Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Funny Faux News: White House Boosts Disaster Aid, Empathy Statements

As one unnamed reporter put it, In the hours immediately following the disaster, millions of people in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Somalia and elsewhere turned their eyes toward America to discover whether the president would rush back to Washington D.C. and empathize with their plight. But Bush stayed in Crawford and made just one official statement, as U.S. military planes surveyed the damaged area and Air Force C-130 cargo planes with humanitarian goods headed for the region. It's as if Bush thinks that action is a substitute for news conferences

(from ScrappleFace).

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tidal waves kill 22,000 in ten countries

Rescuers piled up bodies Monday along southern Asian coastlines devastated by tidal waves that obliterated seaside towns and killed more than 22,000 people in 10 countries. With thousands missing and the death toll expected to climb far higher, aid agencies and nations rushed to help millions of people left homeless or without clean water

(from Associates Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

You Are What You Buy - Politics as Product

Ken Mehlman, Bush campaign manager, reveals the bottom-line marketing strategy that led him to victory. It's the exact same strategy that sells cars: market segmentation.
No, we are not a red v. blue nation. We are Volvo v. Lincoln nation
(from BuzzMachine).

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Good Bacon Quote:

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
-Sir Francis Bacon

Friday, December 10, 2004

Good Quote on Evil:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
-Blaise Pascal

Funny Faux News: Al Qaeda May Violate Geneva Conventions

Just a day after The New York Times leaked excerpts from a confidential Red Cross report claiming that detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have undergone psychological and physical coercion "tantamount to torture," the Times has printed a second story alleging that Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Iraq conduct interrogations "tantamount to beheading."

(from ScrappleFace).

Thursday, December 9, 2004

laundry detergent with UV Protection

As summer begins to sizzle in the Southern Hemisphere, Australians have found a new way to protect themselves from the fierce sunlight: laundry detergent with UV protection. With every wash, the sun protection provided by T-shirts and other clothing is increased until it's five to 10 times more effective
(from Wired.com).

Monday, December 6, 2004

Musicians Dig the Net

  • Only 3 percent of online artists said the internet has had a major negative effect on their ability to protect their creative works.
  • 52 percent of artists said it should be illegal for internet users to share unauthorized music files, compared with 37 percent who said it should be legal.
  • 64 percent of artists said they think the copyright owner should have complete control over the use of a work.
  • 77 percent of artists use the internet.
(from Wired.com).

Friday, December 3, 2004

Your Digital Trail:

In just the past few years, it's become harder than ever to avoid leaving a digital trail. Gone are the days when you had to make an effort to be on the web. Now, you have to work to stay off it.
If you make your local paper, it doesn't matter if the paper doesn't archive its past issues -- Google's cached pages will do it for you. Your friends blog you, your listservs archive your posts, and online phone directories have your number
(from Wired.com).

Erica Jong on advice:

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Fun Flash: Fridge Magnets

Create your own message with firdge magnets; rated PG-13 (may display crude message). Finally, the high tech fridge magnet.

Fun Flash: Balloony

A man inflates a rubber glove, and loses his head; adult friendly (minor gore factor); rated R.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Sleep Disorders Traced to Genes

If you like to go to sleep after Conan O'Brien or wake up shortly before lunch, you may have your ancestors to blame.
Researchers at two American universities suspect that night owls inherit their sleep patterns, and they're launching a study that could lead to new gene therapy for everyone from insomniacs to early birds who can't help but hit the sack before prime time
(from Wired.com).

Monday, November 29, 2004

Fun Flash: StrongBad email #119

StrongBad bought a laptop to replace Compy 386; adult friendly (rated R).

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Fun Flash: How to Kill a Mockingbird

A book report about How to Kill a Mockingbird; rated PG. [offline http://www.stanford.edu/~scodary/tkam.htm ]

Friday, November 26, 2004

Interesting Abraham Lincoln Quote

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
-Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Good Robert Heinlein Quote:

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
-Robert Heinlein

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Common Elements

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
-Harlan Ellison

Saturday, November 20, 2004

SoCal city falls victim to Internet hoax, considers banning items made with water

City officials were so concerned about the potentially dangerous properties of dihydrogen monoxide that they considered banning foam cups after they learned the chemical was used in their production.
Then they learned that dihydrogen monoxide - H2O for short - is the scientific term for water.
It's embarrassing, said City Manager David J. Norman. We had a paralegal who did bad research.
The paralegal apparently fell victim to one of the many official looking Web sites that have been put up by pranksters to describe dihydrogen monoxide as an odorless, tasteless chemical that can be deadly if accidentally inhaled.
(from The Mercury News).

