The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten things you have to admire about the French

Oh, the French! We saved their asses in two world wars and they turn their noses to the sky when we walk by. We love to hate them, and hate to love them. There are things they should be admired for, however. Here are a few of them:

1. They taught us that you can be short and be the leader of a first world country. Think Napoleon and Nicholas Sarkozy. The latter gained some press for having tall men removed from his security detail, a very Nepoleanish move. As a bonus, but you can score a hot babe to keep you company in the palace – think Carla Bruni.

Sarkozy and Carla

2. France, which seems to be perpetually on vacation or strike, has emerged as one of two economic strongholds in western Europe, although this is more a sad  indicator of the rest of the EU's weakness than France's strength.

3. The Eiffel Tower.

4. They are superb gift givers, as in the Statue of Liberty. This generous gift was given to the U.S. in 1886 by the people of France, is surely one of the world's best presents, ever.

5. The French Poodle. Considered the second most intelligent dog in the world, (the border collie claims first place place in the brains department), this dog is almost smart enough to run the EU. It's a great watch dog, chauffeur and all-around pet.

6. Food. Forget about Paul Boscue and the Michelin starred restaurants and think about "steak-frites". French fries alone should earn your admiration, although it's questionable if their origin is actually French. I'll throw in French Toast just to round out the argument.

7. Wine. From the cellars of over-priced Bordeaux to the vineyards of Champagne, the French are the true kings of the wine industry. They taught us that a single bottle of wine can command thousands of dollars and even bad vintages of first growth houses will be sought after. American Robert Parker may have brought them down a couple notches, but let's face it, they have mastered the art of wine making and marketing better than most of the world.

8. Language. Aside from an upper class British accent, listening to well spoken French is delightful, even if we cannot understand a word of it.

9. Sex. The French ooze sexuality and have none of the puritanical hold backs that confine North Americans. Their women are sensuous, they know how to dress and presumably undress.

Brigitte Bardot back when she was a godess

10. They think Woody Allen is a god. Really.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lindsay Lohan Playboy edition breaks ad records but magazine still in trouble

According the Business Insider, the Lindsay Lohan Playboy edition sold a whopping 55 percent more ad pages than same issue the year before. The problem is, the magazine is still in trouble. While circulation is not is free fall, the ad percentage rates are. Declining advertising in print is not news, but the question is whether Hef's leadership is a tad out of step with today's market. Read more here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Max Mosley sues Google to remove references to his Nazi sex orgy

BAD BOY MAX: Former Formula One boss Max Mosley is suing Google to suppress references to his Nazi sex orgy. Back in 2008, now defunct News of the World broke the story about Max and complete with an explicit video of the action,  which has more of a sex dungeon motif than a Nazi one.

 “The fundamental thing is that Google could stop this appearing but they don’t or won’t as a matter of principle. The really dangerous things are the search engines,”Mosley told the Leveson inquiry into the actions of the British press.

Try typing "nazi sex orgy" into Google and see what you get. Sorry Max, but take this spanking like a man and call the dogs off Google!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Video: Naked robber captured by dog

OH MOMMA: Watching this naked man lead police on a car chase, only to be brought down by man's best friend might not be your cup of tea; then again maybe it is. Have a gander as this canine officer tackles the nature loving law breaker:


Monday, December 12, 2011

Dutch architects create a design for Seoul skyscrapers that looks like the exploding 9/11 World Trade Center towers

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING: Dutch architects created a design for Seoul skyscrapers that look like the exploding 9/11 World Trade Center towers. Many, including the families of the 9/11 victims, are not amused. The architectural firm has since apologized, but you really have to wonder what the creative process was that went into the design. The firm, MVRDV, said it had not intended to create an image resembling the attacks and  did not see the resemblance during the design process.

From the company website: "We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt. It was not our intention."

From the company Facebook page: "A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse. MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11, it was not our intention. The Cloud was designed based on parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city. It is one of many projects in which MVRDV experiments with a raised city level to reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper. It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this. The design inspiration of The Cloud is visualised in the image here attached." 
The Cloud

The design

Brits test laser that blinds protesters

TURN A BLIND EYE: British-based Photonic Security Systems  has developed a laser that can be used against protesters to temporally blind them. The device, which resembles a rifle, shoots an intense beam of light at the target causing temporary blindness similar to briefly looking at the sun. Read more from the Telegraph

High fat diet causes butter shortage in Norway

Forget about the famous Norwegian Wood, what they need in Norway right now is butter. A high fat low carb diet craze there has caused a run on the butter supply leaving their coffers empty of butter. Butter that can be found on the market is going for four times the normal price.

