Sunday, January 31, 2010

Islamic Culture



From Right Wing News Post 7496

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are having a hard time understanding what is a strange Afghan cultural practice to them. The practice can be summed up in the ages old Afghan phrase, "women are for children, boys are for pleasure."

Yes, that phrase means what you think it means. It has been well known for a long time that some parts of Afghanistan have an odd sexual practice ensconced in its culture. Men have sex for pleasure with boys often eschewing women. Sometimes these men even claim to be disgusted by the idea of sex for pleasure with a woman. Yet none of these Afghani men think of themselves as homosexual because they don't "love" their male sex partners. They just love the sex.

This fact had become well known by Americans back in the 1980s when we were assisting the Mujahadeen to fight the Soviets. CIA operatives, social psychologists and cultural experts working with the government and Army personnel learned this strange habit long ago. But now that we are back in force in Afghanistan we are encountering this practice again and it is causing no end of confusion for U.S. forces -- especially medical personnel.

According to Fox News, American doctors are trying to teach Afghani men that they are getting sexually transmitted diseases from the anal sex they are having with each other. The docs are telling these men that they must stop the practice.

The problem is, though, that these Afghani men refuse to take the doctor's advice because they say it is their cultural practice. In fact, they say that the Koran tells them to do this.

The Fox report includes this statement by an Afghani that surely reflects his cultural bias on the issue. The report mentions that the U.S. medical personnel was trying to tell these men that sex with women will keep them from getting these diseases. The Fox News report said, "when it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, 'How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'"

So why do I peg this to a backwards Islamic practice? Because the problem here isn't just a weird interpretation of Islam isolated in one small corner of the earth it is Islam itself that is the problem.

Certainly we don't necessarily see this homosexual practice in every Islamic culture, though it does exist in larger numbers than one might think. But the root of the problem is wrapped up in what the Afghani man above said about women. "They are unclean," he told the U.S. doctors. This idea that women are “unclean” is ubiquitous throughout the religion.

This disgusting devaluing of women doesn't just happen in Afghanistan, though it seems to be especially virulent there. This devaluing of women is rampant throughout the Islamic world. Islam hates its women. Islam beats its women. Islam rapes its women. Islam murders its women. From every corner of the earth Islam is anti-female.

So, it is no surprise that in at least one Islamic culture even having sex with women makes Islamic men sick.

For Islam to come from the 13th century into the 21st Century it must learn to treat its women with respect.

Create Value/Wealth



Jesus said, "Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over".

The idea that life is some kind of zero sum reality is foolish. To think that the only way to be rich, is to take from someone making him poor. That can sometimes happen, but it's usually the poor, who take from the poor. The rich gain, by making others around them better off.

Bill Gates did not get his billions by stealing from the poor. And ultimately his wealth is not only saving millions of lives, he's making the lives of many better. Mr Gates could not make this possible if he was poor. It is through his wealth that others will gain life, where before they never had a chance.

As humans, we're designed to seek pleasure and shun pain. In my younger days I enjoyed my share of drinking alcohol. Seeking pleasure for my own selfish gain was the end in itself. Now, where I find joy is on a higher level. Instead of just taking care of my own needs, by creating value, I help those around me while I too am enriched.

Here's a small example: I hope you find value in this post. I'm giving you something, and I get value in that I express my ideas.

Creating value/wealth whether in the world of ideas, finances or politics makes the world a better place in some small way. A simple smile to a stranger can manifest to others.

What do you think about value? I'd like to hear your ideas?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama, Supreme Court



A quote from Dennis Miller:

Obama chose to call out the only 9 guys in the room that did their homework in law school. And the rest who ended up settling for politics stood and cheered it
.

When Obama made the misinformed comment in his SOTU address about the Supreme Court decision, I found it in utter distaste. And then for the democrats to stand and applaud while the SC Justices have to sit there with no response. Reminds me when Saddam Hussein stood up in his Congress and said there were spies in the room. He called them out by name, no one else said anything, and the men were soon executed.

I remember watching the US Tennis Open in New York and President Clinton was introduced to the crowd. He was booed. Though I was not a Clinton fan, I thought the booing was inappropriate.

You may not respect the man, but respect the office.

Obama continually criticizes Bush to this day. To me it shows an absolute lack of class.

More on Global Warming


From the blog of Andrew Neil

The bloggers are all over the UN IPCC 2007 report, the bible of global warming, which predicted all manner of dire outcomes for our planet unless we got a grip on rising temperatures -- and it seems to be crumbling in some pretty significant areas.

The dam began to crack towards the end of last year when leaked e-mails from one of the temples of global warming, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, suggested that a few sleights of hand were being deployed to hide facts inconvenient to the global warming case. An official investigation into these e-mails is on-going.

But the flood gates really opened after the IPCC had to withdraw its claim that the Himalayan glaciers would likely all have melted by 2035, maybe even sooner.

This turned out to have no basis in scientific fact, even though everything the IPCC produces is meant to be rigorously peer-reviewed, but simply an error recycled by the WWF, which the IPCC swallowed whole.

The truth, as seen by India's leading expert in glaciers, is that "Himalayan glaciers have not in anyway exhibited, especially in recent years, an abnormal annual retreat."

So the 40% of the world's population that relies on the seven major river systems supplied by these glaciers can sleep a little more soundly in the knowledge that their water won't run out in 25 years after all.

Then at the weekend another howler was exposed. The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny -- indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.

The author, who didn't actually finish his work until a year after the IPCC had used his research, has now repudiated what he sees has its misuse of his work.

His conclusion: "There is insufficient evidence to claim a statistical link between global warming and catastrophe loss."
Yet it was because of this -- now unproved -- link that the British government signed up to a $100 billion transfer from rich to poor countries to help them cope with a supposed increase in floods and hurricanes.
It was also central to many of the calculations in Britain's Stern Report, which might now need to be substantially revised.

Now after Climate-gate, Glacier-gate and Hurricane-gate -- how many "gates" can one report contain? -- comes Amazon-gate. The IPCC claimed that up to 40% of the Amazonian forests were risk from global warming and would likely be replaced by "tropical savannas" if temperatures continued to rise.

This claim is backed up by a scientific-looking reference but on closer investigation turns out to be yet another non-peer reviewed piece of work from the WWF. Indeed the two authors are not even scientists or specialists on the Amazon: one is an Australian policy analyst, the other a freelance journalist for the Guardian and a green activist.

The WWF has yet to provide any scientific evidence that 40% of the Amazon is threatened by climate change -- as opposed to the relentless work of loggers and expansion of farms.

Every time I have questioned our politicians about global warming they have fallen back on the mantra that "2,500 scientists can't be wrong", referring to the vast numbers supposedly behind the IPCC consensus.

But it is now clear that the majority of those involved in the IPCC process are not scientists at all but politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs and green activists.

They may -- or may not -- still be right or wrong but what has become clear in the past couple of months is that, contrary to what many leaders have claimed, the science as promulgated by the IPCC is very far from "settled" and that there are important questions still to ask. The mainstream media has been slow to do this.

The bloggers, too easily dismissed in the past, have set the pace with some real scoops -- and some of the mainstream media is now rushing to catch up.

