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Getting this election over with is becoming an evening of sheer misery…

It’s not enough that I am going in for tests before my Friday brain surgery at 6:30 AM tomorrow and go through four different doctors and three tests by 2:30 PM…just getting my mind in the mood for that doesn’t let me bond with the TV pundits who are arguing out the campaign results they can’t really call.

Thinking about how miserable it would be if Romney won, but that is not nearly as bad as thinking about how graceless in their concessions the losers will be if Obama and the Democratic Congressional candidates win. Nobody seems to really be trying to tie the country together and make us the UNITED states that we have to become.

BTW, I want to really think the hundreds of you who have wished me well by e-mail, in Facebook, and those of you who have commented on this blog.  I never really knew how many of you visit the LobsterScope and it’s daily changing graphic background and what my daughter calls the rantings of an old man. I hope I’ll be back at full speed next week some time, but it will be hard to keep it up now through the weekend. Don’t be surprised if a day has no or only one post… and don’t plan on anything Friday or Saturday.

Those of you who listen to me on the radio at WSHC 89.7 Shepherdstown, either locally or on the worldwide live feed at http://897wshc.org , won’t hear me this weekend. I got friends and fellows to cover my time on the air and I thank all of them.

If you are in a state that has late polls open and you haven’t voted yet, get out there and do it. People have died for your right to vote!

Bye now… Bill.

So what is the chance of Obama winning right now?

Bob Cesca published Nate Silver‘s graphic projecting the election winner which appeared in the NY Times. I’d like to reproduce it as well since it seems to show the start of a legitimate bounce for Obama after the last debate.

Here is Nate Silver’s most recent projection:

Monday’s debate (the last one) may give another push to Obama if he pulls of a victory as he did in the second round. And remember, the election is only 18 days away. Focus on both campaigns will become very tight in the next few days.

Thanks for your contribution, Joe Bratcher

My thanks to
Joe Bratcher for donating to Under The LobsterScope. Thanks, 
Joe .

Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Victorian Ornaments  font is on the way!

– Bill

If you’d like to help us out at Under The LobsterScope (and we hope you will), go HERE.

Related articles

 

Back from Milwaukee and once again trying to get over my broken bones…

 

It was a wonderful wedding, watching my son and his bride having the time of their lives, but a painful one for me. I spent most of my time looking for places to sit and keep my left side from interacting with the world… and I almost got away with it.

There was one accident, however: after taking wedding pictures of family and bridal party on the Oriental Theater’s stage, I missed a step coming back into the audience area and fell hard, re-injuring my cracked collar bone and shoulder blade. Several nice wedding party members helped me get back on my feet, but I returned to West Virginia more in pain than when I left. Believe me, the 18 hour train rides (switch in Chicago… if it weren’t for the redcap service I never would have been able to change trains… were incredibly unpleasant and I got no sleep on the overnight run.

Bob and the Fat Man

One great thing about the wedding was I got to see my cousin, Bob Barsale, who, since he lives in Chicago, I have not seen much of in the past 25 years. Growing up, Bob was the closest thing I had to a brother and he (and his wife Suzie and daughter SueSue) mean a great deal to me. Since he occasionally reads me on Facebook, I send my best wishes out to him.

OK… now I have to get back onto my life, my string of Doctor’s appointments and more. I hope you all have a nice day. I home Buddy and Rachel are enjoying their mini-Honeymoon at Lake Geneva. I hope all the family and friends I saw got home OK.

 

A lot of the pain is gone, but what’s left is still miserable.

 

It’s the two week anniversary of my fall down the cellar stairs and I continue to stay pretty much immobile in my recliner which I’ve packed with pillows.

The pain was so intense when this started that I was hoping I’d pass out and it would all be over. The pain rating has gone from a 10 to about a 2 now and I expect it will be another few months before the five ribs, shoulder blade and collar bone all heal up. This has been the worst two weeks of my life.

I have to say thank you for all the e-mail, Facebook comments and phonealls and text messages I’ve recieved from everyone… I certainly appreciate it. With any luck I’ll be able to travel to my son’s wedding in Wisconsin next week…as long as I stay pretty still on the train.

 

Apple Computer may be acquiring Twitter

 

This was on Reuters‘ web site this morning:

(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) held discussions in recent months about possibly investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Twitter to gain a social networking presence, the New York Times on Friday, cited people briefed on the matter as saying.

