Monday, November 30, 2009

Sugar Free Lemon Raspberry Bars - & Sugar Free Fudge

Lemon Raspberry Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutesBake Time: 35-45 minutesMakes: 16 Bars
3/4 Cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated•
3/4 Cup Flour•
1/4 Cup Light Butter•
pinch of Salt•
2 Tbsp. Flour•
1 1/4 Cups SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated•
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute•
1/2 Cup Half and Half•
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice•
1 Tbsp Grated Fresh Lemon Peel•
1/4 Cup Reduced Sugar Raspberry Preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8X8 inch-baking pan generously with butter flavored nonstick spray. Set aside.2. Mix together flour, SPLENDA® Granulated and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Cut in light butter until the mixture is crumbly, like a streusel topping. Do not over mix. Press dough into prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.3. Place SPLENDA® Granulated and flour in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir well. Add egg substitute and half-and-half. Stir until blended. Slowly add lemon juice while stirring constantly. Add lemon peel.4. Stir raspberry preserves until they loosen up. Spread evenly over warm crust.5. Gently pour lemon mixture over preserves. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool before placing in refrigerator.6. Chill in refrigerator 2 hours before serving.

Baked Fudge With Pecans for Diabetics (recipe using splenda)

4 eggs2 cups splenda1/2 cup cocoa1/4 cup +2 Tablespoons almond flour2 Tablespoons low carb vanilla shake mix or vanilla flavored whey-protein powder1 cup softened or melted butter1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Beat eggs until light in color, then add splenda and coninue beating until mixture thickens. Add dry ingredients, and then add butter and pecans. (if using) Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees F. Might check at 25 minutes, they will be soft in the center. Much better when not overcooked!!
Number of Servings: 16 servings
About 5.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1.5 grams fiber

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oscar Buzz - 'District 9'

In a year full of surprise hits without stars, "District 9" stands out as an even more unlikely box office champion than the crowd-pleasing comedy "The Hangover" or the supernatural thriller "Paranormal Activity." The low budget production (it cost an estimated $30 million) with a cast of unknowns directed by another unknown (Neill Blomkamp) bucked conventional Hollywood wisdom by proudly wearing its message on its alien sleeve and slyly combining an apartheid allegory with a good dose of action.

The result? "District 9," which boasted the guiding hand of "Lord of the Rings"' Peter Jackson as producer, cleaned up at the box office, raking in over $200 million globally. Even more impressively, the film, featuring a non-actor -- South African Sharlto Copley -- in the lead, also became one of best-reviewed releases of the year.
"That was the real surprise, the great critical reception we got," Copley, 35, said. "I'd anticipated that people would find all kinds of holes (in the plot) and problems with my performance, but I think critics overlooked a lot of things simply because it's such a fresh film."

"District 9" combines familiar commercial elements like aliens and violence with a new setting, some sharp political subtext and a character - Copley's nerdy bureaucrat Wikus -- that is unexpected in a genre piece. Copley plays a South African official in charge of relocating some 2 million extra-terrestrials from a shanty town in Johannesburg but who ends up being hunted by his own employers.
"I made the film for me, which is the only way I think you can make a film as a director," said Johannesburg-born Blomkamp. "It's the only yardstick you have, and I thought it would appeal to a small core of diehard sci-fi fans, so all the mainstream critical praise just caught me off guard."

So what chance does "District 9" have of breaking through at this year's Oscars now that the best picture category has been increased from 5 to 10 nominees?
"Everyone is very curious as to how it's going to play out," said Leonard Maltin, film critic for the TV show "Entertainment Tonight".
"It's one of the best-reviewed films of the year, and for good reason. It's one of the most original films of this, or any, year, and I think it's worthy."
Historically, the Oscars have recognized fantasy and science fiction genre films in every category but the big one, Maltin said. "So maybe this is the year."
Blomkamp, 30, said he would be shocked if it got a best picture Oscar nomination "but I think Sharlto deserves a (best actor) nomination, though I don't know how realistic that is."

I would love to see Mr Copely walk away with the 'Best Actor's' Oscar. It always humbles those monstrous Hollywood egos when a newcomer shows them how it's done; shakes up all the big stars who think their Oscar chances are golden. Hooray for innovative and original thinkers and unknown actors whose talent outshines them all.

New Book Scandal For Oprah "WTF"

Oprah Winfrey's credibility is taking another hit as another author she promoted has been accused of telling tall tales. Jeff Henderson-- penned "Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras"- appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show , in March to discuss the book and his transformation from incarcerated drug dealer to celebrity chef. But Henderson is now being sued by former fellow inmate Henry Wallace, who served time with him at terminal Island Federal prison in San Pedro, California.
In his nonfriction book, henderson describes an inmate named "Love Bug" who provided weapons to inmates, dressed like a woman and demaned sex from inmates if they didn't pay him back for cigarettes he sold them. According to documents filed with the San Diego Superior Court in California,"Wallace" is alleging that "Love Bug" was his well known alias while in prison. Henry Wallace claims the allegations in the book are false and is seeking damages from Henderson.
Oprah put Henderson on the show and made him a star and sent people out to buy his book, and now it's ruined my life says Wallace . After Henderson appeared , the sales of his book went through the roof, and in the process it's destroyed my relationship with my grandchildren , my ex-wife and the community I'm involved with now. I never did the things Henderson claims in his book, but because of his appearance on OPrah, He got credibility. This isn't the first time the talk-show queen has backed an author who was accused of fibbing. Oprah had a nasty public battle with author James Frey in 2006 after learning that key details of his self-described real-life memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," were fabricated.
My take on this crap: I agree whole-heartly that Oprah has lost most of her credibility...a lot of women took her word as gossip and when she told them to jump...they asked how I have stated before, 25-years is a long time to be on top, so move over Oprah your time as come white you are on top, or should I say in the middle. A true lady would know how to step aside graceful. Stay tuned: the saga continues.
Kicking back and having fun

