Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lady Gaga as an Infant






Nature or nurture, the debate continues....

JUST A TAP

A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.
The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window.
For a few moments everything was silent in the cab.
Then, the still shaking driver said, "Are you OK? I'm so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me."
The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle the driver so badly.
The driver replied, "No, no, I'm the one who is sorry, it's entirely my fault today is my very
first day driving a cab.
I've been driving a hearse for 25 years.

Big bubbles

Maybe you've seen the guy walking through a campsite followed by kids as he's made huge soap bubbles. Maybe you've even seen a stage shoe, or something on TV. Have you ever wondered what they used to get those three foot round bubbles? Here is a GREAT recipe.

One bottle of "Dawn Classic" *Do not use Ultra. (Classic can be found at the Family Dollar store.)

One tube of personal lubricant. (the cheap store brand is fine.)

One 4oz bottle of glycerin. (Can be found at drug stores.)

One gallon of distilled water *Important to use distilled, not tap water.


pour 2 cups distilled water, the tube of lubricant and 2-4 oz of glycerin into a microwave safe bowl. Heat until hot. No need to boil.

Pour Dawn and distilled water into a bucket at a 2-1 ratio water to Dawn. Stir with as little agitation so you mix, but don't make bubbles.

Add your hot glycerin/lube mix slowly while stirring until well mixed.

Let age over night. Can be bottled and stored, but aged mix works better than virgin mix.

You can dilute the concoction when you go to use it to stretch it, but thicker makes bigger bubbles than thinner. If you make it too thin, just add some more of the base mix.


Bubble wands

Go buy some cotton string. The kind they used to use to wrap meat is perfect. You want a string that holds solution well, but also wicks away freely as the bubble is formed.

Also find two 1/4 to 3/8" dowels

Use loosely braid three 4' long lengths of this string. You don't want a tight braid that makes the bubble wand string rigid, but just enough to keep three lengths together.

Tie one end the braided string to one dowel end then tie the other dowel between 12-14" down the string from it. Finally tie the other end of the string to the first dowel. The end result is a loop of string you can open and close by bringing the dowels together, and then spreading apart. This closes the loop so you can make new bubbles until the string needs reloading with solution.


I've used dawn Ultra and it is not nearly as good as Dawn Classic. Knowing where to find Dawn Classic will have me making big bubbles this summer. It's a great stress reliever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What to Get The Love of Your LIfe Who Has Everything...

Stuck with ideas for Valentine's Day? Well the Bronx Zoo is here to help. They will let you name a Madagasgar Hissing Cockroach after your loved one for the low price of $10 (proceeds to benefit the Wildlife Conservation Society). Just imagine the look on his or her face upon receiving the certificate of having a hissing roach named after them...what could possibly go wrong?

After all, according to the website, "Naming a roach in honor of someone near and dear to your heart shows that you've noticed how resilient, resourceful, and loyal that person is. Or maybe it's in recognition of your one and only's virility, or strength in the face of high radiation. You're not afraid to say, "Baby, you're a roach!""

And you can even go to the Bronx Zoo to see the cockroach. They have a life expectancy of 2-3 years, much longer than flowers!

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Another Friday is here! How about that? Seems like they are coming quicker these days. This week's questions are about Valentine's Day.

1) Do you think of Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark" holiday?

2) What place would a good place to take your special someone out to dinner?

3) Any special Valentine memories?

4) Any special Valentine plans?

Enjoy your weekend!

The Shaving Helmet - Real or Fake?



The above video appeared online a few days ago and has caused some controversy; specifically, is it real or fake? Personally, I think it is an obvious fake. What do you think?

Open Blog - Weekend


And I'm hanging my head out of the window.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Citizens for Responsible Government to Take Out Anti-Dickert Ads


Racine Uncovered reports the story here: http://racineuncovered.org/?p=30398

Citizens for Responsible Government's website: http://www.jobsforracine.com/

Citizens for Responsible Government say they will take out ads and also do some spots on WRJN. This could be an interesting election. A press conference has been scheduled for immediately after the city's Redevelopment Authority meeting tomorrow to discuss a request for a $1.2 million loan from the city for a company promising jobs: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_ea272bcc-348f-11e0-a8fc-001cc4c002e0.html One can only assume that the results of that meeting are predetermined and that Mayor Dickert will be announcing the "creation of 100 jobs" less than a week before the primary. Remember American Tire? Remember Treasures Media? Remember the proposed development of the empty lot in West Racine? I do.

