6/15/2006

New Location

The little auto-blogger button on this site has not been working properly for me for ages, so I'm trying a new site over on Live Journal.
http://ludmilla--1.livejournal.com/

We'll see how this goes.

Photos Taken of 'Living Fossil' in Laos

"The first pictures showing a live specimen of a rodent species once thought to have been extinct for 11 million years have been taken by a retired Florida State University professor and a Thai wildlife biologist.

They took video and still photographs of the 'living fossil,' which looks like a small squirrel or tree shrew, in May during an expedition to central Laos near the Thai border. "

123 Fraud Blvd.: Ex-Cop's Experiment in Homeland Security

"Everywhere he goes, retired New York City cop Bruce DeCell carries a forged copy of a Matricula Consular identification card used by millions of illegal Mexican immigrants.

And everywhere he goes — into airports, train stations, and government office buildings — it seems the card is accepted without question.

Last week, he used it to breach security at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.

'They must be telling [the guards] to hurry up, keep things moving,' he said. 'It's a boring job. They are like potted plants. I bet if they promised the guards a bonus - $1,000 - I bet they'd catch every one of those fake IDs. Right now, it's just a formality.'"

6/14/2006

Algae Returns to Great Lakes

"Call it the return of the green slime.

Back in the 1960s, foul gobs of algae along Great Lakes shorelines made swimmers and sunbathers miserable before a crackdown on phosphorus pollution repelled the invasion.

Now, the algae are mounting a comeback and controlling it may be tougher this time, according to the Michigan Environmental Council, an umbrella organization for a host of environmental and public interest organizations in the state. "

Bulls get simulated cows at farmers' fair

"Live 'sex shows' of bulls mounting a simulated cow have become a big attraction at an agricultural exhibition taking place in New Zealand."

6/13/2006

Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

"The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.

The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years."

KFC Sued for Fattening Menu

"The fast food chain KFC is being sued for the fat content in its fried chicken, which Center for Science in the Public Interest says contains 'staggering amounts' of trans fat. "

This is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. What ever happened to personal responsibility? If you eat at KFC, you KNOW it's not good for you.

Don't these people have more important things to worry about? Like, say, why all the amphibians are dying? Or maybe what's being rebuilt, or not being rebuilt, in New Orleans?

How Banning Gay Marriage Will Destroy the Family

"Someone has to say it: A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will destroy the American family and all the sex-related “values” our brethren on the religious right hold so dear. And it will do so by creating an irresistible demand for a constitutional amendment banning heterosexual marriage.

The logic is clear. Since the Supreme Court ruled, in Lawrence v. Texas, that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional, it’s legal for gays to have sex. Add to that a ban on gay marriage and you will create a special class of people – gays and lesbians – who are free to have all the sex they want, as long as it’s outside of marriage."
Great blog from Barbara Ehrenreich, who has written NY Times bestselling books about class differences in America.

6/12/2006

Giant Pandas - National Zoo

Panda-Cam. Scroll down the page.

6/09/2006

Hillary for President

Pretty funny animated video.

6/08/2006

Disney gets a taste for fresh fruit

"Disney has begun licensing fresh fruit in European supermarkets as it tries to jump onto the healthy eating bandwagon and banish the memory of its association with McDonald's."

Aaaaaccckk!

6/07/2006

Network to Rerun 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse'

"After being shuttered for more than 15 years, the doors to 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' are being reopened. The Emmy Award-winning show will get new life on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, which will air all 45 original episodes beginning July 10, company officials announced Monday. "

YAY!

Singer-Songwriter Billy Preston Dies at 59

" Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own hit singles including 'Outta Space' and 'Nothing From Nothing,' died Tuesday at 59. "

Scientists to Try to Clone Human Embryos

"Stepping into a research area marked by controversy and fraud, Harvard University scientists said Tuesday they are trying to clone human embryos to create stem cells they hope can be used one day to help conquer a host of diseases. "

6/06/2006

Norway Drops Wal-Mart

"Norway has excluded the U.S. companies Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. from its national oil fund investments, the finance minister announced Monday.

Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, was dropped because of concerns about its human rights and labor practices. She said Freeport was barred because of environmental concerns. "

6/01/2006

Polaroid-o-nizer

Make any online photo look like a Polaroid.
While it won't rock your world, this is actually more interesting than it sounds.

5/31/2006

Time Killer

"Random Name Generator"

This has some interesting options - you can generate a witch name, a Goth name, a Basque name, a Classical Greek name, a Kreatyve name (my favorite), and many more.

5/30/2006

They Followed Me Home

"Can you see some guy going 120 mph down the interstate with these balloons trailing about 50 feet behind him?"

If you have a sick sense of humor, you'll crack up at this.

Hero returns as lesbian

"Comic book heroine Batwoman is to make a comeback as a 'lipstick lesbian' who moonlights as a crime fighter, a DC Comics spokesman has confirmed."

5/26/2006

Researchers: Antivirus Software Has Flaw

"WASHINGTON May 25, 2006 (AP)- Symantec Corp.'s leading antivirus software, which protects some of the world's largest corporations and U.S. government agencies, suffers from a flaw that lets hackers seize control of computers to steal sensitive data, delete files or implant malicious programs, researchers said Thursday. "

5/25/2006

House OKs Oil Drilling in Alaska Refuge

"WASHINGTON May 25, 2006 (AP)� Citing the public outcry over $3-a-gallon gasoline and America's heavy reliance on foreign oil, the House on Thursday voted to open an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, knowing the prospects for Senate approval were slim. "

ABC News: Father of Girl Killed in Bus Accident Asks for Mercy

"May 24, 2006 - NEW YORK (AP) - The father of a second-grade girl killed when an empty school bus rolled forward and crushed her is asking for mercy for the eight-year-old boy accused of setting the vehicle in motion."

5/24/2006

On This Day

Happy Birthday, Brooklyn Bridge!
(May 24, 1883)

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan!

Sixty-five today.

BobDylan.com

ACLU Launches Nationwide Action Against NSA Snooping on Americans� Phone Calls

"NEW YORK -- Responding to reports that phone companies are turning over private details about Americans’ telephone calls to the National Security Agency, the American Civil Liberties Union today launched a nationwide initiative to end illegal government spying.

ACLU affiliates in 20 states today filed complaints with Public Utility Commissions or sent letters to state Attorneys General and other officials demanding investigations into whether local telecommunications companies allowed the NSA to spy on their customers."

Doctors Make Progress With Mysterious Disease

"OAKLAND -- A horrifying and fascinating disease is affecting thousands of people in the Bay Area, along the Gulf Coast and in Florida. Though some doctors have claimed the malady is psychosomatic, other scientists are making headway unraveling the mystery of Morgellons Disease."

"It started in Oakland four years ago. Koch saved 44 games and was the top reliever in the major leagues. His fastball wowed crowds. And then the strangeness began.

"He freaked out. He wanted to ignore it … I wanted to too. But when it comes to your kids, you gotta stop ignoring it," said Koch's wife Brandi.

She describes their symptoms: "It was the scariest thing I had ever realized in my entire life. There was matter and black specks coming out and off of my skin."


The disease is characterized by slow healing skin lesions that often extrude small, dark filaments, especially after bathing.

"That's when it would really just ooze -- literally ooze out of my skin," explained Brandi Koch.

The couple was at wit's end after numerous doctors not only provided little in the way of relief, but actually were skeptical about their health problems: "There's no reasonable explanation for it. I'm not seeing things. l'm watching it happen. We're pretty sane people…" lamented Billy.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Neelam Uppal sympathized with the Kochs' plight: "They've seen several doctors, [and] everybody's told them they're crazy. It's in their head. They're delusional."

This is some freaky shit.

French Newspaper Reprints Controversial Cartoons

"Paris, Feb. 1 2006 (VOA News) -- A French newspaper has published Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that have stirred outrage in the Muslim world. France-Soir newspaper says it is simply defending freedom of expression.

France-Soir plastered its own cartoon on its front page - spoofing not only the prophet Mohammed, but also Buddha, Jehovah and Jesus. The French newspaper wrote in a large headline, 'Yes, one has the right to make fun of God.' "

5/23/2006

Bill Considers Pets in Disaster Plans

"WASHINGTON May 22, 2006 (AP)— A television shot of a little boy losing his dog during Katrina rescue operations was the catalyst for a House vote Monday on legislation requiring pets to be considered in future emergency preparedness plans.

The House was to vote late Monday on the bill, which requires that state and local preparedness offices take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation plans. Offices that fail to do so would not qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"When asked to choose between abandoning their pets or their personal safety, many pet owners chose to risk their lives," he said.

The Humane Society of the United States cited a recent Zogby International poll that found that 49 percent of adults say they would refuse to evacuate if they couldn't take their pets with them."

Former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen Dies

"HOUSTON May 23, 2006 (AP)- Lloyd Bentsen, a courtly Texan who represented the state in Congress for 28 years and served as President Clinton's first treasury secretary, died Tuesday morning, his family said. He was 85. "

Famous for telling Dan Quayle "You're no Jack Kennedy"

Former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen Dies

"HOUSTON May 23, 2006 (AP)- Lloyd Bentsen, a courtly Texan who represented the state in Congress for 28 years and served as President Clinton's first treasury secretary, died Tuesday morning, his family said. He was 85. "

Famous for telling Dan Quayle "You're no Jack Kennedy"

Today in History

(According to the NY Times) "On May 23, 1934, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, La. "

Country radio nixes Dixie Chicks

"NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 22 (UPI) -- It appears the war U.S. country radio stations mounted against the politically outspoken Dixie Chicks has not abated in the least. "

5/19/2006

Couple Arrested For Asking For Directions

"Baltimore City police arrested a Virginia couple over the weekend after they asked an officer for directions."

