Archive for the ‘modern life’ category

Random Thoughts…

June 3, 2009

There’s a lot of stuff rattling around in my brain—random thoughts about this and that…

So, as the late comedian George Carlin used to say—here’s a few of my brain droppings.


The disappearance of Air France flight #447 over the Atlantic has unleashed a huge amount of speculation from the media— more than usual perhaps because the plane was lost over a desolate section of Ocean with no aural communication from the crew.

One of the early—and oft reported pieces of speculation was that “lightning brought down” the huge jet.

Trouble with that “theory’’  is that it can be disproved with the click or two of a computer key, and the blabbering no-nothings of the media did not a seconds research before spewing out useless garbage.

All the speculating newsies had to do was a quick Google search for “aircraft & lightning” they would have found a tons of information about how planes are designed to withstand lightning strikes…

They’d find stats showing dozens of aircraft are struck every month by lightning world-wide.

Do the genius brains in newsrooms need more proof?

A few more keystrokes  would have revealed this video of Qantas Jet struck while in mid air:

OR this video of a jumbo jet getting struck just after takeoff…

There are several other videos on line, including a small, private plane getting zapped by lightning and shots from inside the cabin of an aircraft of a lightning strike.

It’s not necessary to post ‘em all—you get the point.


Back in April, Actress Demi Moore got all kinds of headline coverage when a San Jose, California woman sent her an on-line suicide threat via Twitter.

Her followers saw the threat and called the local police who interrupted the woman’s suicide attempt.

Although Moore didn’t save the life, she got the credit…

Now— a city councilor in Atlanta, Georgia has used the Twitter to save someone right in front of him.

As you can read here, Councilman Kwanza Hall spotted a woman having a seizure on a street corner.

He decided to Tweet for help because his cell phone battery was low, and he feared he wouldn’t have enough juice to stay on the line with the local 9-1-1 center.

His text: “Need a paramedic on corner of John Wesley Dobbs and Jackson st. Woman on the ground unconscious. Pls ReTweet

That message was picked up by his followers—and with-in seconds—an ambulance was dispatched, arriving in time to save the woman’s life.

EYE betcha she’s “singing” the praises of Twitter today.


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:


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.


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.


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?


My Zimbio

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Pigging Out On The Swine Flu….

April 29, 2009

Like a toddler in a playpen grasping at the most shiny object that captures its attention, the media has glommed on to the Swine Flu story as the most desirable object at the moment and is engaged in frenzied, saturation coverage…

Before you run in fear at the sight of a pig, someone sniffling—or go hide under the covers till all this passes—you may want to know—some of us have heard all this before.

It was back in 1976—and a soldier at Fort Dix told his drill instructor he wasn’t feeling well.

With-in the day, 19-year-old Army Private David Lewis died.  The government identified the culprit as a “Swine Flu”—and predicted a horrifying epidemic…

It recommended mass inoculations—and along with the the frenetic news reports predicting dire consequences—-the government created a massive public relations campaign aimed at selling the fear of Swine Flu death.

The funny thing was— the supposed epidemic never materialized and  the only one person who ever succumbed to the  Swine Flu back then was Private Lewis.

Although just one person died from the Swine Flu, records indicate hundreds died from talking the shots that were created to protect people from the virus.

As you can read here there were a lot of political pressures and other factors involved in creating the turmoil about the ’76 Swine Flu epidemic.


Although it’s been over 3 decades since the Swine Flu was first discovered at Fort Dix— researchers have never been able to figure out HOW it originated there.

And that’s the funny thing about this latest outbreak of Swine Flu.

All the experts say they can’t figure out WHY it started in Mexico.

These viruses usually take root in Asia, and work their way around the world.

There’s no known reason for it to begin in Mexico.

THE  “B”  WORD…….

There’s one more little tidbit about this strain of the Swine Flu that’s odd.

It’s  makeup is something no one has ever seen before—and it’s highly unusual in its structure.

You see, it combines elements of three KINDS of flu: Swine, Bird and Human flu.

No one has ever seen a virus with all three of those characteristics together.

It almost sounds like it was specifically designed.

Let’s try and connect what few dots are out there.

  • * A hither-to unknown kind of virus, showing up in a place where it shouldn’t be.
  • * A virus with unusual characteristics that appears to be “created.”
  • * Mexican population panicked by threat.


Does it sound like maybe this was a test run of a generically engineered bit of Bio-Terrorism?

Before you dismiss that possibility—let’s see how this one plays out…


My Zimbio

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It’s Alive….

March 27, 2009

It was a very healthy Mark Twain who said in 1897 that “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” after a newspaper published word that he had died.

And it seems EYE too may have greatly exaggerated the death of a literary operation whose humor Mark Twain might have appreciated.

We’re talking about the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS.

A year ago, EYE lamented the loss of that spinner of great yarns when the company that owned the paper shut it down.

Originally posted:

September 13, 2008 in the blog BETWEENtheLINES


As a kid, EYE read a lot of comic books… and  NEVER really gave ’em up.. They just changed form. EYE am talking about the Weekly World News.

Where else could you get updates on Elvis’s comings and goings, find out the latest Bigfoot diet, or discover what the Space Aliens were up to?

Only in the TAB that liked to bill itself as “The World’s Most Reliable Newspaper.”

Now ALAS….

We will no longer be able to learn why Lincoln was a woman, Cheney a robot, or what Bat Boy is up to anymore.

The Weekly World News has ceased publication.

A victim of declining circulation–and quite possibly the Internet. They just couldn’t make up fake stuff as good as what you can find in cyberspace these days–especially on some blogs.