The sceptics may be about to get their first scalp. Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman often wrongly described in the media as the world's leading climate scientist (he's actually a railway engineer), at first attacked those who questioned the IPCC's alarming glacier prediction as "arrogant" and believers in "voodoo science".

He's since had to retract the prediction but can't quite manage an apology -- and is now under mounting pressure in his Indian homeland to resign.

Also, from Science News

Times Online

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to lose weight



Everyone on this subject is an expert. So why write?

We're all experts, but we always want to read what others say, perhaps to realize the author is full of shit, or maybe to actually realize the writer is giving value.

What I find disturbing about most weight loss tomes is the idea that "I did this" now "I'm this". The people who claim they are "Now this", let me see them again in a few years. I don't think there is this "I did this, and now I'm perfect" scenario. With weight loss and proper nutrition, it is a daily exercise until one dies. In other words, it's an ongoing process.

There is such a thing as good foods, and there are bad foods. Bad foods are foods that are animals, derived from animals, processed food and drinks. Good foods are those grown from the earth: nuts, seeds, fruits, legumes, cereals and vegetables.

Those who are now the perfect weight, must have eaten the perfect diet. I've been conscious of what I think is good nutrition for several years, and the days I eat "perfectly" are a hell of a lot fewer, than days where I make nutritional compromises. In fact, for me to go a day and eat a 100% (in my opinion) nutritional diet rarely happens. It's what I strive for, but indiscretions are part of life, it happens, and I move on.

One of the greatest ways to lose weight is to fast. Don't eat any food, and only drink water. It may sound harsh, but research it. It's the greatest gift you'll ever give yourself--bar none.

Another thing I notice in diet plans is that if you choose "their" special diet, you won't be hungry. It's almost a sin if you actually get hungry while trying to lose weight. Let me give you this freedom: It's okay to be hungry. And it won't kill you.

Previously, I mention the good foods. Eat the good foods, stay away from bad foods, and exercise. I try to exercise 3-4 days per week. I don't overdo it, but I would bet at my little bit of exercise, I surpass 95% of most people in my age group for calories expended in exercise.

I'm presently doing something that is folk medicine. There are no studies proving its benefits, but I do it anyway. (And you can search for yourself the so-called benefits via the Internet.) What I do is when I get up in the morning, I drink a bottle of water, then I put some water in my mouth, along with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and drink it. Most everyday.

The US leads the world in obesity. I think about children going to race go-carts and governors are built into the motors, allowing the children to only go so fast. They don't have the wisdom and maturity to realize that if they went as fast as they wanted, most likely there would be deleterious consequences.

So too with the American diet. There's no governor on how much food we eat. We Americans don't know what is actually good to eat and what is not. Most of us believe that we need more protein (IE. eat more animals and animal products) and less carbohydrates. I believe the exact opposite. Look at the rest of the world. They are vegetarian mostly because of poverty, but their sickness does not happen because of diseases of affluence.

Here's the standard. And go to any weight loss table view what is a normal weight. It comes out to this: at 5'0" one should weigh 100 pounds. For every inch after, add 5 pounds. So a person 5'4" should weigh 120 pounds. Most of you reading this and doing the math are saying "No fn way". Go back in history and look at how much people weighed. It pretty much falls on that formula. We have removed ourselves so far from what is ideal, it's now normal to be obese. In fact, in America if you're not overweight you are in the minority.

Do you have secrets on how to lose weight? Please share.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Obama to sixth graders



This is funny.


And I'm really the stupid one: I loved George Bush.

More on Glaciergate


More on Glaciergate From Wizbangblog.com

Glaciergate scientist admits fraud

Posted by Dan Karipides

Published: January 24, 2010 - 12:32 PM

The details of 'glaciergate' (for reference, see my post last night) keep coming out and they are more than disturbing. In an interview Dr. Murari Lal, the scientist behind the bogus claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be completely melted by 2035, comes clean admits that the statement was an outright fabrication.

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report's chapter on Asia, said: 'It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

'It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.'

Emphasis mine. This isn't the first time we've heard of this approach. The former leader of Greenpeace Leipold defended the exaggerated claims of polar ice melt with similar reasoning.

Although he admitted Greenpeace had released inaccurate but alarming information, Leipold defended the organization's practice of "emotionalizing issues" in order to bring the public around to its way of thinking and alter public opinion.

It would seem that some tried to stop the inclusion of the fanciful claim in the report.

Last week, Professor Georg Kaser, a glacier expert from Austria, who was lead author of a different chapter in the IPCC report, said when he became aware of the 2035 claim a few months before the report was published, he wrote to Dr Lal, urging him to withdraw it as patently untrue.

Dr Lal claimed he never received this letter. 'He didn't contact me or any of the other authors of the chapter,' he said.

The damage to the IPCC's reputation, already tarnished by last year's 'Warmergate' leaked email scandal, is likely to be considerable.

The last point there is particularly important. This scandal is completely separate from climategate. Think about the scope of what has been discovered. And then think about how the MSM has failed to cover it much, if at all. Your average American, your average person worldwide is likely still only vaguely aware of either event. Their belief that we are in imminent danger of death and destruction from rising oceans due to catastrophic ice melt is still safe and secure. I can only hope as the evidence mounts the media will have no choice but to report on it and these so-called world leaders will forced to acknowledge it.

From the Telegraph

More from Pajamasmedia.com

Thursday, January 21, 2010

John Edwards on George Bush

"We have to have a president who will be honest with you" John Edwards

John Edwards Admits He Fathered Rielle Hunter's Child
Exclusive: Former Aide Says Edwards Had Him Steal Diaper to Secretly Check His Paternity
By LEE FERRAN, BRIAN ROSS, NADINE SHUBAILAT and CHRIS FRANCESCANI
Jan. 21, 2010


The senator admits he fathered a child with a former campaign worker.


"I am Quinn's father," Edwards said in the bombshell statement this morning. "I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves."

The former senator and presidential hopeful had an affair with campaign cinematographer Rielle Hunter, 45, and she later give birth to Frances Quinn.

Edwards' admission comes a week before the man who had claimed he was the baby's father, former aide Andrew Young, was scheduled to appear in an exclusive interview on "20/20".

In an excerpt from his upcoming interview with ABC News's Bob Woodruff, Young alleges that Edwards asked him to arrange a fake a paternity test.

"Get a doctor to fake the DNA results," Young said Edwards told him. "And he asked me ... to steal a diaper from the baby so he could secretly do a DNA test to find out if this [was] indeed his child."



That Bush lied is a big lie.

Good point about the MSM and Edwards

Women and Math

Redneck measuring tape


How long does it take to cook a 10 pound pork, or 2 five pound porks?

Actually my wife is making a good point. I'm just being bad. Forgive me;-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's it about

Pajamas Media: Roger Kimball

January 20th, 2010 6:38 am
Obama Gets It Right

I think it is important to give credit where credit is due. Regular readers know that I have been critical of President Obama in this column. Doubtless there will be future occasions for disagreement. But the president got one big thing right a few days ago, and it is incumbent upon fair-minded people to acknowledge his candor and percipience: the Massachusetts Senate race really was a referendum on the Obama agenda.

