Showing posts from March, 2010

ARTICLE: Disputed Isle in Bay of Bengal Disappears into Sea

NEW DELHI – For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island's gone.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.

Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal. Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said.

Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants …

It's Celebrity Apprentice Time!

I know I've posted about this last season (which really had some truly egregious behaviour in it) and the prior season (only one or two posts) but it is hard to post at length about this show. The show certainly has length - two hours each episode - but there is a lot of infighting and backbiting. In between shots of each individual griping about this or that person, there were shots of the "teams" trying to run this or that business.

I don't know anyone who's said that running a business is easy. And I would laugh at the person who would. It is a lot of work to run that kind of thing, and the wiring your brain needs... well, I think highly of those people who can do this. But all these "stars" swagger into Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice absolutely sure that he or she can run a business.

Two most common traits: bad delegation/no delegation and not understanding how to use different personality types. Once in a great while the right person steps u…

Article: 10 Places NOT to Use Your Debit Card

Debit cards have different protections and uses. Sometimes they're not the best choice.

Sometimes reaching for your wallet is like a multiple choice test: How do you really want to pay? While credit cards and debit cards may look almost identical, not all plastic is the same.

"It's important that consumers understand the difference between a debit card and a credit card," says John Breyault, director of the Fraud Center for the National Consumers League, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. "There's a difference in how the transactions are processed and the protections offered to consumers when they use them."

While debit cards and credit cards each have advantages, each is also better suited to certain situations. And since a debit card is a direct line to your bank account, there are places where it can be wise to avoid handing it over -- if for no other reason than complete peace of mind.

Here are 10 places and situations where it can pay to leave th…

A Response to the Two Articles (Wal-Mart, dated 20 March)

I was surprised. I broke for dinner and when I returned to my computer (to order Amazon stuff!), there was a comment posted on the blog about the two articles.

The comment, left by someone who is a nieghbour (I'm in Lake Hiawatha.), was: "The person arrested in connection with this incident is 16. I figured it would be a teenage boy who would be arrested for this. It sounds like a childish prank gone wrong. I hope he is found guilty and gets a severe punishment for his actions." That makes two of us!

Just to recap, someone with a pea-sized brain went into a southern New Jersey Wal-Mart, took control of the PA system (which right there is a big red flag...) and said, "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now."

They didn't know if it was a customer or an employee (and I would have loved, dearly, to have been the manager to let that person go!), and it seemed that maybe this would not have an answer to who did such a disgusting thing. Bu…

First Article: Black People Must Leave, NJ Walmart Announcer Says

Blacks must leave store, NJ Walmart announcer says, upsetting customers; company investigates

Virginia Tinsley, of Washington Township, N.J., answers a question Wednesday, March 17, 2010, outside a Wal-Mart store in Washington Township, N.J., where she and others complained Sunday about comments that came over the store's public address system. Wal-Mart officials are reviewing security tapes after an announcement was made for "all black people" to leave the southern New Jersey store. Shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, a male voice came over the public-address system at the Route 42 store in Washington Township and calmly announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now." Management later apologized. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP , N.J. (AP) -- A Walmart store announcement ordering black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies Wednesday from leaders of the company, which has built a fragile trust among minority communities…

THE SOLUTION (Article): Teen Charged in NJ Walmart Racial Comment Case

16-year-old boy charged with making racial comment over intercom at southern NJ Walmart

Bruce Shipkowski, Associated Press Writer, On Saturday March 20, 2010, 3:14 pm EDT WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP)
A 16-year-old boy patronizing a Walmart store in southern New Jersey took over the public-address system and ordered black people to leave, angering customers and prompting company leaders to apologize, police said Saturday.

Washington Township Police chief Rafael Muniz, left, listens as Gloucester County, New Jersey prosecutor Sean Dalton answers a question Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Washington Township, N.J., as they announce police have arrested a 16-year-old Atlantic County boy on charges of harassment and bias intimidation in the case of a racial comment that was made over the public-address system at a Wal Mart store in southern New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Police said the boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, went on the intercom at Walmart's Washi…

Mr. Blue Sky

Sun is shinin' in the sky,
There ain't a cloud in sight
It's stopped rainin'
Everybody's in a play
And don't you know
It's a beautiful new day.

Runnin' down the avenue,
See how the sun shines brightly
In the city on the streets
Where once was pity,
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today.

Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why,
You had to hide away
For so long
Where did we go wrong.

Hey there Mr. Blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do,
Everybody smiles at you.

Hey you with the pretty face,
Welcome to the human race
A celebration Mr. Blue Sky's
Up there waitin' and today
Is the day we've waited for


Mr. Blue you did it right,
But soon comes mr. night,
Creepin' over, now his
Hand is on your shoulder,
Never mind I'll remember you this way.

In These Shoes?

I once met a man with a sense of adventure
He was dressed to thrill wherever he went
He said "Let's make love on a mountain top
Under the stars on a big hard rock"
I said "In these shoes?
I don't think so."
I said "Honey, let's do it here."

So I'm sitting at a bar in guadalajara
In walks a guy with a faraway look in his eyes
He said "I've got as powerful horse outside
Climb on the back, I'll take you for a ride
I know a little place, we can get there for the break of day."
I said "In these shoes?
No way, José"
I said "Honey, let's stay right here."

