How’s the Air up There?

Standing five foot six inches tall he was was well within the boundaries of normal.

But, in his mind’s eye, this New Yorker, who wants to be known only as Apotheosis, saw himself in a different light, as a statuesque six foot.

Desperate to become the man he believed he should be, the determined 37-year-old turned to drastic measures- undergoing agonising, expensive surgery.

The procedure, in which both legs are broken and then slowly stretched, bears more than a little resemblance to medieval torture.

But the brave patient has now achieved a remarkable six inches of extra height.

‘Apotheosis’ explained: “I realized that the world looked at me a certain way that I didn’t look at myself in that certain way.”

“I wanted the way I felt about myself and the way the world felt about me to be similar.”

In some cultures the painful and expensive procedure is seen as an investment in the future.

The trend for limb-lengthening surgery swept China where minimum heights are often quoted in personal and job advertisements as the country opened up to the West a decade ago. To join the foreign service men are required to be at least five foot seven. But the controversial surgery was banned in 2006 after a succession of botched jobs.

Meanwhile a ‘growing’ number of men are pursuing limb-lengthening operations in the U.S.

Florida based orthopedic surgeon Dr Dror Paley is one of few U.S. doctors to have completed the cosmetic procedure.

The surgeon, who works at the Paley Institute at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, last year performed 650 leg-lengthening surgeries, most but not all to remedy deformities.

Dr Paley said: ‘The majority who come for cosmetic limb lengthening have what we call, height dysphoria. They’re unhappy with their height.

“It’s one of the few psychologic-psychiatric disorders that you can actually cure with the knife.”

The surgery is not for the faint-hearted. The leg bone is broken in two. The doctor then implants a state-of-the-art telescopic rod into the cartilage of the bone which then pulls it apart very gradually, one millimeter a day.

New living bone grows along it to fill the gap and the muscles, nerves, the arteries, and the skin, also renew themselves.

The cost is a prohibitive at $85,000, and takes at least three months to complete. Gruelling physical therapy is essential.

Apotheosis travelled to Germany for his surgery and has first generation implants that are extended by the body’s movement rather than remote control.

He is still recovering and is reluctant to speak too soon of success. He told ABC News:  “I am still lengthening right now and there could be further complications so I don’t want to talk about it until it’s been successful.”

On makemetaller.org a candid internet discussion board for those considering surgery he advises: “I am not telling anyone they should do this surgery, but I am laying out my experiences and the risks that I have taken and the successes that I have had and let people make their own decision,” he said.

But he says he already feels like a new man.

“When I walk down the street a different person perceived differently by the world for the rest of my life, you know, I am who I want to be now,” he said.

The online nickname Apotheosis, comes from the Greek to become godlike, in the sense of being the best you can be.

“And that’s kind of what I want? And I am not trying to be godlike; I am trying to be the best me that I can be.”

Attribution: Daily Mail

Take the Shot

A high school basketball enthusiast, who contracted a potentially fatal illness and fell into a coma, astounded doctors when she continued to shoot hoops in her comatose state.

Maggie Meier fell ill in 2008 and was admitted to a hospital after suffering a seizure.

The student at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas was found to have mycoplasma meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis which causes swelling on the brain.

The teenager fell into a coma for almost three months during which time she was moved every two to three hours to prevent her limbs stiffening up.

To remind her of who she was, the family placed a basketball in Maggie’s hands when she was seated upright in a wheelchair. Amazingly, the young woman’s reflexes kicked in and she started shooting hoops.

Dr William Graf, Meier’s neurologist said, “The act of shooting a basketball must have been ingrained as one of Maggie’s basic instincts, her basketball shooting motion came back to her even before she was able to stand up or walk again.”

On the road to recovery: Maggie Meier had to relearn how to walk, speak and read after spending several months in a coma.

During the girl’s extended stint in the hospital, she would shoot a few hoops, then fall back into a comatose state.

