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Showing posts from February, 2004
AMCGLTD: February 2004 Archives : "In the annals of parenting there are guides, tips, and dirty tricks. This is definitely a dirty trick of the foulest sort. ELLEN, in sweet, innocent, congested voice: 'Could you check Olivia? I can't smell anything because of this cold!' SCOTT: 'Sure, no problem.' Leans over to baby gumming a toy block sitting at the foot of the couch... *sniff* 'Yup, she needs changing.' ELLEN, in completely clear normal voice: 'HA-HA! You found it first! You have to change her!' SCOTT: 'ARG!' Women are evil. I'm only just beginning to realize the implications of having two in the house. The horror... the horror..."

Sending emails to God : "Supplicants to God now have a new method of reaching the Almighty - via email. Israel's Bezeq telecommunications company announced today that it is opening an email service for those who have a special request from God, and is thus expanding its existing service of faxing notes to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By tradition, Jews seeking special favours from God write these requests on slips of paper which they place in between the huge stones which make up the wall, part of Judaism's holiest site. The tradition says God will grant these pleas. Bezeq started its fax service to the Western Wall several years ago and says it now receives about 200 faxes per week from around the world, although the number can double or triple as holidays or special events approach. Company employees put the requests in a special envelope and take them to the Wall twice a week. Bezeq said it was starting the new service because more people now have access

How Foam Doomed Columbia Is Clarified

( : "NASA's top spaceflight official, William F. Readdy, said Friday that air liquefied by the super-cold fuel in the tank almost certainly seeped into a crack or void in the foam, or collected around bolts and nuts beneath the foam. The trapped air expanded as the shuttle rose, and it blew off a chunk of foam the size of a suitcase. Rather than peeling off, as NASA had assumed from past experience, the foam was pushed off with explosive force, Readdy said. The space agency also had assumed the foam would fall down along the tank and miss the shuttle, but the falling foam shot toward Columbia and the left wing rammed into it, resulting in a large gash. 'That is really the root cause that we've been able to discover here,' Readdy said. In all likelihood, faulty application of the foam created air pockets, Readdy said"

An attempt to boost vodka sales has landed Polmos Zielona Gora firm in the dock.

Linked from - WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish vodka maker has put the old adage that alcohol loosens the tongue to the test, offering clients a free English language course with each bottle. But what was an attempt to boost vodka sales has landed Polmos Zielona Gora firm in the dock. The government's Agency for Solving Alcohol Problems accused the firm, controlled by Sweden's state-owned Vin & Spirit, of inducing young people to drink by questionable marketing practices. "They are breaking the law, which prohibits advertising alcohol by making associations with culture, science or success in life. We will take them to court unless they stop," Renata Durda, a director at the Agency, told Reuters. Polmos vowed to press ahead with its campaign, under which it attaches DVDs to bottles of its flagship Luksusowa ("luxury") vodka brand. "First of all, it's not an advertising campaign but a sales support campaign. Others attach b

Extinction looms for herbal healers : "Worldwide demand for herbal remedies is threatening natural habitats and endangering up to a fifth of wild medicinal plant species, which are being harvested to extinction, a science magazine says. A study to be published later this year by the World Wildlife Fund warns that between 4000 and 10,000 plants may be at risk. 'It's an extremely serious problem,' the study's author, Alan Hamilton, told New Scientist magazine, in its latest issue. The findings are based on an analysis of the number of species at risk on the World Conservation Union's red list of threatened plants."

The facts about the president's service.

National Review :The controversy over Bush's service centers on what his critics call "the period in question," that is, the time from May 1972 until May 1973. What is not mentioned as often is that that period was in fact Bush's fifth year in the Guard, one that followed four years of often intense service. Bush joined in May 1968. He went through six weeks of basic training — a full-time job — at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Then he underwent 53 weeks of flight training — again, full time — at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. Then he underwent 21 weeks of fighter interceptor training — full time — at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. Counting other, shorter, postings in between, by the end of his training period Bush had served two years on active duty. Certified to fly the F-102 fighter plane, Bush then began a period of frequent — usually weekly — flying. The F-102 was designed to shoot down other fighter planes, and the missions Bush

