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Showing posts from March, 2004

LegalMatch

What's LegalMatch all about? LegalMatch helps people find lawyers. Anyone can post a case (answer some simple questions about their legal situation) for free on the LegalMatch Web site without revealing their identity. Then, lawyers who have qualified to use our system can review your posted case, and decide whether to make an offer on your matter. When a lawyer is interested in helping you, we'll provide you with background information about that lawyer so that you can make a smart decision. 2. What does LegalMatch cost? Nothing. LegalMatch is FREE. Both consumers and businesses can use LegalMatch for FREE to find the right lawyer for their case. There are no hidden costs, fees, or other charges. Even after you find a lawyer using LegalMatch, there is no obligation to hire that lawyer. LegalMatch provides you with a choice of knowledgeable, competent lawyers for FREE. You can then decide to hire a lawyer, or hire no one. For matters that need extra attention or re

Subject: Yes, can you remember your history?

Profiling. Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following Multiple Choice test.... no need to keep score. The events are actual cuts from past history. They actually happened! Do you remember? 1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were kidnapped and massacred by: a. Olga Corbitt b. Sitting Bull c. Arnold Schwarzeneger d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by: a. Lost Norwegians b. Elvis c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 3. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by: a. John Dillinger b. The King of Sweden c. The Boy Scouts d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by: a. A pizza delivery boy b. Pee Wee Herman c. Geraldo Rivera d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the age

The Style Invitational Week 498: Unamazing But True!

(washingtonpost.com) : "Report from Week CLXI, in which you were asked to rewrite some banal instructions in the style of some famous writer. Second Runner-Up: I'm not at home, or I'm asleep, But do not fret, and do not weep. Just leave a message at the beep, Just leave a message at the beep. -- Robert Frost (Paul Dudley, Ellicott City) O proud left foot, that ventures quick within Then soon upon a backward journey lithe. Anon, once more the gesture, then begin: Command sinistral pedestal to writhe. Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke, A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl. To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke. Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl. The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about. -- by William Shakespeare (Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)"

Dino Butt

Scientists find imprint of dinosaur posterior in Utah rock : "Amid well preserved dinosaur footprints along what used to be the shores of a prehistoric lake in southern Utah, scientists have found the rare signs of a dinosaur's posterior. Two impressions, made about 200 million years ago when the dinosaur sat down, were found March 17 in St. George, in southwestern Utah, as scientists were investigating the area around a planned dinosaur museum."

goes_sat: OOH! OOH!

fuse_sat writes to goes_sat : Far up above me A steady diamond gleams Against the black velvet sky. Twenty precious minutes Out of every hundred I feel her DCPI. Soft S-band pulses bpsk'd, qpsk'd, 8psk'd lost in each others dY. EOS. The cold equations Break our contact. Transponder tingles. Steady, constant, She'll be there When gravity brings me by.

Sky's the limit for this science lesson

MIKE WENDLAND : There are balloons and there are tetroons. Tetroons are balloons shaped like tetrahedrons. That's the geometric term for a three-dimensional shape that has four sides. "Think of a diamond in the sky," says Robert Rochte. Rochte, director of technology at the Grosse Pointe Academy, and his eager third-grade students hope to see a tetroon within the next month, depending on the sun and wind conditions, when they launch the fifth in a series of experimental balloons from Grosse Pointe Farms in an effort to learn about weather, navigation and electronics. They're also having fun. These tetroon balloons are made of high-density polyethylene, about 30 feet high. Although Rochte and his students use a leaf blower to inflate them, the sun is what causes them to rise, heating the air contained in the envelope. SD4 -- for Sky Diamond No. 4 -- was launched Feb. 16 around 9:30 a.m. Nearly 11 hours later, it had traveled 563 miles to Peterborough

NOVELS DELIVERED TO YOUR PHONE

Trends in Japan : "The bestselling novel Deep Love was self-published in installments by the author on a website that offers content packaged for users of mobile phones. The story is about a 17-year-old girl named Ayu, who finds love through a chance encounter. The author, who calls himself Yoshi, created a website providing content for mobile phones in May 2000 with an investment of just �100,000 ($909.09 at �110 to the dollar). Using a promotional campaign that consisted of passing out business cards to about 2,000 high-school girls in front of Tokyo's Shibuya Station (the center of Tokyo youth culture), Yoshi released The Story of Ayu, the first installment in the longer novel. News of the novel spread by word of mouth, and within three years the site had received a total of 20 million hits. ...Major Publishers Get Involved The number of mobile phones currently in use in Japan is a staggering 78 million. About two out of three people have one. The potential of "

How Kazaa helped grow my business selling copyrighted digital media

Stupid Current Events : "By Sean As some of you may already know, besides being a part owner, I am responsible for most of the business and marketing aspects of SuicideGirls. I have always considered myself a webdesigner or maybe webproducer, responsible for conception and managing the build of wesbites. I like making websites that make sense, are easy to use and keep people interested. Being in my mid to late twenties, and having built my first website for hire in 1995, I have never really done anything else. But, as I said above, I am now a bizdev guy. Maybe worse: I am also a marketing guy. I am responsible for not only attracting new visitors to the website, I am responsible for ensuring that the fees they pay to be a member of the site are budgeted and managed properly so that every month I can make payroll and ensure everyone who works for SuicideGirls can pay their rent and be happy employees. Sometimes it gets close, but we always manage to keep everyone paid. As a m

WHY ROBOTS BELIEVE IN GOD

SCIFI.COM : "Throughout the universe, organic beings routinely express confusion when they hear a robot profess to believe in God. They ask, 'How can you believe in God? Aren't you machines supposed to be all logical?' Oh, good gracious no. I would say there are so many reasons for a robot to believe in God that it would be absurd for us not to. For robots, worshipping God is infinitely preferable to worshipping the organic misfits who designed us. Who is more worthy of my eternal adoration, the Prime Mover, maker of space-time itself, or a socially retarded myopic engineer with chronic erectile dysfunction?"

