Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Seven-Year-Old Designated Driver

Meet Alfredo Martinez. While the Nevada man should be saluted for knowing that he was too drunk to get behind the wheel last night, he probably should not have tabbed his seven-year-old son as his designated driver.

Martinez, 37, was arrested after Reno cops spotted his car weaving across lanes and stopping suddenly. When officers pulled over the vehicle before it could enter a highway, they found a plastered Martinez in the passenger seat and his son behind the wheel. Martinez, pictured above in a mug shot snapped at the Washoe County lockup, directed the boy to drive him home because he was too drunk to do it himself, cops said.

Martinez is facing a felony child endangerment rap.

Happy Halloween 2006

A Memorabilia Collection That Rocks

It sounds more like something from the old West than modern day San Francisco.

It was dusty. It was musty. It didn't smell real good.

This is a true story about buried treasure. Deep in the basement of a non-descript warehouse, down a maze of back alleys, Bill Sagan discovered what amounts to a goldmine.

"It was 25 feet high in height, below ground. Part of it was below ground," said Sagan. "And there were, I thought, hundreds of thousands of items that were in there. And truly there were millions of items."

It was a rock 'n' roll treasure trove — millions of original photographs, posters, documents and much more of forgotten artifacts from an unforgettable musical era.

"We've been told that there exists no other trove of rock 'n' roll history that is anywhere near the size of this anywhere else," said Sagan.

To explain where this lost treasure came from we have to travel back more than 40 years to a time when San Francisco was at the vanguard of the rock 'n' roll revolution. And leading the charge was one man, Bill Graham.

From the first concert he staged at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore auditorium in 1966, Bill Graham became one of the most influential figures in music history. Many say he literally invented the concept of the modern rock concert.

"Bill Graham did something that very few people do," said Sagan. "He started an industry. Live performance music in music halls. Rock and roll. He broke these bands. If Bill Graham hadn't been there, would Janis Joplin have been as big?"

In 1969, Joplin herself certainly appreciated him. In a 60 Minutes interview, Joplin said: "Graham really understands musicians, and that's really important to musicians. Most promoters don't care anything except 'two 45-minute sets, $6,500 dollars.' They refuse to relate in any other terms."

From 1966 to 1991, Graham's company, Bill Graham Presents, put on more than 20,000 concerts worldwide. Everyone who was anyone played for him — Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Santana, U-2. You name it. The list goes on forever.

And for nearly 30 years Graham saved everything he could get his hands on from every concert he ever put on.

"Bill Graham was a pack rat," said Sagan. "I think Bill Graham just put everything down in that storage area and was going to keep it forever."

For Graham, forever didn't last long. In 1991, on his way back from a concert, he was killed in a helicopter crash. While his memory lived on, memory of his archive began to fade. During the next decade, ownership of Graham's company changed hands several times. But no one took the time to sift through all that "junk" in the basement, until 2003, when the latest owners decided to sell yet again, and Bill Sagan bought it all.

He said: "And one day — I believe it was 25, 40-foot trucks — truckloads took the product from their building over to our building."

Sagan and his staff kept their find a secret while they catalogued every item from what they now called Wolfgang's Vault. Wolfgang Grajonca was Bill Graham's given name. Now they've opened it up to the world and put most of it up for sale on their Web site, wolfgangsvault.com.

First there are the photographs. "I thought there was maybe a half million to a million slides and negatives," said Sagan. "As it turned out, there's probably is closer to a million and a half to two million slides and negatives."

There are posters by the thousands, the psychedelic artwork that went up weekly in San Francisco in the '60s. "We have more than 500 posters that are so rare that their retail price would be in excess of $15,000," Sagan estimated. "There were drawers full of tickets from decades of concerts."

Graham seems to have kept every contract he ever signed. But he had one more big surprise in store, and only after he bought the collection and started going through boxes did Sagan discover what may be the most valuable asset.

"There are nearly 7,000 tapes of 7,000 different performances,' said Sagan. "And the reason I say nearly is because we haven't counted them all and we haven't looked at them all."

Graham didn't just save memorabilia from the concerts, he saved the concerts themselves — rare, high quality recordings of legendary concerts that haven't been seen or heard, in some cases, for 40 years.

Just to give you an idea of what Sagan discovered: The Who's last performance of their rock opera, "Tommy," before drummer Keith Moon died at age 26, and the last concert ever from the British punk-rock pioneers The Sex Pistols.

Bill Graham's cameras had captured most of all the big names through three decades of rock. The Allman Brothers, Chicago, Lenard Skynard, Peter Frampton, Bob Marley.

And more concerts were discovered on audio tapes. On the wolfgangsvault web site, fans can now listen to previously unreleased versions of some of their favorite songs.

"It's tough to do your job because it's so tempting to go down and just listen to audio or go look at video," said Sagan about opening up all the boxes. "I could spend all day doing it every day."

So remember the part about this being a goldmine? We weren't kidding. Sagan reportedly paid $5 million to $6 million for all that stuff.

"In my opinion, it's worth a significant amount more," said Sagan. "It certainly is in excess of $50 million. It's probably in excess of $100 million."

Sagan grew wealthy running a couple of healthcare and insurance companies. Now he sees himself as part businessman, part guardian of a legacy. He says he'll never sell many of the rarest, most valuable pieces, like Bill Graham's personal poster collection. "It's not for sale. It won't be for sale."

But most of the rest is up for sale, and Sagan has identified his market: people much like him, members of a nostalgic generation who have some money to spend on memories.

"Thank god for Baby Boomers who want to relive that good part of what they remember of their youth. And thank god for good music."

Miami Zoo Hosts Poop Exhibit

Meadow muffins. Guano. Feces. Solid waste. Caca. The words for poop are endless, but the Miami Metrozoo has another term to add to the list: educational.

Now on display is a 5,000-square-foot exhibit on excrement titled "The Scoop on Poop," which invites visitors to explore the science of scat. The exhibit is filled with photos of animals in some of their most indelicate moments. Stool sample models abound: haylike football-sized balls (elephant), kidney-bean-looking pellets (porcupine) and coallike lumps coated with fur (black bear).

Beyond the "ick" factor, however, zoo officials and the exhibit's creators say there is a lot of information being imparted. Visitors can smell the stench of flowers that mimic dung to attract flies for pollination. Videos include one of a hippo spreading its droppings around to mark its territory. Simple games include "Who Dung It?"

"We didn't want this to be a gross exhibit for shock value," said Chad Peeling, who helped create the display. "Our goal with the exhibit was to make people think, kids especially, about the science in all aspects in life and this thing that adults don't like to talk about."

Miami is the exhibit's second stop after opening at a Virginia museum in May. Created by Clyde Peeling's Reptiland _ whose namesake is Chad Peeling's father _ in Allenwood, Pa., it is based on a 2001 book of the same name. After the exhibit closes at the Metrozoo in January, it will make stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Redding, Calif.

The exhibit is not the first to feature feces, however. An exhibit called "All the Poop" toured Japan in 2001 and another in England showcased scat samples.

On a recent afternoon one woman cheered "go, go, go" as two children raced model dung beetles at a station in the Miami exhibit. Students on a class trip posed in a cutout of a person sitting in an outhouse. Others examined slides of parasites found in dung using a microscope, while classmates weighed themselves on a scale designed to tell them how long it takes an elephant to poop their weight.

"I don't think it's that disgusting," said Bruno Cazarini, 13, of the exhibit's topic. "I think plenty of people get the wrong impression."

Cazarini, who was visiting the zoo with a school group, said he knew about dung beetles, some of which burrow inside dung to eat and rest. But he did not know about its uses as a type of waterproof plaster for the homes of Masai people in East Africa, which he learned from information at the exhibit.

