Monday, January 31, 2005

Apple pushes past Google as top brand

January 31, 2005
Apple pushes past Google as top brand

Following a year in which it captured the country's attention with its iPod, iTunes and Mac mini products, Apple Computer knocked off Google as the brand with the most global impact in 2004, according to Brandchannel."It's hard to imagine a brand having a shinier year than Apple," Brandchannel said, reporting the results of a survey of 1,984 respondents. "Notably punctuated with iMacs, iPods and iTunes, Apple's 2004 presence was felt in the press, in ads and on the streets, with iPod coming to define the word 'ubiquitous.'"In addition, and not to be underestimated, Apple made a tidy $295 million profit in the last quarter of 2004. Still, some clouds hovered over Apple's shiny outlook. "However, Apple's cultural symbolism was not economically symbiotic," Brandchannel reported, pointing to continued weak market share in the computer division. "Apple Computer ranks sixth in the U.S. with just 3.33 percent of the market (Dell leads at 33 percent, followed by Hewlett-Packard at 20 percent and Gateway at 5.23 percent)." So while the company's consumer play has paid off mightily, questions remain about the company's future direction. "This (brand recognition) shows you how much power a hot consumer product can have in its segment," said Rob Enderle, of The Enderle Group. "The real question is whether Apple can survive as an iPod company. While iPods generate profits, PCs still pay the bills. They may shift publicity in 2005 back to PCs, perhaps to their small Macs."Google, meanwhile, which won the award in the previous two years, still garnered high praise."The world's number one search engine, Google's impact on our readers reflects the online public's growing dependence on sorting through an incomprehensible amount of available information," Brandchannel said. "But Google does more, including technology licensing and hardware, news aggregating and shopping (Froogle). "Largely based on functional attributes, which offer clarity in a complex field, Google is by no means invincible," Brandchannel said. "It faces competition on many fronts including Yahoo's Overture search engine and other solutions like Vivisimo's Clusty, and MSN Desktop Search, all of which hope to build a better mousetrap."

Prisioners at Guantanamo Held Illegally, Judge Rules

Prisoners at Guantanamo held illegally, judge rules
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
01 February 2005

A federal judge criticised the Bush administration yesterday for holding hundreds of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay naval base without legal rights, saying the US Supreme Court had ruled they should have access to the courts. She said the government's military tribunals were unconstitutional.

In a written decision, Judge Joyce Hens Green said Mr Bush's so-called war on terror "cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over 200 years".

Ruling on a claim by more than 50 prisoners, the judge said the Supreme Court had made clear last summer that prisoners had the right in US courts to challenge their incarceration. She added: "The court concludes that the petitioners have stated valid claims under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and that the procedures implemented by the government to confirm that the petitioners are 'enemy combatants' subject to indefinite detention violate the petitioners' rights to due process of law."

When the Supreme Court ruled last year that prisoners had the right to challenge their incarceration, the government said the military tribunals it had set up met the court's requirements. Prisoners' lawyers disagreed. The US is planning to free scores of the 550 prisoners.

Essay: Tool for Thought

"The word processor has already changed the way we write, but new software for searching personal documents may actually change the way we think."

NYTimes Op-Ed Columnist Maureen Dowd: Torture Chicks Gone Wild

"By the time House Republicans were finished with him, Bill Clinton must have thought of a thong as a torture device.
For the Bush administration, it actually is.
A former American Army sergeant who worked as an Arabic interpreter at Gitmo has written a book pulling back the veil on the astounding ways female interrogators used a toxic combination of sex and religion to try to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba. It's not merely disgusting. It's beyond belief.
The Bush administration never worries about anything. But these missionaries and zealous protectors of values should be worried about the American soul."

Driving Slow In IL Left Lanes Gets You Ticketed

Driving too slowly in the left lane became a crime last year, and 55 motorists have the tickets to prove it.

2004 was the first year of the left-lane law, which carries a $75 fine for violators.

Illinois State Police say 22 of the 55 tickets issued statewide, were handed out to motorists in the Chicago area.

The 55 tickets might not seem like very many for what's often described as one of the most annoying habits among motorists. But state police say they also issued more than a thousand written warnings to encourage slower drivers to move to the right.

First Amendment no big deal, students say

MSNBC - First Amendment no big deal, students say : "First Amendment no big deal, students say
Study shows American teenagers indifferent to freedoms
The Associated Press
Updated: 10:20 a.m. ET Jan. 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech."

This article really took all the steam out of my hope for the future. I am just plain scared that anyone would take for granted the First Amendment. There is a reason it was the first; it is the reason we are not the United States of Britian. Is it lack of education that these students are so ignorant, or is it a generation being raised under the propaganda of conservatism?

The Worst News of the Day

Al-Jazeera for sale, soon.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Are US planes flying over Iranian Airspace???

U.S. planes fly over Iranian airspace
1/30/2005 1:03:00 PM GMT

Has the Pentagon sent military planes into Iranian airspace on a target spotting mission?
An intelligence source in Washington has revealed that the U.S. has upped the pressure on Iran by sending military planes into the country's airspace in order to test Iranian defences and spot any potential targets.

The over-flights by the U.S. have been reported in the Iranian press. This follows on the recent declarations by the Iranian's Air Force Brigadier General Karim Qavami that he'd ordered his anti-aircraft batteries to shoot down any intruders. However, there have been no reports of any Iranian missiles being launched.

According to the Washington intelligence source, "The idea is to get the Iranian to turn on their radar, (in order) to get an assessment of their air defences." He further added that the flights were part of the Pentagon's contingency planning for possible attacks on sites which they believe are linked to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons programme.

"It make sense to get a look at their air defences, and it makes (them) nervous during the EU negotiations [over the suspension of Iranian uranium enrichment]," said John Pike, the head of, an independent military research group.

The U.S.' flights over Iranian airspace comes after reports that American commando forces have made incursions into the country. But some former U.S. intelligence officials believe that the 'raids' are being carried out by Iranian rebels from the group the Mujahedin-e-Khalg who are under American supervision. But the U.S. military has vehemently denied the over-flights report with one official reported as saying, "We're not flying over frigging Iran." However, he did suggest that Tehran was making up the incidents in order to attract international sympathy.

Re-visiting the Election

18 Minutes
Post-Election MSNBC Video Discusses Irregularities

33:51 Minutes
Democracy Now Questions DieBold Voting Machines- The Source of Irregularties

Warning: If you just ate, you may not want to view these.

How Far Does The Rabbit Hole Go???

Third Columnist Caught


Saturday, January 29, 2005

How a Venus flytrap snaps up its victims

"Our study still leaves us baffled about one question that motivated him - how did this mechanism evolve?"

good question.

Future Earth

Future Earth, originally uploaded by ReidAnderes.

Climate Prediction

McDonald's will be opening in Baghdad


Oct 15 2003
McDonald's plans Baghdad branch
By Gary Jones

THE US military is backing a bid by McDonald's to open its first restaurant in Iraq.

The fast food giant plans to offer franchises to help bring "normality" to the country. The first could open in Baghdad next year.

"MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian children as young as six are to get lessons in detective work and criminal law at a school run by the police, local media reported Friday.
Russia's police force has adopted school No. 1862 in Moscow for children aged six to 17 and created a 'detectives' section' as part of a campaign to clean up its reputation for incompetence and corruption.
'Future Sherlock Holmes's will be able to learn the basics of the detective's trade,' Itar-Tass news agency quoted First Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Chekalin as saying. 'We are investing in youth.' "

"SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Preserving one's looks may become even more taxing in Washington state if lawmakers there approve a bill proposing a levy on face-lifts, hair plugs, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures.
Democratic state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles said on Thursday she had co-sponsored a measure to tax such procedures, including laser hair removal and chemical peels, at the state's 6.5 percent sales tax rate.
'We are really looking to do what we can to find new revenues sources because we have a $1.8 billion shortfall,' Kohl-Welles said.
The bill would exempt reconstructive surgery and dentistry to treat birth defects, trauma, infections and disease. The new revenue would fund health programs for children."

BBC NEWS | Technology | How to make a greener computer

"The hi-tech industry is starting to get more environmentally aware."

Friday, January 28, 2005

Move it and Lose it - Study Shows Even Fidgeting Can Burn 350 Extra Calories a Day

Most of us are aware that exercise is a key component to weight loss. But researchers at the Mayo Clinic have discovered that simple movement can burn up to 350 calories per day and that people who are obese tend to spend less time in motion during a typical day than those who are thin.

The study selected 20 self-proclaimed 'couch potatoes,' half of whom were mildly obese. All of the subjects were fitted with special undergarments that were wired with sensors and recorded their every move, 24 hours a day. All of the people were told to continue their normal daily routines but took all their meals at a hospital. The meals were carefully prepared and contained the same number of calories.

Once the control was established, the diets were changed, and for the next ten days, the lean people had an extra 1000 calories per day and the heavier subjects' diet was reduced by the same number.

After all of the data was analyzed, the researchers concluded that the thinner people spent a minimum of 150 extra minutes per day in motion, burning 350 more calories per day than the group considered obese. This group tended to be less able to sit still for long periods of time and seemed to be in almost constant movement. The researchers coined the term NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) to apply to the type of seemingly genetic propensity to motion that was observed.