Party on, lying John!

Catholic Church unveils iPhone app



All right, digital guilt.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my frigid friends! How are you? Have you unthawed from our overnight temperatures yet? With the wind chill, it’s colder than the surface of the moon. We certainly are having a “real” winter in Racine this year, but we’re hardly alone. Even amongst the Irregulars, we have Ms. Mary and Ms. Why Not and Ms. Minnesota Chick each battling winter in their respective locations. Ms. Beejay is probably battling bugs and snakes. If you follow the news, you know that weather patterns are screwed up worldwide and natural disasters have been occurring with frightening frequency. Most pundits ascribe this to global warming or climate change. You may believe whatever you wish, but I think I may have a better idea of why our weather is so messed up: Mother Nature is going through menopause. Shhh! That’s not the kind of thing you would want spread around about yourself, so please keep it to yourselves. But when you think about how disruptive, up and down, and downright loony some of the weather has been, my explanation makes perfect sense.

Hail, hail, o glorious Green Bay Packers! Hoorah, hoorah! Welcome back to Titletown, o noble conquerors. Thank you for returning the Lombardi Trophy to its rightful place. Thank you for playing your hearts and souls and guts out all season long for us. The Super Bowl was quite a game. Although the Packers led the entire time, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the game, especially those last few minutes when they led by only 6 and the Steelers had the ball. Oh my. But our wonderful, super-duper, extraordinary Packers saved the day. We are the champions! Thank you, mighty Packers. And thank you, mighty Packer fans.

This is a public service announcement, my dears: please vote in Racine’s mayoral primary, next Tuesday, February, 15, 2011. I know that’s a week away, but my next blog won’t appear until the day after that. I would also like to reiterate my endorsement of Mr. Eric Marcus for Mayor of Racine. I’ve liked the cut of his jib ever since he started sparring with Mayor John Dickert at City Council meetings. Mr. Marcus is not a yes-man to the “good old boys” who infect Racine’s government and politics. Besides, he already has a little extra going for him with the power of Zoltar® behind him.

Here’s an interesting little video that restores my faith in justice, if only within my age group: “Old Lady with a handbag fights off 6 Robbers armed with Sledge Hammers”



“Magnificent,” indeed. Too bad she didn’t have a brick in that handbag.

That’s my frozen blog for a frozen day, my dear readers. I hope that you are managing to stay warm and cozy. The weather prognosticators say it will warm up by the weekend, maybe even above freezing. A heat wave! Thank you for taking the time to stop by today. It’s always a pleasure to be with you.

Show me yours, and I’ll show you mine: madamezoltar@jtirregulars.com.

Be careful out there, my beloved Irregulars and regulars. These kinds of temperatures make everything as hard as a rock. If you slip or swerve, it could hurt a lot. Remember, easy does it. Let me know when you see the first robin. Jentacular!

Open Blog - Wednesday


What animal are you riding today?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kitt Peak Green Flash

Not the best green flash tonight, but I got it setting behind the Mayall 4 meter telescope (taken near the corner of Old Spanish Trail and Houghton in Tucson). That puts Kitt Peak 70 miles away roughly to give a little sense of scale here.

I wasn't sure I was going to get anything when I set up. There was a large dust cloud over Kitt Peak. You can still see a little bit of it in the pics on the left side of the mountain. Fortunately, these things move and it was moving to give me a shot. Could have moved a little bit more...would have been better. But here goes...tonight's sunset.



Compare the pics to the one from February 3rd. You can see how far north the Sun has moved in a few days. Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos on Friday and the weather didn't cooperate Saturday and Sunday. I will give this another try in the fall when the Sun is making its southward journey.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicst Blog.

SNL Version of The National Anthem

I couldn't resist posting this. Seriously, this is what came to mind for me while Christina Aguilera sang the National Anthem. That was shameful. I hope it seriously hurts her career. Someone had to see her practice. Someone should have pulled the plug.

Dark Skies Podcast From NOAO

It's almost time for our annual GLOBE at Night campaign which begins on February 21st, 2011 (and will be the subject of an upcoming blog post). In preparation for the campaign, NOAO had produced another podcast for the 365 Days of Astronomy focusing on light pollution and it's effects on human health.

