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Showing posts from April, 2009

Winnie The Pooh on Swine Flu

Potential Health Benefits of Blueberries

I thought that this article on WebMD was interesting. In the study, presented at Experimental Biology 2009, researchers fed rats bred to become obese either a high-fat or low-fat diet enriched with whole blueberry powder or carbohydrates as 2% of their total diet. After 90 days, the rats fed blueberries had less abdominal fat, lower cholesterol , and improved glucose control and insulin sensitivity. The latter two factors are markers of how well the body processes sugar for energy and are related to diabetes risk . These health benefits of blueberries were evident in rats fed both high- and low-fat diets enriched with the blueberry powder. But the benefits were greatest among those who ate a low-fat diet. In addition to the other heart health benefits of blueberries, those fed the low-fat blueberry diet also lost body weight and fat mass compared to those on the high-fat diet. Although more research is needed to confirm these results in humans, a related study presented at the

Driving

Here is a new segment to be inserted into Fragments of Fiction. A month or so ago my editor sent me an email asking for me to send over a rough draft my new novel. He said that he didn't expect fireworks to shoot from it, but that he'd be pleased if it honked a time or two. I must have read that line two or three times before I realized that he had really said that. What the hell does he mean about it honking a time or two. Instead of asking I sent him a note saying that I understood why I was the writer and he the editor. I then explained to him that honking made me think of tooting and that tooting was a euphemism for a stinky bodily function and that his line stunk. If I hadn't already published a half dozen books I probably would have been shown the door or at least read the riot act. Thanks to the almighty dollar I was spared that indignity. Anyway, I had to give him something so I quickly banged out the words below. I hoped that it would buy me some time, maybe anothe

How to maximize frequent flier miles

CNN has some useful advice for how to maximize frequent flier miles. The key to redeeming miles lies in how the airlines value them. Since miles rewards programs were introduced, the industry rule of thumb has always been that a mile was worth about two cents. The underlying formula: 25,000 miles were required for one round-trip domestic coach ticket, which was estimated to have an average price of $500. (In other words, $500÷25,000=$0.02.) But discount airlines and Internet fares have forced ticket prices down: the average domestic round-trip fare was $362 in the third quarter of 2008, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. One mile has depreciated to around 1.5 cents today. To decide how much an award ticket is worth, make some calculations. If you find a particularly good airfare deal, snap it up in cash and reserve your miles for times when fewer deals are available. Taking award seats makes the most sense when the cash value of a ticket is roughly in line with i

Is Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Really That Ignorant

It appears that Governor of Florida Charlie Crist is in need of some help. Someone came up with the cockamamie idea to offer religious themed license plates in Florida. The governor says that he doesn't see any issues with the separation of church and state. His argument is quite weak. I am not in favor of blurring the lines in this matter. The First Amendment is very clear. It is to all of our benefit and advantage not to engage in this sort of political tomfoolery. Hat Tip: DB

Should You Be Scared about The Swine Flu

Take a look at this CNN story : (CNN) -- There had been no confirmed deaths in the United States related to swine flu as of Tuesday afternoon. But another virus had killed thousands of people since January and is expected to keep killing hundreds of people every week for the rest of the year. That one? The regular flu. An outbreak of swine flu that is suspected in more than 150 deaths in Mexico and has sickened dozens of people in the United States and elsewhere has grabbed the attention of a nervous public and of medical officials worried the strain will continue to mutate and spread. Experts are nervous that, as a new strain, the swine flu will be harder to stop because there aren't any vaccines to fight it. But even if there are swine-flu deaths outside Mexico -- and medical experts say there very well may be -- the virus would have a long way to go to match the roughly 36,000 deaths that seasonal influenza causes in the United States each year. "That happens on an ann

Do Men Have Feelings

Age is a funny thing. Until recently most of my experience with it had been waiting to get older. There were a million things that I wanted to do, but I wasn't old enough. Slowly but surely I hit those marks and gained the ability to do whatever it was that I wanted to at that point in time. But until recently I never really felt old or felt the pressure that age can bring with it. Maybe it is all in my head, but with the end of my thirties rapidly approaching I no longer feel like I have eternity to fall back upon. Now I feel the weight of time and it makes me wonder. You can blame some of this upon certain life experiences. Almost all of my friends are married, most for quite some time. Virtually all of us have children. And now we have reached that time when a number of the marriages are ending. As these relationships end or evolve I have noticed that some conversations that I had thought had been left in the past have resurfaced. Four years I wrote a short post called Do

