Sunday, January 27, 2008

primaries -- south carolina democrat

Barack Obama a lot! In the end Obama had 55% of the votes (295,091) compared to Clinton's 27% (141,128) and Edwards' 18% (93,552). Wow.

I can't wait to see what Super Tuesday has in store and Tuesday's Florida primaries. Will Giuliani's strategy of only focusing on Florida pay off? Personally I don't think so, but we'll see.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

video -- Jerry O Connell Funny Tom Cruise

I know that I didn't put the original video of Tom Cruise talking about Scientology up, but this one is pretty close. It's Jerry O'Connell, but the background lighting clothes and all that jazz is practically the same. Oh, and the way he acts it quite similar.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

love -- i hate the word but this is so cute

Generally I don't talk about love and all that because I've got some strange fear of things starting with the letter ''L" and love is one of those words. But, I found these two stories and I couldn't resist, it's just so cute. First some facts that I found on the Lancashire Evening Post website.

Some facts about marriage proposals:
* 54% of men still get down on one knee
* 44% of men ask their partner's father for permission to marry
* 57% of men cry when she said yes
* 65% of women say he could have put more effort and preparation into the proposal
* 25% of couples wait longer than five years before taking their relationship that step further
* 23% of women have been proposed to more than once
* 69% of women thought the timing of the proposal in their relationship was perfect

And next the story of a couple who have been together for 50 years.

Lawrence and Lena Nelson were married on November 23, 1957 when interracial marriages were still out of the question. But, that didn't stop them, they were in love. Because their relationship was essentially illegal the couple had to practically hide and do whatever they could so that others wouldn't be suspicious. When they finally got engaged Lawrence's parents were thrilled, they loved Lena. On the other hand, Lena's parents were, well the opposite. Lena's father told her that if she married Lawrence she "didn't need to come home anymore." Eventually Lena's mother approved of the couple and now 50 years later they are still in love.

blue monday -- the most depressing day of the year

Now, this would have made so much more sense had I wrote it yesterday, but I thought that the women in Congo were more interesting and important. Anyways, according to Erica Hill, yesterday was "Blue Monday." I've heard of "Black Friday" before but never Blue Monday. Anyways, yesterday was supposedly the most depressing day of the year because of all the Christmas debt, unkept New Years Resolutions and all that jazz.

Maybe it was depressing to others, but not me. I have an idea, limit your spending, people will understand that you don't want to end up in debt, no one does. And about the resolutions, be like me, don't make any. Most people don't keep their resolutions anyways so save yourself the energy and don't come up with one in the first place.

Wow, I sound so's to early in the morning.

Monday, January 21, 2008

rape -- congo

Nearly ten years ago the genocide in Rwanda spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now, there are more deaths in Congo than in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur combined. It is the deadliest time in history since World War II. Much of this has spread to women, what 60 Minutes has termed "the war against women."

In some villages up to 90% of the women have been raped. Most of them are gang raped, some of them children, only 3 years old and others as old as 75. The UN has created shelters, protective camps for the women, but even there some of them are raped.

In one case, a 24-year-old women was raped and the gang that did it made her brother hold the flashlight for them. After they were through they tried to get him to do the same. Her brother refused so the gang stabbed him to death right in front of her. She was then taken from her children to their camp where they raped her everyday for 8 months. Eventually she was able to get away. But, when she returned home, her husband abandoned her and she found out the she was pregnant. She ended up naming her child Luck, for the hope that she has.

Wives are often left after they are raped because of their husband's shame. Some say that the men feel humiliated because they were unable to do anything, unable to protect their wives, not because their wife was raped.

In addition to now being a single parent, the women are often shunned by their village because of the fear that they have contracted HIV. The women are also publicly humiliated since they are often raped in front of others. Even with all this happening, officials in Congo aren't doing much if anything about it. It is said that a $10 bribe may get them to investigate.

But, there are thankfully groups like Women for Women who help the women who have been shunned and abandoned. They teach the women skills to get by in life. they are often taught to cook and even to read and write.

To watch the full 60 Minutes story click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

lying -- most common

I heard a story which I'm pretty sure was on NPR's All Things Considered, but I could be mistaken and it was all about lying. They said how men lie more than women with about 5 versus 3 lies respectively per day. The number of times per year that we lie was stated, some insanely high number that I forgot. Anyways, the story seems like it could be from Relevant Magazine as they have a very very similar story.

Anyways, it seems that the most commonly used lie is "there's nothing wrong with me, I'm fine." I am not surprised by that at all.

Other lies that didn't make it to the most common, but are well liked are:
"Nice to see you."
"Sorry I missed your call."
"I'll call you back soon."

