Sunday, July 17, 2016

160 Children Enjoy Cambridge, Maryland, Carnival

CAMBRIDGE, MD– The 600 block of Pine Street, Cambridge, Maryland, was the place to be on Wednesday, July 22, 2009, as around 160 children from the Empowerment Center, New Beginnings Youth and Family Services, Visions Learning Center and Waugh United Methodist Church (UMC) joined together for a host of fun activities. The event was the third annual Summer Fun Carnival sponsored by the Pine Street Committee (PSC).

Octavene Saunders of the PSC thanked those that volunteered for making the carnival possible and said, “The Dorchester Elks Lodge #223 donated all of the food and most of the drinks, and have done all of the cooking. This is their third year of supporting us.”

The PSC also acquired ice cream at a reduced price from Charlie Gabbins and made it free for the children participating in the programs.

Youngsters enjoyed ring toss, water balloons, bike races, basket ball, jump rope, a three legged race and were given prizes. Some children won money in various dance contests decided by six judges. Arm and face painting was provided by Dorchester County Recreation and Parks.

The young people also enjoyed Gil the Magnificent (Gil Cephas) who went from table to table to dazzle them with magical tricks.

Looking at the children who came out to enjoy the fun, Mr. Cephas said, “I think this is wonderful. Whenever there is a group of kids coming together in a positive way, enjoying themselves, I like that.”

“Our children have participated in many different activities so our students have really enjoyed it,” said Cynthia Sampson of the summer youth program of Waugh UMC.

She felt the highlight of the carnival was “the fellowship of all the different groups getting together. The uniqueness of each program has something different to offer.”

“I think that it is wonderful that all of these groups have come together and are participating as one,” said Coleta Lee, program aid for the Empowerment Center. “The children are really enjoying themselves. I know that they are having a wonderful time with all the drinks, the food, and contests.”

“It’s something different for the kids to do,” said Ben Saunders. “I like to see these smiling faces. To me, the only time you can enjoy yourself in life is when you are a child.”

He continued, “Once you get older your responsibilities catch up with you and next thing you know you have forgot basically how to live. If you grow up too fast you are going to find out that life is not too easy. Nowadays some kids just stop being kids.”

Please see link for additional pictures.

Tags:160 Children Enjoy Cambridge, Maryland, Carnival

17 Piece Party Blender from CVS

My husband has wanted a Magic Bullet blender since forever. Those infomercials are addicting and they do make you think “wow! now that’s cool!” However with the price being $50-150 (depending on which version you get), I always said it didn’t seem worth it. We have a blender, why pay $50 or more for a mini blender?

Then at Christmas time we were given the 17 Piece Party Blender from CVS for less than $25. We couldn’t wait to try it out and now we leave it on the table to use it all the time. The regular blender has been downgraded to sitting under the cabinet as this mini blender deserves a prime spot on our tabletop.

What does it come with?
The 17 Piece Party Blender comes with the following: 1 blending station, 4 blend-n-serve mugs, 4 sipping rings, 1 tall blending jar, 1 short blending jar, 2 storage lids, 1 shaker lid, 1 steamer lid, and 2 different blade assemblies (flat and cross-blade).

How does it work?
This mini blender is very easy to use – even easier than a regular blender. You fill up one of the mugs or the blending jars with the ingredients of your choosing. Twist on the blade you want to use, then simply place the whole thing upside down on the blending station. Little knobs hold the cup in place until and the blending starts immediately. This little thing is so powerful that it chops and breaks up everything in minutes.

Once you are done blending, simply remove the blade and put on on of the sipping rings and serve. The sipping rings serve for comfort only but are not really necessary. The product only has 4 sipping rings although technically all 6 mugs are exactly the same (except one is shorter) so you can drink out of any of them.

When would you use this?
So far our main and favorite use of this blender has been for smoothies, shakes and drinks. When you have a group of friends over, simply give each one their own mug and tell them to fill it with whatever they want! I’ve learned that you need to have a good amount of liquid to make it blend well, and ice cream should be thawed for a few minutes before blending. Each person then brings you their mug and you blend it for them. In just a few minutes, everyone has their own personal shake!

Now that we have this blender, I have been trying out way more shake options. I take any fruit in my fridge, any juices, and ice cream or yogurt, then blend it together and drink. You can also add things like brownies to make a brownie shake or caramel sauce, etc. It’s really up to you to experiment.

