Well I awoke this morning to a beautiful day up in Edmonton. Almost warm enough by 8 am to not wear my giant army jacket, but since I am such a wimp, I wore it anyways. Had a rough night sleeping as usual on my first night away from home, and it didn't help that at 5 am or so, my furnace fan came on and I had no idea what it was...
Hoping to meet up with a fellow painter this evening, and stop off at my brother's again :)
Likely my last trip up here for some time, so I must visit while I can :)
Colin Powell, now retired, reveals some insight into the pre-war sales pitch that the Bush Administration used in an interview with a German magazine...
“We were sometimes too loud, too direct, perhaps we made too much noise,” Powell told Stern magazine in an interview released on Wednesday. “That certainly shocked the Europeans sometimes.”
After much discussion, Powell was sorry for some of the tactics that had been used to convince the US to go to war, but Saddam had to be removed from power. He had tried for diplomatic reasoning, but met up with some stiff resistance to that from then Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney was convinced that diplomacy would not work in Iraq.
Powell revealed his anger at the misinformation regarding WMDs that he had used to present their case for war to the UN.
“Hundreds of millions followed it on television. I will always be the one who presented it. I have to live with that.”
This week, we take a look at Captain Cold. Long has he been a powerful adversary of The Flash... An ex-member of the Secret Society of Super Villains, Captain Cold (really Leonard Snart) started out as a small time criminal who was nabbed by The Flash.
Captain Cold and his infamous Freezing Ray...
Wanting revenge against The Flash, Snart stole a secret scientific article written about The Flash's super speed, and figured out that a cyclotron may stop the Flash's speed. He built a weapon and after juicing it up with radiation in the cyclotron lab, he found that the gun didn't slow down the Flash at all, but it did have the ability to instantly freeze anything!
As his abilities and techniques grew, Captain Cold could create massive ice slicks, freeze people into suspended animation and make walls and doors so brittle with cold that he could simply break right through them...
Two fisted Chill-Out
Once The Flash (Barry Allen) was killed, the thrill of super villainy was gone, and he and his sister (The Golden Glider) became Bounty Hunters...
It seems fears of another Tsunami have dwindled away, but still the devastation from the recent 8.2 Quake is huge. A CTV News article suggests that 70% of a small Indonesian Island's buildings are damaged, and over 300 people are believed dead so far from the quake.
The tremors from this quake could be felt some 480 kilometers away in Malaysia.
Well, there has been another 8.2 magnitude Quake off of the coast of Indonesia. This just in on MSNBC news... The U.S. Geological Survey is advising locals to move inland. There is great fear of another Tsunami happening... The December 26th Quake was a 9.0 on the Richter scale.
Well it isn't really a week, but why do they need to stretch it into two days??? Maybe I am just a little bitter as I only got Friday off :( But then the long weekend was good anyhow. Visited a lot of relatives on Friday, painted all day saturday, and most of sunday. Went for a big dinner at the Aunt's house, and had a few too many drinks last night. Then my brother stopped by about 11 last night on his way through to Edmonton, so it ended up being a late-ish night. We were supposed to be watching "The Final Cut" but I have fallen asleep twice now in the middle of it. Seems like it would be a good show too, just too tired when it goes on :(
Anyhow, I hope everyone had (or is still having) a great Easter holiday!
Well on a down note (not really hehe), we didn't win any categories in the Chick Challenge contest. That's okay though, as I think my figure was a pretty nice one, and my wife's entry was definately a breakthrough for her.
On an up note, I finally finished my overdue Christmas present to the folks from Hasslefree Miniatures. I shall introduce him as "The Dread Pirate Kjaran"...
He is very small, and stands exactly 25mm from toe to top of head. I tried to paint some reflections on his sword blade...
There are more pics of him on my website. Just check out the latest updates :)
According to an article on CBC Health and Science News, eating a lot of Dark Chocolate is A-Okay. A group of experts at McGill University concluded that eating the dark variety can actually be good for you.
Chocolate that contains a lot of cocoa is rich in flavonoids, and apparently, they help thin blood. This reduces the risk of heart attacks caused by blood clots.
"The flavonoids that are in chocolate have been shown to reduce blood pressure. They have been shown to reduce platelet aggregation, and to reduce the chance that cholesterol gets converted into a more dangerous form," said Joe Schwarcz, director of the McGill Office for Science and Society.
Of course, there is always a dark side to anything (heh...) and chocolate is obviously laced with sugar, and can be highly addictive. This can cause many health problems if abused, such as tooth decay and obesity.
After the tremendous week we had last week up to wednesday, this is the look out our back door onto our porch yesterday....
It is even worse this morning. Blowing snow, and bad icy bits on the roads. I nearly got my Oldsmobile stuck in a driveway dropping the lad off for school.... I HATE WINTER. We just went for a preliminary minor ball signup the other night too. That figures, get excited about playing ball, and the blizzard hits. At least it's not -30 anymore, only -10 or so...
I shall now embark on a periodical listing of villains that I thought were cool. They appear in no particular order, just what I feel like posting...
My first villain is none other than Apollo, played by Michael Forest, from the Original Star Trek episode "Who Mourns For Adonais".
Apollo can shoot lightning at people from his fingertips...
This guy was pretty tough. He had some very cool innate abilities, including the power to fire lightning at people, create massive storms, grow to a huge size, and reach directly into space with a huge green energy hand from far away... The premise of his being was that he was the last of the Olympian Gods, and now he had a new "community" of people to worship him, namely the crew of the Enterprise.
When aroused, Apollo can swell to monstrous proportions...
