January 31, 2004

State Travel

I've heard about this, but the first place I saw it was over at Mike Courtney's. Here's my state list.

create your own visited states map or write about it on the open travel guide

As you can see, I'm not much for the coasts. My most recent new states were New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Before that, California. Arizona/New Mexico was a band bus trip in high school. Brian and I flew into New Jersey briefly on our honeymoon (to change planes).


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January 30, 2004

Health Advice

Advice from a commentor:

"some of the posts here are ignorant. a person won't get osteoporosis or rickets. it's been found that women who drink milk get osteoporosis much more than vegan women. beer is more nutritious than milk, though i won't recommend that for kids.
the milk in the vending machines could be replaced with juices. i think it's best if the soda is also removed.

cows won't explode if not milked. the only reason they're in danger from not being milked is because they're given hormones that make them produce more milk than they naturally would, and because their calves are taken away to be made into veal. stop the hormones and let them have their calves and everything would be OK."

Refers to this old post. Commenter: PETA thanks you.


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January 29, 2004

80s, Baby

I eat cannibal
Feed on animal
Your love is so edible to me
I eat cannibals

I eat cannibal
It's incredible
You bring out the animal in me
I eat cannibals

What can you do
You're in a stew
Hot hot cook it up
I'm never gonna stop
Fancy a bite
My appetite
Yum yum gee it's fun
Banging on a different drum

This obnoxious 80's moment brought to you by Toto Coelo and angelweave.


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January 28, 2004

The Password is Broken

Venomous Kate, bless her, broke some toes a few days ago. Poor dear - it HURTS. Especially if you dislocate 'em, too - hope that wasn't the case for her. Aaron of Free Will broke his nose.

Toes. Nose. They Rhyme, and they're... Broken. Yeah, I think that's a theme, boys and girls. Broken.

Broken - an obnoxious poem
This hockey player surely knows,
And traffic stalls, no normal flows
for broken is the way it goes.

A boiler shuts the school to close
and hand displac-ed shattered foes
though broken is the way it goes.

Eh? Scammed tobacco you suppose?
ring broken down by federal pros.
Cause broken is the way it goes.

And straight from Yahoo, marriage woes
to software monopoly action grows?
Remember ladies - broken is as broken goes.

Ask Kate, ask Aaron
Each surely knows
When something been broken
nurse your toes or nose.

(Have I ever mentioned how much I hate end rhyme? I am now). Anybody else broken?


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PETA's Sittin' in the Dunk Tank

Have a softball or three.




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January 27, 2004

"Just The Way You Are"

"Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore."

Billy Joel wisdom, yes, indeed.

Not in the year 2004, evidently.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Love is not blind -- at least when it comes to facial plastic surgery.

Of people who are dating or married, 59 percent of women and 54 percent of men would like to change at least one feature on their partner's face, according to an American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery survey released on Monday.

It found that men were most likely to take suggestions about plastic surgery as an insult.
Hmm...can't think of anything I'd change on Brian. He looks better without his hat, but that's a prop. For me, I'll stick to the newfound Olay regimen. Had enough plastic surgery, seems.

The Alexandria, Virginia, academy sponsored the telephone survey Dec. 2-5 of 1,000 adults across the United States, including 738 who were dating or married. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.

Respondents said they would change their lover's hair (24 percent women, 17 percent men), wrinkles (9 percent women, 11 percent men), nose (11 percent women, 9 percent men), mouth (6 percent each), eyes (5 percent each) or ears (4 percent each).
Wonder what Virginia Postrel would have to say about that little twist in our aesthetic society - I've heard her info on when people undertake such pains for their own behest. Wonder how the spousal plastic surgery wishes (and executions) stack up to the divorce rate.


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January 25, 2004

Beware Rural Missouri

In today's Post-Dispatch, there's an article about the problem of Missouri's high number of meth labs (and addicts). The author of the article quotes a woman identified as "Christy" as saying thus:
    Christy blames herself for trying meth and for moving back to rural Missouri.
Thanks, Post-Dispatch. Without your reporting, I would never have known that rural Missouri was a place to be avoided at all costs. Residing there is dangerous as running with a bushel of machetes, as sitting in cactus groves (are they groves), as dangerous as ice skating on unfrozen ponds.



