Jul 23, 2010

Ice cream trucks to serve dogs in the UK

This is the first ice cream van exclusively for dogs.

The treat comes in two flavors:

1. Dog Eat Hog World - a gammon and chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit bone and served in a cone.

2. Canine Cookie Crunch - dog biscuits and ice cream topped with a biscuit bone and served in a cone.

But where do the dogs keep their money to buy the treats? With no pockets, the dogs may need to carry purses.


Las Vegas firm suing bloggers for copyright infringement

It has been well documented that a large number of newspapers have fallen on financial hard times.

It is not surprising then that an entrepreneur has been buying the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites for copyright infringement when they re-post articles without permission from client newspapers.

Many are small-time bloggers with low readership who just thought they were doing the website a favor and spreading the word as in free advertising.

Linking to an article is not copyright infringement. Copying an excerpt from an article is not copyright infringement. However, copying and pasting the article is copyright infringement.

This firm seems to be going after minute infringement which has angered those with small low-traffic blogs targeted unfairly.

Perhaps the firm is counting on the fact that most will find it cheaper to settle than to hire legal representation and go to court to fight the charge.

More here, here and here.

Gore scandal gets bigger as 2 more women come forward

Two more massage therapists step forward and accuse Al Gore of sexually inappropriate behavior.

There seems to be another inconvenient truth emerging.

The reports at the links below show a disturbing pattern that helps understand why Tipper Gore announced divorce plans the first of last month.

If Al Gore decides to run for president in 2012, will he use the slogan, Grope and Change -- sorry.

If any of the women take him to court he can always say, "global warming made me do it."

Link here, here and here.

Jul 22, 2010

Rangel charged with ethics violations - again

Rep. Charles Rangel (pictured) was pressured into stepping down from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee in March because of ethics violations.

Now a House investigative committee has charged New York Congressman Charles Rangel with multiple ethics violations.

Rangel, a Democrat, led the tax-writing committee until he stepped aside last March because of previous ethics violations.

Sources said the committee and Rangel's attorney attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement to end the case. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions. A settlement would have required Rangel to agree that he violated ethics rules.


Is 3D here to stay? RealD thinks so

3D company, RealD displayed its product on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange on its first day of trading last week.

The photo above shows traders wearing 3-D glasses as they watch RealD 3-D screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


Living high on the hog

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is shown treating British Prime Minister David Cameron to a high-class hot dog lunch outside Penn Station in New York.

Do New York hot dog vendors take American Express cards? ...just wondering.

photo from Time Magazine

Command performance

This Time Magazine photo is titled, "Shear Royalty."

A man shears a sheep in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the Wallet Marts in Castle Douglas, Galloway, Scotland.

Battle for the Senate in November

Most Democrats are now acknowledging that they will lose many House seate in November and will probably lose control of the House.

A Wall Street Journal report at the link below says:
Democrats for the first time are acknowledging that Republicans could retake the Senate this November if everything falls into place for the GOP, less than two years after Democrats held a daunting 60-seat majority.

A change of party control in the Senate, where only a third of the members are running and Republicans must capture 10 seats, seemed out of the question.

That's no longer the case. The emergence of competitive Republican candidates in Wisconsin, Washington and California—Democratic-leaning states where polls now show tight races—bring the number of seats that Republicans could seize from the Democrats to 11.

More details here.

Jul 21, 2010

Star spud dude

An actor wearing a potato costume stands in the doorway of a house during the Potato Festival in Mitzpe Gvulot, Israel last spring.

City manager earns $800,000 salary in California city of 38,000

Residents of Bell, California are understandably irate.

An overflow crowd packed a City Council meeting in Bell, a mostly Hispanic city of 38,000 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, to call for the resignation of Mayor Oscar Hernandez and other city officials. Residents left standing outside the chamber banged on the doors and shouted “fuera,” or “get out” in Spanish.

It was the first council meeting since the Los Angeles Times reported July 15 that Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns $787,637 -- with annual 12 percent raises -- and that Bell pays its police chief $457,000, more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck makes in a city of 3.8 million people.

Bell council members earn almost $100,000 for part-time work.