Dr. James Levine, who authored the study, which is published in the journal Science, was surprised by the results. He said, 'Most Americans are sedentary. This finding offers a beacon of hope. You don't need the gym. There are other ways to stay lean.'

Monk gets the germ of a new relationship

By David Hinckley
new york daily news

January 28, 2005

The third season of USA's cult hit Monk, which began last week, gives the neurotic, phobic and depressed detective Adrian Monk a potential pick-me-up.
She's blond.
Natalie Teeger, played by Traylor Howard, is many shared moments away from being any kind of official girlfriend of Tony Shalhoub's Monk.
All she does in the season's first episode (encoring at 9 tonight) is agree to work for him and replace his trusted assistant Sharona, who has remarried her ex-husband and moved to New Jersey.
But the smart, witty and widowed Natalie clearly finds something about Monk endearing. So does her 11-year-old daughter, Julie (Emmy Clarke).
And, of course, he is endearing, once you get past all his fears about touching and sitting down and germs.
As faithful viewers know, Monk is stressed by almost everything, which should make it fun to watch Natalie as the impact of all these neuroses hits her, one phobia at a time.
Monk does, of course, fight off the cold sweat long enough to solve a crime, which in this case is how he meets Natalie.
After visits from two mystery intruders, the second of whom she ends up stabbing to death with a pair of scissors, she hires Monk to figure out what they could have been after.
By astute deductions, he narrows the target down to Julie's fish tank, even though it holds only a few rocks and a 99-cent marble fish. The rest of the story plays out from there, with side trips so Monk can, for instance, see a 30,000-year-old skeleton at a science museum and figure out how the guy was killed.
Now that's clearing a cold case.


Program: Monk

Airs: 9 p.m. Fridays on USA

Join me every friday for a monk party at #31!

Man begs wife's forgiveness in $17,000 ad

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 Posted: 7:45 AM EST (1245 GMT)

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) -- When five dozen roses didn't work, an estranged husband took out a full-page newspaper ad to ask his wife for forgiveness.

"Please believe the words in my letter, they are true and from my heart," read the ad in Tuesday's edition of The Florida Times-Union. "I can only hope you will give me the chance to prove my unending love for you. Life without you is empty and meaningless."

Larry, who declined to give his last name, sent the $17,000 apology to Marianne, his wife of 17 years. She left him almost two weeks ago, he said.

"It was a culmination of things," he told the newspaper. "But I am desperately trying to save our marriage."

Larry, who lives in Orlando, said his wife is staying with her parents near Jacksonville. But they blocked him from entering their gated community and she changed her cell phone number so he can't contact her.

A relative told him that Marianne saw the advertisement.

"She said my wife read the ad and started crying. But so far I've had no response from her," Larry said.

But the ad drew the attention of many other readers, who contacted the paper.

"They want to know if she has responded and if they have worked things out," said Jay Weimar, director of display advertising. "We tell them we are pulling for him.

Police investigated over free tea!!!!

"Going on since Dixon of Dock Green"

A police force has launched an internal investigation into officers accepting free teas and coffees while on duty.

Cheshire Police says that the inquiries are centring on a motorway service station which is believed to give out free drinks to officers.

Accepting "hospitality" goes against force policy, a spokesman said.

The investigation has been criticised by an officer who runs the Victims of Crime Trust, saying the accepting cups of tea is "good community policing".

It has been going on since Dixon of Dock Green

Norman Brennan, Victims of Crime Trust

A Cheshire Police spokesman said on Thursday: "An internal disciplinary investigation is under way into officers being provided with food and drink while on duty.

"The investigation is at an early stage. No officers have been suspended."

It is not known how many police officers are involved.

Norman Brennan, a London police officer who runs the Victims of Crime Trust pressure group, said: "Tens of thousands of police officers, including myself, have had free cups of tea from cafes or restaurants.

"It has been going on since Dixon of Dock Green.

"It is good community policing. It shows the public that police officers are human beings, who enjoy a cup of tea on a cold morning like everyone else, and it provides a reassuring, visible presence.

Does Your iPod Play Favorites?

By Steven Levy
NewsweekJan. 31 issue - Last spring it dawned on Apple CEO Steve Jobs that the heart of his hit iPod digital music player was the "shuffle." This feature allows users to mix up their entire song collections—thousands of tunes—and play them back in a jumbled order, like a private radio station. Jobs not only moved the popular shuffle option to an exalted place on the top menu of the iPod, he also used the idea as the design principle of the new low-cost iPod Shuffle. Its ad slogan celebrates the serendipity music lovers embrace when their songs are reordered by chance—"Life is random."

But just about everyone who has an iPod has wondered how random the iPod shuffle function really is. From the day I loaded up my first Pod, it was as if the little devil liked to play favorites. It had a particular fondness for Steely Dan, whose songs always seemed to pop up two or three times in the first hour of play. Other songs seemed to be exiled to a forgotten corner of the disk drive. Months after I bought "Wild Thing" from the iTunes store, I'm still waiting for my iPod to cue it up.

More than a year ago, I outlined these concerns to Jobs; he dialed up an engineer who insisted that shuffle played no favorites. Since then, however, millions of new Podders have started shuffling, and the question has been discussed in newspapers, blogs and countless conversations. It's taking on Oliver Stone-like conspiracy buzz.

Apple execs profess amusement. "It's part of the magic of shuffle," says Greg Joswiak, the VP for iPod products. Still, I asked him last week to double-check with the engineers. They flatly assured him that "Random is random," and the algorithm that does the shuffling has been tested and reverified.

More specifically, when an iPod does a shuffle, it reorders the songs much the way a Vegas dealer shuffles a deck of cards, then plays them back in the new order. So if you keep listening for the week or so it takes to complete the list, you will hear everything, just once. But people generally listen only to the first few dozen songs. In theory, that sample should be evenly distributed among all the artists and albums in their collections. So why do you typically get three Wilco songs in an hour while Aretha Franklin waits in the wings forever?

The question will be even more important to owners of the new tiny iPod Shuffles. These use a new feature called autofill to load the one-ounce players with a supposedly random selection of 120 or so songs from much larger collections. The first few times I tried this, I found some disturbing clusters in the songs chosen. More than once the "random" playlist included three tracks from the same album! Since there are more than 3,000 tunes in my library, this seemed to defy the odds.

Or did it? I explained this phenomenon to Temple University prof John Allen Paulos, an expert in applying mathematical theory to everyday life. His conclusion: it's entirely possible that nothing at all is amiss with the shuffle function. It's quite common for random processes (like coin tosses) to get unlikely results here and there, like runs of six heads in a row. Over a very long time, it evens out, but it's hard for us to envision that. "We often interpret and impose patterns on random processes," he says, adding that this might be expected in the case of music, which evokes strong emotions. Paul Kocher, president of Cryptography Research, puts it another way: "Our brains aren't wired to understand randomness."

Life may indeed be random, and the iPod probably is, too. But we humans will always provide our own narratives and patterns to bring chaos under control. The fault, if there is any, lies not in shuffle but in ourselves.

On the other hand, I'm still waiting for "Wild Thing."

Ringo Starr To Become A Superhero

Published: 2005-01-28

Former Beatle, Ringo Starr, is looking to return to his cartoon roots. The famous drummer is joining forces with cartoonist Stan Lee to make an animated superhero version of the celebrity to star in a DVD, and possibly expand into the world of television. Lee is best known for creating superheroes like Spider-Man, the X-Men, and The Hulk, so it would appear that the cartoon version of Ringo has limitless possibilities.

Perhaps demonstrating the notoriety of Starr, this won’t be the first time the musician has been animated. Ringo appeared in the ABC series ‘The Beatles’ from 1965-1967, and again in the 1968 film ‘Yellow Submarine’, but neither time did he voice the characters. In the “superhero project” Starr will voice his character, just as he did when he appeared on ‘The Simpsons’ in 1991. And though he wasn’t in animated form, who could forget Starr’s classic turn as Mr. Conductor in the children’s television series ‘Shining Time Station’.

Not only will Ringo lend his unmistakable voice to the upcoming project, but he also plans to contribute original songs as well. Admitting that he wasn’t looking for a gig as a superhero, but Stan Lee’s idea was too good to pass up, Starr explained: “he had this idea of a musical superhero – what I like to think of as a reluctant superhero. . . . I'll zoom in to save the world, or a damsel in distress, or a small village. Who knows where he'll go?"

We may just have another classic Mr. Conductor role on our hands folks.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt

MSNBC - The revolution starts.... now (not)

MSNBC - The revolution starts.... now (not) : "Who had the courage to vote against the first African-American female nominee for secretary of state merely because she has proven to be profoundly incompetent, incorrigibly dishonest, and absolutely unwilling to recognize, much less admit her many, many mistakes?

The Honor Roll:

Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
John Kerry, D-Mass.
Carl Levin, D-Mich.
James Jeffords, I-Vt.
Jack Reed, D-R.I.
Mark Dayton, D-Minn.
Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii
Evan Bayh, D-Ind.
Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
Richard Durbin, D-Ill."

