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Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Tom Friedman Interview on NPR March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, News and politics, philosophy & politics.
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Tom Friedman may be best known for his best-seller about globalization "The Earth is Flat", but his 3 Pulitzer Prizes have come from his Middle East Expertise.

The most frightening thing the United States could do to Iran, short of attacking it, is to leave Iraq, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The second most frightening thing for Iran, he says, would be a U.S. success in Iraq.

Listen to this interview with Terry Gross on NPR's "fresh Air".(In Windows Media PLayer)

And if you would like to hear some earlier interviews. 

The ear wax cleaning madness must stop March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.

Dr. Paul J. Camp, Spelman College, Department of Physics is in the don't-pick-your ears camp: Plug o' earwax Oh for god's sake, this has gone on long enough.Ear wax is there for a reason. It has antibacterial properties as well as preventing dirt and bugs from going further into your hearing system. Excess earwax is pushed naturally to the opening of the ear canal, where it is washed away, pushed out as the cerumen glands secrete more wax and also by epithelial migration as your skin goes through its replacement cycle.

From the Mayo Clinic: "Never attempt to dig out excessive or hardened earwax with items such as a paper clip, a cotton swab or a hairpin. You may push the wax farther into your ear and cause serious damage to the lining of your ear canal and even to your eardrum." Wanna go deaf? Stick a bobby pin in your ear. See herefor what it looks like when you've been packing that stuff in for a while.

Even if you don't do that, simply scratching or abrading the skin in the ear canal provides a protected growth site for fungus — the dreaded swimmer's ear. I had this once when psoriasis broke up the skin in my ear. You don't want it. Also, removal of impacted ear wax, from pushing it further down in the ear, is inevitably very painful.

Now there are a VERY FEW people who have excessive wax secretions and need to have it cleaned out every now and again. The solution to that is a few drops of mineral oil to soften up the wax and, a day or two later, a bit of warm water or hydrogen peroxide squirted up the ear canal.

And for god's sake, don't stick a candle in your ding dang ear. Ear wax cannot be sucked out by a candle. There are easier ways to set your head on fire.

Reactionary revolutions March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics.
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Venezuela News And Views: Reactionary revolutions
No, the title is not an oxymoron.

I came up with it watching the news from France where for the first time perhaps in its history people are rioting in the streets to make sure that nothing changes. (C)havismo is very much a reactionary movement, a look to our past and a desire to go back to “halcyon” days that were never halcyon. In Chavez we have a caudillo, just as those who gave peace to Venezuela by imposing their will.

Controversy Grows Over Brokeback Ban March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle, philosophy & politics.
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Controversy Grows Over Brokeback Ban
The Bahamas Plays and Films Control Board banned the controversial gay movie, Brokeback Mountain, not just because of its homosexual content, but because it promotes bisexuality, according to the board’s director, Dr. Olga Clarke.

I spoke to Javaz Turnquest, the chairperson of the Board who said the Board did not ban the movie but rather the distributors in the U.S. simply did not sent it here. Really? Interestingly, the movie was sent and approved last week in Jamaica, the most homophobic country on earth. Brokeback Mountain opened on Friday in a theater in Kingston and another in Montego Bay.

"The board chose to ban it because it shows extreme homosexuality, nudity and profanity, and we feel that it has no value for the Bahamian public," Chavasse Turnquest-Liriano, liaison officer for the control board, said Wednesday. Amazingly, the supposedly "Christian conscious" Board has allowed the 50 Cent movie, "Get rich or die trying" to be shown here.

‘It’s hard to believe it’s spring’ March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News.
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RGJ.com: 'It's hard to believe it's spring'-Alpine Meadows records most snow in 35 years
An unending series of March snowstorms pasted the Sierra in white, with one Lake Tahoe ski resort reporting more snowfall than during any other month over the last 35 years.At Alpine Meadows, the resort received more than 16 feet of snow at its base lodge since March 1. At Fallen Leaf Lake near South Lake Tahoe, for example, the snowpack went from 39 percent of average on March 1 to 166 percent on Wednesday, Barbato said.

Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Scientific American: Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development
The pattern of brain growth during development may figure more importantly than overall brain size when it comes to intelligence. Although such intelligence seems to be genetic, the child-rearing environment may play an even more critical role, the researchers stress. Studies in rats have shown that their cortex thickness depends on richness of experience.

Praying Won’t Affect Heart Patients March 31, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Science & Technology.

