Life and Death in America and Iran

The mainstream news media, the blogosphere, and all your friends on facebook have one thing to talk about over the past couple of days, it seems: the passing of the King of Pop. By contrast, while the usual suspects in the news services continually spouted out the same regurgitated over-careful reports (except for this one, which was pretty shockingly informative), I would guess a much smaller fraction of your friends on facebook mentioned a brutal massacre of unarmed, peaceful demonstrators by the iranian theocracy’s home-grown Sturmabteilung. I can’t tell you what the blogosphere had to say about the massacre, because quite frankly - I don’t care. The cloud of unknowing that truncates the perceptions of most americans can not be more blatantly exposed. Remember when there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of nearly every city in America protesting bush’s planned invasion of Iraq?  Oh sorry - according to the tv news, it was tens of thousands, or even just thousands. Or if it was fox, hundreds. And then most of us quit after one demonstration.  not all of us, but most of us. This isn’t entirely our fault - it’s human nature. 

As a mass entity the american bourgeoisie is terminally resistant to any kind of radical change because every atrocity that happens here happens in slow motion, while we are misted down with the liquid narcotic known as “the real housewives of new jersey”. Real health care reform legislation is being gutted before our very eyes by the real rulers of this country, our overlords of the medical-industrial complex (the ones who manufacture and sell me the drugs that keep me functional, for example, at a rate that prevents me from saving any money; I can't rail against my insurance company any more because I've joined the ranks of millions who don't have one).  Look! Over there! Paris Hilton and Perez Hilton are giving birth to a baby and naming it Pez! What will it take to make the sleeping giant awaken and start a pot of coffee going and take a shower and put some pants on? Any iranian on the street will tell you the answer: sometimes the only thing that awakens you is blood. And you’d better pray it’s not yours. We rolled over and went “huh?” the last time we got hit. Then we grunted, rolled over again, and went back to sleep. (Pardon my cynicism - I haven't started a pot of coffee yet).

Hoodia Balance - Weight Loss Pill

Do you know what exactly is Hoodia, what does it do, and how will it help you lose weight? Here is a review of Hoodia gordonii as well as what you need to know before you buy hoodia. What is hoodia? Hoodia gordonii is a cactus of the “succulent” cactus family, which has grown for thousands of years in the Kalahari desert region. Has been used by the indigenous Bushmen as a natural appetite suppressant and thirst quencher during their long hunting trips for generations. How does hoodia work? Scientists believe that the reason for hoodia’s appetite suppressing abilities is a molecule called “P57?. Normally, when you eat the glucose in your body rises and eventually signals to your brain (the hypothalamus) that you are full. It is believed that “P57? molecule in hoodia mimics the effect that glucose has on your brain, telling part of your brain (the Hypothalamus) that you feel full. Consequently, you have no desire to eat. Does hoodia help people lose weight? 

One of the first studies of hoodia gordonii was done in the UK on obese patients. Half of the volunteers were given hoodia gordonii, the other half were given a placebo. The subjects were allowed to read, watch television and eat. After 15 days it was found that those taking hoodia had reduced their calorie intake like a 1200 calorie diet plan. Despite having unlimited access to food, the hoodia subjects lost weight. Is hoodia safe? Since hoodia is a plant (versus a man-made chemical), it is completely natural and experts say it is safe to eat. Scientists have been studying hoodia for almost 10 years and have not found any side effects. (Not to mention the San Tribesman who have been eating hoodia for years with seemingly no ill effects). What can you do? One way to tell if a hoodia pill is real is to look for a document called the C.I.T.E.S. Certificate (The convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora). Since the hoodia plant is a protected plant species it can only be sold to an exporter who has this certificate.

Book Review: Violet Eyes

I had two big problems with some events in the book. One was the the whole true love thing. Of which I believe is not very impossible for two babies to experience. Maybe, it is because I am so (so, so, so) old and realistic that I can't enjoy that element. The whole time I am imaging the stuff happening after the "happily ever after." My thoughts: Violet and Richard have been married for three years, and Richard isn't so happy with his rash decision to marry his love of first sight. He thinks that the maid with the red hair is hot. No one will know or care, or dare to know or care, if he decides to have a little affair with her. Oh, and Violet has been having an affair with a stableman for eighteen months by the time Richard thinks to have one also. Richard is clueless, of course. So Violet becomes an heir machine and they all live happily never after. Great thoughts, yeah?

Okay my second issue is the bad things that are promoted in this book. I am a big hater of when authors of ya books have some weird messages they are touting. I had a big problem with Caine's Morgonville series and how she had her main character think about corpses so she could stop feeling a tad bit of normal lust. "Oooh, look it is a hot guy! No! Bad me! Must think about lifeless bodies! Festering wounds full of maggots! Bloated corpses! Nooo!" Wow. This book was weird about another topic besides s3x. This one was promoting cheating. Yes. I do not lie. The message was that cheating is okay as long as it is done to get something you really want. I was shocked. In the first place I was uncomfortable with the fact that the heroine was cheating and in the end she is actually praised for doing it. 

I know that perfect heroines are boring, but really. Next I'll probably stumble across a book saying forced intercourse is okay... as long as one party is willing! Put a smiley face at the end of that statement. For irony. Cheating was not the only weird thing promoted as okay to do. Self mutilation was also there. For one of the stupid tests (they were all stupid) the princesses had to mar their beauty, a test of sacrifice. Since Violet was already tan her skin would not burn from the sun (all the princesses are super delicate btw), so Violet actually sticks her hand in flames! Is this girl crazy? And again she is praised. Self mutilation, or giving yourself a burn, is not the same as sacrificing something frivolous! Can you tell I am very pissed about all this? Well I am! And all this for "true love"!