He immediately fell in love with Lt. Carolyn Palamas, who happened to be Scotty's woman... Throughout the show, Scotty kept trying to attack Apollo physically, only to be hit with a bolt of lightning... The woman of course, began feeling affection for the Olympian God, and it was only the fact of Kirk's amazing charisma that caused her to spurn his advances, thus enraging the God and allowing Spock to blast his power source and stop his tyranical hold on the crew. Apollo succumbs to defeat and spreads himself throughout the Universe to spend the rest of his lonely existence with the other Gods...
Well, after another run-in with P.O.D. at work, I just feel like I have to have a good...
Ever happen to you? Here is some vital information on the matter:
How To Tell If Your Head's About To Blow Up
From the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, May 24, 1994
MOSCOW -- Doctors are blaming a rare electrical imbalance in the brain for the bizarre death of a chess player whose head literally exploded in the middle of a championship game!
No one else was hurt in the fatal explosion but four players and three officials at the Moscow Candidate Masters' Chess Championships were sprayed with blood and brain matter when Nikolai Titov's head suddenly blew apart. Experts say he suffered from a condition called Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis or HCE.
"He was deep in concentration with his eyes focused on the board," says Titov's opponent, Vladimir Dobrynin. "All of a sudden his hands flew to his temples and he screamed in pain. Everyone looked up from their games, startled by the noise. Then, as if someone had put a bomb in his cranium, his head popped like a firecracker."
Incredibly, Titiov's is not the first case in which a person's head has spontaneously exploded. Five people are known to have died of HCE in the last 25 years. The most recent death occurred just three years ago in 1991, when European psychic Barbara Nicole's skull burst. Miss Nicole's story was reported by newspapers worldwide, including WWN. "HCE is an extremely rare physical imbalance," said Dr. Anatoly Martinenko, famed neurologist and expert on the human brain who did the autopsy on the brilliant chess expert. "It is a condition in which the circuits of the brain become overloaded by the body's own electricity. The explosions happen during periods of intense mental activity when lots of current is surging through the brain. Victims are highly intelligent people with great powers of concentration. Both Miss Nicole and Mr. Titov were intense people who tended to keep those cerebral circuits overloaded. In a way it could be said they were literally too smart for their own good."
Although Dr. Martinenko says there are probably many undiagnosed cases, he hastens to add that very few people will die from HCE. "Most people who have it will never know. At this point, medical science still doesn't know much about HCE. And since fatalities are so rare it will probably be years before research money becomes available."
In the meantime, the doctor urges people to take it easy and not think too hard for long periods of time. "Take frequent relaxation breaks when you're doing things that take lots of mental focus," he recommends.
Although HCE is very rare, it can kill. Dr. Martinenko says knowing you have the condition can greatly improve your odds of surviving it. A "yes" answer to any three of the following seven questions could mean that you have HCE:
1. Does your head sometimes ache when you think too hard? (Head pain can indicate overloaded brain circuits.)
2. Do you ever hear a faint ringing or humming sound in your ears? (It could be the sound of electricity in the skull cavity.)
3. Do you sometimes find yourself unable to get a thought out of your head? (This is a possible sign of too much electrical activity in the cerebral cortex.)
4. Do you spend more than five hours a day reading, balancing your checkbook, or other thoughtful activity? (A common symptom of HCE is a tendency to over-use the brain.)
5. When you get angry or frustrated do you feel pressure in your temples? (Friends of people who died of HCE say the victims often complained of head pressure in times of strong emotion.)
6. Do you ever overeat on ice cream, doughnuts and other sweets? (A craving for sugar is typical of people with too much electrical pressure in the cranium.)
7. Do you tend to analyze yourself too much? (HCE sufferers are often introspective, "over-thinking" their lives.)
Well, the winners may be posted tonight, but now I can show off my two entries as well as my wife's. Please visit the links to see LARGE pics of these minis. These pics are only to whet your apetite :D They can also be reached by checking out my site UPDATES.
My first entry is Meiying, Flower of the East, by Hasslefree Miniatures. The floral design on her shirt was taken from some Chinese style embroidery. Her shirt is painted to be silken with gold trimming on the sleeves and collar. She also wears blue jeans slightly worn at the knees and butt. More pics of her are HERE on my site.
My second entry is a Dragyri Wail from Dark Age Games. She is larger, standing about 54mm tall. I have painted her skin in an aquatic scheme considering the gill-like bits on her legs. Her armor is painted in the NMM (Non-metallic metal) style, and the gashes are painted on. There are more pics of her HERE on my site as well.
Lastly, my wife's entry. She has painted Lirilith, a Demoness from Hasslefree Miniatures. I am very proud of her, as this is her first "serious" attempt at painting a miniature, and despite the terrible back pain, she struggled through and finished her for her first contest ever! The skin is lovely, and I think she can only get better as she practices more!!! There are more pics HERE on my site.
It's been two years. Everyone has their own thoughts on what has happened, and what is to come. Interest in the war has surges and reprieves, as it carries on... sometimes with good news, sometimes bad. For me, it has been a difficult war to understand.
This must be what many people felt in Vietnam, with the rising of the anti-war movements, and many of the men eligable for the Draft seeking refuge in Canada and other places, to avoid fighting in a war they didn't believe in. Well now, I suspect many of the soldiers are trained much more rigorously and their capability to not believe in a war like this is eroded away, with more intense physical and mental training. No drafts needed, just the Marines...
