Detroit Water Brigade

40% of Detroit’s population is about to have their water shut off -

The Detroit Water and Sewage Department is conducting mass water shut offs in Detroit Michigan which will effect over 120,000 account holders over a 3 month period (June-September 2014) at a rate of 3,000 per week. This accounts for over 40% of customers who are using the Detroit Water system and has been dubbed a violation of Human Rights by various organizations. 70,000 of those accounts are residential accounts which could amount to anywhere from 200,000-300,000 people directly effected.
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Detroit Water Brigade

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California Pastor Pleads Guilty To Forcing 13-Year-Old To Dig His Own Grave

California Pastor Pleads Guilty To Forcing 13-Year-Old To Dig His Own Grave

This story just absolutely makes my blood boil.  How in the hell could he only get 2 years for doing this to his own child.  And people want me to believe we would be a better Nation if we made Christianity our National Religion.  I don't freaking think so!

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Building Material Made From Fungi

Inhabitat Check Out this amazing building material made from fungi!

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On the toppling of the gremlin rock

So, the Government didn't topple this past week, but thanks to a Boy Scout Leader claiming to be disabled because of a car accident, a rock that had stood balanced for millions of years, was toppled. Isn't it amazing what the "disabled" can do when they set their minds to it?  Of all the things that have annoyed me this past week, and believe me, plenty of things have annoyed me the last few days, what those men did in many ways annoys me the most because Boy Scout Leaders, are supposed to be teaching their scouts a love of, and respect for Mother Nature. 

Seeing the happiness and joy on their faces, and listening to their laughter as they did this dastardly deed sickened me to my soul. Knowing they were Boy Scout Leaders outraged me beyond belief! The only bright spot in this whole mess is that they were actually dumb enough to tape themselves toppling that rock, and post it on a social media site for all the world to see. Easy videos and social media sites are doing to more "capture" some of the terminally stupid criminals than anything ever has. I just keeping wondering when they are going to wise up, and at least stop posting their videos online for the whole world to see?

As for them claiming they were trying to save lives, I'm not buying it for a moment.  I don't know what really possessed these Mormon Boy Scout Leaders to topple that rock, but I do not believe for one moment they truly thought they were saving lives by toppling a rock that had stood balanced there for millions of years! 

I hope three things happen here.  I hope the Boy Scouts kick them out.  I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and forever banned from entering all City, State, and National Parks.  And I hope that one loses his lawsuit.  

Daily Kos :: Utah rock vandal filed lawsuit in September, claims disability

Men may face felony charges after toppling Goblin Valley formation | The Salt Lake Tribune

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The Kitchen Witches

"The Kitchen Witches," Little Fish Theatre, San Pedro, CA

August 4th 2013

Photos courtesy of Mickey Elliot.

The Food Network features cooking royalty (read: celebrities), with kitchens to die for, prep work that appears by magic, and time condensed so that three-hour ragus are done, from start to finish, in thirty seconds. Cable Access TV, on the other hand, presents "The Kitchen Witches" Izzy Lomax (Adriana Bate) and Dolly Biddle (Madeleine Drake), with shows of dubious production values that are more like outtakes than polished footage. Mortal enemies from way back, the two women share a TV kitchen, a lot of baggage, and a long-held secret. Written by Caroline Smith and directed by C. Ryanne Laratonda for Little Fish Theatre, it's a hilarious and touching story of reconciliation, renewal, and redemption.

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Orlando police K-9 recovering after near drowning at hands of suspect, cops say

An Orlando police K-9 is recovering after authorities say a suspected burglar repeatedly held the dog underwater, nearly drowning him. Read More.....

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New Stick Insect found

Mysterious New Stick Insect Discovered that Sprays Like a Skunk - Animal News: Animal Planet


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A tragedy waiting to happen

The recent shooting of a couple of students at Harwell Middle School has given me one of those severe, "WTF were they thinking?" moments. The new school, which opened this year, is in close proximity to a couple of hunting leases. School district Superintendent Rene Guiterrez says they were not aware there were hunting leases on the west side of the school. How can a Superintendent of the school NOT be aware of something like that? Whose bright idea was it to build the school there? Are the people responsible for having the school built there really so dumb they have no freaking idea just how far a bullet fired from a high powered hunting rifle can travel? Didn't anyone, at any point look at the plans for where the school was going to be built and say, "Hey, do you really think it's a good idea to put our new school next to those two hunting leases?"