"Sales all of a sudden just soared, 20 percent in October then 30 percent in November," Lars Galtung, a flack from Norway's biggest farmer-owned cooperative, told Reuters.

I've put a couple of pounds of butter in the mail to them already. Now off to sleep in the bath. 
Norway needs you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blazing Xmas lights: Crazy Christmas light shows

BLAZING LIGHTS BATMAN: Christmas is coming ... yeah, yeah, yeah. Some people go a little overboard with the decorations, putting on a great show for the rest of us Yuletide slackers. Time to spread some good cheer.  Have a peek at the Christmas light extravaganza put together  by Gawker

List: Five smartest porn stars

Direct from the great folks at RANKER (list and words),  here's a short list of a few porn stars with IQs well above room temperature: 

 "Asia Carrera studied piano as a child and she performed at Carnegie Hall twice before she turned 15. She's starred in over 275 adult films in her career  and has as IQ of 156. She also attended Rutgers University from which she earned a full scholarship, where she double-majored in Business and Japanese." 

"Annie Sprinkle is the first porn star known to have earned a Ph.D. She earned her doctorate in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California."

"Shy Love has starred in over 250 adult films during her career. She graduated high school at the age of 16, then earned a bachelor's degree and two Masters Degrees. She received her Bachelor's degree in Accounting, then went of to get  her Master's Degree in Accounting immediately afterward. Soon after, she became the comptroller of a multi-national pet pharmaceutical company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And during her employment there, she found the time to take night classes to earn her second Master's Degree in Taxation."

"Lorelei Lee, 28, is a well known porn star who has managed being a student and adult film star for almost 10 years. She is a 2008 graduate from San Francisco State University andenrolled at NYU's creative writing program. Despite much criticism, she continues to juggle both her adult professional career AND her grueling academic duties/schedule."

•  "Nina Hartley started working in strip clubs during her sophomore year of nursing school to support herself. She graduated magna cum laudefrom San Francisco State University's nursing school, and is a registered nurse."

Read the complete list of 13 brainy porn stars on RANKER

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Cop busted for pooping in public

WHEN YOU GOTTA GO : An Ohio cop has been charged with defecating in public and voyeurism outside of a local motel. Justin Lunsford was allegedly urinating, defecating and indulging in voyeurism outside the Parkside Inn. Officers were called to the motel after reports that a man wearing only a hoodie was urinating in the parking lot behind the motel.

Lunsford  has since resigned from the force.  Perhaps he has a new career lined up as a performance artist.

Read more:

Penis shaped foods (aka cucumbers) too sexy for Muslim women says cleric

HOLD THE PICKLES: A Muslim cleric warns that "penis" shaped foods, such as cucumbers and carrots, are too sexy for Muslim woman. There is a danger that they may have "sexual thoughts" should they lay their eyes on the offending veggies. The cleric was quoted by el-Sawsana news and further expounded on his wisdom by advising that a male relative first cut the offending penis shaped vegetable before allowing the woman to indulge. Actually, I think Lorena Bobbitt tried that on her husband John, albiet a little more directly. Read more:

Cucumber or are you just happy to see me?         Credit: Wikipedia

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Topless woman attacks city worker • The 9 badest jokers of all time

HUH? A topless woman in Heflin, Alabama attacks city worker. The worker was feeding some animals at the time. Now dating attacker .... well maybe not:

Anita Henderson attacked city worker

• THE JOKE IS ON YOU: The 9 all-time best jokers according to BuzzFeed. These folks know how to pull off the perfect joke and how to throw a pie. Read on:


Friday, December 9, 2011

The most amazing parallel parking job ever (VIDEO) • Mr.Skin's top 10 celebrity nude scenes

This is the most amazing parallel parking job ever! Watch this dude in New York squeeze into the tiniest parking spot I have ever seen and then do it  again when he departs:


While you're here have a look at Mr.Skin's top 10 celebrity nude scenes:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nude yoga • Lindsay Lohan's Playboy cover • UFO on Mercury

• GETTING NAKED: Nude Yoga might be responsible for the breakup of Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian,  but it's not just for the rich and famous. Nude yoga for you:

• PLAYBOY: Lindsay Lohan's Playboy cover has been leaked. Have a look:

• BEAM ME UP:  A NASA camera photographed an object that looks like the Starship Enterprise orbiting around the planet Mercury. Can the Klingons be far behind? Have a peak:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

252 pound pole dancer • Elevator accident • Drunk news anchor • Geezer bandit strikes • Portman lesbian sex video

