Archive for May 2009

Bits & Pieces, Odds & Ends Version6.0

May 29, 2009

Gasoline prices are marching upward again….

The North Koreans are threatening to unleash the nuclear genie….

The automakers are still reeling….

And the media desperately continues to scare us with Swine Flu horror stories about a disease that’s about as mild as a bad head cold…

So how does this blog respond to all of that?

We ignore it all, and look at the wackier side of life in this installment of:

SMILE  AND  THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON….

Thanks to Osama Bin Laden and his ilk—we can now look forward to having our crappy driver’s license photos look even worse…

Seems that states around the country are prohibiting smiling for picture that’ll go on your license..

The reason—facial recognition software.

Seems the smile wrecks the software’s ability to recognize photos already in the data-base of known faces.

So, smile at the risk of national security.

If you do, EYE guess law enforcement won’t be able to tell if you’re just a speeder, or someone who wants to destroy all American infidels.

GETTING YOUR GOAT #1

A tiny, little turtle is getting the goat of the Maryland State Highway Administration—literally.

Seems a highway bypass project has to go around the habitat of the endangered Bog Turtle.

That’s the easy part.

As you can read here, the hard part is trying to figure out how to remove weeds and brush in the habitat without using chemicals or techniques that might harm the little reptiles.

Enter the goats.

As the video below shows—they’re pretty good at clearing the land–while letting the turtles live in their bog.

GETTING YOUR GOAT #2

Goat herds may be good for Maryland Highway officials—but not for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Seems a family outside the city proper had a herd of 15 goats, two horses, a llama and an emu.

As you can read here, neighbors complained about the smell and noise of the animals—so,  the city slickers on the board of supervisors came up with a solution.

They said the family could ONLY keep 10 goats, two horses, a llama and an emu.

Apparently, 10 goats don’t make as much noise or smell as bad as 15 goats.

EYE never knew that.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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We Must Never Forget Them…

May 26, 2009

As we pass another Memorial Day, we continue to have troops engaged in active military operations in several countries.

Some will never return from the field of battle.

In their memory, we present this clip, because we can never forget them and the scores who followed before them…

~~~~

That masterful piece of storytelling is the work of Emmy-award winning reporter Boyd Huppert, with KARE TV 11 in Minneapolis.

It’s part of a series he does called Land Of 10,000 Stories…

You can see more of Boyd’s work here.

~~~~

Artist Kaziah Hancock is part of something called Project Compassion, which involves 4 other artists doing the same thing.

You can learn more about their efforts by clicking this link here.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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Eat Up…..

May 21, 2009

A number of fast food places have tried to dispel the nation that fast food is bad by coming up with a variation on the slogan:  It’s not fast food—its good food fast…

But many still regard fast food as bad food…and there are continuing attempts to warn us that we are what we eat…

Here’s a couple of the most recent examples:

DRIVEN TO OVER EAT….

Saying that it’s worried that over half the adults in its state are obese—the Massachusetts Public Health Council got a law enacted requiring restaurant chains with 20 or more in-state locations to post calorie counts next to each item on their menus or menu boards— including all items sold  at the drive-up window as you can read here.

Apparently, figures show 65% of ALL fast food purchases occur at the drive-up window..

Do you think a little calorie sign next to those burgers and fries is going to thin-up those hungry hoards who are too fat to get out of their cars to when ordering their fast food?

EYE think not…

Maybe they ought to require folks get out of their cars and WALK to the fast food place to get their grub.

At least they’d burn off more calories than if they drove up to the take-out window.

THAT’S A BIG ORDER…

Daly City is a small community South of San Francisco with about 10,000 residents….

Although small, students at the local high school are trying to make a big decision… They have decided they don’t want any more  fast food joints in their town.

As you can read here, 900 Jefferson High students presented the town council with a petition asking it  for a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in town.

They say there’s already too many unhealthy places to eat in Daly City..

And they aren’t stopping at local  fast food restaurants either.

They say their next project is to “fix the food in their cafeteria.”

Considering the “mystery meat” and other inedible concoctions that EYE remember from my high school cafeteria days—the Daly City kids could be on to something.


PSST..WANNA BUY SOME STONE GROUND OATS?

