Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Clean Coal!

We here in Alameda are lucky that our local power company, The Bureau of Alameda Telecom and Green Electrical Municipal Power (BATGEMP), provides us with 100% "green" electricity. They are able to do this is by using Clean Coal, an energy technology that is backed by everybody—Environmentalists, the Coal industry who creates it, and of course President Obama. Well, it's opposed by a few "reality-based" nut-cases but we won't worry about them.

Now, we all know about the benefits of burning coal, and of course Clean Coal is even better! Here's a great video about Clean Coal. (There seems to be some kind of typo in the text right at the end, so I would just ignore that part if I were you.)

One of the great things about Clean Coal is that it allows us to burn coal, which some short-sighted people over the years have argued is not particularly good for the environment, in a clean fashion. It's so clean, you can take a bath in it, in fact. Ever since I learned that our electricity comes from such clean sources, my family has boosted our electrical consumption in order to "vote with our pocketbooks" for this kind of technology. We hope that you will too.

Here are some ideas on how to consume extra electricity so that you can encourage more production of Clean Coal:

  • Wash your clothes, but take them out before the final spin cycle. Carefully put your dripping clothes into your dryer (it is all-electric, isn't it?) and start it up. Be sure to check on your clothes every few hours to make sure that you have not over-dried your clothes.
  • Put a humidifier and a dehumidifier into the same room and let them "fight it out."
  • If you have an air conditioner—a necessity in Alameda, really—you can also do the same by using it at the same time as your electric heaters. If you don't have an air conditioner, just open a window for a similar effect, but do try to get an air conditioner installed as soon as possible.
  • In case you haven't removed those dangerous compact fluorescent bulbs from your light fixtures, replace them immediately…with Halogen bulbs, if at all possible, so that your rooms feel sunnier.
  • Give your fireplace a break and heat your home with your hair dryers. (But be sure to do it safely—remember that we have been asked to have fewer fires.)
  • Buy rechargeable batteries! Yes, I know this is counterintuitive, but here's the twist—charge them up using Alameda electricity, and then send them as presents to your out-of-town friends. Just be sure to tell them to send them back to you for further recharging after they run out, or just dispose of them if that is not convenient.
  • Turn your electric water heater up to the highest possible setting. Not only will this encourage BATGEMP to send more Clean Coal power your way, it will keep your water safe and disinfected. Can't get much greener than that!
  • Leave your refrigerator and freezer doors propped open. You will probably need to adjust their thermostats slightly to compensate.
  • Do not turn appliances off, ever. You may need to think "outside the box" for this, because some appliances were not meant to be left on for long periods of time. We all know that turning electrical appliances on and off shortens their lifespan, so figuring out a way to keep your appliances on will reduce wear and tear as well as encouraging the production of more Clean Coal. For example, use duct tape to hold down the handle on your toaster so that the toast doesn't pop up (thereby turning off the toaster and breaking the flow of electricity). Just keep a fork handy to pull the toast out manually while the heating coils stay cookin'.
If we all set a goal to increase our electricity usage by 200% here in Alameda, just think how much more Clean Coal will be produced—and by doing so, we'll be greener and cleaner than ever!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Alameda Daily Noose and I to Be Awarded $1.4 Million by Burkina Faso Beauty

The Alameda Daily Noose and I recently received the message below from Claira Justin Yac, who is obviously an avid fan of our noosepaper. Because we are unfailingly generous and kind, we jumped at the chance to be of assistance to this elegant and resourceful young woman, with her uncanny ability to perceive nobility of character. Besides, with the current economic downturn, we could use some money from a grateful heiress more than ever. Ms. Yac should be on her way to Alameda now, since we've already pawned some of our orphans and used the money to send her a one-way plane ticket to Alameda International Airport.

Ms. Yac mentioned her desire to complete her education at a nice university like the College of Alameda, but we can do better than that. What education could surpass an unpaid internship at a soon-to-be-award-winning daily noosepaper? We are sure that everyone concerned will be much happier as soon as Ms. Yac arrives in Alameda with her checkbook.

