Aug 22, 2009

Optical illusion reveals the face of Jesus

Please follow the instructions below for this optical illusion:

Stare at the four dots in the middle of the picture for 30 seconds and then stare at a plain sheet of white paper and blink your eyes a few times.

You should first see a circle of light and then the face of Jesus should come into view.

Where did the name QWERTY come from? How about Blog?

The name QWERTY, used to describe a computer keyboard, comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row (the one just below the numbers) as shown below.

Long before computers came alone, it was referred to as the "Universal" keyboard.

The keyboard was the work of inventor C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's.

Now it’s called the QWERTY keyboard.

By the way, every few weeks someone asks me where the name “Blog” came from. A blog is a web log that got its name from combining some of the letters in words web log:


Aug 21, 2009

Clunker program ends Monday after bumpy ride

CNN Money reports:

With money running out, the $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program will end on Monday. The tally so far: 457,000 cars and $1.9 billion in rebates.

Dealers must submit any pending Clunker deals, including any necessary paperwork, by 8 p.m. ET Monday.

The Clunker program has been a fiasco from the start.

The Obama administration changed the ground rules the day before the program began nullifying many deals between car buyers and car dealers because of the last minute changes.

Many car dealers opted out of the program in disgust as reported here.

With negative stories about the Clunker program swirling around him, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had the audacity to say:

"It's been a thrill to be part of the best economic news story in America," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Now we are working toward an orderly wind down of this very popular program."

If the main stream media in this country reported political news factually, and without omitting news not favorable to the president, the Obama administration would be a laughingstock.

Link to the CNN Money clunker story here.

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Letterman reruns top new Conan shows

Conan is shown with Jay Leno in photo above.

From a report at the link below:

NBC’s troubles in assembling a big audience for “The Tonight Show” were underscored again last week when David Letterman on CBS -- even in repeats -- scored an easy win over first-run shows with Conan O’Brien on NBC among total viewers.

It was a bigger win than the week before when Mr. Letterman’s repeats nosed out Mr. O’Brien by just 7,000 viewers. Last week he beat him by 280,000, with 2.95 million viewers to 2.67 million for Mr. O’Brien.

The Tonight Show was good with Jack Paar, best during Johnny Carson’s long run and back to good with Jay Leno. As for Conan, the tanking ratings tell that story.


CNN has a list of 12 annoying types of Facebookers

A rant against what CNN calls annoying Facebookers can be found at the link below.

From the article:

Facebook can be a great tool, and an occasional annoyance.

Facebook, for better or worse, is like being at a big party with all your friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers.

CNN lists one type of boring Facebooker they call, “The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore:

"I'm waking up." "I had Wheaties for breakfast." "I'm bored at work." "I'm stuck in traffic." You're kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn't mean we all want to know when you're waiting for the bus.

At this point I hope that my Facebook friends don’t think I am sending any of them a special message. In other words, CNN does not reflect my personal views about Facebookers.

I enjoy reading all of their comments even though I don’t respond to most of them.

Link to the CNN story here.

Is Democrat probe of health insurers reprisal for opposing ObamaCare?

Health insurers fear probe by House Democrats is reprisal for opposing part of ObamaCare.

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calififornia (pictured), and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., sent a letter warning health insurers that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is "examining executive compensation and other business practices of the health industry."

Waxman and Stupak did not inform their Republican counterparts of their plans.

Raising the intimidation stakes: the Waxman letter offers insurers no explanation of what is being investigated or why.

Industry insiders fear the beginning of reprisals for anyone daring to dissent from the Obama agenda. One said it feels like a reprisal audit by the IRS.

Private health insurers warn that a public option could put them at a competitive disadvantage and even out of business, but they insist they support health care reform in general.

More of the story here.

Democrat probe of health care insurers

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Aug 20, 2009

Pan Am 103 bomber set free

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi (shown in photo taken at his trial) was convicted of murdering 270 people by blowing Pan Am flight 103 out of the sky above the Scottish town of Lockerbie two decades ago. Now he is free and heading home to Libya on Thursday after Scottish authorities set him free.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill ordered al Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds, saying he will be "going home to die."

