Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It is Now Possible To 'Mind Meld'

According to reporting by Al Jazeera, "Scientists said Tuesday they have completed the first human-to-human mind meld, with one researcher sending a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motion of a colleague sitting across the Seattle campus of the University of Washington.

Who Knows What This Could Lead To... Oh come on.. you & I both know you were thinking this too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50 Years Ago Today

National Mall/Lincoln Memorial
Washington, DC
August 28, 1963

Mahalia Jackson

"How I Got Over" - Mahalia Jackson

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The Trailer for "Idiocracy"

American News 7/19/13

When I read about all the stuff going on locally and nationally I'm overwhelmed. How could I make sense of this either on a local level or any level for that matter?

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Bunch Of Allentown Arena Construction Pics

The Morning Call posted a bunch of Allentown arena construction photos on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Keeping Pennsylvania Miners Safe

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Knoebels Has A Brand New Ride!

It's called 'Flying Turns". Here is a video of the test run of 'Flying Turns' shot with a 'GoPro Hero 3' mounted to the head of a water dummy. This was recorded yesterday (Saturday, August 17, 2013) at Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA.

According to Knoebels Facebook Page, "The ride has been under constriction for over 5 years now. It's a wooden coaster, custom design and it will be the ONLY wooden bobsled coaster in the US, if not the entire world when it opens."

Knoebels is family owned. It offers both free admission and parking

Guns And The Right To Carry

From the eMail inbox sent to me
Subject: FW: Finally, a well-dressed Wal-Mart shopper

Just a housewife out shopping in Alaska
No permit required in Alaska for either open (must be 18) carry or concealed (must be 21) carry.

Why would that be??
NOT one school shooting either.

* * * * *

     Ok, I'll do that.
"NOT one school shooting either."
     OK I'll do that too

* 4/23/2008-- 6 arrested in Alaska school shooting plot

* Evan E. Ramsey (born February 8, 1981) a former Alaskan high school student who perpetrated a school shooting at Bethel Regional High School in Bethel, Alaska, on February 19, 1997. During the shooting, Ramsey killed two people and wounded two others.

In 2011 Alaska was ranked 26th per 100,000 in overall murders. Today it's ranked almost at the top for murder by firearms (see chart below). So it's not like Alaska is some sort of safety harbor when it comes to NOT getting murdered by a gun. In fact quite the opposite.

When it comes to the death penalty, states without the death penalty have had consistently lower murder rates. For 2011, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.89 while the average murder rate of states without the death penalty was 4.13 (18% less).

Alaska allows residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit and also allows the open carry of a handgun without a permit. The District of Columbia doesn't allow guns yet in 2012 was Ranked 8th Among Nation’s Most Populated Cities

What Are The Conclusions?
Based on the above data, whether a state imposes the death penalty, has restricted gun rights or not matters little when it comes to murder rates. Just because a bunch of people are walking around packing heat (whether or not concealed) doesn't back up what the this email claims (that people are safer because of it). This aside from the fact that "Concealed Carry Is Now Legal in All 50 States" anyway. Therefore Alaska is not special in any way.

If you look over the list of school shootings they occur in states whether people have guns strapped to their hips or not. So this whole argument about walking around like a gunslinger has little to do with either school shootings or preventing murders.

File this one under bull crap!

10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down (Mother Jones)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

LVCI's Wild Nightlife

Here's what goes on around here in the wee small hours of the night (on the back deck)
Dogs, Possums, Raccoons

Along With The Occasional Skunk
(.. and cats.. lotsa' cats!)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Consciousness Cannot Be Defined

I've posted before on this subject. What I posted previously was about the philosophical aspects of spirituality regarding consciousness. "Awareness is nothing more then a product of consciousness. Since without consciousness (in a unconscious state) there can be no such self awareness it can be said we don't exist unto ourselves under these conditions."

"After five hours on the road, she was finally found slumped over the wheel of her car in the driveway of a house she used to live in, with no recollection of her sleepy sojourn."Wikipedia describes consciousness this way. "Consciousness is the quality or state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind." If readers prefer a lengthily discussion I suggest they read more about consciousness there.

One of the mysteries that's plagued mankind has always been trying to get a handle on consciousness. Whenever we broach this subject it becomes like one chasing one's own tail. The reason for that is, consciousness is trying to evaluate it's own self. It is as a mirror trying to see it's own reflection.

Rather then get too windy I think this article entitled "The Conundrum of Consciousness" best describes briefly anything I could say here about this subject. "But do you even have a mind? Scientists don't know where the brain ends and the mind begins. Are they the same thing? What about souls? Are these located in our brains? What is responsible for all of the unique thoughts and feelings that make us who we are? Everyone from philosophers to physicists has taken up this question of consciousness and come up empty."