Transexual steals spotlight at Miss Universe-China show

english.peopledaily.com.cn : "Chen Lili, a 24-year old transsexual from Sichuan Province, was granted an oppotunity to appear at the contest to display her good shape and look. The Miss Universe headquarters says she can not enter the next phase of the beauty pageant because she is not born a woman. The orange bikini and chocolate-color wig shone under the spotlight, outlining the enchanting figure of Chen Lili, a transexual Chinese woman, at the Miss Universe-China competition in Southwestern Sichuan Province. Though barred from the contest because she was born a man, Chen was given the chance to perform on Sunday and she cut quite a figure, reported Monday's Shanghai Morning Post. 'Chen seemed to outshine all the 37 beauty queen contestants on the stage,' the paper said. Chen was invited to address the audience before the contest. She talked about her country boy life and said she really 'cherished the opportunity to perform here as it means so mu

US study of teenage sexual disease destroys basis of virginity crusade

Guardian Unlimited : "American teenagers who take the pledge to remain virgins until they marry have almost the same rate of sexually transmitted disease as other young people, a new study of adolescent behaviour says. The finding destroys a key rationale for the abstinence crusade - that it prevents disease - and poses a strong challenge to a social engineering project that has been embraced by the White House. The eight-year study of 12,000 young people by two American sociologists found that the graduates of abstinence programmes were nearly as likely as other young people to catch sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. Other findings, yet to be published, also suggest that abstinence programmes do not prevent early pregnancy, Hannah Bruckner, a sociologist at Yale University and co-author of the study, said."

Creator of film's score 'battled with Satan'

WorldNetDaily : "John Debney is used to writing movie scores for comedies like "Liar, Liar" and "Bruce Almighty," but he admits that composing the score for Mel Gibson's powerful movie "The Passion of the Christ" was the most difficult assignment of his life. ...Debney said that the battle he felt with Satan as he wrote the music became 'really personal between us.' He went on to say, 'I had all these computers and synthesizers in my studio and the hard drives would go down and the digital picture that lives on the computer with the music would just freeze on his [Satan's] face. Then the volume would go to ten and it would happen all the time. 'The first time it happened, it scared me,' Debney said. 'Once I got over the initial shock of that, I learned to work around it and learned to reboot the computers and so I would start talking to him. 'There was one day when I had been on the movie for about four

Hungry Like Naomi Wolf

iowahawk : "He was the naive on-call plumber. She was the superstar feminist clothing theorist he hoped to impress—until she hungrily ogled his butt cleavage. Two years later, he’s speaking out. But the Matriarchy still isn’t listening. A turgid story of sex, secrets, and soccer mom denial. by Paulie Intaglio G&G Plumbing Specialists Long Island City, Queens For All Your Kitchen & Bathroom Plumbing Needs Call 800-55-LEAKS Twenty months on, I am handing over a secret to its rightful owner. I can’t bear to carry it around anymore. In the early summer of 2002, feminist Naomi Wolf did something banal, human, and destructive: she put her unwanted gaze on the unprotected asscrack of a unsuspecting plumber —a plumber who was tasked with replacing the In-Sink-Erator model 17 3/4 HP batch feed disposal in her well appointed Manhattan kitchen. The plumber was me, a 34-year-old journeyman with G&G Plumbing Specialist in Long Island City, Queens. Here is why I am t

Students learn how media can massage message

Students learn how media can massage message : "State education officials are hoping more students will get lessons like this one by requiring for the first time that public schools teach pupils to be savvy viewers of television news, commercials, movies, music videos and other media. Under Georgia's proposed revised curriculum, which the State Board of Education is expected to vote on in June, all students would be expected to demonstrate mastery of 'viewing' in their English classes, along with traditional skills like reading, writing, speaking and listening. "When our students go home from school, they watch TV, they rent movies, they play video games, they surf the Internet — they live in a world of visual text," said Gerald Boyd, associate director of curriculum and instructional services for the Georgia Department of Education. "But . . . students don't have the discernment skills for visual text," Boyd said. "That's

