Season's greetings from your old friend Santa! My, oh, my, only 12 nights left until Christmas Eve! It's so close now, we can hardly contain ourselves here at the North Pole. And from the looks of it, my young friend, we're not the only ones set to burst! Why, Jolly Old Saint Nick hasn't seen a Yule log this lit in ages!
Now, don't be shy. You know what Santa's talking about. You just couldn't wait to open your present this year, could you? Ho, ho, ho! Dear child, I saw you masturbating!
And it hasn't been just once either! Oh, no! Santa's seen you at least twice splashing away in the bathtub, three times in the attic with one of your mother's old art-history books, and more times than even he can count spread out like a stunned partridge on that beanbag chair of yours!
Why, old Santa might just have a heart attack if he popped out your chimney on that cold winter's night and, instead of milk and cookies, found his dear little pen pal shamefully hunched over the family computer.
Oh, what a naughty, prolific rascal you've been!
You see, dear lad, Santa's been keeping a list. Just like the one you keep in your head of all your favorite classmates. The one you've checked so much more than twice. Except when Santa thinks about his list, he doesn't rub his crotch feverishly against the smooth contours of his writing desk. Ho, ho, ho!
I see you when you're sleeping, child, and I know when you're awake. And, believe it or not, I even know when you're just pretending to sleep, but really have your rosy palms down the front of your britches.
Yes, I suppose you could say old Kris Kringle knows everything there is to know. Well, not everything. You did teach me a thing or two about scented body wash! Ho, ho, ho!
Tell me now, what do you want Santa to bring you this year? A bright red bicycle? Some fun new board games? Or should I just have the elves wrap up a fresh batch of those satin pillows you enjoy straddling so much? Or maybe St. Nick shouldn't bring you anything at all this Christmas. After all, Mrs. Claus knitted you a special pair of socks last year, and just look what became of those!
Oh, what ever happened to that sweet, freckle-faced angel we all loved so much? Such a bright little youngster, so good to your mommy and daddy, and quick to make friends. Now all you seem to want to do is play by yourself for hours on end. It makes everyone here at my workshop very, very sad. Why the reindeer haven't been able to keep down their feed since hearing about how you slap yourself around. And Mrs. Claus, do you know what she did when she found out? She cried. She cried for the first time in almost 700 years.
Where before we enjoyed visions of gumdrops and candy canes, now we see you, once so dear to us all, kneeling against a plastic chair, spitting on two fingers, and putting them lordy knows where.
I must say, the sights you conjure up while you lie in your bed have even Santa Claus scratching his head. I doubt any of the high-school cheerleaders have ever even set foot inside a boiler room before, never mind done anything like that!
And other things—other terrible, frightful things. If your outlandish fantasies didn't make me quake with disgust, I'd say you were the most creative child in the world.
Is it Clara? Is that who you think about when you rub yourself raw? Ho, ho, ho! Why she doesn't even know your name, dear child! You didn't really think you had a chance with her, did you? A pretty girl like that? But your face—it's covered in pockmarks, for goodness sake!
Don't cry now, little one. I'm sure some of the Barbie dolls you steal from your sister's room find you very attractive. I bet they hardly even notice your embarrassing stutter, or that pungent and sickly body odor of yours. Or even how pathetic you really are, my child. What a sad, lonely, feeble little shit you are, and how your life—your wretched little life—will be filled with failure after failure, both personal and professional, until the stench of disappointment and heartbreak grows so strong that you'll barely be able to breathe.
Well, it looks old Santa has to get back to work! Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night—except you, you sick little fuck!
Why Suffer?: How I Overcame Illness & Pain Naturally by Dr. Ann Wigmore, DD, ND. An Inspiring Classic.
Dr. Ann's autobiography about growing up with her homeopath Grandmother in Lithuania, healing herself of gangrene as a teenager, and discovering wheatgrass juice and raw living foods as the treatment for her cancer, after the doctors gave up on her. The findings and Wigmore Diet Program of Dr. Ann, used by thousands to reverse dis-ease, detoxify & rejuvenate. Paperback, 182 pages.
WHY I DON'T WEAR WOOL: TAKE A HARD LOOK AT HOW SHEEP ARE TREATED DOWN UNDER by Amy Elizabeth (www.citizen-times.com)
March 21 - As I write this, I'm warding off the winter chill with a cotton turtleneck, a polyester fleece pullover, polyester long underwear, cotton corduroys and acrylic socks. But not so much as a stitch of wool. Why not? Because I don't buy wool. For ethical reasons.
Most people look at you funny when you say you don't wear wool. "Oh, you're allergic, right?" Nope. "Hate the dry-cleaning?" Yes, but that's not the only reason. "It's too heavy? Smells funny? Takes too long to dry?" Yes, yes and yes, but still no cigar.
When you confess that your primary reason for forgoing fleece is for the benefit of the sheep, foreheads start to pucker. Most people envision a sheep farm to be something like Farmer Hoggett's in the movie "Babe," sans the talking pig, of course. You know, rolling hills, perky sheep dogs, cozy barns, that sort of thing. While bucolic, blissful farms like this may still exist somewhere in James Herriot's Yorkshire, that's not where most of the wool we buy comes from.
