Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Amnesty International Hates America

In response to a negative report by Amnesty International on prisoner's conditions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Bush Admistration has called the group America haters and labeled the report as absurd.
Cuba, a country that Bush has tightened travel and trade restrictions on, but is good enough to hold our prisoners, and in reference to diplomatic relations with Cuba, Bush said in his last term "[Fidel Castro] has responded with defiance and contempt and a new round of brutal oppression that outraged the world's conscience."
Interesting this story is. Cuba has outraged the worlds' conscience, but we too will hold military operations there.
Furthermore Amnesty International "hates America" and the report is "absurd."
Now, let us rewind to 2003. Donald Rumsfeld, operating on behalf of the Bush Administration of course, praised and quoted Amnesty International's assessment of Iraq. "We know that it's a repressive regime..Anyone who has read Amnesty International or any of the human rights organizations about how the regime of Saddam Hussein treats his people…"
Days later he said, "If you read the various human rights groups and Amnesty International’s description of what they know has gone on, it’s not a happy picture."
How can our 'reporters' not hold these officials feet to the fire on issues such as this. Do they do any research? At all? This is mind-bogglings. Just as Bush is a pick and choose cafeteria christian, he and his team of minions are also pick and choose cafeteria politicians. And without a lunch monitor to put the smack down the rest will have to wait til they digest their food and eat their shit.

the perfect vacation spot, and i should know

Want an idea for the perfect vacation. Well, here it is. And if you happened to see my photos while I was abroad, you'll recognize this place as the beach paradise I was at.

Former F.B.I. Official Says He Was Watergate's 'Deep Throat'

New York Times: "EW YORK -- A former FBI official claims he was 'Deep Throat,' the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, Vanity Fair reported Tuesday.
W. Mark Felt, 91, who was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s, kept the secret even from his family until 2002, when he confided to a friend that he had been Post reporter Bob Woodward's source, the magazine said.
'I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat,' he told lawyer John D. O'Connor, the author of the Vanity Fair article, the magazine said in a news release.
Felt was initially adamant about remaining silent on the subject, thinking disclosures about his past somehow dishonorable.
'I don't think (being Deep Throat) was anything to be proud of,' Felt indicated to his son, Mark Jr., at one point, according to the article. 'You (should) not leak information to anyone.'"

Girl, 9, charged with stabbing 11-year-old pal - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com

Girl, 9, charged with stabbing 11-year-old pal - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com

Monday, May 30, 2005

Laura Bush/Hillary Clinton presidential matchup?

Yahoo! News: "First lady Laura Bush would defeat
U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton if the two were to face each
other in the 2008 presidential contest, Vice President Dick
Cheney said on Monday.
Cheney made the prediction after his wife, Lynne Cheney,
suggested the matchup in an interview on CNN's 'Larry King
Mrs. Cheney noted the rampant speculation that the former
first lady, now a senator from New York, would make a bid in
the next presidential go-around.
President Bush cannot seek a
third term in office. His father, former President Bush, was
defeated after one term by former President Bill Clinton.
'You know, people are thinking of Mrs. Clinton running for
president. I think Mrs. Bush ought to run for president,' Mrs.
Cheney said. 'If we want to have a Bush dynasty, let's get
Laura Bush.'"

UK reacts to EU vote

These are quotes from pundits about the new European Union referendum for a constitution. There is also list of who has accepted the referendum and who has not. France has not.

Royal Air Force bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war

THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.
The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.

The details follow the leak to The Sunday Times of minutes of a key meeting in July 2002 at which Blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make %u201Cregime change%u201D in Iraq legal.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

10 reasons not to kill Bush

U-WIRE.com: "EUGENE, Ore. -- Recently in Georgia, the president gave a speech only to have someone chuck a hand grenade at him. Lucky for all, the blast cap did not explode. Though originally thought to be a dud, the FBI later revealed the weapon was far from safe.
I can't possibly guess the assassin's reasoning, but I've heard enough people on campus proclaiming their hatred of George W. Bush to know that some wouldn't have shed many tears. And that's a shame.
If the assassin were looking for a way to hurt America, blowing up the president would be a good idea. Bush's martyrdom would put the last nail in the coffin of the liberal agenda. So, for those Bush-haters out there, here are 10 reasons you should stop praying for an assassinated G.W.B.:
1) Killing the president immediately generates sympathy for his cause. If the president died tomorrow, there would be no question that all of his nominees for the judicial branch would make it through the Senate.
2) A dead President Bush leaves a live Dick Cheney in charge. Need I say more?"

Lead in hunt for Piano Man's name

BBC NEWS: "A theory that the so-called Piano Man could be Czech musician Tomas Strnad is a significant lead, the health trust which is caring for him has said.
A drummer who claims he and Mr Strnad played in a tribute rock band is said to be 'convinced' he is the man found wandering streets in Sheerness, Kent.
But the National Missing Persons Helpline said Strnad is just one of 250 names being investigated.
The mystery man was found soaking wet and dressed in a black suit on 7 April.
He has never spoken to carers but is a virtuoso pianist."

Class Matters - Social Class and Status Markers in the United States of America

The New York Times: "Social class, once so easily assessed by the car in the driveway or the purse on the arm, has become harder to see in the things Americans buy. Rising incomes, flattening prices and easily available credit have given so many Americans access to such a wide array of high-end goods that traditional markers of status have lost much of their meaning. A family squarely in the middle class may own a flat-screen television, drive a BMW and indulge a taste for expensive chocolate.A wealthy family may only further blur the picture by shopping for wine at Costco and bath towels at Target, which for years has stocked its shelves with high-quality goods. Everyone, meanwhile, appears to be blending into a classless crowd, shedding the showiest kinds of high-status clothes in favor of a jeans-and-sweatsuit informality. When Vice President Dick Cheney, a wealthy man in his own right, attended a January ceremony in Poland to commemorate the liberation of Nazi death camps, he wore a parka."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Big Ben chimes stoppage mystery

BBC NEWS: "One of the world's most famous clocks ground to a halt for more than an hour-and-a-half on Friday silencing the chimes of Big Ben.
The minute hand on the clock face of St Stephen's Tower at the Palace of Westminster, central London, stopped moving at 2207 BST.
It began moving again slowly but stalled a second time at 2220 BST and remained still for 90 minutes.
The cause of the stoppage is unknown, but the hot weather could be to blame."

Across Iran, Nuclear Power Is a Matter of Pride

Published: May 29, 2005
TEHRAN, May 28 - From nuclear negotiators to student dissidents, from bazaar merchants to turbaned mullahs, Iranians agree: the right to develop nuclear power is a point of national pride.

