Now gluten-free!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What's the Matter? Chip in Your Shoulder?

Despite what doomsday profits (yes, I spelled that correctly) Tim LaHaye and Jack Van Impe might say, radio frequency identification (RFID) chips are not the "mark of the beast." But that doesn't make this any more appealing:
    Doctors back plan to store medical info under your skin

    CHICAGO (AFP) - Doctors could soon be storing essential medical information under the skin of their patients, the American Medical Association says.

    Devices the size of a grain of rice that are implanted with a needle could give emergency room doctors quick access to the records of chronically ill patients, the nation's largest doctors group said in a report.

    The association adopted a policy Monday stating that the devices can improve the "safety and efficiency of patient care" by helping to identify patients and enabling secure access to clinical information. ...
Now, take a look at this last bit:
    ... The association warned of "potential social consequences" such as using the devices for surveillance which could be an infringement on individual liberties.

    It recommended that the devices not be implanted without the informed consent of patients and that doctors monitor their use.
Obtaining someone's permission before implanting one of these things is merely a recommendation of the AMA?

"Hey, doc, what's really in that syringe you're holding?"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ugly is the new cute

New Jersey finally has something to brag about:
Elwood, a 2-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, was crowned the world's ugliest dog Friday, a distinction that delighted the New Jersey mutt's owners.

Elwood, dark colored and hairless—save for a mohawk-like puff of white fur on his head—is often referred to as "Yoda," or "ET," for his resemblance to those famous science fiction characters.

"I think he's the cutest thing that ever lived," said Elwood's owner, Karen Quigley, a resident of Sewell, New Jersey.

Quigley brought Elwood out to compete for the second year at the annual ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair. Elwood placed second last year.

Most of the competing canines were also Chinese Crested, a breed that features a mohawk, bug eyes and a long, wagging tongue.

Quigley said she rescued Elwood two years ago. "The breeder was going to euthanize him because she thought he was too ugly to sell," said Quigley.

"So ha ha, now Elwood's all over the Internet and people love him and adore him."

Beyond the regal title of ugliest dog, Elwood also earned a $1,000 reward for his owner.
Okay, I'll admit that even though I don't find Elwood particularly cute, I'm glad he wasn't sent off to that great boneyard in the sky just because he looks like he has already been dead for a month. Even repulsive animals (except squirrels, of course) should be given a chance to enjoy life.

But might I make a friendly suggestion to Elwood's owner? Don't feed him after midnight. You know, just to be on the safe side.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Potato, Potahto, Tomato, Tomahto...Let's Cool the Whole Thing Off

Think global warming is going to kill us all? Wrong! It's global cooling you should be worried about. R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, at Carleton University, has this to say:
    Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.
Hey, scientists! I have a message for you...


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Incontinental Airlines

The skies just aren't as friendly as they used to be:
    Sewage flows down aisles of trans-Atlantic flight

    UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash.– Passengers on a Continental Airlines flight had to hold their noses for hours as sewage overflowed from toilets while they were high over the Atlantic.

    "To be blatantly honest, I was more nervous than I had ever been on a flight," said Collin Brock. The University Place man was on board Continental Airlines flight 1970 from Amsterdam to Newark, New Jersey last week when things went bad.

    "I've never felt so offended in all my life. I felt like I had been physically abused and neglected. I was forced to sit next to human excrement for seven hours," said Brock.

    That's after lavatories - in the middle of a flight filled with passengers - started spewing sewage.

    "Sickening. It's a nauseating smell. It's very uncomfortable," said Brock.

    It was last Wednesday afternoon when his flight left Amsterdam, but roughly two hours into it, the passengers were told the lavatories were out of commission. An unplanned landing in Shannon, Ireland was made to fix the problem.

    A pit stop became an overnight stay. The next day, the same plane headed for its original destination of Newark, New Jersey, but just after takeoff, the sewage overflow began. This time, there was no turning around.
Flying port-o-potties. Oh, yeah. This is sure to boost confidence in the airline industry.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Something Fishy in China

Here's a slap in the face for all you seafood lovers out there, courtesy of
    China, the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S., is raising most of its fish products in water contaminated with raw sewage and compensating by using dangerous drugs and chemicals, many of which are banned by the Food and Drug Administration.

    The stunning news follows WND's report last week that FDA inspectors report tainted food imports from China are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs.

    China has consistently topped the list of countries whose products were refused by the FDA – and that list includes many countries, including Mexico and Canada, who export far more food products to the U.S. than China.

    While less than half of Asia has access to sewage treatment plants, aquaculture – the raising of seafood products – has become big business on the continent, especially in China.
"Excuse me, sir. May I take your order?"

"Uh, yes, I'll have the surf 'n' turf, please – hold the surf. And do you have anything else on tap besides Bass Ale?"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Britain's Got Talent, Too 2

Following up on my last post, Paul Potts went on to win the grand prize in Britain's Got Talent. From TimesOnline:
    Mobile phone salesman Paul Potts was celebrating today after being crowned the winner of Britain's Got Talent.

    Last night's show saw two million viewers cast their vote - the biggest number so far, according to co-host Ant McPartlin, who had earlier declared: "The whole country has gone Paul Potts potty."

