From the cycle: idiots among us

I know, I break my own record and post twice on the same day, but I can’t help it.
From the cycle ” Idiots among us” I am bringing you two examples:

First example : From the projects in Brooklyn to a mansion in Atlanta, introducing the Harper family

By the Associated Press LAKE CITY, Ga. – More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” team demolish a family’s decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.
After the Harper family used the two-storey home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it’s set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed.
The house was built in January 2005, after Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA and ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” demolished their old home and its faulty septic system. Within six days, construction crews and hoards of volunteers had completed work on the largest home that the television program had yet built.
The finished product was a four-bedroom house with decorative rock walls and a three-car garage that towered over ranch and split-level homes in their Clayton County neighbourhood. The home’s door opened into a lobby that featured four fireplaces, a solarium, a music room and a plush new office.
Materials and labour were donated for the home, which would have cost about $450,000 to build. Beazer Homes’ employees and company partners also raised $250,000 in contributions for the family, including scholarships for the couple’s three children and a home maintenance fund.

Now the house is in foreclosure and the idiots should go and work as volunteers on other Extreme Makeover projects. To gain experience construction related if nothing else.

Second example: Winner of $3.6 million jackpot kept the secret for almost a year
We have to be proud with our local celebrities, so, drum roll please: introducing the young realtor who won $3.6 million on 6/49 and kept it secret for 49 weeks…. Ladies and gentlemen… here is Peter Dushop.

Seriously, what was in his freaking mind? He signed the winning ticket and left it in safe deposit box at the bank because he could not make up his mind about what to do with the money. Duh!!!!! This guy does not seem to be very bright if it took him almost a year to figure out something. And the supreme ‘duh moment’: he decided to leave the money in the bank!!!

That mucho intelligent idea needed almost a year to navigate through the emptiness of his skull. In the mean time he lost about $100,000 in interest.

I found as well some pretty disturbing comments congratulating the guys for not making his mind for almost a year.
Seriously? Congratulating him for being an idiot? Definitely the idiots outnumber us.

I am getting dizzy already rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

Bee death- in search of the cause

“If the bee disappears off the surface of the globe, then man would have four years left to live.”- Quote attributed to Albert Einstein

If the above quote is really coming from Einstein or not, it does not matter. What matters is that the silent cataclysm is happening.
According to reports and studies, in the U.S and Canada the losses of domesticated bees are up to 90% and in U.K and the Netherlands wild bee population have declined 80%. Losses were reported as well in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Austria and Spain.
In many cases no bees were found dead, just gone from the hive. It’s called: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Searching for nectar, bees travel from blossom to blossom transferring pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing and enabling them to bear fruit.
Hence: no bee, no pollination of crops, orchards or home gardens. Affected will be: apples, blueberries, cantaloupes, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, beans, peas, strawberries and many other crops.

According to a study from Cornell University, the direct value of honey bee pollination to U.S. agriculture is more than $14.6 billion.

What is the cause of the death of bees?

– Some people came up with the theory that bees were being affected by the increased electromagnetic activity from mobile phones and wireless internet access, interfering with the bees ability to navigate.
– Others say it’s because of various pathogens, old and new
– The most popular hypothesis seem to blame it on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in combination with various insecticides
– Or all of the above

Genetically modified seeds seem to be the root of all evils. Watch the movie ‘We feed the world’ and you are going to discover lots of frightening aspects, not so well known, related to our food. The way I see it, our future is doomed.
It makes lots of sense.
Genetically modified seeds are produced and distributed by powerful biotech conglomerates (Monsanto being one of them), capable to manipulate government agricultural policy to support their agenda.
They came up with the modified seeds that must be used with their brand of fertilizers and pesticides in order to gain the maximum yield.
But the genetic modification of the plant leads to genetic modification of the flower pollen and the bees would potentially die of illness due to the lack of nutrients.
Another disturbing aspect related to modified seeds is that they are infertile meaning that the farmers can not replant.
Infertile seeds can not be good news for bees, don’t you think?