He is suffering terminal prostate cancer and has three months to live, Scottish authorities said.

In the photos above rescue workers examine the nose of PanAm flight 103 near the town of Lockerbie, Scotland in December, 1988.

Just before Christmas in 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Scotland, killing all 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground. The plane was bound for New York from London.


Democrat majority is history if ObamaCare fails?

A report at the link below says:

A top Obama ally predicted Wednesday in an interview with ABC News that Democrats will lose their congressional majority in next year's midterm elections if they fail to put a health-care reform bill on President Obama's desk.

The Obama ally referred to in the previous quote is Andy Stern, the president of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union).

Actually, if ObamaCare is crammed down voters throats, it may just as devastating for the Democratic Party.

Has Obama got his party in a no-win situation?

Further quoting Andy Stern from the article:

"It's hard to imagine the Democrats convincing the public that Republicans are to blame for health-care reform going down when the Democrats have such large majorities," he added. "After last year's promise of change, voters will start feeling buyer's remorse."

Obama continues to slide in the polls. Though not reported in most of the main-stream media, his popularity decline indicates that voters are already feeling buyer’s remorse.


Many NY dealers pull out of clunker program

An article at the link below reports that hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program.

A dealership group said they are pulling out because of delays in getting reimbursed by the government.

The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They're also worried about getting repaid.

The clunkers program offers up to $4,500 to shoppers who trade in qualifying vehicles.

Dealers pay the rebates out of pocket and then wait to be reimbursed by the government. However, administrative snags and heavy paperwork have created a backlog of unpaid claims and the group's dealers have been repaid for only about 2 percent of the clunkers deals they've made so far.


Clunkers program boosts sales of Japanese cars

The cash-for-clunkers program, designed to help Detroit’s embattled carmakers, is turning out to be an even bigger boon for their Japanese rivals.

According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday, Americans are using the clunker program to buy more vehicles from Toyota than any of the three Detroit carmakers.

The top models bought since the scheme began on July 24 are the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus, all small sedans. Three of the top five are Toyotas.


Does he bite?

A child reacts to an adult Tyrannosaurs Rex robotic dinosaur as it performed in London, England last March.

New ads warning of ObamaCare are highly effective

An independent polling company is out with a new survey with stunning news: Family Research Council’s ad warning of President Obama’s government takeover of health care is being highly effective.

The Family Research Council’s ads criticize the administraion’s plan for two fatal flaws: it will force Americans to pay for abortion-on-demand and it will lead to rationed health care for all Americans.

The article at the link below reports that sixty-four percent of Democrats found the ad effective. Eighty-one percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Independents agreed.

These are extraordinary numbers.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration has been caught “by surprise” by the path of the debate on health care.

They hadn’t anticipated that the Left of their party would be so adamant about holding onto a “public option” as part of the President’s plan.

The poll shows that President Obama’s irrational idea that you can “reduce” the tragic toll of abortion by making abortion free is catching up with him.

Abortions are and will always be a part of ObamaCare cleverly disguised as “reproductive healthcare” and “family planning.”

Despite 36 years of liberals claiming that abortion is good for health, that it is nothing more than another medical procedure, Americans do not believe this. Even pro-choice Americans do not believe this.


Ask your doctor about ObamaCare

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Aug 19, 2009

Dog-days of summer

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You can’t fool all the people...

A report at the link below says:

The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.

Only 49 percent of Americans now hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party, down from 62 percent in the same poll shortly after Obama assumed office. Democratic favorable ratings hovered around 60 percent as recently as April, when 59 percent of those polled held a favorable view.

As Abraham Lincoln once said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.


DNA evidence can be fabricated

DNA evidence may no longer be the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva.

They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

The planting of fabricated DNA evidence at a crime scene is only one implication of the findings. A potential invasion of personal privacy is another.

More of this eye-opening and troubling story here.

Turned away by fabricated DNA

“Your DNA tests showed that you are actually a 79-year-old Mongolian woman. We cannot hire you since we don’t hire women over the age of 65”

Florida population drops: 1st time since 1946

Florida's population has declined for the first time since 1946.

The head of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research says Monday that the state's total population dropped by 58,000 in the past year.