Let me add a yet other dimensions to this mystery. How can humans ever be certain we aren't dreaming about being awake when in fact we aren't? If indeed that were to be the case, would we then not be dreaming about dreaming when we go to sleep? Just how many levels (reflections in the mirror) could there be to consciousness?

Could we one day wake up like this lady did, then end up realizing we aren't really who we think ourselves to be in our current state of awareness? Even if we did, would that then "current waking state" be yet another reflection?

Speaking on a philosophically religious level... Is this how the single creator of us all appears as many and yet is only one? We were told by biblical scholars that we were created in the "image" of God. Think about that and all that it implies.

If one is stressed out by living with relatives, think about having to live with all the rest of world as our relatives too!
          Yeah it's like that :-)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kansas Is Coming To Allentown

Kansas will kick off their 40th anniversary tour tonight (August 15th, 2013) at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania backed by a 35-piece symphony orchestra. Tickets are $90.

Have no fear. If you miss them tonight there are 10 concerts scheduled before they arrive here in Allentown to take to the stage at Allentown's Miller Symphony Hall 8:00 pm on Friday, October 25th, 2013. While they won't have a 25 piece orchestra backing them up, it's sure to be a don't miss concert event. Tickets are $35 for balcony seating and $45 for Orchestra Or Mezzanine.

The last major performance they did in this area was on August 6th, 1977 at the Allentown Fair.

They were promoting their 5th album at the time entitled "Point Of Know Return". It was recorded in June and July of that year. It was released just over two months after their 1977 appearance here in Allentown. The largest hit they ever had, "Dust In The Wind", came from track #7 of this recording. The album went on to sell over 4 million units. After that 'Kansas' went on to release 9 more studio albums, 6 more live albums starting in 1978 and 8 more additional compilation albums.

What made their Allentown Fair performance special was the CBS television network sent a crew to record the concert. It aired one month later on the network as a TV special entitled "Fairs Across America".
You Can Watch A Video Clip From That Concert Here

Riparian Buffers & Cedar Beach Swim Area

The following photos I give full attribution to The Morning Call. The photos I'm presenting here fall under the terms of "Fair Use". I encourage folks wishing to see additional photos to visit The Morning Call's "Image" site. It has 193,654 images available!

When you click on that link it says.. "Welcome to DigitalFortress for the Morning Call, an interactive digital library designed to share the history captured by the Morning Call's photojournalists over the decades. We are excited to showcase this rich visual history, most of which has never been published or seen by the public..."

From the 'been there, done that department'
What's old is new again

How The Jordan Creek Riparian Buffers Looked On August 29th, 1940

Allentown wants to build a new swimming pool at Cedar Beach.
Before the current cement pond was built in 1951..
this is the way 'Cedar Beach' looked on July 5th, 1941

Today It Is Known As Lake Muhlenberg

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Great Summer School Program

What Properly Funded School Districts Can Accomplish

Tapestry Program of Rutland County (Vermont)

The Tapestry Program Brochure
The Rutland School District Site (about the 'Tapestry' program)
July 25, 2013: Tapestry Program gets $1 million grant from the state of Vermont

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Wife Has Done An Amazing Job

... with daughter's baby shower

What she did with the daughter's baby shower was too good not to share.

These are baby shower favors each guest received. She hand painted each clay pot. Then went down to Roth's Flowers for plants for each of them. Then individually wrapped them for each of the guests.

Her boss pitched in and cut some flowers from home for the centerpieces you see here.

One of the most personal items was this baby basket. This basket was used for three generations by six other infants in our family. The wife bought a fresh mattress pad. Purchased new cloth and handsewn it, draping it over both the inside and outside using elastic banding. She placed several more gifts inside and bought a brand new baby mobile for it.

She planned the entire thing and spent countless hours preparing this baby shower. I couldn't me more proud of what she accomplished. There were nearly 30 guests. Some were the relatives. Other guests included my wife and daughter's bosses and co-workers.

I'm not posting this to boast. Rather it's because once again she surpassed my expectations as to how I thought this thing was going to turn out. I also felt she should be publicly acknowledged not only for her abilities, but for being a loving mother that she is.

The Cycle of Life
Next up is the marriage of our granddaughter in October. Which coincidently falls into the same timeframe that the daughter's twin girls are expected to arrive. This could be a hellva' photo 'op' at either the church or reception so I wanna make sure to take my camera for this one :-)

Monday, August 12, 2013

We're Proud Parents

... of two doves

We've been waiting almost three weeks for these little guys to hatch. Now they're already flying just 3 days later.