Adults have had fun with material, too. Some volunteers and zoo employees have started wearing plastic poop pins that look like the real thing. Zoo personnel have also brought out a bowl of chocolate- covered candy, inviting visitors to take one if they dare.

Elephant keepers, meanwhile, were charged with weighing the amount of elephant poop one of the zoo's Asian male elephants, Dahlip, produces in a 24-hour period. The total: 540 pounds. Meanwhile, a commercial for the exhibit, which will begin running shortly, has already shown up on YouTube.

One couple, who are zoo donors, even called to offer to loan the zoo a scat sample of their own. The pair has a lump of excrement from 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat enclosed in a glass globe, which the zoo plans to put on exhibit within a few weeks.


Monday, October 30, 2006

"Love witch" loses court battle

A German woman won a lawsuit against a "love witch" who failed to induce her ex-boyfriend to come back with rituals under the full moon designed to cast a spell over him, a Munich court said Monday.

"The witch lost," said Munich district court spokeswoman Ingrid Kaps. The 'love witch' was ordered to return her 1,000 euro ($1,300) fee and pay "several hundred euros" in costs.

"The plaintiff was in despair after her boyfriend left and tried to get him to return with help from a woman who calls herself a 'love witch'," she added. "The court has ruled it was a service that was 'objectively impossible' to render."

The witch disputed the plaintiff's claim of a money-back guarantee, Kaps said. The witch, described as an elderly woman, also lost an appeal. The spokeswoman declined to give the names or ages of those involved.

"A love ritual is not suited to influence a person from long distance," the court said. "As the promised service could not be rendered, the plaintiff is not obligated to pay."

Scottish DUI Test

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Web Site Automates Fake Boarding Passes

A computer security student says terrorists would have no trouble getting around the government's no-fly list, and to prove it he set up a Web site that prints fake boarding passes.

The passenger name on the fake boarding pass is "Bin Laden/Osama," although travelers can put in their own name — or a fake one — and change the flight information, too.

Christopher Soghoian, a 24-year-old doctoral student at Indiana University, said he set up the site to prove that the Transportation Security Administration isn't taking airline security seriously.

Others have pointed out before that savvy computer users could modify an airline Web page to print fake boarding passes, but Soghoian took it a step further and automated it.

"Before, any 12-year-old could have done it," Soghoian said on Friday. "Now any 30- or 40-year-old could do it as well."

Soghoian said terrorists on the no-fly list could use a fake boarding pass to avoid the no-fly list because IDs are only checked when the passenger passes through TSA screening. So someone could use a fake boarding pass with an ID that matches and get through the screening.

They'd then need a real boarding pass — presumably bought under a fake name — to get on the plane.

There also have been reports of travelers flying without an ID at all. That "essentially means the no-fly list does not work," Soghoian said.

TSA spokesman Christopher White said other security measures are in place, including metal detectors, even if someone boards under a fake name. He condemned the Web site.

"The Web site really has the potential to promote illegal activity," he said. "Showing fraudulent documents to get through security is against the law."

Soghoian said he built his Web site to mimic Northwest Airlines boarding passes because he had one handy after flying Northwest earlier this week. He said he has nothing against the airline.

Soghoian said the fake boarding pass couldn't get anyone onto a flight — as long as the airline's computers were working — because the bar code wouldn't match the other information on the pass.

Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said the airline immediately notifies the TSA and law enforcement agencies if it discovers a fraudulent boarding pass.

Soghoian said taking nail clippers and liquids away from travelers is just giving them a false sense of security, and that he's trying to show where the real threats are.

"When they say 'For security reasons,' everyone shuts up, everyone follows the rules, and no one questions authority. And I don't think that's right," he said.

He said no one from the government had complained to him about the site, yet.

"If I get a letter from the government telling me to take it down, then I'll take it down straightaway," Soghoian said.

You can see it all right HERE.

It's amazing the fine folks at TSA, what been through multiple people in charge, hired a bunch of convicts before they realized they all had criminal records and don't even offer employee's DENTAL coverage have gotten as far as they have. Protecting the flying public?, ask anyone who fly's today if they feel safer with TSA than the previous organization run by BILL APINO...

America: Protected BY MORONS 365 days a year...

AC/DC 1978 (1st US TV )

This is a clip of AC/DC playing live from the 1970's "Midnight Special" - Wolfman Jack's network live concert program. This particular episode was hosted by Ted Nugent, and the band is introduced for the first time to an American TV audience by Ted Nugent and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Bon Scott is AC/DC's lead singer at this time, and he puts in an incredible performance along with lead guitarist Angus Young.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

He's Blind Not Gay

Teen has breast removed after infection

A teenager who decided to get her breasts pierced for her 18th birthday faces reconstructive surgery after a flesh-destroying infection forced doctors to remove her left breast.

Stephanie Edington of Crawfordsville remained hospitalized Friday at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, where surgeons also removed lymph nodes and infected skin up to her collar bone.

Robert Goulet Jr., a doctor and professor at the Indiana University Cancer Center, said the piercing created an entry point for the bacteria, but the procedure likely did not cause the infection itself. Edington is diabetic, which left her susceptible to infection, he said.

Doctors diagnosed Edington, who had the piercings on Aug. 29, with necrotizing fasciitis, or gas gangrene — a rare condition that results from rapid bacteria growth and leads to tissue destruction. It is only the third documented case in the world of gas gangrene in the breast area, Goulet told The Paper of Montgomery County.

She was in critical condition by the time she arrived at the hospital Oct. 14, Goulet said.

"By the time she got here, the skin tissue was all pretty much completely dead," he said. "She was a very sick kid when she got here."

Edington is on an aggressive antibiotic regimen and has already undergone three surgeries. She faces several more, including eventual breast reconstruction.

She said she was eager to be discharged but worries about what awaits her.

"I would like to get out, but I am scared of what people are going to be thinking," she said.

Edington's mother, Pamela Osban, said her daughter's illness has shaken their entire family. She worries about her daughter's future.

"You have no idea what it's like to almost lose your daughter and then to make the decision to have one of her breasts removed," she said. "Some people say 'It's just a breast.' They aren't an 18-year old girl. It's devastating for her and for the family."

The Other Side of Suicide Bombers

I Feel Like Pussy-Crap

The girls vying to join PCD won't let a little vomit stop them from achieving their goals.

During taping of the new reality show, "The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll," a nasty stomach bug made its way through the hopefuls, prompting producers to consider shutting down filming for the day.

However the ladies weren't having it, showing their dedication to joining the all-girl group by continuing the task at hand, throwing up off to the side when necessary.

Expect all the drama to unfold on the show when it hits the CW in the beginning of the new year.

Marvel/Post Office : Collection 2

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh my god, South Park mocks Irwin

The creators of South Park have never been afraid to upset celebrities - and many of the show's viewers.

From jokes about religion and homosexuality to four-letter tirades, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always mixed shock tactics with satire in the hit cartoon series.

But they were accused of hitting a new low last night after lampooning the demise of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin just weeks after his death.

The latest episode shows an animated Irwin in Hell with a stingray poking out of his bleeding chest.

Irwin, 44, died in September after he was impaled by a stingray's barb, while snorkelling near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The South Park episode called Hell On Earth 2006, which was broadcast in the US this week, shows Satan preparing to host a Hallowe'en fancy dress party.

Hundreds of dead celebrities are invited, including rapper Notorious B.I.G., Princess Diana and Hitler.

But at the party Satan receives complaints from his guests that someone is inappropriately dressed up as Irwin.

Satan confronts Irwin but the Aussie environmentalist protests it is really him, not a guest in a costume.