Recent Posts

If you haven't been around here is a list of posts you might have missed: How To Get More Readers For Your Blog More Links That Caught My Eye The Science Behind Beer Goggling 365 Days of Face Painting Facebook and Bad Photos Comment Policy: Free Advertising Israeli Security Repels Pirates Haveil Havalim #214 - The Radiant Ziv edition Jack and Dr. Seuss Harry Chapin and Jack Indian Women Say No Toilet, No Wedding Hard Rock Bug Repellent Why NFL Draft Picks Fail Bridge over Troubled Water- Good Version The Somalian Pirates Successful Business Model

How To Get More Readers For Your Blog

The two most common questions bloggers ask about blogging are how to get more readers and how encourage them to leave more comments. It is not surprising. It is always nice to see that people appreciate your work. I have a simple formula that I try to follow that has proven to be successful. Blog with passion and blog with joy. Blog with energy. Many experts recommend that you pick a topic and focus upon that. That is solid advice. Writing about what you know is important, but so is writing about something you enjoy. It will pay dividends. You'll find it easier to pay attention to details and to craft something that is more interesting. Write in your natural voice. Blogging is interactive, so be conversational when you can. But don't shy away from being descriptive. Your posts should tell a story, build a tapestry of images and ideas. Pay attention to the titles of your posts. New readers aren't always aware that you are the next Hemingway so you need to do something to

More Links That Caught My Eye

Why Google Wants You to Google Yourself - The assault on Facebook begins. The Ten Greatest Pontiacs -1978 Smokey & The Bandit takes the cake. 50 Most Heartbreaking Songs of All Time Vatican planned to move to Portugal if Nazis captured wartime Pope Abbas won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state - No problem, Hamas doesn't recognize him as having any authority.

The Science Behind Beer Goggling

Time Magazine has an interesting story called Does Beer (Goggling) Affect Whom We Find Attractive? The new study, set to be published in June in the 100th issue of the British Journal of Psychology , examined how alcohol plays into all these murky attractions to youth. The vast majority of men don't act on their potentially inappropriate, or criminal, impulses, but can those who do blame the booze? The study's authors, Egan and Cordan, asked their 120 drinking and 120 sober participants to rate the attractiveness of 15-year-old girls versus 19-year-old girls shown in photographs. The study participants were evenly divided between men and women. For ethical and legal reasons, the photos were actually altered images of 17-year-old students from McMaster University in Ontario; they had given permission for their likenesses to be used. Researchers digitally manipulated the pictures to make the students' craniofacial features look like those of typical 15-year-olds or those o

365 Days of Face Painting

Wacky artist paints his face for a full year .

Facebook and Bad Photos

Facebook has created some unforeseen issues for me that I refer to as Facebook and Bad Photos . These photos fall into two categories. The first are pictures of myself that I do not like because I think that I look bad in them. By that I mean that I don't like the way I look because I am making a face or they make me look like I need to lose 763 pounds. The second category are those pictures in which I am doing something that I do not think ought to be broadcast to the world. Hypothetically speaking someone could post a picture of me from 1992 in which it is clear that I and my companions are inebriated. Now I am not saying that such a photo exists and if it did I would point out that when I am tired my eyes are red and I walk around with a goofy grin on my face. But if it did, I'd probably ask that it not be included. As for the first category, well that is a different issue altogether. I am relatively photogenic. Most of the time I am happy with my pictures but lately th

Comment Policy: Free Advertising

Consider this a clarification of the commenting policy here in two specific areas. Most people understand that hate speech is simply inappropriate and they do not expect to be allowed to post wherever they go. This blog is no different. Post that here and it will be deleted, except when it meets specific needs. For example, it may be used to help illustrate to the world just what sort of bigoted ass you are. The second area to address is what we refer to as "free advertising." In general the proprietors of the Shack do not provide free advertising. If you have a particular product or service that you wish to promote you are welcome to contact me and I will be happy to discuss it with you. It should be noted that if you operate a business blog and choose to comment here our preference is that you use a name and not your business name in the comments section. When I see comments from xyz.com or others that make me think that a spam blog has found me I tend to delete first