There is, of course, more than that to the story. But it's not that they did anything wrong, it's that the story gets more and more crazy.

Iran eyes badges for Jews and Christians

"Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims."

How very Holocaustian of them. (Is that a word? It should be.)

5/18/2006

Toddlerpedes - weird puppet art by John Beinart

Who says you can't have fun with dead babies? (Oh, boy, here come the nasty comments from anti-choicers...)

Venice build entirely out of lego

Ezprezzo.com - Venice build entirely out of lego

This is just insane. If you don't click on any other link today, click on this one.

Impressive New Tricks of Light, All Within the Laws of Physics

"Instead, in the latest example of logic-defying tricks that physicists can now perform with light, Dr. Boyd and his colleagues demonstrated an optical fiber - a glass strand that transmits pulses of light - with a couple of odd characteristics:

A pulse of light shot into the fiber departs before it enters.

Within the fiber, the pulse travels backward - and faster than the speed of light."

5/17/2006

Mo. Town Denies Unmarried Couple Permit

"The city council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.
Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married."

And yet some married couples that fire shotguns at each other are allowed to live together...

Seat Belt, Bra Save Woman From Gunshot

"Robin Key, 44, of Riverview, Fla., was shot through the windshield of the car she was riding in Sunday. She said she felt a searing pain in her shoulder.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said a .38-caliber bullet smashed through the windshield then bounced off Key's shoulder thanks to a seat belt and a thick bra strap. "

5/15/2006

Wife 'didn't realise husband was a woman' | the Daily Mail

"Mr J, born with gender dysmorphia, underwent hormone treatment and had breasts removed before, at the age of 30, he met and married Mrs C, then aged 20 and from a wealthy background.

He concealed his true gender from her for 17 years, using a home-made part of the anatomy for sex. At a Court of Appeal hearing in 1996, Mr J failed in a bid for a share of the marriage wealth, including a L400,000 home. "

The news has been so awful lately, between the phone records scandal that no one cares about, and the kid with rabies dying and BP busily polluting away, that I thought this was a good post for today. I really don't want to know about that home-made part of the anatomy, though!

Working Assets opposes NSA database

"Working Assets is the only telephone company participating in the ACLU's lawsuit against the National Security Agency. We believe that the warrantless monitoring of phone conversations ordered by the Bush administration is illegal and unacceptable. We oppose the sale of domestic calling records to the NSA by AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon."

And they'll give you a free phone.


5/10/2006

ABC News: Saudi's Penis Reattached After Maid Cuts It Off

"May 9, 2006 - Surgeons have reattached the penis of a Saudi man who paid the price for trying to have sex with his Filipina maid and she attacked him with a knife, a hospital source said on Monday.

'This is a sophisticated operation. You are dealing with an organ in a difficult area and you want to try to return to its efficiency,' said a spokesman at Riyadh's Takhassusi Hospital.

Earlier this month newspapers reported that the maid removed her employer's manhood when he tried to molest her in the middle of the night as his wife was sleeping. The maid is now in police custody.

'It's one of the rare cases - but they did it (the operation) last week and it went smoothly,' the spokesman said. 'The hospital has done this kind of operation before, but only after people had car accidents.'"

5/08/2006

Chevron Memo Raises Suspicion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A Chevron memo is raising suspicion that oil executives intentionally reduced refining capacity in an effort to boost profits. The 1995 memo, obtained by Consumers Union, reads:

"If the U.S. petroleum industry doesn't reduce it's refining capacity, it will never see any substantial increase in refinery profits."

In the last 20 years, 18 of California's 32 refineries have shut down. The industry is now seeing record prices and profits at the pump.

On Friday, former oil and gas executive Joe Sparano spoke with KCRA 3 and made no apologies for continued rise in gas prices. In fact, he explained that prices are a direct result of driver demand far exceeding gas supply. "

5/05/2006

Psychologist to be UK's oldest mother at 63

"'She came here with her husband, the couple love each other, she is very slim, blonde and in perfect condition, she fits all the criteria for maternity.' "

Um, yeah - those are important criteria - slim and blonde.

5/04/2006

Right between the eyes

"Not in recent memory has a Montana governor had the guts to step up and face a major corporation head on for its irresponsible record of toxic pollution and decades-long evasion of cleanups. But Gov. Brian Schweitzer did just that when he made the decision to end the obfuscation and legal weaseling of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BN) over its hazardous waste sites scattered across the magnificent landscape of Montana. And when they fought back-as corporations always do-Schweitzer let 'em have it right between the eyes. "

Cat to Reunite With Owner After 10 Years

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. May 3, 2006 (AP)- Sneakers the cat is being reunited with his owner, hundreds of miles away from where the feline disappeared in 1996. "

Goat Batters Way Into Elementary School

"PLANO, Texas May 3, 2006 (AP)� It was strange enough for a goat to be wandering through a Dallas area school. But the way the goat got in would be more difficult to believe if it weren't for the video.

Building security cameras captured the male goat butting glass doors repeatedly at Hickey Elementary School in Plano on Sunday. Eventually the goat, which was apparently doing battle with its reflection, broke through the glass and got into the building. "

5/02/2006

Couple, 33 and 104, Reportedly Marry

"KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia May 2, 2006 (AP)- A 33-year-old man in northern Malaysia has married a 104-year-old woman, saying mutual respect and friendship had turned to love, a news report said Tuesday.

It was Muhamad Noor Che Musa's first marriage and his wife's 21st, according to The Star newspaper which cited a report in the Malay-language Harian Metro tabloid. "

5/01/2006

Pesticides may affect penis size

"A renowned U.S. scientist who has documented fertility and sex changes -- including decreasing penis size -- due to environmental contamination says he wouldn't apply pesticides on his own lawn. "

Sony playing a Cheap Trick on musicians? | Tech News on ZDNet

"Two rock bands, the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick, have filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG alleging that they are shortchanged when Sony divvies up royalties from digital downloads. "

4/28/2006

To be or not to be Hillary Clinton

"Who would make a better candidate, Hillary Clinton or Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Most Americans' feelings toward the Democratic senator from New York change depending on which name is used, according to a recent poll conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN."

May 1 immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities

"Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood America's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it debates reform."

This ought to be interesting. I also think it's interesting they don't mention Houston. You'd think the huge illegal immigrant population would make us a major target for this. Maybe the immigrants assume (and probably correctly) that in Texas, people are liable to open fire on them?

Smugness

"Because I drive a Prius I feel slightly pressured to adhere to some generic and murky set of beliefs that others have ascribed to Prius owners. All I know is that my old VW had a 12 gallon tank and I filled it up once a week. My Prius has a 10 gallon tank and I can drive for three, four, sometimes five weeks before I need to stop into a gas station. That feeling outweighs all others."

4/27/2006

Lawmakers Scramble to Ease Gas-Price Pain

"Senate Republicans advocate sending $100 rebate checks to millions of taxpayers, and a Democrat is leading the campaign for a 60-day gasoline tax holiday. "

An article about the different ways politicians are scrambling so as to seem to be doing something in response to rising gas prices. Of course, it wouldn't occur to them to do something long term and practical, like maybe improving public transportation. Here in Houston, a trip to work that takes me 30 minutes by car in horrible rush hour traffic would take me 2 hours by public transportation. And that's not a guess, I've actually done it for weeks at a time. A 4 hour commute isn't a great way to spend your day.

Jim Hightower

"Jeb, who likes to call himself the 'Education Governor,' wants Florida to require every incoming high schooler to make a career choice and declare a major - as they enter the ninth grade! Every student would then have to have their four-year high school education narrowed, concentrating on subjects within their declared major - whether that's music or auto repair.

The ninth grade! You're only 14 years old! How do you know at this tender (and confusing) age what career is best for you?"

Liz Taylor 'close to death' | the Daily Mail

"Liz Taylor is facing death after her heart began to fail, it has been reported.

The Oscar-winner, 74, is confined to her bedroom and has apparently planned her funeral.

Insiders say the British-born star would like to be buried next to former husband Richard Burton. "

This is from a British tabloid, so take it with a grain of salt. Haven't seen this info anywhere else.

America's rags-to-riches dream an illusion: study

"America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday"

Calif. Woman Spanked at Work Sues for $1.2M

"'No reasonable middle-aged woman would want to be put up there before a group of young men, turned around to show her buttocks, get spanked and called abusive names, and told it was to increase sales and motivate employees,' her lawyer, Nicholas 'Butch' Wagner, said in his closing argument. "

4/25/2006

Animusic - Pipe Dream

Animusic - Pipe Dream - Google Video

Very cool little animated music video.

The Plot Thickens

"President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, making it easier for refiners to meet demand and possibly dampen prices at the pump. He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.

Easing the environment rules will allow refiners greater flexibility in providing oil supplies since they will not have to use certain additives such as ethanol to meet clean air standards."

Police Arrest Nude Man Stuck in Chimney

"A man who spent five hours naked and stuck in the chimney of his stepmother's home was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, police said.

Police say Michael Urbano, 23, locked himself out of the house early Saturday morning and decided to get in on a cable TV wire through the chimney. "

Hannah Named 'Most Beautiful Bulldog'

"To those who know her best, Hannah is the ultimate girly girl. She enjoys socializing in the neighborhood, wearing fancy outfits and pursuing a shoe fetish that would rival any Hollywood starlet.

But Hannah doesn't wear shoes she eats them. Still, that didn't stop this 2-year old English bulldog from beating out 49 others to claim top prize in the 27th annual 'Beautiful Bulldog' contest Monday. "

Scientists Probe the Use of the Tongue

"In their quest to create the super warrior of the future, some military researchers aren't focusing on organs like muscles or hearts. They're looking at tongues.