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The White-"Out"-House

Private Vs. Personal: Media's Social Security Semantics

January 27, 2005

Facing significant opposition to its plan to privatize part of the Social
Security program, the White House is pushing reporters and lawmakers to
use the expression "personal accounts," since polling data seems to
indicate that "privatization" is an unpopular term with voters.

While it's not unusual for politicians to try to spin the terminology used
in debate, journalists should avoid changing word usage simply because
some politicians think it will be to their advantage. There's little doubt
that "privatization" is a more accurate description of the White House
plan, especially considering that the current Social Security system is
already based on what are essentially "personal accounts"-- your benefits
depend on how much you personally have paid in, as the annual statements
you get from the Social Security Administration indicate-- rendering the
Bush administration's preferred terminology redundant and confusing. What
is different about the accounts that Bush is proposing is not that they
are personal, but that they will hold private-sector securities-- in other
words, that they will be privatized.

But some outlets endorse the notion that using any variation of the term
"privatization" is politicizing the story. As Time magazine explained
(1/10/05), "Because Democrats have given the term 'privatization' a
negative tinge, advocates prefer to call it 'personalization,' emphasizing
control and ownership rights." NBC host Tim Russert said on Meet the Press
(1/23/05), "The president is proposing personal or private accounts, the
vocabulary differs according to the ideology or the party using it."

But the term "privatization" was for years embraced by its proponents as
an accurate description of their position. The Cato Institute, an
influential pro-privatization Beltway think tank, called its program the
"Project on Social Security Privatization" before re-naming it "Project on
Social Security Choice" in 2002 (New York Times, 10/6/02). That change was
attributed to Republican lawmakers who wanted to avoid using an unpopular
term to describe their policy.

This semantic debate is no accident. As the Washington Post reported
(1/23/05), "Republican officials have begun calling journalists to
complain about references to 'private accounts,' even though Bush called
them that three times in a speech last fall."

One would hope that in a debate as important as this one, reporters would
resist this GOP spin. But the White House may be having some success: Carl
Cameron of Fox News, in a news conference question to George W. Bush
(1/26/05), made reference to "those who opt into a potential private
account"-- before quickly correcting himself to say "personal account."

The Associated Press has also shown evidence of adopting the GOP's
semantics; as CJR Daily pointed out (1/25/05), last year reporter David
Espo used the phrase "private accounts" fifteen times in Social Security
articles, while referring to the accounts as "personal" only once
(10/17/04, 12/6/04, 12/7/04). But this year, "private accounts" has
nearly disappeared from his vocabulary: A Nexis search of his reports on
Social Security through January 26 turn up 16 references to "personal"
accounts and only two to "private" accounts (outside of direct quotes).

Aside from echoing Republican spin, this semantic shift can muddle the
story. In one recent report (1/24/05), for example, Espo wrote that the
AARP "released a nationwide poll today indicating deep public skepticism
about President Bush's plan for personal accounts." But one paragraph
later, he explained that AARP's poll asked about private, not personal

The Times similarly confused the AARP poll; a January 25 article on the
Social Security debate, which made three references to "personal" accounts
and only one reference to "private investment" accounts, reported that
"the AARP released a poll showing little public support for personal
accounts once the costs and tradeoffs involved in establishing them are
made clear." By changing the terminology of the poll, the Times and the
AP added extra layers of confusion and inaccuracy to what should be a
fairly straight-forward story.

Ask the Associated Press and the New York Times to use the more accurate
expression "private accounts" when reporting on the White House's Social
Security privatization plan. Tell them you think it is important that they
resist GOP pressure to change the language they use when reporting on this


Associated Press
Phone: (212) 621-1500

New York Times
Daniel Okrent, Public Editor
Phone: (212) 556-7652

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you
maintain a polite tone. Please cc with your correspondence.

Porter Goss Memo

News Agencies That Say it Wasn't An Order

Rush Limbaugh: Left Hits New Low:
Joe Scarborough-Look under Nov. 19:

News Agencies That Say it Was An Order

New York Times:
The Guardian:
Truth Out:

Now: You Decide: Here Are the Words

"We support the administration, and its policies, in our work as agency employees," he said. "We do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies. We provide the intelligence as we see it -- and let the facts alone speak to the policy-maker."

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Love for Sale

"I'm herewith resigning as a member of the liberal media elite.
I'm joining up with the conservative media elite. They get paid better.
First comes news that Armstrong Williams got $240,000 from the Education Department to plug the No Child Left Behind Act.
The families of soldiers killed in Iraq get a paltry $12,000. But good publicity? Priceless.
Mr. Williams helped out the first President Bush and Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill scandal. Mr. Williams, who served as Mr. Thomas's personal assistant at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when the future Supreme Court justice was gutting policies that would help blacks, gleefully attacked Professor Hill, saying, 'Sister has emotional problems,' and telling The Wall Street Journal 'there is a thin line between her sanity and insanity.'
Now we learn from the media reporter Howard Kurtz that the syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher had a $21,500 contract from the Health and Human Services Department to work on material promoting the agency's $300 million initiative to encourage marriage. Ms. Gallagher earned her money, even praising Mr. Bush in print as a 'genius' at playing 'daddy' to the nation. 'Mommies feel your pain,' she wrote in 2002. 'Daddies give you confidence that you can ignore the pain and get on with life.'
Genius? Not so much. Spendthrift? Definitely. W.'s administration was running up his astounding deficit paying 'journalists' to do what they would be happy to do for free - just to be friends with benefits, getting access that tougher scribes are denied. Consider Charles Krauthammer, who went to the White House on Jan. 10 for what The Washington Post termed a 'consultation' on the inaugural speech and then praised the Jan. 20th address on Fox News as 'revolutionary,' says Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group."

BBC NEWS | Americas | US staff lose jobs over smoke ban

"Four workers in the United States have lost their jobs after refusing to take a test to see if they were smokers.
They were employees of Michigan-based healthcare firm Weyco, which introduced a policy banning its staff from smoking - even away from the workplace.
The firm says it is to keep health costs down and has helped 14 staff to stop smoking, but opponents say the move is a violation of workers' rights.
If the firm survives a potential legal challenge, it could set a precedent."


Originally uploaded by riley27.

'The Tsunami Song' Is Not Hot

I'm speechless.

Armstrong Williams was just the beginning

The Bush administration spent more than $88 million on contracts with public relations agencies in 2004, a 128 percent increase from 2000.

Why do they only make the news when they're leaving?

Telegraph | News | Top Pentagon policymaker to step down: "Top Pentagon policymaker to step down
(Filed: 27/01/2005)

Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy who helped plan the American invasion of Iraq, has decided to resign after a four-year term, Pentagon officials have said"

Here's my favorite part of the article:

"Retired general Tommy Franks, who commanded the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, memorably referred to Mr Feith in a pep talk with military planners as "the dumbest ******* guy on the planet."
"Feith was a master of the off-the-wall question that rarely had relevance to operational problems," the general wrote in his memoir, adding that he largely ignored his contributions."

Ha. Really funny, I'm shaking in my boots (seriously), but not surprising either. The Bush Administration: proving once again - Who needs to be smart when you're white,male and rich?

Jon Stewart to replace Dan Rather

Now, with anchor Dan Rather stepping down March 9 from his deep-in-third-place CBS Evening News, with CBS News' reputation scarred by "Memogate" and with nowhere to go but up, CBS chief Leslie Moonves might take a page from Arledge's playbook and go the multi-anchor route.

Whether Moonves' idea, which was tossed out last week to TV critics assembled in Los Angeles, becomes a reality remains to be seen.

There are those who suspect that Moonves' surprise announcement was primarily intended to deflect attention from Memogate (in which Rather used discredited documents as the basis of a report on President Bush's National Guard service), and the tactic worked quite well, according to Washington Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes.

Critics "underestimated Moonves, who, to use his own words, turned lemons into lemonade," she wrote.

Moonves floated the multi-anchor route just two days before NBC shot down another floated possibility that drew plenty of attention: that Today star Katie Couric might be interested in taking Rather's place.

And in the week since Moonves announced the possibility of more than one anchor — not even ruling out a spot on Evening News for Comedy Central's Jon Stewart — discussions exploring the issue have quieted within CBS News, even though Rather is just over a month away from stepping down.

To All of Those Back Home

Peter Miller, owner of the News Tribune, basically our only source of 'independent' news in the entire Illinois Valley isn't living up to his duty to serve and inform the public. At least, thats my opinion.
While I understand that even if you own a paper you are more than entitled to have your own political affiliation. Thats fine, I encourage it. However, when your paper reflects that, but you in no way, shape or form make it known, and you instead pretend to be 'partial' and 'unbiased' is where I have a problem.
Mr. Miller was the 2nd highest contributor to a political entity this election season from the city where his paper is published. Do his readers know where he stands? No, they haven't the slightest. But now you do--Mr. Miller donated $2,000 to George W. Bush.
Enjoy the new Religion section in the NewsTrib. (that is not a joke, they really added one)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Liars figure, but figures don't lie.

