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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It Only Takes A Minute

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today!

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

OZ Visitors can click below:

Click here to help!

For validity of the claim, click here.

*Thanks, SalTCBug


True or False?

Congress can revoke the citizenship of a U.S. citizen who commits a serious crime against the country.

FALSE! No matter the seriousness of the crime, Congress is not allowed to revoke U.S. citizenship. Naturalized U.S. citizens can have their citizenship revoked if it is found that their naturalization involved fraud. And Americans, whether naturalized or native-born, are allowed to expatriate and renounce their U.S. citizenship if they wish.

Lady Liberty

FEMA Calls Rebuilding Complete As New Orleans Restored To Former Squalor

NEW ORLEANS—After an unprecedented 18-month cleanup and repair effort supervised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several state and local government bureaus, Undersecretary for Federal Emergency Management R. David Paulison announced Monday that the city of New Orleans has been successfully returned to its pre–Hurricane Katrina state of decay and deterioration.

Our job here is done," said Paulison, who was joined by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen FEMA Calls Rebuilding Complete As New Orleans Restored To Former SqualorBlanco in a ceremony along the banks of the Industrial Canal. "Our beloved Big Easy has its soul back. The downtown shops are open and in full violation of code, the nightlife is alive with the sound of violence, and the streets are once again safe for poverty and vice."

The $41 billion restoration of the city's hallmark abandoned buildings, shacks, vacant lots, and standing trash piles was among the most complex and painstaking ever undertaken. Starting just four weeks after the August 2005 hurricane, workers recovered millions of pieces of flood-damaged debris, cleaned them of sediments and chemicals, and then replaced them where they were originally found.

The work, however, did not proceed without controversy, often grinding to a halt as preservationists quarreled in court over which sections of rot, toxic chemical compounds, PCBs, bacteria, and pathogens predated Katrina.

Despite the bitter disputes, Blanco declared the restoration project an "unqualified success," and invited the estimated 200,000 New Orleanians who still reside outside the city to return.

"We've done our best to ensure the city is as well off as it was before Katrina hit," Blanco said. "It's all back—the same abandoned cars, the broken bottles, the spent shotgun shells, the rat colonies, even the used diapers on the front lawns. People of New Orleans, welcome home."


*The Onion

Operating Systems Thru the years

Univac - Click here for the slideshow
The UNIVAC ( The computer - NOT the woman! )
Click above for the slideshow

TROY - The Latest Strip

Click Above Then choose 'Current Strip'

Click Above Then choose 'Current Strip'.

Windows Vista DRM: "Suicidal"

VISTA DRMA lot of the hoopla surrounding the new Windows Vista operating system (OS) is based on it's new multimedia capabilities.

However, users purchasing Vista to use the much-hyped and enhanced multimedia capabilities to watch high definition or blu-ray DVDs -- or to listen to audio CDs -- may be in for a very upsetting surprise.

In a disturbing, albeit, eye-opening white paper detailing a cost analysis of Windows Vista Contect Protection, Peter Gutmann (a Department of Computer Science security engineering researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand) details the consequences of Microsoft's new Digital Rights Management (DRM) cost in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, as well as hardware and software costs and their affect on Windows Vista users and the computer industry.

Gates is a Zebra's Ass!!

In a nutshell: the paper explains how a new kind of technology is built into Windows Vista that will take high-definition DVDs, blu-ray DVDs, and audio discs, and degrade the play back quality drastically because of the content protection mechanism built into Vista, as well as the Microsoft requirements for drivers. At one point, he refers to the new content protection scheme as "suicidal."

Per the white paper, the new operating system will limit the functionality of certain pieces of hardware (such as video cards and monitors) from viewing High Definition (HD) content, requiring customized device drivers. It also requires that hardware vendors "get the OK" from major movie studios such as MGM, 20th Century Fox and Disney before releasing their drivers to the public.

On top of that, additional costs will be incurred by hardware vendors because Microsoft disallows a one-size-fits-all design for devices in the new system. Futhermore, it bans the use of add-ons such as TV-out encoders, DVI circuitry and other add-ons, since the new OS disallows the feeding of unprotected video and audio to external components.

According to the movie studios and Microsoft, that would make it too easy for a user to get around the copy right protected content. As a result, the devices will require a more custom design before being compatible with the new OS.