Agree? I do, a lot of those are statements that people say all the time, but generally you can tell by their expressions if they're lying or not...unless they're just a really good liar.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

scientology -- tom cruise and others

I realize that I haven't written for a while, but I hope that I can make up for that with this post. The week that The, rather A Daily Show and The Colbert Report returned to the air, actually the night after the New Hampshire primary Colbert said that Will Smith had become a Scientologist. I thought little of it since I didn't know much about Scientology.

This past Thursday, there was a report on 360° about Scientology and videos of Tom Cruise preaching it. I can't find any online since the Church of Scientology apparently had them all removed and I'm too lazy to record what was on 360°, but I've got a lot of pictures! I just had to use the one above with Anderson for my own pleasure.

Cruise stated in a video for the Church that Scientologists experience "new and better realities." I was going to try really hard to keep my comments to myself on this, but instead I'll just have to limit myself. Doesn't that sound like something that someone who's high would say? Maybe it's just me. Anyways, many have long known that Cruise supports the Church and many have thought that he has a high role in it. According to the Church of Scientology however, Cruise is "a parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the church hierarchy." You can make up your own opinion on that. Below is Tom Cruise with Church leader David Miscavige at a Scientology award ceremony.

On the program Anderson Interviewed former Scientologist Bruce Hines who stated that Scientologists believe that "only they have to answers to the problems of the world." That's not the worst thought in the world, but most people feel that way, Scientologists and not.

Then on 360° they showed an interview from June 29, 2005 between Anderson and Scientologist Bruce Wiseman.
Wiseman, as well as many other Scientologists feel that psychiatry and psychology are crimes against humanity. They pretend to help society and they are responsible for suicides because of the drugs that they prescribe. In the picture above, Cruise is talking to some guy about just that, if there was sounds it'd make more sense. Just a little note, I'm not sure how psychologist fit into that since in most places they can't prescribe medications unless they work for the federal government, and most don't. That is my summary of the heated conversation, but I'll post the parts I found interesting below.

COOPER: You don't believe [Psychiatry] has helped anybody?

WISEMAN: How can it help someone? You talked about the anti- depressant drugs. Anderson, studies at Harvard, studies at Yale, studies at Columbia, studies at the State University of New York tied these drugs to acts of suicide and/or violence, yet the psychiatrist slaps a label on a child who looks out the window or buts into line, and puts them on these mind-altering drugs.

COOPER: But just factually speaking, though, the actual number of suicides or side effects is actually quite small compared to the number of people who say they derive very real life-saving benefits from these drugs.

WISEMAN: Factually speaking, studies show that people on these anti-depressant drugs commit suicide almost twice as much as those who don't. Studies...

COOPER: Well, wait a minute, wait a minute -- what that -- what you're really -- there's no clear, necessarily correlation between the drugs themselves. You can make the argument that these are people who are, you know, have real problems and maybe would have committed suicide anyway, and perhaps the drugs didn't help them.But you're just saying, categorically, no drugs work.

WISEMAN: No. And it's important to understand the difference when you say the words drugs. We're talking about mind-altering drugs. We're not talking about medicines that actually help. Insulin, or antibiotics, we're talking about mind-altering drugs.


COOPER: Let me ask you, though, because what you have been talking about is drugs. And what Tom Cruise keeps talking about is drugs and electroshock therapy. He makes it sounds as if anyone who goes to a psychiatrist gets pumped full of drugs and suddenly gets electroshock therapy against their will. That's misleading. I mean, the number of people who actually get electroshock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy is tiny compared to the number of people who enter into talk therapy. Are you opposed to talk therapy as well from psychiatrists?

WISEMAN: 100,000 people a year get electroshocked, Anderson.

COOPER: Right, and 10 million people get anti-depressant medication. So, relatively speaking, it's a tiny number given the number, given the number of people who are actually in better therapeutic situations. So, are you opposed to talk therapy?

WISEMAN: I'm opposed to any psychiatric practice that pretends to be a science, and it's not.

COOPER: So, is any form of counseling, other than with a scientologists, or Scientology approved group, inappropriate?

WISEMAN: Communication is a universal solvent. Pretending that someone has got some kind of chemical imbalance. That's the falsehood. There is no chemical imbalance. And yet...

COOPER: OK, but if communication is the universal solvent, then it's OK to go to a psychiatrist and communicate and talk and talk about, you know, experiences -- cognitive therapy. That's OK?
WISEMAN: But, the psychiatrist pretends that there's a chemical imbalance, and they're going to treat this with drugs, or with shock, or...
COOPER: But that's not true, sir. That not all psychiatrists pump you full of medication. I mean, that's just simply not true. There are plenty of people who are with psychiatrists who don't receive medication, who are in talk therapy.But I just want to make sure we're accurate, you're saying that's still wrong, because this person is a fraud, basically.
WISEMAN: I'm saying that they're pretending to be a science when they are not. That they are a pseudo-science. That -- that whatever treatment they're using is based on a falsehood. It's based on a lie. It's based on a pretense that there's some underlying, chemical basis that there's a medical problem when, in fact, there is not. And I think the public is being -- has been misinformed, teachers have been misinformed about the subjective nature of psychiatric diagnosis. And the violence-inducing nature of the drugs used to treat them. I think it's criminal, frankly.
COOPER: Bruce Wiseman. We really appreciate you joining us tonight. It's rare to actually talk to -- I've never talked to you. I really do appreciate it. It's an interesting perspective. And we value everyone's perspective on this program. Thanks very much for joining us.