Israeli Security Repels Pirates

Ynet reports that an Italian cruise ship was attacked by pirates. However the assault was successfully repelled by their Israeli security team. An Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people on board fended off a pirate attack far off the coast of Somalia when its Israeli private security forces exchanged fire with the bandits and drove them away, the commander said Sunday. Cmdr. Ciro Pinto told Italian state radio that six men in a small white boat approached the Msc Melody and opened fire Saturday night, but retreated after the Israeli security officers aboard the cruise ship returned fire. "It felt like we were in war," Pinto said. None of the roughly 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members were hurt, Melody owner Msc Cruises said in a statement issued by its German branch. Domenico Pellegrino, head of the Italian cruise line, said Msc hired the Israelis because they were the best trained security agents, the ANSA news agency reported.

Haveil Havalim #214 - The Radiant Ziv edition

Every week the Jewish/Israeli blogosphere produces a weekly blog carnival of posts that cover politics, culture, religion, humor and more. It is my great pleasure to let you know that the latest edition is now live. Go over to The Rebbetzin's Husband and read Haveil Havalim #214 - The Radiant Ziv edition .

Jack and Dr. Seuss

Sometimes when life is feeling particularly challenging I take a few minutes to read the work of one of my favorite philosophers, Dr. Seuss. Oh, the Places You'll Go! Congratulations! Today is your day.You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there. "With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street. And you may not find any you'll want to go down. In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town. It's opener there in the wide open air. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to h

Harry Chapin and Jack

In a different time and place I would have been one of those singer/songwriters, a bard, a traveling minstrel. I would have been some sort of court jester who traveled around the world. A collector of tales and epic adventures I'd pay my way by the use of my incredible talent to sing and tell stories. But as I said, that dream takes place in a different time and space. I am not that Jack, but sometimes I wish that I were. I can't sing worth a damn, at least not with the sort of sound that people would pay to listen to. Perhas I could be paid not to sing, but that defeats part of the dream now doesn't it. I like to think that I am a decent storyteller, not great, but decent. The good news is that it is a skill that can be practiced and improved upon. With some time and effort I am confident that I can improve. In a different post I might address the areas that I want to focus on, but not now. Instead I want to share two more thoughts with you. Earlier this week I found m

Indian Women Say No Toilet, No Wedding

This story is a good reminder to be thankful for what we have. More televisions, than toilets, that is bizarre. In the northern Indian state of Haryana, courtship is generally intricate business, but the mothers of the brides-to-be have simplified matters by clearing stating to potential grooms: “If you don’t have a toilet , you cannot marry my daughter.” In the northern Indian state of Haryana, courtship is generally intricate business, but the mothers of the brides-to-be have simplified matters by clearing stating to potential grooms: “If you don’t have a toilet , you cannot marry my daughter.” The slogan, which is a bit longer in Hindi and specifically reads: “If you don’t have a proper lavatory in your house, don’t even think about marrying my daughter,” has been plastered all across villages as part of a campaign to increase the number of available facilities. The chronic shortage of proper plumbing is ironic in a region of the country where more households have TV sets than

Hard Rock Bug Repellent

Who knew that listening to Stairway to Heaven or Paint it Black can help you rid yourself of vermin. TUSCARORA, Nev. -- The residents of this tiny town, anticipating an imminent attack, will be ready with a perimeter defense. They'll position their best weapons at regular intervals, faced out toward the desert to repel the assault. Then they'll turn up the volume. Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets. The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way. But the crickets don't much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. "It is part of our arsenal,&q

Why NFL Draft Picks Fail

I really enjoy Live Science because they come up with a slew of interesting articles. This particular article discusses NFL draft picks and their success or lack thereof. If you read through the article it discusses how the combine is not always a great indicator of success. Can't say that I was surprised by that. Ezzie will probably be particularly interested in the section on cleveland which delineates the three factors that cause those teams to lose. Not to mention how it also translates to a huge disappointment for LeBron and company, but I digress. I recommend reading the article. But I'll also add that I think that is more proof that few tests do a good job of really measuring how good people will be at anything. There are far too many variables that can influence performance. And now an excerpt for your review: "But in a new study, Frank Kuzmits and Arthur Adams, professors at the University of Louisville, evaluated more than 300 quarterbacks, running backs an

