Putin’s actions in Syria   Leave a comment







Posted October 10, 2015 by markosun in Geopolitics

National Enquirer: the Queen of Newspaper Tabloids   Leave a comment

As I was waiting in line at a drug store the other day my eyes were drawn to the magazine stand. To my surprise there at the top of the stand was the National Enquirer.  I thought that old controversial tabloid had went out of business years ago. But the rag is still steaming off the presses. I guess certain people like to be entertained by reading made-up stories about the rich and famous. 

A reliable source this tabloid is not.  Funny, it is that.  The Enquirer is one step above Weekly World News, the WWN writes about women having Bigfoot’s babies.  The Enquirer doesn’t go that far, but as the headlines below demonstrate, it does go far. It did report with a straight face that Jack Black was pregnant.  Escapism in a very harmless way I suppose.

Ben Carson is running against Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination


I always had my doubts about Doctor Phil


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In 1926, William Griffin, a protégé of William Randolph Hearst, founded the paper as The New York Evening Enquirer, a Sunday afternoon broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout New York City, using money lent to Griffin by Hearst. As partial payment of his loan, Hearst asked Griffin to use the Enquirer as a proving ground for new ideas. Hearst took the ideas that worked in his successful publications; the less successful ideas stayed with the Enquirer, and as a result the Enquirer‘s sales never soared.

Cover from the 1960’s


By 1952, the paper’s circulation had fallen to 17,000 copies a week and it was purchased by Generoso Pope Jr., the son of Generoso Pope, the founder of Il Progresso, New York’s Italian language daily newspaper. It has been alleged that Mafia boss Frank Costello provided Pope the money for the purchase in exchange for the Enquirer’s promise to list lottery numbers and to refrain from all mention of Mafia activities.


In 1953, Pope revamped the format from a broadsheet to a sensationalist tabloid focusing on sex and violence. The paper’s editorial content became so salacious that Griffin was forced by the Mayor to resign from the city’s Board of Higher Education in 1954. In 1957, Pope changed the name of the newspaper to The National Enquirer and changed its scope to national stories of sex and scandal. Pope worked tirelessly in the 1950s and 1960s to increase the circulation and broaden the tabloid’s appeal. In the late 1950s and through most of the 1960s, the Enquirer was known for its gory and unsettling headlines and stories such as: “I Cut Out Her Heart and Stomped on It” (Sept. 8, 1963) and “Mom Boiled Her Baby and Ate Her” (1962). At this time the paper was sold on newsstands and in drugstores only. Pope stated he got the idea for the format and these gory stories from seeing people congregate around auto accidents. By 1966, circulation had risen to one million.

The Enquirer must have secret agents in the heart of the medical establishment, as they always seem to know about the impending demise of celebrities.

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Posted October 9, 2015 by markosun in Humour, Media

Very Heavy Smoking in China among Men   Leave a comment


One in three young Chinese men will die from smoking, study says


A new study has warned that a third of all men currently under the age of 20 in China will eventually die prematurely if they do not give up smoking.

The research, published in The Lancet medical journal, says two-thirds of men in China now start to smoke before 20.  Around half of those men will die from the habit, it concludes.

The scientists conducted two nationwide studies, 15 years apart, covering hundreds of thousands of people.

In 2010, around one million people in China died from tobacco usage. But researchers say that if current trends continue, that will double to two million people – mostly men – dying every year by 2030, making it a “growing epidemic of premature death”.

While more than half of Chinese men smoke, only 2.4% of Chinese women do.


The study was conducted by scientists from Oxford University, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Center for Disease Control.

But co-author Richard Peto said there was hope – if people can be persuaded to quit. “The key to avoid this huge wave of deaths is cessation, and if you are a young man, don’t start,” he said.

In many parts of China, meals often fit a comfortable pattern. After putting down their chopsticks, men commonly push their chairs back from the table and light cigarettes. No wonder China has struggled to impose a smoking ban in public places. Here, relationships are often built amid clouds of smoke.

Expensive brands of cigarettes, often decorated with gold detailing on the cartons, are given as gifts. And ordinary brands are affordable to all but the very poor, costing just 2.5 yuan ($0.4; £0.25) a pack.

In a country where smoking is so ingrained in daily life, few understand the harmful effects of tobacco use. According to the World Health Organization, only 25% of Chinese adults can list the specific health hazards of smoking, from lung cancer to heart disease.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that only 10% of Chinese smokers quit by choice. Instead, most are forced to give up their cigarettes because they’re too sick to continue.

While smoking rates have fallen in developed countries – to less than one in five in the US – they have risen in China, as cigarettes have become more available and consumers richer.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of cigarettes – one in three cigarettes smoked globally is in China – as well as the world’s biggest tobacco producer.



More than 300 million people – about a quarter of the population – smoke, with the average smoker consuming 22 cigarettes a day.

Authorities have shown concern over the rise, with Beijing even introducing a public smoking ban. But efforts have been hampered by the habit’s popularity, and its usefulness as a source of tax revenue – the government collects about 428bn yuan (£44bn, $67bn) in tobacco taxes each year.

