3/29/2005

Netdisaster

Netdisaster

This is cute.

Witness to the Hunt

'The sealers were running across the ice, clubbing each baby seal once on the head�not to kill it, just to immobilize it. Then they would go back and club a seal once or twice on the head. They would begin to cut the animal open, and it would begin to struggle. The sealer would club it again, and start cutting again. Again the seal would start to struggle. It was horrific."

The New York Times > Technology > Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend

"'For this program to be viable, it has to be with free software,' said Sergio Amadeu, president of Brazil's National Institute of Information Technology, the agency that oversees the government's technology initiatives. 'We're not going to spend taxpayers' money on a program so that Microsoft can further consolidate its monopoly. It's the government's responsibility to ensure that there is competition, and that means giving alternative software platforms a chance to prosper.'"

3/28/2005

Nat Hentoff

"As to Michael Schiavo's credibility, he has long been living with another woman, with whom he's had two children. He has forbidden therapy or rehabilitation for Terri since 1991, or any further tests since 1993. Terri has never even had an MRI or PET scan, let alone a complete neurological examination."

It's probably too late, but read this anyway.

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: An Unexpected Softness

"Last week a dinosaur bone upset everyone's expectations in ways that may ripple outward for a long time.
Workers at a field site in Montana had broken the 70-million-year-old fossilized thighbone of a Tyrannosaurus rex in half for purely logistical reasons - huge bone, small helicopter. When scientists examined the bone fragments in the lab, they discovered something no one expected to find - unfossilized soft tissue, including blood vessels and the cells that line them. "

Bee killer imperils crops

"More than $15 billion in U.S. crops rides each year on the tiny legs of an insect.
The honeybee is the major carrier of pollen for seeded fruits and just about anything that grows on a vine. Everything, in other words, from apples to zucchini.

3/24/2005

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Internet Phone Service Creating Chatty Network

"JOHN PERRY BARLOW is pretty free and open, but he's no simpleton. So when he signed on to Skype, a free Internet phone service, and a woman identifying herself as Kitty messaged him, saying, 'I need a friend,' he was skeptical. He figured she was 'looking for 'friends' to come watch her 'relax' in her Webcam-equipped 'bedroom.' '
Nevertheless, he took the call. 'Will you talk to me?' she said. 'I want to practice my English.'
Kitty turned out to be Dzung Vu My, 22, a worker at an oil company in Hanoi, Vietnam. They spoke for a long time, exchanging text, photographs and Web addresses, and discussing everything from the state of Vietnam's economy to Ms. My's father's time in the army.
'One doesn't get random phone calls from Vietnam,' Mr. Barlow, 57, the former Grateful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy organization for an unfettered Internet, wrote on his blog. 'At least, one never could before.'"

'The clues were all there' / School shooter depicted as deeply disturbed, ignored teen

"He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise."

This article has a lot of info that hasn't come until now.

The Observer | International | The town that sold its children

"The town that sold its children.

France is in shock as 66 residents go on trial for gruesome paedophilia "

If this was a movie, no one would believe it.

3/23/2005

Word of the Day

"abecedarian

SYLLABICATION:a-be-ce-dar-i-an
NOUN:1. One who teaches or studies the alphabet. 2. One who is just learning; a beginner"

THIS is a cool word!

bunny rap

bunny rap

Never Piss Off a Nurse

A big shot attorney had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his staff. None of the hospital staff wanted to have anything to do with him.

The head nurse was the only one who could stand up to him. She came into his room and announced, "I have to take your temperature." After complaining for several minutes, he finally settled down, crossed his arms and opened his
mouth.

"No, I'm sorry," the nurse stated, "but for this reading, I can't use an oral thermometer." This started another round of complaining, but eventually he rolled over and bared his behind. After feeling the nurse insert the thermometer, he heard her announce, "I have to get something. Now you stay JUST LIKE THAT until I get back!"

She left the door to his room open on her way out. He cursed under his breath as he heard people walking past his door, laughing.

After a half hour, the man's doctor came into the room.

"What's going on here?" asked the doctor.

Angrily, the man answered, "What's the matter, Doc? Haven't you ever seen someone having their temperature taken?" After a pause, the doctor confessed, "Not with a carnation."

Real 911 Calls

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.
Dispatcher: Do you have an address?
Caller: No, I'm wearing a blouse and slacks, why?

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich.
Dispatcher: Excuse me?
Caller: I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher: Was anything else taken?
Caller: No, but this has happened to me before and I'm sick and tired of it

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 Fire or emergency?
Caller: Fire, I guess.
Dispatcher: How can I help you sir?!
Caller: I was wondering.....does the Fire Dept. put snow chains on their trucks?
Dispatcher: Yes sir, do you have an emergency?
Caller: Well, I've spent the last 4 hours trying to put these chains on my tires and... well.. do you think the Fire Dept. could come over and help me?
Dispatcher: Help you what?
Caller: Help me get these chains on my car!!

