Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Thriller" Zombie Dance at a Wedding

Here is a wedding party who performs the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance from the MTV video - really funny - bride and groom and whole party does the dance at the reception - alot of fun! I love this! I want everyone to dance this at my funeral!

HS student replicates black/white doll experiments

This high school student replicated the black/white doll experiments referred in the Brown V Board (1954) Supreme Court case that led to desegregation of schools. She also interviewed her friends about how they felt about their skin color. This is really shocking: her friends talk about how they know of girls who "bleach" their skin, how they want a light skinned husband for the "gene" pool, how their hair should be long and soft and not kinky - what are we teaching our children? This is profoundly sad.

Bride goes nuts: sad, not funny

Here is a youtube video of a bride going nuts on her wedding day - her hair is "horrible." Of course, this has nothing to do about her hair. How do you spell "borderline personality disorder?" This young lady has a terrible personality disorder - its not funny. Look at the symptoms: poor self image, wild mood swings, idealization followed by contempt, violent outbursts, uncontrollable rage, self mutiliation, self hatred. Not funny. This is circulated on web as the ultimate "bridezilla" but it is not funny.

My great grandmother's journey to USA

My mother's mother, maiden name Helen Hansen, was born in chicago, but her mom immigrated from Germany (Prussia at the time). I remember my grandmother telling me about the ocean voyage (as told to her by her mother). Her mom was deep inside the ship, was sick most of the time, but once looked out a port hole and saw a whale surfacing! She slept most of the time, but was awakened when the ship made the New York port - to see the Statue of Liberty. So my great grandmother was sick most of the ocean voyage, saw a whale once, but really only remembers arriving, and seeing Lady Liberty. I wish my grandmother had told me more. When they arrived in chicago her dad had a job in the stock yards, slaughering steers. She used to bring him his lunch (that her mom made). Later in his life he worked for the city as a parks laborer. They lived on the south side (near the slaughter houses) in a wooden flat with no grass - I remember a picture of her as a child, standing in front of her house, with high buttoned shoes, and no grass in the yard. Poor times. I think she was the youngest - her parents died and the childless couple across the street took her in. Later the couple died and left her their inheritance, enough for a small bungalow house on the far south west side, at the end of the trolley line, which is where i grew up.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Carl Sagan: Picture of Earth in Milky Way

This is from my son Nathan's friend, Alicia. I always am in awe of someone who has global connections (like the link between recycling and global warming) but this is a cosmic connection: fantastic!!!

On October 13, 1994, the famous astronomer Carl Sagan was delivering a public lecture at his own university of Cornell. During that lecture, he presented this photo.

The photo was taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 as it sailed away from Earth, more than 4 billion miles in the distance. Having completed it primary mission, Voyager at that time was on its way out of the Solar System, on a trajectory of approximately 32 degrees above the plane of the Solar System. Ground Control issued a command for the distant space craft to turn around and, looking back, take photos of each of the planets it had visited. From Voyager's vast distance, the Earth was captured as a infinitesimal point of light (which you can see in the picture as the pale blue dot), actually smaller than a single pixel of the photo. The image was taken with a narrow angle camera lens, with the Sun quite close to the field of view. Quite by accident, the Earth was captured in one of the scattered light rays caused by taking the image at an angle so close to the Sun. Dr. Sagan was quite moved by this image of our tiny world. Here is a truly profound excerpt from the late Dr. Sagan's talk:

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Do you know the words to Star Spangled Banner? Hillary doesnt!

Here is the Grateful Dead singing the Star Spangled Banner a cappella. Fantastic!

Now listen to Hillary Clinton singing: she doesn't even get the words correct! Can you imagine how many meatloaf luncheons she has been to, to give speeches, how many times someone banged out the old Star Spangled Banner in her honor, how many times she has done this, and she can't hold a tune OR remember the correct words? You have to listen to this at least three times to realize how truly awful this is.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Obama become Osama! Let the smears begin!