• JUST GROSS: 252 pound, 5'4" pole dancer says she feels sexy:

• SADLY GOING DOWN: Woman dies in California elevator accident:

• 3 SHEETS TO THE WIND: This news anchor may have had one too many:

• BAD ASS: Geezer bandit strikes again (Video):

• HOT! Natalie Portman Mila Kunis Lesbian Sex Video:

Topless women • Cat-butt coffee • Sarkozy points • Post-date rant • Bikini stunt • Sex mags

• Women's netball team poses topless to bring in cash - $$:

• Cat-butt coffee – expensive - MORNING FIX:

• Thirty photos of Nicolas Sarkozy pointing - THE FINGER:

• Post-date rant - READ IT:

• Hot bikini stunt reunites woman and dog – SEE IT:

• How sex mags made the world better: READ IT:

• Man jailed for sex spanking - GET WHACKED: 

•Voyager enters "cosmic purgatory"- NEXT STOP HEAVEN:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

These are possibly the worst album covers in the world

Thank-you Steve Carter for putting together this great list of the worst album covers ever. I remember some pretty horrific covers from my youth, my father's Herb Alpert covers come to mind, but Steve has put together this great visual blog of some real doozies. Here's a sample:

See the rest of Steve's list here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Best quotes: The wit and wisdom of Silvio Berlusconi

Credit: Wikipedia
Silvio Berlusconi is gone (for the moment at least) after cavorting in Italian politics for 17 years. Like most politicians, Berlusconi loved to talk, perhaps without the filter that most others employ. Here's a few of his more memorable quotes:

“As always, I work without interruption and if occasionally I happen to look a beautiful girl in the face, it’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”

While visiting survivors of the earthquake in Abruzzo, who were living in emergency tents: “They should look at it as a weekend of camping.”

On American president Obama: “Handsome, young and also suntanned.”

“I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone.”

“Only Napoleon did more than I have done, but I am definitely taller.”

“Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini sent people on holiday in exile.”

To socialist German lawmaker Martin Schulz: “Mr. Schulz, I know there is in Italy a man producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps. I would like to suggest you for the role of Kapo. You’d be perfect.”

From a wiretapped conversation referring to a line of young women outside his door he reports: “... doing only eight girls, because I couldn’t do more.”

Adios Silvio!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Naked basketball player goes on rampage

Credit: Fresno Police
The phrase "Let's get naked" is part of the lexicon in the 'How to Party at College' handbook that I assume every student somehow receives upon beginning their higher education. The phrase "Naked Rampage" appears to be a new entry.

After being cut from the Fresno Pacific University basketball team, 21-year-old student Leonard Tyrell Young followed the first part of the handbook and "got naked". So far so good. Unfortunately, Young wend on to assault two women, attempt to steal a police car, and attack a police officer and his dog – all while naked.

 Police had to use a Taser to bring down the six-foot naked basketball player. Apparently, Young had been dismissed from the team for "a violation of team standards."

In case you are wondering, drug use was a factor – page one of he handbook. Young is being held on suspicion of carjacking, resisting arrest, vandalism, harming a police dog and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

 Read more here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jesse Ventura moving to Mexico? Maybe ... check out some of our favourite Jesse quotes

Credit: Wikipedia
You may have heard that Jesse Ventura is contemplating a move to Mexico after his lawsuit against the government for illegal search at airports was dismissed. Ventura has had problems with airport security because of a titanium hip implant that sets the metal detectors on high alert. Can't blame him for being pissed, but a move to the kinder, gentler Mexico just might not be the best of moves, even given his colourful past. Jesse has been a Navy Seal, wreslter, a mayor and a governor, just to mention a few of his careers.

 Time to take a look at some of Jesse's more memorable quotes:

Congratulations, you have a sense of humor. 

And to those who didn't: Go stick your head in the mud. If I wanna be president, I probably can. I also believe that government has no business telling us how we should live our lives.

 I think our lifestyle choices should be left up to us. What we do in our private lives is none of the government's business. That position rules out the Republican Party for me.

 I asked Dalai Lama the most important question that I think you could ask - if he had ever seen Caddyshack.

 I decided to run for governor because I got mad... I want to make government more directly accountable to the people. 

 I speak my mind. If it offends some people, well, there's not much I can do about that. But I'm going to be honest. I'm going to continue to speak my mind, and that's who I am. 

 If I could be reincarnated as a fabric, I would come back as a 38 double-D bra.

 Industrial hemp is a very useful plant. I challenged the attorney general to get rid of the criminal stigma associated with hemp so we can look at it in terms of how it might be useful.

