Monday, December 10, 2007

Best Invention Ever!

It may not protect Jordan's packages from breaking, but it sure is great for those days when you are angry and need some release!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For all you Rednecks out there...

This is something straight out of NASCAR. And I can totally see Jordan doing something like this haha!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pads for clothes

"Apply the slender, stick-on cotton liners to your clothes for instant fashion protection."

Does anybody else think this sounds like maxi-pads? I do. Check out what it really is.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Thai Chilies Spark Terror Alert in London"

"London's Thai Cottage put the pow in nam prik pao on Wednesday when fumes from a huge pot of dry cooking bird's eye chilies sparked a terror alert that led police to break down the restaurant's door. Firefighters emerged from the eatery with a pot containing nine pounds of smoking peppers.

Soho residents had complained of a chemical burning their throats and the London Fire Brigade quickly dispatched a chemical response team. When I was a kid my chilihead father had the brilliant idea of making his own hot oil in the house by frying peppers in oil. So I can attest to the fact that vapors from smoking chilies do indeed take one's breath away. Thank god dear old Dad didn't use anywhere near nine pounds.

I will say however that smoking peppers do not smell at all like a chemical. Chef Chalemchai Tangjariyapoon agrees, "I was making a spicy dip with extra-hot chillies that are deliberately burnt. To us, it smells like burnt chili and it is slightly unusual."

DiStefano, Joe. "Thai Chilies Spark Terror Alert in London." 5 October 2007. 6 October 2007.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I knew there was a good reason I did not like these shoes!

One of the nation's largest subway systems — the Washington Metro — has even posted ads warning riders about wearing such shoes on its moving stairways. The ads feature a photo of a crocodile, though they don't mention Crocs by name.

Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.

At first, Rory's mother had no idea what caused the boy's foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory's shoes, that she began to suspect the Crocs and did an Internet search.

"I came home and typed in 'Croc' and 'escalator,' and all these stories came up," said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Va. "If I had known, those would never have been worn."

According to reports appearing across the United States and as far away as Singapore and Japan, entrapments occur because of two of the biggest selling points of shoes like Crocs: their flexibility and grip. Some report the shoes get caught in the "teeth" at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator.

The reports of serious injuries have all involved young children. Crocs are commonly worn by children as young as 2. The company introduced shoes in its smallest size, 4/5, this past spring.

Niwot, Colo.-based Crocs Inc. said it does not keep records of the reasons for customer-service calls. But the company said it is aware of "very few" problems relating to accidents involving the shoes, which are made of a soft, synthetic resin.

"Thankfully, escalator accidents like the one in Virginia are rare," the company said in a statement.

In Japan, the government warned consumers last week that it has received 39 reports of sandals — mostly Crocs or similar products — getting stuck in escalators from late August through early September. Most of the reports appear to have involved small children, some as young as two years old.

Kazuo Motoya of Japan's National Institute of Technology and Evaluation said children may have more escalator accidents in part because they "bounce around when they stand on escalators, instead of watching where they place their feet."

In Singapore, a 2-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs — it's unclear what brand — had her big toe completely ripped off in an escalator accident last year, according to local media reports.

And at the Atlanta airport, a 3-year-old boy wearing Crocs suffered a deep gash across the top of his toes in June. That was one of seven shoe entrapments at the airport since May 1, and all but two of them involved Crocs, said Roy Springer, operations manager for the company that runs the airport terminal.

One U.S. retailer that caters to children, Mattel subsidiary American Girl, has posted signs in three locations directing customers wearing Crocs or flip-flop sandals to use elevators instead of escalators.

During the past two years, so-called "shoe entrapments" in the Washington subway have gone from being relatively rare to happening four or five times a week in the summer, though none has caused serious injuries, said Dave Lacosse, who oversees the subway's 588 escalators, the most of any U.S. transit system.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said escalator accidents caused more than 10,000 injuries last year, but the agency has few records of specific shoe problems. Only two shoe entrapments have been reported by consumers since the beginning of 2006. One reported in May involved "rubber footwear."

Agency spokesman Ed Kang urged people who have had problems to report them on the commission's Web site.

Crocs officials said they were working with the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation on public education initiatives. But the group's executive director, Barbara Allen, said that's not true.

Allen said a Crocs official called her in September 2006 about possible cooperation, even suggesting the company might put a tag in its shoes with the foundation's Web address. But since that first contact, Crocs has not called, and nobody from the company will return Allen's calls, she said.

Washington Metro's Lacosse and other escalator experts say the best way to prevent shoe entrapments is to face the direction the stairs are moving, keep feet away from the sides and step over the teeth at the end.

Lacosse, of the Washington subway system, said he is personally skittish of Crocs and other soft-soled shoes.

"Would I wear them? No," he said. "And I tell my children not to wear them either."

Associated Press. "Load of Croc? Popular Shoes May Pose Danger to Toes on Escalators." 18 Sept 2007. 18 Sept 2007.,2933,297143,00.html

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lipstick in the Bathroom

According to a news report, a certain school in Garden City, MI was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the washroom.That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. He called all the girls to the washroom and met them there with the maintenance man. He explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, he asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.


There are teachers, and then there are Educators.

"Lipstick in School." 15 Sept 2007.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

French Fry Chips

I don't know about you guys but I think sometimes the snack food industry just goes too far. If you want french fries and are willing to eat the calories (which, I usually am), why not just go get the real thing??? Just another way to Have It Your Way, I guess.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


In the pathway of the sun,
In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
He shall ride the silver seas,
He shall cut the glittering wave.

I shall sit at home and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbor's knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.

They will call him brave.

Roberts, Edgar V., ed. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. 980.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I heart Coffee, and you should too

"(WebMD) The caffeine in three daily cups of coffee or tea may help older women preserve their memory, a new French study shows.

Researchers included Karen Ritchie, PhD, of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Montpellier, France.

Ritchie's team studied some 7,000 men and women aged 65 and older (average age: 74) in three French cities: Bordeaux, Dijon, and Montpellier.

When the study started, participants reported how many daily cups of tea and coffee they drank. They also noted all of their medications, since some drugs contain caffeine. Few drank colas or cocoa, which also contain caffeine.