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Good Voltaire Quote:

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well
(from Voltaire).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Fun Flash: I Like You.

Cute and family friendly: I like you. I like you. I almost love you.

Pink Locusts from North Africa Swarm Through Cairo

Swarms of pink locusts swept through the Egyptian capital on Wednesday, evoking the biblical description of the plagues which struck in the time of Moses

(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Good Hazlitt Quote:

If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.
- Hazlitt

Monday, November 15, 2004

Saddam Made $21B From U.N. Program

Saddam Hussein's regime made more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue by subverting the U.N. oil-for-food program - more than double previous estimates, according to congressional investigators
(from CNN, via Netscape.com).

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Bush Hatred Flopped

In their desperation, the Democrats have wound up damning a big chunk of the American people as stupid, bigoted and a bigger threat than Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida. This is ridiculous.
As long as Democrats prefer phantom enemies to real ones, they will be increasingly irrelevant

(from The Australian).

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Bush Wins Re-Election As Kerry Concedes

President Bush won four more years in the White House on Wednesday, pocketing a quiet concession from Democrat John Kerry that closed out a loud and long campaign fought over the war on terror and the economy.
Congratulations, Mr. President, the Massachusetts senator said simply in a call that lasted less than five minutes and followed Kerry's decision not to contest Bush's lead in make-or-break Ohio

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Osama Bin Laden Tape Threatens U.S. States Not to Vote for Bush

The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to each U.S. state, designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words ay wilaya (which means each U.S. state) to mean a country or nation other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security
(from MEMRI).

MyPollingPlace.com

For each voter, there is just one location where they can vote on election day. It is called a polling place or precinct.
Find your polling place, learn on what type of machine you will cast your vote and get instructions on how to use that machine (from MyPollingPlace.com).

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bogus Lancet Study

...this study published in Lancet which purports that 100,000 Iraqi have died from violence, most of it caused by Coalition air strikes, since the invasion of Iraq. Needless to say, this study will become an article of faith in certain circles but the study is obviously bogus on its face.
(emphasis added - from Chicago Boyz).

Friday, October 29, 2004

Fun Flash: I Love Egg

The I Love Egg song (family-friendly).

Tiny Human Ancestor Found in Asia

Scientists have found skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child. The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia 18,000 years ago
(from National Geographic).

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Ex-Detainees Return to Terror

Despite gaining their freedom by signing pledges to renounce violence, at least seven former prisoners of the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned to terrorism, at times with deadly consequences
(from Associates Press, via Yahoo News).

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Bush, Kerry Both Employ Fear to Get the Job Done

The attempt by both sides Friday to suggest that the other would put the country on risky ground seemed to fulfill what both sides had predicted: a harsh conclusion to an extremely close race

(from Los Angeles Times, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Rest in Peace, Superman

For my generation, Mr. Reeves will always be remembered as Superman, not only the character who bravely battled the evils of Lex Luthor, but also the man who gave hope to so many people who suffer from catastrophic injuries or live with a disability.  Through grit and determination, he proved that he was more than an actor portraying a hero, he, in fact, was a hero

(from beyondabsurdity).

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible...
- Bertrand Russell

New Lincoln Library Opens

Once the dusty domain of Civil War scholars, the thousands of artifacts and documents of the state's Abraham Lincoln collection are now in a library set to open this week, when curators will lay out the welcome mat to students, genealogists and amateur historians
(from The Chicago Tribune, via Yahoo News).

Derrida deconstructed

French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of the school of deconstructionism, has died of cancer at the age of 74, France Info radio said on Saturday

(from CNN).