The iPhone and iPad maker, which has never delved deeply into a social media space dominated by Facebook Inc (FB.O), at one point considered an investment that would have valued the microblogging service at $10 billion but the two were not in negotiations now, the newspaper reported.

Apple declined comment. Twitter did not respond to requests for comment on the deal, which the newspaper said might presage closer ties between the two.

Let’s keep an eye on this. It could be a big deal.

 

I needed a Wednesday Night Laugh and found this:

 

Sometimes bloggers do poor research… especially conservative bloggers. Not that I am worried about the blog competition, but here’s a neat piece I found on The Fifth Column:

TPMDC

A conservative blogger’s recent attempt to sandbag Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Connie Schultz proved to be an epic failure — and the only thing saving him from public embarrassment is Schultz’s own grace.

The story begins on July 9, says Schultz, when she received an email from the inquiring blogger, who promptly misspelled the name of the author, former columnist for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer for commentary:

Dear Ms. Shultz,We are doing an expose on journalists in the elite media who socialize with elected officials they are assigned to cover. We have found numerous photos of you with Sen. Sherrod Brown. In one of them, you appear to be hugging him.

Care to comment?

Uh oh, you might think. Soon she’ll have to defend herself from allegations of being overly cozy with a subject she reports on. Well — not quite.

On July 10, she replied with this:

Dear Mr. [Name Deleted]:I am surprised you did not find a photo of me kissing U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown so hard he passes out from lack of oxygen. He’s really cute.

He’s also my husband.

You know that, right?

Connie Schultz.

Brown and Schultz have been married since 2004, as even a cursory Google search or glance through either one’s Wikipedia page would show. She recounted the amusing tale on Facebook and noted that as of Tuesday she hadn’t received a response.

 

Farewell to Richard Dawson – Dead at 79

According to his son, Richard Dawson, the legendary host of “Family Feud,” has died from complications due to esophageal cancer:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my father passed away this evening from complications due to esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his family. He was an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad, and a doting grandfather. He will be missed but always remembered…”

– Gary Dawson

Dawson was the host of Family Feud from 1976-1985, and then from 1994-1995. He was also famous for being a regular on “The Match Game” and for appearing in the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action film “The Running Man.”  I remember him best, however, as the British soldier, Cpl. Peter Newkirk, on “Hogan’s Heroes.”

My brain is exploding… put yourself in the (not so distant) future…

As you read this over the internet you realize that you have replaced what we used to exchange in print… or even, for Pete’s sake, by voice over the phone or while having coffee… with interactions by computer on our own time and only when we really want it. And it seems live and it can be interacted with in an eternal present.

But what comes next? What are the situations we can’t even imagine that will be our communication norm in less than a generation… that will make Facebook seem like the telegraph?

English: New York City high school students in...

I just spent an hour and a half listening to a replay of a forum at the World Science Festival called Internet Everywhere. If you remember when we didn’t spend our time with a computer and a mouse or a touchpad and our finger bringing our minds together over the internet… not very long ago… then remember how we didn’t even begin to imagine where we are today.

You’ve got to watch/listen to this:

http://worldsciencefestival.com/webcasts/internet_everywhere.

OK?

You can thank me later.

Romney on Baked Goods…

Touring Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney met with four couples at the Bethel Park Community Center to talk about the deficit, health care and education. He started, however, with an attempt at humor:

“I’m not sure about these cookies. They don’t look like you made them,” he said turning to one of the women at the table. “Did you make those cookies? You didn’t, did you? No. No. They came from the local 7-Eleven bakery or wherever.”

The cookies, in fact, had been donated by the popular, Republican owned Bethel Bakery near the community center.

Mr. Romney’s comment was broadcast on local radio and that offended residents who took to Facebook and Twitter to complain, calling the episode “CookieGate.” The Bethel Bakery is offering a CookieGate special Wednesday and Thursday: free half dozen cookies with every dozen purchased.

Bakery owner John Walsh said:

“Initially, we were incensed that he would think that Bethel Bakery is comparable to the 7-Eleven… Let him eat cake next time.”

Some pundits thought that Romney was just trying to tie his views to the common man by making it clear he knew what 7-Eleven was (not that he’s been in one.)