Participants took several tests of their mental skills, including a memory test based on a list of words. They repeated those tests two years later and again four years after the study began.

Women who reported drinking at least three cups of coffee or tea per day at the study's start showed less of a drop in their test scores during the study, compared with women who reported consuming at most one daily cup of tea or coffee.

The biggest benefit was seen in the women's verbal memory.

It didn't matter if the women favored coffee or tea. That finding suggests that the caffeine was what mattered most, according to the researchers.

But caffeine didn't seem to affect women's risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The study may have been too short to show such a benefit, the researchers note.

What about men? The data show no caffeine benefits in men's test scores over the years. Women may be more sensitive to caffeine's effects, according to Ritchie and colleagues.

Caffeine consumption may merely be a marker of other health habits that
affect memory. Ritchie's team considered that possibility. The study's results didn't change.

Still, observational studies such as this one don't prove cause and effect. That is, the researchers didn't directly test caffeine to see whether it helps save women's memory."

Hitti, Miranda. "Caffeine May Help Women's Memory." 6 Aug 2007. 8 Aug 2007.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Drew Carey vs. Bob Barker...

"Drew Carey, come on down! The comedian will replace Bob Barker as the new host of The Price Is Right.

The Cleveland native confirmed his new gig as the host of the CBS game show during a taping of the The Late Show with David Letterman, which is set to air Monday.

Barker retired last month after 35 years of hosting the daytime sensation, drawing a slew of replacement contenders including Rosie O'Donnell, Ian Ziering, George Hamilton and Mario Lopez.

Carey, who will also be host of a new CBS prime-time game show, The Power of 10, told Letterman that he only learned that the deal had been done a few minutes before appearing on stage.

"When do you begin?" asked Letterman, to which Carey, 49, replied: "You got me...All I know is that all the deal points we wanted got settled. And I just found out, honestly."

Last week, Carey told PEOPLE, 'I would really enjoy doing [the show], and I think I'd be good at it."

Carey had a ten-year run on ABC with his sitcom The Drew Carey Show and was host of the improv show Whose Line is It Anyway?"

Dagostino, Mark. "Drew Carey to Host the Price is Right." 23 July 2007. 24 July 2007.,,20047780,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dick Cheney Assumes the Presidential Powers as Bush undergoes Colonoscopy

President George W. Bush transferred the powers of the presidency to Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday just before being sedated for a routine screening to detect colon cancer.

With a signed letter to the leaders of the House and Senate, Bush temporarily transferred his authority at 7:16 a.m. (1116 GMT) to Cheney, who is at his home on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Maryland, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Washington.

"The vice president is now serving as acting president," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

He said the temporary transfer of power will end when Bush transmits a second letter to the congressional leaders advising that he is resuming the powers of the presidency immediately.

Bush relinquished his authority by implementing Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment — approved in 1967 four years after President Kennedy was assassinated — has been used only twice before.

The first time was in July 1985 when President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery and turned over power to his vice president, Bush's father. The other time was when Bush relinquished his presidential powers to Cheney for more than two hours during a colon cancer scan on June 29, 2002.

Dr. Richard Tubb, the president's doctor, was supervising Bush's colonoscopy, which was being done at the Camp David presidential retreat. The colonoscopy was being performed by a team from the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland.

"Although no polyps were noted in the exam in 2002, age and history would suggest that there's a reasonable chance that polyps will be noted this time," White House press secretary Tony Snow said Friday. "If so, they'll be removed and evaluated microscopically."

Two polyps were discovered during similar examinations in 1998 and 1999, while Bush was governor of Texas. That made the 61-year-old president a prime candidate for regular examinations.

Snow, himself a cancer sufferer, said results would be available after 48 hours to 72 hours, if not sooner.

Snow had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer. On March 26, he underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area, and doctors determined that cancer had metastasized, or spread, to the liver.

For the general population, a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer is recommended every 10 years. But for people at higher risk, or if a colonoscopy detects precancerous polyps, follow-up colonoscopies often are scheduled in three- to five-year intervals.

Associated Press. "Dick Cheney Assumes Presidential Powers as Bush Undergoes Colonoscopy." 21 July 2007. 21 July 2007.,2933,290263,00.html

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Toddler served booze at Applebee's

There's an "America's Favorite Neighbor" joke in here somewhere but I can't think of one at the moment.

A 2 year-old was accidentally served a margarita in his drink instead of the apple juice his mother ordered. The kid kept pushing the drink away after taking a sip and his mom didn't understand why. She opened the sippy cup and found the alcohol. She wasn't going to make a fuss, but later at home the child got sick and vomited. The chain says the incident was an isolated mistake. The child is fine now.

The reason this happened? Not only was the apple juice and the Triple sec/tequila mixture kept on the same shelf, they were kept in identical plastic bottles. Yikes.

Sassone, Bob. "Toddler served booze at Applebee's." 18 Jun 2007. 19 Jun 2007.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I stole this from a fellow Solder's Girl

You don't know, but I'm the girl who cries every morning, and hopes every night for his safe return. I'm the girl who drags herself out of bed every morning so that he will be proud of her when he comes home. I'm the girl who lies in bed longing for him to be lying nect to me. I'm the girl who sits quietly because all I can think about is that next moment when he will safely be in my arms again. You don't know, but I'm the girl with a million things to say, but not one will come out without the thought of him. I'm the girl who checks her cell phone every five seconds just to make sure I haven't missed his call. I'm the girl who stops and stares and wishes for him to return soon each and every time another man in uniform walks by.
What you don't know is that I know love on an entirely different level from most. I know the love that spans time and space; that love that most people are constantly searching for. I'm one of the girls who waits months for a single kiss; a kiss that will make the months apart worth every second. A kiss where everything in the world stops and for what seems like eternirty, you can see into that person's soul and know that without them, life is not worth living. I know that love has no age limit. You tell me I don't even understand what love is, I tell you, I know more love in one homecoming than most know in a life time. You don't know that every time he leaves part of me goes with him and part of him stays with me. You tell me that people change and I tell you, true love will always remain constant and steady. That I'm going through; you have no idea. What you don't realize is thatt I understand the true meaning of not only love, but of longing and anticipation.
You don't see, but I'm one of the few who gets goose bumps as my heart fills with pride every time the National Anthem is played. I'm one of the girls who will stand tall and stay strong on the outside, but be dying on the inside. I am one of the girls who will make friends with complete strangers for only they can even begin to understand what I am going through. You don't understand that I picture his face everywhere I go and that he is with me in everything I do. You think I don't cry anymore, that I have gotten over it, but what you don't know is that I just hide it better. You don't know the feeling of the first time you hear the word "deployment" or the feeling of his hand as it slides out of yours for what could be the last time. You don't know how much that last hug or kiss means and how important that goodbye truly is. I'm the girl you see standing alone in the corner of the airport watching quietly out the window with tears rolling down her cheeks. I'm the girl you see walking by with a disheartened face staring silently at the ground. What you don't know, is that I know true love and that no matter what obstacles we have to face, our love is forever.
You tell me that you support our troops; I tell you I'm in love with one. I'm one of the silent, but outgoing; weak, but strong; scared, but grateful. What you don't see is that without me, he is nothing and without him, I am nothing. I'm one of those girls; the girl who stands tall behind her Soldier, stands proud behind her Hero, stands strong behind her man, watching silently as he serves and defends our country.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"If glory can be killed, we are lost."

"Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then--the glory--so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
"I don't know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. Some of these forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate other things we hold good. It is true that two men can lift a bigger stone than one man. A group can build automobiles quicker and better than one man, and bread from a huge factory is cheaper and more uniform. When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economies, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused.
"At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
"Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.
"And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repression, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost."

Steinbeck, John. East of Eden. New York: Penguin Books, 1952.

Friday, June 08, 2007

This is for all those people who don't believe me when I say ICY HOT is dangerous.

A budding teenage athlete has died after 'overdosing' on a common topical muscle cream.

The medical examiner announced on Thursday that the 17-year-old track star, Arielle Newman of Castleton Corners, N.Y., died from a toxic dose of sports cream, the Staten Island Advance reported.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's officer told the Advance that the Notre Dame Academy track star's blood contained lethal amounts of methyl salicylate, the active ingredient found in muscle rubs such as BenGay and Icy Hot.

Borakove said the petite girl used the topical medication excessively, allowing the poisons to accumulate in her body over an undetermined amount of time.

Newman was found dead in her home on April 3. The initial autopsy was inconclusive, which led to speculation her death was linked to a party she had attended the night before.

"I am glad this shows (Arielle) didn't die of her own doing. But this is a tragedy that could have been avoided," her mother, Alice Newman told the Advance.

Methyl salicylate, also known as oil of wintergreen, can be toxic if overused, but deaths from topical application are extremely rare.

Borakove said this was the first case she had come across in 20 years at the medical examiner's office.

Poisoning from swallowing the substance is more likely, but death from ingesting it is still very uncommon. Just one teaspoon of pure methyl salicylate can be fatal if swallowed by a child.

"Even though this is an extremely rare case, it points to the danger of over-the-counter products, whatever the case may be," said Dr. Manny Alvarez, the managing health editor of "Everyone needs to pay attention to over the counter products, even the products that seem safe can be deadly if used improperly."

"Teen Dies from Muscle Cream Overdose." 08 June 2007. 08 June 2007.,2933,279482,00.html

Dr. Burke will not be coming back.

Well, it is official. They finally told us what all the Grey's fans knew already:

The speculation is over: After a controversial season, Isaiah Washington will not be returning to Grey's Anatomy, his rep and ABC Television Studio have confirmed.

Howard Bragman, Washington's publicist, says Washington's option was not renewed, and released this statement from the actor: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."

Bragman did not elaborate on the statement, a reference to the 1976 film Network.

The cast was notified Thursday night of the final decision, which, says a source close to the situation, was a long time coming. In the end, the source says, Washington's behavior made him a liability.

Rumors ran rampant following the season finale – during which Washington's character, Dr. Preston Burke, broke up with his fiancĂ©e, Christina Yang (Sandra Oh), and moved out of their apartment – that Washington would not be returning.

The actor first came under fire last fall after getting into an altercation with Patrick Dempsey, during which he allegedly referred to castmate T.R. Knight with a homophobic slur.

Washington later apologized, checked into rehab, met with gay leaders and recently released a PSA decrying the use of hate speech.

"Isaiah Washington Let Go from Grey's Anatomy." Green, Mary. 07 June 2007. 08 June 2007.,,20041841,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines

Friday, June 01, 2007

Attention Military Wifes!!!!!!!

A friend of mine got hit by this scam and it devastated her! I don't understand why people are so cruel. An injured soldier is a serious, devastating event. How could you turn it into a scam?

New Scam Targeting Military Spouses

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006

Contact: Devorah Goldburg
Phone: (202) 303-4461

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, May 29, 2007 — The American Red Cross has learned about a new scam targeting military families. This scam takes the form of false information to military families as described below:

The caller (young-sounding, American accent) calls a military spouse and identifies herself as a representative from the Red Cross . The caller states that the spouse's husband (not identified by name) was hurt while on duty in Iraq and was med-evacuated to a hospital in Germany. The caller stated they couldn't start treatment until paperwork was accomplished, and that in order to start the paperwork they needed the spouse to verify her husband's social security number and date of birth. In this case, the spouse was quick to catch on and she did not provide any information to the caller.

The American Red Cross representatives typically do not contact military members/dependents directly and almost always go through a commander or first sergeant channels. Military family members are urged not to give out any personal information over the phone if contacted by unknown/unverified individuals, to include confirmation that your spouse is deployed.

It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, for a person to falsely or fraudulently pretend to be a member of, or an agent for, the American National Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material.

In addition, American Red Cross representatives will contact military members/dependents directly only in response to an emergency message initiated by your family. The Red Cross does not report any type of casualty information to family members. The Department of Defense will contact families directly if their military member has been injured. Should any military family member receive such a call, they are urged to report it to their local Family Readiness Group or Military Personnel Flight.

