Aug 28, 2010

Ghost train hunter killed by real train

From a CNN report at the link below:

The facts: On August 27, 1891, a passenger train jumped the tracks on a tall bridge near Statesville, North Carolina, sending seven rail cars below and about 30 people to their deaths.

The legend: On the wreck's anniversary, the sounds of screeching wheels, screaming passengers and a horrific crash might still be heard. You might also see a uniformed man with a gold watch.

The current tragic story: Shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, on the 119th anniversary of the Bostian Bridge train tragedy and at about the same time, between 10 and 12 ghost hunters were on that approximately 300-foot long span.

They were hoping to hear the sounds of the crash, and perhaps see something.

Instead, a real Norfolk-Southern train -- three engines and one car -- turned the corner as it headed east to Statesville, about 35 miles north of Charlotte.

Below is a photo of the Bostian Rail Road Bridge.

The CNN report is here.

Swimming in green pond

A child swims in a lake covered with duckweed in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China

Signature Sound Quartet and the Gaither Vocal Band sing "Love Is Like A River"

Lion cools off in water spray

A zoo keeper sprays water to cool a lion at a zoo in Yaduda near Amman, Jordan

Aug 27, 2010

Huge flip flops on a Nantucket beach

These sand sandals were seen on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket.

Bad 'recovery summer' especially for young workers

The share of young people aged 16 to 24 who were employed this summer fell to 48.9 percent -- the lowest rate on record since 1948.


Biden helps solve the jobless problem

Doing it in a bath tub

A visitor wearing 3D glasses plays with a PlayStation at the recent Gamescom 2010 in Cologne, Germany.

More incentive for Democrats to go all out in November

If President Barack Obama needed any more incentive to go all out for Democrats this fall, here it is:

Republicans are planning a wave of committee investigations targeting the White House and Democrat allies if they win back the majority.

From a report the invetstigations will cover everything "from the microscopic -- the New Black Panther party -- to the massive -- think bailouts -- is on the GOP to-do list, according to a half-dozen Republican aides.

Their veil of secrecy may end in 2011

The White House and Democrat leaders in Congress have been working behind a veil of secrecy while claiming transparency.

That could all change in 2011 as the investigations get under way.

Republican staffers say there won’t be any self-destructive witch hunts, but they clearly are relishing the prospect of extracting information from an administration that touts transparency.

A handful of aggressive would-be committee chairmen -- led by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) -- are quietly gearing up for a possible season of subpoenas not seen since the Clinton wars of the late 1990s.

More here.

Did Blockbuster wait too long to adjust to competition from Netflix and Redbox?

It appears that Blockbusters decade in the sun is over.

Executives from Blockbuster and its senior debt holders last week held meetings with the six major movie studios to discuss their intention to enter a “pre-planned” bankruptcy in mid-September.

Blockbuster is hoping to use its time in Chapter 11 to restructure a crippling debt load of nearly $1 billion and escape leases on 500 or more of it 3,425 stores in the U.S.

Maintaining the support of Hollywood's film studios during the process will be critical so that Blockbuster can continue to rely upon an uninterrupted supply of new DVDs.


Two shoplifters arrested at Shop With a Cop event

It was the annual Portland, Oregon "Shop With a Cop" back-to-school event, with officers helping about 160 children pick out clothing and school supplies for the approaching school year.

You couldn't miss the large police presence. The canine patrol was there along with about 60 uniformed officers from assistant chiefs and commanders to patrol officers and traffic cops.

But that didn't stop two men from going aisle to aisle, picking out a few items of their own.

After arresting the two "Shop With a Cop" shoplifters, the officers returned to assisting the children and helping them get ready for school.

One of the arresting officers said, "We're helping kids and arresting bad guys at the same time."


Aug 26, 2010

Loony Party: the longest running political joke

It's called the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and is a lampoon of the British political scene.

The party began nearly three decades and is surely the longest running political joke.

