Sunday, February 28, 2010

8.8 Chilean Earthquake 500 Times More Powerful than Haiti

From Denny: Yesterday, the country of Chile experienced a mind-numbing 8.8 magnitude earthquake. It tore apart over 1.5 million homes, bridges and highways in central Chile. Over 90 aftershocks followed. The 8.8 earthquake was felt 1,800 miles away in Sao Paulo, Brazil to the east.

In the capitol city of Santiago, 200 miles away and to the northeast from the epicenter (which was out at sea off the coast), there was damage:

Santiago airport with smashed windows, collapsed walkways, torn ceilings
Fine Arts Museum, badly damaged
several hospitals, no details as to damage

Chile's main seaport, in Valparaiso about 75 miles from Santiago:

two oil refineries shut down production - to restart large plants like this can take a month.
copper mines shut down production

The city of Concepcion was hardest hit along with the major port city of Talcahuano. With a major port damaged like this it could be difficult to get supplies to those most in need.

Haiti's was a 7.0 magnitude. The point spread doesn't sound like much until you realize that the difference is 500 times greater in ferocity. It's amazing any buildings are standing and more people were not killed. Right now that's about 708 in estimates because the Chilean Navy did not warn coastal villagers of an impending tsunami right after the earthquake. They did not have time to flee to the hills and many died needlessly.

Chile's coastal areas devastated by the large waves:

San Juan Bautista village on Robinson Crusoe Island
The port of Talcahuano
Vichato in the BioBio region

The surge of Pacific Ocean water affected 53 nations as they posted tsunami warnings. Hawaii dodged the negative effects of tsunami waves but they were prepared. They warned and evacuated for the "just in case" scenario. Hilo International Airport was closed as a precaution because it is located on the shore.

By today, it was estimated that over two million people have been displaced from their homes. They have not yet given figues on how many businesses are shut down and how many people are out of work. Like in Haiti, these may prove to be dire times for Chile. Why does the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, not accept immediate help from other countries like America who are standing by with rescue teams and relief efforts? As it has proven difficult in Haiti to setup and feed three million displaced people, so it will prove a problem in Chile in the coming weeks. It's best to jump on that problem now rather than wait.

For those with electricity in Chile, this is the news they awoke to find about the earthquake, raw news footage:

Assessing the damage done to historical sites:

From ITN News an aerial view of the devastation:

Here is video of looting. Do you think these people watched all the news coverage about Haiti and realized it will be weeks - if ever - before help arrives? Most people would loot for food and supplies too, knowing help may not come in time.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Funny Best of the Week Political Cartoons 27 Feb 2010

From Denny: Every week I collect the best political cartoons and roll them into one funny post. To best enjoy them on a wider blog template that displays well, go here:

Funny Political Cartoons: Political Olympics, Broken Government, Lampooning Toyota - 27 Feb 2010

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where is the Best Place to Rivet Our Focus?

*** Views today: 5,095 - Thank You!

From Denny: Have you ever stopped to think about how our modern day culture wastes far too much time dwelling upon the past or worrying about the uncertain future? Living in the present "Now" is wise and makes Life a whole lot more manageable.

Better yet, instead of allowing outside pressures and forces to pull us out of balance, place your focus where it is the most powerful: within. Focusing our minds and inner eye upon what lies within us creates strength to live purposefully and with less stress in our daily lives.

Balance is all about keeping our focus well tuned and well trained to withstand Life's storms. Look within and discover an incredible world full of riches.


* What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

8 Funny Advice Quotes About Sleeping

*** Views today: 3,836 - Thank You!

Sleeping lion Photo by travlinman43 @ flickr

From Denny: Here's a sampling of the funny quotes about the subject of sleep for you to get a chuckle of the moment. For the full huge post of funnies with great photos over at The Social Poets for Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

The best Life advice:

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. - William Blake

Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. - Marian Wright Edelman

Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. - Herman Melville

Sleeping boy at the table where sometimes sleep wins out over food Photo by @ flickr

Best Interesting Observations:

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. - Anthony Burgess

From time immemorial artistic insights have been revealed to artists in their sleep and in dreams, so that at all times they ardently desired them. – Paracelsus

We are not hypocrites in our sleep. - William Hazlitt

Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death. - Arthur Schopenhauer

There is only one thing people like that is good for them - a good night's sleep. - Edgar Watson Howe

*** For the full huge post of funnies with great photos over at The Social Poets for Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What Are Your Impediments to Success?

From Denny: How often do we ask ourselves how we are going to get something done? Especially when we don't have the knowledge or acquired skills to do the job?

It's frustration, that's for sure. But don't let that frustration of what you don't know stop you. Learn to think on your feet and research what you do need to know. There's no sense of staying in the dark about a subject; learn it. Teach yourself the skills you need to accomplish what you desire to do.

It is easy to get paralyzed with fear when we are unfamiliar with a situation and not in control of our environment. You get control back by doing what you already know how to do. It releases you to be active.

As you are open to learning new things, others will be drawn to you to give you the information you require. Keeping an open heart and open mind does wonders for pushing away fears and helping us navigate the uncertain waters of a life challenge.


* Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. - John Wooden

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Do You Treat Your Ideas Like Beautiful Magic?

From Denny: There are a lot of great ideas that end up in the trash because they were not properly watered and helped to grow into the fullness of your vision.

Take the time and use your talent to work with your idea. Sure it will change direction and maybe alter its course as you work with it. Keep working with it until that idea comes into full flower, even in ways you did not imagine. It's all good!


* An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. - Bill Bernbach

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

*** Views today: 5,311 - Thank You!

From Denny: Lots of funny cartoons this week by cartoonists using the Olympic theme as a metaphor for politics and more. Plenty of grins!

Unfortunately, on this blog's template these very wide cartoons don't display well, cutting off about 20% on the right - often where the joke line is depicted. Since you don't want to miss out on all the fun from the best of this week's political humor from some of the best cartoonists in the world, I'm providing a link to those blogs with wider templates to view these cartoons properly.

Yeah, I know, why don't I just shrink them? Can't. You aren't allowed to change the original embed code. One of these days these guys will realize they need to offer two sizes for bloggers. Until then you can enjoy them over at The Social Poets every Saturday! :) (I do keep a regular link on this blog over to The Social Poets in case you forget.)

The Social Poets - 42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

Additional blogs where the cartoons are featured for this week:

Dennys Funny Quotes

Visual Insights photo blog

Unusual 2 Tasty food blog

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

Take a look at two of this week's offerings:

Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama enraged the control freak Chinese:


42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

Additional blogs where the cartoons are featured for this week:

Dennys Funny Quotes

Visual Insights photo blog

Unusual 2 Tasty food blog

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a huge shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Do You Know Your Failures as Your Best Successes?

*** Views today: 3,308 - Thank You!

From Denny: How often do we hear someone talking about how they learned more from their failures than they did from their successes? Many of us get into this silly thinking that life is supposed to go a certain way, our way, and we try to too tightly control it.

