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Showing posts from October, 2007

Halloween 2007

It is almost six and thanks to the powers that be it is still light out so I haven't had to hand out any candy yet. The kids are off to a nearby carnival where alongside of seven million other children they'll run wild. They'll be back in an hour or so and it'll be time for me to play dad and patrol the neighborhood as they go in search of treasure of the milk chocolate sort. In the interim the Boss is playing on iTunes and I am here sharing a few thoughts with you. Been a little short of my blogging mojo as of late. That last sentence was backwards, awkwardly constructed. Awkward construction is fine if you are Jedi named Yoda, but I am not. About the only thing we share in common is a love for The Force, but I digress. I have been mulling over what to say in this Halloween post. Played around with just providing links to some of my old posts . That last link ties into a bunch of themes that I think are important so I am going to cut and paste a little. Right

One More Reason Why The MSM Is Failing

I used to get irritated listening to the many critics of the MSM rail on about how bad it was. Mostly it was because I didn't buy into many of their complaints. Truth is I still don't. Call me a snob but I am unimpressed with the logic and critical reasoning that is displayed by many. But I have noticed in recent times that I have become increasingly frustrated with the MSM. My blog friend The Misanthrope has rightly suggested that I express my concerns in a letter writing campaign. In some cases I have, but due to anonymity concerns I haven't made those letters public here. Today I find myself shaking my head again at the fine MSM and their fawning coverage over one Andrew Meyer, the Taser boy . In a society that lives and breathes news about Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and who Britney Spears is sleeping with it really should be surprising. Still, I find myself wondering why the Today show has provided him with his own bully pulpit . He makes all sorts of statements

Hitler's Gas Problem

Drexel University's publication The Smart Set is running a story today that says that Hitler had a major problem with flatulence. It is too bad that this wasn't a terminal disease. "Guests at the Berghof, Hitler’s private chalet in the Bavarian Alps, must have endured some unpleasant odors in the otherwise healthful mountain air. It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the F├╝hrer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room. This was an embarrassing problem for a ruthless leader of the Third Reich. With uncharacteristic concern for his fellow human beings, Hitle

Urban Legend Come to Life

Stories like this usually fall under the urban legend category. Anyway you slice it, necrophilia is disgusting but since Halloween is just around the corner I'll share this story with you. TEANECK -- A part-time lab technician at Holy Name Hospital was caught having sex with the body of a 92-year-old woman in the hospital's morgue, authorities said Monday. Authorities said Anthony Merino, 24, of West 185th Street in Manhattan was working a shift as a histology lab technician on Sunday morning when he asked a security guard for access to a refrigerated area adjacent to the morgue where human tissue samples are stored. The guard complied and then wandered away for several minutes, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said."When he came back, he observed Mr. Merino violating the deceased victim" on a gurney, Molinelli said. "He immediately notified Teaneck police." Merino was arrested at the hospital later Sunday morning. He was charged with sexual pe

Recognizing Opportunity

My friend Robert Avrech wrote a scathing response to an opinion piece that Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky wrote for The Jewish Journal. It is called Kanefsky: Rabbi to Fatah and it is the inspiration if you will for this post. I disagree with Kanefsky for a variety of reasons, but I don't want that to be the focus of this post. This ties in far better with a conversation that I have had with my son and business partners. It is about recognizing opportunity. Each day we have the chance to do something with our lives. At just short of seven I try to make it an easy lesson. I talk about trying to take advantage of the chance to learn something in school. To quote him "He get's it." As Robert points out pieces like Kanefsky are swallowed whole and regurgitated for propaganda purposes by terrorists. They see an opportunity to use Kanefsky's words against Israel. I too see an opportunity. In this case we can use Kanefsky's piece as a tool for education. We can and sho

Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Resume

CareerBuilder offers five ways to improve your resume. Items one and three are what strike me as being among the most obvious and most important. 1. Spell check... the old-fashioned way. 3. Simplify your language. I can only speak for myself but I am consistently surprised to see terrible, egregious spelling mistakes on important documents. Screw up on a resume and kiss the opportunity goodbye. Item number three is something that strikes me too. If you have a minimal command of the language you can make simple tasks appear to be very complex. That is fine if you are trying to fill a bluebook, but it is a hurdle for getting a job. People don't want to waste time trying to figure out what you did. They are far too busy. You'll be more successful in your search if you make it easier to understand what your responsibilities and accomplishments are/were.

