Jim Deitz’s Polka Dot House: Cheerful or Garish?

Artistic expression comes in many forms, and often sparks controversy. Jim Deitz’s polka-dot house is no exception.

Covered in colorful, slightly imperfect circles, the two-story building is located in Grand Forks. Deitz, a retired house painter, is currently in the process of transforming the house into a unique apartment rental complex. He believes the colorful exterior adds personality and cheer to the street, and adds that “pizza delivery drivers won’t have any trouble finding this place. You can’t miss it!”

However, some of the neighbors consider the conspicuous decor to be disruptive and jarring for nearby residents and passers-by.

“I think my opinion is the same as anybody- I wouldn’t want to be living next to it,” said city planner Ryan Brooks.

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Though relatively rare, these wacky houses can be found in several cities. According to Yahoo! News:

Back in February, an Orange County couple turned their house into a bright green billboard in order to pay their mortgage, much to the dismay of neighboring families. In Edenton, North Carolina, one home’s purple shutters had locals screaming to City Hall. And in Thorntown, Indiana, homeowners raged against one resident’s outrageous lawn decorations, which include a giant Styrofoam alligator and a graffiti-covered motorboat…

But is it art?


Hilton Hits Jackpot


As if prosperous Paris didn’t have enough money already.  She was already an heiress, successful model, actress, socialite and widely-known as the IT girl by the time she was 19.  So she wouldn’t be the first on our list of people who could really benefit from a huge win in Vegas over the weekend… Yes, granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, Paris Hilton was probably the last person to need a huge cash injection.  But that’s exactly what she got over the weekend as the 30 year-old celebrated turning 31 in a Las Vegas casino.  Her gambling party turned out to be more than just fun; winning $30,000 at the blackjack table made it a quite lucrative evening as well.

Life Isn’t Fair

Come on…shouldn’t gambling be one of those activities that helps the less well-to-do in society rise above their situation? In an ideal world perhaps…but the happy-go-lucky Hiltons of this world just prove again how not ideal life can be.  Because really, it’s not like the woman needed the money. The crazy thing with Hilton though, is that it probably didn’t even make a dent in her finances which are no doubt in top notch condition and not in need of an additional injection.

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Paris Goes Public

And of course, just to make sure she was rubbing salt in all her fans’ wounds, she had to tweet her success. "Just won 30k playing blackjack at Wynn Las Vegas. Yes! #BirthdayGirlsLuck. I love gambling,” the ridiculously rich lady wrote.  Yes, that’s it; it must have been luck. Because she needed some good luck in the money department…not.

Cover Up Hilton

All we can say is that maybe she’ll be able to use that cash to buy some clothes given that half of her body is always uncovered.  Perhaps now she’ll be able to afford it now or at least use the money for lawyers’ fees in the next scandal she causes that leads her to jail.  Because it’s bound to happen after what was revealed in 2010 of the homemade sex video of her with Rick Salomon (her boyfriend at the time).  Or the time she was charged with a DUI offence in California. Or when the following year she had to go to jail for violating her probation.  Yes, clearly Hilton does need her blackjack winnings.

The Real Tragedy of Whitney Houston’s Death

As the world reels from the tragic death of Whitney Houston, I can’t help but wonder how many people truly care.

Every day is filled with tributes, memorial speeches, mournful comments and ‘I Will Always Love You’ playing eerily on the radio, and I question how much of it is real, or even right. People lament the tragedy of a talent lost, the sad story of a woman who, though she had everything anyone could dream of, still sought to escape from reality, and from herself. Of course, the story is heartbreaking and I respect both her talent and her character, but…

Is it not tragic that a thirteen year old, whose life has barely begun, would take his or her own life? Is it not sad that hundreds of adolescents dabble in the dangers of illegal substances, often meeting a similar end before starting high school? I think that reality is more tragic then the loss of a single grown woman, regardless of how gifted and wonderful she may have been.

The entertainment industry has proven to be a hard one to survive in. I am not judging, but once you’re in the spotlight, surely you have a certain amount of responsibility towards both your audience and yourself?

Substance abuse is an issue that must be dealt with. A real intervention throughout the U.S. is long overdue. How many people have died or destroyed their lives in this way? How many, be they gifted or anonymous, criminals, angels, or children? And at her tributes her loved ones weep, sharing memories and showing the pain of her loss. Why, then, did she die? Where were her loved ones as she struggled with her addiction for over two decades?
She was fortunate enough to have so many people know her, love her and be so involved in her life. Unlike many other addicts, she had hundreds of people who should’ve done everything they could to help her.

I have a hard time buying into the global mourning, too. Those who didn’t know her and never met her stand around me crying as if their hearts are truly broken, and I can’t help but find it rather phony. Undoubtedly the funeral and the tributes are tragically beautiful, haunting, even, as the lyrics of her song fit the scenario in a way that no one could have foreshadowed, and the emotion of it all left even me feeling a bit weepy at some points. But still, we never met her, and we don’t cry this much when innocents die in car accidents, or when children are abused by their own parents.
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Though his comments were particularly harsh, I respect Bill O’Reilly’s opinion. He said: “I don’t believe anyone is a slave to addiction. I believe it’s a disease, a mental disease, but you have a free will and you can get through the disease, as millions of people have chosen to do it.”