By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish. "

4/24/2006

Let us spray

"Horn of rhinoceros. Penis of tiger. Root of sea holly. Husk of the emerald-green blister beetle known as the Spanish fly. So colourful and exotic is the list of substances that have been claimed to heighten sexual appetite that it is hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment on first beholding the latest entry - a small, white plastic nasal inhaler containing an odourless, colourless synthetic chemical called PT-141. Plain as it is, however, there is one thing that distinguishes PT-141 from the 4,000 years' worth of recorded medicinal aphrodisiacs that precede it: this one actually works."

4/21/2006

don't fuck with love

cute song, cool animated video.

Clip : "NewYork, NewYork"

Very cool animation of "New York, New York"! Kind of reminds me of the animation in "The Triplettes of Belleville".

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

"Sixteen days before President Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address in which he said that the US learned from British intelligence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Africa -- an explosive claim that helped pave the way to war -- the State Department told the CIA that the intelligence the uranium claims were based upon were forgeries, according to a newly declassified State Department memo.

The revelation of the warning from the closely guarded State Department memo is the first piece of hard evidence and the strongest to date that the Bush administration manipulated and ignored documents information in their zeal to win public support for invading Iraq."

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone: Conflict Journalist & Video News

"What is Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone?

Veteran international correspondent Kevin Sites is Yahoo! News' first multimedia journalist. He is currently traveling solo to cover every armed conflict in the world within one year.

To show the complete picture, reports are presented as a combination of text dispatches, photos, video, audio and interactivity. We post multiple stories for each location, sometimes as frequently as one per day. It's all available here, exclusively from Yahoo! News.


Why?
Our goal is to put a human face on the issues surrounding global conflict; to show you the unheard voices and the unreported stories about real people, their triumphs and their suffering. "

4/20/2006

Madeleine Albright Can Leg-Press 400 Pounds

"In an interview in the The New York Times Magazine that will appear this coming Sunday, Madeleine Albright reveals, among other things, that even at 68, she works out three times a week 'and I can leg-press up to 400 pounds.' This follows a discussion of how she does not expect to re-marry, partly because, as she says, 'I'm intimidating, don't you think?'"

Go, Maddy!

Not Out of the Woods Just Yet - New York Times

"OUR forests are the heart of our environmental support system. And yet, in the 36 years that have passed since the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, we have lost more than one billion acres of forest, with no end in sight.

Smaller forests mean fewer predators keeping insects and rodents in check in the Northeastern United States, a phenomenon linked to the spread of Lyme disease and West Nile virus, among others.

Everywhere, forests prevent erosion, filter and regulate the flow of fresh water, protect coral reefs and fisheries and harbor animals that pollinate, control pests and buffer disease. That is why the single most important action we can take to protect lives and livelihoods worldwide is to protect forests. And one of the best ways to do that is to change how we think about their economics."

one red paperclip

"My name is Kyle MacDonald and I am trying to trade one red paperclip for a house.

I started with one red paperclip on July 12th, 2005 and I am making a series of trades for bigger or better things. My current item up for trade is one year in Phoenix.

Do you want one year of FREE rent in Phoenix? Pop your offer over to me at (oneredpaperclip@gmail.com) or give me a shout at 514-833-3980. (If you can't get through - please send a text message)

You can see the current offers here. I live in Montreal Canada but will go anywhere in the world for the right offer. - (click on the pictures below to read stories about each trade I've made so far.)"

Only on the internet...

Meat-Eaters Aiding Global Warming?

"Your personal impact on global warming may be influenced as much by what you eat as by what you drive.

That surprising conclusion comes from a couple of scientists who have taken an unusual look at the production of greenhouse gases from an angle that not many folks have even thought about. Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, assistant professors of geophysics at the University of Chicago, have found that our consumption of red meat may be as bad for the planet as it is for our bodies. "

Um, this is not news. Frances Moore Lappe pointed this out in "Diet for a Small Planet", first published in 1971. The amount of energy used in producing and "harvesting" beef is just insane.

Also from the article above:

"Energy used in agriculture has grown substantially in recent years, he says, and now stands at around 18 percent or 19 percent of the nation's energy use.

The researchers say their findings show that at least 6 percent of that use comes from the production of foods that are not energy efficient, like cattle and the food to feed them.

Considering that the "mean American diet is responsible for an additional ton-and-a-half of greenhouse gas emissions a year from each of us," the savings could be substantial."

Got Unwanted CDs? Trade 'Em

" What do you do with the used CDs you don't want anymore? Throw them out? Sell them? Use them as very small Frisbees?"

""I think the big advantage is just the selection," said Bill Nguyen, one of the site's founders. "For example, if you go to a local record store, they have five or six thousand titles. You go to a Wal-Mart, about the same thing. You go to iTunes [music store] you have 150,000 albums, but la la has 1.8 million."

You have to be invited to join, but they have a waiting list, also.

4/19/2006

Global sex survey: guess who's satisfied

"Around the world, middle-aged and elderly men tend to be more satisfied with their sex lives than women in the same age group, a survey released on Wednesday said.

It found that a greater proportion of people in Europe, North America, and Australia, where men and women have more or less equal relations, enjoyed sex physically and emotionally, Laumann said.

A smaller percentage of people reported satisfying sex lives in male-dominated cultures in poorer countries, the research showed. "

4/17/2006

SNAFU

"How do you figure out whether a foam firefighting system in an air force hangar is set up correctly and works? Well you turn it on for a few seconds, to make sure it's got pressure and everything."

This is beautiful!

Airigami - The art of folding air in specially prepared latex balloon sculptures

"Balloons are not the toys they were when you were a kid."

Easter turducken

"Making Easter turducken is, fortunately, much easier than a traditional turducken, as it abandons all that pesky protein while fully embracing the empty carbohydrates and fat. While technically Easter turducken is a dessert and traditional turducken a main course, they should never be consumed in the same meal. That would be heresy."

Rev. Moon's Conjugal Visitations

"We all know the Right wants to decide what we can't do in the bedroom. But no one ever seems to ask what the Right wants us to do instead.

'After the act of love,' read the instructions from the Rev. Moon's conservative Family Federation, 'both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief. Hang the handkerchief[s] to dry naturally and keep them eternally. They must be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered and mixed up.'

Rev. Moon, whose Washington Times is a crown jewel of the conservative media Death Star, offers the essential lessons. He's the last man most Americans would associate with Republican power circles, but is in his own secretive way as important a figure in the Christian Right as Jerry Falwell, who's still in business thanks to a $3.5 million bailout from Moon in 1995, or Tim LaHaye of the Council For National Policy, who took money to serve on the board of a group rehabilitating Moon's image, and once wrote a letter addressing Moon as "the Master." "

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World!

"It started as a rumour - gossip shared by fans on internet chat sites. Could it true, they asked? Could Neil Young, a cultural lodestone for a generation of country rock fans, really be turning his attention to President George Bush and the war in Iraq?

Now Young himself has confirmed it. Not only has he recorded an entire album about the conflict, but in one of the songs he spells out who he thinks is to blame for the ongoing chaos and violence and what the consequences for that person should be. That track is called 'Impeach the President'. "

QUEEN GUITARIST ACCUSES IDOL PRODUCERS OF DECEPTION

"A member of the veteran rock group Queen has implied that he may have been used by the producers of American Idol to undermine the chances of one of the contestants.

Guitarist Brian May said on his personal blog Thursday that an encounter between him and contestant Ace Young shown on Tuesday night's show did not occur as represented. He said that after his conversation with May was taped, 'it was edited in such a way that it looked as if I was purely negative.' "

Experts ponder a future of new sex gizmos, robots

"A field dubbed 'teledildonics' already allows people at two remote computers to manipulate electronic devices such as a vibrator at the other end for sexual purposes. "

Be on the Lookout for Lucky Pennies

"National Coin Week starts April 16, and one coin expert hopes to spread the wealth. Scott A. Travers, coin aficionado and former vice president of the American Numismatic Association, is deliberately putting three valuable and highly coveted coins into circulation. "

4/15/2006

Erika's Knitting Blog - Tree Sweater

"Remember how I said that once I'd had the idea to make a company logo dog sweater, I couldn't NOT do it? I had another one of those tonight.

Outside our building is a sorry little sidewalk tree. At the height of summer, it had about five leaves. A dead glowstick has been dangling from its branches for three months.
Tonight while I was out on a smoke break, I looked at the tree and thought, "Man, that is one sad tree. It looks cold and wet and pathetic. It needs a sweater!"

I went home and whipped one up, it only took an hour and a half to knit. Then another fifteen minutes or so, standing outside in the cold at half past midnight, stitching it up.

If you would like to make your own little tree sweater, here's my pattern!"

This is about the coolest thing ever! I'm making one of the pictures my desktop wallpaper.

4/12/2006

Fat Fight Becomes a Rumble in the Jungle - New York Times

"IT all began simply enough, with the food industry exploring palm oil as an alternative to trans fat.

Now, Paul Newman is angry, orangutans are dying and sandwich cookies may never be the same.

Here's where the orangutans come in. Last summer, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a report called Cruel Oil. In it, the group said that crucial tracts of tropical rainforest were being destroyed and turned into palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, which account for more than 80 percent of the production of the world's palm oil.

Orangutans live only in Sumatra and Borneo, and the campaign said they and other endangered animals, including tigers and rhinoceroses, were in danger of 'dying for a cookie.'"