While characters have been killed off in the series before – spawning the show's catchphrase "Oh my god, they killed Kenny!" – campaigners are particularly incensed about the stingray still being attached to Irwin's bloodstained trademark khaki shirt.

British broadcasting watchdog Mediawatch condemned the episode as "grossly insensitive."

Its director, John Beyer, said: "I think this is in bad taste. Steve Irwin's family are still grieving."

"To lampoon somebody's death like that is unacceptable and so soon after the event is grossly insensitive. It is not what the family would want to see."

South Park maker Comedy Central defended the episode. A spokesman said: "It has offended people in the past and probably will again. Regular watchers would not be shocked."

Those Crazy Germans in Afganistan

Boy Scout Anti-piracy Merit Badge

The new Boy Scout merit badge is causing quite a bit of controversy online. That's because aware consumers know that the word "Respect" in Respect Copyrights is a subjective term. The merit badge - wholly developed under the auspices the entertainment industry - is more propaganda than a beacon of good clean living. The truth is the digital age has exposed the flaws and abuses of copyright, the laws that govern it and the entities that control it.

The issues, which include the fair use rights of citizens, are complex and in need of revision. That revision will take years of congressional review and then court interpretation of law, because copyright is a state-endorsed monopoly and fair-use rights are imparted into this privilege to preserve balance. The whole process is made more convoluted by an array of bills like Broadcast Flag, which plan to impart a pro-corporate interpretation of this monopoly, weakening this balance. Monopoly should never be absolute.

The issue is under too much turmoil to distill into a merit badge for tween and teen boys. Recently, Creative Technologies released a firmware upgrade to its MP3 players that removed a feature that allowed these players to record FM broadcasts. Creative cited fear of record industry lawsuits. The problem is the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 specifically allows the activity the record industry calls illegal. Are these Boy Scouts being taught that the rights given to them by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 are a criminal activity? You see my point. This is one merit badge whose merits are in question.

The media industries are very crafty to manipulate the Boy Scout organization into helping them with their awareness campaign. But I am not as concerned as some of my peers.

You see I was a Cub Scout and I KNOW what many of my fellow scouts did after the meetings. I can say with all honesty that not all of it was virtuous.

Is Sex Necessary?

Fans of abstinence had better be sitting down. "Saving yourself" before the big game, the big business deal, the big hoedown or the big bakeoff may indeed confer some moral benefit. But corporeally it does absolutely zip. There's no evidence it sharpens your competitive edge. The best that modern science can say for sexual abstinence is that it's harmless when practiced in moderation. Having regular and enthusiastic sex, by contrast, confers a host of measurable physiological advantages, be you male or female. (This assumes that you are engaging in sex without contracting a sexually transmitted disease.)

In one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency, Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare persons of comparable circumstances, age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the laggards. Other studies (some rigorous, some less so) purport to show that having sex even a few times a week has an associative or causal relationship with the following:

- Improved sense of smell: After sex, production of the hormone prolactin surges. This in turn causes stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the brain's olfactory bulb, its smell center.

- Reduced risk of heart disease: In a 2001 follow-on to the Queens University study mentioned above, researchers focused on cardiovascular health. Their finding? That by having sex three or more times a week, men reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half. In reporting these results, the co-author of the study, Shah Ebrahim, Ph.D., displayed the well-loved British gift for understatement: "The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest."

- Weight loss, overall fitness: Sex, if nothing else, is exercise. A vigorous bout burns some 200 calories--about the same as running 15 minutes on a treadmill or playing a spirited game of squash. The pulse rate, in a person aroused, rises from about 70 beats per minute to 150, the same as that of an athlete putting forth maximum effort. British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year. Muscular contractions during intercourse work the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck and thorax. Sex also boosts production of testosterone, which leads to stronger bones and muscles. Men's Health magazine has gone so far as to call the bed the single greatest piece of exercise equipment ever invented.

- Reduced depression: Such was the implication of a 2002 study of 293 women. American psychologist Gordon Gallup reported that sexually active participants whose male partners did not use condoms were less subject to depression than those whose partners did. One theory of causality: Prostoglandin, a hormone found only in semen, may be absorbed in the female genital tract, thus modulating female hormones.

- Pain-relief: Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin surge to five times their normal level. This in turn releases endorphins, which alleviate the pain of everything from headache to arthritis to even migraine. In women, sex also prompts production of estrogen, which can reduce the pain of PMS.

- Less-frequent colds and flu: Wilkes University in Pennsylvania says individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30% higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system.

- Better bladder control: Heard of Kegel exercises? You do them, whether you know it or not, every time you stem your flow of urine. The same set of muscles is worked during sex.

- Better teeth: Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to retard tooth decay. Since this is a family Web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system. Suffice it to say that it could be a far richer, more complex and more satisfying experience than squeezing a tube of Crest--even Tartar Control Crest. Researchers have noted, parenthetically, that sexual etiquette usually demands the brushing of one's teeth before and/or after intimacy, which, by itself, would help promote better oral hygiene.

- A happier prostate? Some urologists believe they see a relationship between infrequency of ejaculation and cancer of the prostate. The causal argument goes like this: To produce seminal fluid, the prostate and the seminal vesicles take such substances from the blood as zinc, citric acid and potassium, then concentrate them up to 600 times. Any carcinogens present in the blood likewise would be concentrated. Rather than have concentrated carcinogens hanging around causing trouble, it's better to evict them. Regular old sex could do the job. But if the flushing of the prostate were your only objective, masturbation might be a better way to go, especially for the non-monogamous male. Having sex with multiple partners can, all by itself, raise a man's risk of cancer by up to 40%. That's because he runs an increased risk of contracting sexual infections. So, if you want the all the purported benefits of flushing with none of the attendant risk, go digital. A study recently published by the British Journal of Urology International asserts that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week.

While possession of a robust appetite for sex--and the physical ability to gratify it--may not always be the cynosure of perfect health, a reluctance to engage can be a sign that something is seriously on the fritz, especially where the culprit is an infirm erection.

Dr. J. Francois Eid, a urologist with Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York Presbyterian Hospital, observes that erectile dysfunction is extension of vascular system. A lethargic member may be telling you that you have diseased blood vessels elsewhere in your body. "It could be a first sign of hypertension or diabetes or increased cholesterol levels. It's a red flag that you should see your doctor." Treatment and exercise, says Dr. Eid, can have things looking up again: "Men who exercise and have a good heart and low heart rate, and who are cardio-fit, have firmer erections. There very definitely is a relationship."

But is there such a thing as too much sex?

The answer, in purely physiological terms, is this: If you're female, probably not. If you're male? You betcha.

Dr. Claire Bailey of the University of Bristol says there is little or no risk of a woman's overdosing on sex. In fact, she says, regular sessions can not only firm a woman's tummy and buttocks but also improve her posture.

Dr. George Winch Jr., an obstetrician/gynecologist in Elko, Nev., concurs. If a woman is pre-menopausal and otherwise healthy, says Dr. Winch, her having an extraordinary amount of intercourse ought not to pose a problem. "I don't think women can have too much intercourse," he says, "so long as no sexually transmitted disease is introduced and there's not an inadvertent pregnancy. Sometimes you can have a lubrication problem. If you have that, there can be vaginal excoriation--vaginal scrape."

Women who abstain from sex run some risks. In postmenopausal women, these include vaginal atrophy. Dr. Winch has a middle-aged patient of whom he says: "She hasn't had intercourse in three years. Just isn't interested. The opening of her vagina is narrowing from disuse. It's a condition that can lead to dysparenia, or pain associated with intercourse. I told her, 'Look, you'd better buy a vibrator or you're going to lose function there.'"

