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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Question From FormSpring.Me

What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

fried caterpillar. they eat them in botswana where my ex-fiancee comes from. she'd eat them, so i wanted to see what they taste like. they're bland - i could only taste the salt it was cooked with!

Ask me anything

Monday, December 21, 2009


I heard this last year on one of Slate's podcast. It captured a lot of what I feel about this time of the year. - OlderMusicGeek

No Reason for the Season: The joy of celebrating a godless Christmas
By Torie BoschPosted Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008, at 11:53 AM ET

Bemoaning the bastardization of the Christmas season is becoming a holiday tradition. In newspaper letters to the editor and in the blogosphere, purists offer chiding reminders that Jesus is "the reason for the season" and that Christmas is supposed to be his birthday party—not a random excuse for shopping and very special sitcom episodes. Adding his voice to the choir this year is megachurch leader and inauguration invocationer Rick Warren, who pleaded in his new book The Purpose of Christmas, "If you'll slow down for a few minutes … and pause to consider the purpose of Christmas, you can receive and enjoy the best Christmas gift you'll ever be given." For Christians, I have no doubt that that's some sound advice. But I don't want to slow down and consider the purpose of Christmas. What I love about the holidays are what Warren and his ilk surely consider distractions: the trees, the lights, Santa, and Muppet specials.

For me, Christmas has always been a secular occasion. I grew up in an unaffiliated household. My mother is Catholic, though she didn't practice for most of my childhood. My father was raised in a devoutly Jewish home, but he always adored Christmas. My grandmother tells, half-fondly and half-sadly, of when he was 6 and asked whether he could become Christian so that Santa Claus would pay him a visit. He eventually stopped practicing Judaism, but his love of Christmas never went away.

When I was a girl, my father would spend hours decorating the tree, the house, and the yard in a manner a bit like that of Christmas Vacation—lots of swearing, lots of tangled lights, and (eventually) lots of genuine pride in the accomplishment. Each year, one of my brothers or I would accompany him to pick out a new nutcracker to add to our family's collection; the jester, Drosselmeyer, and Civil War soldiers might not have been part of the Nativity story, but they meant Christmas to me. We never celebrated Hanukkah, because it never appealed to him: Christmas was the only winter holiday worth the effort, as far as he was concerned. My father passed away when I was young, but my family's holidays remained much the same. We focused on the togetherness and celebrating my father's memory on his favorite holiday. The miracle of Jesus' birth was far from our minds.

For much of my life, I felt guilt about our happily godless Christmases. I worried that we were leeching off of someone else's holiday. When Bill O'Reilly railed about "Christmas under siege," I felt complicit. If I was content to listen to Christmas-themed pop songs instead of hymns, to open presents with gusto instead of heading to church, or to dig right into the meal instead of saying grace, was I diluting the holiness of others' celebration? Was I insulting Jesus? Cheapening the experience for Christians?

There was no one moment that crystallized my thinking or relieved me of my guilt. Rather, it was a series of observations: Most of the classic songs and movies that celebrate Christmas don't even mention God or Jesus. Santa doesn't check church attendance to decide whether he's going to give a child a present—he checks whether she's been naughty or nice. He's the perfect secular judge of moral fiber. To say that the secularists injure the Christmas spirit is much like the claim that two men getting hitched will besmirch the sanctity of marriage. Why should the way I mark Christmas bother anyone? Christians appalled by my secular holiday will no doubt argue that I am depriving myself of the greater joy that comes with accepting Jesus into your heart. But I'm not attempting to take away anyone's right to go to church or to display a Nativity scene. All I need to celebrate Christmas is a tree, stockings, baked goods, some people I love, and some gifts to give (and, yes, receive).

My family is not alone in celebrating a Christless Christmas. According to a February 2008 survey by the Pew Forum, 16.1 percent of Americans are unaffiliated with any faith. For those of us without a religion to call our own, Christmas is the most enjoyable holiday—I've always preferred it to Thanksgiving, whose accoutrements and traditions I've never been able to enjoy. Professional football, turkey, and Black Friday pale in comparison with the trappings of Christmas. What was the last great Thanksgiving song you sang or movie you saw?

Some evidence suggests that Christmas itself was merely a reappropriation of the pagan festival of Saturnalia. If that is in fact the case, my godless Christmas is more an insult to ancient Romans than to Christians. Since there aren't too many of them left, I won't let it worry me.

The best thing we nonbelievers can do, in fact, is be honest about not celebrating the religious side of Christmas. Each Christmas and Easter, churches have to struggle to accommodate the extra crowds who show up for holiday services. While pews may be partially filled or even deserted on a Sunday over the summer, the holidays see a huge increase in attendance as the CEOs (Christmas and Easter Onlys) stop by. The problem is particularly pronounced in Catholic churches, as Christmas is a holy day of obligation. When holiday church attendance is motivated by guilt instead of a genuine state of religious worship, it creates headaches for everyone—and takes up valuable pew real estate.

Instead of sitting in church, feeling uncomfortable and vaguely dishonest, I can spend the day with my family—sleeping late, opening presents, preparing and devouring the Christmas meal, sipping a beer, watching the inevitable holiday Law & Order marathon. Could I do these things at other points of the year? Sure—Law & Order is a year-round pleasure. But only at Christmas do so many of my friends and family also have time off, and only at Christmas can I see loved ones who have scattered across the country. Whether or not you believe in God, Christmas is a time of year when you head home or host guests, a rare occasion for the kind of togetherness that can drive you crazy, fill you with love, or both.

Even without believing in the divinity of Jesus, I think that I mark the holiday the same way as many of the faithful—a time to donate to causes I believe in, to welcome the winter from the comfort of a warm home, and, most importantly, to reconnect with family and friends. It's not that I dislike or have anything against religion. I admire, even envy the faithful, and I don't consider myself an atheist. But I can't fake a religious feeling I don't possess. And I'd rather celebrate Christmas my way—with gifts, a tree, and eating and drinking too much—than to lie to myself and to whatever god is out there by hypocritically going through the sacred motions of the traditional holiday.

A link to the original site of the Slate article

A link to my other Christmas/holiday posts

My Big Brudder Now Has A Blog - Go Check It Out!

Like me, my older brother has finally got tired of boring people around him with his endless talk of pop culture, and now has the chance to bore all of you on the internet!

