Wednesday, October 8, 2008

News That Matters - October 8, 2008 - The Not So Serious Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

"We're lame, but we aren't fake." - Paul B. They Hate Us

"That One,"
- Senator McCain referring to Senator Obama

Good Wednesday Morning,

The National Weather Service promised 29 degrees and clear skies this morning, perfect for pulling out the telescope and catching an early peek at the winter sky. When I got up at 0600 it was 34.5 and foggy. I need a good lawyer.

John Degnan, candidate for the 99th Assembly District seat, was endorsed by the NY League of Conservation Voters the other day. A hearty congratulations to John for that.

I did not attend the candidates forum at the Mahopac Library last evening nor did I watch the Presidential debate on TV. I figured there was not going to be anything new so I'm depending on you all... was there? Both Presidential candidates reaffirmed their reluctance to solve the health care crisis even though Democrats assure me that Mr. Obama is on my side. Maybe my side of the ocean, but not my side on health care.

Thanksgiving is coming quickly and you've got a dozen relatives coming in from all over the area and if you take a good look at your living and dining rooms you'll see that they're looking kinda drab. And that guest room? It screams, "80's!"

If you plan ahead, there's plenty of time to get those rooms painted before your cousin Bertha starts poking around your medicine chest and 'tsk, tsk'ing' to your Aunt Martha about the faded look of your home... and you know she will.

"My god, you're so depressing sometimes!" wrote a reader once not all that long ago. So today I shall bring you news that is not depressing nor even all that serious but worth the read, as always.

And now, the (not so depressing) News:

  1. A Decade of Dirt
  2. GOOD Sheet: Where does your gasoline money go?
  3. Penguins Ride Air Force Jet to South Atlantic
  4. N.Y. man survives lightning strike at gas station
  5. Maverick family to McCain: No way are you one of us!
  6. Reach for the Sky - Art
  7. Las Vegas rolls dice on mob museum
  8. Man Sued in NYC over 25-Foot Viagra Rocket
  9. New Fake-Proof Personality Test Created

A Decade of Dirt

(Ed note: I've worked with "They Hate Us" frequently in the past when they were instrumental in playing benefit concerts for the Independent Media Center. They are cool guys and Putnam should be proud. You should have been at the Boone Dog on Halloween a few years ago... You could have heard that show in Cold Spring! JmG)

Brewster's They Hate Us celebrate ten years of Putnam County gutter rock

Their names sound like they belong to Galante thugs, don't they? Paul Bastard (lead vocals, scratchboard), Keith Romeo (lead guitar), Happy Byron (rhythm guitar), Big Jill Johnson (bass) and Rick Rocco (percussion).

Together they are Brewster, New York's own They Hate Us. Their music is "Putnam County Gutter Rock", and they jokingly call themselves "Oil Core" because they claim, for some reason, to be "the oiliest." If you were to classify the band, you could say their style is hardcore punk, given that the songs are short, loud and fast, but upon closer inspection, it's pure rock and roll. The name came from their second practice. Someone said, "They're going to hate us!" (Byron still cringes in person about the name.)

Chatting with them at their compound, a 200-year-old house just off Route 6, they are five square pegs in a round-hole society. They fit in best with each other and they aren't trying to make you like them.

Read More

GOOD Sheet: Getting Gas

Posted by: GOOD on October 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm
Where does your money go when you pay for a gallon of gas? How much money are oil companies making? What affects the price of gas in the United States? Why do gas prices vary so much from one country to another? Find the answers in GOOD Sheet no. 004.
View GOOD Sheet: Getting Gas
This exploration of gas prices is a collaboration between GOOD and Number 17. GOOD Sheet no. 004 is available in print in Starbucks from October 4-8.

Penguins Ride Air Force Jet to South Atlantic

Hundreds of Penguins Take the Quick Way Home, Riding Air Force Jet to the South Atlantic
The Associated Press


More than 370 penguins that mysteriously washed up on Brazil's equatorial beaches were flown south on a huge air force cargo plane and released closer to the frigid waters they call home, animal advocates said Monday.

Onlookers cheered as the young Magellanic penguins were set free on a beach in southern Brazil and scampered into the ocean, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said in a statement. It called the penguin release the largest ever in South America.

The penguins were among nearly 1,000 that have washed up on Brazil's northeastern coast in recent months, said group spokesman Chris Cutter. About 20 percent of the penguins died and the rest were not healthy enough send back.