"For a country to have nuclear energy means that it has made progress in all other fields as well, so other countries have to respect its technology," said Nilufar, 29, a graduate student in energy management at the prestigious Sharif Industrial University. Nilufar, covered in black so only her face was showing, agreed to be interviewed on such a sensitive topic only if her family name was not used.

Ehsan Motaghi, a 26-year-old seminary student in Isfahan, cited a parable from Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law and the inspiration for the Shiite branch of Islam, which most Iranians follow. "They can offer me everything from the earth and heaven, but in exchange if they want me to so much as take the food from an ant's mouth that is his right to eat, I won't do it," he said. "Achieving the peaceful use of technology is really a matter of pride and we will not stop this for anything."

McCain Urging Accord on Bolton and Secret Documents - New York Times

A roll-call vote may result in a 53-47 confirmation of Bolton, assuming all senators are present for the vote.

WASHINGTON, May 27 - One of John R. Bolton's leading Republican backers, Senator John McCain of Arizona, signaled his support on Friday for a compromise in which the White House might allow Senate leaders access to highly classified documents in return for a final vote early next month on Mr. Bolton's nomination as United Nations ambassador.

The conciliatory signal from Mr. McCain came as Senate leaders traded blame over who was responsible for the miscalculation that led to Mr. Bolton's nomination being blocked Thursday. But the White House showed no sign that the Bush administration might change course........

Friday, May 27, 2005

Dancing bees speak in code - LiveScience - MSNBC.com

Dancing bees speak in code - LiveScience - MSNBC.com: "By Michael SchirberUpdated: 2:50 p.m. ET May 27, 2005Scientists have long marveled over the dance of the bee. A little jitterbug seems to reveal to coworkers the location of a distant meal. But how and whether the dance really works has remained controversial."
A new study confirms the dancing is a form of communication.

Australia's 'Dr. Death' linked to 87� fatalities - Health Care - MSNBC.com

Australia's 'Dr. Death' linked to 87� fatalities - Health Care - MSNBC.com: "MSNBC News ServicesUpdated: 1:43 p.m. ET May 26, 2005BRISBAND, Australia - A doctor turned off a woman%u2019s life support ventilator in an Australian hospital because the director of surgery, dubbed 'Dr. Death,' wanted her bed to operate on another patient, an investigation finds."

The Joy of Tech!

"Never knew traveling with an iPOD could be profitable!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless: "Mad as Hell: I - Switching to Mac

This is my first rant written on a Mac. Ever.Maybe I should have done it a long time ago, but I never said I was smart; just obstinate.Here%u2019s the deal. %u201CI%u2019m Mad! And I%u2019m not going to take it anymore.%u201D Of course I am talking about the WinTel world. Before anyone in Redmond or Inteland freak out%u2026 well maybe you should. I have had it."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

U.S. Denies "Seismic Event" in Antarctica

WASHINGTON (AMP) - The Pentagon today dismissed Russian and U.N. Security Council charges that the United States military was behind the "seismic event" in Antarctica that may have caused a huge chunk of ice twice the size of Delaware to break off from the Ross Ice Shelf.

"Next thing you know they'll be saying we 'weaponized' that iceberg off Casey Station," quipped Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DeRita.

DeRita was referring to a Reuters report last week that an iceberg more than twice the size of Malta has ground to a halt near an Australian outpost on the frozen continent, blotting out much of the horizon.

Shark fins land HK Disney in soup

BBC NEWS: "Activists in Hong Kong are threatening to boycott entertainment giant Disney after it announced plans to serve shark's fin soup at a new theme park.
Hong Kong Disneyland, which opens in September, will serve the soup at wedding banquets and special events.
But campaigners say millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins, driving some species close to extinction.
Disney says it is simply being respectful to local culture.
It is traditional in Chinese society to offer the clear, glutinous broth on important occasions."

Two hurt in mock light sabre duel

BBC NEWS: "Two Star Wars fans are in a critical condition in hospital after apparently trying to make light sabres by filling fluorescent light tubes with petrol.
A man, aged 20, and a girl of 17 are believed to have been filming a mock duel when they poured fuel into two glass tubes and lit it.
The pair were rushed to hospital after one of the devices exploded in woodland at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Can You Catch Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

New York Times: "To suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, many patients say, is to ''know you are crazy.'' Other forms of psychosis may envelop the sufferers until they inhabit the delusion. Part of the torture of O.C.D. is, as patients describe it, watching as if from the outside as they act out their obsessions -- knowing that they are being irrational, but not being able to stop. They describe thoughts crowding their minds, nattering at them incessantly -- anxious thoughts, sexual thoughts, violent thoughts, sometimes all at the same time. Is the front door locked? Are there germs on my hands? Am I a murderer if I step on an ant? And they describe increasingly elaborate rituals to assuage those thoughts -- checking and rechecking door locks, washing and rewashing hands, walking carefully, slowly and in bizarre patterns to avoid stepping on anything. They feel driven to do things they know make no sense.
There are researchers who believe that some of this disturbing cacophony -- specifically a subset found only in children -- is caused by something familiar and common. They call it Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infection, or, because every disease needs an acronym, Pandas. And they are certain it is brought on by strep throat -- or more specifically, by the antibodies created to fight strep throat."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Powder mix-up fools sniffer dogs

BBC NEWS: "A team of Australian drug sniffer dogs has been sent back for retraining, after it was found they could only track talcum powder, not cocaine.
Melbourne police found that the white powder used to hone the dogs' nostrils was not in fact an illegal substance.
A probe is now under way to see whether any illicit drugs have gone missing.
'They're very good at detecting talcum powder,' joked Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans. 'If there's any missing kids, we'll find them fairly quickly.'"

US teacher marries boy she raped

A former US schoolteacher has married an ex-pupil 10 years after she raped him when he was just 12.

Karzai shock at US Afghan 'abuse'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded action from the US after new details emerged of alleged abuse of prisoners by US troops in Afghanistan

Vanishing lake baffles Russians

BBC NEWS: "Residents of a village in central Russia are trying to solve the mystery of a lake that disappeared overnight.
Russia's NTV channel showed a huge, muddy basin where the lake once was, in the village of Bolotnikovo.
'It looks like somebody has pulled the plug out of a gigantic bath,' said the TV's correspondent, next to a deep debris-filled hole.
Local officials in Nizhny Novgorod region say the lake was probably sucked into an underground cave. "

Friday, May 20, 2005

Eye doctors see red over spooky movie

Reuters.com: "NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian eye doctors have asked a court to ban a movie in which the heroine sees ghosts after a cornea transplant, saying it will scare off donors and patients. The All India Ophthalmological Society complained to Delhi's high court that the movie 'Naina' (Eyes), starring Bollywood bombshell Urmila Matondkar, would reinforce myths about cornea transplants, The Times of India said Friday. 'This movie could create a fear psychosis among cornea recipients and their relatives as well as among potential eye donors,' ophthalmologist Navin Sakhuja told Reuters."

