Author Archives: admin

About admin

I am a Midwestern lady who has taken "the scenic route" through life. The term "intellectually promiscuous" to describe those of us with wide and varied interests, archaeologists of the past and present, readers of all sorts of things, thinkers of deep thoughts, and open minded enough to look at many different view points, cultures, values and opinions. I will also marry for a green card and a full relocation package to a Democratic Socialist country with a strong safety net and great cultural opportunities. I am not kidding.

What are we reading right now?

12/11/2012  Currently reading:

The Books of Rachel: I am only about 15 % into it, but so far it is very good. From the blurb:  The Books of Rachel is a fictional microcosm of 500 years of Jewish history. Since the 15th century, in the Cuheno family, the first daughter born to the family is given the name Rachel and a heritage of faith and courage as precious as the family diamond. A saga sweeping from the Spanish Inquisition to the birth of a Jewish homeland.

The Facility: From the blurb: In a near-future dystopian Britain, democracy has been undermined. Emboldened by new anti-terrorism laws, police start to “disappear” people from the streets for unspecified crimes. But when unassuming dentist Arthur Priestley is snatched and held prisoner at a top-secret facility, his estranged wife, Julia, and a brave but naive journalist named Tom Clarke embark on a harrowing quest for the truth. Following a trail that leads to the very top of government, they soon find themselves fighting for their lives.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am about 50% through it, and quite impressed.  The book is creepy, given the current political state of our world. It is too true, or too probable.

Next on the fiction platter is Bone Machine, another book I received free in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb:

War. Poverty. Hunger. Are over.    Humankind hasn’t changed, but the way we work has. Welcome to the brave new world of the Artificially Conscious Androlibra, a humanlike robot that acts like a personal clone, helping to bring balance to our lives.

Grayson Cornel doesn’t sleep much anymore. His life is in shambles. His father is teetering on death. He was recently promoted by The Libra Robotics and Cybernetics Corp, but his predecessor, Zoe Asher is wanted for murder and is now targeting him. On top of that, his first assignment in his new position has ended in disaster.

The last of the world’s sweatshops in Haiti had finally placed an order for Libra Corp robots, and it was Grayson’s job to make sure that the order was filled. But when the robots arrived, something went horribly wrong. They disappeared, leaving only dead bodies in their wake. No Libra Corp robot had ever killed anyone before, so Grayson is sent to Haiti to figure out what went wrong.

What he discovers begins to unravel a dark secret Libra Corp has been keeping from the public. Something so shocking that Grayson risks ending utopia to put a stop to it.


Bill O’Reilly Thinks Shoeless Veterans are Causing the Deficit


Bill O’Reilly Thinks Shoeless Veterans Are Causing The Deficit

Posted by on Addicting Info



For a while there, back when Glenn Beck was making all the right-wing headlines, I consciously thought to myself that, “hey, maybe Bill O’Reilly isn’t that bad. Maybe he’s closer to the center than I thought.”


It turns out that just because the light of the sun will drown out the light from a billion candlepower searchlight, it doesn’t mean the searchlight isn’t still really bright. In this case, Beck’s persistent douche-baggery was able to at least mask the scent of O’Reilly’s in the short term but, as stank does, it was only a matter of time before we all got a nose full of ol’ Uncle Bill again.

Case in point: Recently, Bill (I’m done calling him O’Reilly, the journalistic equivalent of “Mr.”), took to the airwaves to drop what you can tell he thinks is just a gigantic bombshell: that the shoeless man in New York City, Jeffery Hillman, whom an officer purchased a pair of boots for, the subsequent photo of which went viral, isn’t actually homeless. He has an apartment as the result of government benefits.

See the original story here, for the video: Addicting Info:

What Bill neglects to mention throughout his smug little diatribe is that the man’s housing comes courtesy of combined veteran’s and social security benefits and he was homeless as recently as last year, as reported by NBC New York. He then goes on a breathless rant about the perils of such government subsidization, telling the rest of the God-fearing, taxpaying citizens of the nation that they’re being fleeced by men like this who, according to Bill, prefer to live life shoeless on the street, costing the taxpayer untold sums of money to keep them, likely in this case and in countless others, alive.


Have I mentioned how much I despise Bill-O? (ed.)

George Will: ‘The opposition to gay marriage is dying… it’s old people’

By David Edwards on The Raw Story

 George Will: ‘The opposition to gay marriage is dying… it’s old people (via Raw Story )

Conservative columnist George Will suspects that the Supreme Court could support equal rights for LGBT people because “quite literally the opposition to gay marriage is dying… it’s old people.” On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would take up cases on California’s Prop 8 same…

Continue reading “George Will: ‘The opposition to gay marriage is dying… it’s old people’” »


Holiday Fun With Balls

One must assume Apartment Therapy published this headline, and the article intro (below the picture) fully intending to garner the sophmoric giggling, Beavis and Butthead “he said balls” crowd. They were right, so naturally here I am to pile on.  Enjoy!