.If you were to come to Minnesota, I could have you locked up like that. That's power. 

 Wrestling is ballet with violence. War isn't civilized. War is failure. It's the ultimate result of a breakdown in public policy and soldiers are the machines that handle that breakdown. In warfare, you're taught to do whatever you have to, to stay alive. 

 Even while I was a Navy SEAL, I participated in the 1970s peace movement. I marched at peace rallies. I admit it wasn't so much because of my great love of peace as it was because of my great love of female companionship. To the women in the movement, I was the poor beleaguered victim of the system, sent off against his will to fight this horrible war. They didn't realize that the navy had no draft! 

 I'm not disparaging suicides when I call them weak, I'm pointing out that anybody who would consider doing a thing like that needs help. I don't think a normal, mentally healthy person commits suicide. Of course, there are exceptions; people who are terminally ill are a different issue. But in the vast majority of cases, suicide is a tragedy that does unbelievable damage to the family and friends the suicide leaves behind. You don't want to encourage people to do such a thing.

 I looked at my wife and said, "You know what? If these people put their own dollar-an-hour raise above the integrity of our nation, I don't wanna be their boss anymore."

 Whenever you take a stand on an issue, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it. By having an opinion, you make yourself a target. Why do you think Congress likes to hide behind closed doors at decision-making time?

Need more quotes? Read more here.

Mitt Romney will be the next U.S. president

Credit: Wikipedia
Let me say this right off – I like Herman Cain. My reasons for liking him might be different from those that applaud his 9-9-9 taxation plan or his overly simplistic views on economic issues. I like him because he actually answers questions. While the other candidates dance the dance of words when asked direct questions in a debate, Cain will answer the question, yes actually answer the  question, in plain, clear language. The problem with Cain is simply his lack of political experience. His views have become somewhat more inconsistent as the level of scrutiny has increased with his popularity. A more experienced politician knows how to bait and switch with more skill than Cain has shown. The handling of his roaming stance on abortion is a prime example.

Enter the chameleon Mitt Romney. Friend of the gays? Maybe. Maybe not. He's been able to play it both ways with great success. Tea Party supporter? Who knows. A one point he took great care to distance himself from them, but lately has been snuggling up to them, as the political winds appear to be shifting that way, a la Herman Cain. Health care? Again, who can really tell since he brought in government health care in Massachusetts, only to condemn the program later, albeit blaming the Democrats for its mismanagement.

The question is: Will America elect a waffler Romney? The answer is yes. With Obama imploding on his lack of ability to deal with economic and military issues, the country is looking for a change. I've left out the rest of the Republican candidates, because I simply do not see them as having any hope of actually becoming the party candidate. It's Romney's track record of selling his changing viewpoints that actually will get him elected. He's a skilled and charismatic politician, with the depth of experience to know how the political world works.

In the end,  the election for president is largely one of personality cult and the ability to craft it. Like it or not, Romney has this worked out to the nth degree. He has the ability to craft his image to fit the current electable mold, to a much greater degree than his competition.

Ladies and gentlemen: President Mitt Romney.

P.S.   One might ask "What about the religion factor?" There is an issue with the big "M" in the room that doesn't stand for Mitt. Are Americans ready for a Mormon president? I believe it will be overlooked in the end. The focus on religion in the U.S. presidential race has always perplexed me. As a true non-believer, I have always thought religion has no place in politics. I find the Mormon doctrine and history to be totally bizarre, but then I find that most religions fall in this category. The biggest strike against the Mormon religion appears to be it's more recent incarnation. Just keep your religion in your pants Mitt and you'll be alright.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Prostitutes Hold Dog for Ransom

Credit: Dog Breed Info
A 4-year-old, black-and-brown Yorkshire Terrier named Ladybug has been held ransom by prostitutes since August 15.

Two women were visiting the son of the dog's owner at the family's Centrewille home on Cape Cod. They allegedly took the pint sized dog in lieu of payment for their services.

The 84 year-old owner of Ladybug has recently had a stroke and would like to see her beloved pet returned. "She's like a service dog," the woman said, crying repeatedly. She believes Ladybug may be held off the Cape.

The son has not been charged with any crime related to the incident. He said that he contacted the female escorts through He does not know the women's full names but was able to contact them. They initially demanded $1,000 for the return of Ladybug but have since increased that amount to $2,500.

The police have not been able to locate the beloved dog.

Read more here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

List: Ten Most Famous Dogs

We tried to come up with a top ten list that everyone agreed on ... but that never works! This is my personal list of doggy stars. Let us know if you disagree, perhaps agree, or have your own list to show off. Here we go ....

