Monday, April 27, 2009

Kazakhstan Hearts UFOs

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, would like to properly welcome UFO's when they arrive on our lovely planet, thats why a typical field or air-strip will just not do.

According to an article on All News Web, Kazakhstan is in the process of building the world's first alien embassy. The embassy is sure to include a guesthouse, a translation service, and theatre.

The Caspian Sea, which borders Kazakhstan, currently houses an underwater base which is supposedly being used by UFOs.

"Fuad Gasimov, the head of neighbouring Azerbaijan’s national Aerospace Agency
has confirmed this to be the case and has gone on record stating the old USSR
constantly monitored alien spaceships regularly entering the water but kept this
a military secret."

So it makes sense then, our accepting friends in Kazakhstan should be the first to welcome our ET friends.

The original post came from a website in Cyrillic, but some responses to the article are in English.

IQXSORG writes: Bravo to the Citizens of Kazakhstan!

Thank you for the post and hello from Dayton, OH U.S.A.! IQXS sends you sincere good wishes for your excellent project and hopes your skies will be filled with incoming "visitors" soon! The world is watching! Kudos on being true future-thinkers, unafraid to challenge the status quo! We salute your efforts and wish you the best! Ciao!IQXS

Pleya must be a journalist because he/she writes: Where is the visual evidence? Pictures of the building & surrounding? Any pix of UFO above the Caspian Sea?

Lets take a minute to applaud Kazakhstan for welcoming our outer-space neighbors. Nothing shows diversity like welcoming extra-terrestrials.

Another reason to applaud Kazakhstan? For putting up with this crazy story. I for one, think it's a rumor, facilitated by well known actor Sacha Baron Cohen. You may recognize him as Borat, or Ali G.

Here is why:
1st: In an article in the NY Times, written by Noam Cohen [Noam is one of Sacha's middle names, that he could have been using as a writer] he spoke about Raƫlians, a group I will label as extra-terrestrial enthusiasts, who were sent to build an Alien Embassy in the Holy Land.

2nd: While Kazakhstan is not the Holy Land, Cohen's character Borat, was a reporter from Kazakhstan.

3rd: If you google the article, it does not appear in any reputable news journals like the Times, Washington Post or even the Oregonian.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu Epidemic to become Pandemic?

A few days ago, we heard of reports of a deadly flu in Mexico, where thousands were sick, and almost 100 dead. Stores in Mexico reported selling out of medical masks within a few a minutes, yet more seem to be contracting and dying from the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, its a respiratory disease typically found in pigs caused by type A influenza.

The AP released a Q&A about Swine Flu, hoping to cure some widespread panic that is sure to follow.

The Symptoms: similar to a regular flu, cough, fever, fatigue and lack of appetite.
Prevention: The flu shots will most likely be ineffective, however, two flu treatments called Tamiflu and Relenza seem to be affective.

In a separate article from AP, they warn to seek hospitalization when:
a fever of 100 + degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

In an article by Donald McNeil, Jr. on the NYTimes website, Dr. Nancy Cox, the chief of the agency’s flu division says:
" The A (H1N1) flu strain they had was quite unusual. It contained gene segments from North American swine, bird and human flu strains as well as one from Eurasian swine."

More current updates tell us that there are 20 confirmed cases throughout five U.S. states and suspected cases as far away as New Zealand.

When you are sick, stick to common sense.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing with the crook of your elbow or upper arm instead of your hands.
  • Wash hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • If you think you have the flu, stay at home.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Teh sick

Normally I pride myself on the fact that I rarely get sick. All last term, sickness spread through my school and Newspaper office like the Rage Virus. It seemed as though Mary Anne, Rick, James, Eve and Lydia were all taking turns getting sick. I was happy as a clam when I remained healthy even though my mom and fiance both experienced different illnesses themselves.

Then comes Max Brown, newest addition as feature editor and friend at the Commuter. Unknowingly, Max carried a little bug, the very thing that would be perfect to bring a Becca down.

