20091227

Little Caesars ventures into mobile coupons, unsuccesfully

Little Caesars made an attempt at a pretty cool $3.99 promotion this weekend to coincide with their bowl game sponsorship. Unfortunately their execution was lacking in the, shall we say, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing department.

Little Caesars offered mobile coupons, the kind where you show your phone with the coupon displayed to the cashier and they say, "Oh it looks like you have a mobile coupon, great, I'll apply that to your order."

This would've worked great except that the staff were trained to accept only coupons that are printed on paper.

Here is the screen grab of the Little Caesars home page. Note the little mobile phone on the bottom left.



Look at the url for the mobile coupon.



Look at the url for the coupon that is intended to be printed.

If you were negatively affected by this please let Little Caesar know, and twitter it: @littlecaesars

20091226

Heaven to return souls for re judging

Heaven made a mistake and allowed those doomed to burn in hell into heaven. Thankfully heaven officials took quick action and corrected the mistake. More by the Onion's Doyle Redland

20091225

Church Canceled Due to Lack of god

Doyle Redland tells us why a church canceled its weekly services.
Where will churchgoers go now for their lovely singing?

20091216

The Universe in a Nutshell

What is the universe and how can we possible hope to understand such an infinite thing?

Books like The Universe in a Nutshell help to answer those questions. The universe is big and there is lots to learn about it. Start learning by reading the Stephen Hawking book.

Check it out at your local library or download the audiobook at thePirateBay.

20091212

The MPAA wants to control our TV

The MPAA is pressuring the FCC for the authority to cripple recording devices using so-called "Selectable Output Control" (SOC).

Basically, SOC would enable Hollywood to actually shut off the video outputs on your cable box, DVR, or other recording device when particular movies or shows come on. When the movie's over, the outputs might turn back on. Your devices would dance to Hollywood's tune.

Most cable boxes and DVRs already include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and operate using proprietary software -- both of which we need to work to eliminate. But just because many of these devices already use DRM, that doesn't mean we should let Hollywood and the FCC keep adding more. This new form of control would take even more freedom away from people using those devices, would restrict people using free software like MythTV to watch broadcasts and record them, and would set a dangerous precedent elevating Hollywood's desires over the public's freedom.

Learn more by visiting the Defective by Design Website.

20091211

US Military kills anything that moves in Afghanistan

From the World Can't Wait

It's inescapable to much of the world. Barack Obama is expanding troops going into the 8 years of US occupation of Afghanistan, and expanding a largely secret, ongoing CIA war of killing by robot drones in Pakistan. The debate among the deciders on Afghanistan offers two terrible options: expanding the ground troops by at least tens of thousands, or relying more on unmanned drones and special forces assassination ops.

Tuesday, we held a banner saying "US Out of Iraq & Afghanistan! The World Can't Wait!" as hundreds of people gathered across from where President Obama was to speak about health care in NYC. There were a many more supporters of health care reform than opponents of the wars, but the general public was coming up to us. I met a Special Forces sergeant who just returned from Afghanistan, and said, "I want to tell you what we did, but I can't talk about this. We did things to human beings you shouldn't ever do....the military is killing civilians, just killing people there. I don't know how to feel...I feel so messed up..."

We have to go out more widely than ever and help people know what to do, and even more importantly, how to look at why the US is doing what it's doing to be an unchallengeable empire, and not for "democracy." See Larry Everest's piece this week reprinted from Revolution, Behind the "Debate" Over Afghanistan: Suffering, Death, and the Needs of Empire.

Daniel Ellsberg spoke Saturday in San Francisco, and said something arresting, which he said I may quote: "I don't believe there is a single official in the Pentagon or CIA or in Afghanistan who believes that 40,000 more US troops or 80,000 more US troops would be enough to bring anything that could be called success in any sense. If Obama starts on this path of open-ended war -- as LBJ did in July, 1965 -- 40-80,000 troops would be only a first installment, with the limit at any time over the next decade set only by what can be made available. The Taliban will be growing stronger concurrently, whatever the body count."

There was a story in the USA Today on demoralization among the 10th Mountain Division, which has taken heavy casualties in Afghanistan recently. Joe Urgo, who was a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, responds to the story in Colonel to Troops: I'm Lying to You:

"In response to this potentially dangerous situation, the commander of the unit, Col David Haight, wrote a letter to the Third Brigade on Oct 12. The Colonel starts his letter addressed:" To All Spartans", {a bloody warrior society in ancient Sparta that held slaves} and goes on to praise "the tremendous sacrifice of all......and it is appreciated." When he gets around to explaining the US military's mission in the region, it is full of "imperialist speak," the language of a condescending, invader bully that portrays the people as helpless pawns that the mighty US had to go in and save from the enemy - the Taliban and Al Quaeda.

Haight says Afghanistan has a "culture of corruption that runs deep in this society." Included in this charade is the phrase "execute projects to build economic and infrastructure capacity and increase the quality of life for the Afghans and create jobs." I think the majority of jobs that have been created are for the folks burying all the tens of thousands of civilians the US has killed on the ground and from the drones bombing mass gatherings of Afghan like wedding parties."

Jane Mayer asks in her New Yorker piece "The Predator War," why Congress investigated the Bush administrations' use of predator drones, but a widening effort by both the military and the CIA goes virtually unnoticed, and implicitly supported? One chilling paragraph, "The Air Force's fleet has grown from some fifty drones in 2001 to nearly two hundred; the CIA. will not divulge how many drones it operates. The government plans to commission hundreds more, including new generations of tiny 'nano' drones, which can fly after their prey like a killer bee through an open window."

This may be how the US occupation of Afghanistan/Pakistan is continued under President Obama. One of the poorest countries of the world, crisscrossed by the highest tech weapons the imperialist world has produced, all in our name. Unless we stop it!


Take action and visit The World Can't Wait.

20091210

Women's perspective of the US Occupation of Afghanistan

How can the US military save Afghan women, when 1 in 3 of its own female members are raped by their fellow soldiers and Marines?

Debra Sweet was in Times Square in October 2009 as Sandra Lee, her voice shaking, and with great courage, told what she's gone through since being raped in Iraq in 2004. She is an Army staff sergeant, and the attacker was a fellow soldier. She spent years not knowing what to do, and wanting to die, but somehow found her voice and spoke publicly about the attack for the first time that day.

Her story is much more common than the military admits. Veterans for Peace today launched a week of events to raise the issue, quoting a former soldier, "There are only three things the guys let you be if you're a girl in the military - a bitch, a ho, or a dyke."

Rape Awareness Week

Elaine Brower wrote, "Sexual assault and rape of women and men in the US military increased so dramatically during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that in 2005 then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld formed a task force on sexual assault; however, the task force did not meet until 2008. Nearly one-third of a nationwide sample of women veterans who sought health care through the Veterans Administration said they experienced rape or attempted rape during their service. Of that group, 37 percent said they were raped multiple times and 14 percent reported they were gang-raped. The Department of Defense has been reluctant to release statistics on sexual assault of men in the military, but anecdotal evidence indicates that the statistics are alarmingly high. Over the past 10 years, more than 700 US Army Recruiters have been accused of sexual misconduct or rape. Sixty years of US military studies and task forces since women began entering the military in larger numbers have not lessened the incidents of assault and rape."

