Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases, full of warmth, good food, and congenial company!

Our Christmas Tree

50/365 - Christmas Lights

Christmas Light Time Warp

58/365 - Curlicues

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Closest Thing. . .

Here's the closest thing we'll get to seeing snow this Christmas. . . ;o) 

Ingela posted some photos of beautiful snowy landscapes around Säffle-- and yummy homemade Swedish Christmas treats, as well! 

At least we can enjoy the snow vicariously (and not even have to deal with messy roads)!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Has the world gone mad? (Don't answer that...)

I hope you're in the mood for a heapin' helpin' of "climate change"-related nonsense, 'cause that's all that's on the menu today.  But don't worry!  It comes in three delicious flavors!

First up, there's a story from the Wonderfully Weird World of Wikipedia-- an uplifting tale in which a single man, one William Connolley, rewrites (literally) the history of climate change.  After that, we have a scrumptious pet-owner's guilt-fest.  (People who have pet rabbits are sure to love it.)  And finally-- as a special treat-- some videos from Build-a-Bear wherein the little children are simultaneously brainwashed and terrified by a charming story of how the North Pole is on the verge of melting, which could lead to the *gasp!* cancellation of Christmas!  (Trust me, you don't want to miss it.)

- - - - - - -

Earlier this week, Donald brought a news story to my attention. He thought I might like to blog about it, particularly after my delicate slamming of Wikipedia in a recent blog entry. (You know, the one where I said we shouldn't take everything we read there as Gospel? Yeah, that's the one.)

The short(ish) version of the story is this:

So there's this Green Party (read far, FAR Left) activist named William Connolley. Somehow or other, he wound up with Special Wikipedia Powers and effectively rewrote the history of global warming-- er, I mean climate change. He erased the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period-- both of which, as you may already know, cast doubt upon the effect of industrialization upon the planet's climate. (You know, seeing as both of these happened long before industrialization. Almost as though-- historically speaking-- climate change may have little or nothing to do with the actions of us mere mortals.) He rewrote other articles relating to global warming/climate change-- and we're not talking a handful of articles here. No, apparently he rewrote "5,428 unique Wikipedia articles".

According to the National Post, "when Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."

Yes, that sounds about right.

Now, Wikipedia says Connolley's Special Wikipedia Powers-- um, I mean "administrator status" has been revoked after the discovery "that he misused his administrative privileges while involved in a dispute unrelated to climate warming."  However (as I learned from this article in the Telegraph), as little as three days ago, Connolley was spotted messing around with climate-related Wikipedia articles.  (He's also been deleting criticism of himself.  Very noble behavior!) Oh, and he just happens to be a friend and peer of the lovely scientists involved in the Climategate scandal.  (You aren't really surprised by that, though, are you?)

(Here's another article on the story, if you want to read about how Connolley averaged 27 Wikipedia contributions a day during June 2009, and so on.)

- - - - - - -

Want to read more about inaccuracies and other problems with Wikipedia?

- - - - - - -

Then this morning on Twitter, I saw a link to an article about a book titled Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living.  Apparently "the carbon footprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle".  Unless I'm misunderstanding something here, it sounds like they base their calculations on a much more luxurious-- and expensive-- meat-heavy diet than most dogs enjoy-- but let's just put that aside.  (Because, really, who cares?)

What's your point, Robert and Brenda Vale (the authors of the book)?  If you're trying to say that we shouldn't feel guilty about having an SUV if we want one, I don't have a problem-- but if, on the other hand, you're insinuating that people with pets (because it seems that cats are also an eco no-no) should give up the dirty habit of keeping animals. . . Trust me, you really don't want to go there.  I love my two little dogs, and I don't take kindly to someone threatening my right to own a pet. 