The white paper also details the elimination of open source hardware since Vista will require Hardware Functionality Scan (HFS) (basically a unique fingerprint) to make sure the content is genuine. In order to provide that kind of uniqueness, vendors and developers would not be able to release any details of their devices. If a weakness is found in the drivers or devices, the OS will disable it.

A 2 megabyte MS Word file from Microsoft, which details the content protection planned for Vista, is available from Ed Felten's (a professor of computer science at Princeton University) freedom to tinker blog.

The complete white paper by Mr. Gutmann is approximately 6000 words, and it barely touches the highlights. It's a long and technical read, but the author brings up several good points and a lot of things to think about before jumping head-first into Vista.

In response to Mr. Gutmann's paper, Microsoft issued a response on their Windows Vista Team blog which, as usual, raises more questions than answers.

Note also that if a user purchases another sound card and installs it after Vista has been installed, for example, this will modify your computer's hardware profile (a unique fingerprint). If Vista determines that it's running on a different profile, you'll need to reactivate Vista or it will run in "reduced" mode.

So, is the new Windows Vista content protection scheme "suicidal" as this paper explains, or is it much ado about nothing? We'll find out soon.

Oh yeah, one more thing: if you're ordering a new computer from one of several manufacturers, bear in mind that you should still be able to demand one with Windows XP if preferred.

*by Bill Lindner, InfoPackets
**Thanks, Ken

Author Sidney Sheldon dies at 89

Sidney SheldonLOS ANGELES (AP) - Sidney Sheldon, who won awards in three careers, Broadway theater, movies and television, then at age 50 turned to writing best-selling novels about stalwart women who triumph in a hostile world of ruthless men, has died. He was 89.

Sheldon died Tuesday afternoon of complications from pneumonia at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, said Warren Cowan, his publicist. His wife, Alexandra, and his daughter, author Mary Sheldon, were by his side.

"I've lost a longtime and dear friend," Cowan said. "In all my years in this business, I've never heard an unkind word said about him."

Sheldon's books, with titles such as "Rage of Angels," "The Other Side of Midnight," "Master of the Game" and "If Tomorrow Comes," provided his greatest fame. They were cleverly plotted, with a high degree of suspense and sensuality and a device to keep the reader turning pages.

"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down," he explained in a 1982 interview. "I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."

Analyzing why so many women bought his books, he commented: "I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power — their femininity, because men can't do without it."

Sheldon was obviously not aiming at highbrow critics, whose reviews of his books were generally disparaging. He remained undeterred, promoting the novels and himself with genial fervor. A big, cheerful man, he bragged about his work habits.

Unlike other novelists who toiled over typewriters or computers, he dictated 50 pages a day to a secretary or a tape machine. He corrected the pages the following day, continuing the routine until he had 1,200 to 1,500 pages.

"Then I do a complete rewrite_ 12 to 15 times," he said. "I spend a whole year rewriting."

Several of his novels became television miniseries, often with the author as producer.

Sheldon began writing as a youngster in Chicago, where he was born Feb. 17, 1917. At 10, he made his first sale: $10 for a poem. During the Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs, attended Northwestern University and contributed short plays to drama groups.

At 17, he decided to try his luck in Hollywood. The only job he could find was as a reader of prospective film material at Universal Studio for $22 a week. At night he wrote his own screenplays and sold one, "South of Panama," to the studio for $250.

Sheldon honoured with a commemorative Stamp set
During World War II, he served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. In the New York theater after the war he established his reputation as a prolific writer. At one time he had three musicals on Broadway: a rewritten "The Merry Widow," "Jackpot" and "Dream with Music." He received a Tony award as one of the writers of the Gwen Verdon hit "Redhead." His Broadway success brought about his return to Hollywood.

His first assignment, "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer," starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple, brought him the Academy Award for best original screenplay of 1947.

While under contract to MGM, he recalled in 1982, "I worked like hell and I never stopped. Dore Schary (then production head) one day looked at a list of MGM projects. I had written eight of them, more than three other writers put together. That afternoon, he made me a producer."

With the movie business hurting because of television's popularity, Sheldon decided to try the new medium.

"I suppose I needed money," he remembered. "I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced 'The Patty Duke Show' (in which she played two cousins), and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series."