THE SWAMP POP MUSIC LOVER'S PAGE

"THE REASON I'M PUTTING THIS SITE TOGETHER IS TO PROMOTE THE GREATEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, SWAMP POP MUSIC. ALSO TO PROMOTE THE GREATEST MUSIC STARS IN THE WORLD, THE SWAMP POP STARS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY GOING THROUGH THIS SITE AND PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VISIT THE LINKS I'VE PUT ON THIS PAGE FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. I AM KNOWN TO ALL MY FRIENDS AS SWAMPPOPNU. I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN LOCKPORT, LA. I AM 62 YEARS OLD AND I CONSIDER MYSELF THE GREATEST SWAMP POP MUSIC FAN IN THE WORLD.

Listen to this great music, and support these great musicians by buying their CD'S. These musicians are the greatest people in the world. By going out and buying these great CD'S encourages these musicians to keep recording this great music. Lets make SWAMP POP MUSIC the number one music in the world."

Has links to sites that you can listen live to radio stations playing swamp pop.

4/11/2006

World War II Secret Weapon: the Prune

"The humble prune is set to be recognized as one of the secret weapons of World War II. A London auction house, Spink, is selling two grizzled prunes that it says were destined to be stuffed with maps or other documents and smuggled to prisoners of war. The prunes were part of the memorabilia collection of a British spy. "

Top 10 Movies with Evil Bunnies

"They're so cute you just want to pick them up and hug them. But think twice before allowing that cute and fuzzy bunny to get too close...

Here's my personal picks for the top movies featuring evil bunnies, or movies that are evil and just happen to feature bunnies, or bunnies evil because of their association with unappealing movies. "

I didn't even read the article, I just love the headline!

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

"Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation."

4/10/2006

Wal-Mart Resists Pressure in 'Brokeback' DVD Sales

"The culture war surrounding 'Brokeback Mountain' may be nearing an end, but as the film was released on DVD last week, it found an unusual ally: Wal-Mart Stores.

On Tuesday, the retailer began selling 'Brokeback Mountain' on DVD, over the objection of the American Family Association, a conservative religious organization based in Tupelo, Miss.

Wal-Mart had previously agreed not to stock CD's bearing parental warning stickers and to cover up magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour with blinders.

Randy Sharp, the director of special projects for the American Family Association, is leading the charge against 'Brokeback Mountain' with an e-mail petition urging Wal-Mart customers to shun the store in protest.

The association says it is not opposed to Wal-Mart offering 'Brokeback Mountain' for sale. What it does mind is that Wal-Mart has promoted the movie by placing posters of its stars, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, in the front of the store 'where children can see them,' Mr. Sharp said."

In Carpool Lanes, Hybrids Find Cold Shoulders

When California allowed solo occupants of hybrid cars to use carpool lanes last year, many thought they were merging onto a narrow strip of car culture heaven.

But increasingly, hybrid owners say they feel like the victims of road rage.

Carpoolers accuse them of driving too slowly in order to maximize their fuel efficiency, and of clogging diamond lanes that were once clear.

Hybrid motorists even have a term for the ill will: 'Prius backlash.'

'There's a mentality out there that we're a bunch of liberal hippies or we're trying to make some statement on the environment,' said Travis Ruff, a real estate agent from Newbury Park who drives a Toyota Prius. 'People are a lot less friendly than when I drove a Mercedes.'"

4/07/2006

Golden Retriever Caught After 2 Years

"Satellite tracking, helicopter surveillance and dart gun attempts failed it was a boiled ham dinner that brought Sam, a golden retriever, in from the cold after two years on the lam.
Nicknamed the 'Golden Ghost,' Sam survived two New Hampshire winters, deer hunting season and being hit by a car and still no one could catch him. "

Google aims to track users with wi-fi

"Google aims to be able to track its users to within 100-200 feet of their location through new wireless networks in order to serve them with relevant advertising from local businesses.

The leading internet search company, which depends on advertising for 99 per cent of its revenues, was selected on Wednesday by San Francisco as its preferred bidder to provide a basic free wi-fi internet service covering the entire city. "

Big Brother is watching you.

4/06/2006

What Drives People to Want to Be Amputees?

"Karl is a double amputee, but not by accident, birth or disease. He is an amputee by choice. "

Very odd. Makes me wonder if perhaps there really is such a thing as reincarnation, and perhaps these people were amputees in a previous life.

4/05/2006

Man held as terrorism suspect over punk song

"British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said Wednesday."

Wisconsin Residents Vote to Withdraw Troops From Iraq

"Voters in 32 Wisconsin communities had their say on the Iraq War in a referendum Tuesday, and they decreed that enough is enough. Residents in 24 of the 32 towns and villages voted to start bringing the troops home now, a greater victory than supporters of the referendum had hoped to get."

Air America Founders Seek Their Own Stations

"Anita and Sheldon Drobny, two of the founders of Air America Radio, are taking the next step to ensure that liberal programming stays on the air: obtaining radio stations. "

3/24/2006

Do they really believe that abortion is murder?

"A lot of people who favor forced childbirth for pregnant women say that they believe that an abortion, even early in pregnancy, is identical to child murder. Have an abortion, shoot a four-year-old in the head; morally, it's the same. Or, anyhow, that's what they claim to believe.

In contrast, pro-choicers tend to think that the abortion criminalization movement is motivated by a desire - perhaps an unconscious desire - to punish women for having sex."

Atheists identified as America's most distrusted minority, according to new U of M study

"MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology.

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. "Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years," says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study's lead researcher. "

Atheists identified as America's most distrusted minority, according to new U of M study : News Releases: UMNnews: U of M.

"MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology.

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. "Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years," says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study's lead researcher. "

A Remarkable Life: Tortoise Dies at 250

" One of the world's oldest creatures, a giant tortoise believed to have been about 250 years old, has died in the Calcutta zoo where it spent more than half its long life. "

Sioux leader vows to open Planned Parenthood Clinic

Regarding South Datkota passing laws against abortions -

"The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to me last week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."

THIS is awesome! Please consider making a donation to the tribe.

3/23/2006

Tiananmen Square revisited?

In 50-Yard Square in Belarus, a Country Within

"They may attack and beat us and inflict great trauma. But we have already achieved a result: we have shown our country that we are not afraid to stand against arbitrary rule."STEPAN SVIDERSKY, 18, a protester in Belarus."

3/22/2006

Mississippi outlaws sex toys

"There is a landmark legal battle of constitutional proportions being fought down in Mississippi. It involves fundamental rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, not to mention the rights of certain small business owners to satisfy their customers. This week, another court refused to recognize Mississippians' right to find companionship for 29.99 and so a law outlawing the sale of sex toys will stand.

"A person commits the offense of distributing unlawful sexual devices when he knowingly sells, advertises, publishes or exhibits to any person any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs or offers to do so or possesses such devices with the intent to do so."

Well, I am glad to see that the local legislators are focusing on the most pressing issues of the day. I've long believed that a three-dimensional, possibly battery-operated device is far more menacing than a handgun. In Mississippi, people can buy guns at a gun show with no background check and certain weapons can be carried almost anywhere. Sure, guns and toys can bring joy and a sense of comfort to the user, but apparently the legislators concluded that a genital replica is a far greater threat to society. "

But wait, there's more...check out the link.

3/21/2006

Top News Article | Reuters.com

"LONDON (Reuters) - The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans does not believe that creationism -- the Bible-based account of the world's origins -- should be taught in schools.

'I don't think it should, actually. No, No,' said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, reflecting on the bitter education debate over religion and science that has so divided the United States in particular.

Williams, head of a church which has no problem with the Darwinian theory of evolution, told the Guardian newspaper: 'I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory, like other theories.'

Asked if he was comfortable with the teaching of creationism in schools, the mild-mannered and usually cautious theologian said: 'Not very. Not very.'

In the battle to bring God into the classroom, Christian conservative supporters of creationism and intelligent design seek to deny or downgrade the importance of evolution.

Intelligent design proponents say that nature is so complex that it must have been the work of a creator rather than the result of random natural selection as outlined in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Williams' stance echoes the position of the Roman Catholic Church, the world's largest single Christian denomination, which has weighed into the debate by praising a U.S. court decision that rejected the intelligent design theory as non-scientific.

Catholicism, which has never rejected evolution, teaches that God created the world and the natural laws by which life developed.

British businessman Peter Vardy has funded schools in northern England that came under attack for teaching creationism in biology classes.

But the creationist movement has certainly not taken holhold as strongly in Britain as it has in the United States.

"Religion has become politicized in America. That is not the case here. This is not a major issue," religious commentator and broadcaster Clifford Longley told Reuters.

"There is no intellectual credibility given to creationism in this country. There is no parallel between English evangelicals and American evangelicals.

"When I wrote an article saying there were no creationists in Britain, they both wrote to me."

YOUTUBE IDOL - VOTING THE WEBCAM STARS

Same concept as the Google Idol, below.

Google Idol... unearthing the world's talent...

"Google Idol is a new online competition for the many talented (and not so talented) people out there who have been waiting for their moment of fame. The competition puts publicly submitted videos from Google Video in a head-to-head knockout tournament of 4 heats and 2 semi finals leading up to the grand final when a winner is announced.

Popularity is judged by the public who vote for their favourite video - and you can vote once a day for the Gidol you want to win. Votes are tallied at the end of the competition and the video with the highest number of votes will be named the winner. Prizes will also be offered for all winners of our major competitions.

The first competition will be based on lip-syncing talent, but watch this space! - new competitions are being developed all the time, and the next one could be just for you.

An experienced panel of critics will comment on your work, giving you tips, hints and advice, and, of course, marks for your performance. The critics will judge your work according to the Google Idol standards, to see how you fit into the Google Idol craze; but in the end, it's the public that counts as they cast the votes. So be seen today. With over 60,000 visitors to the site per week, you could be a household Gidol in no time!

Fame is just one shameless performance away!"