When life is micro managed we lose out on the unexpected unmanageable surprises! It's those surprises that inspire us, sometimes helping us alter our course for greater success.

Never look a failure in the face and tell it to go away. Instead, invite it over for dinner and a drink and have an all night party to celebrate. Years later when the pieces of your life begin to make more sense you will know that seeming failure to be one of your successes. Live life to the fullest!


* Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses. – actress Rosalind Russell

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

How is Your Dream Vision Impacted by Life Challenges?

*** Views today: 3,449 - Thank You!

From Denny: Have you ever felt restless and didn't know why? After you ran down a list of "maybe whys" it still didn't make any sense. Too often we have these strong desires pulling us but without the intellectual explanation to help us make sense of it all.

When one life test after another gets heaped onto us we grouse and worry how we will get through it. We always do get through it, even when it was the darkest. Suddenly, we turn around one day when there is a quiet calm lull in our life and we realize that we have arrived at the very place we most desired to be. Our vision was fulfilled. Our vision was fulfilled in a manner unexpected and with far greater turmoil than we would have scripted for ourselves. Yet here we are!


* Vision doesn't usually come as a lightening bolt. Rather it comes as a slow crystallization of life challenges that we one day recognize as a beautiful diamond with great value to ourselves and others. - Dr. Michael Norwood

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Evidence of the Afterlife: New Book Offers Proof

*** Views today: 2,750 - Thank You!

From Denny: There's a new book out with research from a study and recounting near death experience stories. It's from an author in my part of the country, Louisiana, Dr. Jeffrey Long who researched this subject and the new book is called "Evidence of the Afterlife."

Reincarnation, near death and after life experiences are often controversial, especially to those who have not experienced the phenomenon. Previously, medical researchers tried to explain away those experiences by declaring the brain was on overload while dying and that explains "the light." What they should have said is "I don't really know." One person's truth is not always someone else's truth - until it happens to them.

I applaud this doctor, a radiation oncologist, for daring to step out there and investigate this subject. He collected more than 1,300 stories from people all over the world.

He offers this book up as proof the afterlife exists, writing there are at least nine lines of evidence and here are two of those lines of proof:

1. People blind from birth have visual near death experiences.

2. His study was with young children with no previous knowledge of the subject, ages 5 to 9, and their near death experiences were identical to that of older children and adults.

Mary Jo Rapini recounts her experience in this video. Previous to her near death experience she had been a skeptic who worked with dying cancer patients who repeatedly told her of their experiences.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What One Attitude is the Pivotal Point of Achieving Success?

Churchill as a young man in 1895

From Denny: This success quote comes from a world leader who was harshly tested during World War Two, Winston Churchill. If anyone understood adversity it was this man. His own peers and the public constantly challenged his wisdom.

When Churchill first saw what was new technology in his time period, airplanes, he figured out quickly that England needed to invest in that technology for military purposes, especially since it was clear to him that Germany was years ahead in that technology and could pose a military threat. He was shouted down and denounced as a dreaming fool. Years later, along came the war and suddenly the government turned to him as the prophet in the wilderness who spoke the truth. Had England listened and prepared as this man had told them, who knows, maybe the Americans would never have needed to enter the war to defend their ally, the United Kingdom.

Churchill well understood what it was to fail and fail again no matter how accurate he was, no matter how softly he pedaled the truth. It's human nature that people don't like change and we don't like to change quick fast and in a hurry as a situation arises that requires just that mindset.

Churchill persevered and keep a good attitude too. Now that's success!


* Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. - Sir Winston Churchill

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Funny Mardi Gras Quotes, Who Dat Rocking Saints Songs

*** New Orleans knows how to celebrate! Join the fun, listen to the rocking great Saints songs from hip hop to country, laugh at the outrageous costumes eagerly anticipated during Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, and, oh yeah, read some funny and serious Mardi Gras quotes to learn how the custom developed over time. Marvel at the resiliency of the people through tough times.

From Denny: Oh, to explain the Louisiana culture to someone who has never visited... :) It can get a bit raucous during the Mardi Gras Carnival season. The most family friendly parades are in Lafayette, the capital city of Baton Rouge and the smaller venues throughout the state if that's your preference.

Though since Hurricane Katrina many neighborhoods in New Orleans have organized their own more family friendly parades to counterbalance the general debauchery that tends to go on more from the tourists than the locals during Carnival season. Yeah, that's what we tell ourselves every year... :)

Day time Mardi Gras parade photo by @ flickr

Fine art Melon Babe by Infrogmation @ flickr

Right now Mardi Gras started early with the Super Bowl win of the Cinderella team the New Orleans Saints. What a celebration it is! The whole state stayed awake the night of the win as none of us could sleep even if we weren't partying in the French Quarter.

The word is over 270 Baton Rouge teachers called in sick Monday morning after the win because they partied just a little too much in New Orleans after the Super Bowl win. That's the beauty of living in Baton Rouge. Within an hour's drive you can party to the east in New Orleans or go west and party in Lafayette where they host some wonderful international music festivals.

Rocking great song captures the spirit of New Orleans:

The parade thrown last night for the Saints was nothing short of spectacular as Mardi Gras folks threw it together literally on a moment's notice. Trust me; no one in America, not even the Macy's Parade organization could have put together a full blown parade this fast. New Orleans is accustomed to living on the edge and rose to the occasion.

Country version of New Orleans song:

This video is from right before the Saints won against the Arizona Cardinals in a play-off game for the NFC Championship Title - after that was won another win against the Minnesota Vikings, sending the Saints to the Super Bowl - another unexpected win! Watch it just to learn about why the fans are wearing paper bags over their heads during the games. :)

Enjoy the funny costumes from Mardi Gras this year!

Funny Quotes

* I have 2,000 gospel singers and 35 Mardi Gras Indian tribes. You can't just call an agent and order them up.” - Quint Davis

* Mardi Gras starts tomorrow in New Orleans. Talk about perfect timing. Those truckloads of ice from FEMA just showed up. - Bill Maher

* This Mardi Gras will be a little different. This year when drunks yell up at the balcony, 'Show us your boobs!' Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff walk out. - Bill Maher

* Mardi Gras is going on in New Orleans. Actually it's scaled down quite a bit. Now when you throw a bead, women only flash one boob. - Jay Leno

* Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, and of course, this being America, it will be followed by Even Fatter Wednesday, Obese Thursday and Fat-A$$ Friday. - Jay Leno

Mardi Gras feathers by Infrogmation @ flickr

* It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Everybody has Mardi Gras fever. I was watching the 'Today' show earlier today and Tom Cruise was lecturing Matt Lauer about jambalaya. - David Letterman

* They have the big parade down in New Orleans and this year FEMA has a float, but it's not expected 'til labor day. - David Letterman

* In New Orleans, the Paris Casino reopened and officials are calling it a sign of progress. If you didn't lose your house before, you can now. - Jay Leno

