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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jane Lake and The Moon!

Everyone learns early on that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But where and when does the moon rise and set. For Halloween I thought I would give a little moon lesson.

I know whenever I am looking for the moon, I just look up and start spinning around figuring I would find it eventually.

So curiosity made me educate myself about this wondrous orb.

The moon orbits counterclockwise around the earth, so it is 12 degrees further to the left (if you are in NYC) every day and depending on where the sun is determines the phases of the moon. It also depends on where you are on Earth. For this lesson, you are in NYC. So here are a few interesting moon facts.

Interesting enough, the only time the moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise is when there is a full moon. It is the highest in the sky at midnight.

A first quarter moon, for example rises at noon and sets at midnight and is highest in the sky at sunset.

Clearly, there is a misconception that the moon is a nighttime phenomenom. I know whenever I see the moon during the day, I always thought it was some sort of fluke, but you are actually just as likely to see the moon during the day as at night!

Well, that's enough learning for today.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jane Lake and Michael J Fox!

I know this is old news, but I wanted to wait for the fire to die down before commenting.

I don't have Parkinson's disease or a serious spinal injury or know anyone personally that does. That does not mean that I am not sympathetic to the suffering and despair experienced by those that do.

I am thrilled when innovative cures eliminate any disease or injury. I would support any research that does not involve taking human life to do so.

Embryonic stem cell research takes human life. Period!

Fertility treatments have created embryos that were frozen. This is a separate and also misguided issue. The procedures should never have been allowed to produce more embryos than the couple was willing to put back in the uterus. This should be corrected going forward although I don't hear anyone talking about that.

Now people act like there are "excess" embryos that will just be trashed. This doesn't have to happen. Embryos can be adopted by other couples who need them. There is never a circumstance where we must destroy an embryo!

The really sick aspect of all of this to me is that embryonic stem cell research has had no success at all in remotely doing what it proposes to do. In fact, I read yesterday that stem cells put in mice to alleviate Parkinson's disease did just that, but as a side effect created tumors! It is all theory, and weak theory at that.

We have made huge strides in medicine in the past fifty years without killing other humans. Why are people so willing to start now? A big part of the reason is that people like Chris Reeve and Michael J Fox whom people know and respect say it is a good thing. What one has to realize is that even respected intelligent people can be horribly wrong.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jane Lake and Theme Songs!

I read an article about how theme songs like those for Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air are a thing of the past. Our fast forward society has lost their patience for the same 2 minute rendition every week. They need action and they need it 5 seconds after the commercial break.

I think it is a shame as some of those tunes are as part of American culture as apple pie and half-caf lattes.

I thought it would be appropriate to establish my own theme song, so here it is.

Sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands"

If you're itchin' for the info, read Jane Lake,
If you need the latest pronto, read Jane Lake,
If you have to spend your morning doing something that is boring,
It is better if you look here, read Jane Lake.

Forget about your worries, read Jane Lake,
You'll know the latest stories, read Jane Lake,
Drop on by and post a comment, and then share your latest torment,
You will be a better person, read Jane Lake.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jane Lake and Saving Money!

The theory of saving money is great! Sock away money in a 401k plan tax deferred. Invest in real estate, the stock market, etc and grow your way to a comfortable retirement villa in [pick your dream city].

The reality of saving money is another thing. The stock market just hit levels that it reached 5 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, you'd be down 16% if you tracked the market!

The plan also assumes you never lose your job, never dip into your savings, never have children, never live through a down stock market or real estate market, never go on vacation, never buy Christmas gifts (in NYC, doorman gifts alone can run $200 - $300), never lose money gambling, never buy gas, never take a loan, never do anything fun, and most importantly, never answer an e-mail from a Nigerian offering a lump sum of money for your bank information.

This is probably a good time to remind everyone to donate to my 5 billion dollar quest. There is no better savings than money donated to you through Paypal.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Jane Lake and Drugs!

I am a drug addict. I have 1 or 2 cups of coffee every day, and I take acetaminophen at the first sign of a headache.

Am I a bad person? Should I be in rehab?

Clearly, nobody would fault me (except for maybe Tom Cruise). Caffeine is legal, safe (and maybe healthy) if taken in moderation. It saves people from crashing their cars late at night, and goes great with biscotti.

Same with acetaminophen. No side effects. We give it to babies, and it goes great with a glass of water.

I know people that don't drink caffeinated beverages and don't take over the counter medicines either. They are always tired with a painful grimace on their face.

Just kidding! Exercise and healthy eating are much better drugs than either coffee or headache remedies, but I am not always "on the wagon" so to speak.