On another note, politics. Today was the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina Republican primary. Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney won in Nevada and John McCain in South Carolina. What I don't understand however is how Barack Obama ended up with more delegates in Nevada with him coming in second. I missed Michigan the other day where Mitt Romney also ended up on top, with Clinton thought that didn't much matter because practically all the other Democrats dropped out due to the fact that there were no delegates since the Democratic Party wasn't supposed to move their primary before Super Tuesday, but they did anyway, or something like that.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

maternity leave -- for teens?

Earlier this week there was a story on Prime News about public schools considering giving 4 weeks of maternity leave to pregnant teens. My views on this differ from what Erica Hill and correspondent Mike Galanos, but are somewhat along the lines of Janice Crouse of the Concerned Women for America.

Stating the statistics that only 1/3 of teen mothers make it through high school and that only 1.5% of them graduate college, Galanos thinks that it's a good idea. He also felt that it's a good idea because bonding time between the mother and child is awfully important. Hill also thinks that it is and stated that employers by law must give at least 6 weeks of leave, in some cases you can get up to 12 weeks.

Their guess, Janice Crouse feels that bonding time is important, but giving maternity leave doesn't send the right message to the teen mothers peers. According to her, others in the school may see the pregnant teen or the child and think "cute." By seeing it as cute, they may want to do the same.

To me, bonding time is important though I can't say to the extent like Erica Hill can. But, I don't think that high school student should be allowed to have maternity leave. Crouse thought about it being "cute", I don't agree with that. I don't think I've ever thought a pregnant woman was cute, and babies are okay but sometimes they look...well cute wouldn't describe it. In my opinion maternity leave shouldn't be given because it makes it almost okay to be pregnant at a young age. It'll tell students that if they're pregnant they'll essentially get a break. I know it's not exactly that, but it doesn't deter them in any way from having kids. And on the topic of people in the work force getting maternity leave. Generally, those folks have been around this planet long enough that they are aware of the consequences of their actions and are more likely to be planning to have children. They have gotten their education and have jobs so they hopefully can support their child.

Friday, January 11, 2008

fun facts -- courtesy of mental floss

Here are some fun/interesting facts courtesy of the magazine Mental Floss. If you ever need a magazine to read, that's one you should definitely check out. My dad subscribes to it and I always am anticipating the day that it arrives in the mailbox. It's a magazine for geeks (no offense to anyone) with a lot of interesting tidbits inside, most are probably things that you'll never need to know, but hey that's the best kind of knowledge.

-Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

-Oak trees do not produce acorns till they are 50 years of age or older.

-Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

-Apples are more efficient in waking you up in the morning that caffeine.

-Turtles can breathe through their butts!

I wish I could breathe through my butt...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

myths -- medical myths

Have you ever been told that reading in dim light will ruin your vision? How about shaving will make your hair grow back faster, thicker, and darker? Well, Rachel C Vreeman, of the Indiana School of Medicine, and Aaron E Carroll, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Regenstrief Institute in Indiana, are out to tell fact from fiction on these well known medical myths.

Let's start with reading in dim lighting. It has been found that it doesn't ruin your vision. Your eyes may experience some strain in the short term but there are no long term effects of reading in dim light.

Hair growth? Doesn't it grow back any faster, coarser, or darker. Visually we think it does, but actually when you shave it just removes the dead part of the hair, the living part in under the surface or your skin. Hair also only looks thicker because the tips or unshaven hair taper off. And finally in the respect of hair the only reason that your hair appears to be darker is that the sun hasn't had the time to lighten it up. Unshaven hair has been exposed too sunlight for years and has essentially been bleached by the sun.

Some other myths look at by Vreeman and Carroll are "we only use 10% of our brains" and "eating turkey makes people especially drowsy." To read more about these and other myths log on to

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

copycat -- billabong

I copied this off a bulletin I got through myspace. I just want to pass the word along that if you see the billabong shirt, please don't buy it.