Teachers ate cannabis cake

Ananova : "Ten schoolteachers have been taken to hospital after eating a cake laced with cannabis. It had been left in the staffroom of the Herder Grammar School in Lueneburg, Germany. Staff said they were not suspicious of the cake because they had been running a scheme where students could leave cakes in the staff room. Teachers would then leave donations if they liked the cake and the money went towards a children's charity in Chernobyl. Teachers tucked into it during the lunchtime break, and it was only when almost all of the gateau had been eaten they started to feel ill. Ten of the school's 65 teachers had to be taken to local hospital where doctors carried out drugs tests and confirmed they had consumed cannabis. Local police said the cake is being examined by forensic experts."

Aloha Mars - The Advanced Course : "My friend Dr. X is really getting interested in Mars. Yesterday he challenged me about those mysterious spherical beads at the Opportunity landing site. 'The MER guys are struggling to choose between a bunch of wildly different explanations. I suppose you have an instant snap analysis of them based on your crazy Aloha Mars model that relates everything on Mars to something in Hawaii.' 'Sure. They are lava spherules ejected by a violent late-stage volcanic eruption. It's intuitively obvious.' 'How does Aloha Mars lead you to that conclusion? There is nothing like those spheres anywhere in Hawaii as far as I know. Certainly not between your house and the nearest strip mall, which seems to be the limit of your field expeditions.' 'I sense that you are a thoughtful open-minded person who is ready for graduate-level instruction in Aloha Mars doctrine. So here is a more advanced method for instant snap analysis of Mars: &

Groklaw's Jones Looks Beyond SCO

Wired News : "Pamela Jones is known to millions of online readers as 'PJ,' the editor and moderator of Groklaw. They also know her as the heart of the open-source community's legal battle against litigation aimed at the Linux kernel and other free and open-source software. Since its launch on May 17, 2003, Groklaw has morphed from a one-woman blog into an open-source legal research project involving hundreds of people -- an effective counterweight to the legal departments of companies like SCO Group and Microsoft. Last week Jones, a paralegal by trade, became the director of litigation risk research for Open Source Risk Management, or OSRM. The company provides services intended to protect corporate users of open-source software against legal issues such as copyright, patent and trade-secret claims. In an e-mail interview, Jones spoke with Wired News on the impetus behind Groklaw. She also outlined pending and possible legal threats against open-source project

The Jodie Lane Project Responds to City Council Testimony

The Jodie Lane Project : New York, NY -- February 12, 2004. The City Council Transportation Committee held a hearing today to investigate the causes of Jodie S. Lane’s tragic electrocution death on January 16th. The testimony revealed a startling lack of oversight on the part of the Public Services Commission, charged with overseeing Con Edison’s compliance with the National Electric Safety Code, last revised in 1913. With only 5 inspectors at their disposal, the Public Services Commission relies entirely on Con Edison to report safety problems. Because Con Edison only reports incidents resulting in injury or death, the PSC was aware of only 15 shock incidents in the last 5 years. Con Edison has acknowledged that it actually received 539 reports of shock incidents in the same period, effectively admitting to misleading the PSC by an order of magnitude. It is not only this discrepancy that is alarming, but also the fact that the Public Services Commission, charged with ensuring
New York Post Online Edition: news : "January 31, 2004 -- Meter readers and clerical workers have been dispatched on a potentially dangerous hunt for stray voltage so Con Ed can keep its vow to check 250,000 manholes and pavement-level metal service boxes within a month, the workers' union said yesterday. 'These are people who don't know anything about electricity other than changing a light bulb,' said a worried Chuck Rizzo, safety director for Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America. 'We're praying no one gets hurt.' Local 1-2 president Manny Hellen says he fears for the safety of hundreds of his clerical members, who he says are getting a 'crash course' in the use of a pen-like, battery-operated testing device that must be used with bare hands. 'They want you to hold it next to the metal manhole, and if the device lights up, that means there's a hazardous condition,' said Rizzo. 'In order to get close, the e