It really does feel like these people have completely lost it.  For instance: "Other animals aren't much better for the environment, the Vales say."  Yeah, I've always kind of thought that animals mucked things up-- killing plants and other animals just so they can live-- pooping everywhere (disgusting!)-- procreating like rabbits (especially the, you know, rabbits).  I mean, seriously, what was God thinking when he made all these little consumers of Nature's Bounty?  (Ok, ok, so they didn't mean all animals-- but doesn't that sound like lunacy?)

Then there's this: 
And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.
And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo -- owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease.
 We should all be ashamed of ourselves for sheltering these destructive little monsters in our homes. 

However, the article offers a ray of hope.  We may be allowed to keep our pets-- if we feed them less "impactful" foods (less meat for dogs or fish heads for cats), keep them away from "wildlife-rich areas", and so on.

Better yet, "get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs"-- or (and lovers of rabbitkind may wish to skip this bit) get rabbits, which evidently are "prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table". 

The story boils down to this:  "As with buying a car, humans are . . . encouraged to take the environmental impact of their future possession/companion into account."

I'm generally not one of those people whose first reaction to every global warming / enviro-impact story is to say, "Oh yeah?  Well, now I'm gonna buy extra seats on the airplane every time I fly-- and I'm gonna buy the biggest SUV I can find-- no, two of 'em-- and I'm gonna make it my goal to have the biggest carbon footprint on the block!"  Usually, my reaction is "Grr."  (Or something along those lines.)  However, we each have our breaking point, and I may be reaching mine.  No, world.  I don't have to take my so-called "environmental impact" into account.  I can have an SUV, if I want one, and I don't even have to feel guilty about it.  I can adopt ten or twenty more dogs, if I want them.  I can keep rabbits with no intention of ever eating them.  I can even keep cows as pets-- not for dairy, not for meat, but because I like them.  I can raise chickens, then take the eggs they lay and throw them at hybrids as they drive past.  . . .I would likely be fined or arrested, but there'd be nothing stopping me from doing it, that first time.  Obviously I'm not planning to do that-- or any of the other things I've listed-- but that's not the point.  The point is this:  Basically, I can do any darn thing I want to do, so long as it's legal.  It's none of your business, world-at-large. 

But I do wonder how long before we have to pay an enviro-tax based on the number and size of our pets.

(And apparently I'm still not done venting my frustration. . .) Sheesh.  No more Fido or Kitty?  Some of these wackos won't be satisfied until we're living in individual bubbles (Matrix-style, perhaps), with no contact with the outer world, because apparently we ruin everything we touch.  *inside joke* "Don't hurt it!  It's just Nature!" *end inside joke*  Until Mother Nature herself materializes from thin air,  bends down (because obviously she's about twenty feet tall, minimum), wags a finger at me and scolds, "Bad human! Bad! You'vee been vewy, vewy naughty!", I'm going to keep on doing just as I see fit.  (Environmental crazies, I'm sticking my tongue out at you.  Right now.) 

- - - - - - -

One last story, also found today on Twitter:  "Build-a-Climate-Scare:  Why You Should Boycott Build-a-Bear" by Maura Flynn. 

Attention Santas:
This missive is directed at the guardians of, and donors to, tiny humans. If you fall into that category you likely are already familiar with Build-A-Bear, a world-wide corporation that provides the most innocent of services. They sell customizable stuffed animals. Make your own bear, dog…penguin. Cute concept.

So cute, in fact, that the Build-A-Bear empire sweeps across nearly every state and into 17 other countries. You’ll find their outlets in shopping malls everywhere and even some ballparks. The company also has a website called where children can play an interactive video game that, on it’s surface, is unlikely to raise suspicion or sound alarms.

But when your unsuspecting tot logs on and hops a virtual train to the North Pole…you should know that he or she will be informed — by Santa Claus — that Christmas may be canceled this year due to Global Warming.

. . .