I'm not sure what it was but it definitely caught me off guard. Sunday night it started as a pain-in-the-ass sore throat, which continued through Monday. I blamed it on freshly cut, beautiful smelling grass that lay on the lawns of LBCC. This beautiful grass however, had never bothered me in the past.

Why did I blame it on mother nature? Well, Monday I sat in the lawn for three hours drawing mother nature herself with my Drawing I class taught by Gary Westford.

Tuesday showed up with bright eyes, as I slowly melted off my bed and onto the floor because my legs were too weak to carry, and my head was to heavy to lift, I realized, it wasn't mother nature, it was MAX!

I tried to open my eyes and they burned, I tried to breathe threw my nose and failed, the thought of eating breakfast made my stomach lurch. Somehow I ended up at school after taking a shower, eating breakfast and passing out half-on and half-off my moms bed, oh and driving was somewhere in there.

I gagged my way through Bio 103 lab, where we dissected Chicken legs. When red marrow shot out of the bone after my lab partner Robin snapped it, I was ready to throw my towel in.

I kept my head down and survived work for a couple hours, and somehow made it home. I was exhausted. Surely bed was the right thing for me.

My eyelashes wanted to sew together as i curled up in bed. so. tired. Then i felt it. it started as a little tickle. then wet. then a little more tickle dripping from my nose. I knew right then, it would be a sleepless night.

Wednesday woke me up, even if I hadn't had any sleep. Do stay home? Do i go to school? I never miss school, so I go, for a very very very long day. Class, Class, break, class, break, three hour class then a drive home. so. tired.


Thursday, glorious Thursday. How i praise you. No classes today. Just homework (yeah right). If i wasn't in my bed i was on the couch, or puttering around the house in my leopard print bathrobe. It took everything I had to muster up some energy to get cracking on my homework by 9.

but what is this? DO MY EYES DECEIVE?! A BAND NEW GREY'S ANATOMY? FOLLOWED A BRAND NEW PRIVATE PRACTICE? TWO NEW OFFICE'S on CH.8 and NEW CSI on CH.6 , and the new show SOUTHLAND on CH.12?! Why Lord, do you painfully torture me with this scheduling of more shows than my DVR can conceivably record. I miss the Office's, CSI, (Parks and Rec) and Hells Kitchen. Grey's Anatomy and Private Pratice always win. Thank you good Lord for giving me T.V. online!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nazi hunters: Unsung Heroes

Sixty-four years have passed since the end of World War II, and it is still widely talked about today. When I interviewed Dr. Paul Kopperman at OSU, he mentioned that especially because of the popularity of Hollywood movies, the interest in WWII has “gained momentum since the 80’s.” Alongside Hollywood’s view, we have dates to recognize veterans, memorials to remember communities lost; memoirs to learn about personal strife, like those of Anne Frank and Ellie Wiesel. Museums, speakers and survivors around the world are dedicated to remind us of the tragedy that was the Holocaust. Even the villains like Josef Mengele are remembered for their atrocities in hopes that we can learn to be better people, to remember that all have equal rights.

Overlooked by some, and unknown to others, and supported by survivors and victims, there are some unsung heroes of this awful tragedy. Simon Wiesenthal, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, Efraim Zuroff are just a few of a special group dubbed as Nazi-hunters, who should be particularly remembered when speaking about the Holocaust.

These four people, among others have made a living seeking out and bringing to justice Nazi war-criminals like Mengele who were or are hiding out around the world. Mengele was known as ‘The Angel of Death’ working as a doctor at different death camps, doing notorious experiments on twins. Individuals like the Klarsfelds, and governments, including the United States and Germany, are still very active today in seeking out justice against perpetrators of war-crimes, “trying to come to terms with happened,” says Kopperman.