The so called "swift boating" of candidates has already begun in the 2008 Pres Campaign. In 2004 John Kerry, Vietnam Veteran, hero, was painted as a coward by the "Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth," a section 537 "issue oriented" organization exempg from campaing financing limits (they were funded by one multi millionaire in Texas who was a long time Bush supporter.) Now Barak Obama is being presented as a Muslim extremeist. The subtext of the story was that Obama was some kind of Muslim Manchurian Candidate (or the Russian spy played by Kevin Costner in “No Way Out”)—trained in an Indonesian religious school to be a jihadist who would do Al Qaeda’s work from within. Under the old media order, the whole thing would have made for a nice joke amid the somber mood surrounding President Bush’s State of the Union address. But this is a different time, when every campaign lives in fear of being Swift-Boated. Even after the story was debunked, the folks at Fox News Channel wouldn’t apologize, and in one case kept pushing a line on the air they knew was false. Fox now admits the story was bogus (so much for journalism, than again, I'm not sure you can turn on the TV and get journalism from any network) but they refuse to apologize (they copied that from Pres Bush I guess).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Prehistoric shark caught live off Japan

Here is the prehistoric shark caught off Japan swimming in a marine life refuge. The sad thing is that the shark was just hours (minutes) from death. So we are seeing a beautiful creature that is struggling to stay alive in a very unusual, hostile environment. These sharks normally live at around 2,000 ft, so you can imagine how it felt being a sea level. At 2,000 ft the ocean would crush us, so at sea level the shark must have felt itself trying to explode outward. It was caught near the surface, so something was wrong with it - it was doomed already. Still I feel sorry for the shark. In a strange environment, lost, dying, and being filmed.

I-90 Pileup in snowstorm - Erie PA

Here is a story we read about every winter: a pile up on I 90 in Erie. I have driven I 90 going to Peek and Peak ski resort every winter, and often there is really bad roads going through Erie - so why is this unexpected? An ambulance gets in an accident? Those guys drive this every year, you would think they would know what to expect from I 90 as it goes through Erie - its right next to the lake in some spots - lake snow is heavy and quick. Tragic story, but the locals should know better!

"A chain-reaction crash on a snowy interstate highway involving about 50 vehicles, including an ambulance carrying patients, killed one person Thursday, officials said.

A 10-mile stretch of Interstate 90 was closed for hours in both directions after the early afternoon accident. Several people were slightly injured, authorities said.

Among the vehicles involved were several tractor-trailers and tanker trucks. The trucks were not damaged, said Maria Finn, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gov. Rendell's Pennsylvania Inaugural Ball

In contrast to the texas inaugural ball (see post below) Gov Rendell had an inaugural that featured his wife, Midge Rendell, a US Federal Appeals Court Judge (an potential Supreme Court nominee under a Demo President) singing "Who Says You Cant Go Home?" with Bon Jovi - yes, it was on PCN live, Judge Rendell in a sexy gown, bare shoulders, singing with bon jovi. Was she any good? She held her own. Also the ball featured food from throughout the state, and the Food Network was on hand to film a special segment for the cable channel. "The Spot" was even there (hole in wall sandwich shop in Harrisburg on second street) featuring the Rendell Sandwich (you dont wanna know what's in it). I guess my point is an inaugural ball can be a lot of fun without sick, tasteless performances and hate speech (see blog below). I keep thinking...Rendell is a social liberal, fiscal conservative, a jewish man who gets elected from a predominantly white, rural state, charismatic, honest, who has the Philadelphia pol machine behind him - why isn't he running for President? Oh year - he needs to fund raise hundreds of millions of dollars! (That's why.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gov. Rick Perry's Inaugural Ball!