One of the fastest breakfasts on the planet is a bowl of cereal…

Some, like the high-sugar kiddy stuff are defiantly in the category of “junk food”…

But would you call a breakfast cereal a DRUG?

Well, that some are calling Cheerios.

As it says here, because the cereal box cites a clinical study which reads “eating two servings a day of  Cheerios helps to reduce bad cholesterol — when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol” the FDA figures that makes Cheerios a drug.

Cheerios maker says the FDA  approved the health claims 12 years ago—but is now upset about how the information is presented on the box…

It’s enough to give you a headache..

Hey— could EYE take a Cheerio for that instead of an aspirin?

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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The Day The Gas Ran Out….

May 15, 2009

Former president Jimmy Carter sat before Congress recently complaining that things haven’t changed much since he was president with regard to dependence on oil.

And he warned the problems we faced back then when the gas ran out are bound to happen again.

The gas stopped flowing late in 1973, when the oil producing countries of the Middle East decided to teach the world a lesson..

On October 17, 1973 OPEC, the oil cartel voted to stop shipping petroleum to countries that were supporting Israel in a war with two of its Arab neighbors.

That conflict began when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kipper.

The effect of the embargo was swift and dramatic.

Gas prices jumped from about 25 cents a gallon to nearly a dollar—if you could get gas.

Service stations ran out of fuel.

People waited in lines for two or three hours to buy gas—which service station operators voluntarily rationed to stretch their supply as much as possible.

A nationwide speed limit of 55mph was imposed to save fuel—and the Department of Energy was formed to create a cohesive energy policy…

On March 17, 1974 OPEC voted to end the embargo—but the United States was wary–and was looking at conservation….

In 1977, in a speech that was rife with conservation symbolism, newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter sat next to a lit fireplace, in a sweater—talking about creating a long range energy policy for our country.

But in 1979—the gas ran out AGAIN.

This time the precipitating cause was the Ayatollah Khomenini’s Iranian revolution that forced the dictatorial Shah of Iran from the country.

Once again— shortages created gas lines…

Service stations shut down several days a week—and gas was available either on odd or even days—depending on the whether the last number of your license plate was odd or even..

The situation got so bad—the government printed gas rationing coupons—but they were never issued…

People lowered heating thermostats to 65 degrees—and tried other ways to conserve petroleum…

Eventually the shortages abated..

Now, more than 30 years later, many of the initiatives proposed in the 70’s under Jimmy Carter have gone unheeded.

Had we worked toward energy independence THEN— we might not be in the situation we’re in now.

After a brief respite—gas prices are on the march upward again. And as they burn more and more of our disposable income, are we going to let another 30 years slide by before we do anything— or are we going to demand our leaders begin crash programs now to help mitigate our energy problems today?

The choice is yours.

Don’t let them fuel us again.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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Bits & Pieces, Odds & Ends Version5.0

May 13, 2009

There’s always something happening that frosts my cupcakes—and when EYE get enough cupcakes sitting on my mental counter-top it’s time to serve them to you in :

IT GIVES ME FEVER….

After several weeks of Swine Flu coverage—we may be on the verge of learning the real truth about the way this strange genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus came about.

As you might recall scientists said it contained a here-to-for unseen combination Swine, Bird and Human flu…

A couple of weeks back, we speculated in this post the virus might have been artificially created.

Now as you can read here the researcher who helped create the anti-viral medicine TAMIFLU believes the H1N1 virus was a HUMAN creation that accidentally escaped a research lab.

Adrian Gibbs bases his conclusion on H1N1’s genetic blueprint, and says so in a report.

The World health Organization is investigating his claims while some are trying to pooh-pooh Gibb’s allegation.

But with four decades of studying the evolution of germs, my money’s on Gibbs.

GENERATING A CONTROVERSY…

First they told us we were running out of oil—but not to worry because we had plenty of coal that we could use to generate power..

Now, these two studies by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington claim we’ve overestimated the amount of coal we have available—and that we’ll hit peak production of it by 2025..

So, that pretty much gives us about 15 years to come up with workable, available alternative energy sources.

Can we beat the clock—or will we wait till 2024 before we do something?