I wish I were stronger willed (and got better sleep!), but we are who we are. With the complexities of life, work, and family, it is difficult to say no to drugs that help you get through the day easier and are so widely accepted.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jane Lake and O.J. Simpson!

According to the National Enquirer, O.J. Simpson is being paid $3.5 million to write a book about the "hypothetical" murder of his ex-wife and her friend. And from what they say, it is eerily plausible.

Okay, we all know that this trial brought to light the sketchiness of a murder trial based on circumstancial evidence. The vast majority of those who watched the trial felt that O.J. was guilty, and I can't say I felt otherwise. But the bottom line is I'm not sure I could have found him guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt either.

And I greatly prefer to err on the side of letting a guilty man free than sending away an innocent man for life.

If he is innocent or guilty, hypothetically or not, I feel it is a sad commentary that the story is still being exploited for his benefit.

However, there would be a certain sense of closure if he just came out and said, "I fooled you all. I did it and there's nothing you can do about it now."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jane Lake and Singing!

Music is certainly a big part of our culture and our humanity, but singing in particular I find to be both uplifting and relaxing. Children love when you sing to them. Karaoke is as popular as ever.

Whether it is singing in the shower, or at the top of your lungs on a mountaintop far from where anyone could hear you, singing is therapeutic and fun.

Even if you can't hold a tune, you can find times and places to sing. Birthday parties, baseball games, and concerts give anyone the opportunity to sing soft or loud, good or bad, and be part of the festivities.

I am partial to "Vienna" by Billy Joel. Just humming a few verses can turn my mood around from sullen to motivated. The power of song is within each of us. Take advantage of it and let your vocals vibrate!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Jane Lake and Race!

Living in the United States, and especially in New York City, we take ethnic diversity for granted. Out of the 300 million in the US, 43 million are Hispanic, 38 million are Black, and 13 million are Asian.

I always thought, probably because I am US centric, that Europe was similarly broken down. I was quite taken aback to discover that in Europe, the breakdown is quite different.

In France, out of 59 million only 1.5 million are Black
In Germany, out of 82 million only 250,000 are Black and there are only 40,000 Jews (not too surprising).

What does this all mean? Why do I care?

I'm not sure. It just makes me think that a topic that is such a hot button in the US, may be seen quite differently around the world.

Just one of those hmmm... realizations!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Jane Lake and Muhammad Yunus!

It is nice to know there are people out there that I have never heard of that are making such a huge impact on our world. Until today I had never heard of Muhammad Yunus, and then I find out he is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for lending money to the poorest of the poor in a grassroots drive to end world poverty. He and his bank, Grameen Bank do not require collateral.

I would love to see this replicated around the world, as it truly rewards the people who have the will to work for a decent life and escape what they may have considered to be an inevitable life of poverty.

It is people and actions like these that truly inspire me to think about creative ways to help others. It shows that you don't have to start big to make a big impact.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jane Lake and Blame!

From early childhood, the natural instinct to blame others emerges. Ask a child who broke the vase and he/she will immediately look around to see who else could be fingered.

Our litigious society continues this process for any and every accident that occurs. Slip on a broken egg in a supermarket and watch out! The list starts with the supermarket, the egg company, and the employee who dropped the egg, and continues on all the way to the farmer whose chicken produced eggs with shells to thin to withstand the fall.

There are two issues here:

First, people need to take responsibility for their own actions. One should not depend upon the color of a traffic light to cross the street. You must also look around and use good judgement

Secondly and most importantly, the more productive results occur when blame is put aside and people work together to improve the overall situation. Make things safer. Avoid the urge for revenge. Resist the temptation of monetary compensation. Move forward with positive intent, and I believe we all will prosper.

I entered this in the Philosophy Blog War. Pleases vote for my entry here:


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jane Lake and Halloween!

The wonderful season of Halloween, now a little over 3 weeks away gives me the wonderful excuse to go out and buy bags of my candy faves. Of course, by Halloween they are all gone and I have to give out money instead!

Here is my Ode to Halloween:

Halloween will make me reborn,
Kit Kat Bars and candy corn,
Pumpkin pie and costumed kids,
All my dieting on the skids.

Parties and decorations galore,
Snickers, Mounds, and so much more!
No other day is all about fun,
Nobody cares if Jon Stewart will run!

Let's all try to capture this mood,
for the rest of the year I shall not brood.
For Halloween is a happy fix,
Now let's get shopping for licorice sticks!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jane Lake and North Korea!

