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30 March 2013

long-lost Abbas the Canuck posts a comment to Vleeptron! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

click image / cliquez fiche

Abbas --

Salam yo
کیا حال ہے
سلام علیکم
کیا حال ہے
sup eh

i sure hope to hell youse Karachi dewds & dewdettes speak Urdu. If another lingo SVP tell me its name, i'll bet The Amazing Jennifer and her
Amazing Greetings in a Gazillion Lingos website has it. Whatever you use to exchange skinny with the neighbo(u)rs, Jennifer has it. You can't hide from Jennifer.

Don't tell my beloved S.W.M.B.O., but over the years I have fallen deeply in love with The Amazing Jennifer, tho i have never seen her face or been in the same SpaceTime with her. I don't know where she lives. I don't know if she is 121.92 or 274.32 cm tall. I don't know if she has a big black wen on her face with a big black hair coming out of it. I don't know if she shops exclusively from the Victoria's Secret catalog or if she is a Target kind of grrlie. I don't know if she's 12 or 103.

She might be Australian / she might be Bulgarian / she might be The Alien ...

I only know her Greetings (and a half-dozen other highly useful phrases, all friendly) in a Gazillion Lingos website. I really like Jennifer's life's work and obsession. She speaks deeply to my heart. How do you nominate somebody for the Nobel Peace or Letters Prize? If I can get a snailmail addie on her, I will send Jennifer some of Richardson's Amazing Hand-Dipped Chocolates (they're just up the road from us).

anyway forgive delay in responding. It's been one of those Pecked To Death About the Ankles by Ducks weeks -- utterly nothing serious or threatening going on, but Vikings or Visigoths or Huns couldn't have messed with our nervous systems worse than these Angry Ducks.

Also the Almanac says Spring began on Wednesday 20 March at 11:02 GMT, but you look out my window or (much worse) try to go out the front door and there is
Zero Evidence of Spring, we are trapped in the cabin by some kind of long-lasting Glaciation Event. If my CRV didn't have the 4x4, we would be extrasuperskrood.

I'm happy you enjoyed my Salute to Canada / Saluer au Canada, which as you may have suspected was another of my sleazy & transparent excuses to fill the blog with soft-core porn and increase readership. 

This Serious News & Commentary & Profound Thought & Mathematical Truth stuff has not exactly been sizzling the cogs out of the Hit Counter.

I found the photo of the Patriotic Canadian Young Woman i think in 2007, and the current weather has inspired Vleeptron to invite her to display the natural wonders of Canada again for Vleeptron's 34 devoted readers.

i hope to heck u & yrs are enjoying PK and I hope it's doing everything you wished for, but this Salute has inspired me to gush a little about how much i love Canada. 

I been as far west as Regina (does not rhyme with Geena), as far north as Churchill Manitoba and Nain, Labrador (to get there I was forced to kiss a salt cod, I kid you not), I been to St. Anthony, Newfoundland -- okay, it's not The End Of The World, but if you stand on a chair you can see it from there -- I been to L'Anse aux Meadows, whose First Peoples got so pissed off at the Vikings they chased them back to Norway, and it is not easy to chase Vikings away. I been to The Pas Manitoba  -- you get about a 35-minute stopover, DO NOT BE LATE TO GET BACK ON THE TRAIN or u will be stuck in The Pas for 3 days & u do NOT want to be stuck in The Pas for 3 days -- and i been all over the Maritimes and PEI.

I'm trying to recall a Bad Experience in Canada, and can't.

Well, okay, in a tiny port in Labrador one night the tour lady told us it might be a good idea to stay on board while the freighter was loading and unloading Skidoos, but me and my fellow Yank Urban Thrillseeker went down on the dock to see the sight (for this joint I think i have to just use the singular), and a surly crowd of disgruntled Inuit teenagers threw rocks at us, one rock parted my hair, and the Honky Thrillseekers diddibopped back up the gangplank and onto the ship again. (And slammed the door, hatch, whatever, securely behind us.)

(The Inuit teenagers had real good reason to be disgruntled, altho us dumb Yank tourists weren't to blame. Labrador First Peoples are advised to address all complaints to Ottawa.)

More later, S.W.M.B.O. is advising me that chow's ready. Let Vleeptron know sup with you. Keep checking this post for addenda over the next few days.

I don't even know your wife's name or your kids' names, but PLEASE tell them all that The Vleeptron Dude wishes them Good Times and lots of Halvah. Would they like Postalö Vlereptron to issue them a commemorative postage stamp?

وعليكم السلام

Vleeptron Dude

Adam Strange and Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 A.D.

Click the comics.

26 March 2013

Die weiteren Abenteuer des spanischen Gefangenen / the further adventures of the Spanish Prisoner

Kompliment des Tages,

Wie geht es Ihnen heute? Ich hoffe, fein, ich weiЯ, das E-Mail wird Ihnen eine groЯe Ьberraschung kommen, Dies ist das zweite Mal, Ich schicke Ihnen diesen Brief ist, ist die Wahrheit, die ich habe Ihre E-Mail-Kontakt aus einer Business-Verzeichnis auf dem Internet und beschlossen, Sie zu kontaktieren bezьglich dieser Business Vorschlag.

Ich bin Herr Christopher Johnson, Head of Accounting and Audit Department of Credit Suisse Bank, One Cabot Square, London E14 4QJ London, hier in England. Ich schreibe Ihnen aus meinem Bьro, die von einer groЯen immensen Nutzen fьr beide von uns sein wird. In meiner Abteilung ist der Assistant Manager (Greater London region), entdeckte ich eine verlassene Summe von 16,5 Millionen GBP (sechzehn Millionen fьnfhunderttausend Pfund Sterling) in einem Konto, das zu einem unserer auslдndischen Kunden Late Mr. Moises Saba, ein Jude gehцrt aus Mexiko, das war ein Opfer von einem Hubschrauberabsturz am 10. Januar 2010, ihn zu tцten und Familienmitgliedern. Herr Saba war 46-Jahre alt, auch in der Chopper zum Zeitpunkt des Absturzes war seine Frau Adela Tuachi, ihr Sohn Avraham (Alberto) und seine Tochter-in-law Judith, war der Pilot auch gestorben.

Die Wahl der Kontaktaufnahme mit Ihnen aus der geographischen Natur, wo Sie leben, vor allem aufgrund der Sensibilitдt der Transaktion und die Vertraulichkeit hier geweckt, Jetzt ist unsere Bank hat fьr keine der Verwandten zu kommen-up gewartet fьr die Behauptung, aber niemand hat getan haben, ich persцnlich war in der Suche die Verwandten erfolglos, ich suche Ihre Zustimmung an Sie als nдchsten Angehцrigen / Wird Empfдnger an den Verstorbenen, so dass die Erlцse aus diesem Konto bei 16,5 Millionen GBP geschдtzt Ihnen bezahlt werden kann prдsentieren.