Outside of drinks,you can also use this to make salsa, soups, grate cheese and more. My husband has used it once to make salsa and it came out great. It also crushes ice like you wouldn’t believe! We’ve put ice in our shakes and this thing tears right through it in minutes.

Storage and Cleanup
Cleaning the product is very easy. Just remove the sipping wring and hand wash the ring and the cup. Rinse the blade and you are done! Unlike blenders that need to be completely taken apart, this mini blender cleans quickly and easily. Even better is the fact that you don’t need to use additional glasses since you blend and drink all with the same product.

The box the product comes in is huge so we’ve gotten rid of it. We leave the blending station on our counter (unplugged for safety). Then all the rings and blades go into a brown paper bag in the cabinet right underneath. The mugs can be stacked and stored in the cabinet as well. This makes it easy and convenient to grab a mug and blend away whenever I want a drink.

Overall
I’d recommend this blender to anyone and everyone who likes smoothies, salsa, or other home made concoctions. A blender is still nice for when you wan to make a whole bunch of something at once, but this mini blender saves time and effort for when you just want a drink! You’ll find yourself willing to try many more blended things because this product works so efficiently! Check it out at CVS and enjoy!!

Tags:17 Piece Party Blender from CVS

16 Must Do's the Summer Before You Start College

Congratulations class of 2010, you made it through 12 years of teachers, classes, cafeteria food, gym shorts, late bells, tests, and grades. It is time to finally relax, take the summer off, and enjoy a little you time. College does not start until the fall, or for some late summer, but in the back of your mind, you keep thinking is there something I should be doing. Well the answer is yes, and here is a list of 16 must do’s to complete the summer before you are off to college.

1. Make sure you AP test results get to your future college. When taking the exam there is an area that asks where to send the scores, but you need to make sure they are received.

2. Transfer any college credits earned in high school to your college, as this does not happen automatically. You may have earned them while in high school, but the credits could come from the local community college or other educational facility. Find out where the credits are, and how to transfer them from you high school registrar.

3. Have your final high school transcripts mailed to your college. Depending on the size of your high school, there could be hundreds of transcripts mailed over the summer. Again, check with the registrar to make sure they have everything and the name and address of you college.

4. Send in your college housing form. Colleges try to assign roommates based on preferences put on these forms. It does not always mean you get the perfect roommate, but you do not want to be the last one getting their student housing.

5. Get a list of what you can bring and should bring to your dorm. If you are traveling a long ways, it may be easier to purchase items in your new town.

6. Contact your roommate when notified, if you do not already know them.

7. See if your college requires a physical or immunization record.

8. Your college may require proof of medical insurance; this is very common if you are going to be participating in a sport or extracurricular activity. Call admissions to find out.

9. Register for a parking permit if you will be taking a vehicle. Colleges have limited space, and often limited permits.

10. Some colleges have registration for fall classes in the summer. Since many popular or required classes can fill up early, it is a good idea to register early. You can always change courses later, if needed.

11. Check with your college’s technology department to see what you need to do for computer access, email, etc.

12. Many colleges require you to go to their website to accept your financial aid package. You will probably need to contact the college’s financial aid office to see what needs completing.

13. Go on-line to FAFSA and make sure you sign your promissory notes for any student loans you require. Accepting the aid through the college is the first step, but each loan by you or parents will need to have an on-line signature.

14. Notify your college financial aid office of any scholarships you received from outside organization. You will need to coordinate with both the school and who awarded you the scholarship on how to get the money to your school.

15. Send in any tuition payments or deposits that are due. If you do not pay, they may not register you for classes.

16. Contact the schools admission councilors a few weeks prior to you arrival to see what you are missing.

Tags:16 Must Do’s the Summer Before You Start College

17 Again (2009)

17 Again, starring Zac Efron as a young Mike O’Donnell and Thomas Lennon as old Mike’s friend Ned Gold, is about…yes…being 17 again. No, you’re no genius for figuring it out since it doesn’t take one to guess the plot. Old Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) starts wondering what might have been in his life had things been different and he not married Scarlett (Allison Miller/Leslie Mann). We’ve only seen the plot 17 times already and thought about it probably 1700, but graceful performances on the part of the three main stars manages to save what would otherwise have been a complete wash-up.