BTW: This is the couple's 5th try. The first two nests fell off the back porch before Mrs. Dove even laid her eggs. After Mrs. Dove bagged that idea, she laid a total of four eggs over two separate occasions in the hanging flower pots. Then she took off abandoning them there. The final try was based on a 3rd nest they built in another part of the porch overhang. So I'm surprised these two even made it :-)

Solar Panels Why Buy? Lease Them Instead

Leasing solar a cost-saving option for homeowners
Carole Feldman, Associated Press |
"Want to go solar but don't have the money to buy a system? Try leasing one.

... says he's saving money. He now pays about $140 or $150 for electricity each month, down from about $220. And the total includes his $115 lease payment to SolarCity, a California-based solar company that operates in 14 states."

Some are barely noticeable
See: Nearly Unnoticeable Solar Electric Shingles

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Exclusively Found Only On LVCI

CLICK HERE for original posts that can only be found here on this blog exclusively and no where else.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Taking On RenewLV's Call For Regionalization

Anyone who is up to speed should understand the constant barking by these puff groups calling for regional consolidation are ignoring history and the results of where it has already been done.

"Currently a township, Whitehall is considering the requirements and consequences for their designation as a city, and from the rapid growth in its population it looks like Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton may have a new member in the city-club of the region....

... The Lehigh Valley alone has 62 municipalities (Northampton and Lehigh Counties). This fragmentation and duplication of efforts and services promotes sprawl and inhibits regionalism... Changes in state policy that would encourage smaller municipalities to merge with their neighbors would increase the efficiency of service provision, minimize redundancies and create a more amenable environment for regional efforts."
Normally I'm not too fond of negatively engaging with other blogs, but this kind of propagandist chatter has been going on long enough on several blogs without being challenged. Over the last several months while this has been going on I bit my lip in the hopes somebody else would challenge this Since they didn't....

Let's take a look at Philadelphia County
I'm not going to go into a long drawn out history of Philadelphia, but the long and short of it is... Philadelphia started out as a colony. Eventually it spread out to become a county by regionalizing (swallowing up) Fishtown (Shackamaxon as it was formly known to the Lenapes), Frankford, Germantown, Manayunk, Bridesburg and others. By 1942 Philadelphia county was composed of 9 districts, 6 boroughs and 13 townships. Today within the city of Philadelphia itself their are now 28 political subdivisions. NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL REGIONALIZATION!

If regionalization is such a panacea why is it "Philadelphia's schools chief says the district may not be able to open its schools on time this September without tens of millions in additional funding to reverse draconian cuts and major layoffs enacted earlier this year... One option would keep all 218 schools closed past September 9." The school district is coming up short by $304 million at the time of this writing.

According to this Philadelphia controller's August 2012 report the city itself is looking at over a $17 million deficit for 2013 and $26.5 million in 2014.

Philly has 15,000 to 25,000 vacant and abandoned houses throughout the city.

Exactly how has regionalization been a good thing?
Given Philadelphia's past history and currently what's taking place, it's clear that regionalization simply doesn't work. Not unless you relentlessly continue to gobble up surrounding neighboring municipalities like some sort of 'black hole'. Detroit, New York, Harrisburg and others far too numerous to mention have similar histories and where they stand financially today as well.

How regionalization actually works out
Say Allentown were to consolidate with another municipality who has their finances in order with a balanced budget. Ignoring the fact that they'd be on the hook for debts they haven't incurred, things would probably go along fine for a few years. As history clearly demonstrates, eventually this too would result in deficit spending. Thus necessitating for an even greater consolidation (regionalization).

Even if Allentown would eventually become the same size as Philly, I've shown how regionalization does not mean that bigger is better. If one thinks citizens of Allentown have little say now, imagine council having 17 members as Philly's now does or the 51 that represent New York City's 5 boroughs!

I'm trying very hard not to be too unkind with my words to these 20 some year old cheerleaders, but if it's regionalization they want may I suggest relocating to one of these fine cities where it's already been done. Live there for 10 or 20 years. Get some experience. Then try getting these cities houses in order before insisting we should follow in their footsteps. Oh, one more thing, try and find a job that doesn't depend entirely on taxpayer dollars for their existence. If that ticks some people off.. so-be-it.

What's the alternative?
I've already done a post about that. See that part of my post "So what do I propose instead?" at the bottom.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Idea For A New Musical- "Flahooley"

Is there anyone who understands what a sleeper this could be if the score were to be updated?

Are there any visionaries out there? Imagine this show tied in with a toy manufacture! I do realize shows these days run $10-11 million on Broadway. That’s why perhaps one of the big toy manufacturers should think about what this could mean.

Imagine ELMO reintroduced with electronic modifications to today's demand for the newer toys.

About Flahooley

My Video Interpretation

The Time Magazine Review from: Monday, May 28, 1951

Shut Up If You Didn't Vote

How many times have we heard that expression?