- Dearest,I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart. My name is Claira Justin Yac , 24yrs old, female and I held from South Sudan. My father Dr. Justine Yac and my mother had been on board when the plane crashed on Friday May 02, 2008. After the burial of my father, my uncle conspired and sold my father's properties and live nothing for me. One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I traveled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money so that I can start a better life and take care of myself. On my arrival, the Branch manager of the Bank told me that my father's instruction to the bank was the money be release to me only when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas. I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust. Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you may be the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my uncle have threaten to assassinate me. The amount is $14.9 Million and I have confirmed from the bank in Burkina Faso. However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies. It is my intention to compensate you with 10% of the total money for your services. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely.

Sincerely yours,
Claira Justin Yac.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grumbel and Alameda Daily Noose Tackle Oscar® Controversy Head On

The Alameda Daily Noose and I understand that there has been some controversy swirling around our hard-hitting coverage of this year's Oscars®. Although the careless reader might mistake our put-downs of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for mean-spirited attacks on upstanding members of our community, anyone with the slightest knowledge of the movie business knows that a fair number of those Hollywood big shots don't even live in Alameda.

Even if all of the Academy members were Right-Thinking Alamedans, our would-be critics would still need to educate themselves on the fine line between constructive criticism and a personal attack. Now, when people are clearly and obviously wrong on an issue, like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were about this year's best picture, then to rub their ignorant faces in it is harsh but constructive criticism. On the other hand, if your gut tells you that you or somebody else you admire is right on an issue, then anyone who nit-picks that person's so-called facts or quote-unquote reasoning is making a vicious personal attack. Why, that's so simple that even the knuckle-dragging cretins who hand out the Oscars® could understand it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oooops, They Failed to Recognize the Greatness That Is Paul Blart: Mail Cop!


As usual, I really enjoyed your Oscar predictions, but one tiny thing about them struck me as odd. Every year I'm on tenterhooks wondering who will win the award for best sound mixing, and this time I was just sure "The Dark Knight" had it all sewn up. I mean, the sound mixing on that film was so great that my husband was frantically trying to swat at the bats he thought he heard flying around in the auditorium! Anyway, I watched the awards ceremony, and I remember being shocked that "Slumdog Millionaire" took the honor, and yet that doesn't jibe with your 100% accurate list of predictions. Is something amiss, or am I just going a little "batty"?

Curiously Yours,

Brenda Snook

Editor's Comments:

The Alameda Daily Noose and I are outraged that you dared to question the accuracy of our predictions, but since you are an otherwise Right-Thinking Alamedan who obviously doesn't know much about the movie industry, we are willing to let it slide this time.

Yes, something is amiss alright, and it is the judgment of the so-called Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They were wrong when they robbed "Paul Blart: Mail Cop" of the honors for best picture, just as surely as they were wrong when they overlooked its stunning cinematography, avant-garde directing, masterful film editing, moving score, irresistibly catchy song, ground-breaking sound mixing, and innovative writing. How could they pass over such an obvious example of genius in favor of yet another feel-good family film about some dog that becomes a millionaire? Tch-tch-tch!

Just shift the words of "happy" to "we" and "go" to "screwed" and "lucky" to "up" and "world" to "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" and "did it" to "didn't do it" and "Hyuu! Hyuu! Hyuu! Hyuu! Osu! Osu! Osu! Osu! (Ai!)" to "We failed to recognize the genius of 'Paul Blart: Mail Cop'! (It's the best film ever!)" and "Yatta!" to "Roger Grumbel and the Alameda Daily Noose were right!" and shift the tempo from fast to slow, the mood from happy and upbeat to despondent and contrite, and the setting from Japan to Hollywood and you'll have this year's theme song for the Academy Awards:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grumbel and Alameda Daily Noose Accurately Predicted All 24 Oscar® Winners

Last week, in a private conference held in my living room, the Alameda Daily Noose and I accurately predicted all 24 Oscar® winners in this year's awards ceremony presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This marks our 60th consecutive year of completely accurate predictions, and the fact that we have yet to announce our predictions to the general public ahead of time does not detract in the least from this momentous accomplishment. After all, we have an obligation to keep our 100% accurate predictions secret; otherwise, they would wreak havoc with the odds placed on the winners by those upstanding professionals in the bookmaking business.