IF x2=y>4 YOU MUST BE A THIEF….

The latest piece of Big Brother technology comes in the form of mathematical algorithms that check out surveillance video to figure out if you’re a shoplifter.

The BIG Y supermarket chain in Massachusetts has installed a system in its 57 stores that takes video camera feeds and runs them through a mathematical formula

As you can read here, the algorithms then decide if the store’s cashiers are engaging in an activity known as “sweethearting” where-by cashiers don’t ring up items as they work the check-out line.

If the system detects a problem, it alerts store security and then shows them the suspected video clip.

Stoplift, the company that invented the system claims on its website that it’s an accurate detector of employee theft.

But, knowing that math errors do occur in computer code, EYE would be a little worried about getting accused by a line of code that might corrupted.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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The Road Less Traveled…

May 7, 2009

While the American  automotive industry begs for bailout cash and threatens us with dark tales of bankruptcy and economic turmoil—-


—-there are folks out there who are trying to innovate and improve the automotive industry…

Check ’em out….

SHOWING ‘EM THE DOOR….

A California based company has come up with a concept that’ll make any car cool—while getting rid of the standard door.

Jatech uses what it calls a rotary drop door to allow easier access into and out of any automobile.

It turns your ride into an elegant coach.

As you can see in this video— the door just disappears under the car—sliding away in a matter of seconds.

As the company’s website shows, the disappearing door can be outfitted any ANY kind of vehicle—and has the approval of major automakers.

THIS CAR’S SWEET….

How’d you like to have a car that’s not only Biodegradable—but runs on Chocolate?

Well, a team of British researchers from the University of Warwick have developed just such a vehicle.

World First Racing’s Formula 3 race car runs on Bio-diesel that’s made from vegetable oils and waste from chocolate  factories.

Not only that—but the major components  of this little beauty are made from various organic substances.

  • * The steering wheel  is constructed from carrot fibers
  • * The foam in the seats is from soybeans
  • * The rear view mirrors and body panels are made from potato starch
  • * The brake pads are made from cashew shells.

95% of the vehicle is Biodegradable, as you can read on World First Racing’s website here.

Researchers think that’s the way to go with ALL cars in the future.

Of course, with all those parts made from food, EYE suppose you could always serve your old car for dinner instead of trading it in for a new model.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO DO THIS…..

With the government moving closer and closer to taking over the U.S. auto industry, we really ought o give this some thought.

The following video gives us a taste of what could happen if the folks who brought you FEMA decide they’ll start selling us cars too.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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It’s A Crime They’re So Stupid….

May 4, 2009

Being a cop’s not always an easy job—but it does have its moments…

Especially when the bad guy is dumb enough  to do your work for you.

And that’s the case with these folks.. Dumb as a box of rocks—and just waiting to taken for ‘Granite’…

HE’S GOT A TICKET TO RIDE (TO JAIL)…

If you’re on probation—-it’s a good idea not do do anything that might make your parole officer suspicious. And that would include showing up at his office in a stolen car when you are on probation for a car theft rap.

But that’s exactly what one criminal master-mind did.

It was pretty easy for the cops to figure out the vehicle had been stolen because this Tampa, Florida guy shows up in a car with Washington State plates that has the ignition column  punched out and a screwdriver shoved in the side of  the steering column being used as an ignition key.

SHE WAS IN A REAL (DOOR) JAM…

Here’s an audio tape from a 9-1-1 call where a woman needs the police to help with  her locked automobile.

Listen carefully as the dispatcher figures out what’s wrong almost instantly—and tries to suppress a giggle  as she explains how to remedy the situation…

HIS EXCUSE KINDA BOMBED…

Jamiel Williams was supposed to report for a court-ordered drug test, in Lawrence, Massachusetts but was a afraid he was going to fail the test.

So, how best to avoid it?

Well — how about planting a fake bomb on the steps of the courthouse?

Part one of the plan worked perfectly.

The building was closed for hours.

Part two of the plan wasn’t so good.

You see, Jamiel left a handwritten note with his fake bomb, and his note also contained his fingerprints so the c0ps had TWO ways to tie him to the device.

On the plus side, Jamiel won’t have to take any drug tests in jail…

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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