"Iraq by the Numbers

1,400 American soldiers dead.
More than 10,000 wounded.
Another $80 billion requested.
More than a quarter of a trillion dollars dedicated to the war effort.
13 million eligible Iraqi voters.
30,000 voting booths.
111 parties.
7,471 candidates.
275 National Assembly seats.
120 international elections observers.
200,000 insurgents.
150,000 U.S. troops.
Days until election: 5.
Minimum days until major troop reductions: 700."

Freedom & Liberty: priceless(?)

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Cosmic birth theory gets support

"New meteorite data lends support to a controversial theory that the violent explosion of a star was involved in the creation of the Sun and its planets.
The primitive space rock contains signs that a short-lived, radioactive form of the element chlorine may have been present in the early Solar System.
A US-Chinese team claims the most likely source of this 'isotope' was a supernova - or exploding star.
The findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For years, astronomers have believed that the Solar System formed inconspicuously, from a slowly condensing cloud of dust and gas.
But this traditional view is now being challenged.
The new theory proposes that our star and its planetary system were born in a dense interstellar cloud, or nebula, filled with short-lived, massive stars that exploded with immense energy and an intense release of radiation."

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Japan bean plants sprout messages

"Ever wanted to say 'I love you' and never found the words? Well now you can buy a plant that says it for you.
Two Japanese manufacturers, toy makers Tomy and Takara, have both produced bean plants which sprout to reveal a special message.
Takara said its plant was 'a new type of message card to convey your feelings to your loved ones', according to the French news agency AFP.
The gift comes with a choice of six different messages such as 'Good Luck' and 'I Love You' inscribed through the plant with a laser beam."

Pets Save More Relationships Than Dr. Phil

MISSOULA, Montana (Wireless Flash) -- Forget Dr. Phil -- pets are the best medicine when it comes to maintaining a relationship.

Rachel Toor, author of the book, "The Pig and I: Why It's So Easy to Love an Animal, and So Hard to Live with a Man" (Penguin), says when couples share a pet, they become closer and see their own faults in their animals.

For instance, Toor says she once shared her pet pig with an ex-boyfriend and began to see her own personality traits reflected in the pig, such as selfishness, lack of tolerance and bullheadedness.

Although she didn't recognize her own pitfalls in time to save the relationship, Toor says she plans on using what she now knows about herself for future relationships.

In addition, Toor says pets help us accept our partners for who they are because, as she puts it, "With pets, we have to accept them because we can't change them. It should work the same way with humans. "

"The Pig and I" will be hogging bookstore shelves starting Feb. 1

Bogus matchmakers arrested!

A Chinese couple have been arrested by police for running a bogus matchmaking agency.

The husband charged men to find them a date with 'Miss Right' - but sent his wife instead, reports the Beijing Times.

The couple's Beijing-based agency ran newspaper ads claiming it had lots of rich and beautiful women on its books.

Men had to pay a consulting fee, a directory fee and another charge for each date, plus a membership fees of up to £320.

Police arrested the couple acting on information from a victim.

They believe they have swindled hundreds of single men, raking in at least £2,000, in less than a year.

Woman hospitalised by tiger painting

A Chinese pensioner had to be taken to hospital after she mistook a painting of a tiger for the real thing.

The woman, in her 70s, spotted the 'tiger' in a dark alleyway after shopping at a nearby supermarket.

According to Shanghai Evening Post, she screamed, turned and ran after seeing a 'tiger' coming at her.

But the woman, who the paper named as Mrs Wang, slipped on ice and fell heavily.

Passersby rushed to Mrs Wang's aid to find her nervously stammering: "Tiger, tiger, there's a tiger" and pointing down the alleyway.

But the tiger turned out to be a painting hung in a calligraphy and painting shop window.

To draw business, the shop owner had put a light behind the paint to create a lifelike impression.

MSNBC - Call it 'Chutzpah…'

MSNBC - Call it 'Chutzpah…' : "Does the guy who writes MSNBC’s Question of the Day work for Karl Rove?  Here is yesterday’s:

Do you think Democrats are playing politics with Condoleezza Rice's nomination?

Here’s how a non-partisan journalist might have posed it.

Do you think the senate should reward Condoleezza Rice’s combination of incompetence, dishonesty  and refusal to admit mistakes and learn from them with America’s most prestigious cabinet post?"


This website will be linked to on the right margin.
Want to find out who owns what? Who owns the publishing company that controls what you learn in college? Who really owns the giant media conglomerates and their subsidiaries? Find out now!

The History of Terror: The Changing Role of a Word

“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”
- President Bush, September 20, 2001

This now historic ultimatum was made in the wake of the tragic bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and is the rhetoric that launched the United States government’s “War on Terror.” In order to fight a war on a word, there must be a clear understanding of what it means. The word “terror” can trace its roots back to Latin. The word experienced a semantic change during the late 18th century that gave it a violent and politicized angle, and since has had a trend towards generalization. The word is now generalized to the point that governments are struggling to find an accepted definition. The word terror and its off shoots have undergone semantic change and a process of generalization rendering it difficult to define in today’s context.
(This is another paper I wrote for class, read as a supplementary to the below paper, or just for those of you who are as curious about the English language as I am!)

Homeland Insecurities: How the threat of “terrorism” is only threatening our Freedom of Speech.

Terrorists. They’re everywhere. They mostly live in the Middle East; however, some have infiltrated our country, and may be living in your city. So be careful! Check in your closet, look under your bed, and if they still haunt your dreams, well, duct tape your windows shut.
Terrorists are easy to identify. Mostly, they have long beards and dark skin and they talk really fast and muffled. Or else they’re French and eat scones while wearing berets. To be safe, don’t trust anyone different from you.
(Note: Sarcasm! Read on in the comments section)

Drudge's Version Of Turner's remarks

Fox News' Version

Drudge: Republican.
Fox News: Republican.
Turner: Not so much.

According to these sources, Ted Turner is bitter because HIS, I repeat HIS, network, CNN, has lost ratings, that he lost the network itself, and now he is losing his mind, thus where his anger and mental instability is arising from. The same story can be found on fox news. It is linked to above.
This seems to be, as is usual with all American media- not just Fox and Drudge- that anytime a prominent figure criticizes the media (as when John Stuart did on "Crossfire") they are the target of a smear campaign, and their ideas which generated the controversy are entirely ignored. The focus of the story is instead the sensational conflict that arises. We should be focusing on what he is saying; and we are not.

After selling CNN to AOL/Time Warner, which Turner became a Vice Chairman of, he quickly became disgusted with the way his network was being run. In reaction he sold stock, roughly 70 millions shares!
Not too much longer after, AOL Time Warner Vice Chairman Ted Turner resigned. Steve Case, the head Chairman resigned also. In one way or another, CNN was overtaken by AOL/Warner and their news values were changed so considerably that they could no longer tolerate to be part of it. Insiders said he was bummed about how the company is run in general, and really bummed about his brainchild CNN.

--- In conclusion---
Do Not Believe Everything You Read. Especially if it is coming from Matt Drudge, Brit Hume, Anne Coulter, Fox News, or any other of Hitler's minions. It is NOT, I repeat, NOT, Ted Turner's network any longer, nor did he lose the network, and his comments hold serious water. He resigned, with others, but not after taking nearly a billion dollars with him. But don't expect our media to report on it. Brit Hume/Drudge/Fox News Correspondent--which they won't even give a name to- has published a lie, a lie that even I can uncover in 5 measly minutes. Will they give this the same amount of coverage they gave to Dan Rather and Marla Mapes?

What is your biggest fear from the next four years?

I couldn't blog for a few days because the inauguration made me too blue. This man is the wrong vision for the United States of America. Unfortunately, time will inevitably prove me right (or wrong). Lately, however, I am realizing that it is not Bush or Rummy or Condi or Hannity or Enron or my Republican neighbor's who are the root of the problems. The fault line runs much deeper; they are a product of the environment, the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. "It's been a slow train coming."
Now that the depression is over, it's back to figuring out what to do about it. So, I ask all of you the above question, to which I would love to see responses under the comments. As for my answer, the above paper describes one of the dark clouds I spot on the horizon.

P.S. Any optimists are welcome to add what they are looking forward to from this next term too! I welcome all views, but present mine very opinionated because "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

ScienCentral: Hypnosis Surgery

"Research is showing that hypnosis, a therapeutic tool for centuries, can help some patients endure difficult medical procedures. Hypnosis has been misunderstood as a nightclub stunt, a loss of control and a type of sleep, but it's been a therapeutic tool for centuries. Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine describes hypnosis as a 'focused state of attention.'"

ScienCentral: Blood Cleaner

"Researchers may have found a bright new way to make donated blood safer by sterilizing it using light."

San Francisco may charge for grocery bags!

-SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco may become the first city in the nation to charge shoppers for grocery bags.

The city's Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the mayor and board of supervisors Tuesday to consider a 17-cent per bag charge on paper and plastic grocery bags. While the goal is reducing plastic bag pollution, paper was added so as not to discriminate.

"The whole point is to encourage the elimination of waste, not to make people pay more for groceries," said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.

Environmentalists argue that plastic bags jam machinery, pollute waterways and often end up in trees. In addition to large supermarkets, other outfits that regularly use plastic bags, including smaller grocery stores, dry cleaners and takeout restaurants, could eventually be targeted.