"Now You Know"

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has found love with the buff owner of a gay bar--pals say the couple is moving in together. The award winning newsman,42, has been quietly seeing 36-year-old New Yorker Ben Maisani for the last eight (8) months, and now they are hiouse hunting, says a source.
Anderson has found his "Mr. Right" in Ben. Their relationship is so solid they want to move in together, and they've been looking at a Manhattan real estate, a long time friend said. The two met briefly years ago, and were reintroduced earlier this year, according to a CNN insider. The couple recently vacationed at a romantic resort in Jaipur, India--the Rambagh Palace--where their opulent $3,200 -a-night room had views of the gardens of the former Maharaja place. I've seen Anderson have crushes before, but he's been telling pals that this is the real thing, said the CNN source. He plans to sell his condo and move in with Ben. They looked at an old firehouse in Greenwich Village that Cooper wated to convert into a residence. While he's widely considered one of TV's sexiest newsmen, prematurely gray Cooper has long been the source of gay speculation. With Ben's love and support, he may finally come out of the closet, the friend said.
Anderson firmly believes that media members should keep their personal lives private, but for years he's dropped hints that he's gay, the source said. Now that cooper is with Ben--who is certainly not shy about his sexuality--Anderson is seriously considering publicly acknwledging his sexuality.
Ben co-owns a raunchy gay bar. "The Eastern Bloc', and while he's in fantastic shape, he's also an intellectual who was the valedictorian of his Hunter College graduating class in 2000, the source said. The two share a love for horror movies, gpood wine and photography, friends say.
Anderson and Ben do everything together, they bike and work out at the gym. They also like to have intimate dinners alone and with friends. Neanwhile the relationship has delighted their friends. Anderson says Ben is the first guy who he can see sharing his life with. The source added: Up until now, Anderson has refused to comment on his sexuality. He wanted to be a serious newscaster--not "the gay newscaster." But Anderson cares so much about Ben that he's ready to change his attitude.
My take on this: It's so nice to see a public figure that wants to keep his personal life private, yes their is a lot of people that wondered because there was never a woman in the picture, your fans wish you and Ben the best..but hey that's just me......"That's what true love will do for you." To be continued:
Kicking back and having fun:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Future Has Arrived

Are you too old to drive this car?

Introducing the new Mercedes SCL600


So what's different about this car?

Not this.

Or even this

Whoa! It's this. No steering wheel.

No pedals either

You drive this car with a joystick. Do you think you can drive with a joystick???
Your kids and grandkids could. The impact of video games has finally arrived,wouldn't you say?
We knew they would influence the world somehow. But the scariest thought is that your five year old grandson could steal your car and drive it better than you...HA!

The Profound Philosophy of Canadian Men

Two men are fishing quietly and consuming a few beers.
They contemplate the beauty of a northern spring morning.
In a hushed voice, so as not to scare the fish, Bob says, "I think I'm gonna divorce my wife. She hasn't spoken to me in over 2 months."

Earl continues slowly ,thoughtfully sipping his beer then says softly, "You better give that some more thought, Bob. Women like that are hard to find."

Iran Rebuked by UN over Nuclear Cover-up

Iran's second uranium enrichment facility came to light in September. The UN nuclear watchdog's governing body has passed a resolution condemning Iran for developing a uranium enrichment site in secret. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also demanded that Iran freeze the project immediately. The resolution, the first against Iran in nearly four years, was passed by a 25-3 margin with six abstentions. Iran called the move "useless" but the US said it showed time was running out for Iran to address key issues. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy purposes, but the US says it is seeking nuclear weapons.

In September, it emerged that as well as its uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran had a second such facility near the town of Qom. The revelation deepened Western fears about the country's nuclear ambitions. The IAEA resolution was passed with rare Russian and Chinese backing. Only Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia voted against it. It called on Iran to reveal the purpose of the second plant and confirm that it is not building any other undeclared nuclear facilities. After the resolution, the US said Iran needed to address "the growing international deficit of confidence in its intentions".
"Our patience and that of the international community is limited, and time is running out," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
"If Iran refuses to meet its obligations, then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation and the consequences."

Speaking at a Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that sanctions were the next step if Iran did not respond to what was "a very clear vote". Russia's Foreign Ministry urged Iran to react "with full seriousness" to the resolution.


This resolution is a sign of Iran's growing isolation. It is the first at the IAEA since 2006. Crucially it secured the support of Russia and China. That makes it more likely they will vote for new sanctions on Iran when debate is stepped up in the new year, though there are still some tough negotiations ahead. It seems that Iran's hesitation over a new fuel deal for its Tehran research reactor and its reluctance to engage in more constructive talks has infuriated even those countries which have protected it in the past.

On Thursday IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, who has always pressed for a compromise solution, expressed his frustration in dealing with Iran. In response, Iran has threatened to reduce its co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog, but not to break off ties completely. The real trouble for Tehran is that the Iranian government now seems to be in too much internal turmoil to make clear decisions and follow them through. And Iran's ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said it was a "hasty and undue" step that would jeopardize the chances of success in negotiations.
"The great nation of Iran will never bow to pressure and intimidation vis-a-vis its inalienable right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy," he said.

