Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meet the Infomercial Scam King The Feds Just Nailed For $38 Million

Meet the Infomercial Scam King The Feds Just Nailed For $38 Million

FINALLY!!!1! Of course this will not convince his most stringent adherents, who will just think this is a conspiracy theory.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Where in the world is...skyclub79?

Do you ever wonder where an ebay seller disappeared to?

I bought 2 of this seller's items and they were great, at a great price and reasonable shipping charges.  Some of the items were really unique.  I bid on a lot more too.  The seller had over 123,000 stars with a 99% positive rating.

Then one day I got a security notice from ebay stating the auction had been removed and it may not be the seller's fault.  The entire ebay store, which had 1000s of items the day before, was empty right before Black Friday (a.k.a., the #1 national holiday for jewelry sellers).  That is just like the Easter Bunny disappearing on Good Friday, the groundhog disappearing right before Groundhog Day, or Jesus disappearing right was that holiday again?

The seller remained on ebay until I checked today, and noticed his account was deleted.

There is really nothing  on ebay, or in the rest of  the Milky Way galaxy as far as I can tell, that compares to these items.  I am very sad!  skyclub79...where have you gone?  What have you done to deserve this?

Coooommmmeeee baaaaaack!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The cheesecake of 1000 knives

Prepare yourself for another irreverent post. I forgive myself, since for the last 18 hours I have been experiencing a sensation most comparable to having dozens of tiny Ginsu knives slowly inserted simultaneously into your thighs, stomach and anus, and then turned.  Sometimes the pain is so bad my eyes start to turn black--especially convenient when operating a motor vehicle. And anyway, cussing relieves pain, so writing this post will probably be worth a few dozen m*&^%$#f$#@$%s. At least that's what I'm hoping.

I had colon cancer a few years ago and had a colon resection. My surgical team told me I'd be back to normal in 3 weeks since I'm young and skinny. Nope. I couldn't even function in polite society for 6 months, if you know what I mean.

Even now, I have to eat in a specific way or face the consequences. Lots of good fat--apparently I can't digest fat like normal people and only have a hope of normalcy if I pile on the Olivio or avocados. Lots of fiber. Lots of vegetables. Now for the "no-nos". No meat or rice, or the Ginsu knives will come. Not too many bananas, not much white flour or sugar, and go easy on the starches. Very little dairy. I mean 1 serving per day, or the Ginsumaster will be doing his handiwork. 4-6 small meals. Sufficient coffee each day (4 shots of espresso) to stimulate my plumbing.

Water, you ask? Yeah, about that. Drinking lots of water has had no affect on this issue. Not drinking enough does, but only if I drink so little I'm dehydrated.

So yesterday I had 1 thin slice of cheese and a thin slice of cheesecake along with a plateful of vegetables and whole grains. For this indulgence I am rewarded with Ginsu.

The people at work praise me for "eating healthy" at lunch. Nope. I'm just a chicken s$#t. I am only eating that to avoid the Ginsu.

When things get backed up--hey, wait a minute, I'll just say it: CONSTIPATED--I have had to employ all over-the-counter and folk remedies available. I do a form of acrobatics on the toilet because moving around opens the pipes. I get a lot of reading done.  Maybe I should invent a table to hold the laptop in the powder room so I could blog in there.  Heck, I've done conference calls in there.

Heating pads. Warm baths. Relaxation techniques. Those pretty much do nothing for the plumbing. Milk thistle, now that works. I can't take it daily because of the other side effects, but I will take it in a bind, so to speak. (hahaha, you have to admit that was a funny pun.) Stool softeners, suppositories, enemas and--as a last resort--laxatives, have become my friends.

But really, get a colonoscopy if you are having symptoms, you're aged 50 or older, or your doctor recommends it. Had I done that when it was suggested, I wouldn't have become a cancer survivor at age 38. They would have removed the polyp in the doctor's office when it was in the precancerous stage and today I would be sleeping at 4 am instead of writhing around, cussing and blogging about poop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How legends develop

I've got an hypothesis about how the legend of La Befana developed. No, I haven't bothered to research it much (if you call reading 3 non-scholarly books not researching) because, well, I don't feel like it.

Even if I'm wrong...think about it...this is probably how legends have developed in human history.

La Befana is a witch riding on a broom. From what I can tell there is no exact representation of her so her appearance differs with the storyteller, except she is always an old warty woman with a crooked nose, riding her broom. I am going to assume I don't need to post a pic here since you've all seen Halloween witches. OK.

So basically one of the stories says the 3 wise men visited her in Italy while she was cleaning her house. They were on their way to see Baby Jesus (and to pray to him like they did in Talledaga Nights). They invited her to accompany them but she thought it was a waste of time so she said no.

Later she realized what a glorious opportunity she missed so she searched in vain to catch up to the group. She is still traveling the world but now she delivers gifts to kids instead of searching for the 3 wise men. No word on how she is still alive after all these years while all the other characters in the story are dead, even the Savior. OK.