I disagree, here's why.
(a) First of all no where in the constitution does it require a person to vote. Nor by not doing so that a citizen no longer holds the right to oversee their government.

(b) Even on philosophical grounds I disagree. Everyone pays taxes in one way or another. When someone sticks their hands into your pocket, I think you have every right to speak out about it.
Putting Those Issues Aside
I am certain a large portion of people are ether too lazy and will never vote. What remains is another portion who don't like any of the candidates on the ballot.

I Have A Simple Plan To Increase The Number Of Voters.
Be truthful. How many times did you hold your nose and cast your vote for the lesser of two evils? How many times have you cast your vote to block someone because they were of the other party's ideology?

Here's what I propose. Put one more choice on the ballot... "NONE OF THE ABOVE". Can you only imagine what would happen if "NONE OF THE ABOVE" actually garnered the most votes and won!

I myself have criticized those who don't vote. Yet I have voted many times for someone I really didn't like just so the other guy I disliked more wouldn't get into office. Who's the bigger hypocrite, I or someone who didn't vote because they liked neither one? Is it being patriotic to vote for a knucklehead, despite knowing someone shouldn't be in office, just because there are no other choices?

Yeah I would like the "NONE OF THE ABOVE" option.
Sends a clear message doesn't it?

George Carlin once said...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Music Videos-- Watch Them While You Can

"Yep, that kind of thing would likely be considered a violation of the public performance right, punishable with felony charges instead of as a misdemeanor as it is now, reports the Washington Post-- SOPA died in 2012, but Obama administration wants to revive part of it."For many, the number one reason they go to YouTube is to watch and appreciate the amazing amateur singing talents that can be found there.

Read about how there were 15 Music Stars Discovered Through Social Media

For years I have an entire YouTube channel devoted entirely to them. See 276+ music videos of them here.

These performers, who are full of hopes and dreams, just want to sing and be heard. It's hard to imagine that one day it may be possible they may be convicted of a 'felony'' for their singing. Originally felony laws were enacted to make society safer. It's preposterous to think anyone poses a threat to the safety of society simply by singing. And this is supposed to make society safer how?

Felonies carry prison terms for at least one year or more

With all these new laws has the crack in the "LIBERTY" bell become somewhat symbolic?

Next round of copyright criminals: YouTube cover bands
by Joe Mullin | arstechnica
Aug 8 2013
"Several music publishers, including Warner/Chappell Music, filed a copyright suit Monday against Fullscreen, a "multichannel network," or MCN, that helps brands and individuals manage their YouTube presence. Their ultimate target: cover bands on YouTube."

Schlossberg: Business Revitalizing Downtown

Pa. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg Talks With Greg Butz Linkedin:
State Representative, 132nd Legislative District at Pennsylvania House of Representatives,
President & CEO at Pocket Protector Games

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Benghazi Wasn't An Embassy

I'm not blowing hot air. It wasn't me who said it. In this official state department document it was they themselves who said it. "In December 2011, the Under Secretary for Management approved a one-year continuation of the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, which was never a consulate and never formally notified to the Libyan government.". The document further stated, "The Board found that Ambassador Stevens made the decision to travel to Benghazi independently of Washington, per standard practice."

I'm sure a lot of folks are sick of hearing about some so-called cover up. The compound got whacked by people who hate us. It's to be expected. So what? OR is there something far more sinister going on here that high placed officials will go to any lengths to try and cover up?

If there is a cover up logic dictates the need to question, what would the people involved in this be trying to hide?

According to a CNN report filed by Jake Tapper on August 1, 2013, "Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels."

If it should come out that certain officials in or under this administration we were doing such a thing this would be the most explosive issue since the Iran–Contra affair. If you will recall during the Reagan administration 13 high level senior officials were indicted for doing this very thing. I'd say (if this is true) this would be one hellva' damn good reason for trying to tap dance around what might have actually been going on there for sure!

While it was never proven that President Reagan had a hand in this (because documents were destroyed and withheld to investigators) it will always remain suspect that it was possible. I've said time and time again on this blog, history has a habit of repeating itself. Will this end up with indictments that will stain the Obama administration's legacy just as it had Reagan's? If this turns out to be true, will the people involved in this have greater success in putting this to bed after having studied those involved in Iran-Contra affair who attempts failed to do so?

As of yet we can't be certain there even was a CIA mission to move arms to the Syrian rebels. Maybe time will tell whether this is really what was transpiring or wasn't. Perhaps we may never find out for sure. Either way one thing is for certain, there is a whole lot of smoke coming out of Benghazi. And it's not just from the fire that was on the compound that day.

May 2013 Is this True?
You decide