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January 24, 2004

More on Atkins and Saturated Fat

On Wednesday or Thursday, Spoons sent me the Atkins folks' rebuttal to the New York Times article.

Essentially, it states thus:
    Atkins has not changed. The basic tenets of the Atkins Nutritional ApproachTM (ANA), consistent since 1972, are to control the intake of carbohydrates, avoid refined carbs (like sugar and white flour), eat a balance of fats (including saturated fat but not trans fats) and consume a variety of protein sources, such as red meat, fish, poultry and tofu. Saturated fat remains a valuable part of the ANA. There is absolutely no scientific research to support any claims that eating red meat and saturated fat as part of your Atkins program is anything other than beneficial. These protocols have been consistently reinforced as safe, effective and beneficial and have been further supported by 17 studies released over the last three years.
I'll give them points for shaking fingers at trans-fats. But that's about it.

And I'll buy most of this.
    Millions of individuals who benefit from doing Atkins understand that the ANA is a very effective four-phase approach to healthy eating. The ANA focuses on moving people away from diets loaded with refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour to a lifestyle centered around eating whole foods and nutrient-dense carbohydrates like leafy greens, and finding a balance in the consumption of proteins and fat.
Brown rice anyone?


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If you're local, listen up.

Stray Rescue is sponsoring an animal adoption event on February 7, 2004 from 10 until 3 at the City pound. The aim is to save as many animals who are slated for gassing as possible. The animals are on the pound's "death row," if you will.

If you're considering bringing an animal (or two) into your family, do please come out and visit. This event is not yet on Stray Rescue's website. Quentin the miracle dog will be in attendance.


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January 22, 2004

I am Pac-Man!

This quiz fits me pretty well.

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Pacman.I am Pacman.

I am an aggressive sort of personality, out to get what I can, when I can. I prefer to avoid confrontation, but sometimes when it's called for, I can be a powerful character. I tend to be afflicted with munchies constantly. What Video Game Character Are You?

Thanks to LeeAnn.

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January 21, 2004

Juicy! Part Two

More Atkins repercussions. Now the orange growers are feeling some stigma.

    LAKELAND, Fla. - Tired of losing orange juice drinkers to low-carb diets, Florida's citrus growers are fighting back.
Can't you just hear that in a Monster Truck commercial voice?

hln hln

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January 20, 2004

Homonym Game

If it sounds the same, it's the homonym game.

This was my mother's thing when I was younger - homonyms, homophones. Probably why I can spell pretty well. There's there, their, and they're. And then cite, site, sight, etc.

Today's homonym had me snickering, though. It's a good one in light of the mad cow frenzy aflight within the nation.

Awful offal anyone?


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Atkins Diet, Ha Ha Ha Ha

Finally, some sense from these people! What, you say? "Watch your saturated fat intake, they say." Darn. I was just weighting, er, waiting for the lawsuits from the doe-eyed, too.

Okay, so I really mean THANK YOU! I take issue with the whole couldn't get the message across bit. I mean, there are several books out there written by Atkins himself and the Atkinettes. How difficult is it to say "Watch. Your. Saturated. Fat. Intake." Not so hard. No one tried to kill me.

In other words, Lileks is going to have to cut down to half a pig at lunch.


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January 18, 2004


Brian has pointed out that I have forgotten my name.

It's lack of blogging, people. Too much work. What can I say? I miss it. I hope to return to a regular schedule soon.

Though Louise Noggle isn't nearly as nice as Heather Louise Noggle. I think of Louise Jefferson. I'll try to return to hln posthaste.


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PETA Pirouette

Well, a week late, but here it is - the PETA round-up that can be known only as the PETA Pirouette. At this time, I'd like to thank PETA for the fodder.

Colorado Conservative notes that PETA has a beef with, er, or had.

The man we know as Trey Givens plays possum with PETA. The Patriette weighs in on this one, too.

Kevin at Eckernet notes that PETA has a strategy of trying to "piss off they very people they are trying to convince." (Thanks, Harvey).