West Wing gets spacey

Spur of the Moment blog The West Wing tonight had quite a sidestory in which a NASA official lobbies Josh to get him to back a mission to Mars proposal. It was surprising to see, but I liked most of what they said about it, promoting Mars Direct. There was a neat scene with Leo complaining about how his generation had been screwed out of the future they'd been promised. He wanted to know where his jet pack was. They missed a perfect opportunity to raise the issue of private corporations developing low cost orbital launch vehicles, but that wasn't surprising. All in all, it was probably good if it gets people thinking about going again, any which way. But I would have liked to see someone mention that there are alternatives to big government programs. A throwaway line by Josh (who initially was not receptive to the NASA proposals) to the effect that if someone wants to go they should build their own spaceship - answered by someone pointing out that several companies are doing

Egypt bans foreign belly dancers

BBC NEWS : "Foreign women will be banned from performing belly dancing in Egypt, the state newspaper al-Gomhouriya reports. The ruling by the minister for labour and immigration will prevent non-Egyptians from getting belly dancing licences from 1 January, says the newspaper. Egyptian belly dancers are thought to have pushed for the ruling to prevent foreign dancers from taking their work. There has been a recent influx into the country of foreign performers - particularly from Russia - who have taken up the oriental dance. A top belly dancer commands around $3,145 a night - a price the foreign dancers have been happy to undercut. As even a modest Egyptian wedding is not regarded as complete without a belly dancing act the ancient ritual is big business. Schools have been established in Cairo to train foreigners, as well as locals in the art."

Stem cells 'could boost breasts'

BBC NEWS : "Doctors may have found a way to use a combination of a woman's own fat and stem cells to make a natural breast implant, say Japanese researchers. It is hoped that the method could prove an alternative to artificial implants filled with salt water or silicone. Previous attempts to increase breast size with fat have failed because some of the tissue dies, forming hard lumps. Adding stem cells could coax the growth of new blood vessels, say experts from the University of Tokyo. The patient's fat reserves are often raided by cosmetic surgeons to provide raw material to smooth out facial wrinkles or cover up scars. However, the sheer quantity of tissue needed to bulk out the breast has been the stumbling block. However, Dr Kotaro Yoshimura believes he has found a way to create the desired effect with no complications, reports the Nature website. During the operation, surgeons suck fat cells from the stomach or thigh, and this 'slurry' is

Shakespeare fails SAT writing test.

mock_the_stupid : "The SAT, a necessary rite of passage for every college-bound student, will include a timed writing test beginning in March 2005. Good thing William Shakespeare isn't trying to gain admission to one of our nation's elite, ivy-covered colleges so he could major in English. He would probably be rejected based on his SAT writing score. 'Using the SAT's actual grading criteria for the essay, which include development of ideas, supporting examples, organization, word choice, and sentence structure, the test preparation pros at The Princeton Review 'graded' the famous 'All the world's a stage' passage from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It.' Out of one to six points with six being the highest possible score, the Bard gets a measly two points. 'Shakespeare is in good company. The scathing report, which will be published in the March issue of the Atlantic Monthly, notes that Ernest Hemingway ('A Farewell to Arms,&
Trailervision - The Trailer Is The Movie "Stupidity is the first film to deal directly with massive topic of human stupidity. In fact, one of the film's most controversial assertions, is that the academic world has scandalously avoided stupidity as a topic of study. Stupidity has been a massive hit wherever it has gone. Selling out film festivals and igniting firestorms of controversy. Taking Best Documentary at the Atlantic City Film Festival, Stupidity is an urgent exploration of the issue of willful stupidity in the modern world. Stupidity sets out to determine whether our culture is hooked on deliberate ignorance as a strategy for success. From Adam Sandler to George W. Bush, from the IQ test to TV programming, to the origins of the word moron, Stupidity examines the 'dumbing down' of contemporary culture. Stupidity embarks on an exhaustive search into its meaning, and the implications of a culture that is obsessed and saturated with stupefying culture. St