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I'm trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn't have an eleven on it.
Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one
Dispatcher: Yes, ma'am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What's the nature of your emergency?
Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!
Dispatcher: Is this her first child?
Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!

And the winner is..........

Dispatcher: 9-1-1
Caller: Yeah, I'm having trouble breathing. I'm all out of breath. Darn....I think I'm going to pass out.
Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?
Caller: I'm at a pay phone. North and Foster. Damn......
Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?
Caller: No
Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing?
Caller: Running from the Police.

3/22/2005

ABC News: 'Naked Chef' Puts Junk Food High on UK Election Menu

"Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's high-profile campaign against 'junk food' has put school lunches on the election menu in Britain, where obesity rates are growing faster than anywhere in the developed world."

Yahoo! News - Clear Channel Told to Pay Rival Promoter

"They ordered Clear Channel to pay $17 million in lost profits and $73 million in punitive damages. "
Yay! Death to Clear Channel!

Wish List

Things I Would Like To Receive:

1. Those "beautiful photos" PowerPoint presentations that people are always emailing me - I'd like to get one someday that doesn't include any gratuitous patriotic and/or religious photos. Just show me the lightning, the majestic mountains, and the cute little duckies, and leave the "Angel in the Clouds" photo out, please. I also don't need to see the photo of that rotting tree stump that good old Earl in Sawtooth, Oklahoma has painted the American flag on, either. But if you've got any cute kitty pictures, send 'em on!

Thomas Sowell

"A New York Times headline on March 20th tried to assure us: 'Experts Say Ending Feeding Can Lead to a Gentle Death' but you can find experts to say anything. In a December 2, 2002 story in the same New York Times, people starving in India were reported as dying, 'often clutching pained stomachs.'

No murderer would be allowed to be killed this way, which would almost certainly be declared 'cruel and unusual punishment,' in violation of the Constitution, by virtually any court.

Terri Schiavo's only crime is that she has become an inconvenience - and is caught in the merciless machinery of the law. Those who think law is the answer to our problems need to face the reality that law is a crude and blunt instrument. "

"She is not like someone whose breathing, blood circulation, kidney function, or other vital work of the body is being performed by machines. What she is getting by machine is what all of us get otherwise every day — food and water. Depriving any of us of food and water would kill us just as surely, and just as agonizingly, as it is killing Terri Schiavo."

No return, No deposit

"Across the fruited plain, a circus of yellow-and-blue blazonry proclaims this monument of momentous manumission: THE END OF LATE FEES."

Cute, and probably true.

Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation

"MYTH: Michael Schiavo volunteered to donate the balance of the inheritance to charity.
FACT: In October, 1998, Schiavo's attorney proposed that, if Terri's parents would agree to her death by starvation, Schiavo would donate his inheritance to charity. The proposal came after a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem cited Schiavo's conflict of interest since he stood to inherit the balance of Terri's medical fund upon her death. This one and only offer stated "if the proposal is not fully accepted within 10 days, it shall automatically be withdrawn". Naturally, Terri's parents immediately rejected the offer"

If you're following this case at all, you need to see this page. Click on "Myths about Terri".

What about Terri's right to live?

"Because she didn't have a written health-care directive, Terri's being allowed to die is based on an uncorroborated oral statement she allegedly made to her husband's sister that she would not want to be kept alive under similar circumstances.

Even though this uncorroborated statement is inconsistent with the prior sworn testimony of her husband when he went to court seeking money in a malpractice case to pay for her rehabilitation (which was never provided), Florida Circuit Judge George Greer has ordered termination of Terri's feeding and hydration, regardless that she's neither terminally ill nor in a coma."

See, I knew I didn't trust the husband. Didn't I read last year that he has fiance waiting in the wings, but if he divorces Terri, he loses any rights to the settlement? Something like that. I'll look for the website.

WZZM13.com - NEWS ARTICLETuesday, March 22, 2005

More on the previous story:

"The police report says she was out of control; she was responsible for numerous items thrown on the floors and broken; victims were kicked numerous times in the shins. However, the suspect is a 5 year old kindergarten student at Fairmount Elementary."

But this is not the first time this has happened:
http://www.wsws.org/news/1998/feb1998/5yrfel.shtml

Weekly Review (Harpers.org)

"and police in Florida arrested a five-year-old girl at her kindergarten, binding her hands with plastic ties and placing handcuffs around her ankles. The girl, who weighs forty pounds, was upset about some jelly beans. "They set my baby up," said her mother.[AP][Top]"

I'd really like to find more on this story.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Masters of Sleaze

"Only a genius like Abramoff could make money lobbying against an Indian tribe's casino and then turn around and make money defending that tribe against himself. Only a giant like Abramoff would have the guts to use one tribe's casino money to finance a Focus on the Family crusade against gambling in order to shut down a rival tribe's casino."

