So *THAT'S* What's Been Going On!!

Political Scientists Discover New Form Of Government

October 30, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC—Political scientists at the Cato Institute announced Monday that they have inadvertently synthesized a previously theoretical form of government known as megalocracy.

"We were attempting to recreate a military junta in a controlled diplomatic setting, and we applied too much external pressure," said head researcher Dr. Adam Stogsdill, a leading expert in highly reactionary ruling systems. "The resultant government has the ruthless qualities of a dictatorship combined with the class solidarity of a plutocracy—it's quite a remarkable find."

Stogsdill explained that megalocracy is extremely unstable and can only exist in idealistic conditions for a few minutes before collapsing into anarchy.



Who Is My Neighbor?

“Our neighbor is anyone who needs assistance, whether friend or stranger. We cannot expect to correct all the ills of the world but we can help the people with whom we come in contact. This is our spiritual service.”
– Elizabeth Sand Turner

This is something that I have to remember when I'm in hermit-mode...


NewSpeak for The Office... No Cursing!


Dear Employees:

It has been brought to management's attention that some individuals
throughout the company have been using foul language during the course
of normal conversation with their co-workers.

Due to complaints received from some employees who may be easily
offended, this type of language will no longer be tolerated.

We do, however, realize the critical importance of being able to
accurately express your feelings when communicating with co-workers.

Therefore, a list of 18 New and Innovative 'TRY SAYING' phrases have
been provided so that proper exchange of ideas and information can
continue in an effective manner.

Number 1
TRY SAYING: I think you could use more training.
INSTEAD OF: You don't know what the ____ you're doing.

Number 2
TRY SAYING: She's an aggressive go-getter.
INSTEAD OF: She's a ___ing b___.

Number 3
TRY SAYING: Perhaps I can work late.
INSTEAD OF: And when the ____ do you expect me to do this?

Number 4
TRY SAYING: I'm certain that isn't feasible.
INSTEAD OF: No ____ing way.

Number 5
INSTEAD OF: You've got to be ____ing me!

Number 6
TRY SAYING: Perhaps you should check with...
INSTEAD OF: Tell someone who gives a ___.

Number 7
TRY SAYING: I wasn't involved in the project.
INSTEAD OF: It's not my ____ing problem.

Number 8
TRY SAYING: That's interesting.
INSTEAD OF: What the ____?

Number 9
TRY SAYING: I'm not sure this can be implemented.
INSTEAD OF: This ___ won't work.

Number 10
TRY SAYING: I'll try to schedule that.
INSTEAD OF: Why the ____ didn't you tell me sooner?

Number 11
TRY SAYING: He's not familiar with the issues.
INSTEAD OF: He's got his head up his ___.

Number 12
TRY SAYING: Excuse me, sir?
INSTEAD OF: Eat ___ and die.

Number 13
TRY SAYING: So you weren't happy with it?
INSTEAD OF: Kiss my ___.

Number 14
TRY SAYING: I'm a bit overloaded at the moment.
INSTEAD OF: ___ it, I'm on salary.

Number 15
TRY SAYING: I don't think you understand.
INSTEAD OF: Shove it up your ___.

Number 16
TRY SAYING: I love a challenge.
INSTEAD OF: This ____ing job sucks.

Number 17
TRY SAYING: You want me to take care of that?
INSTEAD OF: Who the ____ died and made you boss?

Number 18
TRY SAYING: He's somewhat insensitive.
INSTEAD OF: He's a p__k.

Thank You,
Human Resources

See the NewSpeak for Relationships ... The Nine Most Important Words A Man Must Know


Stars in the Night Sky...

I was outside the other night, and the sky was absolutely full of stars...

big ones,
little ones,
bright ones,
and faint ones that you had to look carefully to see.

I grabbed my camera to take a picture of it for you, but my camera isn't sophisticated enough to take a good picture (although, it may be the photographer :->), so I went on the Web to look for a good picture of a star-filled, night sky. Here's one that spoke to me:

Here's the link for the caption that went with this photo:

In reading that caption, I learned a lot about why you don't see most of the stars when you live in the city.

To quote: "City dwellers have already lost most of the constellations, the planet Saturn, and a host of medium magnitude stars. They can forget about observing most meteor showers, too, or faint displays of Northern Lights.

It's a big loss. Young sky watchers grow up to be philosophers, scientists, poets, explorers, and school teachers. But kids aren't likely to watch -- or be inspired by -- a blank sky."

To learn more about this, check out: the International Dark-sky Association website: http://www.darksky.org.


Taking the Pepsi v. Coke War a Little Too Far

Guys, it's just a job! Can't we all just get along?!?

Pepsi, Coke Rivalry Becomes Physical
From Associated Press
October 12, 2007 8:46 PM EDT

INDIANA, Pa. - The long-standing rivalry between Coke and Pepsi took a physical turn Friday when a Pepsi deliveryman allegedly punched his Coke counterpart in the face at a western Pennsylvania Wal-Mart, state police said.

