Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Press releases - Police Department - City of Kent, Washington
Press releases - Police Department - City of Kent, Washington: "Death caused by exploding lava lamp ruled accidental

Kent, WA - November 29, 2004

At about 8:00 p.m., Sunday, November 28, 2004, an Auburn couple found their 24 year old son dead in his south Kent trailer home. Kent Police Detectives examined the scene. It appeared that something had exploded on the stove top sending shards and splinters of glass in all directions. Remnants of a lava lamp were found around the kitchen area. It is believed that for some unknown reason the deceased placed a lava lamp on the stove top to heat it up which led to the explosion of the fluid container part of the lava lamp. The deceased has several lacerations and one large shard of glass embedded in his chest.

The young man talked to this father on the phone about 9:00 a.m. Sunday. His parents were called by his girlfriend about 7:30 pm when she had not been able to contact him all day. His parents drove from their home in Auburn to south Kent to check on him. On entering the trailer home they turned off the burner on the stove and then discovered their son in the bedroom.

The medical examiners office determined that the flying shard of glass caused his death and ruled it to be an accidental death."

Saturday, November 27, 2004
Floyd hit kids sue for unpaid cash : "LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A group of former London state school children who sang on Pink Floyd's 1979 classic 'Another Brick In The Wall' have lodged a claim for unpaid royalties.

Twenty-three teenage pupils from Islington Green School secretly recorded vocals for the track, which became an anthem for children with the chorus 'We don't need no education.'

On hearing the song, the headmistress banned the pupils from appearing on television or video -- leaving them no evidence and making it harder for them to claim royalties -- and the local school authority described the lyrics as 'scandalous.'

The album sold over 12 million copies and the single became No. 1 in Britain and America.

Royalties expert Peter Rowan told Reuters he was appealing to a music royalties' society on behalf of a former pupil and was working with other members of the class. He said he was still trying to contact the majority of the group.

'They are owed their money and we lodged the first claim last week,' Rowan told Reuters. 'I've been working on it for almost two years.'

Music teacher Alun Renshaw took the school pupils to a nearby recording studio without the permission of the headmistress after being approached by the band's management.

The lyrics 'We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control, no dark sarcasm in the classroom -- teachers leave them kids alone' were described by the Inner London Education Authority as scandalous.

The school was paid 1,000 pounds and later given a platinum record of the song but the individuals involved were never paid.

Rowan said the money would come from a music royalties society and not Pink Floyd. He expected the 23 pupils to receive a couple of hundred pounds each.

The application for royalties was initially hindered by a lack of evidence but Renshaw said the headmistress at the time Margaret Maden, now a University professor, had supported their application.

'We had to provide evidence to show they were part of the song and Mrs Maden helped us with that,' he said.

Music teacher Renshaw told the Evening Standard newspaper he accepted the offer, viewing it as 'an interesting sociological thing and also a wonderful opportunity for the kids to work in a live recording studio.

'I sort of mentioned it to the headteacher, but didn't give her a piece of paper with the lyrics on it.'"

Saturday, November 20, 2004
this is too accurate
You are .inf You are informative. When you are gone you make life very difficult for others.
Which File Extension are You?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
is a toll-free number you can dial to find out who your long distance carrier is. You'll get a recorded message telling you the name of your long distance company. It's a good idea to check it occasionally, to make sure you haven't been slammed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Across America, low and slow
CNET "Dean Kamen designed his Segway transporter to serve as a cheap, clean and flexible form of urban transit, not as a platform for traversing national parks and encountering wildlife.

But that hasn't stopped former vacuum cleaner salesman Josh Caldwell, 27, who has put the Segway to perhaps its most grueling test yet by piloting the scooter across the length of the United States.

His journey concluded in Boston on Tuesday, a little more than three months after he and a small support crew started out from Seattle with a single Segway scooter, more than a dozen spare batteries, one loyal dog and a Jeep Cherokee filled with filmmaking gear to document the trip."

The "America at 10mph" project, hatched by Caldwell and buddy Hunter Weeks, began as something between a joke and a dare but quickly turned into a serious expedition to see America in a new way. Caldwell and Weeks plan to produce a documentary film from footage shot during the trip, showing what small-town America looks like from 6 inches off the ground.

