Thursday, November 23, 2006

Relief From Your Post-Thanksgiving Stuffing is in Sight

You know you're going to do it. Overeat at Thanksgiving Dinner, that is. But that's no longer a problem, thanks to outsourced dietary researchers from New Delhi, India.

That's right! Your job may have been outsourced to India but your dietary needs are still being attended to during this holiday season. The latest discovery, from the South Beach of India, is that low-calorie ice cream and tea and coffee that may help reduce blood sugar levels.

The secret? Camels milk! And they've got a two-year study to back up their claims.

Launched in drought-affected Jaisalmer district, the study aims to revive the industry by marketing camel milk to hotels and tourists visiting historic palaces and desert towns.

"The response to camel milk as a health drink and to an ice cream made from the milk has been very encouraging," said project coordinator Ilse Kohler-Rollefson, with hotels already signing up for the products.

Ice cream is being made in two flavors -- saffron-pistachio and strawberry-vanilla.

The Food and Agriculture Organization says camel milk has a vitamin C content three times higher than cow's milk. It is also rich in iron, unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin B.

"It is also shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes patients," Kohler-Rollefson said. "At a later stage, we plan to market it for diabetes patients in the cities."

India faces a diabetes crisis as people eat more sugar-rich foods and drinks. Camel milk is already being marketed as a health food in the Gulf and several African countries.

Rajasthan's camel population has plunged by about 50 percent over the last 10 years to below 400,000 animals as poor breeders sell female animals for slaughter, while males are kept for hauling carts.

Yikes! That slaughter is sounding pretty good!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shaler Township Girl Critically Injured in Annual Buck Jumping Accident

A 17-year-old girl from Pittsburgh Suburban Shaler Township was hospitalized after being injured Monday afternoon in a stunt that has become traditional among Shaler students.

Samantha "Sam" Wild reportedly suffered a concussion when she leapt off the trunk of a car onto the back of a 200-pound 8-point buck, which threw her onto the pavement where she struck her head, witnesses said.

Samantha and other students at Shaler High School were engaging in the annual "Buck Jumping" contest at 4:15 prior to the start of the annual powder puff football game held at an auxiliary field at the school campus, police said.

Shaler police Lt. Bryan Kelly declined to discuss details of the incident as it remains under investigation, he said.

Witnesses told reporters from Scott' Spot that the car, operated by another 17-year-old girl, and with Samantha sprawled across the trunk, moved toward the deer. Samantha prepared to jump onto the deer's back but the driver accelerated, causing Samantha to lose her grip on the trunk and mistime her jump.

The injured girl was taken to Allegheny General Hospital where she is listed in critical
condition, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

No charges have been filed against the deer, pending further investigation, Lt. Kelly said.

No other injuries were noted. However, Pennsylvania Game Commission Officer Sgt. Bucky Schotta noted that hunting out of seasons charges were pending against the other participants, shown at right.

Today's Oneword - Basket

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

They filled their basket with goodies and headed off, over the river and through the woods, in their Suburban, to Granny and Grandad's cabin in the woods for Thanksgiving Dinner.

A Shut-In Says "Shut Up" and is Shut Up

One of the things that my mother-in-law hates is the phrase "Shut Up." Which is bad because I say that a lot. With 4 kids, there's a lot of shutting up to do, and the only way to bring that about is by saying screaming “SHUT UP!”

But now I'm thinking that she may have a point. According to the Associated Press, a resident of a in Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania, was charged with criminal homicide in the death of a man he allegedly pushed off a porch.

Craig A. Geness, 39, pushed fellow resident Ronald Fiffik off a porch wall at the McVeys Personal Care Home on Oct. 27, after Mr. Fiffik told him to shut up.

Mr. Fiffik was treated and released from Uniontown Hospital on Oct. 27, but was later readmitted after he complained of chronic pain. Doctors found that he had suffered massive internal bleeding because of fractured ribs suffered in the fall. He later went into respiratory failure as a result of his injuries and died after being taken off a ventilator last week.

Mr. Geness was being held at the Fayette County Prison on $50,000 bond.