Seriously though, if you're into music, movies, tv and/or sports, give his blog a look.

You can even read how he fell off a ladder and discusses our family history of falling off ladders with the nurse!

So go check it out!

If you didn't catch all the other links, here's a link to his blog!

ENTERTAINMENT and SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION: How The Star Wars Christmas Special Should Have Started

I got this from my buddy, Fredd, on Facebook. He got it from Cracked.com. - OlderMusicGeek

A link to the original website

A link to my other Christmas/holiday posts

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Posts On My Blog

Sorry for the few of you who do read this blog. Haven't been in much of a blogging mood.

It seems Facebook is eating my time. Feel free to befriend me there. I'm Diane OlderMusicGeek there too. Just let me know how you found me, so I know you're not a bot or network marketer!

But here's a link to all my previous Christmas posts on my blog -
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Started this as a Facebook post, but it got too long, so I thought it would make a good blog post. Haven't put one up for ages! - OlderMusicGeek

what a day! i went to the doctor's to discuss my hormone therapy. i was told he wasn't seeing anybody today! turns out the appointment was yesterday!

well, i was planning on doing the paperwork for my name change after i went to the doctor's. but i was thinking that the therapist appointment that i thought was tomorrow was probably today.

unfortunately, i had no way to check this out because my phone number had switched over from my old phone to my new phone. and my new phone didn't have a battery!

well, i went to the shop and the guy there didn't see any battery left behind anywhere and no message about a battery, but said the guys who were there would be there tonight.

so i went to my therapist anyway. it turns out i did have an appointment today, not tomorrow. but i was 45 minutes early so i went to eat. then when i was leaving my car had trouble starting.

it starts fine now, knock on wood. so i don't know what was the problem then. anyway, after the therapist, i was going to do the name change, but fortunately i checked my bank account to be sure i had the fees. i didn't - i must have miscalculated how much i spent on christmas presents!

so not to make my day a total loss, i'm heading to work to save some of my personal time off and will once again do the name change after my new appointment to see the doctor about my hormone therapy!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

SCIENCE/TECHNOGOLY: @SantaClaus Is Not Using Twitter Lists

This article is from November 3, so some of it may be outdated. It comes from NPR's All Tech Considered. - OlderMusicGeek

@SantaClaus Is Not Using Twitter Lists
By Omar L. Gallaga

A new feature that has been quickly embraced by users of Twitter is "Lists," which allows you to organize Twitter users into groups and share that list with others.

But apparently the news hasn't gotten all the way to the North Pole; Twitter user @SantaClaus has yet to create a "Naughty" or "Nice" list, which makes you wonder whether Saint Nick's holiday operation is really embracing technology at the speed of Elf or if Santa Claus is merely dabbling with Twitter because it's considered the thing to do.

Even apart from the obvious benefit it would provide to Father Christmas in organizing information and having, at a glance, a list of behaviorally-organized names and profile photos, I think Twitter users would benefit greatly from knowing where they stand, in regards to naughtiness/niceness. The microblogging social network, where the jolly, rotund gift-giver apparently spends a significant chunk of time, would be a very efficient place to convey that information.

I would hope that Santa would take this not a mean-spirited criticism, but as a gentle, but firm nudge in the black patent belt to embrace change before change leaves him behind. I would hate to be the first person on Papa Noel's "Naughty" Twitter list.

Update, 11 a.m, Nov. 3: The @SantaClaus Twitter account has been updated to include "Nice" and "Naughty" lists, but apparently the move was made under duress. In two posts this morning, the North Pole resident wrote, "Everyone is making a big deal over the fact I do not post a Twitter list for my naughty and nice lists. Do YOU want all to know if YOU are on the Naughty list? It is not anyones (sic) business except for me which list you are on. Does everyone REALLY want that published to all?" Perhaps I'm being oversensitive, but this does not strike me as jolly.

As of this writing, only @MrsSantaClaus is listed on the "Nice" list and no one has yet been added to the "Naughty" list.

A link to the original article

A link to my other Christmas posts

Monday, November 16, 2009

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Africa's Forgotten Soldiers

Heard this recently in a podcast from the BBC. When I was in Africa, I always thought a book about the African fighters in World War II would make an interesting book!

I first learned about this myself when I was teaching in southern Africa. I was waiting the Immigration office to open from lunch. And it was next to the city park so I was just hanging out there since it was a nice day.

And I checked out the sculpture in the middle on it. On it was listed all the countrymen who had died in World War I and II. Until then, I didn't know that Africans had fought in the World Wars!

I talked to the older folks in the country and they told me of relatives who fought in the north part of Africa and even in Europe!

So if that peaks your interest, give this show a listen! - OlderMusicGeek

Africa's Forgotten Soldiers

Seventy years after the start of the Second World War the overwhelming impression is of a conflict fought on the battlefields of Europe by white troops.

Britain’s war effort was bolstered by soldiers from the white Commonwealth – Australia, Canada and New Zealand and later by the United States.

The war in the Far East is often overlooked, as is the fighting that took place in Africa. Yet one million African troops participated in the conflict, fighting their way through the jungles of Burma, across the Libyan deserts and in the skies over London.

For Africa the war began in 1935, when Italian forces backed by Eritrean troops, invaded Ethiopia.

Ethiopian guerrilla forces, known as the Patriots, continued fighting even after Emperor Haile Selassie fled to England. After 1939 Britain began an intensive programme of recruiting soldiers from across its African colonies. Some were conscripted by force, others were only too keen to sign up.

An intensive programme of training got under way, to turn raw recruits, many of whom had never left their own village, into soldiers.

For a good number it was a real shock: the first time they had eaten processed food, the first time they had seen the ocean, the first time they had been taught to read and write. And all too soon they were transported thousands of miles from home, to fight on foreign soil.

It was years before they would come home, since home leave was almost impossible. When they did return they found little had changed, but their own experiences were entirely new and some went on to fight for their liberation of their own countries from colonial rule.

In this documentary, Martin Plaut hears first hand from the African troops who participated in the war – and who played a critical part in freeing the world from the threat of fascism.