Have you every noticed how much the holidays are all about balls? Rum balls. Cheese balls. Mistletoe kissing balls. Ball ornaments. Balls, balls and more balls. So, in the spirit of the season, this post is about origami. Just kidding. It’s about balls. To be more specific, unfinished wood balls. Here are six fun holiday DIY projects, all using balls. Balls.

Check out the entire Apartment Therapy post here.


Did you know you have stripes? 12/6/2012


Before you go looking, they’re usually invisible – if they were visible, we wouldn’t need to tell you about them! The stripes (or Blaschko’s lines, after the discoverer Alfred Blaschko) typically follow the same basic pattern – V-shapes on the back, S-shapes on the abdomen and an inverted U-shape around the breast and upper arm. They seem to be a clue to embryological development, though they do not correspond to structures such as nervous, endocrine, lymphatic or vascular.

See the whole fascinating article here: ScienceBlogs Pharyngula

12/4/12 NASA Earth as Art Photos available as FREE PDF Download

Totally downloaded this awesomeness. You should, too, before they change their minds.


Earth as Art PDF Download

News Releases

Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington
Nov. 30, 2012
 RELEASE : 12-410
 New “Earth as Art” Book Illustrates Beauty of Satellite Views

WASHINGTON — A stunning array of images of our home planet, taken by Earth-observing science satellites, are featured in a new NASA publication. The book, “Earth as Art,” is available in hardcover, electronically, and as a free iPad application.

The 158-page book celebrates the aesthetic beauty of Earth in the patterns, shapes, colors and textures of the land, oceans, ice and atmosphere. Images include snow-capped mountain peaks in the Himalayas, Arizona’s Painted Desert, the Mississippi River Delta spreading into the Gulf of Mexico, a Saharan dune sea in Algeria, and Byrd Glacier in Antarctica.

“Earth as Art” features images from the Landsat 5 and 7, Terra, Aqua, and Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellites. All are among a fleet of U.S. environmental satellites used for scientific research and applied purposes. Instruments on these satellites measure light outside of the visible range. The images produced from these data reveal features and patterns not always visible to the naked eye. The Terra, Aqua, and EO-1 satellites are managed by NASA. Landsat satellites are managed by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The iPad version of “Earth as Art” allows users to zoom into the book’s 75 satellite images and access additional information on selected features and the satellites used. The app can be downloaded by visiting:

“Earth as Art” is available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at:

A free ebook version of “Earth as Art” in PDF format may be downloaded by visiting:

For more information about NASA’s science program, visit:

earth as art

Earth as Art free PDF Download – Bombetoka Bay, Madagascar


12/3/2012 WTF/Science Mash Up.

Play to the echoing sounds of women everywhere singing “Uh-oh”, with chorus of Maury Povich going on a murderous rage. Cue it up, Sparky:

When pregnancy is caused by more than one father


Is this yours?

Esther Inglis-Arkell
 There are myths about women giving birth to children from two different fathers. A look at genetics today, though, shows that those myths might have originated in truth. It’s called superfecundation.   (see full article here at IO9)

12/3/2012 Cool Stuff in the News


Bonus – cursor turns into a Gold Ring on the site.

Hobbit Box Stacking

Over-enthusiastic store employee for the win!



Folks who just don’t seem to be into the holiday spirit. Here is a sampling, read the article for moar funnehs.

Steel Ladder

Minimalist Christmas Tree. Yes, aka Ladder


This cat looks like Batman, currently in the process of going viral:


I’m Batman


From those wacky kids over at Instructables

jello  bacon

Yeah, they went there. Bacon jello.




Jobs and Gigs — MicroJob Sites

Eternal kanji

Lots of folks have heard about, a micro-job site where broke folks like me can offer to do “gigs” – little jobs – for $5 a pop.  Everything from getting Facebook followers to proofreading books, to dressing up in a chicken costume and doing the macarena are offered to buyers.  Two days ago, I posted a few “gig” offers for things I do – like researching and writing, giving advice, mouthing off, etc.  Check out my “gigs” here:

No, I will not be offering to dress up in funny costumes and dance, sing, hold a sign, or tattoo anyone’s business logo on my behind. I’ve brought in about $25 in the last 36 hours. So, not bad for sitting on my rear, typing and posting. They say do what you love, and it will become your career. I am pretty good at sitting on my butt, typing and giving opinions, so we will see how this pans out.