A Nazi war-criminal is one who is suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against peace, or crimes against humanity. When I spoke with Michele Wilson, anthropology instructor at LBCC she said “these are people who removed basic human rights.” After the war, many suspected war criminals, like Mengele fled to other countries seeking exile and protection. They had help from Nazi sympathizers to escape to places like Argentina and Paraguay who had particularly good relationships with Germany according to Kopperman, and refused to cooperate in the apprehension of suspected criminals. Unfortunately, Mengele was never brought to justice, believed to have died on a beach in Brazil in 1979.

When I asked Holocaust survivor, and Oregon local Alter Wiener his opinion of those in pursuit of Nazi war criminals he said, "They [war criminals] should be brought to justice. I'm not looking for revenge, revenge is to only please me."

Kopperman noted that hunters like Wiesenthal, who passed away in 2005 and the Klarsfelds, who are actively and legally pursuing those suspected of war crimes during World War II. “They kept meticulous files and work off of leads and experience,” he goes on to say that “they have exonerated some who did not act out of malice”. It is important to note that not all who participated in the war as Nazi’s are sought, only those who cruelly stripped away basic human rights. Once found, these criminals are often sent back (not always) to the location of their crime, typically Germany or Austria.

“We can define [Nazi Hunters] them as heroes on a humanitarian level,” says Wilson, “ We feel better when we get rid of evil.”

Photo of Auschwitz block 10 where Mengele conducting twin experiments; by athena. [flickr]

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sneaky fetus makes surprise appearance in bathtub

I am a sucker for weird, and especially gorey news. So I decided that one of my twice weekly posts for my Journalism class, is going to be a summary of a weird news story, and my opinion, as if it mattered.

I chose this particular news story in light that I know a lot of pregnant people at the moment, and this just bewilders me! It comes from

The story comes from Grand Rapids News about a brand new dispatcher helping two parents give birth to a baby over the phone.

Apparently the dispatcher just finished her six months of training and was her third day on the job. The couple Carri and Ryan Emmons apparently had NO IDEA that Carri was pregnant. So as she lay in the bathtub giving birth, husband called 911 as 10 year old son looked on.

"I didn't know my wife was pregnant," Ryan said of his 27-year-old wife, already a mother of three.

Angie Adams, the new dispatcher walked the couple through the birthing process leaving the Emmons a brand new, healthy baby boy. Rescue crews were sent to their house, and Ryan was given the privilege of scooping the freshly born placenta out of the tub to hand over to doctors for examination.

Alright- So here is what I dont get- how could a mother of three NOT KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT?! Was there no morning sickness, no missed periods or psychotic cravings of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches? No sudden gaining of weight and need to constantly get a bigger clothing size? DID SHE NOT FEEL THE BABY KICK?! God help us if she thought that was just a bowel movement.

I think that would have made for a more interesting story. I like details when I read stories, and for me the most important ones have been left out! How dumb could this lady be?!
More importantly, why did my font just change? Anyhow, what I really want to know is how did the husband never notice? My guess is the woman in question is well overweight, the baby absorbed the nutrients, esentially acting like ice in water, replacing the weight of her fat, with the weight of itself. I must say, way to go sneaky fetus. Oh and i hope the hospital gave her a hystorectomy.

In reply to the article, Grand Rapid News decided they should write a blurb on how surprise pregnancies can happen. And when I did a Google search afterwards for Unexpected Births I came up with this link from TwinStuff . My mind is absolutely boggled.

Tune in weekly for more mind boggling news and my pointless opinions!

My friday night came early..

I sat down at the table my mom had reserved for us, it was a small table meant for the patio, probably wrought-iron and covered by a red paper table cloth,. I let out a sigh of relief as this was my Friday, even though it was only Wednesday night. It was nice not being in a crowded, loud brightly lit situation. The drapes were shut as the sun was setting, and lighting was low provided by a mish-mosh of lamps.