Adult magazine part of school fundraiser

WOOD TV8 :(Grandville, February 13, 2004, 8:25 p.m.) It is natural to assume that magazines purchased through a school fundraising drive would be suitable for children, especially since children are the ones doing the buying and selling. So you can imagine a Grandville mom's surprise when her daughter was able to order a magazine full of sexual content. Asimov's Science Fiction is the magazine in question, and from the outside cover, doesn't look like an "adults-only" publication. But open it up and you will find it is. Marilyn Becker's 13-year-old daughter loves science fiction. So it was no big deal when her daughter wanted to buy Asimov's Science Fiction from Grandville Middle School's magazine drive. When it came in the mail, mom just happened to look at it first. "I just started flipping through and glancing at it and kinda reading things that didn't seem right," said Becker. Inside the magazine she found various short s

Software Bug Contributed to Blackout

SecurityFocus : "A previously-unknown software flaw in a widely-deployed General Electric energy management system contributed to the devastating scope of the August 14th northeastern U.S. blackout, industry officials revealed this week. The bug in GE Energy's XA/21 system was discovered in an intensive code audit conducted by GE and a contractor in the weeks following the blackout, according to FirstEnergy Corp., the Ohio utility where investigators say the blackout began. 'It had never evidenced itself until that day,' said spokesman Ralph DiNicola. 'This fault was so deeply embedded, it took them weeks of pouring through millions of lines of code and data to find it.' The flaw was responsible for the alarm system failure at FirstEnergy's Akron, Ohio control center that was noted in a November report from the U.S.-Canadian task force investigating the blackout. The report blamed the then-unexplained computer failure for retarding FirstEnergy's a
News : "A Scottish couple who believe volcanic rock dust can revitalise barren soil and reverse climate change have won research funding from the Scottish Executive. Over a 20-year period, Cameron and Moira Thomson, both former teachers, have converted six acres of exposed, infertile land in the foothills of the Grampian mountains near Pitlochry into a modern Garden of Eden, using little more than the unwanted by-product from a nearby quarry. The application of rock dust mixed with municipal compost has created rich, deep soils capable of producing cabbages the size of footballs, onions bigger than coconuts and gooseberries as large as plums. Before the pair began their experiment, erosion and leaching were so severe that nothing had been grown in the glen for almost 50 years. The basis of the Thomsons' theory is simple - adding the dust mimics glacial cycles which naturally fertilise the land. Since the last ice age three million years ago the earth has gone through
zeppo: Where babies come from - sanitized for your protection : "In the center of the room was a giant fiberglass tree with crystals hanging from the branches. A perimeter of fabric cabbages held the disembodied heads of 'babies' about to be born. In the center was a large cabbage and a dark television screen behind it. I looked over towards the adoption office. A very blond and overly tanned girl in her late teens was wearing surgeon scrubs. She leaned over the desk with her face in her hand and looked as if God himself jammed a straw into her brain and sucked all the joy of living right out of her. Every once in a while she would yank a microphone over to her lips and without a hint of animation, call out an imaginary doctor's name and announce 'We have Code Green - mother cabbage was now 6 centimeters dilated...' Suddenly the lights went down. The plastic crystals at the base started to glow and I knew I was going to see something halfway between spectac
Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools : Many years ago I co-wrote a piece for CoEvolution Quarterly with Bruce Ames, creator of the renowned Ames Test for carcinogenicity. So when I saw a news item that Bruce Ames had discovered something that dramatically reversed some of the effects of aging in his lab rats and was starting a business called Juvenon to peddle the elixir to humans, I visited the web site and then began dosing myself with the substances named in the research. They are two standard anti-oxidants available in any health food store online or on the street � alpha-lipoic acid and L-carnitine. Apparently due to a combined effect, our old rats are doing the Macarena, Ames told the press suddenly the rats were fitter, happier, and had better memory.
Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools : "Alan Greene also recommends the QuickVue Strep Test for families with kids who get frequent sore throats. It helps you determine whether a throat infection is caused by strep (which requires treatment) or a virus (which does not). You swab the back of the child�s throat with the included applicator, add a reagent, and watch for the color change. The kit of 25 tests costs $79, which works out to just over $3 per test � much cheaper than an unneeded doctor�s visit. Since you may only use a couple tests a year, consider a cooperative buy with other families. For details of using the strips see"
Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools : "Precious Metal Clay lets you make fine jewelry with little experience or equipment. It works like Fimo clay, except it is more crumbly because it contains powdered precious metal, such as silver, or gold. (It will also dry out faster.) The organic clay binding burns off when you fire it and you end up with pure fine silver or gold in the shape of the clay you made. If you have jewelry skills you can keep working it from there, soldering, shaping, etc.. Since I don't have much skill I just polish up my pieces or antique them with silver black. There's an implication that you have to fire PMC pieces in a kiln (that would be nice), but so far everything I've done I've fired myself on the kitchen floor with a basic propane torch. "