The resolution came a day after the outgoing head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, expressed frustration at Iran's refusal to accept an international proposal to end the dispute over its nuclear programme.
The plan envisages Iran's low-enriched uranium being shipped overseas for processing into fuel. This is seen as a way for Iran to get the fuel it wants, while giving guarantees to the West that it will not be used for nuclear weapons.

And so the planet is in danger of being destroyed once again. Bad enough that we're destroying it with greenhouse gases, garbage, acid rain, decimating forests and habitats. Now we have another megalomaniacal little country building weapons of mass destruction and holding us to ransom. One way or another we're going down.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Optical illusion

If you stare at the pattern it will move even though it is not animated.

Michelle Tells Oprah "You Are Not Welcome In The White House"

Distraught Oprah Winfrey is telling pals her 'thank you' for helping Barack Obama win the presidency has been a knife in the back . A jealous first lady has frozen the talk show queen out of the White House inner circle, say insiders, Oprah is devastated, revealed a friend. Oprah had no idea the that Michelle was so jealous about the influence she had on Barack. Michelle hated the way her husband would huddle with Oprah over strategy and jump when she called. The jealousy and anger was eating Michelle up. During the campaign, Michelle vowed Oprah would not be part of the new administration.

Oprah had visions of being a close adviser to the president and a regular visitor to the White House. Oprah was actually planning to decorate the famous Lincoln bedroom, which is reserved for special guests of the first family.But in the first 10 months of the Obama administration, Oprah has visited the White House only twice, and one was a business meeting to do an interview with Michelle for "O" magazine. That was a disaster, Oprah arrived with her friend Gayle King, but was shocked to find Michelle cold and distant. Worse, Michelle all but ignored Oprah and directed her attention to Gayle. It was as though Oprah wasn't there.
The meeting got off to a bad start when Oprah, 55, greeted Michelle. The TV host leaned in to kiss her cheek, but the first lady stepped back and extended her hand instead. Then Michelle,45, seemed to ignore a question about the Obama children, instead taking a question from an aide and then returning only to chat with Gayle again--ignoring or forgetting Oprah's question. By the end of the day Oprah felt roundly snubbed.

Since then, Oprah has tried again and again to mend the rift, said the friend. But she's had no luck. Michelle has made it clear she is no longer interested in being friends with Oprah and is going to block her access to the president. Oprah has sent numerous messages to the first lady which were not returned . Oprah has sent little presents and messages of friendship, but nothing has moved the first lady. Michelle has even gone so far as to tell Oprah that she's not welcome in the White House. Michelle apparently was not even moved by a "TIME" magazine article Oprah wrote in which she called the first lady a "phenomenal woman."

Ironically, since putting her reputation on the line by campaigning for Obama , Oprah has seen her own popularity drop by 2o percent, according to a poll. Oprah heard recently that the president had questioned Michelle over her absence, revealed a friend. Michelle brushed it off and Barack pointedly said, if there is a problem, please sort it out. Michelle just smiled and changed the subject. Oprah also heard that the president decided to take matters into his own hands and ordered aides to invite Oprah to accompany them to copenhagen for a metting of the Olympic Comittee, and he instructed that Michell and Oprah be seated together. Both women put on hapy faces--but Oprah was still unable to break the ice. Oprah is shocked and upset. She sees it as a terrible, cruel betrayal.
My take on this: Oprah, you of all people should have known better and seen how jealous Michelle is. You live in Chicago along with the Obamas and it was a known fact how jealous she was. If Michelle didn't get her way Obama slept on the couch. If it got too bad he bunked with friends at their homes. Everyone knows Oprah is the reason a lot of women voted for Obama. Her fans trust her . Now Michelle, a word to the wise; you are your man's's a 50/50 deal . My advice , Michelle, don't air your dirty linen in public. The whole world is waiting for you to fall on your face . Jealousy can be a downfall and we are beginng to see you are unsure of yourself and your role in politics has started to suck big time. Stay tuned: The saga continues
Kicking back and having fun


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Irish Catholic Church Apologizes for Abuse by Priests

Cardinal Brady said children's welfare is now a priority:

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has said he is deeply sorry and ashamed about the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests. Cardinal Sean Brady also apologised for the way the Church covered up the abuse, which happened in Dublin. He spoke after an Irish government report revealed abuse over decades, a systematic cover-up by the Church, and a lack of action by the Irish police.

The Church put its own reputation ahead of the welfare of children. The Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin covered a period from 1975 to 2004. Some offending priests were shifted from parish to parish, leaving them free to abuse again. Cardinal Brady apologised to the victims and their families.
"I am deeply sorry and I am ashamed," he said.

The report also said that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the Church to operate outside the law. Cardinal Brady extended his apology to all the people of Ireland for the lack of action by the Church.
"No-one is above the law in this country.
"Every Catholic should comply fully with their obligations to the civil law and co-operate in the reporting and investigation of any crime."He said children's welfare was now a priority for the Church. (What? It wasn't before??)

The Irish government also immediately apologised.
Victim Marie Collins said, "This is the end of a very long road"
"Whatever the historical and societal reasons for this, the government... apologises, without reservation or equivocation, for failures by the agencies of the state in dealing with this issue," a government statement said.

The report investigated how Church and state authorities handled allegations of child abuse against 46 priests made by 320 children. Eleven priests were convicted of sexual assaults on children. Irish Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern vowed to bring those who had carried out the abuse to justice, regardless of the amount of time that had passed.
Cardinal Brady's words were echoed by the current Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who said he offered "to each and every survivor, my apology, my sorrow and my shame for what happened to them".