When reporters questioned Uniontown hospital officials about why Mr. Fiffik was released despite his having massive internal bleeding, they were told to shut up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today's Oneword - Intricate

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

The sweater she was knitting had many intricate patterns. There were patterns within patterns. Nobody else would appreciate the work that went into the sweater. So she kept it for herself.

Free Viagra Coming to Pittsburgh

The mayor of a small Brazilian town has begun handing out free Viagra, spicing up the sex lives of dozens of elderly men and their partners.

"Since we started the free distribution of sexual stimulants, our elderly population changed. They're much happier," said Joao de Souza Luz, the mayor of Novo Santo Antonio, a small town in the central state of Mato Grosso.

Souza Luz said 68 men over the age of 60 already had signed up for the program, which was approved by the town's legislature and has been dubbed "Happy Penis," or "Pinto Alegre" in Portuguese.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with one of the highest populations of elderly residents in the U.S., is expected to quickly follow suit. Boy Wonder Mayor Luke Ravenstahl plans an advertising campaign to inform residents of the difference between regular Flintstones Vitamins and Big Boy Vitamins.

Today's Oneword - Twirl

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

When I was a kid there was this girl who would twirl her hair and chew on it. There was no way my hair was gonna get that long. I have a beard now but it's not gonna get that long either.

Merry Christmas, Tightwad Bank

Ebenezer Scrooge, president of UMB Bank Warsaw, has announced the closing of Tightwad Bank, located in the small community of Tightwad, Missouri, located halfway between Clinton and Warsaw.

The smalltown bank drew $2.2 million in deposits from around the country because of its unusual name.

Mr. Scrooge is cutting costs and will close the bank January 31. He urged depositors to do their banking at his branches in Clinton and Warsaw.

Scott's Spot agrees with Tightwad resident Linda Houk. "I don't like it at all," said Houk. "I'm not sure I'll leave my accounts at UMB."

Two months after the Tightwad Bank opened in May 1984, an article on it appeared in The Kansas City Times. Word began to spread.

"We were discovered," said Gene Henry, a Clinton banker who helped open the Tightwad Bank. "People would just mail us a check, Tightwad Bank, Tightwad, Missouri, sometimes with no ZIP code, and the post office, to its credit, found us."

Up to a dozen checks would arrive daily, each with a note asking for an account and a batch of Tightwad Bank checks, Henry said. In two years, customers from near and far gave the bank $2.2 million in deposits.

I'd like to get myself some of those checks. Guess I'd better get my order in soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Salute to Miss Israel

According to a Reuters report, Miss Israel has been given permission to not carry her assault rifle during service in the Israeli army because she says it bruises her legs.Reigning beauty queen Yael Nezri, a private who recently completed basic training, said the bruises were making it difficult for her to model in photo shoots.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Nezri, 18, had been granted an exemption by her commanders during her two-year army stint.

We are not exactly sure what weapons she'll be using against Hezbollah guerillas, should she be pressed into modeling duty on the frontlines.

There was an Israeli recruit
Who had good looks and great legs, to boot
The rifle she used
Made her thighs turn out bruised
So they said that she won’t have to shoot.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Today's Oneword - Step

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He took a step toward the door. He tried to open it, but it was locked. And he had left the keys inside. The snow thickened. There was nowhere to go now.

Headlines Versus Reality

The Headline: U.S. Military Plans Gitmo Legal Compound

The Reality: The U.S. military plans to break the law with these detainees. Taxpayer money will therefore be spent build this facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to which no independent American observers can travel, so that the prisoners can be abused at will.

There are a lot of things you can say about the housing and treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But the surest thing you can say about it is that it does not represent the American way.

Air Rifles Used In Iraq

This is like the military version of air guitar...

Today's Oneword - Continue

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

No, there was no way to stop. The urge made me continue to come to oneword every day. Some days to write. Some days to see the word and be defeated by it.

Golden Gate Bridge Naming Rights Contest

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is selling naming rights!

Oh, wait, not really. But the operators of the Golden Gate Bridge, facing a shortfall of $87 million over the next five years, are looking into
selling corporate sponsorships for the landmark, according to spokeswoman Mary Currie.

The Golden Gate Bridge authority does not intend to sell naming rights or hang advertising banners on the bridge, Currie said.