So, without further ado, here is our list of 24 Oscar® predictions for yesterday's awards:

  1. Actor in a leading role: Sean Penn

  2. Actor in a supporting role: Heath Ledger

  3. Actress in a leading role: Kate Winslet

  4. Actress in a supporting role: Penélope Cruz

  5. Animated Feature Film: Wall-E

  6. Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  7. Cinematography: Paul Blart: Moviscop

  8. Costume Design: The Duchess

  9. Directing: Paul Blart: DeMille Cop

  10. Documentary feature: Man on Wire

  11. Documentary short: Smile Pinki

  12. Film editing: Paul Blart: Montage Cop

  13. Foreign language film: Departures

  14. Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  15. Music (Score): Paul Blart: Maestro Cop

  16. Music (Song): "Jai Ho" from Paul Blart: Mumbai Cop

  17. Best Picture: Paul Blart: Mail Cop

  18. Short film (animated): La Maison en Petits Cubes

  19. Short film (live action): Spielzeugland (Toyland)

  20. Sound editing: The Dark Knight

  21. Sound mixing: Paul Blart: Mult Cop

  22. Visual effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  23. Writing (Adapted screenplay): Paul Blart: Manuscript Cop

  24. Writing (Original screenplay): Milk

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grn Lvng by Jnt Mrchnt: Cnsrvng Vwls

W ll knw tht y cn't spll "nvrnmnt" wtht th lttr "." Tht mns th plnt wll b n bg trbl whn thr r n mr vwls! Ths scrc lttrs mk p nly 19-23% f th lphbt (dpndng n whthr r nt y ncld "y," whch prsnlly dn't). Thy'r prctclly n ndngrd spcs! Tht's why w shld jst sy "n" t vwls. Th nxt gnrtn wll nd t spll "plnt" nd "nvrnmnt" vn mr thn w d tdy. W ll knw tht mny cn by lv nd hppnss, bt mny cn't by vwls. Lt's sv vwls tdy t b sr tht r chldrn wll hv vwls tmrrw.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Roger Rates Recent Interwebcasts

Roger's ratings of meetings initially interwebcast in the past 7 days, with the most recent shown in green:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
Corica Have Mercy:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
This Is an Outrage:
Regular Transportation Commission, February 11, 2009

Editor's Comments:

Despite the fact that the Alameda Daily Noose and I have complained specifically about these boring, five-hour-long Transport Panel meeetings, we're saddened to announce that they've done it again. Now they've added something about "junk mail" to their seemingly endless reel of nautical propaganda. Well, we think it's high time that the Council "junked" this worthless Traffic Board!

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
So Many Things to Get Annoyed About:

Golden AcornGolden Acorn
Run-of-the-Mill Shenanigans:
Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council, February 17, 2009

Golden Acorn
Nothing Worth Complaining About:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dave Williamson Comments on East End Homicide


I'm sure that the one surviving relative of the lady who got hit by that house would agree that the real tragedy here lies not in the crushed and lifeless body of her beloved sister, but rather in the heart-rending fiscal excesses revealed by my analysis of the City of Alameda's budgetary allocations. I'm confident that she fully supports my use of the incident to advance my political cause du jour; after all, if I had failed to do so, her sister would have died in vain.

So, to return to the heart of the matter, the location of that fallen structure is almost right next door to Alameda Fire Station 1, and that station is not suffering from "brown-nosing" like Bay Farm Island's fire station, so the medical response for the housing victim couldn't have been impacted. The City of Alameda, dare I say, "got lucky" this time: if not for a happy accident of staffing, the victim could have been even more dead by the time paramedics arrived. And what about the next victim of a falling shack, house, barn or skyscraper, should an event occur on Bay Farm Island while that station's crew is busy "brown nosing," or rescuing a kitten caught in a tree? Just how dead will these instantly-killed victims have to be before the City takes action?

According to a dog-and-pony show being trotted out to various groups in Alameda by the so-called City Treasurer, the City of Alameda spends a whole bunch of money on something called "General Administration." Why are Alameda residents being forced to suffer "brown-nosing" at our fire stations while the City wastes untold millions of taxpayer dollars ministering to the whims of a bunch of military commanders?

But it gets worse…much worse. I looked into this, and I found that there is an even bigger category called the "General Fund." Why does Alameda even need Generals, or an army, for that matter? Perhaps Council should also look at changing the composition of Alameda's armed forces, perhaps demoting all of those fancy-pants Generals to Colonels or Majors. Then we could get rid of General Administration, the General Fund, and everything else related to Generals!