10. Chloe - The Chihuahua who was lead character in a terrible movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua, seems to have trended in Canine popularity. A stinker of a movie, this dog, never-the-less, wormed its way into popularity, despite my personal misgivings. I hate to include this mutt ... But it’s just too hard to exclude.

9. Astro – This space-age dog from the 1960’s futuristic cartoon show The Jetson’s, was found by Elroy in the episode “The Coming of Astro”. Astro spoke, in kind of a pidgin English, “Rar right yourge” meant “All right George”. Astro launched dogs into the future and showed us they still will have a place in a futuristic lifestyle that appears never to have arrived.

8. Cujo – This killer St. Bernard gets himself a bad-ass case of rabies and goes on to terrorize a small town., in this movie adapted from a Stephen King novel. A dog to be feared. Not all the famous dogs are nice!

7. Bo - The First Dog. This photogenic Portuguese Water Dog belongs to US President Barack Obama and the First Family. A president – a dog ... it’s an all-American pooch story. Everyone loves to see the Commander in Chief bend down to pet his dog.The kids chasing after it are a bonus.

6. Gidget - Taco Bell’s famous Chihuahua was a big hit with the public. Gidget was depicted as a Mexican revolutionary wearing a beret or as a bandit wearing a sombrero in the commercials. His famous line was "Yo quiero Taco Bell!", "I want Taco Bell!" in English.

5. Pluto - His best friend is a mouse, he’s from Disney and he is probably the goofiest dog ever. In terms of longevity and staying power ... Pluto has got it. Named after a maybe planet ... what more is there to be said!

4. Snoopy – Good grief Charlie Brown! Is there a more loved imaginary dog than Snoopy? From the comic strip to the TV screen, Charlie Brown and his friends have been part of modern culture since the 1950’s. Snoopy, with his versatile doghouse and pet bird, have carved a place in our hearts that persists years after the comic’s demise.

3. Brian Griffin – The dog from the show Family Guy is a witty and intelligent character, who speaks better English than his owner. He displays some of the typical canine qualities but his more human characteristics have made him one of the more popular animated dogs in television history.

2. Benji - This fictitious dog was the cuddly star of various movies in the 1970s and 1980s. His cute looks and love-able character made this dog a household name. The real name of the dog who first played Benji was Higgins who previously had a role in the TV show Petticoat Junction which aired in the 1960s. Edgar Buchanan, who also starred in the first movie, was also on the series.

1. Lassie – Lassie come home! Probably the most loved dog of all time, this character was created by author Eric Knight in a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1938. It was later released as the novel, Lassie Come Home, in 1940. The first Lassie movie, was made in 1943 starring Roddy McDowall, Elizabeth Taylor and of course, Lassie. The movie was a hit. The television series, Lassie ran from 1954-1974 . More Lassie series followed in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Video: The Known Universe

The American Museum of Natural History has put together this stunning little video of the known universe. It's based entirely on actual data mapped by astronomical observations. Sit back end enjoy as the universe unfolds in three minutes.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Video: Dog bites shark

I always knew that they were a tough bunch down under, but who knew they had such fearless dogs. Sharks have always reined supreme in the waters, but no one bothered to tell these brave hound dogs. Watch as these Aussie dogs corral a group of sharks, and then give one a nip.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Video: A tribute to Terminator 2

Yes Arnie is a philanderer and embroiled in all kinds of matrimonial mayhem, but he's back in this creative tribute video to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, made back in 1991, before director James Cameron became "King of the world" and was just a damn good director.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let them eat sh*t! Japanese scientist synthesizes meat from human feces

Remember the movie Soylent Green, the science fiction thriller where star Charlton Heston discovers the government is making food from dead people? Well, the Japanese have now created "Soylent Brown"; a synthetic meat created from human poop. No joke. Researcher Mitsuyuki Ikeda created a meat substitute using proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage sponsored the research because of the overabundance of "sewage mud".

The researchers then extracted the proteins from the sewage and combined them with a reaction enhancer. The mud is then put it in an "exploder" which creates the artificial meat. The “meat” consists of 63% protein, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals. It is then dyed red with food coloring and the flavor with is enhanced with soy protein.

The scientists say it tastes just like meat. Yummy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Video: Very exclusive preview of the iPad OS 5 complete with space-time connection – it's magic!