Burglar meets well-armed victim

freerepublic.com : "RANCHO CORDOVA (AP) - A 53-year-old woman who fired nine shots with two handguns to ward off an intruder said she tried to avoid hitting her furniture.``Priorities, right?'' said Carolyn Lisle of Rancho Cordova. ``It was one of those nights. I have a few holes in my glass out front.'' The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said William Kriske, a 47-year-old parolee, was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm, then jailed on suspicion of burglary and resisting arrest after he crashed through Lisle's sliding glass door Thursday evening.Lisle's three guests fled the home, but she took action, opening fire with a .357-caliber revolver. ``He was like a mosquito hitting the window. Every time he turned around, powee,'' she told the Sacramento Bee. She emptied her first handgun as the intruder crashed through another window to escape, then retrieved a second revolver as he broke into her garage. ``I like to be prepar
Lowcountry NOW 02/13/04 : "Sharon Anderson, 28, of Dale was driving north on River Road Monday night when she struck a large animal she first thought was a rhinoceros, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report. Of course, it wasn't. It was a small hippo that had wandered away from Auldbrass Plantation. Anderson said people look at her as if she's crazy when she tells them what happened. 'They say stop lying, there no hippos around here,' she said. Her insurance agent was one of the skeptics. 'They didn't believe me at first,' she said. 'I took them the police report and they still didn't believe.' She said the plantation's owner, movie producer Joel Silver, told her he'd owned the female hippo for eight years and didn't know how she'd wandered away."

Exile On Meme Street

The NeoFiles Keith Henson is sort of an ur-transhumanist. In the 1970s, 80s, he was one of the founders and leaders of the L5 Society, an organization dedicated to building homes in high orbit using raw materials from the lunar surface. The L5 group attracted the interests of those seeking practical solutions to predicted resource scarcities, among them K. Eric Drexler. Henson formed a friendship with him, and was among his contacts as Drexler was conceiving nanotechnology Once Henson was convinced that nanotech was feasible, he became a member of Alcor, an organization advocating and providing cryonic services. In the late 1980s, he became part of the much-storied Extropians, a transhumanist organization that was the subject of substantial media coverage during the cybercultural 1990s. But none of this work brought Henson as much notoriety or heartache as his conflict with the scientologists.

Calvin and Hobbes Extensive Strip Search

Calvin and Hobbes at Martijn's is proud to present the Calvin and Hobbes Extensive Strip Search: C.H.E.S.S.! The database contains all 3150 Calvin and Hobbes strips published with complete references to the books and pages they're published on. The results also allow you to view the actual strip. All strips are available now "

Philips’ FluidFocus

Philips : Philips Research is demonstrating a unique variable-focus lens system that has no mechanical moving parts. Suited to a wide range of optical imaging applications, including such things as digital cameras, camera phones, endoscopes, home security systems and optical storage drives, Philips’ FluidFocus system mimics the action of the human eye using a fluid lens that alters its focal length by changing its shape. The new lens, which lends itself to high volume manufacturing, overcomes the fixed-focus disadvantages of many of today’s low-cost imaging systems. The Philips FluidFocus lens consists of two immiscible (non-mixing) fluids of different refractive index (optical properties), one an electrically conducting aqueous solution and the other an electrically non-conducting oil, contained in a short tube with transparent end caps. The internal surfaces of the tube wall and one of its end caps are coated with a hydrophobic (water-repellent) coating that causes the aqueous sol

Nigerian scammers in line of fire

BBC NEWS : "TL: How big a force is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission? NR: When we started, the law gave us leverage to bring in people from sister agencies, so we got people seconded to the commission. Right now we are about 200 to 250 people. When we started the work, we realised there was so much to it, it was unbelievable. We realised we would have to prioritise. And we found first that what we ought to concern ourselves with was this 419 thing. TL: How much has it damaged Nigeria's reputation? NR: It has done so much damage to our credibility, our image, our honour. And there are just a few individuals doing this. We have some 130 million people in Nigeria and I can assure that there are only between 50,000 and 100,000 people involved in this thing."

The last man on the Moon

straitstimes.asia1.com.sg IN ALL of us, said Mark Twain, there is a moon with a dark side. -- WANG HUI FEN No one knew the truth of this better than the 12 American astronauts who had walked on the lunar surface. How their lives were changed so dramatically, some for the worse, remains one of the unsolved mysteries of space travel. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon after Neil Armstrong, battled depression and alcoholism. Apollo 14's Edgar Mitchell became a paranormal investigator. The commander of the Apollo 12 mission, Charles Conrad, a Navy test pilot before he became an astronaut, died tragically in a motorcycle accident in 1999. Apollo 15's James Irwin became a born-again Christian who was obsessed with finding Noah's Ark. He led an expedition to Mount Ararat in Turkey in 1982 where, according to legend, the Ark's remains are buried. There was no sign of the Ark. Instead, he was injured during the descent. Many of the astronauts

Mission to Mars: It Really Is Rocket Science

HBS Working Knowledge : "Sean Silverthorne: What drew you to the NASA/JPL Mars program as potential case material? Alan MacCormack: First, it was an ideal context in which to explore one of my current research initiatives, which looks at how organizations design 'programs' or sequences of projects over time in order that learning is maximized. Most past research on innovation has focused on the management of individual projects. As a result, we know a lot about topics such as determining the optimal team structure or designing the best type of development process for a project. But my past work (studying projects in high-tech industries) had convinced me that we were missing an important level of analysis. It seemed that decisions made in a project sometimes worked against the broader objectives of an organization, even when managers had the best of intentions. This led me to believe that some decisions are best made at the program level rather than within individu

Eldred case postmortem

Legal Affairs : "When Eric Eldred's crusade to save the public domain reached the Supreme Court, it needed the help of a lawyer, not a scholar. By Lawrence Lessig IT IS OVER A YEAR LATER AS I WRITE THESE WORDS. It is still astonishingly hard. If you know anything at all about this story, you know that we lost the appeal. And if you know something more than just the minimum, you probably think there was no way this case could have been won. After our defeat, I received literally thousands of missives by well-wishers and supporters, thanking me for my work on behalf of this noble but doomed cause. And none from this pile was more significant to me than the e-mail from my client, Eric Eldred. But my client and these friends were wrong. This case could have been won. It should have been won. And no matter how hard I try to retell this story to myself, I can't help believing that my own mistake lost it."