Four archbishops turned a blind eye to child abuse:
The report found that four archbishops - John Charles McQuaid who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell - did not hand over information on abusers. The report states that senior members of the police regarded priests as being outside their authority and it claims some police officers reported abuse complaints to Church authorities instead of carrying out their own investigation.
The commissioner of the Irish police, Fachtna Murphy, apologised for the police failure to protect victims. The Commission said all complaints of clerical child sexual abuse are now reported to police.

Notice everyone involved is so apologetic and humble now that the Commission of Investigation has dug up a lot of dirt. The church and the police have always had records of these accusations. I wonder why Cardinal Brady never spoke up before about the church cover-up and his deep shame. Perhaps he thought it was better to let sleeping dogs lie. But once it was outed, very publicly, it was best to react with horror and deep regret, putting children's welfare first...Jeez Louise.

Disney Debuts First Black Princess

The new Disney fairy tale movie, " The Princess and the Frog" has a familiar storyline. (Girl kisses frog. Weird stuff happens.) But the look is new: The debut of Disney's first African American princess. Ever. The animated musical opens this week in New York and Los Angeles (and everywhere next month) and already Web searches on Yahoo! have grown over 100% in the last 30 days.

The story is set in Jazz Age New Orleans, with this princess-in-the-rough working as a waitress. She is only royal in her mind, and dreams of opening a restaurant in the French Quarter. Check out the preview.
Aside from breaking a race barrier (Disney's own), the animated flick is a throw-back to another era: The movie is hand-drawn, with zydeco-style songs by Randy Newman and stars Broadway singer Anika Noni Rose as the princess, Tiana, and queen of daytime Oprah Winfrey as the voice of her mom. And, of course, there are the toys. NPR reports that Tiana toys are already extremely popular with the kids. A new cash cow for Disney, perhaps?

Early reviews are positive. Time magazine calls the holiday offering a "start-to-finish delight." Entertainment Weekly glows that the G-rated movie is "a fresh twist on the classic fairy tale." notes that while the cartoon is a visual feast, it serves up little along the theme of race or class. However, images might speak stronger than words in this case. As Filmcritic puts it, "If they're not careful, 'like a Disney movie' might once again cease to be a pejorative phrase."

I still love Disney. They have made other animated features with non white stars : Aladdin and Pochontas come to mind. Personally, I don't think they have consciously had a racial barrier. They just selected stories that adapted well to animation to fantasy and magic and happy endings. I'm sure they embraced this story with the same enthusiasim as all the others. I can't wait to see it with my grandkids.

The Princess and the Frog

Website Wikileaks Publishes '9/11 Messages

The messages were said to be sent on 11 September 2001
A website has published what it says are 573,000 intercepted pager messages sent during the 9/11 attacks. Wikileaks says it will not reveal who gave it the messages - some of which are from federal agencies as well as ordinary citizens. Internet analysts say they believe the messages are genuine but federal authorities have refused to comment.

The attacks on 11 September 2001 left nearly 3,000 people dead. The messages are being published over a 24-hour period, ending on Thursday. They are being released simultaneously on Wikileaks and social networking site Twitter.
'Live' broadcast:
The website is broadcasting each message at the time it was sent originally in 2001. The first message was from five hours before the first attack in New York and the last 24 hours later.

The messages are not all about the attacks. Some are mundane questions about what people are having for lunch. However many are about the deadly plane attacks and range from people trying to find out if their loved ones are safe, to government messages, to computer server errors.
They include messages such as:
"This is Myrna, I will not rest until you get home, the second tower is down, I don't want to have to keep calling you after every event. Pls just go home."

"President has been rerouted won't be returning to Washington but not sure where he will go."

"Bomb detonated in World Trade Ctr. Pls get back to Mike Brady w/a quick assessment of your areas and contact us if anything is needed."

New York's fire and police departments said they could not comment on whether messages purportedly sent from them were genuine while the US Secret Service refused to comment.

Pager company USA Mobility said it was troubled by the alleged interceptions.

Wikileaks allows people to anonymously post documents on the web, saying its aim is to promote transparency. It was created in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Schmitt said the messages were submitted anonymously to the site several weeks ago.
"From the context information that the source provided we have strong reasons to believe that this is valid data."

He said the messages would help provide a fuller picture of what happened that day.The messages are part of the history of that day. They are a document of the events. It's good that they have been preserved in this way and made available to the public.

Michelle Goes Glam for First State Dinner

Looking glamorous in an elegant strapless gown by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan, Michelle Obama welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur to the White House Tuesday night and ushered in the Obama administration's first official state dinner.Though she's become known for her (sometimes controversial) high-fashion risk-taking, tonight Mrs.Obama chose a dress with a classic floor-length cut in a subdued gold fabric and paired it with a light shawl. Her makeup was kept to a minimum and her hair done in a dignified updo.
The entire ensemble seemed traditionally feminine and sophisticated, reminiscent of the first lady's more conservative predecessors.But there were a few Michelle-style flourishes, including a pair of elaborate chandelier earrings and a stack of glittering gold-and-diamond bangles piled high on her left arm. Her choice of Khan as designer is also characteristic of this first lady, who often favors little-known artisans over big names. Khan has been on the fashion scene since 2003, and has outfitted youthful celebrities such as Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Lopez. He has also dressed dignitaries like Queen Noor and designed the costumes for the 2006 movie 'Dreamgirls.
'Tonight's look may mark a sartorial departure for Mrs. Obama, a shift into more sophisticated, luxurious, and regal attire, rather than the playful, accessible, less-polished clothing she's worn thus far.It will also mean a big shift in popularity and business for Naeem Khan, who--like the first lady's favorite designer before him, Jason Wu--is more than likely about to become one of the most-searched and sought-after names in the business. Looks like your career is golden Mr. Khan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Palin Says Canada Should Dismantle Public Health-Care System - WTF?