The two deliverymen were "apparently bickering back and forth" while unloading their wares at the Indiana County store, police said. When the Coke deliveryman left the store, his counterpart allegedly punched him in the face three times, breaking his nose and giving him a black eye, police said.

No charges have been filed, but police characterized the incident as a misdemeanor simple assault.


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com


Children Sometimes See Better Than We Can

Sometimes, I am privy to discussions that my children have when they are talking with one another. Their clearsightedness floors me sometimes ... for example:

16yog: Boy, when I think about how much I liked X, I realize that I was out of my mind! What was I thinking?!?

10yog: YoYou were chasing a piece of tail (Mom: !!?!!), without looking at what it was attached to.

16yog: A dog?

10yog: Precisely! (Both start laughing)

At this point, I just about have to scrape myself off of the floor, between being in shock at the correctness of the 10yo's diagnosis, as well as the way she phrased her statement... that one's an old soul... and trying not to wet my pants laughing (they drummed me out of the Mothers' Union *ages* ago because I laugh out loud when the children do something funny)!!

I am *so* glad that I am privileged to see how their minds work. They actually talk to me without coercion (at least, that's what I hear other parents complain about ... I've not had that problem, myself); and I know that they look out for one another, even though they don't always agree. I believe that if this keeps up, they will be fine when I am gone... they will look out for one another. Which, I think, is the truest definition of 'family'.


National Freedom From Bullies Week - OCT 10-20, 2007

Freedom from Bullies Week
Monday October 14 through Sunday October 20, 2007

A Week dedicated to Courage, Support, Inspiration and Peace in the American Workplace

A project of the Workplace Bullying Institute

Check it out!! Link: http://bullyinginstitute.org/


October 15, 2007 - 1st Annual Blog Action Day

I found out when I got home, that while I was in Katroo,
the first annual Blog Action Day was underway!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

The environment is something that many of both enjoy and take for granted. And, like many things that we take for granted, we don't appreciate it until it is gone. In the interest of being proactive, what can we do in our daily lives to help protect the environment?

- Read labels... if you can't pronounce it, it doesn't belong in your stomach, on your skin, in your hair, on/in your dog, or on your lawn. If you stop buying toxic products, the companies will stop making them. Profit drives the marketplace. No profit... no product If we demand safer products, we'll (eventually) get safer products.

- Don't litter ... Duh. 'Nuff said on that one.

There are 1001 more things that you can do, but they all involve varying degrees of time, effort, and money. But the above two are easy, and *will* have an impact on both our personal health and well-being, and long-term, for the planet that we live on.


National Novel Writing Month - The NaNoWriMo

Since 1999, a group of dedicated (some may argue crazy) writers and writer wannabees have participated/endured the annual NaNoWriMo.

"What is the NaNoWriMo?" you may ask.

It is a contest where the writers commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days... beginning on November 1 and ending November 30. To do the math, that's 1,667 words per day. Every day. Can you do it? Should you do it? What will change in your life if you try and fail? What if you win?


The winners of NaNoWriMo win a downloadable certificate, a special winners badge, bragging rights, and the possession of their freshly-minted 50,000 word novel.

Sign up here, to find out more, or if you want a challenge!!


Must see comic: Pharmaceutical Vending Machines

You may view the live comic, post comments, or send it to friends by clicking here.

To view the full collection of CounterThink comics, visit the CounterThink index page.Counterthink Cartoons are NewsTarget parodies or satirical commentary on various matters we believe to be of public concern and are offered as Free Speech within the protection of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.


Wishful Thinking...

Ok, I'm posting it:


Who Let The Dogs Out?!?

I did.

This past Saturday, while doing some yard work, I walked out of my fenced-in yard, and as I slipped through, Joey, my black Lab,

and Jadzia, my chow

shot out past me into the front yard. Before I could blink, they were gone. My two eldest daughters went looking for them, only to find out from my neighbor that they had had a short scuffle with one of *their* dogs, and headed for the highway behind their house.

We got into the van, and looked for them, but did not see them.

Later that afternoon, we got a call from my neighbor. It turns out that her daschund, who was in the scuffle with my dogs, had been found under the house, with a bad bite. In fact, her intestines could be seen through the wound.

Oh. No. ....

So, we got the numbers to the nearest animal hospitals with weekend services (good luck with that on a Saturday), and the neighbors were off. Daisy Mae (the daschund) was cleaned up, and bandaged up, but needed surgery. That was done on day before yesterday (Wednesday), and if all goes well, Daisy Mae was none the worse for wear (whew!) I paid the vets bills/expenses, and my neighbors were gracious and understanding about the whole thing.

SO, all's well that ends well, you say?

No. This was the *second* time that one of them had gotten out; that time Joey had eaten three of their chickens before I discovered what was going on. It seems that I have (unknowingly) been harboring menaces. And both my neighbors and I have small children.

So, the only logical course was: the dogs had to go.

Animal Control came and got them yesterday. It was one of the most difficult things that I had to do.

But, what was even worse, is the reaction of others. It seems that it is better to have dogs that attack other animals (and potentially people), than it is to get rid of them. I don't understand this. Why is it more important to keep the dogs, rather than keep people safe?

Don't misunderstand me: I loved my dogs. But I know that after chaining them up, then building a fence (around almost one and half acres) to keep them in (lots of $$$ there), and still having them get out and cause mayhem, for the sake of my conscience (what if their baby was walking around and got caught in the dogfight?), and peace with the neighbors (we *do* live here, after all), it made sense to get new dogs (puppies, that hopefully will not have the overtly savage traits of their predecessors).

I have discovered, in the past few days, that Chows, in particular, can 'turn', and cause the problems that I have had. And, no, these dogs were raised with my children from puppies, and they were not abused, etc.

So, it's to the Internet (gotta love it) for research on family-friendly, gentle dogs that will be content with a large, fenced-in yard, and not keep trying to escape.

I miss my dogs.


How Do I Feel About Being Old?

[I wish I had written this one, but I didn't... It doesn't make it any less meaningful, though :-)]

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt.

And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

And I shall eat dessert every single day (If I feel like it)!


Radiation Resistant Bacteria Here on Earth

Transmission electron microgragh of the bacterium Deinococcus geothermalis, an extremely radiation resistant and thermophilic bacterium isolated from a hot pool in Naples, Italy. Image provided by M. J. Daly, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, USA.

You know the cliche, wherever we find water here on Earth, we find life. But what if the environment is really hostile? So hostile that any living creature would almost never see water. And even when there was water, they were constantly being blasted with radiation. Amazingly, there's a microbe out there, Deinococcus geothermalis, that can handle some of the harshest environments on the planet - favoured habitats include nuclear power plants. Scientists once suspected that microbes like this might have evolved on Mars. Nope, they're homegrown.

Of all the different strains of bacteria on Earth, those in the genus Deinococcus are a hardy bunch. They're extremely resistant to ionizing radiation, they laugh at ultraviolet light, extreme, heat, cold and they don't mind being completely dried out for long periods. Bathed in acid? Boring.

D. geothermalis is actually a cousin of another microbe called Deinococcus radiodurans. D. radiodurans is capable of withstanding 500 times the radiation that will kill a human - with no loss of viability. The Guiness Book of World records calls D. radiodurans the toughest bacteria in the world, and some scientists have proposed that it actually evolved on Mars and somehow journeyed to Earth.

Researchers have recently sequenced the bacteria's cousin, D. geothermalis' entire genome sequence, providing some valuable clues into how a microbe can be so tough, and how they two are related (no Martian explanation necessary).

Their paper describing the results of their sequencing efforts, entitled Deinococcus geothermalis: The Pool of Extreme Radiation Resistance Genes Shrinks will be published in the September 26th issue of the journal Public Library of Science.

The microbe was first discovered in a hot pool at the Termi di Agnano, in Naples, Italy. Other scientists have turned it up in other nasty locations, such as industrial paper machine water, deep ocean subsurface environments, and subterranean hot springs in Iceland.

While working with the microbe, the researchers noted, "the extraordinary survival of Deinococcus bacteria following irradiation has also given rise to some rather whimsical descriptions of their derivation, including that they evolved on Mars."

In fact, the US Department of Energy is considering D. geothermalis as a possible solution to break down radioactive waste. Which would be good, since it's often a pest; adhering to the surface of steel, and causing problems in nuclear power plants.

Currently, scientists have no idea why bacteria like D. geothermalis are so hardy to radiation. They're just as susceptible to normal bacteria to have their DNA broken up by radiation, but they use some kind of efficient repair mechanism to fix the damage quickly.

The big surprise with this research is that it overturns previously held theories about how D. radiodurans protects itself. The two strains of bacteria are both extremely resistant to radiation, and yet D. geothermalis lacks the genes that scientists thought D. radiodurans was using. By comparing genome sequences between the two strains, the researchers were able to narrow down the genes which are likely contributing to the microbes' tolerance.

This research also overturns the intriguing possibility that D. radiodurans comes from Mars; evolving on the Cosmic Ray blasted surface of the Red Planet. These two strains have enough in common, with traceable evolutionary steps, that the researchers can see how they evolved right here on Earth.

Here's Dr. Michael J. Daly, an associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, "the thermophile Deinococcus geothermalis is an excellent organism in which to consider the potential for survival and biological evolution beyond its planet of origin, as well as the ability of life to survive extremely long periods of metabolic dormancy in high-radiation environments. The current work reinforces the notion that resistance to radiation and desiccation readily evolved on Earth, and that the underlying resistance systems are based on a universal set of repair genes. The work underscores the vulnerability of potential life-inhabiting environments on Mars to contamination by human exploration; and how the efficiency of ordinary DNA repair proteins could be increased, which might be important to astronauts. The growing awareness that there is hardly a habitat on Earth not harboring life is now changing our consensus of consequences for possible life on Mars."

Sorry Mars, go evolve your own microbes.

Original Source: PLOS Journal article

Filed under: Astrobiology, Mars


Copyright © 2009 LaVeda's Geeky Journal All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek. | Bloggerized by FalconHive.