Magician and performance artist Simon Pierro shows off some of the more magical features of the beta version of the next iPad, including the awesome space-time connection feature. Watch the magic ...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The crime of photography: Student detained for filming train

9/11 changed many things in the western world, one of the most important being the loss of our feeling of security. Just who is the enemy and who should we be suspicious of? If you follow the old cold war communist method, every citizen is spy and has a duty to report any anti-social activity to the authorities. In countries where freedom is limited, citizens can be stopped and forced to produce their "papers" or face the consequences. In the U.S. and Canada, we live in free societies and in theory, do not have to submit to random demands the violate our rights.

What makes the incident in this video so sad is that it is happening in a free country and the person in question is quite obviously harmless and not breaking the law. The deaf university student in the video could have taken a much easier route and complied with the transit police when he was accosted, but he took and more difficult route and stood up for his rights.

Here is what he had to say about the incident:
"This incident occurred at the Cultural Center station in Baltimore, Maryland on March 21, 2011. I was visiting from Oregon, and as part of my career interests, I explored the transit systems of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. In each and every one of those cities, except for Baltimore, I had no problems photographing these amazing systems. 
This incident in Baltimore started with me enroute from the B&O Railroad Museum to Penn Station. I had boarded a light-rail train at the Convention Center, but realized that I needed to be on a "Penn Station" bound train, so I stepped off at Cultural Center Station in order to board the correct train. While waiting for my train, I snapped a photo or two of passing trains, and was immediately inundated with police officers confronting me about my photography. I also had a video camera on hand, so this entire incident, except for the last bit at Penn Station, was recorded. 
MTA Police finally gave back my farecard and ordered me to "cease and desist," but continued to surround and bother me until I boarded the next Penn Station train. They followed me to Penn Station and got Amtrak Police involved. I felt at that point I had no choice but to give Amtrak Police my ID so they could conduct a warrant check. If the MTA Police hadn't followed me, Amtrak Police most likely would have not conducted this security check based on my experiences at various Amtrak stations between Washington DC and Boston. The Amtrak Police Officer was truthful about the fact that there was no prohibition against taking pictures of trains or train stations, so his honesty is what also compelled me to give my ID. He was, in my opinion, dragged into this fiasco because of MTA Police. 
I have no qualms with MTA Police inquiring what I'm doing, but the fact that they took it to the next level with so many lies, unreasonable detainment, denying my boarding of my train that caused me to be delayed and following me to delay me further; this whole episode of theirs was unprofessional and perhaps unconstitutional. I am posting this video in hopes to further strengthen photographer's constitutional rights.
I am also being represented by ACLU of Maryland. 
Photography is not a crime. As long as you're on public property, or in a publicly accessible place like a subway station, you are allowed to take photographs.
It's your First Amendment right! 
You do not have to stop recording, or delete anything from your camera. Police must have a warrant to search or seize your camera. Do not let ill-informed police officers deter you from enjoying your hobby of photography."

Here is part two of the video:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video: "Gimme Shelter" brought to you by "Playing for Change" - awesome

Playing for Change is a creation of Mark Johnson, who travels around the world filming local and street musicians and edits the video into one coherent and fascinating song. In 2008, he released a cover of "Stand by Me" which led to a PBS documentary and CD release and the creation of the Playing for Change foundation, which supports music education.
“There are many songs that can touch deep into the human heart, and sometimes we need songs that sincerely express the urgency of our situation as a planet,” Johnson said. “We have far too many starving children, warring nations and divided people. ‘Gimme Shelter’ is a song with such a purpose and can inspire us without preaching.”
Watch this great version of the classic Rolling Stones song Gimme Shelter:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time lapse video shows earth rotating from viewpoint of the stars

Complete with a Star Trek-like soundtrack by Kevin Macleod, this very cool video by Stephane Guisard, Jose Francisco Salgado, and Nicolas Bustos, taken at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert, Chile, shows the Earth rotating from the perspective of the stars. Sit back, watch and feel like you are in an old fashioned planetarium, if you remember what those are.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Attention Trekies: Set course for Jordan - site of new Star Trek theme park

Let's set our phasers on stun and pick a site for a Star Trek themed resort .... the Rigel 5 star system ...  the planet Risa ... or perhaps even the holodeck. Just as unbelievable is Aqaba, Jordan, where a  $1 billion Star Trek-themed resort is soon to be built. The Rubicon Group, based in Amman, announced that it has reached an agreement with Paramount Recreation and CBS Consumer Products to build the resort, with a completion date of 2014.

Well beam me up Scotty! Who would have thought that a middle east dictatorship (OK monarchy) would have subjects with tricorders (or worse phasers) hidden beneath those robes and burkas. I suppose it might be like Kirk visiting one of those politically repressed planets, where he wrestles evil and leaves democracy and virtue in his wake. Then again, maybe it will be a spot filled with Japanese and Chinese tourists. Let's just see what happens when the Klingons, or would the be Jews,  drop in.