Since coming out of her coma, the high school student has had to relearn every facet of her daily life – how to walk, speak and read.

During her stay in the hospital, Maggie’s fellow players on the school team the Huskies and coach David Glenn kept a chair by the court which said ‘reserved for Maggie Meier’ on the back.

On Monday, she returned to the court after almost four years spent recovering.

She said, “When I’m out there, I don’t think about it that much… But when I do think about it, it’s pretty awesome.”

After graduating high school, Miss Meier plans to go to Benedictine College in Kansas and study for a degree in special education.

Mycoplasma meningoencephalitis is a bacterial disease which causes inflammation of the brain.

Although the condition is reversible and patients can make a full recovery, in certain cases the illness can be fatal.

Attribution: UK Daily Mail

Ode to Obama

From: Madeleine Morgenstern of The Blaze:

Kindergarteners at a Texas elementary school were sent home with lyrics to a pro-President Barack Obama song that included such lines as, “Barack Obama is the man” and “He’s our man, yes we can!”

The song, part of a Black History Month program, was forwarded from a parent at Tipps Elementary School in Houston to Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, a nationally syndicated radio host and frequent fill-in for Glenn Beck. Included with the lyrics was an apparent memo to kindergarten teachers that said kindergarteners would be “required” to learn the chant for the program [all spelling errors below are original]:

Team:
Attached is a chant about President Barack Obama. All Kindergarteners will be required to learn the chant for the Black History program. Please write how many you will need. Keep one copy to practice with students at school.

Thanks,
Mary Stovall
Bridgette Babineaux

The Barack Obama Song

Who is our 44th President?
Obama is our 44th President
Who is a DC resident?
Obama is a DC resident
Resident, President

Who’s favorite team is the Chicago White Sox?
Obama’s favorite team is the Chicago White sox
Who really thinks outside the box?
Obama really thinks outside the box
Outside the box, Chicago White Sos
Resident, President

Who really likes to play basketball?
Obama really likes to play basketball
Who’s gonna answer our every call?
Every Call, Basketball
Outside the box, Chicago White Sox
Resident, President

Who’s famous slogan is Yes we can?
Obama’s famous slogan is Yes we can
Who do we know is the man?
Barack Obama is the man
He’s our man, Yes we can!
Every Call, Basketvall
Outside the box, Chicago White Sox
Resident, President

Who won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?
Obama won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?
Now can you guess who’s a famous author
Barack Obama is a famous author

End Article

Editors notes: Teachers wrote this thing? Don’t they at least have spellcheck?

Are these kids American school children or are these Hitler Youth? I’ll bet they know more about Obama than George Washington.

I personally don’t recall reading about George playing hoops, but maybe it’s written somewhere.

To the two dimwitted Teachers; the book is, “Dreams from my Father”, not “Dreams of my Father”.

And lest you forgot, this is not the first anthem from the growing Obama hymnal.

Do you recall this masterpiece from 2009?

Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Yes!
Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Still don’t think our kids are being indoctrinated?

Where are They Now?

Has anyone heard the caterwauling from the democrats about high gas prices lately. Wonder why that is?

Nancy Pelosi, May, 2007:

Hillary Clinton, May, 2008:

From Frank “The Laut” Lautenberg (D-NJ), April, 2008: “This week, the price of oil and gasoline both hit new record highs – almost $120 for a barrel of oil and more than $3.50 a gallon for gas. These out-of-control prices mean that hundreds of thousands of Americans are driving to work and spending too much of their day just earning back the cost of their commute. The American people deserve to know why this happened,” Lautenberg said.

He added, “It’s long past time to change our national priorities. We know there’s little hope that President Bush will suddenly wake up and see the light. But unfortunately, his Republican allies in Congress continue to stand by his side, with the oil and energy companies – for the status quo and against the American people… The best way to ensure that gas prices remain high is to vote Republican this fall.”

Democrats and the Media on high gas prices, 2012:

Evidently the “American People” don’t deserve to know what is now happening.