The mind is a master of art

Telegraph Newly hatched gulls get their food by pecking at a red spot on their mother's yellow beak. The birds don't even need their mother to be present - they are as happy pestering a disembodied beak as the real thing. But 50 years ago Niko Tinbergen, an Oxford University scientist, made an extraordinary discovery. When presented with an abstract version of the beak - a yellow stick with three red stripes - the chicks went crazy. The stick excited the baby birds far more than their mothers' bills. Tinbergen's creation bore no resemblance to a real beak and yet to the birds' brains it was somehow more "real". By exaggerating the reality of a beak, Tinbergen did what all artists strive for - he captured the essence of reality. The experiment raised intriguing questions about the nature of art. If a hyper-real painting triggered such a reaction in the visual processing regions of a bird's brain, might not art be doing the same in human minds?

Linux in Israel

Maariv International : "Three months after the appearance of a Hebrew version of the Open Office package, distributed free of charge as an alternative to Office, Microsoft has been dealt yet another blow in Israel. For the first time, the Hebrew version of Windows is faced with an alternative operating system for home users. It’s called Knoppix, and its price – you guessed it – is zero. Based on Linux, Knoppix is an open-code system, meaning that all users have access to the program’s code and can change it at will. The Microsoft source code, which was never intended to be shared with the public, was partially leaked last week on the Web. Knoppix has a clear advantage over Windows: it operates directly from a CD, with no need to install it on the computer's hard disk. After a brief minute’s wait, you will discover a new and amazing world – an operating system very similar to Windows with a hoard of available programs that include Open Office (a word processor, a spreadsh

Ben Bova

Naples Daily News : "A couple of readers have asked me to justify my claim in an earlier column that the money we taxpayers have spent on NASA has come back into the nation's economy tenfold, in the form of new technology. They estimate that since its birth in 1958 NASA's budgets have totaled some $200 billion. Ten times that amount equals $2 trillion. Where's the $2 trillion payoff? Well, let's see. There's computers. The space program was a powerful stimulus to develop small, fast, rugged computers that went with our astronauts to the Moon and now run spacecraft such as the Spirit rover on the surface of Mars. There's cordless power tools, needed originally by NASA because running extension cords from Cape Canaveral to the Sea of Tranquility was impractical. There are the sensors and communications systems in hospital intensive care units, developed from life support systems for astronauts. There are flameproof, lightweight materials that are

Ben Bova

Naples Daily News : "Years ago, when I lived in Connecticut, I was interviewed by a reporter in Honolulu over a closed satellite link. 'So what's the space program done for the average man?' he asked. Without an instant's hesitation I replied, 'Your job, for example.' Like that dumbfounded reporter, we tend to take the benefits we've received from space technology totally for granted and wonder why we're 'spending all that money in space.' To begin with, the money gets spent here on Earth. It produces jobs not only for scientists and engineers, but for truck drivers and supermarket employees, for auto mechanics and house painters, for teachers and baby sitters. Economists have estimated that every dollar we spend on NASA is re-spent in the economy between five and 10 times. That's a considerable multiplier effect. Secondly, the federal government does not spend a massive amount of money on space. I know that $12 billion or

The Passion capsule review

a boy and his computer - home : Yeshua, a devout Jew living in Nazareth, is bitten by a radioactive rabbi, thereby acquiring the strength and speed of an entire yeshiva. After his father dies in a tragic accident, he vows to use his new superpowers to fight evil. Harvey Keitel reprises his role as Judas, and man, is he a bad ass. The special effects are pretty good, other than overusing the tired 'bullet time' effect from The Matrix. I give it 2.5 stars."

Disney filmmaking ripoff?

independent.co.uk : "Basil Williams, 50, an occasional resident of St Vincent who runs a social welfare charity in London, owns a chunk of Wallilabou Bay where much of the film was shot. He said he was approached by First Mate Productions Inc, a company he had never heard of, in 2002, who explained that they were filming a 'small project' on the island. They asked if he would be willing to rent his 3.5-acre part of the bay to them for six months. Williams explained he had a holiday cottage on his land which he rented to English people for £250 a week. He claimed the company agreed to cover this cost, even though his cottage would not be needed. But when filming started, it was used by a member of the crew. 'At first they wanted to pay me £40 a week,' he recalled. 'When they asked the price I charge for the cottage they thought I meant 250 East Caribbean dollars, of which there are five to the pound. They even used the phone in the cottage - my 80-year-old mo

