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“The politician who claims he will do all he can for American workers is not including becoming one himself.”
Shoe comic strip.

1) In the war for religious freedom – Pastafarians Unite! ūüôā

From NPR – http://tinyurl.com/67cylqw

“In Austria one of the strangest fights for religious freedom has come to an end: Niko Alm, a self-described “Pastafarian,” fought for three years for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo.

His argument? Alm claimed he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and wearing the strainer was part of his religion.

Niko Alm’s driver license (It is hard to see his “religious headgear”)

2) I have read about some pretty crazy alt med practices, but this may be the most insane.

A woman sits on railway tracks in Rawa Buaya, in Indonesia’s West Java province. The town’s residents believe that the electrical energy from the tracks will cure them of various illnesses.
Photo: Enny Nuraheni/Reuters

3) The humidity is slowing my pace to a crawl. Now I know how Tim Conway’s little old man feels.

The World’s Oldest Fireman (from the Carol Burnett Show)

4) World In Pictures

a. Art in Earth images from space, by NASA.

Grímsvötn volcano left behind a small lake filled with meltwater & a hole in Vatnajökull glacier. The lake covers much of the site of the eruption, with the possible exception of the crescent-shaped feature along the southern shore of the lake. This may be a tephra cone left behind by the eruption.

b. The two faces of Africa

The face of war – the refugee.

“Motril, Spain: A migrant wrapped in a blanket rests on a rescue ship after the fishing boat that he and 66 others were on was intercepted.” Potograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

The hopeful future

So much of what we read of Africa involves civil and tribal warfare. This beautiful smiling face, a girl from Opuwo, Namiba, is I hope more representive of what Africa will become. Namibia has a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. There is too much poverty, 50% by some estimates, but at least here hope may be replacing war.

On this hot summer day here is some cool music:

Selaelo Selota – A Poem For Celia

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It must be hard to go back to work after a long holiday, although it is good to have a job to get back to. Of course I wouldn’t know. Being retired everyday is a holiday.

I celebrated the 4th of July at my cousin’s. Unfortunately the planned BBQ got rained out, it was too hot to cook inside so we had some traditional 4th of July Chinese take-out. General Tso chicken is almost as good as BBQ, almost. Had a great time.

Hope everyone had glorious 4th celebrating our nations birth.

1) John Mellancamp performs Our Country live with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular July 4th 2007

2) Weekend Pics From the Net

a. World

Dadaab, Kenya: A Somali refugee waits in line with her daughter outside a food distribution point at a refugee camp. Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Queen of Cats by Franko

b. Children

Young boy enjoying water spray at Glastonbury Festival, UK

Dolly” photo by Oleg Ilyian

3) Australian comics John Clark and Bryan Dawe explain the European debt crisis. We can subsitute any debt crisis, government, state, or city, and the same logic applies.

4) Another John Mellancamp classic performance of one of the best songs about the real, working class, America, Little Pink Houses.

I will be entering cat hell again from for the next week. House sitting my cousin’s seven cats. Hope the following can entertained you until my return. Unless my next stop is an asylum.

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1) Thursday being Cinco de Mayo I watched my favorite mariachi band:

2) Mother’s Day – Anita Renfroe keeping Mother’s Day realz

In Tha Muthahood

3) World In Pictures

A man walks past the outside wall of the ‘Art In The Streets’ exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The exhibit is the first major historical exhibition of graffiti and street art to be organized by an American museum. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Young South Korean monks stand on a platform under lanterns at the Chogye temple in Seoul to celebrate Buddha’s upcoming birthday. (Ahn Young-oon/AP)

Mexico City, Mexico: Girls dressed as revolutionary soldiers from the Zacapoaxtla tribe chat during the Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Photograph: Reuters)

A long exposure picture shows Japanese red-crowned cranes sleeping in their winter roost on a river lightened under the nearly full moon at Kushiro, an eastern city in Hokkaido, a northern island in Japan as temperatures lie at around -20C. The cranes overwinter on a river that does not freeze to protect themselves from their natural enemies like foxes, weasels, crows, Steller’s sea eagles, white-tailed eagles and others. The estimated population of the red-crowned crane lies between 2,000 and 2,500 birds, with habitats in northern Japan, north-eastern China, Mongolia, Korean Peninsula and eastern Russia. The population on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is estimated at about 1,200 cranes. So far it appears that the Japan disaster has not had any adverse effects on the animals’ habitat on Hokkaiko (Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)

4) Guardian slide show of winners in the Royal Geographical Societies Travel Photographer of the Year contest: http://tinyurl.com/6yu2xe5

The Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest mud brick building in the world. Photograph by Larry Louie, Canada, overall winner of Travel Photographer of the Year 2010.