What is the Obama agenda? All eyes have been focused on the proposed bills to transform the way health care is managed, delivered, and paid for in the United States. The Democrats scored a rhetorical triumph by getting everyone, opponents as well as supporters, to refer to this proposed government takeover of medicine as “health care reform.” “Reform”? What is being proposed is “health care reform” in approximately the sense that Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture in the late 1920s was “agricultural reform.” That effort to bring hope and change to the Kulaks succeeded in what President Obama described as his goal of “spreading the wealth around,” though not, perhaps, in precisely a way that the local (de)population appreciated.

The fate of the Democratic proposals to collectivize medicine is a big issue, no doubt about it. And I for one hope that Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts last night will put the brakes on that ruinous piece of stealth-socialism masquerading as “reform.”

It is important, though, to recognize that the effort to expropriate the delivery and financing of health care — let’s stop calling it “reform” — is one spoke in the wheel of the Obama Offensive. What this administration has been about in its first year includes the collectivization of medicine. But that is only one part of a much larger goal, a goal adumbrated by Governor Mitch Daniels when he spoke of the Obama administration’s “shock and awe statism.”

This past summer, Senator Jim DeMint suggested that, were Obama foiled in his plans to collective medicine, the defeat would prove to be his “Waterloo.” Perhaps. Were the effort to collectivize medicine fail, I suspect it would be more like the battle of Leipzig: a defeat, but not a final defeat. I take the President’s threat to “double down” in the face of a victory by Scott Brown seriously. My PJM colleague Richard Fernandez is probably right that “The fundamental theme of 2010 will be a struggle for power.” As Fernandez, observes, “The polarization which began in early 2009 has increased rather than diminished. . . . Massachusetts is not the last, but the first in a series of meeting engagements between two rival factions. My own sense is that fundamental issues are now at stake.”

What are those issues? One concerns the proper role of government in American life. The Constitution was primarily an effort to define, to set limits, to the power of the state. The Founders understood both the need for federalism and the dangers of statism. In their effort to “form a more perfect Union” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” they were everywhere at pains to circumscribe the reach of state power. Having tasted tyranny first hand, and having pondered the melancholy lessons of history, they understood the awful metabolism of servitude. President Obama was quite right when, way back in 2001, he described the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties.” What he did not understand then — and what he clearly still cannot get his mind around — is that fact that this “negative,” “merely formal” quality of the Constitution is one of its great strengths, not a weakness. In 2001, Senator Obama complained that the Constitution only told you what the state and federal government “can’t do to you,” not what it must do for you. As I noted at the time,

For a couple thousand years, people were desperately eager to frame constraints that would apply to their governments, that would limit, for example, the government’s ability to expropriate their property, to force them to educate their children in a certain way, or subscribe to certain government-mandated beliefs.

That sort of traditional political freedom is not enough for left-wingers. Ever since Marx decried bourgeois freedom as merely “formal,” the left has set out not to preserve freedom but to remake society according to a utopian scheme.

This is exactly what Obama wants to do. The “tragedy” of the civil-rights movement, he said, is that in focusing on “negative” freedom, it tended to “lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Bringing about “redistributive change” is what the Obama administration is all about. The victory of Scott Brown is a reminder that even in the most liberal state in the Union, that statist imperative inspires fear and loathing, not support. How Obama and the powers that be in Washington (and I mean Republicans as well as Democrats) respond will determine the nature and comity of our public conversation for years to come. The victory of Scott Brown was a sign, a portent, an admonition. The question is, who is paying attention?

Lawyer for John Kerry 2004




America Betrayed President Bush
By Jeffrey Scott Shapiro - FOXNews.com

President Bush deserves our respect not our scorn.

PRINTEMAILSHARE RECOMMEND (11)
AP

It's almost hard to believe but Wednesday, January 20 marks exactly one year since President Bush left the White House.

During his last public ceremony as commander in chief, he was booed by thousands of Americans who simutaneously cheered for Barack Obama as he was sworn into office on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Except for a June 17 speech in Erie, Pennsylvania in which Bush defended his policies and criticized Obama’s, the former president has been remarkably silent about his successor. He has not fired back at Obama despite the new administration inappropriately blaming Bush for all of their failures.

One year after taking office however, Obama has done a total reversal on his isolationist, non-interventionist foreign policy, and is now pushing President Bush’s neo-conservative philosophy as a justification for starting a new war in Afghanistan. What the Democratic Party once criticized as an over-simplified good vs. evil argument has become the cornerstone of Obama’s reasoning.
“Evil does exist in the world,” Obama recently admitted. “A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of man.”

In the wake of this stunning adoption of the Bush foreign policy doctrine, there is little, if any dissent. The same people who crucified Bush for liberating Iraq are hardly criticizing Obama for using force to promote democracy in Afghanistan.


Recent Gallup polls find that 62 percent of Americans think Obama’s war in Afghanistan “is the right thing” whereas only 39 percent of Americans think Bush made the right decision by sending troops to Iraq.

Any American who thinks that Bush was misdirected when he sent troops to Iraq in 2003 can’t possibly deny that renewing war in Afghanistan in 2009 to hunt Al Qaeda, eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks is, at the least, equally fallible.

Still, Obama is receiving the kind of public support that an American president, any president, deserves during wartime. Many anti-war activists, journalists and elected officials have been remarkably quiet, affording the new commander in chief the opportunity to launch a successful war campaign.

Very few Americans showed the same faithfulness to President Bush, including members of his own party. Republicans who favored non-interventionism to nation building abandoned Bush, and Democratic senators like John Kerry, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton who voted for the war turned against it before the 2004 elections so they would have the ammunition they needed to criticize their incumbent opponent.

America quickly forgot about how President Bush charismatically lifted our spirits during some of the darkest moments of our nation’s history when the Twin Towers collapsed. After all, even Senator Kerry admitted Bush’s handling of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was “terrific,” during the 2004 presidential debates.

But after President Bush successfully secured America in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, he was rewarded with accusations of committing human rights violations and war crimes – an incredible irony since his policies were responsible for liberating tens of millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some Americans accused Bush of lying and starting a war under false pretenses simply because our troops never found actual weapons of mass destruction.

Despite what Michael Moore implied in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," Congress did not base their 2002 authorization for the Iraq War solely on the premise that Saddam Hussein either had or was trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Their legislation reads very clearly that America’s purpose in sending troops back to Iraq was to enforce U.N. resolutions, some of which were violated in the 1990’s and probably should have been enforced by President Clinton. Whether actual weapons were found or not, the war in Iraq was legally and morally justifiable, and necessary.

In addition to enduring criticism for his war policies, millions of Americans demanded the new Obama administration prosecute Bush for his decision to indefinitely holding detainees charged with war crimes. When President Obama signed an executive order in May that reinforced that same Bush policy, the far left was mute.

Almost no one said a word. Apparently, its acceptable for Obama to indefinitely hold detainees, just not Bush.

As Obama continues to make decisions that mirror the Bush doctrine, it is becoming apparent that the former president was not ignorant or irrational in his foreign policy decisions despite the harsh criticism and disloyalty he endured. He was in fact, ahead of his time, a visionary who understood politics and warfare in the modern age of terrorism.

That is why Obama is now following his lead.

It should be obvious now, even to Obama’s most passionate supporters that shielding the free world requires more than mere words like “hope” and “change.” Bush’s detractors should be embarrassed having arrogantly thought they could do it better, and those Republicans who abandoned Bush when he needed them most should take a moment to reflect on their fortitude or lack thereof.