Rotary Engine Fish Tanks

Here you will find information on my rotary fish tanks. They are made from used rotor housings from Mazda rotary engines and have become known to many as "The Rotortank."

Folding keyboard floppier than slice of sandwich meat :ONE OF THE PROBLEMS with interesting looking things you see at shows is that you have a very short time and have no idea what they will do when you get them home. It is easy to demo them in a way that makes them look good. The URTrend Fold-3000 Foldable Keyboard is one of those things. It looked really good, and when you laid it on something flat, did not feel all that objectionable to type on. Weird, yes, bad, not really, and it comes in fairly bright pastel colors. URTrend sent me a green one to try, and it was a lot of fun. Let's just start out with saying that this is simply a USB keyboard. Other than the greenish hue and the fact that is floppier than a slice of sandwich meat, it is nothing special. You can fold it up, roll it, bend it and lay it over the cat. Really, the cat didn’t even seem to mind. Short of going out of your way to hurt it, it seems very hard to damage accidentally. The keyboard, not the katzen. You can throw it in a suitcas

"Deportion of Illegal Immigrants: The Right Answer All Along"

by Robert Klein The events depicted in Farmingville could happen these days anywhere in the U. S. In this new movie directed by Catherine Tambini and Carlos Sandoval, with Carlos Sandoval as screenwriter, we see the consequence of uncontrolled, illegal immigration. The focus for this story is a hate crime committed against two young Mexican day laborers by white youths. As the filmmakers explore the story behind the violence, what we discover is a story with implications for American society. Farmingville is a small community located in the center of Long Island, New York. In the 1990s, Farmingville's population jumped with an influx of illegal Mexican workers. Situated in the middle of Long Island, Farmingville attracts contractors who want a centralized work pool from which to draw. As a result, street corners of Farmingville have become de facto employment offices. Likewise, many of the neighborhood homes are filled with 20 or more residents, most of them ill

Where time stands still: Hihokan - Erotic Museums in Japan

Where time stands still: Hihokan - Erotic Museums in Japan : "Once upon a time...ah, lets be exact: In April 1971 Japan's first Hihokan which stands for 'House of Hidden Treasures' opened its doors in Awa, Okushima. However, the exhibits where limited to phallic-vulvic altar symbols and intercourse themed antiques as you could see since centuries in bigger Shinto shrines anyway. But finally the term Hihokan got famous as the 'Original International House of Hidden Treasures' opened its doors October 1971 in Ise, Mie (about 500km south of Tokyo). Masato Matsuno, entrepreneur and the founder of the Original International House of Hidden Treasures became an instant celebrity as 'Professor Sex' and appeared in various TV and Radio shows. In 1982 he published a book 'The Hihokan' (Tomu Shobo) where he described his obsession with collecting all things related to sex."

Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks

RAND : Individual preparedness is an important element of our nation's strategy for homeland security. This report adopts a scenario-driven approach that provides a rigorous way to identify actions—linked specifically to terrorist attacks—individuals can take to protect their health and safety. The result is an individual's strategy across four types of terrorist attacks—chemical, radiological, nuclear, and biological—consisting of overarching goals and simple and directive response and preparatory actions. The actions are appropriate regardless of likelihood of an attack, scale of attack, or government alert level; designed to be sensitive to potential variations; and defined in terms of simple rules that should be easy for individuals to adopt.