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Fun Flash: popoint - you click on squares in the right order as fast as you can; mindless, but fun and family-friendly.
CTA Crashes Buses, Hurts People:
Fire ambulances took a total of 33 people to hospitals Tuesday afternoon after a CTA bus rear-ended another bus stopped at a red light on the west side
(from nbc5.com). Instead of focusing on cutting service and demanding more cash from the state, perhaps CTA Executives could focus on making the CTA not hurt people. They can lower their own salaries to help the budget (as is often done by executives in the private sector when their companies are in crisis).

Monday, October 4, 2004

SpaceShipOne traveled to space for the second time in five days and won the XPrize:
The private rocket ship SpaceShipOne traveled into space and back this morning for the second time in five days, and was declared the winner of a $10 million prize intended to spur the development of private space flight.
The tiny ship, a sleek combination of rocket and glider designed by the engineer Burt Rutan and financed by the billionaire Paul G. Allen, soared beyond an altitude of 62 miles, the arbitrary line that is widely accepted as the beginning of space
(from The New York Times).
CTA adds Executives and Managers, cuts service:
Administrative jobs more than doubled during the first five years of Frank Kruesi's leadership of the Chicago Transit Authority - which on Monday will announce details of a contingency plan to cut service and lay off bus drivers and train crews to reel in a 2005 budget deficit.
The number of employees working desk jobs at the CTA, a traditional enclave for City Hall patronage, swelled after Mayor Richard Daley chose Kruesi, a longtime Daley political confidant, to become president of the transit agency in late 1997
(from The Chicago Tribune).

U.S. Supreme Court let do not call list ruling stand

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term on Monday, with two hours of arguments on federal sentencing rules and the rejection of some 1,800 appeals, including a challenge by telemarketers to the government's popular do-not-call list

(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Technology Companies put Government code in products to foil counterfeiters:
Uncle Sam is making sure that computers won't cooperate with would-be counterfeiters - even as it tries to accommodate consumers who legitimately want or need images of the currency
(from MSNBC).

Saturday, October 2, 2004

U.S. Warns of Big Mount St. Helens Blast

Government scientists raised the alert level Saturday for Mount St. Helens after its second steam eruption in two days was followed by a powerful tremor. They said the next eruption was imminent or in progress, and could threaten life and property in the remote area near the volcano

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo news).

Friday, October 1, 2004

Mount St. Helens Awakes, Erupting Steam and Ash

Mount St. Helens spewed steam and ash high into the skies above Washington on Friday as it awoke from years of slumber, but remained far below the scale of the catastrophic 1980 eruption that killed 57 people

(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, September 30, 2004

2nd SpaceShipOne Launch is GO FOR OCTOBER 4th:
Burt Rutan's Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team successfully reached an altitude of 337,500 feet with Mike Melvill (the pilot) onboard plus ballast (approx. 180 Kg). This flight was deemed by the Judges as a successful first flight for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th
(from X Prize).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

US Economic Growth Better Than Thought:
The U.S. economy grew faster in the second quarter than previously thought as business inventories rose at the strongest rate in four years, the government said on Wednesday, a sign the soft patch was not as soft as feared
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).
Private Rocket Ship Lands After Space Flight:
SpaceShipOne landed safely on Wednesday in the California desert after a wild corkscrew-like ascent into space in a shot for a $10 million prize offered to the first privately funded, manned craft to reach beyond the atmosphere
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Monday, September 27, 2004

Online Video: LA to New York in four mintues - time lapse film of a cross country drive (family friendly). Quite cool.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Email filtering out of hand:
This e-mail filter thing may sound all fine and dandy, but it can interfere with getting the news out, especially when the big news is boobies. And I don't mean Janet Jackson, I mean the blue-footed booby which might now be found in the Chattahoochee Valley after hitching a ride with Hurricane Ivan. You may get lucky and see one, even without Justin Timberlake's help
(from Ledger-Enquirer).

Friday, September 24, 2004

The trinity of net annoyance: Spam, Spim and SPIT:
A new plague of unwanted messages threatens internet users, according to a US company. Spam and spim - spam by instant messenger - are about to be joined by "spit" - spam over internet telephony. Qovia, based in Frederick, Maryland, have recently filed two patent applications for technology to thwart spit
(from NewScientist.com).