Aqaba, Jordan                      Credit: Tourism Jordan

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best job in Europe: Spanish air traffic controller – earn $500,000+ a year

Artistic picture of Air Traffic ControlImage via Wikipedia
Want to know what one of the best jobs in Europe is? Air traffic controller in Spain. Granted, it's a high stress job that many of us would not want to do, but the remuneration is staggeringly good. The average pay is $500,000 a year. Ten controllers were paid between $1.1 and $1.3 million last year, while another 226 were paid between $630,000 and $770,000, largely because of lucrative overtime payments. The problem is, the virtually bankrupt Spanish government can no longer afford the astronomical payouts and are trying to cut their pay to just below  to just below $300,000, which is still 10 times Spain’s average salary. The air traffic controllers reaction was to stage wildcat strikes stranding thousands of passengers. The Spanish government had to put the military in charge of air traffic control to get planes flying again. 

Aside from the effects of the economic collapse, the Spanish have another reason to try and reign in the air traffic controllers. Even though borders were relaxed with the coming of the European Union, they remained intact for air traffic. Europe currently has 39 national agencies as well as Eurocontrol. The U.S. has one agency – the FAA. European air-traffic agencies' operating costs per flight are 75% above the FAA's, largely due to their high labour costs.

Europe is now trying to implement a "Single Sky" solution, that would unify air traffic control under one agency. Like most financial and labour related issues in Europe, they face and incredibly tough battle, that must be fought fiefdom by fiefdom, each of which is very deeply entrenched. The Single Sky kickoff is slated for next January. The Spanish controllers, working under the supervision of their military, did make some concessions, but there is still a lot of air miles to go to achieve any meaningful solution

Video: After the Rapture - what the world might have looked like for the rest of us

Howard Camping might have gotten the math wrong ... but what if all the believers did get squirted out of our universe like watermelon seeds on May 21? What would the world be like for the rest of us non-believers? You can wait to October to find out (if Howard has his slide rule properly calibrated this time)  or have a look at this video by  The Thinking Atheist:

How long do animals live? Infographic from the 1930s tells all

From Information is Beautiful comes this beautiful vintage graphic from the 1930s showing the lifespans of various animals.  I'm guessing lifespans haven't changed much in the animal kingdom, while the life expectancy of homo sapiens continues to grow longer, at least in the first world. Sadly, the lifespan difference between those living in first and third world countries is vast. According to the United Nations, the longest life expectancy is in Japan (82.6 years) and the shortest Swaziland (39.6 years). 

Back to the animals. Here's what Information is Beautiful has to say about this graphic:
"Then there’s ISOTYPE – the International System Of TYpographic Picture Education. It was an early infographical form, originated in the 1930s by Austrian philosopher and curator Otto Neurath “as a symbolic way of representing quantitative information via easily interpretable icons.” Again, it’s eye-popping how modern these images look. Despite being fashioned from woodcuts and hand-printing methods. Gorgeous."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New wisdom from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about women's rights

Since Iran is the centre of freedom and tolerance, it should come as no surprise that the country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be a champion of women's rights! Of course, the wearing the  Hijab for women is mandatory. Not wearing one can result in punishments such as jail, flogging or any number of unspecified more brutal responses from authorities. And then there is the nasty business of women's testimony in court being worth half a man's, and women's right to inheritance is half of men's. We'll gloss over the executions and harassment of women for now and read the word's of wisdom  the fearless leader had this to say about women's role in the Iranian future in the Iranian press:

"The role played by women (in our society) is unique and exclusive and cannot be exchanged," Ahmadinejad said, addressing a conference dubbed 'Lady of Insightfulness' in Tehran on Monday, on the threshold of the national 'Women's (and Mothers') Day'.

He stressed the necessity for turning Iran into a role model in economic, social and cultural fields, and added that women play a significant role in Iran's move towards this goal.

"For this attainable dream to come true, the top role and responsibility once again lies on the shoulders of Iran's cultivated, courageous and courage-nurturing women," Ahmadinejad said.

He also blasted the West for mistreating women, saying that capitalist system is damaging the "reality and essence of women".

Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei yesterday lambasted the western countries for their instrumental use of women, describing the West's wrong view about woman as the root cause of the different problems existing in the western families.

The source for this is the Fars News Agency, which describes itself as "Iran's leading independent news agency, covering a wide variety of subjects in different, political, economic, cultural, social, legal, sports, military and other areas with the most up-to-date, independent, unbiased and reliable news and reports in Persian and English." 

