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Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal wedding trivia--and some funny stuff

--One of the flowers in the ladies' bouquets was "Sweet William", reputedly because it's to represent "gallantry".  The fact that it's also the groom's name helped that much more, for sure;

--Prince William's full, formal, Royal name is--hold on--His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Early of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Master of Arts.  Try saying that three times fast.

--The halo-style tiara that Kate wore was Cartier creation belonging to the Queen. King George bought it for the Queen Mother in 1936; the Queen Mother gave it to the Queen on her 18th birthday;

--The Middleton's--Kate's family--didn't have a coat of arms before, because they weren't members of the British aristocracy.  The horrors!

--Kate had Westminster Abbey loaded with trees:   Kate loves the outdoors and, according to the Daily Mail, she ordered more than four tons of foliage to create an English country garden setting inside Westminster Abbey, including pyramid-shaped ornamental Hornbeams to frame the choir and a "living avenue" of 20-foot-tall, 15-year-old English Field Maples through which guests walked to their seats. The cost? About 50,000 pounds, or $83,335.
Because, after all, what's a little money?

--The frowning little gril on the balcony while Kate and William were waving was  Prince William's goddaughter, 3-year-old Grace van Cutsem, who was one of the official bridesmaids (there are no "flower girl" roles in traditional British weddings, so children are often included as bridesmaids or pages). She is the daughter of Lady Rose Astor and Hugh van Cutsem, and great-great-great-granddaughter of William Waldorf Astor, a New York-born lawyer and politician who later became a member of the British Aristocracy. (The Waldorf Hotel was one of his pet projects.) Little Grace was also pouting for part of the carriage ride...  Typical brat. (kidding, just kidding!)

--Like most modern brides, Kate will forgo the use of the word “obey” in her vows, opting instead to “love, comfort, honor and keep” the prince

--Her engagement ring is the iconic sapphire worn by the late Princess Diana.  I'm thinking "ick"

--The bells of Westminster Abbey will ring for three hours after the royal wedding. The ringers will perform 5,000 changes for the first time since 2007;

--Britons will take 327 million photographs of the royal wedding;

--Ladbrokes froze bets on the Queen’s hat after yellow became the 10/11 odds-on favourite;

--William and Kate, a pair of royal starlings at Chester Zoo, have been renamed Billy and Nate after both turned out to be cock birds.  Oops;

--Researchers found that one in five adults plans to purchase a royal collectable and will spend an average of £17 each — with mugs, tea-towels and plates the most popular items. But seven in 10 won’t admit it to friends for fear of ridicule.  Now that's good.

--The job of calming Prince William’s nerves has been given to Sir Stephen Lamport, the Receiver General at Westminster Abbey.  And pray, tell how he's to do that?;

--Justin Tunstall has produced two royal cheddars to mark the event, one called “Congratulations Wills and Kate”, the other christened “Sod the Wedding – It’s a Day Off”. The latter is selling eight times faster in his shop in Lyme Regis, Dorset;

--Up to 600,000 people will turn their kettles on after the couple kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the National Grid predicts;

--The country’s largest rail union, the RMT, will keep its head office in London open during Friday’s bank holiday because it opposes the monarchy. The staff could choose whether or not to work, a union spokesman added.  Good on them;

--The number of royal wedding street parties will now top 5,500, the Local Government Association said yesterday. Councils have received a last-minute surge of applications for road closures, with 1,500 requests in the past three weeks;

--Hertfordshire appears to be the most royalist county with 298 street parties planned. West Berkshire has just 19 applications.

--Your honeymoon WHERE??  Speculation that Prince William and Kate Middleton will spend their honeymoon in Transylvania has reached fever pitch in Romania. The Prince of Wales owns a property in the village of Viscri, which was visited by a security team in recent weeks, residents claimed;

--The royal couple will be toasted with modest £30 bottles of champagne at the wedding breakfast. They have chosen non-vintage champagne from the family-run Pol Roger vineyard that was a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill;

--One in three Britons will try to avoid seeing the royal wedding, according to a ComRes poll for ITV News;

--More than 500 yards of red carpet were rolled out at Heathrow Airport arrivals halls to give passengers a welcome fit for a future king and queen. Thousands of cups of White Earl Grey tea, blended by Twinings for the event, will be given out free of charge.  It's for sure they couldn't charge for it--not with that flavor.