The film begs to be funny, and it is funny-about as funny as the antics of an annoying, pencil-tapping eighth-grader. It’s the charisma of Zac Efron that bails out a problematic storyline. Reno 911’s talented Thomas Lennon is Mike’s rich and nerdical sci-fi buff of a best friend, and although he too puts on a fine performance, such characters have by now become clich├ęd and nearly unwelcome. The out-of-place uber-ism really isn’t funny, though it tries to be. It stands out like the World of Warcraft gamers it parodies: “Are you now or have you ever been a Norse God, a vampire, or a time-traveling cyborg?” See what I mean?

Lackluster acting bleeds through, but it’s not too much of a problem because the parts that are played require little acting skill. There’s just no sophistication with anyone. The only slam-dunks are a well-selected cast of MILF-ishly pretty ladies and dialogue that are at least worth a nod.

Then there are those annoying oddities, the chief of them being the question of why younger Mike would suddenly be taken with interest in his older wife. If he lost perspective when he got older, and his turning young again is enough to cause him to regain his zest for what he once had but took for granted, the rest of the movie is rendered irrelevant. And why did no one bother to get a hold of older Mike when he was out of everyone’s lives for such a substantial amount of time? The movie never answers.

I found it exceptionally bothersome that the supporting characters were never sufficiently incorporated into the unfolding of the plot. A high school bully jumps into the storyline and never jumps out, but he is never developed. A mystical janitor plays a key role, but it’s a very small one as he has little to say. The message of the film was deemed so important that a lot was left undone. And in addition to some overhauling that director Burr Steers needed to do, we have the fact that Matthew Perry is not a believable older Zac Efron, not at all. Perry is way too tall, but damned if that occurred to anyone making the film.

Penalty points assigned, 17 Again (by the skin of its teeth) succeeds at being an entertaining film, making you travel back in time in your mind, asking yourself how well you would do at a second shot at school. We’ve all wondered about it and gone back and forth on whether or not we would do things over again if we had the chance. The focus of the movie, however, abandons that concern rapidly. When that happens, the end is three-point-shot predictable. But star power saves, and this movie is proof. C-

(JH)

Tags:17 Again (2009)

16 Social Networking Sites Dealing with Music, Books, and Sports

This article covers music, sports, book, and web cam social networking sites on the internet. Perhaps one of these is just what you are seeking.

43things.com is a social networking site about Goal and Dreams the users have. It has an estimated user base of over a million users. It has an open door policy, which means anyone can join it. It is a site where users can create a list of 43 attainable goals and write about their progress. Others can share these goals, and in a way, they are promoting and supporting each other. This is a fine example of social networking if I say so my self.

BlueDot.com is a social networking site that is primarily a link-sharing site, and with nearly eighty thousand users, one can imagine the number of links out there. This one is also open to anyone who wants to join this social networking site.

Broadcaster.com is a great video sharing and webcam chat social network. It has live web cam, and plenty of videos. If you create videos or use a web cam here online this is the place to share them with an estimated twenty six million other users. This web site is also open site to who ever wants to join and start their media with the world.

http://zoomr.com/ Zooomr is a universal photo-sharing site, but it also has a sense of community about it that makes it a social networking site. It has job listings in the photo area and a whole bunch of other information. The population of this network is unknown but it certainly appears to be a graphic designer’s oasis. It is open to anyone with an interest in graphics.

Buzznet.com if you are into music and pop-culture that seems to go hand in hand with today’s music; this is the site to be. Join with five hundred thousand other users to share music and your views upon it. This is a newer site so it is growing quickly, anyone can join it. Gaia.com, Lastfm.com,

MOG.com and Soundpedia.com are also music based social networking communities in which users share their love of music.

Care2.com is all about Green living and the activism that surrounds that lifestyle. There are an estimated seven million users on this site. That number is headed up quickly. Anyone with an interest in caring for our environment is welcome to join up on the site

If you are into sports you may want to check out these two social networking sites about sports Dodgeball.com or Sportsvite.com, you can read about sports and share your sports stories with other users

CarDomain.com Car enthusiasts will love this site, and I did read a few blog entries on the funniest things people have done with rental cars. On this social networking site people who love cars, talk about what else but their cars. They also show off photographs of cars. A million and a half car lovers have found their way to this site that lets anyone with an interest join up. InfieldParking.com is a site devoted to NASCAR fans.