Comedian Mary Walsh (dressed as her TV character - Delahunty) button-holed the former Alaska governor at a recent book-signing in Columbus, Ohio, only to be strong-armed away from Palin by a cabal of security guards.
The action was documented for Tuesday night's "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," but four days later, Walsh was still marvelling at her close encounter with one of the most controversial politicians on the planet.
"We told her we're from Canada, and we're just looking for a few words of encouragement for the Canadian conservatives who have worked so tirelessly to destroy the socialized medicare that we have,"(a comment meant to be satirical humor) Walsh recalled.
"Four huge big burly guys started pushing, and I pushed back, but I got her attention, and she told us to keep the faith, something like that, and said we're all trying for the same thing."

After being kicked out of the book-signing, Walsh and her crew then waited outside at a loading dock close to where Palin's bus was parked. When Palin emerged from the Borders bookstore, Walsh,(still in her TV character Delahunty )- dressed in a more toned-down version of her trademark warrior princess costume - called out to her.
"Hey, remember us, we're the Canadians! We came all the way here from Canada!" Delahunty yelled. "When we asked you that question, we didn't hear your answer."

Palin strolled over, looking down on Walsh and her crew to tell them that "Canada needs to dismantle its public health-care system (one of our basic rights) and allow private enterprise to get involved and turn a profit."
"Basically, she said government should stop doing the work that private enterprise should do," Walsh said.
In addition to those comments, Walsh said, she found it equally bizarre that no one was allowed to ask Palin any questions at the book-signing.
"It was great fun, but also very strange," Walsh recalled.
"We're in a bookstore, at a public event, in a place one would think was a bastion of free speech. And no one was allowed to ask questions. What are they afraid of?"
Needless to say Canadians don't look forward to Ms Palin possibly becoming the next president.

Thousands of Dr Seuss-like Creatures Discovered in Dark Ocean Depths

NEW ORLEANS - The creatures living in the depths of the ocean are as weird and outlandish as the creations in a Dr. Seuss book: tentacled transparent sea cucumbers, primitive "dumbos" that flap ear-like fins, and tubeworms that feed on oil deposits. A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.

"Parts of the deep sea that we assumed were homogenous are actually quite complex," said Robert S. Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher on the deep seas. Thousands of marine species eke out an existence in the ocean's pitch-black depths by feeding on the snowlike decaying matter that cascades down - even sunken whale bones. Oil and methane also are an energy source for the bottom-dwellers, the report said.
The researchers have found about 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. They hope to add several thousand more by October 2010, when the census will be done.

The scientists say they could announce that a million or more species remain unknown. They say they've found 5,722 species living in the most extreme ocean depths, waters deeper than 3,280 feet.
"The deep sea was considered a desert until not so long ago; it's quite amazing to have documented close to 20,000 forms of life in a zone that was thought to be barren," said Jesse Ausubel with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a sponsor of the census. "The deep sea is the least explored environment on earth."

More than 40 new species of coral were documented on deep-sea mountains, along with cities of brittlestars and anemone gardens. Nearly 500 new species ranging from single-celled creatures to large squid were charted in the abyssal plains and basins. Also of importance were the 170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps. Among them was a family of "yeti crabs," which have silky, hairlike filaments on the legs.

In the mid-Atlantic, researchers found 40 new species and 1,000 in all, said Odd Aksel Bergstad, an oceanographer with the University of Bergen in Norway who was reached by telephone in the Azores islands.
"It was a surprise to me to find such rich communities in the middle of the ocean," he said. "There were not even good maps for the area. Our understanding of the biodiversity there was very weak."

More than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries are working to catalogue the oceans' species. Researching the abyss has been costly and difficult because it involved deep-towed cameras, sonar and remotely operated vehicles that cost $50,000 a day to operate, Carney said. Once the census is complete, the plan is to publish three books: a popular survey of sea life, a second book with chapters for each working group and a third focusing on biodiversity.
How diverse and wonderful all the forms of life on earth are. We must protect all that we have instead of steadily destroying the environment and all within it. Every day more species become extinct. We don't even know what the long range effects of that situation are. Although we can make an educated guess through logical progression. Wake up and save our planet...Please.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jon & Kate Say "Goodbye "

Although, 'Jon and Kate plus 8 ' aired' it's final episode on Monday. Kate Gosselin admits it could have been avoided.
I feel like it was taken away from us----me and the kids , she said about the TV series that ended this week after five seasons due to the disagreement her and estranged husband Jon Gosselin..
The hour aired direct-to-camera, separate interviews with both parties. Kate called the series 'end' needless, it's useless, it's totally avoidable. This is a very bittersweet goodbye for me because the kids are already missing the show.
My take on this : Kate and Jon, you both are a couple of nut balls; you had a good thing going and you both chose to ingnore the obvious, your children. You both are such selfish idiots. Kate the network is thinking about giving you a new show this spring, if you are lucky the second time around,take it and be good to your kids, stop blaming them for what goes wrong in your life. The kids miss the show because thats the only place they were happy. Stay tuned: the saga continues.
Kicking back and keeping it real:

Man Thought to be a Vegetable - Alert in a Paralyzed Body

BRUSSELS, Belgium - For 23 torturous years, Rom Houben says he lay trapped in his paralyzed body, aware of what was going on around him but unable to tell anyone or even cry out. The car-crash victim had been diagnosed as being in a vegetative state but appears to have been conscious the whole time. An expert using a specialized type of brain scan that was not available in the 1980s finally realized it, and unlocked Houben's mind again.