Mars mission spawns its own unworldly lingo

SignOnSanDiego.com : PASADENA – NASA's ongoing mission to Mars has spawned some extraterrestrial jargon to accompany the out-of-this-world look at the Red Planet that its twin rovers are providing. The language can be so dense, clipped, technical and sometimes downright goofy that only the most dedicated NASA follower could hope to understand it. It can also be remarkably studied in its details. Take the following example: "MER-A ratted Adirondack yestersol while solar groovy, even though it was high tau in Gusev." Rendered in plain English, the sentence would read: "Spirit, the first Mars exploration rover, used its rock abrasion tool to grind into a rock nicknamed for an Eastern mountain range one Mars day ago while receiving adequate power from its solar panels, even though there was a large amount of dust suspended in the martian atmosphere above its landing site, named after a 19th century Russian astronomer." So why use Mars-speak? Th

Samuel's Spina Bifida Surgery In Utero

michaelclancy.com : "Story of the 'Fetal Hand Grasp' Photograph As a veteran photojournalist in Nashville, Tennessee, I was hired by USA Today newspaper to photograph a spina bifida corrective surgical procedure. It was to be performed on a twenty-one week old fetus in utero at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. At that time, in 1999, twenty-one weeks in utero was the earliest that the surgical team would consider for surgery. The worst possible outcome would be that the surgery would cause premature delivery, and no child born earlier than twenty-three weeks had survived. The tension could be felt in the operating room as the surgery began. A typical C-section incision was made to access the uterus, which was then lifted out and laid at the junction of the mother's thighs. The entire procedure would take place within the uterus, and no part of the child was to breach the surgical opening. During the procedure, the position of the fetus was adjusted by gently

EATEN BY HIS PET SPIDERS

Mirror.co.uk : Feb 27 2004 Cops' macabre find in flat From Allan Hall In Berlin SPIDERMAN Mark Voegel became a gruesome feast for the creepy-crawlies he loved. They devoured his body after he got a lethal bite from his favourite pet Bettina - a deadly Black Widow. More than 200 spiders, several snakes, a gecko called Helmut and several thousand termites gorged on their former master for days. Police who were called in after neighbours complained about the smell said it was 'like a scene from a horror movie'. They found the remains of 30-year-old loner Voegel draped across a sofa, covered in giant cobwebs. 'Spiders were running all over him,' said a spokesman. 'They were coming out of his nose and mouth. Larger pieces of flesh had been torn off by the lizards and were taken back to the webs of tarantulas and other bird-eating spiders. 'There were open cages and terrariums everywhere - all bathed in a weird green light. It was horribl

Outsourcing? Try 'Insourcing'

Wired News : "Chris Harry is a model employee for the U.S. call-center industry. The 25 year-old arrives promptly at his cubicle, speaks courteously on the phone and is never late or absent. He plans to stick with his job for three years, a boon in an industry plagued by high turnover. And he gladly works for money many Americans would scoff at -- $130 or so a month. After all, he could be back swabbing cell-block floors for a third of that. 'I can't complain about fair,' said Harry, who was sentenced to 10 years and eight months for robbery. 'I did a crime and I'm in prison. At least I'm not wearing a ball and chain.' Prison inmates like Harry are the reason Perry Johnson Inc., a Southfield, Michigan consulting company, chose to remain in the United States rather than join a host of telemarketing companies moving offshore. Perry Johnson had intended to move to India. But the company chose instead to open inside the Snake River Correctional

Cluestick Needed

Sun-Sentinel The play praises patriotism, but the judges only saw teens cutting up an American flag. It was enough to disqualify Archbishop McCarthy High students from a competition early this week for their performance of The Children's Story. In the play, first published in 1963 by Shogun author James Clavell, third-graders in a classroom in a United States that has been defeated by a powerful enemy, presumably Communist, cut the flag into pieces. Their new teacher tells them if the flag is so good, everyone should get a piece and tells them to hand out the shreds. It's a message about the dangers of mindless political indoctrination. "The play is actually pro-American," said Erin Fragetta, 15, a sophomore at the southwest Broward County school who worked on the production. "It was intended to be an anti-communist message, and the judges just turned it around on us." Zac Ensign, who acted in the play, added: "People just didn't look at w

MSN Sux

Bits & Bytes : "an e-mail sender's participation in the Bonded Sender Program does not guarantee that e-mail from that sender will be delivered to MSN Hotmail users; e-mail from such senders may still be filtered or otherwise blocked at Microsoft's sole discretion. Microsoft does not: (i) operate the Bonded Sender Program, (ii) determine which e-mail senders become certified in the Bonded Sender Program, or (iii) offer any support at all related to the Bonded Sender Program. Microsoft may discontinue use of the Bonded Sender Program at any time, without notice to MSN Hotmail users or e-mail senders. Microsoft reserves the right to not deliver any e-mail message sent to any MSN Hotmail user for any reason. "
healthfactsandfears.com : When the media attempt to be "balanced" and present "both sides" on such an issue — even though one side has no demonstrated competence — it is understandable that the public errs on the side of avoiding what they see as a small possibility of harm. Modern techniques of genetic engineering sound a bit daring and even "unnatural" (whatever that means), so the anti-biotechnology zealots have been able to play on fears of unknown and unknowable future harm. Since no reputable scientist can give a 100% certain guarantee against all unforeseen harm, the ideologue is free to sow the seeds of fear with little substantive challenge. Rather than lecturing people about the technology that has made their food crops possible, and how easily old technologies, too, could be made to sound scary were we not all by now familiar with it, I am trying an alternate strategy: asking people twenty questions — some of which may sound scary — that I ho
Worcester Telegram & Gazette Online - APF : "Japanese Internet company Softbank Corp. said Friday its president and six other senior executives would forgo part of their pay to take responsibility for the leakage of personal data for over 4 million of its broadband customers. 'We really don't know how to apologize,' said Softbank president Masayoshi Son at a televised news conference. The company, a global investor in Internet businesses, said it is still investigating how the information was leaked. Japanese police this week arrested four people on suspicion of trying to extort money from Softbank after they had obtained personal data for customers of the company's broadband service. The information on current and former subscribers - totaling 4.51 million in all - included addresses, names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. It did not include passwords, credit card information or bank account numbers or transactions made, the company said. Son w