* In his speech President Bush said we need to rebuild Iraq, provide the people with jobs, and give them hope. If it works there maybe we'll try it in New Orleans. - Jay Leno

* The first baby has been born in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, they named it FEMA because it finally showed up after nine months. - Jay Leno

* Pakistan had one of the worst natural disasters ever, up to 50,000 people dead after an earthquake this week. But of course it's not a resort, no supermodels like the tsunami, so it doesn't really get covered. But other nations are trying to help. They've offered food, medicine, corpse-sniffing dogs. New Orleans sent a volunteer team of cops to beat the crap out of survivors. - Bill Maher

* You know I love New Orleans, they're vowing to hold Mardi Gras this year come hell or -- no pun -- high water. This is interesting, they've always had a Mardi Gras drink called the Hurricane. They're not going to serve that this year, but they've got a new one called the FEMA. It's strong, it hits you about a week later. - Bill Maher

* They say the toxic water and sludge smells so bad in New Orleans that they're thinking of renaming the city Newark. - Jay Leno

* The president said much of the aid is going towards job training. And when they heard that, the people of New Orleans rose as one and said, 'Can we start with you?' - Bill Maher

* Bush called the rebuilding of New Orleans one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen, second only to Cher. - Jay Leno

* The rebuilding of New Orleans is already underway. The relief and reconstruction contracts for rebuilding the city have already been awarded, many of them no bid. Among the recipients, major Republican contributors Bechtel and Fluor, the Shaw Group, client of Joe Allbaugh, ex-FEMA head, and, of course, come on, don't be shy, say it with me -- Halliburton. - Jon Stewart

* President Bush toured New Orleans. He saw something that was below sea level: his approval ratings. - Jay Leno

* Taking a page from their tsunami playbook, the White House announced today that former presidents Bush and Bill Clinton will head up the fundraising efforts for the hurricane relief. And you know, Bill Clinton is no stranger to this kind of thing. He was once visiting the French Quarter during a hurricane and got blown behind a dumpster. - Bill Maher

* But hey, it is New Orleans. Watching today, I could tell that this city has not lost its hope. It has not lost its distinctive pluck, because every time rescue teams would toss supplies to people, women flashed their breasts. - Bill Maher

Rebuild Revive New Orleans photo by howieluvzus @ flickr

These are some serious quotes. What Mark Twain, Louis Armstrong, Calvin Trillin and others have had to say about New Orleans's most raucous cultural ritual. These quotes describe the history, the culture, the visceral atmostphere of the New Orleans festival.

Cultural Quotes

* The Roman Carnival and other European Carnivals, all of which begin to be reported with frequency only in the 14th century, have no documentable connection with ancient [Greek and Roman] festivities.

It was easy enough for 15th and 16th century reformers to associate with pagan materialism and sensuality the boisterous games and bodily self-indulgence that developed in Carnival. From the 16th century onwards city and state authorities in both Catholic and Protestant areas sometimes found it useful to support the mistaken notion of pagan origins in their efforts to suppress the festival's disorderliness.

The Bacchanalia, Saturnalia, Lupercalia, and so on, however frequently they may be invoked in the Gulf Coast parades or in Sunday-supplement explanations of the festivity, have nothing to do with the historical origin of Mardi Gras or the origins of its origin in Europe's Carnivals. - Carnival, American Style: Mardi Gras at New Orleans and Mobile (University of Chicago Press, 1990), by Samuel Kinser

* At 9 o'clock, or thereabouts, the flare of torchlights shattered the darkness of Magazine and Julia Streets, bands burst into symphony, and the Mistick Krewe stood revealed — a company of demons, rich and realistic, moving in a procession that seemed to blaze from some secret chamber of the earth.

They came! Led by the festive Comus, high on his royal seat, and Satan, high on a hill, far blazing as a mount, with pyramids and towers from diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; the palace of great Lucifer. The demon actors in Milton's Paradise Lost. The first torchlit scenic procession in New Orleans, a revolution in street pageantry, a revelation in artistic effects. - The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin (Carnival Press, 1931), by Perry Young

* [In 1857,] the Mistick Krewe [Comus] introduced spectacle to the streets of New Orleans, and Carnival was forever changed. Comus would not only reappear every Mardi Gras night, he would do so amid flames and smoking flares of moving theater, and each year he would present new visions to astonish a population long nourished on masquerades, parades, and stagecraft. With the advent of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the festivities of Mardi Gras were ended with public ceremony of pomp and bombast, with mystery, artistry, and ritual splendor. - Mardi Gras: New Orleans (Flammarion, 1997), by Henri Schindler

* The night cometh in which we take no note of time, and forget that we are living in a practical age which relegates romance to printed pages and merriment to the stage. Yet what is more romantic than the Night of the Masked Ball — the too brief hours of light, music, and fantastic merriment which seem to belong to no age and yet to all?

Somehow or other, in spite of all the noisy frolic of such nights, the spectacle of a Mardi Gras Ball impresses one at moments as a ghastly and unreal scene. The apparitions of figures which belong to other ages; the Venetian mysteries of the domino; the witcheries of beauty half-veiled; the tantalizing salutes from enigmatic figures you cannot recognize; the pretty mockeries whispered into your ear by some ruddy lips whose syllabling seems so strangely familiar and yet defies recognition; the King himself seated above the shifting rout impenetrable as a Sphinx; and the kaleidoscopic changing and flashing of colors as the merry crowd whirls and sways under the musical breath of the orchestra — seem hardly real, hardly possible to belong in any manner to the prosaic life of the century.

Even the few impassioned spectators who remain maskless and motionless form so strange a contrast that they seem like watchers in a haunted palace silently gazing upon a shadowy festival which occurs only once a year in the great hall exactly between the hours of twelve and three. While the most beautiful class of costumes seem ghostly only in that they really belong to past ages, the more grotesque and outlandish sort seem strangely suggestive of a goblin festival.

And above all the charms of the domino! Does it not seem magical that a woman can, by a little bright velvet and shimmering silk, thus make herself into a fairy? And the glorious Night is approaching — this quaint, old-time night, star-jeweled, fantastically robed; and the blue river is bearing us fleets of white boats thronged with strangers who doubtless are dreaming of lights and music, the tepid, perfumed air of Rex's palace, and the motley route of merry ghosts, droll goblins, and sweet fairies, who will dance the dance of Carnival until blue day puts out at once the trembling tapers of the stars and the lights of the great ball. - The Dawn of the Carnival (The New Orleans Item, February 2, 1880), by Lafcadio Hearn

* Carnival is a butterfly of winter whose last real flight of Mardi Gras forever ends his glory. Another season is the season of another butterfly, and the tattered, scattered, fragments of rainbow wings are in turn the record of his day. - The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin, by Perry Young

* The celebration of Mardi Gras is an episode that never becomes stale to the people of the city, however monotonous the description or even the enumeration of its entertainments appears to strangers. At any age it makes a Creole woman young to remember it as she saw it at eighteen; and the description of what it appeared to the eyes of eighteen, would be, perhaps, the only fair description of it, for if Mardi Gras means anything, it means illusion; and unfortunately, when one attains one's majority in the legal world, one ceases to be a citizen of Phantasmagoria.