As for men, urologist Eid says it's definitely possible to get too much of a good thing, now that drugs such as Viagra and Levitra have given men far more staying power than may actually be good for them.

The penis, says Eid, is wonderfully resilient. But everything has its limits. Penile tissues, if given too roistering or prolonged a pummeling, can sustain damage. In cases you'd just as soon not hear about, permanent damage.

"Yes," says Dr. Eid, "It is possible for a young man who is very forceful and who likes rough sex, to damage his erectile tissue." The drugs increase rigidity; moreover, they make it possible for a man to have second and third orgasms without having to wait out intermission.

"I see it in pro football players," says Eid. "They use Viagra because they're so sexually active. What they demand of their body is unreasonable. It's part of playing football: you play through the pain." This type of guy doesn't listen to his body. He takes a shot of cortisone, and keeps on going. And they have sex in similar fashion."

There's a reason the penis, in its natural state, undergoes a period of flaccidity: That's when it takes a breather. The blood within it is replenished with oxygen. "During an erection," explains Eid, "very little blood flows to the penis. During thrusting, pressure can go as high as 200 mil of water. Zero blood flows into penis at that time." To absorb oxygen, the tissue must become relaxed. "If you do not allow the penis to rest, then the muscle tissue does not get enough oxygen. The individual gets prolonged erections, gets decreased oxygen to tissue, and could potentially suffer priapism." (We recommend you get a medical encyclopedia and look it up.) "The muscle becomes so engorged, it's painful. Pressure inside starts to increase. Cells start dying. More pressure and less blood flow. Eventually the muscle dies. Then there's scarring. That's why it's considered an emergency."

Look what my wife brought me in Africa...

Muslim cleric likens women to 'uncovered meat'

A Muslim cleric's claim that women who do not wear the veil are like 'uncovered meat' who attract sexual predators sparked outrage around Australia yesterday.

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation's most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.

Politicians including Prime Minister John Howard, community leaders and a large number of Muslims condemned the mufti's comments amid calls that he should be deported to Egypt, his country of origin.

In a Ramadam sermon in a Sydney mosque, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes were not entirely to blame.

There were women, he said, who 'sway suggestively' and wore make-up and immodest dress "and then you get a judge without mercy and gives you 65 years. But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he said, referring to the women victims.

Addressing 500 worshippers on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali added: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..whose fault is it - the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

He went on: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (veil), no problem would have occurred."

Women, he said, were 'weapons' used by Satan to control men.

His comments, reported yesterday in the nationally-circulated newspaper The Australian, created a storm of outrage.

It follows anger that erupted among Muslims in Britain earlier this month when MP Jack Straw said women who wear veils over their face can make community relations harder.

But Sheik al-Hilali's has created an even bigger storm by using the uncovered meat example to accuse women who do not cover their heads and faces of tempting men.

Prime Minister Howard labelled the mufti's comments as 'appalling and reprehensible', adding: "They are quite out of touch with contemporary values in Australia.

"The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous. I not only reject the comments, I condemn them unconditionally." Treasurer Peter Costello urged the Muslim community to condemn the comments and take action against the Sheik.

"If you have a significant religious leader like this preaching to a flock in a situation where we've had gang rapes, in a way that seems to make it justifiable, or at least lighten the dehumanising and degrading extent of the offence."

A close associate of the sheik, Keysar Trad, said the speech was about adultery, not rape. "He wasn't talking about standard norms of dress in Australia or any country, he wasn't talking about the hijab, he was talking about people who engage in extramarital sex."

But Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Miss Pru Goward said there could be no backtracking over the comments. "He could be guilty of incitement to the crime of rape and should be deported," she said.

The guy on drums has issues....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Christmas Present that ROCKS !!!!

See it HERE

Leo's Sports Club

Modern life kills sperm

While it has long been acknowledged that the props of modern life can be detrimental to one's emotional health, it emerged this week that two commonplace additions -- anti-depressants and the cell phone -- appear to negatively impact male fertility.

A study conducted by Ohio's Cleveland Clinic found that the sperm counts of heavy mobile-phone users -- defined as four hours a day or more -- were 40 percent lower than those who used cell phones infrequently or not at all.

The research examined 361 men who were about to begin fertility treatment and were having their sperm analyzed for that purpose.

In addition to having lower sperm counts, the researchers found, the quality of the sperm of heavy cell-phone users was also diminished. Men who were moderate mobile-phone users also saw a loss is sperm count, although the lowered levels were less dramatic.

Dr. Ashok Agarwal, who led the research, told The Times of London that he believed the electromagnetic fields generated by cell phones were responsible for the diminished sperm count.

"People use mobile phones without thinking twice what the consequences may be," he said. "It is just like using a toothbrush, but mobiles could be having a devastating effect on fertility."

However, other experts have dismissed the possibility of a cell phone, which is operated at skull-height, affecting the production of sperm.

Anne Clark, of the Fertility Society of Australia, told the Herald Sun: "It is a bit of a stretch, especially when you're talking about electromagnetic forces traveling from the mobile to the scrotum."

Clark, instead, thinks that lifestyle factors associated with mobile-phone use are behind the noted drop in sperm counts.

"Someone who is always glued to their phone is also more likely to be someone in a high pressure office job, potentially a heavier drinker, smoker and someone who's overweight.

"It's these guys that hang out in smoky bars, stressed and crunched up on their scrotum talking on the phone."

At New York's Cornell Medical Center, meanwhile, scientists examining two patients found a link between anti-depressants and reduced sperm counts that begs further investigation.

When treating both men for infertility, the researchers found that their low sperm counts recovered when not taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to counteract depression, and fell accordingly when the treatment was resumed.

Peter Schlegel, who presented the research to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in New Orleans, where the cell-phone research was also presented, said: "The patients had normal sperm counts and motility before medication. On the medication they have severe deterioration of both. The same patients going on and off medication had the same pattern. It shows a strong association."

The small study group means that the link must be explored further before being labeled concrete, but a clinical trial of 30 men has since begun, and results are expected in the not-too-distant future.


While no one should need convincing of the benefits of a healthy and varied diet loaded with vegetables, new research has given parents additional ammunition to use against vegetable-shy children.

According to a six-year study involving nearly 2,000 men and women ages 65 and over from the Chicago area, a diet rich in vegetables works to keep the brain young and slow the onset of senile dementia.

Participants whose daily diet included at least two vegetables were found to be mentally sharper and better equipped for dealing with cognitive tasks than those whose diets included little or no vegetables. At the end of the six years, older participants with a vegetable-rich diet were found to have brains five years younger than their vegetable-shy counterparts.

Dr. Meir Stampfer of Harvard's School of Public Health, who did not participate in the research, told Seattlepi.com: "This is a sound paper and contributes to our understanding of cognitive decline. The findings specific for vegetables and not fruit add further credibility that this is not simply a marker of a more healthful lifestyle."

Some vegetables were found to be better than others -- the very vegetables our departments of health urge us to include in our diets on a more regular basis: spinach, collard greens, kale and other green leafy vegetables rich in vitamin E.

While a healthy diet is rich in both fruit and vegetables, fruit did not appear to have as great an effect on mental agility, probably due to the lower levels of vitamin E.


It should come as surprise to no one that being of a healthy weight is better for you.

Now, adding to the mounting evidence that being of a healthy weight improves one's chances of surviving cancer comes a study showing that skin-cancer survivability is also linked with weight.

Researchers from New Jersey's Rutgers University studied mice with a non-melanoma form of skin cancer and found that thinner mice were better equipped to fight the disease.

The means of achieving slenderness seemed irrelevant, the researchers found -- in some animals, fat was removed surgically, while others were given wheels and encouraged to exercise; in both groups, the levels of dead cancer cells were higher than in the heavier mice.