The New York Times > Health > Health Care Policy > Cases Without Borders: Battling Insects, Parasites and Politics

"The reason for all the excitement, one public health doctor after another trooping into her mud-walled room to have a look, was that Patience Solomon had correctly hung her new royal blue mosquito net over the bed she shared with her 2-year-old son, James. "


Along about the beginning of the second page, this gets pretty interesting.

Department of the Unintentionally Funny

Take this FREE personality test and then send it back to the Church of Scientology, and they'll evaluate you! All for FREE! What a deal!

This thing is amazingly transparent in the way it plays on people's self doubts, but you know that lots and lots of people would just fall right into it.

Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International

"L. Ron Hubbard recognized the importance of the artist to society. Thus he created Celebrity Centre International - a Church of Scientology that specializes in delivering Dianetics and Scientology services to celebrities, professionals, leaders and promising new-comers in the fields of the arts, sports, management and government.

He realized that real celebrities deserve the best in service and care, for those are the people who are sculpting the present into the future."

Flattery will get you everywhere - it sure has worked for the Church of Scientology.

Newsday.com - National News

"WASHINGTON -- As Texas governor, George W. Bush signed a law that allows hospitals to pull the plug on critically ill patients despite family objections - the kind of court-authorized move the president and fellow Republicans are challenging in the Terri Schiavo case."

Broadcasting & Cable: The Business of Television

"It's been a while since Saturday Night Live regularly inspired an "I can't believe they did that!" reaction in viewers, but the March 12 show came pretty close. "

3/21/2005

HoustonChronicle.com - Life support may be cut based on pay, prognosis

"A patient's inability to pay for medical care combined with a prognosis that renders further care futile are two reasons a hospital might suggest cutting off life support, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital said Monday. "

Hullabaloo

Hullabaloo: "By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.

Those of us who read liberal blogs are also aware that Republicans have voted en masse to pull the plug (no pun intended) on medicaid funding that pays for the kind of care that someone like Terry Schiavo and many others who are not so severely brain damaged need all across this country.

Those of us who read liberal blogs also understand that that the tort reform that is being contemplated by the Republican congress would preclude malpractice claims like that which has paid for Terry Schiavo's care thus far. "

Long, but worthwhile.

WSJ.com - Rock's Oldest Joke: Yelling 'Freebird!' In a Crowded Theater

"Yelling 'Freebird!' In a Crowded Theater"

The Nattering Nabob

The Right Wing, clueless as ever.

TocciOnline presents I Never Copped a Feel - powered by Kizash

Michael Jackson is facing charges... again. Hear Jacko proclaim his innocence in this parody of "The Way You Make Me Feel".

ABC News: The Mystery of Hogzilla Solved

"Chris Griffin, a hunting guide, was out in the woods one day when he says he couldn't believe his eyes - an animal resembling a hog that was 12 feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds. "

So he killed it, took a picture, and then buried it. Just some good, clean, redneck killin' fun.

The Music Goes on Side A and the Flip Side Is a DVD

Wanna know why pop/rock music SUCKS so bad right now? Read below:

"They would also like to add some convenience. When Andrew Lack started as the head of Sony Music, now Sony BMG Music Entertainment, in January 2003, he would bring home stacks of CD's and DVD's every night to become more familiar with the company's artists. New to the music business - he had come from NBC, where he had been president of the network - Mr. Lack was struck by how inconvenient it was to switch between the two formats."

Now read it again: "Andrew Lack...head of Sony Music...New to the music business..."
The guy they put in charge of their entire music division has never worked in music before! What are they going to tell us next, that he's tone deaf? Aaaarrrggghh!
Anyway, that explains Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez.
What I don’t get is why these idiots don’t understand that a good part of the reason that people download illegally is because they’re sick and tired of paying 15 bucks for a CD and then there’s only one good song on the whole disc.

3/18/2005

New Scientist 13 things that do not make sense - Features

"13 things that do not make sense"

HSUS Protect Seals

"The 2005 Seal Hunt: We're There to Stop It
The largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals on the planet will begin in late March. By the end of this year's hunt, more than 300,000 baby seals will have been brutally killed-many, incredibly, as young as 12 days old. The Humane Society of the United States will be on the front lines in Canada, reporting and videotaping events as they unfold and fighting to halt this atrocity. Stand with us today and stop the seal hunt forever."

Sign the pledge...

ABC News: Lawmaker Seeks to End Sexy Cheerleading

This was already an odd story, and then came this enlightened observation...