LibraryThing.com and Shelfari.com are both excellent social networking sites for those of us who love books. If you love books or write book reviews, perhaps this is the site you can share them.

Tags:16 Social Networking Sites Dealing with Music, Books, and Sports

17 Again Film Review

17 Again (2009) Warner Bros.

1 hr. 42 mins.

Starring: Zac Ephron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Melora Hardin, Sterling Knight

Directed by: Burr Steers

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Rating: * ½ stars (out of 4 stars)

It must have taken the powers-that-be a brief 20-minute lunch session over a stale roast beef sandwich to conceive this woefully derivative teen comedy 17 Again. For the sake of argument one cannot blame the handlers of this flaccid fable to see dollar signs dancing in their collective heads. First, why not milk the “body swap” gimmick for the ten millionth time? Hey, it worked for squeaky-clean comedies such as Freak Friday, right? Secondly, why not cash in on the teenybopper craze that is the Disney-esque dreamboat of the moment in High School Musical heartthrob Zac Ephron? After all, the Disney Channel machine has propelled such profitable marketing products as current Disney-bred adolescent alums Miley (“Hannah Montana”) Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers so why not tap into the fervent following of chick magnet Ephron?

Regardless of the lazy-minded concoction behind the conceptual fluff that is 17 Again Ephron fans will eat this transparent tale up like a desperate starving man searching for leftovers in a Chinese food restaurant trash bin. As one can imagine, 17 Again is needlessly aching in its familiarity from the adult-to-teen premise and the paper-thin laughs only convey what a meager and meandering teen comedy this dim-witted ditty really is at heart. While uniquely disposable 17 Again does contain some legit chuckles-mainly from supporting player Thomas Lennon that effortlessly steals the show as the wise-cracking best bud of Ephron’s protagonist. Quite frankly that’s not saying much in a tedious teen vehicle where there’s not that much to steal-one might refer to this as petty larceny in legal terms.

Amazingly, writer-director Burr Steers oversees this relentlessly stilted juvenile laugher with pedestrian direction and no sense of imaginative flair or distinctive comic timing. Steers was responsible for the brilliant yet under-appreciated 2000 coming-of-age story Igby Goes Down so it is kind of bewildering why he would put his stamp of approval on this painful formulaic flick that bows down to the popularity of pre-teen prince Ephron? In all fairness, pop culture pretty boy Ephron is likable and tries to handle this middling material with the best of his self-deprecating strides but the movie’s involvement in predictable slapstick and recycled jokes undercuts his jocular efforts.

High school basketball sensation Mike O’Donnell had it made at age seventeen during his secondary schooling years. However, he did the unspeakable-he impregnated his girlfriend thus throwing away a promising future for the life as a very young family man. Now twenty years later, 37-year old Mike (Matthew Perry) is bogged down with an uneventful existence that includes his stagnant marriage to Scarlet (Leslie Mann) and the constant insolence coming from his teenaged kids. On top of that scenario, Mike is suffering professionally at work as he considers his career notoriously stillborn. If only Mike O’Donnell can do it all over again and go back to the glory days of high school and have that one shot at doing things the way it was meant to be? How rewarding would that be to escape his current malaise?

Through some far-fetched magical transformation the disenfranchised middle-aged Mike gets his “do-over” wish and becomes conveniently the “younger” version (Ephron) of the celebrated high schooler he was in the past before becoming an accidental Daddy Dearest. Basically, Ephron’s Mike is as harried as ever as the late thirtysomething trapped in a contemporary teenaged body of a 17-year old in 2009. Unfortunately, high school life from Mike’s heyday in 1989 doesn’t quite gel with today’s trends and anxieties. In a gimmicky twist, Mike becomes the schoolmate of his own kids (Michelle Trachtenberg and Sterling Knight) and watches out for their growing pains interest while fighting his obvious attraction for a grown-up Scarlet in the process.

The nonsensical goings-on in 17 Again uneventfully will invite every cliched footnote imaginable. See Mike deal with the teen pressures nowadays while combating his own fish-out-of-water clumsiness. See Mike have an out-of-style bad hair day. See Mike try to capture his basketball prowess on the court during the big game. See Mike consult his geeky billionaire best buddy Ned (Thomas Lennon, “I Love You, Man”) for some off-kilter advice. See young Mike experience some “wannabe cougar action” with estranged wife Scarlet. See Mike get ranked on by acid-tongued cheerleaders. Step by step, 17 Again drags on tiredly like a loose muffler under your Aunt Gertrude’s decrepit minivan.