While the big parties cross swords over deficits and immigration, Loony proposals include knighthood for Ozzy Osbourne, adding the Loch Ness Monster to the endangered-species list and creating a 99-pence coin (to end the nuisance of carrying pennies).

The Loony Party was started by a musician who called himself Screaming Lord Sutch - 3rd Earl of Harrow. Born David Edward Sutch, he dad no connection with British peerage.

Sutch (top picture above) was known for his horror-themed stage shows often appearing as Jack the Ripper.

The photo below shows the cover for his album, Lord Sutch and heavy friends showing Sutch with a Rolls Royce painted with the British Union Jack flag.

Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide at age 58. He hung himself in June, 1999.


Man with 33-year-old driver license drove 11 miles with missing tire

A man in western New York drove a van 11 miles with missing tire.

Deputies said his blood-alcohol level was more than three times above the legal limit of .08 percent.

The 61-year-old man (pictured) had a drivers license that expired 33 years ago.


High tech carts will tattle if you don’t recycle

Guess who'll be hiding out in Clevelanders' trash cans? Big Brother, that's who -- at least according to a report at the link below.

What would Sesame Street's Oscar the grouch think?

The move is part of a high-tech collection system the city will roll out next year with new trash and recycling carts embedded with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes.

The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn't been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.

Trash carts containing more than 10 percent recyclable material could lead to a $100 fine.

How long will it be before geeky kids in Cleveland disable the recycling bins in an entire neighborhood just to see the reaction from homeowners when they all get $100 charges on their monthly bills.

Actually, disabling the chips should be fairly easy. I think I still have a bulk eraser from Radio Shack that would to the job. I used it back in the 1980's to magnetically erase data from those early floppy disks before re-formatting.

If this goes national, the White House will need to appoint a garbage czar.


Democrat Senator: we have nothing to show for $13 trillion of debt!

Michael Bennet (pictured) was appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace Kenneth Salazar when Obama made Salazar Secretary of the Interior.

The old Salazar term expires this year and Bennet hopes to regain the U.S. Senate seat in November.

Democrats in Colorado wondered why Bennet was selected to replace Salazar. Now they may be questioning the Bennet choice even more.

During a town hall meeting in Greeley, Bennet didn't exactly endear himself to his fellow Democrats in Washington with his comment about the huge Obama stimulus debt.

Regarding spending during his time in office Bennet said, “We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet” and, “in my view we have nothing to show for it.”

Other than that, Bennet danced around other questions without giving real answers. He did say “I’m not a career politician; I’ve never run for office before.”

Regarding the expiration of the Bush tax cuts Bennet would not commit to a position on whether to extend them simply saying, “I hope we look at it comprehensively.”

Following the meeting, a small aircraft flew over the location multiple times with the words “Stop Obama” written on the bottom of the wings.

Bennet will undoubtedly get an earful from Democrat leaders in Washington.


Aug 25, 2010

Didn't know he was shot in head until five years later

A man in Germany was shot in the head five years ago but just thought he was hit by fireworks.

A 35-year-old man walked around for five years with a bullet lodged in the back of his head says he suspected for a while something was there but only went to doctors after he started getting headaches.

Robert Chojecki was partying on New Years Eve five years ago in the German town of Herne when he was hit with the .22-caliber bullet.

Doctors removed it this week from between his skin and skull.
The Polish-born Chojecki told RTL television Wednesday he thought he'd been hit by fireworks, but later forgot about it.

Police say the bullet may have been fired in celebration. Doctors say he should have no problems now that it has been removed.


Quayle wins in AZ - says Obama worst president

The media couldn’t stop him even after saying Obama is the worst president in history.

Now the media has a new, younger Quayle to demonize.

The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle has won the GOP nomination in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District.

Ben Quayle led the field of 10 Republicans by nearly 5 percentage points late on election night. He had 23 percent of the vote, and his nearest competitor, businessman Steve Moak, had just under 18 percent.