Is a Salaryman Without a Suit Like Sushi Without the Rice?

New York Times: "TOKYO, May 19 - The fashion models who prowl the catwalks of Japan tend to be long-legged and slinky. But the latest style setter here has a leonine glare and the kind of commanding bark that makes junior executives sit up and take notice.
Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of Toyota Motor, Japan's largest company, is about to make his runway debut, promenading before the cameras for a new national campaign to cajole Japanese men to help the nation save energy by shedding their jackets and ties in summer.This blatant appeal to hierarchy comes as Japan - the world's second-largest oil importer, after the United States - charts a sartorial revolution intended to cut summer air-conditioning bills. The dark business suit, the beloved uniform for generations of salarymen, is supposed to stay at home this summer. All public and private offices - in a bid to save energy and reduce output of global warming gases - are to set their air-conditioners at 28 degrees centigrade, or a sweltering 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit."

U.S.: No billboards in space

CNN.com - U.S.: No billboards in space - May 20, 2005: "U.S.: No billboards in space

Friday, May 20, 2005 Posted: 1436 GMT (2236 HKT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. government does not want billboards in space.The Federal Aviation Administration proposed Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits 'obtrusive' advertising in zero gravity.'Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time,' the FAA said in a regulatory filing.Currently, the FAA lacks the authority to enforce the existing law.For instance, outsized billboards deployed by a space company into low Earth orbit could appear as large as the moon and be seen without a telescope, the FAA said. Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers.'Large advertisements could destroy the darkness of the night sky,' regulators "

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shy Smile. Mean Fastball.

New York Times: "As the only girl in her upstate Little League, 11-year-old Katie Brownell had already made her mark. An all-star since she was 9, Katie plays hardball better than almost any boy her age in Oakfield, Alabama, Elba and Pembroke, her home turf of farm towns between Rochester and Buffalo.
Katie Brownell, 11 years old and 5-foot-8, threw a perfect game on Saturday in Little League action in Oakfield, N.Y.
But nobody expected what happened on Saturday. Katie pitched a perfect game.'She's very bashful, but very talented,' said Jeff Sage, a Rochester firefighter and the manager of Katie's team, the Dodgers. Her pitching on Saturday mowed down the opposing Yankees in an 11-0 shutout before a stunned crowd of about 100 parents and friends in the bleachers of the Oakfield Town Park."

Reds have a sporting advantage

BBC NEWS: "Wearing red can give competitors in sporting contests the winning edge, British scientists have claimed.
A report in Nature by Durham University academics suggests donning red kit increases the probability of winning physical contests in a range of sports.
The researchers claim the effect could be down to a deep-seated evolutionary response that works subconsciously to put opponents on the back foot."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bush facing rare chance to shape U.S. Fed

Latest News and Financial Information | Reuters.com: "Bush facing rare chance to shape U.S. Fed
Wed May 18, 2005 04:56 PM ET

WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - A decision by Federal Reserve Governor Edward Gramlich to step down from his post in August underscores the rare degree to which President George W. Bush will have a hand in molding the U.S. central bank.
Bush has already named five of the seven members of the Fed's Washington-based board, although one of them, Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, was initially chosen by President Bill Clinton.
Only two members do not owe their seat to Bush: Gramlich, who said on Wednesday he will step down Aug. 31, well ahead of the expiration of his term in 2008, and Chairman Alan Greenspan.
But Greenspan's term expires Jan. 31, 2006, so every Fed board member will eventually carry Bush's stamp."

Pssst! Did you hear what this town did?

Reuters.com: "BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Bad-mouthing your neighbors can land you in jail in one Colombian town after the mayor banned gossip. Ignacio Jimenez, mayor of Icononzo, southwest of Bogota, told El Tiempo newspaper he decreed the ban because loose tongues can cost lives in Colombia, which is in the grips of a guerrilla war involving Marxist rebels and far-right paramilitary outlaws. Justifying his decree, the mayor said at least eight people were in the local prison accused 'purely by gossip' of being members of the outlawed, Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia."

Castro leads Cubans in `march against terrorism'

KRT Wire | 05/17/2005 | Castro leads Cubans in `march against terrorism': "Castro leads Cubans in `march against terrorism'


Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Busloads of Cubans from across the island packed Havana's most famous seaside highway Tuesday to participate in a 'march against terrorism' called by Fidel Castro in what analysts called his latest attempt to rally the masses.
This time, the cause centered on longtime enemy and Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted by the Cuban and Venezuelan governments for his alleged involvement in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger jet that killed 73 people."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Study: Kudzu helps curb binge drinking

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- The hardy, invasive kudzu vine, introduced to this country decades ago to control soil erosion, could have what it takes to curb binge drinking, new research suggests.

Kudzu, an ever-expanding plant considered a pest in much of the South, appears to contain a compound that can be effective in reducing alcohol intake among humans.

Researcher Scott Lukas did not have any trouble rounding up volunteers for his study, published in this month's issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Lukas' team at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital set up a makeshift "apartment" in a laboratory, complete with a television, reclining chair and a refrigerator stocked with beer.

Findings show that subjects who took kudzu drank an average of 1.8 beers per session, compared with the 3.5 beers consumed by those who took a placebo.

Lukas was not certain why but speculated that kudzu increases blood alcohol levels and speeds up its effects. More simply put, the subjects needed fewer beers to feel drunk.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Cook killed in sword attack at hospital

Reuters.com: "PARIS (Reuters) - A cook at a Paris children's hospital was killed in a sword attack Saturday evening by a man he met on the Internet, police sources said Sunday. The fatal attack took place inside the Necker hospital, after a disagreement between the 34 year-old victim, who has not yet been named, and his attacker. 'He stabbed him. The security team and one of his colleagues tried to intervene, but were unable to do anything,' Isabelle Lesage, director of the hospital, told Reuters. The attack was carried out with a short Japanese sword, known as a 'katana,' a police source said. 'The cook suffered one or more sword blows, particularly in the area of the carotid (artery), which caused a quick death,' a police spokesman said. A police source said the attacker, a male in his 50s, then went to a police station with the weapon, and told police he had just killed someone. Police said he had been examined by psychiatrists but appeared to be of sound mind."

Silent 'Piano Man' poses beach riddle

Reuters.com: "LONDON (Reuters) - A smartly dressed man found wandering in a soaking wet suit near an English beach has baffled police and care workers after he refused to say a word and then gave a virtuoso piano performance. The man, wearing a formal black suit and tie, was spotted by police in Kent on April 8 and taken to a psychiatric unit where it proved impossible to identify him because he stayed silent. It was only after he was given a pen and paper that care-givers were given an intriguing clue to his possible background when he drew an intricate picture of a grand piano. He was taken to the hospital's chapel where he played classical music on the piano for hours."

