Jeff Eldridge wants to ban Barbie

It’s Barbie’s 50th birthday this year. What to get the doll that has everything — multiple careers, houses, electronics, automobiles, wardrobes, accessories, tattoos and a real life fashion show? Legislation! A West Virginian lawmaker wants to outlaw the doll.

Associated Press is reporting:

Just in time for Barbie’s 50th birthday, a West Virginia lawmaker wants to outlaw the doll.

Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge is proposing to ban the sale of the Mattel doll and others like her in West Virginia.

He says the dolls influence girls to place too much importance on
physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional
development.

He joins others who have criticized the doll over the years for promoting materialism and an unnatural body image.

Barbie turns 50 on March 9, and the toy maker has made big plans this year to mark the anniversary.

Related link: Her perpetually arched and tippy-toed feet

Daylight Saving Time

Photo courtesy of zingbeauty

Do you know why we set our clocks ahead an hour in spring, why we “spring forward”?

Daylight Saving Time did not, as many people think, originate with Benjamin Franklin. The letter he published in 1784, suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight, also included proposals to tax shutters, ration candles, and wake the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise The letter was satire and not intended to be taken seriously.


Daylight Saving Time inventor disliked cutting short his golf round at dusk

According to Wikipedia:

The prominent English builder and outdoorsman William Willett conceived DST in 1905 during a pre-breakfast ride, when he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer day. An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. His solution was to advance the clock during the summer months, a proposal he published two years later. He lobbied unsuccessfully for the proposal until his death in 1915.

Shortly after his death, in 1916, Germany, its World War I allies, and their occupied zones were the first European nations to use
Willett’s invention, starting April 30, 1916. Britain, most of its
allies, and many European neutrals soon followed suit. Russia and a few
other countries waited until the next year; and the United States
adopted it in 1918. Since then, the world has seen many enactments,
adjustments, and repeals.

So, because William Willett wanted to extend his game of golf (and following the lead of World War I Germany), I have to get up an hour earlier? Kvetch and grumble!

If you are groggy this morning because of springing forward, I tilt my coffee mug to you in solidarity, empathize with your forced conformity to extra-early-birdness and direct your attention to the following links that may be of interest:

Daylight Saving Time actually raises utility bills
Daylight Saving Time wastes energy, study says
Daylight Saving Time related health concerns
End Daylight Savings Time

The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow in Cabinet des Fées

The March issue of Cabinet des Fées, a fairy tale journal with a mixture of academia, reviews, fiction and poetry, has a review of The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow.

The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow
Annette Marie Hyder, 2007
Reviewed by Erzebet YellowBoy
In The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow, Annette Marie
Hyder has put together a neatly packaged “collection of poems, stories
and mythos miscellany” in which she explores the archetypal meanings of
some of our best-loved fairy tales. Culling references from such
diverse fields as mathematics, folklore, botany, myth, religion and
more, Hyder provides us with a wealth of information packed into the
book’s 159 pages. Read more…

Other books being reviewed in this issue include:

Caribou Coffee/ Great Harvest Breads

By Annette Marie Hyder
Previously published in The Green Tricycle

A visit to the bread store
that adjoins the coffee shop
on a snowy day

warming my nose
with the smell of fresh baking
and a dark roasted’s curl of steam
gives me food for thought.

I chew on the image
of the sky’s apron
being shaken till clean.

The flour dust,
resulting fuss and muss,
mean something good is coming.

The messy kitchen
means a frazzled cook
is busy preparing spring.

Free espresso at Caribou this Sunday and Monday

City Pages reports:

Here’s one thing that’ll help make up for the hour of sleep you’re
going to lose between Saturday night and Sunday morning: Caribou Coffee
Co. will be giving out free shots of espresso.

This
coming Sunday and Monday, March 8 and 9, customers can have a free solo
shot of espresso or have a free shot of espresso added to any drink
during business hours at any Caribou Coffee location. Not a bad way to put a little “spring forward” in your step!

Franken burgers?


Photo copyright Jasmine Rain H.

Coming soon: Burger Jones

There used to be an Applebee’s here. They had the unbelievably best margaritas. I know. Applebee’s and exceptionally fine margaritas? Incredible but true, this particular Applebee’s did indeed surpass any restaurant in town when it came to the “Perfect Margarita.” The buy-1-get-free drink special was a beautiful thing to share with friends. And the endless chips and salsa accompaniment? I’m welling a tear just thinking about it.

Now there is a restaurant under construction on this very spot on Lake Street near Calhoun Lake, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I think the logo guy looks like Al Franken. Franken burger, anyone? Here’s an update on the recount.

Related link:
A wrestler and a comedian

The right to bare arms (follow up)

Bonnie Fuller has a great blog over at Huffington Post. She asks, in her post titled, Michelle Obama’s Sleevegate: Why can’t America Handle Her Bare Arms?:

Is Michelle Obama supposed to wear a burka? Since when are a woman’s
arms considered an erogenous zone here in America? Why would it be
inappropriate for the First Lady to attend her husband’s address to
Congress in a beautiful, purple Narcisco Rodriguez SLEEVELESS dress?