Girl Elf: Santa, it’s gone!
Papa Elf: It’s gone, It’s gone!
Santa: What’s gone?
Girl Elf: Tell ‘em, Dad!
Papa Elf: The North Peak.
Santa: A mountain? A mountain’s gone? How is that possible?
Ella the polar bear: Santa, sir, that’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re here. The ice is melting!
Santa: Yes, my dear, we know, the climate is changing. There’s bound to be a little melting.
Ella: It’s worse than that, Santa, a lot worse! At the rate it’s melting, the North Pole will be gone by Christmas!”
Santa: My, my…all of this gone by next Christmas? I don’t think so.

Ella: No sir, not next Christmas, this Christmas! The day after tomorrow!
And this is merely the tip of the dialogue iceberg, if you’ll forgive me for putting it that way.  . . . Children of the world can look forward to priceless exchanges such as, “Oh my! Where will the polar bears live?” and my personal fave: “Where will the elves live?”

I suspect you’d like to think it can’t get any worse than that. Thus, it pains me to tell you that animated characters actually break into a discussion of satellite photos and that Mrs. Claus conducts a rather unscientific experiment involving ice cubes.

Needless-to-say, this constitutes brainwashing on the sleaziest and most sinister level. The good news is that this nonsense isn’t coming from our government this time and the rocky economy is our friend here. People, we have the means, if we have the will, to topple these charlatans who shamelessly prey on little children. So boycott Build-A-Bear. And, more importantly, tell the world why.

Go tell it on the mountain, and hurry, before it melts.

Click the link above, if you want to watch the videos.
Those who have a weak stomach may prefer to skip it. 

- - - - - - -

Well, that's it.  I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.  ;o) Nothing like this sort of garbage to put you in a right jolly Christmas-spirit mood, eh?   (And I didn't even mention the health care reform mess!  Just imagine what I could've accomplished if I had. . .)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Impatient Trixie

Here's a sampling of (some of) the weird noises Trixie makes when she feels she's been in her crate long enough:

Argh! (More Ads)

What is it with these ad designers and Obama?

. . . Actually, what's with this particular ad designer in general? 

How did he choose these photos, and why are they such poor quality?  Why is the "mom" in the top photo making a silly face?  (Shocked at the thought of a Pell grant, perhaps.)  I finally recognize the second photo as a brown dog with his head hanging out a car window-- but it took some looking to figure it out.  And the third one. . . If you're advertising insurance relief for homeowners, why oh why would you ever paste in a photo of a jogging woman's back?  Am I missing something here? 

P.S.  I love how these sites put "ADVERTISEMENT" in (small-scale) all-caps on top of their ads.  Thank goodness for that clear labeling!  Otherwise, I'd never have guessed!  ;o)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

*Insert Wolf Whistle Here*

(If there are any children present, they should be shooed from the room.  There is adult content near the bottom of this post. ;o) YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.)

In case you missed it, Obama visted a Home Depot today to speak about the very important issue of home insulation and retro-fitting.

According to the Prez, "The simple act of retro-fitting is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest things we can do to put Americans back to work while saving money and reducing harmful emissions."

Really?  Ok, if you say so.  (I'll let it pass.  There are more important things to get to, today. . .)

He went on to say, "I know the idea may not be very glamorous, although I get pretty excited about it."

(My response:) "Um, alright. . . To each his own way and all that, but maybe you should just keep those kinds of things to yourself. . ."

But he wasn't finished:  "Insulation is sexy stuff."
(I regret to report that he added, "Here's what's sexy about it: saving money."  I regret reporting it because it ruins the flow, but I'm too honest to leave it out. ;o))

First, ugh.  Can people please stop saying things are "sexy"?  It's an incredibly un"sexy" way of expressing yourself.  Was Obama "off-prompter" on this speech, or did someone actually think this was the best way to say things?  Anyway, putting aside my pet peeves. . .

Maybe this new way of looking at insulation will inspire some daring fashion designer. . .
I can almost see it now. . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

Internet Tidbits

Belly up to the bar, boys!  Tidbits all 'round!  They're on the house!  ;o)

Very few things could make an article (?) titled "Child Stars: Then and Now" and featuring What's-Her-Name (oh, right, Lindsay Lohan) look interesting, but congratulations, NBC Connecticut!  By putting it alongside "Michelle Obama Style Guide: Nobel Wardrobe", you just may have found a way!