For me, I didn't believe any of the pre-war accusations. The US had sanctioned Iraq so badly after the first Gulf War, it would have taken someone much more balanced and far less greedy to actually build up Iraqi forces and weapons to the amount the US and UK proclaimed so loudly. After all, Hussein was a greedy dictator, but no Adolph Hitler. I think the start of my opposition to the war, was when the US decided to ignore the Weapons Inspectors, ignore the United Nations, and ignore many long time allies such as France, Germany and ourselves, Canada, who stand by the US on so many other issues. It didn't matter though, for reasons that later became clearer to myself, the US attacked Iraq, claiming to be the saviours from the West, giving the people the "democracy and freedom" they assumed they wanted.
I think now, that much of this is done out of greed from another source. With the US oil reserve threatening to drop off, it is obvious to me that they want to secure much of the Middle Eastern oil supplies for themselves. And why not? They are scared. Scared shitless. If the US runs out of oil, they are done. No energy supplies, no power for all of those mighty bombers, tanks and boats. How can they remain as the World's Super Power with none of the muscle that keeps them there?
Notice now, as the rebuilding in Iraq progresses, that power is still disrupted. Buildings still demolished. Homes unrepaired. There are bill-boards up, loudly proclaiming their products, for a country of the poor to see. Is this rebuilding? This is not freedom for Iraqis. It is Capitalism at its finest. Who is rebuilding Iraq's Oil Infrastructure you ask? Iraqis? Guess again. It's Halliburton. Almost all of the main rebuilding and infrastructure projects are being done by US based companies. So now the poor people have no jobs.
This had no connection to the "War on Terror". I am constantly amazed how many people think Hussein and Bin Ladin were buddies. Hussein must be on the list of 9-11 guys. He probably cheered, sure, but he didn't help them. If the US wanted to, they should have gone after Saudi Arabia, since that is one of the major sources of funding AND terrorists...
It was lies like these that had me dumbfounded when Bush won his second term. I simply could not believe that the US majority wanted to have an administration that mongered war and lies over them. Now it's worse. With Bush surrounding himself with handpicked flunkies like Alberto Gonzales, they are taking away Civil Liberties from their own people. Every week, they slip closer and closer towards Fascism. Soon you will not be able to deduce the truth for yourself, as the government and giant corporations control all forms of media. Soon, you will not be allowed to speak out against them, lest they take you to the prisons filled with uncharged, and untried "insurgents"...
It's been two years. Since the war began, 1,521 US personnel have been killed. Out of those, 1,176 were killed in combat. 11,344 were wounded on top of that. Naturally, this doesn't include any of the troops from other countries that took part in the invasion or the occupying force afterwards. It doesn't include the thousands upon thousands of Iraqi soldiers and more importantly, civilians, who have been killed in the conflict. Latest estimates place civilian numbers between 17,061 and 19,432 at present. CIVILIANS... All of this human waste for what? Oil? Capitalism? Freedom? The American Way.
Some time ago now, I was involved in a "Survivor" style painting contest, called "The Last Painter Standing" on The Miniatures Page. It was pretty cool, and out of over 100 initial contestants, I made it through several rounds of submitted pics of miniatures to the final 11. At this point, we all had the same mini to paint, and do a huge write-up on. This was interesting, but of course, the pressure really started to build, as I made it through the First Round, and onto the Second round. This one was a bity tight, and my vision of a superhero, gun-toting swordsman nearly got me voted off. At htis point, several painters had been unable to finish, and a few have been voted off. The ranks were starting to thin out and there was realistically about 5 rounds to go to win. The Third round was sweet. I really liked my entry, but the figure we all had for the Fourth Round gave me fits. I had a vision, and I executed fairly closely I think, but it was so far out there that this us where I did get the vote... There was only three other painters left after this anyways, I believe, and the remaining figs were large and awkward.
Anyways, the reason behind this story is that a company called I-Kore, who is now Urban Mammoth sponsored the whole contest. Everything was free, and we had the pleasure of painting the stuff, and keeping it... all for some stellar work and awesome write-ups. This same company sent me a few of their new releases a while ago, and yesterday, I received some more! They are cool figs, and now I will have to paint some for sure! Stay tuned :D
Nah, it's actually just another lame excuse for a bunch of people to go and get drunk. It's kind of fun for the kids in school, where they get to eat somethign green or dye their hair maybe, but overall, I think it's stupid. As Easter, Halloween and Christmas have been taken over by the Capitalist Society we live in, any other half-assed excuse for a holiday pretty much follows right along down that path. Wear green! Eat green! Drink green... Why the hell can't we all THINK green!
Well I woke up this morning up in Edmonton, to more snow, though it isn't too cold out at least. I am hoping by this afternoon, that the snow will stop, though the forecast calls for snow all weekend.
Last day of my course as well. Should be good to finish up, and then there is only one more course in a few weeks. I spent over an hour last night at Kingsway mall, watching some Warhammer 40K at the GW store. It is very tempting to get into the game, but I don't spend enough time painting as it is, never mind playing with an entire army!!! Garrr....
Oh the Futurama with the Star Trek cast (well Doohan wasn't on, but some guy named "Welshy") was on last night. Now that is classy television viewing!!!
Well, I am back in Edmonton for some more Microstation training. So far so good... we are learning a lot about text and soon we will be learning about cells or blocks. It is very different from AutoCAD but I see a lot of similarities. Just have to figure out where the tools are to do the same job.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse up here in Edmonton, and I woke to lots of snow this morning. Shouldn't be too bad though. It's a shame as most of the snow was almost gone! Darn this country anyways...
The very word itself implies a truckload of urgency.... Something terrible has happened, and no matter what, something must be done quickly!
Yesterday afternoon, sometime about 3'ish, my 12 year old son was skateboarding home. Sounds pretty good so far, but like we see all too often on prime time American "Good Times Gone Bad" television serials, tragedy strikes. A slip, and the strike of a rock is technically what caused the accident, but the long and short of it is that my boy went tumbling off his board and smashed his foot against a concrete barricade.