Dave Williamson

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

East End Woman Is Victim of Drop in Housing

Following is a press release from the Alameda Police Department:

Yesterday at 7:19 a.m., the Alameda Police Department received a 9-1-1 call initially for a falling structure at 1418 Giallobrico Rd. When the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) arrived, they were met by a confused young girl who appeared to be the occupant of the house, surrounded by a group of oddly dressed little people and a woman clad in white. The woman proceeded to report the homicide of a certain Ms. W. Wich, a resident of Alameda's East End, whose stylishly shod legs were seen protruding from beneath the now earthbound abode. The Alameda Police Department responded and took the girl into custody. AFD used the Jaws of Life to extricate the body, whereupon paramedics confirmed that the victim was killed instantly by massive blunt-force trauma inflicted by a gravitationally accelerated domicile. According to the primary witness, Ms. Wich is survived only by her sister, who resides on the West End.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Profiles in Courageous Greatness

Today we honor the courage and greatness of those larger-than-life figures whose courageous deeds loom larger than life, like great faces chiseled into granite in the minds of the citizenry. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Roosevelt: These men pale in comparison with the subject of today's exclusive Alameda Daily Noose interview.

We spoke at length with Roger Grumbel, Founder, President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor-in-Chief of the Alameda Daily Noose, about his ideas for continuing his long tradition of journalistic excellence, and his concerns over everyone else's failings.

Tell us about the Alameda Daily Noose?
That's not really a question, is it? I, Roger Grumbel, granted you, the Alameda Daily Noose, this exclusive interview with me because I thought you had spent enough time in my prodigious shadow to conduct it without causing embarrassment, and your first question is an imperative sentence with a question mark at the end? Shame! Now, what were we talking about again?

The Alameda Daily Noose?
Oh, right, the Alameda Daily Noose. The Noose expertly fills the gap left by those pathetic excuses for so-called local papers that litter doorsteps all over Alameda. We encircle the top stories of the day with our journalistic prowess, wrestle them to the ground, and imprint them with our special brand of completely objective analysis long before most people are even aware that anything is happening. Our legendary speed at reporting the scoops is due in part to the wonders of the interweb, which allows us to publish groundbreaking items at the drop of a hat. In fact, we often do drop our hat in our rush to be the first to publish exciting press releases and hard-hitting investigative reports that blow the lids off of movie show times.

Speaking of so-called local papers (pathetic excuses for them), what's wrong with them?
That's a great question. For one thing, they have been known to make spelling errors, which is a sure sign that you can't trust anything they wright. Only the Alameda Daily Noose is out there asking the tough questions and telling Right-Thinking Alamedans what they want to hear. And if you ask me, I think there are way too many opinions masquerading as facts in the local media. This is especially problematic in the context of the Boring, Lame, Online Gossip Shops, commonly known as B.L.O.G.S. Even though they are completely different from the Alameda Daily Noose, there is always a danger that someone might mistake one of those B.L.O.G.S. for a legitimate noose source. Just to be on the safe side, Right-Thinking Alamedans should not trust any interweb site without the word "noose" on the masthead.

Courageously asking tough questions is one of the things that makes the Alameda Daily Noose so great, and this interview is no exception. Sir, your harshest critics have accused you of being too modest. How do you respond?
It's true, I am very modest, almost as much as I am talented. As Editor-in-Chief of the Alameda Daily Noose, I have many opportunities to rub the faces of my loyal readers in my greatness or to talk about all of the awards I am soon to win, but I almost always resist that temptation because I am so modest. Now, what my so-called critics clearly don't understand is that there is no such thing as being too modest. I realize that just about everyone is jealous of my great modesty, but because I am so tolerant and magnanimous, I do not hold that against them.

Thank you for speaking with us?
You're welcome?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Greening Your Water Use

All of these sunny days we've been having lately in Alameda are great for solar power enthusiasts, but not so good for our water supply. With California facing what could be its worst drought in history this year, even Alameda could be affected.

Normally, we count on a lot of water falling out of the sky as the rain that keeps our Kentucky bluegrass thriving, or trickling down to us in the form of melted snow from the mountains, but there just hasn't been much rain or snow this winter. That got me to thinking; if we can't get the water we need from rain or snow, where else could we get it? The answer is so obvious, I can't believe I didn't realize it sooner. Water doesn't just come out of our faucets—it also comes out of bottles!