Dodgers May Sign Joe Torre

I have been hearing all sorts of rumors about this . I'd sure like to see it happen. Joe Torre might not be out of work for very long. The Los Angeles Dodgers want to buy out current manager Grady Little and hire Torre, the New York Post reported Monday. Torre, who turned down a one-year, incentive-laden contract offer from the New York Yankees, is interested if the Dodgers job does open, the newspaper reported. And if they wanted to sign A-Rod I wouldn't complain about that either.

If Your Clothes Could Speak

I enjoyed Shalom Auslander's piece in the New York Times magazine. There were a couple of sections that made me chuckle so I'll share them with you. BTW, it is worth reading the whole column. "My feeling has always been that if you need your clothing to speak for you, it might be best for everyone if you said nothing at all. Unfortunately, you can’t tell a suit to shut the hell up, which is what I want to tell the suit I am wearing. It’s not Tommy’s fault. Let’s not get angry with Tommy. If you’ve seen certain young men walking around of late looking as if they tried to launder their suits at home and accidentally left them in the dryer for a few cycles too many — cuffs ending midforearm, pants ending midshin — then the person you want to blame is named Thom Browne. Not only did he start this trend, but on his label he also puts a period at the end of his name, so that even if I hadn’t put the name Thom Browne. at the end of the previous sentence, I would have had to use

His Homework is My Homework

Ways back in the early days of my career I worked with a guy who used to bitch and moan to me about how much he hated his children's homework. Virtually every day he'd wail about how miserable it was to work all day and then to come home to helping his children with hours of homework. I remember asking him why he was doing it when it was their homework. It seemed ridiculous to me that a parent would have to do something like that. Now of course I knew kids whose parents had done their homework for them. But that had been tied into a whole competitive thing in which they were determined to make sure that little Johnny won first place at the science fair. During one particularly tedious bitch session I told my officemate that I was tired of listening to him kvetch and that if he taught his children to be responsible he might have some time to himself. As you can imagine in my early twenties I was a master of tact and diplomacy. Surprisingly enough Curt laughed at my comment

Don't Israelify Us

Ynet has a story that covers an important issue regarding Israeli Arabs. Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka (Balad) took part in a protest conference against a government initiative to draft Arab youths for national service, and expressed his opposition to the idea on Saturday. "Anyone who does national service will become a leper and Arab society will throw him up from its midst," the minister told Ynet. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs, one of the conference's organizers, is taking a more moderate stance, and says it is carrying out an unending argument with those who chose to volunteer, and has launched a campaign to minimize the number of volunteers. During the last year, the number of Arab-Israeli volunteers for national service doubled from 280 to 560. "If we did not launch our campaign, we would be seeing a number several times higher, and maybe even thousands would choose to volunteer for national service," the Committee's CEO

The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

Someone once told me that the heart wants what the heart wants. I don’t know if that is a line from a book or a movie, it could be. Then again it might be one of those pithy statements that people come up with. I’d ask the person who told me but I can quite remember who said it. Hell, it might have even been me. The heart wants what the heart wants. You know what that means? It is a statement made by people who can’t explain why they are in love with person xyz. It is what you say when there is no logical explanation for your actions. It is a catchphrase, a tagline, a slogan and a motto. The heart wants what the heart wants. It reminds me of Shakespeare, “Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” Somewhere my high school English teacher Mrs. McDonnell is smiling. Little Jimmy actually remembered a line from Macbeth. See ma’am, I told you that I could hear just as well in sunglasses as without.. The heart wants what the heart wants. It is the kin