The Somalian Pirates Successful Business Model

In our continuing series of posts about the Somalian pirates we are pleased to present an interview with a former FBI agent (Jack Cloonan) who specializes in negotiating with pirates. In it he discusses the hierarchy, intelligence of the pirates and how they communicate. Here are a few excerpts for your review. SPIEGEL: How does the money get delivered to the pirates? For example, are speedboats used? Jack Cloonan: Delivering money is an extremely difficult part of the negotiation process because once you strike a deal, you do have to deliver the ransom. We used to rent tugboats in Mombasa. But the tugboat captains -- some of whom have delivered ransoms repeatedly -- have actually charged more for the delivery of the ransom than the actual ransom amount. What we do is, we cruise to a certain agreed-upon location with coordinates, you get within sight, the delivery is made from a bagman to the bad guys and then you hope that the pirates do the right thing. They generally do. SPIEGE

The Naked Wizard & The Police

The police have a very tough job. I am serious about that. Any time you deal with people you are bound to encounter situations that are going to be quite challenging. And we ask the police to deal with a million different kinds. They not only have the so called normal citizens but all of the criminals and mentally ill to contend with as well. And now they get to do all of this in a time in which their interactions can be filmed and uploaded for millions of people to critique. It is a tough job under any circumstances and that just makes it worse. Add to it the suspicion that many people have about cops and you have a recipe for all sorts of trouble. Anyway, law enforcement is not for me. I have little to no interest in it and I certainly wouldn't want to have to deal with people like The Naked Wizard in the video below. I'll lay odds that these officers end up getting sued for tasering this man. Now maybe he deserved it and maybe he didn't, hard to say without having s

Automobile Repairs- Your Mechanic & You

Many years ago I remember telling the Shmata Queen about the similarities between cars and women. It was one of those obnoxious comparisons in which you suggest that both are expensive hobbies, but at least the car doesn't talk back. Some of you are probably waiting for the punch line where I tell you about how she literally punched me. Sorry to disappoint you, but The Shmata Queen was and is so madly in love with me that it was all she could do not to kiss me. Did I tell you that one of the many attributes she finds so very attractive is my enormous and incomparable humility.. Hee hee. I can't stop laughing. When she reads this I am going to need to be certain to be extra wary, that woman carries an enormous black purse and let me assure you, it hurts to be belted with it. Anyhoo, the joyous man that you all know as moi, Jack has a wry grin upon his face. You see my car decided to start smoking yesterday and sadly it wasn't a good cigar. So off we went to see the wonder

Yes, She is an Idiot

This is one of those stories that makes me shake my head. I am sorry that this woman was hurt, but she created the problem for herself. A Cheatham County woman who said she was beaten after giving a homeless man a cheeseburger outside a Nashville McDonald's last year is suing the restaurant, a nearby liquor store and her alleged attacker. Fran MacLaren and her husband, Thomas, filed suit in Davidson County Circuit Court on Monday. They are asking for $2 million in damages. In the criminal assault case against David Craig last April, MacLaren testified that she went to a Nolensville Road McDonald's for lunch on April 21, 2008. The homeless man, Craig, was outside of the fast-food chain after being told to leave a nearby liquor store, named in the suit as Uncle Koto Liquor Store. MacLaren gave Craig the cheeseburger as he was lying down in a parking spot outside the restaurant. Craig shouted he didn't want the burger, just money and threw the burger at MacLaren, she testi

Tweeting About Twitter- One Blogger Speaks

I signed up for Twitter in December of 2008 and have been exploring/examining its utility for myself since then. Midway through my fourth month of using it I don't have a good feel for whether it is really helped me. There are aspects of it that I really like. It is a useful tool as a source of information as well as for disseminating it. But I suspect that it is doing more to hinder blogging than to help it. Based upon personal experience I find that things I would have blogged about are getting swept aside and turned into a simple tweet. It appears to me that some other bloggers are experiencing the same thing. However since I haven't conducted any sort of poll this might not be entirely accurate. I don't know. I have also been careful not to let myself get too wrapped up in it. There is only so much time in the day and far too many things that serve as distractions or unintentional time sucking devices. In fairness I should add that I feel a bit like I am in the mid