First broadcast 13 November 2009

A link to the original website

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ENTERTAINMENT: The Last Scene The Painter Saw Before Being Ripped Apart And Eaten By Zombies

My brother, Dave, posted this on Facebook. I had to put it on the blog! It's from the Archie McPhee website. Just wish I had found it in time for Halloween! - OlderMusicGeek

Moonlight Zombie Oil Painting

This hand-painted oil painting features the last scene the painter saw before being ripped apart and eaten by zombies. It may be a sad story, but that's what you get when you hang around the Space Needle during a full moon. Each work of art is painted on canvas and set in an 11" x 13" gold colored frame.



A link to the original website
A link to my other Halloween posts

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

ENTERTAINMENT and POLITICS:The Ronny Horror Picture Show

I saw Man On The Moon and was looking up Andy Kaufman on the internet - and that led to the show, "Fridays" - which led me to this great mega-sketch.

I saw it when it was orinally showed on television and died laughing. I hope you enjoy it too. - OlderMusicGeek

Well, unfortunately, you got two not-so-good choices here. The first clip has a clear-ish picture like the above clip, but the sound is out of sync. The next clips have a fuzzier picture and they skip a bit, but the sound is in sync. - OMGeek

Technicolor Dreams's take on "The Ronny Horror Picture Show"

All my Halloween posts

Sunday, October 04, 2009

CULTURE/SOCIETY: The 'Untimely' Death Test

Seeing as Halloween is less than a month away... - OlderMusicGeek

Your result for The 'Untimely' Death Test ...
42% Heroic, 54% Alone, 74% Asleep, 36% Immortal, 29% Embarrassed and 69% Loved!

Some say its a cowards way out of the world, others say its the most peaceful and thus the most ideal.

Hopefully you agree with the second view rather than the first, because that is the path you are headed down. Sweet Dreams little one.. Sweet dreams.

Take this test

Other Halloween posts

CULTURE/SOCIETY: 1940 Tour De France

Saturday, October 03, 2009

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "Having Ambivalent Feelings Towards Homosexuality" on Dorktivities (just click here)

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Britian's Great Cookie (Or Biscuit) Danger

I heard about this on NPR's Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!. - OlderMusicGeek

Crumbs: half of Britons injured by their biscuits on coffee break, survey reveals

More than half of all Britons have been injured by biscuits ranging from scalding from hot tea or coffee while dunking or breaking a tooth eating during a morning tea break, a survey has revealed.

An estimated 25 million adults have been injured while eating during a tea or coffee break - with at least 500 landing themselves in hospital, the survey revealed.

The custard cream biscuit was found to be the worse offender to innocent drinkers.

It beat the cookie to top a table of 15 generic types of biccy whose potential dangers were calculated by The Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation.

Hidden dangers included flying fragments and being hurt while dunking in scalding tea through to the more strange such as people poking themselves in the eye with a biscuit or fallen off a chair reaching for the tin.

One man even ended up stuck in wet concrete after wading in to pick up a stray biscuit.

Custard creams get a risk rating of 5.63, the highest of all.

This compared to 1.16 for Jaffa cakes, which was the safest biscuit of all in the evaluation.

Research company Mindlab International were commissioned by Rocky, a chocolate biscuit bar, to conduct the research.

It found almost a third of adults said they had been splashed or scalded by hot drinks while dunking or trying to fish the remnants of a collapsed digestive.

It also revealed 28 per cent had choked on crumbs while one in 10 had broken a tooth or filling biting a biscuit.

More unusually, three per cent had poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit and seven per cent bitten by a pet or "other wild animal" trying to get their biscuit.

Mindlab International director Dr David Lewis said: "We tested the physical properties of 15 popular types of biscuits, along with aspects of their consumption such as 'dunkability' and crumb dispersal.

Mike Driver, Marketing Director for Rocky said: "We commissioned this study after learning how many biscuit related injuries are treated by doctors each year."

I've used this clip before, but it fits here too! - OMGeek

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "MUSIC: Some Necrophilia For Halloween" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Entertainment Stuff (just click here)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ENTERTAINMENT: Archie Broke My Heart! Now What?

I heard this on NPR. - OlderMusicGeek

August 19, 2009

Dear Amy:

I have been going out with my high school boyfriend, "Archie," for 67 years, though honestly it feels like longer.

We've had our ups and downs like any other couple, but for the most part we get along great.

Sure, he has commitment issues, but that's normal, right?

Unfortunately, it seems that whenever Archie and I get in a little tiff, "Veronica," my worst frenemy, sweeps in. She's, like, really manipulative. But what can I say — she's rich and stuck-up, and really knows how to work her curves. Plus, she drives a roadster.

Yesterday, I found out that Archie is planning to marry Veronica! I don't know how many times he has hinted that he and I would live happily ever after, but when I think about it, he never actually said the words. It was always implied, though.

I'm heartbroken. I'm mad, too.

The worst part is that they've asked me to go to the wedding! Veronica is even hinting that she wants me to be a bridesmaid! Can you imagine?

Of course, I'll probably do it because that's just the sort of person I am. But it's hard to imagine picking up the pieces after dating the same guy for three generations.

Amy, what am I supposed to do now?


Dear Betty:

Here's what you should do.

Pour yourself into a red dress — the one with the big white polka dots on it. Take your hair down for once, OK? You're a natural blonde, Betty — don't be afraid to work it! Don't wear your neck scarf; a simple strand of pearls would be nice.

I want you to hold your head up high, go to that wedding and tell yourself that you are better off without him.

At the wedding reception (I'm sure it will be held at the Riverdale Country Club), if you have a few too many appletinis and decide to tell off Veronica once and for all, and maybe dance a little too close with Reggie or Jughead, so be it! You're a free woman, Betty, and now's your chance to stand up for all the Bettys everywhere!

I have a really good feeling about you, Betty. I know there are many adventures in store for you. Have you thought about getting a job in the city?

You probably haven't heard the last of Archie. No doubt he'll come crawling back to you, just like he always does — and this will probably happen sooner than you think.

The real question you need to ask yourself is — what will you do then?

A link to the original website including a link to listen to the piece

Monday, August 17, 2009



POLITICS: Op-Ed: Cut Health Care Spending On The Elderly

This is from National Public Radio. - OlderMusicGeek

August 17, 2009
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, author Richard Dooling makes a radical proposal. He argues that it's time to stop spending so much money on health care for dying, elderly patients. Otherwise, he sees a generational spending gap on the horizon.