Have a great weekend, y'all.


Supreme Court came down on side of business---yet again

Well, no surprise here.  Move along.  Move along.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday yet again for business, big business, corporations and against you and I, the "little guy":

Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration

Andy Borowitz has outdone himself

Obama Reveals Unsuccessful Run for President of Kenya

Disqualified by U.S. Birth Certificate


Texas Governor Perry complains about Obama, blah, blah, blah

It seems Texas Governor Rick Perry isn't "feeling the love" from Washington right now so he's upset and complaining:

Governor says Obama leaving Texas in the dust

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry criticized the Obama administration on Thursday for not responding to a request for a disaster aid for the parched state, where wildfires have scorched nearly 2 million acres.
Waaaaahhhh, Governor Perry.

I thought you didn't like Federal dollars from Washington?  You've said as much.

I thought you wanted to secede from the country?  You said that, too.

Now, when you have these wildfires, it's okay to go back and ask for Federal assistance and complain about a lack of attention from the President?

As President Obama so aptly put it, "Governor Perry helped balance his budget with about $6 billion worth of federal help - which he happily took - and then started blaming the members of Congress who had offered that help," Obama said, referring to 2009 federal stimulus funds.

So what is it, Governor Perry?  When you don't need anything, you'll talk big about trashing the Federal government but when you need help, THEN it's okay?  Is that how this works, Governor?  Let us know, will you?  Because that's certainly how it looks.

You bloody hypocrite.


300 killed in Southern tornadoes--SNAP--Royal couple wed

What an attention span we--and our media--have.

Literally, one day the huge news is that the casualty count from a string of 600 tornadoes--600--is rising to 300 people and literally, the next day, the next morning, so much of the news--the top story today--is of the Royal wedding in England.

What?  What did you say?  I wasn't paying attention.


"Wanna' grab a Coke?"

Thanks and a hat tip to Matt Payton's Tumble-O-Rama.

According to the Nutrition Research Center, this is what happens to your body within one hour of drinking a can of soda:

-10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system, which is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake. You'd normally vomit from such an intake, but the phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.

-20 minutes: Your blood sugar skyrockets. Your pancreas attempts to maximize insulin production in order to turn high levels of sugar into fat.

-40 minutes: As your body finishes absorbing the caffeine, your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver pumps more sugar into the bloodstream. Adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked preventing you from feeling how tired you may actually be.

-45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, causing you to feel pleasure and adding to the addictiveness of the beverage. This physical neuro response works the same way as it would if we were consuming heroin.

-60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, which boosts your metabolism a bit further. High doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners compound this effect, increasing the urinary excretion of calcium. The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (You have to GO!) Your body will eliminate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was otherwise heading to your bones. And you will also flush out the sodium, electrolytes and water. Your body has eliminated the water that was in the soda. And in the process it was infused with nutrients and minerals your body would have otherwise used to hydrate your system or build body cells, bones, teeth.

-60 minutes: The sugar crash begins. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You start feeling like crap. Time to grab another? 

And we drink this why?

And we let our children drink this crap why?

In answer to the question, above, "How soon is too soon?"

How does not at all sound?

"Fastest Growing Cities" in Missouri, Kansas?

Bloomberg has a report out right now, listing all 50 states' "Fastest Growing Cities", as well as mentioning which are the fastest growing in the nation, overall.  It's interesting which one in Kansas and Missouri hits this mark.  Naturally, Kansas and Missouri are not in the "top 10" of this list, just saying.