The 46-year-old Houben is now communicating with one finger and a special touchscreen on his wheelchair.
"Powerlessness. Utter powerlessness. At first I was angry, then I learned to live with it," he said, punching the message into the screen during an interview with the Belgian RTBF network, aired Monday. He has called his rescue his "renaissance."
Over the years, Houben's family refused to accept the word of his doctors, firmly believing their son knew what was happening around him, and gave no thought to letting him die, said his mother, Fina. She was vindicated when the breakthrough came.
"At that moment, you think, 'Oh, my God. See, now you know.' I was always convinced," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The discovery took place three years ago but only recently came to light, after publication of a study on the misdiagnosis of people with consciousness disorders. While a 23-year error is highly unusual, the wrong diagnosis of patients with consciousness disorders is far too common, according to the study, led by Steven Laureys of Belgium's Coma Science Group. Up to 43 per cent of patients with disorders of consciousness are erroneously assigned a diagnosis of vegetative state. Patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery are sometimes allowed to die, as was done in 2005 with Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged Florida woman at the centre of the biggest right-to-die case in U.S. history. Her feeding tube was removed.

Houben was injured in an auto accident in 1983 when he was 20. Doctors said he fell into a coma at first, then went into a vegetative state. A coma is a state of unconsciousness in which the eyes are closed and the patient cannot be roused. A vegetative state is a condition in which the eyes are open and can move, and the patient has periods of sleep and periods of wakefulness, but remains unconscious and cannot reason or respond.

During Houben's two lost decades, his eyesight was poor, but the experts say he could hear doctors, nurses and visitors to his bedside, and feel the touch of a relative. He says that during that time, he heard his father had died, but he was unable to show any emotion. Over the years, Houben's skeptical mother took him to the United States five times for tests. More searching got her in touch with Laureys, who put Houben through a PET scan.
"We saw his brain was almost normal," said neuropsychologist Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, who has worked with Houben for three years.

The family and doctors then began trying to establish communication. A breakthrough came when he was able to indicate yes or no by slightly moving his foot to push a computer device placed there by Laureys' team. Then came the spelling of words using the touchscreen.
Houben's condition has since been diagnosed as a form of "locked-in syndrome," in which people are unable to speak or move but can think and reason. It was extremely difficult for him and he showed a lot of anger, which is normal since he was very frustrated. With so much to say after suffering for so long in silence, Houben has started writing a book.

"He lives from day to day," his 73-year-old mother said. "He can be funny and happy," but is also given to black humour. There is little hope that Houben's physical condition will get better, but his mother said she refuses to give up: "We continue to search and search. For 26 years already."

There is no way to make up 23 years to this poor man. His life must have been one of unimaginable torture and frustration, hearing people discuss him as if he were not there and argue over whether he should live or die. Never settle for one diagnosis. Get many opinions,and after some time has passed get re-diagnosed. New developments occur all the time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adam Lambert Over the Top Again

Taylor Swift--Michael Jackson Take Top Honors at "AMA"S"

The King of Pop is still winning awards and setting records doing it. But while Michael Jackson won a record four posthumous awards, he couldn't beat Taylor Swift for top honors. At Sunday night's American Music Awards . The nineteen year old was named the year's favorite artist, giving Jackson his only loss for the night, and giving Swift five trophies in all. "Music" has never been ultimately about competition, Taylor said as she accepted the top prize via satellite from London. To even be mentioned in a category with Michael Jackson, who we will miss, and love forever, is an "unimaginable" honor.
My take on this: Taylor Swift , the awards you receive were well deserved, you are and up and coming young star, please keep a level head: I hope all monies from Michael will go toward raising his children. Jermaine Jackson (brother) accepted Michael's awards...the brothers and beady-eyed dad are riding Michael's coat-tails for all it's worth ..A reality show named...The Jack5on's: A family Dynasty, on A&E. Stay tuned : the saga continues.
Kicking back and keeping it real.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are You Still as Cool Were You in HIgh School??

This is a pretty cool test, check it out. This test is based on how cool you were in High School--what crowd you ran with, interests, hobbies etc.; it's pretty accurate.

Click for test:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

yuk yuks

A Canadian in Shreveport...HA!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stuff You Always Never Wanted to Know About Mussolini

For whatever reason, as I wandered across the globe on my computer scanning news items this week, I noticed a number of articles related to notorious Italian families. So this has been our Italian week. The Mussolini family was another clan with a very powerful tyrannical man at it's head. Indeed, there are some parallels to the Gotti family.

The Fiat that failed to save Mussolini:

The sleek Berlinetta could not help Il Duce and his mistress escape resistance fighters who tracked them down.The Fiat that drove Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress to their deaths in 1945 has been sold in Switzerland for $107,000 (£65,000) after nearly half a century standing in a garage.
The black luxury coupe was bought by a Swiss intermediary for an unidentified American collector, said a spokesman for British auctioneer Brooks.It was on offer as lot 283 in an auction of vintage cars at Geneva's Automobile Museum.

Italy's fascist leader was executed in April 1945. The sleek black Berlinetta two-door coupe played a role in a defining moment of 20th century history. Mussolini, a notorious womaniser reputed to have fathered a string of illegitimate children, gave the Berlinetta to his lover Claretta Petacci as a present. Petacci could not drive so Mussolini had the large luxury coupe chauffeur-driven for her.