Dr. Allan Conney, who led the research, said, "Our results help explain why exercise or various dietary regimens that decrease tissue fat inhibit carcinogenisis."

In the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, his team wrote: "The results of our studies suggest that fat cells secrete substances that inhibit apoptosis in cells with DNA damage, and possibly also in tumors."

Runaways drummer Sandy West dies at 47

Sandy West, whose ferocious drumming fueled the influential all-female '70s rock band the Runaways, which she co-founded with Joan Jett, has died of lung cancer. She was 47.

West died Saturday night at a hospice in San Dimas, east of Los Angeles, her manager Mara Fox said. She was diagnosed a year ago.

West was only 16 when she started the Runaways in 1975 with Jett, a singer and guitarist.

Along with band members Lita Ford and Cherie Currie, they had such hits as Cherry Bomb and Born to Be Bad.

"We shared the dream of girls playing rock and roll. Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer," Jett said in a statement. "I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her we changed the world."

Born in 1959 and raised in Huntington Beach, West was a bona fide California girl, splitting her time between surfing and skiing, Currie said.

After West's grandfather bought her a drum kit, she channeled her athleticism into music.

The Runaways headlined shows with such performers as Cheap Trick and Tom Petty as opening acts.

Following the band's breakup in 1979, West continued to perform as a singer, guitarist and drummer with the Sandy West Band. She also released a solo CD.

"Sandy West loved her fans, her friends and family almost to a fault," Currie said in a statement. "It will never be the same for me again to step on a stage, because Sandy West was the best and I will miss her forever."

West completed her memoirs before she died, and Fox said she hoped to get the book published.

West is survived by her mother, Jeri Williams, stepfather Dick Williams, and six sisters.

A public memorial in Southern California for friends and family is pending, Fox said.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pelican swallows pigeon whole

Families strolling through a London park were left shocked when a pelican picked up and swallowed an unsuspecting pigeon.

The Eastern White pelican struggled with the desperately frantic pigeon in its beak for more than 20 minutes before swallowing it whole.

The moment was caught on camera by photographer Cathal McNaughton, who was taking pictures of the wildlife in St James's Park.

The pigeon was still alive when it reached the pelican's stomach, he said.

Camel Toads?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Prison Lessons

Monday, October 23, 2006

K-Fed Gets Slammed on WWE RAW

Perhaps you have seen Kevin Federline in all his slacker glory and thought to yourself, "Man, I would love to body slam that guy!" Well, WWE champ John Cena has lived out your fantasy.

During a taped episode of "Monday Night RAW" last night in Los Angeles, Federline made a surprise appearance in the ring and received a chorus of boos from the sold-out crowd at the Staples Center. After an argument between K-Fed and Cena got a little physical, Cena unleashed his signature move -- the F-U slam -- on Mr. PopoZao.

In this clip, K-Fed, sporting his traditional white t-shirt and jeans, makes his way to the ring to a chorus of boos -- and meets John Cena when he gets there. Also, "Jackass" star Steve-O takes a turn in the ring, but things don't go well for him, either.

John Cena, you have acted on the wishes of millions. For that, we salute you. To see K-Fed get his whoopin'...

Mannequin fetish man caught

Less than a week after being released from a prison sentence for stealing female mannequins from shops, a man was caught stealing a female mannequin from a shop.

It is thought the man might possibly have a fetish for stealing female mannequins from shops, as he has been convicted at least six times for female mannequin-theft.

Ronald A Dotson, 39, of Detroit, was arrested after smashing the windows of a store to get at the female mannequin, which was dressed in an alluring French maid's outfit.

'It's pretty bizarre,' admitted Dotson's lawyer, Edward Colin.

Mr Dotson has a history of mannequin-related crime that stretches back at least 13 years, according to reports. A judge has ordered that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation to see if he is mentally fit to stand trial for his latest mannequin-stealing escapade.

Detective Brendan Moore, of the Ferndale police, said: 'He told his parole officer he was going to buy a mannequin so he didn't have to do these break-ins anymore. Apparently that didn't work out.'

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Disney Mouse Orgy Link

Link to the Disney Mouse Orgy HERE .


1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.

6. You should not confuse your career with your life.

7. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

9. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

10. Never lick a steak knife.

11. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.

12. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

13. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

14. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

15. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

16. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

17. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

18. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

19. Your friends love you anyway.

Gallows beefcake: Mortician of the month

Mortician Ken McKenzie is trying to put some fun in the funeral business.

The Long Beach mortuary owner has created "Men of Mortuaries," a full-color 2007 photo calendar designed to help bury the notion that U.S. funeral parlors are staffed by pallid, humorless stiffs.

Its cover features hunky, shirtless morticians holding shovels while other muscle-flexing funerary workers lower a casket into the ground.

Inside, the months of the year are illustrated by photographs featuring a mix of dark humor and dazzling smiles.

Glamorous grins - not graveside gravity - was the goal, according to McKenzie.

And that turned out to be a challenge, too.

McKenzie drew 276 responses when he placed an ad in a funeral industry trade journal seeking morticians to pose for the first-of-its kind calendar. But most of those sending in photos of themselves with their applications looked a little, well, grave.

"Some of them wouldn't smile," McKenzie said. "Our industry is so scared of what people will think. They say this is a serious business, and people expect funeral directors to be serious."

When McKenzie assembled the winning participants earlier this year for the calendar shoot at Long Beach's Sunnyside Cemetery, two of the models froze, refusing to crack a smile.

The calendar's art designer was forced to digitally remove the grim-faced pair from the graveyard cover photograph. In their place were added a shirtless McKenzie and another last-minute fill-in, photographed separately and carefully manipulated into position.

All was not lost, though. The photo retoucher was also able to buff up the calendar boys.

"We added a few abs to some stomachs," admits McKenzie, 40. "We got rid of some flab."

The shipment of 50,000 calendars is expected Friday from a print shop in China. McKenzie intends to donate $2 from each sale to a newly organized group that will provide one-time grants to breast cancer patients who need assistance paying for such things as child care.

The KAMM Cares Foundation was set up after McKenzie's sister, 38-year-old Katherine Alyce McKenzie- Meadows, found herself in a financial pinch two years ago as she underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.

It was his sister, McKenzie said, who first suggested the calendar after seeing similar ones featuring firefighters and Chippendales dancers. "She was joking and asked, 'Where are the morticians?"'

A PLANE good idea...

A mock-up of a plane crash is displayed as part of a Halloween display in the garden of a home in Los Angeles October 20, 2006. Los Angeles police visited the scene after thinking the crash was real. The homeowner is an aircraft mechanic in training and the parts are from a real Gulfstream jet.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pencil Furniture

I Like the News...ALOT !!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Biker Caskets

See them HERE.

Battle: Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Heather Mills is accusing her estranged husband Paul McCartney of repeated violence against her.

Explosive court papers lodged by her lawyers in their £1billion divorce battle portray him as a 'vindictive' man who once tried to choke her and even attacked her while she was pregnant.

Last night, Sir Paul's spokesman refused to comment on the allegations, but it is understood he denies them and that they will be fiercely contested in court.

In an extraordinary escalation of their dispute, Miss Mills claims in the documents that the ex-Beatle:

* Subjected her to four violent attacks, including one in which he stabbed her in the arm with a broken wine glass.
* Continued to use illegal drugs and drink excessively, despite promises made before they married.
* Hurled abuse at his wife, calling her an 'ungrateful bitch'.
* Tried to prevent her breastfeeding, saying: 'They are my breasts.'
* Made her cancel a crucial operation because it interfered with his holiday plans.
* Objected 'vociferously' when she asked to buy an antique bedpan to save her crawling to the toilet at night.