And what a ball it was! Ted Nugent appeared (this is the inaugural ball for the re-elected Governor of Texas) and played his sensitive song, "Kiss my ass."The lyrics are below if you cant understand Ted's singing voice. Then, according to an anonymous eyewitness, Gov Perry said "In the words of famous NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, Dear sweet little 8lb 6oz baby Jesus, thank you Lord for my smoking hot wife!" My observor wondered if anyone present (conservative white old republicans) even knew who Ricky Bobby is (much less saw the movie). On the web I have read numerous shocked accounts of Nugents performance (homophobic, racist) - supposedly he shot a picture of Osama Bin Landen with an arrow from his guitar (a trademark move from his concerts - usually its a flaming arrow). Internet rumor has it that any hopes of a Rick Perry for Pres 2008 are bashed by his inaugural (we are waiting for cellphone video on Rick Perry was considered a light weight anyway...but Ted Nugent in a confederate flag ripped T shirt? (the pic above is from the net, however, Nugent wore a similar shirt at the inaugural - Ted's a guy who has a drawer full of ripped confederate flag t-shirts!) Here are the song's words (sung at the Texas inaugural ball):
KISS MY ASS (by Ted Nugent)

Telegram for Mr Billary...

C'mon baby,
Yeah, big ol' wet one...hey!

Kiss my ass,
Kiss my ass, (c'mon, everybody ought'a)
Kiss my ass, (tastes real good)
Kiss my ass. (oh...)

Don't waste your time on me
I got my own direction
Watch me close, wait and see
I'm lookin' for perfection
I make up my own mind
And I'll leave you far behind
When the goin' gets tough
You can kiss my ass

I believe in animal rights
I let my dog hump on my shin
I can tolerate sexual choice
But not with the next of kin (uh-uh, boy)
I've heard it all before
I ain't gonna take any more
When the goin' gets tough
You can kiss my ass

Kiss my ass, (pucker up)
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass
Kiss my ass, (c'mon babe)

I've heard it all before
And I ain't gonna take no more, no no
When the goin' gets tough
Kiss my ass!

I see the weenies with the dirty hair
Protestin' on the street
They condemn the clothes we wear
And the morality of what we eat, yeah
It's gotta be a fluke
They make me wanna puke
When the goin' gets tough
They can kiss my ass

Everybody gotta
Kiss my ass - C'mon gang bangers
Kiss my ass - Janet Reno
Kiss my ass - C'mon Billary
Kiss my ass - Callin' on Jesse Jackson
Kiss my ass - How about the IRS
Kiss my ass - Hey, Howard Stern
Kiss my ass - United Nations
Kiss my ass - All those Liberals
Kiss my ass - C'mon Sarah Brady
Kiss my ass - Oh, Courtney Love I've got your hole
Kiss my ass - Beavis, Butthead
Kiss my ass - How about Crips and Bloods

I've heard it all before
And we ain't gonna take it no more
When the goin' gets rough
When the goin's to tough
When the goin' gets rough
They oughta' kiss my ass

Vot e for Barak Obama sex offender!

Even for Fox News this is truly horrible - this is no longer even bad journalism, just demogogic scarey stuff. Here is a Fox News reports about a sex offender who is convicted, and they show a crowd outside, holding....a Barak Obama campaign sign. Now what does Obama's campaign have to do with a sex offender convicted? It is what Pres Bush calls subli-mam-able (subliminable) message. A sex offender was convicted! Vote for Barak Obama! good grief!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shot Duck alive in frig - Mrs. Cheney shocked

Neither gunfire nor two days in a refrigerator could slay this duck.

When the wife (Lynn Cheney) of the hunter (VP Dick Cheney) who shot it opened the refrigerator door, the duck lifted its head, giving her a scare.

The man’s wife “was going to check on the refrigerator because it hadn’t been working right and when she opened the door, it looked up at her,” said Laina Whipple, a receptionist at Killearn Animal Hospital. “She freaked out and told the daughter to take it to the hospital right then and there.”

The 1-pound female ringneck ended up at Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, where it has been treated since Tuesday for wounds to its wing and leg.