I got home from work a little later, say 5:30'ish, to find him with a bruised and slightly swollen foot. Well, there was nothing for it. After an absolutely delicious tuna helper dish with home made buns, we decided we had best go the hospital for X-RAYS. We left about 6:30'ish.
A quick 15 minute hop up the highway to Lacombe, and we are at the hospital Emergency room. Again, that word stares back at me, and I wonder... At any rate, we check into the nurse station and head for the infamous "Waiting Room of Eternal Boredom". Surprisingly, there was only one person in the room, and apparently, they were supposed to be admitted already. I imagine the time was flying by for everyone except me. They had a small television on, the kind with the VHS player built right in. It was blasting some popular series on customizing vans or something and almost all eyes were fixed on it as if it were a pearl of cyclopean proportion. I was reading a thoroughly fascinating magazine on some of Canada's great achievements...
After sitting for what seemed like an hour, my wife and son went into an Emergency observation area. Curses, again the word glares at me, as if pronouncing "My very existance defies your common sense..." I read more. At one point, two women who had been waiting for a while began getting antsy... Well antsy only in the way that two people who resemble "George" and "Gracie" the humpback whales can be. After heaving her ponderous bulk through the waiting room to the nurses station, she rumbled back in pronouncing rather loudly, "This is bullshit! We should just call Doctor Jackson at home!" I felt kind of like pointing out that it was a bit improper to speak that way to people whom you wish to have help you, but I thought that discretion was the better part of valor and left them well enough alone. The last thing I needed was the bane of two behemoth women in a room the size of your average small office...
I began to think it was taking some time... the reading must have been getting to me. I ventured past the nurses station and found the Emergency observation area they had assigned to Bradley and my wife. Well the doctor hadn't even been in to see them yet so I sat down and we waited for a while. The boy's foot looked pretty sore. I know they wanted to do X-RAYS and finally, the doctor appeared and told us to head down to the X-RAY lab where they were EXPECTING us. It's been around an hour already, so I am convinced this is time for action! Get the X-RAYS, the doctor's analysis, and perhaps a cast... At any rate, they brought in a wheel chair for Bradley to sit in, and he was pretty pleased with it. He described it as the "Cadillac Escalade" of wheelchairs.... leather upholstery even!
He began the long wheel down the hallway to the X-RAY department. We passed the next nursing station, where they had around 5 nurses, monitoring vital signs, and recording results, and performing tests and stuff. Well maybe not, but they could have been... We pulled up outside the X-RAY room, and were quite surprised to find a darkened room, with no one about. Perhaps they had several X-RAY rooms, and we had chose poorly... I think not. Not in small town, rural Alberta. It was at least another 15 minutes of waiting, and telling Bradley to stop playing with the wheelchair before someone finally came along. It was a matter of about 12 seconds, and they were done. "Take these to the Doctor at the Emergency nurses station please." I simply have made a choice to ignore that word for the rest of this account in case you were wondering at my omission for the last several ocurrences.
It was all action now. Had the X-RAYS done, given them to the doctor, waiting in the Emergency observation area, and high hopes of no fractures... He came right away! Nothing broken, just a big ugly bruise. There could be some damage underneath in the "growth plate" but some good rest should heal it up in no time. He asked if we wanted a Tenser Bandage or not, and we said we would, as the exact whereabouts of the ones at home was sketchy at best. A nurse was coming to put one on presently. We waited around for a while longer, and I thought maybe I would go and read some more in the Emergency waiting room to pass the time. The room hadn't changed except again there was only one other person there, and a new person at that. The television was still screaming out a cacophony of voices describing "Extreme Machines"...
I sat reading an excellent magazine for what seemed like half an hour and finally I thought I had better go and see what was happening. I get to the Emergency observation area, and they are still sitting there waiting. I was a little baffled, and in one motion it was decided that we were leaving that place. We approached the Emergency nurses station and received 3 or 4 quizzical looks, as if their large doey eyes would lull us back into the waiting area... My wife said that we were going to buy our own Tenser bandage and that I had to get home to bed for work tomorrow...
We got home around 9'ish.
I think that while I was in the hospital Emergency area for nearly two hours, I saw 1 doctor, 1 technician, 1 maintenance worker, and most probably 8 to 10 nurses. The only conclusion I can draw is that they must have forgotten to teach them the proper methods of applying Tenser bandages to wounded feet in those expensive years of college.
This commentary is written as parody. Please do not be offended by it in any way... I do not wish to wait longer next time!
I am a big fan of the series "Babylon 5". The characters, story and production as a whole was fantastic. By season 3 and 4, Earth had been taken over by Fascists, after an assassination of the original President. The new regime in power started a group called "Nightwatch"... a branch of their own version of Homeland Security. Through Nightwatch, they controlled media, News agencies, and in fact, the military and general population. The difference between Nightwatch and Hitler's very own Waffen SS was really only the color of the armbands.
More and more, I see the Administration in the US sliding down this path towards Fascism. Already, they boast their very own "Nightwatch" and in fact have had incidents such as the infamous "Homeland Security bust on a toy store for copyright infringement" situation among many others... Couple that with the illegal detaining of countless prisoners for years, the general lies to the public and the continuing blatant disregard for liberty, freedom and democracy... and we have all the makings of a Fascist regime.
WASHINGTON - The White House, intent on continuing to crank out "video news releases" that look like television news stories, has told government agency heads to ignore a Government Accountability Office memo criticizing the practice as illegal propaganda.
The Deputy Assistant to the US Attorney General Legal Department (guess who that is... Mr. Gonzales), Steven Bradbury, says it is a ""Cost-effective means to distribute information through local news agencies..."