Video: Best homeless begging sign ever

There's begging and there's begging with style. This gentleman has the style down with his very clever sign in downtown Miami. Have a look at this very short clip of this man and his sign made from liquour box dividers:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Video: Dazed and confused rapture author Robert Fitzpatrick reacts when end of world fails to occur

Rapture hour came and went and we're all still around to chuckle. Author of the self-published book, "The Doomsday Code: God Is Warning Us Through the Bible", Robert Fitzpatrick, was waiting in Times Square for the fatal moment that failed to occur. Fitzpatrick is perplexed as to why the prediction by 89-year-old radio host Harold Camping's rapture prediction failed to launch:
"I expected it to happen immediately before 6 p.m.," Fitzpatrick said shortly after 6 p.m. 
"I'm tired." 
"I was working hard trying to get the word out. I'm very surprised. I fully expected that something would happen." 
"I'm wrong," admits a baffled Fitzpatrick. 
"I just don't understand. Everything indicted this was the day and that was the time."

Watch the dazed and confused Fitzpatrick try and answer questions in the video.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Woman busted by the NASA undercover police for attemptig to sell moon rock for $1.7 million

Apollo 14 Commander Alan Shepard and the U.S. flag                   Credit: NASA
I'm not sure what surprises me more; that there is a thriving black market for moon rocks or that NASA has undercover police. I had always believed  moon rocks were under lock and key in government institutions and museums, but there appears to be quite a number of the rocks floating around out there. As to the NASA undercover police – who knew!

NASA investigators and California's Riverside County sheriff's deputies detained a woman after she tried to sell a moon rock to an undercover NASA operative for $1.7 million. When the woman pulled out the rock to show the investigator, police swooped in. The woman, who was released, has potential charges pending.

It's illegal for a normal citizen to sell or own a moon rock in the United States, which are considered national treasures. These treasures were pretty widely distributed by then president Richard Nixon, who made gifts of the rocks to each U.S. state and 136 countries. There were about 2,200 samples of lunar rocks and other samples brought back by the various Apollo missions. Recently a survey showed that 10 states and 90 counties could not account for their moon rocks. No surprise that their is a thriving market for the rocks; both authentic and counterfeit.

Moon rock on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington  Credit: Alkivar/Wikipedia 

Most moon rocks offered for sale are bogus. In fact, a rock on display at the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, turned out to be a a fake and not an artifact collected by the Apollo 11 crew as previously believed.

Back to our rock seller. She faces one of two charges: either charges related to possessing and selling a moon rock, if the rock is real or fraud if it's not. "We don't know if it's lunar material," commented Gail Robinson, the deputy inspector general at NASA. The agency is now testing the rock to determine if it is authentic. Caveat emptor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The blunders of Donald Trump - failures and bankruptcies

Donald Trump at a press conference announcing ...Image via Wikipedia
At least the Donald had the courtesy of fire himself from the Republican  presidential race without putting us through more of his birther wackiness. Now, Let's take a look at some of "billionaire" Donald's other mis-adventures: ,  the search engine you’ve never heard of, and will never hear of, was launched in 2006. No surprise: it was shut down a year later. 
• Trump Magazine,  a high-end magazine for the affluent and rich.  Low ad sales force the closure of the magazine  in 2009. 
Trump Vodka, which was marketed as a product that "demand[s] the same respect and inspire the same awe as the international legacy and brand of Donald Trump himself."  The vodka is no longer produced. 
• Trump Mortgage, was launched in 2006 and  Donald Trump Jr. boasted it would become the country's leading home loan company. It closed two years later. 
Trump Airlines, was launched in 1988 (when Trump purchased Eastern Air Shuttle)  and featured such amenities as applewood floors, chrome seatbelt latches and gold-colored bathroom fixtures. The company failed to show a profit and  Trump defaulted on his loans. In 1992 it merged with a new company and the Trump name was removed from the planes. 
And then there are the Trump bankruptcies: 
• Taj Mahal Casino, Atlantic City NJ – 1991 
• Trump Plaza Hotel – 1992 
• Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts – 2004 
• Trump Entertainment Resorts (Renamed from Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts — Trump bailed it out with $72 million of his own money) – 2009

And finally there is Trump's showdown with OPEC: "I’m going to look ‘em in the eye and say, ‘Fellas, you’ve had your fun. Your fun is over.'" Great negotiating strategy that would make John Wayne proud, except Wayne was pointing a gun at the bad guys and the Donald is firing blanks. 

Source: ThePBH Network