"I don't think this law would really shake the industry at all. In fact, it would give parents a better feeling, mostly dads and boyfriends, too,' Farias said. "

So it's not about teaching young women self respect, it's about men assserting their rights over their property. Sigh...

3/17/2005

NBC10.com - News - Couple Sells Candles That Smell Like Jesus

Well, we knew Americans would buy ANYTHING no matter how ridiculous when they put Reagan in the White House, but here's the next level of stupidity...

"A South Dakota couple makes and markets candles they say smell like Jesus."


"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. " - Henry Louis Mencken

Clarence Page

"Jon Stewart's satirical 'The Daily Show' on Comedy Central likes to call itself 'No. 1 in fake news.' Team Bush seems determined to challenge the show for the title-with our tax dollars. "

What not to buy.

"Consumer guide and brand list for the top 25 Republican Party donors with consumer brands"

Notice the number of pharmaceutical companies on the list. See, they're right - Drugs Do Kill!

ODDSTUFF -

"A blow-up sex doll has sparked a bomb alert in a German post office after it started to vibrate inside a package awaiting delivery, police say. "

Kathleen Parker

This is really, really scary. With all that's been coming out lately about news organizations presenting White House political commercials to us as straight news stories, now we find out that 32% of high school kids think the press has too much freedom. How can you have too much freedom?!?

This all ties in with my theory that the bulk of Americans are too uninterested/too stupd to try to understand the world. And like most animals, they're scared of what they don't understand, and they want Big Daddy to tell them what to do. Big Daddy has multiple forms, one of them being God, as represented to them by the ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christian Right, and the other is the Daddy whose family and friends bought him the White House for a second term.

Five year olds want to run to Daddy to make everything all right. Adults should be able to take care of themselves. How about we have a new eligibility requirement for voting in this country - In order to be considered mature enough to vote, you have to be dropped by helicopter all by yourself into the outskirts of a city you've never been to before, with no information at all and only $20 in your wallet, and your challenges are to find a public bathroom; feed yourself; find a place to sleep for the night; and find city hall to register to vote. No cell phones allowed. If you can do all that without falling apart or calling for help, then you're allowed to vote. Oh, and you should also, in separate events, have to rewire a lamp and assemble some IKEA furniture. All without calling daddy.

Anyway, here's an excerpt, this is terrifying:


"In a recent study, the largest ever of its kind, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation attempted to measure high school students' understanding of the First Amendment and the free press. Among the more depressing results:

More than a third (35%) said the First Amendment goes 'too far' in the rights it guarantees.

Close to a third (32%) think the press has too much freedom.

Only half of students surveyed (51%) said newspapers should be allowed to publish stories without prior government approval.


Loosely extrapolating, we might conclude that close to half of America's teens would be just as happy living in North Korea, Cuba, Iran or some other totalitarian state. No, they didn't say so outright and probably would be aghast at the suggestion. 'Dude, are you crazy? Give up MTV?'

Rochelle Riley

"So for those who think being black means letting the public schools die while throwing darts at those who would help, who think being black means letting the city perish before accepting help from someone white, for those who want to take Dave Bing's membership card in the black race, then take mine, too. "

Not black enough, not female enough...there seems to be a theme this week.

Writing women into a corner

"These thoughts arose, in other words, out of work I've done as a journalist and columnist for nearly 20 years. But in the past 96 hours I've discovered that I am not just an ordinary journalist or an ordinary columnist. No. I am a token."

3/16/2005

The New York Times > Washington > Bush to Permit Trading of Credits to Limit Mercury

"The Bush administration this week will propose the first federal controls on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The new rule will abandon the Environmental Protection Agency's original tilt toward a remedy favored by most environmental groups in favor of a system of tradable pollution allowances that is more congenial to industry."

No real surprise here.

Apple - Trailers - Wallace And Gromit

Happy Dance, Happy Dance!

Got Stress? This is guaranteed to take your mind off of it for a while!

"The strange case of the homosexual necrophiliac duck pushed out the boundaries of knowledge in a rather improbable way when it was recorded by Dutch researcher Kees Moeliker. "

And Now, the Counterfeit News

"The Bush administration has come under a lot of criticism for its attempts to fob off government propaganda as genuine news reports. Whether federal agencies are purchasing the services of supposedly independent columnists or making videos extolling White House initiatives and then disguising them as TV news reports, that's wrong. But it is time to acknowledge that the nation's news organizations have played a large and unappetizing role in deceiving the public."

The New York Times > National > Case Stirs Fight on Jews, Juries and Execution

"The convictions of dozens of death-row inmates in California are coming under legal scrutiny because of accusations that Jews and black women were excluded from juries in capital trials in Alameda County as 'standard practice.'"