Welcome To The Insomniac's Theater

"There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ships smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I cant hear what youre sayin. When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone. I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb." Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd Hello and welcome to the Insomniac's Theater. As you can see it is a bit rundown, somewhat ramshackle joint. It is a place that is not all that dissimilar to a carnival fun house. As you walk through you know that the reality you are experiencing is a bit distorted. Something is a bit off. It is not as pronounced as the fun house mirror. You know the one that I am talking about. That wavy one that makes your body look fat/tall/short whatever. It is not all that dissimilar to being drunk. You know that you are not right. You know that you are not quite as sh

Perhaps You Can Help Me

I have a favor to ask of you. I am trying to get back into the swing of writing Fragments of Fiction. It would be most helpful if you could go read it here and then leave me a comment with your thoughts. Let me know if you like it, hate it or anything between. I appreciate your help.

Vocabulary Time Part 5

It is vocabulary time again. Here is part one , part two , part three and part four . mancinism the condition of being left-handed macroverbumsciolist nonce word 1) a person who is ignorant of large words 2) a person who pretends to know a word, then secretly refers to a dictionary. mastigophorer obs. a fellow worthy to be whipped. matutolypea getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Last 10 Songs On iTunes

Photographs & Memories Jim Croce Another One bites The Dust Queen Crossroads Stevie Ray Vaughn Magic Bus The Who Badlands Bruce Springsteen White Wedding Billy Idol Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting Elton John Comfortably Numb (Live) Van Morrison with Roger Waters Mordred's Lullaby Heather Dale I Like It, I Love It Tim McGraw

The Old Man Of The Office

Last week The Shmata Queen and I had a conversation about some of the changes in our lives and how they seemed to sneak up on us. In particular it covered how we went from being the kids in the office to someplace in between that and the grizzled veteran. Now you have to remember that the queen is much, much older than I am and as a result is a bit sensitive about her age. Being a smart fellow I was careful not to remind her that in a couple of years she'll be 50 because she has one hell of a right hook. One of these days I'll have to teach her not to drop her left because it leaves her wide open. Anyway, the conversation was timely in that earlier this evening a good friend called and asked me when we got old. I laughed and told him that his punishment for working in television is to constantly be surrounded by utes . But there is something to it, the conversation that is. I don't feel particularly old but in certain settings I have really begun to notice it. Two re

Rebuked By RWAC

RWAC authors one of my favorite blogs. I find it to be well written and truly interesting. I appreciate his position and why he takes the stands that he does. But sometimes I think that he and I are both grateful that we belong to different shuls. It is probably better that way. Anyhoo, this post caught my eye .

Profanity- The Children Learn New Words Part Deux

In part one of our two part series we learned that the eldest son of our favorite Shack Master had been paying far too much attention to the vocabulary lessons being given by the older brother of one of his friends. I had a conversation with both John's older brother and his father regarding these lessons. Initially John's father didn't think this was a problem. Because I am a master of tact and diplomacy I told him that I would gladly use pictures of his wife to educate the children on what the expression meant. Apparently this got his attention because he got all red in the face and then directed a few choice words at me. I in turn suggested that he engage in something that is anatomically impossible for everyone except the woman in this video . In fact I even offered to fix his body so that he could do this whenever he wanted to. After a moment we got beyond the usual posturing we men do and we came to an agreement that it was better for first graders not to use t

California is Burning

Earlier today I stumbled onto a blog that gleefully announced that Hollywood is burning down. The vapid knucklehead must not read the news or have looked at a map because thus far Hollywood is far removed from the flames. But for me the fires are never far from my mind. I have friends and family members whose homes are in danger. But even if I did it the smoke filled sky is a reminder that a relatively short distance away there are people losing everything. Mother Nature has a way of humbling us, reminding us that we are not so big that we cannot be brought low. My children and I have had more than one discussion about the fires. They are close enough that the schools are not allowing the children to play outdoors as the air quality is not good. Soccer practices were canceled too. Outside of my home I can see a red glow. It is a reminder of my own experience. I was evacuated from a forest fire in 1985. Somewhere in the blog there is a post about it, but I don't feel like s

Therapy For Ezzie

Folks in light of another tragic collapse of a team from the burning river we have taken up a collection to pay for therapy for Ezzie . If nothing else we need to get him interested in rooting for a team that might actually win a championship. Maybe we need to send him off to The Holy Land on a Quest for Waffles . Then again our waffle master hasn't any interest in sports so he is unlikely to lend a sympathetic ear. Von Treppenwitz is also located in the holy land and is a rabid sports fan. However he is a fan of that other team so that probably wouldn't be a good match either. So maybe we should just send him to see the rebbetzin and they can commiserate together.