Diese ausgezahlt werden oder in diese Prozentsдtze geteilt, 60% fьr mich und 40% fьr Sie, ich habe alle notwendigen rechtlichen Dokumente, die wir zur Sicherung dieser Forderung gesichert. Alles was ich brauche ist es, in Ihrem Namen zu den Dokumenten zu fьllen und zu legalisieren es in den Hof hier, um Sie als berechtigten Empfдnger nachweisen. Alles, was ich jetzt brauchen, ist Ihre ehrliche Zusammenarbeit, Verschwiegenheit und Vertrauen, damit wir sehen diese Verhandlung durch. Ich garantiere Ihnen, dass dies unter einer legitimen Anordnung, die Sie aus einer Verletzung des Gesetzes schьtzt ausgefьhrt wird.

Wenn Sie in diesem DEAL interessiert sind, bitte geben Sie mir die folgenden Informationen, wie wir von sieben Werktagen, um dieses DEAL durchlaufen haben:

Ein. Ihr Full Names:
2. Ihre Telefon-und Fax-Nummer:
3. Ihr Kontakt Adresse:
4. Ihr Alter / Geschlecht:
5. Ihr Job / Beruf:
6. Deine private Email-Adresse
7. Ihre Nationalitдt

Nachdem durch eine methodische Suche gegangen, ich mit Ihnen Kontakt aufnehmen Hoffnung, dass Sie finden diesen Vorschlag interessant entschieden, Bitte auf Ihrer Bestдtigung dieser Nachricht und geben Sie Ihr Interesse werde ich Ihnen weitere Informationen liefern. Bitte kontaktieren Sie mich per Telefon: (+44) 7031999656 oder E-Mail:

Bemьhen, lassen Sie mich wissen, Ihre Entscheidung anstatt halten mich wartete.

Mit freundlichen GrьЯen,

Mr. Christopher Johnson
PHONE: (+44) 7031999656


Compliments of the day,

How are you today? I hope fine, I know this Email will come to you as a big surprise,This is the second time am sending you this Letter, the truth is i got your Email contact from a business directory on the Internet and decided to contact you regarding this Business Proposal.

I am Mr Christopher Johnson, Head of Accounting and Audit Department of credit Suisse bank, One Cabot Square, London E14 4QJ London, here in England. I am writing you from my office which will be of a great immense benefit for both of us.  In my department being the assistant manager (Greater London region), I discovered an abandoned sum of 16.5 Million GBP (Sixteen Million Five hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr. Moises Saba, a Jew from Mexico that was a victim of a helicopter crash on 10th January 2010 killing him and family members.  Mr Saba was 46-years-old,also in the chopper at the time of the crash was his wife Adela Tuachi, their son Avraham (Alberto) and his daughter-in-law Judith,The pilot was also dead.

The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature Of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction and the confidentiality herein, Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that, I personally has been unsuccessful in locating the relatives, I seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of This account valued at 16.5 Million GBP can be paid to you.

This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% to me and 40% to you, I have secured all necessary legal documents that we can used to back up this claim. All I need is to fill in Your names to the documents and legalize it in the court here to prove You as the legitimate beneficiary.  All I need now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this Transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

If you are interested in this DEAL, kindly provide me the following Details as we have Seven Working days to run this DEAL through:

1. Your Full Names:
2. Your Telephone and Fax Number:
3. Your Contact Address:
4. Your Age/Gender:
5. Your Job/Occupation:
6. Your Private Email address
7. Your Nationality

Having gone through a methodical search, I decided to contact you Hoping that you will find this proposal interesting, Please on your Confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more information. Please contact me by Phone: (+44) 7031999656 or Email: 

Endeavor to let me know your decision rather than keeping me waiting.

Best Regards,

Mr. Christopher Johnson
PHONE: (+44) 7031999656

Salute to Canada / Saluer au Canada / free to be she or he in Ontario / It might as well be spring / Happy Almost Freedom, Kalaallit Nunaat!

Click image, it's all good.

The map is copyrighted 2001 (and seems to belong to HM Queen Elizabeth II), so a few things are a little out of date or stale.

For one thing, the Magnetic North Pole isn't at one fixed location, it moves around. I don't know where it's wobbled to this year. But it's probably somewhere in the map's neighborhood, it doesn't run or skate or swim very fast. To find it, bring along a magnetic compass. (But don't rely on it for other navigational purposes in Polar regions.)

If you know where (Latitude & Longitude) the Magnetic North Pole is right now, please Leave A Comment.

Next, I think Greenland got sovereignty and doesn't belong to Denmark anymore. Congratulations!

Hmmmm ... on further investigation, that's not exactly the case. Denmark can't quite seem to let go completely. Technically Greenland -- or as the locals say, Kalaallit Nunaat -- is a self-ruling parliamentary democratic autonomy within the Kingdom of Denmark. So they got a sovereign, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

Oh, all the recent melting of the Arctic ice -- There's finally an ice-free navigable Northwest Passage, ships can now sail from Atlantic to Pacific (and contrariwise) without paying the Panama Canal toll -- well, they can during a few summer months, anyway. But if Al Gore's even half-right, that toll-free ocean-to-ocean sailing season will just keep getting longer each year.

So anyway, this is Vleeptron's Salute to Canada / Saluer au Canada.

The Equinox was 20 March, Vleeptron usually cranks out this blog in Earth's Northern Hemisphere, so theoretically, Spring began about a week ago.

Click HERE to see what Spring looked like out the window here. It looked a lot like where the young woman wearing small Canada flags was posing.

I am not a medical professional, but this young woman looks very healthy and fit to me. She is a credit to her wonderful, beautiful, friendly nation of Canada.

About ten years ago a student at the University of Guelph, Ontario, sued for her right to cavort & gambol topless/shirtless in public, and after a ferocious legal battle (well, as ferocious as legal battles ever get in Canada), the highest court in the province of Ontario found in her favo(u)r, so ever since it has been legal for both genders to parade around in public day or night topless in Ontario. Feel free to choose your favorite month to do so.


It Might As Well Be Spring

Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Music: Richard Rodgers
from the movie "State Fair" (1945)

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm
I'm as jumpy as puppet on a string
I'd say that I had spring fever
but I know it isn't spring

I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented
like a nightingale without a song to sing
O why should I have spring fever
when it isn't even spring?

I keep wishing I were someone else
walking down a strange new street
And hearing words that I've never heard
from a girl I've yet to meet

I'm as busy as a spider spinning daydreams
(spinning spinning daydreams)
I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing
I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud
or a robin on the wing

But I feel so gay in a melancholy way
that it might as well be spring
It might as well be spring

24 March 2013

swimsuit sleaze

Click photo to enlarge

young female-oriented webzine
Monday 11 March 2013

Big Breaks for Blowjobs:
The Dark Underbelly 

of the Miss USA Pageant

by Katie J.M. Baker, Editor   

Ashleigh Blake never dreamed of becoming a beauty queen. The 21-year-old amateur model and part-time tutor fantasized about being a movie star or the next Glee triple threat, and posted her resume on the casting networking site GotCast in hopes that Hollywood might call. But when a recruitment associate for Miss California USA, the splashiest state franchise in Donald Trump's Miss Universe pageant ecosystem, sent Ashleigh a message in November 2012 expressing interest in scheduling a meeting, she responded right away. "I didn't expect them to pick me in a million years," Ashleigh said. "When they did, I thought it was the start of my dreams coming true."

What happened next was more like a nightmare.

