PROVO, Utah - Residents in Provo, Utah, can now officially own both cats AND dogs.Read entire article.
City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to replace the word “or” with the word “and” in existing city code, which means residents can now own up to two cats — and — two dogs at the same time.
Mixed households!? Oh no!!
Managing pain in animals has always been a challenge because cats and dogs can’t say where or how much it hurts. Beyond that communication gap, animals — especially cats — often try to hide their pain, an instinctive behavior dictated by the premise that the weak don’t survive.
Owner concern, plus their own interest in animals, led anesthesiologists, surgeons and intensive-care veterinarians to look more closely at animals in pain and try to do a better job of recognizing and treating it. Dogs and cats have been the main beneficiaries of this interest. Not enough is known yet about treating pain in birds, reptiles and other pets such as ferrets, Karas says, adding "we are using some pain meds in birds, and we are studying how best to treat them, so progress is being made."
Read entire article here.
Very cool! For those of us in veterinary medicine, this is a very important topic!
Something warm and fuzzy to help our looney leftie readers sleep at night.
Snuggle up!! It's cold out!
I tend to look at the dates on the coins in my pocket pretty regulary. I'm always surprised just how old some coins still in circulation really are, and I like to think about what was going on in the world when a particular coin was struck. Well, now I have a more practical reason for keeping an eye on those dates. If I can only remember them, that is. Time to pop the corks on those piggy banks...
Some will think it a romantic gesture, others will find it grisly. But one willing couple in the UK is about to get the chance, thanks to a government-funded project intended to promote awareness of the issues surrounding tissue engineering.
What chance? The chance to make wedding rings, or really any other ring-shaped jewelry, out of their own bone tissue.
Actually, I think the flutteriness of the UK ethics board and the article's author is more interesting than the article itself. Why not come up with a commercial venture to do this, if you can actually make money at it?
Does the expanding and accelerating universe require a mysterious "dark energy" force, accounting for perhaps 70% of the mass-energy budget of the universe, to work? Not according to New York University physicist Georgi Dvali. His theory, presented earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, explains the observations not with some sort of neo-aether, but instead with a modification of gravity itself.
Instead of gravity acting on objects with a predictable and consistent force, Dvali postulates that over vast intergalactic distances gravity "leaks" out of the observed universe:
"The gravitons behave like sound in a metal sheet," says Dvali. "Hitting the sheet with a hammer creates a sound wave that travels along its surface. But the sound propagation is not exactly two-dimensional as part of the energy is lost into the surrounding air. Near the hammer, the loss of energy is small, but further away, it's more significant."
The result? A universe that becomes "self-accelerating" over time, just as we observe now.
The mechanism that "springs the leak"? The extra dimensions predicted in string theory, which postulate as many as seven extra dimensions to the better-known four of conventional spacetime. In fact, the test results predicted by Dvali's theory could end up being an important confirmation of string theory, which to-date has proven stubbornly resistant to such real-world tinkering.
Ron gets a very obedient no-prize for bringing us this story of the "smart" prisoner:
Stark County jailers let Ricky Lee Claycomb go on Tuesday after he was acquitted of a rape charge he had been brought to Ohio from Colorado to face. Jail officials apparently never saw the paperwork to return him to the prison.
I grew up near Cummins prison farm in Arkansas, and every few years we'd hear about trustee inmates left behind by the farm busses. Almost without fail, these short-time and/or older prisoners would remember the adage "you can't outrun a radio" and simply sit and wait for the gaurds to figure out the mistake.
Slashdot noted GlobalFlyer, the aircraft designed to make the world's first solo unrefueled around-the-world flight, is scheduled to take off on its record-setting mission today. Steve Fossett will be at the controls, and he'll be heading east to take advantage of high-altitude winds. If all goes well he should land back at his Kansas starting point some time Thursday.
The Washington Post today carried this article detailing new research into how fish eyes work. By studying such diverse ocean fish as tuna and swordfish, scientists have determined an entire class of fish have developed the ability to keep their eye temperatures much higher than the surrounding water. This gives them the ability to see movement at much greater depths than fish without the adaptation. While interesting in and of itself, it's hoped the research will also lead to more efficient long-line lures that will attract the correct fish without causing harm to "undesired" catches of things like sea turtles.
It's all about boobs today!
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A promotion for breast enhancing cream that involved three models having a 15 minute mammary massage in public has caused a furor in Thailand, with family groups saying it violates traditional values and morality.
Executives of St Herb Co., which makes the "breast beautifying" cream, said they laid on the stunt merely to counter suggestions their advertising claims were exaggerated.
The Nation said Ying, one of the models, was embarrassed at having to bare herself in front of the cameras, but did believe her breasts had become firmer and the gap between them smaller as a result of the treatment.
Read entire article here.
INSTEAD of silicone implants or tissue taken from elsewhere in the patient's body, plastic surgeons might soon be using tissue grown from patients' own stem cells.
Read entire article here.
Ron gets a mysteriously dark no-prize for bringing us news of possibly the first "dark matter" galaxy ever observed:
Clouds of hydrogen, detected by their unique radio waves, usually mean astronomers have found a galaxy of stars, which can be confirmed with an optical telescope.
Kilborn and team found a cloud of hydrogen using a radio telescope at the UK's University of Manchester. The cloud did not match any known galaxy, so the researchers thought it might be another new galaxy.
To their surprise, they found no stars in the isolated cloud.
The finding is not definitive, but it has potential. More data is, as always, needed to be sure.
James H. gets a cheesy no-prize for bringing us yet another in the long line of "too stupid to do anything else" crime stories:
Steven T. Denton, 32 ... was taken into custody following a fracas at the Dockside Lounge on Sombrero Boulevard.
"Denton told me that if I would drive him to McDonald's, he would buy me two cheeseburgers if I let him go and did not take him to jail," reported Deputy Mark Eastty of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Alcohol was, unsurprisingly, involved.
Sometimes the allmighty helps protect you from the government. Sometimes he does the opposite:
A twisted federal tax case involving Florida land sales comes to roost in Phoenix next month when IRS agents auction off a rare and historic Ferrari 330 P4 factory race car from the 1960s.
Minimum bid: $2 million.
The sleek red 1967 Ferrari, one of only three in the world, belongs to Florida land developer Walter Medlin, a reclusive multimillionaire whose legendary battles with the Internal Revenue Service stretch back about two decades.
Last year, part of Medlin's treasure trove of Ferraris was revealed when Hurricane Charley hit the Orlando area, blowing down a huge barn on his Kissimmee, Fla., property. The barn's collapse revealed 17 Ferraris and two other valuable cars, most of which were damaged by the falling structure and exposure to the hurricane.
I've heard about barn finds before, but that my friends is ridiculous.
Don't want to scoop one off the road yourself? Order one!
*Yes they are fake. Wuss.
"I'll give you a dollar if you taste this."
According to my husband, I am the devil.
"I'll give you twenty bucks if you'll climb into that dryer and let me turn it on."
I am a mean, manipulative person who will make people cry. I talk people into doing stupid things for a buck. I think up dangerous stunts and then offer people money to do them. Sarcasm tends to be my first and middle name.
"Here... smell this. I'll give you a fiver."
I like it.
"This cat? Oh this cat's a sweety. I'll give you ten bucks if you deal with the pain in the butt client though." If they'd read my notes, which clearly say extremely aggressive cat, use welding gloves when handling, they wouldn't need to ask!
Do I plan to change? Fuck no.
"Ms. Doe's estimate was $300, but we had to do $1200 worth of work just to keep the cat alive. I'll give you a dollar if you make the call."
No really, I do offer people money to do stupid stuff. The amazing thing is, after all this time and all these pranks, they still take it!
Editor's note: No cats were threatened, injured or killed in the composition of this essay. Medical staff and co-workers? Well, that's a different story...
No-Prize to my Mom in Ny who sent me this.
Works best for those of you with NO dialup!
While not exactly identical, this comes pretty close to the conversation we had on Tuesday.
Actually, I think the real convo went something like this:
Me, picking up the paper: "Ah bummer. Hunter S. Thompson died."
Me: "Thompson... gonzo writer?"
Ellen: "Who the hell is that?"
Ellen: "Look, I'm not as old as you are... I can't be expected to know about all these other stupid old people."
The Alfa community is reacting with typical shirt-rending and wailing over the news that the latest Alfas will use General-Motors developed engines. I half expect to see a few wandering in sackcloth and ashes soon. Which is ironic, considering this bunch's well deserved reputation as "bottom feeders"* means there would be little if any chance of the noisest complainers buying a new Alfa regardless of what was under the hood.
Regardless, this encyclopedia article makes it seem the Holden bottom end is a pretty well engineered piece of kit. Since all the power is made in the head and the head will be made by Alfa, I don't have a problem with it, especially since they'll be using a 60-degree V6 for a base.
There's penny four thousand eight hundred and one, there's penny four thousand eight hundred two...
* People who would rather drive a junker for free instead of paying for something nice. Alfa dealers and parts suppliers can regale you with endless tales of old farts unwilling to pay an extra $7 for a genuine Alfa part to finish a job. I'm not one of those guys, but I definitely know some who are.
RedNova is carrying this nice roundup of recent Cassini photographs and discoveries.
Slashdot linked up news that a fan group have created a full-length movie based on Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies. Because it's slashdot, you have zero chance of beating the millions of geeks in their mom's basements* to the original link. Scroll down a bit to find mirrors for the trailer.