ABC News: Study: Praying Won't Affect Heart Patients
In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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BREITBART.COM – Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane
Meteorologists say conditions _ including warmer temperatures in the Atlantic Basin and cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean _ are ripe for the Northeast coast to be hit by a whopper of a hurricane this season.

A Chance Find, and Voilà! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep. March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.

A Chance Find, and Voilà! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep. – New York Times
Those who took 300 milligrams of gabapentin three times a day reported a 54 percent reduction in overall hot flash activity (frequency and severity) compared with a 31 percent drop in the placebo group.

Canstruction March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, cool stuff.
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Canstruction Vancouver

Sculpture made of cans

Women go ‘missing’ by the millions March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics.

Women go 'missing' by the millions – Editorials & Commentary – International Herald Tribune

In the past two centuries, those in the West have gradually changed the way they treat women. As a result, the West enjoys greater peace and progress. It is my hope that the third world will embark on this effort. Just as we put an end to slavery, we must end the gendercide.

(Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch legislator, lives under 24-hour protection because of death threats against her by Islamic radicals since the murder of Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the film "Submission" about women and Islam.

Head of Arab League Pushes Nuke Programs March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, News, philosophy & politics, Politics, Religion.
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Head of Arab League Pushes Nuke Programs – Yahoo! News
KHARTOUM, Sudan – The head of the Arab League called on Arab states Tuesday to work toward “entering the nuclear club” by developing atomic energy

BERLIN (AFP) – Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear programme, with help from Pakistani experts, a German magazine reports in its latest edition, citing Western security sources.

This atavistic love of blood and death and, indeed, self-immolation in the name of God may not be new–medieval Europe had an abundance of millennial Christian sects–but until now it has never had the means to carry out its apocalyptic ends….If nothing is done, we face not proliferation but hyperproliferation.

Henry Kissinger said yesterday “ “We live in a period in which most of what we know from history is inapplicable or applicable in limited ways.”

Then he says, Asia today is like 19th C. Europe and the Middle East is like the 17th C. Then there’s globalization which both integrates economically and fragments politically. And somehow we need to synthesize this all in a way the public can understand.

NEW DELHI – Village elders ordered a Muslim man in eastern India to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep, a news report said Tuesday.

In the wake of the cartoon jihad and mosque-on-mosque violence in Iraq, most Americans now think Islam has more violent believers than any other faith. Yet many still view it as a “peaceful religion.”

Psychologists might call this cognitive dissonance — a state of mind where rational people essentially lie to themselves. But in this case, it’s understandable. In our politically correct culture, criticizing any religion, even one that plots our destruction, is still taboo. And no one wants to suggest the terrorists are driven by their holy text. Is Islam the only religion with a doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers?

Chanting “God is Greatest” after the 71-to-36 vote, Hamas lawmakers hugged and kissed Ismail Haniyeh, their teary-eyed prime minister-designate who vowed to not to abandon the fight against Israel.

“The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration,” Hamas lawmaker Hamed Bitawi said.”

To bolster its campaign, the Iranian government has one of the most extensive and sophisticated operations to censor and filter internet content of any country in the world — second only to China, Hopkins said.

It also is one of a growing number of Middle Eastern countries that rely on U.S. commercial software to do the filtering, according to a 2004 study by a group called the OpenNet Initiative

Taylor James Ltd. Photographic Retouching March 30, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Science & Technology.
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Taylor James Ltd. Photographic Retouching

 Click on the photo and choose how you want to view the steps of how a picture is digitaly created

Husband On Strike March 29, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle.
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Husband On Strike
Welcome to the home of America's Most Desperate Husband! I'm on strike because my wife has allowed our children to turn our bedroom into a dungeon of diapers and toys.

Earwax – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff.
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Earwax – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The person having their ears cleaned would lie down with their head in the lap of the person doing the cleaning, with this tool. It is generally considered a pleasant feeling for Japanese, like having one's back scratched. The cleaning of ears is thus considered an act of intimacy, often performed by a mother to a child or, among adults, by one's lover.

It is generally advised not to use cotton swabs (Q-Tips or cotton buds) as these will likely push the wax further down the ear canal and, if used carelessly, perforate the eardrum or worse. Cotton swabs should be used only to clean the external ear.

If you haven't discoverd Wikipedia before, let this be your introduction to the power of the internet. It is an open forum where the public contributes to the fact checking.

When Life Begins at 5: A New Wake-Up Call March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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WSJ.com – When Life Begins at 5: A New Wake-Up Call (Subscription Required)
By a wide variety of indicators, from electricity usage to water consumption, more U.S. households are starting their days before dawn.