Miss USA competitors get a bad rap; they're known for being party girls (Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006), porn stars (Melissa King, Miss Delaware Teen USA 2013), and homophobes (Carrie Prejean, former Miss California USA 2009 and Miss USA 2009 first runner-up).

But our investigation found that the people behind the scenes -- not the camera-ready women they hide behind -- are the ones truly worthy of a spotlight. Some of the men who recruit and run the organization's lucrative pageants are scam artists with lengthy track records of manipulating desperate clients with false promises of fame. Chasing the dream can be pricey, but sources told us it's possible to pay up with sexual favors.

Miss America girls want to be doctors and lawyers. Miss USA girls want to grow up to be Victoria's Secret models.

MUO co-owner Donald Trump has made his name milking controversy for cash, but it's hard to imagine that even he would advocate profiting off the activities some high-level Miss USA representatives have been involved with for years. State directors and recruiters sign contracts promising to uphold the "upstanding reputation and image" of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), but no one's watching to make sure they actually comply. And when power runs unchecked, things can sour faster than a runner-up's fake smile.

Last December, millions of people — "one billion," according to Trump — in approximately 190 countries watched Rhode Island resident Olivia Culpo beat out 88 other beauty queens to become Miss Universe. It was the organization's most-watched competition since 2008. The day before the pageant aired, a judge awarded the MUO $5,000,000 in damages against ex-Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin over her claims that the Miss USA pageant was rigged.

"We are pleased that the integrity of the Miss USA pageant remains intact," MUO President Paula Shugart said in a statement. "We were always confident in what the outcome would be as the truth was on our side."

Confidence aside, the MUO is used to controversy. That's why the Miss America pageant is so averse to being confused with its smuttier sister that it rather brusquely explains the differences between the two pageants on its website's FAQ. The distinction was established over half a century ago, when Yolande Betbeze, a convent girl from Alabama, refused to pose for swimsuit photos after winning the 1951 Miss America title. A swimsuit sponsor retaliated by launching the Miss USA and Miss Universe
pageants as competitors -- and effective product promotion tools.

Generations later, the foil remains. One 2013 Miss America hopeful recently told Marie Claire [magazine] that she considered the crown a stepping stone on the way to becoming a state governor. Miss America girls want to be doctors and lawyers, 2004 Miss USA Shandi Finnessey once told Fox & Friends, while Miss USA girls want to grow up to be Victoria's Secret models.

Trump, who bought the MUO in 1996 and co-owns it with NBCUniversal, clearly has no problem with the pageant's reputation. "Ratings have been terrific," Trump told The Insider in 2010 after controversy arose over official competition photos of lingerie-clad contestants rolling around in bed. "They are a little bit sexy but I'll tell you what -- everybody's watching so I have no problems with it."

But no one's paying attention to what happens behind the scenes.

After being contacted by a Miss California USA recruiter, Ashleigh rushed to fill out an online application. She was soon invited to an interview session with pageant recruiter Domingo Rodriguez at a Clarion Hotel near her apartment in Tracy, a drab city bordered by three interstate highways on the outskirts of the Bay Area. She and a handful of other girls in attendance vying for spots in younger sister pageant Miss California Teen USA watched a promotional video and then had one-on-one interviews with Rodriguez.

"The pageant industry is expensive for young ladies. Everyone wants to make money somehow."

Rodriguez, a middle-aged smooth-talker, told Ashleigh he would help her find sponsors when she said she couldn't afford the pageant's initial and nonrefundable $895 deposit fee. If Ashleigh was interested in other paid modeling jobs -- and she was, yes, of course -- Rodriguez knew of a magazine in Miami that needed a cover model. In a follow-up email to Ashleigh sent a few days later, Rodriguez reiterated the magazine opportunity and remained encouraging. "We can meet sometime in the future if you like to take
you [sic] to the next level," he wrote. "Keep Smiling!" The next day, he texted Ashleigh, saying she should feel free to contact him on his cell if it was easier than email.

Ashleigh was excited but unsettled by Rodriguez's fervent enthusiasm; her baby-faced features and skinny 5'8'' frame were more fitting for an American Apparel billboard than a national beauty pageant.

But when she called the phone number listed on the pageant's website and reached K2 Productions, the company that produces Miss California USA, a receptionist confirmed that Rodriguez was indeed employed by K2 Productions' official recruitment and marketing arm, Chase the Crown. Feeling reassured, Ashleigh texted Rodriguez back to learn more.

Rodriguez instructed Ashleigh to email modeling photos to After she sent four PG-rated photos, a woman who identified herself as Jazmine Mitchell of Life Talent Ltd asked Ashleigh what type of modeling/acting she would be open to, specifying that "our Agency does G to X rated modeling assignments." Ashleigh politely said she would prefer only "implied nudity" and referenced her childhood modeling work with Osh Kosh B'Gosh. Rodriguez also asked Ashleigh to send him a photo to show his "magazine contacts," so she texted him one of herself in a pink bikini, posing against a living
room couch. "Is there anything else I can do in the meantime?" she texted. "I would love the chance to model for pretty much any assignment!"

Five minutes later, Rodriguez responded: the magazine wanted her on the cover and she'd pocket 80% of the paycheck, but they had to meet in person to discuss the terms of the agreement. Ashleigh thought it was odd that he couldn't discuss the contract over Skype, but agreed to meet him at a Starbucks in Tracy; Miss California USA had confirmed he was legit and Rodriguez had told her via text that "there is an interest we need to sell it now." In the days before the meeting, Rodriquez sent her inspirational texts: "Keep smiling … visualize success."

When the two met later that week, Rodriguez showed up without any paperwork and asked Ashleigh to get inside his car. She felt uncomfortable but got inside; he was an official Miss USA recruiter, after all, and she had come this far. Once the doors were closed, Rodriguez told Ashleigh that the agreement wasn't written. It was oral.

"Basically, I had to give him head and other ‘sexual favors' if I wanted to be on the cover of the magazine," Ashleigh said. Rodriguez explained that this was simply the "fast track" that 90% of all successful actors and models took to the top: if she performed additional sexual favors for the powerful men on the modeling circuit, her path to fame would be guaranteed.

Ashleigh said Rodriguez asked her to "prove herself" right there in the Starbucks parking lot. When she looked upset, he let her out of the car and told her to think it over. Instead, she spoke with an officer at the Tracy Police Department the very next day. But because Rodriguez hadn't actually forced her to go down on him, the incident was a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Next, Ashleigh contacted Keith Lewis, the State Director for Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA and co-director of K2 Productions, the company that produces the pageants and vouched for Rodriguez. Lewis told Ashleigh in an email that he was horrified by her experience and would remedy the situation, but advised her to keep her story under wraps "to prevent the possibility of tainting the outcome." Whether he was referring to the outcome of the pageant -- which he encouraged Ashleigh to still apply for -- or the investigation was unclear.

Two days later, Lewis wrote to Ashleigh that K2's official recruitment company, Chase the Crown, had agreed to relieve Rodriguez of his recruiting responsibilities. Lewis told her he had spoken at length to the detective assigned to Ashleigh's complaint -- but unfortunately, he wrote, neither the police nor he would be able to follow up any further. Lewis was sympathetic, and he told Ashleigh he was trying to find her an "appropriate therapist" near her apartment. Thoughtful, perhaps, although Ashleigh had never asked for counseling in the first place -- and that was the last she heard from Lewis on the matter. According to the police officer who received Ashleigh's report, no one from K2 Productions ever contacted him or any other law enforcement authority. Lewis never found Ashleigh that "appropriate" therapist, either.