Sanctuary veterinarian David Hale said it has about a 75 percent chance of survival, but probably won’t ever be well enough to be released back into the wild.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

JC Penney sells coats made with dog fur

Macy's has pulled from its shelves and its Web site two styles of Sean John hooded jackets, originally advertised as featuring faux fur, after an investigation by the nation's largest animal protection organization concluded that the garments were actually made from a certain species of dog called "raccoon dog."

The Humane Society of the United States says that in some cases, espcially in Asia, raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur.

"First these jackets were falsely advertised as faux fur, and then it turned out that the fur came from a type of dog," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Pacelle added that the issue is an "industry-wide problem" and its investigation demonstrated that retailers and designers "aren't paying close enough attention to the fur trim they are selling."

He added that the issue is especially problematic when "the fur is sourced from China where domestic dogs and cats and raccoon dogs are killed in gruesome ways."

Raccoon dogs - which are not domestic animals - are indigenous to Asia, including eastern Siberia and Japan, and have been raised in large numbers because their fur closely resembles raccoon, Pacelle said.

Orlando Veras, a spokesman at Macy's, a division of Federated Department Stores Inc., confirmed Friday that the retailer had removed the jackets, releasing a statement saying that it has a "long-standing policy against the selling of any dog or cat fur." He continued, "This policy is clearly communicated to all suppliers."

The Sean John jackets - one a snorkel style, the other a classic version - had been labeled "raccoon fur," but were advertised as faux fur, Pacelle said.

In a statement by Sean "Diddy" Combs released by his publicist Hampton Carney, the designer said: "I was completely unaware of the nature of this material, but as soon as we were alerted, the garments were pulled off the Macy's floor and Web site. I have instructed our outerwear licensee to cease the production of any garments using this material immediately."

Macy's removal of the coats comes on the heels of other tests conducted by the Humane Society of the United States on a range of fur-trimmed jackets from retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory, Bloomingdale's, J.C. Penney and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as from designers and clothing lines such as Baby Phat, Andrew Marc, MaxMara and Calvin Klein. Those tests revealed that most of the jackets labeled as "raccoon" or coyote" from China in fact contained fur from raccoon dogs.

Of the 10 garments tested by the Humane Society, nine tested positive as raccoon dog fur and were mislabeled, a violation of federal law.

The Humane Society is also calling upon Congress to amend the Dog and Cat Protection Act - which bans the sale of dog or cat fur in the United States - to include raccoon dog, since the organization says these dogs are so "inhumanely" killed and their species are similar to domesticated dogs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Alexander Hamilton turns 250 yrs. old

If there is such a thing as immortality, it may be having people gather to celebrate your 250th birthday.

Alexander Hamilton met that standard on Thursday, as a group of descendants, along with latter-day admirers, convened to mark the anniversary of his birth in 1757.

The setting for the event, to quote another famous American, was altogether fitting and proper — the Manhattan churchyard where Hamilton was buried after being killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804, in the shadow of Wall Street towers that symbolize his role as the Founding Father who best understood high finance.

Wreaths were laid and the Rev. Anne Mallonee, vicar of the historic Trinity Church, offered a prayer in memory of the Caribbean immigrant who, among other achievements, became the first U.S. treasury secretary. That put him on the $10 bill, an honor that was briefly imperiled a few years ago by a lobbying campaign to replace him with
Ronald Reagan.

"For a long time he never got any credit for doing anything, but I think in the last couple of years his popularity has increased significantly, recognizing the contributions he made," said Douglas Hamilton, an Ohio computer salesman and one of several seventh-generation direct descendants attending the ceremony.

The Hamilton history revival got a boost of sorts with a 2004 reenactment of the duel in which he was killed by Burr 200 years earlier. Douglas Hamilton played the role of his fallen ancestor.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean island of Nevis, making him ineligible to become president of the United States. But that did not stop him from playing what historians recognize as perhaps the most varied — yet vital — roles of any of the founders of American democracy.

Gaining fame for battlefield exploits in the early days of the American Revolution, he became Gen. George Washington's most trusted personal aide and helped to forestall a chaotic retreat by Continental troops at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth.