It's Worse than Cancer : Radar Online

It's Worse than Cancer : Radar Online: "Why, in God's name, would pro-abstinence conservatives be trying to block a vaccine that could wipe out HPV?
In June 2002, as the invasion of Iraq was looming, the Pentagon
suddenly found itself with an opportunity to take out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the well-known terrorist lurking in the northern part of the country. To the surprise of military officials, as the Wall Street Journal and NBC News later reported, the White House nixed the operation. Policy makers were
using Zarqawi's presence in Iraq as one of their rationales for going
to war, and getting rid of him in advance might have undermined their case.
Three years later, with Zarqawi leading a stubborn insurgency, that decision seems somewhat shortsighted. Today there's another war taking place: a war against sex. And the abstinence movement which advocates complete chastity until marriage and which is rapidly replacing sex education in America's schools with its own propaganda has just made a tactical decision very similar to the one
the White House did with Zarqawi. Only this time it's not a miscalculation. It's a coldly cynical strategy. And the deaths that result may dwarf the bloodshed in Iraq.
The terrorist in this case is human papillomavirus (HPV), an extremely common sexually transmitted disease that sometimes causes genital warts. Usually HPV is harmless, but a tiny fraction of strains can lead to cervical cancer, and that's bad. In fact, 93 percent of the women who develop cervical cancer which kills up to 4,000 a year in the U.S. and 250,000 around the world are infected with HPV.
Recently two major pharmaceutical companies announced that they are on the verge of perfecting HPV vaccines. Within a few years a single shot could wipe out 90 percent of all cervical cancers. The reaction from the abstinence movement was immediate. "It's
an outrage!" said Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. The influential Family Research Council has vowed to fight the approval of any HPV vaccine.
Why? Because the abstinence movement needs HPV out there to help
justify its war. HPV, you see, isn't blocked by latex, which means that as long as it's around, chastity pushers can argue that condoms are essentially worthless. Abstinence education literature puts more emphasis on HPV than on just about
any other STD, it's the bug that supposedly gives the lie to the
safe-sex approach of comprehensive sex education. It's not uncommon to hear claims, lies, that is, that HPV kills more people than HIV/AIDS."

Koran story brings new crisis for US journalism

BBC NEWS: "There is an episode in the best novel ever written about foreign correspondents, Scoop by Evelyn Waugh, in which a reporter arrives in a city and files a story about a civil war, including a touching phrase about a body lying in the street like a broken doll.
Unfortunately he was in the wrong country. No matter. His story had such a destabilising effect that there was a run on the currency, riots broke out and there was a civil war anyway. 'That's the power of the press for you,' was the comment of an admiring colleague.
Fiction, even Waugh's satirical fiction, is not that far from fact.
This past week, at least 17 people died in riots in Pakistan and Afghanistan after the US magazine Newsweek reported that an FBI investigation had found that a copy of the Koran had been desecrated by camp guards at Guantanamo. They had allegedly flushed it down a lavatory as a way of putting pressure on a detainee to talk."

Wired News: Super Water Kills Bugs Dead

Wired News: "A California company has figured out how to use two simple materials -- water and salt -- to create a solution that wipes out single-celled organisms, and which appears to speed healing of burns, wounds and diabetic ulcers.
The solution looks, smells and tastes like water, but carries an ion imbalance that makes short work of bacteria, viruses and even hard-to-kill spores."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Power of Nightmares: Baby It's Cold Outside

BBC NEWS: "In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.
The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.
In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.
It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media."

Woodward Calls Cheney a 'Serious' Dark Horse for 2008 Run for White House

Editor & Publisher: "NEW YORK A trial balloon for a Cheney for President run in 2008 is being launched by a surprising source, Washington Post star reporter (and White House insider) Bob Woodward.
Appearing on Chris Matthews' NBC talk show on Sunday, Woodward labeled Vice President Cheney %u201Ca serious dark horse candidate.%u201D He said that with 'a number of people' going for the GOP nomination, %u201Ca guy named George Bush might come out and say %u2018What about Dick?%u2019'
Woodward observed that 'there's a serious vacuum right now,' with Senators Frist, Brownback, and Allen leading the field, some say.
There may be a precedent for this. Cheney, who was put in charge of finding a suitable VP candidate in 2000, ended up getting the nod himself. "

Koran abuse report 'may be wrong'

BBC NEWS: "US magazine Newsweek says its report on the desecration of a Muslim holy book by US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay may have been mistaken.
The latest edition says its source is not sure where he saw the assertion that a Koran was flushed down a toilet in an attempt to pressurise detainees.
The original claims triggered outrage throughout the Muslim world.
Newsweek extended sympathy to victims of riots in Afghanistan, where at least 15 have died following the report.
Clerics there threatened holy war unless the US handed over the culprits. "
"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?"
Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita, quoted by Newsweek

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Security Council Suspects U.S. Behind

UNITED NATIONS (AMP) — The U.N. Security Council said Friday that Russia detected a "seismic event" eight weeks ago in the vicinity of an alleged American military base in Antarctica just hours before a huge chunk of ice twice the size of Delaware broke off from the Ross Ice Shelf. (Seismic Event Map)
The U.N. is trying to determine whether the U.S. carried out a nuclear test in violation of the international Antarctic Treaty. The treaty, which entered into force in 1961, establishes Antarctica as a zone of peace and bans all military activities, including the testing of weapons.

"The March 23 'event' had explosive characteristics," said a spokesman for the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry. "It was not a natural event, but we as yet cannot determine whether it was a nuclear test. We are still analyzing the data."

The U.S. has steadfastly denied the existence of a secret military base or weapons testing on the "peace continent" despite persistent accusations from the Russians and some environmental organizations. Nevertheless, Russian observers believe the American base to be located 300 miles east of their remote base at Vostok Station and 300 miles northwest of Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole. That would put the site inside the heart of the ancient continent's interior snow deserts — charted by air but never by foot.

"Like everybody else we're certainly concerned about global warming and the possible breakup of the ice pack at the South Pole," said a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Chiefs of Staff. "But unlike our Russian counterparts we have detected no seismic activity beneath the ice in Antarctica. And the idea that the U.S. or any country would intentionally generate seismic activity in the world's most fragile epicenter is quite frankly ludicrous."

The spokesman went on to suggest the Russian accusation was nothing more than diplomatic tit-for-tat. In 1997 Washington accused Moscow of carrying out its own nuclear test blast near its top-of-the-world base at Novaya Zemlya, located above the Arctic Circle. Moscow denied the charges.