That's when Ashleigh decided she was out. "I no longer wanted to be affiliated with the Miss USA
brand," she said with a sarcastic laugh. Ashleigh uploaded a video to YouTube (below) in hopes of spreading her story, but no one seemed to take notice.

Rodriguez confirmed to Jezebel in a telephone interview that he had met Ashleigh in his car outside of a Tracy Starbucks in an attempt to teach her how to succeed in the modeling business. "She told me she would do whatever it takes, and now she's throwing my help in her face," he said. He denied that he personally requested a blow job, but said that he told Ashleigh he knew of a magazine where "young ladies can get on the cover if they do some type of sexual favors with the people at the magazine." He said he had offered the same option to other young women and that at least one had taken him up on his offer -- and was "doing very well."

"This is character assassination and it's a shame because I've helped a lot of people in the past." he said. "When a young lady says she wants to find out opportunities, I'll pass the word out."

He said he only met with Ashleigh because he was under the impression that she couldn't afford to make it in Miss California USA. "The pageant industry is expensive for young ladies," he said. "I feel bad for those who dream about it but financially can't make it happen. Everyone wants to make some money somehow."

Keith Lewis is currently the state director for six Miss USA pageants: he owns the franchises for Miss California USA, Miss New York USA, and Miss New Hampshire USA, as well as the respective teen competitions for each state. Lewis told us that he first met Chase the Crown founder and former president Erik DeSando 25 years ago, back when the two ran their own individual talent agencies. The two publicly announced a "strategic alliance" in 2004, moved into the same office building, and shared some of the same employees.

Soon after, both men got involved in side projects: Lewis became the state director for Miss California USA and DeSando launched Be Productions LLC, the "undisputed destination for young artists interested in realizing their dreams."

Be Productions lured kids (and their parents) by telling them they had star potential -- but, of
course, the young would-be stars needed to pay thousands of dollars up front for headshots and acting classes if they wanted to be cast on Disney shows like Hannah Montana and Zoey 101.

Be Production's Talent Director was Domingo Rodriguez, then known as Domingo Casañas. The seamy trio -- Rodriguez, Lewis, and DeSando -- had solidified their business relationship.

In 2009, an ABC News investigation led to a widely publicized federal class action lawsuit that accused Be Productions of swindling over $20,000,000 from more than 6,000 families by attempting to sidestep a state consumer protection law specifically meant to keep dubious advance fee talent agencies in check, publishing false and misleading information about its prices and services and referring clients to classes and photo shoots in exchange for paid compensation. The lawsuit, which is still pending, claimed that the contracts signed by thousands of families "violate the law and cannot be enforced."

Judging by multiple emails on a website devoted to detailing Be Productions' scam operation, Rodriguez has spent a significant amount of time complaining about the subsequent backlash. "Now when someone looks up my name on Google it shows your Stage Parent attitude where you blame the talent director for whatever reasons you feel your son Arthur has not become a star," Rodriguez wrote to one parent. "This is sad." Rodriguez used the email address -- the same email address he would give girls like Ashleigh years later -- to tell parents to "keep smiling," apparently his favorite inspirational phrase.

Before the bad publicity, Be Productions was listed on the official Miss California USA website under "recruiters" along with DeSando and Rodriguez's names; afterwards, DeSando's last name mysteriously switched to "John." Once the discredited Be Productions shuttered, DeSando launched Chase the Crown, and his good pal Lewis advertised the company as "the official recruitment and marketing arm for K2
Productions" in a variety of official MUO materials and press releases.

DeSando was proud of Be Productions -- he told Entrepreneur that he projected sales of $15,000,000 in 2008. He was great at pageant recruiting, too, a job he held for four years, working for a variety of state directors including Lewis. Together, the duo turned the Miss California USA franchise into the largest state pageant in the Miss USA system. Under K2 Productions and Chase the Crown's partnership,
Miss California USA registered over 400 contestants in 2010 and continued its meteoric rise up until last year, when the franchise once again boasted having the most registered participants for any state in the history of the pageant.

But in May 2012, DeSando abruptly left. "Make sure you make it clear in the article that I NO LONGER work in recruitment," DeSando wrote in an email to Jezebel. "Sorry to be a pain but there is much politics in the MUO system and I want to make sure things arent [sic] misrepresented."

Why did DeSando part ways with MUO -- as he claims he did last spring -- if he was doing so well? Lewis said he wasn't able to have a "candid conversation" about DeSando's departure and would only say that it was "a mutually agreeable decision" and that DeSando was not permitted to use the Miss USA or Miss Universe trademarks or interact with "Miss USA girls" after that time.

But a source close to the issue told Jezebel under guarantee of anonymity that MUO higher-ups told Lewis in spring 2012 that they wouldn't renew his franchise agreement if he continued to employ DeSando as a recruiter. They had received too many serious complaints about DeSando's behavior -- according to
another source, one was that he often sent girls a shirtless photo of himself posing as former
congressman and notorious sexter Anthony Weiner.

It's not a good sign if Donald Trump doesn't want to be associated with you.

DeSando told us that while he still does some "consulting" for Chase the Crown, his sister now officially runs the company. But DeSando's personal website says he still works in "marketing and recruitment" for K2 Productions. On November 12th –- around five months after Lewis supposedly severed ties with DeSando at MUO's request -- DeSando sent out an email blast advertising "model industry specialists" services and wrote, "I work for K2 productions the official producer of the Miss California USA, Miss New York USA, Miss New Hampshire USA and Miss Maine, USA contests." 

On January 25th, 2013, DeSando posted a status update on his Facebook looking for women "that can speak in front of a room and have the ability to convince others"; those interested could email him at his Chase the Crown address. Additionally, several Miss USA franchise websites are still owned by DeSando and are being used by K2 and Lewis as their official application pages for prospective beauty queens.

Either DeSando never stopped recruiting for his old buddy Lewis, despite MUO's refusal to work with him, or he wanted to work independently while using the MUO brand for personal profit. And why wouldn't he?

DeSando told Jezebel he made "well into the six figures" while working with MUO because he was, in his own words, the top pageant recruiter in the country.

"I stand out because I sell a specific concept to the girls who aren't going to win," he explained. "We have to make sure those girls feel good about themselves even when they're going to fail."

But technically these men can't make the girls "feel good" without playing by the rules. The MUO owns all rights to the Miss USA state preliminary pageants, but licenses individuals and companies to operate their state level pageants with their Miss USA branding. If MUO says a recruiter has to go, then the recruiter has to go. But DeSando didn't go.

Lewis says K2 Productions makes all recruiters sign a Code of Conduct every year that uses language from the franchise agreement he has with MUO. "Our job is to uphold the standards of the Miss Universe Organization," he said. "I'll lose my franchise if it's found I'm not doing that."