Now, the GAO is the investigative arm of Congress. Their recommendations keep the administration in check. They are reportedly very dissapointed with the decision the White House has made. The GAO sent a memo to government agency heads stating that video news releases by the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Office of National Drug Control Policy have both violated the Federal LAw barring the use of government money for propoganda.
"Television-viewing audiences did not know that stories they watched on television news programs about the government were, in fact, prepared by the government."
All the White House spokesperson said was that it is made very clear to the television stations, where the videos are coming from.
"They are intended to be indistinguishable from news segments broadcast to the public by independent television news organizations," Walker wrote. "To help accomplish this goal, these stories include actors or others hired to portray 'reporters' and may be accompanied by suggested scripts that television news anchors can use to introduce the story during the broadcast."
So we knew that we can't believe everything we see on tv, but the government is now preparing their own "news videos" about themselves to be aired in a manner as to fool viewers... Sounds just like Nightwatch to me. Government controlled media. Perfect. Maybe the US could clone Goebbels. That would do wonders for their regime :)
All I have to say is, CANCEL YOUR CABLE SUBSCRIPTION. And open your eyes. Be careful in these times... Always wear your tinfoil hat when watching the news...
Now your boy can be the toughest M'Fer on the block...
Satisfaction guaranteed! Watch out Jose, Mark and Barry... the new sluggers will be around in about 15 years (unless they don't kill themselves in some sort of steroid depression, or perhaps have a rage and do silly things and end up in jail...)
According to MSNBC news, the trail for Osama Bin Ladin has gone cold...
LONDON - Pakistani and American officials said Tuesday the hunt for top al-Qaida and Taliban leaders would continue, but acknowledged the trail was cold.
Pakistani authorities figure they almost nabbed him about 10 months ago, but since, the trail has gone cold. Well, by almost, they had a "rough" idea where he could "possibly" be...
In other words, they have no idea at all, and haven't for years now :) Naturally, the US totally downplays the failure to track down Bin Ladin, claiming that bolstering the government in Afghanistan is their main priority... Hmm. I thought the whole "War on Terror" was about tracking down that one man?
An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car. He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?" "Just water," says the priest. The trooper says, "Then why do I smell wine?" The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
Sexual Education in School... When is Too Young Too Young?
I can't exactly remember when I learned about the birds and bees. There were always little hints as I was growing up, but nothing vivid sticks in my mind. It wasn't until about Form 3 (Grade 9 over here) in school, that I think we really got into "Reproduction" in Biology. Nothing really about actual Sexual Education, rather the biological process in humans and animals.
Of course that was many years ago now...
Recently, a friend of my wife had her son's Test come home from Sexual Education class. He aced it, getting 32 out of 34... Good news. Some of the actual questions seem a bit much maybe, for me at least...
_____ The opening in a female into which the penis goes during sexual intercourse. It is also the opening through which a baby is born. Answer... Vagina.
_____ When a man's penis is in a woman's vagina. Answer... Sexual Intercourse.
_____ The cord tthat connects the growing baby to it's mother. The baby gets food and oxygen from it's mother through this cord. Answer... Umbilical Cord.
So the fill in the blanks from the word list has some good questions and some questionable ones. The last one IMO is a pretty good question.
Of course, it simply gets better and better, the more they learn. Here is another example from the next page:
When a man and woman are sexually close and it feels good, the man's penis might get bigger and harder. This is called an erection. The same good feeling can cause the woman's vagina to get wet inside so that when the man and woman are ready, and they both wish, the man can put his penis into the woman's vagina. This is called sexual intercourse, or making love.
Now maybe this is a bit graphic for some readers. It could almost be mistaken for some sort of low budget, soft porn romance novel stuff. I mean, really... It is all good information of course, and obviously, the school board feels it is important to get the message about sex out to the kids.
Further along, the test continues with this:
During sexual intercourse, the man and woman might both have an orgasm. This causes a warm, pleasant feeling to spread all over their bodies. When the man has an orgasm, whitish fluid called sperm comes out of his penis and enters the woman's vagina....
It continues on to demonstrate how the fertilization process takes place, and how the fertilized ovum heads for the uterus and grows into a baby.
Now I can understand studying the process. Not graphic sexual reference, but rather the biological function. Sperm, ova, fertilization, love, babies... But in depth description of intercourse and orgasm seem a little heavy.
The whole thing tones down a notch after this. There are some questions on puberty, and the changes in a child's body as they begin to grow up. Good stuff for sure. These are things kids DO need to know.
Some true or false questions finish he test off, and most of these are pretty good as well.
Kissing can cause pregnancy...F
Having an erection always means you are sexually excited...F
Wet dreams are a normal sign that boys are growing up...T
Circumcised and uncircumcised penises work the same...T
Daily bathing is important during puberty...T
Again, a smattering of good stuff, and maybe a little bit heavy stuff...
Now I have several problems with this program in school. In my opinion, they make sexual intercourse sound pleasureable. Fair enough. Consent between too grown ups. Fair enough. But they make it sound too good perhaps. Where are the repurcussions? Pregnancy? STDs? Not a mention about AIDS, Herpes, or any other nastiniess... That doesn't come until next year apparently... So now we have abunch of kids running around, who know all about having sex, and who's parents probably don't know what they are doing half the time...
Too much information, and not the right information I think. Maybe you wonder why this is so bothersome? Well I never mentioned the age of the child who took this test.
I normally don't watch CSI at all. My wife enjoys the Miami version... but not me. Well Wil Wheaton was on the last episode and played a brilliant performance! He was "Walter", a disturbed homeless person, accused of murder. I only watched the episode to see Wil's acting; he was so excited talking about the part. His writing is infectious, and I WANTED to see him act again!