Yes, it's cheesy, but it also looks like it might not suck. Certainly can't be any worse than Battlefield Earth.
* I have my own basement thank you.
Ron gets a properly endowed stone no-prize for bringing us what must be one of the more... esoteric... studies of the year:
Measurements of Michelangelo's David have shown that all is normal in the naked marble man, though he could have been a little better endowed ... according to a study to be published at the end of this month by the Dutch Institute for Art History, in Florence, David's genitals are anatomically correct for a male body in a "pre-fight tension."
The first time I read it I saw "pre-flight" instead of "pre-fight" and was wondering what the statue had to do with airplanes.
After a long drought, AMCGltd is happy to report the real foil hatters are doing just fine, thank you:
The political aspect of mind control concerns its use in a "free" society: the testing of the technology on nonconsensual subjects, its use in political persuasion and in suppressing dissent, as well as how the very existence of the technology is covered up and concealed.
I mean, you wouldn't want us to get boring would you?
Sci-Fi just announced Battlestar Galactica has been picked up for a second season. In spite of some glaring plot holes (water blowing out into space means it's lost forever, sealing a hole in the hull of a fighter with a flight jacket, etc.) I still think it's probably the best new SF show on TV right now. I like it about as much as I liked Farscape (which is to say, a lot), but for different reasons. So if you haven't seen it yet, give it a shot!
Update: Ron Moore's "Blog" provides more insight into the series and where it's going after the renewal announcement.
To think all this time Ellen could've just gotten a piercing:
After years fighting frames that seemed to always slip down his nose, Sooy got a bridge piercing — a relatively common piercing through the bridge of the nose. In December, he and his friend Oliver Gilroy affixed the prescription lenses to it.
Just goes to show nerds get piercings too. No, I don't have any, but that's because I'm not a nerd.
"Raptor" dinosaurs, once thought to only have roamed Asia and North America, have now been found in Argentina. While not as advanced as its moviestar cousin Velociraptor, Neuquenraptor argentinus was definitely related. Sometimes I wish I could see dinosaurs roaming around. Then I read about these things, and I'm glad they're not here anymore.
Slashdot is reporting on rumors that Apple may buy TiVo:
TiVo Inc. shares jumped more than 17 percent on Wednesday, fueled by speculation that Apple Computer Inc. might make a try to buy the digital video recorder maker, analysts said.
"What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target," said analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.
Which would combine the two most successful "going out of business... real soon!" companies out there right now. We love our little gray box, so anything that promises to keep it going is fine by us.
As long as they don't come out with an orange one anyway.
Fark linked up this Gaurdian article about a rather interesting assertion about ancient Norse cultures:
Being hung like a Norse was key to social hierarchy and being considered a real man in 10th-century Icelandic society, according to a new paper, Size Matters: Penile Problems in Sagas of Icelanders, presented to the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England, this week.
"This week" being October of last year, but still...
Ward Churchill and his ilk would simply ignore such savagery in their quest to pillory their own "tiny Eichmanns", but we won't:
Suddenly, the woman in the backseat of the Buick opened the door and stepped out. Her abbaya was unfastened. Her scarf and veil were gone. She had long, thick, black hair. She was a young Saudi woman, maybe seventeen or eighteen. She reached up to the sky and she cried, "Momma! Momma!" Blue nylon cord dangled from her wrists. The white-haired driver got out again and scrambled back around the front of the car. In a futile effort to resist, the young woman sprawled out on the road, stretching her arms out in front of her on the baking summer asphalt. The man pulled her arms behind her back and deftly tied them to her ankles. Then he opened the trunk of the Buick, lifted her up, and dropped her in. He closed the trunk, made a U-turn at the intersection, and disappeared into the sunlit afternoon. It was over in the time it takes a traffic light to change from red to green.
Oh it gets worse, it gets much worse.
There are those on the left who would say, "that's right, that's what it's like, and the Bush administration is beavering away as hard as they can to bring it here." The sentiment would be funny if it weren't so delusional; the utter lack of historical perspective it demonstrates is as breathtaking as it is depressingly common.
Honor killing on this scale and with this much acceptance simply never existed in the west. Yes, the Julian marriage laws of the early Roman empire legalized almost exactly this, but those were considered radical even in their day. Augustus did not have his daughter's throat cut when Julia was found in a brothel, he banished her instead.
Christianity itself abolished the legal framework that allowed such things to take place in the setting sun of the empire's power. The conquering tsunami of Germanic tribes, for whom women were comparatively powerful partners, swept away the widespread cultural acceptance of such practices just a few centuries later.
In the patrilineal agrarian societies of medieval and early modern Europe, adultery was treated as a deadly serious crime because it threatened the power and stability of society, not the ephemeral honor of a single family. Even in the heart of puritan America death for infidelity was a penalty meted by a judge and jury, not the whims or delusions of a single man. And this was only after marriage. One of the hallmarks of peasant life in the pre-industrial west, from Charlemagne to Thomas Jefferson, was the freewheeling permissiveness allowed to young people of both sexes. Virginity itself was important only to heads of state who relied on blood for power. Unintended pregnancies resulted in a quick marriage, not a quick death.
The rise of the machine age simply accelerated the trends. By eliminating physical strength and endurance as a requirement for productive labor, industrial societies willing to forego "traditional" women's roles suddenly found their pool of labor doubled, essentially for free. As their importance to the economic well-being of society increased, women successfully demanded more of the benefits, now "rights", of what they were helping to create.
This is not to say it was easy. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Fredrick Douglas's words are as relevant for women as they are for blacks. They may not have everything they want, but women in the west have indeed come a long way.
So to even imply a conservative western government has any relation at all to a pre-modern pastoral culture is ludicrous. Our society cannot be pulled back into a Dark Age of disposable women because such a dark age never existed. The requirements of industrialization alone guarantees any attempt to destroy half a country's labor force will remain the dark fantasies of cranks who scream at children on their lawn. Conservatives are famous for their love of business, and making women unhappy in the modern world is very, very bad for business.
Which is, of course, cold comfort to those unfortunate enough to be born in one of the last remaining honor cultures in the world. Christianity's radical challenge to the Mediterranean honor system succeeded, but at the cost of an apocalypse that lasted a thousand years, an eschaton in slow motion that got far, far worse before it ever got better. Islam's radical challenge to its own cultural systems failed from the start, its seeds of egalitarianism and equality never allowed to fully blossom in the sandy soil of its birthplace.
It's not clear if secular modernity will destroy the Christian culture which birthed it as totally as Christianity did to its own ancient pagan roots. What is clear is that this new leviathan can no longer ignore the mewling, half-born thing that once overmatched it, even threatened its existence so long ago. Letting them sort it out themselves is an option that died in the rubble of tall towers and low-slung offices. Yet those who dispair of the comparatively secular Iraq ever getting it right should gasp in horror at the magnitude of the job that would be required for Saudi Arabia. Those who believe the Saudis should have come first should join Socrates in admitting the only thing they know well is that they know nothing at all.
Regardless, this particular die has been cast, this particular Rubicon crossed and far behind us. What lies ahead is anyone's guess, and a guess is all it would be. But as someone who now literally cannot imagine the horrific ignorance and hatred required to draw a knife across the throat of his own daughter over honor, I can say I am grateful that we are at least trying to stop it, and not just with words but with our own blood, tears, and treasure. It took nearly two thousand years for westerners to stop leaving little baby girls to wail their life away in remote fields. It will take more than our own generation to get a different culture to stop.
But every journey, however difficult, begins with a first step. I, for one, am glad we have finally started walking.
"Which is all well and good, but you aren't asking the real question, you arrogant hypocrite. What happened to "not with my daughter?" Really, would you send her to die for this?"
"You ask the wrong question my friend. Olivia will be a grown woman and will make the decision to serve her country on her own. Children should never die before their parents, but death comes for us all. If hers should come fighting to stop old men from stuffing helpless girls into trunks, to stop the unmarked graves from piling up in the desert, to stop fathers from teaching daughters the noise their sister's throat makes when it's cut, I would call that sacrifice meaningful.
The real question should be, why don't you?"
Original article via Silflay.
As we get closer to the Geneva unveiling of the 159 and Brera, more websites are publishing pictures and info. This CarPages site summarizes the latest publicity photos and press releases. Looking very nice, but with things like full-time AWD and continuously variable valve timing, also very expensive.
In other decidedly less cool Alfa news, Fiat is switching the entire line to GM-based engines. Holden V-6s to be precise. While something of a downer, it should be noted the real heart of the engine, what makes all the power and most of the character, is the head design, and that's still something Alfa itself will still be in charge of.
I still want one. There's penny four thousand seven hundred sixty two, there's penny four thousand seven hundred sixty three...
Aviation Week's latest issue provides an in-depth look at Boeing's new heavy lifter, the Delta IV "Heavy", the largest all-liquid fueled rocket launched since the last Saturn V took off more than thirty years ago.
Boeing is pitching it and a slightly smaller Delta IV Medium as primary launchers for NASA's new manned space exploration efforts. While not man-rated as yet, with its liquid-fueled design and new engineering Boeing is calling it "man-compatible", claiming the full rating should be relatively straightforward. They also point out that NASA could save a great deal of money on ground support because the Delta IV launch complex is already in place and fully functional.