It's the first decline since large numbers of military personnel left the state in 1946 after World War II.


The Obama Joker artist is fellow Chicagoan

Interesting posters began showed up in various cities depicting Barack Obama as the Joker from "Batman."

The first question was - who was behind the image?

Was it an ultra-conservative with a chip on his shoulder or a down-and-out street artist just wanting attention? Or maybe someone from the “he will pay my mortgage and buy my car gas” crowd who thought Obama wouldn’t deliver.

It was none of the above. It turns out the artist was a 20-year-old college student from Chicago named Firas Alkhateeb (shown above).

Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, was bored during his winter school break.

He crafted the picture of Obama with the recognizable clown makeup using Adobe's Photoshop software.

Alkhateeb used a tutorial he'd found online about how to "Jokerize" portraits.

He downloaded the October 23, 2008 Time Magazine cover of Obama and began digitally painting over it.

Two days before President Obama's inauguration, Alkhateeb uploaded the photo and put it on his Flickr site.

Someone else downloaded the image, removed the references to TIME, added the word "socialism," and created a poster that has appeared all over the country.


Aug 18, 2009

Influential columnist Robert Novak dies at age 78

Conservative columnist and former CNN "Crossfire" co-host Robert Novak (pictured) has died after a year-long battle with cancer, his family announced Tuesday. He was 78.

Mr. Novak died at home, just over a year after doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor in August 2008. He was a veteran columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and a regular commentator for CNN for 25 years, beginning when the network launched in 1980.

Novak also hosted a show with his longtime column co-author, Rowland Evans, and appeared as a panelist on shows like "The Capital Gang" and on PBS' "The McLaughlin Group."

The Sun-Times reported:

His political columns were marked by his determination to dig out new information, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and Washington secrets to tell us something we didn’t know.

He combined that with sharp analysis, insightful commentary and passion about the issues facing the nation to emerge as a brawling contestant in the great national debates of his era.


That cell phone search turned out to be: “none of the above”

When we posted “Dreamin’ about a smartphone” (at the link below) the search was narrowed down to the Blackberry Curve (on left), Blackberry Bold (center) and the Blackberry Storm (on right) ... or ... maybe none of the above ...

It turned out to be none of the above. The final selection was not a smart phone. Instead, a feature phone was selected - the LG enV Touch shown below.

The enV touch was to be the next version of the popular LG Voyager until a lawsuit forced LG to stop using the Voyager name.

Plantronics makes Voyager bluetooth headsets and already owned the trademark before LG began using the name on wireless phones.

The Touch has an iPhone style accelorameter that works great as it rapidly and smoothly changes the display from portrait mode to landscape mode as the phone is rotated.

The phone allows website surfing, posting to blogs, Facebook, sending and receiving e-mail, etc.

The keys on the QWERTY keyboard are large enough for fast texting or document writing.


Helping the economy

Will they start over on health care reform legislation?

Democrats in Washington may be backing away from the original ObamaCare.

What Obama really wanted was a single payer plan with the federal government as the single payer.

After facing intense opposition to ObamaCare in town hall after town hall, the administration appears to be waving the white flag.

Some Democrat politicians don’t even plan to go back to their districts during the summer recess. They just don’t want to face voters opposed to ObamaCare.

From the article at the link below:

Acknowledging his amazement at the crowds gathered to debate health care at his town halls, Rep. Allen Boyd (pictured), D-Florida, faced three large gatherings on Monday with many questioners voicing skepticism about the proposals being debated in Washington.

Boyd represents a conservative area in northern Florida. He and other moderate Democrats from conservative districts will be hesitant to back the original 1,000 page ObamaCare bill for fear of losing in the next election.

In the article congressman Allen Boyd said it would be a good idea to start all over with health care reform.


Aug 17, 2009

Study: 40 percent of tweets on Twitter are pointless babble

A study conducted by a US market research firm found that forty percent of the messages on Twitter are "pointless babble" along the lines of "I am eating a sandwich now."

Pear Analytics, based in San Antonio, Texas, said that it randomly sampled 2,000 messages from the public stream of Twitter and separated them into six categories.

The categories were: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversational and pass-along value.