A sadhu making his way out of a cloud of colours during the Holi festival in India. Photograph by Poras Chaudary, India, special mention in Best Single Image in a Portfolio ‚Äď Encounters category.

“This was shot just after a sunset on the roof of a palace at Shugruf village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen. No extra lighting was used. The sun has just set (see the top right corner of the image) and mist has started to rise from the valley below.” Photograph by Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia, winner of Best Single Image in a Portfolio – Amazing Places category.

Four mountains seen across the Greenland ice cap illuminated by the midnight sun during a British mountaineering expedition to Knud Rasmussen Land. Photograph by Quintin Lake, UK, winner of ‘Portfolio ‚Äď Amazing Places’ category.

1) Faces of the World – Monday, March 14th

Benghazi, Libya: A boy stands next to men praying in the rebel-held town (Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Nihonmatsu, Japan: A girl who has been isolated at a makeshift facility to screen, cleanse and isolate people with high radiation levels looks at her dog through a window (Photograph: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)

Otsuchi, Japan: A survivor pushes his bicycle through the remains of the devastated town (Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

People in Bern, Switzerland, light candles during a vigil for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. (Photo: Pascal Lauener/Reuters)

2) Pi Day

Pi Day, March 14th, commemorates the mathematical constant pi. It’s celebrated on March 14th because 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits in pi. This may seem like a nerdy-math-geek celebration, but I will take any excuse to have pie.

What is your favorite pie, and what was the last time you had some?

3) Quotes

“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.”
Lana Turner

“A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”
Jerry Seinfield

“I don’t have to look up my family tree, because I know that I’m the sap.”
Fred Allen

4) The Guardian article has clips from six very funny “mockumentaries”, including the original “Office” with Ricky Gervais – http://tinyurl.com/4m2yv5b

From the British TV series, 1999 – 2001, “People Like Us”, Part 1/3 -“Pilots”

1) My two favorite pictures from my Tuesday wanderings around the Net.

Srinagar, India: A Kashmiri boy looks at a rainbow above Babdemb lake.

From today’s¬†Guardian’s Dog Photographer of the Year¬†candidates.

When is the last time you saw a rainbow?

2) Stuff you can not make up.

They sell everything on EBAY, including a witch’s spell for “Enhancing your booty”.¬† For just $8.95 Amelia, a “very powerful Wiccan Witch”, will cast a spell that¬†is guaranteed to “help you develop that sexy, curvy booty you always wanted”.¬†

From the EBAY posting:

“Greetings my name is Amelia.¬†¬†I have been a spellcaster for 20+ years.¬† All spells are cast by me, sometimes¬†¬†with the assistance of my Coven.¬† My spells are strong and very effective.¬† Upon purchase of a spell I will set up an alter solely for your spell to be cast.¬† Be assured your desired outcome will receive my undivided attention.¬†¬† This will include the use of candles, herbs, oils, gemstones, tools and some other items that may be required to bring results.¬† Your spell will be complete within 24 ‚Äst48 hours of purchase depending on the complexity of your spell.¬† I will¬†send you a confirmation upon completion via ebay message.¬† You can expect to feel positive energy immediately that will increase in strength daily.¬† Some of my clients say they experience a tingly sensation while I cast the spell.”

It don’t know if it is more funny or sad¬†that she has sold 22, so far.

Have you ever, for fun, had your fortune told?

3) Chai Ling was a leader of the 1989 student uprising at Tiananmen Square. Now she wants to help women and girls in her native China.  Ling became the second-most-wanted person in China after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. She escaped to Hong Kong, then made her way to the US in 1990. Today she’s a businesswoman as well as a wife and mother of three.

