Quotes Worth Reading

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity, is like
a man standing in a bucket, and trying to lift himself up by the
handle.” – Winston Churchill

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
Congress but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain.

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on
the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

“A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which
debt he proposes to pay off with your money.” – G Gordon Liddy

“Giving money and power to government, is like giving whiskey and
car keys to teen age boys.” – P. J. O’Rourke

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New Blog Site

This is the first posting on the new blog site, hosted by WordPress.com.

Honoring the Man Who Designed the Pringles Can

Friday, June 06, 2008

So last week, a true American hero passed away and the press barely said a word.

I am talking about Fredric J. Baur, the man who created the potato crisp packaging system for Pringles — otherwise known as “a can with a lid.”

This is the greatest single invention in the snacking world, but our mainstream media cared more about the death of famed French designer Yves St. Laurent.

Baur patented the can in 1966 and it quickly changed the way fat people like me became fatter, elevating itself beyond snacking also-rans like Funyuns, Bugles and the repulsive Munchos.

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Happy Birthday to All Those Born in June

One of the birthstones for June is the Moonstone.

Moonstone almost seems magical with a ghostly shimmering glow floating in a crystalline material. The Romans thought that moonstone was formed out of moonlight. Moonstone is a variety of feldspar, and the shimmer which is called “schiller” or “adularescence”, is caused by the inter-growth of two different types of feldspar, with different refractive indexes.

In Europe, Moonstone is considered the birthstone for June, although in the United States it shares that distinction with alexandrite and Pearl.

Moonstones come in a variety of colors. The body color can range from colorless to gray, brown, yellow, green, or pink. The clarity ranges from transparent to translucent. The best moonstone has a blue sheen, perfect clarity, and a colorless body color.

Sometimes moonstone will have an eye as well as a sheen. Another related feldspar variety is known as rainbow moonstone. In this variety of labradorite feldspar, the sheen is a variety of rainbow hues.

Fine moonstone is quite rare and becoming rarer. It is mined in Sri Lanka and Southern India. The rainbow variety can also be found in Madagascar.

Naples rubbish crisis sparks health fears

ROME, Italy (AP) — The U.S. military in Naples is testing tap water and soil because of health worries from that city’s pileup of sometimes smoldering rubbish.

Samples were taken earlier this month from sinks and yards of residences used by Navy and civilian military employees, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Wendy Snyder said Sunday.

The samples were sent to Germany for laboratory analyses, and the results are expected later this month or in early June, Snyder said.

“We just want to take a look at what the potential risks are,” Snyder said in a telephone interview.

She said Navy personnel had been anxious about possible health effects, although no link has been found so far to such complaints as rash or itchy eyes, Snyder said.

A U.S. Navy Web site advised: “We do not know the short- or long-term health risks associated with living in Naples, Italy.”

Collectors stopped picking up Naples’ trash in December because dumps are full.

Tons of garbage is blocking many sidewalks and streets in the center of Naples and its suburbs, forcing residents to sometimes wade through knee-high trash. Angry residents have taken to burning rubbish, knocking over refuse bins and dumping bags of refuse in the countryside.

Hoteliers are complaining that tourists are canceling reservations or checking out early after smelling the stench as the weather warms.

Naples daily Il Mattino reported Sunday that five cargo trains loaded with garbage left on Saturday for Germany. Railway officials declined to comment on the report.

The U.S. Naval Support Activity Web site notes that Navy authorities already in June 2007 asked the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center to help evaluate “potential health risks associated with illegal dumping and inadequate garbage collection” in Naples.

The samples are being analyzed for any presence of pollutants, including pesticides, PCBs, dioxins and metals.

“The evaluation will assess epidemiological factors such as asthma, birth defects and cancer studies,” the Navy said.

Air quality will also be studied, Snyder said.

More than 1,800 personnel and family members live off base and work at U.S. Navy facilities, including a hospital, or at the NATO headquarters in a Naples suburb, she said.

The Naples Doctors Association on Sunday expressed alarm over the potential for disease from mice, cockroaches and other insects thriving in the mountains of garbage.

The group’s president, Giuseppe Scalera, was quoted Sunday by the Italian news agency ANSA as saying that the worst health damage could come from dioxins released from burning trash, which can contaminate farm products.

Earlier this year, mozzarella from the region around Naples were found to contain higher-than-permitted levels of dioxins.

Protests by Neapolitans who don’t want incinerators or dumps opened in their area have hampered efforts to solve the problem. Authorities also blame infiltration by organized crime into the garbage collection service.

Premier Silvio Berlusconi announced he will hold one of his new government’s first Cabinet meetings this week in Naples to signal he intends to get moving on the problem.

Kilroy Was Here!

This might solve the mystery. Who the heck was KILROY??
 Kilroy was here!!

In 1946, the American Transit Association, through its radio program, “Speak to America,” sponsored a nationwide contest to find the REAL Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article.

Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts had evidence of his identity. Kilroy was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war. He worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet. Kilroy would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn’t be cou nted twice. When Kilro y went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark. Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through and count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters.

One day Kilroy’s boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid to riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then that he realized what had been going on. The tight spaces he had to crawl in to check the rivets didn’t lend themselves to lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk.

He continued to put his checkmark on each job he inspected, but added KILROY WAS HERE in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message. Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks wo uld have been covered up with paint. With war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn’t time to paint them. As a result, Kilroy’s inspection “trademark” was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.

His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up and spread it all over Europe and the South Pacific. Before the war’s end, “Kilroy” had been here, there, and everywhere on the long haul to Berlin and Tokyo.

To the unfortunate troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that some jerk named Kilroy had “been there first.” As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived. Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always “already been” wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch De Triumphe, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.

And as the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for the coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI’s there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt! , Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference. The first person inside was Stalin, who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), “Who is Kilroy?” .

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children as a Christmas gift and set it up as a playhouse in the Kilroy front yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.

So now You Know!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, Everyone! I wish for you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2008!

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