Officials calculate that the city spends 5.2 cents per bag annually for street litter pickup and 1.4 cents per bag for extra recycling costs.

Grocers and bag manufacturers argue that many people already reuse their plastic bags, and that the use of plastic won't go down because people will purchase plastic trash bags to use instead. Other opponents call the plan an unfair and regressive tax on shoppers.

Citizen Action: Hypocrisy

This is a link from the "Focus on Family" website, which when you look deeper isn't as pretty as the front page seems. This is one of their calls to action. I thought their understanding of the "importance of valuing human life at all stages of development" is so twisted. They demand that congress respect it too, but they have so convienently forgot that those who aren't American are humans too. They put out this front like they care so much about life, but they don't realize that people in different countries have value too. It's sickening to me.
What I am specifically pointing to are books. While books have certainly played a role in my world philosophy I take them as pieces of a puzzle, not the whole puzzle. The Bible and the Koran, for some, are the whole puzzle. But to me they are simply books with a few good ideas, a few interesting quotes, but nothing more.

There are people who put all their faith into these books and the institutions claiming to be the mouth of the book. The idea of deriving one’s ethics from a book, which comes from others before you, is treason to the self. The contradiction is obvious.
Worse however, is they feel they are serving a purpose. In this case, saving the lives of 'children.' This one issue is so blinding to them that they re-elected, err elected, a man that has killed tens of thousands of precious living beings they so claim to protect. I imagine there is someone else out there who would protest abortion, but not jump to war. Did they look for that candidate? No. They followed the shepherd like a bunch of -------sheep.

Working for Change

Someone blogged about grassroots corporations a few weeks back. Here is a publication put out by a grassroots communications company called "WorkingAssets". They seem to be cool, check them out. This journal, "Working for Change" is a sister of that company with current events quotes, anecdotes, comics, and ideas for activism for the everyday joe or jane.

Let's pay some TAXES!

This is ridiculous. Hello, 10 more years of war to the "flavor of the week" in the Middle East.

txt messaging bad 4 ur Health????

Here is an email I got from my mom. I thought it was assuming and blogger worthy

2 many txt msgs bad 4 yr health,

Excessive text messaging may be bad for you, or at least for yourfingers.CELL PHONES AND TEXT MESSAGING That's what some Italian doctors think. They are telling people,particularly the young, that furious typing on mobile phones could lead toacute tendonitis.Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Il Messaggero dedicated about half apage each to the problem on Monday.A 13-year-old girl in the northern Italian city of Savona needed treatmentfrom an orthopedic specialist after typing at least 100 short messageservices (SMSs) a day.She was prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine and ordered to rest her hands.According to a recent study conducted for children's rights group TelefonoAzzurro, some 37 percent of Italian children are "cell phone addicts."Irritability and mood swings were other symptoms linked to very frequentcell phone use among the young.

The message is clear: MayB U shd stop B4 its 2 L8.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Quartet: A Columnist's Farewell: How to Read a Column

"At last I am at liberty to vouchsafe to you the dozen rules in reading a political column.
1. Beware the pundit's device of using a quotation from a liberal opposition figure to make a conservative case, and vice versa. Righties love to quote John F. Kennedy on life's unfairness; lefties love to quote Ronald Reagan. Don't fall for gilding by association.
2. Never look for the story in the lede. Reporters are required to put what's happened up top, but the practiced pundit places a nugget of news, even a startling insight, halfway down the column, directed at the politiscenti. When pressed for time, the savvy reader starts there.
3. Do not be taken in by 'insiderisms.' Fledgling columnists, eager to impress readers with their grasp of journalistic jargon, are drawn to such arcane spellings as 'lede.' Where they lede, do not follow.
4. When infuriated by an outrageous column, do not be suckered into responding with an abusive e-mail. Pundits so targeted thumb through these red-faced electronic missives with delight, saying 'Hah! Got to 'em.'"

Will Spongebob make you gay?

I'm getting real sick of hearing about "Focus on the Family."
They are one of the most delusional schizophrenic organizations I have ever come across.

MSNBC - Page 2: High Hopes, Hard Facts

MSNBC - Page 2: High Hopes, Hard Facts
zaharia's viewpoint is always worth reading.

You Trust This Man With Your Social Security? :: Intervention Magazine :: War, Politics, Culture

You Trust This Man With Your Social Security? :: Intervention Magazine :: War, Politics, Culture

Gibson Digital Guitar

on a lighter side of life....

A quite milestone in music?
A Guitar with an Ethernet connection....!

Gibson Digital Guitar: "We wouldn't dream of compromising our sound. This guitar delivers the pure tone, feel and power musicians have come to expect from the Gibson Les Paul.

By combining tradition with innovation, Gibson has created an instrument that launches a virtually unlimited array of musical possibilities for guitarists.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

How It Came To This.

In beginning, before this computer sat in front of you, before any computer at all sat anywhere, and even, yes, before you, there was nothing but one point. Just one. It took up no space, and possessed no age. No one was present to watch over it, consider it, tamper or control it. It merely existed by itself.

Consider yourself possessing a cosmic remote- a master control on reality so to speak. You pull it out of its protective case and upon hitting rewind you sit for years and years watching all that has ever happened reverse itself at a blazing, almost ridiculous and incalculable, speed. Even at this breakneck pace you sit and watch. And sit. And watch. And sit and watch. And inevitably, much later than sooner, you see the universe itself receed into nothing. You alone see the scope of its enormity and watch it shrink and shrink until it arrives at its very first state: The beginning. One point. This one point, often refered to as the singularity, is the only true beginning. All other "beginnings" are naively circumstancial. The "beginning" of the movie, the "beginning" of the week, and so on.

Get to the point. Oh we have, my friend. Within this one point all matter resided. Yes, all of it. What makes up you, your computer, your room, your life, everything you ever saw and didn't see was trapped inside the boudaries of this inconcievably small point. It was infinitely dense, as you can imagine. It was also infinitely hot. Matter crammed and trapped within itself bounced and bounced with nowhere to go, and friction built.

Then, suddenly, it burst. This turned out to be, as you may have guessed, quite consequential. The moment was even named, much later, by some species. They called it The Big Bang.

Matter spread in every imaginable direction. Up, down, left, right, front to back, back to front, it sprawled out violently exploiting its one and only release. As the matter spread, naturally, it cooled. And as it cooled, it clumped. Lone protons and neutrons and elections, charged positve and negative and neutral from there sudden fling instantly bonded like magnetic dust. All atoms that ever existed were born in this moment. First came Hyrdrogen, the simplest and most abundent element in the universe. Milliseconds later came Helium. This process went on for entire seconds, and although it formed all the atoms we have today, it did not form all our elements. Initially, there were only a few- the building blocks of the universe.

This phase of bonding did more than develop a few primal elements, however. It effected the uniformity of the spreading, which continued on outward (and still does today). Just like throwing wet and dry sand, the semi- clumped matter did not spread perfectly even. Small pockets were, on a molecular level, just slightly more dense than the areas surrounding them. Not much happened after this... quickly, at least. Over the eons and eons of empty years the small, dense, pockets of gas slowly grew in size. With the help of simple gravity they went from handfulls of hydrogen to clouds of maddening enormity. In the words of Carl Sagan, "Raindrops the size of galaxies" had evolved into existance. As they grew, their density and temperature built and built until the molecules in the very middle, burried deep within, were hard pressed for space. And again, friction built, until, from their own inescapable pressure the clouds of gas actually ignited from the inside out. The first generation of stars were born, lighting the universe from its cold, dark history into a particularly new and improved era.

Just like a candle burning today, the stars gave off carbon along with a few other natural chemicals. Things were getting more complicated. Stars don't last forever though, and eventually they burnt out, replaced by a second generation of stars that formed in a very similar way. Our Sun, a third generation star, eventually came into existence in the extreme corner of a medium sized galaxy we named "The Milky Way." Around many stars floated left over dust and gas, and over time it clumped, again, thanks to simple gravity. Sure enough, the debris was drawn into orbit by the massive weight of the stars they floated near. This happened nine times with our Sun, and we now have nine planets. On one of them, water brewed, and through a primitive atmosphere UV rays shone down onto vast, unnamed oceans. Cells mutated with the help of underwater volcanic warmth. These cells became organisms. Organisms became plants. Plants became animals. Animals became human. And humans, who deserve a description all their own, grew in a cosmic blink to an elaborateness great enough to understand their own origin and ask "why?" Unbeknownst to most of them, they live now as a rarity of preserved and pampered stardust, left over from the very "Bang" they named, breathing and thinking: an undiscovered complexity churning away their short span in the corner of a quite galaxy- all having been, at one point, the Hydrogen fuel of a first generation star.

Now you sit, having reversed and watched it all from the very beginning, the true beginning. The universe still expands today, as you read this. Left ove momentum. Its edges are no longer infinitely hot, but have grown unimaginably cold. It is no longer desolate and empty. Once again, in the words of Carl Sagan, "This is what Hydrogen is capable of, given enough time."