Lieutenant Uhura Visits the White House…

 

Nichelle Nichols (who looks great at age 81) visits Star Trek fan Barack Obama in the White House (photo submitted to Facebook by her co-actor George Takei).

Here’s a comment that told me something I didn’t realize:

Anthony Curi (on Facebook) made this comment:

Towards the end of the first season, she became jaded after being written into the background and nearly left the show. However, a letter from one particular viewer changed her mind.

“I am the biggest trekkie there is, and I am Lt. Uhura‘s most ardent fan.”
Dr. Martin Luther King


To answer a question received by e-mail…

…yes, I change the background pattern on the blog every day (or two) and try my hardest never to repeat a pattern.

Paisley

I spend a lot of time searching for new patters that will make the blog stand out. Following users comments I stopped using moving images a while ago since they

detract from the posts. I do, however look for color that makes the pages stand out and patterns that make me relatively happy (like the “Paisley” I have up today.)

If you have a pattern you haven’t seen here that you’d like me to use, click on the mailbox and attach it to the e-mail.

Thanks, Bill.

The Memorials the Oscars Left Out…

My pal Joe Bratcher turned me on to this in Facebook. As I looked at the list, I realized that there were some great… and important to our cultural historyactors and actresses left out of the Academy Award‘s “In Memoriam” segment.

Nicole Williamson? How could they?

I’m Devastated… House is ending this season.

When I saw this announcement on House’s Facebook page I felt so bad… the way I feel when great shows disappear (felt that way with M.A.S.H. and with NYPD Blue, among others).

Out of almost 4000 comments on the Facebook page, 2 kept popping up that I agreed with:

Fry and Laurie

1. get Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie‘s old comedy partner, to be on the last episode

2. Get a new show for Laurie showing off his tremendous musical skills… a great situation comedy like Fry and Laurie used to do in Britain.

I hope it goes out with a bang!

 

 

Announcement from HOUSE Executive Producers David Shore, Katie Jacobs and Hugh Laurie:

After much deliberation, the producers of House M.D. have decided that this season of the show, the 8th, should be the last.  By April this year they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.

The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years – but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved.

Since it began, House has aspired to offer a coherent and satisfying world in which everlasting human questions of ethics and emotion, logic and truth, could be examined, played out, and occasionally answered.  This sounds like fancy talk, but it really isn’t.  House has, in its time, intrigued audiences around the world in vast numbers, and has shown that there is a strong appetite for television drama that relies on more than prettiness or gun play.

But now that time is drawing to a close.  The producers have always imagined House as an enigmatic creature;  he should never be the last one to leave the party.  How much better to disappear before the music stops, while there is still some promise and mystique in the air.

The producers can never sufficiently express their gratitude to the hundreds of dedicated artists and technicians who have given so generously of their energy and talent to make House the show it has been – and perhaps will continue to be for some time, on one cable network or another.

The makers of House would also like to thank Fox Broadcasting and Universal Television for supporting the show with patience, imagination and large quantities of good taste.  The Studio-As-Evil-Adversary is one of the many clichés that House has managed to avoid, and for that the cast and crew are deeply grateful.

Lastly, the audience: some have come and some have gone, obviously. This is to be expected in the life of any show. But over the course of the last eight years, the producers of House have felt immensely honored to be the subject of such close attention by an intelligent, discriminating, humane and thoughtful – not to mention numerous – audience. Even the show’s detractors have been flattering in their way. Making the show has felt like a lively and passionate discussion about as many different subjects as could possibly be raised in 177 hours. The devotion and generosity of our viewers has been marvelous to behold.

So, finally, everyone at House will bid farewell to the audience and to each other with more than a few tears, but also with a deep feeling of gratitude for the grand adventure they have been privileged to enjoy for the last eight years.  If the show lives on somewhere, with somebody, as a fond memory, then that is a precious feat, of which we will always be proud.

Everybody Lies.

Not everyone recognizes true talent…

I found this little graphic on Facebook this morning:

Of course, I read it with no trouble, but the comment of being a pointless talent means the idiot who wrote it would probably have been a failure at old time typesetting.

In the days of moveable type, all words and sentences were set backwards (and often, in the old time newspaper production area, upside down as well.) If you couldn’t read – and write – backwards with clarity, you were prone to typos and would not hold a job very long.