At any rate, watch for "Compulsion" (Season 5, Episode 17)... It almost made me a fan of the show...
Person "A" goes out of their way, spending money, time and energy (lots of it too) doing something for the benefit of hundreds of other people, and after enforcing the basic and easy to follow rules, Person "B" goes out and not just has a childish spazz about it, but can't seem to let it rest.
May Person "B"'s paintbrushes all curl and fray...
Well it sounds much friendlier than "Rot in Hell".
A review board has cleared Rumsfeld, saying that the responsibility and blame of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison is on low to mid level officers in the military. That being said, the big kill shot in the review was revealed when one Senator said:
“I can only conclude that the Defense Department is not able to assess accountability at senior levels, particularly when investigators are in the chain of command of the officials whose policies and actions they are investigating,” he added.
Now let me think this through. The Defense Department is investigating themselves, and most of the people doing the investigations worked for or under Rumsfeld and other Senior Officials... Hmmm. To me, this is damning. How can any person in their right mind, actually take these findings with any level of authenticity at all? This is a classic case of "pulling the wool over your own eyes"...
Admiral Albert T. Church, who is the Director of the Navy Staff at the Pentagon has led this investigation. His findings can be concluded with this statement:
Church said he did not focus on senior official accountability because that had been assessed in earlier investigations. But that did not satisfy some senators who believe Rumsfeld should take blame for creating an environment in which mistreatment of prisoners might appear to be tolerated.
Well wasn't that what the investigation was about? The senior officials? My God! They are blatantly lying and fabricating answers and half of the people eat it up like Peach Sorbet!
Naturally, there are some people who are not so easily fooled by red tape and bureaucracy...
“The Church report should be published in full, and the record of senior officials thoroughly examined by an independent commission of inquiry,” said Alexandra Arriage, Amnesty International’s director of government relations.
Admiral Church's report failed to decide the political debate over the White House's decision not to afford Geneva Convention rights to some of the prisoners, including Taliban fighters who fought in Afghanistan...
Remember the man who helped decide this? Mr. Alberto Gonzales? Well now he IS the US Attorney General. The man who helps write the Law of the Land. It is a terrible shame that we didn't win the battle opposing his nomination.
And the US moves another giant step towards Fascism...
The above quotes were taken from an article on MSNBC news...
A new story published today is saying that hundreds of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay are possibly going to be transferred to prisons in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen... Remember, most of these prisoners have never been charged with anything at all... No lawyers. No charges. No family...
Nearly all of the detainees are being held without charges and some have been imprisoned there for more than three years. The United States has designated them “enemy combatants” and denied them prisoner of war status, which brings certain rights under international law.
Is the US trying to hide from the abuse scandals? Are those prisons inthe Middle East safer perhaps? I doubt that. All of these investigations the US Military are conducting are a joke. More of the same... Investigating yourself rarely reveals the truth!
Ever want to paint a glass bottle with fluid in it on your 28mm scale lead miniature? Now you too, can be a star... Read on!
I have two examples of glass bottles here. The first is a green glass bottle with fluid in, and the second is a clear glass bottle with a colored fluid in.
I think the thing to remember here, is that you are essentially painting the object in two parts. The contents come first. Think about how the light reacts with fluid. I tend to make the fluid level darkest, and then paint lighter towards the bottom. You can add some light spots for bubbles or whatever you like. The top part is obviously empty, so it is either going to be the color of the surrounding objects, or air etc... as shown in the second image.
The second part is to paint light reflections on the surface of the "glass". This is pretty easy if you have a good grasp of NMM and light sourcing. In the first picture, I let the surface of the fluid (a bit of a light line) help in the trick. The edges and bottom of the bottle are lighter, and the light glints off of the top edges. The second picture is similar. Some careful glinting and the odd spot reflection.
Further enhancements can really help. Take the label on the first picture. Very fine detail but it doesn't actually say anything :( However, if you go look at a bottle of Glennfiddich, you will see a Glennfiddich label there. You know that bottle is transparent so it helps with the trick. The other bottle uses a similar theory to SE NMM except you have to be very careful to maintain the transparent illusion no matter which way you view it.
Sparr is in my Hasslefree gallery (with more views) and the Firestorms (2 of them with glass bottles) are in my "Other" gallery. There are numerous pictures of them as well...
I was reading news on various blogs, such as Seeing the Forest, and stumbled across this story that is as yet unconfirmed... but then who trusts the media anyways? It is stories like this that really make a person seek out the truth for themselves.
A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.
"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.
"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said.
He said Saddam himself fired at them with a gun from the window of a room on the second floor. Then they shouted at him in Arabic: "You have to surrender. ... There is no point in resisting."
"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.
Abou Rabeh was interviewed in Lebanon.
Personally, I have many doubts about a good many things about the "war" and Saddam's capture is one of them. How about all of the clones? Have they found them all? Where is Saddam now? You never ever hear about him, or see him on tv... whatever could they be doing? Where is he?
I love camping. I am not a motorhome with satellite tv camper either... I like a tent. A fire. Perhaps a book, and maybe even some beer (and hoots)... I always pack warm clothes and extra blankets and generally, I am very prepared. For the most part, when me and my family go camping, we stick to the campgrounds... Provincial parks especially. For a paultry sum, you get an actual nicely wooded spot, water and toilet.
Yeah, the toilet. For the most part, they smell. They are full of flies, and at night, moths. No-one seems to be able to hit the evil oval shaped opening to hell, so the seat is always a mess. It is easy enough to stand there and pee (well for a guy), but sitting is always a cagey situation. I can only imagine how my wife feels...