But the men violated or attempted to violate more rules than they followed, from the way they liberally peppered their various endeavors with the Miss USA marks without approval to the way they tried to solicit clients for their sketchy side projects to, of course, failing to uphold "the upstanding reputation and image" of the pageant.

Further investigations go in all kinds of directions. Here's just one: DeSando's best friend and former roommate was John B. Hawkins, a model and former Studio 54 bartender who was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, insurance fraud and grand theft and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for devising a scheme in the late '80s to murder a man in order to collect a $1,500,000 life insurance policy.

"We have to make sure those girls feel good about themselves even when they're going to fail."

Hawkins's case was one of the largest murder cases ever solved by America's Most Wanted; the story was turned into a book, Insured for Murder, and two movies. DeSando lived with John B. Hawkins during the time that the murder was planned, allowed Hawkins to use him as an alias, according to an FBI report, and was the one who signed for the insurance payout, according to Law and Ordinance.

According to a Columbus Dispatch article from September 1989 headed "Testimony of Erik Desando, Former Roommate of John B Hawkins, Full of Holes, Defense Lawyer Says," DeSando was "defensive" under cross-examination and provided different accounts over the years depending on who was asking.

There's no rule against hiring a convicted criminal's close associate to represent your company, and MUO wouldn't disclose the complaints that caused them to tell Lewis to tell DeSando to step down.

Instead, they gave us a statement: "Ultimately the franchisee is responsible for their employees as well as individuals they select to run their recruiting process" and that "any accusations of impropriety by anyone purporting to represent the Miss Universe Organization, be it on a National level or through our state franchisees are taken very seriously and will be investigated."

But it doesn't seem that MUO followed up to make sure DeSando and his cohorts were staying away.

Neither did Lewis, DeSando's long-time friend, who would only say that he is "an extremely ethical and spiritual person and would never allow anything to go unchecked or enacted on by one of our vendors or their associates," as he wrote to us in an email.

Everyone wants to blame someone else. And in the end, it's the broke girls looking for their big break who get screwed.

On February 19th, DeSando sent Ashleigh an invite to join "It Girls," his newest business endeavor that purports to teach women how to brand themselves like Oprah or Taylor Swift. "You are a diamond in the rough. With our help, you will learn to unleash your untapped potential until you transform into a polished gem."

Desando described It Girls to us as "the pageant industry on steroids."

Just as he did with Be Productions and Miss USA, DeSando is using reputable brands without their permission -- Disney, Miss USA, and now celebrity likenesses -- to substantiate his business and take advantage of young women.

And the beat goes on.

Ashleigh won't be signing up. "I never thought I was worthy enough anyway," she said. "I didn't think I was what they were looking for."

Her father disagreed. "Congratulations future Ms. Universe or is it Ms. World," he wrote on her Facebook on November 26th, the day after she met Rodriguez for the first time. "I know you will be future Ms. California minimum."

"Thanks Dad :)" she wrote back.

Update: After hearing about our follow-up story, Erik DeSando has resigned from It Girls.

- 30 -

22 March 2013

Bob opposes murdering cats / why Egypt worshipped the cat

Click image to enlarge.

Letters to the Editor
The Orlando (Florida USA) Sentinel

To the Editor:

Tempted though I am, I would not urge that your guest columnist Ted Williams be euthanized.

I would urge, however, that The Orlando Sentinel forever slam shut its opinion page on Mr. Williams and his profoundly ignorant, cruel and dangerous ideas -- an inadequate word, but a psychiatric-neutral one.

Since a genetic mutation partnered them with us, cats -- housecats and feral -- have been the key to civilization's rise and survival. They guard us through their astonishingly effective hunting of rodents which threaten famine through theft of our farmed grain, and host bubonic plague (still occurring in the United States as well as the underdeveloped world).

The Black Death of Medieval Europe was explosively accelerated by the religious belief that cats were the devil's "familiars," and were banished from homes and cities. With our cats gone, rats were free to kill one third of Europe's human beings.

Killing troublesome animals is a uniquely human "solution" to our ill-perceived inconveniences, but our best and brightest life scientists by no means climb aboard this bandwagon. Only vile idiots like Mr. Williams, and profit-driven pharmaceutical firms, fly the cat poisoner flag.

I urge The Orlando Sentinel to protect its readers and their children, and keep famine and plague from our door, by keeping dangerous fools like Mr. Williams out of its pages.

Robert Merkin

Chesterfield, Massachusetts


The Orlando Sentinel
daily broadsheet Florida USA
Thursday 14 March 2013


Trap, neuter, return  programs 
make feral-cat problem worse

by Ted Williams / Guest columnist


(Guest columnist Ted Williams on March 21 submitted this postscript to his March 14 column):

In my recent op-ed I reported that a common over-the-counter drug, an effective and selective poison for feral cats, had not been registered for this use because of pressure from feral-cat advocacy groups. While the statement was not inaccurate, it was unwise because readers might construe it as a suggestion to go out and start poisoning feral cats. What’s more, the statement could be, indeed was, manipulated by feral-cat advocates into something I didn’t write or intend. I should have used the generic, lesser-known name. Further, I should have explained that this feral-cat poison, if registered, would be applied only by the state and federal wildlife managers who are widely, legally and lethally (but not effectively) controlling feral cats with rifle, shotgun and trap. I urge people not to take the law into their own hands. They should leave it to professionals. Finally I should have explained, as was later explained by the Sentinel, that “editor-at-large” of Audubon magazine was a freelance, not salaried, title. I regret this slovenliness.



Feral cats are maintained in the wild by a dangerous, cruel, and illegal practice called trap, neuter and return. After these unfortunate animals are re-abandoned, they are regularly fed, which draws more feral cats and encourages more re-abandonment.

One intact male can impregnate dozens of females, so trying to reduce cat populations by TNR is like, well, herding cats.

It's dangerous -- because feral cats are reservoirs for disease. Three studies reveal that 62 percent to 80 percent carry toxoplasmosis. Feral cats are now the most common domestic rabiesvector. In Florida, where rabid cats attack people, the state Department of Health warns that TNR "is not tenable on public health grounds because of the persistent threat posed to communities from injury and disease." A TNR colony at Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., was removed because rabid cats were biting children.

It's cruel -- because feral cats lack vet care and suffer from injuries and the same diseases they spread. They infect lynx, bobcats and endangered Florida panthers with feline leukemia, distemper and an AIDS-like immune-deficiency disease.

It's illegal -- because feral cats kill migratory birds and endangered species such as honeycreepers in Hawaii and lower keys marsh rabbits and silver rice rats in Florida. But the Interior Department lacks the spine to back its law-enforcement agents who want to prosecute TNR practitioners. Free-ranging cats have driven at least 33 bird species to extinction.

Four years ago when I interviewed Elizabeth Parowski of Alley Cat Allies for my column in Audubon magazine, she informed me that the American Bird Conservancy had been way off in its estimate of 500 million birds killed annually in the U.S by free-ranging cats.

She was right. In January 2013 the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute released a study showing that the real figure is somewhere between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year and for wild mammals between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion.

Arguing against euthanasia, Parowski asserts that "feral cats will keep other cats from moving into their territories." I get the same line from every TNR outfit I consult, along with "cats stop killing when their stomachs are full." Rubbish.