And, speaking of Harvey, he shows us some PETA blood money.

Phillip Coons has a whole PETAphile page. Geez. I feel small time now. Thanks, LeeAnn.

From April of 2003, our PETA'd friends offer to cough up 15k for Hamburg to rename itself to Veggieburg.

From November of 2002, something that sums it all up very nicely. And the author named his blog lawroark, so you have to visit.
    But PETA takes the most ridiculous approach to trying to advance its arguments. It seems to intentionally try to alienate anyone who might be inclined to be the least bit interested in their views.
Terrorism and turkey. Aren't you sad you missed that one when it was "news"?

Shark Blog in October of 2003 posts Miss Kitty. The caption on this is that it's actually a "costume." I beg to differ. Naked woman in paint is just naked woman in paint. Didn't Wizbang! use this as a caption contest?

HD blog, which I've never seen before now, articulates PETA's stance on animal research. Animal testing bad, human disease...[baffled PETA members].

Terrorism, pork, and a PETA logo. Can't miss.

PETA and graphic comic books. Yawn.

On PETA and Clay Aiken. PETA actually amuses me here. Neuter.

Foxhunting in Ol' Virginny has an animal rights page. The Principles of the Page section. Animal Rights isn't the same as animal welfare. Yes, no kidding.

Blackfive puts Ashanti and Pamela Anderson in a cage match.

There's also a very nice snark by homicidalManiak.
    Given that my dive into Biblical history hasn't reached what I would call scholarly proportions yet it is quite possible that I missed the entire Book of PETA in the New Testament. Or maybe it's one of the non-canonical texts that has been garnering so much attention lately. In any case I have yet to run across what could be considered the "lost" beatitude:

    Blessed are the members of PETA; for multiplying two fishes to feed thousands is hard work and their abstinence decreases my workload.
And then PETA gets religious! Yes, the Virgin Mary is not exempt from PETA advertising.

From July of 2003, we learn that not much donated money actually goes to our friends the animals. Shocking!

And, ah, yes, more on the Nutcracker incident. And more.

Ugh, a PETA fanatic named Heather.

From November of 2002, the infamous smashing windows quote from PETA's own Bruce Friedrich.

From Rob's Blog we learn what we already know: people ARE more important than animals.

And, finally, this one is NOT safe for work. I bring you pics of naked PETAites and, um, a "news" article proclaiming certain catty comments. Oh, dear, I think I have porn on my computer now. I'd better reply to all that spam I get sent telling me I can shamelessly remove it without my spouse finding out. So, honey, stop reading a paragraph ago, please. (Thank you to erosblog).

Much of actual work for gleaning these posts was done by Tony of Oriental Redneck.

Any PETA post would be incomplete without mentioning the Meatriarchy.


Found two more on lunch browsing. First, Kevin at Wizbang! notes that PETA's hunting Hillary. And, Steve at AdRants highlights PETA's anti-rodeo ad. Yeehaw.


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New Blog Showcase

My votes this week go to American Amnesia for Insurgency in Iraq. and to Ivy for her commentary about a poem about paired things.


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January 14, 2004


Tuesday night. Brian and I are working back in the gym, which is completely overcrowded due to the fact it was January 13, 2004, and those resolutioners are still hard at it.

I'm a people watcher. I admit it. So when this chickadee strutted, er, walked by in her navel-baring black pantaloons that just happened to say "Juicy" in large white letters across the rump portion, I gave up the gawk.


Actually, I thought she was a bit on the skinny side. Can skinny be juicy? Is that possible? Is this advertising? Public relations? Non-subliminal messaging? Whom is she attempting to convince? Perhaps a reminder - affirmation when she clothes herself? I feel juicy, therefore I am?

So I make the obligatory snarky comment to the spouse, "Honey, I promise not to wear words across my ass." And I point. We all know pointing is rude.

In the locker room, Juicy's got said marked part parked in front of my locker. Yes, really, she does. Thanks, babe. I didn't really want to read your rear, but it was right there. Two syllables in front of my Master Lock. It brought to mind that old catchphrase for SizzleLean - "Move over bacon; now there's something meatier."