Americans who chastised President Bush for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq should apologize and show him the same respect they are now showing President Obama as he neutralizes the Taliban in Afghanistan.

George W. Bush seemed to have an almost mystical understanding of what the American people needed when we needed it most. He reminded all of us of why we should be proud to be Americans at a time when there was a whisper that we brought the Sept. 11 attacks upon ourselves for promoting democracy abroad.

President Bush deserves our respect, not our betrayal.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a journalist and lawyer who served on Senator John F. Kerry’s legal team during the 2004 election. He is currently organizing a nationwide effort called “Honor Freedom” to correct the historical record about President Bush and the Bush foreign policy doctrine, which can be reached at www.honorfreedom.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=41317929699&ref=ts or Twitter at http://twitter.com/honorfreedom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Obama, I am a muslim

In his own words:



Interesting read:

Who watches the watchers?


For the past few years
http://www.snopes.com/
has positioned
itself, or others have labeled it, as the 'tell-all final word'
on any comment, claim and email. But for several years people
tried to find out who exactly was behind HREF="http://www.snopes.com/">http://www.snopes.com/.

Only recently did Wikipedia get to the bottom of it - kinda made
you wonder what they were hiding. Well, finally we know. It is
run by a husband and wife team - that's right, no big office of
investigators and researchers, no team of lawyers. It's just a
mom-and pop operation that began as a hobby. David and Barbara
Mikkelson in the San Fernando Valley of California started the
website about 13 years ago - and they have no formal background
or experience in investigative research. After a few years it
gained popularity believing it to be unbiased and neutral, but
over the past couple of years people started asking questions
who was behind it and did they have a selfish motivation?

The reason for the questions - or skepticisms - is a result of
http://www.snopes.com/
claiming to have the bottom line facts
to certain questions or issue when in fact they have been proven
wrong. Also, there were criticisms the Mikkelsons were not
really investigating and getting to the 'true' bottom of various
issues.

A few months ago, when my State Farm agent Bud Gregg in
Mandeville hoisted a political sign referencing Barack Obama and
made a big splash across the internet, 'supposedly' the
Mikkelsons claim to have researched this issue before posting
their findings on
http://www.snopes.com/
. In their statement
they claimed the corporate office of State Farm pressured Gregg
into taking down the sign, when in fact nothing of the sort
'ever' took place. I personally contacted David Mikkelson (and
he replied back to me) thinking he would want to get to the
bottom of this and I gave him Bud Gregg's contact phone numbers
- and Bud was going to give him phone numbers to the big exec's
at State Farm in Illinois who would have been willing to speak
with him about it. He never called Bud. In fact, I learned from
Bud Gregg no one from
http://www.snopes.com/
ever contacted
anyone with State Farm.. Yet,
http://www.snopes.com/
issued a
statement as the 'final factual word' on the issue as if they
did all their homework and got to the bottom of things - not!

Then it has been learned the Mikkelsons are Democrats and
extremely liberal. As we all now know from this presidential
election, liberals have a purpose agenda to discredit anything
that appears to be conservative. There has been much criticism
lately over the internet with people pointing out the Mikkelsons
liberalism revealing itself in their website findings. Gee, what
a shock?

So, I say this now to everyone who goes to
http://www.snopes.com/ to get
what they think to be the bottom
line facts ... 'proceed with caution.' Take what it says at
face value and nothing more. Use it only to lead you to
their references where you can link to and read the sources for
yourself. Plus, you can always Google a subject and do the
research yourself. It now seems apparent that's all the
Mikkelsons do. After all, I can> personally vouch from my
own experience for their 'not' fully looking into things.

http://www.wikipedia.org/

http://www.snopes.com/

I have found this to be true also! Many videos of Obama I tried
to verify on Snopes and they said they were False... Then they
gave their Liberal slant...!!! I have suspected some problems
with snopes for some time now, but I have only caught them in
half-truths. If there is any subjectivity they do an immediate
full left rudder. Truth or Fiction's web-site

http://www.truthorfiction.com/
is a better source for
verification, in my opinion.

I have recently discovered that is
http://www.snopes.com/
owned
by a flaming liberal and this man is in the tank for Obama.
There are many things they have listed on their site as a hoax
and yet you can go to YouTube yourself and find the video of
Obama actually saying these things. So you see, you cannot and
should not trust
http://www.snopes.com/
for anything that
remotely resembles truth (SIC ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO
LIBERAL vs CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS)! I don't even trust them to
tell me if email chains are hoaxes anymore..

A few conservative speakers on MySpace told me about
http://www.snopes.com/ a few
months ago and I took it upon
myself to do a little research to find out if it was true. Well,
I found out for myself that it is true. Anyway just FYI, please
don't use http://www.snopes.com/
anymore for fact checking and
make your friends aware of their political leanings as well.
Many people still think
http://www.snopes.com/
is neutral and
they can be trusted as factual. We need to make sure everyone is
aware that that is a hoax in itself.

Thank you,

Alan Strong, CEO/Chairman
Commercial Programming Systems, Inc.
4400 Coldwater Canyon Ave. Suite 200
Studio City, CA. 91604-5039

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

TV MSM News

I believe the last paragraph in this article is especially prescient.




Secrets of TV news: Confessions of an anchorman
By An Anonymous Anchorman - The Daily Caller 01/15/10 at 2:35 am




Ron Burgundy played by Will Ferrell in the movie Anchorman.
The following was written by a well-known news anchor from a top-10, big city station:

For the last 30 years, I’ve devoted the better part of my life to frightening you, trying my best to make you believe that you are weak, vulnerable, dependent and at risk. I know what’s good for you. You don’t. I’ve tried hard for three decades to defy the laws of nature and return you to infancy, cradled in your mommy’s arm, suckling at her breast, all warm and cozy, not a care in the world. I am the tip of the spear of the liberal nanny state. I am ANCHORMAN!

Actually, I’m mostly serious. For the better part of my adult life, I’ve worked as an anchor and reporter at CBS, NBC and ABC affiliated newsrooms across the country — often complaining about the nanny-state liberalism that infects so much of news coverage. Arguably, local news is a more insidious and destructive force than the widely accepted liberal bias of networks and other national components of mainstream media. After all, study after study has demonstrated that local news is more widely watched — and, more importantly, more trusted than other forms of mainstream media. There is a case to be made that the steady drumbeat of hyped-up threats — SUV’s that roll over, kitchen-counter bacteria, road rage, swine flu, amber alerts and the stations’ willingness to enlist governments and institutions to solve those “perceived” problems, actually drives a lot of bad and unnecessary public policy.

But it’s a formula that has worked as a cash cow for your local TV station. It is no accident that most local TV stations market themselves with nanny-state slogans: “Channel 2: Working for you!” or “ABC 6: On your side!” You might say those slogans are a subtler version of, “NBC 5: Making your boo-boos all better!”