3/15/2005

The Nattering Nabob

The Nattering Nabob: "House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has dismissed questions about his ethics as partisan attacks, but revelations last week about his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists under investigation have emboldened Democrats and provoked worry among Republicans. "

For those keeping score, this make 14,536 scandals and/or scandalous remarks that DeLay has gotten away with. Remember our motto: "If it's incredibly stupid, you can bet Tom DeLay is involved!" (You can also bet that he'll get re-elected anyway, 'cause this is Texas, and we LIKE 'em big and stupid! Well, stupid, anyway. See our alleged President/former Texas Governer for additional example.)

The Nattering Nabob

"Simply put: a contractor for the Iraqi Government (Dale Stoffel) was forced to work through a middleman (Raymond Zayna) by an Iraqi Defense Minister (Mashal Sarraf). And he wound up believing, with good reason, that this middleman was routing kickbacks to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, which organization, of course, included the Defense Minister who placed him in the job in the first place."

Via Iggy, at the Nattering Nabob. You should read this one.


ABC News: New York High-Rise Hawks Have Egg in Nest

"New York's high-rise hawks are expecting an addition to the family.
Pale Male and his mate, Lola, who live on the ledge of a Fifth Avenue apartment building overlooking Central Park, have at least one egg in their nest, according to the Pale Male.com Web site run by Lincoln Karim, a video engineer with Associated Press Television News who devotes most of his spare time to monitoring the birds. "

For more info:

ABC News: Wyo. May Ban Facial Piercings in Eateries

Ick.

"As if the hair in your salad wasn't bad enough, a city health inspector said there had been 'several cases' of tongue rings and other facial jewelry found in the food in the city's restaurants."

3/14/2005

Aljazeera.Net - Spanish Muslims issue Bin Ladin fatwa

"Spain's leading Islamic body has issued a religious order declaring Usama bin Ladin to have forsaken Islam by backing attacks such as the Madrid train bombings a year ago. "

Life in 2005

Email from my Dad. You should probably know that they live in a part of New Mexico near the Rio Grande, where being stopped by the Border Patrol is not that extraordinary in and of itself. You also need to know that he was returning from a medical checkup.

Let's see -- how to relate the circumstances . . .

Okay -- the procedure went fine -- got to hospital early enough that I was first check-in -- the techs were really nice, the testing went like oil on glass, got through much earlier than we thought, I'll get called with the results, they even gave me 2 free meal cards, so we ate breakfast gratis at the hospital cafeteria. OK. So far so good.

Then came the trip home . . . .

All is routine until we get to the Border Patrol checkpoint by the White Sands National Monument. Roll up to where the BP guy stands, and where we usually get a "Hi" and a friendly wave-through.

Not today.

The Border Patrolman has a thing in a leather case on his belt - about the size of a personal tape recorder - holding it sorta towards the car, and he's cupping his hand over the top and squinting down at it [the sun was pretty bright]. He leans over and says "Sir, have you had any kind of medical procedure recently?".

Politely I answer: "Yes. As a matter of fact I'm just coming from the hospital in 'Cruces -- had a stress test."
"Did it involve any radioactive material?"

"Yes it did."

"Sir, please pull your car over there so we can check it out. We have to check for radiation, and we're getting a reading from you."

Done & done. We get out of the car, and one of the BP's, holding a clipboard with a form on it, goes over the car with the leedle device.

Then he came over to me, and showed me the gadget -- small window for the readout on the top-- has a little red number in the window. I don't know how high the scale goes, but they got a "2" reading on the car.

I, however, had a "9".

Then another BP person brought out a different tool -- looked almost like one of the old Geiger counters - just a little bit smaller, and bright yellow and grey. "This will tell us what material was used."

He aimed it at me and pushed the button. "Hm!" Backed up a cuppla feet, did it again -- "Hm!" Backed up again -- did it again, "Hm!" again. Finally he's about 12 feet away and says "Got it! MedTech 99." They duly write this down on their separate forms.

They were all very polite, friendly, apologetic -- kept saying it's the new rules, they have to do it, etc.

But.

Sad world we're living in, isn't it.

And most likely the car now has a "record". I'll know for sure next time we go through a Border Patrol checkpoint.

quiddity.

quiddity. The American Heritage-Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.: "quiddity

SYLLABICATION:quid-di-ty
1. The real nature of a thing; the essence. 2. A hairsplitting distinction; a quibble.
ETYMOLOGY:Medieval Latin quiddits, from Latin quid, what. See kwo- in Appendix I. "

3/11/2005

estivate

I like the second definition.

estivate

I like the second definition.