From September 1943 until 1945 Mussolini lived in Gargnano, a small town in northern Italy on Lake Garda. But on April 28 1945, with the German supported state on the verge of collapse, Mussolini and Petacci tried to flee in the Fiat coupe. They were caught by opposing partisan forces as they headed for an airstrip at Chiavenna, where an airplane was waiting to take the pair to neutral Switzerland. Partisans shot Mussolini's 16-man escort. Mussolini and Petacci were also shot dead and their mutilated bodies hung in Milan's Piazzale Loreto square, along with those of other fascist officials.

The Fiat was pushed into a lake by the resistance, who considered it a symbol of fascism. But the sleek coupe was later recovered from its watery grave and smuggled to Switzerland on a railway car under piles of hay. There is no sign of it's wartime damage in the car's interior of sumptuous red leather or on the aluminium bodywork and fastback tail. It must have been retrieved from it's watery grave fairly quickly. Since 1950 the car has remained in the family of its current Swiss owner and vendor in French-speaking Switzerland. It has only travelled 620 miles in the last forty years.

Mussolini, who ruled Italy from the early 1920s until 1943, was a keen motorist and owned a series of Alfa Romeos. The only other Mussolini car to hit the market recently was a 1935 Alfa 6C 2300, which Brooks sold for $320,000 (£195,000) three years ago.

Mussolini's museum pieces:
Visitors are drawn to Mussolini's bedroom:

Rome's newest museum has opened its doors for the first time, and the most controversial exhibit is the ornate bed used by the Italian Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. The museum is just one of the houses in Mussolini's private compound and now renovation work is starting on his vast private villa next door. Even after half a century of neglect Villa Torlonia remains a neo-classical masterpiece.

For 18 years, this leafy paradise sheltered one of the twentieth century's most brutal leaders.
The authorities in Rome say British and American troops wrecked the villa's interior when they captured the city in WWII. In one room, pin-ups painted on a wall by an American GI will be preserved in the renovation process as historic artefacts. But the biggest draw for visitors to the compound is Mussolini's ornate bed. It has also proved the most controversial.

Italy's foremost expert on fascism, Professor Emilio Gentili, deplores moves to humanize a ruthless leader whom he calls a monster.
"Mussolini was a dictator who destroyed freedom, who destroyed parliamentary government and was a great megalomaniac."

Known as Il Duce, Mussolini was a one-time journalist who created Europe's first fascist state. In the 1920s and 1930s he was praised for modernising Italy. But he murdered political opponents and inspired his ally, Hitler, to even greater crimes against humanity.

One of his sons, Romano Mussolini, retraces the carefree years he spent there as a child under the watchful eye of a dictator who stopped at nothing.
"I have happy memories of living in the house", he recalls.
"I loved my father. He always had lunch with me and my brothers and sisters in the dining room every day. I'm pleased the villa is going to be restored because the building is a work of art in itself."
But for other Italians, it's a history project that has awakened ghosts they would prefer to forget.

Mussolini's 'brain and blood for sale on internet':

The granddaughter of Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has said that blood and parts of his brain have been stolen to sell on the internet. Alessandra Mussolini, a former showgirl turned MP, said she immediately informed the police when she found out. The listing, on auction site Ebay, reportedly showed images of a wooden container and ampoules of blood. Ebay, which does not allow the sale of human matter on its site, said that the listing was removed within hours.
The initial price requested for the material was 15,000 euros ($22,000; £13,000).

"This is very serious, these are the kinds of things we have to guard against," said Ms Mussolini, who was attending a seminar on internet crime when the listing was discovered. The BBC's Mark Duff, in Milan, says that Alessandra Mussolini is a colourful character in her own right who has remained doggedly faithful to her grandfather's political legacy. Ms Mussolini said that the remains were stolen from Milan's Policlinico hospital.

After Benito Mussolini was killed in 1945 his body was put on public display in a Milan square. It was then taken to the hospital for an autopsy. However, doctors at the hospital denied any remains of the former Italian leader were kept at the premises, saying they were destroyed in the years that followed.
A spokesperson for Ebay said that the listing violated its own regulations and was promptly taken down.
"It was removed before 11am, a few hours after it was put online and before anyone had made any bids," said spokesperson Irina Pavlova.

The world sure has it's share of ghouls and weirdos. They pop out of the woodwork every damn time a brain goes up for sale.

Christmas Yuk Yuks

20 Year Anniversary of Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ceremonies are taking place around the world to mark the 20th anniversary of a landmark agreement protecting children.
The UN says the Convention on the Rights of the Child has transformed the way children are treated. But it says a billion children in the world still go without food, shelter or healthcare and that millions are facing lives of poverty and abuse.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), signed in 1989, guarantees children the right to life, to education, the right to play and to be protected from abuse. It has the widest international support of any human rights treaty - ratified by 193 countries, with only the US and Somalia yet to give their backing.

The UN says the achievements of the convention have been "remarkable" - 30% more children live beyond the age of five and more than 80% of children now attend primary school.
Elizabeth Gibbons, deputy director of the UN children's agency Unicef, said the impact of the convention on children's lives was clear.
"Yes, there are many problems not resolved, but now children matter, they matter to society, they matter to the media, they matter to politicians."

But the UN says 24,000 children under the age of five still die every day from preventable disease and illness and that governments must not cut back on provision for children in times of financial hardship. On the eve of the anniversary, British charity Everychild said increasing numbers of children were growing up with no parents or separated from their families.
The charity said Russia and other former Soviet countries were of particular concern, with more than a million children living in institutions, many of them with at least one parent still alive but too poor to care for them.