How did it get that way? Let me use one common story in local TV news as an example of the larger problem. Last month local TV newsrooms across the country, mine included, did dozens of stories about breast cancer. Dozens of them. It was after all, breast-cancer awareness month, and we, pardon the pun, milked it for all it was worth. In the words of another writer, our newscasts were all packaged in a “tight pink ribbon.” This was not an accident. Never mind the inconvenient little fact that breast cancer is not the leading killer of women — that would be heart disease. It’s not even the leading cancer killer. That would be lung cancer, followed by colorectal cancer. But why does breast cancer get coverage that is so disproportionate to its toll? Why don’t TV stations do month-long, flood-the-zone stories on, say, colon cancer? Because breast cancer is a disease tailor-made for the hype/fear factory of local TV news. In all the world’s cultures the breast has been a symbol of life and fertility. In American culture, it is a symbol of sex, too. How could your local TV station go wrong flooding the zone over this issue? Especially given the one demographic group your station desperately wants to cater to. More on that later.

It reminds me of the tidal wave of coverage of silicone breast implants controversy late in the last century. As you’ll recall, silicone breast implants (a uniquely American form of cosmetic body modification) were linked to a variety of ills, chief among them, auto-immune disorders. In a months-long media feeding frenzy, breast-implant victims were paraded before congressional hearings and press conferences, caring congressmen and compassionate trial attorneys at their side, dutiful reporters recounting their sincere stories of victimhood. Billions of dollars changed hands, law firms were enriched, legislation was passed and silicone manufacturers went bankrupt. Silicone implants were taken off the market. Thousands of people lost their jobs.

Just one small problem. The link between auto-immune disorders and silicone breast implants was ultimately disproved. That was a story you probably never saw on your local news. It didn’t fit the formula.

Here’s the formula. Highly trained Anchorman (booming authoritative, focus-group-tested voice at the ready) or better yet, Anchorwoman (compassionate voice and pouty face, furrowed brow at the ready), reads the headline, tosses to reporter. Hyperventilating reporter further frightens with victim sound bite, followed by sound bite from plaintiff attorney (”This poor victim needs to be compensated.”). Followed by politician sound bite (”I’m introducing legislation …”) followed by reporter tag, which may or may not include response from big, bad, deep-pocketed corporation. Interestingly, that last component — the response from the corporate evildoers, often becomes, in my experience, a throwaway part of many stories — something along the lines of, “The XYZ company denies any wrongdoing.” Or even, “The XYZ company was unavailable for comment at news time.”

I’ve even noted a pattern among some media-savvy trial attorneys. Often, they’ll fax or e-mail a press release of a pending lawsuit or action to newsrooms on Friday afternoons — enough time for a reporter to get a camera crew, head to the law office, get the sound bite for the evening deadline, but not enough time for the deep-pocketed corporation, with it’s multi-layered media information office, often located in a distant city, to respond before deadline time. So, the story airs, unchallenged, with the charges stewing and brewing over the weekend. The corporation is sucker-punched, feeding frenzy gains steam, politicians take note. Damage is done, forcing corporation to consider out-of-court settlement, sparing them more bad publicity, but most importantly, sparing the plaintiff attorney all of that hard work of trial preparation, but with an easy payoff .

I’ve used the example of breast implants, but the formula works for any perceived wrongdoing. And even if trial lawyers aren’t involved, victim status is — with the promise of fixing the boo-boo — “Working for you.” As one news director I worked for once said, “There are lots of things to be afraid of out there.” Indeed, cancer, household bacteria, child predators, hot weather, cold weather, tap water, electromagnetic fields, vaccinations, Chinese food, Mexican food, racism, fertilizers, homophobia, hate crimes, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

And, who is most likely to be afraid of these threats? Well, the mainstream media machine, cynically and manipulatively, believes it’s that key demographic group, women ages 18-49. They, according to consultants and marketing executives, control the household remote and make the buying decisions. No. One. Else. Matters.

In an ultimate display of hypocritical sexism, your local liberal newsroom treats women of that coveted demographic group as if they were frightened wards of the nanny state, as if they were children incapable of weighing risk against advantage, detriment against benefit. It plies them with a daily dose of all the things one must be afraid of. And it cynically taps into those traits that evolution has bestowed women with in greater quantity than men — compassion and empathy.

Compassion and empathy were feelings that newsmen and women of a bygone era, kept a very tight rein on — lest they lose objectivity and skepticism. Skepticism in the newsroom nowadays is in short supply. It strangely gets a pass from the perky, beautiful, 20- and 30-somethings who make up the bulk of newsroom staffs. They are too often uncurious. They walk in lockstep with the liberal orthodoxy. They give a pass to questions about global warming, what Hope and Change really mean, the costs that “clean” energy would impose and an infinite number of other issues of the day.

In the story plan meetings, the old school vets with their institutional knowledge are no longer there to block the predictable cliché-ridden ideas and assumptions. Often, a creepy kind of consensus is formed through the filter of political correctness. Naysayers are branded as malcontents. Who could criticize, for example, the dull, obligatory breast-cancer awareness walk idea from the reporter who volunteered to have a mammogram on TV? Or the “Stop the Violence Rally” idea from the African-American reporter who lives in the neighborhood of last week’s murder. Or the “Take The Subway to Work Day” story, proposed by the stations “green” reporter, himself a committed environmentalist or the AIDS day story from the young openly gay reporter?

It is a very narrow row from which these young journalism sprouts have been culled. Today, many large media companies have written policies — NBC/ General Electric and Gannett to name two — whereby station managers and executives cannot be promoted unless they themselves promote minorities and women. And where do managers go to ensure their own advancement, while hiring the perfect rainbow of staffers? The NABJ. NAHJ. NLGJA. NAHJ. These are the minority journalists associations. Black, Hispanic, gay and lesbian, Native American, Asian American. And curiously, among them, objectivity seems to be secondary to their particular form of advocacy and their “progressive” mandates. Each, in furtherance of their own mission is quick to claim victim status if quotas are not met or if their ideals are not expressed through “advocacy” journalism.

Much has been written about the reception, for example, that then-candidate Obama received when speaking at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Chicago. It was a standing ovation, and a rush to the podium, so the fawning throng could have their picture snapped with the president-to-be. His opponent, John McCain received a smattering of polite applause.

It was no surprise then, more than a year later when President Obama, appearing at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, joked to the thousands of journalists in attendance, “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.” The line got a laugh … and then … in an insult to journalism, thousands in the crowd clapped and cheered, in affirmation of the truth. There was no shame for them. Quite the contrary, they reveled in it. The new mainstream media was on display for all to see in one giant, embarrassing ensemble. All of them feminized, sensitized and diversified. But it was also a perfect moment in time — thousands of nanny-state warriors, before their leader, ready to go forth to women ages 18-49 and spread the fear, and propose solutions of the state. What bad public policy may result, we have only begun to see.

Charley Brooker

Latest on AGW


From JammieWearingFool

THE peak UN body on climate change has been dealt another humiliating blow to its credibility after it was revealed a central claim of one of its benchmark reports - that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 because of global warming - was based on a "speculative" claim by an obscure Indian scientist.

The 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming, appears to have simply adopted the untested opinions of the Indian glaciologist from a magazine article published in 1999.

The IPCC report claimed that the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish inside 30 years.

But the scientists behind the warning have now admitted it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Mr Hasnain, who was then the chairman of the International Commission on Snow and Ice's working group on Himalayan glaciology, has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research.

The revelation represents another embarrassing blow to the credibility of the IPCC, less than two months after the emergence of leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which raised questions about the legitimacy of data published by the IPCC about global warming.