"There is a tradition that young matrons have recognized their husbands in their masked cavaliers at balls; and that the Romeo incognito of many a debutante has resolved into a brother, or even father; but at least it is not the debutante who makes the discovery. Her cavalier is always beyond her illusion, living in the Elysium of her future, as the cavalier of the matron is always some no less cherished illusion from the Elysium of the past.

As it is the desire of the young girl to be the subject of these illusions, so it is the desire of the young boy to become the object of them. To put on a mask and costume, to change his personality; to figure some day in the complimentary colouring of a prince of India, or of a Grecian god, or even to ape the mincing graces of a dancing girl or woodlawn nymph; to appear to the inamorata, clouded in the unknown, as the ancient gods did to simple shepherdesses; and so to excite her imagination, and perhaps more. A god is only a man when he is in love; and a man, all a god. - New Orleans: The Place and the People (Macmillan, 1913), by Grace King (as quoted in Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler)

* It [Mardi Gras] is a thing that could hardly exist in the practical North....For the soul of it is the romantic, not the funny and the grotesque. Take away the romantic mysteries, the kings and knights and big-sounding titles, and Mardi Gras would die, down there in the South. - Life on the Mississippi (Harper & Brothers, 1896), by Mark Twain

King Cake by syvwich @ flickr

* Voodoo did not exert a direct musical influence on the Mardi Gras Indians, but it was a cornerstone of the cultural tradition out of which they eventually developed — a living link to the African spirit cults of the Caribbean.

"Large drum-and-dance convocations by slaves surfaced about 1800 on a grassy field behind the French Quarter, now Louis Armstrong Park....The gathering site was called Place Congo—in later years, with English supplanting French as the local language, Congo Square. Drums boomed. Big wooden horns sent out notes. And from the shacks and shanties of the slave quarters came hundreds of men and women to the Sunday gatherings to dance, to make rhythm, to express freedom.

"As a spirit figure, the Indian would never have entered the folk streams of New Orleans music had it not been for Carnival. Congo Square was suppressed about 1835, though some gatherings probably occurred afterward.

"Beginning in the 1880s, the Mardi Gras Indians started the slow rise out of submersion that the mother culture underwent with the disappearance of Congo Square and voodoo. The Indians' chants were not set to drums, but to hand-percussion instruments such as tambourines. They did not worship spirits per se, but through a slow-evolving body of coded lyrics established a tribal hierarchy that praised the Indian nations and celebrated the bravery of rebellion.

The Mardi Gras Indians gave light to the memory of an African past, but in a ritual fashion that embraced the Indian as an adopted spirit figure. It was the highest compliment the African could pay a race of the New World; it stemmed from a common struggle, sociocultural intercourse, a shared vision of freedom — but most of all, from a profoundly African ritual retention. The Indian followed the procession of rebellious slaves, voodoo cultists, and Congo Square dancers in the historical memory. - Up From the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986), by Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose and Tad Jones

* Carnival became ever more necessary for black New Orleans. It filled basic needs increasingly denied the people by allowing new identities to take shape. Creoles and the black bourgeois emulated the white aristocracy with society balls, but a network of social aid and pleasure clubs arose around Carnival.

The costumes were another matter altogether. To whites, they were largely toy disguises, fancy fleetings reflecting one's humor or elan. To the black consciousness, masking often took on a heightened meaning. The mask became a cover, a new identity, a persona eluding the white policeman or soldier; the mask gave ephemeral freedom; the whole organic presence of the costume could scare people, delight them, it could satirize or do any number of things provided the person inside it fulfilled the role to the core of his imagination.

In this way, Carnival became one linear extension of Congo Square. Out of the flickering memory of African spiritualism and percussive ceremony came a procession of spirit figures, an inherited cultural consciousness marching into Carnival. - Up From the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II, by Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose and Tad Jones

* The New Orleans 1885 Mardi Gras was extraordinary. On the streets were large numbers of international visitors connected with the [World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial] Exposition, several Central American Indian groups, and some fifty to sixty Plains Indians from the [Buffalo Bill] Wild West Show, including four chiefs, all of whom were likely on the street in native dress. For [locals of African descent, particularly groups who took to masking as Indians,] Mardi Gras translated nicely into a freedom celebration, a day to commemorate their own history and spirit, to be arrogant, to circumvent the hostile authorities, to overturn the established order, and now and then to seek revenge. - Mardi Gras Indians (Pelican Publishing Company, 1994), by Michael P. Smith

* Now everybody in the world has heard about the New Orleans Mardi Gras, but maybe not about the Indians, one of the biggest feats that happened in Mardi Gras. Even at the parades with floats and costumes that cost millions, why, if the folks heard the sign of the Indians:

— that big parade wouldn't have anybody there: the crowd would flock to see the Indians. When I was a child, I thought they really was Indians. They were paint and blankets and, when they danced, one would get in the ring and throw his head back and downward, stooping over and bending his knees, making a rhythm with his heels and singing—T'ouwais, bas q'ouwais—and the tribe would answer — Ou tendais.

"They would dance and sing and go on just like regular Indians, because they had the idea they wanted to act just like the old Indians did in years gone by and so they lived true to the traditions of the Indian style. They went armed with fictitious spears and tommyhawks and so forth and their main object was to make their enemy bow.

They would send their spy-boys two blocks ahead—I happened to be a spy-boy myself once so I know how this went—and when a spy-boy would meet another spy from an enemy tribe he'd point his finger to the ground and say, 'Bow-wow.' And if they wouldn't bow, the spy-boy would use the Indian call, 'Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo,' that was calling the tribes—and, many a time, in these Indian things, there would be a killing and next day would be somebody in the morgue. - Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and "Inventor of Jazz" (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1950), by Alan Lomax

* Another thing about Mardi Gras when I was a kid was that it was a revenge day. That's why a lot of people didn't come out in the street. If a guy had a misunderstanding with someone in the summer, he'd wait until Carnival day when the street was crowded, and he'd just put on a woman's dress and he'd roll his pants up underneath that. And the only way you can trick him is if you're dressed like a woman too. All you'd hear is people scream and see a man fall with an ice pick in him, and [the assailant would] go into a barroom and leave that dress on the floor. Oh yeah, it used to be real lowdown. - Allison (Tootie) Montana, big chief (now retired) of The Yellow Pocahontas, Offbeat magazine, February 1994

* Whereas revelers used Mardi Gras to satirize prohibitionists and other reformers, early-twentieth-century reformers pointed to New Orleans Carnival as an example of just what needed reforming. In 1908, the Reverend Charles L. Collins of the Kentucky Anti-Saloon League visited New Orleans to see Carnival. Collins proclaimed that 'no city on the continent offers harder problems for the reformer.' Much about the city's easy ways displeased him, including certain aspects of Carnival. 'As to the Mardi Gras festivities proper,' he wrote, 'I am both delighted and shocked beyond measure.' - All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival (Harvard University Press, 1995), by Reid Mitchell