From the introduction of the NPR show:
To be clear, Richard Dooling is not talking about pulling the plug on granny. That accusation was tossed around last week in the health care debate. But Richard Dooling argues that we do spend too much money on surgery after surgery for grandma, with so much evidence of wasteful and even harmful treatment, he writes, shouldn't we instantly cut some of the money spent on exorbitant, intensive care medicine for dying elderly people and redirect it to pediatricians and obstetricians offering preventive care for children and mothers instead.

Listen to the interview

From The New York Times op-ed piece:
IN the 1980s, I worked as a respiratory therapist in intensive-care units in the Midwest, taking care of elderly, dying patients on ventilators. I remember marveling, along with the young doctors and nurses I worked with, over how many millions of dollars were spent performing insanely expensive procedures, scans and tests on patients who would never regain consciousness or leave the hospital.

When the insurance ran out, or Medicare stopped paying, patients and their families gave the hospital liens on their homes to pay for this care. Families spent their entire savings so Grandma could make yet another trip to the surgical suite on the slim-to-none chance that bypass surgery, a thoracotomy, an endoscopy or kidney dialysis might get her off the ventilator and out of the hospital in time for her 88th birthday.

The rest of the opinion piece

Sunday, August 09, 2009

ENTERTAINMENT: Is It Raining?: An Interesting Piece Of Performance Art

My friend, Ernest T Spoon sent me this. - OlderMusicGeek.

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Why Is 10:10 The Default Setting For Clocks And Watches?

I found this on Yahoo. I always wondered about this, and the answer was pretty much what I expected. But I still found it interesting and thought I'd share. - OlderMusicGeek

Why is 10:10 the Default Setting for Clocks and Watches?
by Matt Soniak - August 9, 2009 - 10:10 AM

Reader Humaira writes: “I have always wondered why clocks, watches, and timepieces always say (roughly) 10:10 before you set the correct time. If you go into a store selling any kind of time-telling device, that is the default factory setting. Why is that?!!”

First things first, let’s get the myths out of the way. There are plenty of people out there who think that clocks in advertisements and in-store displays are set this way memorialize Abraham Lincoln/John F. Kennedy/Martin Luther King Jr. because that was the time at which they were shot or died. In reality, Lincoln was shot at 10:15 p.m., and died the next morning at 7:22 a.m., JFK was shot at 12:30 p.m. CST and was pronounced dead 1 p.m. and MLK was shot 6:01 p.m. and pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

Another theory has it that 10:10 was the time that an atomic bomb was dropped on either Nagasaki or Hiroshima, and the setting is in memory of the casualties. The Fat Man bomb was actually dropped on the former at 11:02 a.m. local time and the Little Boy on the latter at 8:15 a.m. local time.

The real reason for the setting? Aesthetics. The 10:10 position gives the clock or watch a number of benefits:

• The hands not overlapping, so they’re fully and clearly visible and their styling can be admired.

• The arrangement of the hands is symmetrical, which people generally find more pleasant than asymmetry, making the product more appealing to customers.

• The manufacturer’s logo, usually in the center of the face under the 12, is not only visible, but nicely framed by the hands.

• Additional elements on the face (like date windows and secondary dials), usually placed near the 3, 6, or 9, won’t be obscured.

According to the folks at Timex (who set their products at 10:09:36 exactly), the standard setting used to be 8:20, but this made the face look like it was frowning. To make the products look “happier,” the setting was flipped into a smile (occasionally, you’ll still see the 8:20 setting on some clocks or watches where the manufacturer’s logo is at bottom of the face above the 6).

ON OLDERMUSICGEEK'S STUPID TESTS AND QUIZZES: "PERSONALITY: The "Let's Dream" Questionnaire" (just click here)



AlmightyGod on Twitter put a link up for this pic. - OlderMusicGeek


Long John Silver's. Red Lobster. Popeye's. Abomination. GOD HATES SHRIMP.COM

Pinch the tail. Suck the head. Burn in Hell. GOD HATES SHRIMP.COM

When Jesus died for your sins, he wore a crown of thorns, not a lobster bib. GOD HATES SHRIMP.COM

The only thing hotter than a 12 piece shrimp plate at Red Lobster after Sunday school are the flames of Hell. GOD HATES SHRIMP.COM

Monday, August 03, 2009

ON OLDERMUSICGEEK'S STUPID TESTS AND QUIZZES: "PERSONALITY TRAIT: The AQ (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) Test For Asperger's Syndrome" (just click)


ENTERTAINMENT and POLITICS: Red State Update On Comic-Con And Being Moderates

My buddy, Ernest T Spoon, sent me this. Almost as funny as when Triumph was at the Comic-Con! - OlderMusicGeek

And while I was on YouTube, I also found this! - OlderMusicGeek

Friday, July 31, 2009

CULTURE/SOCIETY: A Bunch Of Singles Showing How Little They Know About Married Life

Found this on STFU, Marrieds with a link from this person. - OlderMusicGeek

I found this all fun and amusing. I'm sure there are plenty of wives who can relate. But the comments showed why a lot of unmarrieds are unmarried and that they don't know the difference between feeling something and doing something! - OMGeek

Gross. Threatening domestic violence is never ok.
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Yeah, reverse the sexes and those people commenting would be singing an entirely different tune. So silly that it's considered "ok" for a woman to talk like that
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I totally agree that women should not hit men.
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Jazmine is simply expressing her [normal] feelings. Joanne is the one encouraging her to act on them! (When I was married, I used to fantasize about smashing my ex-husband's face in with a hammer... while he was talking to me.)
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Dude, her feelings aren't normal o_O (*rolls eyeballs - OMGeek) -- as evidenced by the fact that the person you fantasized about injuring is now your EX. If you're married/partnered to someone you hate and want to hurt, there IS a problem. I'm so over people acting like dysfunction is "normal". It's not.

And em has it right, jokes about domestic violence are never cool, male or female.
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happynat 11 hours ago
Her "thoughts" will come in handy during the divorce hearing though.
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oh please people! are you people NOT married or never been married. cus it sure sounds like it!
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Sunday, July 05, 2009

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "SCIENCE and PERSONALITY TYPE: The Which Part of the Brain Are You? Test" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (click)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "ENTERTAINMENT: The Lightsaber Duelist Test" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "POLITICS: What kind of Republican are you?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE and ENTERTAINMENT: What Work of Literature Are You?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupids Tests And Quizzes (click)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ON ANOTHER BLOG: " COMICS: The Top 10 Best — And Worst — Dads In Comics" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Entertainment Stuff (just click here)

CULTURE/SOCIETY: How Did You Learn To Be A Father?