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié

A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Once Upon a Time Series) by Debbie Viguié. Title: Violet Eyes. Author: Debbie Viguié. Genre: YA Fantasy. Mass Market Paperback: 195 pages. Publisher: Simon Pulse; First Edition (2010). Description: When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family's farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son's hand in marriage. To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits, and a little help from an unexpected source if Violet is to demonstrate the depth of her character and become Richard's bride. Review: Well, I have been disappointed with a lot of the books in this series. There are actually authors I avoid. And I love fairy tales! So of course I am frustrated when I don't like what they've done with the old versions. Sadly this book did nothing to bolster my opinion of the series. 

I like the early books but not the new ones. I get a rushed vibe from the new ones, as if the authors are just whipping them out. "Need a book? Okay, give me a week or two." Not good. The story was okay. The little twist was nice... but they do give it away in the excerpt on the first page. The characters were... okay. No one really outstanding or containing much depth. If this were a movie there would be crew moving the cardboard cutouts around (badly). Men would be making little girl voices. And yes they would have headsets. There would probably be a guy multitasking and holding a boom. Back on track: I hated the descriptions used for the characters and their actions. The Prince had a "chiseled jaw". Gak! Haven't I heard that a million and one times! And of course said Prince's eyes were constantly "smoldering". Is that the only way to describe passion in a ya book? "Baby, I just have this internal fire thing going on. So my eyes will smolder on occasion. No, no, it isn't catching."

Mini Book Review: Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison

Title: Shadow Bound. Author: Erin Kellison. Genre: Paranormal Romance. Mass Market Paperback: 322 pages. Publisher: Leisure Books (June 29, 2010). Description: Death. Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence. Wraiths. Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss. Segue. Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow. Twilight. This is the place between life and what comes after, a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door. Review: There has been tons of praise on Amazon about this book. So I feel like I am sticking a dirty boot into a tub of vanilla ice cream. 

Ha, kiddies! Want it now!? I read the first three-ish chapters and did not like the book, just was not drawn in. The love scene in the prologue was a turn off (the fact that there was one was annoying). "I love you desperately! Even though I don't know you! Unless does stalking you your whole life count?" Oh, that is very sexy! Adam, the main dude, was turned on! by Talia's writing ability. Love at first type! Har har. "Baby, your writing just gets me in a tizzy! '"Specially when you use complikated woids". Sure. And Talia experiences a home invasion. Was that supposed to be, um, exciting or something? I think I didn't like Talia the minute it turned out she could write and do research and stuff. Knew where that was going without actually reading anything. "I'm an independent woman! Wah! Oooh, that guy is hot! I'm in love! Let's save the world (or something)!". Read/buy this if you like PNR. Otherwise just library read.

If You’re Anything Like Me

And god help you if you are: You’re a bundle of seemingly irreconcilable contradictions. You have perhaps a half dozen embarrassingly intimate and painfully close friendships with people whom you fail to call or write to on a fairly regular basis. Until you have something to complain about. You have a love/hate relationship with your extended family that makes you at times embarrassed by them, at other times ashamed by your own judgmental attitude. You’re a rebellious loner who, when the self-pity wears off, really just wants a community that loves and accepts you for who you are. You’d be out in the streets throwing bricks in a hot second if the revolution came, but under no circumstances could you be expected to throw the first brick. 

You exhibit the many problems with authority figures endemic to the chronically frustrated leader with low self-esteem. You are frequently having to apologize for saying the wrong thing, when not hiding from those to whom you have said those things. You are the survivor of some sort of 12 step group or other. Against all reason, you still believe in true love. You are slow to anger and quick to forgive, but when roused, a mere look from you can sometimes cause people to turn and run. consequently, you frequently find yourself having to reassure people that you’re not angry at them, you’re just scowling because you’re lost in thought, probably about that sci fi / fantasy / action-suspense novel you’ve been working on for the past ten years.

Best Love Poems in The World

Last week I finally found a new job! I had been looking for one since the only promotion I received from my boss after two years of hard, unrewarding work, was from "secretary" to "personal assistant". I wasn't even sure what was so personal in my so called new position at the firm, but considering I was already making him coffee, ordering food and answering his phone, I don't think I wanted to know. The good news about this new job is that I will be working in my dream field, journalism. It would have been a pity to study it for more than four long years and don't even get a chance to practice it. So, starting last Monday, I am writing articles for a magazine for teenage girls. What could be so hard? I mean, I myself was a teenage girl not long time ago. Unfortunately, there is always a bad news linked to a good decision. Here's mine, on my first day at the office, I felt a lot more like a teenager than I would have imagined.

My new boss is actually my old high school crush. I would have called him "my high school sweetheart" but I'm not sure me stalking him and leaving what I thought were the best love poems in the world, in his locker, could count as dating. Anyway, I didn't stood a chance, he recognized me straight away and instead of a "Hi, I am Jared, we'll be working together!", I got a "Hey, freckled. What are you doing here?". And no, we didn't get a good laugh about what happened back then. That would have been too good to be true. He actually remembered my skills at writing love poems for him and asked me to be in charge of the "Heartbreak" section in the magazine. So here I am, 7 years after finishing high school, now searching and reading the best love poems online so I can find some inspiration for my articles. And I haven't even told you the worst part yet, he still looks hot, incredibly hot, and I still got butterflies in my stomach.