Colonizing the Heavens

Fantasy and Science Fiction - A Scientist's Notebook : "But to wait for the right time might mean waiting forever, risking a decline from which humanity might never recover. History has a consistent record of the good happpening alongside the bad; to hesitate might be disastrous, hurling us into the irreversible decline of Arnold Toynbee's two dozen failed civilizations, with no new ground upon which to begin again. Such was the argument against the 'prioritizers.' Asimov wrote to the skeptics: 'I have received a number of letters concerning my article 'Colonizing the Heavens.' Some call it fiction. (Real nonsense, I suppose, like reaching the Moon.) Some say I am trying to subvert the doctrine of Zero Population Growth. (As though it weren't possible to try to colonize space and stop the population growth, too. They are not mutually exclusive.) Some say it is too expensive. (Not if the world stops supporting military machines.) Some

High-voltage lines, negative ions and rats

seattlepi : "People used to think (breathing) ozone was good for you," he noted. It's now generally regarded as a toxic pollutant, Goheen said, that causes damage -- especially to the lungs -- because of its highly reactive chemical nature. Negative-ion air generators usually don't produce much ozone and there is evidence that negative ions do clean the air and may provide health benefits. But these devices produce the negative ions by what's known as a "corona discharge" -- a continuous release of electrons and charged molecules. When an animal is put close to this electron flow within a strong electric field, ozone levels skyrocket, the Richland team of scientists found. High-voltage power lines sometimes produce corona discharges as well. Goheen recalled an experiment done years ago by researchers in San Francisco. They placed rats in a negative-ion chamber close to the air generator, intending to prove that the negative ions provided longevity

Infant Girl Dies After 2nd Head Removed

Yahoo! News : "SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - An infant girl born with a second head bled to death Saturday after complex surgery to remove her partially formed twin, her parents and doctors said. A medical team completed the 11-hour operation Friday night and said 8-week-old Rebeca Martinez died seven hours later. Doctors had warned after the surgery that the girl would be at great risk of infection or hemorrhaging. 'We knew this was a very risky surgery, and now we accept what God has decided,' Rebeca's father, 29-year-old Franklin Martinez, said at a news conference with his wife. 'Rebeca is no longer with us physically, but no one will forget her.'" jaynote: this just confirms that old saying, two heads are better than one....

Las Escaleras a las Estrellas By Ed Todd , Midland Reporter-Telegram 08/26/2002 FORT STOCKTON, TEXAS (MRT) - If all else fails, don't give up. Fort Stockton didn't, and it won the right for a spaceport. And the spaceport carries a name befitting its vision and reality: "Las Escaleras a las Estrellas" --the Stairs to the Stars or the Ladder to the Stars. It is an inland -- well into the West Texas desert and plateaus -- site for commercial ventures on a mini-scale of what the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the commercial aerospace giants, such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, are doing and plan to do. The spaceport is being developed in a competitive economic climate for Texas and, particularly, for West Texas wherein towns, big and small, are competing for dollars via ED -- economic development. "All of us have been used to the oil business and agriculture" as economic forces, said Pecos County Judge Delmon Hodges. "And this spac
navigation : "name: Jessica Meade status: D.Phil supervisor: Tim Guilford I am currently in the ABRG in the first year of my D Phil. I am studying the orientation of homing pigeons using newly miniaturized GPS receivers. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and the receivers make use of satellite signals to give readings of longitude, latitude and altitude. The readings are precise to � 5m and are made every second so tracks of very high spatial and temporal acuity can be recorded. The tracks can be superimposed on to topographical maps to illustrate precisely where ea pigeon has flown. Using this technology, and experimental techniques such as clock-shifting, I aim to investigate the use of visual landmarks and to look into how birds correct their routes when experimentally manipulated to fly in the wrong direction." - Magazine Article : "On the surface, there's nothing terribly unusual about Scott Jones. The 42-year-old divorcé lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis, has two dogs and three sons (ages 6, 8 and 10), and is concerned about being a good father. But anyone invited in to his Tudor-style mansion quickly learns that nothing about his life is normal. His house is the stuff of fantasies--the fantasies of a wealthy entrepreneur with money to burn. The 'other' Indiana Jones invented a voice-mail system that is now used by an estimated 500 million people around the world. In 1986, he was just a 26-year-old research scientist at MIT when he co-founded his first company, Boston Technology. He designed a technically sophisticated voice-mail system, but the earning potential of the technology wasn't a given. The Regional Bell Operating Companies weren't legally able to sell voice-mail services yet. But, by 1988, a U.S. District Court ruled that the phone pro