Of course, such a completely reasonable proposal will probably have zero chance with the "new new NEW NEW NEW!!!" attitudes NASA historically holds dear. The Astronaut Office in particular has already gone on record as stating "human rating should be designed in, not appended on." However, their problems seem to mostly center around the difficulty of "safing" the solid booster systems found on the smaller "medium" Delta and competing Atlas designs, which the all-liquid Heavy does not have.
Unfortunately the on-line article doesn't include the pictures in the print version... this thing is designed to set itself on fire as it launches, and the results are spectacular (but safe!)
Slashdot linked up (and then promptly crushed out of existence) a French site carrying dozens of production stills from the upcoming Star Wars - Episode III. Fortunately in the comments we found this mirror, so get them while they're hot!
This one might not suck. We'll see...
As you can see, a cat's brain is so complex that we needed this very detailed map to get a better look at it.
If this Silflay article is any indication, the troops in Iraq do occasionally have some time for recreation. Now if we can just figure out what sort of fish they're catching.
Hell I got no problem with people wearing whatever they want. I just think typing modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com might make your site just a teensy bit difficult to visit. I mean, people have a hard enough time with our URL, and it's just 7 characters long!
Plus trying to say modestapparelchristianclothinglydiaofpurpledressescustomsewing.com three times fast makes me giggle. Yeah, even I think I need to get out more.
So, just how long ago did Bugs's earliest ancestor live? A recent find in the Mongolian desert seems to indicate about 55 million years past. While the discovery of a "first bunny" may seem a bit esoteric, according to the article it actually has important implications for dating the rise of placental mammals.
Well we definitely won't now, because it appears they've outlawed... well... you know:
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law that makes it a crime to sell sex toys.
The law, adopted in 1998, allowed the sale of ordinary vibrators and body massagers that are not designed or marketed primarily as sexual aids. It exempted sales of sexual devices "for a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose."
While this won't prevent someone from defending their purchase of a two foot long flesh-colored plastic fist as educational, it will make it awfully amusing to hear them try.
Oh be quiet. It's their damned state, let them outlaw sex toys if they want. Since interstate commerce is controlled by the feds, a "vibramatic" is only a catalog order away.
Cool only because nobody was seriously injured: an abject lesson in why people shouldn't screw around with trains. Apparently the cameras were set up by a lawyer trying to prove how unsafe the crossing was. Proof don't get much better than that!
By using the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express, scientists think they've found a frozen sea just five degrees north of the Martian equator. It's thought the ice is held in gigantic "plates", covering an area some 800 kilometers square and 45 meters deep. The hypothesis is the plates formed when huge masses of ice floating in liquid water got covered in volcanic ash. The rest of the ocean froze up around them, and then evaporated away, leaving the plates behind.
The evidence is, of course, contested, with some scientists pointing out similar formations in other areas on Mars are clearly formed of lava and not ice.
Those in the peanut gallery who railed against the current administration for hitting Iraq before making sure Afghanistan was wrapped up should find this heartening:
The Taliban, who once embodied the ideal of Islamofascism in their brutal tyranny over the Afghan people, have all but stopped their terrorist war against the Hamid Karzai democracy. In fact, thanks to a high-ranking and popular defector from the previous regime, the Taliban remnants have surrendered in order to join an amnesty program that promises to end the civil war and secure the Afghani democracy:
The article linked is from the Telegraph. The Washington Post is nowhere near as optimistic:
A second Western official noted that the four senior Taliban leaders who agreed to the deal were moderates who after the Taliban's defeat formed a new political party called Servants of God and had been petitioning the government for recognition ever since.
Of course, only a MSM reporter quoting an anonymous source would have the jutzpah to call a party named "Servants of God" formed by ex-Taliban members "moderate".
Hmm? The first article whirls to the right nearly as fast as the second does to the left you say? Hey, at least we don't try to hide our agenda. It also helps that being "right" is a statement of fact as much as it is a direction.
# 14: At approximately 19 months of age, when you hold a toddler at your eye level their feet are automatically targetted at a sensitive portion of your anatomy. Daddies are therefore cautioned against picking them up when they are throwing a "kicking" tantrum. Especially when they have shoes on.
Look, it's a skill I think she should have for her teenage years. I just don't want her to practice on me.
Oh, and mommies? It's not funny to laugh when your husband suddenly puts the baby down and sits quietly in the rocker for fifteen minutes. We're trying not to throw up, and giggles from the peanut gallery definitely qualify as not helping.
While the "James Ossuary Box" was effectively proven a forgery last year, the question of who created the thing was still left to solve. Now, according to this WaPo article (free reg, blah blah) , they have an answer:
The first group of experts heralded it as one of archaeology's greatest discoveries, a burial box inscribed with the earliest reference to Jesus ever found. But after a closer look, another group of specialists debunked the find as an elaborate hoax.
Now Israeli authorities have indicted the box's owner as a serial forger. But far from putting the case of the "James Ossuary" to rest, the indictment has further polarized opposing sides in an increasingly vitriolic dispute.
Yeah, ok, it's been around awhile, but we'd never seen the iToilet ad before, which means this otherwise superb parody had been languishing in obscurity, waiting for us to direct the world to it.
Hey, a guy's gotta dream, right?
Also not to be missed: Ellen Feiss's take on the whole thing.
For proof positive that, given enough time and gumption, anything can be stolen, we have this AP report:
A Norwegian family's swimming pool wasn't just bolted down, it was in the ground, but that was impediment to a band of determined thieves.
When the Nicolaysen family visited their mountain cabin over the weekend, they discovered a big hole in the yard in place of the swimming pool that had been installed 20 years ago.
Beats the hell out of the blow-up kind anyway.
Why someone needs to dedicate an entire FAQ to Strap-On's is beyond me.
There's nothing quite like an encyclopedia for coldly detailing just how loony loons can be:
In Scientology doctrine, Xenu is a galactic ruler who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes, and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to cause people problems today. These events are known to Scientologists as "Incident II," and the traumatic memories associated with them as The Wall of Fire or the R6 implant. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, famously warning that R6 was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it." The Xenu story was the start of the use of the volcano as a common symbol of Scientology and Dianetics from 1968 to the present day.
Amazingly, that's just the start of the article. Now, tell me again why we should listen to anyone in Hollywood?
[Milestone Entertainment] has recently been picked by Alfa Romeo to create a game that focuses on the car company and its rich history in automobiles and motorsport.
S.C.A.R. - Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo, to give it its full name, will allow Alfa Romeo fans to revel in both the present and past of the century-old car company.
In all honesty, if someone wanted to create a video game that covered the entire history of Grand Prix racing, one could do a lot worse than picking Alfa Romeo. Well, if one wanted to avoid toodling around in vehicles with swastikas on them anyway.
For PC and X-box. This definitely makes picking Christmas presents for the guys a lot easier.
This is more of a weird and F'up page, BUT due to the nature of the material and being NSFW I put it under XXX.
Someone please tell me this is not true!
Why count them? Because I'm going to need every one I can save if I want to afford one of these babies:
Just ten days before the brand-new Alfa Romeo 159 makes it's hugely anticipated international debut at the 75th Geneva International Motor Show, we provide the closest look yet as to how the Giugiaro-designed sports sedan will appear with this photoshop enhanced spyshot.
And why, do you ask, do I even care? Because:
The Alfa 159 is going to be a genuine world beater, with the car fully engineered for export to North America. Its US ambitions are visually given away by its increased dimensions, larger door mirrors and raised roof height, all requirements of the demanding American market. The Stateside debut will most likely occur in 2007, when the automatic gearbox versions of the Alfa Spider will also be introduced.
No, I don't want a Spider. I got one of those.
Oh be quiet. Olivia won't mind if she goes to college a few years later. It'll build character. Yeah, that's it...
Problem 1: Maniacs running red lights cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year.
Problem 2: Law enforcement can't be everywhere at once.
Solution: Red light cameras, which leads to:
Problem 3: An increase in accidents at intersections:
[Nicholas Garber, a teacher at the University of Virginia] studied the best data available, from Fairfax County, and documented what for many is a counterintuitive finding: that the use of cameras at intersections resulted in more injuries. That's because while crashes from the side went down, rear-end accidents went up. His results, consistent with those of some other studies across the country, have poured fresh fuel onto the heated cost-and-benefit debate on the cameras in Virginia.
So essentially we've swapped one set of retards, the ones who think red lights happen to other people, with a different set who think trying to give the car ahead of them a proctology exam is a productive way to get said car to go faster. Listen up you mouth breathers: it doesn't work that way.
I don't want to mount a gatling gun on my car*, I want to turn my back bumper into a hydraulic battering ram. That way when Jonny Rocket and His Razzing Ricer screams up behind me and starts dodging around like his ass is on fire I can just push a button and WHAM!!!, his engine is now a passenger. But, since I'm sure somewhere in the Virginia state law books there's probably some sort of regulation that makes punching a tailgater's car in the face illegal, I guess I'll have to settle for the ol' "hit the brakes and smile" routine.
Yeah, that was me that time you idiot. Did you really think I didn't see you trying to kamikaze your way through traffic? Thought that by getting as close as you could to my bumper you'd intimidate me into moving faster?
I'm your worst freaking nightmare you chimpanzee... I've got a cheap car, low insurance rates, wear my seatbelt, and don't really give a damn. I enjoy stabbing the brakes and watching your car dive forward under its own like a charging rhino that's taken a bullet between the eyes. Because you see if you'd been a civil driver, maybe had just a wee bit of patience, and learned that the two second rule wasn't some sort of basketball drill, it would never have come to that.