In the papers, which will form the basis of her bid for a share of Sir Paul's estimated £1billion fortune, she claims he became 'physically violent' and acted in a 'vindictive, punitive manner' towards her.

A series of episodes are described in which she alleges he physically attacked her.

In Los Angeles, in November 2002, the papers say, he 'grabbed her by the neck and pushed her over a coffee table'.

He then went outside and, in his allegedly drunken state, fell down a hill, cutting his arm, which remains scarred Later, in May 2003, while Miss Mills was four weeks' pregnant, she claims Sir Paul became 'angry and pushed' her into a bath. She says she suffered 'shock and distress'.

On Long Island, in August 2003, Miss Mills asked Sir Paul if he had been smoking marijuana and claims he became 'very angry, yelled at her, grabbed her neck and started choking her'.

In April 2006, as the marriage neared collapse, Sir Paul allegedly tipped red wine from a bottle over his wife's head and then threw what remained in his glass at her.

The divorce papers claim that Sir Paul 'then reached to grab the respondent's (Miss Mills's) wine glass, and broke the bowl of the glass from the stem.

'He then lunged at the respondent with the broken, sharp stem of the wine glass, which cut and pierced the respondent's arm just below the elbow, and it began to bleed profusely.

'He proceeded to manhandle the respondent, flung her into her wheelchair and wheeled it outside, screaming at her to apologise for "winding him up".' Miss Mills 'still bears the scars of the assault', the papers say.

The papers allege that Sir Paul humiliated his wife, or ignored her needs. After the birth of their daughter Beatrice in 2003, he forced his exhausted wife to 'accompany him everywhere' still with no regard to her physical or disability needs, they claim.

'Forced to crawl on hands and knees'

In April 2006, it is claimed, Miss Mills - who lost a leg in a road accident in 1993 - was forced to crawl on her hands and knees up the steps of a plane because they were not wide enough for her wheelchair and Sir Paul had not made other arrangements.

Sir Paul allegedly told his wife during her pregnancy she should not breastfeed because 'they are my breasts'. He is alleged to have told her: 'I don't want a mouthful of breastmilk.'

She breastfed for six weeks, but gave up because Sir Paul would constantly interrupt her during feeds which left her 'miserable and demoralised', the papers say.

In November 2005, Sir Paul is alleged to have forced her to defer an essential and already once-cancelled operation on her leg because it 'interfered with his holiday plans'.

The papers claim Sir Paul vomited on himself after a drinking session towards the end of their relationship and staggered home drunk and slurring, demanding his dinner.

On April 28 this year, with the Sir Paul has signalled his marriage 'irretrievably broken determination not to be down', Miss Mills left the family painted as the villain. His divorce petition allegedly cites his wife's 'unreasonable behaviour'.

His claims that she was 'argumentative' and 'rude to staff' during their marriage were leaked, along with the assertion that she reneged on a deal to take £30million in exchange for a painless divorce.

Miss Mills has hired the lawyer who won Princess Diana her £17million settlement from Prince Charles.

She replaced her long-standing lawyer Stephen Taylor with Anthony Julius, of Mishcon de Reya. Sir Paul will be represented by Fiona Shackleton, who took Charles's side in 1996. Last night, a spokesman for Sir Paul refused to comment. Mishcon de Reya said it would not comment on leaked or allegedly leaked documents.

But a statement added: 'The law firm can however confirm that Lady Heather Mills McCartney stands by everything that has been filed at court on her behalf and intend to prove its truth in due course, should this be necessary.

Miss Mills's spokesman said last night: 'I can't confirm the validity of these documents. I can only refer you to Heather's lawyers.'

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Kookie Nascar Trophies

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Tyson thinking of fighting women?

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Mike Tyson said fans should not expect much of a fight when he steps back into the ring.
But the 40-year-old former heavyweight boxing champ promised an entertaining show Friday night when he launches the "Mike Tyson's World Tour" in Youngstown.

At a news conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe.

Wolfe, from Waco, Texas, is 21-1 with 15 knockouts.

"She's such a prominent, dominant woman in the boxing field," Tyson said.

When asked if he was joking about fighting women, Tyson said, "I'm very serious."

Russ Young, a promoter for Wolfe, said such a bout will never happen.

"That's the first we've heard of it," Young said. "No state would sanction that. She would be outweighed by 60 to 70 pounds (27-32 kilos). Ann would never entertain the idea."

Tyson said the tour was meant to be fun and raise money for charity.

"It's all fun. I'm not Mike Tyson," he said, referring to the fierce boxer whose career was upended by a prison term. "I'm not 20 years old. I'm not going to smash anybody. I'm not going to talk about smashing anybody's brains. You're not going to see that guy no more."

At the press conference, Tyson posed for photos with fans, signed autographs and campaigned for Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele.

Tyson, wearing a white and blue Steele for U.S. Senate T-shirt, said he used to believe black Republicans were "sellouts." But Tyson said he changed his mind after researching the Maryland lieutenant governor.

"We have to open our eyes more," Tyson said, as he pointed to his T-shirt.

His recent years have been marked by embarrassing fights - inside and out of the ring - and staggering debt. Tyson last fought in June 2005, losing to the unheralded Kevin McBride.

He will return to the ring Friday at the 6,000-seat Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown for a pay-per-view television event against former sparring partner Corey "T-Rex" Sanders.

Tyson had said he was finished with boxing after his bout with McBride, which he quit after six rounds.

The man who vowed to eat Lennox Lewis' children and bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear has said he's in no mood for a comeback.

He recently trained in a makeshift ring at a Las Vegas hotel.

Tyson shot to fame by knocking out Trevor Berbick in 1986 to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history at age 20. He was knocked out by James "Buster" Douglas in 1990 and lost his world heavyweight title. He later served prison time for rape, returned to fighting and infamously bit Holyfield's ear in a 1997 fight.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Freddy Fender Audio Tribute

Listen to it HERE.

Top 15 Slogans Rejected By Motel 6

15. Because your neighbor's wife deserves better than the backseat of some car.

14. As seen on COPS.

13. If we'd known you were staying all night, we'd have changed the sheets.

12. Not just for nooners anymore.

11. We left off the 9, but you know it's there.

10. You rented the room, now buy the video.

9. Sure, you could stay someplace nicer, but then you wouldn't have money left over for the hooker.

8. We'll leave the Lysol for ya.

7. Hey! We're not the Ritz but, just try bringing your secretary there on your salary, pal.

6. We don't make the adultery. We make the adultery BETTER.

5. It's Hookerrific!

4. Official lodging of the 1998 Florida Marlins.

3. Blurring the line between stains and avant-garde sheet art since 1962.

2. Cheap and easy, just like your sisters.

1. We put the Ho in Hotel.

Monday, October 16, 2006

For first time, unmarried households reign in US

It is by no means dead, but for the first time, a new survey has shown that traditional marriage has ceased to be the preferred living arrangement in the majority of US households.

The shift, reported by the US Census Bureau in its 2005 American Community Survey, could herald a sea change in every facet of American life -- from family law to national politics and its current emphasis on family values.

The findings, which were released in August but largely escaped public attention until now because of the large volume of data, indicated that marriage did not figure in nearly 55.8 million American family households, or 50.2 percent.

More than 14 million of them were headed by single women, another five million by single men, while 36.7 million belonged to a category described as "nonfamily households," a term that experts said referred primarily to gay or heterosexual couples cohabiting out of formal wedlock.

In addition, there were more than 30 million unmarried men and women living alone, who are not categorized as families, the Census Bureau reported.