This is from National Public Radio's Talk Of The Nation. - OlderMusicGeek


sometimes I choke on your laughter
watch with green envy how your face
beams when I enter the room.
is it petty of me to lament that I never
had a father like you—to annoy, mimic,
question, lift your perfect feet up
to wipe your ass, to fall asleep on, to share a face with,
a last name, a space, time, two arms?
-Abdul Ali-

How Did You Learn To Be A Father?
Listen now [30 min 5 sec] add to playlist download

Talk Of The Nation, June 18, 2009

Men who become fathers learn quite suddenly that the learning curve is steep and kids don't come with a user's manual. The curve can be more dramatic for men who grew up without dads.

Author Abdul Ali and Duke University professor Mark Anthony Neal talk about how they learned fatherhood.

June 15, 2009 Following In Your Father's Footsteps

E-mail Share Comment Recommend


Aaron Rosenthal (sfjayhawk) wrote:
The comments of Petra and Taylor are very frustrating to me. I'm a dad in a heterosexual marriage in San Francisco. I hate Prop. 8 in many, many ways. But Taylor creates a false dichotomy. Anyone who states that fathers are important is not necessarily saying that mother/father childrearing is the only way to do it.

Taylor also says, "Fathers offer no benefit that a mother can't provide." That just isn't true. Can a woman talk to an 18-year old son about what it's like to go from being a boy to a man? Can a father truly relate to his 15-year old daughter's anxiety at being seen as a sex symbol by college kids at a concert?

I believe there are myriad ways to have a family and raise kids. But it's simply ignoring reality to say that men and women are somehow interchangeable.

As for Petra - it sure sounds like you're damning Father's Day because someone left you in a difficult position. That's too bad if that's the case. But what do you suggest? Fathers who work, share housework, childcare and overall parenting burdens should be dismissed because some men can't grow up? That's unproductive.
Thursday, June 18, 2009 7:16:24 PM

David Lindblom (Peleg) wrote:
As a father it was nice to hear a couple of guys talking about raising their kids. One thing really disappointed me though. On the one hand while I really respected and appreciated Neil's stating how anger and frustration can be a problem when raising children I was equally put off by the ridiculous response by his guest Abdul Ali. To respond in such a manner as to give the impression that he (Abdul) didn't really even know what Neil meant by anger and then claim it has never been a problem for him is to be disingenuous and very unhelpful to all parents who do have issues w/ frustration and anger of varying degrees concerning their children. Dishonesty in this manner bothers me to no end. It is never helpful to paint oneself in a false positive light, be honest and truly share in others similar struggles and all will be helped.
Thursday, June 18, 2009 5:14:58 PM

After 10 frustrating yrs dealing w/ infidelity my wife and I finally had our son Ayden who will turn 1yr old in just 2 weeks. We thought after all the time reading, speaking w/ other parents, etc thought that we would "have it down". But we now know the meaning of the saying that nothing can prepare you to be a parent. I had no idea of how little sleep you could operate on, or how loving your child so much can actually "hurt" your heart when you see them in pain.
Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:37:37 PM

Josh Miller (aguynamedjosh) wrote:
Despite rocky beginnings, and a sticky divorce, I've been a committed and present father to my daughter (now 7) from the beginning.

In February, my ex-wife, and co-parent, died of breast cancer. This left me the sole support and parent of our wonderful child.

What being, and becoming, a father means to me is that from the moment of taking on this responsibility, I have had to internalize the idea that my life isn't wholly my own. My energy, emotional resources, time, finances, creativity and loyalty are spoken for.

Fatherhood means re-aligning priorities; re-committing to the most fundamental principals; nurturing, non-violence, patience, kindness, and actually sharing all of the deepest parts of personal life with the child.

The need is massive: the stakes are everything. A great role model is a boon, but lacking that, adhesion to honesty, clarity, and kind treatment of a child are principles that don't seem to fail us.
Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:20:32 PM

CULTURE/SOCIETY: Happy Father's Day

Here are some links to former posts I've done.

Posts on fathers

Posts on my daughter

Posts on children

Posts on daughters in general

Posts on sons

Posts on parents

Posts on parenting

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

HUMOR and SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION: Islam vs. Christianity

I got this from a link from GodlessGirl on Twitter. - OlderMusicGeek

HUMOR and SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION: Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack

I found this from The Onion through a link from GodlessGirl on Twitter. I edited it down some. For the complete article, click here. - OlderMusicGeek

Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack
November 25, 1998 | Issue 34•17

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Jesus Christ, son of God and noted pro-life activist, killed two and critically wounded seven others when He opened fire in the waiting room of a Huntsville abortion clinic Tuesday.

Security guards at the Women's Medical Clinic of Huntsville were able to disarm the Messiah before He could reload His weapon, a secondhand Glock 9mm pistol that authorities said He purchased legally at a Jackson, MS, sporting-goods store. "Abortion is a sin," said Christ as He was led away in handcuffs. "It is an abomination in the eyes of Me." Witnesses said the attack, which took the lives of Dr. Nelson Woodring, 51, and clinic nurse Danielle Costa, 29, came from "out of nowhere."

"He walked up to the admissions desk and asked if He could see Dr. Woodring," receptionist Iris Reid said. "The next thing I knew, He was shouting Biblical verses and opening fire on everything moving."

"It was horrible," said injured clinic nurse Jessica Combs, recovering at a local hospital with bullet wounds to the leg and abdomen. "He put his hands over Dr. Woodring's head and told him He forgave him for his sins, and then He shot him right in the face." Huntsville police officials are not certain how the Messiah was able to bypass clinic guards and proceed undetected past security cameras and into the clinic waiting room, where He produced the gun from its hiding place in the folds of His robe. Federal investigators are similarly baffled, saying that the heavily armed Christ had moved in "mysterious ways."

Speaking to reporters from His holding cell, Christ, 33, said: "What if the Virgin Mary had decided to abort me? Certainly she must have been tempted to do so. After all, it wasn't even her decision to conceive me in the first place. But in the end, she made the right decision, bringing her pregnancy to term and giving the world a Savior. Blessed is she among women." According to legal experts, if convicted, Christ could face the death penalty.