Yeah, I'm an asshole. But if you're following close enough that you can't avoid a simple braking maneuver**, I'll be an asshole with a fat insurance check. And I'll be able to drive away. So do us all a favor... spot a signpost up ahead, wait for my car to pass it, and start counting. If you pass it before "two mississippi", slow the hell down. My nerves and your front end will thank you.
* Well ok, no, I do want a gatling gun on my car. To, you know, impress chicks and stuff.
** Calm down people. I don't stab the brakes for fun and profit when it's just normal commuter congestion. Well, most of the time anyway.
New Scientist is carrying this summary of a new development in stem cell research:
Silicon breast implants could be replaced by tissue grown from a person's own stem cells within a decade, suggests new research.
Implants grown from stem cells could provide a safer alternative to silicon or saline implants, which can rupture and also interfere with breast cancer detection. They could also be aesthetically superior, keeping their shape and size for longer than artificial inserts, which typically shrink by 40% to 60% over many years, through spreading.
The spam potential is just, well, staggering.
Ok, while on the face of it this story about a knife getting through airport security is a bit worrying (if not particularly surprising), it's the other part of the story that has me thrown:
[Katrina Bell, 27,] had put the knife in her bag "just in case" before going on a blind date earlier that week, her sister and travel companion, Tikisha Bell Gowens, 30, said in The Sunday Star-Ledger of Newark.
Yeah, what a great idea! I'll stick a big horking knife in my bag. There's no chance I'll fall down, or bump into something, or reach the wrong way and hack a finger off. Nope, no chance at all.
Make sure you are offered more than $20 bucks before you attempt to shove yourself into the work dryer for a spin.
All I got out of it was a 5 inch bruise on my leg and NO money!
Greenpeace had hoped to paralyse oil trading at the exchange in the City near Tower Bridge on the day that the Kyoto Protocol came into force.
Protesters conceded that mounting the operation after lunch may not have been the best plan. “The violence was instant,” Jon Beresford, 39, an electrical engineer from Nottingham, said.
“They grabbed us and started kicking and punching. Then when we were on the floor they tried to push huge filing cabinets on top of us to crush us.”
Yeah I know, "don't take pleasure in the suffering of other people", "violence never solved anything", "ah, a Buddhist laughing at people getting beat up, how rich", yadda, yadda, yadda. Look, if they weren't so completely obnoxious and, well, wrong, I'd have a little more sympathy. As it is, well, I am glad nobody got killed, and actually I do feel rather bad about the guy who'll have his mouth wired shut for the next six weeks.
But I cannot think of a more abject example of what can happen when happy, shiny, soft-headed idealism meets the hard-knock world of reality. Look, nobody ever said I was a good Buddhist, ok?
Space.com is carrying this summary of research regarding Saturn's aurora. By watching with Hubble and listening with Cassini, scientists were able to directly observe how a large solar storm interacted with the ringed planet. While the effects were expected, it didn't make them seem (to me at least) any less weird. They were also able to record an eerie "heartbeat" of static that was generated by the massive aurora.
Cameras are like guns, whenever you're around one, always assume it's loaded. Well, turned on anyway.
Via Spree Girl.
A new analysis of human remains first discovered in 1967 suggests that they are in fact much older than previously believed. The results, published today in the journal Nature, push back the emergence of our species by nearly 35,000 years.
In other words, to about 195,000 years ago. This apparently dovetails nicely with genetic research, which suggests a similar date.
I was talking to Mohammed an hour ago and we both were feeling depressed because of the declining quality and quantity of posts on our blog and the deficiency of ideas for good posts that we're currently suffering from. I don't know whether you agree with us but we here can feel it. Then he suddenly said laughing "go wear your pajamas, maybe this will inspire you to write something"! Well, frankly speaking it did and once I went into my pajamas I felt a strange motivation for writing; writing anything, at least it encouraged me to write this stupid conversation between two bored brothers drinking tea and smoking cigarettes in the afternoon. I'm not claiming that my pajamas have magic in them but you know what? They do make a change!
Then again, maybe not.
The US Alfa Romeo community (all eight of us) has been rocked by news of a surprising development over at FIAT:
Fiat announces that the ownership of Maserati, currently wholly owned by Ferrari, will be transferred as soon as practicable to Fiat.
"The technical and commercial collaboration between Maserati and Alfa Romeo will give the latter the necessary impetus to re-establish itself as a leading contender in its segment and to expand its presence in international markets, as has occurred for Maserati.”
What does it mean for us? Well, that's not completely clear, but phrases like "gaurantees a return to the US" are definitely being thrown around. Of course, that's what they said when GM bought a chunk of Fiat six years ago, and look how that turned out.
Regardless, I've always thought Alfa would represent a great volume marque for Ferrari/Maserati dealerships. I mean, how many $100,000+ cars can you really sell in a month? It also makes a lot more sense to have a GT parked next to a Quattroporte than it does to have one parked next to a Punto. Finally, it'll give the marque a built-in dealer network that actually wants to deal with quirky Italian machinery*.
We have what must be one of the largest Ferrari/Maserati dealerships on the east coast barely a five minute drive from our house. Which is to say, it's about the size of the Chevy dealership in my home town (population 5200). Only, you know, with nicer cars out front. Time to go pay those guys a visit...
Oh, and the first one who comments "Alfas suck! Save your money and buy a (Oldsmobuick|Honda|Jeep|Truck|Minivan|Ricer)!" will get themselves Daffodilled. As Ellen would say, "Undahstand?!?"
* The last real attempt to revitalize Alfa's long-neglected dealer network was the Chrysler merger back in the mid-80s. The combination of fiddly "forn" machinery and a network more used to cheap cars and simple pickups was, shall we say, less than successful. Alfisiti were worried about the GM merger for the same reasons.
Jennifer C. gets a no-prize (but she'll have to visit the island of Doctor Moreau to get it) for bringing us HumanDescent.com. Freaky stuff!
For you prudes out there...there are NO naughty pixes. It's an Amazon link.
Learn how to spank people with a brush! Then upgrade to spatulas, ping-pong paddles, belts, and other various household items!
No No... This is not a personal review. Sue Jo from Talk Sex recommends the book!
COOL bellydance link!!
Don't forget to download the videos!
Slashdot has this roundup-and-commentary about various efforts to save Enterprise, which was recently cancelled by Paramount. The most interesting idea was giving Babylon 5's J.M. Straczynski control of the franchise, but this was later withdrawn by the man himself.
The mars rovers are still out there and at it. This time, Spirit has uncovered a really interesting rock (aren't they all interesting? They're on Mars!) Meanwhile, Opportunity set a new Martian speed record, traveling 514 feet in a single day.
Gearheads in the audience should be interested to learn about a new engine that doesn't need throttle butterflies. Instead, air metering done by varying the lift of the intake valve itself. Per cylinder no less. It's claimed to give an extra 10% boost in horsepower and economy. Of course, since it's Fiat, Alfa's parent company, we won't be seeing them any time soon. Ah well...
Fark linked up the latest Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer. It looks good, but then again so did Battlefield Earth and Phantom Menace.
Meh. I have a small child. By the time I'll be able to see it on DVD, how good it is will have been long determined.
It's a surprise.
This is what you get when you look at a friend's online journal and see a quirkly little link. Thanks Damion!
Twin cyclones battered three south Pacific nations and weather experts warned they could combine into one giant, destructive storm center that would create havoc in the region.
Samoa and neighboring American Samoa were forecast to feel the full force of the cyclone within four to six hours, possibly intensifying to a Category 4/5 storm -- making it a "super cyclone" producing sustained winds over 250 kilometers (155 miles) per hour and 15 meter (50-foot) waves, APCEDI said.
Read entire article here.
You know all those wacky mOONbats are trying to figure out how to blame the Republicans on this one.
Problem: Beer is heavily taxed and your economy has been flopping around like a fish in the bottom of a boat for the past 14 years.
Japanese brewers are increasingly making money from beer-flavoured drinks rather than beer itself ... Now, according to Asahi Breweries, the market for so-called "beer-like" drinks is set to grow 84% this year.
Then again, "Zimasan" would probably also be a good alternative name. Still not going to drink any of it.
Aviation Now is carrying this article summarizing the provisional FAA regulations the nascent "space tourism" industry will have to follow. To my admittedly layman's eye, they look reasonable enough; basically, if you're not going to pull more than 3 g's, you have to sign a waiver, if you're going to pull more, you have to get a medical exam and then sign a waiver.
Now if I can just find the projected $220,000 the ticket will cost...
Instapundit linked up this Patrick Ruffini article that maps the Iraqi election results. The implications are quite contrary to the "US spends billions to elect Iranians in Iraq" conventional wisdom:
Going province by province, 70%+ majorities for the Shia coalition were the norm throughout the South, but if you buy the notion that this group is particularly pro-Iran, you'd expect it to do even better in the provinces bordering Iran (similar to the effect seen in Ukraine, where the provinces bordering Russia were the most anti-Yushchenko). In fact, the map shows the United Iraqi Alliance doing worse and the Allawi bloc doing better in the Misan and Basra provinces bordering the Islamic Republic.