Instead of draining our precious reservoirs by turning on the faucet to get a drink of water, you can just open a bottle. Sure, it might take a little extra effort to twist that cap off, but that's a small price to pay if you like water with bubbles in it. Those carbon dioxide bubbles are also good for powering away dirt. I've found that bottled water is great for washing dishes, or the car, or the dog, and for tough laundry stains, you can't beat a washer tub full of club soda!

You might think that making this change in your already modest water use would just be a drop in the bucket, environmentally speaking, but there is another advantage to using bottled water for everything from bathing to floor-mopping. The plastic bottles that water comes in are recyclable. In fact, you can also recycle water bottles that are made out of glass. We all know that recycling is good for the planet, so the more bottles of water you use up, the better our planet will be. And with all of these tips for using bottled water at your disposal, you'll be amazed how quickly you can fill up your recycling bin!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roger Rates Recent Interwebcasts

Roger's ratings of meetings initially interwebcast in the past 21 days, with the most recent shown in green:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
Corica Have Mercy:

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
This Is an Outrage:
Regular Meeting of the Alameda City Council February 3, 2009
Regular Transportation Commission January 28, 2009

Golden AcornGolden AcornGolden Acorn
So Many Things to Get Annoyed About:
Regular ARRA Meeting February 4, 2009

Golden AcornGolden Acorn
Run-of-the-Mill Shenanigans:
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board February 9, 2009
Regular Meeting of the Planning Board January 26, 2009

Golden Acorn
Nothing Worth Complaining About:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Earl Ruffhart Has Some Fresh New Ideas to Get Alameda's Economy Moving

Dear Editor:

I've been reading lately about how the only thing that can fix our economy is tax cuts. When the economy is down, we need tax cuts to put money back in our pockets, after all, the last thing you want to do in a bad economy is raise taxes. And when the economy is up, we need tax cuts to let people keep more of their hard-earned money and keep businesses booming, because the last thing you want to do in a good economy is raise taxes. Of course, whenever the economy is so-so, we need tax cuts to give it a little jump-start.

Is there anything that tax cuts can't do? I've been thinking about it, and realized that the answer is no! Tax cuts may very well be the silver bullet we've all been looking for to solve all our problems. For example, I don't see too many people shopping at the Dusty Shelves Market these days. Maybe if the owners got a tax cut, they could hire an employee to dust off the canned lunch meat, and then someone besides me might buy it. And when I'm out walking my dog, he'll sometimes run into my neighbor's yard and ignores my calls until he's done his business, and I have to hide behind a tree so my neighbor doesn't see me. I'm sure my dog wants to be more obedient, but he just needs a little tax incentive. It's like those young punks who ride their skate-boards on my driveway. Maybe if we gave them tax cuts they would go out and get some jobs so they could keep more of their hard-earned money!

Well, I could go on about all the problems that can be solved with tax cuts, but as it stands, I don't get enough of a deduction on paper, typewriter ribbons, white-out, staples, envelopes and stamps. You'll get the rest of this letter as soon as I get my tax cut.

Earl Ruffhart

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hard-Boiled Cop Drama Heads Schedule of Movies Showing at Super-Mega-Monster-Plex That Everyone Hates

Movie schedule at the Super-Mega-Monster-Plex That Everyone Hates, 2317 Central Avenue:

Paul Blart: Mail Cop (PG) 11:20, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:30
He's Just Not That Into You (PG-13) Fri-Tues 12:30, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00
Coraline (PG) Dolby Digital 3D, 12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:15, 9:35
Paul Blart: Male Cop (PG) 11:20, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:30
Slumdog Millionaire (R) 11:00, 1:50, 4:50, 7:40, 10:20
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13) 8:00
Gran Torino (R) Fri – Tues: 11:30, 2:00, 4:45, 7:20, 10:15
Paul Blart: Maul Cop (PG) 11:20, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:30
Hotel For Dogs (PG) 11:10, 1:35, 4:10

Ticket prices are reasonable, but the parking costs are outrageous! If you go to any movies, be sure to complain afterwards about the lack of free parking in the parking garage that nobody uses because it's too full.

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Memoriam: Alameda Residential Real Estate Market, 1851-2009

On Saturday, February 7th, the last house in Alameda was sold to a couple of mindless yuppies from a City That Is Not Alameda, thus officially marking the death of the Alameda residential real estate market.