Military Rape Awareness

One can't talk about the rape of American soldiers without looking at the war crimes perpetrated on Iraqi and Afghan women in the course of these occupations. Veterans report that pornography is encouraged in the war zone; women are de-humanized.There's speculation that the photographs of detainee abuse the Obama administration now refused to release are of rapes. The rest of the world knows this; it's the American people who are largely blind to this. To glimpse the reality of US rape in Iraq...and it's gruesome...look at these photos, which may be among those suppressed by Obama.

Remember that George Bush, and Laura, Hilary Clinton and feminist leaders sold the invasion of Afghanistan to the world as a mission to "save" the women of Afghanistan from the Taliban and the burka. I heard Zoya, from the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women, speak last week. She said that under the Americans, Afghanistan is a "free country...a free country for rapists, opium runners, warlords and foreign troops." She spoke bitterly of the Taliban years, but said that Hamid Karzai's government has notorious warlord ministers he pardoned for notorious rapes. "In the past few years, only some cosmetic changes have been made regarding women's rights," Zoya said, critiquing eight years of occupation by U.S. and NATO troops. "The burka is not any more in the papers, in the law, but because there is so much insecurity, so much rape and violence, many women still wear the burka."

PBS showed a piece called Obama's War on the fighting in Afghanistan. As I write, I'm watching US troops meeting with Afghan men twice their age, in a culture they don't begin, or try to understand, trying to instruct them in how to "cooperate" in stopping the Taliban.

Learn more about this topic and other war related information at the World Can't Wait.

20091209

A Brief History of Time

I've just finished reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and found it to be most entertaining and enlightening.

This is a good book for people to read to have a better understanding of the origins of the universe. This is a no nonsense approach made easy to understand for the non specialized scientific population.

Look for it at your local library or download the audio book torrent file at thePirateBay.

20091208

Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall, not good enough for Texas

Tell Texas not to remove Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall from school books

There is an education war going on in Texas that you need to know about and get involved with. The TX State Board of Education is currently preparing to adopt new social studies curriculum standards. These standards have major national implications as Texas is such a major purchaser of textbooks and their state’s required curriculum drives the content of textbooks produced nationwide.

Please read the following and then take action and forward this to as many friends as possible.

The TX State Board of Education has hired 6 "experts" to determine what will be in the books their schools use. Some of these "experts" are arguing that the state’s social studies and history textbooks are giving "too much attention" to some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in US History, namely Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

David Barton, one of these "experts," claimed Cesar Chavez "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others." Another of these "experts" evangelical minister Peter Marshall said, "To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin"--as in the current standards--"is ludicrous." He went on to say Chávez is not a role model who "ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation."

The same "expert" wants to eliminate Thurgood Marshall, a prominent Civil Rights leader who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice. He wrote that the late justice is "not a strong enough example" of an important historical figure to be presented to Texas students.

Board members and their appointees have complained about an "over representation of minorities" in the current social studies standards. This is ironic in light of the changing demographics of our country. Sadly, Latino and African-American children have the highest drop-out rates in the country. It’s essential to ensure schools are providing students with role models and historical figures whose experiences reflect their own.

We must be concerned when the contributions of Cesar Chávez, Thurgood Marshall and other individuals who have contributed so much to the landscape of American democracy are cast aside and ridiculed. We should welcome the inclusion of all Americans who have helped to make this nation great.

It is horrific to discover that the TX State Board of Education has allowed these panelists to use our children's social studies curriculum as a platform for their political agendas. Please take action today to stop this travesty from going forward. Send your e-mail to the Chair of the Texas Board of Education Gail Lowe (R).

Take Action Now by clicking here.

20091207

Why does the US poison its children?

Deadly pesticide endosulfan banned in the European Union and 20 nations, but in the United States the EPA allows its continued use.

The UFW and a broad coalition of farm worker, public health, and environmental groups just filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the continued use of the hazardous pesticide endosulfan. Science clearly shows that the use of this chemical puts the health of exposed farm workers and children in agricultural communities at risk.

Endosulfan is part of the same family of chemicals as DDT, which the EPA banned in 1972. It is persistent in the environment and can be found in regions far from where it was applied. The EPA’s own analysis confirmed that the pesticide poses severe risks to humans and only minimal benefits to growers. Approximately 1.38 million pounds of endosulfan were used annually in the United States as of 2002--the most recent year for which national usage data are available from the EPA.

Earlier this year, more than 13,000 Americans concerned about these health and environmental risks signed a petition urging the EPA to discontinue endosulfan use. In addition more than 100 environmental and public health groups recently sent a letter to EPA’s Administrator Stephen Johnson and more than 50 international scientists, medical doctors, nurses, and other health professionals have urged the EPA to take action. To date the EPA has not responded.

Take action now.

20091206

What are you proud of?

Looking back on your life what things instill a sense of pride in your life?

Graduating from college?
Being the lead in a play?
Painting an acclaimed portrait?
Having children?
Pursuing your life's work?
Doing good?
Buying lots of stuff?

Whatever it is that makes you proud to introduce yourself to people keep in mind the accomplishments of others.

Research shows that people that live for a higher purpose, like providing service to others, have a higher sense of life satisfaction and are happier than those that live for themselves.

Consider the life of Dan Phillips, builder. This is a man that is very good at what he does. He builds affordable housing out of construction waste.

Learn more about Dan by watching the video below and by visiting his blog.

video

20091205

Find the good in your life

How do you approach your day? What is your philosophy on life? What do you expect from the things you "cannot" control?

This got me thinking about how I approach life and I want to share that with you in the form of the following text from Dr. DeFoore's Goodfinding Newsletter:
You're a lot more in charge than you know! Here are the three steps we all use, either consciously or subconsciously, to literally create our own world:

1. We all have a theory. Hang out with anyone long enough, and they'll tell you their theory about life, people, etc., whether they realize it or not.
2. We all like to be right! It's part of human nature. So, guess what...
3. We look for evidence to support our theory. There it is...that's the part where we create our worlds.

So, here's how it works: 1) You think lots of good things are going to happen. 2) You really want to be right about that! 3) You use that magnificent brain of yours to find evidence to support your theory, and presto! Good things happen! It's that "looking for evidence" part that is so powerful. What's your theory? What do you think about your health, aging, life, other people and the planet? Whatever it is, make it good, because you'll probably find evidence to show that you're right!

By the way, one of the best tricks of the optimism and Goodfinding trade is setting your sites high--like the star of this video.




Click here to sign up to receive the Goodfinding Newsletter by email.

20091204

Mobile service with a cause

This is the text from an email I received:

Join the mobile phone company that's fighting to protect a woman's right to choose.

Have you ever thought about whether your mobile phone company supports right-wing politicians? You might be surprised at the answer.

Not only was AT&T a two-time maximum contributor to George W. Bush, it supported right-wing extremists like Senators Inhofe and Coburn. Verizon Wireless has been a steady contributor to the Blue Dog Democrats — whose so-called "centrist" approach threatens the public option in health care reform — since 2002.

So why keep sending money to a company like that every month? Especially when you can switch to CREDO Mobile and get:*

* Contract buyout credit up to $200
* 10% off your monthly service fee for 24 months
* Number portability: keep your current mobile number
* No contract for 30 days**
* Automatic donations to progressive nonprofits at no extra cost to you

CREDO Mobile is the one and only progressive phone company, and Planned Parenthood's largest corporate donor. And that means we fight for the causes you believe in, like real healthcare reform, reproductive rights, peace, and the environment.