The conventional wisdom is, of course, ignoring the fact that Iraq and Iran waged a crushing and brutal 8+ year war with each other not too long ago. But there's more:
Ultimately, the Shia coalition seems to be too broad-based to pursue any narrow agenda. Though the election was conducted on the basis of strict proportional representation, the Iraqis this first time out have not succumbed to the flaw in most strict-PR systems -- the inability to forge strong governing majorities and the inordinate power of small splinter parties have in brokering crucial votes for the government ... At least in this transitional phase, the rules in Iraq pretty much force government of national unity.
I'm getting that much closer to claiming at least one pizza. Woot!
BBCnews is carrying this report on the completion of "Stonehenge Aotearoa", a (duh) Stonehenge-like construction near New Zealand's capital, Wellington. While made of modern materials and even wired for sound, the new henge's primary function is the same as the old... an open-air observatory. It's main goal is to help people learn the basics of astronomy.
Every 14th of February you get the chance to display your fondness for your wife or girlfriend by showering her with gifts flowers dinner shows and any other baubles that women find romantic. Fact is ...guys feel left out. There's no special holiday for the ladies to show their appreciation for the men in their life. Men as a whole are either too proud or just too embarrassed to admit it. Which is why a new holiday has been created. March 20th is now officially "Steak & Blowjob Day."
Yeah, I know, I think we've linked this already a time or two. But it's only through constant lobbying that we have a chance to make this dream a reality. Join with me brothers, so that we may all one day enjoy "S&BJD"!
Because smart men know women don't do a damned thing you tell them to do:
A man who used an internet chatroom to try to set up a mass suicide on Valentine's Day had been trying for at least five years to persuade women to engage in sex acts with him and then kill themselves, it has been revealed.
The family does their best to cover up the fact this guy has a severe mental illness and is completely unmedicated, even lying to the sheriff:
He was arrested last week at his mother's home in Klamath Falls, southern Oregon.
He moved to Oregon about a year ago from Sacramento in California to take care of his ailing father, Sheriff Evinger said.
Yeah, right, whatever.
At least nobody got hurt. Hopefully privacy laws won't prevent authorities from getting the women who agreed to this some help as well.
He may have converted Ireland to Christianity, immortalised the shamrock and inspired some of the world's most raucous street parades, but Saint Patrick was also an astute operator, according to a new book.
The country's patron saint accepted land and jewels against the church's wishes to fuel his 5th century evangelising mission and paid tributes to pagan chiefs to woo them to Christianity.
Just as long as I don't have to drink the green beer again, okay?
New Scientist is carrying this article that details new findings about the Cretaceous-era asteroid impact that is widely believed to have killed off the dinosaurs. By examining geologic deposits in the La Popa basin in northeast Mexico, scientists believe they've found evidence for a tsunami perhaps 80 feet tall that pushed water some 150 miles inland. The resulting catastrophic jumble is thought to explain why some Cretaceous fossils can be found in stratigraphy that is dated in other ways as far too young or old to have been affected by the impact.
Frank does a nice job of parodying the Democratic chairman with this "In my World" installment:
"Release the lock!"
An aide held one end of a long rope and yanked it, pulling open the lock of the giant cage. The door was kicked open, and out came a growling and snarling creature.
"Ladies, gentleman, I present you the new head of the Democratic National Committee."
"Yeaaaaagh!" Howard Dean screamed as he overturned his desk. He then lifted up a chair and smashed it over his own head.
"Remember to stay on message!" suggested an aide.
Dean grabbed the man by his neck and lifted him into the air. "Yeaaaagh!" Dean screamed as he threw the man out the window.
"The message is that the Bush administration is full of lies!" Dean shrieked. "Lies! Lies!" he repeated as he punched through the drywall. He then turned towards the cameras and charged them. "Hate Republicans! Kill Republicans!" He threw a punch at a camera, and the screen went to static.
Oh be quiet, he's no kinder to the administration in charge:
"We really have other things to worry about, Mr. President," Condoleezza Rice stated.
"Why? The elections result in Iraq are in," Bush answered, "I brought democracy where there once was none. I'm a God among men!"
"But there is the problem of Iran and North Korea still," Condi said, "Especially now that North Korea has announced they have nuclear weapons."
"Again!" Bush exclaimed, "That's horrible!" Bush then paused for a moment. "North Korea is the bad Korea, right?"
Instapundit linked up this Popular Mechanics article that debunks in detail just about every 9/11 conspiracy I'd heard of, and a few I hadn't. There's no idea so looney that someone can't be found who believes it, but at least this gives the rest of us both ammunition and comfort when confronted with the loons in their bell towers.
Take Bertrand Pecquerie, director of the World Editors Forum, the organization for editors within the World Association of Newspapers, please. Mourning Jordan's decision to step down, Pecquerie likened bloggers to the "sons of Senator McCarthy" and "scalps' hunters."
Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Daily Web site, blasted Jordan's Internet critics in an e-mail to New York University professor Jay Rosen's blog PressThink... : "The salivating morons who make up the lynch mob prevail."
The article goes on at length about the mainstream media's reaction, as does this Jeff Jarvis piece and this Instapundit article. What I find most remarkable is how similar this reaction to an empowered public is to the reaction of another set of American elites to a similarly empowered public more than two centuries before.
In The People Themselves, Larry D. Kramer explores how early generations of Americans viewed their constitution and the government it created. It was the founding fathers's intent and expectation that the people, given the ability to elect their own representatives, would do so and then quietly allow their (presumably) enlightened government to go about its business governing in peace. The people would later assemble in an orderly fashion at regular intervals to express their approval or disapproval of that government in, and only in, the ballot box.
That was the ideal. The reality was, as usual, quite different. The people were patently not content to allow their "enlightened rulers" (who far too often made thieves and vagabonds look good) to go about the business of governing undisturbed. To the American elite's growing horror, it became apparent the people expected a direct and constant voice in the way their country was run. To the Virginia gentleman-farmer or the Boston lawyer, such an expectation was akin to letting the lunatics run the asylum, but by then it was too late. Whether intentional or not, the people of America were given the tools to run their own country, and they proceeded to do so with great gusto.
Then, rich businessmen and powerful planters were horrified that the people thought they could run their own country. Now, rich media moguls and powerful editors are horrified that the people think they can run their own news services.
By reducing the cost of regime change from violent rebellion to voting, the founding fathers made a marketplace for ideas possible. The chaotic mess that followed could only be loved by bomb-throwers like Thomas Jefferson (and even his affection for change lasted only so long as he was not its target). However the result would become, all too often in spite of itself, the most powerful nation the world has ever known.
By reducing the cost of publishing and distribution to nearly nil, blogs have unleashed many of the same forces on our new monolithic elite, the mainstream media. Document forgeries and public cases of foot-in-mouth disease that once were treated with a wink and a nod by those "on the inside" are now treated with deadly seriousness by those who are not. Asking whether or not these outsiders should, or could, or are even remotely qualified to do so misses the point. The people themselves are again empowered to choose what they do or do not believe is important on their own, without a patronizing filter that all too often blindly serves its own naked self-interest.
The result will be, as always, a chaotic mess that is a horror to anyone who actually knows, or rather thinks they know, how the system is supposed to work. As such once-empowered voices sink screaming into the seething ocean of the people, their ideas will have to compete on their merits instead of their laurels. Apocalypse and eschaton will be their final cries, to no avail, because once given a power the people seldom return it.
If history is any guide, the people will eventually use it well. And those who try to cross them will do so at their peril.
Even though I knew about two paragraphs in that this "cry for help" website was a hoax, it still gave me a slight shiver:
I can hear them.
Even though the windows are boarded up.
The terrible clicking noise.
I don't think they are smart enough to figure out how to get in. Good thing Tom's uncle had been doing remodeling here. Plenty of tools, wood and nails. But I suspect that they could chew through the walls if they could figure out how....
Weird things creeping around my house at night is a personal freak point. Ellen would take advantage of it, but she has a similar even stronger fear. I'm sure our friends occasionally consider messing with our heads, but hopefully they realize getting thwacked by a baseball bat would be the best they could hope for.
Your wife gives you a Valentine's day card signed in red crayon. At least I managed to get a sharpy marker. All over me.
Thanks dear, love you lots! And also a happy birthday to my dad, who is now officially old enough to retire. To his mud-track hotrod racing truck. I'm not making this up.
The 30-feet waves, which reshaped the Bay of Bengal and swept more than 16,000 Indians to their deaths, shifted thousands of tons of sand to unearth the pair of elaborately carved stone lions near the 7th-century Dravidian Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram.
Indian archaeologists believe these granite beasts once guarded a small port city under the Pallava dynasty, which ruled much of southern India from 100BC to AD800. The six-foot high lion statues, each hewn from a single piece of granite, are breathtakingly lifelike. One great stone cat sits up alert while the other is poised to pounce.
Sounds like an H.P. Lovecraft novel, right down to the giant disaster and the marooned fisherman.
Popcorn tastes much better if eaten with a spoon.
While mom was the one who called me just now to let me know, it would appear Eason Jordan resigned last night.
I love the smell of bloggers typing in the morning... smells like... victory.
Pardon me, I have to go do a happy dance now.
A Bush Mechanic is someone who fixes his own car by using wood and anything that he can find to replace the certain part that is broken. He can get himself out of trouble and drive to the nearest place to find the right parts for his car.
Liz gets a no-prize that's ugly but works for bringing us yet another quirky aspect of Aussie culture.
And don't miss the short video, it takes awhile to get going, but the ending is great.