Well, I have invented a new method to deal with this common stress involved with camping at campgrounds. It is the INTERNAL BOWEL SHUT OFF VALVE, and it is located just behind the Pineal Gland in your brain. I have found, that with careful practice and concentration... that I can go days, if not a week without having to use the outhouse at all. I mean, I can pee in the bush when no-one is looking, so this is great! Of course, if you choose to camp at a KOA campground or some other sardine can establishment, you will not have any trees to hide near, but then you are likely paying 10 or 20 bucks more, just for the cleaner toilet :D
Well I have been following the Steroid issue in MLB with some interest, and I see this morning that MSNBC has a news article up concernign the matter yet again.
NEW YORK - Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi were among seven current and former baseball stars that a congressional committee plans to subpoena as soon as Wednesday to testify about steroids.
It would seem that the seven players, Canseco, McGwire, Giambi, Shilling, Sosa, Palmiero and Thomas were all asked, but so far it is only the outspoken Canseco and Frank Thomas who have agreed to appear. It is really sounding like the other 5 stars will be getting subpoenas if they are unwilling to appear voluntarily...
Start them young. If we inject our children with steroids, they will grow to be faster, stronger and dumber than everyone else!!!!
Where does it start? When does it end?
Say NO to steroids....
There is also more bad news regarding younger folks and the performance enhancing drugs...
Also Tuesday, the parents of two amateur players who committed suicide were added as witnesses.
Taylor Hooton, a cousin of former major leaguer Burt Hooton, was 17 when he hanged himself on July 15, 2003, and his parents think the suicide was due to depression that followed Taylor’s end of steroid use. Rob Garibaldi, who played for the University of Southern California, was 24 when he shot himself on Oct. 1, 2002, and his parents also think his death was related to steroids.
Cessional Committee will include these parents as well as a gaggle of Medical Experts on the...
*** UPDATED ***
Well, Congress has gone and subpoened all of the 11 Baseball players to testify before the Steroid Commission... MLB thinks their new get tough policy is enough to control Steroid use in Ball, but apparently the US Congress disagrees... I am starting to think the Congress should be doing more about the Pseudo Fascist reime that is slowly building (ie politics)... that IS their job isn't it?
Ever wake up and see bad news on the news? Well, to be honest, sure, probably every day. Today, I look and MSNBC has a gem of a story about China and their new aggressive, Taiwanese legislation...
It would seem they have just passed this Bill to deal with Taiwanese Independence...
"BEIJING - China unveiled a law on Tuesday authorizing military action to stop rival Taiwan from pursuing formal independence, but said an attack would be a last resort if peaceful means fail."
Naturally, the Chinese claim that aggression is the "last resort" to stop Taiwan's move towards independence. After all of the peaceful means are exhausted, they will use whatever means necessary to maintain their claim on Taiwan.
“If possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ nonpeaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Wang Zhaoguo, a leader of the National People’s Congress, as he read from the law.
So the US aren't the only big bullies out there. This is a bit different though, since Taiwan is claimed to be under Chinese rule (by China)... In this time of nuclear uncertainty, a new hotbed of political unrest is the last thing we as a people need to deal with.
I sincerely hope this wrinkle in the fabric of our world can be ironed out peacefully. Who knows what would happen if China did invade and occupy Taiwan...
Watch out for the new virus worms Kelvir.a, Kelvir.b and Crog being spread through messenger. Do not accept any .pif file types through messenger. A few friends who have gotten the virus' tell me that out of now where, a contact had sent them a file. Opening the file spread the virus.
Well, all of the entries have been posted for the Chick Challenge V. Sadly, I still cannot say which entries are mine and the wife's but there looks to be hours of browsing there!!!! I am most impressed with this contest, and I hope that between us, we can win something, even a random draw!!!
Have you ever had conversations or occurances that simply drain intelligence directly out of your brain? I just did. I hate talking to people in the office that have 10 more years of education and 20 more years of experience than me, but somehow leave me feeling like I just discussed something with a mashed potato. I mean really... Maybe they should put me in charge of jobs...
Harold and Kumar... Well, it's about two average dudes who have a craving for weed, and burgers...
One fella is an Asian accountant type, and the other is an East Indian dropout medical student ace. Both are serious potheads, and after seeing a commercial on tv for White Castle burgers, they set out on an incredibly zany night of mishaps.
Some parts can be a little silly perhaps, but in the end, you are guaranteed to have a few solid laughs at the very least. A special guest appearance by none other than Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser MD) is both hilarious and disturbing all at once. Many of the events that happen to these two could happen to any one of us, and some are just crazy stunts.
All in all, I watched the movie twice, enjoying it both times, but it was definately better the first time. Unlike a classic like "Meet the Parents" or "Me, Myself and Irene", this may lose some hilarity the second time around. I give it a 3.5 out of 5 for the overall comedy value.
Scientists in Ethiopia have found the oldest remains of human ancestry yet. These bones are all that is left of mankind's oldest walking ancestor.
“Right now we can say this is the world’s oldest bipedal (an animal walking on two feet) and what makes this significant is because what makes us human is walking upright,” Latimer said. “This new discovery will give us a picture of how walking upright occurred.”
They say that the "Hobbit" remains found earlier are older, at 4.5 million years, but there is great debate whether or not the older subling walked upright...
I suspect cats nap lots because of the need to conserve energy. They are hunters and predators, so like a Cheetah, they likely sleep most of the time, in order to have those bursts of energy needed to chase down prey.
Of course, the modern housecat has probably forgotten about the hunting aspect of their lives, so the sleeping is simply their way of claiming every piece of floor and furniture in the house. I mean, there are a lot of chairs and couches, so they need to sleep a lot!