The American Red Cross ensures that the American people are in touch with their family members serving in the United States military by operating a communications network that is open 24-hours, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year. Through a network of employees and volunteers at Red Cross national that link families during emergencies, access to emergency financial assistance, confidential counseling, community support headquarters, local chapters, on military installations, and deployed with troops, the Red Cross offers a broad range of services. Among these services, the Red Cross provides communications for families left behind, assistance to veterans, and preparedness courses for military personnel and their families

The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This brings a whole new meaning to "Survivor"

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A Dutch reality show that claims to be trying to draw attention to a shortage of organ donors said Tuesday it would go ahead with a program in which a terminally ill woman will choose a contestant to receive one of her kidneys.

The program, “Big Donor Show,” has been attacked as unethical and tasteless. One member of the Dutch parliament suggested the government should block Friday’s broadcast.

“We know that this program is super controversial and some people will think it’s tasteless, but we think the reality is even more shocking and tasteless: Waiting for an organ is just like playing the lottery,” Laurens Drillich, chairman of the BNN network, said in a statement.

He said waiting lists in the Netherlands are more than four years long and 200 patients die annually for lack of a donor.

The network identified the donor as “Lisa,” a 37-year-old woman with an inoperable brain tumor. During the show, she will hear interviews with the three candidates, their families and friends before choosing who will get her kidney.

The show is being produced by Endemol NV, the creator of the “Big Brother” series.

A spokeswoman for BNN said that there could be no guarantees the donation would actually be made, “but the intention is” Lisa’s donation would be carried out before she died.

That is because her wish to donate to a particular candidate “wouldn’t be valid anymore after her death” under Dutch donation rules, Marieke Saly said. If Lisa does donate one kidney while living, the other kidney may still be awarded to someone else on a national donation waiting list under the country’s organ allotment system.

Viewers will be able to vote for the candidate they feel is most deserving via SMS text message, but “Lisa will determine who the happy one is,” BNN said in a statement.

Saly could not say how much it will cost to send an SMS, but most TV programs charge around $1.35.

Joop Atsma, a lawmaker of the ruling Christian Democrats, raised the issue in parliament, asking the government whether the program violated any law.

“Is it desirable that public broadcasting would go down this path, and is there no way to send a strong signal that we reject this?” he said.

Education Minister Ronald Plasterk, addressing parliament on behalf of the government because the health minister was ill, replied that there were serious questions about whether the transplant would actually go through as BNN has advertised it — but that there was no way to stop the program from airing.

“The information I have right now tells me that the program is unfitting and unethical, especially due to the competitive element, but it’s up to program makers to make their choices,” he said.

“The constitution forbids me from interfering in the content of programs: Let there be no mistake about that, that would be censorship.”

He said that there were practical barriers.

“In every transplant the tissue of the donor and the patient must match as much as possible,” Plasterk said. “The doctors in this program can’t make any concessions on that front.”

There also was doubt whether Lisa’s organs could be donated at all because it might spread her cancer, he said.

“So it’s very possible that in practical terms we’re not talking about anything here, because it’s possible this transplant can’t take place,” he said.

Noting the shortage of donors, he said it was a good time for a debate on the question of what incentives to donate are ethical.

He cited the example of a Dutch funeral home that is offering discounts to the families of people who were registered as donors, and an idea presented by the country’s Kidney Institute to give registered donors preference on organ waiting lists.

"Contestants to vie for kidney on reality show." Associated Press. 29 May 2007. 30 May 2007.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Water is Dangerous

H2O: Dangerous Chemical!
A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."

And for plenty of good reasons, since:

1. it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. it is a major component in acid rain
3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. accidental inhalation can kill you
5. it contributes to erosion
6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical.

* Forty-three (43) said yes,
* six (6) were undecided,
* and only one (1) knew that the chemical was water.

The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?"

He feels the conclusion is obvious.

This was found here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tampon Tazer

Man, I wish I would have had this last night when that creepy guy called me at work!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

19 year old to graduate college after year

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - A 19-year-old suburban Detroit resident is on track to graduate from The University of Michigan after just a year of study.

Nicole Matisse, of Bloomfield Hills, is to officially graduate in the summer with a bachelor's degree in psychology.

As a student at Lahser High School, Matisse had exhausted the curriculum by her junior year. Between the exams she passed on eight advanced placement courses and the eight classes she took at Oakland Community College, she had amassed enough credits to enter the university last fall as a junior.

"When I got to U-M, I only took 19 credits, and I was bored and craved more credits," she told The Detroit News for a Wednesday story. "So even when I took 27 credits this semester, I felt I could have added even more."

It's unclear whether any other students have done what Matisse will accomplish this year, but Donna Wessel Walker, assistant director of the honors program, said she's never seen it happen.

"She's taking in one semester the course load that most people take in two," Wessel Walker said. "She is one determined young lady."

Matisse's next step is to start as a first-year student at the Wayne State University law school in Detroit.

Associated Press. "19-year-old to graduate college after year." 25 Apr 2007.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

God is now an action figure!

He even comes with an AK-47!

"Volunteers rescue kitty from tight spot"

It was a purr-fect rescue. The grate escape. A cat-astrophe narrowly averted. One black cat is lucky to be alive this week, after it caught its head in a drainage grate on State Street last Thursday morning and was freed only after a monumental effort from volunteers in two towns.

Stuck on the side of the road, just inches from passing motorists, the cat survived an unknown amount of time with only its head poking through the 130-pound grate before it was spotted and rescued. Rescuers called to the scene Thursday couldn't believe what they saw when they arrived.

"When I pulled up ... I said 'Wow'," said Bristol Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Viera.

"How this cat didn't get killed is just amazing," added Bristol Police Lt. Nick Guercia, who was also helped rescue the feline.

The rescue

It all began around 8:15 a.m., when police received a call of a cat stuck in a drain cover across from Magnolia Street near the old town reservoir. When police, fire and department of public works crews arrived, all they saw was a tiny black head sticking out above the grate.

"The cat was just hanging under there," said Lt. Guercia.

Crews blocked off the area and immediately set to work trying to free the young female. They didn't get far. Though they used pry bars, they had no luck pulling open the heavy drainage grate to get to the cat — it was just too heavy, said Lt. Guercia.

Not giving up, rescuers asked DPW employees to bring in a backhoe. Meanwhile, Bristol Animal Control Officer Dyanne Gibree lubricated the cat's head with liquid soap in an effort to make it slippery enough to wriggle out of the bind. That didn't work either.