"The state of Alabama has the death penalty, and this crime is certainly the sort that would be construed as a capital offense," University of Michigan law professor Arthur Lipscomb said. "With the right judge and jury, Christ could very well be put to death yet again."

Tuesday's shooting is not Christ's first brush with the law. On April 8, 29, He was arrested in the Roman province of Judea for alleged false claims to the throne of the Kingdom of Israel. In October 1997, He was arrested for plotting to mail anthrax-laced packages to two dozen abortion doctors across the U.S. "Abortion is an abomination. It is a sin. It is murder," Christ said. "I only did what any good Christian would have done."

A link to the complete article

Saturday, April 25, 2009

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TRAIT: Are You Annoying?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

HUMOR and POLITICS:ICE Raids Liberate Terrible New Jobs, Homes For Americans

Ernest T Spoon sent me this from News Mutiny. - OlderMusicGeek

ICE Raids Liberate Terrible New Jobs, Homes for Americans

A series of coordinated raids by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has liberated hundreds of terrible jobs and homes for Americans, ICE officials report.

Conducted over the past two weeks, the raids targeted illegal aliens where they live - in low income housing tenements and encampments throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

An estimated 2,000 decrepit homes, tents and terrible, low paying jobs previously occupied by the migrants have been made available for American citizens as a result of the campaign, authorities say.

Michael Winter of Stockton, California, unemployed for more than ten months in large part due to competition posed by mostly illiterate, indigenous natives of Mexico who speak little English or Spanish, is thankful for his awful new job picking strawberries five times slower than his predecessors.

"Stooping over ten thousand times a day to hand pick ten thousand berries in the hot sun for half the money it would cost to rent an apartment for my family to sleep in isn't necessarily my dream job, but it definitely beats not having a job and living in a box in some canyon somewhere," Winter said.

Winter’s wife Sarah is as equally enthusiastic about the box she and her family are living in under an elder tree in Rosewell Canyon.

"The garbage bags nailed to the roof help keep some of the rain out," she said, "And the kids like it so far. Like they’re camping. They enjoy pooping in holes in the ground and just tossing their litter wherever. At first I tried to keep all the garbage contained in one place, but then figured, 'f*** it'."

David Loemann of the Conservative Coalition of America applauded the ICE raids: "In today's globalized, free market world, we've come to recognize that laws against business, and Mexicans, are inherently evil."

A link to the original site

Friday, April 24, 2009

CULTURE/SOCIETY and POLITICS: My Earth Day Tradition Continues

This is from me, and not some reprinted material. - OlderMusicGeek

Well, for the second year, I've continued my Earth Day tradition of turning all my electrical stuff off and even unplugging them, so the clocks and little computers in them aren't sucking electricity too.

I did it last year, and my daughter wasn't too thrilled with it. I thought she would never survive the computer withdraw!

Well, this year didn't go much better.

I didn't even realize it was Earth Day until I got at work. I was going to walk on Earth Day, but it was a little late now!

I still went home at lunch and unplugged everything but the fridge!

And at work, I survived without my mp3 player! It was hard, but somehow I managed through!

Then I walked to my daughter's school to get her instead of picking her up with the car. She had called me and said she would meet me half-way.

When I saw someone down the road, I waved. I didn't get a response. So I jumped up and down and waved my arms wildly. She finally waved back.

Then I was thinking, what if it isn't her?

But it was. I told her what I was thinking, and she said that she was thinking that if that wasn't me, she was really going to be scared!

Well, last year, I agreed to go out to eat if we could go somewhere where they didn't use any power to make the food. My daughter thought of getting untoasted sandwiches at Subway's!

I agreed to do it again this year. So I asked her if she wanted to go straight to Subway's! She did!

So we walked the 2 miles or so that Subway was from her school.

For half the way there, my daughter tried to convince that I should let her on the computer because of all the things she did for Earth Day at her school.

She talked about how she planted a tree and hurt her fingers, how she picked up a park and cut her finger on glass, how they had to learn without overhead projectors and I don't remember what else!

But I held firm.

Well, to fast forward, on the way home from Subway's, my daughter bumped into a school friend at a park and spent the evening playing with there anyway.

And me, not thinking, used the cellphone to talk to an old friend. I thought afterwards, that was using power that I shouldn't be using on Earth Day! Dang, next year, I'll only take emergency calls!

And my daughter did get to get on the computer anyway, because she had some schoolwork to do. But I made her unplug it again once she was finished!

And that was pretty much it! But I did what I could to help the planet for the day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION, CULTURE/SOCIETY and POLITICS: America Becoming Less Christian, Survey Finds

This is from CNN. I edited down some. - OlderMusicGeek

CNN) -- America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

Survey finds percentage of of Americans identifying themselves as Christian has fallen over two decades.

Seventy-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1990, the figure was 86 percent.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League said he thinks a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.

"The three most dreaded words are thou shalt not," he told Lou Dobbs. "Notice they are not atheists -- they are saying I don't want to be told what to do with my life."

At the same time there has been an increase in the number of people expressing no religious affiliation.

The survey also found that "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity is on the rise, while the percentage who belong to "mainline" congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches has fallen.

One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey.
Video Watch CNN report on new study »

The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.

"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.
Video Watch author on mixing religion and politics »

"In an earlier time, people who would have been content to say, 'Well, I'm some kind of a Protestant,' now say 'Hell no, I won't go,'" he told CNN.

And, he said, it is now more socially acceptable than it once was to admit having no religion.

"You're not declaring yourself a total pariah. The culture has changed in a way that makes it easier to say, 'No, I don't have a religion.'" Obama mentioned people without faith in his inaugural address in January, making him the first president to do so.

In the survey, one in five Americans said they have no religious identity or did not answer the question.

The rise in what the survey authors call "nones" is the only trend reflected in every single state in the study, Silk said.

"We don't see anything else in the survey that is nationwide," he told CNN.

Another finding is the percentage of Catholics in the United States has remained steady at about one in four since 1990, while the percentage of other Christians has plummeted from 60 percent to 50 percent.

The survey polled 54,461 Americans between February and November of last year. Pollsters conducted the research in both English and Spanish.

The survey is the third in a series, following polls in 1990 and 2001.

All About ReligionChristianityIslamJudaism

A link to the original and complete article

Monday, April 20, 2009

HUMOR and CULTURE/SOCIETY: Porn Films You Probably Don't Want To See

This is from me, and is not reprinted from somewhere else. - OlderMusicGeek

We got the following email at work...