Of course you are going to find lots of studies (founded by whom I wonder) showing that there is no link between GMO and the death of the bees.
Personally, I trust these studies as much as I trust the TV commercials.

What is more disruptive to our climate?

I am so tired of all the brouhaha surrounding the green movement.
Why? Because I live in Canada, because we are overtaxed for every little thing and now we got the ‘carbon tax’ to help the government fight the global warming caused allegedly by our bad habit of driving too much instead of walking 30 km to work!! Idiots.

My beef with our government politics is a double whammy so to speak:
Outsourcing to India and China– that causes loss of jobs in Canada, decrease of quality of life, increase of cost of living. In the mean time their economies are booming, increasing the demand for fuel. So we are fucked in every possible way: no jobs for us, increase in fuel cost making commuting (when we have a freaking job) more and more expensive, along with the fuel increase all the other essential things become more and more expensive. In my opinion, the government should penalize the companies which are outsourcing jobs to India, China and Pakistan. I don’t want cheap stuff from China; I want good quality, reasonable priced stuff from Canada. Yep, that means the dead of the freaking unions negotiating ridiculously high incomes. But that’s a different subject.
Pollution in China and India goes unregulated
What about imposing sanctions and forcing India and China to follow Kyoto protocol or any other good-for-nothing- protocols that will make them reduce their pollution? What about the level of pollution in China, where Beijing is always wrapped in huge smog, they can’t even see the light. He, he… they can’t anyway.

A fast analysis – data from CIA World Factbook- shows a clear picture:

Country -Surface[million square km]- Population
China- 9.5- 1.3 billion
India- 3 -1.1 billion
EU- 4- 493 million
Russia- 17 -140 million
USA -9.8 -303 million
Canada- 9.9 -33 million

How ridiculous is that? Canada has the lowest population, spread over a territory bigger than China, and still has to accept Kyoto?
What the heck could be such a big pollutant in Canada, to make our government squeeze the last penny from us?

Ah, I forgot!! China and India won’t give a shit about global warming. We are left to clean their mess. Companies in Canada go tits up because they can’t afford extra money spent on making everything ‘green’. The heck, they can hardly stay afloat even without all the ridiculous ‘targets’ established by irresponsible politicians, too busy to kiss our neighbour ass, to take a closer look at our lives.

So, based on the above data, I would say that China, India, EU and USA should nicely work together on reducing the pollution, because to me, they are responsible, not Canada. I know, I know… we are blamed for loving big cars, the so called ‘gas-guzzlers’ and the Chinese and the Indians are using (for how long??) bicycles, ricsas, tuk-tuk and some other transportation gizmos.

But they eat. In the past fifty years, global meat consumption has increased fivefold and is still on the rise. Why does it matter? One word: methane.

Methane is twenty-five times more potent than carbon dioxide and although not as abundant as carbon dioxide, is better at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Almost half of all global methane emissions come from belching livestock.
Did you know that a single cow can belch out anywhere from 25 to 130 gallons of methane a day?
There are around 1.5 billion cattle on our planet, over a billion sheep and some 800 million goats, meaning that the methane emissions must be pretty high.
Actually, according to the U.N. livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide, more than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet.

True, the Indians won’t eat beef but they consume dairy products, and the Chinese and other emerging nations eat anything with four legs (except probably the table)

In conclusion: the booming economies in China and India will increase the need for fuel and food, because people will have money to buy both of them. And we are screwed, unless some dramatic changes happen.

Fresh news: WTO talks collapse over farm trade between the USA and emerging powers including China, India and Indonesia. China and India have been acused for not opening their market to imports (is it such a big surprise, seriously?)

Emmy nominations 2008

While drinking my morning coffee I was reading the 2008 Emmy’s nominations. The ceremony will be sometimes in September. Two dramas caught my attention: Mad Men and Damages. Why? Because I never heard about them.
Luckily for me, CTV is giving me the chance to watch the first season of Mad Men on line, which I am going to do maybe this evening.

