30 April 2009

Ready Reference: Health News Links and Google Swine Flu World Map

From Denny: Considering how nervous people are getting with the growing negative news about the current (now global) pandemic of the swine flu outbreak, I've started a place of Health News Links and the new Google Swine Flu World Map above the posting area of my health blog, The Healing Waters,for your ready reference so you can stay up to date. As I continue to find more quality reliable news links they will be added.

Photo by Igor Zenin

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5 Food Articles and Videos You Might Enjoy

From Denny: All my nine blogs are basically a research and reading list of interesting subjects I find on the web from day to day. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the folks who subscribe to one blog don't subscribe to another! :) (BTW, THANKS for subscribing, much appreciated!)

I used to try and bookmark a lot of this on StumbleUpon and other sites and found it took far longer than throwing it up on a blog and then linking to a social site!

So, I thought I'd start making the effort to cross-pollinate the blogs so if you missed something you might find useful or interesting on other blogs besides the one you are reading right now - sort of a roundup of the past week's best I've found or re-written for an easier read.

Here are 5 selections from the Comfort Food From Louisiana blog that also include videos to enjoy. Take a look!

Recipes and video: Spring Comfort Food on a Budget From Former Ballerina (turned chef) - wonderful easy menu!

Drink: Concord Berry Sparkle - simple, easy with or without alcohol.

Appetizer: Warm Pepperoni Pizza Olives - weekend snacking with lots of protein.

New Orleans Restaurant Review and Recipes: Boucherie - from a regional magazine that gives you prices, addresses, recipes in case you decide to visit New Orleans you will know what to expect.

New Trend on Grocery Savings - Grocery Auctions! - how America is adjusting to a down economy and still eating well!

29 April 2009

Celebrate: 200th Post Today!



From Denny: OK, I'm all over this anniversay thing! :) Me and my imaginary psych counsellor have been working on my "anniversary issues..." I am rather pleased with myself I actually noticed I'd finally arrived at the 200th post. (big pat on my own back, darned if I know the net shorthand for that one!)

THANKS, everyone, for subscribing, reading, following on Blogger, visiting for a while or just passing through on your way exploring the blogosphere, gracing The Social Poets with your presence! This blog has morphed into much more than I anticipated - and more fun to be had by all!

Somehow, just parking my poetry here seemed too limiting as I do see a lot of humor in life. So, the decision was made to sprinkle this blog with plenty of humor along with the serious business of discussing social issues. It's all about balance: some serious, some light-hearted, some teaching.

Fellow serious and concerned poets all the way down from ancient history to the present have written about social issues to improve society. Because of this writing tradition, the name was born from a type of poetry grouping that spans the ages: The Social Poets.

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Cheeky Quote Day! 29 April 2009

Photo by I'm Fantastic @ flickr

From Denny: The Wednesdays just keep rolling on! Take a little time out from your work week, deep breath, chuckle a little or laugh a lot, so you can get through the rest of the week - until Libations Friday! - why, of course! :)

The SimpsonsThe Simpsons (via last.fm)

Humor Blog: Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

Make sure you also pay a visit to my humor blog that is taking off unexpectedly well (shameless plug): Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd. Lots of cartoons, jokes, photos, videos (like the Simpsons and Saturday Nite Live's BitchPleez blogger).

Old Map of BritainImage by MyFreeStock via Flickr

Cheeky Quotes from the UK

On to the Cheeky Quotes and who better than the British themselves who coined the phrase in the first place!

From our friends “across the Pond” comes an engaging fun site called The Institution of Silly & Meaningless Sayings. I enjoyed them so much I placed a link to their site on The Social Poets any time you wish to visit. You are also invited to submit fodder for them as they willingly read their email from fans! While many sayings in their database are tied closely to British-only culture there are a number that translate easily for the American mindset.