There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.
I'd post a "gender-neutral*" version on my door at work, but for the puzzled and offended looks I'd get from the peasants.
* My workplace is infested with lefty lawyers and social work majors. They had a wake when Kerry conceded. I am not making this up. I discovered the one other conservative there in a whispered conversation during our last convention.
No, the quote has nothing to do with politics. Ok newbie, do a search for "Welcome to My World."
The man who organizes a private townwide e-mail list designed to discuss local government apologized yesterday for accidentally sending six graphic pictures to the almost 700 people on the list.
Wait'll you read about what he sent them.
CNN on Thursday sought to quell the media frenzy enveloping executive Eason Jordan over remarks he made during a conference last month in Davos, Switzerland, suggesting that he believed U.S. troops were deliberately firing on journalists in Iraq.
As always, La Shawn Barber is keeping the best round-up of links. MSM is world-famous for holding a politician's feet to the fire whenever they say something stupid. Paybacks, as they say, can be a bitch.
Annoying arrogant squirrels got you down? Can't keep a bird feeder full because the fat fuzzy-tailed rats keep emptying them? Is your dog having a nervous breakdown because the buck-toothed bandits pinch him on the butt every time he tries to sleep on the deck?* Have we got a solution for you!
That porch looks eerily like the one Ellen's parent's have up in New York. No, this isn't them, but it does mean we may be making a trip to the hardware store next time we're up there to visit.
* Oh yes it does happen. Saw it myself once.
While the Washington Post and AvWeek have both mentioned the private "space federation" being in mortal fear of regulation overload, neither talked specifics. Finally, this New Scientist article provides the info we need.
In a nutshell, the private-enterprise "space federation" folks don't mind the FAA specifying regulations to ensure their ships don't squash a shopping mall or condo quad. However, what they're desperately trying to avoid is the FAA being put in charge of passenger safety. If that happens, it seems, nobody flies anywhere without the FAA's say-so, and each time something changes the FAA has to come back out and stamp their approval again.
The federation folks would much rather build their own regulatory board. After all, the reasoning goes, if they got into the business of blowing up their passengers they wouldn't be in business very long. It's felt this private self-regulation system would be far more responsive, consistent, and rational than any government agency ever could be. Members of government, predictably enough, disagree, and some are quietly beavering away to ensure they get what they want.
Considering the feds's well-deserved reptutation for arbitrary, irrational, and contradictory regulations, I'm going to side with the business guys right now. The industry is so new, so expensive, and so risky, it almost certainly would just take a single beuracratic bungle to torpedo the entire thing. And we all know just how friendly and quick-thinking the boys in Washington can be.
This is not to say the FAA couldn't do it. They did, after all, shepherd another high-risk, high-cost industry to (eventual) prosperity. But they have enough trouble keeping up with the airline industry, and from the things I have read, the impression I get is they'd just as soon let the companies handle the safety of the passengers in what everyone understands is a very high-risk mode of travel.
The trick is convincing congress not to force the FAA to do it. Which is where the rest of us come in. If you eventually want your own ticket to ride, it's time to ring up your personal congress critter and let them know this is not an industry you want to see hanging from a noose of red tape.
Armor Geddon does it again, this time with the ultimate explosive home movie. Crash bang boom!
Use the torrent link if you can, it'll be a lot faster. Took me ~ 10 minutes to download it earlier this morning that way.
Just to prove my users aren't the only ones who hunt for the "any" key, we have the ClientCopia top 20. I personally liked #20 the best.
What explains this automatic censure of the United States, Israel, and to a lesser extent the Anglo-democracies of the United Kingdom and Australia? Westernization, coupled with globalization, has created an affluent and leisured elite that now gravitates to universities, the media, bureaucracies, and world organizations, all places where wealth is not created, but analyzed, critiqued, and lavishly spent.
Thus we now expect that the New York Times, Harper's, Le Monde, U.N. functionaries who call us "stingy," French diplomats, American writers and actors will all (1) live a pretty privileged life; (2) in recompense "feel" pretty worried and guilty about it; (3) somehow connect their unease over their comfort with a pathology of the world's hyperpower, the United States; and (4) thus be willing to risk their elite status, power, or wealth by very brave acts such as writing anguished essays, giving pained interviews, issuing apologetic communiqués, braving the rails to Davos, and barking off-the-cuff furious remarks about their angst over themes (1) through (3) above. What a sad contrast they make with far better Iraqis dancing in the street to celebrate their voting.
Almost everyone I know who is either liberal or voted against Bush (which is to say, almost everyone I know) will quite gleefully and accurately point out whatever failings conservatives in general or this administration in particular they happened to notice this week. Unfortunately, that's all they seem to do. Don't tell me what you stand against, tell me what you stand for. Until you do, you're just in the way.
"Why bother, when all you'll do is pick it apart anyway?"
If your beliefs can't stand up against some arguments from a dumb Arkansas kid, you have bigger problems than who happens to be in the White House.
"You won't listen anyway, and I simply will not tolerate hearing the same arguments over and over and over again."
What, because they're right? We invite debate over here, we don't block comments and ban visitors. If you can't tolerate a discussion, why bother starting one?
Fark linked up this nifty pic-and-article of the latest Cassini images of Saturn. Shot using that probe's narrow-angle camera, it represents the first true-color image Cassini has transmitted. The result? Saturn's upper hemisphere is not silver or yellow, but is instead a deep shade of blue.
James H. gets a no-prize with a siren on top for bringing us a classic "and this is a problem, how?" political hairball:
Forty-six air-raid-style sirens, purchased for $1.6 million more than a year ago for Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations [as part of an emergency alarm], are gathering dust in an Ajax warehouse while Pickering politicians try to come up with an alternative that doesn't make as much noise.
In Pickering, local opposition to the 27 planned sirens has been strong in the Bay Ridges and West Shore communities, where residents feel the sirens would lower property values and possibly create panic if they ever sounded.
Because, ya know, radioactive fallout is not something anyone should really panic over, right?
We've already decided that if our next house has a back yard, we're getting a hot tub. My dad has one, and when we were visiting last summer, if it weren't for the drowning risk, I think Ellen would've slept in it. However, there's hot tubs, and then there's hot tubs:
Jacuzzi is synonymous of hydromassage worldwide. Pininfarina represents the culture of a project applied to innovation. An exciting encounter from which an original way of imagining and living in the bathroom is born. Pininfarina design for unique bathroom sanitary ware.
For the great unwashed in the audience (ha!), Pininfarina designs most Ferraris, some Lamborghinis, and more than a few Alfas. I'm sure these things have Ferrari prices too. Still, they're darned pretty.
A BlueLens exclusive!
Note the Ritz cracker in her mouth.
They are at it again!
Note the sleek ergonomic arm rests and faux leather seats...
Individuals who decide to participate in this study will be asked to complete a measure to help us determine the size of condom most appropriate for them. After completing these measures, participants will receive two different types of condoms (provided free) and will be asked to use them for sexual activities over a 30 day period. During these 30 days, participants will be asked to come to an Internet site on a daily basis and provide information about their sexual activities and use of these condoms.
Heheh... heheh... heheh... he said... measures... heheheh...
New Scientist is carrying this update on the "lost" wind data from the otherwise supremely successful Huygens probe to Titan. Because of a command sequence mistake, Cassini was unable to recieve data about the wind conditions on Titan as Huygens decended to land. However, due to improvements in radio telescopes since Cassini was launched in 1997, it turned out Earth-bound observatories were actually able to receive the data destined for the far closer Saturn orbiter. The results were, as with most things of this nature, both expected and surprising.
Fark linked up this JSOnline article about something that's new to me but probably old hat to iPod users... "podcasting". Specifically, the pioneering podcasters Dawn Miceli and Drew Domkus, whose "The Dawn and Drew Show" is apparently one of the more popular podcasts out there.
Slashdot linked up this site which provides high-resolution 360 degree panoramas of Apollo-mission photography. Things like this have been released before, but never with this level of detail. The site is, of course, slashdotted, so it may be worthwhile to wait until it falls off their front page (some time this afternoon).
Instead of the sky falling on the bird, the bird falls from the sky:
There are two reports of houses being damaged by plucked chickens crashing through their roofs in Newcastle in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.
Includes our Best quote of the week award winner:
"I don't have all the answers or anything like that, but birds or chickens or whatever it is, they don't just fall from the sky and put holes in people's roofs.
Because I'm pretty sure she'll nod her head sagely at this video. I'm the commute driver weekdays because she began screaming at the milling herds of commuters when we moved out into the 'burbs.
New Scientist is carrying this report summarizing some interesting findings about female longevity and childbirth. By studying the medical records of four generations of Finns born between 1745 and 1903, scientists have determined the age of the mother when children were born had a significant affect on her life expectancy. No corresponding relationship was found with fathers.
Well, it's their neighborhood, I guess they can ban anything they like:
The mayor of West Hollywood -- a liberal, pet-embracing city adjacent to Los Angeles that two years ago brought America a ban on the declawing of cats -- has proposed a new ordinance making "tail-docking" and "ear-cropping" illegal.
Of course, since this is a municipality and not a state or country, the action is basically symbolic. I'm conditioned pavlov-style by Ellen to agree unequivocally that declawing should be outlawed*, but I don't know near as much about the downside of canine "enhancements". Dobermans with tails and floppy ears would certainly be weird looking, I'll give you that.