I like Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies, I could not care less about the rest of the comedy actors or shows and definitely I am not interested in lead or supporting actresses in a comedy series. I guess I would take lots of washroom time during the ceremony. Maybe finish dinner, do the dishes, sort the wash-loads, etc when the boring categories are up.
Different story when we talk about drama series. I love Holly Hunter in Saving Grace, I like Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer. Mariska should be let go… really, I am already tired of her. Hmmm… I still have to find ‘Damages’ someplace, since it’s got nominations for lead actress (Glenn Close) and supporting actor (2 nominations actually). Yeah, I know, just because it’s been nominated should not mean too much. But hey, Saving Grace and The Closer are really good shows, so maybe this time they got it right.

I would like to see Burn Notice getting a nomination. And why not? Why is Monk so much better? Tony Shalhoub should join Mariska Hargitay and take a hike.

Outstanding Comedy Series

• 30 Rock
• Curb Your Enthusiasm
• Entourage
• The Office
• Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
• Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
• Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
• Tony Shalhoub, Monk
• Steve Carell, The Office
• Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
• Tina Fey, 30 Rock
• Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
• America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
• Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
• Kevin Dillon, Entourage
• Jeremy Piven, Entourage
• Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
• Rainn Wilson, The Office
• Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
• Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
• Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
• Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
• Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
• Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Outstanding Drama Series
• Mad Men
• Boston Legal
• Damages
• House
• Dexter
• Lost
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
• James Spader, Boston Legal
• Jon Hamm, Mad Men
• Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
• Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
• Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
• Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
• Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
• Glenn Close, Damages
• Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
• Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
• Michael Emerson, Lost
• William Shatner, Boston Legal
• John Slattery, Mad Men
• Zeljko Ivanek, Damages
• Ted Danson, Damages
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
• Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
• Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
• Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
• Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
• Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Outstanding Reality-competition Program
• Project Runway
• Top Chef
• The Amazing Race
• American Idol
• Dancing With The Stars

The truth about apple cider vinegar

You know all that emails you get that such and such things are really good/bad for you, right? One of the emails I got in the past was about the multiple health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Among them: treating migraines and weight loss, to mention only two that were really interesting from my point of view.
So, here I am, rushing to the store to buy the organic variety, the one with the ‘mother’ in it. Then diligently, for over a month, I drank in the morning a full glass of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey.
No result. No weigh loss and the migraines were still hitting me as often and as furious as before. And don’t give me the lecture that honey was the one not helping with the weight loss because it was supposed to be in the mix.
Oh, well… I have tried it. Now I am giving you the claim and the real story of the apple cider vinegar.
Yeah, I know, some people swear by it, some would give example their grandfather who used to drink half a litter a day (I am kidding!!) and lived until he was so old he had to be shoot to die (I am kidding again!!). The truth is that vinegar probably is harmless when consumed in small quantities and that the long list of benefits should be considerably shortened.

The Claim

Apple cider vinegar is an old folk remedy that allegedly could cure arthritis, guard against osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent cancer, destroy infection, assist in digestion and weight control, maintain memory, and protect the mind from aging.

Here is the school of thoughts regarding the miraculous properties of apple cider vinegar:
– Abundance of nutrients
– Presence of trace minerals, bacteria and enzymes
– Presence of pectin, beta-carotene, potassium, amino acids
– Complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber

The Truth

There is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar has any medicinal properties.
A nutritional analysis of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar reveals that the liquid contains less than a gram of carbohydrate, minuscule amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium. copper, manganese, and phosphorus; and a mere 15 mg of potassium. The fiber, vitamin, and amino acid content is zero.
As for the presence of any beneficial enzymes in apple cider vinegar, food scientists doubt that any could thrive in the acid environment of the vinegar and more probable they would be destroyed in the acid of the stomach when consumed and be of no use to the body.