Read More

N.Y. man survives lightning strike at gas station

BARKER, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a man filling up his truck at an upstate New York gas station was struck by lightning but survived with barely a scratch.

A surveillance camera at the K&K Food Mart in Barker shows the lightning bolt hitting the parking lot in a burst of smoke and orange light Wednesday. Forty-four-year-old William Hall is shown on the damp concrete near his pickup.

Read More

Maverick family to McCain: No way are you one of us!

Posted by: Tim Gaynor

PHOENIX - “He’s a maverick.” “He’s the consummate maverick.” “We’re a team of mavericks.” - You’ve all heard it time and again in recent weeks as Republican John McCain and fresh-faced running mate Gov. Sarah Palin slap on the maverick label to differentiate themselves from the GOP herd corralled inside the beltway in Washington.

But the New York Times reported on Sunday that the real Mavericks - a storied south Texas family with a long tradition in progressive politics - are not too happy about what they say is the misappropriation of their family name.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” the Times reported Terrellita Maverick, 82, saying. The San Antonio resident is the scion of a family which has been outspoken about liberal causes for generations, and has otherwise bucked conventions.

The family’s name crept into the language for Samuel Augustus Maverick, a rancher who became known for not branding his cattle in the 1800s. Any unbranded cows found out on the range were simply known as “Maverick’s.”

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Reach for the Sky

New type of art in Indian Island shows the importance of seeing the world from a different point of view
By Jessica Bloch
BDN Staff

A few minutes after Daniel Dancer finished setting up his project Monday, the side doors of the Indian Island School opened and a flood of water rushed out of the building.

The water, in the form of around 150 students, faculty and other community members dressed in blue, flowed to the school soccer field and gushed past Dancer.

Then Dancer arranged the youngsters along blue lines painted on the grass, near what appeared to be a pathway of brown wood chips, lines of dark dirt, scattered grass clippings, swirls of brown and beige fabric, and twigs.

>From ground level, the mess of people and materials didn’t look like much. But Dancer’s creation wasn’t meant to be seen from ground level. To appreciate Dancer’s work, one has to reach for the sky.

Monday afternoon, that meant going up 95 feet in a fire department tower truck to get a photograph of the scene.

What Dancer had created below was a 104-foot-long canoe, manned by a Penobscot Nation Indian figure, with the students and adults serving as the water of the Penobscot River. Dancer called the work “Sky Canoe.”

Read More

Las Vegas rolls dice on mob museum

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas hopes its newest museum will be a hit.

The city is opening The (redacted) Museum: The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, which will showcase southern Nevada's colorful and storied past in organized crime.

The City Council unveiled the name Tuesday, along with logos resembling court documents with material blacked out. The first redaction obscures the word "mob."

"I don't think anybody is able to do tongue-in-cheek the way Las Vegas can do it," said Mayor Oscar Goodman, a former criminal defense lawyer who represented organized crime figures before representing residents in City Hall.

The museum is expected to open in spring 2010 in downtown Las Vegas at the site of the former federal courthouse where Goodman tried his first case.

Read More

Man Sued in NYC over 25-Foot Viagra Rocket

NEW YORK (AP)  -- A New York man is being sued for trademark infringement after he towed a 25-foot-long fake missile around Manhattan with the words ``Viva Viagra'' printed in blue on its sides.

An attorney for Viagra-maker Pfizer Inc. says that the man's use of the company's logo could confuse consumers into thinking the rocket was an actual advertisement for the drug used to treat male impotence.

But 48-year-old Arye Sachs of West Babylon says no one would be deterred from buying the blue pills because of he what he did. He says he knows because he's a ``customer.''

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New Fake-Proof Personality Test Created

ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2008) — Psychologists from the University of Toronto have developed a personality inventory that can predict who will excel in academic and creative domains, even when respondents are trying hard to fake their answers.

Study authors note that personality questionnaires have a long history of predicting real-world performance, but have been plagued by the problem of biased responding. "It's very common for people to try and make themselves look better than they actually are on these questionnaires, especially if they know they are being evaluated," said Jordan B. Peterson, psychology professor at the University of Toronto and co-author of the paper.

"This sort of faking can distort the predictive validity of these tests, with significant negative economic consequences. We wanted to develop a measure that could predict real-world performance even in the absence of completely honest responding."

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