By comparison, the number of traditional households with married couples at their core stood at slightly more than 55.2 million, or 49.8 percent of the total.

Unmarried couples gravitated toward big cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, while the farm states in the Great Plains and rural communities of the Midwest and West remained bastions of traditionalism, according to the survey.

The trend represented a dramatic change from just six years ago, when married couples made up 52 percent of 105.5 million American households.

It indicated that efforts by President George W. Bush and his allies, who over the past five years have made a concerted effort to shore up traditional marriage and families through tax breaks, special legislation and church-sponsored campaigns is bearing little fruit.

The shift, experts said, also raises the question about the future effectiveness of so-called "family value" politics currently played by both Republicans and Democrats.

Douglas Besharov, a sociologist with the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said it is difficult for the traditional family to emerge unscathed after three and a half decades of divorce rates reaching 50 percent and five decades out-of-wedlock births.

"Change is in the air," Besharov said in a recent interview with the State Department journal called US Society and Values. "The only question is whether it is catastrophic or just evolutionary."

He predicted that cohabitation and temporary relationships between people were likely to dominated America's social landscape for years to come.

"Overall, what I see is a situation in which people -- especially children -- will be much more isolated, because not only will their parents both be working, but they'll have fewer siblings, fewer cousins, fewer aunts and uncles," the scholar argued. "So over time, we're moving towards a much more individualistic society."

In the opinion of Stephanie Coontz, who heads the Council on Contemporary Families, growing life expectancy as well as women's earning potential are impacting the traditional marriage in unexpected ways.

If before World War II the typical American marriage ended with the death of one partner within a few years after the last child had left home, she pointed out in the journal, that today couples can look forward to spending more than two decades together in an empty nest.

"The growing length of time partners spend with only each other for company, in some instances, has made individuals less willing to put up with an unhappy marriage, while women's economic independence makes it less essential for them to do so," Coontz wrote.

It's John Paul II : The Cartoon Hero

The Vatican will make history this week when it releases a cartoon film about the life of Pope John Paul II.

Lasting just over an hour, it charts the life of the man born Karol Wojtyla, from his humble beginnings in Poland to his death last year aged 84. John Paul II - The Friend Of All Humanity is the first cartoon account of a Pope's life.

It was made by Cavin Cooper, a firm based in Barcelona, and is directed by esteemed producer Jose Luis Lopez-Guardia.

"It is a fascinating story that works well as a cartoon," he said. The Vatican has given its 'full backing' to the film, which has been dubbed into seven languages. Last night a source said it had been felt a cartoon 'would appeal to all'.

CBGB Hosts Last Concert Before Eviction

NEW YORK (AP) - CBGB hosted its final concert Sunday night after a 33-year residence in downtown New York as the iconic, grungy bastion of punk.

The concert, headlined by rock poet Patti Smith, was to be the final note sounded in a drawn-out battle to preserve the legendary club. A homeless advocacy group that owns the property, the Bowery Residents Committee, is not renewing CBGB's lease, which expired in August 2005. The club will close Oct. 31.

The club's run may be ending at its Manhattan location, but it will continue in different ways, Smith said.

"CBGB's is a state of mind," she said at pre-show news conference. "The new kids have to have their own places."

CBGB's closure has prompted protests, tributes and vigils for more than a year - a cycle ended when CBGB's owner, Hilly Kristal, gave up his legal fight to stay.

CBGB, hailed by many as the birthplace of punk, opened in December 1973 and over the years helped spawn the careers of such acts as the Ramones, Blondie, the Talking Heads and Television. Though the club's glory days are long gone, it has remained a symbolic fixture on the Manhattan music scene.

Blondie singer Deborah Harry performed at CBGB on Saturday, part of a weeklong send-off for the club.

With a capacity of barely 300, CBGB was founded as a place of freedom for different musical acts. Its letters stand for the music Kristal originally planned to present there - country, bluegrass and blues - but it quickly came to represent the physical epicenter of early punk and the storied downtown scene of 1970s New York.

Kristal plans to move the club to Las Vegas, and its store, CBGB Fashions, will move on Nov. 1 to a nearby location at Broadway and Bond Street.

"I'm thinking about tomorrow and the next day and the next day and going on to do more with CBGB's," Kristal said Sunday.

The Bowery Residents Committee, which holds a 45-year lease on the building, houses 250 homeless people above the club. CBGB is its lone commercial tenant.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Burrito With The Works

Cops: Woman tried to smuggle heroin into New Mexico jail

OCTOBER 13--A New Mexico woman was arrested last week after she allegedly hid a hypodermic needle filled with heroin inside a Taco Bell burrito and tried to deliver the contraband to a friend held in a city jail. Rosemary Gonzales, 42, was nabbed last Friday after a jail guard at the Espanola lockup discovered the hypo hidden amongst the contents of a Burrito Supreme (friends are allowed to bring food to inmates at the small jail).

As seen in the evidence photo above, the works were nestled inside a flour tortilla along with beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and a tangy red sauce. According to a statement of probable cause, the hypodermic's brown liquid contents were field tested by cops and came up positive for heroin. Gonzales, pictured in the mug shot above, with bringing contraband into a prison, a felony, and jailed in lieu of $5000 cash bond.

North Korea might now have The Bomb, but it doesn't have much electricity

As the world grapples with how to rein in the "axis of evil" state which this week conducted a nuclear test, this spectacular satellite photo unveiled yesterday by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shows in stark detail the haves and have-nots of the Korean peninsula.

The regime in the north is so short of electricity that the whole country is switched off at 9 p.m. - apart from the capital of Pyongyang where dictator Kim Jong-il and his cohorts live in relative luxury. But even there, lighting is drastically reduced.

The result, as shown in this picture taken one night earlier this week, is a startling contrast between the blacked-out north and the south, which is ablaze with light, particularly around major cities and the capital, Seoul, in the north-west of the country.

Mr Rumsfeld showed the picture to illustrate how backward the northern regime really is - and how oppressed its people are. Without electricity there can be none of the appliances that make life easy and that we take for granted, he said.

"Except for my wife and family, that is my favourite photo," said Mr Rumsfeld.

"It says it all. There's the south, the same people as the north, the same resources north and south, and the big difference is in the south it's a free political system and a free economic system.

"The people in the north are starving, their growth is stunted. It's a shame, a tragedy."

An aide added: "This oppressive regime is too busy trying to make war to make life comfortable for its people."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tex-Mex Singer Freddy Fender Dies at 69

SAN BENITO, Texas (AP) - Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" of the Texas-Mexico border who later turned his twangy tenor into the smash country ballad "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," died Saturday. He was 69.

Fender, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2006, died at noon at his Corpus Christi home with his family at his bedside, said Ron Rogers, a family spokesman.

Over the years, he grappled with drug and alcohol abuse, was treated for diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant.

Fender hit it big in 1975 after some regional success, years of struggling - and a stint in prison - when "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" climbed to No. 1 on the pop and country charts.

"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" rose to No. 1 on the country chart and top 10 on the pop chart that same year, while "Secret Love" and "You'll Lose a Good Thing" also hit No. 1 in the country charts.

Born Baldemar Huerta, Fender was proud of his Mexican-American heritage and frequently sung verses or whole songs in Spanish. "Teardrop" had a verse in Spanish.

"Whenever I run into prejudice," he told The Washington Post in 1977, "I smile and feel sorry for them, and I say to myself, 'There's one more argument for birth control.'"

"The Old Man upstairs rolled a seven on me," he told The Associated Press in 1975. "I hope he keeps it up."

More recently, he played with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and others in two Tex-Mex all-star combos, the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.