Monday, November 15, 2004
jaynote: I applaud him
Police taser 12 year old truant girlA Miami-Dade police officer used a Taser to stop an unarmed, 12-year-old girl who was running away from him after she was caught skipping school, police acknowledged Friday night.

The incident happened Nov. 5, just over two weeks after other Miami-Dade officers used a stun gun to restrain a first-grader. In that case, police said the 6-year-old boy was holding a shard of glass and threatening to cut himself. Police Director Bobby Parker defended the decision to shock the boy because he could have seriously hurt himself.

But Parker said Friday that he could not defend the decision to shock the fleeing 12-year-old, who was apparently drunk.

''Under the circumstances, we thought that he should not have used the Taser,'' Parker said referring to the officer. ``It's likely that discipline will be forthcoming.''

According to the incident report:

Officer William Nelson responded to an anonymous complaint that some kids were swimming in a West Kendall pool, drinking alcohol and smoking cigars about 11 a.m.

Nelson said he noticed the girl was intoxicated and told her to get dressed so he could take her back to school.

''While walking [the girl] to the police car, [she] took off running through the parking lot,'' Nelson wrote in his report.

Nelson, 38, a 15-year veteran, said he chased her and yelled several times for her to stop. Nelson said he pulled out the Taser and fired when the girl began to run into traffic.

The electric probes hit the girl in the neck and lower back, immobilizing her with 50,000 volts.

Nelson said he fired ''for my safety along with [the girl's] safety.'' He could not be reached for comment.

Paramedics treated the girl, who went home with her mother.

Parker said department policy permits officers to use the Taser to apprehend someone, but he said he expected his officers to use better judgment -- especially when police had no plans to arrest someone playing hooky.

''If you use it to apprehend an adult, it would be an arrest kind of situation,'' said Parker, adding that the timing of the latest incident couldn't be any worse.

His department is already under fire for using a Taser to subdue the 6-year-old last month. That zapping has made national headlines and prompted calls from child advocates that Miami-Dade review its Taser use.

Parker said Friday night that his department will review its Taser policy. ''That doesn't mean that we're going to change it,'' he said.

County Commissioner Joe Martinez, a former Miami-Dade officer, said the policy needs to be tightened.

''When you have a 6-year-old who is on medication and very disturbed, maybe some of that crisis intervention training would be very handy,'' he said, referring to a program that teaches officers how to deal with the mentally ill. ``Now, when I learn that a 12-year-old girl was running away, truant, and was also Tasered, I think it's time we instruct the county manager to look at that policy.''

Asked if his officers had shocked any other kids, Parker said: ``I asked the same question, are there more of these out there that I'm not aware of? To my knowledge this is the only one.''

Saturday, November 13, 2004
Credentialing: It May Not Be the Cat's Meow
Steve K. D. Eichel, Ph.D., ABPP
"After many months, I've finally been pushed to finish this article on questionable credentialing in hypnosis and 'psychotherapy.' A reporter from a major magazine wrote to 'Dr. Zoe D. Katze' for input on an article she was writing on hypnosis for childbirthing. She had stumbled across Dr. Zoe's name on the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists' website. I had to tell her the truth.

Dr. Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, is a cat. In fact, she is my cat. Those familiar with basic German have probably already enjoyed a laugh. 'Zoe Die Katze' literally translates to 'Zoe the cat.'

Dr. Katze's credentials look impressive. She is certified by three major hypnotherapy associations, having met their 'strict training requirements' and having had her background thoroughly reviewed. She holds a Diplomate in psychotherapy from an association that claims to promote the highest standards among psychotherapists.

I was motivated to credential my cat by two circumstances. First, I have become increasingly heedful of all the questionable credentials out there, and I've grown tired of sounding defensive to therapist-shopping clients who confront me with something along the order of: 'I found somebody with all these certifications and diplomas and he/she charges half of what you psychologists charge.'