3/10/2005

ABC News: Medieval Plague May Explain Resistance to HIV

"The persistent epidemics of hemorrhagic fever that struck Europe during the Middle Ages provided the selection pressures that have made 10 percent of Europeans resistant to HIV infection, according to a UK study"

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > A New Techie Mantra: Start Up, Then Sign On

"Melvin Benzaquen, a New York car restorer, and Thom Greenwald, a musician and computer engineer, have begun installing Apple's new compact desktop computer, the Mac Mini, in cars, including a souped-up 450-horsepower 1969 Nova SS muscle car and a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. "

Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam - Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

"Welcome to the Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam - Washington State, USA"

Jesus is a Liberal

Having all kinds of problems with the software today. The picture below is from
The Nattering Nabob.

3/09/2005

Adoption

"Base policy on parental fitness, not marital status "

Michigan man shot when cat knocks gun onto floor

"An Upper Peninsula man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said"

Guns don't kill people, cats do.

Mother, grandmother charged in diaper rash death of 15-month-old boy

Mother, grandmother charged in diaper rash death of 15-month-old boy: "JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - The mother and grandmother of a toddler who died in December face criminal charges for allegedly neglecting his severe diaper rash, leading to a fatal infection."

ThisisLondon

"Ozzy's regret over reality life "

This is a whole lot more interesting than you might expect.

Make Poverty History

"Since 22.4% of America's children live in poverty it is something that we should all be alarmed about. Visit the website, spread the word. There is no reason that we still allow poverty to exist."

Via "Political Moose", a site that always has something interesting.

Rocky road for car 'black boxes'

"Various estimates show that 15 percent of the 270 million cars on the road in the United States today contain some type of data-recording device. Roughly 65 percent of the 16.7 million new cars sold in the United States during 2004 were equipped with them, said Kevin Mixer, an analyst with Boston-based market research company AMR Research. "

Andy Borowitz

"Longtime Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan stunned the worlds of finance and pop music today by announcing that he would leave his post 'effective immediately' to become lead singer of the Irish rock band U2. "

Buying cheaper cigarettes online means huge tax bills later

"The one-page greeting from the Michigan Department of Treasury came out of the mailbox, but to Julia Sidebottom it may as well have come from the moon. Tucked amid the legalese was the line that said her boyfriend owed the state $4,797.87 in unpaid cigarette taxes."

I'm trying to feel sorry for these smokers, really I am. I guess it does seem unfair...sorta like how it's unfair for them to smoke in public and pollute the air that I have to breathe...

The New York Times > Arts > Music > The Definition of 'Phat': Big Band With Young Fans

The Definition of 'Phat': Big Band With Young Fans

The Nattering Nabob

Found on "The Nattering Nabob": "Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its condition is improving every day.

Any reports of its lack of incandescence are illusional spin from the liberal media. Illuminating rooms is hard work.

That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort.

Why do you hate freedom?"

Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com

"A man given six months to live by his doctors has been told by an Italian court to come back in 14 months to hear the outcome of his demand for insurance damages."

3/08/2005

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: If Only They Kept Diaries: Roadrunner.

"If Only They Kept Diaries: Roadrunner."

This is absolutely hysterical. Or maybe I'm having a "low humor threshold" day. But wait, here's a sample:

"Monday

Up early. Ran like hell. No sign of coyote. Ate. Fidgeted. Ran like hell."



Disturbing Trends: 05_03

A blog worth checking out.

Demand a Senate Filibuster of the Bankruptcy Slavery Bill | Democrats.com Blog

Demand a Senate Filibuster of the Bankruptcy Slavery Bill

This only takes a couple of minutes.

STUFF : ODDSTUFF - STORY : New Zealand's leading news and information website

"Renovations uncover century-old murder confession "

Daily Kos :: This Week in Fascism 03-06-05 [Major Announcement]

" I am preparing a clearinghouse of information designed to give others both inside and outside the internet a way to bring the issue of American fascism to the public in a sensible way."

A whole lot of heavy reading that will probably have you packing your bags to move to Canada. Bookmark it for when you have a few hours to kill.

The New York Times > New York Region > As Clinton Wins G.O.P. Friends, Her Rivals' Task Toughens

"The intimate gathering at a private home in Corning, N.Y., was pretty typical for an upstate fund-raiser featuring Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: dozens of donors clustered in the terrace, listening to her speak, as they sipped wine and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres.
But one thing made the event unusual: The host was a prominent Republican businessman whose brother Amo Houghton was the popular nine-term Republican congressman from the area who, it turns out, gives Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat, an 'A-plus' for the job she is doing."