G Bara

'Nail man' wants to make pizzas

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado construction worker who shot himself in the head with a nail gun - an accident he didn't discover until he went to the dentist with a nagging toothache - said he'll change his line of work.

"I'll make pizzas," Patrick Lawler, 23, said Tuesday. Lawler, who may be released from the hospital as early as Wednesday, was working on a house near Breckenridge, Colo., when he accidentally fired the nail into his head. He said it felt like he had been hit with a steel baseball bat.

Lawler didn't realize the gun had fired a 10-centimetre nail through his mouth and 3.8 centimetres into his brain until six days later, when he went to a dental office complaining of a toothache that just wouldn't go away.

An X-ray revealed the nail and surgeons removed it last week.

"The nail could have been millimetres to one side and it would have severed an optic nerve, leaving him blind," said Dr. Sean Markey, who operated on Lawler.

"He's unbelievably lucky."

Lawler said he doesn't know how he'll pay medical bills estimated to reach $100,000. He's uninsured.

"I was self-employed on the job," he said.

"I would have had to carry my own health insurance. But I didn't think I'd shoot myself with a nail, you know?"

Cooperation leads to historic exploration


"It was an important moment in scientific history - the furthest from the Earth that a probe has landed," Kenneth Renshaw, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Solar System Ambassador, said of the landing of the Huygens Probe on Titan last week. Renshaw is also a volunteer representative for the Saturn Observation Campaign. The Saturn Observation Campaign (SOC) focuses on the current Cassini-Huygens space mission around the planet Saturn.

The Huygens Probe landed on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, around 6:40 a.m. Piggott time on Friday, Jan. 14, according to Renshaw. The probe transmitted data to the Cassini Orbiter. Renshaw explained that the probe was too far away from Earth, approximately 720 million miles, to send it directly to the planet. After the orbiter received the data, it sent it back to Earth and played it over several times around 9:15 a.m. Piggott time. He said that data transmission from all of the sets of instruments was successful.

When asked if there were any surprises in the data, Renshaw said, "Nothing specific is mentioned, although there are always surprises. The surface was darker than expected. As was predicted, there are signs of liquids and flooding, although the Huygens landed on a solid surface near some rocks. Cassini received three hours and 37 minutes of data, including one hour and 10 minutes on the surface. The rest was collected on the way down, parachuting through the thick atmosphere. Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system and the only one with a thick atmosphere - over 100 miles thick - with more pressure than the Earth's air. The temperature was about 289 degrees below zero Farenheit."

Renshaw said the mission, known as the Cassini Project which will study Saturn and its moons, will be about four years in length, with it possibly being extended if there are no technical problems and funding is available.

"Thousands of photos of the Saturn system have been transmitted, with about 300 from the Huygens Probe. Cassini has 14 sets of instruments and is about the size of a two-story house. It weighs 4,700 pounds and is the largest spacecraft ever sent to the planets," he said. "Huygens is a 770 pound disc with seven sets of instruments. Cassini-Huygens is a two decade cooperative effort of NASA (USA), the European Space Agency - the Huygens Probe control center is based in Darmstadt, Germany - and the Italian Space Agency. My Ambassador work is for the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Ca., which designed most of the Cassini and some of the Huygens instruments."

The Cassini-Huygens Orbiter and Probe was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 15, 1997. The spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004.

"The Saturn system is nearly at its closest point to Earth and can be seen in the east, as a bright "star" in the constellation Gemini", in the evening. Last week it was at opposition (directly opposite the Sun in the sky) - in fact if you were on Saturn, you could see the Earth as a dot passing directly in front of the Sun. With a small telescope, Saturn can be seen easily, with its rings, and most of the time Titan can be seen as a bright point of light nearby," Renshaw said.

Partners in the mission include the U.S. Air Force, Department of Energy, and academic and industrial participants from 19 countries. According to NASA, it is estimated that over 260 scientists will study the data the ship collects.

Enjoy The Police State

PoliceState, originally uploaded by ReidAnderes.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

How Does Your Feedom Feel Now?

--------------Click on the Link For Photos-- They are the reality of war, so be prepared-----------------------

An Iraqi man and his wife have been shot dead in front of their five children by US soldiers who fired on the car in which the family was travelling.

The children survived but emerged from the car spattered with blood, screaming and traumatised. The soldiers tended to them and brought them to hospital.

The incident happened in Tal Afar, near Mosul, in northern Iraq, late on Tuesday.

According to the US military, soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis, Washington, fired on the car when it failed to stop and came towards soldiers, despite warning shots, during a dusk patrol.

The US forces' press service said the military extended its condolences for the incident, but added that "the military must take appropriate action against possible threats" because of the prevalence of car bombs.

The incident was witnessed by Chris Hondros, a photographer, who recorded it in a series of dramatic pictures [here]. They show how troops shot dead the driver and one passenger - husband and wife, apparently, but unnamed in the photograph captions.

The five children in the rear of the car survived, with only one being slightly injured by a bullet. The military said it was investigating what happened.

Click on the Link For Photos-- They are the reality of war, so be prepared.

Junk Food Ad Ban In The EU A Possibility

"If junk food producers in the European Union fail to develop a voluntary plan to restrict advertising to children by 2006 the EU will force them into it with strict legislation.
The EU's Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, Markos Kyprianou, issued the warning this week.
Kyprianou called for makers of foods containing high-sugar and high-fat to make product labeling clearer and restrict advertising aimed at children.
Obesity in Europe is rising quickly, with about one in four European children considered obese. In Britain, experts estimate 50 percent of British children will be obese by 2020.
Kyprianou also warned the alcoholic beverage industry to cease advertising directed at people under the legal drinking age, or face advertising bans similar to those that regulate the tobacco industry."

Another long four years

Brattleboro Reformer - Editorials: "Did anyone notice the irony during President Bush's inaugural address on Thursday that as Bush talked about freedom, security personnel were dragging away peaceful protesters?
Does this mean that the president's words -- 'when you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you' -- do not apply to those who oppose him?
President Bush used the word 'freedom' 27 times in his speech and 'liberty' 15 times. It's not a surprise that the words 'war,' 'Iraq,' 'Iran' and 'terror' were not used at all. Then again, the hallmark of the Bush administration has been high-minded rhetoric and sordid deeds."

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: The Speech Misheard Round the World

"Cambridge, Mass. — SINCE 9/11, President Bush and his advisers have engaged in a series of arguments concerning the relation between freedom, tyranny and terrorism. The president's inaugural paean to freedom was the culmination of these arguments.
The stratagem began immediately after 9/11 with the president's claims that the terrorist attacks were a deliberate assault on America's freedom. The next stage of the argument came after no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, thus eliminating the reason for the war, and it took the form of a bogus syllogism: all terrorists are tyrants who hate freedom. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who hates freedom. Therefore Saddam Hussein is a terrorist whose downfall was a victory in the war against terrorism.
When this bogus syllogism began to lose public appeal, it was shored up with another flawed argument that was repeated during the campaign: tyranny breeds terrorism. Freedom is opposed to tyranny. Therefore the promotion of freedom is the best means of fighting terrorism.
Promoting freedom, of course, is a noble and highly desirable pursuit. If America were to make the global diffusion of freedom a central pillar of its foreign policy, it would be cause for joy. The way the present administration has gone about this task, however, is likely to have the opposite effect. Moreover, what the president means by freedom may get lost in translation to the rest of the world."

Car thief told police he was Bruce Willis

A Serbian car thief told police he was Bruce Willis and produced a fake passport as ID.

Goran Markovic, 46, was pulled over by police at a routine roadside check in Pirot, local daily Blic reported.

When asked for his ID, Markovic, who was wearing dark sunglasses and a cap, told them he was Bruce Willis and handed over the passport.

But police immediately arrested him when they saw the passport was Australian and soon discovered he had dozens of other passports with fake identities and the car he was driving had been stolen.

They said they later linked him to the theft of other cars.

A police spokesman said: "Even the real Bruce Willis would have had trouble convincing officers it was him. It's not very often we get American film stars driving around southern Serbia on their own."

You're Hitched

Palm Beach, Fla. — The bride's gown is worth more than most American homes. Her diamond-studded ring costs more than many yachts. But the groom's hair? Self-styled.

Donald Trump is marrying Slovenian model Melania Knauss Saturday in an event with all the glamour, glitz and gold that money and star power can buy.

The setting for the opulent reception is Trump's newly unveiled $42-million (U.S.) Versailles-inspired ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate and club, complete with 24-karat gold mouldings, custom-made crystal chandeliers and marble floors covering 1,000 square metres.

The guest list offers a mix of European royalty, Hollywood celebrity and Palm Beach money, including The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett and singer Tony Bennett.

”It will definitely be over the top in terms of opulence. It is a fantasy wedding. Donald is a superstar and everything Donald does is over the top. His wedding is just going to be like the rest of his life, lots of glamour, glitter and the best of the best,” Rhona Silver, a New York caterer who has planned parties at Mar-a-Lago, said.

The nuptials will mark the third trip down the aisle for Trump, 58, and — coincidentally or not — come just days after the start of third season of his TV show.

Trump insisted he wants to keep details of the wedding to Knauss, 34, private. But much has been leaked by him, his bride-to-be and his staff.