From the aforementioned Freaky Friday movies to other copycats such as Like Father Like Son, Vice Versa and the surprisingly enjoyable 13 Going On 30, the watered-down high jinks in 17 Again is excruciatingly dormant as compared to the blueprints just mentioned. The whimsical Perry-to-Ephron physical exchange feels so inconsequential. Everything explored in 17 Again has been done to death and ten times better to boot. Perry, usually a riotous element in otherwise forgettable farces that he has been involved in over the years, registers with all the impact of a cigarette butt in a lonely ashtray. Ephron will probably be excused for his strained participation in this bubble-headed dud. Remarkably, his avid ‘tween hangers-on would blindly pay to watch him read a fortune cookie. As the estranged Scarlet, Mann isn’t given much to do at all.

Whatever it takes to turn back the hands of time, the misfire 17 Again will never be soundly appetizing unless one morphs into a 13 year-old freckled face gal with a serious Troy Bolton fixation.

Tags:17 Again Film Review

16 Funny Things and 2 Deadly Serious Things You Must Know About Australian Shepherds

1. Aussies smile

No, really. They smile. They grin and show their teeth. Not all Aussies smile. I have one that does and one that (usually) doesn’t. The one that smiles usually does so when he’s been caught doing something he knows he shouldn’t have been doing. He does it when he’s surprised or embarrassed. He does it when he smells orange peels or grapes or spearmint gum. I call it “snorty face.”

2. Aussies prefer to be under your feet

Aussies are herding dogs. If you won’t give them any sheep, they’re going to herd you instead. Or the kids. Or the cat. Or each other. Herding is all about controlling movement. Your movement. Aussies prefer to herd you by placing themselves directly under your feet at all times. Be prepared to step over, climb over and go around. There are frequent collisions.

3. Aussies prefer to be behind you

If you manage to get an Aussie out from under your feet, it will take up a position directly behind you. Smack up against you.

4. If an Aussie can’t be under you or behind you, it will settle for in front of you

I tried to teach my Aussies a command I called “get back!” It meant, stop dogging me! Move back! I can’t walk with you under my feet or crashing into me from behind all the time! They learned. Their response was to crowd me from the front.

5. Aussies are clingy loyal

Aussies go with you everywhere you go. Remember the herding thing? I don’t mean they’ll go with you often. I mean they go where you go every time. If you go, they go. Go to the window? They go with you. Go to get a soda? They go with you. Go to the bathroom? They go with you. Go to answer the phone? They go with you. You go. They go. Not sometimes. Not most of the time. Always.

6. Aussies learn fast

This can be good or it can be bad. Give them a treat in the kitchen one time, and they’ll be in there with you for eternity waiting for another treat. On the other hand, I taught my Aussie to “heel” in one, five-minute lesson by walking along while holding his collar and repeating the word “heel.” After a few minutes, he was like “I’ve got it already.” And he never forgot it. He heels without a leash. One lesson.

7. Aussies are optimistic

I can tell my Aussies a million times, “Get out of the kitchen!” And they do. Then they come back. Optimistic. I tell them again, “Get out of the kitchen!” And they do. Then they come back. See, they remember that time I gave them a cookie in the kitchen. Optimistic.

8. Aussies shed

A lot. We’re not talking about “regular grooming” like the books say. Aussies shed the equivalent of a dog’s worth of hair every day. I might be exaggerating. Slightly. You’ll see. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

9. Aussies are even cuter than they look

Pretty as they are, Aussies’ real charm is in their personality. They know that you think they’re cute. They’ll learn what you think is especially cute and then they will do that. All the time. Cute usually results in cookies.

10. Aussies love to jump

On you. Next to you. In the air. Everywhere they go. Just because. They will leap high in the air to catch a Frisbee. They miss the Frisbee a lot. To an Aussie the point of jumping up in the air to catch a Frisbee, isn’t really about catching the Frisbee … it’s about jumping up in the air. Aussies will jump up as high as they can, twist in the air, spin around and do amazing acrobatic feats. They look spectacular, but they miss the Frisbee a lot. If you want a dog that catches the Frisbee every time, get a Border Collie.

11. Aussies aren’t like other dogs

Aussies have a million tricks up their sleeves. They will do things you have never seen other dogs do. They will do things no other Aussie has ever done. Guaranteed. They’re frequently amusing and often downright funny. Have your camera ready.

