Turtle Hunters Have a Website

The internet is now complete. Turtle hunters around the globe have what they’ve wanted ever since the world wide web began to grow. An honest to goodness website where they can peruse all the finery of their sport and commiserate with others who share their interest. Below is a screen shot of the homepage so you can get an idea of what this is all about.

They even have a warning about how dangerous this sport is, so if you want to try it for yourself, be aware.

Click on the picture with your mouse pointer to enlarge it.

The Holy Foreskin

The Bible tells us that Jesus was circumcised eight days after his birth. This became the source of a protracted debate among medieval scholars who couldn’t figure out what became of the foreskin. Did it remain here on Earth? Was it reunited with Jesus and ascended with him into heaven? Or did it ascend into heaven separately, on its own?

The belief that the “holy prepuce” remained on Earth was probably the most popular position. In fact, no less than 21 medieval churches and abbeys have claimed to be in possession of the holy foreskin.

St. Catherine of Siena claimed to wear the foreskin of Jesus as a ring on her finger.

Austrian nun Agnes Blannbekin in the 13th century took a different view. She became obsessed by the holy foreskin, dwelling on the loss of blood and pain Jesus must have suffered during his circumcision. Such thoughts led her to a revelation. While celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision, traditionally held on January 1, Agnes suddenly “felt the Lord’s foreskin on her tongue, thin as the membrane of an egg, and swallowed it with great sweetness ‘about a hundred times’. Jesus then revealed to her that his foreskin had been resurrected with him on Easter.” Because of this revelation, Blannbekin’s writings were banned by the church.

And then there’s the theory about the fate of the holy foreskin put forward by the 17th century theologian Leo Allatius. In an essay, De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba, he speculated “that the holy foreskin may have ascended into heaven at the same time as Jesus himself, and might have become the rings of Saturn.”

Fox News Can’t Find Egypt

This is a real screen shot from Fox News, showing Egypt where Iraq actually exists. Egypt is the country immediately to the left of Israel, of course, but somehow they misplaced it. That’s what some people like about Fox I guess. They show you a map and let to decide whare the countries should be rather than relying on some fancy-pants educated person telling where they are.

Cattle Death Solved

Authorities investigating the deaths of 200 cows in Wisconsin have come up with an unlikely culprit: the sweet potato.

The cows were found dead in a Stockton pasture two weeks ago. Locals were left scratching their heads about what caused the mass die-off.

Investigators from the University of Wisconsin have determined that the animals were killed by a poison found in spoiled sweet potatoes that were part of the cattle’s feed.

The farmer who owned the cows had thought they might have fallen victim to disease such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, according to The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune. Vanderloo and his team ruled that out.

“None of the major respiratory pathogens of cattle were identified in the samples provided to the lab,” said Vanderloo.

He also explained that the toxic sweet potatoes were not in the human food supply chain, so there was no threat to people.

Unusual College Degrees

Back in the long-past days of my college experience, I was never aware of degree programs like these. Some very interesting choices present themselves to today’s college students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Puppetry:

Those with an artistic bent will want to check out the University of Connecticut’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Puppetry program. In addition to learning about the history and theories of puppetry, students get the opportunity to imagine and realize their own puppet creations by designing, using mechanical projections, and sculpting and costuming their designs.

Through projects and theatre productions, degree candidates hone their performance techniques in television puppetry, mask theatre, string and Chinese rod puppetry, and many other approaches. The B.F.A. in Puppetry program prepares students to perform on theatre stages around the world, form their own touring companies, and develop educational programs for children. Some alumni have gone on to produce TV programs and collaborate with special effects experts on films that feature puppets or rely on puppetry techniques.

Bachelor of Science in Bakery Science and Management:

As the only school in the U.S. that offers a B.S. in Bakery Science, Kansas State University’s program definitely makes our list of unique post-secondary degrees. The B.S.M. curriculum prepares students to meet the ever-increasing worldwide demand for baked products.

With its state-of-the-art product testing facilities and analytical laboratories, K-State provides training for high-level positions in bakery management and also plays a role in developing new technologies and production methods for use in the industry. Whether you envision yourself as a quality control supervisor or a new product developer, K-State’s B.S.M. program can help you achieve your career goals.

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Photographic Communications:

Biomedical photography unites information imaging and visual communication with science. Rochester Institute of Technology’s one-of-a-kind program trains students in diagnostic photography and visual documentation for medical and veterinary applications.
Some graduates go on to work in the pharmaceutical industry, the forensic sciences, and even web publishing and multimedia production. In the course of the program, students may have an opportunity for work placements with such prestigious institutions as the Mayo Clinic and the Smithsonian Institute. If you’re both technically minded and creative, RIT’s innovative program may be the key to your future.

Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences – Turfgrass Science and Management:
Turfgrass management involves the growth and maintenance of grasses for environmental and recreational uses. Through the study of soil and plant sciences, as well as pest control, students prepare for internships in the field managing parks and recreation properties, athletic fields, and sod farms that service residential housing development. With a 95% job placement rate for graduates, this University of Tennessee program has empowered many turfgrass managers to pursue careers with professional sports teams and Fortune 500 companies.