Man Overboard

"I have a new theory about what's behind everything that's wrong with the Bush administration: manliness.

'Manliness' is the unapologetic title of a new book by Harvey C. Mansfield, a conservative professor of government at Harvard University, which makes him a species as rare as a dissenting voice in the Bush White House. Mansfield's thesis is that manliness, which he sums up as 'confidence in the face of risk,' is a misunderstood and unappreciated attribute."

"The problem of manliness is not that it does not exist," Mansfield concludes. "It does exist, but it is unemployed." Well, um, excuse me, but I think -- it's just my opinion, now, maybe you disagree, and I'm sure we could work it out -- Mansfield has it exactly backward. Manliness does exist. The problem is that it's overemployed -- nowhere more than in this administration.

Think about it this way: Is a trait exemplified by reluctance to ask directions -- "for it is out of manliness that men do not like to ask for directions when lost," Mansfield writes -- really what you want in a government deciding whether to take a country to war?

The undisputed manliness of the Bush White House stands in contrast to its predecessors and wannabes. If Republicans are the Daddy Party and Democrats the Mommy Party, the Clinton White House often operated like Mansfield's vision of an estrogen-fueled kaffeeklatsch: indecisive and undisciplined. (Okay, there were some unfortunate, testosterone-filled moments, too.) Bill Clinton's would-be successor, Al Gore, was mocked for enlisting Naomi Wolf to help him emerge as an alpha male; after that, French-speaking John Kerry had to give up windsurfing and don hunting gear to prove he was a real man. And Bush's father, of course, had to battle the Wimp Factor. Mansfield recalls Thatcher's manly admonition to 41 on the eve of the Persian Gulf War: "Don't go wobbly on me, George."

No wimpiness worries now. This is an administration headed by a cowboy boot-wearing brush-clearer, backstopped by a quail-shooting fly fisherman comfortable with long stretches of manly silence -- very "Brokeback Mountain," except this crowd considers itself too manly for such PC Hollywood fare. "I would be glad to talk about ranchin', but I haven't seen the movie," Bush told a questioner."

Daytime TV tied to poorer mental scores in elderly

" Older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills, researchers reported Monday. "

3/20/2006

ABC News: Slain Fla. Girl's Mother Sentenced

"The mother of the 11-year-old girl whose abduction was captured by a security camera two years ago pleaded no contest Monday to drug and prostitution charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. "

3/17/2006

An Officer Seen as a Hero Faces a Year Behind Bars

"What happened in the next few minutes on that freezing night in December 2004 would leave two men dead, a community in shock and Sergeant Anders, a beloved local sheriff's officer nearing retirement, charged with killing a handcuffed prisoner. A video camera in the sergeant's own patrol truck was unblinking witness.

That the victim was a white supremacist ex-convict, Earl Flippen, who had just killed his pregnant girlfriend and Sergeant Anders's partner, sprayed gunfire around the girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter and barely missed shooting Sergeant Anders at point-blank range, was beside the point. "

Sex

This is a sex test. This is a test of the Emergency Sex System. If this had been actual sex, you would have been instructed where to put the condom.

This has been a test of the Emergency Sex System. We now return you to your regular blog.

Actually, I've heard that if you have the word "sex" in your blog, you'll get lots of hits. I don't usually resort to cheap tricks like that, but I thought it would be a good way to get more people to see the post below about the missing people.

Gloria White Moore McDonald, Curtis McCoy, Brooke Wilberger and Maura Murray

The mainstream media is publicizing two cases of missing girls. As usual, they are both young white girls. Therefore, in an attempt to even things up, I'm posting information about missing people who don't fit into that category.

CURTIS McCOY















Age Progression


DESCRIPTION


Date of Birth:
October 9, 1987
Hair: Black
Sex: Male
Eyes: Brown
Height: 1'8" (at time of disappearance)
Race: Black
Weight: 25 pounds (at time of disappearance)



THE DETAILS

On November 18, 1989, two-year-old Curtis McCoy was kidnapped as he walked a few steps behind his father in Newark, New Jersey. At the time, Curtis was on a shopping trip with his father, his father's girlfriend, and his two half-sisters. As the group approached an intersection, Curtis's father reached back to take his son's hand to cross the street, but Curtis was gone.

Local law enforcement authorities immediately began a search for the boy, but called it off after several hours. At the time of the kidnapping, Curtis McCoy lived with his mother in South Carolina and was visiting his father in New Jersey.


REWARD

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the recovery of Curtis McCoy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Individuals with information concerning this case should take no action themselves, but instead immediately contact the nearest FBI Office or local law enforcement agency. For any possible sighting outside the United States, contact the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate.
***************************************************************
GLORIA WHITE MOORE MCDONALD



DESCRIPTION

Date of Birth: October 5, 1932
Place of Birth: Unknown
Sex: Female
Hair: Red
Height: 5'6"
Eyes: Brown
Weight: 120 pounds
Race: White

THE DETAILS

Federal and state law enforcement authorities are seeking information regarding the disappearance of Gloria White Moore McDonald. On January 26, 2001 at approximately 12:25 p.m. central time, Gloria McDonald, her husband, her husband's son, and the son's girlfriend, arrived at Queen Wilhelmina State Park, located in Polk County, Arkansas. Once they arrived at the park, all four of them went down the trail toward "Lover's Leap". About 150 to 200 yards down the trail they encountered several trees across the trail and at this point the victim decided not to go any further. The victim subsequently turned around and went toward the lodge (gift shop and restaurant) while the others continued to "Lover's Leap". The others' hike lasted about 30 minutes. When they went to the lodge they could not find the victim. Her whereabouts remain unknown.


REMARKS

Gloria McDonald was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue flannel shirt, a glossy bright yellow hooded jacket, sneakers, and rose colored sunglasses. She was wearing a gold wedding band (no designs), a platinum ring that looked like two balls snapped together, a gold 3 1/2 carat sapphire ring, possibly a small gold filigree ring, and a necklace with a cross. She was carrying a Minolta Riva Zoom Camera, Serial Number 40907425.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Individuals with information concerning this case should take no action themselves, but instead immediately contact the nearest FBI Office or local law enforcement agency. For any possible sighting outside the United States, contact the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate

Our Options Have Changed - To continue in jargon, press 1

"Thank you for calling. To continue in jargon, press 1. Jos haluat jatkaa suomeksi, ole hyva ja paina 2.

Please listen closely to the following menus, as our options have changed. For technical support, press 1. For financial support, press 2. For support of the fleshy parts that jiggle during exercise, press 3. For emotional support, please hang up and call 888 HOT-LIVE. "

This gets better and better the further along it goes.

The Girl's Guide to DIY Abortions

"A feminist blogger has posted explicit directions online for a surgical abortion, in reaction to the new South Dakota law all but banning the procedure.

Her action troubles activists on both sides of the issue: Is it a harbinger of a return to the era of secret, illegal abortions?"

No, it's a harbinger of a complete turnaround in society - to teenage abstinence, no sex outside of marriage, no rape or incest, and peace on earth.

Wanna buy a bridge?

The Dilbert Blog: Ouch Said the Fish

"My comic of 3/12 ended with a fish saying "ouch." When my website becomes unbroken you can see it here:

http://dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-20060312.html

This caused one concerned reader to straighten me out on the subject of whether fish feel pain.

This begs the question of what exactly constitutes pain. When you put a hook through a fish’s mouth, then pick him up and watch him twist and suffocate in the air, is that a fish’s way of saying “I am indifferent to this situation”?

I’m no scientists but it sure looks like fish are expressing a preference with all that flopping around and gasping for water. But where is the line between pain and simply not getting your way? It sounds like a Gitmo situation to me. Maybe those fish aren’t gasping for water after all; they’re probably being treated in a humane way and trying to confess where they hid the WMD.

I should note that I’m a vegetarian, but only for selfish reasons. Saving critters from pain is an excellent goal if it’s practical. But I can’t reconcile that goal with what would happen if humans stopped killing animals. The alternative is to wait until the bears – for example – are about to copulate and then swoop in and place the condom on the boy bear without him noticing. Otherwise it seems to me that we’d have too damned many bears. If that happened you’d be all “Where’s that remote control for the TV?” and your spouse would be all “A bear is sitting on it” and you’d be all “Again?!!” And you know how much you hate it when people say “I’m all” instead of “I said.” That has to be at least as bad as killing animals. That’s my only point."

Woman Auctions Self and Kids on EBay

"The latest bizarre episode in the eBay universe is potentially one of the saddest. A Cleveland, Ohio, woman posted an ad asking someone to provide a home for her and her children so that they could escape what the woman described as an abusive husband. "

3/16/2006

Suicidal Cancer

"Capsaicin, which makes peppers hot, can cause prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, U.S. and Japanese researchers said on Wednesday."

3/15/2006

A Quickie

Breakfast at the White House One morning Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were having brunch at a restaurant. The attractive waitress asks Cheney what he would like and he replies,"I'll have a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit."

"And what can I get for you, sir?" she asks George W. He replies," How about a quickie?" "Why, Mr. President," the waitress says,"How rude! You're starting to act like Mr. Clinton and you've been in office for your second term for only a short time now!"

As the waitress storms away, Cheney leans over to Bush and whispers, "It's pronounced "quiche".

Wal-Mart Fair Share

"A new report from the AFL-CIO shows that Wal-Mart's refusal to pay decent wages and provide affordable health insurance is costing state taxpayers millions to provide health care coverage to Wal-Mart workers.

As employer-based health care declines, many working families have been forced to rely on public health care programs to secure coverage. The result has been exploding Medicaid costs that are breaking state budgets.