With gas prices higher than they’ve ever been at this time of the year (doesn’t bode well for the summer) and the dems controlling two thirds of the government, how would Frank have us vote this November?

Excuse me Dear, Can You Pass the Beaker

The world’s first test-tube burger will be ready to eat within months.

It will look, feel and, it is hoped, taste, like a regular quarter-pounder, its creator Mark Post told the world’s premier science conference.

He plans to unveil the hamburger in October – and hopes celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal will cook it, although he has yet to approach him.

The ‘ethical meat’ will would be kinder to the environment than the real thing, reduce animal suffering and help feed the world’s burgeoning population.

But it will be far from cheap with the prototype burger costing £220,000 ($350,000) to produce.

Professor Post says that ‘everyone’ will want to eat the burgers, which, despite their vast initial cost could eventually be priced to match that of real meat.

However, it remains to be seen whether a public that likes to think of its chops, steaks and sausages as having their roots in nature will take to meat made in test-tubes.

The Maastricht University professor has spent the last six years trying to turn stem cells – ‘master cells’ with the power to turn into all other cell types – into meat.

His first attempts involved mouse burgers. He then tried to grow pork in a dish, producing strips with the rubbery texture of squid or scallops, before settling on beef.

A four-step technique is used to turn stem cells from animal flesh into a burger.

 

First, the stem cells are stripped from the cow’s muscle.

Next, they are incubated in a nutrient broth until they multiply many times over, creating a sticky tissue with the consistency of an undercooked egg.

This ‘wasted muscle’ is then bulked up through the laboratory equivalent of exercise – it is anchored to Velcro and stretched.

Finally, 3,000 strips of the lab-grown meat are minced, and, along with 200 pieces of lab-grown animal fat, formed into a burger.

The process is still lengthy, as well as expensive, but optimised, it could take just six weeks from stem cell to supermarket shelf.

Yesterday, Professor Post told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference in Vancouver that he has so far made a strip of beef measuring 3cm (1-3/16″) by 1.5cm (9/16″) by 0.5cm (3/16″).

This beef is ‘pinkish to yellow’ in colour – but he is confident of having a full-sized and properly coloured burger by the autumn.

The professor, who is funded by an anonymous but highly-successful benefactor, said: ‘It’s not quite ready, it’s going to be presented in October.

‘We are going to provide a proof of concept, showing that out of stem cells you can produce a product that looks like and feels like and hopefully tastes like meat.

‘Seeing and tasting is believing.’ Sausages and other processed meat products could swiftly follow, although pork chops and sirloin steaks will be much more problematic.

Other possibilities include synthetic versions of the meat from are animals such as pandas and tigers.

Meats could also be made extra-healthy by boosting their content of ‘good’ fats.

Far fewer animals would have to be kept to satisfy the appetite for meat.

The stem cell’s extraordinary ability to grow and multiply means that a cells taken from a single cow could produce a million times more burgers than if the animal was slaughtered for meat.

Researchers say they realise that many will find the idea of eating lab-grown meat unnatural – but point out that the livestock eaten at the moment is often kept in cramped conditions and dosed with chemicals or antibiotics.

However, the fact that the source material comes from animals who will likely have slaughtered means that not all vegetarians will be happy with the product.

The fledgling technology was highlighted in discussion paper about current and future demands on livestock production published recently by the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific body.

The paper’s author, Professor Philip Thornton, of the International Livestock Research Institute in Edinburgh, wrote: ‘This is one example of something that could happen in the future that could have a very big impact on agriculture and livestock production.

‘There are some advantages to the idea. For example, you could reduce the number of live animals substantially and that would reduce greenhouse gas production.

‘There might be human health benefits because the health and safety issues associated with meat could be much better controlled.

‘But are people going to eat it? People’s tastes have changed a lot over the years and eventually this may be something that is widely taken up.’