For starters, the actual city in Kansas that's the fastest growing isn't the surprise but I got a big kick out of the picture Bloomberg chose for the article:
Fastest-growing city in Kansas: Leawood
Yes, supposedly that's to represent Leawood, Kansas.  I'm still laughing inside.  It's as though they're saying "Well, the sun went down and it's Kansas so they rolled up the sidewalks."

Here's the stats:

Fastest-growing city in Kansas: Leawood

Number of households: 13,038
Change YOY: 0.59 percent
Change since 2000: 32.26 percent
Average household income: $188,156

Why:  Leawood—home to one of the state's wealthiest zip codes, 66211—has attracted many upper-middle to high-income families from surrounding cities, according to New developments in the area include single-family subdivisions, shopping centers, and office buildings. The city has a population of nearly 32,000 and expects to reach about 40,000 within the next 10 to 15 years, according to the Leawood Chamber of Commerce.

And Missouri?

Fastest-growing city in Missouri: Ballwin

Number of households: 14,840
Change YOY: 2.46 percent
Change since 2000: 7.19 percent
Average household income: $101,937

Why: Census data shows that Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis, lost population over the last decade. When accounting for sprawl into surrounding areas, however, Gadberry Group found that the greater Ballwin area actually grew. The area is served by the highly rated Rockwood and Parkway School districts. The city states that it promotes commercial development and as of March, the unemployment rate in Ballwin had fallen to 6.4 percent, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
And if that last picture was funny, check out the one they chose for Ballwin:
Fastest-growing city in Missouri: Ballwin
Yesiree, that's pretty flattering, isn't it?  I have to think the Ballwin folks are thrilled with the mention and attention but not so much on this pic.
Do you suppose that's supposed to represent their downtown?  
Have a great weekend, y'all.

You have an appointment this evening at 7 pm

Photography show tonight by local photographer extraordinaire Eric Bowers at 7 pm at The Hook Gallery near 45th and State Line around the antique and art shops at 1711 West 45th, KCMO, immediately east of State Line.

You do not want to miss this.

CLICK HERE for a map and directions.


The First Amendment may be the death of us

First it was the Westboro Baptist Church's First Amendment right to picket "gays" at the funerals of service members--American soldiers who died while in service to our country.  That was protected.

Next up was the "Citizen's United" by the Supreme Court last year, which gave corporations the ability to spend literally unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns, all for the sake of their "First Amendment rights."

Earlier his week, the Supreme Court began deciding whether a government representative's First Amendment rights are denied if--get this--he or she is expected to be recused from any governmental decision if he or she has, say, taken money from someone involved.

Say what?

Here you go:

Supreme Court Hears Dispute Over Nevada Ethics Law

At a time when some groups are calling for stricter ethics rules for the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices on Wednesday seemed disinclined to interfere with state ethics laws.
At issue was a question never examined by the court before: whether a legislative vote is free speech protected by the Constitution, and more specifically, whether states may forbid officeholders to vote on matters that appear to involve a personal conflict.
In 2007, the Nevada Ethics Commission ruled that Michael Carrigan, a city councilman in Sparks, Nev., had violated the state ethics code by voting for a casino development at a time when his close friend and campaign manager was being paid $10,000 a month by the developer. After consulting the city attorney, Carrigan disclosed his relationship but voted to approve the casino project. The Ethics Commission ruled that Carrigan should have recused himself from voting.
Nevada Ethics Commission Executive Director Caren Jenkins said the ruling was based on a determination that "a reasonable person in Mr. Carrigan's position would be materially affected by the conflict such that they would have a hard time exercising independent judgment."
But Carrigan disagreed, saying he had no conflict and had done nothing wrong. He appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor, declaring that voting by an elected public officer is protected speech under the First Amendment.

So now, if this goes the First Amendment freedom way, you can pay off a government representative and STILL have him vote in your favor.

If you're a praying person, get busy on this one.  Let's hope it goes against this guy in Nevada.


Quote of the day

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Which explains Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Steve Doocy, the Tea Party and too much of the American populace, sadly. 