The "seismic event" in Antarctica occurred on March 23. Hours later one of the largest chunks of ice on record — 183 miles by 22 miles — broke off the Ross Ice Shelf. According to the National Science Foundation, which coordinates American research at the South Pole, the iceberg has a surface area of about 4,247 square miles and is among the largest ever observed.

The iceberg could pose some danger if it eventually drifts into shipping lanes around the South Polar Region. But more alarming to scientists and environmentalists is what the recent breakup portends for the greater West Antarctica ice sheet. A collapse or meltdown could raise ocean levels by a cataclysmic 20 feet globally, putting most of Florida and Manhattan underwater and wiping out many of the world's coastal cities.

CNN.com - Police: Wendy's chili finger identified - May 13, 2005

CNN.com - Police: Wendy's chili finger identified - May 13, 2005: "SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- Police say the finger that a woman found in a bowl of chili came from an associate of her husband's who lost the digit in an industrial accident.'The jig is up. The puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place,' Police Chief Rob Davis said.He said authorities 'positively confirmed that this subject was in fact the source of the fingertip.' The man is from Nevada and lost a part of his finger in an accident last December, Davis said. His identity was traced through a lead made to a Wendy's hot line, he said.Davis said authorities 'positively confirmed that this subject was in fact the source of the fingertip.'"

Friday, May 13, 2005

John Bolton Suffers Setback In Bid to Become UN Ambassador

In a rare move, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sent the nomination of John Bolton as UN ambassador to the full Senate without an endorsement.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Afghans riot over Koran report, four killed

International News Article | Reuters.com:

Massive anti-American rally in Afganhistan resulted in four protesters being killed by police. They are mad because of reports of military flushing Korans down the toilet. Here is a snippet from a reuters article. Second page, where they finally tell how many people were actually there and what they were protesting about. "The United States is holding more than 500 prisoners from its war on terrorism at the Guantanamo naval base on Cuba. Many of them were detained in Afghanistan after U.S.-led troops drove the Taliban from power in late 2001.
The protest began on Tuesday when some 2,000 students marched to demand an apology and punishment for those involved in the reported incident. Many more turned out on Wednesday with ordinary residents also taking part, said a witness who estimated more than 5,000 were involved.
The protesters also denounced Karzai, destroying a portrait of him and shouting 'Death to America's allies' and 'Death to Karzai' as well as 'Death to Bush.'
'We don't want America, we don't want Karzai, we want Islam,' they shouted."
Oh yeah, here is our government's response:
"This is a serious allegation and it's going to be looked into," Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said in Washington."
Wow, if I had a dollar everytime they said this (and didn't actually follow through). I'd be so rich, I'd buy Reuters and actually follow through with the story, making sure the gov't did look into it. Wow. Imagine that....

12.3 million in forced labour

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | 12.3 million in forced labour: "12.3 million in forced labour

At least 12.3 million people are trapped in forced labour around the world, according to estimates in a report by the UN agency the International Labour Organisation."
Here's some scant coverage on a wholey disturbing finding. Good reporting: let's give vague statistics without naming anybody responsible. Oh yeah, and don't humanize the story at all by explaining the conditions of one of these workers. Keep it Simple, Stupid.

U.S. Capitol, White House emptied in plane scare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fighter jets scrambled over Washington and authorities hurriedly evacuated the White House and the U.S. Congress on Wednesday when an unidentified plane roamed into restricted airspace, sparking fears of a Sept. 11-style attack.

Read entire article

Free Crime Spree in Idaho!

A loophole in US law may allow people to get away with any major crime within a 50-square mile "zone of death" in eastern Idaho, according to a Michigan law professor.

$82 billion spending bill for wars heads to Bush

$82 billion spending bill for wars heads to Bush: "WASHINGTON -- Congress has approved an additional $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and to combat terrorism worldwide, boosting the cost of the global effort since 2001 to more than $300 billion.The Senate approved the measure Tuesday on a 100-0 vote. The House passed the measure last week. It now goes to President Bush for his certain signature.The president praised Congress for showing bipartisan support for U.S. troops and efforts to fight terrorism. 'This legislation will help America continue to promote freedom and democracy' in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said in a statement."

Everything about this fawning article makes me ill -from paragraph to paragraph.

CNN.com - Jesus Christ in legal�battle to get license - May 10, 2005

CNN.com - Jesus Christ in legal�battle to get license - May 10, 2005: "CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) -- Even Jesus Christ can't circumvent the rules for getting a driver's license in West Virginia.Attempts to prove his name really is Christ have led the man born as Peter Robert Phillips Jr. through a lengthy legal battle and a recent victory in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.'This all started with him expressing his faith and his respect and love for Jesus Christ,' attorney A.P. Pishevar told The Associated Press. 'Now he needs to document it for legal reasons.'Described by his attorney as a white-haired businessman in his mid-50s, Christ is moving to West Virginia to enjoy a slower lifestyle. He bought property near Lost River, about 100 miles west of Washington, and has a U.S. passport, Social Security card and Washington driver's license bearing the name Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Face of Tutankhamun reconstructed

BBC NEWS: "Scientists have carried out the first ever facial reconstructions of Egypt's most famous ancient king, Tutankhamun.
Three teams of forensic artists - French, Egyptian and American - built separate but similar models of the king's face using scans of his skull.
The French and Egyptians knew who they were recreating, but the Americans were not told where the skull came from.
The models of the boy king, who died 3,300 years ago, reveal a young man with plump cheeks and a round chin."

Arab-S America summit under way

BBC NEWS: "More than 30 heads of state and representatives from South America and the Arab world are attending the first summit between the regions in Brazil.
Brazil's president said he wanted developing nations to redraw the economic map by working together on global challenges such as trade talks.
Algeria's leader stressed the importance of political action, specifically to help the Palestinians.
Observers say the talks aims to build ties as a counterweight to the US."

Dead cat wins woman $45,000 award

BBC NEWS: "A US court has awarded $45,000 (�23,900) to a woman whose pet cat was mauled to death by a neighbour's dog.
Paula Roemer's cat, Yofi, died in February 2004 when Wallace Gray's dog broke through a fence and attacked it.
Mr Gray admitted negligence and animal control charges, and was told to pay $30,000 for the value of the cat and $15,000 in emotional compensation.
Ms Roemer has said she plans to donate her compensation to animal welfare charities. "

Los Gays Pueden Casarse

LA VANGUARDIA DIGITAL: "El Congreso dice s�a las bodas gaysTodos los grupos, salvo PP y Uni�respaldan la nueva leyLos obispos dicen que la ley es 'injusta' y 'perjudicial'El Congreso dio ayer luz verde, con los votos en contra del PP y de UDC, a la modificaci�n del C�digo Civil para permitir el matrimonio gay y las adopciones en pareja."