* One of my first memories of the [Mardi Gras Indian] tribes was of a Wild Man from a tribe called the White Eagles coming down the street on horseback, firing double-barrel shotgun loads of colored glass pellets into the air to get everyone's attention and clear the way — which he definitely succeeded in doing. - Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper (St. Martin's Press, 1994), by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) with Jack Rummel

* One of the gangs was made up of all the whores and pimps from Perdido Street; their parade was called Gangster Molls and Baby Dolls. Everyone in this group dressed as outlandishly as possible: The women wore eye-popping dresses; the ones who looked highest-priced wore ultra-sharp women's suits, but with see-through bras underneath. Others wore slit miniskirts showing lace panties, stiletto heels, and flowery low-cut blouses. The pimps got decked out in acey-deucy Stetsons with cocked brims, jelly-roll-peg zoot suits, one-button roll coats with wide lapels, and zebra-skinned shoes; not infrequently, they'd strut down the street with canes made out of bull dicks.

"They were ridiculous and funny all at the same time. They'd come busting out of their dives during Mardi Gras, their dresses and suits lined in satin and glitter, real sharp-looking and hilarious. They'd march down the greens, that broad strip of grass that separates one side of the street from the other, cutting up, shakin' the bacon and carrying on, and everyone would back off to let them start high-steppin'.

And you had best back off, too, because they took their kicks seriously. They were real rowdy. Cats would brandish switchblades, and whip them out in your face if you got too close. The tribes always drew a big crowd of black and white folks, but this kind of thing seemed normal to me as a kid. Didn't every town have tribes? I thought so. - Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper (St. Martin's Press, 1994), by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) with Jack Rummel

Coffinmobile three wheeler by Infrogmation @ flickr

* There's a thing I've dreamed of all my life, and I'll be damned if it don't look like it's about to come true — to be King of the Zulu's parade. After that, I'll be ready to die. - Louis Armstrong, Time magazine, February 21, 1949

* It's a funny thing how life can be such a drag one minute and a solid sender the next. The day I got out of jail Mardi Gras was being celebrated. It is a great day for all of New Orleans, and particularly for the Zulu Aid Pleasure and Social Club. Every member of the Club masquerades in a costume burlesquing some famous person. The King of the Zulus, also in masquerade costume, rides with six other Zulus on a float giving away coconuts as souvenirs. The members march to the good jumping music of the brass bands while the King on his throne scrapes and bows to the cheering crowds.

"When I ran into this celebration and the good music I forgot all about Sore Dick [the dreaded prison yard captain] and the Parish Prison. Most of the members of the Zulu Club then lived around Liberty and Perdido Streets, but now Mardi Gras has become so famous—people come from all over America to see its parade—that it includes doctors, lawyers and other important people from all over the city. Later on a Lady Zulu Club was organized. It has been my lifelong dream to be the King of the Zulus, as it was the dream of every kid in my neighborhood. - Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans
(Prentice-Hall, 1954), by Louis Armstrong (King Zulu 1949)

Captain Mardi Gras by Mr. Gunn @ flickr

* On Mardi Gras 1928, a crowd gathered around a woman on Canal Street dancing the Black Bottom. A friend of the dancer's played the ukulele while the crowd 'stamped their feet.' An admiring fat man 'flung her a handful of coins.' If he thought the dancer would appreciate his largess, he was wrong. She gathered the coins together and threw them back at him. 'Anybody can tell you're not used to Carnival!' she cried. 'On Mardi Gras we dance 'cause we want to.' - All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival, by Reid Mitchell

* We was all sittin' around about three o'clock in the morning in my house [trying to decide how to mask for Mardi Gras], when a gal named Althea jumps up and says, 'Let's be ourselves. Let's be Baby Dolls. That's what the pimps always called us.' We decided to call ourselves the Million Dollar Baby Dolls and be red hot....Some of us made our dresses, and some had 'em made. We was all looking sharp. There was thirty of us—the best whores in town. We was all good lookin' and we had money all over us, even in our bloomers, and they didn't have no zippers.....When them Baby Dolls strutted, they strutted. We showed our linen that day, I'm tellin' you. - Baby Doll interview from the late 1930s (as quoted in Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler)

* As they had for decades, [brass bands] provided the music for the endless cycle of dances and parades in New Orleans, popularizing the startling fusion of influences and celebration that came to be hailed as the only original art form created in America. It would be hyperbole, if not false, to name jazz a child of Carnival; however the joyous license of the music owes more than passing acquaintance to the liberties of Mardi Gras and a population long-accustomed to dancing in the streets. - Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler

* On Mardi Gras the women of Storyville [New Orleans' red-light district, where prostitution was legal from 1897 to 1917] did not mingle with the maskers but remained in their neighborhood, which now was spreading into the French Quarter, as they took over the houses left by the vanishing Creoles, who once had also possessed Mardi Gras. Now, on that day, Carnival revelers would wander through Storyville in the hours between parades, to gasp at Arlington's 'five-dollar house' with its huge chandeliers and beveled mirrors.

They would drop in at the Countess Willie Piazza's, where the girls were always in lovely Egyptian costumes on Mardi Gras, and at Lulu White's, where there were bedrooms with walls and ceilings composed entirely of mirrors. They could peep through shutters into the cheap cribs, where naked girls sat around awaiting patrons....And they heard the new kind of music being played in Storyville called 'jass,' which was being introduced in other parts of the city but was considered rather indecent. - Mardi Gras (Doubleday, 1948), by Robert Tallent

* I am the oldest, I am the best, and I am the prettiest. - Allison (Tootie) Montana, The New York Times, February 19, 1995

* It is hereby decreed that melancholy be put to route, and joy unconfined seize our subjects, young and old of all genders and degrees...that the spirit of make-believe descend upon the realm and banish from the land the dull and the humdrum and the commonplace of daily existence. - public proclamation, Morgan L. Whitney, King of Carnival (Rex),1967

* The idea of a celebrity leading the Bacchus parade was indeed unique. It went against the grain of 113 years of Carnival tradition. There had never been a celebrity king of a Carnival krewe. Naturally, the idea wasn't met with open arms from the Carnival establishment. The idea was a total departure from the time-honored tradition of selecting a king from the ranks of the krewes.