Of course, for the sleep-deprived, becoming a morning person can be an uphill battle — 70% of us are not naturally alert and active in the morning, according to the National Sleep Foundation, an educational organization…."It's like these people are a different species,"

The shift to sunrise comes thanks to everything from heavier rush-hour traffic to BlackBerry overload that has left predawn as the last refuge for many people.

Reconquista of Aztlan March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in News, philosophy & politics, Politics.

Just as there is a movement among European Muslims, who carry banners proclaiming “2030 we take over”, there is a comparable movement in the South West of the U.S. This quote is taken from the conclusion of a Mexican Government sponsored forum:

Is there a common destiny? Is there a common destiny for Aztlan and Mexico? Will Mexico recover its lost territories? There is a Mexican-American activist that use to be a radio talk host that would broadcast in English, “Wake up and smell the refried beans!” and “We are reconquering Aztlan without firing a shot, house by house, block by block!” Y que?

This student maifesto from UCLA gives a feel for the sentiments expressed in this photo.

Overstating Jewish Power March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff.
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Overstating Jewish Power By Christopher Hitchens

The essay, which Christopher Hitchens savages in Slate, has been trumpeted front page worldwide in the Muslim press, with very little coverage in this country.

Mearsheimer and Walt belong to that vapid school that essentially wishes that the war with jihadism had never started. Their wish is father to the thought that there must be some way, short of a fight, to get around this confrontation. Wishfulness has led them to seriously mischaracterize the origins of the problem and to produce an article that is redeemed from complete dullness and mediocrity only by being slightly but unmistakably smelly.

Here is some more of the controversy from the Washington Post 

North Korea Exporting Fake $100 Bills March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, News and politics.
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North Korea Might Be Exporting Fake $100 Bills
China’s central bank warned its lenders about an influx of high-quality counterfeit American $100 bills — which the United States alleges are made by North Korea — as the spread of the forgeries moves toward the center of a standoff between Washington and Pyongyang.

Governments around Asia are stepping up surveillance for the bogus currency, which law-enforcement officials have dubbed supernotes because they are so difficult to distinguish from genuine money

Bird Flu Defies Control Efforts March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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Los Angeles Times: Bird Flu Defies Control Efforts
The spread of avian influenza to at least 29 new countries in the last seven weeks — one of the biggest outbreaks of the virus since it emerged nine years ago — is prompting a sobering reassessment of the strategy that has guided efforts to contain the disease.

The speed of its migration, and the vast area it has infected, has forced scientists to concede there is little that can be done to stop its spread across the globe.

"We expected it to move, but not any of us thought it would move quite like this," said Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations' coordinator on bird flu efforts.

U.S. Makes Seized Iraqi Documents Public March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, News and politics.

HoustonChronicle.com – U.S. Makes Seized Iraqi Documents Public
— The federal government is making public a huge trove of documents seized during the invasion of Iraq, posting them on the Internet in a step that is at once a nod to the Web's power and an admission that U.S. intelligence resources are overloaded.
The Web surfers have begun posting translations and comments, digging through the documents with gusto. The idea of the government turning over a massive database to volunteers is revolutionary _ and not only to them.

Ecologists explain why the world is green March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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Ecologists explain why the world is green
Thanks to Adam Brown for this pointing out this seminal study that proved that the role of predators is the key to keeping the world green, because they keep the numbers of plant-eating herbivores under control.

Alcohol, Red Bull, and perception of buzz March 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle.
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A new study of the popular youth drink for getting blasted on a combo of caffeine & booze reports:

Study results show that drinking alcohol and Red Bull together significantly reduces the perception of headache, weakness, dry mouth and impairment of motor coordination.
Red Bull does not, however, significantly reduce alcohol-related deficits on objective measures of motor coordination and visual reaction time. People who combine alcohol with energy drinks may be at even greater risk for problems such as automobile accidents because they believe they are unimpaired.

WIND ENERGY Cost Dropping Below Conventional Sources March 27, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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March 22, 2006: WIND ENERGY DEMAND BOOMING: Cost Dropping Below Conventional Sources Marks Key Milestone in U.S. Shift to Renewable Energy
Three of the 50 states—North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas—have enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy national electricity needs. The cost of wind-generated electricity has fallen from 38¢ per kilowatt-hour in the early 1980s to 4¢ to 6¢ today, offering an almost endless supply of cheap energy.

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