Try to have a great weekend, y'all.  (And while you're at it, READ or watch some good, hard news).  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Now there's an understatement

Oh, yeah?  What about us "whites" that see the ugly, blatant racism?

President Obama, the alien

Obama and the Easter Bunny

"Don't feel bad.  They don't believe in me, either."  
--David W., number 2 runner-up on a caption contest at's Political Humor page.

Predictions on gasoline this year

My first prediction is that gasoline here in the area--the midwest, overall--will hit at least $4.00 per gallon this Summer--likely go a bit higher than that--and stay there most of the 3 months.  It will stay there all Summer unless, that is, the economy really grinds to a halt because of it.  Then it will come back just under 4 bucks a gallon.

My second prediction is that Exxon Mobil and all the oil companies will once again make all time, record-breaking profits, even for themselves, surpassing the last time this happened which were, at that time, record-breaking profits.

Final prediction---like the idiots we are, we STILL won't take away the tax breaks Congress gave them so long ago.

We really aren't that bright, collectively, are we?

Links:  Boehner rejects Dems' request for vote to end subsidies for Big Oil
Exxon Mobil profit soars along with gas prices
Oil edges higher; natural gas rallies nearly 4%
Rising Gas Prices: Obama Re-Tries Cutting Oil Subsidies; Kucinich ...
Gas Prices Increase to $3.88
Gas Price Spikes

Quote of the day, on government for 350 million people

" But to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it." --Henry David Thoreau (with thanks to my friend Dooley, for reminding me of this quote)

Because after all, how do you un a country of 350+ million people with no government?

I mean really.

The "birthers"

"These people could have personally witnessed Obama being born out of an apple pie, in the middle of a Kansas wheat field, while Toby Keith sang the National Anthem---and they'd still think he was a Kenyan Muslim."  --Jimmy Kimmel, "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

Surely no one doubts this.


Quote of the day

"There's a beautiful, progressive Canadian-­European country here in America. It's just surrounded by rednecks."  --Bill Maher

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our CIA and military became interchangeable?

Maybe I missed something but I swear our government didn't used to trade out the military folks for the Central Rreakin' Intelligence Agency so boldly and blatantly, I don't think, as they did since old Don Rumsfeld took over in the last administration.

Now, here's word out today:

Obama sending Panetta to Pentagon, Petraeus to CIA

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2009 file photo, CIA Director Leon Panetta...AP
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief's job in a major shuffle of the U.S. national security leadership, senior administration officials and other sources said Wednesday. Full Story »

I mean, didn't the military used to be the military and the secret, sneaky spy guys used to be just that--the sneaky spy guys--and never the twain did meet?  Am I just naive here?

And even if I am naive on this, does anyone else see something wrong with this?  Is it just me?


"Her Tackiness" continues in her same vein

Sarah Palin, ever the person to prove how low class she is, goes off again:

Sarah Palin makes fun of Katie Couric’s post-CBS plans


Make fun of Katie Couric.

If she were to just go by what Katie makes per year she wouldn't have touched this one.  Reportedly, Ms. "In Poor Taste" Palin has made, to date, from her book deals and speaking engagements, I understand, somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 to 20 million dollars.

Heads up, Ms. W. Trash, Katie makes 15 million a year.  And she's done that for the last 5 years.  And in case you never saw her, Ms. P., before that she was on a news show, too, and for that she put away 7 million a year.

But enough about money.

The circle of people Ms. Couric run with have EDGOOKASHUNS and are world travelers and, I'm imagining, the heads of multi-national organizations and non-profits and, hey, these are people who read magazines and books and they can even name them.

Unlike you, Ms. Palin.

So please, do yourself a favor--go climb back under the rock from which you came.

Or at least have the good sense to be quiet.

Thank goodness!!

Lindsay Lohan opens up about time in jail

It had been, what?  20 minutes since the last time the media reported on her?