Cats kill by instinct. And if cats were territorial, they wouldn't form colonies.

"TNR is like a religion," remarks Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife biologist Fern Duvall, who gets death threats for such statements. "You can't sit down and reason with most of these people." Facts are dismissed, data denied, suffering of wildlife and cats ignored.

For example, the official policy of the No Kill Advocacy Center of Oakland, Calif., is that feral cats must be protected as "healthy wildlife." The Santa Monica-based Voice for the Animals Foundation actually stocks feral cats.

There is an effective, humane alternative to the cat hell of TNR: trap and euthanize. TE is practiced by state and federal wildlife managers; but municipal TE needs to happen if the annihilation of native wildlife is to be significantly slowed.

For my Audubon assignment, I inspected three odiferous feral-cat feeding stations in Honolulu. Scrawny, gimpy, semi-hairless, cloudy-eyed and single-eyed feral cats padded over rooftops, crouched, slunk and crunched kibbles. Dining with them were mongooses, another alien scourge sustained by TNR.

An otherwise literate professor who helped maintain the colony at the University of Hawaii bragged to me that TNR had worked because over the past decade, 80 percent of the feral cats on campus had been sterilized. In the same breath he estimated the current population at 400.

Ted Williams writes an independent column for Audubon magazine. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the National Audubon Society.
- 30 -

20 March 2013

the day before Spring

Click on photo to enlarge.

The day before Spring. We were totally cabin-bound. Of 5 cats, only Spike wanted to go outside.

But everybody was cozy. We had a fire in the woodstove and cocoa.

17 March 2013

i guess that makes it a theocracy, but the tourist brochure says it's the Middle East's only democracy ...

Well, this sucks.


The Telegraph
daily broadsheet UK
Sunday 17 March 2013

Israel to define itself
as 'national state of Jewish people'
-- despite Arab population

by Robert Tait

JERUSALEM -- Israel's new government plans to pass a controversial new law defining the country as a "national state of the Jewish people" despite the presence of 1,500,000 Arabs within its borders.

The move is likely to be denounced as weakening Israel's democratic principles while triggering accusations of official discrimination against Arabs, who form around 20 per cent of the population.
The legislation is being proposed under an agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Beiteinu bloc and the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, who will form part of a new governing coalition along with two Centrist parties.

It will be enshrined in Israel's Basic Law -- the country's equivalent of a constitution -- and lay down that The State of Israel is the National State of the Jewish People.

"Such legislation won't be seen as democratic by universal standards," said Tamar Hermann, a senior researcher with the Israel Democracy Institute. "But the people arguing for it will say that as long as the non-Jewish citizens have rights from an individual point of view, it's Kosher."

A similar bill introduced in 2011 by Avi Dichter, a former head of Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence agency, was shelved amid an outcry over provisions that included recognising Hebrew as the sole official language while depriving Arabic of its equal status.

It also strictly defined the country's flags, emblems and national anthem while requiring the state to promote Jewish settlement in all areas. No such requirement applied to other groups.

Proponents argued that it was aimed at preventing Israel becoming a bi-national state. Critics countered that it prioritised Israel's Jewish identity ahead of its democratic values.

In a sobering message for President Barack Obama ahead of his arrival in Israel on Wednesday, the Likud Beiteinu-Jewish Home deal made no mention of peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Jewish Home party's leader Naftali Bennett opposes a Palestinian state and instead favours annexing large parts of the West Bank.

The new government, which will be sworn in at a ceremony on Monday in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, also includes two parties in favour of renewed talks, Yesh Atid and Hatnua, led by the former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni.

But its official guidelines do not mention the "two-state solution" advocated by the US and EU countries, including Britain. Instead, they state: "Israel will seek a peace agreement with the Palestinians with the goal of reaching a diplomatic agreement."

It was confirmed on Sunday that Moshe Ya'alon, a former army chief-of-staff who supports a hard line on the Palestinians, would become defence minister, replacing Ehud Barak.

Mr Ya'alon, 62, is a strong supporter of Jewish settlers in the West Bank but has urged caution on the possibility of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, in contrast to the more hawkish stance taken by Mr Netanyahu.

- 30 -

16 March 2013

new Pope begins under cloud of old accusations about his actions/inactions during Argentina's Dirty War

Argentina's Dirty War (1976-1983) is back in the headlines. 

First, there is this long-delayed criminal trial.

And now, with the election of Argentine Jesuit Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope Francis I, questions are bubbling up about the nature of the senior Catholic cleric's relationship with the brutal, murderous military dictatorship.


The Associated Press
(USA-based newswire)
Friday 15 March 2013

Vatican lashes out at
"anti-clerical left-wing" campaign against pope 

over Dirty War actions

VATICAN CITY (Associated Press) -- The honeymoon that Pope Francis has enjoyed since his remarkable election hit a bump Friday, with the Vatican lashing out at what it called a defamatory and "anti-clerical left-wing" media campaign questioning his actions during Argentina's murderous military dictatorship.

On Day 2 of the Francis pontificate, the Vatican denounced news reports in Argentina and beyond resurrecting allegations that the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio failed to openly confront the junta responsible for kidnapping and killing thousands of people in a "dirty war" to eliminate leftist opponents.

Bergoglio, like most Argentines, didn't publicly confront the dictators who ruled from 1976-83, while he was the leader of the country's Jesuits. And human rights activists differ on how much blame he personally deserves.

Top church leaders had endorsed the junta and some priests even worked alongside torturers inside secret prisons. Nobody has produced any evidence suggesting Bergoglio had anything to do with such crimes. But many activists are angry that as archbishop of Buenos Aires for more than a decade, he didn't do more to support investigations into the atrocities.

On Thursday, the old ghosts resurfaced.

A group of 44 former military and police officers on trial for torture, rape and murder in a concentration camp in Cordoba province in the 1970s wore the yellow-and-white ribbons of the papal flag in Francis' honor. Many Argentine newspapers ran the photo Friday.

The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that Argentine courts had never accused Bergoglio of any crime, that he had denied all accusations against him and that on the contrary "there have been many declarations demonstrating how much Bergoglio did to protect many persons at the time."

He said the accusations against the new pope were made long ago "by anti-clerical left-wing elements to attack the church. They must be firmly rejected."

The harsh denunciation was typical of a Vatican that often reacts defensively when it feels under attack, even though its response served to give the story legs for another day.

It interrupted the generally positive reception Francis has enjoyed since his election as pope on Wednesday, when even his choice of footwear — his old black shoes rather than the typical papal red — was noted as a sign of his simplicity and humility.

There was one clearly unscripted moment Friday, when the 76-year-old Francis stumbled briefly during an audience with the cardinals, but he quickly recovered. And for the second day in a row, Francis slipped out of the Vatican walls, this time to visit an ailing Argentine cardinal, Jorge Mejia, who suffered a heart attack Wednesday and was in the hospital.

This upbeat narrative of a people's pope who named himself after the nature-loving St. Francis of Assisi has clashed with accusations stemming from Bergoglio's past.

The worst allegation is that as the military junta took over in 1976, he withdrew support for two Jesuit priests whose work in the slums of Buenos Aires had put them in direct contact with the leftist guerrilla movement advocating armed revolution. The priests were then kidnapped and tortured inside a clandestine center at the Navy Mechanics School.