In our opinion, that's a big mistake, and so Scott's Sp
ot is sponsoring a naming rights contest. Just post your entry in the comments, and a select committee of experts in the fields of advertising, bridge management, and steely irony will evaluate the entries and select a winner that will transform the bridge from gold to platinum status. The best entries will include the sponsor's name as well as a slogan linking the name to the bridge.

I'll start out with a couple of entries to give you an idea of what we're looking for:
  • "The Rustoleum Golden Gate Bridge - Maintenance Free for the Next Fifty Years"
  • "The Anchor Steam Bridge - A San Francisco Tradition"
  • "The Golden Books Golden Gate Bridge - Bringing out the kid in you"
  • "The Hanes Golden Gate Bridge - You Don't Get to Go Until We Say You Get to Go"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

How People Find My Blog

Well, there aren't too many people who find my blog. But one person from Washington, PA found it using the following Google search terms:

Artistic Nude Title: Dixmont Mental Hospital - Pittsburgh, PA

y curiosity was piqued and I discovered that the Dixmont Hospital was a favorite site for photographers to shoot their favorite nude models. That was after Dixmont closed in 1984, of course, and before its demolition in 2005 to make way for a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

I think I mentioned nude stockings in one of my posts. And as for Dixmont Mental Hospital, the developer attempting to turn the Kilbuck Township site into a Wal-Mart was playing with his trucks and dynamite and spilled an entire hillside over Route 65, a major route in and out of Pittsburgh. I wrote about it here and here.

Since Dixmont has been demolished and the hillside his been turned into a mud pit, the possibilities for artistic nude or semi-nude photography are quite limited. However, I'm confident that photographers would flock to the place if a mud wrestling event took place.

They'd better get that out of their system before the Wal-Mart is built, though.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fools And Their Money - Soon To Be Parted - Pennsylvania Style!

Pennsylvania's first slots casino opened today. Hundreds of people flocked to the new Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino in Wilkes-Barre.

Today's Oneword - Mantra

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I don't really have a mantra. At least that I can remember. But I do try to get to oneword at least once daily. If I say "oneword" once daily does that count?

Korean Smearing Agent

Direct from the North Korean Central News Agency, we have this:

New Casting Bonding and Heat Treatment Hardening Agent Developed

Pyongyang, November 13 (KCNA) -- University of Science in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has succeeded in developing a new kind of casting bonding and heat treatment hardening agent. The existing bonding and hardening agent is a chemical one, which is harmful to health. Its production cost is also high.

But the newly developed agent is not made by chemical industrial method. Its production process is also simple and it is not detrimental to health in its production and use.

The new one can be used as bonding and smearing agent in casting and hardening agent in heat treatment.

It has a good fluidity and its density is changeable so as to freely adjust the cooling speed. Its application makes it possible to minimize variation and enhance hardness during quenching metal products. It, therefore, considerably improves the mechanical character of products.

When products are smeared with it, it prevents the oxidization and reduces chemical heat treatment process. It also raises the quality of processed metal goods such as gilding and elongation.

Today's Oneword - Heal

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

There is a time to heal. But before that there is a time to sustain injury. There is no healing without injury. If we can make a safe world, without injury, we can eradicate healing.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Divorce Via Text Message

I don't get a lot of text messages. And when I do, they're usually from my family. Although, a week ago I got a picture message from some kid that said "Hi, Dad!". As far as I know, I'm not that kid's dad.

I've never gotten a text message from anyone famous, like Britney Spears. And that's a good thing. Because we don't know a lot about Britney's text messages in general, but it appears that one of her most recent text messages will be her most famous, at least for a while. That's because it seems that Spears informed ex-husband-to-be Kevin Federline that she was filing for a divorce via text message.

Apparently, previous text messages to Federline to get home and change a diaper or two had gone unheeded.

Read the Obituaries - Before You Vote!

I've been an avid obituary reader for years. I think it started in grad school, when I first subscribed to the New York Times.

Several obits have gotten stuck in my mind, like that of jazz saxophonist Billy Titon, who died at the age of 74 in 1989. When the EMTs arrived, he was discovered to be, well, not a he! Billy, born Dorothy Lucille Tipton, played the part of man beginning in 1935. It's an interesting story, which you can read about here, here, here, and here.