The crowded field also included three former Arizona lawmakers.

The media couldn't stop him even after the 33-year-old Quayle made headlines during the campaign for his ad (see below) calling Barack Obama the worst president in history!


Tiger Woods in worst year of his career

Tiger Woods (pictured), the first golf billionaire, is having the worst year of his career. In 2010 he has yet to win a tournament.

Tiger Woods fans have put up with the philandering, the text messages and the domestic spats. Now comes what may be the hardest thing of all to tolerate: Losing.

Woods has played through the year without a single tournament win, putting him at 83rd on the PGA Tour’s money list.

As his performance slumps, so have sales of his apparel line through Nike Inc.


Speak jive? The Justice Department may want you

The Department of Justice is looking for experts in Ebonics (Black English).

No, really. The Drug Enforcement Administration wants "Black English" linguists to decipher bugged calls.

A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of “telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media”


Blog postings can lead to lawsuits

There is a report in the Los Angeles Times titled, Blogger beware: Postings can lead to lawsuits.

I read a few hard core left-wing blogs occasionally and it never ceases to amaze me how slanderous they can be.

For that matter, so can a couple of conservative haters on MSNBC. They can be just as noxious.

The LA Times report is mostly referring to bloggers who take pot-shots at local businesses on their blogs. The bloggers who do are asking for trouble.

As for a politician suing a blogger or someone who writes for the web media -- Sarah Palin would have an excellent case against Andrew Sullivan (pictured).

I stopped reading Sullivan on a regular basis long ago. I read three of his Sarah Palin rants this year and decided no more. They were not only libelous, they were downright vulgar.

Palin should sue Sullivan -- but she won't.

We have posted about Andrew Sullivan twice, here and here.

The LA Times report is here.

Aug 24, 2010

Nail salon charged customer a $5 fat fee!

A nail salon owner in Georgia charged a customer $5 extra because the lady was overweight.

When asked why the extra charge the salon owner said, "I charged you five dollars more because you're overweight."

The salon owner explained that the chairs in her salon can only hold 200 pounds and cost $2,500 to repair.


Found at Woodward Dream Cruise 2010

The Woodward Dream Cruise is a classic car event in the Detroit area every August.

Below are three interesting vehicles found at the 2010 event.

A VW Microbus made over into a pool table. How cool is that?

Motorized bar stools. Well, at least they're different.

A Beetle for narrow minded VW drivers.

Frisky frisking search policy begins at Boston's Logan airport

From a report in the Boston Herald

Logan airport security just got more up close and personal as federal screeners launched a more aggressive palms-first, slide-down body search technique that has renewed the debate over privacy vs. safety.

Boston is one of only two cities in which the new touchy-feely frisking is being implemented as a test before a planned national rollout. The other is Las Vegas.

The body searches are conducted by same-gender TSA officers, and passengers can request private screenings at any time.


Blagojevich chills out with the Hulk and Superman

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was one of the featured attractions at the Comic Convention in Chicago.

Blagojevich did not receive an appearance fee for the convention but he did charge fans $50 for autographs and $80 for photos.

Blagojevich climbed into the Batmobile while at the show and even joked when picking up the Batphone that he was calling his lawyer. He said at the convention in suburban Chicago that the superheroes inspire him with his own battles.

More on Blago's ComicCon appearance here.

Aug 23, 2010

Underwhelming ObamaCare response in New Jersey

Only 2 people in the state have signed up for the ObamaCare plan.

NJ Protect plans are available to those who have been without insurance for at least six months and submit evidence of pre-existing health conditions.

More than 600 applications were downloaded and 268 information kits were sent out following the program's announcement on August 1.

Just two people in New Jersey will begin receiving coverage Monday under new plans created by federal health care reforms.


Mother of all traffic jams: 60 miles long and 9 days old

Think your morning commute is slow?