Though the animal was likely in shock, Officer Gibree said she was very cooperative with its rescuers.

"It took a lot of manipulating," she said.

Plan B

When prybars, backhoes, liquid soap and coaxing all failed, rescuers opted for Plan B: Bring the cat, grate and all, to a veterinarian. They borrowed an old spare tire from nearby Watkinson's Automotive, used it as a shimmy to rest part of the grate on while they lifted the other part, and lifted the whole mess up in one piece. Once that was done, they transported the cat and its heavy new collar to the Sakonnet Animal Hospital in Tiverton. But taking it to the vet didn't assure the cat was out of the woods. When it arrived at the vet's office, said veterinarian William Condon, its temperature was about 94 degrees, well below the 102 degrees it should have been. Though he's seen similar cases, Dr. Condon said, he was still quite surprised to see the cat stuck in the grate.

"It was a pretty interesting scene," he said. "It's head was just peeking over the top."

Dr. Condon sedated the cat, lubricated its neck and head, shaved its neck, and commenced tugging and turning. After a bit of coaxing, he said, the cat finally slipped free.

"If it was able to get its head in there, it had to be able to get it out of there," he said.

The cat was kept at the hospital over the weekend, and despite its life-threatening ordeal Dr. Condon later said it was recovering well. Though it's a bit shy, he said, it should make a full recovery.

"Its vital signs are good."

Finding the owner

Doctors and rescuers are still trying to locate the cat's owner. Because it was wearing a collar at the time of its rescue, police believe it is domesticated. On Monday, the cat was brought to the Bristol Animal Shelter on Minturn Road, where it will stay until an owner comes forward. If one doesn't, it will be put up for adoption.

"I think she used five of her nine lives," joked Officer Gibree.

Martino, Stephan V. "Volunteers rescue kitty from tight spot." 2 March 2006. 24 March 2007.

"Poetry is Dangerous" by Kazim Ali

On April 19, after a day of teaching classes at Shippensburg University, I went out to my car and grabbed a box of old poetry manuscripts from the front seat of my little white Beetle and carried it across the street and put it next to the trashcan outside Wright Hall. The poems were from poetry contests I had been judging and the box was heavy. I had previously left my recycling boxes there and they were always picked up and taken away by the trash department.

A young man from ROTC was watching me as I got into my car and drove away. I thought he was looking at my car which has black flower decals and sometimes inspires strange looks. I later discovered that I, in my dark skin, am sometimes not even a person to the people who look at me. Instead, in spite of my peacefulness, my committed opposition to all aggression and war, I am a threat by my very existence, a threat just living in the world as a Muslim body.

Upon my departure, he called the local police department and told them a man of Middle Eastern descent driving a heavily decaled white Beetle with out of state plates and no campus parking sticker had just placed a box next to the trash can. My car has New York plates, but he got the rest of it wrong. I have two stickers on my car. One is my highly visible faculty parking sticker and the other, which I just don't have the heart to take off these days, says "Kerry/Edwards: For a Stronger America."

Because of my recycling the bomb squad came, the state police came. Because of my recycling buildings were evacuated, classes were canceled, campus was closed. No. Not because of my recycling. Because of my dark body. No. Not because of my dark body. Because of his fear. Because of the way he saw me. Because of the culture of fear, mistrust, hatred, and suspicion that is carefully cultivated in the media, by the government, by people who claim to want to keep us safe.

These are the days of orange alert, school lock-downs, and endless war. We are preparing for it, training for it, looking for it, and so of course, in the most innocuous of places--a professor wanting to hurry home, hefting his box of discarded poetry--we find it.

That man in the parking lot didn't even see me. He saw my darkness. He saw my Middle Eastern descent. Ironic because though my grandfathers came from Egypt, I am Indian, a South Asian, and could never be mistaken for a Middle Eastern man by anyone who'd ever met one.

One of my colleagues was in the gathering crowd, trying to figure out what had happened. She heard my description--a Middle Eastern man driving a white beetle with out of state plates--and knew immediately they were talking about me and realized that the box must have been manuscripts I was discarding. She approached them and told them I was a professor on the faculty there. Immediately the campus police officer said, "What country is he from?"

"What country is he from?!" she yelled, indignant.

"Ma'am, you are associated with the suspect. You need to step away and lower your voice," he told her.

At some length several of my faculty colleagues were able to get through to the police and get me on a cell phone where I explained to the university president and then to the state police that the box contained old poetry manuscripts that needed to be recycled. The police officer told me that in the current climate I needed to be more careful about how I behaved. "When I recycle?" I asked.

The university president appreciated my distress about the situation but denied that the call had anything to do with my race or ethnic background. The spokesperson of the university called it an "honest mistake," not referring to the young man from ROTC giving in to his worst instincts and calling the police but referring to me who made the mistake of being dark-skinned and putting my recycling next to the trashcan.

The university's bizarrely minimal statement lets everyone know that the "suspicious package" beside the trashcan ended up being, indeed, trash. It goes on to say, "We appreciate your cooperation during the incident and remind everyone that safety is a joint effort by all members of the campus community."

What does that community mean to me, a person who has to walk by the ROTC offices every day on my way to my own office just down the hall--who was watched, noted, and reported, all in a days work? Today we gave in willingly and whole-heartedly to a culture of fear and blaming and profiling. It is deemed perfectly appropriate behavior to spy on one another and police one another and report on one another. Such behaviors exist most strongly in closed and undemocratic and fascist societies.

The university report does not mention the root cause of the alarm. That package became "suspicious" because of who was holding it, who put it down, who drove away. Me.

It was poetry, I kept insisting to the state policeman who was questioning me on the phone. It was poetry I was putting out to be recycled.

My body exists politically in a way I can not prevent. For a moment today, without even knowing it, driving away from campus in my little beetle, exhausted after a day of teaching, listening to Justin Timberlake on the radio, I ceased to be a person when a man I had never met looked straight through me and saw the violence in his own heart.

Ali, Kazim. "Poetry is Dangerous." 2006.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Army Tours to be Extended

WASHINGTON - Beginning immediately, all active-duty Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours — three months longer than the usual standard, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

It was the latest move by the Pentagon to cope with the strains of fighting two wars simultaneously and maintaining a higher troop level in Iraq as part of President Bush’s revised strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.