Another slippery slope situation. Allow anyone to have a nuclear bomb and inevitably, more and more want to join the club.

Nobody in their right mind wants a nuclear bomb and less than nobody would ever want to use one, but if you don't have one, boy do they look good.

There is nothing like a bulky shiny bomb that can kill hundreds of thousand of people to show off on your mantel.


I think it is time to stop threatening countries who want them, and once and for all get rid of them all. Saying nobody can have one makes it a lot easier to control. Sure some country may try to hide one in their back yard but with modern technology, I bet we can find them all and destroy them. I would feel a lot safer thinking that there may be 1 or 2 bombs floating around that we haven't found rather than waiting for the day for one crazy person to set off a world ending nuclear disaster.

The United States should stand up first and volunteer to destroy them all.

After all, what you don't have can't hurt you!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jane Lake and Psychic Powers!

It is interesting to me how people so readily accept that there are some people with psychic abilities when nobody has ever proven that they have them.

The obvious proof would be the ability to pick the winning lottery numbers (if you can do this, please contact me immediately for a consultation!), or predict anything with reproducable results.

Now I will admit that at times I feel like I have the inside track on things, but statistically speaking it could all be coincidence. So what I would like to do here is make a few predictions to see what happens.

I would also ask any of you psychics out there to post some predictions as well (near term please, I'm not interested in anything more than 3 months out).

Who knows, maybe I will discover the first real one. Maybe it's me!

Prediction 1 - Mets win World Series in 6 games
Prediction 2 - Hurricane Leslie will be at least Category 4 and hit Florida (sorry!)
Prediction 3 - Mel Gibson will be arrested again

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jane Lake and Sharing!

Go to any playground or park and you will see parents teaching their children how to share. "Ashley, let Jason play with the ball now" or "Oh, Amanda, that is soooo nice to share your grapes with Allie"

But what happens when you become an adult? Could I go up to someone in the street and say, "Oh, those m&m's look good. Could I have some?" After I post bail, I would be forced to buy my own m&m's!

Ironically, the only adults that seem to have learned their childhood lessons are smokers. "Hey, buddy, could I bum a cigarette?" "Sure, here's two, need a light?"

"Hey buddy, could I bum a stick of gum?" just crosses the line. Adults are pretty fixed in what is mine and what is not yours.

After all is said and done, maybe it should be the children teaching the adults, "Hey mommy, let Ricky's mom drive the car now."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jane Lake and Ms. Magazine!

I would like to start by saying in a nation of 300 million people, it is not difficult to get a list of 5,000 people who believe anything you want. You want a list of 5,000 people who believe the moon is made of cheese, I bet I could get it!

Having said that, Ms. Magazine is publishing a list of 1,016 women who had abortions and are "proud" of it. (There will be the complete list of over 5,000 names online)

Now everyone knows how I feel about abortion, but I do not think this is about abortion. It is about selling magazines and the exploitation of women. It is also about taking a small percentage of outliers and portraying it as mainstream thought. Tens of millions of women have had abortions. Five thousand names is a dust speck!

A survey that came out last year showed that the suicide rate among women who had an abortion was six times higher than for women who had given birth in the prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages. Why isn't MS. listing the tragic names of women that have taken their own lives as a result of having an abortion? Or the names of women that have died from complications from the procedure?

And what about the tens of millions of unnamed innocent unborn children that have suffered the most? When will they get their say?

MS. Magazine has crossed the line from my perspective. They and every company advertising in that issue should be boycotted! We should not stand for or tolerate media manipulation for their own economic gain.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jane Lake and Jane Lake!

I am proud to say that I have been named Bestest Blog.

Before this all goes to my head, I would like to thank a few people.

First, I would like to thank Teddy Roosevelt for getting the bestest non-violent toy named after him. I can only dream that the Jane Lake doll will be as well known.

I would also like to thank Pat Buttram, who played Mr. Haney on Green Acres. Other than being sweaty, conniving, and the opportunistic embodiment of capitalism, he is my hero and made me laugh whenever he appeared.

And of course Thorsten Veblen, who has a funny name for an economist!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jane Lake and Positive Critiquing!

So I submitted my blog over at critiquemyblog, and crossed my fingers.

Check out my review!

Jane Lake's Excellent Critique

What I noticed after reading quite a few reviews, Billy Mac pretty much has something nice to say about everyone. He seems to have a knack at finding the essence of a blog very quickly and highlighting what makes it different from all other blogs.

I commend him for taking this positive route with his critiques as it not only feels good to get a nice review, but I truly think he finds what many others don't.

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