For Exercise in New York Futility, Push Button

nytimes.com For years, at thousands of New York City intersections, well-worn push buttons have offered harried walkers a rare promise of control over their pedestrian lives. The signs mounted above explained their purpose: To Cross Street Push Button Wait for Walk Signal Millions of dutiful city residents and tourists have pushed them over the years, thinking it would help speed them in their journeys. Many trusting souls might have believed they actually worked. Others, more cynical, might have suspected they were broken but pushed anyway, out of habit, or in the off chance they might bring a walk sign more quickly. As it turns out, the cynics were right. The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on, according to city Department of Transportation officials. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that still exist function essentially as mecha

niggardly = stingy

wilmingtonstar.com : Use of a word that sounds like a racial slur has landed a New Hanover County teacher in the middle of a controversy. Stephanie Bell, a fourth-grade teacher at Williams Elementary School, taught the word "niggardly" to her class last week in an effort to improve her students' vocabularies. Although the word means stingy, Akwana Walker said it was inappropriate to use it because it sounds similar to a racial slur. She said she doesn't think fourth-graders can distinguish between the two words. "My daughter told me what that word was, and I told her not to complete that part of her homework," said Ms. Walker, who is black. Ms. Bell, who is white, defended her choice of the word and said she didn't mean to offend anyone. She has already sent home letters of apology with her students, as her principal instructed. The word came up Aug. 20 during a comparison of two characters from different stories. One character was a Hispa

Islamic ritual took 251 lives

Commentary, February 6, 2004 : "An Islamic ritual known as the 'hajj' took 251 lives at the beginning of February in Mina, Saudi Arabia, when a crowd stampeded while 'stoning the devil.' But this isn't the only time this same event has brought tragedy; it seems to be part of the hysteria and uncontrolled behavior that haunts this religious event. In March of 2001, 35 people were killed in the same devil-stoning ritual, in April of 1998, some 180 pilgrims were trampled to death when they fell off an overpass during the stoning ritual. In April, 1997, another 343 people died when they were trapped in tents as fire ripped through the tent city of Mina, and 1,500 were injured. Another stampede in May, 1994, produced 270 deaths, and in July of 1990, in the worst-ever hajj-related tragedy, 1,426 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca. These people were performing a ritual which is considered a holy act, one that brings great virtue and
Reason : "Migran Changulyan and 13 others have been charged by the state of California with fraud and face up to eight years in prison each. What did they do? They recycled cans and bottles, reported the Los Angeles Times. California forces consumers to pay a deposit on beverages sold in glass, plastic, or aluminum containers. That deposit can be redeemed at state collection centers. But Changulyan and others are charged with buying bottles and cans in Mexico and states that don't charge a deposit and bringing them to California to collect money. Discarded aluminum cans can be had elsewhere for about $950 a ton and then sold in California for about $2,490 a ton. Plastic bottles sold for $90 a ton out of state brought $910 in California."

At USDA, the Mouse Is in the House

(washingtonpost.com) : "Employees at the Department of Agriculture's main cafeteria were just sitting down to lunch on Friday when security guards ordered everyone in the huge eatery to leave. Al Qaeda? Bomb scare? No. Mouse droppings. The D.C. Department of Health closed the cafeteria for failing to pass inspection. Yes, the USDA, home to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the meat and poultry inspectors -- the agency that is part of the federal system for protecting the nation's food supply, was in violation of the D.C. Health Code. There were several citations, according to the inspection report, including: 'water leaking excessively' in the ceiling, employees not wearing hair restraints, and inadequate cleaning of the inside of ice machines, cabinets, surfaces and equipment. The biggest problem, however, seemed to be mouse droppings found everywhere -- in the dry storage room, by the salad bar, behind the ovens, near the serving line,

Attitude adjustment at TSA

The Washington Times : " Two other aspects of the TSA's new guidelines, however, are perhaps even more outrageous than the manner in which they can levy and increase the fines in the first instance. A fine of up to $1,500 can be levied (after the fact, of course) against an air traveler for something called 'nonphysical interference with screening.' What is that? Looking at the screener the wrong way? Failing to jump high enough when told to jump? Or maybe, just maybe, 'nonphysical interference with screening' consists of a bad 'attitude'; perhaps failing to greet a screener with appropriate deference or subservience as she arbitrarily forces you to disrobe publicly or submit to an additional, 'random' inspection? No kidding. The TSA is asserting the right and the power to fine you, a law-abiding American citizen or lawful visitor to this great land, simply because its employees don't like your 'attitude.' One of eig

Confessions of a Welfare Queen: How rich bastards like me rip off taxpayers for millions of dollars

by John Stossel : "Ronald Reagan memorably complained about 'welfare queens,' but he never told us that the biggest welfare queens are the already wealthy. Their lobbyists fawn over politicians, giving them little bits of money -- campaign contributions, plane trips, dinners, golf outings -- in exchange for huge chunks of taxpayers' money. Millionaires who own your favorite sports teams get subsidies, as do millionaire farmers, corporations, and well-connected plutocrats of every variety. Even successful, wealthy TV journalists. That's right, I got some of your money too."