About that UFO over China …

Images of the UFOs have caused quite a stir in China and on blogs around the world.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyst says the objects were probably not UFOs that hovered over China recently.

UFO believers will claim it was from out of this world no matter what.

Naysayers are saying it was a Chinese missile launch. Some say photos of the event were created in the software program Photoshop.

An interesting video can be found here.

30 injured by turbulence on United flight from DC to LA

The FAA reported that 30 people were injured after a United Airlines jetliner headed for Los Angeles hit heavy turbulence and was diverted to Denver.

The flight originated at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. It landed safely at Denver International Airport around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, and was met by medical crews.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles says 26 passengers and four crew members were injured. He says one person was critically hurt, but released no further details.

Denver Health Medical Center spokeswoman Dee Martinez says 21 people have been transported to five area hospitals. Most of them have moderate injuries to the head, neck or back.


Jul 20, 2010

Parachuting donkey shocks beachgoers

Beachgoers in Russia reacted in bemusement and shock as a distressed donkey circled overhead hanging from a parachute.
The donkey only just survived his ordeal after landing in water near Golubitskaya in the Krasnodar region of Russia, reports The Daily Telegraph.

One report said the donkey took to the skies as part of an advertising campaign launched by a group of entrepreneurs to attract locals to their private beach.

Another report said it was part of a parasailing firm's advertising stunt.

Regional police have now opened an investigation.

Spokeswoman Larisa Tuchkova said: "The donkey screamed and children cried. No one had the brains to call police."


Indiana group needs to get their ducks in a row

A colorful flock of 17,000 plastic ducks were released on the Saint Joseph River on June 20th by a Fort Wayne children's service group as part of the 22nd annual Duck Race.

The event raises thousands for SCAN, or Stop Child Abuse and Neglect. Stronger than usual currents that day swept 17,000 plastic ducks past the finish line. Since then, all but 1,500 have been caught.

They're 25 cents a piece and we reuse them. We've been doing the duck race, it's our largest fundraiser, we've been doing it for 22 years," explained Jennifer Boen, SCAN communications manager. "Even though we still have 15-hundred out there it represents almost 400 dollars."

The ducks have been spotted as far east as Ohio, and have likely split up, floating down the Saint Joseph, the Saint Mary's and the Maumee.


Germans shut down autobahn for a big party

From a USA Today report:

Germany's autobahns are renowned for average speeds well in excess of 80 miles an hour. But the average dropped near zero Sunday as tens of thousands of people sat at a 37-mile table for a cultural celebration titled, appropriately enough, "Still Life."

Cars were strictly verboten.

A festival spokesman said an estimated three million people turned out amid fine weather, one million of them with their bicycles, to celebrate on the highway between Dortmund and Bochum, in western Germany.

Tens of thousands sat at the table, which was made up of 20,000 individual tables.

More here.

Boeing and Airbus battle at Farnborough

The Farnborough International Airshow is a seven-day international trade fair for the aircraft industry which is held biennially in even numbered years.

This international trade fair for the aerospace industry is held at Farnborough airfield in Hampshire, England.

From a report at the link below:

The battle lines were drawn in the run-up to this year’s Farnborough Airshow as the world’s dominant plane makers prepare for the next stage of competition in the aerospace industry.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is shown above. The Airbus A350XWB is shown below.

Report: Democrats start to panic as November reality sets in

From a report in Time Magazine online:

Under pressure, the Democrats are cracking.

On both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, there is a realization that Nancy Pelosi's hold on the speakership is in true jeopardy; that losing control of the Senate is not out of the question; and that time, once the Democrats' best friend, is now their mortal enemy.

Since January, when Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat, the President's party has tried to downplay in public what its pollsters have been saying in private: that Obama's alienation of independents and white voters, along with the enthusiasm gap between the right and the left, means that Republicans are on a trajectory to pick up massive numbers of House and Senate seats, perhaps even to regain control of Congress.

More of this bleak report on the Democrats chances to maintain control after the November mid-terms can be found here.