The market began 157 years, 3 months, and 16 days ago on Wednesday, October 22, 1851, when William Chipman and Gideon Aughinbaugh purchased what is now Alameda for $14,000 from Don Antonio Peralta, whose family received the land back in 1820 from some shady character called the "King of Spain." Said Chipman to Aughinbaugh, "This is indeed a fine piece of land. One day, I imagine it will support exactly 31,801 housing units." Replied Aughinbaugh, "Yes, but not a single house more." The Don nodded and averred, "Los gringos tienen razón."

The mood Saturday among Alameda's real estate professionals was one of somber resignation. "It had a good run," said former real estate agent Aldo Yagoda as he unscrewed the sign hanging outside his office, "especially for a small town with such limited access. I suppose I should have seen this coming…after all, Alameda is an island."

Former City Council Candidate wasted no time in pointing out the implications of the market's demise: "The economy stinks. The housing market has been in the toilet since 2006. Obviously, no new houses will ever be built, and there will be no need to sell any of the existing ones." When asked what will happen to those houses, she replied, "Well, I imagine folks will just continue to live there. As long as Alameda stays just like it is, why would anyone ever want to leave? They can pass the houses on to their kids."

The Alameda Daily Noose and I pointed out that some people don't have any heirs, not even a workhouse full of orphans, but this didn't faze Former City Council Candidate. She shot back, "Those houses will just have to sit vacant until we Right-Thinking Alamedans figure out what to do with them. The ugly ones could be knocked down to make way for civic gathering places, and maybe we could save the nice ones as museums."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Solar Power Comes from the Sun

Did you know that the sun is a source of clean energy? That's right! Plants, like your Kentucky bluegrass, use the energy to photosynthesize, and there are all kinds of other uses for solar. Scientists have found that the sun is a huge atom-smashing machine. The heat and light of the sun come from the nuclear reactions of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and helium. I know, it sounds kind of dangerous, but the sun is really far away—about 93 million miles away!—so we don't have to worry about it. If it were in our back yards, that would be another story!

You may think your attic gets hot in the summer, but believe it or not, the sun is much hotter. It is so hot that everything on it is a gas: iron, copper, aluminum, and many others. The next time you're feeling blue because, after too many of those organic free-range fried chicken T.V. dinners, you just can't seem to squeeze into that pair of jeans that used to fit you so well, you might want to think about how much bigger the sun is. If the sun were hollow, a million earths could fit inside…and yet the sun is only a middle-sized star. That kind of perspective really makes you, your problems, and your posterior seem just a little bit smaller, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Berkeley Anarchists Join "Righteous Rebellion" Against Tyrannical Mayoral Proclamation

This is Subcomandante Precious Moments® calling you forth to action, Alamedia!

Our Berkeley-based band of anarchists was searching the web yesterday for organic, free-trade, hypoallergenic black bandanas that will not be inflammatory on long marches, when we happened across this notice of the cruel abuses inflicted upon you by your so-called government.

Your Mayor Johanson is supporting that group of kitten and puppy fanatics by approving their shameless proclamation. Well, anyone capable of connecting the dots can see that the Feline And Canine Infant Support Trust is nothing other than a FACIST organization! This is how our viciously capitalistic representative democracy keeps us all down. It's just like when they try to make us pay to park our parents' BMW's in front of our own dorms. They are always trying to tell us what to do, but we noble anarchists are here to tell you not to do what anyone tells you to do!

In solidarity with your fight against oppressively cute kittens and puppies, we used our iPhones to get driving directions to the Pets, Inc. pet store at the Country Periphery shopping center, over at the corner of Park Ave. and Otis St. Although we got totally lost around that wack 23rd Ave. exit off the 880, we finally arrived at our destination, smashed all the windows, and renditioned the feline and canine enemy combatants to secret fluffy beds in undisclosed parts of Berkeley.

Just because we are now feeding and petting these incredibly cute tools of the ruling class, that doesn't mean that we have succumbed to cuteness in any degree. To prove it, we will be burning all of the greeting cards bearing images of cute kittens and puppies that remain in our Revolutionary Hallmark Gold Crown® Store…that is, all that remain after this week's 50% off sale on cards featuring cute puppies and kittens. Stock up now, while supplies last! Nothing sticks it to the man like using his own weapons against him, which is why we recommend writing letters of protest on those cards with cute kittens and puppies. The irony will be so intense, it'll be like a smack in the face to your tyrannical mayor and her minions on the council.