Cautioning about the economic impact on farmers, the professor said: ‘If you are talking about large-scale reductions in numbers of livestock, there are large-scale implications and we’d have to look very carefully to see if the benefits would outweigh some of the problems that might arise.’

It will be at least ten years before the artificial meat is produced on an industrial scale and has satisfied the safety testing necessary for it be placed on supermarket shelves.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Can’t Find a Job?… Join the Club

The True Unemployment Rate: 36%

By: John Hayward

How would you define “Unemployment?” Statistics on unemployment are bandied around in the media all the time. Changes in these statistics are hailed as good or bad news for the President, with varying degrees of emphasis from the news networks, depending on which party the President belongs to. But what do these statistics truly measure?

Would you define “unemployment” as measuring “people who want a job, but can’t get one?” This is, broadly speaking, the definition embraced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The trick to making those numbers dance lies in measuring “people who want a job.”

The widely reported U-3 unemployment metric, currently standing at 8.3 percent, is very aggressive in shaving off people who have not made recent efforts to find work. It is further distorted by massive “seasonal adjustments,” which made over a million people vanish into thin air last month.

This is why the official unemployment rate gets lower when the American workforce contracts. Workforce contraction is a very bad thing. People who simply cannot find work, and languish on unemployment insurance for years, are the last thing a prosperous country needs… but those people don’t count in the official unemployment rate.

For example, if everyone under the age of 25 abruptly stopped looking for work, it would be an economic disaster, but the official unemployment rate would go down, because the pool of people looking for work would get smaller.

(That’s not quite as far-fetched an example as it might sound, incidentally. Even the heavily-massaged U-3 unemployment rate currently sits at 23.2 percent for ages 16-19, and 13.3 percent for ages 20-24… and it’s about two percent higher for young men. Policies that increase the cost of labor, such as minimum-wage increases and mandated benefits, have a particularly punishing effect on young entry-level workers, since their labor has less intrinsic value than experienced older employees.)

This is precisely what has been happening under Barack Obama. The workforce is contracting with horrible speed, but it has the beneficial side effect of making the official unemployment rate go down a little, although 8.3 percent is still pathetic.

The Administration bounces happily before the cameras and announces its policies are “working,” and job creation is now “on the right track,” even as their best months post job creation only slightly in excess of population growth – and they’ve only had a few such months.

Pundits begin wondering if the old political rules that say re-election is impossible with unemployment over 6 or 7 percent might not apply to this President, if he can campaign on a slowly declining unemployment rate.

Another side effect of the way our unemployment statistics are prepared, and reported, comes when America’s employment picture is compared to the figures from other nations. Are the unemployment statistics reported from, say, Greece or Italy calculated in precisely the same manner as the American U-3 rate? If not, then how can we make valid comparisons between them?

Since the concept of people who aren’t looking for work is so fluid, and some of those people have clearly been persuaded not to look for work because of job-destroying government policies, it might be more logical to measure unemployment using the standard incorrectly offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U-3 rate: “total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force.” That’s what the U-3 rate claims to measure, but it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working? Answer: 36.3 percent.

That’s the worst labor participation rate in three decades, and it’s part of the worst employment picture we’ve seen since the Great Depression. Labor force participation is the number we should really be looking at, even more than the unemployment figures cooked up on the monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those figures have their uses as well, but it seems reasonable to measure the overall health of the economy by the number of people who simply are not participating in the labor force.

This would always be a much higher number than the BLS unemployment statistic, even when the economy was humming along at maximum power.

There are always going to be working-age people who drop out of the labor force, for reasons that have nothing to do with the nation’s overall economic health.

The labor force participation rate hasn’t exceeded 67 percent in the past decade, so we would be looking at a true “unemployment” number that bounces between roughly thirty and forty percent.

The difference between good and bad percentages is relatively small, which makes the true “unemployment” figure less sexy for news coverage, and therefore less useful to politicians… but it’s more logical to measure small changes in a large, accurate number than big changes in a small, largely fantastic number.