Three states have enacted the Health Care Disclosure Act, which requires them to report which employers' workers are relying on taxpayer-funded health care programs to cover their families. Thanks to public pressure from the AFL-CIO, unions, and allies, 23 states total have issued public reports.

The reports show that Wal-Mart's workers rely on public funds for health care more than employees from any other company. In at least 19 of the 23 states reporting, Wal-Mart was the No. 1 employer with workers on the public health care rolls."

Vandal Leaves $200 to Fix Car Windshield

"Whoever broke retiree Charlotte Papenbrock's windshield has made her believe that Spring Breakers can be rowdy, but also genteel. "

Bill Gates, good or evil?

"Score card. On the negative side, his company is predatory, anti-competitive and monopolistic. Microsoft's products are not the best you can get, but by God they will force you to use them anyway. They have driven other companies, both large and small, out of business, even if those other companies made better products. (So much for the market as a force for separating the wheat from the chaff.)

On the plus side he is now, with his wife, a significant philanthropist, mainly focusing on the elimination of rampant diseases like Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS in Africa. Surely, this is a good thing."

From David Byrne's site. His blog is always interesting, no matter what he's talking about. And for the next three months, his radio station is featuring a mini-history of latin music.

"Beginning with Afro-Cuban classics mostly from the 40s and 50s, then in the second part Salsa and Merengue favorites from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and then in the third part Latin Rock from the 80s, 90s and 00s. More than 9 hours of music in total — more than you’d get from most box sets. And it’s free." Listen here.

Troops say they want to come home

"Nearly three of every four American troops serving in Iraq think the United States should withdraw all its troops and end the war within a year, according a Zogby-Le Moyne College poll released Tuesday. "

George Bush has my grandma in lockdown

"Classic. George W. Bush, not content with locking up foreigners in Cuba, has sent my 88 year-old grandma to her room."

Via Iggy.

3/14/2006

Poet, 7, Sets Off Racial Controversy

"A 7-year-old New York poet has fired up adults following a racially charged performance at a middle school.

Autum Ashante, who is home-schooled and lives with her father in Mount Vernon, was invited by a music teacher to present her poetry during a Black History Month program at Peekskill Middle School on Feb. 28. She has written her own poetry and performed in front of audiences since she was 4. "

Sorry Everybody

"Some of us - hopefully most of us are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us - hopefully most of us - are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't."

Check out the gallery.

The Torn-Up Credit Card Application

"You should probably buy a shredder today.


I get a heck of a lot of credit card applications in the mail.
A bunch for Visa, quite a few from Mastercard and tons of them from American Express.

I almost always tear them in half and throw them away.

Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly paranoid, I'll tear them into little bitty pieces.

Is that good enough? Could a determined and dexterous criminal gather all the bits, tape them together and apply for a card in my name? Would a credit card company balk when confronted with an obviously resurrected application?
A test was in order, and when the latest application arrived from Chase Mastercard, I was equal to the task."

Black Sabbath, Blondie Enter Rock Hall

"Between an ugly feud among Blondie members spilling over onstage and a rancorous letter from the absent Sex Pistols, the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class did not enter quietly on Monday.

The animosity even made Ozzy Osbourne, inducted with Black Sabbath, seem sedate. "

Tunnels Used by Ancient Jews Discovered

"Underground chambers and tunnels used during a Jewish revolt against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago have been uncovered in northern Israel, archaeologists said Monday. "

3/13/2006

3/10/2006

Nine People Dead in Japan Mass-Suicides

"Their deaths were the latest in a rash of group suicides in Japan, particularly those set up between strangers over the Internet. "

3/07/2006

Bush Weaves Rug Story Into Many an Occasion

"Nothing says power like the Oval Office. The paintings of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The bust of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The desk used by both Roosevelts.

And then there's the rug. Don't forget the rug. President Bush never does.

For whatever reason, Bush seems fixated on his rug. Virtually all visitors to the Oval Office find him regaling them about how it was chosen and what it represents. Turns out, he always says, the first decision any president makes is what carpet he wants in his office. As a take-charge leader, he then explains, he of course made a command decision -- he delegated the decision to Laura Bush, who chose a yellow sunbeam design."

Deputy fire chief faces indecency charge

"Leroy Donald Johnson was caught this weekend in a barn with his pants down, literally, according to a sheriff's office report.

'You caught me ... I tried to (expletive) your sheep,' Johnson told his neighbor, according to the report.

But the Mesa Fire Department deputy fire chief changed his story when a sheriff's deputy arrived on his doorstep minutes later, denying anything happened."

The time-warp family who walk on all fours

"An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright.

Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.

The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, 'bear crawl' on their feet and palms.

Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise"

3/06/2006

A Nurse's Courage

"In her first broadcast interview, a VA nurse explains how she was investigated for 'sedition' after writing a letter that was critical of the Bush Administration. "

"The response to Berg's letter was harsh. Her office computer was seized. And the government announced it was investigating her for sedition -- that's right, sedition. V.A. human resources chief Mel Hooker wrote in a letter to Berg, "The Agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act which potentially represents sedition." "

3/02/2006

Diner Rating System

Diner Rating System

Because these things matter.

Fla. Man Showing Off OnStar Arrested

"ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. Mar 2, 2006 (AP)- A man showing off his OnStar system in his Cadillac Escalade found out the system worked too well. Ralph A. Gomez, 38, was being held Wednesday on $15,000 bond on charges of possession of an illegal narcotic within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia. "

I'm confused. Why does it matter how close he was to a church? I could see it being a bigger crime if it's near a school, but a church? Or is a church considered to be full of easily-manipulated people who aren't mature enough to make their own decisions, just like an elementary school?

3/01/2006

Profile of Jon Stewart, Political Comedian - Fake News Taken Seriously

"With his fearlessly brilliant and biting politically-laced humor, comedian Jon Stewart gives a clear voice to widespread American frustration over Bush administration missteps and hypocrisies, and to all of today's politicians and political climate. "

Va. Schools Win Christian Poster Dispute

"RICHMOND, Va. Feb 28, 2006 (AP) - A Virginia school district didn't violate a teacher's free-speech rights by removing Christian-themed postings from his classroom walls, a federal judge has ruled."

2/27/2006

'Pizza pope' builds a Catholic heaven

"A FORMER marine who was raised by nuns and made a fortune selling pizza has embarked on a...plan to build the first town in America to be run according to strict Catholic principles. "

Outsourcing Medical Care?

"Do you know who's doing your 2005 income taxes? Or who's reading you CT scan or MRI when you visit your doctor's office? We are used to the idea that the voice on the other end of the bank or computer helpline is likely thousands of miles away at a call center in India, but quickly American accountants, hospitals and other businesses are outsourcing more, highly specialized jobs to Asia's other rising economic star. "

2/24/2006

Hurtt Prize: Should you be worried?

"'If you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?'
- Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt


Harold Hurtt has suggested that surveillance cameras be placed 'in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes', according to this story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. In response, I hereby found....

The Hurtt Prize



The Hurtt Prize is a $1595 (and growing) reward for the first person who can provide definitive videotaped evidence of Houston police chief Harold Hurtt committing a crime, any crime. This evidence will posted here and forward to the Houston Police Department along with a demand that action be taken. "

2/21/2006

States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes - New York Times

"In a rare display of unanimity that cuts across partisan and geographic lines, lawmakers in virtually every statehouse across the country are advancing bills and constitutional amendments to limit use of the government's power of eminent domain to seize private property for economic development purposes."

2/20/2006

MyBillofRights.org

"Mission Statement"

"Our mission is to promote awareness and respect for the Bill of Rights as the foundation of our individual freedoms, our laws, and the American system of justice, through the design and crafting of Bill of Rights displays to be placed on public lands throughout America, beginning with those sites where displays of the Ten Commandments are currently found. "

Behind The Music - The Chipmunks

I tried to think of something clever to say, but nothing I could come up with lives up to the video. Just watch it.

Frontier Psychiatrist

"This is a music video for The Avalanches' song Frontier Psychiatrist. "

Weird. Cool. Not for those subject to acid flashbacks.

2/17/2006

What Kids Do For Fun These Days

"Member Says Nobody Would Actually Have Sex With Goat "

"Some Bowling Green, Ky., police officers found more than they bargained for after stopping by a Western Kentucky University fraternity party early Thursday.

The officers discovered a live goat stuffed into a storage room of the Alpha Gamma Rho house with no food or water, standing in its own urine and feces, according to WBKO-TV in Bowling Green.

Some of the students told police the goat was going to be used in a hazing ritual.

Brian Peyton, the president of Western's Alpha Gamma Rho chapter, said the goat was brought in as a prank, to make some pledges think they would have to have sex with it..."

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is twenty-six years of not eating any animals that are bigger than me.

2/16/2006

3D Painted Rooms - 2Loop.com

"These rooms are painted so that, when looked at right, optical illusions will appear."

Fats Domino, Dylan to Headline Jazz Fest

"Fats Domino, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon will join Keith Urban and Yolanda Adams at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as it celebrates this city's music and culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Many other big acts will grace the festival, such as the Dave Matthews Band, Lionel Richie and Jimmy Buffet.

The festival is scheduled to take place April 28-30 and May 5-7.

The festival will feature, as always, many of Louisiana's favorite musicians. They include blues guitarist Walter 'Wolfman' Washington, singers Charmaine Neville and Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, clarinetist Michael White, voodoo rocker Dr. John, pianist Allen Toussaint, the Rebirth Brass Band, clarinetist Pete Fountain, singer Marcia Ball and the Dixie Cups. "

Keith Urban? The country singer from New Zealand/Australia?

2/15/2006

Meter-Long Monsters That Smell Like Lilies

"As soon as she saw the white flash, Yaniria Sanchez-de Leon knew her shovel had turned up an important discovery. Although others had searched for decades, Sanchez-de Leon had succeeded where they had failed.