When I tweeted and cross-posted my gigs from fiverr, I was contacted by the site

They requested I also post my gigs (called “jobs”) on their site, which I did. Money is money, after all. After posting my jobs, the site master contacted me and offered to Feature two of my jobs for 3 months, free. Free is good.  Especially since the site charges $100 for 3 months of featurizing jobs, and I sure don’t have $200.  So, now 2 of my jobs are top-lined at this site!  Pretty exciting, especially if it brings in a buck or two.  Check out my vfiverr jobs here:


Powerball, Voting, and Why I Want to Emigrate to Holland 11/30/2012

11/29/2012: So, yesterday was the big Powerball drawing. Something like $539 Million will ultimately be split between a winner in nearby Dearborn, MO, and one in Arizona somewhere. A bunch of other people across the country won $1 Million prizes, and who knows how many won smaller prizes. I, too, dropped $4 for 2 tickets – neither of which had any numbers matching the prize drawing. As I was waiting in line to purchase said tickets, at the local Casey’s store, I realized something both aggravating and disturbing.
The line for Powerball tickets was longer than the line was to vote on the Election Day less than a month ago. True, we had a rush at the polling site when we first opened, and again at lunch time. But, no one waited hours to vote. I think the longest anyone waited at my site was about 45 minutes, according to the voters. Hurray for early voting. What does it say about our society, though, that more people – by orders of magnitude – are willing to stand in a line to drop $2, $10, $100 or more on lottery tickets. The odds to winning the Big Deal were something like 175 million:1. The odds of voting for the winning president were approximately 1:2, giving that third parties were not very well represented in good ole Gardner, KS.
Voting is free, it is participating in our Participatory Democratic Republic system of governing. You have earned yourself at minimum the right to protest policies, participated in choosing the people who will choose the President, elected representatives who are supposed to “represent” your interests. Hence the name “representatives.” Sadly, those elected folks seem to think representing the goals, ideas and preferences of their constituencies are merely quaint provincial fairy tales placed on a pedestal. The real work of being in politics is to feather one’s own nest, and that of your cronies, and to ensure that absolutely nothing truly changes to benefit the great amoebic mass of homo sapiens in the country.
Powerball costs money, and gains you generally nothing except a piece of paper to clutter up the floorboards of your car for eons to come. It will sit there along with the soda straw wrappers, used kleenex, and giant piles of cat hair that fell off your shoes. Yet even educated, reasonably intelligent people like myself, who do understand the Lottery is merely a tax for people who are bad at math, stood on line and bought tickets. We did it knowing we were not going to win. We did it knowing it was stupid to even waste the $2 per ticket, when $2 will buy a 1/2 gallon of milk, almost. I can’t even begin to analyze the issues with people who are barely scraping by – like me – living paycheck to paycheck, almost literally flushing money down the toilet. Are we hopeless optimists, willing to wish upon a star, pray to the Diety of our choice, perform endless good luck rituals, whatever, for that 1: 175 million chance the Universe is listening and drops a giant wad of cash in our laps? Or are we just victims of advertising – whether paid, or hyped by our local and national news outlets?
If the latter, why in the world should political parties NOT engage in the tactics we see so prevalent these days. Only 6 companies (SIX) own the vast majority of media American’s come into contact with – newspapers, TV, cable, radio, magazines. The FCC is facing pressure from these companies and their friends to further de-regulate their industry, so companies can further consolidate power and influence, restricting the information Americans are allowed to get. Silvio Berlusconi style, single-handedly controlling access to knowledge, influence and coverage of events.
So, what is the answer? Mandatory voting? Regulation increases, rather than decreases, to ensure small and independent media has a chance? Overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which ruled Corporations are people, money is speech, and thereby selling our Country to the oligarchs like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch? All the above, in my humble opinion (go to to see more on this topic). Because, Dear Reader, losing $4 on the Powerball is not, in fact, equal in importance to the future of our nation and our children.
What would I have done with the money, had I been that lucky soul hit by lightning? After taking the lump sum payout, I would pay my fair share of taxes on the winnings. I would have set up off shore accounts to shelter the remaining funds, ensured trust funds would care for my children and loved ones for eternity, and then moved to the Netherlands where I can smoke dope and gad about Europe in the grand old style. I’d have done so because the vulture capitalists and the banksters already own our country, our government and our futures.
Those of us who call ourselves Progressives cannot hope to out perform them financially, to influence the future in a meaningful way, so long as “conservatism” means favoring the rich, powerful and elite ruling class in all legislation and policy. Progressives, or the “little people” as we may be called in the right wing dialect, are simply little cogs that allow the great machine of servicing the powerful to continue. Our country may well be doomed, if the banksters, the right wing religious fundamentalists, the so-called “Tea Partiers”, and the other far right fringe factions continue to dominate our state houses, our cities and local government, and the highest echelons of power. Electing a so-called Democratic president, who is actually more of a moderate, centrist Reagan Republican, only forestalls the inevitable. It might, at best, allow us to make the tiniest of dams to hold back the inevitable tide of change. I prefer to watch the collapse of the Dream that was America from a comfy seat I’ve got picked out in a much more liberal countryDutch immigration.
I’ll probably be able to play Lottery from there, too.