This may be a talent which the time of desktop publishing by computer has relegated to specialty shops, but a talent it certainly is. It also promotes discipline and concentration, something we have
very little of in the work-a-day world these days.

A Weekend’s Entertainment – Everyone Against Romney!

The Inverted Sextet

The six remaining Republican presidential candidates start at 9 pm ET tonight in New Hampshire debating on ABC TV for two hours. Twelve hours later, at 9:00 am Sunday, they’ll take part in the NBC News/Facebook debate on Meet the Press. You can send in your questions on Facebook and attack Romney, too.

I expect the most fun from Newt Gingrich whose

Fun For All!

sole objective seems to be getting even with Romney for the negative ads his PAC pulled off in Iowa. Next will be Ron Paul, who is getting just as negative.
And, of course, we will all look for another “Oooops!” from Perry, who is really playing to the South Carolina Audience.

So have a nice weekend. I know I will.

Just a comment on belief… atheists can be thankful,too.

Someone asked me how I could be thankful on Thanksgiving with no belief in a creator on high.

It’s time to reveal a reality: Atheists can be thankful,too.

We don’t thank a holy individual.

We thank our families and our friends and the celebrated and the anonymous.

We are thankful for good things that have happened to us and thankful just to be alive and surviving in the great wide world.

We are thankful to have a means of expression (like this blog, or community theatre plays, or radio shows, or art, or the basic freedom of speech.)

We are thankful that we can share all these things with each other and hope to continue to for years to come.

See? It’s not hard to conceive of a thankful atheist. It’s much harder for us to conceive of an invisible deity pulling the strings.

 

Why Occupy Wall Street?

Here is a video by D C Douglas that gives you 4 good reasons:

Going to a GMO Rally? Look your best…

This was sent to me from my favorite graphic design specialist, my wife:

After more than 40,000 votes on 139 designs, here is the winning design chosen by Threadless – and we LOVE it! It makes people laugh, tells a story, raises questions, and starts a conversation.
There’s an AMAZING $10 sale price (regular price $24) that ends Oct 11th for this organic shirt, in guys or girls styles: Wear it for GMO rallies! Buy them as holiday gifts! Give one to your favorite teacher!

PURCHASE NOW
IRT FACEBOOK T-SHIRT CONTEST PHOTO GALLERY: Take a picture of yourself in this winning design and upload it to our Facebook page!http://org2.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=shnNj3QLhnE2Oee9gpkQBlGttroMg2wz
OUR GRATITUDE AND THANKS: So many talented designers entered, we can’t thank you enough for your energy and passion!
OUR WORK: Threadless donates 25% of each sale to the Non-GMO Campaign of The Institute for Responsible Technology.

sIf you think Facebook is going to start charging for membership…

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

… think again. It’s not the first time a viral rumor has spread that Facebook, with over 4 Billion bucks a year in ad revenue, is going to start charging membership fees.

Here’s a quick quote from the International Business Times:

“The ongoing rumor continues to resurface every so often, regardless of the fact that Facebook has a message on its homepage reading, “It’s free and always will be,” when prompting its 800 million users to log in.

“The chain message stating Facebook will charge a fee is proven to be just a hoax, as Facebook’s advertising revenue is expected to reach $4.27 billion in 2011, according to ZDNet.”

So: 1.) rest assured that you are not about to be charged to share meaningless stuff with your buddies, and 2.) don’t let the hoaxers use you to copy and distribute their phony Facebook notice.

A message from Al Gore:

Tomorrow, people from around the world will join hands to create 24 Hours of Reality. I hope you’ll join us. Together, we’re going to focus the world’s attention on the scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis.

24 Hours of Reality begins at 7 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday, September 14. Over the course of the day, there will be 24 presentations across 24 time zones in 13 languages. I’ll be presenting in the final hour at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Use our simple tool to set a reminder so you don’t miss it.

http://climaterealityproject.org/reminder/

Together, we’re going to take a stand against the “new normal.” We’re going to remove any doubt stirred up by deniers.

Together, we’re going to catalyze urgency around an issue that impacts every one of us.

Find a presentation in your language or your part of the world and use our tool to schedule a reminder email. You’ll receive 15 minutes before the event.

http://climaterealityproject.org/reminder
/

Make sure you’re a part of this event. Make time. Tell your friends and followers you’re participating and encourage them to join you. At the bottom of this email, you’ll find some easy links to help you spread the word.