She had found a giant Palouse earthworm. "

He loves the smell of gunpowder

VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney accidentally shot documentary filmmaker Michael Moore yesterday as Moore was walking out of a Manhattan Denny's.

A spokesperson for the vice president said that it was a 'complete accident' and that Cheney felt 'horrible.' The White House released a statement saying that the shooting was 'just bad timing. Vice President Cheney, who is well-versed in firearms safety, was merely sitting in a shrub, wearing camouflage, outside of a Denny's frequented by Mr. Moore.' The statement went on to say that Cheney had been in the shrub for 'several days.' Moore is said to have suffered only minor injuries and was released from the hospital."

There's more linked above. Via an email from my friend Martha.

State Sues E.P.A. for Files on Household Pollutants - New York Times

"State Sues E.P.A. for Files on Household Pollutants

By DANNY HAKIM
Published: February 15, 2006

ALBANY, Feb. 14 - As New York and other states grapple with the gradually tightening requirements of the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to turn over records detailing the levels of smog-causing compounds found in common household and industrial products like paints and varnishes.

The Cost of Pollution Such volatile organic compounds are not only significant contributors to smog, but they have also been linked to a variety of health problems, including the rising asthma rates in cities like New York and Los Angeles.

After trying for two years to obtain the records, New York State sued the E.P.A. on Tuesday, saying that the agency has violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying the state's repeated requests for the records. State officials say they need the records to draw up a plan to comply with strict new rules on smog-forming pollution being phased in under the Clean Air Act. The records are submitted to the E.P.A. by manufacturers of paint products.

New York and California, as well as some other states on the East Coast, have stricter regulations on volatile organic compounds because they have worse summertime smog problems than other states.

In refusing to turn over the records, the E.P.A. appears to be siding with paint manufacturers, which have been battling in court to prevent state attempts to regulate their products. And the paint companies have been aided in the past by at least one influential friend, Senator George V. Voinovich, an Ohio Republican who personally appealed to the E.P.A. on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, based in Cleveland.

A letter he wrote in October 2004 asked the agency to heed the industry's objections to allowing some states to tighten their regulations of volatile organic compounds.

Now states are having trouble determining even what the levels of such pollutants are. Companies like Sherwin-Williams are stating that the information about the pollutants in their products, which they submitted to the E.P.A., is proprietary and represents trade secrets, an assertion that the agency has supported, according to New York's court filing.

New York officials say the information should be made public, arguing that the agency, despite a request under the Freedom of Information Act, has not made a sincere effort to determine, as required by law, whether companies were making valid claims that the data was a trade secret.

One of the few documents that New York has received from the E.P.A. indicates that paint producers are often using a loophole in the regulatory system to pay their way out of reducing the pollutant levels of their products. Sherwin-Williams paid more than $5 million in 2002 to avoid fully reducing its levels of volatile organic compounds to required limits, according to the document. The amount was more than 15 times the noncompliance fee paid by any competitor.

In a statement on Tuesday, New York's attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, said that "the state is entitled by law to this critical information so it can effectively implement its clean air programs to preserve public health."

He added, "The E.P.A. has no grounds on which to deny such a request."

Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, is suing on behalf of the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, a branch of Gov. George E. Pataki's administration.

An E.P.A. spokesman, John R. Millett, said in a statement on Tuesday that the agency's intent "is to provide New York with all the information it is entitled to. The agency is looking into the matter in order to provide the state a final response to its request."

Conway G. Ivy, a senior vice president at Sherwin-Williams, said a great majority of his company's products complied with the regulations on volatile organic compounds, though not the specialty products like paints used on roads or for industrial maintenance. "Our customer base indicates they would prefer the performance of these noncomplying products," he said.

The stalemate is the latest in a series pitting states, including those like New York and California, which have Republican governors, against the environmental policies of the Bush administration. In one battle, automakers, with the support of the E.P.A., are suing both New York and California over state plans to aggressively regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from cars and trucks. The Bush administration has rejected such state moves.

Last year, Mr. Pataki and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California wrote a letter to President Bush asking him to preserve their ability to set stricter environmental rules.

The new lawsuit comes as the Bush administration has come under criticism for restricting the flow of information on issues related to smog-forming pollutants and global warming emissions. Last month, a top NASA scientist said that Bush administration officials were trying to censor his views on climate change. Last year, the administration delayed the release of a report on the gas mileage of cars and trucks until after the voting on the energy bill.

S. William Becker, executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators, an association of state and local air quality regulators, said the disclosure that 75 companies like Sherwin-Williams were paying fees in lieu of at least some of their required pollutant reductions was troubling.

"What E.P.A. is doing is allowing the industry to buy their way out of federal regulations," he said. He added that states would be forced to regulate similar pollutants from the small businesses that cannot afford such fees, like bakeries and auto body repair shops."

A Cancer Drug Shows Promise, at a Price That Many Can't Pay

"Doctors are excited about the prospect of Avastin, a drug already widely used for colon cancer, as a crucial new treatment for breast and lung cancer, too. But doctors are cringing at the price the maker, Genentech, plans to charge for it: about $100,000 a year. "

Ohio Board Undoes Stand on Evolution

"The Ohio Board of Education voted 11 to 4 Tuesday to toss out a mandate that 10th-grade biology classes include critical analysis of evolution and an accompanying model lesson plan, dealing the intelligent design movement its second serious defeat in two months."

Out of the retail rat race / Consumer group doesn't buy notion that new is better

"While many people will spend countless hours this year lining up at Wal-Mart and maxing out their credit cards at Nordstrom, a small Bay Area group has declared it will do just the opposite.

About 50 teachers, engineers, executives and other professionals in the Bay Area have made a vow to not buy anything new in 2006 -- except food, health and safety items and underwear. "

Willie Nelson's new topic: Gay cowboys - Feb 15, 2006

Country music outlaw Willie Nelson sang 'Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys' and 'My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys' more than 25 years ago.

He released a very different sort of cowboy anthem this Valentine's Day.

'Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)' may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist. But it was written long before this year's Oscar-nominated 'Brokeback Mountain' made gay cowboys a hot topic.

...the song features ...Nelson's deadpan delivery of lines like, 'What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?' and 'Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out.'"

2/14/2006

The Final Word on the Cheney Hunting Incident

"Dick Cheney represents all that is reprehensible about the sport that is hunting.

In case you're one of those people that would rather paper-cut their eyeballs than read a newspaper (i.e. 98% of the American population), Dick Cheney 'accidentally' shot a lawyer-buddy of his on a hunting trip in coastal Texas this weekend. The dude's not gonna die or anything, but he won't be competing in any ironman triathlons anytime soon, either (mostly due to his age, completely irrelevant to this story).

So why am I pissed off?

Because Cheney was simply hunting for sport. From what I've heard, he had no plans to eat the dude or even make lawyer-jerky out of his remains; he just shot the dude so that he'd have a trophy to put over his fireplace."

Timmy put the proper spin on it.

Gun don't shoot people. Vice-Presidents do.

The Nattering Nabob: "The Bushites have committed the cardinal sin: they dissed the press. They can lie you, me, all 300-million-or-so citizens and the entire WORLD all they want to, and our intrepid reporters could not care less. But Lord Almighty, when you bullshit a reporter, you are doomed."

Iggy.

'Aunt Jemima' Sues After Council Meeting Ban

"UPDATED: 10:23 pm EST February 13, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An activist arrested after disrupting a City Council meeting dressed in an Aunt Jemima costume and banned from attending meetings until the end of March has filed a lawsuit claiming her rights were violated."

2/13/2006

US group implants electronic tags in workers

"An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been "tagged" electronically as a way of identifying them. "

Nowhere to Call Home

"The worst natural disaster in modern United States history has turned into our collective national shame. When the most powerful nation on earth cannot find long-term housing for its own hurricane victims in almost six months, there is no other word to describe it."

You'll need a NY Times account to read this.

Mohammed Dance

Mohammed Dance

How Products Are Made

"How Products Are Made explains and details the manufacturing process of a wide variety of products, from daily household items to complicated electronic equipment and heavy machinery. The site provides step by step descriptions of the assembly and the manufacturing process (complemented with illustrations and diagrams) Each product also has related information such as the background, how the item works, who invented the product, raw materials that were used, product applications, by-products that are generated, possible future developments, quality control procedures, etc.

For example, you can find here descriptions of Air Bag, Air Conditioner, Artificial Snow, Automobile, Battery, Blue Jeans, Chewing Gum, Coin, Compact Disc, Credit Card, DVD Player, Fireworks, Hologram, Jet Engine, Laser Pointer, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Nuclear Submarine, Paint, Popcorn, Refrigerator, Telephone, Television, Temporary Tattoo, Vaccine, Vacuum Cleaner or Watch. "

2/10/2006

KELOLAND.COM: News, Weather and Sports for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa

"SD House Approves Abortion Ban
The South Dakota House has passed a bill that would nearly ban all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the state Senate.

Supporters are pushing the measure in hopes of drawing a legal challenge that will cause the US Supreme Court to reverse its 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

The bill banning all abortions in South Dakota was passed 47-to-22 in the House.

Amendments aimed at carving out exemptions for rape, incest and the health of women were rejected.

The bill does contain a loophole that allows abortions if women are in danger of dying. Doctors who do those abortions could not be prosecuted."

Gay and Lesbian Olympics: Gay Games versus Outgames

"The Gay Games were originally called the Gay Olympic Games. But a few weeks before the opening, the United States Olympic Committee obtained an injunction in federal court prohibiting the use of the word 'Olympic'.

