The Garden Party Has A New Home!

Beginning today, I’m self-hosting my newly-landscaped Garden Party blog!  So, if you’re RSSing me or linking to me on your own blog, please note the new location:

http://www.thegardenpartyblog.com

Come on over and have some sweet tea!

Advertisements

Please Be a Good Party Guest and Comment!

Comments are my favorite snack food.  I’m always interested to know who has been in the Garden and what their experience was like.  So, please talk to me so I don’t have to rely on those dreary old stats in the back room and wonder who the people are behind the numbers!  Here, have some nice, cold lemonade and a finger sandwich!

Whoa! Animated GIFs Work in Blogs!

Y’all are in for it now!

Can Your Cell Phone Cook Your Brain Right Inside Your Head?

By the time I received this email from my cousin Courtney, the “forward” was 10 levels deep.  This baby’s getting around!  Actually, this particular urban legend is enjoying a second life after last year’s viral campaign claiming an egg can be cooked by placing it between two activated cell phones.  The concept seems to have originated from an article written on the Wymsey Village Web site in 2000.  Though the site publishes spoofs, some genius (maybe two or three of ’em) decided to take that ball and run with it.  And we, the ever-wiilling to swallow whatever looks like it might be juicy, slam-dunked it right into lore (Source: snopes.com).

Alas, we are easily bored, so if the same old hoax is to keep us fascinated, it needs a shiny new coat of paint.  In June of this year, the new model was rolled out, making me wonder why it took so long to reach my inbox.  The email carried a couple of comments from a few of the people who had forwarded it.  Comments like:

“THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO STOP USING YOUR CELL PHONE SO MUCH!!  Check this out!”

There was a single word below that linked me to a video and promised me I would not believe my eyes.  The word was:

POPCORN

Let’s face it, popcorn is a much more dynamic food than eggs.  At least, from what you can see with the naked eye.  Here’s what the link led me to:

Wasn’t that fun?

Now, if you’ve never encountered this concept before, chances are good you’ll do the same thing you did when you saw emails like the other one’s I’ve posted in this blog (Bill Cosby is running for president and the “front fell off” an Australian oil tanker): You’ll wonder for a minute or two whether this could really happen.  But, let me make this very, very easy for you.  It can’t.  The three scenes in the video were actually part of a marketing campaign for a company called Cardo Systems, which manufactures wireless headsets (among other things).  The YouTube community gobbled it up like cotton candy and a simple search on “cell phone popcorn” yields almost as many copycat videos as smarty-pants debunking videos.  Go ahead and play with that over at YouTube if you have some free time on your hands.  It’s good, mindless fun.  But, I wouldn’t recommend actually getting your friends together with their cell phones and sitting around a coffee table for an hour trying to discover the truth about this for yourself.  There is a difference, you know, between good, mindless fun and a complete waste of time!

In the interest of responsible reporting, I feel compelled to spend a moment on the current facts about the dangers (or lack of danger) of using your cell phone.  Here’s a video from a 2007 Fox News broadcast:

And, for a more recent update, here’s a blog from Brian Dunning called Skeptoid that brings it all together very nicely.  It has links to articles, references, and everything!  I just became a fan of Skeptoid while researching this post!  Of course, since he’s an atheist, I wish I could use my cell phone to transmit the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ right in to his doubting brain, but he’s a smart guy and does some very good work.

I’ll leave you with one heartfelt request:  Please hang up and drive!

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.

Bill Cosby for President? I Don’t Think He Wants The Job.

This showed up in my email inbox yesterday:

I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE.

Please Forward This to Everyone you know no matter which side of the fence they’re on.

Bill Cosby!!!!!!!!

(1) “Press 1 for English” is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to  straighten out the country’s attitude. NO imports, no exports.
We will use the ‘
Wal-Mart ‘s policy, ‘If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.’

(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state.  If you didn’t put nuttin in, you ain’t gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.

(6) Welfare – Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

(7) Professional Athletes –Steroids – The FIRST time you check positive you’re banned for life.

(8) Crime – We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences.  If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9) One export will be allowed; Wheat, The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we’ll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it’s a worthy cause.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Sorry if I stepped on anyone’s toes but a vote for me will get you better than what you have, and better than what you’re gonna get.  Thanks for listening, and remember to write in my name on the ballot in November.
God Bless  America !!!!!!!!!!!


Well, first of all, I don’t believe Dr. Cosby is in the habit of using so many exclamation points. I’m already anticipating a view spike for this bog because of the number of people that will google this to see if it is actually true.  For you, here’s what snopes.com has to say, though I hope you’ve already done that before visiting this little blog.