Humor Creates Easy Learning, Enables Better Writing

This is also a fun way they devised to better learn how to use – or not use - your own language when writing. Many a TV or movie character has been based off these kinds of language mistakes/offenses and become quite popular with the public. We have even had a precious (oops! meant previous) American President who demonstrated some peculiar word choices. :)

The following goodies are from their database:

Malapropism - an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound. ("Ism" is short for a lot of words like Malapropism.)

ism #886: I think familiarity is beginning to breed content. (contempt)

ism #891: He was from the Noise Debating Society!

ism #899: He was like a bullet in a china shop. (bull)

ism #902: You just take me for credit! (granted)

ism #905: She crashed her car on the bridge; she's a very erotic driver. (erratic)

ism #912: I'm sorry he's not here; he's in the other orifice. (office)

ism #917: It's slander, it's definition of character. (defamation)

ism #921: It's alright for you men, it's us girls who put up with all this pre-mental suspension. (PMS: premenstrual)

ism #928: I'm going on another shore excretion. (excursion)

ism #930: He sat at the bar and drank himself into Bolivia. (oblivion - but hey! Bolivia works too, kinda)


Podium (film)Image via Wikipedia

Another of their categories: Dodgy Foreign - incorrect use of foreign phrases in every day language in order to give the impression of being very cosmopolitan.

ism #733: The French don't even have a word for entrepreneur.

source: George Bush (from Kristins Amadeus and others)

ism #758: Accidents aren't my faux pas.

source: Car dealer, as part of safety talk


to write love on her armsImage by SarahWynne via Flickr

A few of their cheeky tips for writers which will give your brain a chance to pause and appreciate:

Prepositions are not the words to end sentences with.

And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

Avoid clich├ęs like the plague. (They're old hat!)

Be more or less specific in your discussion.

Don't use no double negatives.

Any certainly don't never use no triple negatives.

Eliminate ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

One-word sentences? Never!

Understatement is absolutely the best way to put forward earth shattering ideas.

Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Who needs rhetorical questions?


Word cloud of Obama speech photo by shashiBellamkonda @ flickr

Of course, my all time favorites are newspaper headlines that often leave me tilting my head and saying, "What The Flock?" Here are the Brit versions. Looks like their news folks are equally lame.

March planned for next August

Include your children when baking cakes

Prostitutes to hold open day

Bulge in trousers was ecstasy

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers!

Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

Miners Refuse to Work after Death

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last A While

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Crack Found on Governor's Daughter

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospital is Sued by Seven Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead


Photo of volcano Mount Saint Helens, Washington state, 1980 eruption.

Just for fun, why not leave your own funny versions of the headlines in the comment section? Have some fun, exercise your brain, make like a volcano, blow off and delete some work week stress!

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28 April 2009

People: Obama Inaugural Address Word Cloud

Notice he doesn't use the word "I" much.

All Rights Reserved for this photographer

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People: Obama victory speech 2008, word cloud, wordcloud barack obama

Obama victory speech 2008, word cloud, wordcloud barack obama
Originally uploaded by
All Rights Reserved for this photographer

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People: Bush's Bailout Law Word Cloud

From Denny: Isn't this something?

"This is the Word Cloud of the Bailout law that US President George W. Bush signed. October 2008 (HR 1424 EAS)"

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4 Health Articles You Might Enjoy

From Denny: I'm always finding the most interesting articles about the latest health study. Too bad there wasn't more research devoted to orphan diseases, ones that afflict a small percentage of the population. Read that as the drug companies believe they can't make big money by searching for cures for these diseases - so they do nothing. Maybe it's the role of international governments to get into the act to help the suffering sectors of humanity? What do you think?

Health is a large area to cover so if you have some suggestions of anything I might be overlooking and you want to throw out at me, please do! You can also email me: warriorspearl@gmail.com too if you like. Yes, I actually answer my own email and am not too full of myself - well, not yet, anyway...! :) (There goes that cheeky side escaping again...)

Here are a few articles you might find an interesting read:

Drink Coffee: Lower Risk of Uterine Cancer

Broccoli Sprouts May Be Germ Fighters

The Pill and Gaining Muscle

Popping a Zit Can Kill You?

Photo by left-hand @ flickr

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27 April 2009

Insanity Comes Through Loud and Clear

From Denny: Found this funny site, (the customer is) Not Always Right, recently! You gotta love the Canadians! Working in sales or customer service is waking up in a whole new world when dealing with some of the unreasonable irate and squirrelly members of the public...

"From: Call Center, Alberta, Canada

This guy called in and got the wrong department, and the correct department was in another city, or perhaps country.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t access your account from my department. If you’ll let me put you on hold, I’ll transfer you to someone who–”

Customer: “No! Every time I get put on hold I get dropped.”

Me: “Well, I can’t help you unless you let me put you–”

Customer: “Stop interrupting me!”

