October 31st, 2007

Chris Keeley


Just for this edition of TIPS and TOPICS, we've added a new "S" category that will substitute this month for the SKILLS section. I think you will enjoy a couple of comments from two readers. In the first, I know Bonnie Malek from Oregon is very supportive of 12 Step programs, so take this in the light-hearted manner it was intended. In the second comment, Bill Garrett from Alabama shares some humorous thoughts on what might be the real purpose of documentation (who would have thought documentation had anything to do with flies?)

Hi David:
It's been a LONG time since we've been in contact and this issue inspired me to touch base. I thought you might get a kick out of the 12 Steps of Evidence Based Practice. Feel free to share it if you're so inclined.


1. We admitted we were powerless over *Senate Bill 267 and that our information technology (IT) needs had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that the right set of manuals could restore us to pre-morbid functioning.

3. Made a decision to turn our program development and training resources over to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) before we understood why.

4. Took the inventories of everyone that voted for this bill (and in some cases their mothers and their dogs).

5. Admitted to the Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) and the Oregon legislature that for the past 70 years, we've been running on sweat equity, imagination and rubber bands.

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Chris Keeley

Donovan to open meditation-based college


Donovan to open meditation-based college

Donovan, singer of such fantastic 60s tunes as "Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman" is opening his own Donovan University in Scotland where students will all practice transcendental meditation. He's working on the idea with his surrealist film director pal David Lynch. From the Associated Press:

"The Maharishi told me during that 1968 visit that I should build a university in Edinburgh. I went to my room and drew a beautiful dome-shaped place of learning," he said Friday...

Donovan and Lynch, Oscar-nominated director of "Blue Velvet," "Mullholland Dr." and "The Elephant Man," are part of a tour to promote transcendental meditation as a means of reducing violence, crime and stress in schools and colleges...

"For a country the size of Scotland it would take only 250 students meditating to protect Scotland from its enemies and to bring peace, to stop violence and drug abuse," Lynch said. "That is just a byproduct of the students meditating together."
Link (Thanks, Jess Hemerly!) 

Chris Keeley

A witch explains Halloween


A witch explains Halloween

By Louise Continelli NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 10/28/07 7:59 AM

On Halloween, real witches may come out of the broom closet.

“We do not seek converts but ask that each person honor the divine in the manner that seems best for him,” says Cecylyna Dewr, founder of Pagan Pride Day, which took place not long ago in the Town of Tonawanda and scores of other towns and cities, including Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Toronto.

Buffalo Niagara Pagan Pride Day attracted scores of attendees, resulting in many donations to the Western New York Food Bank.

Pagans celebrate what’s considered to be Witches New Year on Oct. 31, when it’s believed “the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thin and that spirits can pass through easily,” says Chelsea S. Kelm, Buffalo Niagara Pagan Pride Day coordinator. In her working life, she’s a Buffalo customer service representative and looks corporate-chic wearing a pin-stripe pantsuit — in black.

Taotaomona, duendes and White Lady


Chamorro people believe in tales of taotaomonas, duendes and other spirits. Duende (mythology), according to the "Chamorro-English Dictionary" by Donald Topping, Pedro Ogo and Bernadita Dungca, is a goblin, elf, ghost or spook in the form of a dwarf, a mischievous spirit which hide or take small kids. Taotaomona are spirits of the ancient Chamorro that act as guardians to banyan trees. White Lady hauntings surround buildings like the old Bordallo mansion in Yona, schools, hotel elevators and the Maina bridge

Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Chelsea S. Kelm, a practicing Wiccan who is coordinator of Niagara Pagan Pride Day, says Halloween is a time when witches look within themselves to improve and change their habits.


Chris Keeley


ShotSpotter was installed to help police track gun violence and catch the shooters, relying upon the sensors and Global Positioning System tracking. D.C. police obtained the system with help from the FBI and operates it in consultation with ShotSpotter Inc.

The ShotSpotter analysis indicated that the first shot came from the location where DeOnté had allegedly been on the minibike and that subsequent shots came from the general area where Haskel and Clay had been sitting in Haskel's parked SUV, the sources said.

The weapons, though not precisely identified by ShotSpotter technology, made distinctly different sounds, with Haskel's 9mm being the quieter of the two, the sources said.

ShotSpotter's ability to track gunshots can be impaired by unusual topography or high-rise buildings. But the sources said no questions have emerged about its reliability in determining the sequence of gunfire in a scenario such as the shooting of DeOnté.