This Time Last Week

I was being waited upon hand and foot by The Shmata Queen . She did a mighty fine job at the old fluff and fold and wasn't half bad with the old iron. More proof that life improves when one flees the land of the burning river.

The Home Office

In my line of work I work out of more than one office. At times the nomadic nature of this sort of employment can be tiresome. There is something to be said for establishing one central base, but then again most of the time I enjoy the changes. It makes it easier to keep things fresh. One of my offices is a home office. While it can be quite nice to go to work wearing a pair of shorts and a tank top it brings with it a unique set of challenges that I call "The children." When the kids are in school it is normally pretty easy. I just bear down and do what I need to do. However on days when they are home it can be really tough. The house isn't big enough to carve out the space I really want. At this time it is just not possible to work in a separate wing with a closed door. I have a short term solution that I want to implement. I need a wireless connection so that I can wander through the house as necessary. It won't fix everything, but it should give me enough sp

Profanity- The Children Learn New Words

My father says that no one could swear as well or as colorfully as my grandfather. Years in the carnival business, as a soldier and a streetwise kid in Chicago gave him quite the vocabulary. Mind you, I can’t remember hearing my grandfather swear in front of me until I was a teenager. He had great command of the language and didn’t curse unless there was a purpose. But when he did engage the more colorful side of his oratory skills it was fun to listen to. He could go on for a solid half hour and never repeat himself. This is one area that I can’t compete with him. I have my share of expressions that I use and I like to think that I use them well. I’d like to say that my children have never heard me utter a foul word, but the rules of the blog forbid lying. So I will readily confess to upon occasion having exposed them to a few words that I’d rather they not use. Until recently I could count on three fingers the number of times they had used any sort of profanity. Yesterday thin

Japanese Crime Stopping Tools

This article in the NY Times caught my eye. Credit for the picture also goes to the Times. TOKYO, Oct. 19 — On a narrow Tokyo street, near a beef bowl restaurant and a pachinko parlor, Aya Tsukioka demonstrated new clothing designs that she hopes will ease Japan ’s growing fears of crime. Deftly, Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine. The wearer hides behind the sheet, printed with an actual-size photo of a vending machine. Ms. Tsukioka’s clothing is still in development, but she already has several versions, including one that unfolds from a kimono and a deluxe model with four sides for more complete camouflaging. These elaborate defenses are coming at a time when crime rates are

Why Do You Pray

My best friend and I spend all sorts of time debating and discussing all sorts of stuff. The title of this post sort of sums it all up. We had been discussing whether I actually believe in the moshiach (messiah) and whether I daven (pray) for him to come. I am a little short on time so I can't dig into this the way I want to, but I suppose that I can really sum up our conversation to be "Why do you pray?" It deserves a real response. I'll try to come back and give it later. (Feel free to share your own thoughts/comments.)

Old Post That Caught My Eye

I am working on a big project and decided to take a short break. So I took a moment to sift through the archives and stumbled onto some old posts that I decided to dust off and present again. Blogging Can Help You Make/Lose Friends Grandpa, Dad and I Dreams Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Comic Books Find Religion

Airlines Continue To Rob The Public

This morning I was more than a little disturbed to read the following headline in The Los Angeles Times: Airlines squeeze fliers as profit soars Having just returned from my most recent business trip in which I and several hundred others were stuffed inside a plane and asked to pay for stale food I was less than pleased to read the following: The nation's airlines were late more often this summer, lost more baggage and bumped more passengers off flights than in any summer this decade. They also made more money. Despite the worst summer ever for air travelers, major airlines posted huge profits as they packed more passengers into fewer and smaller planes. We pay more and receive less. There is something wrong, very, very wrong with this picture.