Me: “I… I’m not–”

Customer: “Yes you are! Do we have to start using the over-and-out method?”

Me: “I’m not sure what–”

Customer: “After everything I say, I say ‘over’. Then you can talk. Then you say ‘over’, and I can talk.”

Me: “I’m not really sure that’s nessec–”

Customer: “Now, I need to put more minutes on my phone. Over.”

Me: “I’m in the post-paid department and I can’t access Prepaid accounts here. If you’ll let me transfer you I can get someone who can help you. Over.”

Customer: “No. I refuse to be put on hold. Just get someone to come over and use your phone.”

(There is a long pause.)

Customer: “…hello? Are you ignoring me?” *another long pause* “HELLOOOOOO!”

Me: “… you didn’t say ‘over’.”"

Photo of the Knotted Gun sculpture at the United Nations by David Paul Chmer @ flickr

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From This Week: Roundup of Sunday Funnies

Funnies: Obama Shirtless -- Just Like We Are

The Late Show

David Letterman:
President Obama has kind of a happier outlook. He said instead of waterboarding terrorists, he's going to put them in dunk tanks.

The Late Late Show

Craig Ferguson:
Another magazine has Barack Obama appearing shirtless in it. I think most Americans will identify with him. Most have lost their shirts.

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart:
You really have to waterboard something 183 times?! Doesn't the efficacy go down? I assume after 90 waterboardings the guy is thinking, 'You are not really drowning me, are you?'

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Jimmy Kimmel:
Thanks to the economy there's a new special day for parents and kids. This Wednesday, April 29, is national take your child to where you used to work day.

The Tonight Show

Jay Leno:
President Barack Obama held his first full Cabinet meeting yesterday. He told his Cabinet to ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely. And then there was one embarrassing moment when he had to explain to the Cabinet what a taxpayer was.

The Colbert Report

Steven Colbert:
According to [George] Will, "Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy's catechism of leveling." Good thing I have this handy George Will-to-English dictionary. I picked it up at the George Stephanopoulos Roundtable gift shop.

26 April 2009

4 Science Articles You Might Enjoy

From Denny: Since I have too many interests I've parked them on other blogs in addition to this one. Apparently, most people start a blog, lose interest, abandon the first one to start another blog. Not me. I just keep expanding to ADD more blogs! (totally crazy, I suppose - but hey! I'm happy...)

Anyway, articles about how the brain works, astronomy, psychology, some math and physics on basic levels is what I park over at the blog The Soul Calendar. It keeps climbing in the traffic rankings quite nicely and I happily write about whatever catches my interest for the week! Life is good!

I'm still poking around the web for children's resources for parents and science projects readers might find interesting. If you know of any sites or projects, speak up and shoot me an email at warriorspearl@gmail.com, much appreciated!

Here are a few posts you might find an interesting read:

Is My Brain Making Me Buy Things I Don't Need?

Double Amputees Shed Light on Brain's Flexibility

Robolegs Help People Walk

Hurricane-Killing, Space-Based Power Plants

NASA Photo by Image Editor @ flickr

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25 April 2009

Video: Surgery Offers Hope for Cerebral Palsy

"Cerebral Palsy is a brain injury that affects motor control, stiffening muscles and making movement difficult and sometimes painful."

From Denny: Profiled by NBC News is this adorable two year old little girl, Lili, who is dealing with cerebral palsy. Right now the doctors are predicting that some day she might not be able to walk at all. Why? Because with this condition the muscles can't keep up with the growth of the bone. As the bone grows it pulls on the muscle but the muscle can't stretch to accommodate the growth.

At St. Louis Children's Hospital they are pioneering a surgical technique to increase mobility by relieving much of the stiffness. This could turn out to be a life-changing surgery for those who qualify. Remember, this IS spinal surgery so not exactly a procedure without risk.

So far this spinal surgery that relieves the muscle spasms has helped over 1800 kids AND with a 100% success rate. Take a look at Lili's improvement after only five months since her surgery!

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24 April 2009

Libations Friday! 24 April 2009

From Denny: The Fridays keep rolling on! Can you tell it’s been 87-degrees F. the past week here in Louisiana? My mind is definitely on those tall cold drinks! This one reminds me of when I lived in Vienna, Austria a while back and the Hungarian culture and cooking influences on the local Austrians.