Gays, women react alike to scent

Gays, women react alike to scent - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 10, 2005: "Gays, women react alike to scent

The brains of homosexual men respond more like those of women when reacting to a chemical derived from the male sex hormone, according to new evidence of physical differences related to sexual orientation.

The finding, published in today's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows differences in physiological reaction to sex hormones."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Pizza delivers prison siege deal

BBC NEWS: "A two-day prison siege in Australia has ended after inmates agreed to exchange their hostage for a delivery of pizzas.
A group of 20 inmates at Risdon maximum security prison, in the Tasmanian capital Hobart, seized a guard and a number of other prisoners on Saturday.
'Our staff member was negotiated out with the delivery of 15 pizzas,' prisons director Graeme Barber said."

CNN.com - Witnesses: Dog cared for abandoned baby - May 9, 2005

CNN.com - Witnesses: Dog cared for abandoned baby - May 9, 2005: "NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A nursing dog foraging for food retrieved an abandoned baby girl in a forest in Kenya and carried the infant to its litter of puppies, witnesses said Monday.The stray dog carried the infant across a busy road and a barbed wire fence in a poor neighborhood near the Ngong Forests in the capital, Nairobi, Stephen Thoya told the independent Daily Nation newspaper.The dog apparently found the baby Friday in the plastic bag in which the infant had been abandoned, said Aggrey Mwalimu, owner of the compound where the animal is now living. It was unclear how the baby survived in the bag without suffocating.Doctors said the baby had been abandoned about two days before the dog discovered her. Medical workers later found maggots in the infant's umbilical cord, a product of days of neglect, Hannah Gakuo, the spokeswoman of the Kenyatta National Hospital, where the girl was taken for treatment, said Monday. No one has yet claimed the baby, she said."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Lifting the Lid: Pope tops list of earnings excuses

Reuters.com: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Corporate America delivered a smorgasbord of excuses for missing earnings and revenue forecasts in the first quarter -- everything from the stale, to the odd, to the downright gross. Among the more interesting: a leap year, a finger topped bowl of chili and the death of Pope John Paul II. Bad weather, good weather and higher oil and gas prices also took their usual places on the roster. 'I wish companies were as creative with coming out with new products as they are in explaining why their earnings are off,' said Nell Minow, editor of the Corporate Library, a Portland, Maine-based independent research firm specializing in corporate governance."

This Is Your Brain on Motherhood

New York Times Op-Ed: "ANYONE shopping for a Mother's Day card today might reasonably linger in the Sympathy section. We can't seem to stop mourning the state of modern motherhood. 'Madness' is our new metaphor. 'Desperate Housewives' are our new cultural icons. And a mother's brain, as commonly envisioned, is impaired by a supposed full-scale assault on sanity and smarts.
So strong is this last stereotype that when a satirical Web site posted a 'study' saying that parents lose an average of 20 I.Q. points on the birth of their first child, MSNBC broadcast it as if it were true. The danger of this perception is clearest for working mothers, who besides bearing children spend more time with them, or doing things for them, than fathers, according to a recent Department of Labor survey. In addition, the more visibly 'encumbered' we are, the more bias we attract: When volunteer groups were shown images of a woman doing various types of work, but in some cases wearing a pillow to make her look pregnant, most judged the 'pregnant' woman less competent. Even in liberal San Francisco, a hearing last month to consider a pregnant woman's bid to be named acting director of the Department of Building Inspection featured four speakers commenting on her condition, with one asking if the city truly meant to hire a 'pregnancy brain.'But what if just the opposite is true? What if parenting really isn't a zero-sum, children-take-all game? What if raising children is actually mentally enriching for mothers - and fathers?"

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Google down? Google hacked/not hacked!

Engadget - www.engadget.com : "Not normally something we'd cover, but damn, is Google down? Is such a thing even possible? Anyone know what's going
UPDATE: They're back! Seriously, anyone have any idea what happened?

UPDATE 2: GigaOm has a screengrab of
a site called SoGoSearch that Google.com was redirecting to for a little while there. Sounds like somebody got
themselves hacked!

UPDATE 3: Ok, to be fair, no one knows for sure that Google got hacked, this story is still
developing. But hacked or not, something pretty catastrophic must have happened for them to have a system-wide
outage like that. Sounds like there may have been some sort of Denial of Service attack, whether that was combined with
a redirect of some kind isn't entirely clear. We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE 4: Google is now saying it was a DNS issue. They haven't said what the source of the issue

Be sure to read the comments people were posting at the end of this article, they're hilarious.

The lenses that really will make Rooney see red

This is London: "He may already have a fiery temper, but Wayne Rooney could soon really start seeing red during Premiership matches.
Nike, which sponsors Rooney, along with other players including Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Ronaldo, is testing coloured contact lenses for top players. The firm says red, yellow and amber lenses can help them see the ball better, particularly in bright sunlight. Brian Roberts, of US basketball team Baltimore Orioles, who has tested the lenses, said: 'They're like wearing sunglasses without wearing sunglasses. I could see such a huge difference right away.'"

Chile court orders cat execution

BBC News: "A fugitive domestic cat suspected of carrying rabies must be killed, Chile's highest court has said."

Somebody worth remembering

Friday, May 06, 2005

Crooks and Liars: George Stephanopoulos Interviews Pat (talks to God) Robertson

Crooks and Liars

Wow. I have no comment but 'wow.' Please watch this.

note: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Filibuster at Princeton Sends Frist a Message

New York Times: "PRINCETON, May 5 - Bill Frist is one of Princeton University's best-known graduates - a physician, the Senate majority leader and a 14-year member of Princeton's board. Now, he has also become a target of protest at his alma mater. Since April 26, students have been conducting a round-the-clock filibuster to protest Dr. Frist's proposal to bar filibusters on judicial nominees. Students have read Dr. Seuss books, 'The Hobbit' and the phone book; acted out 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'; and read the filibuster scene from 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.' They have rattled off 3,500 digits of pi and read biographies of judicial nominees. 'People bring things to read that they're passionate about,' said Karen Wolfgang, an organizer and a Princeton junior from Portland, Ore., majoring in anthropology. 'It means something to them, and by extension to other people.' Not coincidentally, all of this is happening just outside the Frist Campus Center, which was financed by a $25 million gift from Dr. Frist and his family. Dr. Frist, class of 1974, is a Republican from Tennessee, and his son Harrison is a Princeton junior. On FilibusterFrist.com, students maintain a live Webcam, a daily blog, a schedule of special guests and tips for starting filibusters at other schools. Organizers have no plans to end the filibuster anytime soon."