Leopard drummers by Infrogmation @ flickr

'These guys are crazy!' [float builder Blaine] Kern told his wife when he arrived home from the first meeting. 'They want to bring some hot-shot to town and make him king of their parade. Imagine. It will never work.' - Silver Jubilee (Krewe of Bacchus' 25th-anniversary book,1993), by Bonnie Warren

* I have trouble explaining to out-of-towners why people here spend $1,000 to wear a mask so no one knows who they are, and then give away things to people they've never met. But I guess it's an opportunity for everybody to play Santa Claus. That's at the heart of it. - Arthur Hardy, publisher of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, explaining why members of Carnival krewes dig into their pockets year after year to ride in parades and throw trinkets, New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 28, 1992

* If you write Mr. Mardi Gras, I get the mail. Do you believe that? Like Santa Claus. - Blaine Kern, float builder and captain of Krewe of Alla, Forbes magazine, October 9, 1995

* Mardi Gras may be best known to the outside world as a public festival, but upper-class New Orleans knew that its real significance lay in the annual reaffirmation of social eminence over merit. The most potent symbol of that creed came on the night of Mardi Gras, when Rex and Comus held their balls in different sections of the municipal auditorium. The evening ended when the mock royalty of the two krewes staged the traditional 'meeting of the courts' shortly before midnight. It was not for nothing that the bare-faced Rex, chosen in part for his civic contributions, had to traipse over and pay his respects to the mysterious Comus. - Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans (University Press of Mississippi, 1997), by James Gill

* The current structure of Mardi Gras, which blacks refer to as the 'white parade season,' dates from the latter half of the nineteenth century. After the consolidation of the Anglo-American establishment, the 'official' Mardi Gras became an event that primarily perpetuated the interests of white high society. The common people's carnival—with its subversion of the dominant order, wild dancing, and festive transgressions (iconoclastic celebration of freedom through cross dressing, 'obscenity,' and other behavior offensive to genteel Americans—was relegated to the back streets and ignored by the press. - Mardi Gras Indians, by Michael P. Smith

* A few months before the 1992 Carnival, a black city-council member named Dorothy Mae Taylor introduced an ordinance that would prohibit a parade permit to any group that discriminated on the basis of race or religion or gender.... In New Orleans, it had always been assumed that people would celebrate Carnival in their own way, whether it was by riding in the parade of an all-woman krewe or holding a ball-gown contest for men in drag. There was a widespread feeling that applying human-relations-commission rules to Carnival might not only rob it of its oldest parades but sink it altogether. - "New Orleans Unmasked" (The New Yorker magazine,
February 2, 1998), by Calvin Trillin

* Momus, Son of Night, God of Mockery and Ridicule, regretfully and respectfully informs his friends, supporters and his public that he will not parade the streets of New Orleans on the Thursday evening before Shrove Tuesday, 1992, as he has customarily since 1872. - Momus's parade cancellation announcement,
issued in response to the City Council's anti-discrimination ordinance

* The rise and gradual decline of the old-line krewes pretty well mirrored the fortunes of New Orleans itself. Comus was born as an unparalleled spectacle in a vibrant city that was the commercial queen of the South. When he disappeared from the streets [as a result of the anti-discrimination ordinance], New Orleans had become a faded dowager trying desperately to regain her lost prestige while the taste of Carnival paradegoers had switched to the razzle-dazzle offered by a welter of upstart krewes. - Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans, by James Gill

* Mardi Gras is a controlled riot. It's a million people walking out on the street, drinkin'. Ten days of everybody coming out here gettin' drunk and havin' fun. Ten days of us working 16, 18 hours a day.... Basically everybody's just having a good time, tryin' to enjoy themselves, and they don't mean any harm to anybody else. It's just the world's largest free party, and people like everything free.

"People come out here on Mardi Gras day in $800 suits. Just for a doubloon worth maybe 3 cents, they'll sort of dive on the ground and rip up an $800 suit. Grandmas with walking canes you'll see diving, pushing people out the way to get a pair of beads. People just go totally berserk when they come here—loose all their their inhibitions, they forget everything they ever been taught in their life. - Sgt. Billy Roth, New Orleans Police Department, Cops (March 20, 1996)

* As the celebration in the [French] Quarter has come more and more to resemble spring vacation in a Florida beach town that has no police force, exhibitionism has become part of the Carnival-bead transaction, and the most widely heard cry is no longer 'Throw me something, Mister' but 'Show us your tits.' - "New Orleans Unmasked," by Calvin Trillin

* As cameras for MTV, true-life crime shows and tabloid news programs roll in the French Quarter, the drunken partying has grown so extreme—flashes of nudity have given way to the actual performance of oral sex acts on Bourbon Street—that it is the drunkenness and obscenity itself that threatens to become Carnival's theme....That increasingly dangerous reputation of anything goes is scaring away more middle-class adult visitors, the kind of people who actually spend money, and attracting young people who only want to frolic in a drunken haze, traditionalists say. - "Merrymaking is Clashing with Tradition in Mardi Gras Tableaux" (The New York Times, February 23, 1998), by Rick Bragg

Big Chicken parade by Infrogmation @ flickr

Mardi Gras Cajun Jokes

You Might be a Cajun If... start an angel food cake with a roux.

...watching the "wild kingdom" inspires you to write a cookbook. think the head of the united nations is boudreaux/ boudreax-guillory. think a lobster is a crawfish on steriods. think ground hog day and boucherie day are the same holiday. take a bite of 5-alarm texas chili and reach for the tabasco.

...fred's lounge in mamou means more to you than the grand ole opry. pass up a trip abroad to go to the crawfish festival in breaux bridge.

...your children's favorite bedtime story begins "first you make a roux..."

...your description of a gourmet dinner includes the words "deep fat fried."

...your mama announces each morning, "well, I've got the rice cooking-what will we have for dinner?" greet your long lost friend at the lafayette international airport with "iiiiieeeeeee!" sit down to eat boiled crawfish and your host says "don't eat the dead ones" and you know what he means. don't know the real names of your friends, only their nicknames. gave up tabasco for Lent. know the difference between zatarains, zeringue, and zydeco.

...your dog thinks the bed of your pickup is his kennel.

...any of your dessert recipes call for jalapenos. consider Opelousas the capital of the state, and Lafayette the capital of the nation. think the four seasons are: duck, rabbit, deer, squirrel.

Mardi Gras alien by Infrogmation @ flickr

You Know You Are From Louisiana If...

...When out of town, you stop and ask someone where there is a drive-thru daiquiri place, and they look at you like you have three heads.

...The crawdad mounds in your front yard have overtaken the grass.

...You greet people with "Howyamomma'an'em?" and hear back "Dey fine!"

...Every so often, you have waterfront property. (flooding)

...You learned to drive a boat before you could drive a car.

...You know the meaning of a "Delcambre Reeboks." (That would be a pair of all white fishing boots)

...You offer somebody a "coke" and then ask them what kind: Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, 7Up?

...You can name all of your 3rd cousins.

...You can plan your wedding around hunting season & LSU football.

...Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under. (some areas of Louisiana are at sea level so they bury the dead in stone vaults like you see in New Orleans cemeteries)

...When you refer to a geographical location "way up North", you are referring to places like Shreveport, Little Rock or Memphis, "where it gets real cold"! (those cold places: Shreveport, Louisiana - Little Rock, Arkansas - Memphis, Tennessee)

...You're not afraid when someone wants to "ax you something." (ax = ask)

...You don't worry when you see ships riding higher in the river than the top of your house.