From the very popular site: recipes.lovetoknow.com

Sunset Over Da Coffee Fields- Captain Cook, Ha...Image by R. J. Malfalfa via Flickr

Photo of Sunset over coffee fields in Hawaii

Hungarian Caffe


pint of very strong black coffee

A few drops of almond extract

2 well beaten eggs

2 tablespoons of sugar

4 tablespoons of thick cream

1 cup of sweetened whipped cream

1 quart of ice cold effervescent water

1 pint of shaved ice

Directions: Flavor the coffee with almond extract. Strain and place in the double boiler. At the boiling point, add the eggs, sugar, and thick cream. Cook only until the custard coats the back of the spoon. When perfectly cold, fold in a cup of sweetened whipped cream. Add a quart of ice cold effervescent water and a pint of shaved ice. Serve in tall sherbet glasses.

Another recipe from recipes.lovetoknow.com

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

Here's an incredibly easy recipe even the novice cook can master and be proud!


1/3 cup roasted coffee beans

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Easy Directions: Melt the chocolate chips, either in a microwave or in a double boiler, until smooth. Add several coffee beans to the melted chocolate, stirring until beans are completely coated with chocolate. Remove beans from chocolate and place on wax paper to harden. Repeat with remaining coffee beans. Freeze in a single layer for 30 minutes or leave at room temperature overnight. Store coffee beans in an airtight container.

*** POEM ***

Speaking of hot weather, here’s a poem I wrote last July 2008. Sometimes I paint my insights, sometimes I journal my dreams and, sometimes, those spiritual visions become poetry.

Since I wrote this poem I ran across a health study (which I placed on my health blog, The Healing Waters, go here) about how friendship helps boost your immune system to overcome disease and give us longer life. That new validation dovetails nicely into this poem about the offering of friendship among strangers.

Comments: And, yes, you are welcome to comment upon anything on this blog, including my poetry. I buried perfection a long time ago, preferring to live out loud - and happy!

The Long Road

I was walking along a narrow long road
It stretched dry dirt, winding horizon bound
Few canopy shade-welcoming trees there were
The hot sun stared down unrelentingly, glaring

Many people there were up ahead in the long distance
I squinted my eyes to see better and saw countless advancing
Why was I walking alone with so many far forward?
I wondered out loud. Why won’t they slow down?
I complained inside. Don’t they see me, hear my steps?
I mourned deeply low, hoping no one could hear my cry

I pushed on, focused my thoughts long and deep
I walked along in contemplative self-absorption
I pondered the meaning of life so disconnected, alone

When suddenly it occurred to me to a gentle stop come
The thought tugged at me to turn around, look behind
There in the sweltering distance, a few stragglers like me
Following behind them a large crowd distant orbit, far away

Waited and waited some more I did, those few to catch up, see me
Gasping for breath, with hard effort they coughed their thanks effusively
Lightheartedly we wiled away the hours; we laughed and laughed, talked more
When, all at once, they quickly tired, melted away, a little roadside, veered off

Sitting down, enjoyed they long rest; traveling beyond the hot road continued me
They waved smiling, content goodbye; pieces, my heart, left abiding with theirs
Again alone on the road I began to mull over, lingering visit I weighed
The day grew longer, hotter, more difficult to endure, yet journeyed I

Changing focus out of reverie, scouting the people far before me
I looked up to find, abruptly, stopped square in my path, one man standing
His eyes were sparkling, his attention riveted eagerly upon mine
Who are you? I asked startled, surprised, this sudden company of one

His deliberate smile widening, he carefully spoke,
It was now my time to stop, slow down to meet you

Denny Lyon
Copyright 18 July 2008
All Rights Reserved

Photo by once and future @ flickr

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23 April 2009

From This Week: Roundup of Sunday Funnies

Funnies: Toxic Assets and Other Wall St. Treats

Late Night

Michelle Obama's planting a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. You know the economy is bad when the Obamas are afraid of running out of food.

The Tonight Show

President Obama met with the CEOs of all the major U.S. banks. A lot of these big-bonus guys. The CEOs looked around the White House and said, "You live in this dump?"

Real Time

Treasury Secretary Tim Geither, a.k.a "Little Tim" … he broke out his big plan this week to buy up all those toxic assets that the banks are holding … and if you don't know what a toxic asset is, it's a piece of paper that's worthless now, but could be worth something some day ... the same way Confederate money could be.

