Joke of the Day

Little Johnny’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the ten most wanted criminals.

One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person.

“Yes,” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.”

Little Johnny asked, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?”

Black Gold

A California family claims it is owed a $130 million stake in Coca-Cola Co after their father bought an antique stock certificate in 2008 for a mere $5.

Tony Marohn spent the final year of his life battling the beverage company after tracing the Palmer Union Oil Co certificate to Coca-Cola.

Marohn died in 2010, but his family has taken on the legal battle, saying it is entitled to about 1.8million shares of the soft-drink maker.

Marohn had traced the certificate by way of long-forgotten companies such as Petrocarbon Chemicals Inc and Taylor Wine Co, according to court documents.

But before the family buys that vacation home in Aspen, they’ll have to convince a skeptical Delaware Chancery Court judge that the law is on their side.

‘This is a new version of the Beverly Hillbillies,’ Judge Leo Strine said at a hearing on January 31, according to a court transcript. He was referring to a 1960s television comedy about a backwoods family that becomes rich by finding oil on their property.

If upheld, Marohn’s estate would become among the largest non-institutional investors in Coca-Cola, according to Reuters data.

‘The claim of Mr Marohn’s estate that it is entitled to millions of dollars in Coca-Cola stock – based on a canceled stock certificate for a long-defunct oil company purchased at an estate sale – is meritless and unfair to the Company’s millions of legitimate shareholders,’ said a Thursday statement from Coca-Cola.

Bob Kerstein, who runs the scripophily.com website, which researches and sells antique stock certificates, said he gets lots of inquiries from people who want to redeem old certificates.

‘We get people who have blank stock certificates and they think they have hit the lotto,’ said Kerstein. He said he has to break the news to them they need to be on record with the company as well.

Margules, the Wilmington, Delaware attorney for Marohn’s estate, said he thinks he can persuade Strine that the law favors his client. Marohn’s certificate was endorsed and assigned, but the transferee was left blank.

Marohn filled in his name and began digging through corporate records. He eventually wrote to Coca-Cola to demand 1.8million shares of common stock for his 1,625 Palmer Union Oil shares.

The company refused, and sued Marohn in Delaware’s Chancery Court in 2009 seeking a declaration he was not entitled to the company’s stock.

Marohn’s estate filed papers last week showing courts have upheld that a person who was issued a stock certificate and then endorsed and assigned it – but left blank the name of the transferee — essentially transformed the certificate into a bearer stock. By writing his name on the stock, Marohn became the legal owner, his estate argued.

Strine said in January he would soon decide how to proceed. He also warned the Marohn estate against pursuing ‘a drive by of a public company’ to extract money to drop the case.

‘It’s just not a sport,’ Strine said.

 
 Attribution: Mail Online

Yeah, This is Just What We Need

Neo-Nazis pledge to descend on Sanford, Fla., where Trayvon martin was killed, to protect ‘white citizens’

 By AND / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

 The Florida town roiled by the controversial Trayvon Martin shooting soon may get unwelcome visitors — a group of neo-Nazis.

Members of the Detroit-based National Socialist movement have pledged to descend on Sanford to protect “the white citizens in the area” if there are race riots in the aftermath of the killing that has gripped the nation.

“It’s a virtual tinder box right now,” the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep, told the Daily News. “It’s explosive. It’s on the verge of violence. We need to make sure our white citizens aren’t left defenseless.”

Schoep claimed that up to 20 well-armed members are already in position in Sanford.

Sanford police officials said Saturday they have not spotted any neo-Nazis but have coordinated with the feds to be ready in case violence erupts.

Martin, a 17-year-old black high school student, was wearing a hoodie and unarmed when he was shot Feb. 26 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman claimed he fired in self-defense after Martin attacked him. He has not been arrested or charged and has kept out of the public eye since the incident.

Schoep justified his group’s plan by noting that the New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman.

“We had to act,” Schoep said. “Why is it all right for a black group to put bounties on people?”

Still, Schoep did not exactly offer a rousing defense of the shooter, saying he looked “half-Hispanic or Cuban or something. He certainly doesn’t look white to me.”

Meanwhile, NBC News fired a producer for editing a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call the night he shot Martin.

The producer, who was not identified, trimmed the tape in a manner that suggested Zimmerman volunteered that Martin was black.

Joke du Jour

The latest poll taken by the office of the Governor of Texas asked whether people who live in Texas think illegal immigration is a serious problem:

30% of respondents answered: “Yes, it is a serious problem.”

70% of respondents answered: “No es una problema serio. “

Stormy Weather

Mars orbiters have captured dust devils thundering across the plains of Mars before – but on March 14, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped a 12-mile-high monster.

The ‘devil’ left a streak across the planet’s surface – it’s just 70 yards wide, but higher than Earth tornadoes, a column of dust whirling so fast it would sandblast anything in it.

The length of the shadow indicates that the dust plume reached a height of 12 miles above the surface.

Dozens of smaller dust devils were captured by the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter’s cameras, ‘vacuuming’ the surface around the monster ‘devil’.