He won a Grammy of Best Latin Pop Album in 2002 for "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta." He also shared in two Grammys: with the Texas Tornados, which won in 1990 for best Mexican-American performance for "Soy de San Luis," and with Los Super Seven in the same category in 1998 for "Los Super Seven."

Among his other achievements, Fender appeared in the 1987 motion picture "The Milagro Beanfield War," directed by Robert Redford.

In February 1999, Fender was awarded a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame after then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush wrote to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce endorsing him.

He said in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press that one thing would make his musical career complete - induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

"Hopefully I'll be the first Mexican-American going into Hillbilly Heaven," he said.

Fender was born in 1937 in San Benito, the South Texas border town credited for spawning the Mexican-polka sound of conjunto. The son of migrant workers who did his own share of picking crops, he also was exposed to the blues sung by blacks alongside the Mexicans in the fields.

Always a performer, he sang on the radio as a boy and won contests for his singing - one prize included a tub full of about $10 worth of food.

But his career really began in the late '50s, when he returned from serving in the Marines and recorded Spanish-language versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings were hits in Mexico and South America.

He signed with Imperial Records in 1959, renaming himself "Fender" after the brand of his electric guitar, "Freddy" because it sounded good with Fender.

Fender initially recorded "Wasted Days" in 1960. But his career was put on hold shortly after that when he and his bass player ended up spending almost three years in prison in Angola, La., for marijuana possession.

After prison came a few years in New Orleans and a then an everyday life taking college classes, working as a mechanic and playing an occasional local gig. He once said he sang in bars so dingy he performed with his eyes shut "dreaming I was on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.'"

"I felt there's no great American dream for this ex-Chicano migrant farm worker," he told the AP. "I'd picked too many crops and too many strings."

But his second break came when he was persuaded to record "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" on an independent label in 1974 and it was picked up by a major label. With its success, he won the Academy of Country Music's best new artist award in 1975. He re-released "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and it climbed to the top of the charts as well.

Cristina Balli, spokeswoman for the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, said Fender illustrated the diversity of Mexican-American and Latino musicians.

"We have our feet in different worlds and different cultures," she said. "We have our roots music ... but then we branch out to other things, pick up different styles. I think he was the precursor to Los Lonely Boys."

Fender's later years were marred by health problems resulting in a kidney transplant from his daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia, in January 2002 and a liver transplant in 2004. Fender was to have lung surgery in early 2006 until surgeons found tumors.

"I feel very comfortable in my life," Fender told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in August. "I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run. I really believe I'm OK. In my mind and in my heart, I feel OK. I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer."

Rogers said Fender will be brought back to San Benito for a funeral and memorial services. Details on the arrangements were pending.


October 12, 2006 -- NO WORD - yet - on whether Madonna plans to nail her brand-new bouncing boy to a crucifix, live, in concert.

Madonna, the sluttish, egomaniacal mother-of-the-century has topped even her most revolting self. She plans to remove a baby from the loving arms of his dirt-poor father, in one of the most desperate nations on earth.

Madonna has traveled far beyond her bra-baring, intercourse-simulating, public girl-kissing, Jesus-emulating loser antics to grab attention - and flesh.

The one-named wonder, who already has given birth to two children by two different daddies, one of whom she would not deign to marry, has her heart set on raping Malawi.

Days ago, she lined up 12 African boys - tots hand-selected for her perusal. She picked out a 1-year-old, David, to take home in her luggage.

Well guess what? The boy selected in this freakish slave auction is no AIDS orphan. He's got a biological father, plus a granny - but was placed in an orphanage after his mother died. His family loves him. They just can't afford him.

If Madonna possessed a speck of sanity or shame, she would write a generous check. Instead, the boy's father says he is thrilled at the prospect of a wealthy American carting off his progeny.

Madonna should nail herself on her crucifix - for real, this time.

Malawi is making an exception to its law that forbids foreigners from adopting a baby. Living proof that money talks.

Madonna, who at 48 has more undeserved cash than probably sits in the Malawi treasury, agreed to pay big bucks for the transaction.

In exchange for her human package, she will pour $3 million into a center to help 1,000 Malawi orphans.

She'll also spend a mil on a documentary about the plight of children there. Presumably, this plight does not include Madonna's child purchase.

But wait - there's a catch.

Children educated at Madonna's new orphan center and bin for rejected babies will be taught a curriculum based on her pet religion, kabbala.

There is nothing that money can't buy, I suppose. That is except talent and taste - and moral fiber.

Stop this monster!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gun class for Utah teachers

Gun class for Utah teachers

Free concealed-weapons session is offered today

More than a dozen teachers and public school employees will spend part of their UEA weekend in a classroom — learning how to use a gun.

Clark Aposhian is offering a free class today to public school employees seeking to get their concealed- weapons permit."It is self-defense," he told the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. "But because teachers and school administrators and custodians are typically surrounded by students all day, any threat to any individual with a firearm would also be a threat to those students."

The concealed-weapons instructor's offer was met with opposition from some teachers and union representatives at the Utah Education Association's conference in Salt Lake City.

"We've always resisted the idea of arming school employees," said Susan Kuziak, executive director of the 18,000-member teachers union. "Though the intentions may be good, ultimately, the potential for harm is too great."

A handful of teachers interviewed at the UEA convention agreed. Some said the idea of guns in schools, even when toted by trusted colleagues, makes them nervous.

"Who's to say a kid couldn't take a gun from me or another teacher?" said Darren Dickson, a teacher at Altamont High in Duchesne County. "It's too much of a risk."

Aposhian said the recent school shootings across the nation prompted him to offer the free training. In addition to being a concealed-weapons instructor, he is the owner of FairWarning Firearm Training, the chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council and the husband of a schoolteacher.

"Teachers are always complaining that they don't get support from the community," he said. "Here we are."

School districts have long grappled with the guns-on-campus issue. Federal law bans weapons — real or fake — from school property. But Utah law now makes clear schools can't prevent people with concealed-weapons permits from carrying firearms on campuses. Granite School District's policy, for example, allows permit holders to keep their gun "readily accessible for immediate use," but bans teachers from leaving their weapons in a desk drawer or coat closet.

Law enforcement officers never have to give up their guns at the school house door.

Aposhian said he does not want teachers to suddenly become "heroes" in the event of a school shooting. In fact, he said, they should continue to follow school lockdown procedures, which include teachers locking doors and remaining in classrooms.

"We discourage teachers from roaming the halls looking for the intruder," he said. "We're not trying to turn them into law enforcement in any way."

But the teachers union says that's how it feels.

"The knee-jerk reaction is, 'Let's scare the bad guys off,"' Kuziak said. "But people who have committed these acts are not stable and normal in their thinking," considering they've been willing to kill themselves, she said.

Still, that doesn't mean more can't be done in terms of firearms training for teachers, some say.

One suggestion is to offer that training to public school employees through the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council. During a radio call-in show on Wednesday, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said he would be open to presenting that idea to POST.

However, Shurtleff's office insisted Thursday that despite broadcast reports, it was not an initiative of the Utah Attorney General's Office.

"The idea deserves public scrutiny to see if it has any merit," spokesman Paul Murphy said Thursday.

The UEA for one doesn't believe it does.

Yet there are teachers interested in Aposhian's invitation. So far, about 2 dozen teachers and public school employees have signed up for his class. Included with the free class is fingerprinting and photography for the concealed-weapons application. Public school employees will still have to pay a $59 application fee to the state.

Despite the UEA's opposition to the idea, Aposhian said he has not heard any detractors. He sees only an additional layer of school security with teachers legally and lawfully carrying concealed weapons.

"A shooter going in there may pause to reflect," he said. "Because they may find a teacher carrying a firearm for self-defense."