Bergoglio said he had told the priests — Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics — to give up their slum work for their own safety, and they refused. Yorio later accused Bergoglio of effectively delivering them to the death squads by declining to publicly endorse their work. Yorio died in Uruguay in 2000.

Jalics, who had maintained silence about the events, issued a statement Friday saying he spoke with Bergoglio years later and the two celebrated Mass together and hugged "solemnly."

"I am reconciled to the events and consider the matter to be closed," he said.

Bergoglio told his official biographer, Sergio Rubin, in 2010, that he had gone to extraordinary, behind-the-scenes lengths to save the men.

The Jesuit leader persuaded the family priest of feared dictator Jorge Videla to call in sick so Bergoglio could say Mass instead and take the opportunity to successfully appeal for their release, Rubin wrote.

Lombardi said the airing of the accusations following Francis' election was "characterized by a campaign that's often slanderous and defamatory."

Earlier this week, Lombardi issued a similar denunciation of an advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse, accusing it of using the media spotlight on the conclave to try to publicize old accusations against cardinals. The accusations, Lombardi said, are baseless and the cardinals deserve everyone's "esteem."

The accusations against Bergoglio were fanned by Horacio Verbitzky, an investigative journalist who was a leftist militant in the 1970s and is now closely aligned with the government. He has written extensively about the accusations in Argentina's Pagina12 newspaper, a left-wing daily known for advocacy journalism.

Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for documenting the junta's atrocities, said this week that "Bergoglio was no accomplice of the dictatorship."

"Perhaps he didn't have the courage of other priests, but he never collaborated with the dictatorship," Esquivel said on Buenos Aires' Radio de la Red.
Argentine political analyst Ignacio Fidanza concurred.

"What they're demanding is that during the dictatorship he should have planted himself in the Plaza de Mayo and shouted against it," he told The Associated Press. "It was probably more effective to speak in silence, since it was an extreme situation."

Human rights investigators in Argentina have been unable to document anything regarding Bergoglio's actions during the junta years, other than the allegations concerning the Jesuits and that he failed to help a family find their murdered daughter's illegally adopted baby.

But activists are also angry that as leader of the Argentine church, he has never acknowledged or apologized for what they describe as the church's active institutional support of the military government, said Gaston Chillier, who tracks the country's human rights cases as director of the Center for Legal and Social Studies.

The church was so deeply in league with the dictators that when the Inter-American Human Rights Commission came for an inspection in 1979, the Argentine navy moved many detainees to an island owned by the diocese during the visit.

"He is responsible during Argentina's period of democracy for continuing a cover-up," Chillier told the AP. "His knowledge of these cases clearly shows that he cannot deny the torture and the systematic theft of babies."

Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he didn't know anything about baby thefts until well after the dictatorship.

Since Bergoglio became archbishop in 1998, his church has issued several apologies for failing to do more to protect people from violence that came from both the right and the left. The latest, in October 2012, was the most forceful, and it also, for the first time, asked Catholics to come forward with whatever evidence they may have to support Argentina's human rights trials.

But Chillier says Bergoglio could have done more to make the church help identify children and the bodies of detainees as well as identify those responsible for atrocities.

"It's one thing to acknowledge what you failed to do, but another entirely to apologize for what you actually did," Chillier said.

Warren and Almudena Calatrava contributed from Buenos Aires. David Rising in Berlin contributed.
- 30 -

15 March 2013

another Platonic Object / Postalö Vleeptron: Sergeant Poiuyt Action Figure

Click to enlarge.

Things whose inside and outside are ... well ... screwy, verkakte / does not compute / well, actually it DOES compute, but oddly

Click images to enlarge.

The Modern Hiawatha

by George A. Strong

 He killed the noble Mudjokivis.
 Of the skin he made him mittens,
 Made them with the fur side inside,
 Made them with the skin side outside.
 He, to get the warm side inside,
 Put the inside skin side outside.
 He, to get the cold side outside,
 Put the warm side fur side inside.
 That's why he put the fur side inside,
 Why he put the skin side outside,
 Why he turned them inside outside.

* * *

There are a surprising number of Things
which really and truly do Exist -- but we mere pathetic humans can never have direct touchy-feely experience with or knowledge of them. These are the Platonic Objects -- objects which can be perceived only through the mind and imagination.

I made and sent Pi Day t-shirts to my lovely, bright grand-nieces in Vermont, and Dad e-mailed me back about the Wonderful Holiday, and the Wonderful Mathematical irrational and transcendental Constant that just makes everyone so happy and makes you want to eat Pi(e).


[Dear Unkie Munkie]

[The Pi Day t-shirts] have gotten here in time, and they're delightful! We'll have to see whether we have time and/or ingredients for making a pie. The school principal will love these too -- I think he was a math teacher at the high school previously, and I know he's up on math trivia. He recently corrected me when I said that 1 raised to the power of "infinity and beyond" (a favorite "number" of N***'s) = 1. He claims that when you get to infinite powers, weird stuff starts happening.


NOTE: Dad is one of 3 brothers, and because I could never get their names straight I called  them Huey, Dewey and Louie, and then, after I learned the Dutch names for them, they call themselves Kwik, Kwak en Kwek. (Oddly enough, THEY all knew which brother was which. There's an unconfirmed rumor that you can tell the duckling triplets apart by the color of their baseball caps.)

EXTREMELY weird stuff starts happening. This sort of quonset hut kind of thing [see lowest illustration above] ... the height of the roof keeps diminishing as it goes to the right ... out to infinity ... so the roof gets closer and closer to the floor, but never quite gets to the floor.

If you want to fill the quonset hut with olive oil, it will store a FINITE volume of olive oil ...

But if you want to PAINT the outside of the hut, you can never buy enough gallon paint cans, because it has an INFINITE surface area. Technically it's a solid of revolution that has a finite volume but an infinite surface area.

And that's very weird. You can fill it, and then go home, but you can't ever finish painting it.

Hope A & N like the shirts! Happy Pi Day! (GAC is off at her sister's in Worcester, but she's eating a Pizza Pi(e)!)

Unkie M.


That is very cool. I never learned that finite inside/infinite outside thing. Kind of the reverse of the C.S. Lewis's Wardrobe [the Narnia books], which was infinite on the inside yet finite on the outside.

One fun thing I did learn in my precalc course was of one thing that can go faster than light. Imagine that you have a wall going off into the distance, more or less infinitely. It's a straight, flat wall. No bends or curves. Now stand near the wall and point a flashlight at it. Now start to rotate at a fixed speed, so that the spot of light from the flashlight slides across the wall. Because the angle of incidence is changing more rapidly than your speed of rotation, the position of the spot of light on the wall will accelerate exponentially, eventually to beyond-light speed before you rotate enough for the light to be off the wall entirely. Or something like that.

Also, that you can always, ALWAYS, find a position that allows a four-legged table to stand in a stable position on an uneven ground. There's no guarantee it'll be level, but there is a guarantee that it'll be stable. I find that to be a very optimism-inducing idea.


Don't forget the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) -- on the outside, a sidewalk police phone box. On the inside -- amphitheaters, swimming pools, libraries, laboratories, big closets, kitchen and dining room, etc.

from some nerd chatter on a math nerd site ...


