Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thoughts on the Tragedy at Wal-Mart

This year's Christmas shopping season has had a shadow cast over it. A dark shadow of anger, violence and selfishness - the opposites of what the season is supposed to represent. There have been a couple of shootings - one in a mall, another in a Toys R Us store.
But the defining tragedy of this season is the death of Jdimytai Damour.

The 34 year old Damour was working maintenance and stock overnight at a Wal-Mart in the Vally Stream Mall on Long Island, NY. Black Friday deals had lured thousands of customers who lined up outside the store, eagerly awaiting their chances of being one of the lucky few to seize a bargain item. When Damour started to open the doors, the crowd had grown too eager and impatient, and stampeded through the doors, breaking them down and knocking Damour to the floor.

The crowd proceeded regardless, trampling and stepping over the dying man. They rushed past and knocked down other employees who tried to come to his aid. They shopped around the paramedics who tried to save his life. They became angry and refused to leave when it was announced the store would close due to the death.

We can blame commercialism or we can blame retailers that entice shoppers with limited items at special savings. We can point to a lack of security, or the foolhardiness of setting one man to open the doors to such a mob.

We will try to find someone or something to blame, but the truth is that people just like you and me, your neighbors and friends, were responsible for this tragedy. Commercialism isn't thrust upon us, we make a choice. The crowd bursting into the store on Friday made a choice, they decided that a bargain was worth more than a human life.

But had you asked any member of that crown beforehand if they would kill someone to get a low price on a plasma TV, the answer probably would have been "no". So what happened?

Simply, the human life that was discarded belonged to each and every shopper. Each of those responsible, each person who stepped over the stricken employee, each shopper who continued past the scene after the fact to complete their shopping, each and every one of them gave up their human lives and assumed the herd instinct of animals in their stampede.

If anything brings home the need for all that Christmas represents, it's this realization.

Friday, November 21, 2008

System Error Codes Library

Have you ever wondered what those error code messages you often get with your PC mean? Is it safe to ignore them or should you do something to fix the error? Many times, the error code is alerting you that some program or application is encountering difficulty. But how can you fix it, if you don't even know what is wrong?

There are specific conditions and problems associated with the various error codes, and knowing what that particular code means is vital to correcting the situation. The difficulty is that there are about 16,000 different error codes, so it's impossible to know them all at a glance.

To find what causes a specific Windows system error code, one good source to consult is PC Here you can look up the error code and get a thorough explanation of what causes it and how to correct it. Want to know about error code 1728? The Error-Library will give you quick information as well as tips on fixing the problem.

There's other useful information here at Uniblue PC Library. You can also look up ports by number and find out their exact functions as well as more general descriptions and definitions. The information is well-organized and easily accessed, making this site very user friendly.

Are You Younger Than You Look?

According to a story in The Telegraph, scientist are studying DNA for biomarkers which will tell them a person's real physical age.

They aren't looking for chronological age, or even your "real age" based on your lifestyle, but the physiological age contained in your genes.

Scientists want to find out why some people seem more sprightly and younger as they get older while others seem to age more rapidly.

The applications of this research should they be successful? That's hard to imagine, unless one is into social engineering. Perhaps we will allow only those people with younger DNA ages to reproduce, thus lengthening the life expectancy of the whole human race.

Or maybe it could be a useful fact in your online dating profile. "I'm 35, but my DNA profile says my physiological age is only 27". It would certainly make it easier for someone looking specifically for a younger woman or an older woman. Especially if the older woman and the younger one were the same person.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Operation Mojo - Chat with Nat and Alex

Unless you've been living on another planet, you've heard of the Naked Brothers Band. If you have a teenager, you probably know the faces of Nat and Alex Wolff every bit as well as your own kids from the posters on your child's bedroom walls. I know my teen has sung "I don't want to go to school" to me a thousand times.

Well, whether you're a parent of a fan or a fan yourself, you'll be excited to know that the Naked Brothers Band have a new movie premiering on Nickelodeon this Saturday, November 22, 2008. It's called Operation Mojo.


But just as exciting is the chance to tune into live chat with Nat and Alex Wolff of the Naked Brothers Band as part of the premiere of the new movie. Every fan will want to get in on this live chat.

In Operation Mojo Nat loses his Mojo and his confidence when he fears losing Rosalina. Alex takes Nat into the woods on a trek to boost his self-esteem and reclaim his mojo. There are three great new songs and a lot of fun.

Nat and Alex both star in the TeenNick television series, The Naked Brothers Band. Operation Mojo is their 6th television movie. Be sure to tune in for the movie and the live chat with Nat and Alex.


When Global Socks Slump

I was surfing through the news sites this morning when I was taken by the headline "Global Socks Slump". I had to shake my head and read it again, because I wasn't sure whether I had read it right or not. Sure enough, when I clicked through to the article I found that the headline was supposed to be "Global Stocks Slump" and it was only the oversight of some editor that left the all-important letter out of that word.

But I got to thinking about slumping socks. Choosing socks can be a very dodgy business. When they are hanging on a rack in the store, you can't be sure whether they will stay up or slump, once you have purchased them for wear.

If you've ever had socks that slump, you know the problem. They slide down your calves and gather in folds at your ankle. Particularly slinky socks will often slide a bit, step by step, into your shoes. The result is a day that is neither productive nor comfortable as your attention is constantly distracted and drawn to the state of your socks. You spend the day trying to surreptitiously reach down and yank them up, to avoid those embarrassing elephant ankles.