The last straw (and my moment of inspiration) came during an internet search for a colleague. I accidentally came upon the website of another 'psychotherapist' who listed a doctoral degree from an infamous diploma mill. Along with his degrees, he listed a veritable alphabet soup of impressive-looking letters after his name, corresponding to various 'board certifications' and his status as a 'Diplomat [sic] and Fellow' of the 'largest professional hypnosis association in the world.'

I decided to credential my cat."

Friday, November 12, 2004
Overheard On LiveJournal's Journal
Subject: Pissed Off Jews
Yasser Arafat died yesterday in a Paris hospital. You just know that somewhere in Israel, there is a circle of pissed off Mossad agents sitting around, shaking their heads and saying 'Forty years we've been after that guy! Forty years and all is took was the fucking French health care system!'

Sunday, November 07, 2004

helping to build a world without hunger
"Here are a few local recipes from locust-affected countries. Please send us yours!

Tinjiya (Tswana recipe): remove the wings and hindlegs of the locusts, and boil in a little water until soft. Add salt, if desired, and a little fat and fry until brown. Serve with cooked, dried mealies (corn).

Sikonyane (Swazi recipe): prepare embers and roast the whole locust on the embers. Remove head, wings, and legs, in other words, only the breast part is eaten. The South Sotho people use locusts especially as food for travellers. The heads and last joint of the hindlegs are broken off and the rest laid on the coals to roast. The roasted locusts are ground on a grinding stone to a fine powder. This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey. Dried locusts are also prepared for the winter months. The legs, when dried, are especially relished for their pleasant taste.

Cambodia: take several dozen locust adults, preferably females, slit the abdomen lengthwise and stuff a peanut inside. Then lightly grill the locusts in a wok or hot frying pan, adding a little oil and salt to taste. Be careful not to overcook or burn them.

Barbecue (grilled): prepare the embers or charcoal. Place about one dozen locusts on a skewer, stabbing each through the centre of the abdomen. If you only want to eat the abdomen, then you may want to take off the legs or wings either before or after cooking. Several skewers of locusts may be required for each person. Place the skewers above the hot embers and grill while turning continuously to avoid burning the locusts until they become golden brown."

Saturday, November 06, 2004
metaquotes: If this isn't already here, it should be
metaquotes: If this isn't already here, it should be: "From editinggod:

So, yesterday, i was feeling a little dejected from the results of the election as I stepped on the bus. Following me, was a class of small children around first or second grade. This entire class took up most of the bus, so I sat at the back with a few of the kids. There were two boys who were back there, and one of the boys was taunting the other one 'You like boys, you like boys!' The boy who was being taunted pouted and then glared, 'My GRAMMA says it's okay to like BOYS.'

What? Way to go, Gramma!

And then a bunch of other kids got caught up in the conversation. I thought they were going to be picking on the boy too, but no, they joined his side! 'My uncle likes boys!' 'My sister likes girls.' 'My uncle likes boys and his boyfriend brings me COOKIES!' and so on and so on. The teacher just smiled and sat back, letting them handle it.

At that moment, even if just for a moment, i realized that Life really isn't -that- bad."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Vaccine shortage a sympton of ailing system
Craig Westover: "To better understand the current flu vaccine shortage and the dangers of proposed policy changes for the way Americans purchase medication, it’s necessary to understand a bit about vaccine production and pricing.

Unlike pills, vaccines are developed using virus and bacteria cultures, which don’t grow on demand. Adding more people on a production line can’t shorten delivery times any more than nine women working together can have a baby in one month. A vaccine has an 8-12 month production cycle. Add to the mix a regulatory approval process, and the production to shipping cycle for a vaccine might run from 11 to 16 months or longer.

Current production methods are not responsive to changing market conditions. “Unbelievable technology” is available, but high implementation cost and low profit make it uneconomical to implement.

Why the low profit on vaccines? Consider a policy like the 1993 Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. (VFC is similar to the prescription drug program in Canada.)

Under the VFC program, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) purchases nearly 70 percent of all childhood vaccines at deeply discounted government-set prices. It then distributes the vaccines to states according to a federal formula. The result is some states wind up with a surplus of vaccines (with a limited shelf life) while other areas experience a shortage. Price control plus limited shelf-life discourages vaccine makers from producing more doses than the government orders."

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