....The waitress at your local sandwich shop tells you a fried oyster po-boy "dressed" is healthier than a Caesar salad.

...You know the definition of "dressed." (mayo, pickles, mustard)

...The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than HBO.

...You don't realize until high school what a "county" is. (in Louisiana a county is called a parish)

...You can eat Popeye's, Haydel's and Zapp's for lunch and wash it down with Barq's and several Abitas, without losing it all on your stoop. (Popeye's: fried chicken, Haydel's: bakery in New Orleans famous for making Mardi Gras King Cakes, Zapp's: potato chips, Barq's: root beer, Abita: beer.)

...You have a ditch on at least one side of your property. (drainage or sewer ditch for rain water run off to avoid flooding)

...You prefer skiing on the bayou. (water skiing)

...You assume everyone has mosquito swarms in their backyard.

...You like your rice and politics dirty. (dirty rice has ground meat in it)

...You pronounce the largest city in the state as "Newawlins." (New Orleans)

...You know an old person that can "treat" you for warts. (traiteuse: French Native American shaman)

...You know those big roaches can fly, but you're able to sleep at night anyway.

...You can't think of anybody that can cook better than your momma.

...You know when it's appropriate to use "Tony Chachere's." (Cajun seasoning)

...When you're in Baton Rouge you know the difference between the old bridge & the new bridge. (over the Mississippi River)

...Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.

...You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.

Rockin' Saints!

Saints Super Bowl Victory parade:

*** For more funny quotes like this, check it out on Wednesdays at The Social Poets and all the time at Dennys Funny Quotes!

*** For Cajun, comfort food and party recipes, please visit any time Comfort Food From Louisiana!

2 More Food Blogs: Romancing The Chocolate and Unusual 2 Tasty

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Spiritual Book: Devotion by Dani Shapiro

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From Denny: Author Dani Shapiro talks about how her faith was tested and the walking of her spiritual journey in her new book, "Devotion." Raised in a traditional religious home of the Orthodox Jew she had set aside her faith yet did not replace it with anything. When her young son began asking questions about her beliefs it was then she decided to stop and consider who she was and where she was in life and so began her spiritual journey.

From Time Magazine about the author Dani Shapiro, "She has the willingness to explore the elusiveness of uncertainty is really to be lauded and it comes through in her book."

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Friday, February 12, 2010

5 Important Inspirations

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Photo by Victor Bezrukov @ flickr

From Denny: What can I say? I can seriously identify with the first quote by Einstein. There is a lot of opposition out there in the world from fearful folks. Mediocre minds are not necessarily people with little intellect but often are suffering from a low emotional intelligence and spiritual training, truly a lack of wisdom of how to interact appropriately with others before jumping to conclusions. People often fight a new vision, or even a suggestion, before actually hearing it described fully. They make assumptions without a full understanding, dismissing it quickly.

Henry Ford is accurate in his comment that once you stop yourself inwardly your progress outwardly suffers too. Our inner self really is the engine that drives our lives toward success, mediocrity or failure.

Who knew Goethe could be inspirational? :) He has a very good point that the journey is to be cherished for it changes us forever; the achieved goal suddenly pales in insignificance.

This Japanese Proverb addresses mediocrity in our vision and yet counsels us not to be rash in our decisions.

Napolean Hill, another favorite motivator, refocuses us on our basic instinct of desire and how to differentiate and isolate it from other emotions in order to benefit.


* Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

* Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. - Henry Ford

* What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. - Goethe

* Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare. - Japanese Proverb

* Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything. - Napoleon Hill

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fight 4 Freedom: Irans Opposition Thursday

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*** Join Bloggers Unite in support of the Iranian Opposition Protestors as they celebrate their Victory of the Revolution Day, fighting for their freedom from an oppressive government.

From Denny: So, what's going on with and in Iran today? Today the hard line regime government marks their revolution's anniversary called the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Worse, these hard line fundamentalist rulers are cracking down more on opposition leaders and followers who today attempt to protest against the government. A million people are expected to converge today either in support or protest for this anniversary. Iran's government has already cut off communication so no Western news agencies can get news footage or eye witness accounts to report.

Previous demonstrations were reported to the world through social sites like Twitter, videos through YouTube and photos gotten out through the internet via camera cell phones. Throughout Europe were fellow Iranians and other sympathetic European IT hackers helping route the news from the protesters. They cleverly acted like cockroaches, finding cracks in security to get lines of communication out to the West to tell the truth. It will be interesting to see how the hackers perform under more stringent circumstances this time when the Iranian government is not caught off guard and ready for them.

Iran's current conservative leaders continue to punish opposition followers by beating, raping, imprisoning and executing them. For months now, since the summer, regularly the government jackboots have been coming for individuals in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. Iran's leaders pointedly told their country, "Anyone who dares to challenge this government runs the risk of being permanently silenced!" Read that as dead, very dead. Sweet bunch, aren't they?!

Iran's leaders have also angered the world in their hell-bent stance of deciding to continue the course to enrich uranium to weapons grade, claiming it will be ready in a few short days. How long before the Israelis say, "Enough!" and either destroy the Iranian capability by bombing the factories or start a wave of assassinations against the leadership government? My money is on the assassination wave. They won't be hard-pressed to find male family members willing to help them because of wanting revenge for their wronged or killed relatives.

What has America done? The best idea. Hit them where it hurts the most: in their wallets - or bank accounts, that is. Our Treasury Department tightened up sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Engineering wing. After all, it's the Revolutionary Guard that keeps this despicable government in power. Hamper their ability to operate, hurt the government.

Today, February 11th, is a special day to the protestors in Iran. It is Victory of the Revolution Day which is their American Fourth of July equivalent to promote liberty, independence and freedom. The whole world has watched and witnessed the Iranian government has severely violated those basic human rights of their people. The people have been tortured and arbitrarily arrested for complaining they think the current President stole the election.

They have been censored, prevented from posting on the internet their political views. And the most egregious abuse has been the recent ruthless executions of two activists held in detention before the June 12th Presidential election. Yet, supposedly, though in prison without access or proper representation, they were accused of being the mastermind organizers of the post-election protests against a stolen election. Somehow, that weak and weasely scapegoat tactic just doesn't have any truth to it.

Please, join bloggers like me, Denny Lyon at Beautiful Illustrated Quotations: Bloggers Unite Human Rights For Iran, and show your solidarity today with the protestors. If you are a blogger, please write a post today and send in your link so your voice can be heard. If you are not a blogger, then please show your solidarity and talk about today's Iran news on your favorite social networks and email your family and friends.