Darwin Award

Spit contest ends with deadly fall : "OTTAWA -- A Carleton University engineering student participating in a spitting contest with friends plunged 11 floors off a downtown highrise to his death late Saturday night. Ameer 'AJ' Jinah was celebrating his 20th birthday in his apartment with about a dozen friends when the accident happened about 11 p.m. Police said it appears Jinah took a running start to try to spit farther than his two friends when he unintentionally vaulted himself over the balcony railing. 'It was purely accidental,' said Ottawa police Sgt. Joe Simpson. 'Momentum carried him beyond.' Police said alcohol was being consumed at the party. 'STARTED SCREAMING' Apartment building security guard Jason Armstrong who was working Saturday night said he heard a thud and immediately knew something was wrong. 'Two ladies came in and started screaming for me to call 911,' said Armstrong, adding a group of about eight of J

Take a Segway tour of Paris, France

parissegwaytours.com : "Imagine crusing effortlessly through the parks and sidewalks of Paris while receiving a great orientation, informative historical and current-day information, heaps of unique and fascinating stories, fantastic photo ops and superb personal service from your guide. The Segway is the first of its kind—a self-balancing, personal transportation device that's designed to operate in any pedestrian environment. It's new, it's cool and a ton of fun! Our 4-5 hour tours are limited to 7 clients with 1 guide so you can count on a great, intimate experience. Discover what it's like to be a Parisian celebrity as everyone, and we mean everyone, turns to watch us glide by! Paris Segway Tours is proud to be the first guided tour using Segways in the world! Be sure you glide with the original."
BW Online | March 1, 2004 | Software : "As Stephen and Deepa emerge this summer from graduate school -- one in Pittsburgh, the other in Bombay -- they'll find that their decisions of a half-decade ago placed their dreams on a collision course. The Internet links that were being pieced together at the turn of the century now provide broadband connections between multinational companies and brainy programmers the world over. For Deepa and tens of thousands of other Indian students, the globalization of technology offers the promise of power and riches in a blossoming local tech industry. But for Stephen and his classmates in the U.S., the sudden need to compete with workers across the world ushers in an era of uncertainty. Will good jobs be waiting for them when they graduate? 'I might have been better served getting an MBA,' Stephen says."

NEW YORK NIGHTLIFE ASSOCIATION

nyna.org : Key Provisions of the New Proposed Post 1AM Nightlife Law: 1. - While establishments would no longer need a Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) license to permit dancing, it will remain illegal for patrons to dance everywhere it is currently illegal. This is because the zoning, building and fire safety laws that also govern where dancing can take place are not being changed. The dance police will remain! 2. - Over 1000 bars and lounges and late night restaurants that do not currently need a cabaret license will need the new post -1:00 AM nightlife license. This will be an additional license to your liquor license and Health Department license, along with new fees, regulations, hearings, and fines with which you will have to contend. 3. - While the cabaret license made establishments responsible only for what occurred inside their establishments, this new late night license will make you responsible for what goes on outside on the street, as a condition to keepin

'Mr Ferrer can't be with us tonight'

Guardian Unlimited : "The results of all this seem pretty clear. As Opera America's Scorca puts it: 'These procedures are leading to diminished exposure of American audiences to great artists and making it harder for US artists to get work abroad.' But the stakes, many believe, are even higher than that. 'Art is cultural diplomacy,' says Sandra Gibson, president of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington, which lobbies Congress and USCIS on behalf of hundreds of members. 'And it's just as important as it was during the cold war. It's as important as when [pianist] Van Cliburn went to the Soviet Union to perform and changed Khrushchev's mind about the United States.' "

The Complete Guide to Googlemania!

Wired 12.03 : "They named their new search engine Google, for the biggest number they could imagine. But it wasn't big enough. Today Google's a library, an almanac, a settler of bets. It's a parlor game, a dating service, a shopping mall. It's a Microsoft rival. It's a verb. At more than 200 million requests a day, it is, by far, the world's biggest search engine. And now, on the eve of a very public stock offering, it's cast as savior, a harbinger of rebirth in the Valley. How can it be so many things? It's Goooooooooogle."