Yes, NBC Connecticut, where "Locals are intrigued by icy roads".

That's right, they said "intrigued".  By icy roads. 
Hey, don't ask me.  I live in southern Alabama, where we know that icy roads only exist in fairy tales.  Maybe some kindly Northerner will explain what's so "intriguing" about icy roads.  "Stressed", I could see-- or "concerned".  "Locals are intrigued" makes the icy roads sound like a tall, dark, and handsome stranger from an old film.  What's next?  "Locals are dazzled by wild fires"?

Those were all very well and good, but my favoritest tidbit of them all (today) is this one we found over the weekend on good ol' Wikipedia, where the facts are only as reliable as the latest random person to log in and type them up. 


Wikipedia wants us to dig into out pockets and pay to keep the site running, so they've put up ad banners soliciting donations.  This one (in case the photo above ceases to display) reads as follows: 

"As a professional scientist, Wikipedia is my go-to source for ideas and concepts new to me.  Donate for this?  You bet!"

Ok, ok, I admit it!  I look at Wikipedia fairly often, myself.  (It's hard not to, considering how highly it's rated in Google, which is another story altogether...)  However, I've learned not to take everything I read there as The One and Only Truth.  You know how they say you should check out any information you read on the Internet-- not just assume it's all accurate?  Well, that goes double for some of the stuff I've seen on Wikipedia.  But now I'm rambling. . .

What I find funny is that this person felt it necessary to identify himself as a "professional scientist"-- presumably to impress upon us that if he-- a professional scientist-- considers Wikipedia as his "go-to source", then surely the rest of us ought to see its incredible value and donate to keep it going.  It smacks of a sad lack of modesty (and leads me to wring my hands over the implied research abilities of modern Professional Scientists).  But then again, maybe I'm just reading too much into it. . .

ETA:  Last night, Donald pointed out that the Wikipedia testimonial isn't even grammatically correct.  (Good job! (g))  As the ad (or whatever it is) is written, Wikipedia itself is the Professional Scientist!  (I guess grammar isn't important in a Professional Scientist's line of work.) 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Water Snake

Yesterday evening, during a walk around the pond, Donald saw a small snake right in his path.  We think it was a brown water snake.  Whatever it was, it had round pupils, so it shouldn't be poisonous.  Still enough to give you a shock when you first notice it, though. 

Water Snake, Side View

Water Snake from Above

Twitter: My Source for Politics ;o)

(For the day that's surely coming when Twitter is but a distant memory. . .)

Jamie Dupree tweets the following:

  • Some say public option is basically dead in the Senate bill, but Sen. Reid cautions that may not be true
  • Sen Reid: "We can't disclose the details of what we've done, but believe me, we've got something that's good"
  •  Sen. Reid on news reports that the public option is dead: "It's not true, okay? Everyone understand that."
 Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought when I heard the news.  

Haven't we learned by now that you can't trust a word our of their mouths?  If anything, work under the cautious assumption that the opposite is true!  

(Hm.  Didn't I say something about not dwelling on politics too much?  Oh well, I'm still trying, but it doesn't do to go to sleep at the wheel either.   [Ha.  Like I have any real control over any of this nonsense.])

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Watch Your Mouth!

How did I miss this?

Joy Behar (of The View) thinks "Black Friday" is racist terminology.  (I'm sure she's not the first, but never mind.)

Yes, just like "Black Death" (aka the Plague), "niggardly", etc.  Mustn't forget "black hole", "black sheep", and "devil's food cake"!  Let's just re-write every word or phrase that could possibly be construed as racist, while we're at it.  Why not remove the words "white" and "black" from the language completely?  Henceforth, they shall be known as "Color A" and "Color B".  Oops.  No, that won't work either, because obviously A will be considered better than B, since it comes first in the alphabet and indicates a higher score in our system of grading. . . Oh well.  I give up.  Any suggestions from the rest of you?