There is a 60 mile long traffic jam on a highway leading into Beijing China that is just now beginning to clear after nine days.

Drivers, mainly of freight-carrying trucks, have had to kill time playing cards, and have complained that local people are taking advantage of them by selling food at inflated prices, the report said.

While China is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure such as roads and railways, it is still struggling to keep up with the demands of the booming economy, and traffic jams are common.

The photo shows normal congested traffic in Beijing.


Americans dislike Reid almost as much as they dislike Pelosi

A report from the Los Angeles Times blogs is titled, "Americans are coming to dislike Harry Reid almost as much as they dislike fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi".

Nevada Democrat Sen. Harry Reid is catching up to fellow Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California in terms of being disliked by Americans nationally.
A new poll out from Rasmussen Reports finds that, of course, a majority of Americans dislike both of the Democratic legislative leaders who lead one of the least popular and less trusted institutions in American society.

More here.

Bloggers in Philadelphia must buy $300 business license

Got a blog and live in Philly? Buy a $300 business privilege license.

What if your blog in Philly makes no money? Buy a $300 business privilege license.

For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to, to over the last few years she says she's made about $50.

To Bess, her website is a hobby.

To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.
She's not alone. After dutifully reporting even the smallest profits on their tax filings this year, a number of Philadelphia bloggers were dispatched letters informing them that they owe $300 for a privilege license, plus taxes on any profits they made.

Even if, as with Sean Barry, that profit is $11 over two years.

Barry's music-oriented blog, Circle of Fits, is hosted on Blogspot; as of this writing, its home page has two ads on it, but because he gets only a fraction of the already low ad revenue — the rest goes to Blogspot — it's far from lucrative.


Bush T-shirts outselling Obama' T-shirts on Martha's Vineyard

What a difference a year makes.

'Miss Me Yet?' Bush T-shirts are outselling 'I Vacationed with Obama' T-shirts on Martha's Vineyard.

Does this mean President Bush is more popular than President Obama on Martha's Vineyard or does it mean that everyone who wanted 'I Vacationed with Obama' shirts already bought one last year? Bush 'Miss Me Yet' shirts were not available until 2010.

Aug 22, 2010

White House reaction to sagging Obama ratings

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Prince Charles: take short showers and avoid tub baths

Take showers instead of baths. Oh, yes … and make the showers shorter.

That's the advice from the Prince of Wales (pictured). You remember him; he's the husband of the Duchess of Cornwall. The 61-year-old British Monarch-in waiting.

From a report in the London Daily Mail:

Prince Charles has told British families to take shorter showers to help protect the environment.
The instruction came at the end of a list of 20 lifestyle changes recommended by the Prince of Wales for his new green campaign called Start.

He is urging people to "snub the tub" -- give up tub baths in favor of 'short, refreshing' five minute showers - once a week.

Once a week? Are you kidding me?

That should be welcome news to body deodorant manufacturers.

Staff (servants) at Clarence House, the residence of Prince Charles, would not comment on Charles' bathing habits.


White House blaming jobless numbers on congress

A Los Angeles Times blog report says:

Obama now blames poor job numbers on congressional inaction.

Wait! His party runs Congress!

Despite Vice President Joe Biden's April boast that administration stimulus spending would spur the economy to add a half-million jobs a month by now, initial unemployment claims jumped a half-million last week, the worst since last November, as national unemployment remains at 9.5% and the economy sheds 131,000 more jobs.
But before leaving for his ninth presidential vacation, 10 days at a secluded estate on Martha's Vineyard, Obama devoted four minutes in the White House driveway to a special statement on the latest disappointing jobs numbers.
No questions allowed because the president didn't want to explain why despite the administration's announced Recovery Summer Program, the jobs numbers have started going backward again after 19 months of promises and $787 billion in alleged stimulation spending. Because, faced with the uncertainty of the economy and the certainty of new taxes after Nov. 2, employers are holding back on hiring.

More here.