The guest list includes politicians like New York Governor George Pataki and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; celebrities like Billy Joel, Regis Philbin and Katie Couric, and Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco reportedly received invites.

About 400 have sent in their RSVPs, said Pat Saylor, Mar-a-Lago's catering and special events director. The wedding is taking place three kilometres away at a classic, garden-studded stone church, the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, next to the Breakers resort golf course.

Hors d'ouevres will be made by celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose restaurant Jean-Georges is in the Trump International Hotel in New York. Guests will dine on steamed shrimp salad, beef tenderloin and individual Grand Marnier chocolate truffle cakes that mirror the towering 22-kilogram, seven-tier wedding cake topped with 3,000 white-icing roses.

Music during the three-course dinner will be provided by a 36-piece string ensemble, with ”surprise entertainment” to follow.

But what's typically among the biggest surprises for the guests and groom — the wedding gown — has already been seen.

Knauss, 34, posed for a traditional pre-wedding portrait in the gown and her $1.5-million engagement ring, and untraditionally shared it with the world on the cover of Vogue magazine. The Christian Dior original, which reportedly cost $200,000, has 90 metres of satin and a four-metre train that took 550 hours to embroider. It weighs 22 kilograms — so much that the bride will slip into a lighter Vera Wang dress after the couple's first dance.

Trump's look for the big day might not come as a surprise. He has said he's doing his own hair.

Guests are nearly as concerned about their own ensembles. Sami Alpark, a boutique owner in this oceanfront retreat's chic Worth Avenue, says he has sold 40 dresses to invitees that cost up to $26,000.

”Everyone is going to see a precision first-class wedding,” said Robert Wyner, chairman of Barclays International Realty here.

Wyner, who also attended Trump's last wedding to Marla Maples in 1993, says this one won't be ending with Trump's well-known catch-phrase, ”You're fired!”

”After five years together, those of us who are fortunate to have seen them, know they are truly a match made in heaven,” Wyner said. ”They are absolutely best friends and absolutely on the same wave length.”

Meter officer scalded by coffe in 'parking rage' incident

BOSTON -- A Boston parking meter attendant is recovering from bad burns after a man angry over a 55-dollar ticket allegedly threw hot coffee at her.

Christi Noviello says she saw a Hummer parked in a loading zone and a woman in the passenger seat. Noviello tells the Boston Herald she gave the woman a chance to move the vehicle before writing the ticket. But when the driver came out of a Starbucks, Noviello says he became enraged. She says the man -- identified as Francois Youhanna -- wouldn't accept the ticket and flung his cup of coffee in her face.

Youhanna claims he accidentally spilled the coffee on the meter maid after slipping on some ice. He was released on personal recognizance after pleading innocent yesterday to a charge of assault and battery with a deadly weapon -- the hot coffe

someone needed to chilllllll

Audrey Tautou to star in 'Da Vinci Code'

Posted Sat, 22 Jan 2005

French actress Audrey Tautou, star of the hugely popular "Amelie", has been chosen to play the female lead in the film version of US author Dan Brown's best-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code", the daily Le Parisien.

Tautou will play Sophie Neveu, the young French woman assisting Professor Robert Langdon — whose role will be taken by Tom Hanks — in his investigation. The detective Bezu Fache will be played by Jean Reno, the paper said.

US director Ron Howard has been charged with the film adaptation of the novel, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. The movie will be produced by Columbia/Sony Pictures with a budget of around $100-million and is due for release on May 19, 2006, in the United States and France.

According to Le Parisien, other French actresses considered for the role of Sophie Neveu included Vanessa Paradis, Sandrine Bonnaire, Judith Godreche, Sophie Marceau, Juliette Binoche and Linda Hardy.

The film will be 26-year-old Tautou's 17th.

It's Official- FoxNews Is the Network of Bushies

Perhaps the ratings for the other networks were down because of utter disgust?

Anthropologists Find 4.5 Million-year-old Hominid Fossils In Ethiopia

Ethiopia, originally uploaded by ReidAnderes.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hubble rescue 'will be scrapped'

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hubble rescue 'will be scrapped': "The future of the Hubble Space Telescope is in doubt after the White House refused money for a rescue plan, US media has reported.
US space agency Nasa will announce the decision in February, ending plans to send a human or a robot repairman, the Washington Post reported.
The service cost was expected to top $1bn, but has been cut from the federal budget request, sources told the paper."

BBC NEWS | Europe | Italy's real 'Romeo and Juliet'

"A husband in Italy who lost hope of his wife waking from a four-month coma has killed himself - only for his beloved to regain consciousness hours later.
Doctors said when Rossana, 67, stirred, she asked for her husband Ettore.
The tragedy, recalling the ending of Romeo and Juliet, took place in Padua, 60km (40 miles) from Verona, the setting of Shakespeare's play."

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Four More Years of Happiness

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Four More Years of Happiness: "BY now, most of the people I know should be Canadians. At least that's what they said they'd be if President Bush won re-election. And yet, my unofficial tally suggests that the number of disgruntled Democrats who actually emigrated northward is roughly zero, plus or minus none.
November saw more than its share of cursing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters, but by the middle of December the weeping had largely subsided and most of the people I know were busy buying gifts. With the exception of the junior senator from Massachusetts and a few hundred others whose lives and livelihoods hinged on the election's outcome, most Democrats had a good cry, kicked something until it broke, then slipped quietly back into their daily routines of family, work and television.
The speed and ease with which normalcy returned should not have surprised anyone. In the last decade, psychologists and economists have conducted numerous studies to determine how accurately people can predict their emotional reactions to future events. They've studied people's responses to misfortunes ranging from romantic breakups to financial losses, from personal insults to personal injuries, and the results of these studies have converged on a single conclusion: people typically overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional reactions to adversity.
Mr. Bush in particular has been breaking Democratic hearts since he first ran for governor in Texas in 1994. But studies of that and subsequent elections reveal that voters were rarely as unhappy a few weeks after he won as they predicted they would be when they were doing their best to help him lose. And it wasn't Mr. Bush's performance that changed their minds, because those who voted against him returned to their original levels of happiness even before he was sworn in.
So what happened? Research suggests that human beings have a remarkable ability to manufacture happiness. " - $1 million treasure hunt hidden in pages of fairy tale - Jan 22, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) -- There's an unclaimed $1 million out there -- somewhere.

The jackpot is actually 12 jewels hidden in very public places around the United States. Think diamonds, think rubies, think the rarest, most perfect Kashmir sapphire.

All you need to do to get any or all the gems is to decipher clues in the book "A Treasure's Trove." The clues lead to a dozen 18-karat gold tokens. Author Michael Stadther, who hid each of the tokens himself, promises that they are all in public places where they can be easily accessed without digging, moving or disturbing objects or structures.

Once a token is in hand, it can be redeemed for one of the jewels.

And Stadther is releasing a clue not contained in the book for the first time this week: "Hint: Tackle repositories."

Police: Woman threw sex parties for teenagers - Jan 21, 2005

ARVADA, Colorado (AP) -- A 40-year-old woman held sex and drug parties with teenage boys, telling police she wanted to be a "cool mom," authorities say.

Sylvia Johnson allegedly provided marijuana, methamphetamine and alcohol to eight boys at parties held at her suburban Denver home in 2003 and 2004. According to court papers, she admitted having sex with five of the boys.

One of the boys told his mother, and Johnson was arrested in December and charged with offenses including sexual assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Virtual Bootcamp

Gov. Blagojevich has recently written legislation making it illegal to sell certain video games to minors. It has not passed yet, and it certainly faces a legal challenge if it does, but what is more disturbing than the rapidly growing trend of age-discrimination is the fact that his list does not include a single war simulation game.

The games on his 'ban' list include: Doom 3, Grand Theft Auto, Half Life, Halo, Mortal Kombat, Rumble Rose, Resident Evil, PSI-OPS: Mindgate Conspiracy, The Guy Game, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum, Gunslinger Gals, Hitman, Manhunt, Postal 2, and JFK Reloaded.

None of Tom Clancy's life-like war games made the list, while the ones on the list involve make believe aliens. Air-Force Delta Storm: not banned. Freedom Figthers, with the caption "With a vicious conflict raging in the streets of America and foreign forces occupying our shores, it's your patriotic duty to join your fellow countrymen in the fight to take back your homeland" is not banned. Men of Valor and Mercenaries: not banned. You get the idea. Make believe killing: bad for children. Life like murder in the name of your country: okey dokey. I urge you to visit and take a look at these games for yourself. Your disgust will grow.

"This is all about protecting our children until they are old enough to protect themselves. Theres a reason why we don't let kids smoke or drink alcohol or drive a car until they reach a certain age and level of maturity," Blagojevich said.

At another moment he said," There could be a link to the exposure of all of that violent graphic stuff that you play with . . . and then do something terrible like go to Columbine and start shooting other kids in the high school."

Yes governor, all that graphic STUFF, and things, and what not, made two teen-agers kill their classmates. After so many hours of playing and killing people without consequence they began to think they could do it in the real world, and the bodies of their classmates would regenerate just like in James Bond.