The gun control people are already trying to use this as yet another reason to screw with our right to bear arms. But, as far as I'm concerned this isn't about gun control. It's about common sense. Or rather the lack of it shown by those who are responsible for having a school built that close to two hunting leases. Yes, hunters should be careful where they shoot. However, I don't care how careful they are, a school built that close to hunting leases is a tragedy waiting to happen.

School officials are now considering putting up a cinder-block wall to protect the kids. My neighbor, Eric Kennedy, (yes, he's related to those Kennedy's), is an avid hunter, and knows just how far a bullet can travel. He has suggested what I consider a better plan for solving this whole dilemma. To quote him "If we are going to start fixing America let's do it right. Screw the cinder-block wall. Just move the politicians in City Hall and the County Courthouse to the new school. They would have a brand new buildings, plenty of desks, wonderful views, wildlife all around them, and a great big parking lot they could play basketball in. The kids could be moved to City Hall and the Courthouse where they would be safe." Kudos, Eric for what I consider a completely brilliant idea on how to solve that problem!

This incident is disturbing in many ways. Not only have two children been shot, but according to what I have read, one land owner will not be leasing his land out after this year. Is it because of the school now being there? Had the land been leased for hunting before the school was built there? If so, why should a land owner have to give up leasing his land out? Shouldn't the people who are responsible for building the school where it is have thought about those hunting leases, and the revenue they bring in to the land owner and the community, before they built the school there?

Speaking of money. Did money exchange hands under the table for that school to actually be built where it was? If so, what price did those receiving that now bloodstained money put on the lives of the children in their community?

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Weighing the risks

I've been keeping a close eye on the story concerning the law suit filed against the Pa. school district that is accused of crossing privacy lines by using web cams on laptops to spy on their students with. The school finally did issue a statement stating they use the remote feature only in the case of a stolen laptop, and at no time have they ever violated privacy laws. I'm not much impressed with said statement though given the fact that I keep reading where a student was accused of inappropriate behavior in his home, and apparently presented with a photograph as evidence of that behavior that was taken with the built in web cam. So far, there has been no indication that the student's laptop was ever reported stolen.

Even with privacy safeguards like the school claims it has followed in place, isn't there a risk that a hacker could gain control of the remote feature on those distributed laptops via one of their Trojan Horse or other programs? And isn't there a terrible irony in the possibility that a hacker could possibly gain control of computers given to students to work on via such a Trojan Horse program? When one considers just how sick and vicious some of the hackers and trolls roaming the internet today are, I think the question of just how safe the laptops given to students really are, most definitely needs to be addressed. Should the answer to that question be not 100% safe, then when one considers what could happen if a hacker with pedophile tendencies gained control of one or more of those distributed laptops, it is enough to chill the blood of any loving parent.

Giving laptops out for students to work on is a wonderful idea. However, given the possible potential for misuse by the schools themselves, as well as by hackers, it is a wonderful idea that needs to be carefully thought out and well studied to insure that those gifts do not themselves become Trojan Horses that could wind up biting the givers and receivers of those gifts in the butt in some very sad and savage ways. What the school in Pa. has been accused of, could wind up only being the tip of the iceberg where that matter is concerned. Think about it.......

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Pa school is playing Big Brother

We are living a world where many people are getting far too accustomed to having their privacy invaded in various ways by technology. Google maps are zooming in on homes and businesses all over the world. GPS devices are being used in a variety of ways that sometimes cross legal lines when they used by stalkers to pinpoint the location of their victims. RATT phones supplied by suspicious spouses and other nosey people are listening in to what should be private conversations. And now a Pa. school district has done the unthinkable, and is accused of eavesdropping on its students inside their homes via remote controlled web cams on the laptops it supplied to said students. Suit: Pa. school spied on students via laptops (AP)

When you take into consideration that students are very likely to take those laptops supplied by the school into their bedrooms to do homework on, the idea of the school having remote web cams that can be turned on at any time, is disgustingly scary to say the very least.