If you receive an email from someone you do not know and subject line that is not clear, DO NOT OPEN THE EMAIL. The DHS system is receiving some SPAM that is very pornographic and we all need to take special attention. The IT staff are working to block these from our email but the senders are making changes so the blocks do not always work.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The Ex-Marine co-worker sent this email to me...

I think if some examples were sent out, such as but not limited to Busty Babes of Babylon or Boodilicious Twelve, we could a much better job of identification and removal. Of course those examples would be strictly for education purposes. What do you guys think?

My response...

I think those would beat something like "Diabolic Deeds of a Data Entry Diva" or "Malicious Meanderings of a Mauling Mail Opener"!

I pictured this data entry gal in a tight dress calling an IT guy who shows up looking like no real IT guy in the real world!

"I'm a bad girl. I spilled coke all over my keyboard. I guess I'll have to punished."

"Oh, it seems there's a socket that needs filled!"

And that made me think of other porn titles, ones that you wouldn't see too much, or would at least have a limited audience...

The Delicious Deeds at the Dirty Dungeons And Dragons Game
The Rifling and Ransacking of the Rowdy Role-Play Klingons
The Creepy Caresses at the Kinky Comicbook Shop Owner
The Leery Looks of the Leacherous LARPers

If you can think of others, feel free to add them in the comments section!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Posts

Well, I didn't have the computer this week, so I wasn't able to do any Easter post like I usually do, but below is a link to previous ones. - OlderMusicGeek

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "TELEVISION/VIDEOS: Doctor Who - What's Up With That?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Entertainment Stuff (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "MUSIC: My Most Played Music On IPod For March 2009" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Entertainment Stuff (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: Which Swear Word Are You" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: The Swear Word Usage Test" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: What Kind of Shoe Are You" ON OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: What Type Of Shoe Are You?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: What Type Of Shoe Are You?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

ON ANOTHER BLOG: "PERSONALITY TYPE: Which Shoe Fits You?" on OlderMusicGeek's Stupid Tests And Quizzes (just click here)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Well, this is unfortunately late, cus Earth Hour already passed for me and most of the world. But I still want to promote it, so.... - OlderMusicGeek

Earth Hour 2009: A Billion to Go Dark Saturday?
Ker Than for National Geographic News
March 26, 2009

Starting in New Zealand's remote Chatham Islands, thousands of cities, towns, and landmarks around the world will start to go dark for Earth Hour on Saturday evening.

Up to a billion people worldwide are expected to participate in this global voluntary blackout by switching off their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time.

The movement, sponsored by the conservation nonprofit WWF, is designed as a symbolic gesture in support of action against global warming.

Now in its third year, Earth Hour has been attracting some high-profile advocates.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently pledged his support for Earth Hour, saying it has the potential to be "the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change ever attempted."

Secretary-General Ban urged people to participate as a way of letting politicians know that they expect progress at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, when world leaders will meet to draft a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol.

Other big names endorsing Earth Hour 2009 include actors Edward Norton and Cate Blanchett, musicians Alanis Morissette and Big Kenny, and the band Coldplay.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 with about two million participants.

By 2008 the event had spread to nearly 400 participating cities in 35 countries and 50 million participants. (See before-and-after pictures of Earth Hour 2008.)

As of press time, more than 2,800 cities, towns, and villages in 84 countries worldwide are expected to take part in Earth Hour 2009.

World landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Las Vegas strip, the Eiffel Tower, Rio de Janiero's statue of "Christ the Redeemer," Athens's Acropolis, Egypt's Great Pyramids, and Rome's Colosseum will also slip temporarily into darkness.

"Sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to get out there, and this year we're really hitting our stride," said WWF spokesperson Leslie Aun.

Earth Hour: Energy Saver?

While Earth Hour is important as a symbolic gesture, it would be even more valuable if the energy savings of the event were known, said Mary-Elena Carr, associate director of the Columbia Climate Center in New York City.

"The issue is whether it goes beyond a 'really cool' event and leads to anything tangible," Carr said.

"If there was an idea of how much energy was being saved, people could take measures to lower their energy use in a systematic and practical way."

Unlike in previous years, WWF is not releasing energy-savings estimates for this year's Earth Hour.

"We think the value of Earth Hour is the lights going off," WWF's Aun said, "not the energy savings."

World Cities Shut Lights for Earth Hour 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008

SYDNEY, Australia — The iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge went dark Saturday night as Sydney became the world's first major city to turn off its lights for this year's Earth Hour, a global campaign to raise awareness about climate change.

Thousands of homes were dark for an hour in Christchurch, New Zealand. The famed Wat Arun Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand switched off its lights.

The three major cities were among 23 worldwide, along with 300 smaller towns, taking part in Earth Hour — a campaign by environmental group WWF to highlight the need to conserve energy and fight global warming.

"This provides an extraordinary symbol and an indication that we can be part of the solution" to global warming, Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett told Sky News television, standing across the harbor from the dark silhouette of the Opera House.

"We're not only talking the talk, we're walking the walk," he said. "Whatever your view is about the magnitude of the problem ... we can save money by using energy wisely and efficiently, and that gives us the added bonus of reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

In Sydney, a lightning storm was the brightest part of Sydney's skyline when the lights were turned off at the city's landmarks. Most businesses and homes were already dark as residents embraced their second annual Earth Hour with candlelight dinners, beach bonfires and even a green-powered outdoor movie.

The number of participants was not immediately available but organizers were hoping to beat last year's debut, when 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses shut off lights and appliances, resulting in a 10.2 percent reduction in carbon emissions during that hour.

"I'm putting my neck on the line but my hope is that we top 100 million people," Earth Hour Australia chief executive Greg Bourne said.

New Zealand and Fiji kicked off the event this year. In Christchurch, more than 100 businesses and thousands of homes were plunged into darkness.

Also in New Zealand, Auckland's Langham Hotel switched from electric lights to candles as it joined the effort to reduce the use of electricity, which when generated creates greenhouse gases that are believed to contribute to global warming.

WWF Thailand said the lights out campaign in Bangkok saved 73.34 megawatts of electricity, which would have produced 45.8 tons of carbon dioxide.

In Manila, the grounds of the seaside Cultural Center of the Philippines went dark after four city mayors ceremonially switched off the lights. Shopping malls turned off street lamps around the metropolis.