When will people learn to consult a dictionary or encyclopedia before performing the Foot-in-Mouth maneuver? In this "always connected" day and age-- with all the information on the Internet only a click away-- it's hardly excusable.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Al Gore: God's Gift to Mankind (?)

From Vanity Fair, this gem:

Al Gore: The Poet Laureate of Climate Change (by Mark Hertsgaard)

You can read the entire article, of course, but the gist of it is that in his new book, Our Choice, Al Gore includes a poem of his own writing-- "21 lines of verse that are equal parts beautiful, evocative, and disturbing".

Apparently, Gore wanted his book to contain one more chapter-- one detailing "the impacts of climate change"-- but his editor refused, intent on keeping the focus on "solutions, not gloom and doom".

(*gasp*  No!  Say it ain't so!)

If you're anything like me, you'll be thrilled to read that, "undeterred by his editor’s ruling, Gore re-imagined his impacts chapter in poetic form."

(*whistling, cheering, clapping*)

More snippets from the article:
The result is a surprisingly accomplished, nuanced piece of writing. The images Gore conjures in his (untitled) poem turn a neat trick: they are visually specific and emotionally arresting even as they are scientifically accurate.

. . .

It’s usually a mistake to read too much literal meaning into poetry. But the final lines of Gore’s poem certainly apply to the governments that will gather in Copenhagen from December 7 to 18 for what is regarded as humanity’s last chance to avert absolutely catastrophic climate change.

. . .

. . .the hour of choosing has indeed arrived and, as documented in Our Choice, we do have the tools to survive—if we choose to employ them.
Well, after such high praise, surely you must be eager to read the magnificent poem.

Unfortunately (?), the article only shares fourteen of the twenty-one lines of sheer brilliance:

One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea

. . .

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning’s celebration

. . .

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools

Ugh.  What a total gag-fest.

And if Al Gore's a poet, I must be a brilliant nuclear physicist.  (Which I'm most decidedly not, I assure you.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trixie Does Some Tricks

We could still refine things, but so long as she gets the treats, I don't think she cares much one way or the other. ;o)

(I filmed this with our new point-and-shoot. We think the quality's pretty good for a such a conveniently small camera!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Illegal Drugs, "Obama's Will", Etc.

(Lately, this type of thing is all I post here.  Oh well.  Better than nothing, I guess.)

- - - - - - 

Someone on Twitter linked to this story:

"Obama Ecstasy pills hit the streets".

A traffic stop in south Texas led to the discovery of some unusual drugs-- Ecstasy pills made in the likeness of Obama, of all things. 

Ecstasy is known for a sense of elation, diminished feelings of fear and anxiety, and ability to induce a sense of intimacy with others.

Perhaps a good Election Day strategy to get out the vote?

. . .

Police in Palmview detained a driver after finding black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills in the back of his car.
 My first thought when I saw the drugs. . .

. . .was, "Those look like the old Flintstones vitamins I took as a kid!"

And sure enough, the article mentions that the police spokesman also noted a certain resemblance to children's vitamins.  (Always good to have your hunches backed up like that, right?) 

The police also found Ecstasy pills made to look like Homer Simpson and the Smurfs.

. . . So, where to begin?

Point #1:
Why are this type of drugs so often made in the shape of cartoon characters?  To make them appealing to kids?  I've never been completely clear on whether or not there is truth in the stories of drug dealers giving drugs to kids to get them hooked at an early age.  I guess it makes sense (from a business point of view) if they're slightly older kids, but you'd think only really young kids would be drawn in by cartoon characters, and a really young child won't have money to buy more drugs.  It just doesn't make sense to me (again, from a purely practical point of view-- obviously it could never make sense morally).