Brrrr. Is it getting cold in here?


A combative Vladimir Putin tells Mike Wallace he should question his own country's democratic ways before looking for problems with Russia's.  The Russian president also says the U.S. shouldn't try to export its democracy, as it is trying to do in Iraq, in an exclusive interview to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday May 8 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Wallace gets quite a reaction from Putin by asking him about a recent change the Russian leader made.  Says Wallace, "There was a time when the regional governors were elected, correct? And all of the sudden, Putin says, 'No, no, no. I shall appoint the governors.' That's democracy? That's not democracy the way I understand it," says Wallace.  "The principle of appointing regional leaders is not a sign of a lack of democracy," Putin retorts. "You're absolutely wrong.  For instance, India is called the largest world democracy. But their governors have always been appointed by the central government and nobody disputes that India is not a democracy," says Putin.

The Russian leader then points to what he believes are drawbacks to America's own brand of democracy, including the Electoral College system.  "In the United States, you first elect the electors and then they vote for the presidential candidates. In Russia, the president is elected through the direct vote of the whole population. That might be even more democratic," Putin says.  "And you have other problems in your elections," he tells Wallace.  "Four years ago your presidential election was decided by the court. The judicial system was brought into it. But we're not going to poke our noses into your democratic system because that's up to the American people."

Putin also believes the U.S. democratic system does not travel well and that is precisely why he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning.  "Democracy cannot be exported to some other place. [Democracy] must be a product of internal domestic development in a society," says the Russian president.

But pulling out of Iraq is not an option, says Putin.  "But if the U.S. were to leave and abandon Iraq without establishing the grounds for a united and sovereign country, that would definitely be a second mistake," he tells Wallace.

Time Travelers to Meet in Not Too Distant Future

New York Times: "CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 5 - Suppose it is the future - maybe a thousand years from now. There is no static cling, diapers change themselves, and everyone who is anyone summers on Mars. What's more, it is possible to travel back in time, to any place, any era. Where would people go? Would they zoom to a 2005 Saturday night for chips and burgers in a college courtyard, eager to schmooze with computer science majors possessing way too many brain cells? Why not, say some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who have organized what they call the first convention for time travelers. Actually, they contend that theirs is the only time traveler convention the world needs, because people from the future can travel to it anytime they want."


"Can Freedom of the Press Survive Media Consolition? A conference featuring Artists, Journalists, Media Executives, Policy Makers, Activists, and Scholars."

I am dizzy with anticipation for this event.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Civil Rights Commission To Close 1/3 of Offices
The Bush administration has announced it will soon close one third of the regional offices run by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. The Commission currently has six regional offices -- the offices in Denver and Kansas City will soon be closed due to budget cutbacks.

Police Shot Phoenix Man Dead W/ Taser
And in Phoenix, a 24-year-old man died Tuesday after being shot by police with a Taser stun gun. The man was reportedly fighting with a police officer at the time of the incident. The Arizona Republic reports that at least 109 people have died in the United States and Canada following police Taser strikes since 1999.

Gore to receive Internet lifetime achievement award - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

Gore to receive Internet lifetime achievement award - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

The Scandal the U.S. wishes would just go away

Judge halts woman%u2019s trial over plea on jail abuse - World - Times Online: "Judge halts woman%u2019s trial over plea on jail abuse

A MILITARY judge threw out yesterday the guilty plea of Lynndie England, the most visible figure in the Abu Ghraib scandal, bringing her trial to an abrupt end.
Colonel James Pohl said he was not convinced that she knew her actions in the Baghdad jail were wrong at the time."
I would be interested to know what people thought of this.

More Uses For Macintosh Computers

:"Now that classes are winding down you might wonder what to do with your computers... "

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Freedom of What? Oh, That is Soo Liberal of You.

Arrest made at Coulter speech;
Student arrested, charged with disorderly conduct after offensive question

Incessant heckling and shouting culminated in an arrest Tuesday night during a speech by controversialist Ann Coulter at the University of Texas at Austin.

THE TEXAN reports: Shouts became so pervasive during the question-and-answer session that Coulter informed the organizers she would no longer take questions if the hecklers were not silenced. For a time, the shouts were considerably lessened, until the issue of gay marriage was broached.

Coulter said she supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman on the basis that a good woman civilizes and inspires a man to strive for something better, leading to a question that was met with a stunned silence.

'You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage,' said Ajai Raj, an English sophomore. 'How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but f*@k his wife up the ass?'

UT Police officers approached Raj to arrest him, resulting in a mass exodus of protesters chanting, 'Let him go.'

'The person had been disruptive the entire event,' said Matt Hardigree, former Student Events Center president. 'He took the opportunity to say something lewd and offensive and then made masturbatory gestures as he exited.'

Hardigree said that Cheryl Wood from the Office of the Dean of Students spoke with some of the protestors before the event, and assorted members of the Distinguished Speakers Committee asked them to sit in the back if they had signs and to leave quietly if they wanted to leave.

According to Jeffrey Stockerwell, a friend of Raj, officers violently seized Raj and illegally searched him after his question.

Police have charged Raj with disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor.

Representatives of the Austin People's Legal Collective were taking statements from everyone at the scene, in case it should be taken to court.

The booing began early into Coulter's speech, when she issued a joke to pro-choice advocates.

'I wonder why those 'I Heart Partial-Birth Abortion' T-shirts aren't selling better,' she said, followed by a combination of cheers and jeers.

One student asked Coulter why universities and institutions place microphones in front of Coulter when she advocates terrorism against liberals, prompting Coulter to mention the strength of her book sales. Coulter has had four New York Times best sellers.

The $30,000 event was co-sponsored by the Texas Union Student Events Center and Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship Committee.


Laura Bush: 1963, ran stop sign & killed boyfriend

"AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - At 17, Laura Bush ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing her boyfriend who was driving it, according to an accident report released to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Mrs. Bush is the wife of Republican presidential nominee-to-be George W. Bush (news - web sites), the Texas governor.
``It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large,'' said her spokesman, Andrew Malcolm. ``To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it.''
Mrs. Bush did say in March, when asked at a campaign stop about the crash, ``I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing ... for the family involved and for me as well.''
According to the two-page accident report released Wednesday by the city of Midland, Laura Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1963, when she drove into an intersection and struck a Corvair sedan driven by 17-year-old Michael Douglas."

This article is 5 years old. Why didn't I hear about this until now?

This is from another source
"News accounts from 1963 reported the young man as having been thrown from his car and dying of a broken neck; he was pronounced dead on arrival at Midland Memorial Hospital. According to various biographies of Mrs. Bush, the boy's father had been travelling in a car immediately behind his son's and witnessed the whole thing.
The two teen girls were taken to the same hospital and treated for minor injuries that amounted to bumps and bruises."
"Laura Welch and Michael Douglas had dated throughout early and mid-1963, but by the fall of that year Michael was going out with Regan Gammon, one of Miss Welch's closest friends."