The organizers fought this in the courts, but eventually lost, even though the word Olympics is used by numerous groups including: Special Olympics, Police Olympics, Nude Olympics, Dog Olympics, and many others. "

2/08/2006

Delosis - Musical Listening Test

Musical Listening Test
Welcome to the Musical Listening Test
We are interested in studying musical perception ability in the general population. The following test, developed by Isabelle Peretz (University of Montreal), takes less than 10 minutes. It involves listening to pairs of tunes and deciding whether they are the same or different. We will give you your score at the end."

Disclaimer: I haven't taken this. No idea what it's like. It's from a university.

On a blue note

"Cactus Music & Video, one of the few remaining large independent music retailers in the country, will switch off its neon lights for good March 31. "

Well, this sucks!

BUSH BASHED BY FORMER PRESIDENT, REVEREND

"'This commemorative cermony this morning, this afternoon, is not only to acknowledge the great contributions of Coretta and Martin, but to remind us that the struggle for equal rights is not over. We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi,' [Jimmy] Carter said, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause. 'Those who were most devastated by [Hurricane] Katrina know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans. It is our responsibility to continue their crusade.'"

Straight Outa Arkansas

"Sometimes a chicken does have lips, just not her own. Marian Morris saved her brother's exotic chicken, Boo Boo, by administering 'mouth-to-beak' resuscitation on the fowl after it was found floating face down in the family's pond.

Morris, a retired nurse, said she hadn't had any practice with CPR in years, but that she was interested to see if she 'still had it.'

'I breathed into its beak, and its dad-gum eyes popped open,' Morris said. 'I breathed into its beak again, and its eyes popped open again. 'I said, 'I think this chicken's alive now. Keep it warm.'' "

ABC News: Payola Focus Turns To Major Radio Conglomerates

"Spitzer says record company documents obtained in the investigation of Sony Music and Warner, both which have settled with the attorney general, reveal payments for songs that became major hits, including Jennifer Lopez's 'I'm Real' and John Mayer's 'Daughters.'

Other artists whose songs are named in the documents Spitzer has obtained include Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion, Maroon 5, Good Charlotte, Franz Ferdinand, Switchfoot, Michelle Branch and R.E.M.

Spitzer says much of the money went directly to corporate bottom lines, unlike payola scandals of previous decades when individual disc jockeys and program directors received the money."

New info on an old story.

2/07/2006

New Species Discovered in Indonesia Jungle

"Scientists exploring an isolated jungle in one of Indonesia's most remote provinces discovered dozens of new species of frogs, butterflies and plants as well as mammals hunted to near extinction elsewhere, members of the expedition said Tuesday. "

The End of the Internet?

Jeff Chester

"The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online. "

2/04/2006

Brokeback to the Future

The touching story, of a love that could never be. The hilarious trailer for "Brokeback to the Future" from chocolatecakecity.com.

2/02/2006

Stuff On My Cat

"Do you like to put stuff on your cat? So do we, show us some love and head over to our submissions page to find out how to send us a picture. If your submission meets our 'rigorous' standards in the fields of quality and awesomeness we will put it up for all to see."

"The Lego Suicides "

" a photoset on Flickr"

American Book Review

"100 Best First Lines from Novels"

Spell with flickr

"What is this? Spell with Flickr is a small program that lets you type in whatever you want, then goes to flickr and grabs pictures for each an every letter! It also allows you to change the images that you see, so you can find better images for your word or phrase!"

Kind of neat.

2/01/2006

Pay Attention, Alanis!

"Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity. "

So, as the Bush administration disregards our First Amendment rights, the right-winger who's been posting annoying comments on my blog this week is losing the right to do so.

I have disabled the anonymous comment ability.

Isn't it ironic?

Police Remove Sheehan From Bush Speech

WASHINGTON Feb 1, 2006 — Cindy Sheehan finally got her invitation to see President Bush again, but before she set eyes on him at the State of the Union address, Capitol Police removed her from the gallery overlooking the House chamber.
The offense: her shirt, bearing an anti-war message and other "unlawful conduct," police said.

What the hell happened to the first amendment? And why isn't the media outraged by this? Why aren't the American people outraged by this?

1/31/2006

Dominatrix Acquitted in Bondage Death

"A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack.

Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismemberment...

...During his closing argument to the jury, prosecutor Robert Nelson put on a black leather mask with a zippered mouth opening and re-enacted the bondage session. With both hands, he reached back and clutched the top of a blackboard as if strapped to the rack. Then he hung his head as if dead.

Asher's lawyer objected, and the judge agreed.

"That's enough Mr. Nelson," Judge Charles Grabau said. "Thank you for your demonstration."

Abortion Rights

"Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, Stateline.org reported. "

Coretta Scott King Dies at 78

"Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., has died. She was 78. "

1/30/2006

Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases

"...study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did."

No shit, Sherlock.

BuyBlue.org | Vote With Your Wallet!

"Stop supporting companies that don't support your values.
Reward companies that have a triple bottom line:
People, Planet and Profit"

Gold Teeth America Home

More bling for your buck!

1/27/2006

State Of The Union Drinking Game

"Bush's State of the Union address isn't scheduled until next Tuesday, but it's never too early to start memorizing the rules of the State o' th' Union Drinking Game.

- whenever Bush looks either confused or like he just accidentally crapped his pants: one pull of beer

- awkward pauses during which W. stares blankly into the camera: one shot of Jim beam"

But wait, there's more! At Timmy's house...

1/26/2006

T-Mobile seeks to halt sales of call records | Tech News on ZDNet

"T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier, has asked a Washington state court to prevent companies from allegedly using fraudulent means to obtain and sell T-Mobile customer call records.

German-owned T-Mobile said Monday that it asked the court for an injunction against Data Find Solutions, 1st Source Information Specialists and related companies and individuals. T-Mobile said the companies ran or owned Web sites such as Locatecell.com and Celltolls.com that offered such services. "

Anonymous Posters

If you have a blog, or read blogs, or participate in web forums, then you know about anonymous posters (sometimes known as trolls) - people who have violent opinions but don't have the courage to identify themselves, so they post anonymously. On one of the forums I frequent, someone posted a diatribe against anonymous posters. Since I had to ride the bus to work today, I had some free time, and I composed a response to that diatribe. And since it's been a slow week on here, I'm gracing you all by re-posting it here:

"Hi, my name is Fairywench, and I…I was a Guest poster.

The first time was an accident – I had signed in, but then when I clicked “submit”, somehow it posted me as “Guest”.

I didn’t like it at first. I felt shaky and sort of nauseated. But then I noticed a tingly feeling in my dainty bits…

I didn’t do it too often at first, and I posted on many different web forums so no one would suspect. I posted here on Ian’s forum, and over at American Idol. I made the occasional anonymous blog comment, or posted over at HGTV. But never, ever on My Space! I had standards, after all!

But then one day, it wasn’t enough any more. I took the next step, and started calling in anonymously to conservative radio talk shows. I quickly went out of control, and started making deliberately inflammatory remarks – “I read at Daily Kos that Dick Cheney wears lacy underthings!”, or “I hear your sister baby-sits for Karl Rove!”…things like that.

Those were heady times, but after a bit, even that wasn’t enough. Soon I was flying cross-country to sit in the audience of daytime TV talk shows. I started with Ricki Lake, moved on to Jenny Jones, and eventually made it to Jerry Springer, of course. And always, ALWAYS in disguise. I had to take a second job as a phone sex operator to pay for air fare and costumes.

Then one day, I made the fateful decision to go on Oprah. I carefully donned my outfit – a pink sweatsuit with a teddy bear on the front, and a bad perm. The flight to Chicago was harrowing. I had to keep fending off helpful flight attendants who were worried because I was hyperventilating with anticipation.

Finally, I arrived. Luck was with me that day – Oprah’s guest was Dr. Phil! I waited patiently and then, when it was time for audience questions, I stood up and yelled “You’re a fraud, Dr. Phil! A fraud! You couldn’t tell a Paranoid Schizophrenic from a Paranormal Experience!”

Then I bolted. I ran out of the studio and down the hall. I could see the exit sign glowing at the end of the hall, and I ran furiously toward it, exhilarated by the knowledge of what I had done.

I was reaching for the door knob when a hand grabbed my arm. A security guard! I found myself being hustled down a long hallway and locked into a small, brightly lit room. I don’t know how long I had been sitting there, maybe forty-five minutes, when the door opened, and in walked Oprah herself.

“I can help you!” she said, and took my hand.

For three days and nights we stayed in that room, Oprah and I, with Oprah asking probing questions about my childhood, and me muttering “What’s your User Name? What’s your User Name?” over and over – a kind of mantra to keep from thinking about what she was saying.

But then, Oprah hit a nerve. There in that little room, surrounded by three days worth of empty fried chicken buckets and red soda bottles, Oprah asked me about the Red Hat Ladies. You know them – those “over-fifty” women who run around wearing red hats and purple dresses, to celebrate the fact that they’ve finally realized that no one can live their lives but them.

“That’s it!”, I sobbed. “I hate them! They’re so…STUPID! Them, and those guys who paint their faces blue at sporting events, and people who circle the parking lot for twenty minutes looking for a spot right by the door, rather than walk fifty feet to the store, and people who don’t use their turn signals! I just couldn’t take it any more…” I dissolved into a helpless puddle of tears.

I won’t go into the rest of it, just suffice it to say that, with the help of Oprah’s on-site counselors, over the next six months I found the strength to stop. It wasn’t easy, and every day is still a struggle, but I just take it one step at a time.

Oprah saved my life. And when I asked her how I could repay her, she told me to just do my best to keep others from starting down the same evil path I had traveled.

“Remember,” she said, “Friends don’t let friends post anonymously!”

Truer words were never spoken."