ABC News: Kirstie Alley Is Large and in Charge on New Show

"'I mean, look, John Goodman's got his own show. And Jason Alexander looks like a freakin' bowling ball. And how about James Gandolfino [sic]? He's like the size of a whale. He's way, way, way fatter than I am!' "

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"...it is neither in the United States' strategic, national security nor economic interests for this country and other industrialized nations to continue relying upon imported oil from those who wish to do us harm. "

ABC News: Experimental Diet Pill Keeping Pounds Off

ABC News: Experimental Diet Pill Keeping Pounds Off: "The drug, rimonabant, which the French company Sanofi-Aventis hopes to sell under the brand name Acomplia, trimmed nearly 16 pounds on average from people taking the optimal dose for two years, compared with 5.5 pounds for those who took dummy pills, doctors reported Tuesday at a cardiology conference. "

ABC News: Japanese Siblings Live With Dead Parent

"Police on Tuesday questioned three siblings after it was discovered they had been living with the decomposed corpse of their father for nearly a decade, an official said.

Kanaoka's three elderly children, all in their 70s or older, told police they thought their father was still alive but that one of them recently had consulted a relative about the possibility that he might be dead, the spokesman said."

Editorial: Standing Up to the Credit Card Industry

"After crudely rejecting proposals to protect elderly, sick and low-income Americans, the Senate is ready to approve a regressive overhaul of the personal bankruptcy law that buys into the banking and credit card industries' scheme to further squeeze the consumers caught in spiraling debt. The Republican leadership, fiercely defeating attempts at balance for the more debt-stricken consumers, is pushing toward final votes this week.
The last stand for opponents will probably be a proposed amendment to prevent anti-abortion zealots and others convicted of violent protests from declaring personal bankruptcy as a ploy to avoid paying court-ordered fines. The senators have already rejected many worthy amendments in their effort to move the bill untouched to the House, where Republicans are no less eager to do the credit industry's bidding. But we hope that this one, sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer of New York, stirs some controversy."

The New York Times > Arts > Television > Savage Crafters, Start Your Glue Guns!

"The world of crafts tends to bring to mind genteel images, like quilting bees, decoupage lampshades and the pre-prison aura of Martha Stewart.

It does not usually evoke chain-link cages, spotlights, rabid fans and a deafening announcer shouting things like 'Step away from the glue gun!' and 'Shut the craft up!'

But crafting and grudge-match pro wrestling may end up more closely entwined in the public imagination after tomorrow night, when the Style Network introduces 'Craft Corner Deathmatch,' an unconventional game show in which two amateur crafters go head to head in timed trials, trying to make the best pillow out of old couch fabric or a brooch using only candy."

I love it! Where do I sign up?

3/07/2005

Credit Card Firms Won as Users Lost

"The proposed law, by preventing many debtors from seeking bankruptcy protection, would compel financially insolvent borrowers to continue trying to pay off the old debts almost indefinitely."

Eat the Rich

"Translation of Slang"

Pretty funny sometimes.

Labor Blog

"The upshot: while 1.2 million workers could qualify for a minimum wage increase, another 6.8 million workers, who work in companies with revenues between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year, would lose their current minimum wage protection.

And an even larger number of businesses, those with revenues under $7 million, would be exempt from fines under a range of other safety, health, pension and other labor laws. Essentially, the realm of unregulated sweatshops would be expanded and legalized under Santorum's bill.

Killing Overtime: It gets worse-- the 40-hour work week would be abolished and companies would not have to pay overtime if they cut hours the next week. The proposal is called 'flex time', but workers would have no say in the matter. Their hours could be rearranged, upsetting child care and other weekly routines, and companies would no longer have the deterrent of having to pay overtime as a way to encourage giving workers a regular weekly schedule."

BBC NEWS | Africa | Niger cancels 'free-slave' event

"The government of Niger has cancelled at the last minute a special ceremony during which at least 7,000 slaves were to be granted their freedom. "

The coming crackdown on blogging | Newsmakers | CNET News.com

"Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over. "

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

"The Bankruptcy Bill, Examined"

Take your blood pressure medicine before reading.

ABC News: Smelly Readers Banned From Calif. Library

My guess is this has to do with keeping homeless people out of one of the few places they can find a public bathroom to clean up in!

Joys of old age

A Florida couple, both well into their 80s, went to a sex

therapist's office. The doctor asks, "What can I do for you?"

The man says, "Will you watch us have sexual intercourse?"

The doctor gasps and raises both eyebrows, but he is so amazed that such an elderly couple is asking him to observe them, for his sexual advice, that he agrees.

When the couple finishes, the doctor says, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way you have intercourse." He thanks them for coming, wishes them good luck, charges them $50 and he then says good bye.

The next week, however, the couple returns and asks the sex
therapist to observe them again. The sex therapist is a bit puzzled, but agrees, again amazed that they are on such a frequent sexual schedule at their age.

This happens again over the next few weeks. Each time the couple makes an appointment, asks him to observe, then has intercourse with no problems, pays the doctor and leaves.

Finally, after five or six weeks of this routine, the doctor says,
"I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Just what are you asking me to help you find out?"

