Saturday, December 06, 2008

Back By Popular Demand

Here are the best Calvin and Hobbes winter comics ever..I sure miss these guys.

Another Motivational Poster

Movies We'd Like To See (with apologies to Mad Magazine)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Frozen Tundra

It's been cold as hell here. If that makes any sense. This is one of the windiest places I've ever been. It seems the wind blows all of the time. It was 17 degrees here today. But it's nothing like my bud Steve Konrad who lives in Minneapolis.

It seems there is a basketball game going on all of the time in the place where I play. It is literally a five minute walk from here. I went down there tonight at six thirty and bingo! I was in for the next three games. Only one guy about my age. The rest are truly young enough to be my kids. There is something about the zen of basketball to me. If I focus and concentrate on what I am supposed to do, I can make a decent play more often than not. If I kind find that groove, I can just relax and let the game come to me. It's amazing what a game of basketball with kids more than half your age will do for your focus and concentration. I had a very good game tonight, made more than I missed, didn't get hurt and didn't embarrass myself. Three games full blast! What a rush!
The weight on the digital scale on Monday night was 188.9. I'll weigh every Monday night and we'll see what I can do. 185 by January one would be nice.

Personal observations...I think Mike Greenberg at ESPN is one of the most talented guys on the air. He was on at 6am when I got up and right before I left for the gym, he was anchoring a newscast, Straight ahead broadcaster.

On the other hand, I can't stand Jay Bilas. I believe I have another post on him somewhere. He used the phrase ..."YA GOTTA BE A MAN!!!" tonight. Calm down dude. We all know you are a homer to the ACC and especially Duke. Sit down and shut up. Oh that stupid Greg Oden commercial for ESPN the magazine? Just stop, please.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Abbott Christopher Jamison

I was reading my favorite radio website the other day and the resident pundit who goes by the name of Sid Dithers was lamenting about the deteroration of society. He quoted Abbot Christopher Jamison's book "Finding Happiness". Father Christopher is one of my favorite people. I have stayed at Worth Abbey (just south of London) the past two times I have been there. He is a great guy to just hang and talk to and my family adores him. He has become quite the published author with "Finding Sanctuary" one of my favorite reads. I find it very funny that Father Christopher has created quite the kerfuffel with this. But, as always with him, he's so right. Here's Sid Dithers' commentary and it's quite spot on. My daughter loves him, Gladys feels the same way, and I dig the guy, too. And, since he has a google alert, he'll be directed to this page. Looking forward to seeing you this summer, Father.

Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, has accused Disney of "exploiting spirituality" to sell its products and of turning Disneyland into a modern day pilgrimage site... He argues that it pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture...AT LAST, something in the modern world that we can ALL support the Catholics on... In a guide to helping people find happiness, the abbot, who starred in the hit-BBC series The Monastery, warns that society is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion... He suggests that many people have become obsessed with work, sex and eating in an attempt to ignore their underlying unhappiness, and criticises corporations and industries that have benefited from promoting false notions of fulfilment...And WHO does THAT (INTENTIONALLY thru CHILDREN!) more than the exploitive low-breds at Disney??? Jamison, who has been tipped as a contender to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor as the next Archbishop of Westminster, targets the behaviour of Disney in particular, which he says is "a classic example" of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality... While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be "a good and happy family"...BULLSEYE, Padre!!!...Although "BRAINWASH" is a more accurate description...Hell, their radio network is NOTHING but a gigantic commercial for all of their over-priced sh*t!!! He cites films such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "101 Dalmatians" that feature moral battles, but get into children's imaginations and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them...AND for recognizing the comparison between Karen Carroll to Cruella DeVille... "The message behind every movie and book, behind every theme park and T-shirt is that our children's world needs Disney," he says. "So they absolutely must go to see the next Disney movie, which we'll also want to give them on DVD as a birthday present. "They will be happier if they live the full Disney experience; and thousands of families around the world buy into this deeper message as they flock to Disneyland." He continues: "This is the new pilgrimage that children desire, a rite of passage into the meaning of life according to Disney. "Where once morality and meaning were available as part of our free cultural inheritance, now corporations sell them to us as products."...Yeah, THAT and how to be a snotty, little sh*thead to your parents... Jamison, who is one of Britain's most prominent Catholic clerics, claims that brands such as Disney market themselves to be about more than mere materialism to create an addiction to consumption... "This is basically the commercial exploitation of spirituality," he says, adding that as a result Disney and other corporations "inhabit our imagination"... "Once planted there they can make us endlessly greedy. And that is exactly what they are doing."...And THIS says NOTHING about how they try to "expand" the brand by pushing the envelope CONTINUALLY with edgier content... The Walt Disney Company, founded in 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy Disney, is one of the world's biggest entertainment companies... It owns 11 theme parks and several television networks, while its Hollywood studios have produced more than 200 feature films... Last week, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, expressed similar concerns about the direction of society when he said that social cohesion has been eradicated due to "rampant consumerism and individualism"...WHEN is the LAST Disney thing that attempted to induce kids to do ANYTHING for their moms and dads, MUCH LESS anyone else???...Its ALL about promoting selfishness, and it DIRECTLY impacts the culture...It sure helps to explain the popularity of reality TV with the younger audience...THIS audience has been WEENED on watching rude behavior being passed off as 'acceptable'... Jamison's new book, "Finding Happiness", suggests that many of the answers can be found by people living more simply... The book, published this week, urges people to reject the superficial temptations offered by contemporary culture....Good luck with THAT, Padre...THAT motherf*cker will sell like magazine subscriptions... He criticises the obsession with celebrity, which he blames for creating jealousy and a society in which people are dissatisfied with their life... "Celebrity news magazines do no apparent external harm, but are a complete waste of interior time and space. "Envy tells us to stop facing the challenges of the present life and to live in some future fantasy... Such envy drives a large part of our consumer culture."... The fractured reality that philistines like Paris Hilton influence ANYONE tells us all we need to know about our moral deterioration...People need to learn to control their thoughts, and practice more self-discipline and self-control in their life, he says... He says there are "eight thoughts" which need to be controlled to help people to discover happiness. Six of them (anger, pride, gluttony, lust, greed, and spiritual apathy or sloth) are found among the list of deadly sins... To this he adds sadness and vanity... Or in other words, "all the fun stuff" that Disney shamelessly promotes...Maybe the Catholics can use THIS GREAT ISSUE to rebound!!!...Or AT LEAST get us some better cartoons!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

News From China... what?

2,700-year-old marijuana found in Chinese tomb

Stash seems to have been intended for buried shaman to use in the afterlife
Nov 27, 2008 01:23 PM
OTTAWA – Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.
The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.
The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour.
"To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.
Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.
The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.
The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.
Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old.
The large cache was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl, and was likely meant to be used by the shaman in the afterlife.
"This materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible," Russo said in an interview from Missoula, Mont.
"It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied."
The tomb also contained bridles, archery equipment and a harp, confirming the man's high social standing.
Russo is a full-time consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine approved in Canada for pain linked to multiple sclerosis and cancer.
The company operates a cannabis-testing laboratory at a secret location in southern England to monitor crop quality for producing Sativex, and allowed Russo use of the facility for tests on 11 grams of the tomb cannabis.
Researchers needed about 10 months to cut red tape barring the transfer of the cannabis to England from China, Russo said.
The inter-disciplinary study was published this week by the British-based botany journal, which uses independent reviewers to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of all submitted papers.
The substance has been found in two of the 500 Gushi tombs excavated so far in northwestern China, indicating that cannabis was either restricted for use by a few individuals or was administered as a medicine to others through shamans, Russo said.
"It certainly does indicate that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years."
Russo, who had a neurology practice for 20 years, has previously published studies examining the history of cannabis.
"I hope we can avoid some of the political liabilities of the issue," he said, referring to his latest paper.
The region of China where the tomb is located, Xinjiang, is considered an original source of many cannabis strains worldwide.

R I P Bill Drake

Radio legend BILL DRAKE has died from lung cancer at age 71 in LOS ANGELES.

DRAKE, born PHILIP YARBROUGH chose his last name from among his relatives' surnames, because it rhymed with "WAKE", the station in ATLANTA, where he worked as a programmer and disc-jockey in the late 1950s, writes WIKIPEDIA. Later, BARTELL BROADCASTING, who owned WAKE -- that he had programmed to number one, transferred him to KYA in SAN FRANCISCO, which also became number one. It was later at KYNO in FRESNO that he met GENE CHENAULT, who became his business partner. Together, the pair developed highly influential radio programming strategies and tactics, as well as working with future "Boss Jocks."

DRAKE-CHENAULT perfected the Top 40 radio format, which had been created by TODD STORZ, GORDON MCCLENDON and other radio programmers in the late 1950s, which took a set list of popular songs and repeated them all day long, ensuring the widest possible audience for the station's music. Jingles, news updates, traffic, and other features were designed to make Top 40 radio particularly attractive to car listeners. By early 1964, the era of the BRITISH Invasion, Top 40 radio had become the dominant radio format for NORTH AMERICAN listeners and quickly swept much of the WESTERN world.

DRAKE streamlined the Top 40 format, using modern methods, such as market research and ratings demographics, to maximize the number of listeners. He believed in forward momentum, limiting the amount of disc jockey chatter, the number of advertisements and playing only the top hits, as opposed to less-organized programming methods of the past. DRAKE created concepts such as 20/20 News and counter programming, by playing music sweeps, while his competitors aired news. DRAKE-CHENAULT controlled everything from the specific DJs that were hired, to radio contests, visual logos, promotions and commercial policy. DRAKE essentially put radio back into the hands of programming, instead of sales. DRAKE hired the JOHNNY MANN SINGERS to produce the BOSS RADIO jingles, ensuring a bright, high-energy sound that engaged the listener, while providing a bridge from song to song, as well as a smooth transition from songs to commercials.

Most of the great things about radio in your childhood was fashioned after Mr. Drake in some way. Dude had one the best, booming voices ever.

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