The real reason for a non-wordy ass? I'm afraid "Succulent" just might fit across mine. Or perhaps a whole sentence. Or, Hans might suggest a haiku.


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January 13, 2004

Brian and Style

My spouse has foreseen the fashion trends, according to MSN. (Well, MSN didn't state it quite that explicitly).

    Fedoras Last year it was the newsboy cap, this year it's the fedora. Not everyone can pull it off, but a men's-style fedora, especially paired with a sleek low ponytail, can be chic, polished, and warm all at the same time. Try one in a preppy tweed, like Kangol's Newmarket Trilby ($54).
Please, baby, no ponytail.

Might I direct you to the most accessible Brian-in-fedora pics? See, when he puts on the hat, you can't tell he has hair. When we met, Brian had these very thick glasses that distorted his eyes a bit (he usually wore contacts). Those are not shown in these pics, but if he put them on with the fedora, he looked like Toht, the medallion-handed villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Hence, he brought this to the world. I just thought I'd share.

Ladies and gentlemen, Toht or Not!. Don't forget to rate him!


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January 12, 2004

I Could Be Sued!

Yes, really. Heather the former music major (trumpet - betcha didn't know that) has made some serious noise in her band career. At the expense of others! Just look what Walter from Overlawyered has to bring us today.

    Not so in the European Union, where a newly promulgated rule "reduces the allowable sound exposure in the European orchestral workplace from the present 90 decibels to 85. The problem is, a symphony orchestra playing full-out can easily reach 96 to 98 decibels, and certain brass and percussion instruments have registered 130 to 140 at close range."
So, there you have it. No fortissimo for you, audience. The clarinetists might unionize and the oboeists refuse to tune.


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January 11, 2004

Beef with PETA

I had hoped to have the big collection of PETA links ready to go this weekend. Life interferred. I should have it up for you mid week, perhaps Tuesday. I'll work on it bit by bit.

In the meantime, see any more PETA posts, send 'em my way!


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New Blog Showcase

A lot of good writing again this week. Briefly, I vote for What's Grosser than Gross from American Footprint, Howard Dean Says Something, by Flummery, and You're Stupid, by Go Dubya.

Honorable mention (which is still a vote in my rules) is Proust in his first book wrote.... I really like the writer's style, though his blog name definitely goes against him. Metastatsis. Yick. I'd prefer not to.


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January 09, 2004

<themeMusic>Tales ......... Of The Bizarre</themeMusic>

Ryan sent me this today. He sits across from me at work, and he sent this via IM. Some of you might find that odd to be instant messaging the person across from you, but, really, it's not.

Okay. I'll have to pedal faster. I finished reading the Lion Attacks Bicyclist article, and I looked to the right on the web page. And that's when I saw THIS.

    SAN DIEGO -- Two women have been jailed in San Diego in an alleged poisoning plot.

    Authorities say the pair planned to use the poison ricin to kill the husband of one of the women to get insurance money. The husband is a Marine at Camp Pendleton.

    Authorities say the two women -- both 21 -- are lovers. They allegedly used a recipe they got on the Internet to cook up a small amount of the poison out of castor beans. Authorities don't suspect any terrorism ties.

    California state troopers say they found the ricin in a car the two women were riding in east of San Diego. They say the poison was in a bag.

From this point, it almost sounds like a murder novel. And then it takes a turn for the weird.

    The troopers say they also found a pistol, a handwritten ricin recipe and some castor beans. They say the women were wearing shoplifted clothing -- with the sales tags still attached.
Boy, these two are some smart chickees, no? But this is what takes the cake.

    Authorities say the two had also tried in the past to kill the husband.
Okay, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD. He's still "the husband" after one or more murder attempts?



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January 08, 2004

No, no, no! Legislators, Stop That! Rite-Aid, Restock Your Shelves!

    PORTLAND, Maine - Bottles of nicotine-laced water were pulled from the shelves of Rite Aid drug stores in Maine as legislators considered whether to ban the product.
No! Quit it. Yahoo! has the scoop.
    A Rite Aid spokeswoman said the company removed bottles of NicoWater for sale in its 80 Maine stores Wednesday night, shortly after a legislative health committee voted 6-5 for a measure to outlaw the product until it's approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites).