But there is another reason to read the obituaries. Word has reached Scott's Spot of a Union County, North Carolina, election in which Sam Duncan was the top vote-getter Tuesday for a seat on the Union County Soil and Water Conservation board. He received 12,000 votes, — despite being dead for a month.

Although county elections officials knew of Duncan's death, no one told the voters. "We are instructed that it's not our job to do that," said Shirley Secrest, elections director.

The Democratic Party ran newspaper endorsement ads about Duncan and literature distributed near the polls included his name. Party officials said they didn't know Duncan had died.

Former sheriff Frank McGuirt said he was one of the voters who helped Duncan edge out the sitting chairman who had served for about a dozen years. "I was shocked to know that poor Sam was gone," McGuirt said. "I guess I had just missed that obituary."

Duncan's seat will be filled by appointment, officials said.

The lesson is clear. Read the obituaries. They're more reliable than any information you're going to get from your local politicians.

Today's Oneword - Cadillac

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I've never wanted a Cadillac. Although my grandfather once had aftershave in a "solid gold cadillac," which was a gold colored glass or plastic bottle in the shape of a Cadillac.

Friday, November 10, 2006

John Bolton's Demise - Another Great Election Result!

Along with all the other good results of Tuesday's election, we will now receive an unexpected benefit - John Bolton will be removed as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations!

Bolton, who was appointed U.N. Ambassador by President Bush in a controversial recess appointment, will have his term expire unless he is confirmed by Congress. And that's not likely to happen - today Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who was defeated in this week's election, said he would block Bolton's nomination.

"At this late stage in my term, I'm not going to endorse something the American people have spoke out against," said Chafee.

Scott's Spot wants to know why Chafee had to be defeated in his re-election bid before considering the will of the American people in his legislative activities. We're also hoping that ex-Senator Chafee will have time for some grammar lessons.

Today's Oneword - Maid

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I wish I had a maid. But I would feel guilty and have to clean up before her arrival. That would be a real bummer. So I guess I'll save some money and continue to live in slovenliness.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Today's Oneword - Stream

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He walked down to the stream but it was too slippery to cross. He had to go to a different spot but it was very muddy. There were a lot of rocks nearby. It's hard to get to the other side sometimes, even when you need or want to.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Safe And Secure

President Bush says "America is safer and the world more secure" because of Donald Rumsfeld's leadership.

Wow! It's statements like this, and the actions that flow from them, that are the reason that Bush has been slapped in the face with a Democratic Congress!

Rummy's Out - One Down. One to Go.

President Bush announced Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down from his post.

"The timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon," Bush said at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

Timing is right??? More like 6 years overdue!!!

Today's Oneword - Clasp

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Britney used to clasp K-Fed's hand. But no more. Only her lawyer's and Sean Preston's and that other kid's whose name I can't remember.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences.

Duct Tape - The Dermatologist's Secret Weapon. Or Not.

You never know what to think about the latest medical study. First, you had to drink red wine in moderation. But then, we learn that you should drink to your heart's content.

But what about the part of beauty that is only skin deep? What about warts? First, we have the results of a study, reported in the October 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. indicating that duct tape is a more effective, less painful alternative to liquid nitrogen, which is used to freeze warts.

But now, we have a contradictory Dutch study, also published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, concluding that duct tape does not work any better than doing nothing to cure warts in schoolchildren.

It's a contradiction, and it needs to be resolved. Fortunately, conflict resolution is one of our specialties here at Scott's Spot. In the spirit of dermatologic health, we're waiving our customary fees and offering the following analysis:
  1. We can personally confirm that Liquid Nitrogen cryotherapy doesn't work on warts.
  2. We can personally confirm that children, the subjects of both studies, are notoriously unreliable.
  3. We can never find the duct tape when we need it.
  4. Duct tape is not covered by our prescription plan, nor can we get it reimbursed with our flexible spending plan. However it is less than the $15 co-payment for generic drugs.
  5. Therefore, the next time we get a wart, we're going to try removing it with duct tape, unless the price of the tape goes over $15.
  6. Then, if it doesn't work, we'll go to the dermatologist and insist on getting the thing lasered off.
  7. It'll be another year until duct tape becomes our HMO's only approved wart removal therapy.