Pear said "pointless babble" accounted for 811 "tweets" or 40.55 percent of the total number of messages sampled.

Conversational messages -- defined by Pear as tweets that go back and forth between users or try to engage followers in conversation -- accounted for 751 messages or 37.55 percent.

Pear said tweets with "pass-along value" -- messages that are being "re-tweeted" or passed on by users to their followers -- accounted for 174 messages or 8.70 percent.

Self-promotion by companies was next with 117 tweets or 5.85 percent, followed by spam with 75 tweets or 3.75 percent.

It said tweets with news from mainstream media publications accounted for 72 tweets or 3.60 percent.


Sunrise on Mount Moses

Visitors watch the sunrise from Egypt's Mount Moses, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments.

Why do the kids always wake you early every Monday?

Summer of failure for broadcast TV

Will broadcast television rebound this fall?

This summer is one for the record books: more than a dozen new programs launched on broadcast television and not one breakout hit, with returning shows down and ratings at an all-time low.

The failing and floundering programs are in a wide range of genres and from every broadcaster.

There seems to be no clear trend that the programs have in common -- other than failing.

How is your favorite program measuring up?


Aug 16, 2009

40 years later - Remembering Woodstock

Woodstock took place at a time when the divide between "straight" society and the so-called counter-culture were at their deepest.

By 1969, anti-hippie hysteria had reached epidemic proportions, with one town dignitary describing the typical hippie as "a creature full of communicable diseases who speaks an illiterate language." At best, they were thought of as unwashed commune dwellers.

The Rock Festival was intended to be held in Woodstock but was relocate to the hamlet of Bethel, 60 miles away. The Woodstock name stuck even though the town turned the festival away. Was it because the name Woodstock had a more intriguing ring than Bethel?

Third photo above shows Joe Cocker performing at Woodstock.

More than 185,000 people bought tickets for Woodstock, and it was only when hundreds of thousands more began amassing at the perimeter that the fences were torn down and the festival declared as free.

The actual attendance was estimated at about 500,000.

Many rock stars performed at the festival including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin (pictured) and the Santana blues band. Noticeably absent were Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors.

Within fourteen months of the Woodstock festival, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendricks were both dead as the result of drug use.

Traffic coming to the site was backed up for more than 50 miles. Attendees often just left their cars in the middle of the road and walked the rest of the way as shown above.

Some performers had to be flown to the site on Army helicopters.


Bucket spinning

A child spins in a bucket at the Children's Park Playground near the Port Orchard, Washington Marina.

The picturesque speech of Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra (pictured), former catcher for the New York Yankees, is well known for his “picturesque speech.”

The two most popular Berra quotes are:

It ain’t over till it’s over.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Other Berra-isms are:

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.

I never said most of the things I said.

Media gets wrath of Obama for reporting healthcare backlash

Last Friday Barack Obama (pictured) accused television networks of being headline hungry and enflaming an ugly backlash by opponents of ObamaCare.

Until now the media has been stumbling over themselves to report only favorable White House news.

Welcome to the real world Mr. President!

A combative Obama also accused health insurance firms of holding sick Americans "hostage" as he launched a weekend tour of mountain west states Montana, Colorado and Arizona where suspicion of Washington runs deep.

The photo above shows protestors outside the “orchestrated” Obama town hall in Grand Junction, Colorado on Saturday.

Back to the article:

"I know there's been a lot of attention paid to some of the town hall meetings that are going on around the country, especially when tempers flare," Obama said, at his own event with 1,300 people in an airport hangar.

Tempers have flared as voters have accused Obama of plotting a "socialized" takeover of the private health system.

Now it appears that Obama’s temper is flaring as prompt passage of the 1,000 page ObamaCare bill seems to be slipping away.


Teacher fined $22,000 for 4-minute phone call

Asbury Park, New Jersey school teacher Desley Getty has been fined $23,000 for a 4-minute phone call made during class.

Court records show the Asbury Park High School performing arts teacher was covering for another teacher in 2008 when she called suspended superintendent Antonio Lewis.

A student recorded two students dancing while Getty was on the phone and posted it on YouTube.

The district prohibits teachers from making personal calls while performing assigned duties.

Over $5,700 per minute is a very expensive phone call!