Another series, "Nancy," lasted only a half-season, but "I Dream of Jeannie," which Sheldon's Jeanniehe also created and produced, lasted five seasons, 1965-1970. The show concerned an astronaut, Larry Hagman, who lands on a desert island and discovers a bottle containing a beautiful, 2,000-year-old genie, played by Barbara Eden. She accompanies him back to Florida and eventually marries her.

"During the last year of 'I Dream of Jeannie,' I decided to try a novel," he said in 1982. "Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all calls. I mean every single call. I wrote each morning — or rather, dictated — and then I faced the TV business."

The result was "The Naked Face," which was scorned by book reviewers and sold 21,000 copies in hardcover. The novel found a mass market in paperback, reportedly selling 3.1 million. Thereafter Sheldon became a habitue of best-seller lists, often reigning on top.

Sheldon prided himself on the authenticity of his novels. He remarked in 1987: "If I write about a place, I have been there. If I write about a meal in Indonesia, I have eaten there in that restaurant. I don't think you can fool the reader."

For "Windmills of the Mind," which dealt with the CIA, he interviewed former CIA chief Richard Helms, traveled to Argentina and Romania, and spent a week in Junction City, Kan., where the heroine had lived.

Having won a Tony, an Oscar and an Emmy (for "I Dream of Jeannie"), Sheldon declared that his final medium was the best.

"I love writing books," he commented. "Movies are a collaborative medium, and everyone is second-guessing you. When you do a novel you're on your own. It's a freedom that doesn't exist in any other medium."

Sheldon was married for more than 30 years to Jorja Curtright Sheldon, a stage and film actress who later became a prominent interior decorator. She died in 1985.

He married Alexandra Kostoff, a former child actress and advertising executive, in 1989.

Along with his wife and daughter, survivors include his brother Richard, two grandchildren and other family members.

Private funeral services were pending.

*By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer

12-Year Old Begins Sex Change Therapy

(Vienna) A twelve year old German is believed to be the youngest person in the world to start a sex-change procedure.

Born biologically male and named Tim by her parents, the child from birth rejected male identifiers, adopted the name Kim, and at the age of 12 was diagnosed officially as transsexual.

Following physical and psychological examinations doctors determined it would be in Kim's best interests to immediately begin gender reassignment.

Her birth records have been changed to reflect her correct sex and name and doctors started administering hormone treatments.

That was two years ago, although media reports in Europe are just reporting her story.

In an interview with the the German news magazines Stern and Der Spiegel, Kim's father, identified only as Lutz P said that while they were at first concerned the grew to see their child as a girl.

"We saw Kim as a girl, but not as a problem. Our life was surprisingly normal," he said.

But he said that when Kim began to show the first signs of puberty she became depressed.

"At that stage we realized that she was terrified of growing facial hair and her voice breaking."

While some doctors wanted to wait until she was older before starting sex reassignment others said it should commence immediately because growing up to be a man could permanently damage her emotionally.

"Kim is a mentally well-developed child who appears happy and balanced," Dr Bern Meyenburg who studies transsexuality in teens at Frankfurt University, wrote in his diagnosis.

"There is no doubt of the determined wish, that was already detectable since early childhood. It would have been very wrong to let Kim grow up to be a man. It is rare to have such a clear-cut case."


The Odyssey of Jin Xing - Click here
The Odyssey of Jin Xing

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Quickee

With high-definition TV everything looks bigger and wider. Kind of like going to your 25th high school reunion...


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day - Click here

Click Above.

The Wiz On The Street

Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega is to be returned to Panama to face murder charges when he is released from a U.S. prison in September. So the Wizard hit the streets again, asking, "What do you think?"

Jake TroyerJake Troyer,
Fish Cleaner
"Poor guy. All his U.S. prison tattoos are going to be useless down in Panama."

Laura KnackertLaura Knackert,
"With Noriega and Ortega back in the news again, all signs point to a strong Van Halen comeback."

Carlos PetrieCarlos Petrie,
Systems Analyst
"I'm not too clear on this: Was he the one we were selling drugs to, or the one we were buying drugs from?"

*American Voices, The Onion


True or False?

An English author named Eric Blair coined the term “cold war.”

TRUE! Eric Blair is much better known by his pen name, George Orwell (author, most famously, of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm). In 1945, he wrote an essay entitled “You and the Atomic Bomb,” in which he cautioned of a “permanent state of ‘cold war.’”