The real irony here is that this Big Brother behavior by the school was uncovered when an assistant principal told a student he thought he had engaged in inappropriate behavior at home, then produced a photograph taken by the web cam on the computer supplied by the school as evidence. None of the stories I've read so far have said what the inappropriate behavior of the young student was. I can't help but feel that whatever that student did, it isn't half as bad as what the school has done by invading the homes of its students in the manner it has.

Some students from that school are now placing masking tape over the web cams and microphones on their school supplied computers. And though many are probably going to laugh at this, I actually started putting a small piece of sticky note over the built in iSight cameras on my macs a couple of years ago after watching a movie where a hacker took control of a computer web cam. I figured even back then, better safe than sorry when it came to that all seeing little eye on the top of my display screen.

The Lower Merion School District should ashamed of itself for violating the privacy of its students, as well their parents in the manner it has. They are at best, guilty of a form of illegal wiretapping, and at worst, no better than a pedophile who puts hidden cameras in bathrooms. The faculty members responsible for this breach of privacy need to be held accountable for their actions. And the school district as a whole needs to understand that their job of monitoring students does not extend past the boundaries of the schoolyard.

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Their coverage map, isn't their only problem

AP Exclusive: Network flaw causes scary Web error - Yahoo! News:  According to this story, their coverage map, isn't the only problem AT&T has right now.  Seems sometimes when people try to log into their Facebook pages from their cell AT&T phones, they are winding up at other people's Facebook pages.  The truly scary part here is that the people getting to these pages by mistake, are landing on them with full access to private information on that page.  Sure makes me glad I don't do Facebook, or even Twitter my time away.  And that I learned a long long time ago, there is NO such thing as true privacy on the net.  There are too many hackers, crackers, trolls, and things can go wrong for that to exist. 

Anyone who is reading these words, and thinks there is such a thing as a safe place on the net, needs to do a reality check.  First all, the term net, when used in connection with the online thing means Network.  Not like the net under a high wire that is there to safely catch the person walking that high wire should he or she slip and fall from the wire.  Realistically speaking, when in comes to private information, there is no safety net, for the net itself.  If you learn nothing else today, please take note of, and learn that lesson. 

If you are a conservative type person, especially one of those pillars of the community types, my advice is NEVER say or post anything on the net you wouldn't want to see posted at, oh let's say your local post office bulletin board.  If you are not at all conservative, or the pillar of the community type, and are really adventurous, not to mention an exhibitionist at heart, go ahead and say and post whatever you want, anywhere you want.  Then, hope like hell it never comes back to haunt should you decide to settle down and become a conservative pillar of the community type.  I suggest all those that fall somewhere in between those two categories use common sense and discretion when posting anything on the net, including private information about yourself. 

I'm not trying to scare you so bad here you throw your mouse down in utter horror and run screaming from your computer.  But, I am trying to make anyone reading these words, be you a net savvy person like myself, or a newbie to the net, realize that the term "privacy on the net" is an oxymoron at best.  If companies aren't trying to track you to find out as much info as they can in hopes of selling you something you don't really need, hackers are busy as beavers in a flood trying to figure out new and creative ways of hacking Facebook, Twitter and other such sites.  In between all that, there are network glitches like the one AT&T customers are occasionally experiencing.

Do enjoy your time on the net.  The world wide web can be a fun, interesting, and even educational place at times.  Just use common sense caution when surfing, making posts, and divulging private information about yourself, and/or friends and family because among many other things, the net can also be a dangerous place for those who don't understand how it truly works, and sometimes really messes up.

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Beware of bogus Haiti relief scams

As I was catching up on what is going on around me by reading the news headlines this morning I came across across a story that reminded me some criminals are always eager to take advantage of disaster.  For those of you wanting to make a donation to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, please read this story, FBI Warns of Bogus Haiti Online Donation Scams first, and make sure the donation you are making is actually going to those victims, and not in the pockets of some low life cyber criminal.  However, Snopes has said the messages posted on Facebook that you can Make a $10 donation to the Haiti relief effort by texting the word Haiti to 90999 are true.  Please do be aware the $10 donation will be charged to your cell phone bill, and NOT made by some other charitable organization or donor.

My perusal this morning of the technology news headlines this morning also made me more aware the
Google Hack has raised many concerns concerning China

And on an Oddly Enough news note,
Montenegro's only hippopotamus has escaped from the mountainous Adriatic nation's zoo.

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