2006 Voting Guide

It’s finally down to the wire with the 2006 elections. If the news reports are believed, the Democrats are poised to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, or both, for the first time since 1994.

But how should you vote? Should you vote Democratic just to send a message to Washington? Should you vote for the candidates whose views most closely mirror your own? Are you looking at a single issue as trumping all others? Do you want an issue champion, or are you looking for a consensus builder?

There are so many things to consider. How should you decide? Well, we at the Scott’s Spot Government Affairs Department are pleased to offer you the following guidelines, which you may feel free to print out and take with you into the voting booth, or at least hold in one hand while you try to figure out how to operate that silly electronic voting machine:

  1. If Candidate A’s radio and TV ads begin with “It’s terrible that Candidate B has resorted to negative advertising,” and then goes into a litany of Candidate B’s faults, then vote for Candidate B. Candidate A is a hypocrite.
  2. If Candidate A’s ads show darkened, low resolution, highly pixilated photos of Candidate B, then vote for Candidate B. Candidate A doesn’t trust you to make decisions based on the issues.
  3. If Candidate A is a Republican incumbent whose mailings have consistently supported President Bush’s agenda, but whose ads now tout his or her independence, then vote for Candidate B. Candidate A is a liar.
  4. If Candidate A sends out glossy ads on thick heavy paper, while Candidate B’s ads are on thinner paper, then vote for Candidate B. Candidate B will be a better steward of your money and the environment.
  5. The Iraq War is a tough issue. Nevertheless, if Candidate A supports the Iraq War as being an important part of the war on terror, then vote for Candidate B. Candidate A is stupid.
  6. Never EVER vote for ANYONE who pronounces nuclear as “new-kyoo-ler”. That person has been left behind by the educational system and cannot be remediated.
  7. If, after all this, you are still unable to make a decision, vote for the challenger. The political system is based on the acquisition of personal power through making connections and learning how to be corrupt. It takes some time for newly-elected legislators to learn that system. Therefore, your interests will be served for a longer time if incumbents are periodically replaced.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Red Wine Subsidies to Replace Your Company's Health Plan

It used to be that you could enhance your health with wine. Red wine. Not white. And certainly not "white zinfandel," which sounds and tastes like "I'm infidel." But those studies limited the consumption of that red wine to 1-2 glasses per day. Good for your heart, maybe, but maybe not enough for the rest of your being.

But now, newer and better research has been published. The study, by the Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Aging, shows that heavy doses of red wine extract lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems and other fat-related ill effects in obese mice.

Basically, the results mean this:

Out with the old: Try to eat healthy, and drink 1-2 glasses of wine per day
In with the new: Screw the diet, and drink all the red wine you can get your hands on.

Hey, if they're doing it up at Harvard, who am I to argue?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

KFC Phasing Out Taste From Its Chicken

One of my first jobs was at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Back then, we had Original Recipe, with its 11 Herbs and Spices. And we had Extra Crispy. The Extra Crispy got got extra crispy by being dredged in the flour containing the 11 Herbs and Spices an extra time.

Back then, we didn't worry about trans fats. We didn't worry about every other kid being morbidly obese. We ate our KFC, and we played hard. If you were lucky, like me, you could skate around on the greasy floor of the KFC kitchen. You knew that things would turn out all right. You knew that if the Original Recipe was good enough for Col. Sanders, then it was going to be good enough for us, too.

Fast forwarding 29 years, we find that KFC doesn't trust the original recipe that Col. Harland Sanders introduced to the world in 1939. The company recently announced that it is phasing out trans fats in cooking its Original Recipe and Extra Crispy fried chicken, Potato Wedges and other menu items.

Colonel Sanders died in 1980 at the age of 90. He survived the trans fats, and so can you. If you want to get your trans fats at KFC, just get the biscuits. They haven't figured out how to make decent biscuits without the trans fats. Let's hope they don't find a substitute. There's no need to have Col. Sanders rolling over in his grave.