Maybe the cartoon characters make the pills look harmless-- a way to soothe the jitters of potential new users.  "Look, they've got the Smurfs on them.  How dangerous can they be?"

Could the "kid's-vitamins-look" be camouflage, in case someone sees them who shouldn't?  (It's a pretty weak defense, but these are druggies we're talking about here.) 

Or are they merely trying to appeal to their market?  Maybe drug users are inexplicably drawn to random cartoon characters (oh, and rock-star politicians).

 Incidentally, when was the last time the Smurfs were really popular?  I had tennis shoes with Smurfs on them in Kindergarten, I think, and my best friend in elementary school had eyeglasses with tiny portraits of Smurfette on the arms.  Of course, I also turned thirty this year.  It could be that the drug users of my generation are enjoying a little trip (ha ha) down memory lane. 

 Point #2:
Am I wrong in assuming that this is the first time a U.S. president's face has been used as a tool for selling illegal drugs?  Certainly I can't see Reagan or either of the Bushes on Ecstasy pills.

It must be so flattering for the President to know that these drug makers/dealers think he's cool.

Point #3:
I wonder who made the mold for these things.  His mouth (and those smile lines around the mouth) are a bit much. 

- - - - - -

This ad was on the same page as the I story linked to above:

It's not the first time I've seen it, and I imagine you've seen it, too.  It's been everywhere-- almost as much as those irritating "Lose Belly Fat!!" and "Whiten Your Teeth!!" ads.  "Obama wants Moms to go back to school!"  Really?  I don't remember hearing anything about that. . . Why, exactly?  To take some of the pressure off the job market?  Certainly there doesn't seem to be a huge demand for more highly educated mothers, at the moment.  There are more workers than places to put them!

(I looked it up.  Apparently there's some sort of scholarship program for single mothers.  Ok, ok, so maybe it's not a ridiculous idea to go to college-- even if the economy's bad right now-- not that I necessarily jump for joy at the thought that the rest of us are financing this at such a time.  {Note to the world:  Pay your own way.}  The real reason for my annoyance?  Read on!) 

The thing I dislike about this ad is the use of "Obama's Will" as a selling point.  When I see this type of ad, I wonder if moms are supposed to be inspired to go back to school based solely on the (supposed) fact that Obama wants or asks them to do so.  I'm not a mom, so maybe I'm simply not capable of seeing the appeal ;o), but I don't feel a warm glow of "Oh, Mr. President wants me to go back to school?  His wish is my command!"  Instead, tell me Pres. Obama wants me to do something and I want to know why, in detail.  I'll look at the reasoning with fierce skepticism (purely the result of experience, dear reader) and make my decision deliberately.  (I admit it-- a "yes" will probably only be given grudgingly.)  But until then, by golly, my gut reaction is as follows: "NO, and mind your own darn business, won't you?"  I won't feel obliged to do something just because this president-- or any president asks it.

(I probably come across as such an awful, willful person, sometimes-- on this blog particularly.  Oh well.  I'm certainly not in a docile, lamblike mood when it comes to those ads.)

- - - - - -

After illegal drugs and politicians, I come to a final bit of happier news--  a snake in the grass!  ;o)

On a walk last week, I suddenly paused, thought "Did I just see what I thought I saw?" and backtracked a step or two.  Yes, I had just stepped over a (very small) snake.  It was a young kingsnake, so it was a pleasure to see him.  (We found him in the first trail back from your yard, Granny and Grandpa.) 

We've also been seeing some type of large bird of prey on our walks-- maybe a red-tailed hawk.  One time after we startled it, it made that raspy call you always hear in TV shows and movies.  It's always exciting to see a large bird that isn't vulture (which are pretty common).  (g)

Otherwise, lots of deer tracks on the trails-- and we've seen the deer themselves a time or two, recently.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

They do look like a dangerous group. . .

It's always interesting when a local story makes the national news:

Thanks to Donald for bringing this to my attention. ;o)