The clanging of glasses and silverware was carefree, and light laughter helped build the ambiance. In the background 50s and 60s music played quietly, and the smell of garlic was enough to tantalize any taste-buds. This is not a place we frequent, and I'm not really sure why. It's hidden in the downtown area of Salem, on the side of a lot occupied by an over-zealous bank. The food is overwhelmingly delicious, slightly over priced, and well worth the wait.

You can hear the light swishing of the dishwasher as it sneaks closer to closing time, and you can tell the waitress cannot wait. After all, the sun was shining, the mood was light and there was still plenty of time left to enjoy this mid-week Friday. I admire the quaint building, because where it lacks in size, it makes up with character. The walls are charmingly decorated in a variety of old photos, and oil paintings by local artists, perhaps even by the employees themselves.

Our time came to a close, as we walked out with the door jingling behind us, I left with a satisfied feeling knowing that my Friday was off to a good start.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Feature story ideas

This month is Holocaust Awareness Month, so our school's newspaper (and my current place of employement) is going to do a small feature. I have always been interested in the military history of our world, so I am thinking about doing a story about Nazi hunters and Holocaust survivors. I do face some difficulties with this topic though, not being able to actually find and interview a survivor or hunter. If i do, I may face difficulties with interviewing someone on such a sensitive topic.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Kids on the Block

Linn Benton Community College is giving a warm welcome to its newest sports team, a soccer club. While there have been LBCC soccer clubs in the past, Coach Art Mota along with the help of club president Kyle Boylan, is reviving the club with enough passion to light a city. “We’re the new kids on the block,” said Mota, “but it’s a good thing. Already other clubs are contacting us to set up games”. For the twenty members of the new club, these are the words they want to hear.

The team has already played and won their first game, 3-0 against Corvallis at North Albany Middle School and looking forward to more exhibition games during spring term.

The LBCC soccer club is a group of people with a comman passion for playing soccer, some are old hands, others are just starting. The club is open to everyone, men and women equally, with no limit to number of people who can join. Currently, Boylan has been setting up fundraisers to cover costs of equipment, uniforms, referees, travel and more. According to Boylan, the team has a tentative fundraiser in place for April 14th, at Red Robin in Albany from five to eight p.m. where ten percent of register sales will go to the club. Fundraisers like these help make the possibility of becoming a part of the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League (CCSL) a reality. The CCSL is coordinated by Scott Milum of Central Oregon Community College meant for Collegiate level club teams and allows for each team to play each other twice during the season.

Art Mota new coach of the LBCC Soccer Club.

The club has only been official for approximately three weeks, so spring term is dedicated to the club members practicing, getting to know one another, and playing exhibition games with the goal of joining eight other northwest collegiate teams in the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League.

What happens if they are accepted to the league? The game season will run from August to November and additional funding to cover costs will come from affordable member dues. Upon being accepted to the CCSL, approximately 16 members will play on the traveling team, with additional opportunities for other members to play games. When I asked Mota what drives students to join the club, he said “They have taken soccer classes in the past, want to try something different, or are aspiring to play at a higher level”. Mota continued by saying that playing with a club is a great way for new, young athletes to get noticed and build friendships.

Dates and times will vary for future soccer games because, as a club, they have to coordinate around everyone’s work and school schedule, including the opposing team. This can be a large downfall because it makes practices hard to schedule, and even harder to attend for some. Boylan did not seem worried though, “We're a hardworking team, always going to be fighting at every game, and for every opportunity to try and improve". So while LBCC has had some losses in programs, it has also made some gains, one of which is the soccer club. If free entertainment (yes games are free), showing support for your school, or your friends on the team is not a win-win situation, then I don’t know what is. Contact Art Mota at 917-4730 for more information on joining the team.

Fast Facts:
  • Linn Benton Community College welcomes new soccer club.
  • They will play games against other Northwest Colleges.
  • "We're the new kids on the block."
  • Dates and times vary for games.
  • Club may lay foundation for soccer program at LBCC .
use code: BLES6830
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