Archive for the ‘Rants and Raves’ category

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:


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.


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.


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.


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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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 :


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.


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?


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.


My Zimbio

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A Tale Of Two Brains…..

April 19, 2009

There’s been a lot of shouting in recent days over the tea-bag protests that have been occurring all across the country.

The left and the right have been clashing with each other in vitriolic terms claiming the opposing side is just too stupid and hard-headed to understand their position.

But it may not be all politics.

It may be that each side CAN’T help but believe in what they believe.

All of it could just be preordained.

A study linked here that was done not that long ago by New York University and UCLA indicates there’s a real difference between a liberal’s brain––and a conservative’s brain..

In other words—-politics isn’t a choice–-it’s genetic..

You’re either born a blue brain…

Or a red brain…

Now.. EYE may not be the smartest guy in the room—and EYE don’t have a string of letters following my name to indicate my degree of brilliance—but you have to wonder about this piece of research.

Let’s look at this… You would think that one’s political views are formed by a confluence of experience…

And, you would think different events and experiences in your life would mold your views—and thus your political viewpoint.

Yeah.. you might think that….

But the folks who know better than us say HOLD ON—you were born with your politics already decided.

Nope, your views can’t change. You can’t become more conservative—or more liberal as you go about life.

You’re stuck. A Blue Brainer, or a Red Brainer. Case closed.

Does this mean EVERYTHING we do is predetermined at birth?


So long personal responsibility!

Sorry EYE robbed the bank officer, but it can’t be helped. EYE was born with a bank robbers brain! Genetic, you know!

Nope… Honey, EYE really wasn’t cheating on you.. It’s just that ole’ brain of mine. It’s hard-wired that way. Now let’s forgive, forget and move on!

Yeah, this opens a world of possibilities!

Nothing will ever be our fault again. We’re just born that way!

Now—perhaps EYE am reading a little too much into this study. But, did you notice WHERE it was conducted? At schools in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES.

And aren’t those parts of the country considered centers for liberal thinking—

—or am EYE just being a no-brainer?


My Zimbio

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How Times Have Changed…

March 16, 2009

What passes for political news these days is vastly different than when EYE was first starting as a broadcast reporter back in the 70’s….

Much of today’s “news”  is gossip-related and driven by the insatiable news cycle that includes blogs, cable news channels, and talk radio—-both liberal and conservative…

A moment in time that once would have been largely ignored, is now the fodder for days upon days of pundification from all those who make their living trivializing the easy catch—while largely ignoring the more important, serious issues…

Here’s what I mean….

The other day, ABC NEWS had a “GOTCHA” moment with Joe Biden.

In greeting an old colleague an open microphone picked up his comment telling his friend to “give me a fu**ing break” in referring to him as Mr. Vice President.

Senior White house corespondent Jake Tapper blogged it here.

From there it was off  to the races….Real Clear Politics, among others—ran the audio here, and Drudge picked it up.

Compare that to a similar event more than 30 years ago—-memorialized in a little newspaper clip that EYE kept nestled in one of the plastic pockets of my wallet because it tickled me back in 1972…

It was a simple 16 lines—used a “filler” at the end of another unrelated story back in the day when newspapers didn’t have the ability to lay out their pages with computers.

When a story ran short—typesetters like these fellows tucked in a few lines of something to avoid having a white hole in their layout.

This “filler” story refers to the 1972 presidential campaign when Richard Nixon was running for re-election…

“Four more years” was one of the slogans of his campaign against George McGovern.

The reporter covering the story treated McGovern’s remark as a light anecdote…

THAT was then… THIS is now.

Today— a moment like that is  Media Madness!

Front page headlines around the world blare out the tale of the candidate with the foul mouth !

Political blogs would postulate on the candidate’s fitness for public office!

The radio talk shows and the 24-Hour-a-day cable networks would endlessly explore—in depth—the implications of such an outburst by an obviously unstable and anger prone hothead !

A grizzled old editor once told me there were only two kinds of news.

  • News that people NEED to know…
  • News that people WANT to know…

We all WANT to know the latest gossip or pop culture tid-bit—but we NEED to know things like what the Congress is doing with our money.

Maybe it’s time in our 24-hour-a-day, blogesphered society that we pay a LITTLE more attention to the NEED to KNOW news, instead of the WANT to know news.


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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