Since 1985, CREDO members have generated $63 million for groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood and Earthjustice. With automatic donations from CREDO Mobile members, groups like these can fight for the causes you believe in.

CREDO also offers everything you expect from a first-rate mobile phone company, including award-winning customer service, nationwide coverage on the all-digital Sprint® network† (reaching over 280 million people), and a wide variety of phones and plans to suit your needs.

So take a look at your last phone bill, and ask yourself: is your phone company supporting your progressive values? Think about it. Then think about CREDO Mobile.

Call 866.513.8670 to join now.
(Mention special offer code 300875.)
Offer expires December 21, 2009.


This is a good alternative to the mainstream service providers and the network is run by Sprint.
Amnesty International at one point had a similar promotion but I wasn't able to find it while posting this.

20091127

Today, think about stuff

Think about all the stuff you don't have enough money to buy.

If you have debt, and most people do, how does it make you feel to know that you owe so much money to credit card companies, the federal government, friends, family, schools, and banks?

Take a break, today, from the consumerist struggle and buy nothing.

Yes, that may seem like a shock to you but by buying nothing you are empowering yourself to say, "No."

Think about it.

Learn more about Buy Nothing Day

20091126

Put a stop to corporate theft

How does it make you feel when you do something and somebody else takes the credit?

I sure hate that.

That is how the creator of Schoolr.com must feel after discovering Schoolwax.

Read all about it at the schoolr blog and send an email to the Etraffic Solutions CEO Wayne Poncia: wayne@etrafficsolutions.com saying "Schoolr was first."

20091125

Last minute turkey day tips, again

Though I'd repost this. Enjoy.

http://tinyurl.com/64b2df

I'll delete this one next week. Be sure to bookmark or something

20091124

Homemade remedies your granny didn't warn you about

There are lots of folk remedies out there. Some work. Like honey. Some don't. Like taking a money shot to cure your acne [couldn't find a link for that one, but if it worked everyone with acne would be buying semen by the cupful]. Don't even get me started on the menstrual fluid and acne one.

Here are some others you may not have heard of:

  • toothpaste for bee stings

  • olive oil for earaches

  • vinegar for sunburns

  • baby powder for greasy hair

  • bacon sandwich for hangovers


More information on these and a few more at Lifehacker's Top 10 Homemade Remedies for What Ails You

20091123

Exercise of the Week: Pull Ups

Get that back into shape. This exercise will improve your posture and relieve some of the tension in your back.



More info at Workoutz.com

20091122

Amerikan Body Image

What could possibly explain the prevalence of poor body image for millions of women in the United States?

This may shed a clue.

20091120

My Review of an Iron Man Helmet

Originally submitted at The Marvel Shop

This Iron Man Adult Helmet completes your look as Tony Stark's alter ego. The helmet is one size fits most adults.

Please note: Costumes and Halloween accessories can only be returned for exchange of another costume of equal or lesser value, not for refund.

Good but not great


3out of 5

Pros: Comfortable, Fits Well

Cons: Cheap Looking

Best Uses: Just For Fun, Costume Party

Fit well. Got lots of good comments. Seemed cheap. Not worth the fifty I paid.

(legalese)




The Next Big Thing in Women's Football

Forget about all that powder puff crap you get so excited for each year. This is real, women's football. Although scantily clad, these women throw it down. Without any fear.

See for yourself:

20091119

Catholocism Rears its Ugly Head Yet Again

Catholic Bishops have a knack for getting under my skin. They've taken such backwards positions on several policy issues and are as stubborn as mules. Anyway, their latest debacle comes from their pushing of the Stupak Amendment.

Shame on those that look to god to shape public policy.

Learn more at Alternet's Why the Catholic Bishops Who Pushed Through the Stupak Amendment Are Hypocrites

20091118

Send Your Representative a Coat Hanger

The Stupak Amendment has gained some support.

That means a turn for the worse regarding Amerika's sexual health.

You can help by sending a coat hanger to your favorite Democrat, to remind them of exactly what they're doing. Learn more at Crooks and Liars.

Update: Support sexual health and forward thinking, sign the petition.

20091117

TMobile has bad business practices

I joined this class action lawsuit.
Its too late for you, but you can still follow along here.

20091116

Lou Dobbs has left the building

Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN. Where will he go? What will he say?

I don't know where he is going but I know what he will continue to say:

"Immigration is ruining the middle class." More on this at: Alternet

20091115

Schedule earlier, faster, and without delays

Use Schedule Once to schedule meetings earlier, faster, and avoid unnecessary email and phone tag.



Try it for yourself at ScheduleOnce.com

20091108

T Mobile: Poor poor customer service

I've had plenty to say against T Mobile (T Mobile Billing Sucks: The story)

Now I've got something else to say.

I've been trying to find out when exactly my contract expires, so I can cancel my service.
But I haven't been able to talk to a customer service representative. I've been trying for about a week now. I've called a few times, I've even tried their chat function.

But after waiting for thirty minutes I decided to try my luck on the phone again.
I've got to be careful when on the phone with them. I once attempted to make a payment using their automated system but ended up talking to a live person and so T Mobile charged my account $5 for making the payment that way.

More than likely they'll charge me some fee for having to mail me my bill since they'll deactivate my.tmobile web access.

Update: I waited, and waited, and 58 minutes later I saw got these messages. Damn.

20091105

Baby Animals, More Adorable Than Baby People

You be the judge.
Baby kitten.

Baby puppy.

Baby person.

20091102

Find What You've Lost, Today

How many times do you find yourself at your boiling point because that one thing you need to have so that you can continue your day, is nowhere to be found?

This seems to happen to me much too often and it really bothers me when it does. Keys, wallets, documents, tools, etc. You name it, I've lost it. And in many cases, I've found it again.

Today I'm going to tell you how to find that which you've lost.

It all starts with 12 Principles.
1. Don't look for it
2. It's Not Lost - You Are
3. Remember the Three C's
4. It's Where It's Supposed To Be
5. Domestic Drift
6. You're Looking Right At It
7. The Camouflage Effect
8. Think Back
9. Look Once, Look Well
10. The Eureka Zone
11. Tail Thyself
12. It Wasn't You

My favorite aspect of this fool proof methodical method to find your lost treasures is to prepare a cup of tea, and just sit down for a bit. Try it. It works.

20090905

Death


Photo from flydime

Death is as much a part of life as, life.

Loss is, what it is. Loss.

Look at these two concepts positively because when bits and pieces of you die or you take tremendous losses remember that your positivity and your authenticity shall keep you afloat.

I little bit of me has died recently and I'm looking forward to the positive change that will come.

It is very common for people to reflect back on horrendous events and refer to them as the best thing that has ever happened.

Be patient. It shall come.

Live well.

Be well.

Live authentically.

Thank you.

20090825

How dangerous is infant formula

How dangerous is infant formula?

How dangerous is artificial baby milk?

Depending on the situation, it could be deadly.

Breastfeeding is important for emergency preparedness.
Think about what you need to prepare artificial baby milk. Powder, possibly, and water. What if you didn't have a clean supply of water.