Bachelor of Arts in Comedy – Writing and Performance:
Faculty at Southampton Solent University are serious about the business of comedy. If you have a gift for cracking people up, this three-year degree program will help you to develop your comedic talent through courses on writing for stand-up, sitcoms, and films. Students put their knowledge of performance theory into practice in the school’s TV and radio studios and production facilities.

Want to specialize in political satire or the comedy of race and gender? At Southampton Solent, you can choose your focus. Want to learn about the production and marketing side of comedy? This program will teach you what you need to know. Friends and family might joke about your study curriculum, but alumni who go on to work as directors and writers for TV and film may just have the last laugh.

Master of Music Therapy:
Designed to prepare students for certification as music therapists, Appalachian State University’s program empowers degree candidates to improve the health and quality of life for a broad range of clients. Music therapists use singing, songwriting, and rhythmic movement in their work with adults and children with developmental disabilities, addictions, and mental illness.

Measurable treatment goals of music therapy include developing motor skills in children, increasing motivation in stroke survivors, and reducing the frequency of seizures in epileptic patients. If you have a background in music and love helping people in need, you might want to check out Appalachian State University’s music therapy program.

A Rare Story

The guaranteed contract is a basic part of the business in Major League Baseball. No matter how a player performs, or how his body holds up, he must be paid in full. Only in rare cases, an injury sustained off the field, gross personal misconduct, does a player forfeit this guarantee.

This makes the story of Gil Meche a rarity, indeed. Meche, a 32-year-old right-handed pitcher, had a contract that called for a $12 million salary in 2011. Yet he will not report for spring training next month along with the rest of the team. He will not have surgery to repair his chronically aching right shoulder. He will not pitch in relief, which involves a lighter workload.

Meche retired last week, which means he will not be paid at all.

“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it,” Meche said this week by phone from Lafayette, La. “Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.”

Meche’s decision plays against type. There have been, over the years, athletes who took less money to play for one team over another, Cliff Lee being the latest when he agreed to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies. And Ryne Sandberg retired from the Chicago Cubs in 1994, forgoing nearly $16 million.

But there are very few parallels to what Meche did.

Instead, it is much more common for an injured player to report to spring training, go through the motions of rehabilitation and collect his paycheck. Lenny Dykstra played his last game in 1996 but did not announce his retirement until after the 1998 season, when the Philadelphia Phillies paid him $5.5 million. Mo Vaughn of the Mets made $15 million in 2004, even though an arthritic knee had ended his career the year before.

“In no way is it assumed that at the end of a deal a guy is expected to walk away if he can’t play,” said Jim Duquette, the former Mets general manager. “It’s just so odd and so rare. There was no way that we would have ever had a conversation like, ‘Hey, Mo, listen, you’re not able to play, so you should retire.’ ”

“This isn’t about being a hero — that’s not even close to what it’s about,” Meche said this week. “It’s just me getting back to a point in my life where I’m comfortable. Making that amount of money from a team and not contributing, it just wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Meche told the Royals’ general manager, Dayton Moore, that he did not want any of the paycheck due him. No settlement, no buyout, no strings. The Royals had been roundly criticized for signing Meche in the first place — he was 55-44 with a 4.65 earned run average in six seasons for the Mariners — and Meche believed they had already paid him enough.

“He felt the organization had been very good to him, and he felt he needed to, not repay, but in his mind do the right thing,” Moore said. “I’m not saying that if a player decides to do his best and fulfill his contract that’s the wrong thing. But Gil did what he felt was right for him.”

The decision to leave was not easy, Meche said, but his hometown tugged at him. Meche is buying a house in Lafayette, Louisiana, near his parents and sisters and friends. For now he lives in a 45-foot R.V. at a campground.

Much of his time, he said, will be spent on airplanes. Two of his children live in Phoenix with his ex-wife, and another lives in Texas. Meche spent time with all three children last week.

“I told them Daddy’s not going to play baseball anymore,” he said. “My little girl looked at me and said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said: ‘Well, Daddy’s been playing a long time. Daddy’s shoulder hurts.’ She kind of looked at me and went back to playing with the other two kids.”

There is no throwing program to struggle through anymore, no excitement to try to summon for a game that hurts too much to play. Baseball is over for Meche, who spent Monday night with family friends in Lafayette, eating gumbo, drinking beer, relaxing. He has no specific plans, except to settle in his hometown and see his children whenever he wants.

“He gave his heart and soul to his profession,” Moore said. “You only have so many throws in you.”

Meche knew he had none left, and he would not pretend otherwise. He said his dream in baseball was always simple — to pitch as long as he could — and now that he has achieved it, he needs nothing more.

The Economy is So Bad That…

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.
Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
I saw a Mormon with only one wife.
I bought a toaster oven and my free gift was a bank.
Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.
Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.
A picture is now only worth 200 words.
They renamed Wall Street “Wal-Mart Street.”
When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.
And, finally, I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan,and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited,and asked if I could drive a truck.