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Ms. Fuller goes on to remind us that those who have raised the question of propriety, should check out a history book because one of America’s
most fashionable previous First Ladies, Jacqueline Kennedy, practically
made sleeveless looks her uniform, whether they were dresses or two
piece shirt and skirt ensembles.

Ms. Fuller also makes this observation:

Michelle’s
sleevelessness conveys the fact that she is ready to get to work as
First Lady, doing everything that she can to help the American public.
It’s her variation on the look that men use to visually telegraph the
fact that they are hard at work on important business. When the
President is rolling up his shirt sleeves, we know we’re being told
that his job is far more than ceremonial. Michelle’s saying that exact
same thing.

Michelle’s also giving us another not-so-subtle message — she’s strong and tough. Those arms with their well-defined biceps 
(and let’s not fail to mention her beautifully sculpted shoulders) look
powerful enough to wrap around a distressed nation and lift it up.

Read the entire article here.

Related link:
Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama

McNuggets 911 call


Photo courtesy The Smoking Gun

McNuggets enthusiast

A Florida woman called 911 three times after McDonald’s employees told her they were out of McNuggets.

The Associated Press reports:

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A police report said
27-year-old Fort Pierce resident Latreasa L. Goodman told authorities
she paid for a 10-piece last week but was later informed the restaurant
had run out.

She says she was
refused a refund and told all sales were final. A cashier told police
she offered Goodman a larger portion of different food for the same
price, but Goodman became irate.

Police say Goodman was cited on a misuse of 911 charge. A current phone listing for Goodman couldn’t be found.

A McDonald’s spokesman says Goodman should have been given a refund, and she’s being sent a gift card for a free meal.

TMZ.com: Listen to 911 Calls

Bad customer service is not a reason to call 911

OK, yes. This is darn funny. But I have to say that I would be outraged too if I chose something to purchase, paid money for my choice of purchase and then was told that I could not have what I agreed to purchase — nor could I have my money back. What the heck?

If Ms. Goodman had taken food without paying for it, McDonald’s could have called the police on her. But McDonald’s could take her money without providing the item she intended to purchase, with no repercussions? Ms. Goodman did not even receive the goods she sought to purchase but her money, she was told, would not be given back to her.

Bad customer service is not a reason to call 911, but can you call the police for “McNuggets fraud”?

Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten into legal trouble if she had called the police directly instead of using the emergency -only 911 line. But really, what can a consumer do in a case like that?


What to do if you’ve been had

I came across a great article about 7 steps you can take if you’ve been scammed. The article is from Time Out New York, but the steps outlined are not limited to residents of New York and you could apply them to your own situation if you found yourself being scammed. Here’s a link: The TONY 311: What to do if you’ve been had.

Rules of return

McDonald’s is admitting that Ms. Goodman should have been given a refund. In doing so, they are in alignment with Florida law.

In Florida, where the McNuggets fiasco occurred, if the seller has a no-refund policy, such a statement must
be posted in a store. If a no-refund policy isn’t posted, you may
return unused goods in the original packaging within seven days for a
full refund.

You can read about the law here.


Related links:

The Smoking Gun’s account of McNuggets “Emergency”

Man calls 911 over displeasure with Burger King order

Pink dolphin photographed


Photo courtesy of The Guardian

Not sheer pink or light pink or blush pink or coral, but really pink — bubble gum  pink, cotton candy pink, Barbie high heels pink — a pink so pink it looks fake.

This pink dolphin has been photographed by charter boat Captain Erik Rue, 42, who has
been studying the dolphin since it first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an
inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in south-west
Louisiana. Rue originally saw the rare albino dolphin, which also has
reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins.

The Guardian reports:

A rare pink bottlenose dolphin has been spotted in a Louisiana lake.
The albino dolphin has been making a splash with locals and visitors to
the area since it was first spotted last year.

“I just
happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a
little lighter … I had never seen anything like it. It’s the same
colour throughout the whole body,” said Rue.

“The dolphin appears
to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite
beautiful and stunningly pink,” Rue said he had seen the dolphin 40 to
50 times.

“As time has passed the young mammal has grown and
sometimes ventures away from its mother to feed and play but always
remains in the vicinity of the pod,” he said

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a senior biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: “I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career.”

“It
is a truly beautiful dolphin but people should be careful, as with any
dolphins, to respect it – observe from a distance, limit their time
watching, don’t chase or harass it.”

Read the entire article here.

Tidal Wave
Annette Marie Hyder
Previously published in The Cayuse Press

Love was a goddess
a body of water
large and salty and brown.

Her surface puckered
dimpled and moved
in synchrony
with your hands.

She transfixed you
with her trident
and tsunami strength.

That she was brown,
muddy, from all of her
vast experience
her churned up depths
made you long
for muddiness too.

Warned
of her sucking whirlpools
and teeth like rocks,
her entangling seaweed hair
you hurled yourself
in a dolphin’s
or porpoise’s
perfect arching dive.

The fear
that you could drown —
a feathered lure —
ticked your fancy.

Your only wish
to be buried at sea.