Despite its gargantuan height, the plume is only 70 yards in diameter, giving it a snake-like appearance that is twisted by high altitude winds, similar to another dust devil spotted recently in this region.

Despite the atmosphere on Mars being desperately thin – one per cent of Earth’s pressure – the planet’s winds are strong enough to produce dramatic events and in the area observed, paths of many previous whirlwinds, or dust devils, are visible as streaks on the dusty surface.

‘Because the density of Mars’ atmosphere is so low, even a high velocity dust devil is unlikely to knock you over,’ says the University of Arizona team which posted the video.

‘However, you might be blasted by any sand or dust particles carried along by the dust devil, which might scratch the visor of your space suit quickly if you were caught outside by this monster.’

Just as on Earth, winds on Mars are powered by solar heating. Exposure to the sun’s rays declines during this season, yet even now, dust devils act relentlessly to clean the surface of freshly deposited dust, a little at a time.

Dust devils occur on Earth as well as on Mars. They are spinning columns of air, made visible by the dust they pull off the ground. Unlike a tornado, a dust devil typically forms on a clear day when the ground is heated by the sun, warming the air just above the ground.

As heated air near the surface rises quickly through a small pocket of cooler air above it, the air may begin to rotate, if conditions are just right.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been examining Mars with six science instruments since 2006 and has has returned more data about Mars than all other orbital and surface missions combined.

One of its cameras is so powerful they can reveal objects on Mars as small as an office desk.

It has taken over 20,000 photographs of the Red Planet so far.

The Orbiter makes a complete circuit of Mars every 112 minutes, flying a nearly circular orbit that ranges in height from about 255 kilometers (160 miles) over the South Pole to 320 kilometers (200 miles) over the North Pole.

For handling large amounts of data, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has 160 gigabits of solid-state memory and a processor operating at up to 46 million instructions per second.

Explanation of the Martian dust devil construction:

Below is video animation of the Martian dust devil:

Anyone Up for a Race War?

Should we be preparing for a Race War. I don’t know, but listening to these New Black Panther members, maybe so. They seem to be ready & willing for violence. Just listen to this audio and you decide if these people are serious or is it all just bluster. I think, this time, we had better take them at their word.

** Obscene Language Alert**

Stickum Up and Buy this Healthcare plan

By Eric Peters

This is written as the Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of ObamaCare – in particular, it is considering whether the federal government has the authority under the Constitution to force people at gunpoint to buy a health insurance policy from a private, for-profit business. That this is even being – as opposed to dismissed out of hand – tells us just how far down the slippery slope we’ve already slid. But what most people – especially people who support the mandate – may not have considered is where the precedent about to be established will take us.

Unfortunately in law, precedent is everything, because it becomes practice.

Once the courts countenance a given thing, it becomes the basis for countenancing other, similar-in-principle things.  Some 25 years ago, when the courts ruled it was within the government’s constitutional authority to stop motorists at random, without even the pretext of probable cause (as clearly demanded – without qualification – by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution), a precedent was established. Today, we are subject to random stops – and random searches – at any time, just about. It has become a routine – and routinely accepted – practice.

If the government has the authority to force each of us to buy a health insurance policy on the basis of “interstate commerce” or some appeal to the collective greater good – then a new precedent will have been established. Why, having gone that far, would they stop there? Do you imagine the government will stop there?  Has it ever once, having expanded its authority, failed to expand upon that authority?

Why not also force people at gunpoint to buy life insurance?  As things stand, there are families left without a breadwinner – and the breadwinner’s income – following an untimely death. Perhaps some people cannot afford to buy life insurance.  Surely life insurance is just as vital to interstate commerce – and the “security” provided by a policy just as much a “right” as the “right” to health care? Precisely the same arguments can – and will – be used. You are a fool if you don’t see it coming. And it will not come because of the government’s concern for you. It will come because of the concern over the money (and power) to be had – the two things really driving the individual mandate of Obamacare.

Private (an increasingly meaningless term) businesses have had an epiphany. They have come to realize that it’s in their interests to crawl under the sheets with the government. Because government can force people to buy the businesses’ product or service. Why compete for customers’ dollars when you can use the police power of the state to compel them to hand over the loot? And even better, you (the “private” business) no longer need worry much about quality, efficiency or customer service. After all, what are your customers going to do? They have to buy what you’re selling – or else.

As bad as HMOs and PPOs are – as Soviet and DMV-like as the staff at your doctor’s office may be – at least they cannot put a gun to your head. At least, you have the option of telling them what you think – and walking out the door. Shortly, that may change. And the only thing that will change is the threat of violence for noncompliance. The Soviet and DMV-like experience will be the same – no, it will grow worse. Because you won’t be able to say no – or walk out the door.

Not without the NKVD[People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs] stepping in to correct you. 

And then the precedent will be expanded – and become the general practice.

Life insurance. Home insurance (even if you’ve paid off your home and would rather save the $800 a year that is typically charged). And since this is a car-minded column, let’s not forget cars.

GM and Ford and the rest of them are having a heck of time selling the American consumer on the merits of electric and other “green” cars. Surely, it is in the interests of the furtherance of interstate commerce and the Greater Good that Americans be required to purchase a “green” vehicle. It would help the car companies. It would be an investment in “our future.” Surely, we cannot afford to allow selfish and irresponsible people to avoid paying their fair share….