Progress ?

He's been crying the blood of ten virgins, or something...

Only the Defence Ministry can ensure a clear sky

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov says he is sure the Air Force will repel any hostile clouds looking to rain on next week's Victory Day parade.

Russian pilots are past masters at seeding clouds to make rain fall away from major state events, and Mr Ivanov says they will repeat the feat for the Red Square party celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

The party is due to be attended by more than 50 world statesmen and Mr Ivanov says he will guarantee it will be held under a clear sky.

"Only the Defence Ministry can physically ensure a clear sky," he said in an interview with official daily Rossiskaya Gazeta to be published on Wednesday.

However, Russian meteorologists have suggested his pilots might be up against it, amid predictions of rain for the weekend and most of next week.

Boy finds snake in cereal box

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A British boy tucking into his breakfast had a nasty surprise when he discovered a 2-foot-long snake inside his packet of cereal.

Jordan Willett, 5, thought he had found a toy when the serpent -- a harmless corn snake -- slithered out of the packet of "Golden Puffs" his parents had bought from discount store Netto in Telford, central England.

"It was quite long and popped its head up. I've seen snakes on TV before but never in a box of cereal," he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

Netto said on Wednesday it was talking to its suppliers to review procedures and check on its stock.

"This does seem to be a bizarre incident but we are treating it seriously," said Netto trading director Clive Cooper.

Corn snakes, which feed on mice and birds, are commonly kept as pets around the world.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Few U.S. Adults Lead Healthy Lives

News: "NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A paltry number of Americans
follow four basic rules of health living -- don't smoke, eat
well, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight,
according to new study findings released Monday.
After surveying more than 150,000 adults, Michigan
researchers found that only three percent said they maintained
these healthy habits.
Lead author Dr. Mathew J. Reeves of Michigan State
University in East Lansing told Reuters Health he expected that
a minority of adults would keep up all habits, 'but three
percent was really quite surprising.'
He explained that there are probably a number of reasons
why the vast majority of Americans don't follow their doctors'
orders. People are busy, live in environments more conducive to
driving everywhere than walking or biking, and may lack
information about the dangers of unhealthy habits, Reeves

Washing machine fingers lazy male

"A Spanish designer has come up with what could be the perfect solution for the woman who feels frustrated that she has to do all the house chores.
It is a washing machine called "Your Turn", which will not let the same person use it twice in a row.
It uses fingerprint recognition technology to ensure the job of loading is not dumped on just one individual."

Ugly Children May Get Parental Short Shrift

"Parents would certainly deny it, but Canadian researchers have made a startling assertion: parents take better care of pretty children than they do ugly ones.
Researchers at the University of Alberta carefully observed how parents treated their children during trips to the supermarket. They found that physical attractiveness made a big difference.
The researchers noted if the parents belted their youngsters into the grocery cart seat, how often the parents' attention lapsed and the number of times the children were allowed to engage in potentially dangerous activities like standing up in the shopping cart. They also rated each child's physical attractiveness on a 10-point scale."

Brain damaged for 10 years, firefighter makes astounding recovery

ORCHARD PARK, New York (AP) -- Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up.

"I want to talk to my wife," Donald Herbert said out of the blue Saturday. Staff members of the nursing home where he has lived for more than seven years raced to get Linda Herbert on the telephone.

It was the first of many conversations the 44-year-old patient had with his wife, four sons and other family and friends during a 14-hour stretch, Herbert's uncle, Simon Manka said.

"How long have I been away?" Herbert asked.

"We told him almost 10 years," the uncle said. "He thought it was only three months."

Herbert was fighting a house fire December 29, 1995, when the roof collapsed, burying him under debris. After going without air for several minutes, Herbert was comatose for 2 1/2 months and has undergone therapy ever since.

7,000 Arrested in Capital War Protest; 150 Are Hurt as Clashes Disrupt Traffic

1971, May 3rd. My, how times have changed.

7,000 antiwar protesters were arrested yesterday morning after fighting running skirmishes with metropolitan police and Federal troops throughout large areas of the nation's capital.
About 150 were also injured in the six hours of disturbances as the protesters, demanding an immediate halt to the war in Vietnam, were thwarted in their plan to stop Government operations.

CNN.com - Customer finds employee's finger in frozen custard

CNN.com - Customer finds employee's finger in frozen custard - May 2, 2005: "WILMINGTON, North Carolina (AP) --
I'll just put it in my mouth and ... see what it is,' man said
A man who ordered a pint of frozen chocolate custard in a dessert shop got a nasty surprise inside -- a piece of severed finger lost by an employee in an accident.Unlike a recent incident at a Wendy's restaurant in California, no questions of truth have been raised about the finger served up to go at Kohl's Frozen Custard and found later at home by Clarence Stowers.Officials from the state departments of agriculture and labor went to the shop Monday, and the owner confirmed one of his employees lost part of a finger in an accident with a food-processing machine"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Florida girl has abortion blocked

"A pregnant 13-year-old girl in Florida has been told she cannot have an abortion because she lacks the maturity to make such a decision.
A state court granted an injunction which prevents the girl from terminating her pregnancy.
She is three months pregnant and had planned to have an abortion on Tuesday of this week.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it will launch an urgent appeal against the ruling."

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Conservatives Love 'South Park'

NY Times Op-Ed Column: "Conservatives can't stop whining about Hollywood, but the embarrassing reality is that they want to be hip, too. It's not easy. In the showbiz wrangling sweepstakes of 2004, liberals had Leonardo DiCaprio, the Dixie Chicks and the Boss. The right had Bo Derek, Pat Boone and Jessica Simpson, who, upon meeting the secretary of the interior, Gale Norton, congratulated her for doing 'a nice job decorating the White House.' Ms. Simpson may be the last performer in America who can make Whoopi Goldberg seem like the soul of wit. What to do? Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger's poll numbers have sunk, the right's latest effort to grab a piece of the showbiz action is a new and fast-selling book published by Regnery, home to the Swift Boat Veterans, and promoted in lock step by the right-wing media elite of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page and The New York Post. 'South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias,' by Brian C. Anderson of the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, gives a wet kiss to one of the funniest and most foul-mouthed series on television. The book has even been endorsed by the grim theologian Michael Novak, who presumably forgot to TiVo the 'South Park' episode that holds the record for the largest number of bleeped-out repetitions (162) of a single four-letter expletive in a single television half-hour. Then again, The Weekly Standard has informed us that William Bennett, egged on by his children, has given the show a tentative thumbs up."