Late Night

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is writing a book about his role in the Bush administration during the economic crisis. It's weird. The book starts on chapter 11.

The Tonight Show

Very -- very strange incident at JFK airport in New York City today. An AIG executive going through security had to empty out all his pockets. You know what fell out? Senator Chris Dodd. Yeah.

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22 April 2009

Passed 100th post milestone!

From Denny: Well, I hear we blogger types are supposed to jump up and brag about reaching the 100th post milestone. ;) You can tell I'm really "great" about some anniversaries as I've already passed that milestone with now 189 posts. Oh, well, so much for showing off!

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Cheeky Quote Day! 22 April 2009

From Denny: Wednesday rolled around as quickly as the brisk Spring winds! I found some really good ones for today. These Cheeky Quotes are from Ask.com of all places:

"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions --but I don't always agree with them." – President George Bush

"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." - Lily Tomlin

"The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing quite respectable." - Paul Dean

"I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!" - Tom Lehrer

"Please provide the date of your death." - from an IRS letter


The folks over at Ask.com also have a joke section!

Day Off, a Boss's Perspective

From Denny: There was a math typo on the site - off by 90 days! Lucky you I own a calculator and actually proof read the thing...! :)


Since this is the middle of the work week here's a joke about an employee asking for a day off from his employer. What follows is the employer's reply.


So, You Want the Day Off?

Let's take a look at what you are asking for. There are 365 days per year available for work.

There are 52 weeks a year in which you already get 2 days off per week, leaving 261 days available for work.

Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, you have used up 170 days, leaving 91 days available.

You spend 30 minutes a day on a coffee break. That accounts for 23 days each year, leaving only 68 days available.

With one hour for lunch period each day you use up another 46 days, leaving only 22 days available to work.

You normally spend 2 days a year for sick leave. This leaves you only 20 days available for work.

We are off for 5 holidays per year, so your available working time is down to 15 days.

We generously give you 2 weeks off for vacation per year. This only leaves 1 day available for work.

And I'll be darned if you're going to take that day off!!


And since we are just so enthralled with greedy CEO's these days here's one to chuckle over in your sleep.


Prepare Three Envelopes

A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said.

Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor."

The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press -- and Wall Street - responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.

About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.

After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.

The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."


From our friends over at Godchecker.com: This is a lively downright romping recounting of the exploits of one of the cheekiest of Greek gods, Hermes, shortly after his birth. You have to admit the guy has pluck!


HERMES: Messenger of the Gods. He's also the God of Merchants and Commerce, Athletics and Travel, Public Speaking, Shepherds and Thieves. Quite a mixed bag.
The son of ZEUS and MAIA, he was barely a day old before he was stealing sheep, bartering goods and contemplating the small print of manufacturers' warranties.

Born in a cave and finding his mum asleep, HERMES toddled off to see what was what. What he found was a herd of cattle, and innocently decided to take them home to play with. He didn't know they belonged to APOLLO but, instinctively realising that adults can be a bit funny, covered their tracks anyway.

APOLLO went ballistic when he found 50 cattle missing and no clues. He offered a reward for information. Eventually someone mentioned they had heard music from a cave in the district. APOLLO investigated and found two cow hides stretched to dry at the entrance. Inside was a sleeping woman with a baby.

MAIA, when roused, was incredulous. "My little HERMES? He's only two days old!" But the little cherub was quite non-plussed. "Yes, I took them," he admitted. "There's only two missing. I killed 'em as a sacrifice to the Twelve Gods of Olympus."

"Twelve Gods?" queried APOLLO. "Who is the Twelth?"

"Er, your servant, I think it is going be me. Did you know ZEUS is my dad..?"

"Aww, isn't he a cheeky little chap?" said ZEUS as HERMES faced judgment. "A chip off the old block indeed. Well APOLLO, there's no harm done if he returns your cattle and promises not to do it again. Take him back and sort it out."

APOLLO sullenly agreed and whisked HERMES back to the cave, where the baby Godlet attempted to placate him. "The herd is round the corner, here are the two cow skins... Oh, and I also used some cow gut to make this."

HERMES produced a small lyre made from a tortoise shell, and played a few amazing chords using a plectrum (another HERMES copyright). As a musician, APOLLO was very impressed indeed. He just had to have these two musical items. So he offered the cattle in exchange.