Officials on Monday said some 13,000 National Guard troops were receiving orders alerting them to prepare for possible deployment to Iraq — meaning a second tour for several thousand of them.

Officials said a final decision to deploy the four infantry combat brigades later this year will be based on conditions on the ground, and named specific Guard units based in Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio.

“This policy is a difficult but necessary interim step,” Gates told a Pentagon news conference, adding that the goal is to eventually return to 12 months as the standard length of tour in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said the new policy does not affect the other main components of the U.S. ground force in Iraq: the Marines, whose standard tour is seven months, or the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, which will continue to serve 12-month tours.

Gates acknowledged that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making life difficult for many in the military.

“Our forces are stretched, there’s no question about that,” Gates said.

Trying to ‘share burden equally’
He said the new policy also seeks to ensure that all active-duty Army units get at least 12 months at home between deployments. He said it would allow the Pentagon to maintain the current level of troops in Iraq for another year, although he added that there has been no decision on future troop levels.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged the toll the change could have on troops in the press conference: “Is it an additional strain to go from 12 to 15 months? Of course it is.”

“When you tell the troops that they're going to be staying for 3 more months, you're basically increasing their stress, hurting their family life and putting them in greater danger,” he said.

Without changing the standard tour length to 15 months, the Army would have been forced to send five brigades to Iraq before they completed 12 months at home, Gates said.

Some units’ tours in Iraq had already been extended beyond 12 months by varying amounts. The new policy will make deployments more equitable and more predictable for soldiers and for their families, Gates said.

“I think it is fair to all soldiers that all share the burden equally,” he said.

© 2007 MSNBC InteractiveNBC News' Jim Miklaszewski and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Idaho National Guard Targeted by Sharp Shooters

BOISE, Idaho — For years, ATV-riding, gun-toting sport shooters have flouted gun laws in part of Idaho's high desert by taking pot shots at ground squirrels and other animals.

Now, officials say, they're also setting their sights on National Guard tanks that train in the area.

Rifles and pistols have been banned in a 68,000-acre area of the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area since 1996.

But the federal Bureau of Land Management is considering expanding the gun-restricted area by 41,000 acres to try to limit shootings at Idaho Army National Guard troops who report slugs bouncing off their tanks on a regular basis.

"There's a segment of the shooting community that will shoot at anything that moves," said John Sullivan, the area's manager.

National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Stephanie Dowling said she thinks the proposed expansion would help alleviate the problem.

"What's happened over time, as the population has grown, we get more and more people out there," said Dowling. "Not everybody uses good safety precautions."

Idaho is the third-fastest growing state, after only Nevada and Arizona.

Rancher Tom Nicholson sees changes in the range as more people move to Boise 25 miles away, then drive out into this mostly open country looking for fun.

The region is part of a 490,000-acre federal preserve where prairie falcons and eagles soar above, hunting ground squirrels that pop their heads by the thousands above the warming earth.

With just two agents to patrol 4 million acres of desert near Boise, gun enthusiasts regularly defy the ban by shooting squirrels, protected birds and even grazing cattle, park officials say.

Because money is already stretched thin, land management agents generally only cite illegal shooters they catch in the act. A photographer recently captured what looked to be a squirrel gunner in a restricted part of the conservation area, but even in that case, chances of prosecution are slim.

"If that was a photo of sufficient clarity that we could identify him, we would seek to prosecute," Sullivan said.

Fewer than 10 people per year are ticketed for illegal shooting in the area of the park, said Sullivan. A citation carries a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison.

Mark Fuller, director of the Rapter Research Center at Boise State University, estimates that dozens of protected birds are shot annually in the park, including in the restricted area.

He said the long-term negative effects on the park's 24 bird species populations haven't yet been documented.

Nicholson, who owns thousands of cattle that graze in the park, said shooters kill several each year.

He's remarkably forgiving, especially for someone who is out more than $1,000 every time a cow dies.

"It's public land," Nicholson said. "They have as much right to be on the range as we do."

Shotguns, which have a shorter range, are still allowed in the area.

The situation was even worse before the rifle-and-pistol ban in 1996, Sullivan said.

Soldiers training for missions in Iraq or other war zones are only looking for simulated battles, he said — not real bullets whizzing their way.

"It was like World War III on the weekends," he said.

Associated Press. "Idaho National Guard Targeted by Sharp Shooters." 5 Apr. 2007,2933,264270,00.html.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Only a Joke?

Or a cover up for the negative publicity??? People also published an article similar to the IMDB one I posted earlier today. Here is what has replaced it this afternoon:

Still proving George Bernard Shaw's observation that England and America are two countries divided by a common language, it now appears that Keith Richards's startling remark about having snorted his father's ashes was lost in the translation.

According to Richards's manager, Jane Rose, in an e-mail message to MTV News, Richards's comment about his sniffing his dad's cremated ashes – after he first mixed them with cocaine – was "said in jest. ... Can't believe anyone took [it] seriously."

Added Bernard Doherty of LD Communications, which represents the Rolling Stones: "It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true. File under April Fool's joke," the Associated Press reports.

As was quoted by the British music magazine NME, and picked up widely around the world, the Rolling Stones guitarist, 63, said of father Burt, who died at 84 in 2002, "He was cremated, and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared."

This is disgusting.

Rolling Stones star Keith Richards has stunned fans by revealing he once snorted his father's ashes, mixed with cocaine. The 63-year-old guitarist, who has long been associated with all manner of substance abuse, has told Britain's Nme his most bizarre drug-taking session came after his father Bert died in 2002. He says, "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared. It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive." Richards accepts he should be one of rock's casualties - but luck and an amazing constitution has kept him alive. He adds, "I've no pretensions about immortality. I'm the same as everyone... just kind of lucky. I was number one on the 'Who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list."

Article found here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"I Do Not Love You As If You Were Salt" by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.
Thanks to your love a certain fragrance,
risen darkly from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straight forwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where "I" does not exist, nor "you,"
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close and I fall asleep.

Neruda, Pablo. "I do not love you as if you were salt."