    The bill would need full Senate and House approval to become law.

    Jody Cook, a spokeswoman for Rite Aid, said the company decided to stop selling the product in Maine because it wanted to be a good corporate citizen. Rite Aid, based in Camp Hill, Pa., has 3,400 stores nationwide.
So, Jody, you're going to pull cigarettes from your shelves, you good corporate citizen, right?

    State Sen. John Martin took aim at NicoWater last spring when he saw ads touting the product as a cigarette substitute for people who have nicotine cravings in non-smoking environments.

    The product is sold in four-packs of half-liter bottles, each of which has 4 mg of nicotine, an amount equal to that in two cigarettes. Martin said NicoWater poses a threat, especially to children, and carries no health benefits.
No health benefits? You're a fool, Martin. It's WATER. And if it stops a smoker from smoking and gives him or her the fix, of COURSE there's a health benefit. Oh, but we're doing this for the "children," aren't we? It threatens them so. Tomorrow "it" will be a single Kit-Kat.

Free NicoWater (but I'll stick with Ice Mountain, thanks).


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January 06, 2004

Blogging Update - PETA request

I'm way behind on blogroll updates and site maintenance and all of that other stuff that's supposed to gain one new readers and retain the current.

I'm sorry. I miss it. I'm just so dang busy, and it doesn't look like it'll abate until late this month or early next. I won't add a foreboding "if at all" because I'm an optimist.

Even the workouts have suffered. Only two sets of everything tonight.

I have an idea. I haven't done a PETA post in ages. But I've seen a bunch out there in passing. Please send me links to PETA posts on other blogs that you've seen (or ones you've written). And then I'll need a name for the linkfest!


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My Modeling Career

Hey, boys and girls! I'm gonna try out!

Or not.

Silliness aside, I think it's a great idea. Get more people to the gym. Now, if we can just get some of the silly macho-but-not-really-in-shape men to stop grunting and lifting with obscene amounts of momentum instead of muscle, perhaps they'll stay.

hln hln

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Good Thing I'm Not a Domestic Engineer, Too

Snarky spouse Brian J. gives you a peek into his work life with his post Thank Goodness Software "Engineers" Aren't Civil Engineers.

The permalink is broken, but it's a top post. Brian forgot to sell a piece of his soul to Blogger AGAIN this month.

About the Domestic Engineer thing - I can't fold t-shirts. Enough said.


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Come Dancing?

Okay, that's not funny if you've just been shot in the leg.

Please don't tell me that the lady's name is Lola.

God save the Village Green.

(Get better Ray).


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January 04, 2004

Open and Closed

And so this evening, I'm on the phone with the Venerable Mother, and we're talking about jury duty. Which she has tomorrow. Here in St. Louis, it's done pretty efficiently. I actually served in September of 2002 on a two-day trial.

So we're discussing the particulars of our different Missouri counties, and somehow I mentioned the voir dire process and what they asked me. One of the questions was "Do you believe that a person can be in chronic pain?"

The answer is yes. And I believe that my answer of "yes" is the only thing that kept me on the jury panel. And the reason for the yes is that my father had some pretty bad back problems stemming from multiple things including a back surgery around 1981. He was diganosed with arachnoiditis, retired early, and had to complete a daily regimen of exercises just to slow the increase in symptoms. But this is actually a digression. My mother asked me about me and TMJ, which is a byproduct of the parotid surgery (only on the right side). "Naaaa," I said. I've really only had about one month or so where it was anywhere near chronic. Strangely, that was in 1994 - a couple of years after the surgery, so I'm not sure it makes any sense.

The point of all this, you ask? Well, I said to the Venerable Mother, "It really only hurts to the point of being excruciating when I'm at the dentist and have to keep my mouth open for an hour or more."

And she said, "Well, it hurts when I have to keep my mouth closed for an hour or more." For, you see, folks, my mother is QUITE the talker.

Much laughter ensued, and I said, "Can I quote you on that?" And she said, "sure."

And there you have it. Immortalized.