    The 36-year-old from Port Talbot, South Wales, counts Pavarotti among his heroes and wowed judges with his version of Nessun Dorma.

    The Ant and Declan Donnelly-hosted show saw variety wannabes from singers to performing dogs vie for a £100,000 prize and a slot in this year's Royal Variety Performance.

    Potts was told by judge Simon Cowell that next week he would be heading for a studio to be recording his debut album.

    Potts said afterwards: "I feel like jelly. It means like absolutely everything thank you for believing in me.

    "I don't think there's any way to describe this. It just leaves me speechless. Absolutely speechless."
Here's his winning performance from the finale:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Britain's Got Talent, Too

One of the most beautiful and beloved arias of all-time. A reminder that you can't judge a book by its cover. A glimmer of humanity from Simon Cowell. What's there not to like about this video?:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rampaging Squirrel Injures three

From Reuters:
    An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch.

    The squirrel first ran into a house in the southern town of Passau, leapt from behind on a 70-year-old woman, and sank its teeth into her hand, a local police spokesman said Thursday.

    With the squirrel still hanging from her hand, the woman ran onto the street in panic, where she managed to shake it off.

    The animal then entered a building site and jumped on a construction worker, injuring him on the hand and arm, before he managed to fight it off with a measuring pole.

    "After that, the squirrel went into the 72-year-old man's garden and massively attacked him on the arms, hand and thigh," the spokesman said. "Then he killed it with his crutch."

    The spokesman said experts thought the attack may have been linked to the mating season or because the squirrel was ill.
I hear those German squirrels can be especially ferocious.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another Shameless Plug - Dawn in Concert!

Dawn will be performing with the Red Rock Swing Band along with another vocalist at the Como Park Lakeside Pavillion in St. Paul (map) Thursday, June 14.

This free concert is part of the St. Paul Parks and Recreation "Music in the Parks" series and begins at 7:00 pm.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Not on My Watch!

President Bush visits Albania and is greeted by a throng of adoring fans -- maybe a little too adoring. As you begin watching, note the president's watch on his left wrist. Under a minute into the video (around the 3:13 mark), someone swipes it. One second it's there, the next it's gone:
I wonder if our government will consider this an act of war and ask us to support an invasion of Albania.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mr. Toad Ain't Got Nothin' on This Guy

Talk about a wild ride!

When I first ran across this report, I thought it would have something to do with some hotshot trying to set the world land speed record for wheelchairs. Nope. From
    PAW PAW, Mich. -- A 21-year-old man was taken on a wild ride Wednesday afternoon when the wheelchair he was in became attached to the grille of a semi-truck and was taken four miles down a highway at about 50 mph. The man, whose name police did not release, was not injured. The driver was unaware he was pushing the man, according to a news release from the Michigan State Police.
It seems that as the driver of the truck was pulling out of a local gas station, the man in the wheelchair was pulling out in front of the truck. The handles of the wheelchair became lodged in the grille of the truck and the adventure began.

Police initially thought the 911 calls they started receiving were pranks -- until they caught up to the wheelchair after it had stopped and saw an 18-wheeler sticking out the back. The wheelchair's occupant was unhurt and seemed to have a pretty good attitude about the whole ordeal. Sgt. Kathy Morton of the Michigan State Police said, "The man spilled his soda pop, but he wasn't upset."

No word on whether or not the guy in the wheelchair was ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. I'm hoping the cops decided to cut him some slack.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Shameless Plug - Upcoming Concert

As some of you know, I'm a member of the Great Northern Union Chorus. This is just a note to let you know that we will be performing along with Cantus this coming Saturday, June 9. The concert begins at 7:30 at St. Olaf Catholic Church in Minneapolis. Click here for ticket information.

If you like a capella singing, you're in for a treat. Hope to see you there!

Which Superhero Are You?

Here are my results:
Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since I was five, so I guess this wasn't too surprising. However, I always thought I had more Wonder Woman in me than Supergirl. But, then again, who am I to question the experts who develop these personality tests?

Click here to take the "Which Superhero Am I?" quiz.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Shocking" Squirrel Story

This particular squirrel got more than he bargained for when he was killed in what looks like an attempt to cause an electrical blackout...I'm not exactly sure where this happened, but squirrels have been engaging in this kind of terrorist activity for quite some time.

At least there's one less of them to worry about.
Make that two.

For more information on just how dangerous squirrels can be, and for tips on protecting your home and loved ones from these mangy menaces, click here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

No Chip Clip? No Problem

I love chips. Potato, corn, poker, I love all kinds. (Buffalo? Well, okay, maybe not all kinds.) And if there's anything I hate, it's stale chips. But I really don't like using those Chip Clips. They're expensive, hard to keep track of, and if I do happen to find one after digging through four or five disorganized kitchen drawers for 20 minutes, it's either too big or too small. There has to be a better way!

Thankfully, someone out there heard my cry for help.

This short instructional video will show you how to keep your chips fresh without having to use clips, tape, twisty ties, glue, or those expensive food sealers you see on Saturday morning infomercials:
Voila! It's that simple!

HT: LRC Blog

Smile! You're on...Google Camera?

As a follow-up to my previous post, here's an article that goes into more detail about Google's latest innovation:Read the full article here.

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