Big-city police chiefs say ShotSpotter not only alerts police to gun battles but also helps them piece together some perplexing crime puzzles. The technology is operating in 17 cities, including San Francisco, Newark and Charleston, S.C., and is being installed in seven more.

The FBI, which purchased the ShotSpotter sensors as a pilot project for the District, considers the technology so reliable that it has bought two more systems for cities plagued by violent crime and has plans to buy systems for other cities.

ShotSpotter spokesman Gregg Rowland said he could not discuss the details of the company's report in the Rawlings case. But he said the sensors provide an "important piece of the puzzle" for any investigation.

"We're like a live witness on the scene with very good eyes and ears," Rowland said. "Most police officers will match up our information with shell casings on the ground and any eyewitness testimony. When you add up A plus B plus C plus D, you can come to some conclusions."

Chris Keeley

Polls show no improvement in the world's view of the U.S. since Hughes took over. A Pew Research Cen

Polls show no improvement in the world's view of the U.S. since Hughes took over. A Pew Research Center survey earlier said the unpopular Iraq war is a persistent drag on the U.S. image and has helped push favorable opinion of the United States in Muslim Indonesia, for instance, from 75 percent in 2000 to 30 percent last year.

Hughes' performance drew mixed reviews in the Muslim world. She got credit for hard work and frequent travel but was prone to gaffes such as vastly overstating Saddam Hussein's use of poison gas against his people before he was deposed by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Hughes said the Iraq war was usually the second issue that Muslims and Arabs raised with her, after the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Hughes said she advised Bush and Rice two years ago that U.S. help in ending the six-decade old fight over Israel would probably do more than anything else to improve the U.S. standing worldwide.

Hughes said she told Bush and Rice over the summer that she did not plan to stay through the end of Bush's term, which ends in January 2009. Rice, who has also worked for Bush since he was a presidential candidate eight years ago, has announced no plans to leave.

This is Hughes' second departure. She was among Bush's closest confidantes during his first term before leaving the White House in 2002. She never fully left Bush's employ, serving as an offsite strategist and adviser until she returned to Washington to take the State Department job in 2005.

Hughes had been splitting her time between Texas and Washington.

She worked with Bush since the 1990s, first as director of communications while he was governor of Texas, from 1995 to 2000.
Chris Keeley

My Daddy the Dancer

 My Daddy the Dancer

One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did
for a living.
All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic,
businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.
However, little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when
the teacher prodded him about his father, he replied, "My father's an
exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of
other men and they put money in his underwear. Sometimes, if the offer
is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all
night for money."

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other
children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to
ask him, "Is that really true about your father?"

"No," the boy said, "he works for the Republican National Committee and
is helping to get a Republican to be our next President, but I was
too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."
Chris Keeley

Chicago Public Radio on crashed drug plane

Chicago Public Radio on crashed drug plane
In the comments to the weird story about the crashed drug plane with ties to the CIA, Mongip pointed to a "much more detailed, objective and intriguing investigative report on this plane," from Chicago Public Radio.
The new owner? "Donna Blue Aircraft"[3] a corporation recently registered in South Florida to two Brazilians.

[Reporter Kevin] HALL: one of these mailboxes-are-us type of business.

Donnablueaircraft dot com was registered just ten days before they bought the plane[4] So is this just a Front Company? Investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker visited Donna Blue’s listed address… He found an empty office suite, a blank sign, and six unmarked police cruisers parked in front.[5]

[Investigative journalist Daniel] HOPSICKER: It’s a phony front company.

Exactly who these Brazilians are is a whole 'nuther story.

HOPSICKER: Non-US citizens are not allowed to own N-Numbered Planes…and…neither one of these guys appears to be a US Citizen.

HALL: he didn’t check either box as to whether he was a US citizen.

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Chris Keeley

Giornale Nuovo has said goodbye.

Giornale Nuovo has said goodbye.

Giornale Nuovo has said goodbye.
One of the greatest art/culture blogs ever has called it quits. It is one of the few blogs that could actually teach their readers something new with each post. It was also one of the most unique blogs because the founder 'misteraitch' would fill each post with numerous images often taken from his own collection of art books. In short, he went much further than most bloggers to give us content. I know he humbled most of us and to be honest, I don't think I could even compete with his posts.
I highly recommend you check out his archives before they are gone [apparently it will be there for two years]. Put it in your links, read the old posts, learn from them and feel richer about what the world of art has to offer.

Giornale Nuovo will be missed.