Now, there are sure to be some mindless yuppies and other members of the bourgeoisie who will question our tactics. But if your systems of government to make change are unavailable, if your justice system isn't just, if your kittens and puppies are attacking and destroying the immune systems of your citizens, people are going to show that anger and frustration in people's immediate surroundings. If people committing violence are doing it to get attention, they certainly get more attention than people doing things peaceful and positive.

Yes, comrades, we have fomented a righteous rebellion, stemming from a long history of feline and canine repression, that has liberated your Treasured Island of Alamedia! No longer will your quote-unquote mayor be able to distract you from the injustices of the system by shoving cute kittens and puppies in your faces.

Join us!

Yours in Revolutionary Struggle,
Subcomandante Precious Moments®
Assistant Manager
Revolutionary Hallmark Gold Crown® Store
2374 1/2 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mayor's Inflammatory Proclamation Gets Right-Thinking Alamedan's Dander Up


What is our City Council thinking when they allow the mayor to make an irresponsible, downright inflammatory proclamation in favor of kittens and puppies? I say inflammatory, because as someone who is strongly allergic to all kinds of dander, I'm not very happy that there are people in my town who own dogs and cats, since I might accidentally find myself in the vicinity of one of those furry little menaces to my health.

I don't see the mayor making any proclamations about sensible pets, like snakes. How am I supposed to explain this obvious discrimination to my pet snake, Ralph? Snakes are much cuter than kittens or puppies. Is the City Council aware that, unlike snakes, puppies and kittens never coil lovingly around one's neck? What good is a pet that can't do that, in addition to getting rid of unwanted rodents?

The Council shouldn't be taking public positions on fundamental issues like this, anyway. We should pass a charter amendment to ensure that every single one of these proclamations is put on the ballot, because who says those five bozos on the council speak for all of us Alamedans? It should be up to the voters to decide that snakes are obviously much better pets than anything that doesn't have scaly skin, as everyone with half a brain already knows.

Frieda Bellows

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mayor to Tackle Controversial Issue at Tonight's Council Meeting

Following is a proclamation to be issued by the mayor at tonight's regular meeting of the City Council:

Proclamation declaring February 3, 2009 as "Kittens and Puppies" Day in Alameda


Whereas, kittens and puppies are cute and snuggly, and are a resource of critical importance to our community; and

Whereas, the poor defenseless creatures need kindly humans to nurture them to adulthood; and

Whereas, the Feline And Canine Infant Support Trust has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the urgent need to provide all kittens and puppies with loving homes; and

Whereas, 99.7% of homeless kittens and puppies in our community are so cute you can hardly stand it, and are simply begging to go home with us and be our sweet, innocent, widdle snuggle bunnies;

Now, therefore, I, Beverly Johnson, Mayor of the City of Alameda, in recognition of the ongoing effort to raise feline and canine infants to be happy, healthy, and cuddly adults, do hereby proclaim February 3, 2009, to be

"Kittens and Puppies" Day

in the city of Alameda and urge all citizens to show their brave support for kittens and puppies by commemorating this day by adopting a feline or canine infant, or by scritch-scritch-scritching the irresistibly exposed bellies of adorable kittens and/or puppies. By increasing awareness and empowering kittens and puppies to be just the cutest things, we can overcome chronic cuteness deficiency once and for all.

Beverly J. Johnson

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Happy Face" Markings on Oak Street the Work of Aliens?

My Dear Editor,

I was enjoying a bit of fresh air last weekend, taking a walk from City Hall, where I had parked, to the Police Station, to file complaints about teenagers loitering in my neighborhood and walking in front of my house. I was surprised to see some odd markings in the street, spaced every few hundred feet. I have never seen such markings before, but they appear, from one angle at least, to resemble a smiling, taunting, perhaps even laughing, face. Normally I would think it was the work of spray-can-wielding teenagers, but these seem too well-crafted to be anything other than the work of aliens. Perhaps these are the urban equivalent of the famous "crop circle" patterns that appear every few weeks in remote place like Yuba City and Iowa.

I am surprised that, even with one of these appearing right in front of our police station (see the second photo), nobody seems to have taken notice of these markings! How long have these been on the street? This is an absolute outrage, and I think we should all write meandering letters to our Mayor and City Council just to let them know how angry we are that they have allowed our city to be defaced by extra-terrestrials.


Dave Williamson