Disney's Desparate Housewives

Found Here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jay County Pollution

At least the awful stench gives you a little warning of what you are about to see. After all, nothing that smells that bad can look very good.

Animal carcasses -- by one count more than 250 of them -- have been scattered along a steep bank that leads down to a small creek along Spooky Hollow Road between Jay County roads 600-S and 700-S.

Some of the carcasses appear to be in garbage bags, and others are just scattered around the area. There's the occasional body part here and there, a skull or two rolled up against the base of a tree and other rubbish like tires and broken glass dumped there as well.

Flooding caused by last week's rain might have washed some of the animals downstream.

Otherwise, it would be a lovely area. Really.

The winding, gravel road is called Spooky Hollow because the countless trees along it darken the sky when the leaves are out, according to residents. And in the fall, when the trees show their colors, it's really a pleasant drive.

But not right now.

Two women walking in the area last week discovered the carcasses, and the recent rains have delayed clean-up efforts by county crews.

County engineer Dan Watson said he thought the cleanup could begin sometime today.

Officials said it didn't appear that the carcasses had been there very long because they had not been ravaged by other animals.

County highway supervisor Ken Wellman said he was concerned about safety procedures during the clean-up process because of the high water.

"We are looking at different ways to handle the situation," he said. "(Jay County Conservation Officer) Dwane Ford and I are working together to see how to best handle the situation."

Nearby residents didn't seem too upset. No one claimed it was the work of aliens or a secret cult.

"I'm a little concerned about it," said Tina Miller, who has lived in the area for about 20 years. "Way out here no one ever sees anything because the houses are so far apart."

But she's not unduly worried. "Stuff like that happens," she shrugged.

Oddly enough, some of the carcasses had been skinned, including dogs, cats, raccoons and coyotes among others. But a couple of calf carcasses didn't appear to have been molested in any way.

Conservation officer Ford is leading the investigation. He could not be reached for comment Monday, but others say the investigation has led toward Mercer County, just across the state line in Ohio, because numerous pets have been reported missing there.

Jay County officials say the carcasses will be buried on county-owned property near the Jay County Highway Department along County Road 300-N.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Jay County sheriff's department, (260) 726-8188.

Routledge, Ric. "Hundreds of animal carcasses dumped in Jay County." The Star Press (2007): 27 Mar 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

Human Sheep

Scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.

The sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells - and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.

Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep's foetus.

He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.

The process would involve extracting stem cells from the donor's bone marrow and injecting them into the peritoneum of a sheep's foetus. When the lamb is born, two months later, it would have a liver, heart, lungs and brain that are partly human and available for transplant.

"We would take a couple of ounces of bone marrow cells from the patient,' said Prof Zanjani, whose work is highlighted in a Channel 4 programme tomorrow.

"We would isolate the stem cells from them, inject them into the peritoneum of these animals and then these cells would get distributed throughout the metabolic system into the circulatory system of all the organs in the body. The two ounces of stem cell or bone marrow cell we get would provide enough stem cells to do about ten foetuses. So you don't just have one organ for transplant purposes, you have many available in case the first one fails."

At present 7,168 patients are waiting for an organ transplant in Britain alone, and two thirds of them are expected to die before an organ becomes available.

Scientists at King's College, London, and the North East Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle have now applied to the HFEA, the Government's fertility watchdog, for permission to start work on the chimeras.

But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

Dr Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends, warned: "Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans. Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV."

Animal rights activists fear that if the cells get mixed together, they could end up with cellular fusion, creating a hybrid which would have the features and characteristics of both man and sheep. But Prof Zanjani said: "Transplanting the cells into foetal sheep at this early stage does not result in fusion at all."

Joseph, Claudia. "Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human." Daily Mail: 24 Mar. 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I took this in New Orleans, it is probably one of the best pictures I have ever taken. Since my free Flickr account is full, I decided to post it on here instead.

If you click on it, you can see it in better detail.

Friday, March 09, 2007

i carry your heart with me by ee cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

cummings, e.e. "i carry your heart with me." 9 March 2007.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Alzheimers by Kelly Cherry

I found this beautiful poem while Stumbling round the internet. The language and imagery in this poem took my breath away.

He stands at the door, a crazy old man
Back from the hospital, his mind rattling
like the suitcase, swinging from his hand,
That contains shaving cream, a piggy bank,
A book he sometimes pretends to read,
His clothes. On the brick wall beside him
Roses and columbine slug it out for space, claw the mortar.
The sun is shining, as it does late in the afternoon
in England, after rain.
Sun hardens the house, reifies it,
Strikes the iron grillwork like a smithy
and sparks fly off, burning in the bushes--
the rosebushes--
While the white wood trim defines solidity in space.
This is his house. He remembers it as his,
Remembers the walkway he built between the front room
and the garage, the rhododendron he planted in back,
the car he used to drive. He remembers himself,
A younger man, in a tweed hat, a man who loved
Music. There is no time for that now. No time for music,
The peculiar screeching of strings, the luxurious
Fiddling with emotion.
Other things have become more urgent.
Other matters are now of greater import, have more
Consequence, must be attended to. The first
Thing he must do, now that he is home, is decide who
This woman is, this old, white-haired woman
Standing here in the doorway,
Welcoming him in.

Cherry, Kelly. "Alzheimers." 1997

Remember Book-It!

Fort Wayne (WANE) - Pizza Hut's Book It! Program provides incentive for students to read. But a children's advocacy group is criticizing the program, claiming it makes kids hungry for pizza, not books. Educators and Pizza Hut disagree, saying the program is just one more tool to help improve literacy.

Dr. Susan Linn, a spokesperson for The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, says Book It! doesn't give kids an appetite for reading. "There is a national concern about reading. There has been for a very long time, so Pizza Hut decided to create a program to help kids read. And in fact what the program does is market Pizza Hut every day the kids are in school. So you keep promising kids rewards for reading, there are a couple of messages in that. One of them is an inherent message that kids don't want to read and that reading is boring. When the reward ends, kids tend to stop doing whatever that behavior is."

The reading program is in many elementary schools in our area, and many educators maintain Book It! does give students a taste for books. "The Book It! Program really encourages reading in our elementary school students and reading is the most important foundation of learning. Anything that encourages reading we support," says FWCS Director of Public Affairs Melanie Hall.