Ling¬†converted to Christianity in April, a process that she says renewed her life. “I thought I’d found a solution to China’s problems by studying the democratic model of Taiwan.”¬†“It turns out God gave me a new calling instead ‚Äď to help China’s women and girls,”

Her new humanitarian venture, a nonprofit group called All Girls Allowed (www.allgirlsallowed.org), aims to provide legal aid, counseling, and other assistance to victims of forced abortions and sterilizations in China.

From a Christian Science Monitor story about her:

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0816/Protecting-women-and-girls-in-China-where-one-child-per-family-is-the-rule-and-a-boy-the-preference

“Twenty-one years ago, Chai Ling was a student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration, speaking out against China’s oppressive regime.

Lauded as their “commander in chief” by the democratic activists protesting at the vast Beijing public square, Ms. Chai was later denounced by the Chinese government as the second-most-wanted “culprit” of the political upheaval and forced to flee her native land. Hiding in a boat, she first reached Hong Kong and later settled in the United States in 1990.

Today Chai is a savvy businesswoman living near Boston and a mother of three, after marriage to an American citizen.

On June 3, the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen bloodshed, she spoke at a church in Falls Church, Va. “[The] Tiananmen massacre is still happening every day!” she said as tears streamed down her face and her agitated hands whipped the balmy night air.

Chai was referring to China’s one-child policy, in which officials force pregnant women to abort their babies. In place since 1979, the “one child” rule has prompted many Chinese to practice sex selection, using ultrasound screenings to determine whether the fetus is a boy or girl and then aborting females or abandoning them after birth to orphanages. More than 35,000 forced abortions were performed in China each day in 2009, Chai says ‚Äď a death toll that far exceeds the estimated thousands of protesters who died in the 1989 massacre.

¬†Chai now has begun a new humanitarian venture, a nonprofit group called All Girls Allowed (www.allgirlsallowed.org), which aims to provide legal aid, counseling, and other assistance to victims of forced abortions and sterilizations in China. She also plans to launch a campaign to change minds in China about the preference for male offspring and build orphanages.”

“Chai’s audience in the Virginia church looked on in horror as she screened a slide show filled with photos taken in secret at China’s squalid abortion clinics and detention centers, where disheveled pregnant women sobbed.

Chai said the idea of the charity project stemmed from her assignment last fall as an interpreter at a congressional hearing on China’s one-child policy, where an abused Chinese woman testified.

Shrouding her face with a black veil (for fear of retribution), a soft-spoken woman with the pseudonym Jian Wu recounted how she was tortured by officials in her town. Ms. Wu, carrying her second child, came out from hiding after her father was severely beaten by authorities. She was dragged to an abortion clinic.

“Her [Wu’s] only crime was being a mother,” Chai says.

Now herself a mother of three girls, ages 5, 7, and 9, Chai is using seed money from the Jenzabar Foundation, the charitable arm of her fledging software business, to drive her human rights endeavor. She is partnering with and funding local women’s rights groups in China. One day, she hopes to change the minds of China’s birth control officials.”

“Chai converted to Christianity in April, a process that she says renewed her life.

¬†“I thought I found a solution to China’s problems by studying the democratic model of Taiwan,” says Chai of the research she did in earning a master’s degree in international relations at Princeton University in New Jersey.

“It turns out God gave me a new calling instead ‚Äď to help China’s women and girls,” Chai now says”

I love this slidshow from the Christian Science Monitor of the worlds smallest animals.  Chihuahua in a cup anyone?

Link to slideshow:

http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/Lists/World-s-smallest-animals 

Off of Mary Chapin Carpenters new album “Age of Miracles”, I Was A Bird, with Alison Krauss:

A very funny video from Skepchick Rebecca Watson, that is based unfortunately on an actual news story.

http://www.astreetjournalist.com/2010/04/21/women-to-blame-for-earthquakes-says-iran-cleric/

“A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.”

I want to make my next Bible study post about one of the psalms.¬† I haven’t been able to decide which to pick so I will post it tomorrow, for you to go over on the weekend.¬† In the meantime I’ll entertain you with a few videos. One funny, one stunning, one haunting and one full of passion.