Chances are, no matter where you live, your wool comes from the land down under. With 120 million sheep, Australia is the world's largest producer of Merino wool (the kind used for most clothing). Flocks usually consist of thousands of sheep, so it's impossible for farmers to treat them with the tender loving care Farmer Hoggett and his talented pig would provide.
Australian sheep are basically on their own. They get rounded up and tossed into the sheep dip every once in a while, but mostly, it's just them, the kangaroos and the, uh-oh, dingoes.
When the shepherd does "tend" to them, lambs have their tails amputated without anesthetic. Little boy lambs are particularly blue because they are castrated without painkillers. Ouch. Shearing isn't a walk in the park, either, since it is automated and done at lightning speed to accommodate such huge numbers of animals. Protruding sheep parts accidentally get lopped off. Shades of Lorena Bobbitt, if you catch my drift.
The Australians mainly raise Merino sheep because their wrinkly skin produces more wool per animal. Trouble is, the wrinkles collect urine and moisture, which attracts flies, which lay eggs, which hatch into maggots, and ... you get the picture. So the colonists came up with an ingenious (or egregious - you be the judge) solution: They slice a chunk of skin off the lamb's rear end in order to create a massive scar that pulls the skin tighter, reducing wrinkles. Yes, it's just as gruesome as you're imagining, and the wounds often become infested with flies before they heal. But, hey, if it was good enough for grandpa, it's good enough for me, mate.
The worst is still to come for these fuzzy denizens of the outback. Once sheep become old or unproductive, they are shipped to slaughter. In Australia, this usually means being herded onto trucks and transported huge distances overland to the coast, where they are loaded onto ships bound for the Middle East.
The ships are huge - up to 14 tiers high - with up to 125,000 sheep packed like sardines into each one.
The journey can take several weeks; many sheep die of sickness, trampling or starvation when they are unable to reach the food trough.
Why not just kill the sheep in Australia and ship the meat to the Middle East? Because Middle Eastern consumers want flesh that has been butchered ritually, which means no prior stunning. The sheep's throats are slit while they are fully conscious.
So that's why I boycott wool. And you know what? I manage to keep quite warm and toasty without it. No matter what the wool industry may say, nothing keeps you warmer than polyester fleece. It's lightweight and water repellent, two things wool is not.
Throw on a layer of Gore-Tex and you're ready for a kayak trip down the Nantahala in February - or even just a stroll around the grounds at Biltmore. Your body will stay plenty warm without wool, but warmest of all may be your heart.
Amy Elizabeth has a degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado. She lives in Morganton.
I may not eat meat, but apparently I have to witness rotting carcasses.
About three weeks ago, in front of science-C, I saw students from the marine mammals class dissecting a seal right outside the front door of the building. I thought it was a little weird, but I ignored it for the sake of science.
One week later, in the same spot, I discovered the seal again. But now it was fully dissected and rotting outside. The smell was just about as bad as the sight, and the flies were a swarmin’.
It was probably the most disgusting thing I had ever seen, and I certainly didn’t appreciate that it was in plain view of the public eye.
Milton Boyd, the chair of the biological sciences department said it is common for the department to receive animals that wash up on shore and are already dead, and that HSU has a permit that allows for their dissection.
If an animal is already dead, then feel free to dissect it, I do believe in the importance of science. But please, do it inside.
People have been kicking the dissection dust up for years, going back and forth about the constitutionality of forcing people to do it for education. I never even thought about the issue of forcing people to look at it until now.
Dissecting frogs in high school was never really a problem. They were already dead—what could I do? I thought anyone who refused to do it was weak. But the seal carcass I saw on campus shines new light on the issue.
A large portion of the vegan lifestle is about the protection of animal rights, hence the concerns about killing thousands of frogs, cats, and pig fetuses.
In California, a law passed in 1988 stated that any pupil who has a moral opposition to the dissecting, harming or destruction of animals has the right to notify his or her instructor of the objection.
If the teacher sees fit, he or she can provide the pupil with an alternative lesson, such as a computer program. The alternative assignment should require the same time and effort as the dissection, no more and no less, and the pupil should not be discriminated.
If a computer program can be just as effective as the real thing, then it should not be the alternative, but the method of choice.
Dissection is not the only issue when it comes to scientific research involving animals and animal rights. There’s also the abuse of living, breathing creatures, all for the sake of greener grass and the cosmetic liner that makes one’s eyes appear larger.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all new chemical products be tested. “Many of these tests are performed on animals, in which the unfortunate creatures are forced to ingest or inhale such products as weed-killers, oven cleaners, cosmetics and paint. For example, caustic chemicals may be forced into dogs’ eyes or smeared into the raw, shaved heads of rabbits,” according to the FDA Web site.
Unfortunately, the use of animals to learn more about ourselves may be in vain.
According to www.navs.org, “Animals and non-human animals do have much in common. All mammals have lungs, hearts and immune systems. So in the 1700s and 1800s, it made sense to think that we could learn something about lung disease, heart disease and diseases of the immune system from experimenting on non-human mammals.”
Upon closer examination, it was discovered that only humans suffer from AIDS, coronary artery disease, and a very small number of animals contract lung cancer from smoking.
So the next time you have to dissect a cat, pig, seal, frog or worm, or the next time you buy shampoo that rubbed was in the eyes of little bunnies, remember the pictures shown above.
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