“You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer. You do have free will when you’re a crack addict,” he said. He continued, reprimanding America (and rightly so) for “looking the other way on Whitney Houston.”

He asked why a celebrity-voiced public announcement was never released, warning teens not to follow Houston’s, or other celebrities’ like Amy Winehouse or Janis Joplin’s, examples. “Everybody knew she was a drug addict for two decades.”

O’Reilly added that the media is supposed to be “in the business of telling the truth, and the truth is if you get into hard drugs you can go at any time.”

Watch the latest video of the funeral at video.foxnews.com

Pick a Male Boss

It seems that when women get to the top, they get a bad rep. According to a recent study published in The Daily Mail, they are seen “as more sexist than even their most ruthless male counterparts.”  That might not be such news.  But what has just been discovered by psychologists in the field, is that women are purposely removing themselves from other women, not giving them any help in getting to the top.  This, it is now claimed, could be due to the extent of the sexist, male-dominated workplace.

Get Rid of Sexism: Get Better Women

If there is no sexism in an office however, there is a much less chance of women behaving like ‘alpha females.’  But for those who are trying to get to the top of a male-dominated workplace, they shouldn’t expect too much assistance from their female peers or superiors.  Leiden University (the Netherlands) psychologist Professor Belle Derks with her team, took a survey of 63 females working in senior police department positions and questioned them on the importance of ‘gender identity’ in their jobs.  Fifty percent of them had to write about a situation in which they found being a woman was detrimental to their work.  They then had to talk about their “leadership style, how they compared to female colleagues  and if they believed there was a gender bias in the police force.”

The study discovered that those women who described themselves as having a ‘weak gender identity’ used very masculine descriptive terms vis-à-vis their leadership styles too.  This led the researchers to define them as ‘queen bees.’  Those however, who weren’t prepped with a reminder of gender bias, were less likely to act in ‘queen bee’ fashion.
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Survey Results

The results were published in the Psychological Science Journal.  In it, Professor Derks concluded that “Queen bee behaviour might be a response to a difficult, male-dominated environment.  If an organization simply puts  women in higher positions without doing anything about gender bias, these women will be forced to distance themselves from the group.”

The Common Cold: Its Origins

Pump Up the Zinc

Perhaps you are among the millions of people who believe that you’re getting a cold from the cold weather. If you are, then you are not alone in your error. According to a CNN report, this sickness that impacts over a billion Americans each year is actually caused by other things. The good news is that there are various natural remedies that can help once you have been afflicted by this virus. Recent research has shown that a since supplement can reduce symptoms and may even work as a preventive measure.

Cold Lessons: 101

Rather than take major steps in an attempt to avoid any cold weather as a preventive method, consider the following facts. It’s good to stay warm for sure (especially for those most at risk like asthmatic children and the elderly) and according to Massachusetts pediatrician Dr. Peter Greenspan, a scarf wrapped around the nose and mouth can also be beneficial (to prevent an asthma attack).

Also be aware that just being in the same vicinity as someone with a cold will not render you more susceptible. It’s only if they sneeze on their hand and then come over and wipe it all over you that you will have a greater chance of being affected.
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Winter Worries?

While it is the case that you can’t directly get a cold from the bad weather, on a cold day it is the case that sneeze droplets have the capacity to travel father than on a humid one. As well, transmission is facilitated during stormier weathers since people are more likely to be indoors and thus physically closer to each other. Be sure you use disinfectants around your house to the spreading of such droplets.

Cold Prevention?

Ultimately what those billion of Americans want to know is, is it possible to prevent the common cold? Firstly, always wash your hands for a good few minutes (soaping and rinsing). Secondly, a good night’s sleep goes a long way in preventing many viruses. Thirdly, to ensure others don’t catch whatever you have, try to cough into your elbow as that is a better preventive measure of spreading according to experts.

Three Truly Great Reads

The rigorous routine of life is often hard to escape, and, if you do find the time to relax you realize you’ve forgotten how. Well, why not do it the old fashioned way? Leave the computer, television, and telephone aside, and sit down with a good book and a steaming mug of coffee.

Here are a few great books that will be easy to find at any library:


The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger- This is a love story that explores the human soul at depth. Clare Abshire is an artist who struggles with the frequent but inevitable disappearances of her husband Henry DeTamble. Henry is a librarian born with a genetic disorder that causes unpredictable time travel. The story is told from the perspectives of both characters.

Publishers Weekly said: “This clever and inventive tale works on three levels; as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story.”


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When Crickets Cry, by Charles Martin- The story of a seven-year-old girl with a serious heart problem, and how she changes the life of a man who thought he had left his painful past behind him.

Southern Living said: “When Crickets Cry manages to deliver a poetic love story, a heart-pounding medical thriller, and a spiritual epiphany, all while smoothly introducing charming characters and twists that keep the pages turning.”



Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen- This historical fiction tells the story of a man who leaves veterinary school and joins a circus following the death of his parents. What he discovers there is a completely unfamiliar, and he quickly learns the rules of survival in a world not his own.

The book has been described as “An atmospheric, gritty and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932… Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place.”