Eric Blair is much better known by his pen name, George Orwell

Why parents get gray!

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up.

Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to "Dad".

With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it's not only the passion ... Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.

We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.


Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer.

I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.

*thanks, Again, Andy!

Eye Exam

Eye Exam

If you can't read this, you are prolly over the hill already! Try squinting!

*Thanks, Andy

Greetings from "Dorky Dottypants"


We all need a little stress-reliever! This only takes a minute.

Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some silliness to break up the day. If we are honest, we have a lot more stressful days than not.

Here is your dose of humour...

A. Follow the instructions to find your new name.

B. Once you have your new name, put it in the subject box and forward it to friends and family and co-workers.

Don't forget to put your new moniker in the comments - a senior manager is now known far and wide as Dorky Gizzardsniffer!

The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...So :-

1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:

a = snickle

b = doombah

c = goober

d = cheesey

e = crusty

f = greasy

g = dumbo

h = farcus

i = dorky

j = doofus

k = funky

l = boobie

m = sleezy

n = sloopy

o = fluffy

p = stinky

q = slimy

r = dorfus

s = snooty

t = tootsie

u = dipsy

v = sneezy

w = liver

x = skippy

y = dinky

z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin

b = feather

c = batty

d = burger

e = chicken

f = barffy

g = lizard

h = waffle

i = farkle

j = monkey

k = flippin

l = fricken

m = bubble

n = rhino

o = dotty

p = hamster

q = buckle

r = gizzard

s = lickin

t = snickle

u = chuckle

v = pickle

w = hubble

x = dingle

y = gorilla

z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt

b = boob

c = face

d = nose

e = hump

f = breath

g = pants

h = shorts

i = lips

j = honker

k = head

l = tush

m = chunks

n = dunkin

o = brains

p = biscuits

q = toes

r = doodle

s = fanny

t = sniffer

u = sprinkles

v = frack

w = squirt

x = humperdinck

y = hiney

z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.

Now figure out your name and mark it down in the Comments. Let's see how many variations we can record!

*Thanks, Allen

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Amazing Art of Jim Warren.. Painted Worlds

Painted Worlds - The Amazing Art of Jim Warren
*Thanks, for the link, Auntie 'M'


Husband and wife are sitting quietly in bed reading when the wife looks over at him and asks the question.

WIFE: "What would you do if I died? Would you get married again?

HUSBAND: "Definitely not!"

WIFE: "Why not? Don't you like being married?"

HUSBAND: "Of course I do."

WIFE: "Then why wouldn't you remarry?"

HUSBAND: "Okay, okay, I'd get married again."

WIFE: "You would?" (with a hurt look)

HUSBAND: (makes audible groan)

WIFE: "Would you live in our house?"

HUSBAND: "Sure, it's a great house."

WIFE: "Would you sleep with her in our bed?"

HUSBAND: "Where else would we sleep?"

WIFE: "Would you let her drive my car?"

HUSBAND: "Probably, it is almost new."

WIFE: "Would you replace my pictures with hers?"

HUSBAND: "That would seem like the proper thing to do"

WIFE: "Would you give her my jewelry?"

HUSBAND : "No, I'm sure she'd want her own."

WIFE: "Would you take her golfing with you?

HUSBAND: "Yes, those are always good times."

WIFE: "Would she use my clubs?

HUSBAND: "No, she's left-handed."

WIFE: -- silence --

HUSBAND: "Shit."

*Thanks, Andy

Bra Codes

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere

The Bra-O-Mtere


Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and best of all, you can do these simple exercises right in and around your home.


Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure.

Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.


Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat with the other breast.


Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts.

Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.


AND, just a thought for all the women out there........

MENtal illness, MENstrual cramps, MENtal breakdown, MENopause............

Ever notice how all of women's problems start with men?.........And when we have real trouble it's HISterectomy!!!!

Send this to all women to have a laugh AND, don't forget to have a mammogram!!!!!!

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find
Always Lifts You Up
Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!

*Thanks, Andy

Riddle Me This!

What is this?

What is this?
Riddle me this! -Answer. Click here

Click above for the answer.