An Easy Way To Help Others

I thought that this sounded kind of cool. Through Kiva, anyone with $25 and an e-mail address can make a loan to a small entrepreneur in a developing country. Gabriela Villegas scrolled through the online profiles, searching for a photo and description that appealed to her. She wasn't surfing for a date or networking for new friends. She was on the Kiva website, reading through stories of impoverished entrepreneurs in developing countries, trying to decide to which venture she would extend a $25 business loan. "Twenty-five dollars -- that's probably how much I spend on just one meal," said Villegas, 25, of Manchester, Conn. "But with that same money, I was able to change someone's life." Kiva, at www.kiva.org , is a nonprofit based in San Francisco. It has not yet celebrated its two-year anniversary but is already attracting international attention for its unique mission -- blending the principles of micro-financing with the power of online soci

The Back Door Was Wide Open

I must have fallen asleep on the couch. A cool breeze across my legs woke me up. I sat up and wandered towards the back of the house. A utility bathroom was my destination. It is part of a regular route and ritual. Each night I head there to plug my cell phone into the charger and take care of last minute business. Tonight was no different than any other night. I trudged through the house using my own sense of Radar. Eyes half closed I navigated around furniture and toys. As I got closer to the bathroom I noticed it was progressively getting colder. The change was striking. Initially I thought that it was due to the change in my having just woken up and then I realized that I didn't just feel a breeze, I could hear it whistling through the house. The back door was open. The back door was open and I couldn't remember having gone through that door. The back door was open and not only couldn't I remember having used the door, I couldn't remember anyone having used it

Cruising At 34,000 Feet

One of my favorite parts of any trip is coming home to my own bed and my own stuff. Although truth to be told I have to say that the bed in my hotel room in Dallas was outstanding. I just might have to invest in the same sort of mattress they used at the fancy Redneck Cafe and Rodeo Hotelplex. It was a quick trip. Flew out the other day and came back in this evening. I sat in the back of the plane and for the first time in quite a while I had the entire row to myself. Initially I had planned on watching Master & Commander but the noise of the engine made it impossible. Since I already had my laptop out I did a bit of liveblogging. However I thought that it was bad so I stopped partway through. But for the three people who say that you want to see everything I write here is an excerpt. Just remember, it is pretty bad. It is a little past 4 P.M. P.S.T. For the past 90 minutes I have been stuffed inside a flying tin can. It is an S80 and I am seated two rows away from the bat

A Monkey With a Keyboard

Every now and then old Jack wades into the deeper waters of the blogosphere to debate topics of interest with other members of the blogosphere. Some of these conversations are exceptionally interesting and well worth my time and others....Well let's just say that some of the others are about as intellectually stimulating as debating a monkey with a keyboard. Recently I have found myself in another one of these simian food fights. The monkey made some outlandish and ill advised remarks and I responded. Said monkey didn't like me throwing peanuts and begged for my bananas by trying to insult me. Now it is possible that I may have been less than endearing in my initial response to the monkey. Then again maybe the monkey deserved to have his cage rattled. I don't take kindly to threats and that is what the monkey did. Bonzo decided that lashing out was the best response to this. If Bonzo was a toddler it would have been called a classic case of baby tantrum. But Bonzo is n

Dear Psychotoddler

Dear Psychotoddler, I read with great interest your post about why you haven't been blogging . It was kind of fun and it was easy to relate to. In fact at lunch today The Shmata Queen and I discussed how you tagged her and asked her to participate . Apparently the dear girl is still how do they say, crazy busy . Add that to her general blogging malaise and I think that you might be waiting a long time for that post. On the other hand I did witness a pretty stiff chocolate addiction, so maybe you can bribe her. P.S. There is nothing like listening to her drawl. "Did y'all see that Psychotoddler tagged me for a meme." It was quite an experience.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest

I have always wanted to participate in such a fine sport as The World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest. It just sounds like fun.r The World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest -- http://www.punkinchunkin.com/main.htm -- takes place November 2-4 in Bridgeville, Delaware, about 30 miles from Lewes and 90 miles from Washington. The event began in 1986 and bills itself as the oldest and largest competition of its type. Last year over 50,000 spectators turned out to watch 100 teams compete, organizers said. Launching machines at the Delaware event will include air compressors, catapults, centrifugal machines that spin the pumpkins before hurling them, and trebuchets. (The trebuchet design dates to the Middle Ages, using a counterweight to power its missile.) There is also a "theatrical" category in which the rules state that "distance is not the goal; ability to ham it up is the goal." "People start out thinking they have to see some idiot who's bu

Ann Coulter's Most Recent Mumblings

I haven't written about her for a whole variety of reasons, not the least of which has been time. But I thought that I would point out a link that I think is worth a look. Bookworm has a post that caught my eye because it was sensible. The grouchy old bear pointed me to this article on WND. It contains all sorts of gems such as: America is still quite friendly towards Jews, but the incessant attacks on Christianity by the likes of Deutsch, Forman and Abe Foxman have grown increasingly tiresome. Given this irritating behavior, and the historical fact that Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries, it is the height of foolishness for a small number of misguided individuals to demand that 80 percent of the American population remain silent about the tenets of its religious faith. Christians are dying for their faith in the Sudan, in North Korea, in China, Vietnam and Myanmar; they are not about to shut their mouths simply because a few J

All My Bags Are Packed

I am not a big fan of the song Leaving on a Jet Plane. I suppose that at one time I was, but too many years of summer camp kind of killed it. I don't care if its John Denver or Peter Paul and Mary, I am sick of it. But it makes an appropriate title for this post. In just a few short hours The Traveling Jack extravaganza will be ready for takeoff and hopefully in the air. Years ago I used to love to fly. It was a lot of fun and something that I very much enjoyed. That is not the case anymore. As planes have grown more crowded and security measures become more stringent flying has become a task. In fact it is safe to say that on more than one occasion it has become unpleasant. It is hard to be stuffed inside a tin can with 10,000 strangers. More often than not I fly coach. The problem is that the seats are too small for me. My shoulders hang off of the sides and when I sit straight up my knee brushes against the seat in front of me. If I can get an emergency exit or bulkhead s

An Elephant Rampage

Elephants are one of my favorite animals, but I'd be more than a bit nervous if a 100 of them decided to hang out in my backyard. If you read the article you'll see a line that says that in one Indian state more than 600 people have been killed by wild elephants over the past 16 years. GAUHATI, India (AP) -- About 100 wild elephants have converged on a river island in northeast India, demolishing homes, feasting on sugarcane and panicking residents, officials said Saturday. Thousands of villagers were using firecrackers and bonfires to scare away the rampaging animals. "Dozens of houses have been destroyed in the past three days by adult elephants entering human settlements to look for their wandering calves," said the local magistrate, L.S. Changsan. Up to 50 families have moved to a local school being used as a refugee camp, Changsan said. About 150,000 people live on the 338-square mile island of Majuli in the Brahmaputra River, nearly 220 miles east of Assam

Ukulele Orchestra -The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

This was kind of fun. You Don't Bring Me Flowers Smells Like Teen Spirit And two more Ennio Morricone links: Ennio Morricone - The Good, the bad and the ugly (concert) The Ecstasy of Gold (live in concert) (Every time I hear this one I always imagine myself out on a dusty windswept plain. I am riding my horse, alone, because that is how I live, alone.) And one more, Metallica's version of The Ectstasy of Gold .

Mayor Toilet Wishes To Speak

The mayor is my kind of guy. SIM Jae-Duck was born in a toilet and now he plans to live and die in one - a $US1.6 million ($1.8m) toilet-shaped house designed to promote his tireless campaign for cleaner loos worldwide. Mr Sim will open what is billed as the world's one and only toilet house on November 11 to mark the launch of his World Toilet Association. The 419 sq m concrete and glass structure is rising on the site of Mr Sim's former home in his native city of Suweon, 40km south of Seoul. Before he moves in, anyone who is flush with funds can rent it for $US50,000 a day - with proceeds going to his campaign to provide poor countries with proper sanitary facilities. Apart from two bedrooms, two guestrooms and other rooms, the two-storey house - of course - features three deluxe toilets. Unlike the giant toilet in which they are located, they will not be see-through affairs. "A showcase bathroom screened by a glass wall is located in its centre, while oth