Another article from Technology Review published by MIT

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shot around World



Tuesday's vote could mark a sea-change in this country. I pray it does.



Update 1/20/2010

As the world knows, Brown won, America won.

Being that it was Ted Kennedy's seat that was fought for, I think this thought is apropos:

Everyone in the US is a democrat. But there are 2 kinds of democrats, John F Kennedy democrats, and Obama democrats.

The JFK democrat thinks, not what the country can do for me, but what I can do for the country. The Obama democrat says, not what I can do for the country, but what the country can do for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake



I believe this organization gets most of its donated funds to the actual people in need



Dr. George Milonas writes: “If Obama thinks Bush is such an incredible incompetent, why did he send Bush to help rescue the Haitians? Does he hate black people that much that he is willing to inflict Bush on them?”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Harry Reid-Racism

From the Wall Street Journal By WARD CONNERLY

As if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid didn't have enough on his plate—trying to find sufficient cash to buy the 60 votes necessary for his health-care reform package—he's now found himself at the center of a race controversy.

In their new book, "Game Change," journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann expose remarks Mr. Reid made in an interview about Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. Mr. Reid is quoted as saying that he believed the nation was ready to elect a "light-skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Confronted with this quote, Mr. Reid apologized on Saturday: "I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans, for my improper comments."

What followed this public apology was all too predictable. Mr. Reid personally called President Obama and a handful of presumed leaders of the so-called African-American community—Julian Bond, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson among them—to beg forgiveness for his racial sin.

To no one's surprise, all of those to whom apologies were extended responded by accepting Mr. Reid's apology and saying that the nation had more important issues to deal with, such as health care and national security.

As I have observed coverage of this incident by the media and captains of the African-American community, I cannot help but be reminded of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who made remarks praising Strom Thurmond in 2002. Mr. Lott said of the segregationist: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we [Mississippians] voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either."

When Mr. Lott's controversy erupted, he apologized repeatedly and sincerely to one and all—even groveling on Black Entertainment Network—all to no avail. Black leaders were unforgiving and persisted in demanding that he either resign from his position or be removed. In the end, they got what they wanted.

When Rush Limbaugh wanted to buy into the St. Louis Rams last year, many of the same individuals who instantly accepted Mr. Reid's apology expressed outrage over allegedly racist statements made by Mr. Limbaugh, despite the fact that zero evidence of these statements existed. They demanded that his participation in the bid be rejected. Ultimately, they got what they wanted.

It's certainly true that racial incidents are not all created equal. What one individual finds offensive may not be to another. Thus, the words of Mr. Lott may have been more insensitive to some than the comments of Mr. Reid. Nonetheless, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the spirit of forgiveness is universal—except when it comes to conservatives.

For my part, I am having a difficult time determining what it was that Mr. Reid said that was so offensive.

Was it because he suggested that lighter-skinned blacks fare better in American life than their darker brothers and sisters? If so, ask blacks whether they find this to be true. Even the lighter-skinned ones, if they are honest with themselves, will agree that there is a different level of acceptance.

Was it because he used the politically incorrect term "negro"? If so, it should be noted that there are many blacks of my generation who continue to embrace this term. In fact, "negro" is an option along with "black" and "African-American" on the 2010 Census.

Was it because he implied that Mr. Obama might be cut some political slack because of his oratorical skills or his looks? If so, that fact was not harmful to Joe Biden, who was elected vice president after praising Mr. Obama as "articulate" and "clean-looking."

Or, finally, could it be viewed as offensive that Mr. Reid suggested that blacks often have a distinctive way of speaking? If that is, indeed, the offense, then I will offend a lot of individuals when I assert that I can tell in probably 90% of the cases whether an individual is black merely by talking to him on the telephone.

In short, this incident does not rise to the level that it prompts me to join the parade of those who urge Mr. Reid to resign because of it. There are far more substantive matters over which the Senate majority leader's performance should be judged—and I find his performance seriously flawed on any number of them.

Still, to quote President Obama, from another race incident, "this is a teachable moment." This one doesn't warrant a beer summit, but it does require serious reflection for the good of our nation.

We are too quick to take offense about race when none was intended. Some are too anxious to manufacture outrage over matters that do not justify the attention that we give them. And we are too quick to politicize race.

As far as I'm concerned, Messrs. Bond, Sharpton, Jackson and a host of other Americans formerly identified as "negroes" have forever forfeited the right to be outraged whenever a Republican or a talk show host makes an inappropriate or "insensitive" racial comment.

Mr. Connerly is chairman of the American Civil Rights Coalition and author of "Creating Equal" (Encounter, 2000).

I've got to say, we're so PC in this country it's nuckin futs. Does anyone disagree with what he says? I don't agree with the Senator's politics, but come on folks, let's be honest. Reminds me when Jimmy the Greek, a sports announcer with CBS was fired for comments he made about blacks. And they were all accurate. Or the other CBS golf announcer who made comments about lesbians. Don't tell the truth, just make sure you're PC. Orwellian. That's why we can't be honest about the Muslims who want to kill us. Because we're trying to be so PC.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to stop Worrying






I'm reading Dale Carnegie's book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living". What impresses me with this book and his other, "How to Win Friends" is that this should be taught in college.

Worrying robs us of our precious life. Concern is healthy, but allowing concern to become worry to become excess unfounded fear is not healthy.

Two points I want to highlight in Dale Carnegie's book:

1. Compartmentalize. He likens our life to a huge ocean liner. The captain of the ocean liner can turn the ship with a push of the button, allowing some compartments to open, and others to be shut tight. So with our life. The past we can do nothing about, the future will hopefully happen but we can't control that either. But the present--today-- we can live to the fullest.

After reading, I thought I was pretty good about the past. But I realized I focus too much on the future. Of course I want my future to be one of happiness. And I can certainly take steps today to make that happen. But the future area needs to be shut off and kept water-tight. Today is what I have. This is what I know.

2. On Worry. We must step back and see what is the worst that can happen in any given situation. The ultimate worst thing that can ever happen is death. And whether sooner or later, it's definitely going to happen. So in any given situation, step back, and ask, "what is the worst that can happen".

When I look at the future I believe our country is in for some very trying times. So I make decisions that I think are appropriate. But my responsibility lies in making the most of today. Thanking God for this most precious gift, raising my hands in gratitude and eating a Burger King double whopper.

God,

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.



An update, One day later

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

When you read the post on worrying, you probably thought, "Geez Mike, aren't you using a bit of hyperbole in that the worst that can happen is that you die".

My father-in-law has not been feeling well for the last 2 days. We took him to the emergency room. His symptoms have been lethargy, vomiting of blood and bile. The thinking by the doctor was diverticulitis so he ordered a cat scan of his abdomen.

But chest x-rays showed something a little bit strange, so they ordered a cat scan of his thoracic area. It showed something that is rare.

The aorta has 3 layers. The aorta is the main tube that comes from the heart. For my FIL the layer of the aorta that is in contact with the blood, is separating. So blood is not going where it should go, and I don't know what other problems it's causing.

My FIL's son is a doctor who was there to help make the diagnosis. For me, as a layman, I am very impressed. That no invasive surgery had to be performed to come to an intricate diagnosis so quickly, makes me appreciate medicine at its finest. Of course I'm proud of my BIL too.

On to why I'm writing the update to this post.