Now it seems, the Weekly World News is back—well–in abbreviated form

The company that owns the SUN supermarket Tabloid (and used to publish the Weekly World News) has begun to include a Weekly World News insert in the SUN —and just like the original —the insert is in glorious black and white.

The SUN is the same paper that specializes in horoscopes, end of the world predictions from psychics and other off-beat topics..

Although it mined the same territory as the Weekly World News—it always took itself WAY TOO seriously for a paper that has shown a lack of accuracy about Armageddon…

Now—at last, we can get the REAL thing once again.

By the way—don’t be fooled by  the on-line version of the Weekly World News.

The rights to use that name were purchased by a fellow who tries to keep the tradition alive—but his stuff is pretty lame compared to  the masters who specialized in Elvis sightings and Bigfoot adventures.


My Zimbio

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Selling You On Advertising…

March 11, 2009

T‘was a time when you knew an advertisement on radio or TV was coming…

They’d be an announcement that the program “would be right back after these important messages”

These days—the message is still important  to advertisers—but the delivery system’s a whole lot more subtle.

With people finding more and more ways to ignore traditional advertising—and with more time being spent on line and on the cell phone by folks—marketers are coming with new ways to target you—sometimes without you  realizing you’re on  the receiving end of an ad…

Two companies, the San Fransisco-based Placecast, and New York-based 1020 Inc., are leading the way in something called on-the-spot advertising.

They use your mobile device to figure out WHERE you are and what you are doing. Then, using readily available personal information from credit cards and the like about your spending habits,  income bracket and time of day,  it  sends you specific ads that will appeal to you.

Other systems use your location to target ads on your mobile device as you walk or drive near them.

The so-called ‘proximity ads’ are being largely marketed as revenue generating tools for department stores, restaurants and such.

There’s also specifically targeted ads that will be virtually inserted into the program you are watching based on your location, income, likes, and other personal factors.

No two people watching the same program will get the same ad.

There’s even a concept being worked on that will let you watch a program—and “shop it.”

Lets say you see an item in the program you like—you’ll be able to go on-line–find out the brand–and then buy it–while the program you’re watching is running.

You can read more about the various schemes in detail here, which includes a slide show detailing how some of these concepts work.

In the brave new world of 21st century advertising—they’re finding a way to sell you something almost everywhere—except in your dreams..

But give ’em some time—they’ll figure out how to do THAT too.


My Zimbio

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We All Go Boom…

March 10, 2009

New York City is in the cross hairs again—only this time it isn’t terrorists—it’s God.

That’s the word from David Wilkerson—a pastor of the Times Square Church in New York City and who gained fame as the author of “The Cross and the Switchblade.”

That book detailed the story of his gang ministry that began in the late 50’s..

Wilkerson says God delivered an “urgent” message to him and he’s just spreading the word about what he calls “an Earth shattering calamity” about to unfold.

In his blog, which you can read here, he writes  that a huge fire will erupt in New York city, and

“It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires – such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago,” he explains. “There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting – including Times Square, New York City.”

Sounds a lot like a nuclear attack—doesn’t it?

It would appear we’re all going to go BOOM.

The reverend is also warning folks that they’d better stock up on 30 days worth of supplies to get us through the upcoming disaster.

Although he’s very specific about the kind of destruction that will occur— he’s a little vague when it comes to exactly WHEN  all this will happen.

“I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off,” he writes.

There have been scores of end-of-the-world predictions made over the decades by psychics and religious men—and none have yet come to pass.

Heck, 27 years ago, Pat Robertson generated all kinds of press when he said on his 700 Club TV show that the end of the world would come in 1982..

Now, EYE am pretty sure the Apocalypse isn’t headed our way anytime soon—but just in case, EYE will be laying in a month’s supply of toilet paper and coffee—two things EYE wouldn’t be able to do without if Pastor Wilkerson happens to be correct.


My Zimbio

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In Your Face-Book…

March 2, 2009

Since its creation in May of 2007, Facebook has become more than a social networking site where the computer savvy can go and play—it has become an important part of the lives of many folks—from teens to adults.

But Facebook has also become a place where if you post something on line—it can come back to affect your job, your life—and even your very well-being.

Here’s a few examples:


A 16-yr-old from Essex, England is out of work because she wrote on her Facebook page that she was bored with her job.

After her boss read Kimberly Swann’s Facebook entry—he promptly fired her.

As you can see in this video below,  it didn’t matter that she never named the company—or that she was just saying something that could have passed as idle conversation between two friends….

Once it was on-line—her boss found it fair game for retribution.


A couple of Cops in the Town of Harrison, New York also without jobs after being suspended for writing racist and sexists remarks on their Facebook pages.

As you can read here their remarks about President Obama and the town’s Supervisor didn’t exactly endear them to the powers that be—and the men were dismissed after a public hearing on the matter.

Now—the cops are looking at legal action saying their Facebook remarks may be free speech  protected under the first amendment.


In New Jersey—the Internet police are also on the prowl!

It seems that Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey doesn’t want to pay medical benefits for a couple of kids with eating disorders saying the causes are NOT biological—but emotional…

And to prove its case—it wants all the Facebook, My Space, and email writings of the kids in question.

You can read here in greater detail the specifics of the case which is now in federal court.

But apparently, the Internet police believe—if you put it on the web—- it can be used against you in a court of law….

Computers have been with us long enough for most folks to know that anything they write in them can be retained and accessed long after they’ve hit the delete button…

But now—we have be careful what we post on a social networking sites—or anything else we place on the web…

They used to say, “You are what you eat.

Now apparently, you also “are what you write on line.”


My Zimbio

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