Is there no personal responsibility in this society anymore? Must we resort to an exponentially aggressive legislature to solve all of the problems our society creates, especially those involving the young? If children get fat, outlaw soda in school. If they kill eachother, outlaw video games. If they start dressing more scantily, outlaw skirts for children and hold Abercrombie responsible. If they are having abortions, pass a law that requires parental consent. If they get caught speeding, take away their license for two years, and impose a curfew.

How will this generation ever learn any responsibility if they are not allowed to learn from mistakes. How can our government continually blame a third party, but never look within the educational system for needed adjustment? Why is it that we can never admit a mistake. Perhaps we are following the lead of our president.

To the children: Keep playing your war games and get ready for a terrorist invasion, because they hate our freedom and our righteousness.

Our Tortured Language of War

Our Tortured Language of War

This article was printed in the opinion page of my school newspaper. I was quite impressed by its lack of political hackery, and its intelligently considered premise.

"Not A Damn Dime Day" is Dumb

First, go to the website for "Not One Damn Dime Day," and read the idea behind this boycott of spending on Bushy's inagural day. Then Read.

I have to say this seems a bit ass backwards to me. Let’s look at the situation. All parties involved in this are anti-bush, myself included. One particular party involved is the small business owner. Now is the typical small business owner pro or anti-bush on average? probably a mish-mosh, but there are certainly more anti bush than there would be in the big business corporate America we all know bushy loves so much.

Now, ask yourself are you pro or anti big business/corporate America? Or do you like seeing your $$$$ going towards the little guy? Try to shop at more local stores? I hope you answered yes to these last two. Now think about this, are the pro-bush people the frequenters of the small boutique? Or are they the people who have to qualms with shopping at the Wal-Mart’s of America? I think the pro-bushies make up Walmart-USA. So when we boycott spending all money, I know I am only depriving one of my own from their livelihood. I feel as though this is just stabbing ourselves in the chest a little bit here guys. A signal flag needs to go up here, just not this one.

your concerned little tony,

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: An American in Paris

Thomas Friedman:
"Watching George Bush's second inaugural from a bistro in Paris is like watching the Red Sox win the World Series from a sports bar in New York City. Odds are that someone around you is celebrating - I mean, someone, somewhere in Europe must be happy about this - but it's not obvious.
Why are Europeans so blue over George Bush's re-election? Because Europe is the world's biggest 'blue state.' This whole region is a rhapsody in blue. These days, even the small group of anti-anti-Americans in the European Union is uncomfortable being associated with Mr. Bush. There are Euro-conservatives, but, aside from, maybe, the ruling party in Italy, there is nothing here that quite corresponds to the anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-tax, anti-national-health-care, anti-Kyoto, openly religious, pro-Iraq-war Bush Republican Party.
If you took all three major parties in Britain - Labor, Liberals and Conservatives - 'their views on God, guns, gays, the death penalty, national health care and the environment would all fit somewhere inside the Democratic Party,' said James Rubin, the Clinton State Department spokesman, who works in London. 'That's why I get along with all three parties here. They're all Democrats!'
While officially every European government is welcoming the inauguration of President Bush, the prevailing mood on the continent (if I may engage in a ridiculously sweeping generalization!) still seems to be one of shock and awe that Americans actually re-elected this ma"

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Don't Know Much About Algebra

Maureen Dowd:
"Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard, has been pilloried for suggesting that women may be biologically unsuited to succeed at mathematics.
He may have a point.
Just look at Condoleezza Rice.
She's clearly a well-educated, intelligent woman, versed in Brahms and the Bolsheviks, who has just been rewarded for her loyalty with the most plum assignment in the second Bush cabinet.
Yet her math skills are woefully inadequate.
She can't do simple equations. She doesn't even know that X times zero equals zero. If you multiply 1,370 dead soldiers times zero weapons of mass destruction, that equals zero achievement for Ms. Rice, who helped the president and vice president bamboozle the country into war.
Was Condi out doing figure eights at the ice skating rink when she should have been home learning her figures? "

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Plastics created from orange peel

"US scientists have discovered a way to make plastics from orange peel, using the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
Cornell University researchers created a novel polymer using CO2, an oil present in orange peel and a catalyst that speeds the reaction along."

Seattle Weekly: News: Politics: No Bad Deed Goes Unrewarded by Geov Parrish

Seattle Weekly: News: Politics: No Bad Deed Goes Unrewarded by Geov Parrish

Not One Damn Dime Day!

Don't forget! Making your point, one small penny at a time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Fun With Comics

If you like this then take these suggestions from a ucomics regular:
-Ted Rall
-Tom Tomorrow
-Chan Lowe
-Tom Toles.

Other good war comics:
to see "get your war on" and the incomparable "my new fighting technique is unstoppable"

Matt Groening does a great one too, "Life in Hell".

Stings Like A Bee

This Boxer is making quite a name for herself. The Ohio election recount protests and this article make me cheer.

New York Daily News - Online hue & cry to silence Ashlee

"Ever since the detuned diva shrieked her way through the Orange Bowl halftime show Jan. 4, an army of detractors has been assembling on the Internet. Leading the charge is an online petition at More than 65,000 people have added their digital 'signature' to a document that requests, simply, that Simpson 'stop recording, touring, modeling and performing. We do not wish to see her again.'"

Over 90,000 people had signed when I looked at it. I wish people would care this much about things that actually matter.

Britains Abuse Prisoners Too : So Goes War

Caution: Some are graphic

MSNBC - Einstein = mass celebrations

MSNBC - Einstein = mass celebrations

Media Training Now Required for Iraq-Bound Soldiers

Newdow v. Bush, 04A623.

"Two Justices Refuse to Block Prayers at Inauguration (Update1)

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Two U.S. Supreme Court justices rejected a California atheist's bid to block clergy-led prayer at tomorrow's inauguration ceremony for President George W. Bush."

For some reason, I don't know how to feel about this. On the one hand, I think it violates the separation of church and state, but on the other hand, it would be a violation of freedom of speech to block prayer because, after all, the president can enjoy the same rights as the rest of the country. Where is the compromise? I'm not sure. Ideally, we would have a leader who didn't force the courts to make this decision because they wouldn't want to offend anyone in this diverse nation by promoting their religion in the most public of all ceremonies. What do you think?

A look at the history and tradition of Inauguration Day

WASHINGTON (AP) -- At noon on January 20, in the shadow of the Capitol, George W. Bush will raise his right hand, place the other on a Bible and swear to faithfully execute the office of president and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

It will be the 55th quadrennial presidential inauguration, an event steeped in history and marked by all the pomp and pageantry with which Americans have come to associate the oath-taking ceremony. Heightened security, a constant in this age of terrorism, also will be part of the first inaugural since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here, in question and answer form, is a look at the inauguration: (see link)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Rovers That Keep On Giving

meteorite, originally uploaded by ReidAnderes.

Runner's World: Man on the Run - A New Theory Suggests That Running Made Us Human

"Running is one of the most transforming events in human history," says University of Utah biologist Dennis Bramble, validating the beliefs of runners everywhere. Bramble, along with his colleague Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard anthropologist, analyzed fossil records to conclude in a recent Naturecover story that humans began running long distances as early as two million years ago. The anatomical changes from our short, hairy, evolutionary ancestor Australopithecus to the genus Homo (that's us) include longer, more tapered legs, shoulders that move independently, tendons such as the Achilles to store and release energy, and an increased skin surface to facilitate sweating to cool the body. All are a result of the need to hunt and scavenge across vast distances in East Africa, where humans originated. "Humans needed to combine reasonable speed with exceptional endurance," says Bramble, who, like Lieberman, is a runner himself. Bramble believes that when it comes to marathons on the vast sweep of Africa, Homo Erectus and early Homo Sapiens probably ran farther and faster than even Paul Tergat and Paula Radcliffe. "We have gone downhill a bit," he says. "You would not want those guys chasing after you."
-Peter Gambaccini

Historic Meeting

Keep in mind who is writing the article.

looks like the roots of democracy to me...

Originally uploaded by riley27.

Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi candidates shot dead
"Unknown assailants in southern Iraq have gunned down two more candidates running for the political coalition of interim prime minister Iyad Allawi in the 30 January elections.

Alaa Hamid, who was running on Allawi's slate of candidates for the 275-member National Assembly, was shot dead Monday in the southern port city of Basra in front of his family.

A second candidate, Riad Radi, was also shot dead. Radi was planning to run in a local race for Basra's provincial council on a list supported by Allawi's party."

Hmmm...but of course, all we hear is that
(O)peration (I)raqi (L)iberation is going well as long as this election deadline is met, despite the fact that people have been screaming for months that it should and cannot happen now.

739 Billion

739 billion dollars have been pledged to tsunami victims says Kofi Annan.

Bush to Iran - Obey or Be Destroyed


AHHH!!! This exactly what he said about Iraq! EXACTLY!

If you don't have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it again

Hey guys -
Just wanted to sneak in your moments of blog to wish all my fellow seniors a wonderful last semester. Today marks the last first day of undergrad classes...crazy huh!? I hope all of you have enjoyed these last 3 and a half years as much as I have!! Here is my cheers to good times, good friends and Hopkins Love. :)

Kate :)