HERMES agreed and, as they started talking music, cut some reeds into pan pipes so they could have what may have been the world's first jam session. APOLLO was enthralled and had to have the pipes as well. He offered his golden cattle-herding staff in exchange.

"I dunno," said HERMES, scratching his head, "you seem to get the best of all these bargains. An old staff for a precision instrument like this? Still, you can really blow, man. How can I deny such a groovy musician as you?"

So they became music buddies, and APOLLO took HERMES back to Olympus where all was happily resolved and HERMES successfully pursued his claim for Godly status.

His gift of the gab made him the perfect choice for messenger duties. ZEUS made him a Herald and kitted him out with a winged hat and sandals. Powered by these he can zoom all over the place delivering news that's worse than it sounds. The staff he used may be the one he traded with APOLLO. HERMES then made a vow to ZEUS: "I will never tell lies — although I cannot promise always to tell the whole truth."

Despite wheeling and dealing by the seat of his pants, HERMES always manages to leave his customers perfectly satisfied. Mostly due to his incredibly cunning sales talk. He's such a persuasive salesman he could sell pyramids to the Egyptians. (Wait! He already has!)

Those sandals make him fleet of foot and an expert runner, which is why he's also the God of Racing and Athletics. Perfect for chasing after new clients. Or running away from old ones.

His dodgy dealing tactics were also passed down to his son AUTOLYCUS. Under the Romans he changed his name to MERCURY and floated himself on the stock market.

Data compiled by Chas Saunders & Peter A
Copyright © 1999-2008 Godchecker, Inc. All rights reserved.
(The Gods told us to do it.)

Photo by I'm Fantastic @ flickr

Note: If you decide to reblog this make sure you place their Godchecker flashing logo with your post as per their request. Besides, it's a cheeky logo, so, why not?! ;)

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21 April 2009

Cute Things Falling Asleep.org

I kid you not. This guy collected a bunch of videos of baby animals and humans, yes, really, just falling asleep. If you ever have trouble falling asleep some night just come on over here at my blog for the link or over to his blog. Trust me. You will be asleep in no time. My eye lids got heavy just after watching a few of those silly videos.

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20 April 2009

From This Week: Roundup of Sunday Funnies

Funnies: Of Socialists, Seders and Budget Cuts
(Looks like it was the Republicans fussing a lot this week...)

The Colbert Report

I'm no fan of President Obama. He is a socialist. If I wanted to share my wealth with my friends… I'd have friends.

Saturday Night Live

Seth Meyers:
President Obama on Thursday night hosted what may be the first Passover Seder in the White House. And, in a sign of the president's popularity, Elijah showed up.

The Colbert Report

Clips From Cable News:

Lou Dobbs, CNN: Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced sweeping cuts to Pentagon spending.

Sean Hannity, FOX News: Drastic cuts in the military budget.

Tamron Hall, MSNBC: Deep budget cuts.

Brian Williams, NBC: A deep slice into major U.S. weapons programs.

Colbert: [Graphic] That's right, Gates is chopping our defense budget to $513 all the way down to $534 billion.

The Tonight Show

Jay Leno: And China has proposed replacing the U.S. dollar with a global currency... the Wal-Mart gift certificate.

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart: Iowa says banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. Iowa – when this was last year's Iowa gay pride parade! [Shows lone man riding down the street on a tractor and people waving from a farm]

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19 April 2009

Video: Teaching Kids Who Stutter to Achieve Through the Arts

From Denny: Here's a wonderful segment from NBC's Making A Difference teaching kids with stuttering how to achieve their full potential through the arts. Take a look!

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18 April 2009

Video: Susan Boyle Sensation Grows

From Denny: The Early Show on CBS interviews two of the judges about the Susan Boyle sensation. A really good and lengthy in-depth interview as opposed to the usual shallow boring highlights. Take a look! It will give you a grin this Saturday morning!

Watch CBS Videos Online

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17 April 2009

Libations Friday! 17 April 2009

Featured today is a new coffee recipe, two amusing short poems, some wonderful quotes we know well today in our time period and a few highlights of this famous writer's life: Robert Louis Stevenson.


A wonderful coffee recipe from BetterRecipes.com:

Mochacinno Diablo

Coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and a little kick of cayenne make this tall, frosty drink a great mid-day pick me up!