So, how do these things get started?  Well, I don’t know who started sending the email around, but perhaps that person has been sitting in their Iowa basement for the last four years musing on this article which appeared in the Washington Monthly in January of 2005, just after George Bush began his second term.  It lists a number of “alternative” candidates the Democratic party might consider to swing the election in their favor in 2008, Dr. Cosby among them. Their “case” for Cosby is as follows:

Bill Cosby

Bio: Comedian; actor; Ph.D. in education.
Case for Candidacy: America’s favorite dad is also a master of reframing; Cosby consciously structured his top-rated “Cosby Show” to emphasize the importance of education and knock down stereotypes of black families. He has since drawn upon his beloved-icon status and personal fortune to stump for early-reading initiatives and endow college scholarships; now, he’s putting his popularity on the line to criticize the lax parenting and low academic standards he sees in black America today. These recent remarks, that drew defensive fire, proved the former Jello spokesman has guts and thrust Cosby back onto the national stage. A successful, much-loved black man touting education and family-values–what’s not to love?
Surprising Edge: Great one-liners.
Possible Disqualifier: Has admitted cheating on his wife.
Odds of surviving Iowa Caucus: 50-50

But, it seems more than a few people want to believe this could actually work, whether or not Dr. Cosby wants to be president, would accept the job, or represents any of the statements made in the claim above.  I found several message boards and blogs that are floating this story as authentic and urging people to write in Cosby on Election Day.  So, I am here to implore you, don’t take your civic duty…heck, your civic privilege…and throw it away like this!  I’d rather you stay home and not vote at all than enter the booth and be a moron!  And, I would not make a statement like that lightly.   This is not a popularity contest and it is not a joke.  The person that steps up as our Chief Executive Officer next will have perhaps the greatest challenges ahead of any president this country has ever had.   For my part, I don’t ever want to find myself at Home Depot buying duct tape and plastic sheeting and stocking up on bottled water and SPAM ever again.  Think carefully, people.  Your vote counts.

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Stats: Who’d Have Thought It Would Be So Fascinating?

Well, this will be my 18th blog post.  I started it for kicks, figuring a few friends and family members might breeze by from time to time and check it out, but it would mostly be a little corner of the interwebz for me to keep my cool stuff.  When I set up The Garden Party, I didn’t know WordPress would provide such a rich array of statistics on the activity of the blog.  I can see where people are coming to the blog from, what search engine terms they used to find my blog, which links they clicked on, whether they viewed my posts on-site or through RSS and more.  It has become a mild addiction, really, wanting to see if anyone else has viewed the blog since I checked 15 minutes ago.  I’m sure it will wear off.  Please, experienced bloggers, tell me it will wear off!

But, since I’m still all tickled pink about this, I thought I’d share the initial stats with you.  There really are already some interesting stories to tell!  Here’s what my all-time views are, by name of post:

First Garden Party Stat Capture

First Garden Party Stat Capture

My total views to date are 1,190, which actually sort of floors me.  It’s a number that teases and tempts me to figure out new and innovative ways to provoke a view spike.  As you can clearly see by the post in the number 1 position, “Moose Magic,” is in the lead.  What you can’t see by this chart, though, is that the reason for that is largely due to the 245 views it received on a single day: September 2.  What could be so outrageously captivating about a baby moose hanging out in someone’s house, I asked myself? I looked a little further and found an odd url in the list of “referrers,” (sites from which people clicked to find that post).  Something called Four Winds.  I clicked through to find my post literally cut and pasted, formatting and all, into their site.  That was a mild surprise and struck me as somewhat outside generally accepted internet eitquette.  Had I wished to do that with someone’s blog, I would have asked them it if was okay and credited them with the authorship of the post.  But, since I was basking in viewers, I didn’t let my feathers get terribly ruffled.  I didn’t even notice that they had inexplicably renamed my post to “Moose Majic.”  I did, however, wish to understand what this site was all about, why they found my post so important to their mission, and what kind of visitors I might be drawing from their place.

I’m not going to link to them here, because, frankly, I find them creepy and had a rather unpleasant email exchange with them when I wrote to share with them what I have just shared with you.  They told me to grow up or take my blog down if I didn’t “want my posts to be seen.”  So, if you really want to see for yourself what I’m about to tell you, you’ll have to go and google them for yourselves.

My jaw literally dropped when I read their mission statement:

The Four Winds and The Phoenix Archives websites are committed to giving Truth to the people of our world and to revealing the lies under which we of Planet Earth have been living for thousands of years.