Son says to Dad, "Pop, I'm not going to lie to you. If you have the surgery, it's very dangerous. You may not make it".

So my comment about "what's the worst that can happen". It wasn't hyperbole.

Pray for my father-in-law. He's a good man.

Update:

FIL is out of surgery and it went fine. Next 2 days are critical, but hopefully he's going to live. It's quite an amazing experience. Life changing.

Update:

It's been just over a day since my FILs operation. 85 years old, major vascular surgery, and the dude is up and going to the bathroom. I tell you, it's unbelievable.

He is at the Harbor UCLA hospital in Torrance. This is a county hospital that takes all indigent, drug addicts, and gunshot victims. It's a very crowded hospital. It has been one of the best experiences for me. I guess because of it's tenuousness, everyone makes it work.

The guards are friendly. The nurses are so nice. And the people are all nice. It's an experience I'll never forget. As I was going through security upon entering the building, I asked security if the x ray would toast my sandwich as it passes through the machine. She thought that was the funniest thing. Everyone there is ready to talk. Just ask a little question, and be ready to talk for 15 minutes. It was really a joy for me to meet so many pleasant people.

And I have pictures of my wife today with her father that I will post. The pictures are quite precious and brings tears to my eyes. There's a quiet inner joy my wife exudes that I think will be noticeable in the pictures. Even though my wife is in her 40s, her father is still her "daddy". She is so happy that she gets to spend more of her life with him.





Sunday, January 10, 2010

App Store


Apps: They're not just for your phone anymore
By Brandon Griggs, CNN
January 10, 2010 6:43 a.m. EST
An Intel employee demonstrates an interactive touchscreen display at CES. Intel is launching a beta version of its app store.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Companies are opening app stores and bringing applications to TVs, netbooks and even cars
Intel launched an app store for netbooks at the Consumer Electronics Show this week
Samsung will launch an app store later this year for HDTVs and Blu-ray players
Ford Motor Co. will make select apps available for new vehicles later in 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- To most people these days, an "app" is something you download on your smartphone to help you do a specific task -- say, find a good nearby restaurant.
But big tech companies, seeing how applications have boosted the appeal of gadgets such as Apple's iPhone, are starting to view apps as low-cost enhancements for a broader range of products, from netbooks to TVs and beyond.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show here this week, microchip maker Intel launched an app store geared towards netbook computers. Not to be outdone, Samsung announced it will open its own app store for HDTVs, Blu-ray players and mobile phones.
Even unlikely players such as Ford Motor Co. are getting in on the app act. Ford announced Thursday that several applications, including one that will read aloud Twitter tweets while you're driving, will be available on many of its vehicles later this year.
What's driving this sudden app movement?
"Mobile computer chips have gotten so powerful and affordable, and it's so easy to get on the Internet, that it doesn't make much sense to ship a gadget with dedicated, stagnant functionality," said Brian X. Chen, who covers technology for Wired.com.
"Add an Internet connection and a software platform open for third-party programmers to develop for -- i.e., open an app store -- and you can enhance the capabilities of a gadget, thus future-proofing it, at no cost."
Video: Touch the Web Video: On the hunt for gadgets Video: CES surprises and standouts
Sales of the apps, which typically cost a few dollars apiece, also create a new source of revenue for the device's manufacturer, Chen said. And consumers win, too: They get more value out of their product without having to keep buying new hardware.
Software applications have been around for decades, but it took the recent success of the iPhone and Apple's App Store -- with their can-do slogan, "there's an app for that" -- to make apps sexy on the consumer level.
Developers have created more than 100,000 apps for the store -- at no cost to Apple, which takes a cut of revenues. Less than 18 months after the store launched in 2008, owners of the iPhone and iPod Touch have downloaded more than 3 billion applications.
Rival smartphone makers such as Palm and Research in Motion soon followed with app stores of their own. It's now standard for Web properties such as Facebook, Google and eBay to have mobile apps that let users share updates or make purchases on the go.
The number of people who use Internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to pass 1 billion by 2013, according to industry analysts, meaning that demand for apps will only grow. And as more people grow accustomed to using apps to quickly check the weather or send a tweet on Twitter, more manufacturers will develop apps-ready products, experts say.
On Thursday Intel launched a beta version of its app store, called the Intel AppUp center, for netbooks, the smaller, simpler cousins of laptops. About 100 apps, in such categories as entertainment, games, health, social networking, are now available for download at www.intelappup.com.
The beta store will host apps for both Microsoft Windows and the open-source Moblin operating system, which target the popular netbook computer category powered by Intel's Atom processor.
"Apps have been defined in people's minds as these little things that run on the iPhone. Our focus is on getting lots of smart people to think of the netbook as a device they can target [for developing apps]," said Peter Biddle, who run's Intel's Atom software program.
Eventually, Intel and its partners expect to expand the store to include applications for smartphones, TVs and even consumer electronic appliances.
Meanwhile, Samsung is betting that as television merges with the Internet, more channel-surfers will enjoy being able to order a movie from Netflix or scroll through photos on Picasa without having to leave their couch.
Samsung is calling Samsung Apps "the world's first HDTV-based application store," although it's not expected to launch until later this year. Samsung has opened the store to third-party developers and hopes to have more than 150 apps available for download by the end of 2010. Many content partners have already signed up.
"There's going to be an application for everything," said Samsung product training manager Jermain Anderson, who envisions guys sitting around a living room, playing Texas hold 'em poker on a big-screen TV while holding their virtual cards on their smartphones.
Suddenly, a TV becomes more than a TV -- it's also a computer screen and a gaming console.
When we saw the apps craze ... [we realized] there's a consumer demand there.
--Alan Hall, technology communications manager, Ford Motor Co.
RELATED TOPICS
Consumer Electronics
Ford Motor Company
Intel Corporation
Samsung Corporation
"The idea is to make everyone's life more convenient without them having to go to more than one place to do it," Anderson said. "Down the road, the app store will bring a lot of different Samsung products together."
Soon, apps will even be coming to the highway. Ford has signed agreements with three partners: the Pandora music service, Stitcher Internet radio and OpenBeak, which helps users send and receive messages via Twitter. Drivers will not be able to read the tweets on the dashboard -- instead, a computer voice will say them aloud.
The three apps would live on users' smartphones but would be controlled in the vehicle through Ford's SYNC system, which allows motorists to operate mobile devices through voice commands or steering-wheel controls. The apps will be available later this year for any Ford vehicle with a SYNC system.
"When we saw the apps craze ... [we realized] there's a consumer demand there," said Alan Hall, a technology communications manager at Ford. Hall was quick to say that Ford would not approve apps -- such as video games -- that might distract the driver.
"Apps are becoming the norm for how people quickly and easily access the information they want," Hall added. "People are used to getting information on demand. They have a digital life outside the car -- they should have a digital life inside the car."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My little nephew, Lt Colonel



This is my nephew getting pinned for Lt Colonel in the Air Force. To tell you how proud of him.... Needless to say he must be a good soldier, great nephew, and fantastic dad.

My hat's off to you Sean.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dr T Colin Campbell



Dr T Colin Campbell has written the best book ever on nutrition.

The China Study

A bit different



I remember as a kid when my Dad would take a picture of the family. "Okay, you stand there. Now move to the left. Alright. On 3, everybody say 'cheese".