12. Aussies are obsessive

If an Aussie is awake, it’s watching you. Studying you. Anticipating. Planning. Learning. I try not to talk directly to my Aussie for too long at a time because he obsesses over what I’m saying. It seems to stress him out a bit, like he’s trying to figure out English and just can’t quite get it.

13. Aussies have a lot of energy

Some might call them hyper. They are wiggly and fidgety and energetic and downright bouncy. A lot. They have to have an outlet for their energy. Going for walks, chasing the ball, chasing each other. If you’re pressed for time, just hold the Frisbee over their head and they’ll jump up and down until they wear themselves out. Aussies love to run. As fast as they can. And they are fast. My female Aussie will run huge, enormous, vast circles. Round and round, again and again. Full speed. Just ‘cuz.

14. Aussies are fast

And they know it. They know they are faster than you are. They use this to their advantage. If you scold them, they’ll move away in a flash. Just out of reach. Then they will resume whatever it was they were doing. You are not faster than an Aussie. Not ever.

15. Aussies like to lounge around the house

Just because Aussies have a lot of energy, doesn’t mean they’re not equally adept at lounging around the house and sleeping all day. If you work at home, you will be able to work in peace. You’ll have Aussies under your desk, but you’ll have quiet. You won’t be able to stand up without tripping over an Aussie, but you’ll have quiet. Until it’s time to go outside. Then? Not so quiet.

16. Aussies love to cuddle

When they’re not jumping and wiggling and chasing and otherwise being energetic, Aussies are great lap dogs. Yes, I said lap dogs. They like to be on you. They love affection. They love to cuddle.

On the serious side …

1. Lethal white means white (but not always) and it’s not actually lethal

Referred to as “lethal white,” this condition is associated with Australian Shepherds that have a lot of white fur or are nearly all white. According to The White Aussies Project, “lethal white” is actually a condition of horses. When people refer to “lethal white” in an Aussie, what they are actually talking about are two separate conditions that can get mixed up – “pattern white” and “double merles.”

Too much white fur in an Aussie can be a problem. But the so-called “lethal white” can also be found in Australian shepherds that are normally colored. Double merle Australian shepherds are usually blind or deaf or both. Aussies that “just have a lot of white” also can have hearing problems. Hearing and visual problems are apparent within weeks of birth. When it comes to Aussies, “lethal white” is not fatal. The Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute also provides information about “lethal white” and other genetic disorders in Australian shepherds.

2. Aussies (and other herding breeds) can have a fatal reaction to certain medications

Multi-drug sensitivity, also referred to as MDR1, is a genetic mutation that affects breeds such as Collies, Shepherds, Sheep Dogs, Whippets and even some mixed herding breeds. According to the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Lab at Washington State University, three-quarters of all Collies and as many as half of all Australian Shepherds in the United States may be affected by the gene.

What it means is that a dog is unable to expel certain medications from its system. Unable to be secreted from the system, the medication builds in the brain until it reaches toxic levels. It can lead to severe illness and even death. Medications that can cause problems include, but are not limited to, some anti-parasitics containing Ivermectin, some pre-anesthetics and some pain medications.

You can test your Aussie to find out if it has the MDR1 mutation or avoid medications that are known or suspected to pose hazards to dogs with multi-drug sensitivity. Get a list of all affected breeds and a list of potentially dangerous medications.

You can help!

Do you know someone who owns a Collie or Shepherd? Chances are they may not have heard of MDR1. Help protect pets by spreading the word about the potential dangers of multi-drug sensitivity. Get a printable information sheet on multi-drug sensitivity here.

Want to learn more about Australian Shepherds or find a reputable breeder? Contact the United States Australian Shepherd Association or find out how you can rescue an Aussie from Second Time Around Aussie Rescue.

Sources:

United States Australian Shepherd Association

College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Lab (VCPL) at Washington State University

The White Aussies Project

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Tags:16 Funny Things and 2 Deadly Serious Things You Must Know About Australian Shepherds

16 Worst Movie Superheroes

Superhero movies have been a hit for some time. They always do really well as long as they are done correctly. But are there any superhero movies that have fallen flat on their face. Here is a list of some of the worst movie superheroes of all time.