The most useless thing to do............Worry

The greatest Joy..............................Giving

The greatest loss................................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work..............Helping others

The ugliest personality trait......................Selfishness

The most endangered species...................Dedicated leaders

The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome.............Fear

Most effective sleeping pill.............Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease.........Excuses

The most powerful force in life......................Love

The most dangerous pariah................................A gossiper

The world's most incredible computer........The brain !

The worst thing to be without................... Hope

The deadliest weapon....The tongue.......

The two most power-filled words..............."I Can"

The greatest asset................Faith

The most worthless emotion...............Self-pity

The most prized possession................Integrity

The most beautiful attire..................A SMILE!

The most powerful channel of communication ............Prayer

The most contagious spirit............ .....Enthusiasm

The most important thing in life.........................GOD

Everyone needs this list to live by.

*Thanks, Dad

Your Awwww For Today...

Your Awwww For Today - HUGS!
*Thanks, SalTCBug

Ground up beetles found in yogurt -- carmine serves as insect-based food coloring ingredient

Cochineal BeetleThis is not a joke: there are ground up red beetles being used right now as a food coloring ingredient in yogurt, ice cream, juice drinks and many other grocery products. The ingredient is called "carmine."

Carmine is literally made from dried, ground-up red beetles, and its coloring (bright red) is used in yogurt, juice drinks, candies, and a long list of other products, including many "natural" products.

It's not that these red beetles are dangerous. Except for a few individuals who suffer severe allergic reactions to the beetles, most people do just fine eating carmine. Beetles are probably good for you, just like ants. High in protein, low in fat... you get the picture.

But there's a grossness factor that probably explains why products using this ingredient list "carmine" instead of "powdered red beetles" on the label. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has even petitioned the FDA to ban carmine(1), or, at the very least, require its clear labeling. The CSPI cites a study conducted by the doctors at the University of Michigan (headed by Dr. Baldwin, University of Michigan Medical Center) that demonstrated carmine can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis -- a condition that can put a person into shock and require hospitalization. But these reactions are extremely rare.


Cochineal BeetlePeople tend to buy foods that look good. The redder the juice drink, for example, the more "alive" it looks. That's why we pick bright-red apples and bright-orange oranges in the grocery store. The vibrant colors tell us, "This is ripe and healthy!"

It's no surprise, then, that consumers purchase food products with vibrant colors. Carmine adds this vibrancy and color to foods, making them more appealing to consumers. In other words, if it looks good, we are more apt to buy it.

There are also technical reasons why carmine is a useful food coloring. If you're curious about what the food manufacturers say about carmine, read: http://www.foodproductdesign.com/archive/1998/0398AP.html


Cochineal BeetleMost carmine used in the United States is imported from Peru and the Canary Islands. They are harvested as follows (Quoted from: labs.agilent.com:
"The insects are carefully brushed from the cacti... and placed into bags. The bags are taken to the production plant and there, the insects are then killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam or the heat of an oven. It is to be noted that the variance in appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by the different methods used during this process. It takes about 70,000 insects to make one pound (454 gm) of cochineal. The body of one coccineal is said to contain between 18-20% of carminic acid.

The part of the insect that contains the most carmine is the abdomen that houses the fertilized eggs of the coccineal. Once dried, a process begins whereby the abdomens and fertilized eggs are separated from the rest of the anatomical parts. These are then ground into a powder and cooked at temperatures in excess of 212? F (100? C) to extract the maximum amount of color. This cooked solution is filtered and through special processes that cause all carmine particles to precipitate to the bottom of the cooking container. The liquid is removed and the bottom of the container is left with pure carmine."

Yum. Not exactly what you had in mind when you were eating yogurt, was it? The most appetizing part of this description has to be, "...the abdomens and fertilized eggs are separated from the rest of the anatomical parts..."


Cochineal BeetleThe surprising answer is that, based on the health-enhancing properties of other pigmentation chemicals from the animal world (such as astaxanthin found in crustaceans and salmon -- it's 500 times stronger than vitamin E as an antioxidant), carmine may very well be good for you. It's certainly better for you than any synthetic color, such as FD&C No. 40, which is derived from coal tar.

Would you rather be eating a pigment created by insects, or one derived through the refining of fossil fuels? Personally, I'd rather eat the insect pigment.

And although there are no studies that demonstrate health benefits of carmine, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of some in the coming years.


