bristol as a cancer therapy. The results were equivocal, but researchers made the startling observation that patients receiving it felt better regardless of whether their cancer was actually improving. Neuroscientist Chris Lowry injected mice with it, and found, to his amazement, that it activated the serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex—in other words, it worked like an antidepressant, only without the side effects of insomnia and anxiety. Researchers believe M. vaccae works through the interleukin-10 pathway, although the precise mechanism is uncertain. But there is at least the tantalizing, if disconcerting, suggestion that microbes may be able to manipulate our happiness. Could the hygiene hypothesis help explain the rise in, of all things, depression? We're a long way from being able to say that, much less use that insight to treat people. But at least we are asking the right questions: not how to kill bacteria, but how to live with them.
(Excerpt from: Caution: Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your Health)
Complete story at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/57368?GT1=10450
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.
ALL BUT ONE. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.
He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did.
The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him,
"Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes.
She continued, "Are you Jesus?"
He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul:
"Are you Jesus?"
Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.
If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
"What's that?" he asked, unable to make out the design.
"It's a banjo," the man said sheepishly. "I'm from Alabama."
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
"She started licking her and loving her. Within a couple of days, Honey started naturally lactating," said Kathy Martin, whose husband, Jimmy, brought the kitten home six weeks ago. "The kitten took right to her."
Initially, the family worried such a big dog would be too rough for the tiny feline named Precious. But Honey showed her elation at Precious' presence, wagging her tail and prancing all over the house.
Precious now sometimes plays with dog bones, and Honey lets the kitten gnaw on her like a puppy.
"She thinks she's a dog," Kathy Martin said. "She's really fit right in."
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Authorities sealed off several premises and closed roads. The Times of London described shoppers coughing and spluttering as firefighters wearing special breathing masks sought the source of the smell.
The paper said firefighters smashed down the door of the Thai Cottage restaurant and seized extra-hot bird's eye chilies which had been left dry-frying. It said they were being prepared as part of a batch of Nam Prik Pao, a spicy Thai dip.
"The smoke didn't go up into the sky because of the rain and the heavy air," The Times quoted Thai Cottage owner Sue Wasboonma as saying. "It's the hottest thing we make."
The police spokesman said no arrests were made in the case.
"As far as I'm aware it's not a criminal offense to cook very strong chili," he said.
From: Yahoo News
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways.
yadda, yadda, yadda
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it.
But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy. I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia.
And I hate to say it but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it. I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves.
There was no email. We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen. Then you had to walk outside and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there.
There were no MP3's or Napsters. You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself. Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up.
We didn't have fancy stuff like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it. And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, a collections agent, you just didn't know. You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister.
We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600. With games like ' Space Invaders' and 'asteroids' and the graphics sucked. Your guy was a little square. You actually had to use your imagination. And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever. And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died. Just like LIFE!
When you went to the movie theater there was no such thing as stadium seating. All the seats were the same height, If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed.
Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control. You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing. You had to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats!
And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove or go build a fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!
The over 30 Crowd
In 1980 I was already over 30.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
US government slowly surrendering to the islamofacists. A really sad sight to see an islamofacist in a US government uniform wearing an islamofacist headdress frisking a nun at a US airport. Unless American citizens take back our government, complete surrender is not far off. The indifferent bored woman sitting and watching is symbolic of most Americans.
America, you better wake up now!