World's Ugliest Dog Awards

. Sunday, June 28

Meet Miss Ellie, the proud carrier of the prestigious title of Ugliest Dog in the pedigreed category.  She is a 15 year old, blind as a bat, Chinese Crested Hairless.

But, the top winner of the entire World's Ugliest Dog Contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California is a mut named Pabst.

Pabst is a 4 year old Boxer mix, rescued from a shelter by Miles Egstad of Citrus Heights, California. He won $1,600 in prize money, pet supplies and a modeling contract with House of Dog.

Way to go, Pabst and Miss Ellie!

Ain't that the perfect face of a winner?

Farrah Fawcett Dies

. Thursday, June 25

Farrah Fawcett, of Charlie's Angels fame, died today after a three year battle with anal cancer. She was 62.

Rest easy, Farrah.

Michael Jackson Dead at 50


At 12:0 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call, and found Michael Jackson at home and not breathing. The paramedics performed CPR and transported Jackson to UCLA Medical Center. At this time, that is all the facts that are known.

Rest in peace, Michael. Rest in peace.

When Thunder Roars, Get Indoors

. Wednesday, June 24

According to an interview with the National Weather Service, more lightning in June is normal, but not this much. So far, 11 people have died from lightning strikes this month. Compare that with the 28 killed in 2008, and the 15 total so far this year. About half of the people killed were standing under a tree. All of the deaths have occurred in the lower part of the country, with the cool and damp weather of New England netting none.

So, think of the words of wisdom touted by NOAA: When the thunder roars, get indoors - at the first sign of a rumble. A hardtop vehicle will work too. Stay in until the thunder has stopped for 30 minutes. A cell phone is safe to use, but not a corded one. And, stay away from plumbing, electrical equipment and wiring.

Monday Morning Traffic Problem in Little Rock

. Monday, June 22

This is a shot taken from a local TV station's video of a bit of a problem for Monday morning commuters around Little Rock, Arkansas. Yep, it's a bit of a problem.

A livestock truck hauling pigs overturned this morning on the I-430 and I-40 interchange, sending the driver to the hospital. Traffic will be rerouted around the area until they can get it cleaned up, which will make the morning exodus into Little Rock a nightmare for those coming from the north, west and south.

Dead Mom Walking

. Sunday, June 21

Do you see anything amiss in this NY Department of Motor Vehicles security camera photo? Now, I know that you only have to see a two-foot tall letter to get a driver's license in Florida, but it NY, it's a bit more stringent. Seems to me like anyone who wears sun glasses inside won't quite pass the vision test.

On the left is Thomas Parkin who was arrested for impersonating his mother, Irene Prusik, who died in 2003, in order to collect $117,000 in Social Security benefits. Parkin denies the larceny and fraud charges, and insists it was an impersonator, not him, who was caught red-handed in this photo.

In an interview at Riker's Island, Parkin said that his dead mother was a B-movie actress who used to date Gene Kelly. But, his strongest forte was talking about the powerful psyche of Norman Bates, Alfred Hitchcock's cross-dressing killer character in "Psycho."

It's been awhile since anyone immortalized Alfred Hitchcock...

The Doo Doo Rolls Downhill - Fast

. Thursday, June 18

Whatever the number crunchers say, no matter what barometer they are using to gauge the health of the piss-poor economy, the truth of the matter is that you and I and every other poor soul that sells their time for a paycheck is screwed.

If you think about it, you'll see it is exactly you and I that keeps the economy floating. We pay full retail price for the products we are paid a pittance to produce. When sales slow, you and I lose our jobs. Here's the clincher: the more production slows, the less money that is paid into the "pool" that is the unemployment fund. Less money is paid in while more and more need that fraction of the usual income to survive long enough to - hopefully - find other employment.

Sure, it's a good idea to stay working anyway. It's no secret we're all expected to earn a living for ourselves. That goes without saying. Keep your eyes open, dot your t's and cross your i's, and never take anything for granted. Keep working!

It looks to me like, chunk by chunk, the every day man, you and I, the same ones that keep the economy healthy by our purchasing power, all of us are losing our rights, our freedom and our dignity.

The doo doo is rolling downhill so fast that the bastards are biting off the hands that feed their greed.

No Poo for You

. Wednesday, June 10

The opposition is alive and well and out looking for yet another thing to oppose besides fur coats, horse slaughter, smoking, seat belts and abortion. Yep, the new movement is called "No Poo."

The 100 year old product called shampoo, with its sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene or butylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol and coal tar, may not be safe to use on your head, though no one can actually agree that it isn't. An iffy argument at best, it's good enough as grounds for a new opposition.

Your alternatives? Baking soda, vinegar, egg, lemon, vegetable starch and wood ash. Oh, and you can shave your head.

This is one that may start out in the extremists' realm and end up a major social issue. Let's just let this one slide, OK? Jeesh.

Don't Be Misled By Misleading Myths

. Monday, June 8

The beginning of summer is as good a time as any to address the misinformation about a woman's body. Sweep out the myth closet and consider yourself well prepared. A feature on Live Science spits out the need-to-know:
  1. Women can get pregnant during their periods.
  2. Menopause does not cause a decrease in sex drive.
  3. Antibiotics do not cause a drop in reliability of birth control pills.
  4. Women need more sleep than men.
  5. A doctor cannot tell if a woman is a virgin.
There you have it. Consider yourself edu-ma-cated.

Art on Water

. Saturday, June 6

Now, this is news! About the time you think that creativity has all but dried up or caught a plane south, you're smacked with proof that it isn't. This display is called "Pasture on the Water" by artist Pavel Koichev and it is on the surface of a lake in Bulgaria. The show will continue until June 10.

Can Government Run a Government?

. Wednesday, June 3

From today's Washington Post

Newspapers Want Help, but From Where?


Newspapers want US help during the worst economy in history that papers have faced, but the last place any help can come from is the government. To do so would compromise and negate the role of journalism as the government watchdog and as the source of local and global information.

Newspaper bank accounts have shrunk as more and more people read the news online for free. Ad revenue continues to dwindle as fewer businesses are able to afford advertising that is less effective in front of fewer eyes. Yet, the demand and need for news is very real and very necessary.

Possible solutions are aimed at modifying current antitrust laws that keep papers from 'colluding' to find answers. Some papers are seeking non-profit status as a solution. Senator John Kerry has even suggested allowing newspapers to claim a loss for 2008 and 2009, essentially to allow papers a huge tax break. While online viewing is up, no one has yet figured out how to turn that mode of delivery into one that makes money.

Some think it's vital to act now. Others think it's not yet time. Still others think the whole thing should be left alone, to "creatively destroy itself" and leave the free market to reveal new business models.

This is one issue that seems to be unfolding in a controlled, informed way. The ideas emerging are diverse yet compatible. The people involved have their sights firmly focused on the role of newspapers in society and remain dedicated to that role. Even in crisis, journalism informs.