Everychild warned that other countries were in danger of following the same path by focusing on building orphanages rather than trying to keep families together. I can't believe the scope of some of the statistics. A billion children go without food, shelter or healthcare. Millions live with poverty and abuse.
Twenty four thousand kids under five die every day from preventable diseases. More than a million Russian children live in orphanages.
How can we , in good conscience, go about our affluent lives, sit on our fat asses and not do something meaningful. Why don't we all go for 24 hours without food and send the money we save to UNICEF, an organization that feeds children and gets them medical care?? Finally, why hasn't the USA backed the Convention on the Rights of the Child???

Thursday, November 19, 2009

People Murdered For Their Fat in Peru

'Fat for cosmetics' murder suspects arrested in Peru :

Some of the suspects were carrying bottles of fat when arrested. Four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissue for cosmetic uses in Europe. The gang allegedly targeted people on remote roads, luring them with fake job offers before extracting their fat to sell it for $15,000 (£9,000) a litre. Other suspected gang members, including two Italian nationals, remain at large.

Police said the gang could be behind the disappearances of up to 60 people in the region. At a news conference in the capital, police showed reporters two bottles containing human body fat and images of one of the victims. One of the alleged killings is reported to have taken place in mid-September, with the person's body tissue removed for sale.

Cmdr Angel Toledo told Reuters some of the suspects had " stated how they murdered people, extracting their fat in rudimentary labs to sell it".
Police said they suspect the fat was sold to cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies in Europe, but have not confirmed any such connection. Gen Felix Burga, head of Peru's police criminal division, said there were indications that "an international network trafficking human fat" was operating from Peru.

The first person was arrested earlier this month in a bus station in Lima, carrying a shipment of the fat. The Associated Press news agency quoted Col Jorge Mejia as saying one of the suspects had described to police in detail how the victims were killed and the methods used for removing and preparing their fat for transport. The suspect said the fat was then sold to intermediaries in Lima and that the gang's leader, Hilario Cudena, had been carrying out such murders for decades.

The alleged buyers of the fat are also being hunted by police. The gang has been referred to as the Pishtacos, after an ancient Peruvian legend of killers who attacked people on lonely roads and murdered them for their fat. I wonder what the ancient Peruvians used the fat for. Scratch that; I don't even want to go there.

yuk yuks

Janet Jackson on Dr. Murray:" He is Responsible"

Janet Jackson holds Dr. conrad Murray responsible for her brother Michael's death, and says in a rare interview that a day doesn't go by that she don't think about her Michael. She told ABC's Robin Roberts that Murray should be barred from practicing medicine. Murray was the one administering the drugs.--Janey said: " I think he is responsible.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles are weighing charges against Murray in the 'Pop' singer's death. Murray told police he administered a powerful anesthetic to the singer shortly before he died June 25th.A spokewoman for the doctor, Miranda Sevcik, said monday that Murray continues to maintain he neither prescribed or administered anything to Jackson that should have killed him.Janet has remained relatively quet since her brother's passing. In the interview , she describes how she was at her home in New York, when she her assistant called to say Michael had been taken to the hospital and she grew concerned when she wasn't getting any calls back. Janet says it just doesn't ring true to me, it feels like a dream I'm waiting to wake up from, it's still so hard to believe. It's been a tough year,you have your days where it's just really hard to believe.
My take on this: It's hard to believe you can putt your life in a doctor's hand and he will sell out to the highest bidder...Okay...Los Angeles police , keep Murray's feet to the fire, sooner or later Murray will squeal like a pig going to slaughter. There is more involved...keep digging.Stay tuned: The Jackson saga continues.
Kicking back and keeping it real;

Janet Jackson's Interview With Robin Roberts

ABC's Robin Roberts , says Janet jackson opens up about her late brother Michael Jackson's death and how the family tried to help the "King of Pop" through his drug addiction. Janet says, of course that's the things you do when you love someone.You can't let them continue on that way, we tried , but we wasn't very successful, janet tells Roberts about trying interventions with Michael.
The singer also discuss her relationships, as well as how work was her savior after her brother died.
Roberts:.... Did Michael understand why his family would intervene?
Janet:........How do I say this? Understanding , I guess that would be the best way to say it, you have to understand it was done out of love because we cared. But when it's something like that, people can tend to be in denial.
Roberts:.....Was Michael in denial?
Janet:.........I wish he could answer this question for you and not me, I felt he was in denial.
Roberts:......Did you know ultimately Michael would have to help himself?
Janet:.........You can't make them drink the water, you can only offer the help with love and understanding. I'm a true believer in prayer...but it's something you can't do for them, something they have to do for themselves.
Janet says she believes Dr. Conrad Murray should be held responsible for her brother's death, he was the one administering the drugs.
My take on this: There is more than Dr. Murray involved in Michael's death, Murray couldn't carry that out alone, why should he, Murray had the most to lose, the good doctor was being paid $150,000 a month...damn good pocket change. Murray had help, they should look closer to home . There's something fishy in Denmark. To be continued: the saga continues.
Kicking back and keeping it real:

Au Lit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

National Disturbed People's Day - Again



I don't care if you lick windows,

Carry a 'blanky',
Suck your thumb,
Talk to the little man who lives in your pocket,
Take the special bus,
Or occaisionally pee on yourself.
You hang in there Sunshine; you're friggin special.

I see you have been hard at work during craft hour in the rec room. Very creative.

(Click to enlarge)