So, as disheartening as the news about global stocks is, I am still grateful that there isn't a slumping of global socks. Imagine the leaders of the world trying to govern, conduct business, hammer out trade treaties and combat global warming, all while trying to pull their socks up...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding a Body Shop

You've been in an accident - well, it happens to all of us at some time. Whether it's a fender bender or there's some serious damage to your vehicle, you know you'll spend time on accident reports and insurance paperwork, but what about the repairs? Do you know which body shops in your area are highly rated? When you need to find reputable collision repair experts you can get reliable information on all the best body shops in your area in one place. The recommendations are based on real customer surveys and testimonials. Just plug in your zip code and find out which body shops in your area meet the high quality work standard and customer satisfaction of

Man Mails himself out of Prison

Sometimes life imitates art as in this story from Germany, about a prisoner who used the tactics used in so many films to make his prison break.

And the "Great Escape" award goes to Hans Lang, 42, who staged a truly creative escape from the German prison where he was doing time for drug dealing. He mailed himself out of prison.

Lang hid in the laundry room and when it was empty, he wrapped himself in sheets, put himself in an extra large FedEx box and left the prison in the back of a van. When the driver made a stop, Lang got out of the box, picked the lock on the van and made his escape into the woods.

It's the stuff of Hollywood films and spy novels but the scheme worked. Lang is still on the lam and has not yet been found and marked "return to sender".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Street Artist to Give Away $2m of Art Work

If you live in London, this could be your week to pick up some expensive artwork by a famous artist - for free.

Adam Neate, well-known street artist whose paintings often sell for over $80,000, will be leaving 1000 pieces of his art work all over the city. They will be free for the taking for whoever finds them.
Neate is staging the giveaway to celebrate the roots of street art, and to demonstrate the true meaning of street art - that it's free for everyone to enjoy.

Each piece will be signed so the finders will know that they have stumbled across the genuine article. The pieces will be left at famous landmarks but also in less conspicuous places.

Workers will beging distributing the paintings before dawn on Friday , and will continue from the outskirts to the inner city until all the pieces are set out. So if you are in London on Friday, keep your eyes open.

The Art of Wall Decor

Sometimes, when you first move into a place, you spend some time enjoying those plain white and naked walls. That was my feeling when I first moved into this apartment, it felt nice and bare. It doesn't take long however, to realize that this cold and minimalist environment isn't really a comfortable one for you or your guests. But how do you decorate if you don't know anything about it?

Haven't you visited someone who, through carefully selected wall art decor makes their home seem more inviting, more comfortable and engaging through art that keeps your visual interest? That is all you have to do, just extend your personal vision.

There are many ways to set about decorating your walls in a way that expresses your taste and your style. A few well-chosen canvas oil paintings can highlight your color scheme and create a feeling of continuity and a flow in the decor.

If you are more adventurous and modern, you might choose some metal wall art, or sculpture. Why not go against the expectations and choose canvas wall art in contrasting colors, or vibrant patterns that will immediately catch the eye?

If you're looking for wall art but aren't sure just what you want, try a site like Wall Decor and Home They have art of every description and you can browse until you find the art that exactly suits your walls and you. The prices are very reasonable for quality art works as well, and the selection is very good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering our Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, the day when we remember those men who fought bravely to preserve our freedoms. If you know a veteran, today is a great day to say a special "thank you" to him or her.
We salute the men who went off to foreign lands to fight for those principles that this nation was founded upon and to defeat tyranny. We say a special prayer for those who never returned, and for their families.

The Wall - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Top Irritating Phrases

Everyday we hear them, tired words and catch phrases that make us mad enough to explode, literally. Literally is one of them, especially when used incorrectly as in that sentence. Oxford University has compiled a top ten list of phrases and words that irritate.

The phrase "at the end of the day" tops the Oxford University list while a separate list compiled by the UK newspaper, the Telegraph, puts "literally" in the top spot for most irritating, overused word or phrase.

The lists are pretty good and you can find them here. I couldn't agree more on people who say "shouldn't of" instead of "shouldn't have". But I can think of other words and phrases that irritate me as much or more than the ones on either list. For instance "on the same page" is a very tired, overused phrase in any office setting.

Feel free to comment and leave the word or phrase that makes you cringe everytime you hear it. No one will tell you that you "shouldn't of" done it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Galco Holsters

When Richard Gallagher founded "The Original Jackass Leather Company" in 1969, he didn't know that one day his Jackass shoulder holster would be made famous by Don Johnson in the classic "Miami Vice" television series. Today, Galco holsters are used everywhere by law enforcement agencies, the military and civilians. Galco, as the company is now known, still makes the highest quality holsters from premium leather, ballistic nylon and horsehide. For quality workmanship and superior design, there's no better value than a Galco holster.

Mom Given Wrong Baby - Had a Girl, Got a Boy

Everyone's heard stories of babies mixed up at hospitals and the heartbreak of parents who find out months and years later that the baby they brought home was not, in fact, their own child. But in one case, the mistake was caught very quickly, making the baby exchange much easier.

Cristina Zahariuc,35, gave birth to her third child, a girl, in a Romanian hospital. when it was time to leave, she gave the hospital staff the clothes she brought to take the baby home in and the baby was soon dressed and returned to her.

But Cristina was in for a little shock the first time she had to change a wet diaper. For under the frilly pink clothing she discovered that the baby she brought home from the hospital had a penis.

Calls made by Cristina and her husband to the hospital were hung up on, as the staff thought it was a prank. However, Cristina was soon able to prove to the hospital that she had given birth to a girl and yet was sent home with a baby boy.

An investigation is underway to find out which staff screwed up in the releasing of the wrong child. The hospital claims it probably happened because of the similarities in the names of the two mothers. They did not say if staff would need to undergo special gender identification training. I think it may be needed if they didn't notice they were dressing a boy in the girls' clothing given them by the mother.