Pizza Hut issued this statement: "The Book It! Program is designed to help children develop a love of book and reading and accomplishing goals. Teachers and parents tell us that the rewards of praise, recognition and pizza are motivating. A certificate for a personal pan pizza is only awarded once a month, and only then if the student has achieved the reading goals set by his or her teacher. We're proud of the success of the Book It! Program, which has encouraged million of students to develop a lifelong passion for learning."

The company says it also received hundreds of comments from Book It! alums supporting the program. An e-mail to Pizza Hut reads, "I am 26 and I think I was one of the first sessions of students to take part in the Book It! program years ago. I would just like to say thank you for the program that your company built. With the help of my parents, you guys helped me to build a love for books."

The Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood says Pizza Hut could sponsor other programs that don't promote products, like purchasing books. A Pizza Hut representative told NewsChannel 15 over the phone that the company does do that in addition to Book It!.

This article found here.

Personally I think this is completely ridiculous. I LOVED Book-It! I think any program that gets kids to read is a fantastic idea, even if it does have some commercial value. Since when is giving rewards to a well-deserving child a bad thing?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Doggy Window

Just another strange product I've come across...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

From "If Men Could Menstruate" by Gloria Steinem

"What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?
The answer is clear--menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event:
Men would brag about how long and how much.
Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood, with relgious ritual and stag parties.
Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts.
Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. (Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of commercial brands such as John Wayne Tampons, Muhammad Ali's Rope-a-dope Pads, Joe Namath Jocks Shields--'For Those Light Bachelor Days,' and Robert 'Baretta' Blake Maxi-Pads.)
Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation ('men-struation') as proof that only men could serve in the Army ('you have to give blood to take blood'), occupy political office ('can women be aggressive without that steadfast cycle governed by the planet Mars?'), be priests and ministers ('how could a woman give her blood for our sins?'), or rabbis ('without the monthly loss of impurities, women remain unclean').
Male radicals, left-wing politicians, and mystics, however would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could enter their ranks if only she were willing to self0inflict a major wound every month ('you must give blood for the revolution'), recognize the preeminence of menstrual issues, or subordinate her selfness to all men in their Cycle of Enlightenment.
Street guys would brag ('I'm a three-pad man') or answer praise from a buddy (Man, you lookin' good!') by giving fives and saying, 'Yeah, man, I'm on the rag!'
TV shows would treat the subject at length. ('Happy Days': Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still 'The Fonz,' though he has missed two periods in a row.) So would newspapers. (SHARK SCARE THRETENS MENSTRUATING MEN. JUDGE CITES MONTHLY STRESS IN PARDOINING RAPIST.) And movies. (Newman and Redford in 'Blood Brothers'!)
Men would convince women that intercourse was more pleasurable at 'that time of the month.' Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore lif itself--though probably only because they needed a good menstruating man.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Something I learned while studying for Psych

"In 2001, Turkey's health minister announced that high school girls training to be nurses must be virgins. He also said that the virginity test he was authorizing would protect the nation's youth from prostitution and underage sexual intercourse. The regulations allow principals in state schools that train nurses, midwives, and other health workers to expel girls who have had sexual intercourse. Virginity is highly valued in mainly Muslim Turkey. Forced virginity tests were common until the practice was banned in 1999 after five girls took rat poison rather than submit to the test. However, in 2001 the health minister again authorized use of virginity tests (Turkey says only virgins can be nurses, 2001)."

This is taken from my Human Sexuality textbook. I was completely shocked when I read this. Things like this make me thankful I live in the US.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Sad Day for College Eaters

"Inventor of Instant Noodles Passes Away at 96"

Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles and founder and chairman of Nissin Foods passed away on January 5, 2007 of a heart attack. Born in Taiwan, a Japanese territory at that time, he moved to Japan when his parents died when he was young. He had a varied career over the first half of his life, and even served two years in jail for tax evasion. It was in 1958, when he was 48 years old that he perfected a flash frying method of drying noodles so they could be quickly re-hydrated and eaten. He had spent many years inventing food products after the food lines he saw in Japan post WWII.

Chikin (Chicken) Ramen was the first of the instant noodle products released and originally it was an expensive, luxury product that cost six times as much as normal, slow cook noodles. Soon production methods dropped the price and we ended up with the inexpensive food eaten by nearly every college student and struggling bachelor the world over.

These days we're familiar with these noodles under a variety of names like Top Ramen (ramen means "noodle" in Japanese), Oodles of Noodles, and Cup-a-Soup. It was back in 1971 when Nissin first released the cup of noodles products. There were tons of advertisements on TV and I begged my mom to get some. Many years later when I was in my late teens and I was first living on my own I would stock up on the noodles when I saw sales of 10 or 12 packages for $1. Then later, in college and afterwards when I could afford to eat differently, I still kept a few dozen packages around for quick snacks for me and my friends. It was one of the few easy to prepare foods I could make in my dorm room, and was great for those midnight munchies and study breaks.

In 2004 it is estimated that 70 billion servings of instant noodles were sold and in 2005 85.7 billion were sold. Just a few days ago I read that a recent research survey of the Japanese public felt that the invention of instant noodles was the most important invention of the last century.

In July 2005 they released Space Ram, instant noodles that can be cooked and eaten in space, so that the Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi could be insured that he would be able to have some tasty noodles to slurp while in micro-gravity. This was something important to him because he says he has always been a ramen fan. The noodles were designed to fit his mouth, and made in some of his favorite flavor combinations; miso, curry, tonkotsu (pork), and soy sauce. He is said to have commented that "They came out just like they do on Earth. It was very relaxing to be able to eat a good ramen in space." I can honestly say that more than anything else in this world I would love to join Noguchi in some of those noodles while looking down on our brilliant blue planet.

If you're ever in Osaka stop by the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum for a great little educational tour on instant noodles and the importance they have played in Japan, Asia, and the world over the last fifty years. You can also make noodle dough by hand, use a machine to make it into noodles, deep fry them, pick various soups and toppings, and have it packaged for your very own personalized cup of noodles in one of 5460 possible flavor combinations.

So everyone please raise a cup of noodles to the late Momofuku Ando, as he looks down on us happily slurping away.