Music From The Morning

A quick look at some of the music I listened to this morning. Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand - Primitive Radio Gods You're Gonna Go Far, Kid -The Offspring Gone Away - The Offspring Jerusalem - Matisyahu Just Another Day - Oingo Boingo Insanity -Oingo Boingo GoldenEye - Tina Turner Tikva -Subliminal & The Shadow Mr. Brightside - The Killers Tuesday Afternoon - The Moody Blues The Voice - The Moody Blues

Dad, What Is a Gas Chamber?

"Dad, What Is a Gas Chamber" is one of the most horrific questions that I have heard in my life. He is not quite 8.5 and he wants to know what a gas chamber is and why people would murder other people. He says that he can't understand why people would be mean to someone else just because they look different or have different thoughts. I am more than troubled by this because I know that I have to answer his questions. I know that I have to despoil more of his innoncence and tell him that some people are just bad. I have to tell him that in this house we teach everyone to judge a person based upon their actions and that even though it is the right way, not everyone follows it. I tell him that some people are bad and there is no good explanation for it. Inquisitive eyes look up at me and he says that he doesn't understand and that he thinks he might be a little afraid. I tell him not to be afraid, that most people don't act like that. I tell him that part of why peop

Recent Posts

Things move fast and furiously around here. It is pretty easy to miss a post or two. For those of you who haven't been around here is a quick summary of some of the recent material. Yom HaShoah- Holocaust Memorial Day Still Coping with Sick Parents Three Computers & A BlackBerry More on Columbine A Warranty for The Warranty The Speech Nixon Never Had to Give Do You Follow Your Own Advice Getting Paid for Your Relationship Thunder & Lightning Sarkozy Calls Obama Weak Does Whole Foods Support Terrorism Snake Tries to Eat Man, Man Bites Back

Yom HaShoah- Holocaust Memorial Day

Yom HaShoah , Holocaust Memorial Day has begun and I find myself searching for the proper way to express my thoughts about the day. It is of critical importance, this day. It is a time to reflect upon the horrors of the past so that we do not forget that they can happen again. One of the saddest truths about humanity is that we have ample examples from past and present times of the barbarism that man can exhibit towards other men. There are a number of issues that surround this day that concern me. As more time passes and more survivors die it becomes easier for the world to forget and for the deniers to try to make their case. I have often wondered how the deniers can claim that six million did not die and that it was a smaller number of only a few hundred thousand. Either number is incredibly hard to digest, to fathom, to understand. Is there any less horror in saying that only 100,000 lives were intentionally snuffed out. The answer is no. But it would be wrong to allow the ho

Still Coping with Sick Parents

Fifteen years ago my uncle died. He was my father's younger and only brother. He was 49. At the time I knew that was young, but it didn't strike me as to how very young it was. It is really now that I am about to crest the hill and turn 40 that I see it as being half a life, but is related to this somewhat tangentially. His death marked a turning point in my relationship and understanding of my father. I see it a bit as a benchmark for when I began to truly recognize that my father was just a man and subject to the same laws and science as all men are. It was the first time that I really saw him in a light where he wasn't our shining knight, protector of the family. I stood back and watched as he and my grandfather hugged each other. I watched as a father and son coped with their loss and tried to make sense of it. That was really when I understood that though he was my father, there was much more to him. And now I find myself in a different sort of position than I did b

More on Columbine

Today is the ten year anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. Since many of my readers were on vacation last week I thought that I'd follow up on that post with another. As I said in my initial post I have always been bothered by the attempt to explain the actions of the perpetrators of this atrocity as somehow having been tied into bullying. It is understandable that in the face of tragedy people try to understand why things happen. But I cannot accept an explanation that absolves these two monsters of responsibility for their actions. More importantly if you read some of the stories that have come out about that day you will see that Klebold and Harris were not the victims of bullying. Still, even if they had been there is no excuse for their actions. The majority of the world does not resort to violence in the face of mistreatment. "(CNN) -- What do you remember about April 20, 1999? If you recall that two unpopular teenage boys from the Trench Coat Mafia sought revenge