Many people dismiss light pollution as only important to astronomy. However, light pollution affects many types of animals including humans. Excess night time lighting has been linked to sleep disorders and some types of cancer. The American Medical Association has released a statement advocating for the reduction of excess night time lighting due to its effects on human health.

The 365 Days of Astronomy podcast features a short show each day on a different topic in astronomy. Each day is produced by a different person or group ranging from high school students (think I even heard a couple done by middle school students), college students, and both amateur and professional astronomers from around the world.. It is free to subscribe to on iTunes and if you haven't already subscribed, you should (and I don't just say that because I am doing a LOT of podcasts for them this year!) Better yet, if you like astronomy (or know someone who does) that would want to contribute, they are still looking for people to fill open dates in 2011.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Monday


Hooray, the Packers won the Super Bowl!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are You a Synesthete?

Well, I am. I have synesthesia. It's not a serious or debilitating condition for me fortunately, just a little quirk I have to deal with occasionally.

Synesthesia is a condition where your senses get a little mixed up. Music might cause a person to see colors. With me, certain textures cause me to experience taste. Yep, touch and taste get a little mixed up.

I don't taste everything I touch. Usually rough surfaces provoke the response. Sandpaper has a range of tastes. Rough sandpaper tastes different than relatively smooth sand paper. Cardboard nail files are the worst tasting thing I have ever touched...they get me a little nauseous (it tastes extremely bitter). Tools with rubber handles frequently provoke a taste response. So do car tires, especially if I run my fingers over the tread. My cell phone case tastes rather pleasant fortunately! Fortunately most everyday objects do not provoke a taste (or it could be that I am used to them).

Estimates are that a few percent of the population experiences some form of synesthesia. Anyone else here ever get their senses mixed up?

Paranoia, or Why I Am Not Me....

I just watched a CBS Sunday Morning segment on a teacher who was fired for material posted on her Facebook page. Was she naked, cavorting with students, using foul language, drugs, sleeping with the principal, divulging information about students?

NO.  She had a photo of herself with a glass of wine and a beer in her hand while on vacation - and somewhere had mentioned the word bitch. She also had her Facebook profile set to private. How did the picture get out? No one seems to know. She has a lawyer and is trying to get her job back.

"He [principal] just asked me, 'Do you have a Facebook page?'" Payne said. "And you know, I'm confused as to why I am being asked this, but I said, 'Yes.' And he said, 'Do you have any pictures of yourself up there with alcohol?'"

In fact, the picture that concerned the principal - showing Payne holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer -
was on her Facebook page. There was also a reference to a local trivia contest with a profanity in its title.

Payne was told a parent of one of her students called to complain. And then, Payne says, she was given a choice: resign or be suspended.
"He told me that I needed to make a decision before I left, or he was going to go ahead and suspend me," she said.

This is a very topical issue. Just type "teacher fired over facebook" into a Google search and you will get example after example of instances with teachers, principals, superintendents and classroom assistants being fired due to "lack of professionalism."  There is usually a very vague network use agreement, tucked into the paperwork you sign when you are hired. Or, there is an "assumed" agreement if you are a long-term employee. This assumed agreement is something that most who work in schools have never physically seen and probably don't even know exists.

Some of the firings are worthy, please don't mistake what I am saying. It is imperative that schools are a safe zone. There is a professional ethics code that MUST be followed. But the question remains.... what about your own time and your own life?  Because you choose teaching as your profession you are not allowed a glass of wine, not allowed to smoke a cigarette, not allowed to use any profanity or ever, ever let loose a bit?

We've gone to lengths to keep the locations of JTI gatherings available only to irregulars. I know that at gatherings, I have always said, no pictures of me, please. I am sure some of you thought I was being foolish or paranoid. I am very careful of information I post online that might identify who I am. I am also nervous of how I dress, where I frequent, how I joke around.... even as the NOT-me, kkdither.

Is this pertinent only for teachers and those who work in schools? Probably not. I think we all need to be more and more careful about online activity. Maybe if you represent a company that sells hamburgers to children, are a scientist who frequents learning establishments, run for political office, work in banking where customer trust is imperative, are a parent with small impressionable children, or, well..... you get the picture.

Here is the link to the full story at cbsnews.com:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/06/sunday/main7323148.shtml?tag=topnews

Super Bowl Blog


Super Bowl XLV - 5:30 PM CST - Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas - TV: Fox (Ch. 6 and 32 ); Radio: WTMJ (620 AM); WRJN (1400 AM); WEZY (92.1 FM)