"Oh no you didn't! Above you can see my original golden tooth Johnny Cupcakes design, which was created and released in 2005. It was featured in many magazines, blogs, and even seen on television. Next to it you'll see something very similar. Anyways, a ton of my loyal fans just sent me some different links to this new shirt the Billabong JUST released, called "Billabong, Bling Bling". Looks familiar, eh? It's the exact same things, minus the cupcake! Look at the teeth, look at the bottom row of teeth. With them being a bazillion dollar corporation, you figured they could of at least changed it around a little bit, or hired a decent designer. I guess they had to so this so that all the other corporate giants wouldn't pick on them for not being bully enough. Tssk Tsk! PLease spread the word on this not so good situateion / "coincidence" via blogs, myspace, facebook, etc.. The truth MUST be told about this type of nonsense! (Feel free to use the photo & info above.)"
And while your at it, check out Johnny Cupcakes, they've got some pretty cool designs.

politics -- NH primaries...and santa!

Clinton and McCain seem to have one New Hampshire. 100% of the votes don't seem to be in but in either case 1% wont really change the outcome. I must congratulate Sen. McCain, he seems to be a great Senator for Arizona.

Though this is way off topic, while I was reading a book I realized that if you rearrange the letters in Santa, you get Satan. Lovely, but I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

politics -- NH primaries

I had intended to write about the outcome of the New Hampshire primaries tomorrow morning when I got up, but I find myself writing now. Not all the votes are in yet, at this moment only 95% are, but it is projected by many sources that Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain will get NH. Of all the polls that I saw this morning, they were right about McCain, but not Clinton. It was thought that Obama would end up beating her, again.

I'd rather not saw who exactly I'd like to win the nomination, but I guess that means I can say who I wish wouldn't. I've never been a fan of Sen. Clinton and after tonight I'm even less of a fan tonight. I'm sure it was hard for Obama to have to make a speech congratulating Clinton after he was expected to win, by a lot. But, Sen. Obama did sounding quite sincere, he even told all of his supporters to give a round of applause to the former First Lady. Now, it is reported that Clinton's supporters booed Obama during his speech. Maybe I'm just extremely polite, which I highly doubt, but after your political nemesis congratulates you, it doesn't seem appropriate to boo them. Even though it was her supporters and not Clinton herself that did the booing they're linked to her.

I'm getting too worked up in all of this. And assuming that the final result are in before I fall asleep, I'm sure I'll have something to say here about it. If not, I'll have something to say in the morning.

Time to Catch Up

I'm not sure that I should say a lot has happened since the last time I was here, but stuff has happened so it's time to bring some of that up.

First off, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The 54-year-old former Pakistan Prime Minister was said to have been shot in the neck and chest before the gunman blew himself up killing himself and 22 others. The doctors said that she died of gunshot wounds, but the Interior Ministry is saying that she died of a fractured skull when she fell and hit her head on her van's sunroof. And by the way, I'm not sure what the "September 26" is on the picture, but since I got the pic off TV I'm thinking that it's from the video that they had showed previously.

Then, Happy New Year! My plan had been to watch the celebration on CNN, but since my mother doesn't have cable I was forced to record it and watch it this morning, only 8 days late! Anyways, decide the fact that Anderson Cooper was hosting it, I liked the fact that you could send in you own message to people and it'd be shown on the bottom of the screen. And, I seem to remember hearing a while ago that they'd show ALL the messages. So, I sent a message to my friends, did I see it? No. That's sad perhaps you'd say that there were just too many messages to show them all, I don't think so since I saw a couple of them twice. Sigh.
On January 3 was the Iowa caucuses. I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal and in USA Today that day that the front runners were Huckabee and Obama. Perhaps polls do come true since they came out on top.

Not that this matters to anyone but me, but The Daily Show and the Colbert Report were back on last night and they weren't as bad as I thought. And somewhat related to that, I spent a lot of my time away reading and I've got two books to recommend. First, Stephen Colbert's I Am America (and so can you!) That one's an entertaining book. And next, Rich Blake's The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up. It you need a tearjerker, read this book. It is the true story of Donny Herbert a fire fighter who was in a minimally conscious state for 10 years before he miraculously woke up and started talking. In the end he hurt himself in a fall and later got pneumonia which took his life. I first heard this story on 60 Minutes and watching it made me cry.

Today, the New Hampshire primary. According to the WMUR/CNN poll and the USA Today/Gallup poll report Obama and McCain are in the lead. In the event that Clinton doesn't get New Hampshire, I can see what her chief strategist Mark Penn will say. "President Clinton lost the first five states." We'll just have to wait and see.

And The Mole is coming back to ABC. That was such a great show, even without the Cooper factor. I doubt that they'll get Anderson Cooper as the host again, but one can only hope.

I know there is more, watching the 10 hours of 360 that I missed is making me realize that, but I think I'd be spending the rest of the day writing here. As much as I'd like to do that I should probably do as I was told and help take the ornaments off of the Christmas tree that still stands in my living room.