Criticize Your ISP & Lose Your Service

The LA Times has an interesting column called Free speech could lead to online disconnect . I grabbed a big chunk of it for your review as I think that it is important. Essentially it says that AT&T and Verizon's DSL service contracts contain a clause that could impact your ability to criticize them. "If you're displeased with the way a company treats you, you're free to air your feelings in public, right? Not necessarily if you receive high-speed Internet access from AT&T Inc. or Verizon Communications Inc. Buried deep within both companies' voluminous service contracts is language that says your Net access can be terminated for any behavior that AT&T or Verizon believes might harm its "name or reputation," or even the reputation of its business partners.The language came to light the other day after AT&T sent notices to thousands of customers revising their service contracts as part of the company's merger last year with BellSout

The Wiggles Are Still Rocking

Remember last year we wrote about Jeff Wiggle's illness and a possible end to the band. For some parents the idea was a nightmare and for others it was a blessing. Well as they say the show must go on apparently it has. (CNN) -- Imagine the Beatles going on without Paul McCartney. Or *NSYNC without Justin Timberlake. Or Van Halen without David Lee Roth (or Sammy Hagar, or that other guy).Young fans of the children's rock group the Wiggles -- and more important, their parents -- faced a similar experience when singer Greg Page, the Yellow Wiggle in the brightly colored group, left last November for health reasons. On Tuesday, the group released "Getting Strong" in the United States, its 28th DVD and the first without Page. They're also getting ready to set out on their third U.S. tour of the year. For the full story please click here .

The Love We Make

"And in the end, the love we take will be equal to the love we make." It is after midnight and my brain is not cooperating with me. The line above is from a Beatles song and at the moment I can quite put my finger on which one it is. It is frustrating to come so close yet not quite grab that brass ring. Life has been far too busy. I don't like racing around constantly. I don't like feeling like I don't have time to catch my breath. I don't like the feeling of not quite accomplishing everything I want to do because of time constraints. Blogging has been really slow. It feels strange to say that. Most of the time blogging is a priority. It is a place, a refuge, my fortress of solitude. It is not the only way I vent, but it is an important one and for a variety of reasons I just haven't done it. The strange thing is that I can't decide if I miss it. I think that is because I have been so focused on other things. One of the many things that I love

Abused Workers Fight Back by Slacking Off

Can't say that I am surprised by any of this. That last line kills me. Employees toiling under an abusive supervisor often rebel quietly and indirectly by slacking off on the job and handing in sloppy work. Researchers at Florida State University surveyed more than 180 employees from a wide variety of professions, asking whether they had endured a history of abuse from their bosses , then asking a slew of workplace performance questions. Employees with difficult bosses checked out in the following ways: 30 percent slowed down or purposely made errors, compared with 6 percent of those not reporting abuse. 27 percent purposely hid from the boss, compared with 4 percent of those not abused. 33 percent confessed to not putting in maximum effort, compared with 9 percent of those not abused. 29 percent took sick time off even when not ill, compared with 4 percent of those not abused. 25 percent took more or longer breaks, compared with 7 percent of those not abused. Whether th

Where Babies Come From

One of the joys of being a parent is fielding the many different questions that our children throw at us. It is probably fair to say that there are a few standards such as what happens when you die and where do babies come from. Until recently the big kid and I hadn't spent any time discussing babies other than the moments when he told me that he no longer liked certain shows/toys because they are for babies. That changed this weekend as he decided that he really wanted to know. To quote him, "tell me the real story." I paused for a moment and considered the best way to explain it. I wasn't embarrassed or afraid of the discussion, but to be honest hadn't really thought about how to answer it. So here is approximately what I said. "To make a baby you need a man and a woman. Men make something called sperm. Women have eggs. When you combine the sperm and the egg a baby is made." Of course he asked how do you combine the two. "A man sticks hi