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New Blog Showcase

Two votes this week - one for Robert Holcomb's "We're the Best Candidate" and one for The Surly Guy's So Your Heroes Have Always Been Serial Killers.


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January 02, 2004

Give this Guy a Medal!

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With self-refilling bowls of soup and jumbo buckets of stale popcorn, professor Brian Wansink has identified one culprit for U.S. obesity: excessive food portions.
In an article entitled "Researcher Links Obesity, Food Portions," this brilliant new discovery (and others) are set forth for our perusal and education.

    In the soup experiment, participants come to the lab expecting a taste test. Some bowls are rigged with hidden tubes that keep them full, while others are not.

    Over two years of the experiment, students with bottomless bowls tended to eat 40 percent more than test subjects with regular bowls.
Wow - amazing! This guy ought to move to Detroit for further studies of the obese creature. Actually, anybody who wants to look thinner compared to the population might want to consider moving to Detroit.

But back on topic:
    Wansink and other researchers hope the results can help the federal government devise more user-friendly nutrition labels for packaged foods. For example, instead of stating that a handful of granola has 200 calories, the label instead could say the consumer would have to walk 2 miles to burn it off.
Uh, Dr. or Mr. Wansink, please retrieve your brain from the water closet. I mean, really. Might I remind you that humans require energy from food? And while I agree measuring food portions to the gram does point toward the absurd, just...just...just STOP!

There's more.
    An experiment with Lay's Stax potato chips gave one group regular chips, a second group chips in which every seventh chip was red, and a third group chips in which every 14th chip was red.

    The groups weren't told the reason for the red chips but still used them to determine how much to eat, Wansink said. The participants who ate the least had the potato chips in which every seventh chip was red, followed by the group in which every 14th chip was red.
Sesame Street for portion control. Everybody count to 14!


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January 01, 2004

Leave it to New York

Hey - Happy New Year. Welcome to 2004's first rant.

And this is a rant. New York - the state this time - in time for this joyous New Year has decided to regulate carelessness. No, really, it did. I promise. And it feels good about itself.

    ALBANY, N.Y. - To prevent house fires set by careless smokers, New York state has adopted the nation's first rules mandating that cigarettes sold in the state must be rolled with lower-ignition paper.

    The so-called "fire-safe" cigarettes will extinguish by themselves if not puffed on, and advocates say they will prevent many of the fires now triggered by smokers who leave cigarettes unattended.
I love it - "fire-safe" cigarettes. I'm not a smoker, so perhaps I misunderstand the meaning there. Aren't cigarettes tobacco in a nice/friendly hand-holdable form intended for personal burning. Don't humans light those things on fire? Perhaps I'm missing something.

And that's just a slight eye-rolling statement. Next, there's this:
    "This could be the beginning of a global standard for cigarettes," said Blair Horner, legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group. "If New York goes ahead, it will drive a national debate because tobacco companies are not going to make one set of cigarettes for New York and one for the rest of the U.S. And if the U.S. sets standards, those will be standards for the entire globe."
What a gargantuan victory! We have yet again outsmarted Darwin. The crowd hoorays! New York, you paragon of forerunning; you visionary!

    Every year approximately 900 Americans die, 2,500 are injured and $400 million in damage is caused by fires started by cigarettes, according to the American Burn Association and the federal government.

    The lower-ignition paper does nothing to reduce the toxicity of cigarettes to smokers or to reduce the health effects of smoking.
Wow - I'm certain we all would never have slept a wink last night if we knew that. And I especially love the little "disclaimer" that apparently tells those of us who list ourselves among the clueless that, hey, moron, "safer cigarette" doesn't mean "safer CIGARETTE."

You know - I have an idea. New York - why don't you just ban the damned things altogether. Next year on New Year's Eve? Okay. If you're gonna meddle in your shopkeepers' lives and tell them what they can and cannot sell, might as well REALLY regulate, no?

I'm only have joking. I'm only half serious. I suppose I should be glad that the news today is this absolutely inane. (You're not even reading anymore, are you?) Brian opened the newspaper this morning and noted the cover story. I gave him a blank look, like, so what? He said yes, nothing blew up.

Good point.


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