I’m truly excited for tomorrow and I hope you are, too.

Sincerely,

Al Gore
Founder and Chairman
The Climate Reality Project

George Carlin on The Republicans and our Culture:

Carlin did this routine 23 years ago and it is amazing how it still holds true. Be careful if the kiddies are around… this is X rated. (Thanks to my friend Joe Bratcher who passed this out on Facebook today.)

From a Massachusetts Businessman…

Devallon Bolles, PhD

My friend Devallon Bolles, who is a real-estate entrepreneur in Massachusetts, dropped this on Facebook after the Republican debate last night:

Enjoying the aftermath of the Iowa debates. As a MA resident for many years, I suffered under Romney’s governorship. Elected by promising jobs, state ranked 47th in job creation under him; He said he knew how to attract businesses. Businesses fled under him. Incredible that he would “run on his record.”

 

So, when Romney criticizes Obama on job creation, he has his record to stand on…No?

There have been enough crazies loose in the USA that this bunch makes me very nervous…

Let me start with a statement on my own religious beliefs: I am an atheist in the Stephen Hawking vein…there has been nothing in centuries of scientific discovery to prove the existence of God, nor are the mythological concepts of Heaven, Hell or any “afterlife” at all a reality. OK?

The proposal to make a cross shaped piece of twisted beams from the World Trade Center into a monument in a public space supporting Christianity triggered a response by some atheists that they should have an equivalent monument caused a controversy that Fox News covered. Let me also state my view here: neither of these concepts are supported by me. People’s beliefs should be private things in a free society and not be inflicted on others.

So, when I read this post on the American Atheist‘s blog (and, btw, this is an organization I’m not a member of… organized atheism is just another religion) about their Communications Director appearing on Fox News and the responses that were posted by listeners, I felt unsafe:

FOX News Facebook Page on 9/11 Cross Generates Death Threats Against Atheists

FOX News readers on Facebook started going off after Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, appeared on America Live with Megyn Kelly. Blair reports that when he returned home from his local FOX station for the interview that his voice mail was full of messages and his inbox had almost 200 hateful messages. “I can always tell when someone from American Atheists is on FOX news, because my Inbox explodes with hate email,” said Blair.

We can talk about the issues about this, but our friend William Hamby has put it well over at the Examiner. In addition, Practical Doubt was able to capture some more as well. Unfortunately, they blacked out the names of the guilty.

Moderators on FOX News’ Facebook page had been trying diligently to delete the violent threats, but not before they were screen-captured by a diligent American Atheists member named Robert Posey.

So how direct are these statements posted as comments on the Fox News Facebook Page? These were some of Posey’s captures before Fox had them deleted (and these do NOT have the poster’s names blacked out… as AA says, people should have responsibility for what they say):

What’s scary as well is the amount of support agreements they get from other readers. It is a good move that Fox is eliminating these as they catch them (why they don’t just set the keywords on their spam list, or set all comments to be reviewed before posting as I do on this blog, is confusing.) However, thousands, and perhaps millions of people see them’ and as William Hamby says in the Atlanta Atheist Examiner:

In a week or two, that Facebook page will be clean swept of any threats or incitements to violence.  If anyone goes back to read it, they’ll see Christians and atheists arguing — not always politely, but without threats.  The words on the page will be gone.  But for me and my fellow atheists, they will live on as long as we live.

When I think of lunatics who have been able to kill groups of people based on the lunacy of extreme beliefs, I realize how the promotion of such concepts can trigger dangerous responses. I also realize that by printing some of these here, I may be doing the same thing… however this will happen here once and it will give you an idea of what is happening. If you think back to the Holocaust and what Jews (and the rest of the world) learned from it, this is a serious situation.

If those who believe in Christianity (or any other religion) need this kind of response to justify their unfortunate view of life, then more people than atheists should take notice and be ready to defend themselves.

We should have listened to Warren Buffet in 2005…

… and it would not be likely that we’d be in today’s economic mess. Here’s Warren and Bill Gates addressing an audience six years ago… listen closely and then wonder why we don’t tax the rich a little more:

See? Send this video around to all your friends (and Congressional representatives.)