A Warranty for The Warranty

In general I am not a huge fan of warranties for the things that I own. I suppose that you can attribute this to a my feeling that the warranties are a marketing trick that is used to try and suck a few more dollars out of me and the fact that most are just inadequate. Now I am not going to try and make a case for whether either of these thoughts are factually accurate. I'll leave that job to Consumer Reports and other organizations that are dedicated to protecting consumer rights. At the moment I am particularly irritated because during the past several months I have spent more time than I care to think about dealing with the customer service departments of various manufacturers. All of these conversations start out the same way. I provide the details about why something I own is no longer working and my desire to see it fixed/repaired/replaced whatever. They in turn tell me what options exist for solving my problem and in many cases it has been a relatively painless process.

The Speech Nixon Never Had to Give

This July marks the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. Had tragedy struck President Nixon would have had to address the nation. This article discusses the speech that he would have given. It was entitled In the event of Moon disaster . If Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin had been stranded on the Moon, unable to return to Michael Collins’s orbiting Apollo 11 command ship, Nixon would have called their widows then addressed a horror-struck nation. “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace,” he would have told the watching millions. These brave men know there is no hope for their recovery but they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. “These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. “They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will

Do You Follow Your Own Advice

Sometimes I am plagued by doubt. Sometimes I look in the mirror and stare at the face and wonder how that guy is going to get through the day because I am not convinced that he is up for the job. I stare and wonder if everyone else can see that he is just really good at faking it. And then sometimes I feel the exact opposite of that. There are moments that I can only describe as being triumphant. Moments in which I am completely confident that everything I desire will come to me because I can make it happen. The real trick is to not live in either extreme but to try and stay centered. Most of the time I feel like I do a pretty good job of it. Most of the time I feel like I have a realistic view of what is going on and a solid idea about how to keep things afloat. But the moments of doubt do come. There are those times when I feel like have the most tenuous grasp on it all, when I feel like everyone else gets what they want, but I don't. When that happens I take a deep breath an

Getting Paid for Your Relationship

The New York Time has an article about a website that offers a different sort of matchmaking. SeekingArrangement.com provides a service that is available for use by men and women. More to the point it helps arrange meetings between those who wish to play sugar daddy or sugar mama as the case may be and those who wish to be kept. These sorts of relationships have long predated the Internet, but I can't help but be curious as to how many more have been created because of it. Not making a judgment call here, just commenting on yet another example of how the net has changed lives. "... They’re not searching for longtime soul mates; they want no-strings-attached “arrangements” that trade in society’s most valued currencies: wealth, youth and beauty. In the cheesy lexicon of the site, they are “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies.” There’s the 18-year-old from France asking for $5,000 to $10,000 a month from “a mentor who can provide me with the finer things in life and keep me h

Hannah Montana Movie

The dark haired beauty wants to see the Hannah Montana movie as soon as possible. As a little sister she knows that she is obligated to do her best to aggravate her older brother as frequently as possible. She accomplishes this by telling him that their father, me, has agreed to take them both to go see it. What she does not tell him is that although I have agreed that she can see the movie, I haven't said one word about when we'll see it. Seconds after her announcement he comes flying into my room to express his disapproval, displeasure and disappointment with this. "Dad, you know that I hate Hannah Montana. Why would you make me see it." I look at him and ask him if he really thinks that I am going to take him to see the movie. Would I really waste money on a ticket for a movie I know that he won't like. He nods his head at me and I can see that he is lost in thought. A moment later he looks at me and says, "Dad, I think that you aren't telling me s

Some Links

The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror She Didn't know she was Pregnant - How does that happen. Scuba-diving 'Satanists' hack off arms of submerged Jesus statue Be Careful- Your Balls Might Explode Sex Spray To Stave Off Orgasm Might Not Be So Revolutionary After All Tourists have to try to combat the 'ugly American' Thief to victim: 'You can have your car back' - The Shmata Queen would do something like this. Moms spill truth about motherhood - Someone tell them to quit complaining and get cooking. Saudi official moves to regulate child marriages - Sure they are. And cleveland is a nice place to live, the sky is purple and Britanny Spears has real talent.