Infinite area under a curve has finite volume of revolution?

So I was thinking about the harmonic series, and how it diverges, even though every subsequent term tends toward zero. That meant that its integral from 1 to infinity should also diverge, but would the volume of revolution also diverge (for the function  y=1/x )?

I quickly realized that its volume is actually finite, because to find the volume of revolution the function being integrated has to be squared, which would give 1/x^2, and, as we all know, that converges. So, my question is, are there other functions that share this property? The only family of functions that I know that satisfy this is 1/x, 2/x, 3/x, etc.

Unfortunately, I cannot find a better link for reference than this link, but "Infinite Acres" is a rather old MAA animated short film (part of a larger series, as in the link) about a solid of revolution where the original region has infinite area, the solid has finite volume, and the solid has infinite surface area. – Isaac May 12 '11 at 4:19

even worse, i once saw this crazy "Infinite Acres" cartoon, it's still available in DVD or VHS, but nobody has been thoughtful enough to stick it on YouTube. this crazy solid has a name:

I wanted to mention a related topic. You might also note that the surface area of your object is also infinite, despite its finite volume. Thus, if you were to 'hold' such an object, you could fill it with paint but never cover its walls. This has a name - it's Gabriel's Horn ( or Torricelli's Trumpet), and you can read about it here.

from Wikipedia

Gabriel's Horn (also called Torricelli's trumpet) is a geometric figure which has infinite surface area, but finite volume. The name refers to the tradition identifying the Archangel Gabriel as the angel who blows the horn to announce Judgment Day, associating the divine, or infinite, with the finite. The properties of this figure were first studied by Italian physicist and mathematician Evangelista Torricelli.

Mathematical definition

Gabriel's horn is formed by taking the graph of

y = 1/x

with the domain x > 1 (thus avoiding the asymptote at x = 0) and rotating it in three dimensions about the x-axis. The discovery was made using Cavalieri's principle before the invention of calculus, but today calculus can be used to calculate the volume and surface area of the horn between x = 1 and x = a, 
where a > 1 . Using integration (see Solid of revolution and Surface of revolution for details), it is possible to find the volume V and the surface area A.

The Last Supper / by Stanley Spencer

Click painting to enlarge.

Easter Sunday 2013 will be 31 March.

Not coincidentally, the first night of the Jewish feast of Passover / Pesach will be Tuesday 26 March. Not coincidentally, because The Last Supper was a Passover supper. In the millennia since Jesus lived and died, there have been changes and reforms made to the Western Christian calendar, but the (incredibly complicated) algorithm for determining the date of Easter remains linked to the Passover -- they drift a few days from year to year, but Easter and Passover are always close.

As always, Stanley Spencer envisioned the events of the last days of Jesus' life using the familiar faces and feet of his neighbors in his village of Cookham, on the River Thames in England.

Jesus and the Apostles held their Passover supper in "the upper room," a private dining chamber above a tavern. Passover -- some say it's the world's oldest continuously celebrated religious festival -- celebrates the Jews' escape -- as the Greeks would say, the Exodus, the Going Out -- from Pharaoh's slavery and oppression in Egypt. Then and today, the Hebrew for Egypt is Mizrayim / מִצְרַיִם

14 March 2013

Happy π Day! Bake a π! Eat π!

Click stamp to enlarge.

HAPPY π Day!!!

It's 3/14, which all Sentients who have ten fingers in the Universe celebrate as π Day!

(Sentients who have 16 fingers can do some real weird, goofy tricks with π that us ten-digities can't.)

(But revJJ points out that just 2 years from now, in 2015, we're gonna party like it's 3/14/15 !!! Hubba Hubba!)

Above a commemorative, with a slice of cherry or rhubarb π, from my old Army buddy who lives in the USA state shaped like the palm of a right-hand mitten, so you can point to the palm of your right hand to show where you were born or where you got busted for shoplifting or where you met this really cute waitress.

S.W.M.B.O. is off at a flower show with her sister today, but will eat a Pizza π for dinner.

I made THIS into t-shirts for my nieces in Vermont, and FedEx got them there in time to wear on the wonderful holiday!

In conclusion, let me just say  
that π = 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208 089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811 174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337 867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870066 063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469 519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495 673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907 021798609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277 857713427577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235 420199561121290219608640344181598136297747713099605187072113499999983729780499 510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881710100 031378387528865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823 537875937519577818577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989380952572010 654858632788659361533818279682303019520353018529689957736225994138912497217752 834791315155748572424541506959508295331168617278558890750983817546374649393192 550604009277016711390098488240128583616035637076601047101819429555961989467678 374494482553797747268471040475346462080466842590694912933136770289891521047521 620569660240580381501935112533824300355876402474964732639141992726042699227967 823547816360093417216412199245863150302861829745557067498385054945885869269956 909272107975093029553211653449872027559602364806654991198818347977535663698074 265425278625518184175746728909777727938000816470600161452491921732172147723501 414419735685481613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477624168625 189835694855620992192221842725502542568876717904946016534668049886272327917860 857843838279679766814541009538837863609506800642251252051173929848960841284886 269456042419652850222106611863067442786220391949450471237137869609563643719172 874677646575739624138908658326459958133904780275900994657640789512694683983525 957098258226205224894077267194782684826014769909026401363944374553050682034962 524517493996514314298091906592509372216964615157098583874105978859597729754989 3016175392846813826868386894277415 ...

(more or less)

13 March 2013

Jenny the mail artist in the skies

Click on star map to enlarge.

The constellation Jenny Hunter Groat, the mail artist.

07 March 2013

Tierra de los Sueños / TdS·Posta / 4-sheet: Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari / CAUTION: Some users of this sleep medication have reported episodes of unusual behavior

Click on stamps to enlarge.

Cesare the Somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) carries a murdered girl, under the hypnotic command of the asylum chief, Doktor Caligari.

I went to a very crowded, very disorderly Halloween party in Takoma Park, Maryland USA dressed as Cesare the Somnambulist. I wore black tights and painted my face ghastly white. I slunk around in dark corners.

ONE guest saw me and knew instantly who I was.

But the best costume was a dwarf, crazy ugly big twisted nose, wild hair, warts. He was about 42 inches = 106.7 cm tall. Best costume ever!

CLICK HERE to watch the entire 1920 movie. English titles, creepy symphonic score. Click it up in FULL SCREEN mode.

commemorative stamp of poop-whomping meteorite smash in Chelyabinsk Russia

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Another stamp of the meteorite that whomped the poop out of Russia on Friday 15 February, by my old Army pal who lives in the USA state shaped like a right-hand mitten.

Боже мой is how Russians say My God! It sounds more or less like "Borzhe moi!" God gets a noun/adjective declension exclusively to Himself -- even though the Godless Atheist Commies tried to extinct God's special grammar category throughout the life of the Soviet Union.

Amazingly the Surprise Meteorite smashed all the windows in the Urals city Chelyabinsk, about 1200 people had to get first aid for flying glass injuries, but no one got killed or seems to have suffered serious injuries. Now everybody's hunting all over the place for meteorite fragments -- they fetch quite a few rubles on e-Bay.