2 cups cold espresso or double strength coffee

1 cup dry powdered milk

1/4 cup turbinado (raw) sugar

1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups ice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Topping:

Diablo Whipped Cream

1/2 cup whipped cream + dash cayenne

Directions: Place all Mochacinno Diablo ingredients in a blender and mix on high until smooth & frosty. Pour into glasses and top with Diablo whipped cream, if desired.

Notes: If you've never tried raw turbinado sugar in your coffee, you are missing a real treat.

Number of Servings: 2

Submitted by: bevjmo10

Photo by Ballistick Coffee Boy @ flickr


Here’s are two short poems I should have included on Cheeky Quote Day that will make you grin! From an historical poet, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), come the 19th century equivalent of their idea of Haiku.

Whole Duty of Children

A child should always say what's true
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table;
At least as far as he is able.

Looking Forward

When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.


Portrait of Robert Louis StevensonImage via Wikipedia

Robert Louis Stevenson: Biography Highlights

Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in November 1850, an only child. During childhood he spent a lot of time with his maternal grandfather who was a minister and a grand storyteller, instilling in young Robert a love of it as well.

Robert spent most of his childhood winters in bed as he had a delicate constitution. He loved to read Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, John Bunyan and The Arabian Nights. A love of reading and his imagination kept him company during those long winters.

Though his family had several generations of lighthouse engineers by 1867 he attended the University of Edinburgh and soon realized he preferred literature. He also acquired a law degree, much to his father’s delight, and was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-five.

For the next four years Robert went traveling around Europe, mostly Paris. He published essays and articles about his travels, becoming known as a gifted travel writer. By 1876, he met his future wife, Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne. She was not only ten years older than him but also still married.

Soon after they met she decided to return to San Francisco and Robert followed her like any young man in love. Stevenson thought it a brilliant idea to add authenticity to his writing that he travel in steerage. It was almost the death of him as he was close to death when he arrived in Monterey, California by 1879. Nursed back to health he married Fanny the following May once she was divorced.

Photo of Fanny Osbourne shortly before she met Stevenson.

After a few months in America, Stevenson and Fanny returned to Britain with her young son. It was amazing how much writing he was able to produce though he was frequently sick. It was during this difficult time that he wrote his best-loved work. Treasure Island was published in 1884. A Child’s Garden of Verses followed that in 1885. By 1886, he had published The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

During his lifetime Stevenson was immensely popular and a successful writer. He was admired by his writing peers like Ernest Hemingway (born after Stevenson's death), Rudyard Kipling and J. M. Barrie (who wrote Peter Pan). Even popular author Henry James was a vocal supporter of his.

Photo via last.fm

When Stevenson’s father died in 1887, he was off again on his travels back to America. Quite the ambitious sailor he sailed in the Pacific on a chartered yacht with extended stays in the Hawaiian Islands.

By 1890, Stevenson purchased a 400 acre estate on Upolu in the Samoan Islands. It didn’t take him long to get involved in local politics. He even adopted the local native name of Tusitala which means “Story Writer.”

Unfortunately, by 1894, Stevenson had become depressed. He seemed to think his best work was behind not ahead of him, apparently not satisfied to rest on his laurels. He was so depressed that he spoke of how he wished his illnesses would kill him. By December 3rd of that year he got his wish.

When the modernistic aesthetic came along he was set aside and his work fell out of favor. Eventually, he was relegated to the level of only contributing to children’s literature.

As often happens to good writers of a different age, he was ignored during the 20th century and excluded from the Norton and Oxford anthologies of literature. Guess what? Upon retrospection - or embarrassment from sheer pettiness - they now include him.

Talk about the importance level. Who is ranked among the 25 most translated authors of all time? He’s ahead of the beloved Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and even Edgar Allen Poe. You guessed right: Robert Louis Stevenson. The readers rest their case.


Photo of portrait painted by famous artist John Singer Sargeant. Stevenson paces in his dining room with his wife Fanny seated in Indian dress off to the side.

Some quotes Stevenson:

"A friend is a present you give yourself.

An aspiration is a joy forever, a possession as solid as a landed estate.

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

So long as we love we serve;
So long as we are loved by others,
I would almost say that we are indispensable;
And no one is useless while they have a friend.

The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect.

The saints are the sinners who keep going.

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life."

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