Monday, December 28, 2009

John Lennon tells royals to "Rattle your jewelry"

Ah, holiday weeks: we discover all kinds of things we'd otherwise never find.

Twitter user @TheBeatlesVideo links to a blog where they post all kinds of Beatles related videos. Some have lyrics on top of the song, some are others playing Beatles on guitar.

But some are little-known videos of real performances. I love this one. Aren't they just having FUN playing for the queen?

From November 4, 1963:

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Cop Fail"

I am *so* glad I have a separate blog for things like this. (Email subscribers, click the headline above to come view it online. 57 seconds you won't want to miss.)

Thanks to the world-famous Fail Blog for bringing this to our attention.

I mean, how many news stories make the off-camera announcer snicker to the point of snorting?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Cactus Cuties sing the national anthem

Wonderful, moving rendition. What precision! Great arrangement, well directed and beautifully executed by these cuties. Thanks to Uncle Sandy for this:

This must have been done some years ago, because here there are five (now four) and they're a lot younger here than on their site.

They seem more "produced" now, which is just not as impressive or, well, cutel. :-) Anyway, I love this, so enjoy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

O Sole Mio

Thanks to good friend Jere for this link, sent months ago.... I just found it, undiscovered, in the email. As she said, "If you haven't already seen these guys, brace yourselves."

Even if you can't read Italian, you'll understand their ages when they're shown...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I solved the Canadian airline terror crisis

I figured it out!

Today I returned from a medical conference in Canada, and at the airport I found that they don't make you take off your shoes when you go through security!!!!

No wonder they have constant suicide bombings!!  Why can't Canada just be more like Americans??

Those silly northerners.

Well, that's my good deed for the day. Time for a bike ride.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Excerpts from pet diaries

Another from Uncle Sandy, who clearly has plenty of time on his hands but is too lazy to use the free authoring login I gave him on this blog:

This may be old enough to have long gray hairs, but it still speaks abundant truth.

Excerpt from a Dog's Diary........
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpt from a Cat's Diary...
Day 983 of my captivity....
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. >

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Innovative response to having one's car booted

I've seen plenty of cars with a Denver Boot on them, but I've never "earned" the privilege of wearing one. Apparently in this case the woman disputed the charges...

Thanks to Uncle Sandy...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hot diggety, Suede returns to New England! October 11

Oh my goodness, what NEWS! Get out your calendars and lubricate your wallets! For the first time in 14 months, on Sunday October 11 my jazz-blues singer sister the fabulous diva Suede ( will play in New England!

It's her favorite New England venue, the wonderful Jonathan's in Ogunquit, Maine. Those who've been there know how good the food is, and the small-but-not-too-small club upstairs makes it easy to enjoy The Diva's magnificent voice and stirring performances.

This is not a cheap evening, it's an evening that's WORTH IT. And so are you. It's a big deal HOLIDAY weekend, and the food is great. Plan to stay over at one of the nearby motels (Ogunquit is a big-deal beach town) so you don't have to drive home. We'll close the place down, as we've done many times in the past.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Terrific Apollo 11 photos

The Boston Globe's site has a terrific series of 40 photos about the Apollo moon landing 40 years ago. Most are pictures I've never seen. I encourage you to go look.

Amidst all the world's cynicism and uproar today, this story continues to inspire, and for good reason.

My favorite pair: Neil Armstrong before the launch...

...and after he'd walked on the moon:

I know these astronauts were all "Right Stuff" military test pilots, but I knew an awful lot of hippies who had exactly that same grin on their faces in 1969, for very different reasons. :-)

Call me a fool, but humanity continues to inspire me. That was forty years ago, people. Think what more we will achieve.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dick Cheney is an effing idiot

Dick Cheney actually had the stones to assert recently that Richard Clark "missed" the approach of 9/11. Yes, the Richard Clark who warned Condi Rice about Al Qaeda 5 days after the Bush inauguration, and warned again with a memo on 9/4/01. Cheney says he doesn't remember any of it.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Dick (Uncut)
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorEconomic Crisis

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nudity optional

Imagine my surprise to discover there's a nudist club in Cincinnati, a park called Paradise Gardens ( No, there aren't any nude photos, but the activity schedule includes several dances that sound like they think it's more fun to wear clothes:

Toga Dance

Toilet Paper Lingerie Dance

Costume Contest

Pajama Dance

~ Rhonda

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Circus goat walking on a wire

From Uncle Sandy. Gives a whole new meaning to "sure-footed." (The video, not him.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heartening word piece

This has 5 million plays on YouTube, and chances are you're one of 'em. Whether you are or not, I hope you'll enjoy. Nicely done.

Remix of Alice

Okay, children of the Sixties, this is it. Repeat after me: "TOO freaking MUTSCH!"


(Thanks to the odd design site Booooooom.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

CBS News: Kittens For Lunch

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's a perfect Mother's Day message.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is making the rounds of perpetually forwarded emails. I don't think it's as stunning as some folks say (the emails say "NO INSTRUMENTS! JUST HUMAN VOICES!", but it's fun.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MIT geeks create a virus that makes a battery

Not kidding. From

Those crazy lab rats at MIT are attempting to radically diminish the cost of producing sophisticated nanotech cathodes and anodes by enlisting viruses to do the hard work for them. ...

The team at MIT genetically engineered viruses to excrete certain proteins. Those proteins then react with chemicals introduced to the environment to create complicated structures. Proteins are very good at directing compounds to create complicated life forms.

The viruses, in effect, pull the needed compounds (gold and cobalt for the anode and iron phosphate and carbon for the cathode) into nanowires....

Unless EcoGeek is twisting the truth (how would I know?), this sounds closer to reality than one might think. Go read the post, if you wish.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well yes, that would explain it.

When we remember we are all mad,
the mysteries disappear
and life stands explained.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How to tell if your cat is trying to kill you (from Cats Who Twitter)

People who are aware of cat behavior, you have a new concern. Beware.

Acting on a lead from amazing medical tweet @JenMcCabeGorman, an investigative reporter (me) looked into the Cats Who Twitter blog, found the list (brazenly published!) of participants, and unearthed the Twitter user @3CatBlog. And there it was:

How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hard numbers: The economy is worse than you know

I've been meaning to post this for a long time. Someone steered me to it last summer. (Was it classmate Tim Koranda, our co-poster here?) It's about a problem that has nothing to do with party politics because it spans 25 years of both parties' rule. I work with statistics all the time in my day job, and I know first-hand, if you adjust your strategies in response to bad data, you'll run your car right off the road. And that's what I see has happened and continues to happen here.

The problem is that for decades various administrations have repeatedly changed the definitions of vital economic statistics, so one percent of inflation today is nothing like one percent of inflation a generation ago. Same for unemployment statistics and many others. It's almost as if we had changed the definition of "miles per gallon" and then tried to compare current cars with the ones from 1980.

The writer who was brought to my attention is Kevin Phillips, in last April's Harper's magazine. The article was reprinted online in the Tampa Bay paper. (The original has been taken down from the paper's site; the link goes to Google's cache of it.)

Yes, Hell has frozen over. Yes, I'm quoting a Nixon speechwriter on a topic where the Clinton administration seems to have been the most egregious offender. The chart above is one example: the definition of inflation has been repeatedly changed. Remember the Clinton campaign's internal slogan "It's the economy, stupid"? This graph shows that they apparently really believed it, adjusting the definition of inflation so the apparent number stayed around 3%, though by 1983's definitions prices kept rising at a faster and faster rate. (Others did it before and after, too.)

One form of manipulation is product substitution: in the weekly consumer grocery basket, when flank steak became too expensive, they simply stopped counting it and substituted hamburger instead - the same as if we stopped counting Toyotas and substituted Yugos and then talked about prices as if they were the same.

Another is hedonic adjustment, which means they've fudged the real prices increases downward, because we supposedly enjoy today's products more than we enjoyed previous products. (But note, they didn't make the definition change retroactive: one writer noted that this fudging would have blown the roof off prices in the 1950s, when air conditioning and widespread car ownership changed life dramatically for many people.)

Another example, which I discovered 5 years ago, is the definition of unemployment, also covered in Phillips' article. Many of you know that when you give up and stop looking, they stop counting you even though you still don't have a job and would take one if you could get it; and even if you're still looking after 6 months, they stop counting you anyway. JFK's administration brought us that one.

And the "job creation" statistics only count the number of W-2's, without considering full-time or part-time. So if someone loses a full-time job with benefits and has to take three part-time jobs to get by (without benefits), the statistics you hear on the TV would report it as "The economy created two new jobs last month."

My Congressman's office called the Bureau of Labor Statistics and confirmed that for me.

One problem with this is that policymakers don't take the fudging into account when they decide whether action is needed. They have rules like "if inflation is above 5%, do X." Look at the chart above and you'll see how cloudy their windshield has been.

Remember, I'm not saying this to attack any particular party - it's been happening through many different administrations. I'm saying that until we remove the fudging - or modify the policy guidelines - we have no hope at all of making effective decisions. And the economy's not going to get better.

Patsy Cline spoof (who's this comedienne??)

Yes, from Uncle Sandy again.

This is in several places on YouTube but I can't find the comedienne's name! First person to find it for me (and put it in a comment below) gets a year's free subscription to this blog.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obituary: on the death of Common Sense

Good ol' Uncle Sandy again. I imagine this one's been around the barn a few times, but hey, it's OUR blog, and we get to post whatever we want. (That's what Web 2.0 is all about.)

I've cleaned up punctuation and deleted some stuff I didn't like, because hey, it's my blog. :) You can start a blog too - see the Create Blog link at top right. I'd never had a blog, until I started one. (Duh?)


An Obituary, purportedly from the London Times

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who had
been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was - he'd been around as long as anyone could remember. He will be recalled as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • When to come in out of the rain
  • The early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn't always fair
  • Maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overdone regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding a student worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

He declined further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant.

Common Sense lost the will to live as churches became businesses and criminals sometimes received better treatment than their victims.

The onset of his final illness occurred when a woman placed a steaming cup of coffee between her legs, spilled it, and won a lawsuit about the consequences.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by four selfish stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, It's His Fault, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because hardly anyone noticed he was missing.

If you remember him, pass this on. If not, join the crowd.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Nothing ventured"

Here is an op-ed piece by Tim Koranda that just ran in the Orange County Register about paying people to do nothing.

New item on Denny's Menu

In honor of the mother of octuplets, Nadya Suleman, Denny's is offering the "Nadya" breakfast special:

It's 14 eggs, no sausage, and the guy in the next booth pays for it!

All, Tim Koranda is a college classmate of mine, whom I met only last year as a result of my being class secretary, so I write everyone several times a year. It's a cheesy way to get more email in my life, but it works.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why some senior drivers should be re-tested

This blog is about impatience. I get impatient with idiots of all stripes. So does evil Uncle Sandy in Stone Mountain.

But I love this. I so get the frustration and, well, impatience of just wanting to get OUT of there.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Swami Beyondananda's Guidelines for Millennial Enlightenment

I'd heard of this guy over the years, but this just showed up today on my ACOR cancer mailing list, and I laughed out loud about a dozen times. So here, happy Valentine's Day! From Swami Beyondananda:

1. Be a Fundamentalist--make sure the Fun always comes before the Mental. Realize that life is a situation comedy that will never be canceled. A laugh track has been provided, and the reason why we are put in the material world is to get more material for it.

2. Remember that each of us has been given a special gift, just for entering -- so you are already a winner!

3. The most powerful tool on the planet today is Tell-A-Vision. That is where I tell a vision to you, and you tell a vision to me. That way, if we don't like the programming we're getting, we can simply change the channel.

4. Life is like photography. You use the negative to develop.

5. It is true. As we go through life thinking heavy thoughts, thought particles tend to get caught between the ears, causing a condition called truth decay. So be sure to use mental floss twice a day. And when you're tempted to practice tantrum yoga,
remember what we teach in Swami's Absurdiveness Training class: *Don't get even, get odd.*

6. If we want world peace, we must let go of our attachments and truly live like nomads. That's where I no mad at you, you no mad at me. That way, there'll surely be nomadness on the planet. And peace begins with each of us. A little peace here, a little peace there, pretty soon all the peaces will fit together to make one big
peace everywhere.

7. I know great earth changes have been predicted for the future, so if you're looking to avoid earthquakes, my advice is simple. When you find a fault, just don't dwell on it.

8. There's no need to change the world. All we have to do is toilet train the world, and we'll never have to change it again.

9. If you're looking to find the key to the Universe, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is: there is no key to the Universe. The good news is: it has been left unlocked.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joe Cocker at Woodstock, with subtitles

I always did wonder what he was actually saying. Fasten your seatbelts.

=====RATS, that didn't last long! It now produces a copyright error. Sorry. Well, it was great. ==========

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hippo eats dwarf

I've been using Twitter lately. Many people use it for insipid exchanges of "I'm going to lunch now" updates, but I (and my Twitter friends) use it to eavesdrop on things that interesting people have spotted and post on Twitter.

This one's an oddity. The guy publishes a really good technical blog, but tonight he "tweeted" something a wee bit bizarre.

Hippo eats dwarf. No further commentary needed -
Sun, Jan 11 15:39:02 from web

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Okay so it's a month late. Listen to it.

(Ignore the stupid preview image that they put on the YouTube. It's not about Hell.) (Well, maybe it is.)