Cochineal BeetleYes. One company, Canandaigua Wine, introduced a substitute product derived from grape skins. According to the Canandaigua website, this new product has no allergic reactions, has better pH resistance (that's really important to food manufacturers), and has a lower "gross" factor. Nobody gets the shivers reading, "colored with grape skin extract" on the label.

There's also another bonus: the color stands up under fluorescent lighting. Carmine (and most other food colorings) tend to fade under fluorescent lights, reducing their shelf life.

Plus, we all know just how powerful grape skins are at lowering LDL cholesterol and promoting cardiovascular health. A food coloring ingredient made from grape skins would, if widely consumed, help protect the health of the public. It would probably give you all the health benefits of drinking wine, but without the alcohol.


Cochineal BeetleLike most consumers, you've probably been eating ground-up red beetles for years. You just didn't know it. Although you probably suffered no health effects from eating carmine, my personal belief is that the name "carmine" on the label is misleading. People have the right to know what they're eating, even if it doesn't pose an immediate health risk.

This is especially true when ingredients are derived from living creatures. Whether it's beetles, cows or kangaroos, I want to know what I'm eating, don't you? After all, what good are the FDA's food labeling requirement if ingredients are cloaked in a secret food-industry code that nobody else really understands? It's just like calling MSG "yeast extract," which is a labeling deception widely used by makers of "natural" or vegetarian foods.

As with most food-labeling issues, awareness is the ultimate answer. If enough people become aware of the carmine issue, and sufficient pressure is put on the food manufacturers and the FDA, something will probably change.

At the same time, I would much rather eat carmine than artificial food colorings. With the beetles, at least the color comes from nature, not a chemical plant. In fact, South American cultures (the Aztecs and Incas, namely) have used carmine as coloring for thousands of years (although it's not clear whether they used it in foods). Technically speaking, you could almost call carmine a "natural" product.

Keep your eyes open for yogurt with a label that reads, "colored with all-natural, organic ground-up red beetles from Peru!"


Sunday, January 28, 2007

The 411 - YOGI BEAR

Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear,
Yogi Bear is always in the ranger's hair.

At a picnic table you will find him there
Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.

He will sleep till noon but before it's dark,
He'll have every pic-a-nic basket that's in Jellystone Park.

Yogi has it better than a millionaire
That's because he's smarter than the average bear.

Yogi BearYogi Bear is a fictional anthropomorphic bear who appears in a series of animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Yogi made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show. He became very popular, and in 1961 was given his own show, which also included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. There was even a musical animated feature film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, in 1964. Over the years he appeared in many other spin-off series as well, including Yogi's Gang (1973), Yogi's Space Race (1978), Galaxy Goof-Ups (1978), Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985),The New Yogi Bear Show (1988), the "Fender Bender 500" segment on Wake, Rattle and Roll (1990), and Yo Yogi (1991).

Art Carney Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, Yogi's personality and mannerisms were based on a popular celebrity of the time. Art Carney's character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi's inspiration. Yogi's name is a nod to the famed baseball star Yogi Berra.

411The plot of most of Yogi's cartoons centered around his antics in the fictional Yogi BearJellystone Park, a takeoff on the famous Yellowstone National Park. (There had been a 1941 Bugs Bunny cartoon, Wabbit Twouble, that used the more obvious name "Jellostone" Park, a play on both the national park and the trademark of the popular gelatin dessert.) Yogi, accompanied by his reluctant best friend Boo-Boo, would often try to steal 'pic-a-nic' baskets from campers in the park, much to the chagrin of Park Ranger Smith. A girlfriend bear, Cindy, turned up sometimes, and normally disapproved of Yogi's antics.

411 Stretching literary license significantly, the relationship of Yogi and Boo-Boo could be compared to that of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, in the context of the whimsical, adventurous leader and the practical sidekick. Hanna and Barbera would repeat this formula many times, notably in the later series Quick Draw McGraw.

Yogi Bear is well-known for a variety of different catchphrases, including his pet name for picnic baskets ("pic-a-nic baskets") and his favorite self-promotion ("I'm smarter than the average bear!"), although he often overestimates his own cleverness. He also liked to say, "Hey there, Booboo!" as his preferred greeting to his humbler sidekick.

Yogi cartoons are mentioned as a favorite of Howard Stern's in his book Miss America. Stern describes being duped by his sister Ellen concerning the alternate day schedule watching "his fu*king Bear Cartoons" vs. romantic movies.