Jul 19, 2010

Beyond comment spam

Bloggers have often been the target of comment spam when blog readers post multiple comments to a blog entry. Often these comments contain nonsensical gibberish. Occasionally they may even contain profanity.

We have had our share of comment spam since this blog began in October 2004.

During the past year there is another type of comment spam coming on the scene. The comment itself will often contain a compliment to the blog post. However, it will also contain a link to a commercial website.

Most often the link will bring up an online store selling products ranging from designer shoes to sporting equipment. And then there are also the online sellers of products to enhance female and/or male private body parts.

It's an attempt to get free advertising.

In the past year we have even had links to Mortuary ads included in comments. Times must really be getting bad when morticians try to place advertisements on blogs in the form of comments!

We automatically receive e-mails whenever comments are posted to this blog so it is easy to either delete or edit the spam.

Standing room only on budget airline

Will vertical airline seating be the wave of the future?

Budget airline Ryanair has said it will introduce ‘standing-room only’ areas on its flights.

The low cost carrier has announced proposals to install new ‘vertical seats’ (pictured) on a range of short haul flights within the next two years.

Ryanair's vertical seating will cost £4 (about $6).

The illustration shows a “standing seat” to a conventional airline seat.

More of the “standing room” seats here.

Every American to have an obesity rating by 2014

A report at the link below states that:

New federal regulations issued this week stipulate that the electronic health records--that all Americans are supposed to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed last year--must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity.

The obesity-rating regulation states that every American's electronic health record must: “Calculate body mass index. Automatically calculate and display body mass index (BMI) based on a patient’s height and weight.”

The law also requires that these electronic health records be available--with appropriate security measures--on a national exchange.

We wonder what U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (pictured), who is fat, thinks of this obesity rating?


White House bracing for intelligence spending exposé

From a report at the link below:

The Obama administration is bracing for the first in a series of Washington Post articles said to focus in unprecedented detail on the government's spending on intelligence contractors.
The intelligence community is warning that the article could blow the cover of contract companies doing top-secret work for the government. At the same time, a senior administration official acknowledged that the kind of wasteful spending expected to be spotlighted in the series is "troubling" and something the administration is trying to address.

Will others in the media jump to the defense of the Obama administration in an effort to play down the upcoming exposé?


Jul 18, 2010

How could a spa operate without cucumbers?

A pyramid hidden in the plains of Wyoming

No trains rumble by it and few roads border it, which means not many know about it. But it is there: a pyramid in Wyoming.

And it's not just any pyramid; it is a towering, granite pyramid. It's the Ames Monument in Buford, Wyoming

The pyramid is located a couple miles off of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne where millions of travelers go past it but never see it.

Built in 1882, the Monument honors Oliver and Oakes Ames - two brothers credited with the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

The monument was intended to be views by millions of railroad travelers down through the years.

Originally, the transcontinental railroad passed about 100 yards down the hill from the monument and it was intended that millions of railroad travelers would see the monument.
However, not long after the monument was built, the railroad was moved but the pyramid stayed put.
That's why Wyoming has a pyramid in the middle of nowhere.


Rolling polling station in the UK

A woman leaves with her dogs after voting in a travel trailer turned polling station in Cornwall, England last spring.

Paper blizzard in Chile

Health care workers toss pamphlets over the Chilean Congress in protest of massive layoffs hitting the health care industry.

Americans not charged by the Obama battery story

Struggling to connect with voters on the economy, Obama chose an unlikely hero as the star of his narrative of redemption and recovery: the battery.

Obama flew to Holland, Michigan to celebrate the groundbreaking of an advanced car battery factory that the White House predicts will produce 300 permanent jobs. It was his fourth battery-related trip as president, and it came as the White House makes an aggressive push to tell what one senior official called "the battery story" -- the tale of a small piece of technology that could affect daily life and spur employment if properly nurtured.

The administration's $2.4 billion, yes Billion, investment in the development of batteries and other electric-car technology in the United States is an enormous bet on a product that has yet to gain broad commercial success.

Major manufacturers have yet to sell electric cars in the United States. Hybrids, though they have been around for a decade, represent less than 1 percent of the nation's roughly 250 million-vehicle fleet.

More here.