He also earned a law degree, served in the Continental Congress after the war, helped lead the fight for ratification of the Constitution and wrote most of the Federalist Papers, tracts later published in New York newspapers to win public support for the Bill of Rights.

But as Washington's choice to head the treasury, Hamilton made what many historians believe were his most important contributions, issuing national currency, creating the banking system, establishing credit in domestic and foreign financial circles and other policies that spurred a functioning economy in the struggling new nation. His other accomplishments included creating the Coast Guard to protect commerce.

Pugnacious in politics, Hamilton had sharp differences with several Founding Fathers, including John Adams and Burr. It came to a head when he led successful efforts to have the House of Representatives back Thomas Jefferson over Burr in their deadlocked 1800 presidential race.

Their mutual hostility led to a showdown with pistols on a field in Weehawken, N.J., on July 11, 1804, in which Burr fatally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton died the next day, saying he forgave Burr for "all that happened."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm Rick James! on you tube

The classic Rick James sketch from Dave Chappelle show.

The Singing Senators!

Here is John Stewart and Stephen Colbert reporting on the singing US Senators.Quartets annoy me, but especially these four. And here is John Ashcroft singing his original song, Let the Eagle Soar.He used to sing gospel songs and would sell albums for fundraising. What I find funny about Let the Eagle Soar is that it goes on forever...just when you think he's done there's another verse! And the eagle is a "she."

The Oradour massacre - ghost town in France

This website describes the background and events leading up to the destruction of the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane, in the Haute-Vienne department of France, on Saturday the 10th of June 1944. The attack was carried out by soldiers of the Der F├╝hrer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich. On that day they killed a total of 642 men, women and children without giving any reasons for their actions and to this day there is no universally accepted explanation for the massacre. The narrative 'In a Ruined State' gives a full description of what happened on the 10th June and reviews all the current explanations offered by different authors for the event. In addition there are over 100 photographs in the Picture Gallery.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pootie Tang in Sine Your Pitty on the Runny Kine

Here is a clip from the movie, includes his unique language. Lance Crouther plays Pootie and he is really gifted: he is primarily a writer (Wayne Brady) but also producer (Wanda Sikes show). He also wrote for Chris Rock. Pootie Tang is really low budget, but alot of fun.

* "Bammies." (many interpretations and usages)
* "Sa Da Tay." (Generally positive interpretations)
* "Wa Da Tah." (many interpretations and usages)
* "Sepatown." (many interpretations and usages)
* "The Tipi Tais." (generally accepted as "The Kids.")
* "Dirty Dee, you're a baddy daddy lamatai tabby chai!" (Either a threat, an insult, or both.)
* "What's the Dabble Dee?" (generally accepted as "What's the matter?")
* "Main Damie." (generally accepted as "Best Friend.")
* "Well Bob, I'm a pone tony." (explains his achievement in many diverse fields)
* "I'm going to sine your pitty on the runny kine! " (A warning to his enemies of impending punishment, also used to smooth-talk the ladies.)
* "Ma Tilly." (seems to refer to a female "Damie". He refers to Biggie Shorty as his Tilly)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Indie Film: Winter Passing

Great movie, Winter Passing. Its about a reclusive writer's daughter who must visit her childhood home after the death of her mother. The writer is bizarre, depressed, eccentric. Reese, the daughter, is wounded from her childhood. The writer lives with two strange boarders: one a musician, the other a former grad student. I really enjoyed the movie and the performances. Will Ferrell plays the muscian. Ed Harris plays the writer. Zooey Deschanel plays the daughter, and Amelia Warner plays the grad student. Reese inherits her dead mothers love letters to her dad - the letters reveal the initial love affair, the marriage, and finally the bitterness of a betrayed wife. The letters help Reese to understand her father better, which is probably why her mom wanted her to have them. Kinda, discover your dad and why I loved him from the grave. Great movie. Great script. Great cinematograhy - watch how the director lights various scenes. Its nice to blog about something other than the iraq war and GW Bush!!!