I wish this were farce. But if the Supremes hold ObamaCare “constitutional” then we no longer have a Constitution. What we will have is the precedent of unlimited, open-ended federal authority – which in short order will become the routine practice of forcing each of us to do (and buy) literally anything. The flower will have blossomed. America will cease to exist.

But we’ll have “health care.”

And much more besides…

I Can Fly

The nation’s first ever zip-line roller coaster, the Rattlesnake, sends dangling riders flying off a 65 foot tower over treetops on a 1,000 feet long rail of sharp curves and plunging dips.

The eco-tourism ride, which lasts for about a minute, is set on the 4,700-acre Forever Florida conservation area in Osceola County.

The attraction is part of a $1.5 million expansion at Florida EcoSafaris in St. Cloud and opened Friday.

‘It’s inspired by zip lining, but it’s gone way past that,’ Matt Duda, sales and marketing director at Florida EcoSafaris, which opened the state’s first zip line in 2009, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Unlike the traditional zip lines the Rattlesnake does not follow a straight course.

‘It’s the evolution of zip line toward high-volume, high-capacity thrill rides. This is one of many ways that zip rides are going — further, faster and articulated turns.’

 ‘That’s the amusement-park ride aspect of this.’ Michael Smith, adventure-course consultant and operator told the Sentinel.

The Rattlesnake is only the second of its kind in the world, the first is similar ride at a park in Tulum, Mexico.

Emily Kaufman, a California-based travel expert known as the Travel Mom, who previewed the ride last month gave it her approval

‘It married a couple of things that I really love: The-zip line experience – the fantasy of feeling like you’re really flying – and a roller coaster. It wasn’t too intense, but intense enough,’ she told the Sentinel.

Zip Lines which began as a form of transportation have become more and more popular in the country.

‘Every single day I’m learning about a new tour. We’re seeing a boom simply because the population is desperate for activities that evoke imagination and inspiration.’

‘And you pair that with the green movement that’s going on – the connecting with the natural world – you have a product that sells itself on so many levels.’ Mr Smith said, reports the Sentinel.

The park’s expansion also saw several other rides opening today, including the Panther Pounce, a 68-foot freefall from an observation tower; Swooping Crane, where guests drop themselves from a height of 55 feet, creating a giant, swinging motion; and Peregrine Plunge, side-by-side, 1,300-foot straight zip lines.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Joke du Jour

A Groaner

Two robins were sitting in a tree.

“I’m really hungry,” said the first one. “Let’s fly down and find some lunch.”

They flew down to the ground and found a nice plot of newly plowed ground that was full of worms. They ate and ate and ate till they could eat no more.

“I’m so full, I don’t think I can fly back up into the tree,” said the first one.

“Let’s just lay back here and bask in the warm sun,” said the second.

“OK,” said the first.

So they plopped down, basking in the sun. No sooner than they had fallen asleep, when a big fat tomcat came up and gobbled them up.

As the cat sat washing his face after his meal, he thought…

“I JUST LOVE BASKIN ROBINS.”

What a Looker

For suspected drug trafficker Ronaldo Silva, prison was a real drag… so he decided to escape in what he thought was the perfect disguise.

When his wife came to visit him at Penedo prison in Brazil , he popped on her bra, threw on a wig and poured his curves into her pretty blue dress.

He even shaved his arms and legs for good measure, and squeezed into a pair of killer heels.

But his plan to sashay through the prison gates went awry after he forgot one thing: it can take a woman years to master how to glide naturally in high heels.

Half an hour into his daring bid for freedom, one eagle-eyed guard noticed that, despite looking like a woman, he didn’t walk like one.

He was followed as far as the bus station before police picked him up and dragged him back to jail.

The jail’s director Carlos Welber said Silva had swapped clothes with his wife during her weekly visit.

She left the prison wearing his bermuda shorts and another top she had brought in her bag.

He told Brazil’s Globo G1 website: ‘He left the prison shortly after her, along with other inmates’ wives. He was wearing a wig, painted false nails and a long dress. He’d spent a long time shaving his legs and arms. There was a lot of preparation and premeditation involved in this.’

Silva managed to get past prison guards, but a policeman patrolling the street outside became suspicious and decided to follow him.

Mr Welber said: ‘He noticed that the woman was walking funny and looked strange. He followed him to the bus station, where two men were waiting on motorbikes to pick him up.

‘The policeman approached him and managed to arrest him and bring him back, still dressed as a woman.’

Silva had been awaiting trial for drug trafficking.

He was transferred to the prison last month after another escape attempt, when armed men tried to invade another jail to release him.

According to Mr Welber, Silva’s wife admitted changing clothes with her husband but claimed she had no idea why he wanted them.

He said: ‘He was the one who demanded her clothes, at least that’s what she’s telling us. Of course we don’t believe her, but that’s her story.

‘At the time it was visiting hour and there were more than 150 family members inside the prison. But we’re taking measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’

Attribution: Matt Blake