Thunder & Lightning

The distant boom of thunder and a flash of lightning made it clear that Springtime had arrived. Her desk was on the 22nd floor providing her with a clear view of the cloud filled sky. Though it was only midmorning the black clouds and falling rain made it appear to be far later than it was. For a moment she stared out the window and lost herself in thought. Later that day she'd join a thousand other commuters on the road and engage in the joy of rush hour. She was hopeful that it would be an uneventful drive, but this time of year you never did know when a hailstorm might start. A good hailstorm could wreak havoc upon your car. Out here the hail had a proclivity for being larger, golf ball and even softball size hail were not uncommon. It was fun to watch from within the comfort of your home, provided it wasn't wrecking your car or battering a hole in your roof. Two more blasts of thunder made her windows shake. That didn't bode well for bedtime. The kids hated the noise

Sarkozy Calls Obama Weak

This isn't really the sort of response we want Obama to receive from other world leaders. OTOH, France hasn't really been a significant world power for far longer than they care to admit. Take the criticism for what it is worth. The US President is weak, the Spanish leader is dim, the German Chancellor is clinging on to France’s coat-tails and the head of the European Commission is irrelevant. That, at any rate, is the world according to President Sarkozy, who has spent the week airing his unvarnished opinions of Barack Obama and an array of international politicians — abruptly ending France’s honeymoon with the US and needling Washington on several strategic issues. In the latest in a stream of accounts from the Élysée Palace, Mr Sarkozy was quoted yesterday as telling an all-party group of MPs that Mr Obama was inexperienced and indecisive. “Obama has a subtle mind, very clever and very charismatic,” the French President said. “But he was elected two months ago and had never

Snake Tries to Eat Man, Man Bites Back

Want to know what snake tastes like? Ask this fellow . Better yet ask the keystone cops how they let the snake escape. A Kenyan man bit a python which wrapped him in its coils and dragged him up a tree during a fierce three-hour struggle, police have told the BBC. The serpent seized farm worker Ben Nyaumbe in the Malindi area of Kenya's Indian Ocean coast at the weekend. Mr Nyaumbe bit the snake on the tip of the tail during the exhausting battle in the village of Sabaki. Police rescued Mr Nyaumbe and captured the 13ft (4m) reptile, before taking it to a sanctuary, but it later escaped. The victim told police he managed to reach his mobile phone from his pocket to raise the alarm when the python momentarily eased its grip after hauling him up a tree on Saturday evening. Mr Nyaumbe used his shirt to smother the snake's head and prevent it from swallowing him. His employer arrived with police and villagers, who tied the python with a rope and pulled them both down from the t

Probably Not a Smart Thing to Say

Hulk Hogan, what the hell were you thinking when you said all this crap. (CNN) -- Pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, embroiled in a bitter divorce with his wife, Linda, told Rolling Stone magazine he can "totally understand" O.J. Simpson, the former football great found liable for the deaths of his wife and another man. "I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody's throat," Hogan said in the interview for a feature that will run in Friday's edition of the magazine. "You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can't go to anymore, you're driving through downtown Clearwater [Florida] and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife... . "I totally understand O.J. I get it," Hogan said A spokeswoman for Rolling Stone magazine confirmed the quote to CNN. It has been widely reported that Linda Hogan , 49, is dat

Rules For Life

I remember a day from a time not so far past. I was walking down 42nd Street towards Times Square. It was the middle of July and the day was relatively warm. For a kid from L.A. the heat wouldn't have been noticeable but I was dressed in a suit and carrying a laptop. There was business to conduct. The sky was blue and relatively free of clouds. The usual noises of the city surrounded me. Cars, taxis, buses and people all moving in every direction, semi organized chaos. I was lost in thought about someone who had offered to pepper my pike. I'll let you wonder what that means, it doesn't really matter. As I walked someone stopped me on the street to ask directions. I laughed and told them that I was just another tourist wandering the streets. She looked at me and said that I looked so intent she assumed that I knew exactly where I was going and that I had to be a native. I smiled and told her that home was across the country and that I could answer any questions she might h