Think it through with me for a few seconds.
Picture yourself in Louisiana. Its September. Hurricane Katrina just came through and walloped your community. You no longer have access to the clean water that you need to be able to feed your baby. What are you going to do?

There are only so many things you could give your baby. You can't give your baby cow's or goat's milk because there is no electricity to power the refrigerators or freezers to keep them cool. It is likely you can't breastfeed because depending on how long you haven't been breastfeeding you're body may have stopped producing milk. What are you going to do?

The only way to manage this scenario if it were to happen is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding your baby maintains a great milk supply that your baby needs.

Feeding your baby artificial baby milk also makes you dependent on a company. You are essentially at their mercy. Not to mention that all powdered infant formulas are not sterile. Read more about the dangers of infant formula here.

One more thing. Artificial baby milk is expensive. Say junior eats up to 40oz of prepared infant formula per day. A 12.9oz can of powdered artificial baby milk is $14.99. Do the math.

20090818

Spoil your baby

What do you think of loving your child?

It sure sounds simple but parents have so many different things going on that worrying about being a good parent might occasionally happen.

How about one tiny little bit of advice.

Babies need to be held.

Let me repeat that once more in case you didn't read it.

Babies need to be held.

Babies need to be held, preferably by mom. That's just the way it is. So when someone tells you to let your baby "cry it out", slap them. This little person needs to know you are there.

Independence can be learned later.

20090814

What are you like?

What is your personality like?

How do you make decisions?

How do you get along with people?

What motivates the way you think?

Learn for yourself by visiting Science and Nature: Human Body & Mind by the BBC.

I learned this about myself:

I am a Resolver.
A resolver is
  • Good at getting to the heart of a problem and quickly finding a solution

  • Make rational decisions using the facts available

  • Think of themselves as understanding, stable and easy-going

  • May focus on short-term results and lose sight of the big picture


Resolvers are independent people who quietly learn how things work by analysing large amounts of information. Should a problem arise, they solve it with as little fuss as possible. Resolvers are only interested in abstract ideas, if they can be used to solve a problem quickly.

Resolvers like to take risks: Many of them seek jobs and pastimes that put them in harms way and guarantee an adrenaline rush.

Resolvers are often tolerant of behaviour different to their own as long as their values aren't compromised. They sometimes give the impression that they agree with other peoples' viewpoints because they don't actively disagree.

In situations where they can't use their talents or are unappreciated, Resolvers may become cynical, negatively critical or put off decisions. Under extreme stress, Resolvers could be prone to inappropriate, tearful outbursts.

Resolvers are quiet and sometimes it is difficult to get to know them; however, they often talk freely about subjects they understand well.

Resolver Careers

Resolvers are often draw
n to hands-on jobs that require an analytical mind and careful organisation of large amounts of data.

It's important to remember that no survey can predict personality type with 100 percent accuracy. Experts say that we should use personality type to better understand ourselves and others, but shouldn't feel restricted by our results.

There are less than ten percent of resolvers in the world.


Enough about me, take the test for yourself!

20090811

Age Appropriate Play Activities

Here are some fun ways for you to play with your young child.


Birth to Six Months
  • Rub baby's arms and legs with different fabrics such as satin and flannel.

  • Faces fascinate babies. Place a mirror near baby's changing table, or draw faces on paper plates for baby


Seven to Twelve Months
  • Create a crawling obstacle course out of different size pillows

  • Place a favorite toy under a blanke, and encourage your baby to find it

  • Give baby a spoon and a pot, and let baby bang away


One to Two Years
  • Take your toddler on a nature walk. Let toddler fill a pail with the leaves, twigs, and pinecones toddler sees along the way.

  • Create a photo album with portraits of people he loves or different animals, vehicles, or foods. Then encourage him to name each one.


Two to Three Years
  • Children this age love to jump, climb, throw, run, dance, and do somersaults.

  • Building block towers - the taller the better - is a favorite pursuit.

  • Pretend play becomes a very important activity


20090807

Discount Magazines Now

"As a loyal customer of [insert credit card company here] you have been awarded a $100 [insert popular retailer here] gift card."

Discount Magazines Now called me up. Clever little scam they've got going on. They managed to catch me of guard. I was in Wisconsin at the time, I've no idea why I answered the phone. That was my first mistake.

The person on the other line, sounded from [my bank]. She had an Indian accent. From India. She told me everything that [my bank] knew about me. My address, my phone number (obviously), my name. After confirming everything she asked me if she could transfer me to her supervisor.

In my confusion I said, "Sure." That was my second mistake.

The supervisor then told me that the following portion of the call would be recorded, to ensure quality. I agree. Third mistake.

While this supervisor is asking me to spell out my name I hang up. By then it was too late.

I called [my bank] when I got home and talked to the customer service person, also happens to have an Indian accent. From India.

I explain what happened. This person ends up enrolling me in [my bank]'s credit and identity protection service. What the frak.

What I will end up doing is attempting to call Discount Magazines Now, which has sent me a letter confirming my enrollment in their program, and try to cancel. I'm guessing this will be tough because their website sure doesn't allow a person to do that.

Then I will dispute all of their charges with [my bank].

Then, if necessary I will cancel my credit card.

The moral of the story is, never, ever, answer your phone.

20090806

Please limit their TV

Please limit your kids from watching TV.

There are so many better things for your kids to do than to watch television. Please spend time talking with them.

LimitTV.org is a fantastic resource for you to do just that. Watching TV is passive and stimulates far less brain activity than practically anything else.

If you have or care for children please visit the site.

And please read a book to your child.

20090805

What can my kid watch on TV

First of all, children need social interaction. The last thing a child needs is to be put in front of your tv watching the latest greatest show, movie, or program.

Children are like a sponge and benefit incredibly from social interaction. Your baby is better off listening to you talk about how you do laundry than by watching Big Bird or Elmo on Sesame Street.

But if you must watch tv with your children there is a website out there that does offer some helpful guidelines.

Reviews and Ratings for Families

20090804

Breastfed Babies Have Less Colic

According to a study out of the University of Cambridge, breastfed babies have colic for shorter durations than bottle fed babies.


Look it up for yourself,
Colic, Crying, Fussing & Feeding - (A non-randomized, prospective observational study) by Allan Lucas M.D. - Department of Pediatrics, University of Cambridge. November 1994.

20090803

Soothing solutions for your tantrum bound child

Tantrums are a normal outlet for the frustrated toddler. Here are some simple solutions to address the emotional fury:

  • Take a time out. Brief time alone, allows your child to regroup and allows you to regain perspective and control.


  • Have a tickle-fest. Laughter is a great distraction and makes everyone feel better.


  • Breathe deeply. In a calm moment, show your child how to pretend she's blowing out a birthday candle, then, the next time your child starts to become upset, you can use a simple code word like 'candle' to remind her to take a breathing break. Slow deep breathing shuts down your own internal emergency signals. Doing this begins to calm your body's arousal system.


  • Use words
  • . The great mediators and negotiators use words to diffuse tricky situations. You can use words to help your child find the right words for their frustration. Smaller children that still are unable to string sentences together to verbally express their emotions are relieved to hear that you empathize with and understand their situation. Verbally announcing your own emotions validates your feelings and clarifies that you need to stop engaging with the kids for the moment.