1. “Steel” from the movie “Steel”. Steel from the comics was a great hero, but his movie adaption, character, and suit really missed the mark here. I hope some time in the future we will get to see someone able to give “Steel” some justice onscreen.

2. “Catwoman” from the movie “Catwoman”. They took on of Batman’s villains and changed her story around. That’s the one bad thing about movie studios is that they think they can get away with telling their own story.

3. “Barb Wire” from the movie “Barb Wire”. The owner of a nightclub is also a mercenary, and is dressed like a prostitute.

4. “The Spleen” from the movie “Mystery Men”. The Spleen is a superhero that farts.

5. “Meteor Man” from the movie “The Meter Man”. A man gains his powers by a meteor.

6. “Blankman” from the movie “Blankman”. A movie based on a superhero on a low budget.

7. “The Blue Raja” from the movie “Mystery Men”. The Blue Raja has the ability to throw silverware with great accuracy.

8. “Invisible Boy” from the movie “Mystery Men”. He only becomes invisible when no one is looking.

9. “Kick Ass” from the movie “Kiss Ass”. A young man with no powers decides to become a super hero.

10. “Batgirl” from the movie “Batman and Robin”. The 4th installment of this batman series was a mess and adding batgirl to the mix just made things worse.

11. “Mr. Furious” from the movie “Mystery Men”. He gets super strength when he gets super angry, which rarely happens.

12. “The Punisher” from the movie “The Punisher” in 1990. This was the one where Dolph Lundgren starred as the hero.

13. “The Shoveler” from the movie “Mystery Men”. Is skilled with using a shovel.

14. “Jude Dredd” from the movie “Judge Dredd”. The police force of the future is also the judges and jurors.

15. “Supergirl” from the movie “Supergirl”. Superman’s cousin comes to Earth to retrieve a lost orb.

16. “The Phantom” from the movie “The Phantom”. The descendent of a long line of heroes goes to New York to battle a criminal genius.

Tags:16 Worst Movie Superheroes

1816 - The Year Without a Summer

Summer; such a joyous season, a time when flowers bloom, crops flourish, and families vacation. A time that we can all lounge about and bask in the sun’s warm glow. But what if there was no summer? What if the frigid temperatures of winter continued into the known summer months of June and July?

The year 1816 was known as The Year without a Summer. Every part of the world was facing a climate change that they had never seen before. Climate change is the term that is commonly used; however in reality; it was a Volcanic Winter. A volcanic winter is commonly defined as the decrease in temperature that is caused by volcanic ash and droplets of sulfuric acid obscuring the sun following a volcanic eruption. Every time a volcano blows it’s top there is some sort of effect on the climate, but to throw nearly the entire planet’s northern hemisphere into a Volcanic Winter, means that the eruption was more cataclysmic then just a small volcanic burp.

In the case of 1816, Mount Tambora was the cause. Tambora began rumbling in 1812 and no one knew the power or devastation that was just around the corner when she blew in 1815. The thunderous sounds of the blast were heard up to 1,620 miles away from where Tambora sat on the Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. The entire volcano was quickly turned into a mountain covered in lava. Ash fell up to 800 miles away and hot rock and lava flows spread up to 13 miles.

The hot rock and lava flows killed thousands, but the main killer was the sulfur. Mount Tambora released sulfur into the Earth’s atmosphere that blocked the sunlight. The sulfur spread into Britain in the autumn of 1815 causing red wavelengths of sunlight to pain the skies. Yes, the eruption was in April of 1815, but the full harsh reality of the effects didn’t kick in until 1816.

France, home of the Champagne district of Verdun, harvests grapes that normally ripen in the summer. But in 1816 the sun did not shine on the grapes, the grapes froze in the cold weather. Hungary experienced a blizzard in January of 1816 like none ever seen before. Brown and yellow snow it Hungary hard. Many described the mixture of volcanic dust and snow as flesh colored snow.

Back here in the states, June is supposed to be a month of hot weather, however for New York, Maine, and Connecticut they were suffering from frigid cold temperatures as well as snowfalls. The June frost and snow ruined millions of crops for more than three months. The entire globe suffered as temperatures dropped almost two degrees Fahrenheit. Agriculture was in such ruin that people of Switzerland resorted to eating moss and any plant that they were able to find. Even those in Canada suffered from sub-zero temperatures.