The old man says, "We're not asking you to find out anything.
She's married and we can't go to her house. I'm married and we can't go to my house. The Holiday Inn charges $98. The Hilton charges $139. We do it here for $50, and I get $43 back from Medicare.

3/03/2005


Welcome Home!



The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Frozen Mermaids, Scary Sirens

"I used to worry that women were heading toward one face. Sometimes in affluent settings, like the Oscars or the shoe department at Bergdorf's, you see a bunch of eerily similar women with oddly off-track features - Botox-smoothed Formica foreheads, collagen-protruding lips, surgically narrowed noses, taut jaws - who look like sisters from another planet."

I thought this article would irritate me, but it turned out to be good.

The New York Times > Washington > New Poll Finds Bush Priorities Are Out of Step With Americans

New Poll Finds Bush Priorities Are Out of Step With Americans.

some surprising results

Times Online - Sunday Times

"The secret life of moody cows"

The Nattering Nabob

"Think about that. Under our supervision, a man is tortured to death and killed - in secret.

When did this become the face of the United States?"

Short and to the point.

desuetude. The American Heritage� Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

"The American Heritage-Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

desuetude

SYLLABICATION:des-ue-tude
PRONUNCIATION: des-wi-tood, -tyood
NOUN:A state of disuse or inactivity.

Me, this morning.

3/02/2005

Empty House on the Prairie

"IF you and your family would like to move to Crosby, N.D., not only will the town give you a free plot of land on which to build your house, they'll also throw in a free membership to the Crosby Country Club.
If you and your family would like to move to Ellsworth, Kan., not only will the town give you free land, they'll also give you thousands of dollars toward a down payment on the house you build if you have children who will attend the public school.
Advertisement


If you and your family would like to move to Plainville, Kan., not only will the town give you free land, they will also drastically reduce the property tax on your house for 10 years, and the first-year tax rate will be zero percent. "

eBay item 5561515915 (Ends Mar-05-05 12:40:32 PST) - One Damn Pancake - No Mystery Envelope - MY PANCAKE

One Damn Pancake - No Mystery Envelope - MY PANCAKE

What did these people do for entertainment before EBAY?

Silliness

The Cuckoo Clock

The other night I was invited out for a night with "the girls." I told my husband that I would be home by midnight, "I promise!"

Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy. Around 3 a.m., a bit loaded, I headed for home.

Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed three times. Quickly, realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another nine times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution (even when totally smashed), in order to escape a possible conflict with him.

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him"Midnight." He didn't seem pissed off at all. Whew! Got away with that one!

Then he said, "We need a new cuckoo clock." When I asked him why, he said, "Well, last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said, "Oh shit.", cuckooed four more times, cleared it's throat, cuckooed another three times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the coffee table and farted."

ABC News: Workplace Best and Worst: Bad Policy

sad and amusing

3/01/2005

Posting Comments

It's supposed to be easier now. If you try it, let me know.

Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Welcome to Wikipedia, a free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
In this English version, started in 2001, we are currently working on 486231 articles."

Both time-wasting and educational!

Hypochondriac’s Corner

Top 10 Colon Cancer Symptoms

SOS: Students for an Orwellian Society

"Because 2005 is 21 years too late."

Worth a visit. Check out the t-shirt contest entries.

via The Nattering Nabob

Starving "things"

"When I was in fourth grade I desperately wanted a hamster. A classmate had brought one in for show and tell. I remember how I loved the way it sat in the small of my hand and crawled up one arm, around my neck (it tickled), and back down the other arm. To me it seemed the perfect pet. "

Stick with this till the end.

The Next Einstein? Applicants Welcome

"He didn't look like much at first. He was too fat and his head was so big his mother feared it was misshapen or damaged. He didn't speak until he was well past 2, and even then with a strange echolalia that reinforced his parents' fears. He threw a small bowling ball at his little sister and chased his first violin teacher from the house by throwing a chair at her."

This looks like a hoax, but it's not. SCARY!

"IS THERE ANYTHING CUTER than two identical twin twelve-year-old girls who have a band together? How about if they dress in matching plaid skirts-that ups the cuteness quotient, right? And what if they perform folky versions of classic racist songs by bands like Skrewdriver and Rahowa? Whoa! Now we are heading into the cute danger zone."

Okay, it's obvious that the "interview" itself is fake - these are not the responses of twelve year old girls (see below), but it's still scary and disgusting:

"What do you think is the most important social issue facing the white race right now? Do you have any songs that address this issue?"

"Not having enough white babies born to replace ourselves and generally not having good-quality white people being born. It seems like smart white girls who have good eugenics are more interested in making money in a career or partying than getting married and having a family. And yes, we are working on some new songs about this issue. "