I don't think I'm taking liberties when I say this is supposed to be symbolic. Prior to Christianity hitting Italy, healers were apparently older, wiser women. That was their religion. If you are familiar with the corno (Italian horn) or evil eye, those are remnants of the old religion.

When Christianity came the accusation was the old practitioners were evil magic doers. To make it seem less appealing, they were said to have warts, crooked noses and backs, wrinkled skin, wear drab colors, and to be really ugly. I suppose the apron is a reference to her being dirty while cleaning house.

Being a "witch" was dangerous for a time in Italy. Not only was it, well, not Christian, it was also a female-centered religion--not acceptable to the Christians whose beliefs and teachings were and are male-centered. The religion went underground. Women who were well-regarded healers were replaced by saints and madonnas with similar attributes to co-opt the locals into Christianity.

So the story of Befana is a story of conversion. She realized the error of her ways and chased after Jesus, but it was too late. Now she is doomed to wander Earth for eternity, searching but not finding Jesus.

There are few writings on the subject. Raven Grimassi seems to be the most well-known, albeit somewhat controversial among actual practitioners of "witchcraft", author of books about Italian folk religion. Here's a link to a few--an interesting glimpse into how legends are created to meet the needs of human beings.

Wikipedia has an interesting article about La Befana, almost as poorly substantiated as mine. ;)

The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is The HPV Vaccine Safe? v 2.0

A wonderful pictoral explanation of why it's so important to vaccinate against HPV: Is The HPV Vaccine Safe? v 2.0

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Laughing Jesus by FadingVoices on Etsy

And then the Lord said, "Muahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!"

Christ's Hand by FadingVoices on Etsy

Christ's Hand by FadingVoices on Etsy

Ok, let me get this out of the way before I snark. The artwork is well done and the piece is creative.

Now then. It's creepy to want a sculpture of your Lord and Savior's hand being pierced through with a railroad spike. That is all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Put the Xbox back in Xmas

...or something like that.

And so it begins.

Woman pepper sprays crowd at Walmart on Black Friday

Fight breaks out at Walmart on Black Friday

Yes, honey, Mommy and Daddy DID get you that Xbox! You BETTER play with it a lot. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth the disorderly conduct arrest.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More crazy nativity sets

Nativity Set 3 Kings three wise men Christmas by TheHouseOfMouse Because it's not sacrilegious to picture the 3 wise men as rodents. Furthermore, picturing the Holy Family as small dogs is perfectly fine too.

Dachshund Complete Nativity

Christmas Nativity Meerkats
Or meerkats with phallic belts.

Christmas light bulb ornament Complete Nativity set
Next year: LED, eco-friendly nativity scene.

Zombie Nativity Set, Six Clay Figurines for the Holiday
Jesus wants to eat your braaaains.

And today's finale...drum roll...

Haitian Earthquake Rubble Nativity
Because no home is complete without a creche made from earthquake rubble, glued onto rocks to form bizarre faces.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Saudi activist: Woman driver has been freed from detention

Wow, I didn't realize women couldn't drive in religious extremist countries. So sad.

Why did Facebook and Twitter remove her accounts?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Religious paper apologizes for erasing Clinton from iconic photo – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

Religious paper apologizes for erasing Clinton from iconic photo – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

But in a written statement issued Monday afternoon by Di Tzeitung, the newspaper said that its decision to leave women out of photos is religiously mandated and that the right to do so is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

"The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press," the statement said. "Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board."

"Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging women, which is certainly never our intention," it continued. "We apologize if this was seen as offensive."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rewriting history--the day Niagara Falls stopped naturally

One hundred and sixty-three years ago today, Niagara Falls stopped flowing in the only natural stoppage in known history.

According to, a farmer noticed on the evening of March 29 the falls had gone quiet.
Residents awoke on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence and realized something was amiss. People were drawn to the Falls to find that the water flow of the Niagara River had been reduced to a mere trickle...By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river...The river bed was quickly drying. Fish and turtles were left floundering on now dry land...Souvenirs picked up included bayonets, guns barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812...People on foot, on horseback or by horse and buggy, crossed the width of the Niagara River...A squad of soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry rode their horses up and down the river bed as an exhibition. Below the Falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blast away rocks which had normally been a navigation hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since its inception in 1846. The sudden silencing of the roar of the Falls had caused much anxiety and fear amongst the residents and visitors. Some believed that this event was the beginning of a doomsday scenario. On the morning of March 31st the Falls remained silent. Many thousands of people attended special church services on both sides of the border.

Turns out there was an ice blockade upriver and the falls resumed when the ice broke the next day.

If the same thing happened today, what would be different?

A college student noticed on the late evening of March 29 that the falls had gone quiet. He took a photo of his face with the dry falls in the background. He immediately videotaped it on his BlackBerry and posted it all to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The media picked up the story after monitoring the web traffic. By the next morning, his YouTube video had 3.4 million hits; he had 869,654 Facebook new friends and over a million new followers on Twitter.

Residents awoke on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence and realized something was amiss. They turned on the weather channel to find a scrolling news banner and special show about it. All the major networks in Europe and all major English-speaking countries were broadcasting live from the site.