As you know, developing film cost money, and we surely didn't want to waste money taking a bad picture.

Forward to 5 minutes ago. I wanted to take my wife to lunch. I sent her a video text of our dog as I'm asking her if she wants to join me for lunch.

Phones are not smart. They're computers, cameras, typewriters and who knows what else. Wow.

Blio


This seems really cool. From CNN

Blio

The most revolutionary e-reader experience unveiled at CES this week may not be a piece of hardware. A new software application called Blio, built in part by futurist-inventor Ray Kurzweil on a Microsoft platform, turns almost any laptop, netbook or smartphone into an image-rich electronic reader.

Blio uses publishers' original PDF files to preserve the format of books and magazines, including their layout, typesetting, colors and graphics. At the same time, it supports interactive multimedia, including video and Web links.

A read-aloud feature allows a computer voice to speak words as they are highlighted on the page, a potentially useful tool for young readers or the vision-impaired. Another Blio feature will allow users to translate to or from English in an embedded window.

Blio will be available as a free download in late February. Through a partnership with book distributor Baker & Taylor, the software will launch with an online store featuring more than 1.2 million titles -- from best-sellers to travel guides.
"We are striking deals with every publisher out there," said Baker & Taylor Senior Vice President Linda Gagnon. "There's not one publisher we've talked to who isn't over-the-top excited about this tool."

New Microscope


Can see individual molecules

From Physorg.com



The first generation of fluorescence proteins (which recently earned discoverers a Nobel Prize) helped to solve this problem by allowing scientists some ability to watch marked proteins interact in real time inside cells. But when many molecules are fluorescently tagged inside a cell, the amount of light they emit prevents observers from seeing what individual proteins are doing because they all fluoresce at once, creating a glare. Tagging all similar proteins in a cell yields an image that’s too blurry to provide useful data.

The new tagging technique used with the microscope solves this problem by adding a “light switch” that allows the researcher to control the fluorescent marker. Instead of being on constantly, fluorescent tags can be individually selected to turn on using small amounts of purple light, allowing each protein to be seen individually. As the physicist explains, when only a small amount of light is used, it acts as a particle rather than a wave and excites only one fluorescently tagged molecule at a time.

Further, fluorescence from these proteins only lasts a few seconds and then goes dark. Another small set of proteins can be turned on with more purple light. Used in this way, the new, more precise microscope can then create a map of the individual proteins, which is captured on a high resolution camera.

The new microscope also solves another major problem associated with the first generation of light microscopes: Images are so blurry that molecules often appear to be 50 times their actual size. This results from the large amount of fluorescence that each tagged protein emits—researchers can’t distinguish between the real object and the fuzzy patch of light that surrounds it. The effect on investigators is much like asking for directions to a particular office and being told only what building it’s in, Ross explains—without an exact location, the answer is not helpful.

The new fluorescence techniques take advantage of the fact that the brightest light emitted by the objects will come from their centers. Ross and colleagues developed a mathematical formula that can fit the shape of a single molecule’s light intensity pattern. This allows a computer to locate the protein’s center within 20 billionths of a meter instead of 200, making the object appear much more like actual size.

Ross summarizes that both the Fluorescence Photoactivated and Localization Microscopy (FPALM) and STORM techniques that she and colleagues are perfecting should allow scientists to see individual molecules by exciting the fluorescent tags with a small amount of light. STORM uses slightly different dyes that can be “tuned” to tag specific molecules. By tagging different proteins with different fluorescent tags, scientists can also observe the dynamics of multiple proteins concurrently, not possible in first generation fluorescence microscopy.

Disease Proof



This is from Dr Fuhrman's blog. If I could recommend a nutritional blog to subscribe to, this would be the one.



Disease Proof

It is no secret that young people in America eat unhealthy diets. What most people might not be aware of is just how unhealthy teens are actually eating. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a meager 9.5 percent of high school students in the United States eat two or more servings of fruits and three or more servings of vegetables a day, which are the amounts recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations given by the USDA are conservative compared to actual ideal requirements as suggested in scientific studies, the number of teens who consume enough nutrients is actually considerably less than 9.5 percent. Tragically, the majority of high-school and college students don’t eat any fruits and vegetables at all. It is tragic because such behavior is predictive of the development of serious chronic disease in their adult lives.

While one might think this information is shocking, teenagers themselves are not solely to blame. Most, if not all, high-schools fail to educate teens about the importance of eating healthfully, and the limited information that is given is almost worthless. They cook foods such as pastries and macaroni and cheese in cooking classes and no effort is made to teach the link between diets low in produce and later life cancer and heart disease. Young people are constantly bombarded by advertisements from fast food, soda and snack companies trying to promote their products. Due to the popularity and high-publicity of many chain restaurants and snacks, eating unhealthy is not just considered normal, but cool. Junk foods such as soda, candy, chips, white-flour products and processed snack items abound around school campuses and are the most convenient and available food choices. Seventy-five percent of high schools currently serve lunches that are high in saturated fat and salt and low in nutrients, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

In addition to the paltry supply of fruits and vegetables available on school campuses, students are loading up on soda to fulfill caloric needs. In fact, soda is the food (if you can call it that) that supplies the most calories to the American diet. Most of these calories come from high fructose corn syrup, equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar. The typical soda offers, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is packed with artificial food colors and sulphites.

Soda consumption is linked to osteoporosis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), insomnia, kidney stones, and tooth decay. Worst of all, soda is linked to obesity. In fact, the risk of obesity increases a dramatic 60 percent for each can of soda a person drinks per day. Teenagers and children, whom most soft drinks are marketed toward, are the largest consumers. Currently, teenage boys drink, on average, three or more cans of soda per day, and 10 percent drink seven or more cans each day. The average for teenage girls is two cans per day, and 10 percent drink more than five cans every day.

This year, let’s try to educate our youth. If nothing is done to improve the eating habits of young people, I fear for my generation. The current climate of nutritional ignorance will lead to a future population of suffering and sickly adults riddled with chronic diseases, If you are trying to get healthier and lose weight, make it a family effort and try to teach your children about the importance of eating healthy and avoiding junk foods too. Small efforts can result in big changes. It is never too early to make nutritious eating choices.

What do you think? What strategies should be implemented? What can we do to instill healthy eating values in our junk food world?

On Making Friends



I'm very lucky. My wife is my best friend.

She's intelligent, fun, loves me like there's a tomorrow....uh oh. Anyway, yes, it's great to have your spouse as a best friend. I love the way she laughs, her devotion and she's the person I want to spend my life with.

Other than my wife I have a limited circle of friends. I wish I had more friends, but I don't. This gives me cause for introspection. While I do know that I enjoy time spent alone, more friends would certainly enhance my life.

So why don't I have more friends? It sure seemed easy to make friends when younger. As I get older I'm more critical. I think when I get down to it, I want a clone of myself. Someone my age, my sex, and the same political persuasion.

I need to teach myself to open up to people of all nationalities, opinions and age. Wouldn't it be great to have a friend that is younger, beautiful and of the opposite sex? I know what you're thinking---"Yeah, dirty old man, you just want to get in her pants". Well, you're probably right. But it would be cool if I could look beyond that and value her as a person and friend.

I suffer from the perfect. Best is good, but better is best. I want to have more friends.