If you are unfortunate, you may wake the poor cat up. They are never impressed. I imagine that right after this picture, she took off, and began racing up and down the hallway as fast as she can go... I like chasing her back and forth. Keeps us both in shape :D
Well, thanks again to "instability in Iraq" and "Terror concerns" gas prices may hit a record high this year... MSNBC has a story about it now...
Funny thing is... those prices are for a gallon is the US. Roughly 3.8 liters to a gallon, so they are paying about 62 cents Canadian a liter. Wow. I wish. Here in Alberta (likely fairly cheap compared to some parts of the country, we average between 74.9 and 78.9 right now. How come WE get the big shaft here? We didn't start wars and use up fuel reserves. How can they even complain down there, when we are already 15 cents a liter higher?
Geez... We make a ton of the stuff right here in Alberta too. Gas prices piss me off. Really bad. We pay at the pump for a US war. Great stuff :)
Not sure whether the guys from Bain Capital Partners LLC and Game Plan LLC have all their noodles packed in their melons, but they have recently made a proposal to the NHL owners to BUY THE ENTIRE LEAGUE for $3.5 billion....
Not sure if they have been keeping up with current events, but the NHL has said they have lost a total of $500 million over the last couple of years. Obviously, they have a cunning plan...
Damn, why couldn't I find a decent pic of Baldric...
Well today marks the day that the US Death Toll in occupied Iraq hit 1500 according to MSNBC. Not too shabby considering how many civilian Iraqis have been killed in this conflict. I wonder how the mothers and fathers of all those US soldiers really feel about the war.
The war itself, as most people who can actually think for themselves can figure out, was based on lies. There were NO Weapons of Mass Destruction. There are NO solid links between Hussein and Al Qaida (they should have invaded Saudi Arabia but then the Saudis trade their oil nicely with the US)... In fact, almost every premise for the invasion has since been proved wrong or false. Sure Hussein was a bad dude, and many Iraqis suffered by his rule, but what now?
How many more civilians and how many more Servicemen will die? For peace? For "Freedom"? For Oil? At this point, I am not convinced the Iraqis are better off at all... Who is the evil power I wonder...
Well after my filling fell out from right between my two front teeth last week I am off to see mister Dentist this afternoon. I hate going, but in reality, an hour there, and a few hours after isn't nearly as bad as the days and days of grief I could choose....
I have to get it fixed though. I cannot handle another day looking like Condoleezza Rice.
*** UPDATED ***
Well the operation was a success. All in all, not a bad trip by any means. I made a funny when the assistant put the LEAD VEST on for X-Ray protection and in a super Bill Shatner voice said "I... can't.... move...".
She wasn't amused.
The freezing needle sucked, but as a little bit of showmanship, I did the leg and foot wiggle on the bed as he was finishing the injection...
He wasn't amused.
The drilling and filling all went super smooth. I was lucky enough to cath Star Trek TNG on the tv there, and it was the episode where Worf hurt his back and was paralyzed. Of course, he wanted to kill himself as only a Klingon would, but they ended up saving him with some crazy Doctor's theoretical techniques... (Bitch). See? Getting a tooth fixed is no where near as bad as replacing your spinal cord... Now I have a pair of beauty front teeth again. I just hope the filling on the other side doesn't come loose!
Start them young. If we inject our children with steroids, they will grow to be faster, stronger and dumber than everyone else!!!! Recently, I blogged about Pro sports and roids. This excerpt is from that blog. Quote
And the Greeks are rolling over on their hard marble slab-like beds...
It isn't a really that big a deal to me, the Steroid abuse in sports. I mean, it allows for bigger hits, faster runners, more homers... I bet nearly every major sport is laced with the stuff. Football? Sure. Those guys are huge. Basketball? Why not... Hockey? For sure... Baseball? You betcha. Tell me McGuire's eyes bulge out because he saw an alien... Heh.
In hindsight, and after reading this article in the news, I have to do a 180 on this. Seems in high school in Texas (and I am sure almost everywhere), the trend is to take roiuds to play football. Now I don't care what kind of "sacred temple" football is in the US. These kids are doing it to win, either because they want to or someone else (parents, coaches) wants them to. To quote....
"Steroids have made a massive comeback" in high schools over the past decade, Mike Long, a veteran Texas high school football coach, said in Sunday's editions of The News. Long abused steroids as a young athlete and now counsels teenagers about their dangers.
These kids have to realise that steroids are seriously damaging to other parts of their bodies, causing liver damage, tumors, mood swings and possible suicidal depression. Couple that with the "rage" and drinking problems and they are headed for a world of pain.
Where do they get it from? Be proud Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire. Jose Canseco's book may be not such a bad thing after all... Next thing you know, hockey dads in Ontario will have their 7 year old peewees taking roids to beat the other kids in our favorite game...
Where does it start? When does it end?
Say NO to steroids....
*** UPDATED ***
I was reading in the news again, and now Jose Canseco in a "money grab" (IMO) is goign to take a live Lie Detector test. Don't get me wrong, I believe he is telling the truth and the other guys should simply 'fess up, but this is a publicity stunt... Anyhow, it is interesting to see how many people are getting riled up.
Ironic that Raphael Palmiero who was fingered by Jose as a Juicer maintains he didn't, yet he is a spokesperson for Viagra :P Heh...
All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.
Site design created by Zaphod. All written work and code is the intellectual property of Glyn Evans.
I have lived in Central Alberta almost my entire life, except for a 4 year stint when I was younger in Swaziland, and about 5 years in beautiful BC. I have a wonderful girlfriend and am expecting very soon! I work in the engineering field and enjoy writing in my spare time.