People were drawn to the Falls to find that the water flow of the Niagara River had been reduced to a mere trickle. By the morning of March 31st, more than 500,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river.

The river bed was quickly drying. Fish and turtles were left floundering on now dry land. President Obama declared a state of emergency and deployed the Army Corps of Engineers. PETA and the Humane Association went on national broadcast media to beg for volunteers to save the animals. Many New Yorkers and Canadians opened their hearts and their homes by temporarily housing the homeless fish and turtles in their bathtubs. Several popular musicians quickly organized a television performance to raise funds to safely return the animals to the wild. A plea for fish and turtle food resulted in the local animal shelters being overwhelmed with deliveries of the food, so much that they had to ask people to stop sending food and just send money instead.

Souvenirs picked up included guns, tampon dispensers, television antennas, broken bottles, and plastic bags. So many people tried to cross the width of the Niagara River that the National Guard were deployed to secure the riverbed that the soldiers had to ride horses in the riverbed to expel loiterers and looters who were collecting rocks to sell on EBay. The President’s decision to deploy the National Guard and Army was heavily criticized by “journalists” on Faux News Network.

Workers from the Maid of the Mist began selling branded items as souvenirs, which were now selling for ten times their normal price.

The sudden silencing of the roar of the Falls had caused much anxiety and fear amongst the residents and visitors. A few believed that this event was the beginning of a doomsday scenario. Dozens of people attended special church services on both sides of the border. Rev. Al Sharpton publicly theorized the drying of the falls was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the businesses owned by people of color, and he held a special church service in which he encouraged attendees to protest.

Others claimed it was a conspiracy between "Muslins" and the CIA. Environmental extremists claimed it was caused by pollution.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church arrived with “God Hates Waterfalls” picket signs along with their standard homophobic signs, taking advantage of the military presence to convey their message. Several psychics were interviewed on local television, claiming they accurately predicted the event.

Epilogue: The college student discovering the phenomena created some t-shirts on with his picture and had sold 578,000 within a week. By year’s end he had become a multi-millionaire as a result of the sales and has recently been offered deals for an autobiography and reality show. He was honored for his discovery by participating in the coin toss ceremony at the next Super Bowl. Starbucks launched a special "Disappearing Falls" blend, available only at the Niagara Falls location. A local pub began having events with a "disappearing falls" theme, now calling out "it's going dry" instead of "last call" each night at closing time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Women's Rights Quote #22

“The economic recovery is sluggish at best, but women are being largely shut out of it,” said NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell. “And if the continued pressure on state and local budgets leads to further layoffs in the public sector, 2011 may be even worse for women than 2010.”

During the recession (December 2007 - June 2009) men suffered 71 percent of the job loss. For the first six months of the recovery, men and women lost a similar number of jobs, resulting in men accounting for two-thirds of all lost jobs between December 2007 and the end of 2009. But as the pace of the recovery quickened in 2010, women were largely left behind. Of the 1.11 million jobs added to the economy between January and December 2010, only 120,000—just 10.8 percent—went to women.--National Council of Women's Organizations

Monday, March 21, 2011

Women's Rights Quote #21

"Without the ERA, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex.  The first – and still the only – right specifically affirmed as equal for women and men is the right to vote." -- Alice Paul Institute

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi in the Bible? Happy Pi Day

One of the most famous mathematical statements in the Bible is in I Kings 7:23-26, describing a large cauldron, or "molten sea" in the Temple of Solomon:

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it - ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths. (NIV)

... the essential point was the impressive size of the cauldron, and its dimensions were only approximate, because the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is stated to be exactly three rather than the real value of pi which is 3.14159...
. (Click here to read the rest of the story.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another whacked out bible verse!

Judges 11 (Old Testament)--Jephthah is a really awesome guy!
Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour...Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering...And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him...And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back...And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains...And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months...And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed...

Hebrews 11 (New Testament)--Yep! A really awesome guy!
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of...Jephtha...Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens...Of whom the world was not worthy..And these all, having obtained a good report through faith...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The word means "goodbye to meat". In the US we celebrate it as Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)--the last hurrah before 40 days of sacrifice during Lent. "Fat" because you're supposed to eat lots of fat before you give it up for the Lord.

Fat Tuesday is a holiday that has everything. One day known for fried food, rowdiness, and bare boobs. What's not to love?! ;)

I love this painting. Take a look, and enjoy your fat (and boobs)!

Venetian Carnevale II, by Lenonardo Ruggieri

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Favorite Bible Verse of the Day

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying...For whatsoever man [he be] that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken...he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God."--Leviticus 21:21 KJV

I think that speaks for itself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is Internet anonymity ever a good thing?

While researching some art subjects, I came across this totally fascinating presentation comparing the custom of routinely wearing masks in ancient Venice to Internet anonymity.

Personally, I've always felt there are benefits to Internet anonymity that outweigh the cons. If there is truly bad behavior, the user and should be tracked down and sanctioned. This is the first time I've ever seen any scholarly writing on the subject.