  • Tap into your creative side. Have your children draw a picture using crayons and paper to describe how she feels. This is a healthy way to express emotion and it lets her know that you're paying attention. You can even find a creative way to express your frustrations with your children (blog it and hopefully your readers will offer sympathy, support, and suggestions).


  • Offer a reward. An extra incentive doesn't hurt when children are learning to control their behavior. For example, try putting a marble in a jar each time your child calms down before having a tantrum. Promise your child that when the jar has ten marbles ITS FUN TIME! Could be a trip to the bowling alley, the fun pizza place, or a movie. Be sure to follow through with your promise so that your child can trust you to keep your word. Keep a marble jar for yourself so that you can reward yourself for staying calm while your child throws that flaming trantrum.


  • Count to ten. Counting warns your child that their behaviour is unacceptable without requiring you to launch into a lecture. It also gives some time for your child to transition from one activity to another. The focus you need to slowly count to ten in the midst of a battle with your kid enables you to ratchet down your anger a few notches. And it buys you time.


  • 20090731

    What do you want out of a relationship?

    What is a relationship?
    A state of connectedness between people that promotes personal growth and development that is nurtured by mutual trust, understanding, and love.

    How many relationships have you had?
    That depends on what kind of relationship you are referring to. Do you mean like a romantic committed relationship or a relationship between close friends? I guess that doesn't really matter but it might be easier to count the number of committed relationships a person has had than the number of good friends they've had. I suppose I could try.
    3+ committed romantic relationships.
    37+ true friendship type relationships that I can remember throughout my life.

    How many of those relationships could have been better?
    Most of them.

    What does a person want out of a relationship?
    I'm sure each person wants different things but here is a partial list:
    • feel confident

    • feel loved

    • have passion

    • be cared for

    • be respected

    • be thought about

    • comfortable enough to publicly display emotion

    • humor

    • laughter

    • spiritualy and a sense of community

    • shared dreams


    Relationships aren't easy but I've learned that living authentically is the best way to go about improving your social wellness.

    Be well.

    Deliver My Roses



    What do you do when someone asks you to deliver some roses?

    Rare Hero says deliver the roses. This happened to me Thursday night as I was walking around the mall with my brother. This girl comes up to us holding a bouquet of roses. She enthusiastically asks us for a favor. "Sure, I've got ten minutes," I say.

    She goes on to explain how I must deliver the roses she is holding to another person working in the mall. I agree.

    After I'm briefed about the who and the where I venture off to find this young woman named Gaby. I find her and cleverly deliver the roses. I offer no explanation since I didn't really know anything.

    20090730

    Right After Delivery

    Although you'll want to see your newborn baby right away, the doctor needs to do a few things first. As soon as your baby is born, medical staff remove mucus from baby's nose and mouth. Newborns often cry for a few seconds after they're born. The doctor holds the baby and clamps the umbilical cord then cuts the cord.

    Then baby will probably be put on your chest or in your arms so you can be close. If you're too tired to hold baby, baby will be placed on a warm table nearby.

    The doctor or nurse will dry baby with warm, soft towels. The doctor will look for healthy breathing and good color and listen to baby's heartbeat.

    Checking your baby

    One minute after birth, baby will be given a special Apgar test. The score tells if baby's breathing, skin color, pulse, and muscle tone are okay. It helps the doctors know if they should watch baby more closely for a while. After five minutes, the doctor gives baby a second Apgar test.

    Matching ID bands or bracelets go on your wrist and baby's wrist or ankle. They show your name, your patient number, baby's sex, and the date and time of birth. Many hospitals also take baby's fingerprints and footprints.

    Next your baby will be weighed and measured. Then the doctor will give baby another quick exam. In the first hour or two after birth, newborns have drops or cream put in their eyes to protect them from infection. Babies also get a vitamin K shot to prevent bleeding, along with a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B.

    Time with your newborn

    You and your partner will probably be able to hug and cuddle your baby right after birth. If breastfeeding, mothers should nurse their babies right away. The first milk you have is called colostrum and is very good for baby.

    While you're busy with baby, the doctor will stitch the cut if you had and epistiomy. An epistiomy is a small cut that is sometimes made in the opening of the birth canal when the baby is coming out.

    After the delivery room

    During the next 6 to 12 hours, the nurses will continue to watch your baby closely. They'll write down the times when baby first urinates and has a bowel movement. They will also press on your belly to feel your uterus. This might hurt, but they want to make sure your uterus is getting back to normal.

    In most hospitals, baby stays in the same room with the mother. Some hospitals keep baby in the nursery with all the other newborns. Sometimes baby stays with the mother during the day and sleeps in the nursery at night. If you'd like your baby to sleep in your room, tell the nurse. If parents want their baby boy to be circumcised this can be done in the hospital before going home.

    Many hospitals offer classes that teach you how to take care of your new baby. Ask about these classes. They are important, because soon you will begin life together as a new family. You'll want to know how to take good care of your baby.

    20090729

    Eat Breakfast Like a Champ

    Here are some recipe suggestions for you and your family, especially your kids.

    Fruity oatmeal
      Good news, moms! Instant oatmeal counts as a whole grain! It is high in cancer fight antioxidants and also lowers the risk of heart disease. Make this in a jiffy:
    • Mix 1/4 cup one minute oats or one packet instant oatmeal with bananas, raisins, or coconut flakes. Let your preschooler choose fruits so she feels like she has control over her breakfast.


    Protein Rich Burritos
      Lots of fiber combined with lots of protein is filling an can provide energy for hours. "When my son started preschool, he was hungry before lunch, so I pumped up the protein," says on San Francisco mom. Try making a burrito with a whole-wheat tortilla with at least 5 grams in fiber, low fat cheese, and a sausage link. If meat or pork are not things you like to eat, try a soy or turkey sausage link.


    Yogurt Dippers
      "Kids who love carrots and dip might like to dip apples or strawberries into yogurt," says Rose Dunnington, author of Big Snacks, Little Meals. Cut fruit into small chunks and have your child dip them into some plain yogurt. Serve with a side of protein, like an egg or slices of (turkey) bacon.


    Ants on a log
      Spread almond, cashew butter, or peanute butter on a banana sliced in half lengthwise, and top with raisins or dried cranberries. Serve with a 4-ounce yogurt.


    Rainbow pancakes
      "Since both my kids go wild for pancakes, I've started blending fruits and vegetables into the batter to make different colors," says one Berkely mom. Try carrots, mangoes, or berries. Follow pancake instructions, substituting pureed fruit or veggies for water and milk. Mix one tablespoon water with batter until you reach the desired consistency. If using carrots, peel and slice about 2/3 cup, then steam or boil for about 20 minutes. Serve with some sausage.


    Jazzed up pizza
      There are endless spin offs of traditional pizza (I like to put marinara or tomato sauce on a sliced english muffin, topping it with low fat cheese, olive oil, and oregano, toasting it in an oven and enjoying).
      Spread two tablespoons fruit jam or nut butter on a small whole-wheat pita (leaving a crust at the edges), and top with sliced bananas or strawberries. Or use a base of half a whole grain English muffin, and add cream cheese and almond slices. Another idea: top a pancake with scrambled eggs and slices of chicken sausage.


    Framed Eggs
      "My husband uses cookie cutters to cut shapes in bread and then fills the holes with egg," sasy a New York City mom. "He calls it, hen in the woods, a gingerbread man, or dinosaur. My son loves it." This takes only a few minutes to make. Cut a shape from a slice of toasted wheat bread. Coat a nonstick ovenproof pan with oil spray and bring to medium high heat. Place the toast in the skillet, fill the hole with a beaten egg, and reduce the heat to low. Place the skillet under the broiler for about three minutes, until the egg is completely set.

    20090728

    Four Ways to Make Breakfast Fun

  • Hold it. Kids love foods they can grip, such as cut fruit and nuts. If you're serving up something bigger, like toast or pancakes, cut it into strips.

  • Guess it "My son loves closing his eyes and guessing what kind of fruit I put in his mouth or what flavor the yogurt is," says one Arizona mom.

  • Color it Vividly colored fruits and vegetables add nutrition in a snap and are attractive to young kids. In addition to the usual berries, try mangoes, papaya, or kiwi - the choices are endless so use your imagination!

  • Move it On a busy morning, put a smoothie or a drinkable yogurt in a sippy cup and take it with you

  • 20090715

    Make a Loan Change a Life

    Kiva provides you with an opportunity to improve your social, spiritual, and emotional wellness.

    Being a part of, or at least perceiving yourself to be a part of something greater is good for your. Microloans through Kiva are a terrific way to be a part of something bigger.

    20090707

    Safe at Home & Work

    Being safe at work and home during pregnancy is important
    Tell your doctor what kind of work you do and talk about when you should stop working. Many women stay on the job until their baby is born. You may have to make a few changes at work. Here are some things to think about:

    Sitting

    When you sit for a long time, your muscles get stiff. Your back may hurt. The veins in your legs may swell. Move your head, feet, and shoulders once in a while if you sit a lot. Each hour, take a short walk, or stand up and shake your arms and legs.

    Standing

    Standing in place for too long can make your legs and back hurt. If you have to stand much, wear shoes with low heels. Also wear support panty hose. Try to put one foot up on a box or stool from time to time. Take breaks often.

    Lifting

    If you lift heavy loads at work, ask your doctor if it's still safe. If lifting makes you feel dizzy or sick to your stomach, stop doing it. When you pick something up, don't bend over from the waist. Bend your knees and squat down. Keep your back straight. As your belly gets bigger, your balance changes. Be careful not to fall.

    Infections

    Some illnesses can harm your baby. If you work in a doctor's office or at a hospital, try not to get close to other people who are sick. Wash your hands often. One infection, toxoplasmosis, can be spread by changing cat litter. Try to get someone else to do it, or wear rubber gloves.

    X-Rays

    Avoid x-rays. If you have an accident, be sure to tell the doctor that you're pregnant before the x-ray is performed. You may have to wear a special apron. Let your dentist know about your pregnancy. The dentist may be able to put off taking x-rays until your baby is born.

    Lead

    You shouldn't work with lead when you're pregnant. It can harm your baby's brain. To be sure you're safe, find out if you work with any products that contain lead. And try to avoid renovating a home or stripping old furniture, which can increase the risk of lead exposure.

    Chemicals

    Chemicals can be dangerous for your baby while you're pregnant. You should make sure to stay away from

    • spot removers, cleaning fluid, and some cleaning products


    • turpentine and paint thinner


    • insect sprays


    • strong glues


    • paints, particularly oil based or latex

    20090701

    Pregnancy: Your Changing Body

    Your pregnancy has three parts and each one lasts about three months. The parts are called trimesters. During each trimester you'll notice many changes in your body. Some changes aren't very comfortable, and some days you may not feel well.

    But pregnancy is a very exciting time. You'll see your belly get bigger and feel your baby move inside you. So when you're not feeling too well, think about your goal-having a healthy baby.

    Here's what will happen during each trimester:




    The First Trimester Months 1,2,3

    At the very beginning of your pregnancy, you'll be more tired and may feel sore. Your uterus, or womb, will get bigger as the baby grows inside it. Your uterus will push against your bladder. This means you'll have to urinate more often.

    You may feel sick to your stomach sometimes. Usually this happens in the morning, thus morning sickness. But it can happen at any time of day. If you feel sick when you wake up, eat crackers or dry toast before you get out of bed. Then get up slowly.

    Eat small meals during the day and eat often. Keep crackers handy, and try sniffing a slice of lemon. Drink lots of water. You may vomit. If you can't keep anything down for more than 24 hours, call your doctor.

    If you become constipated, exercise may help. Try eating high-fiber foods like bran cereal and raw fruits and vegetables. Drinking extra water may also help.

    You may feel dizzy when you stand up quickly. If this happens, breathe deeply. Also be careful not to move suddenly. If you feel dizzy often, tell your doctor.

    It is important to see a dentist during your pregnancy. Your gums may get red and bleed. A softer toothbrush may help. Brush your teeth and floss each day.

    If you get headaches, try taking a nap or getting fresh air. Ask your doctor before you take any medicine.

    When you're pregnant, your mood may change often. You might be very excited about having a baby and then be scared about it. You might worry that having a baby will hurt or that the baby won't be healthy. This is normal. If you are very worried about having a baby, talk to your doctor.

    You will start to gain weight even though you don't look pregnant yet. Aim to gain about four to six pounds in the first trimester. If you are hungry between meals, choose healthy low fat snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables. These will fill you up and they're good for your body.

    Exercise can help many of pregnancy's discomforts. It's good for you and your baby. Walking or gentle dancing are two fun, easy ways to get a good workout. Start slowly, and take a break if you get tired.

    Every pregnancy is different. Your friends may tell you about things that bothered them that aren't bothering you. You may not have many of these discomforts. Enjoy this special time and the changes that are happening to your body.




    The Second Trimester Months 4, 5, 6

    The second trimester is also an exciting time. You and others will notice your growing belly. You'll begin to feel your baby moving inside you. Morning sickness usually goes away about now, and you won't feel as tired.

    Your nipples will become larger. A thick, yellow fluid called colostrum may leak from them. Colostrum feeds you baby the first few days after birth, before your milk comes in. Wear a comfortable maternity bra during this time. If your breasts hurt, you may even want to sleep in it. You can put nursing pads inside your bra to catch leaks.

    If you back starts to hurt, wear low, comfortable shoes with good arch support. Be very careful when bending. Always make sure to bend at your knees, not at your waist. Try to sleep on a firm mattress. Later in this trimester, it might be hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. You may not lie down on your stomach. You should not lie down on your back. The best position is on your side. Put an extra pillow between your legs and another under your belly.

    You might start having leg cramps. Stretching your legs before going to bed may help. And don't point your toes when stretching or exercising. If cramps wake you up at night, try long massage strokes down your leg toward your heel.

    After you eat a meal, you may get heartburn. This is an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest. To prevent it, eat small meals instead of big ones, and drink lots of water between meals. If you still get heartburn, try sleeping with your back propped up. If necessary, ask your doctor if it's okay to take an antacid-and if so, which one. (Some could be unsafe).

    If you haven't yet seen the dentist during your pregnancy, make an appointment now. Make sure to tell the dentist you are pregnant. Ask your doctor if it is okay to have x-rays.

    The Third Trimester Months 7, 8, 9

    In the last three months, your belly will grow very large. You'll feel like you really want to give birth. The veins in your legs and vagina may swell. Try not to stand in one place too long. Sit down and put your feet up often. Exercise at least a few minutes each day to keep your blood moving. Go for walks as often as you can. You'll feel even more pressure on your bladder now, and you'll have to urinate more often. However, it is important to drink lots of fluids anyway.

    Sometimes urine might leak out when you sneeze or cough. There is an exercise you can do to help stop the leaking. It's called a Kegel exercise. Here's what to do: Squeeze the muscles around your vagina the way you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax the muscles. Repeat 10 to 20 times in a row. Do this at least three times a day.

    There's also more pressure on your back now. You can help by putting a pillow behind your back when you sit down.

    Your baby is getting so big that he may be pressing against your lungs. You might begin to breathe faster when you walk or climb stairs. Try moving more slowly, and take breaks often.

    You need more sleep now - about ten hours a night. Waking up to walk to the bathroom can make it difficult to get enough sleep. Also, it will be hard to get comfortable in bed. Try sleeping in a reclining chair if you have one. If you can, take a nap during the day.

    During the last trimester, you may start to get more leg cramps - and they may hurt more than before. You may also feel cramps in your uterus. When you feel those cramps in the uterus, you may think that your labor is starting. It may not be. You may just be having Braxton Hicks contractions.

    Braxton Hicks contractions aren't the same as labor contractions. They happen only once in a while and last around 30 - 60 seconds. They go away when you move around. They help your body get ready for childbirth.

    The labor contractions that you feel when your baby is ready to be born are different. They last longer and happen closer together. They won't go away no matter what you do. You'll read more about true labor contraction on other pages in this magazine.

    Close to your delivery date, you may feel tired, uncomfortable, and even grumpy. You may have some trouble moving around because your belly is so big. Don't give up-soon you'll have a brand-new baby!

    20090629

    What is Eco Cycle?

    Eco Cycle is an organization dedicated to making recycling easier and to make environmental stewardship the norm.

    Check it out at ecocycle.org

    20090628

    Medical Checkups

    Start your pregnancy right by seeing a doctor. During visits, he or she will check both you and your baby for problems. If anything is wrong, your doctor will help you decide what should be done.

    You'll have many questions about your pregnancy. Don't worry if you think a question seems dumb. When it comes to your baby's healty, all your questions are smart.

    Ask the doctor or nurse your questions. Friends and relatives don't always have the right answers and usually aren't qualified to give you the correct information.

    The medical care you get while you're pregnant is called prenatal care. If possible, ask your partner to go with you. That way, both of you will learn what's best for your growing baby.



    First Checkup

    During your first prenatal visit, you'll be asked some questions about your health. Your doctor or nurse will want to know:

    • if you have been pregnant before


    • if you drink, smoke, or take any drugs


    • if there are any diseases that run in your family or your partner's family


    Doctor will also want to know if you've ever had any sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

    Your doctor or nurse will take your blood pressure. You will be given a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organs, including your uterus and your cervix.

    You'll be weighed and given a uring test. You may be told to take a prenatal vitamin. This vitamin helps you get extra iron and other things your body may need during pregnancy. Someone at the clinic will tell you your due date. Thats the day that the baby should be born. This is estimated by calculated the amount of time it has been since your last period.



    Later checkups

    You'll be weighed at every prenatal visit. Someone will take your blood pressure to make sure it's normal. High blood pressure could cause your baby to be born too small or too early. The doctor or nurse will test your urin again. Doctor will feel your belly to measure the size of your uterus. After about the 12th week, your doctor will listen for baby's heartbeat. You should begin to feel your baby's first movements at about the 20th week of pregnancy. Let your doctor or nurse know when this happens.

    Near the end of the pregnancy, your doctor or nurse will look into the birth canal to see if the cervix is getting softer. The cervix is the opening of the uterus. It softens and thins to let the baby pass through.

    Ask the questions about your labor and delivery-soon you'll be at the hospital.



    After birth checkup

    About six weeks after your baby's birth, you'll be checked again. The doctor or nurse will make sure your uterus is back to normal size. At this visit, you can ask about birth control. Even if you're breastfeeding you can still get pregnant. To make sure this doesn't happen too soon, use birth control when you begin to have sex again. It's best to wait at least three weeks after your baby is born to begin taking birth control pills that won't reduce your milk supply.

    20090619

    The Amazing Dancing Bird

    Saw this via Science Friday



    Be sure to listen to Science Friday and to follow @SciFri on Twitter.

    20090618

    Wal Mart Against Employee Free Choice

    When former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott was asked about Employee Free Choice he said:

    "We like driving the car and we're not going to give the steering wheel to anybody but us."

    After so many years of mistreatment, it's time that Wal-Mart workers get the chance to have a say.

    Wal-Mart Watch has partnered with the Service Employees International Union to fight for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it much easier for Wal-Mart workers to form unions. The bill, which is being introduced today in Congress, will help stop Wal-Mart from intimidating or firing workers who choose to organize.

    But Wal-Mart and other big corporations are doing everything they can to stop this important legislation. Watch this short video about the scare tactics they're using to mislead Americans about the Employee Free Choice Act:

    See the scare tactics used by Big Business to stop Employee Free Choice

    http://action.walmartwatch.com/scary

    We all know that Wal-Mart workers deserve a raise. The Employee Free Choice Act will help to rebuild America's middle class by finally giving 1.4 million Wal-Mart employees a fair chance to join their voices together and earn a seat at the table when determining their wages, benefits and working conditions.

    Unfortunately, Wal-Mart and other corporations are lining up to spend big bucks scaring the American public about Employee Free Choice. Watch the following video of corporate CEOs making ridiculous and untrue statements about this bill -- and then send it to your friends and family to spread the truth about Employee Free Choice:

    http://action.walmartwatch.com/scary

    20090617

    Save the World, one catalog at a time

    What happens when more than one million people work with over 500 companies to reduce unwanted mail? You save a lot of natural resources, reduce waste and save money!

    Catalog Choice has removed over 85 million unwanted catalogs a year from the mail stream. They have saved more than 192,000 trees and prevented 82 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing about 7,500 cars from the road.

    Transforming the direct mail industry for the good of the consumer, environment and businesses is a tremendous effort. Thanks for doing your part to reduce unwanted mail and go paperless. Together, we are making a difference.

    Learn more at Catalog Choice

    20090616

    My Letter to Saudi Arabia King

    His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    Fax: +966 1 491 2726

    15 June 2009

    Your Highness,

    I am writing to express my deep concern about the marriage of Amneh Mohamed Sharahili, a 10 year old schoolgirl whose marriage contract to a 25 year old man was executed in February 2009 with the consent of her father and who will be handed over to her husband in July 2009. It is commonly accepted that early marriage has physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and sexual implications on children and violates their human rights. Amneh’s marriage will, among other things, deprive her of an education and severely jeopardize her right to mental, emotional and physical well-being.

    I urge you to take urgent action to annul the marriage of Amneh and all other child brides whose marriage contracts have been executed but who have yet to be handed over to their husbands. I also ask you to ensure that child brides already living with their husbands are given a real choice to annul their marriages and, if they opt for annulment, to ensure that this happens swiftly without negative repercussions on the girls. I urge you to support the establishment of a codified personal status law to guarantee the rights of women in marriage and divorce, ensuring that such law is based upon principles of equality and non-discrimination.

    I thank you for your attention.

    Sincerely yours,

    RareHero

    Cc: The Human Rights Commission (email: hrc[at]haq-ksa[dot]org)

    20090615

    Tell EPA to Protect Us from the Toxic Pesticide Endosulfan

    Dear Administrator Jackson,

    We, the undersigned individuals, write to urge EPA to take swift action to cancel all remaining uses of endosulfan and revoke all food residue tolerances for this toxic chemical.

    In 2007, EPA found that use of endosulfan in agriculture poses unacceptable risks to the health and safety of pesticide applicators who handle this pesticide, and to farmworkers who work in endosulfan-treated fields. Agency calculations also show that its use on tomatoes in Florida (one the few remaining food crops in the U.S. with significant endosulfan use) presents a grave threat to aquatic organisms.

    Since then, scientists from National Parks Services, the USGS, and other federal agencies have documented that endosulfan contaminates sensitive ecosystems from Florida Everglades to the Sierra Mountains to the Alaskan Arctic The accumulation of endosulfan in the Arctic is a serious concern, which is why the European Union has proposed that this chemical be added the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Listing endosulfan in the Convention would trigger a global phaseout of its production and use. The effect of endosulfan on amphibians has only begun to be explored, but is already apparent that it is extremely toxic to many species.

    EPA data also indicate that use of endosulfan is declining, alternatives exist, and its continued use provides only minimal benefits to growers. It?s time for EPA to step up to the plate and begin reversing some of the damage done by the previous administration?s anti-regulatory stance . By banning endosulfan, the US will take a significant step towards regaining its position as a leader in environmental protection, and will join the 60 other countries around the world that have already phased out use of this dangerous pesticide.

    Please take action now to protect the health of people and the environment at home as well as globally by banning endosulfan.
    Sincerely:

    RareHero

    20090614

    Another Reason for the California Employee Free Choice Act

    Another Reason for the California Employee Free Choice Act

    Supposedly we have the water available, we have the shade available, we have bathrooms available but dare not use them for fear of being fired. It was as if we had none at all.
    -- Rigoberto Ramirez, Blueberry worker

    We've shared stories with you about farm workers who've had no water to drink. This week we want to tell you about workers who do have water, but don't have the opportunity to drink it because of the pressure put on them by the companies they work for. Please read their stories and then take action to help them by sending Gov. Schwarzenegger and your legislators an e-mail today.

    The following is from a May 26th complaint the UFW filed on behalf of workers at Munger Farms, where 3 farm labor contractors employ more than 40 crews and 1,000 workers to harvest blueberries. Pickers are working hourly, but have a huge quota of 5 boxes a day--which forces them to work through their breaks, not drink water or go to the bathroom for fear of losing their jobs. This is not an imaginary fear. It happened to about 60 workers on May 26. The workers were promised 3 days of work. They were fired after one day before they even had the chance to acclimatize themselves to the brutal pace demanded. Here is the story of an experienced blueberry picker, Guillermo Cruz:

    We started working at 8 am and we were asked to pick 5 boxes of blueberries for the day which is a total of 65 pounds of blueberries. I did everything that I could to meet the quota. Company supervisors were constantly on top of us and yelling at us if we dropped any blueberries on the ground which made us very nervous and confused on what to do. Workers could not afford to go to drink water or even go to the restroom because of the tremendous fear of losing their jobs. Some workers even worked through their lunch breaks to try to meet the quota. The company would not even allow us to take our third break. Many workers were running and going as fast as they could to try to meet the goal. I was one of the few that was able to make 4 boxes and could not understand why I would be fired if I had done everything in my power to meet the quota. The time we worked we saw crews of 60 workers going and coming because of the tremendous pressure to meet the quota and the company was firing workers every day.

    This is not the only incident. On May 26, the UFW filed charges on behalf of Giumarra vineyard worker Francisco Farfan. Francisco was suspended and sent home for the day after the foreman said Francisco had gone too many times to drink water. He was keeping up with the workload demanded. It was hotter than 100 degrees that day. Francisco believes he was suspended for taking safety measures that did not impede his work performance and to which he is legally entitled.

    Two days later the UFW also filed charges on behalf of vineyard workers at Sunrise Agriculture. Again, the about 100 workers there did have water. The problem was they were not allowed to drink the water unless they were on an official break (10 minutes every 4 hrs) or at lunch. These workers also did not have shade to protect them from the sun and were not trained in heat safety as required by law.

    Such incidents show that workers need the ability to speak up without being afraid of losing their jobs. It's why SB789 CA Employee Free Choice Act for Farm Workers is so vital. This bill will make it easier for farm workers to organize, speak up to improve working conditions and help enforce the laws that CA's government cannot enforce. SB789 passed the CA state senate and will next be heard in the assembly and then go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    20090519

    How dare you ride your bike in my city

    On 22 July 2006, Minneapolis Police Officer Jason Andersen allegedly murdered Fong Lee.

    According to eye witnesses Anderson used his squad car to strike Lee's bicycle from possibly knocking Lee down.

    Lee, no doubt fearing for his life, attempted to run away. Andersen then shot Lee, in the back, four times.

    Andersen, being the merciful person that he is, then shot Lee another four times as Lee lay dying.

    MPD put a lot of Bill O'Reilly Spin Free spin on it, and pinned a medal of valor on Andersen.

    Read more about this incident at Indy Media and learn more about Communities United Against Police Brutality.

    update: See this page at Indymedia for more info on the story.

    20090518

    WARNING: Dangerous people running lose in Maricopa County

    * * * * WARNING * * * * *

    This is a warning to all people living in Maricopa County, Arizona.

    There is an organization that will verbally abuse and with little provocation may physical abuse you.

    They have been identified as wearing brown uniforms with Maricopa County Sheriff credentials.

    They are armed with both lethal and non-lethal weaponry.

    They are dangerous.

    If you see them you should avoid eye contact and try to leave the area.

    20090517

    Thinking about barricading yourself in your bedroom, think again

    On 12 April 2009 two Folsom Police officers allegedly murdered Joseph Han after Han's family called the police to help deal with Han.

    Police found Han barricaded in his bedroom.

    Han had a hunting knife to defend himself.

    Instead of finding less violent ways to de-escalate the situation, the two officers rushed the room, shot, and killed Han.

    The lesson to be learned today is that you should never, NEVER, lock yourself in your room with a knife.

    The police will come. And they will end your suffering (or whatever) for you.

    Read more about it at Sacto 911

    20090407

    Capitalism Isn't Working

    Someone please tell me how capitalism works.

    20090406

    Exercise of the Week: Rope Climbers

    Try this ab exercise to work your middle.

    Just pull yourself up the imaginary rope.

    20090403

    RIAA continues to be a bad deal

    The Amerikan government flexes some muscle causing Russia to shut down music 'piracy' sites.

    There is no such thing as stealing music, unless the name of your band is Coldplay and you stole a song written by Joe Satriani. That is what music copyrights are for. Not for sueing the pants off of regular people. Anyway, this is a good article. It provides plenty of opinion.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to recorded music.

    Here is to the eventual fall of the RIAA.

    Learn more about the RIAA at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.