1) The Irish comic Dave Allen tells the very funny story of his first day in Catholic School, when he was 4.

My favorite line is – “The Nun asked if I was going to be a good boy.¬† Looked past her and saw some guy nailed to a cross.¬† Bloody right I am going to be a good boy.”

2) This is an amazing video of the solar flares coming off the sun, taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

3) A beautiful melody played by Toumani Diabate, with the West African instrument, the Kora – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kora_(instrument)

4) A song off of Jennifer Knapp’s new album “Letting Go”.

I was just sent this video and had to share it with you.

Swedes may be the coolest people on the planet.  One group came up with an idea for a fun way to get people to get more exercise by climbing stairs, instead of just using an escalator.

Brought to you by The Fun Theory – http://www.thefuntheory.com/

The Piano Stairs:

Would you ever choices to use the escalator again?

Sneak preview – My next post will be a Bible Study on evangelism, spreading the word of Faith.

1) Latest Fashion Trend

From the British paper The Guardian.

Bunny ears. From Louis Vuitton to the Olsen twins the latest must-have accessory.

Bunny Ears - The Latest Fashion Trend

Bunny Ears - The Latest Fashion Trend

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/07/bunny-ears-fashion 

What is the last article of clothing you bought?

2) A winning short documentary on the Really Terrible Orchestra by Edward Brooke-Hitchins (2005).  One group of muscians I could play with.

Have you ever played a musical instrument? With a group?

Taking a break from 48 straight hours of watching football I thought I would share some of Sunday’s comic strips with you.

Sometimes the¬†comic strips give you a more accurate reflection on current society then the rest of the paper. ūüôā Pick¬†the one you like best.¬†

Herman

Son asking his parents for help with his homework.¬† Son, “Who wrote A Midsummer Nights Dream?”¬† Father, “Elton John”.¬† Mother, “The Bee Gees”.

Son, “Who lead the crusades?” Father, “Which season?”.¬† Mother, “Joe Namath.”

Son writes down answers and goes out to play.¬† Father, “Is that all he learns at school, pop music and baseball?”

Grand Avenue

Mother, “How nice. I got a letter from Jan.”¬† Daughter, “Is she a Facebook friend?”¬† Mother, “Not exactly.”¬†

Daughter, “More of a Twitter friend?”¬† Mother, “Nope.”¬†

Daughter, “A professional Linkedin friend?¬† A Classmate.com friend?”¬† Mother, “No and No.”¬†

Daughter, “What kind of a friend is she?”¬† Mother,” A good old-fashioned¬†true blue friend.”

Daughter, “I can’t find any social networking service with that name anywhere online.”

Monty

Man¬†having a drink in his backyard talking to¬†his Priest, “I know you¬†preach that everyone should love thy neighbor.”¬† Priest, “That is what the Bible says.”¬†

Man, “Let me show you what I am dealing with.”¬†¬†

Man brings the Priest to his fence to look at his neighbor.  Neighbor is wearing a Mexican hat, singing the Macarena, while hula-hooping in his underwear.

Priest,¬† “I’ll talk to the Bishop and maybe¬†in this case we can bump it down to ‘tolerate thy neighbor’.”

Arlo and Janis

As light grows dark and dark grows long

Fresh winds tune up for Autumn’s song.

The woo of summer has been pitched

The chicks have flown and the nest had ditched.

If these fail herald the time that’s not

We’ve microwave, cell phone and coffee pot.

Mother Goose and Grimm.

Mother Goose’s dog and cat are sitting on her sofa.¬† The dog is reading the newspapers.

Dog, “Oh dear.¬† Some laboratory in California is raising medical marijuana.”¬† Cat, “So what?”

Dog, “A flock of terns landed in their garden and eat all their plants.”¬† Cat, “Are the birds okay?”

Dog, “There was no tern that was left unstoned.”¬† Cat, “I am quitting this comic strip.”

Loose Parts

A couple at the ticket booth on the updated, modern,¬†“Tunnel of Love”

Ticket seller, “Oh it’s very realistic.¬† You go smoothly until you hit a wall.¬† Then a lawyer jumps in, takes half your boat, and swim for your lives clinging¬†to the wreckage.”

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