New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign : " Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York affirms its strong support for the rights of immigrants and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny or enforcement activity based primarily upon their country of origin; and be it further Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York affirms its commitment to uphold civil rights and civil liberties, and therefore expresses its opposition to: (a) investigation of individuals or groups of individuals based on their participation in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as political advocacy or the practice of a religion, without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the activity protected by the First Amendment; (b) racial, religious or ethnic profiling; (c) participation in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, except as directed by New York City Executive Order 41; (d) deployment of

Local band Warp 11 tributes Star Trek in the form of pop punk

State Hornet Online : Music, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the rock band Warp 11. Their mission is to explore strange new riffs, to seek out new fans and new groupies, and to boldly go where no rock band has gone before. Recently seen on "Good Day Sacramento," this band is an up-and-coming attraction in the Sacramento area with a growing fan base. Though their lyrics are based on Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek" franchise (to which they are in no way related), their music attracts and delights Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. They have two albums out currently: "Suck my Spock" and their latest, "Red Alert." The State Hornet first wrote about them in a review of "The Nobody Show" at the True Love Café. On the night the review was researched, Warp 11 was the musical guest, sparking the crowd with fun songs about Klingons and intimate moments with Sulu. The Hornet wasn't the only paper taking notice, however, as

Pigeon Navigation : They are known as the great natural navigators of the sky, using an in-built compass to find their way home across hundreds of miles. Taking their bearings from the sun and stars, pigeons have become famous as messengers with an unerring sense of direction. But a ten-year study has found a rather more down-to-earth explanation for their astonishing skill. They are simply following roads and major junctions. Researchers at Oxford University were taken aback to find that the pigeons ignored their in-built compass wherever possible, choosing instead to follow the main roads beneath them. Using tiny transmitters strapped to the birds' backs, they were repeatedly tracked flying down motorways before circling round city ring roads and even turning right and left at main junctions - often adding miles to their journey. Pigeons 'like humans' Tim Guilford, a professor of zoology at Oxford, said pigeons are rather like humans when it comes to findi

OK/Cancel: World's First HCI Rap:

"We Got It" Check it: An OK/Cancel exclusive. We present to you "We Got It", a song for the users. Representing our HCI, Usability, and Interaction Design brethren. Music and lyrics by our very own Tom Chi with vocals by Tom Chi and KC. Select the appropriate region and the download (mp3) will begin: * [Americas] * [Europe] * [Aus / Asia] Be prepared for serious HCI flava. LYRICS --------------------------------------- Yo -- this is an OK/Cancel exclusive for the first time in history: HCI and hiphop together. for your educational pleasure now check this while I wreck with some buttons and levers give me 10 seconds and I'll start this endeavor HCI? yo we got it UCD? yo we got it focus on usability, yeh we're on it champion the user to keep the work honest that's the task that's upon us So you say got an application to build Market niche you going to fill with a product that's a killer You

Public records audit: Some records requests met with suspicion and threats 02/07/04 : "Public officials, ignorant of the law or paralyzed by suspicion, regularly thwart citizens exercising their constitutional right to inspect public records, a statewide audit has found. While journalists and attorneys enjoy the benefits of Florida's open government laws, the same rights are not always granted to Florida's other residents. During a week in January, 30 Florida newspapers, including The St. Augustine Record, tested how officials responded to a routine request to inspect records. Reporters and other news media employees posing as citizens visited 234 local agencies in 62 of Florida's 67 counties. Items requested included public officials' e-mails, cell phone records and routine police logs. Overall, 57 percent of the agencies audited complied with the public records law, including most of those in St. Johns County, where school officials required a written request for the school superintendent's cell phone recor
Where Were You When Cloak And Dagger Was Killed? : "The conspiracy spouting radio show is off the air. The producers say Bush told Martin to pull the plug and Mulroney finished it off... The plug has been pulled on Cloak and Dagger, Toronto's top-rated, late-night conspiracy radio talk show. Not surprisingly, its producers are claiming it's all a conspiracy. Independent producer Nelson Thall says he was notified by MOJO 640 program director Scott Armstrong last week that the station (CFMJ) had decided to replace Cloak and Dagger -- the highest-rated show in its Thursday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., time slot, according to the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement -- with a comedy show. But Thall isn't buying the official rationale. He thinks the show, which explores alleged conspiracies that include the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., the deaths of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Princess Diana, and the events of Sept. 11, 2001, was 'upsetting peopl

Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name

NY Times : "Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, are completely devoted to each other. For nearly six years now, they have been inseparable. They exhibit what in penguin parlance is called 'ecstatic behavior': that is, they entwine their necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex. Silo and Roy are, to anthropomorphize a bit, gay penguins. When offered female companionship, they have adamantly refused it. And the females aren't interested in them, either."

How fanfic makes kids into better writers (and copyright victims)

Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things : "Here's an amazing Technology Review piece about how kids are writing Harry Potter fanfic and editing one-another's stories in order to become great and prolific writers. The author, Henry Jenkins, characterizes this as an 'unconventional' way of teaching creative writing, but I think that fanfic is more conventional than he credits (the first story I wrote was set in the Star Wars universe; I was six -- and the first long-form work I wrote was a Conan pastiche, at 12). The biggest difference between the kids' fanfic of yore and that of today is that back in the old days, kids had no way to readily collaborate with one another on their creations -- nor to expose themselves to copyright infringement liability from overzealous rightsholders who indiscriminately shut down kids' sites with threatening letters. FictionAlley, the largest Harry Potter archive, hosts more than 30,000 stories and book chapters, inclu

Women's Rights Center Established

USAID: Assistance for Iraq : "Hilla, Iraq - Iraqi women practice their computer skills at the Fatima Al-Zahra Center for Women's Rights in Hilla, one hour south of Baghdad. The women's center was named by the community after Fatima Al-Zahra, who was the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. The center is open to all and offers nutrition and health classes, internet/computer training, and sewing facilities. The center well generate income through sewing production, a planned food catering business, and an internet cafe. The CPA and USAID/OTI worked with women from across Babil Provence to establish the center. It is the first of five such centers to open in the south-central region of Iraq."
Rocket Man Blog: A Readers Rebuttal : "Mark makes the statement that without new engines, low cost access to space is impossible. I responded in an e-let that, excluding some reliability and maintainability concerns, engines aren’t currently a significant roadblock to cheap, reusable space travel. Mark thought what I was saying would be worth a post, and invited me to make one. I started my software/systems engineering career at the Johnson Space Center in the shuttle flight planning offices and mission control support operation. In the late 1980’s I moved to Reston, Virginia and worked on the Space Station Freedom program for a few years before winding up at NASA HQ in the office of space access technology. Almost all that time I worked for McDonnell Douglass, and had some friends involved in other programs such as SDI/DARPA's DC-X project. So I know a little about this. Don’t blow me off out of hand. One of the things I like about DARPA's launcher projects is that

In Search of Moon Trees

August 13, 2002 : "Scattered around our planet are hundreds of creatures that have been to the Moon and back again. None of them are human. They outnumber active astronauts 3:1. And most are missing. They're trees. 'Moon Trees.' NASA scientist Dave Williams has found 40 of them and he's looking for more. 'They were just seeds when they left Earth in 1971 onboard Apollo 14,' explains Williams. 'Now they're fully grown. They look like ordinary trees--but they're special because they've been to the Moon.' How they got there and back is a curious tale. It begins in 1953 when Stuart Roosa parachuted into an Oregon forest fire. He had just taken a summer job as a US Forest Service 'smoke jumper,' parachuting into wildfires in order to put them out. It was probably adventure that first attracted Roosa to the job, but he soon grew to love the forests, too. 'My father had an affinity for the outdoors,' recalls Air Forc