After Asia, lights were expected to go out in major European and North American cites as the clock ticks on. One of the last to participate will be San Francisco, California — home to the soon-to-be dimmed Golden Gate Bridge.

Organizers see the event as a way to encourage the world to conserve energy.

"What's amazing is that it's transcending political boundaries and happening in places like China, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea," said Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley. "It really seems to have resonated with anybody and everybody."

Popular search engine Google lent its support to Earth Hour with a completely black page and the words: "We've turned the lights out. Now it's your turn."

"Earth Hour is a call to action," said Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore. "People have now responded and it's time to introduce some significant long-term changes."

Cities switch off for Earth Hour

Major cities and global landmarks have been plunged into darkness as millions of people switched off lights for an hour to protest against climate change.

The initiative, Earth Hour, was begun in Sydney two years ago by green campaigners keen to cut energy use.

Correspondents say the aim is to create a huge wave of public pressure to influence a meeting in Copenhagen later this year to seek a new climate treaty.

Critics describe the event as a symbolic and meaningless gesture.

The switch-off was planned to take place in more than 3,400 towns and cities across 88 countries, at 2030 in each local time zone.

Earth Hour was launched in 2007 as a solo event in Sydney, Australia, with more than two million people involved. Last year's event claimed the participation of 370 cities.

Organisers said they wanted to demonstrate what people can do to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy, thus drawing attention to the problem of climate change.

China debut

This time Sydney was one of the first places to switch off. The BBC's Nick Bryant described a city where skyscrapers were hard to make out against the night sky.

Hours later, Beijing's most prominent Olympic venues, the Bird's Nest and Water Cube, went dark. China is taking part for the first time, with major cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou also dimming their lights.

Other locations due to take part this time include Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Paris' Eiffel Tower, the Egyptian Pyramids and New York's Empire State Building.

Fast-food giant McDonald's has pledged to dim its "golden arches" at 500 locations, while celebrities such as actress Cate Blanchett and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have promised support.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the initiative in a video posted this month on the event's YouTube channel.

"Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message," he said. "They want action on climate change."

People are invited to provide blogs and short video clips on how they spend their time.

Earth Hour in pictures

Antarctica to Pyramids — lights dim for Earth Hour
By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer Vanessa Gera, Associated Press Writer – Sat Mar 28, 5:01 pm ET

BONN, Germany – From an Antarctic research base to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and beyond, the world switched off the lights on Saturday for Earth Hour, dimming skyscrapers, city streets and some of the world's most recognizable monuments for 60 minutes to highlight the threat of climate change.

Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries joined the event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

An agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, is supposed to be reached in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December, and environmentalists' sense of urgency has spurred interest in this year's Earth Hour. Last year, only 400 cities participated; Sydney held a solo event in 2007.

In Bonn, WWF activists held a candlelit cocktail party on the eve of a U.N. climate change meeting, the first in a series of talks leading up to Copenhagen. The goal is to get an ambitions deal to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases that scientists say are dangerously warming the planet.

"People want politicians to take action and solve the problem," said Kim Carstensen, director of the global climate initiative for WWF, speaking in a piano bar bathed by candlelight and lounge music.

Organizers initially worried enthusiasm this year would wane with the world focused on the global economic crisis, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley told The Associated Press. But he said it apparently had the opposite effect.

"Earth Hour has always been a positive campaign; it's always around street parties, not street protests, it's the idea of hope, not despair. And I think that's something that's been incredibly important this year because there is so much despair around," he said.

The Chatham Islands, a small chain about 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of New Zealand, switched off its diesel generators to officially begin Earth Hour. Soon after, the lights of Auckland's Sky Tower, the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, blinked off.

At Scott Base in Antarctica, New Zealand's 26-member winter team resorted to minimum safety lighting and switched off appliances and computers.

In Australia, people attended candlelit speed-dating events and gathered at outdoor concerts as the hour of darkness rolled through. Sydney's glittering harbor was bathed in shadows as lights dimmed on the steel arch of the city's iconic Harbour Bridge and the nearby Opera House.

And in Egypt, the Great Pyramids darkened, as did the Sphinx.

To the West, floodlights at the Acropolis in Athens were switched off and an outdoor concert was staged on an adjacent hill, which many Athenians approached in a candlelight procession. The Athens International Airport switched off the lights on one of its two runways.

In that other great ancient city, Rome, the Colosseum and St. Peter's Basilica were plunged into darkness.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral were among 200 monuments and buildings that went dark. The Eiffel Tower, however, only extinguished its lights for five minutes for security reasons because visitors were on the tower, said WWF France spokesman Pierre Chasseray.

"Above all in the current economic crisis, we should send a signal for climate protection," said Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin, one in a handful of German cities switching off lights at city halls and television towers for Earth Day for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Swiss city of Geneva switched off the lights on theaters, churches and monuments. Among them were the Reformation Wall, where floodlights normally illuminate 10-foot (three-meter) statues of John Calvin and other leaders of Protestantism. The city's motto engraved on either side of the statues is: "After darkness, light."

All of Spain's 52 provincial capitals turned off some lights an hour after sunset, silhouetting unlit landmarks such as the royal palace and parliament in Madrid, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, and the Alhambra palace in Granada against darkening dusk skies.

A key 2010 football World Cup qualifier against Serbia posed a dilemma for Romanians. "Shall we watch the match or turn off the lights?," the 7plus daily asked in its main front-page headline.

The U.N. headquarters in New York and other facilities were dimming their lights to signal the need for global support for a new climate treaty.

U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon called Earth Hour "a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message: They want action on climate change."

China participated for the first time, cutting the lights at Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium and Water Cube, the most prominent 2008 Olympic venues.

In Bangkok, the prime minister switched off the lights on Khao San Road, a haven for budget travelers packed with bars and outdoor cafes.

Earth Hour organizers say there's no uniform way to measure how much energy is saved worldwide.

Earth Hour 2009 has garnered support from global corporations, nonprofit groups, schools, scientists and celebrities — including Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and retired Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

McDonald's Corp. planned to dim its arches at 500 locations around the U.S. Midwest. The Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont hotel chains and Coca-Cola Co. also planned to participate.

Associated Press Writers around the world contributed to this report.

A link to the Earth Hour home page
A link to Earth Hour U.S.

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