New York Driver Nabbed While Watching Porn Movie

Yahoo! News : "ALBANY, N.Y. (Reuters) - Andre Gainey found out the hard way that in the state of New York it's illegal to drive while watching porn. Police said the 35-year old man from Clifton Park, New York, was watching a adult movie called 'Chocolate Foam' on Tuesday night while driving his Mercedes Benz in the town of Schenectady when he was spotted by an officer at a stop light. Police spokesman Pete Frizoni said detectives pulled Gainey over when they saw the movie playing on screens embedded in the car's headrests. When they confronted him, they saw another screen in the passenger-side visor was facing Gainey, allowing him to watch the movie while driving. The case is thought to be the first of its kind in New York, said Joe Pichi, a spokesman for the for the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. 'Our biggest problem is illegal cell phone use while driving,' Pichi said. 'Drivers should be driving.' Gainey was charged with

Learn Writing with Uncle Jim

www.ezboard.com : "It strikes me that there's a need for a thread on the art and craft of writing commercial novels. To that end, I'd like to start that discussion. I plan to put down my thoughts on the elements of professional-quality fiction. I'll answer questions, and go where ever the discussion leads. I'll do some notes on the business of writing too. Here are my qualifications for starting this topic: My bibliography A workshop I help teach every year. My mutant talent is to make my opinions sound like facts. I have two basic rules: everything that's said should be true, and everything should be helpful. There's one other thing that needs to be said, McIntyre's First Law: Under the right circumstances anything I tell you can be wrong."

The special effect of physics

PhysicsWeb : Feature: February 2004 From Hollywood blockbusters to the design of aircraft cockpits, the visual-effects industry relies on tracing the path of light to create scenes that do not and may never exist Optical physics From the dawn of history people have tried to convey to others an impression of the mental images they see in their mind's eye. We have come a long way since the Renaissance times of Albrecht D�rer and his attempts to use Euclid's mathematical methods as a basis for painting. Today, movie directors want to make us believe that worlds that never were and never will be are as real as our living room. One is well advised to remember, however, that 'movie physics' is an approximation of reality, and that it may differ substantially from the real world if artistic vision or viewing conventions demand it."

3 Muslims sentenced in Portland

billingsgazette.com : "PORTLAND, Ore. - Three Muslim men from Portland who tried, but failed, to enter Afghanistan as Taliban foot soldiers, voiced profound regret for their actions, as a federal judge sentenced them to prison Monday. The Palestinian-born Maher 'Mike' Hawash, 39, a former Intel software engineer received seven years in prison, while the Bilal brothers - Ahmed, 25, and Muhammad, 23 - were sentenced to 10 and eight years, respectively. The sentencing caps a saga that began shortly after Sept. 11, when the three, inflamed by what they described as the unfair targeting of Afghanistan by U.S. forces, created a volunteer militia, known as Katibat Al-Mawt, or 'The Squad of Death.' Along with three other Portland residents, they traveled to western China and tried to enter Afghanistan, but were turned away at the border. The group became known as the 'Portland Seven,' after the FBI uncovered their actions and arrested them, along with

Hillary Clinton being a harmfull idiot

Philip Greenspun's Weblog: : "After some rich New Yorkers got killed on a helicopter sightseeing flight in Hawaii, Hillary Clinton leaned on the FAA to tighten regulations regarding such tours. In particular she wants the FAA to eliminate the ability of flightseeing companies to operate under 'Part 91' (simple) and force them to operate under Part 135 of the regulations, which is designed for small airlines basically. This will put about 700 companies out of the air tour business by the FAA's estimate. It is unclear that it will increase safety because (a) most of the big helicopter flightseeing operations are already Part 135 (gives them the ability to take people farther than 25 nautical miles), (b) most of the people who've been killed on air tours were killed by Part 135 operators, and (c) helicopters tend to be unsafe, even when piloted by experts. Basically because some rich people got killed in a $1 million Part 135 helicopter Hillary Clinton wants

Mistaken Arrests Leave Pr. George's Murder Unsolved

(washingtonpost.com) For nearly a year after Denise Mansfield was strangled in her Prince George's County home last June, police focused their investigation on three female suspects whose identities were a mystery. A surveillance camera videotaped them getting cash from an automated teller machine where Mansfield's missing debit card was used after her slaying. The time of the withdrawal from the dead woman's account, recorded by a bank computer, corresponded to the times stamped on the ATM video of the suspects. But who were they? Detectives finally got the answer in late March, after the Fox television program "America's Most Wanted" aired still images from the video and a viewer called the show to say he recognized the three. They were Virginia Shelton, 46; her daughter, Shirley, 16; and one of Shirley's friends, Jennifer Starkey, 17, all of Sierra Vista, Ariz. Shelton, a Wal-Mart clerk, and the two girls, both high school students, had been in t

Retrosexual

Frizzen Sparks : Ok folks, I have had it. I've taken all I can stands and I can't stands no more. Every time my TV is on, all that can be seen is effeminate men redecortaing houses, talking about foreign concepts like "style", and "fixing" guys like myself. (If you haven't read it yet, go NOW and read Kim du Toit's "Pussification of the western male" essay.) Real men of the world, stand up, scratch your ass, belch, and yell "ENOUGH!" I hearby announce the start of a new offensive in the culture wars, the Retrosexual movement. (I googled "retrosexual" and got a few references, but I hearby officially steal the phrase. Mweh!) The Code A Retrosexual, no matter what the women insists, PAYS FOR THE GODDAMN DATE. A Retrosexual opens doors for a lady. Even for the ones that fit that term only because they are female. A Retrosexual DEALS with shit. Be it a flat tire, break-in into your home, or a natural disaste