* But I draw the line at placing these owners in purpose-built stockades in front of the clinic. Others in my house, of course, disagree. Let's just say I'm glad Ellen isn't very good at carpentry.
A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday.
This being Wales, there's bound to be a sheep involved. I just can't quite figure out how...
While the Farscape miniseries has exited the stage, the cast are still busy with other projects. SaveFarscape has these links to interviews with Claudia Black (Aeryn Sun) and Ben Browder (John Crichton) giving us an update on what they're up to lately. Looks like I may have to put Stargate on season pass after all.
Spurred by CNN executive Eason Jordan's accusations that U.S. troops have targetted journalists in Iraq, the Pentagon today issued revised rules of engagement for encounters between U.S. forces and the members of the news media.
"We're there to kill terrorists, not journalists," said an unnamed Pentagon official. "The new rules are designed to make it easier for our personnel to distinguish between the two, since they're often found together and have similar objectives."
Remember folks, a .50 caliber machine gun means never having to say you're sorry.
Ron gets a no-prize in a box for bringing us the Noble M12 GTO-R, the ultimate "not-quite-production, not-quite-kit" car. Powered by a 350 hp turbocharged V6, this mid-engined rocket is capable of mid-11 quarters and can pull over 1 G lateral acceleration.
The catch, if you can call it that, is you buy it in two pieces... the car, and then the drivetrain. Either on your own or through an "independent contractor", the two are mated after delivery, and there's your car. This (for now at least) neatly gets around all those bothersome federal testing requirements, allowing super-car level performance at a comparatively reasonable ($56,000) price.
No, you can't go pick up groceries in it. That's what the truck is for!
Space.com is carrying this report detailing new evidence that indicates black holes may actually be vital in the formation of both stars and entire galaxies.
You know a story has begun to boil when it gets a "gate" attached to its name. Well folks, welcome to "Easongate":
Just got off the phone with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who spoke with me about Easongate. Rep. Frank was on the panel at Davos.
Rep. Frank said Eason Jordan did assert that there was deliberate targeting of journalists by the U.S. military. After Jordan made the statement, Rep. Frank said he immediately "expressed deep skepticism." Jordan backed off (slightly), Rep. Frank said, "explaining that he wasn't saying it was the policy of the American military to target journalists, but that there may have been individual cases where they were targeted by younger personnel who were not properly disciplined."
With a hero who gave his life for the elections, a revived national anthem blaring from car stereos and a greater willingness to help police, the public mood appears to be moving more clearly against the insurgency in Iraq, political and security officials said.
In the week since national elections, police officers and Iraqi National Guardsmen said they have received more tips from the public, resulting in more arrests and greater effectiveness in their efforts to weaken the violent insurgency rocking the country.
One of the biggest mistakes we made in Vietnam was not allowing elections to take place in 1954 after the fall of Dien Bien Fu. Yes, it would have meant the entire country becoming communist and yes, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected president. However, hindsight being what it is, it seems extremely likely Vietnam would have become a freer, more open society (as it is today) perhaps thirty years earlier. The difference would have been 65,000 Americans and at least five times that many Vietnamese would still be around.
Of course, we didn't know then what we know now, so while it's easy to point out our forefather's mistakes, we should be careful not to blame them for being unable to predict the future. They paid a terrible price in blood, tears, and treasure for their pride and ignorance. Some of those bills are still being paid off to this day.
But, far more important, it seems there really were positive lessons that came out of Vietnam, not the least of which seems to be let the people decide, and sooner rather than later. Trust them. Give them a chance. They may take that chance and waste it, but they may also grab it with both hands and use it to run down the sun. You'll only learn if you let them.
As with any human endeavor that really matters, there's no guarantee either way. But, should they succeed (and I think they will, eventually), not only will it pay profound tribute to the lives lost in the current conflict, I think it will also honor a different set, once thought wasted for naught in distant jungles so long ago.
Or, perhaps not...
"You've done a man's job, sir. I guess you're through, huh?"
"It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
A Canadian couple has launched a business offering worried parents or concerned employers private drug-detection services that will search homes and offices for everything from marijuana to heroin.
I mean, come on, nothing says trust quite like a German shephard going through your kid's backpack, eh?
New Scientist is carrying this article detailing new research about coral reefs and weather. Scientists have found that coral reefs may actually be able to create their own clouds when the temperature gets too hot. While even they say the research is very preliminary, this could be the first test case for the "Gaia theory", which postulates that life itself alters the Earth's climate to ensure suitable conditions.
A budding romance between a Jordanian man and woman turned into an ugly public divorce when the couple found out that they were in fact man and wife, state media reported.
Gah. Now I'm gonna have that stupid song in my head the rest of the day. ARRrrrggggggg...
Alfa Romeo will be unveiling the replacement for its current GTV at the Geneva Auto Show later this month. In the meantime, they've released these pictures of the new car, called the Brera.
If GM actually brings Alfa back to the US, this will be one of the cars they bring. I can't say I find the thing to be pretty, but it's definitely different. However, this sort of impression isn't unusual for new Alfas, and if past experience is any guide, it will age very well over time.
Unfortunately it'll probably age very well over there. Current news has Fiat and GM in a big brawl over who has to buy what from whom, and the date for Alfa's arrival just keeps getting pushed further and further back.
Don't you think someone needs to strap this chick is some machine and shake her till she has seizures and dies?
If it was my child this happened to, you would all be visiting me in jail after I was done with that person.
A clip from America's Funniest Home Videos of little babies spitting up.
If you are not a parent, you probably won't find it funny, but disgusting. Scott and I howl everytime they show this clip.
Visions of Eden?
At least they could have painted her butt crack!
Watch the new cheetah cubs at the National Zoo on their LIVE web cam!
~ I don' wanna work / I jus wanna bang on de drum all day ~
This announcement brought to you by: a super-flakey e-mail server, who's reconstruct utility is taking 4 hours longer than it should because the peasants who infest my network make packrats say, "damn people! Hello? Delete key?!?"
Fetish gym equipment.
The entire site is weird!
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A Peruvian medical team is preparing for pioneering surgery to separate the fused legs of a 9-month-old girl born with a rare condition known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome."Modern medicine is an amazing thing.
Milagros Cerron, who has fused legs but separated feet, is one of very few people in the world with the condition, doctors say.
Semen makes you happy. That's the remarkable conclusion of a study comparing women whose partners wear condoms with those whose partners don't.
The study, which is bound to provoke controversy, showed that the women who were directly exposed to semen were less depressed. The researchers think this is because mood-altering hormones in semen are absorbed through the vagina. They say they have ruled out other explanations.
Read entire article here.
BBCnews is carrying this report on the soon-to-be-activated CERN Large Hadron Collider. The main instruments are built inside a perfectly circular 17-mile tunnel, while others are placed inside gigantic man-made caverns.
To me, the thing looks like the inside of every "lab experiment before it goes wrong" shooter set I've ever seen. All they need now is Gordon Freeman and his enviro-suit.
Instapundit lets us know Mr. Eason's recent statements are nothing new (emphasis added):
it's an assertion Mr. Jordan has made before. In November, as reported in the London Guardian, Mr. Jordan said, "The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the U.S. military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by U.S. forces."
As the article notes, there's not one shred of proof for any of these outrageous statements. This isn't some DU loon, or a congress critter shooting their mouth off, this is the freaking executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN!
Now, tell me again, and slowly because I'm obviously too stupid to understand... why is Fox News the "real enemy"?
There's just so many different ways to parse something called Gay Energy Drink. It's so... festive!!!
Slashdot linked up this article summarizing new development in dark matter research. By using the Chandra X-ray telescope, scientists have found what would appear to be "the rest" of the matter in the universe. Made up of giant superheated intergalactic clouds of baryons (a kind of atom), it's thought their very existence provides even more evidence that dark matter exists.
For evidence that our federal government has no monopoly on wacky ideas, we have this "progressive" legislation attempting to curb graffiti in New York City:
Hoping to put a lid on graffiti vandalism, the City Council's public safety chairman introduced a bill yesterday to ban the sale of spray paint to almost everyone.
What kills me is that this area of the US has probably the most extensive public transport system in the country. All the kids have to do is hop a light rail line into Jersey and they'll have their paint. Sheesh...
Aviation week is carrying this detailed article about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, due for launch this August. Boasting cameras with resolutions several orders of magnitude greater than anything before, it has the potential to "rival compositional data collected at some sites visited by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers directly on the surface." Except since the MRO is in orbit, it moves a lot faster, and the chances of it falling into a pit are, shall we say, greatly reduced.
Arrival is scheduled for ~ 18 months after launch, so here's to hoping for a great '07 exploration season!
Fark linked up news that EMP "disablers" are becoming more practical:
James Tatoian, chief executive of Eureka Aerospace in Pasadena, California, is developing a system that uses microwave energy to interfere with microchips inside cars. Once the chip is overloaded with excessive current, the car ceases to function, and will gradually decelerate on its own, he said.
Tatoian said that while he is not the first to come up with the idea of using electromagnetic interference to stop cars, he has been able to reduce the size and power consumption of such a device so that it would be much more portable.
Which is yet another reason to enjoy the ol' Alfa... the only transistors on it (let alone CPUs) are in the radio, and I don't usually have that on. Muhahahahahaha...
Gah. I need to get out more.
Those going to Superbowl parties may find Snopes's reference page interesting. Maybe even useful, if alcohol and wagering are involved.