411 Yogi has a Martian rock named after him. Yogi Rock was discovered in 1997. In the initial photos the rock had the appearance of a little bear facing away. The 1992 movie Stay Tuned featured a commercial for a fictional kids' non-alcoholic beer called "Yogi Beer".

Yogi BearA spoof of Yogi Bear appeared in The Simpsons episode, "When You Dish Upon a Star." Homer Simpson has a dream where he and Bart are Yogi and Boo Boo, while Ned Flanders poses as Ranger Smith, who is savagely mauled by "Homi" when he tries to stop him after stealing a picnic basket. As he prepares to maul "Bart-Bart" as well for criticizing what he had done to "Ranger Ned", Homer awakens from his dream. He describes the dream as such: "I was having the most wonderful dream. I had a hat and a tie with no pants on."

In 2001, Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse did a parody of Yogi entitled The Anatominals Show with a second installment shown in 2002.

411 John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy, created and directed two Spumco-styled Yogi cartoons in 1999: A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith and Boo Boo Runs Wild. Both shorts aired that year on the Cartoon Network as part of a Yogi Bear special. Boo Boo Runs Wild features a fight between Yogi and Ranger Smith, which was heavily edited for broadcast for both violence and suggestive situations. A third Yogi cartoon from Spumco was planned and even storyboarded, but was not finished. In 2003, Spumco created another Boo-Boo cartoon, Boo-Boo and the Man, which was made with Macromedia Flash and released on Cartoon Network's website.

Yogi and Boo Boo appeared on Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in 2002 in the episode "Death By Chocolate", where Boo Boo was accused of being a Unabomber-like character.

Yogi and Boo Boo also made a cameo in an episode of Cartoon Network's The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.

Yogi appeared in the Family Guy episode "Hell Comes to Quahog" in one of the show's flashbacks. In it, he is assassinated by Peter with a hunting knife in front of Boo-Boo, as a favor to a "park ranger". Yogi and Boo-Boo were briefly considered (and licensed) to become the animatronic entertainment at ShowBiz Pizza restaurants (the result of souring relations between ShowBiz and the company who owned ShowBiz's existing animatronic show, The Rock-afire Explosion). Other than a very short run at three test locations, this never materialized.

411 In addition, Yogi Bear lends his name to a chain of recreational vehicle and camping parks, "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts", with the first opening in 1969 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and as of 2006, had over 70 locations in the United States and Canada. There is also one remaining restaurant from the chain bearing Yogi's name, "Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken", in Hartsville, South Carolina. In both cases, Hanna-Barbera licensed the name and likenesses to the respective companies.

In The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour, the character Sanjay utters one of Yogi's catchpharases, "I am smarter than the average bear!".

Yogi Bear is currently aired by Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang, worldwide. and it is still unknown when it's going to be on Cartoon Network TOO in Yogi Bearthe UK.

There was also a Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites video where William Hanna and Joseph Barbera picked their favorite Yogi Bear episodes, including the very first one, "Yogi Bear's Big Break", and Yogi meeting some storybook friends: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Little Red Riding Hood.

A 4-DVD box set of the complete series was released November 15, 2005.

411 Yogi Bear in other languages
Brazilian Portuguese: Zé Colméia (something like "Honeycomb Joe")
Catalan: L'Ós Yogui
Danish: Yogi Bjørn
Dutch: Yogi Beer
Finnish: Jogi-karhu (sometimes also Yogi-karhu)
French: Yogi l'ours
Galician: O Oso Iogui
German: Yogi Bär
Hungarian: Maci Laci ("maci" is a diminutive for "medve", which is "bear"; "Laci" is a diminutive for the common first name "László", chosen for its rhyme.)
Italian: L'Orso Yoghi
Japanese: Kuma-Goro
Polish: Mis Jogi (sometimes also Mis Yogi)
Romanian: Ursul Yogi
Spanish: El Oso Yogui
Swedish: Yogi Björn
Taiwan: "Yujia Xiong"
Czech: Méda Béda
Korean: Yoki Bae-er
Slovak: Medved Jogi
Slovenian: Jogi medvedek or Medved Jogi (usually called just Jogi)
Turkish: Ayi Yogi

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia