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The taming and domestication of religious faith is one of the unceasing chores of civilization.
~ Christopher Hitchens

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Iraq Reckoning - Peter Oborne - Documentary

Dispatches - Iraq Reckoning - Wow! Iraq Reckoning is an absolutely riveting analysis/critique/documentary of Iraq war from British reporter, Peter Oborne.

In Iraq Reckoning, Oborne reports how Bush/Blair went into Iraq without a plan for post-war Iraq. Interviews with former officials confirm this. The opinion that Saddam was "evil" seemed justification enough to invade the country for both Tony Blair and George Bush.

Oborne then describes how soldiers fought a losing battle with local insurgents and terrorists for control of the country--or more accurately, regions of the country. At first Baathist party members were shunned, thrown out because of their ties to Saddam. Now they are being welcomed back into the governing fold, at least in Baghdad. Why?

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Closeup Picture of Velcro


Amazing!

Source

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Funny Chinese Proverbs

My apologies to the billion plus people of Chinese descent, this post (from an email) is in very poor taste and culturally insensitive...but it made me laugh :)


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Dave Barry Learned All This in 50 Years


Dave Barry

What Dave Barry Learned in 50 Years - Got this by email. Totally hilarious....After the first three, I lost bladder control--Thanks Dave Barry!

  1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
  2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
  3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."


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Morphing Women in Art

Morphing Women in Art

Fascinating....

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30 Funny Jerry Seinfeld Quotes

  1. I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?
  2. It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
  3. What is a date really, but a job interview that lasts all night? The only difference is that in not many job interviews is there a chance you’ll wind up naked.
  4. You know you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's like, "See if you can blow this out."
  5. Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.
  6. Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.

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The Median Is NOT the Message - by Stephen Jay Gould


Stephen Jay Gould

Powerfully persuasive piece that helped me gain a "healthy" perspective on the statistics thrown out by doctors, researchers, other medical professionals--and the media. No understatement to say, this essay made a huge difference in my life and health.

The Median Isn't the Message
by Stephen Jay Gould

My life has recently intersected, in a most personal way, two of Mark Twain's famous quips. One I shall defer to the end of this essay. The other (sometimes attributed to Disraeli), identifies three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before - lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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Ordinary Day - by Emilie Mover - Lyrics

Ordinary Day by Emilie Mover was used for a Bounce laundry sheet commercial. What I thought to be a simple commercial jingle is actually a neat little tune. How embarrassed am I that my musical tastes are seeded by Bounce, Apple computer (Feist 1234), and other commercials?


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Secrets of Stress Management


Photo by Adrian Sampson
Received via email. Dunno who to credit.

Stress Management - When explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked:

"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

The lecturer replied:

"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight:

The longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

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How Sewing Machine Works - Great Illustration

How Sewing Machine Works - I'd alway wondered. In fact, as a schoolboy, I struggled to understand the mechanism, and now, with this animated gif, I get it...I think...WAIT! There's something wrong with this picture.

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Self-Made Man Norah Vincent - Journey Into Manhood


Two Sides of Norah Vincent

Norah Vincent was a gender spy.

To write her book Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back, she transformed herself into a male alter-ego she named "Ned." To look the part, she got a haircut, added fake stubble to her face and 15 lbs. of muscle to her upper-body. She bound her chest, wore a suit and tie, and inserted a fake penis into her male briefs.

Norah Vincent pretended to be man for 18 months.

During that time she went to strip clubs, joined a bowling league, attended a men's monastery, and went out on dates -- all the while pretending to be a man named Ned.

In the end, Vincent suffered a nervous breakdown, angered some of those she deceived, and learned a lot about the culture of BOTH genders.

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Predicting the Stars - Sasha Pieterse


Sasha Pieterse

Mark my words, Sasha Pieterse is gonna be a star.

Saw her in a second season episode of Fox's medical drama series House. In the episode, simply called Autopsy, the (then) nine year-old actress played a nine year-old terminal cancer patient, and gave a performance well beyond her years. Second time I've seen it, and again was choked up by her portrayal. Powerful stuff.

South African born Sasha Pieterse's talent totally reminds me of the Sixth Sense phenom, Haley Joel Osment. I wonder if she'll be picked up for any heavy roles as Osment was. Doubt there's much to pick from, but if I were a screenwriter, watching her performance would have inspired me to write something just for her. What a talent.

Sasha Pieterse will be a star.

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Ballet Photo Art - by Patrick McDonald

Love this Photo Art done by Patrick McDonald. Original photos by Richard Calmes. Very nice, colorfully vibrant yet soothing images.

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Resveratrol - Why Red Wine Extends Life - French Paradox

Resveratrol - 60 Minutes recently ran a piece about Resveratrol, a compound produced by certain plants (like red wine grapes) when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. Some think resveratrol is the explanation for the French paradox, the observation that the French have a low incidence of heart disease, despite a diet rich in saturated fats. To explain the paradox, some researchers pointed to the relatively high red wine consumption of the French. As red wine studies progressed, researchers isolated a compound in grape skin called resveratrol.

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Drug-eluting Stents Reduce Collateral Blood Vessel Growth

Drug-eluting Stents Reduce Collateral Vessel Growth - New study indicates that drug-eluting stents may obstruct the heart's natural ability to form small collateral blood vessels - nature's bypass mechanism. For patients with coronary artery blockages, these vessels normally help supply blood to areas starved by artery blockages. The drug-eluting stents appear to hinder this natural, healing process.

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First they came...

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

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George Carlin - On Aging


George Carlin

George Carlin on Aging - Received this by email. Totally hilarious and, as per George Carlin, so very insightful. Carlin's wisdom grows with age.

George Carlin on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!"

You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

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Young Boy Receives Flag...at Father's Funeral

No words....

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Truth About Shampoo and Conditioner

What makes your hair look bad after using shampoo without conditioner?

It's the water, not the shampoo.

To understand why, you need to know that hair has scales, like a snake. The scales lay flat in an acidic environment, making hair look shiny and healthy--which is why some recommend applying lemon juice to the hair. And the hair scales stand up in an alkali or base environment, making the hair look dry and dull.

What determines the acid/base environment is the water, not the shampoo. Public tap water has become "harder," more base, over the years. That causes your hair to be frizzy after washing your hair.

However, shampoo removes the natural oils from the hair, and this removal is what damages the hair by making it less supple and much more brittle. So you replace the natural oils with the oils in conditioners. It helps.

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Marc LeRoy Roach - Obituary

My cousin Marc Roach was a kind, gentle, and adventurous man--the kind of person who, after you met him, you'd say, "Damn, I want to get to know that guy better!" Sadly, none of us will have that opportunity. Below is the obituary written by his father LeRoy--with kibitzing/editing from his brother Mike.

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