The headline says it all: "Woman Accused of Giving Lethal Sherry Enema."
Warner, 58, was said to have an alcohol problem and received the wine enema because a throat ailment left him unable to drink the sherry, Turner told the newspaper.
The woman admitted administering the enema, but denied causing her husband's death, the Chronicle said.
It would seem that "true love" is not wine, roses, thoughtful notes, or soft kisses; it's pouring 3 liters of booze in your significant other's ass.
And I thought this was gonna be a slow news day...
Watched the SOTU address last night, thought he did a reasonable job. I knew there'd be a rebuttal, but Ellen came downstairs in an outfit I couldn't refuse, so I missed that. Then again, why watch the Democratic rebuttal when I already knew what they were gonna say:
Social Security: WITH OUR PLAN, EVERYONE GETS BENEFITS FOR EVER AND EVER, AND NOTHING EVER NEED CHANGE. WITH THE PRESIDENT’S PLAN? HELL ON EARTH AND ETERNAL DAMNATION (SECULARLY SPEAKING), WITH SENIORS FORCED TO SURVIVE ON FRUIT ROLL-UPS AND TANG CRYSTALS. WHILE SLEEPING IN SEWAGE.
Ron gets a no-prize he can take on the subway for bringing us the latest development in mobile phones:
The local branch of British mobile giant Vodafone on Monday unveiled the V603SH, billed as the first phone in Japan to respond to movements, which will let users perform basic mobile functions through programmed shakes and jerks.
Considering the legendary crowds on Japan's commuter trains, I can't help but think this'll just be an excuse to beat the crap out of everyone around you. "No, no, officer, I was just practicing my golf swing!"
Joshua gets a no-prize disguised as a toy for bringing us the best X-box case mod I've ever seen (so far). I wonder if it voids the warranty?
Many thanks to all of our readers for continuing to read AMCGLTD.
At a discussion moderated by David R. Gergen, the Director for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, the concept of truth, fairness, and balance in the news was weighed against corporate profit interest, the need for ratings, and how the media can affect democracy.
During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.
Hell I'm sure there are any number of soldiers out there who would've liked to plug, say, Geraldo or Arnett, but actually doing it? And if Mr. Jordan knew it, why the hell hasn't CNN screamed to the high hills about it? I mean, Abu Graihb is still on the goddamned front pages, and the Army was just screwing around with Iraqis back then.
I've thought Jordan needed to go ever since he admitted to covering up Hussein's excesses to maintain access. Since the MSM seem to be trying to ignore this one, maybe bloggers can keep the heat on long enough to get rid of another
machiavellian careerist self-appointed "guardian of truth".
Jeff gets a no-prize covered in barnacles for bringing us news of attempts to raise the German battleship, Graf Spee. Located not far off the coast of Uruguay in comparatively shallow water, the ship has recently been discovered to be in fairly good shape. Divers are today planning on raising the range finder, a component that held the first radar antenna installed on the ship. From the very brief mentions provided in the article, it appears their plan is to raise the ship bit by bit and re-assemble it in a (land-based) museum nearby.
Why would anyone buy the world's longest chopper bike? Duh, because they can. Kinda looks like what the previous story's GI Joe would drive.
Instapundit provides a nice roundup of the "GI Joe-as-hostage" MSM debacle. The Post only mentioned it as part of a picture caption, and even then they called it a "suspected hoax". Finally we find the real puppets of the Bush regime!
Ron gets a stone-chipped no-prize for bringing us this Discovery On-Line article about recent hominid finds in Britain:
A recent excavation of 400,000-year-old stone tools in Britain suggests that two groups of early humans could have competed with each other for food and turf.
They can tell this because two distinct kinds of tools have now been found in Britain from around this time period. One is the well-known Acheulean stone axe culture most commonly associated with Neandertals, while the other is a (to me at least) more obscure Clactonian culture. It's possible these may even represent completely different species of human, which would be ground-breaking news for Britain, which current theory holds was never occupied by more than a single species at any one time.
Teaching a small child how the potty works is not an easy thing. It's time consuming; one eventually runs out of cheers to hoot and holler, and you lose toilet paper rolls. Lots of them. Mainly because you are busy dragging the portapotty into the living room in order to get said child to go (however, a certain feline's well-known role as the Jeffry Dhamer of toilet paper does not help.)
Are you with me yet? Ok, you have to drag the roll of TP out with the portapotty so you can wipe said child's bits and butt dry.
So what does this have to do with being stranded? Ok, I'll tell you.
Yesterday we came home from work after picking Olivia up from daycare. Scott thinks I'm bit obsessed about this, but that's just because he's a stupid man and doesn't understand.
Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?
Ok, obviously you all are not dedicated fitness buffs. Because if you were, you'd know that at the end of a 40 minute commute I had consumed.... wait for it...
One liter of water. Therefore, I had to pee something fierce. You know what I mean. One of those pee moments that will ensure you'll be sitting there on the toilet for a few sad seconds while you wait...and wait... for your bladder to finally give up and let you have the type of pee that makes your eyes cross (ok guys, just accept it, hmm? Ah geeze. Ok. Imagine it's 3/4ths of the way through your favorite sporting event. You've had ten beers. You don't want to "break the seal" because you've drunkenly convined your boozy friend to vote for the right party in the next election. Almost...)
That was me. Except when I was finished I turned to get my bit of TP and... nothing. The bar was empty. You could almost hear the wind blowing through the empty saloon windows. I swear, a tiny tumbleweed blew across the floor. Or maybe it was a hairball...
Me: "Olivia!! Help Mommy!!!"
Olivia peers into the bathroom and does her 'hand up in the air' move. This is Olivia-speak (well, Olivia-gesture) for "Where'd it go?"
Me: "Ack!! Olivia! Help Mommy! Find the toilet paper. Get the roll of the toilet paper!"
Olivia turns and leaves, and I'm sitting there thinking if she does not return, maybe I can air dry a bit then get up and find the roll.
A few tense moments go by and I'm hearing Olivia's show Hi-5! playing. SHIT. She forgot about me.
Me: "O!!!? Baby?? Help Mommy!!"
Just when I think she has forgotten about me in the bathroom the door slowly swings open. You could almost hear the "ooo-EEE-ooo-EEE-ooo" theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." I don't know how, I really don't, but she'd somehow found her poncho. All she needed was a hat and a cigarillo and we would have had our very own 2'11" Clint Eastwood. But in her hand was not a revolver, it was the Holy Grail. My roll of Charmin TP. I swear I saw that paper glisten in the lamplight. I was ever so relieved. Mostly because I was ignoring the "do you feel lucky, punk?!?" expression on her face. At least that's what I think I saw, but my legs were going numb, so who knows.
Me: "Yay!!!!! You found the toilet paper!! Woohoo!"
Olivia looks at me, shrugs, goes "bwah PAH! buh sha kah CHA!... bye bye!!!" and walks out the door to finish watching Hi-5.
The moral of the story: no matter how cute and fuzzy cats may be, if you yell at them for toilet paper they'll just stare at you wondering why you're not getting the food fast enough. Only children will rescue you.
Now to get the scent of cigarette smoke out of the furniture...
Birds are not stupid and their brains are not primitive so it is about time the scientific world gave them full credit, experts said on Monday.
An international group of avian experts took on the slow-moving world of scientific nomenclature, calling for a new map of the avian brain that reflects its true structure.
As they fly gracefully across the sky, it's hard to deny some sort of smarts are involved. Of course, when they crash headlong into a window, it's hard to overestimate it.
Then again, people walk into glass doors all the damned time. It would seem that nature did not wire any of us for large walls that can be seen through.
The bag from the hospital should have held his recently deceased father's belongings.
But when Christopher Runyan emptied it out on the kitchen table of his Long Island home yesterday, he made a grisly discovery: a human leg.
I could make a joke that pulled together organized crime, severed body parts, New York, "Loo-wong Oiyland" (say it quickly... that's it, you've got it), and my lovely wife's ancestry, but I'm afraid it might be the last thing I post.
Deprived of their flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, pizza deliveries and long visits from lovers, inmates at Mexico's top security prison complained on Monday they are being treated "like dogs."
I had to double-check to make sure gitmo wasn't involved. The nerve of these people, expecting jail to be, well, jail!
Space.com is carrying this article detailing new developments in "magnetar" theory. A mystery since their discovery in 1998, these super-massive objects with unprecedented magnetic fields seem to be a very rare type of neutron star, created by the supernova of a very distinct type of "parent" star. It's thought that the dozen or so discovered so far may be the only ones in the galaxy.
With apologies to John Landis et. al., Oregon Nazis. I hate Oregon Nazis:
The American Nazi Party has volunteered to pick up trash along a quiet stretch of rural road in Oregon state, causing an uproar after getting a sign placed there crediting its work.
Damned shame I don't have a '74 Dodge Monaco, but Jeff's old Trans Am should suffice (we keep expecting it to fall apart any day now). I wonder if we could get them all to line up on a bridge?
BBCnews is carrying this update on our favorite land-based horror, the robber crab. Turns out this crustacean, which is descended from ocean-going species, evolved a "nose" that re-invented key elements of a distant ancestor... insects. It's now considered to be one of the most striking cases of convergent evolution ever found.
As long as they stay on those islands, I'm fascinated. If one starts trying to steal my sandwich, I'm getting a gun.