This website has been established to freely give Truth to anyone seeking Truth on this planet. The Bellringers are assisting to fulfill the promise that Esu Immanuel made 2000 years ago, when he said that at the end of the age, Truth would be presented one more time to the “four corners of the earth”

Whoa.  But, that’s just the beginning.  Here are their stated objectives:

  1. To reveal the Darkside’s secret Plan 2000 for total world control by our present evil world leaders.
  2. To reveal to the world’s people that Creator God Aton of Light also has a Plan 2000. God Aton and His Forces of Light will not do it for us but will work with us, as we responsibly confront evil in our day and change the “ending of the play.”
  3. To reveal the evil world leaders’ cover-up of off-world humans (our ancestors), who are here in starships in Earth’s atmosphere at this time, and who have come with good intent to help us prevent the evil Plan 2000 from being accomplished, and to help us establish the New Age of Enlightenment.
  4. To reveal the Truth presently being given to our civilization by the Realms of Light:
    • How to change the age-old prophecies, e.g. how to change the ending of this civilization without the prophesied final destruction occurring.
    • How to prepare for our future survival, if necessary, against coming Earth changes.
    • How to heal ourselves from any disease or ailment by within in combination with those things provided by Creator God for our healing.
    • How to have total and permanent protection for ourselves and our families against all darkside energies, entities and technology.
    • How to change what is and create our way, through the power of our God-Spirit within. This includes bringing balance and harmony again to our “Mother Earth and ushering in the New Age of Peace and Enlightenment.
    • How to assist our Planet Earth in her transition into fifth dimension by 2012.
    • How to make our own transition into fifth dimension and the Age of Enlightenment without experiencing physical death and returning to another 3D lifestream.
  5. To assist Truthseekers, Lightworkers, and Truthbringers alike in their search for and presentation of Truth.
  6. To spread the Truth from Creator God Aton of Light to the “Four Corners of the Planet Earth” via the “Fourwinds” website and the Phoenix Archives website. The original foundation of Truth upon which Fourwinds rests is that which has been presented by Creator God Aton of Light and the Ascended Masters in the 241 volumes of The Phoenix Journals. These Journals are also known as the “Holy Books of the Lighted Realms.”

Double whoa.  Having read that, you’d think I would not have been stupid enough to actually email them and inquire about internet etiquette.  By this point, I hadn’t considered it.  It wasn’t until I read this next bit that I felt I had to take a stand. In their instructions to their new readers, they state:

This section contains more than one hundred categories of news and information items ranging from government and political to science, health and spiritual areas. You are free to read, copy and use with good intent any article of interest you find here.

Er…you’re giving the world permission to do whatever they wish with something you don’t own?  My ethics radar went up.  I was polite and sweet, but received a rather obnoxious response.  Big surprise there.  I guess universal truth is a tough business!  In the end, this mostly served to amuse me and make me wonder what I might do to watch my stats line graph grow more interesting. I think I’ll start by tagging this post with their website names, since they seem to be so unnervingly popular! 😉

Coming in a distant (but much more reasonable) second is the viral video “The Front Fell Off,” featuring an Australian comedy duo doing a sketch about a shipping accident that resulted in a major oil spill.  At the moment, this post is getting the most views per day and is enjoying quite a lot of attention.  The Stats tell me it is the most searched-on topic on my blog…actually coming in second to the rescued baby moose.  Since both of these stories came to me through my email, and both professed to be true, I’m making the huge intellectual leap that people are satisfying their need to separate hoax from truth by googling these topics as they receive the emails themselves.  I’m particularly entertained by watching the search queries for “The Front Fell Off,” because it tells the story of how many people must have gotten the email and wondered, “Wow!  Could that really be true?”  We’re such a gullible bunch!

While we’re talking about search engine queries, I am still dumbfounded by how many people are still trying to find out the facts on how to properly wrap a potato in aluminum foil for baking!  That was a total fluff piece!  I was just getting my blogging feet wet!  And, there it is, number 4 in popularity and showing up on the search engine stats daily!  I’m dying to know what is really up with that!

Finally, there is a stat section called, “Incoming Links,” that says it tracks other blogs that have linked to me.  Something’s not right in that land.  A couple of friends and fellow-bloggers have, in fact, linked to me from their blogs.  They don’t show up here.  On the other hand, this site does!  Curious, I went there to see where I had been linked.  Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see a link to my blog anywhere on that site, nor would I expect to, since it is actually about gardening and not The Garden Party!  So, I’m seriously scratching my head there.  If you have insight on this mystery, please comment!

And, the epilogue has to do with just that:  comments.  Please post some!  I can see you guys all reading the blog from the Stats page and yet the comments section is paltry in comparison!  Let me know you were here, for crying out loud!  Just a little shout out would be fine…no need to write anything profound!  Let me know if you found a post interesting, amusing, enlightening, boring, or whatever.  Thanks!

Psalms 48:12 Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; 13 Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following.