Combining rampant smoking with the terrible air quality due to pollution, there is lung problems in China.




Posted October 9, 2015 by markosun in Health

The Most Memorable Tattoos in Film   Leave a comment

In the Red Dragon, Ralph Fiennes gives a chilling performance as the schizophrenic killer Francis Dolarhyde a.k.a. the “Tooth Fairy” – who tortures, kills, then butchers his victims. The tattoo on his back is disturbingly beautiful and is easily one of the most memorable tattoos on screen of the past 10 years.


Watching Guy Pearce as the tortured Leonard Shelby – a man suffering from anterograde amnesia – in director Christopher Nolan’s first critically acclaimed film Memento is at times heartbreaking, as the audience can’t help but feel pity for the protagonist as he searches his wife’s killer. To assist him in his crusade for justice, Shelby tattoos the clues he finds each day somewhere on his body so that he won’t ever forget his mission (since his condition keeps him from storing new memories).

This tattoo is useful but sad as it is a constant reminder of his wife’s death and his inability to remember anything useful.



Viggo Mortensen’s character Nikolai Luzhin is a Russian mobster who cleans up other mobster’s “messes” – in other words, he throws dead bodies in the river. His tattoos in Eastern Promises are mostly religious in nature – featuring a Catholic cross on his chest and a large image of St. Basil’s Cathedral on his back. But they also serve as a warning to anyone who would challenge him. He is not a man you want to cross (no pun intended).


Ray Park as the evil Darth Maul and apprentice to Sith Lord Darth Sidious is arguably the best thing about George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Darth Maul never utters a word of dialog but speaks volumes with his dual lightsaber as he hunts down Queen Amidala, along the way battling Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Darth Maul’s facial tattoos are more tribal in nature in that they serve no other purpose other than to instill fear in those he battles.


Matthew McConaughey as Denton Van Zan in Reign of Fire is a true bad-ass and his tattoos help to reinforce that notion. Van Zan is the leader of the Kentucky Irregulars – a group of Americans who hunt down and kill dragons. His Alpha male personality, bald head, cigar smoking and huge battle axe all increase Van Zan’s badassness, and the impressive tattoo depicting two dragons breathing fire across his chest seals the deal.



A woman wearing a tattoo in a movie is often incredibly beautiful, with the tattoo used to further enhance her sex appeal to the male audience. In the movie Wanted that is exactly what happens when Angelina Jolie’s character, Fox, a highly skilled assassin, drops her towel revealing an intricate and beautiful tattoo made up mostly of Khmer characters on her shoulders and a large Bengal tiger on her lower back.


Louis Changchien is Hanzo in the movie Predators – a Japanese gangster and Yakuza enforcer who is just as deadly and cold as he is silent. Like most members of the Yakuza, Hanzo has a full body tattoo known as an irezumi, is performed by hand and in the real world would have taken hundreds of painful hours to complete. Ultimately he loses out to the Predator but he looks impressive doing it.


Tom Hardy is a beast as the former Marine turned Mixed Martial Arts fighter Tommy Riordan in Warrior. With tribal tattoos on both arms and his squad’s logo on his chest Tommy shows he is both an aggressive Alpha male and fiercely loyal to the Marines and his squad.


There are few characters in movies as bad-ass as Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken in director John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. Snake is a former U.S. Army Lieutenant and was in the Special Forces before eventually turning to a life of crime. Along with his iconic eye patch he also has one gigantic cobra tattooed to his stomach with a tail that disappears into well… let’s just leave it at “disappears.”


In 1996, Clooney’s huge arm tattoo in From Dusk Till Dawn was a bold decision. It’s another representation of evil, as Seth Gecko may be the most ruthless character Clooney’s ever played.



Posted October 8, 2015 by markosun in Movies

Winnipeg Jets Blast to Win in First Game of Season   Leave a comment


The Jets went into Boston and picked up a 6-2 win over the tough Bruins.  It is a good start and hopefully it continues tomorrow in New Jersey.



Watching the game tonight it became apparent that two Jets look very much alike. Veteran defenceman Toby Enstrom, who is Swedish, and rookie winger Nikolaj Ehlers, who is Danish, are almost identical.  Strong Scandinavian genes I guess.

Ehlers on the left and Enstrom on the right


Posted October 8, 2015 by markosun in Winnipeg Jets

Round Winnipeg   Leave a comment


Men and machines at work



D-Condo building starting to go up



Fort Garry Hotel







Lone Crow


From a couple days ago when it was sunny.  Glass House condos construction and new ALT Hotel.




Glass elevator at Fort Garry Place that goes to the revolving restaurant.

Posted October 8, 2015 by markosun in Buildings, Winnipeg

Tornado! Get Running!   Leave a comment




aared3 tampa

Tampa, Florida

aared4 loreburn sk

Loreburn, Saskatchewan

aared5 oklahoma

Twinado, Oklahoma



I knew we should have taken a left at Albuquerque!



Crazy storm chasers



Tornado tank

Storm Chaser Tornado Tank. It has hydraulic operated spikes that secure it to the ground.


Posted October 8, 2015 by markosun in Nature, Weather


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