Thursday, December 14, 2006

Maybe some real news tomorrow

I can't promise. Right now I'm into fun, frothy and freaky. When I'm fully recuperated, I'll try more substantive fare.

Wisconsin Man Runs Over, Eats Seven-Legged Transgendered Deer

I must be a freak-news magnet. Click on the title to read this Fox News article.

Live...from the South Pole

Ever wonder what it's like at the South Pole? Well, I do! Take a look at the live cam from the Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Monitoring Division. You'll also find links to other observatories (Barrow, Trinidad Head, Mauna Loa, American Samoa).

Take the Newsquiz!

Love this! Click here to take CNN's Newsquiz. Ten (easy) questions from the week of December 11. Don't miss the fun!

Don't drive with a Libra

They're the astrological sign most likely to have a car accident, according to this Reuters article. "According to a study by InsuranceHotline.com, a Web site that quotes drivers on insurance rates, astrological signs are a significant factor in predicting car accidents."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Airline workers sacrifice camel at airport

Yes, they really did; read this Reuters article. Celebrating a job well done and ahead of schedule, Turkish Airlines maintenance workers slaughtered a camel - at work!

We all have different ways of sharing our joy...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hawk attacks dachshund

Read this story from Boston news channel WCVB about a boy who saved his puppy from a red-tailed hawk.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dachshund Shakespeare

It's going to be a great day when you find a site called Shakespeare Goes to the Dogs. View six plays acted by cartoon dachshunds! My favorite was Titus Andronicus.

The author of the site, Muriel Morris, is a teacher who draws the cartoons for her students. She gives them to her class before they see the play; the comics "give them an idea of the plot of the play so they don't feel lost."

Makes using "Tales from Shakespeare" seem rather bland. I had never seen a dachshund in a toga before - three cheers!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Time to make the latkes

"TIME to make the latkes, and not because it’s almost Hanukkah." True words from this NYT piece on the love of latkes. There's even a link to the latke recipe from the article - bonus!

Special foods evoke special memories. Alex Witchel writes about these humble (yet divine) potato pancakes in the context of community and sweet family memories.

Ever had one? They're amazing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Last Goodbye

Members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gather in Hawaii today to honor their comrades and remember that dreadful morning. In 1941, these young men survived the worst; now old men, they believe this to be their last reunion.

"The attack may have occurred 65 years ago, but survivors say they can still hear the explosions, smell the burning flesh, taste the sea water and hear the cries.

"The younger ones were crying, 'Mom! Mom! Mom!'" said Edward Chun, who witnessed the attack from the Ten-Ten dock, just a couple hundred meters away from Battleship Row."

Read the entire Fox News article.

No VAT for Norwegian strippers

After yesterday's depressing blog post, I offer this little story as a respite. How can hardworking strip club operators make a living with a 25% Value Added Tax hitched on to ticket sales? The issue went to court when an operator refused to pay.

"A Norwegian court ruled Tuesday that strip clubs did not have to pay value added tax (VAT) because their services were a form of art performed by artists, a Norwegian news agency said."

Art performed by artists! Of course.

If you love pictures

then go right now to Reuter's photo section. Launch the Editor's Choice of the best photos from the last 24 hours. It's one of my favorite daily routines.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wanting Babies Like Themselves, Some Parents Choose Genetic Defects

is the name of this NYT article. You read correctly. Dr. Darshak M. Sanghavi (a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School) explains Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (P.G.D.): “a process in which embryos are created in a test tube and their DNA is analyzed before being transferred to a woman’s uterus.”

We know of parents who use this sort of testing in order to eliminate babies with genetic defects. Now parents use the test to choose babies with defects. “It turns out that some mothers and fathers don’t view certain genetic conditions as disabilities but as a way to enter into a rich, shared culture.”

I read this several times in disbelief. Please read the article and send your comments.

Cleveland's Christmas Story

Read this NYT story about the latest Cleveland tourist attraction: Ralphie Parker's house!

Take your religion to work

This article reveals how Americans express their faith on the job. "Work is invading people's personal lives, so people are bringing more of their personal lives to the workplace," said Paula Brantner, director of Workplace Fairness, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes employee rights. "

Though it speaks of worksite bible studies, one leader says "It's not just the Bible. A lot of the books we study are just about being a good person and just being human and understanding how to relate to people," he said. "It gives you a forum to talk."

So there you have it: be a good person, be human and relate to people. What kind of influence does that kind of spirituality wield on the souls of men? Of course the article mentions that the studies are voluntary, as they should be - and no proselytizing, either. Fine. But if you're going to study the bible, you should deal with its content.

In the article, demonstrations of workplace faith mean Muslim cab drivers won't take fares that carry alcohol; Christian pharmacists won't fill birth control prescriptions.

We must remember that most religions seek to fix the evil things we do. Christianity seeks to fix the evil thing we are.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Don't strike that match

You're on a plane from DC bound for DFW. You smell spent matches; you worry; you alert the crew. You make an emergency landing in Nashville, inspect the plane and luggage - heck, you even bring in bomb-sniffing dogs.

Bombs? No.
Terrorists? No.
Flatulence? Yes.

Flatulence brought the plane down. Evidently a passenger with a "medical problem" tried to cover it up by burning matches. This article tells the whole story.

No more prison tattoos for you

Did you know that the previous Canadian government provided tattoos for inmates in an effort to curb hepatitis and AIDS? According to this article, the tattoo gravy train is over. "Our government will not spend taxpayers' money on providing tattoos for convicted criminals," Day said in a statement.

Can you believe they ever did? FYI, do not do a Google image search for "tattoo." Big mistake.

You Can't Make Me!

"Saddam, who taught pride and dignity to many people, refuses to attend (the trial) and be subjected to insult by agents and their followers ... Therefore, I ask to be relieved from attending the (court) hearings in this new comedy and you can do whatever you want," he wrote.

Let's see, 150 Shiites, 180,000 Kurds (his students of pride and dignity, perhaps) - sound like a "comedy?"

Excerpted from this article.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mad at Rick

Evangelical Christians are serious about everything but worship.

Rick Warren offends pro-life evangelicals because he invited Barack Obama to speak at his church's annual AIDS conference.

His anti-abortion constituency is very upset. Phyllis Schlafly opposes the idea. Kevin McCullough (conservative host) wrote: "Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit — a sacred piece of honor in evangelical traditions — to the inhumane, sick and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?"

Oh, for heaven's sake. Warren is not giving Obama a "pulpit" in the traditional sense. He's speaking at an AIDS conference. By the way, there was no similar outrage regarding Sen. Brownback, who was asked to speak at the same conference. How many evangelicals would be willing to share their "pulpit" with a Roman Catholic - pro-life or not?

Go to the Saddleback Website and take a look. I was particularly interested in the "Ohana" worship experience: "Come for the worship... Stay for the sounds of the islands. Experience hospitality and hugs. Learn to worship through signing or hula. Room 404 near the Beach Cafe and island huts."

It's hard for me to get worked up about Barack when I'm worshiping through hula.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Legally Blind Woman, 94, Bowls a 244

The headline says it all, but here's the article. My eyesight is fine, I guess I'm just bowling impaired. If I crack 100, it's a day of victory at the Madison Lanes.