Blog Archives

Phyllis Diller dead at 95…


Known for her legendary cackle, Diller was a force in the showbiz world who began her career in 1952 and was catapulted to fame in TV specials alongside Bob Hope in the 1960s.

Diller paved the way for generations of female comedians, notably like Joan Rivers and others, who broke down the image of the American housewife.

Born Phyllis Ada Driver on July 17, 1917, in Lima, Ohio, she was the first of a new breed; deconstructing the suburban housewife and drawing in laughs on the subject of child-bearing and her fictional husband, Fang.

Eccentric in her appearance, it was balanced by a self-deprecating tone that endeared her to all she met.

 ‘Her lines were so brilliant that all she had to do was stand on the stage and say ’em and you would have cracked up.’

– Joan Rivers

Diller died at 95 years old in Los Angeles.


1984: Zappa lectures at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco

From YouTube:
Frank talks about his upcoming release, his opinion on the synclavier and how he uses it to compose music . He talks with Charles Amirkhanian about his music and there is a small read done by Calvin the editor of the Pink Section of the San Francisco Chronicle about a small puppet show play written by Frank called “Fransesco” from 39.03 mins.

Enjoy that? Here’s today’s Music Piece:

From the album Francesco Zappa here’s Frank on the Synclavier doing Opus 1, No.4, 2Nd Movement Allegro:

How to identify Genetically Modified foods at Whole Foods…

 Whole Foods Market admits it sells genetically modified foods:

“The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GE-free. … we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim…”

Whole Foods Market
Internal Company Memo 1/30/2011

Activists with the Organic Consumers Association‘s Millions Against Monsanto campaign went to Whole Foods Market in San Francisco to try to identify which foods are genetically engineered, but couldn’t get any help from store employees.

Check Out This Video courtesy of the Organic Consumer Association:

For more information, go to:

(also posted at Panhandle Vegan)

Cheers for Steve Jobs…

…who appeared today unexpectedly (he’s on medical absence at Apple) to present the new iPad.

Steve said:

“We’ve been working on this product for a while and I didn’t want to miss today.”

…and I, for one, am glad he didn’t.

For your morning entertainment…

“The Coffee Wars” by Kill The Lobster:

San Francisco shows that a Public Option can work…

In yesterday’s NY Times, an article entitled  A Public Option That Works showed up on the Op-Ed page. It is worth reading because the

…San Francisco experiment has demonstrated that requiring a shared-responsibility model — in which employers pay to help achieve universal coverage — has not led to the kind of job losses many fear. The public option has also passed the market test, while not crowding out private options. The positive changes in San Francisco provide a glimpse of what the future might look like if Washington passes substantial health reform this year.

Indeed, when it is tried in experiments like San Francisco and Massachusetts, the great fears that the opponents of the Public Option try to promote essentially do not appear.

No matter what the image that the Sarah Palins and Sean Hannitys of the world try to promote, reality gives us a much different picture of the potential for the Public Option… without destroying the private market, without providing insurance for illegal immigrants and, of course, without making Death Panels to consign the retired to the graveyard.

If we don’t see this situation, it is clear that the rest of the world sees us in a different light. This from the Times of London:

The bizarre US healthcare debate, replete with wild distortions of the NHS, must seem incomprehensible to many in the UK. News reports have emphasised images of enraged conservatives fearing fabricated “death panels” or traumatised elderly people urging “hands off my Medicare”.

They face mostly Democratic legislators and some liberal advocacy groups who are circling their wagons around an embattled President Obama to defend their proposed minor revisions to the status quo after already surrendering more comprehensive reform.

To other industrialised countries, this fear of government having a role in protecting the health and safety of its citizens must seem especially hard to fathom. Among leading nations, only in the US is healthcare not a fundamental right, but bartered for profit by a maze of corporations.

I think I’ll agree with the Times’ Headline and subhead on that story:

Hold the line on healthcare, Mr President

Only in the US is medicine solely run for profit