For more information, contact Amnesty International Iran.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Popular Posts 2010 at Beautiful Illustrated Quotations

Photo by stephentrepreneur @ flickr

From Denny: I'll be adding these most popular posts as I go along this year. Last year was a mad dash to keep track of it of all. Check back often to see what's new! :)

I've been doing so much blog maintenance on all the blogs, compiling these lists and more that I haven't had the time I'd like to post here. Have been wanting to add some wonderful quotes about people's thoughts on beginning a new year, so will be going back and adding them soon. Will give you a list on the sidebar so you can catch up as I post them. Thanks for all your support!

Most Beautiful Quotes


Best New Years Cartoons 2010

New Years: Funny Quotes, Resolutions Tips, Poems

Funny Life and Christmas Cartoons - 25 Dec 2010

Funny Christmas Cartoons

72 Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 20 Dec 2010

Soothing Piano Music: First Love by Utada Hikaru

Music Video: Wheres The Line To See Jesus? by Becky Kelley

Music Video: Pie Jesu by Celtic Woman

17 Christmas Music and Fun Videos


36 Christmas Posts: Music, Humor, Poems, Stories, Quotes

Music Video: Mary, Did You Know? By Clay Aiken

Music Video: Where Are You Christmas? by Faith Hill

Music Video: The Christmas Shoes

Music Video: Note to God by David Foster and Charice

Music Video: The Prayer by Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Charlotte Church

Music Video: You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban

Funny Thanksgiving Quotes, Video, Cartoons and Food Posts

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A Poem Of Remembrance


Numerology: Whats So Unusual About The Date 10-10-2010?

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Inspiring Quotes About Dealing With Rejection

11 Inspiring Quotes and Poem About Dealing With Rejection

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A Delightful Way Of Seeing Our Lives

How Do You Fit Into The Universe?


How Well Do You Handle Adversity?

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Meditative Moon Photos

A Healing Spiritual Poem: Waking The Day

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7 Thoughtful Quotes About The Future

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Ancient Healing Oil: Sandalwood

Call to Christians And Muslims Against Violence From Threat to Burn Koran


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7 Quotes: Defining Joy in Our Lives

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How Is Your Aim In Life?

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Friendship Quote: When Friends First Meet and Connect

2012: What Will Happen to Earth and Us?

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Posts Roundup of Dennys Blogs - 25 July 2010

Check Out 8 Funnies of The Week - 21 July 2010

17 Short Beautiful Love Poems

What Do You Feel About Love?

How Psychic Are You? Fun Test and Spiritual Gifts

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So How Do You Measure Your Spiritual Progress?

Kabbalah Quotes: How to Know You Are On The Right Path For You

Madonna Offends Traditional Jewish Kabbalists in Israel

How Do We Prepare Ourselves For Change?

How Does Change Crash Into Our Lives to Build Anew?

Posts Roundup of Dennys Blogs - 11 July 2010

How Do You Assess Change in Yourself?

63 Quotes About Freedom and Liberty: Happy Birthday, America!


Why Smiling is Good For Your Spiritual Health: 7 Quotes About Smiling

Posts Roundup of Dennys 14 Blogs - 27 June 2010

How Does Tenacity Figure in Your Life?

Have You Ever Thought About The Process of Success?

Hope Transforms Our Lives in Tough Times

Posts Roundup at Dennys 14 Blogs - 13 June 2010

How Are Hopes, Dreams and Reality Related?

Destress: 3 Great Encouragement Quotes

Hope: Unborn Baby Grabs onto Doctors Hand in Surgery

Where Does Hope Guide Us On Our Life Path?

Does Hope Touch Your Soul?

111 Insightful Life Quotes


Funny Posts to Get U Thru Your Work Week - 26 May 2010

What Is Your Quality of Listening to Truly Benefit From the Hearing?

Sometimes What You Sideline is a Good Thing

3 Quotes: Have You Validated Yourself Recently?

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs 9 May 2010

3 Positive Attitude Quotes to Help Shape Your World

Mothers Day Quote From Rose Kennedy

Dennys Photo Gallery: Garden Views

How Can You Help Your Child Keep Their Balance And Yours?

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs 2 May 2010

Are You Stuck in Life Not Knowing Where to Go Next?


Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs - 18 Apr 2010

Whats Happening in America This Week - Political Cartoons 17 Apr 2010

Pollen Storms poem

Funny Odd Couples: Cats and Their Weirdo Friends

What Spiritual Tests Develop Good Character And Our Talents?

Weekly Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 11 Apr 2010

Whats Happening in America, This Weeks Political Cartoons - 10 Apr 2010

Your Dreams: 5 Common Characteristics

The Funny Side of Allergy Season - Ahh, Choo!

Dennys Photo Gallery: Spectacular Sunrises

8 Easter Quotes and 3 Easter Poems


Shoes in Church poem

48 Post Roundup: Dennys Blogs 7 Mar 2010

Funny Groundhog Phils Says 2 More Weeks of Winter

What Was Your Epiphany Moment?

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Blues in Our World

Does Your Life Feel Like a Disaster?

Funny Rules of Chocolates, Origins of the Funny Easter Bunny

3 Quotes About Facing Tough Times

Restful Photography: Only White Theme

Funny News: Italys World Slow Day

29 Post Roundup at Dennys Blogs 14 Mar 2010

7 Funny Little Sillies 4 a Grin

Restful: 16 Beautiful Creative Angel Photos

Step Out into the Unknown with Ease

10 Make You Think Fantasy Photos

Uplifting Soul Quote: What is Your Power in the World?

Spiritual Energy: Can Simple Words Add to Our Quality of Life?

A Beautiful Poem For When We Dream

7 Greatest Peace Quotes Ever


8.8 Chilean Earthquake 500 Times More Powerful than Haiti

Funny Best of the Week Political Cartoons 27 Feb 2010

42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

What One Attitude is the Pivotal Point of Achieving Success?

Funny Mardi Gras Quotes, Who Dat Rocking Saints Songs

5 Important Inspirations

Fight 4 Freedom: Irans Opposition Thursday

When Is Our Life Most Balanced?

26 Funny Political Cartoons - 6 Feb 2010

8 Funny Advice Quotes About Sleeping

What Are Your Impediments to Success?

Do You Treat Your Ideas Like Beautiful Magic?

Do You Know Your Failures as Your Best Successes?

How is Your Dream Vision Impacted by Life Challenges?

Evidence of the Afterlife: New Book Offers Proof

The Knot Prayer

97 Posts Roundup From All Dennys Blogs

11 Great Quotes and Sayings Photos

Art Photo-Rich Poem: People Trees

Beautiful Quotes


Let Your Silent Voice Sing

How Do Dreamers Create Our World?

How Are Our Lives Like An Open Book?

Editorial Cartoons 2 Jan 2010

Artist Inspires with HOPE Sculpture

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

12 Funny Things You Can Do Outside With Shrubs

67 Charities to Donate: Helping Haiti Heal

How Funny! 10 Banned Overused Buzzwords of 2009

Funny New Years Resolutions Cartoons

Funny New Years Quotes

Beautiful Quotes

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