Unseasonably cooler and colder weather meant the spread of diseases. A Cholera Epidemic fled threw Europe and India killing over two hundred thousand people. India was blanketed by over 50 cm of ash, hit with tsunamis, and had no clean water or food. The devastation was so great that many had claim that children were traded for food.

Desperate times call for desperate measures; however are there more desperate times like this ahead of us? I say the answer would be yes. Mount Tambora is a 9,350 foot stratovolcano that is still active, having its last eruption only forty years ago. Tambora is nothing compared to the several hundred or more volcanoes and supervolcanoes that have a history for eruptions ten even one hundred times larger than the Tambora’s eruption and many of them are overdue for an eruption.

Many of these large eruptive type volcanoes erupt in yearly cycles ranging from thousands of years to millions of years, but a lot has changed since 1816. Many of the worlds most dangerous volcanoes are either tourist attractions that attract millions of tourists each year, to volcanoes that it’s mountain is a home to millions of people.

As of July 2007 there is an estimate of 6,602,224,175 people in the world. 978,000,000 people were around in the 1800’s. That means there are an estimated 5,624,224,175 people that can be affected by the next volcanic winter. That is assuming that the next one strikes this year. Since the 1700’s there have been 4 major times of climate shift due to volcanic activity; 1783, 1816, 1883, and 1991.

The pattern of these time frames seem to be getting higher in years apart; from 1783 to 1816 that was 33 years. 1816 to 1883 is 67 years and from 1883 to 1991 that was 108 years. We could be safe until 2100 or it may be just around the corner in 2025. Whatever the case may be, our population may be doubled or tripled by then.

In conclusion, the danger levels are climbing and we can’t stop Mother Nature from blowing her top, but we can prepare ourselves for the worst and learn from our past.

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18 Must-Read Books

Here is a list of some of my favorites, after years and years of research. They are mostly fiction. The Pollan and the Kidder are non-fiction, but about Very Important Things. The Lahiri is a collection of short stories. The poetry book is poetry.

1. The Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

2. Anything else Louise Erdrich wrote

All of her novels are linked together. She is part Chippewa and part German, I think, writes about these groups in history and more, and sets the books in rural North Dakota. And she does it quite beautifully.

3. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel.

This extremely talented writer has a fantastic ability to use the point of view of a child in her memoir. I mean, very convincingly. Lovely and funny. This book has a good sequel, too.

4. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

This one is about Paul Farmer, the American doctor who decided to practice in Haiti and started Partners in Health, now a multinational organization providing health care. First-hand account of what it’s like in Haiti, and this amazing doctor.

5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Amazing Harlem Renaissance writer. Why do I read books that make me cry?

6. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan.

A history/natural history of economically important plants. A lot more interesting than it sounds. Mr. Pollan goes into the history and future of apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and how they affect mankind. Also, how mankind affected them.

7. James, the Connoisseur Cat by Harriet Hahn.

Fun! About a cat who literally has it all figured out. Especially good if you like cats: and this ain’t no downstream cat. I understand this one has a sequel, too. I am going to have to get it.

8. Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver.

Just read it, if you haven’t already!

9. Poisonwood Bible by her is not bad, either. She actually can take you to the Congo.

Her later books get a little preachy, which is okay if you need it.

10. The Tin Drum by Gunther Grass.

Icky but amazing.

11. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Amazing, and not quite as icky.

12. Disturbances in the Field by Lynne Sharon Schwarz.

Why do I keep reading books that make me cry?

13. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.

Sassy British writer. A mystery, sorta. Can’t get enough of sassy British writers. This one has a pretty good sequel, too.

14. Ice Cream Larry by Daniel Pinkwater.

15. Also: The Big Orange Splot

Okay, these are children’s books, but who cares? Be lighthearted for a change. He is hilarious, esp. Ice Cream Larry. Also: get Guys From Space and just about any Pinkwater you can get your hands on. How about Toothgnasher Superflash?

16. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

This book may be hard to locate. Poignant autobiography about his years in Paris + writing + his family. I guess I have a thing about memoir.

17. The Once and Future King by T. H. White.

The Camelot story. My favorite part is where Arthur remembers all the wisdom from having been the animals Merlyn had changed him into, in order to be able to draw the sword from the stone.

18. The Voice That is Great Within Us 20th century poetry anthology. I just had to throw some poetry in there. William Carlos Williams, all the lovelies; it will give you a taste for who you want to get a whole BOOKFUL of!

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