Writing at Red State, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending, offers an eye-popping chart measuring the effect of President Obama’s “stimulus” policies on workforce participation:

Jordan writes in support of the Jobs Through Growth Act, a package of dramatic reforms that includes a flat tax with two low rates, reduced corporate taxes, regulatory relief, and increased domestic energy production.  Those are the sort of changes America needs to make, if we want to do more than fiddle with imaginary unemployment numbers, whose very definition is subject to “adjustment” on a massive scale.  Those who define “unemployment” as “the number of working-age Americans who aren’t working” should waste no time on small reforms.

There’s a Fly in My….

A woman’s husband went to the men’s room in the Schiphol Airport located in Amsterdam.

He saw a fly and did his best to ‘wash’ it down the drain… but failed. He figured the fly had super glue foot pads!!!

Now he knows why it was there!

They’ve also been sighted in Moscow & Singapore bathrooms as well as JFK Airport in New York.

Attribution: Mina

I’m Sorry, I Forgot the Anniversary

Happy Anniversary! (A day or so belated)

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas (internment camps, or prison camps; whichever you prefer). Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used mostly to imprison Americans of Japanese descent. However, to a lesser extent, both Germans & Italians were detained. By 1943, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans had been forced at gun point from their homes and moved to camps in inland areas of the United States.

The FDR sicofant historians say that due to the shock of Pearl Harbor and of Japanese atrocities in the Philippines fueling already tense race relations on America’s West Coast and in the face of political, military, and public pressure, Roosevelt accepted the relocation proposal.

Was there pressure? You bet there was.

This letter from Sen. Harley Kilgore, a Democrat (you know, the party of the people & of immigrants) member of the powerful Senate Committee on Military Affairs, is an example of the political pressure to deal with the issue of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast that Roosevelt was receiving. It was sent to the President the same day he signed the order of internment.

The following is the text of the order signed by Roosevelt:

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.

So the President, by virtue of no authority I can find in the Constitution, duly authorized the Secretary of War & military commanders to pretty much do whatever they want, whenever they want & however they want.

Rather than stand up for what was right and Constitutional, FDR bowed to political pressure,  just As all great Presidents have done.

I always leaders were supposed to lead.

So, Happy Anniversary everyone. By the way; don’t think this could never happen again.

 With the recently minted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the President has now the authority to arrest & detain any person, citizen or not, for virtually any reason.

The Act allows for the indefinite military detention of any person alleged to be a member of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”

The provisions also apply to any person who supports or aids “belligerent” acts against the United States, whether the person is apprehended beyond our borders or on domestic soil.

Of course it doesn’t define a “belligerant” act.

Soon we may have to change that whole “Land of the Free” thing.

Attribution: Roosevelt Archives

Don’t Tell My Kids

Playing video games could improve the vision of people born with cataracts, according to new research.

Surgery and contact lenses do not always work – and people experience visual difficulties into adulthood.

However, some of these effects can be reversed if the individual follows a short course of ‘game therapy’.

Doctor Maurer, of McMaster University in Canada, said: “After playing an action video game for just 40 hours over four weeks, the patients were better at seeing small print, the direction of moving dots, and the identity of faces.”

Psychologist Daphne Maurer has researched how vision develops in individuals born with cataracts in both eyes.

Previous research found that a 40-hour ‘course’ of video gaming could be used to treat ‘lazy eye’ or amblyopia, a brain disorder in which the vision in one eye fails to develop properly.

‘Those improvements tell us that the adult brain is still plastic enough to be trained to overcome sensory deficiencies,’ says Maurer.

Dr Maurer is internationally known for her work on “synaesthetes” – a condition that makes people’s brains link different senses.

Dr Maurer is due to present her findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, in a session called The Effects of Early Experience on Lifelong Functioning: Commitment and Resilience.

Attribution: Daily Mail