No le gusta caminar. no puede montar a caballo
(I don't like to dance, I can't ride a horse)
Como se puede bailar? Es un escandolo
(How can I dance? It's a scandal)

Then I met an Englishman
"Oh" he said
"Won't you walk up and down my spine,
It makes me feel strangely alive."
I said "in these shoes?
I doubt you'd survive."
I said …


Once upon a time I had plenty of nothing,
Which was fine with me.
Because I had rhythm, music, love,
The sun, the stars and the moon above,
Had the clear blue sky and the deep blue sea.
That was when the best things in life were free.

Then time went by and now I got plenty of plenty,
Which is fine with me.
'Cause I still got love, I still got rhythm,
But look at what I got to go with 'em.
"Who could ask for anything more?", I hear you query.
Who would ask for anything more? Well, let me tell you, dearie.

Got my diamonds, got my yacht, got a guy I adore.
I'm so happy with what I got, I want more!

Count your blessings, one, two, three
I just hate keeping score.
Any number is fine with me
As long as it's more
As long as it's more!

I'm no mathematician, all I know is addition
I find counting a bore.
Keep the number mounting, your accountant does the counting.
[More! More!]

I got rhythm, music too, just as much as before
Got my guy and my sky of blue,
Now, however, I own the view.


'To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise...'

I had heard the whispered tales of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops

of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost Xanadu


To stand within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man

To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone
but time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view

Waiting for the world to end, weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost


Emotional Rescue

Is there nothing I can say
Nothing I can do
To change your mind
I'm so in love with you

You're too deep in
You can't get out
You're just a poor girl in a rich man's house
Yeah, baby, I'm crying over you

Don't you know promises were never made to keep?
Just like the night, dissolve in sleep
I'll be your savior, steadfast and true
I'll come to your emotional rescue
I'll come to your emotional rescue

Yeah, the other night, crying
Crying baby, yeah i'm crying
Yeah I'm like a child baby
I'm like a child baby
Child yeah, I'm like a child, like a child
Like a child

You think you're one of a special breed
You think that you're his pet pekinese
I'll be your savior, steadfast and true
I'll come to your emotional rescue
I'll come to your emotional rescue

I was dreaming last night
Last night I was dreaming
How you'd be mine, but I was crying
Like a child, yeah, I was crying

Crying like a child
You will be mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, all mine

HUMOUR: Remember Sniglets?

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they…

ARTICLE: ABC-Cablevision Dispute

Want to see the height of greed and stupidity? And Walt Disney probably spinning in his grave? Read this:

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. on Monday began warning Cablevision subscribers in New York that the local ABC television station signal may go dark this weekend in a dispute over how much it is paid by the cable operator. If the fee fight isn't resolved, the station could go dark after midnight Saturday, meaning Cablevision's 3.1 million customers could lose the ability to watch the Academy Awards on Sunday on ABC.The signal, however, can still be pulled from the air for free with an antenna and a new TV or digital converter box.Disney is seeking an additional $40 million a year in new fees, Cablevision Systems Corp. spokesman Charles Schueler said in a statement. Cablevision pays more than $200 million a year to Disney."It is not fair for ABC Disney to hold Cablevision customers hostage by forcing them to pay what amounts to a new TV tax," Schueler s…

ARTICLE: Chilean Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update. The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds). The Earth's figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis, which it spins around once every day at a speed of about 1,000 mph (1,604 kph). The figure axis is the axis around which the Earth's mass is ba…

Into the House, a Feathered Ray of Sunshine!

I was getting ready to leave the house for work when I found a big, beautiful bird hopping around Luis' office! He was lovely. I could not tell you what kind of bird, and maybe he was really a female, but whatever the make and model, he was really neat!
I had left him hopping there, looking at the furniture and Luis, to get my camera. As I stepped into the hallway, the door was closed and Luis asked if he was out there. I looked around and suddenly said, "Yes!" as he'd come out of my office and was there looking at me.
Before I could say anything else, he hopped to the side of my left foot and sat there, looking quite content.
I really did try to get his photo, but my camera picked that moment to read "battery low" and steadfastly refused - several times - to take the image. It shut down everytime. But I stood there for a few minutes, grinning like an idiot, until Luis very gently picked the lovely creature up and let him out.

ARTICLE - NBC Awkwardly & Abruptly Ends Olympic Coverage

How did NBC choose to end its 865 hours of Winter Olympic coverage? By barely acknowledging that said coverage was ending.

In a bizarre conclusion to its telecasts of the 2010 Vancouver Games, NBC awkwardly cut away to air the premiere of the much-hyped reality show, "The Marriage Ref." Viewers were abruptly informed that coverage of the Ceremony would continue at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Here's how it went down: At 10:29 p.m. ET, the network abruptly cut to commercial after singer Michael Buble finished a swinging, Sinatra-like rendition of "The Maple Leaf Forever". After a few ads, NBC cut back to a wide shot of the ongoing Ceremony (there were a number of inflatable animals on the floor at BC Place, making it look like an indoor version of the Macy's Day Parade) and viewers heard Bob Costas say:

"We're back in an hour with the Closing Ceremony party from Vancouver. Nickleback and Avril Lavigne are among the acts that will be performing. But right now we take…