My opinion: the Dubai Islands had mistake written all over them

I predicted--and, I have to admit--even hoped these artificial "Dubai Islands" they created over there would fail.
REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

It's not like I wanted to wish ill on anyone, either.  It's just that it made no sense. It goes against nature and it does so on far too grand a scale.

And here it is, proof positive, it seems:

According to evidence presented to a property tribunal, the World islands off the coast of Dubai are sinking.
The "Dubai World Tribunal" was set up to hear cases arising out of the multiple problems that the outlandishly ambitious scheme has faced since it started in 2003. Evidence brought by Richard Wilmot-Smith QC, representing Penguin Marine, the company holding the rights to provide transport to and from the islands,  showed "erosion and deterioration of The World islands." So, in a nutshell, "the islands are gradually falling back into the sea."  As well as the foundational sands of the islands sinking there is also evidence that the navigational channels between the islands are silting up.
The development, consisting of 300 islands, was designed to look like the countries of the globe when seen from above (or from the top of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building onshore in the city). The islands were intended to become luxury hotel complexes and private properties, each tailor-made to suit its owners. According to the developer, Nakheel, 70% of the islands have been sold. However, only one of the islands has completed development: 'Greenland' is owned by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, and is a showpiece for the scheme.

Remember the old saying, the old advertisement?  "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature..."  BOOM


A poll released by USA Today/Gallup this week revealed that Palin would have a tough time beating President Barack Obama in a bid for president in 2012. Although the poll shows that the president himself is up against 46 percent who will "definitely not" vote for him in the next election, it is still a far cry from having 65 percent say they will not. The poll also had bad news for current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump as well, revealing that 64 percent will "definitely not" vote for the New York real estate tycoon as well.

As if that's not enough good news, there's more:  

...with tell-all books coming from a political insider (Frank Bailey) and from the father of her daughter's child (Levi Johnston), exposes that will undoubtedly not be flattering to the former Alaska governor, the numbers in next month's Gallup polls may paint even bleaker political pictures for Palin.

Be still, my heart.  

The American people are finally seeing through this shrill shrew?

Finally, lest anyone feel sorry for Ms. Palin, she can now take the millions of dollars she's gotten from the last few years and do whatever.  I don't think for a moment we've seen the last of her but clearly, money-wise, she came out on top.

Now if she'll just go away.

It was the best of air, it was the worst of air: State of the Air 2011

Who knew?

There is an annual ranking of the air quality of cities and states around the US, done by the American Lung Association.

Makes sense.  I should have known but wasn't aware of it.

To get right to it, there are some interesting developments in it for us, locally.

Topeka, KS is on the list of "Cleanest Cities for Ozone Air Pollution".

Congratulations, Topeka.  (I still don't want to live there but at least it's got good, clean air).

Lincoln, NE ranked 11 on the same list.  Kudos.

But wait!  Our neighbor to the North, St. Joseph, MO-KS (my hometown), ranked 7th (7th!) on the "Cleanest US Cities for short-term particle pollution" while Lincoln, NE showed up 21st on that list, too.

Good on you, St. Joe!

Now for the bad news.

St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL is on the list of "Most polluted cities by year 'round particle pollution at number 17.

Poor ol' St. Lou.  It sucks to be you.  One of the most violent and now, as it turns out, one of the most polluted, too.  Yikes.  The Chamber of Commerce either scrambles on this or just lets it go, unable to do or say anything about it.  (Btw, Detroit, coincidentally, beat them out, too, at the number 16 spot.  Two of the most violent cities are both also have some of the dirtiest air.  Wow.)

The fact is, the list shows that, without doubt, some of the worst, filthiest and most polluted air is, without exception, is in California.  No wonder those people want clean air regulation.  Good for them.  Good for all of us.

The best air in the country?

Honolulu, Hawai'i.

There's a shock, huh?

As for our hometown digs here in KCMO?

Good news, really, overall.

We don't rank on any list of the "cleanest air"...

but we sure aren't on any of the "worst air" lists, either.

Cause for celebration.