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dan Rather has apologized for the use of unreal 'memos' on the CBS program '60 mintues.' If you give them 60 mintues, they'll give you an hour.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Sept. 2004 campaign newsletters usability:
Both candidates for president of the United States offer email newsletters with much good content to excite supporters, but miserable subscription interfaces and several other usability problems
(from useit.com). A few percentage points in newsletter ease of use could become a few percentage points at the polls on election day.
Rather Odd:
Of all the loopy statements made by Dan Rather in the 10 days since he decided to throw his career away, my favorite is this, from Dan's interview with the Washington Post on Thursday:
"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story."
Hel-looooo? Earth to the Lost Planet of Ratheria: You can't '"break that story." A guy called "Buckhead" did that, on the Free Republic Web site a couple of hours after you and your money-no-object resources-a-go-go "60 Minutes" crew attempted to pass off four obvious Microsoft Word documents as authentic 1972 typewritten memos about Bush's skipping latrine duty in the Spanish-American War, or whatever it was
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

India launched an education satellite

India launched an education satellite:

India's space agency said it successfully launched the nation's first satellite for educational services on Monday, which is expected to boost distance learning in a country with a huge rural population

(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Cell Phone for Vision-Impaired:
A new cellular application promises to help vision-impaired people who can't read the screen of a mobile phone. It responds to spoken commands with voice recognition technology and reads back menu options, text messages, and other information to the user
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
In the better-late-than-never department:
CBS anchor Dan Rather acknowledged for the first time yesterday that there are serious questions about the authenticity of the documents he used to question President Bush's National Guard record last week on "60 Minutes"
(from The Washington Post).

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004

More on CBS and 60 minutes' bad journalism:
The only problem was the memo. Amazingly, this guy at the Air National Guard base, Lt. Col. Killian, had the only typewriter in Texas in 1973 using a prototype version of the default letter writing program of Microsoft Word, complete with the tiny little superscript thingy that automatically changes July 4th to July 4th. To do that on most 1973 typewriters, you had to unscrew the keys, grab a hammer and give them a couple of thwacks to make the ''t'' and ''h'' squish up all tiny, and even think it looked a bit wonky. You'd think having such a unique typewriter Killian would have used a less easily traceable model for his devastating ''CYA'' memo. Also, he might have chosen a font other than Times New Roman, designed for the Times of London in the 1930s and not licensed to Microsoft by Rupert Murdoch (the Times' owner) until the 1980s
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

Saturday, August 28, 2004

John Kerry's Military Service is Suspect:
Questions have been raised about President Bush's drill attendance in the reserves, but Bush received his honorable discharge on schedule. Kerry, who should have been discharged from the Navy about the same time - July 1, 1972 - wasn't given the discharge he has on his campaign Web site until July 13, 1978. What delayed the discharge for six years? This raises serious questions about Kerry's performance while in the reserves that are far more potentially damaging than those raised against Bush
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Armed Robbers Steal Munch's 'The Scream' in Oslo:
Two masked robbers ran into the Munch Museum, threatened staff with a handgun and forced people to lie down before grabbing "The Scream," an icon of existentialist angst showing a waif-like figure against a blood-red sky, and "Madonna"
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Brinksmanship with lives on the line

Brinksmanship with lives on the line:

Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities
(from AFP, via Yahoo News). A preemptive strike against US forces would probably result in a US retaliation of some sort.

Canadian Border Security:
As part of a dramatic boost in surveillance of the Canadian border, federal officials Friday dedicated the first of five planned bases for regular flights to look for drug runners and others crossing illegally by air or land
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, August 16, 2004

Saddam agents on Syria border helped move banned materials:
Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards on the Syrian border and replaced them with his own intelligence agents who supervised the movement of banned materials between the two countries, U.S. investigators have discovered
(from The Washington Times). Is anyone suprised?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Fun Flash: Otto at the Olympics - PG-13.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Jewish students attacked at Auschwitz:
While on a tour of the museum at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday, a group of around 50 Jewish university students from Israel, the U.S. and Poland were verbally attacked by a three-member gang of French male tourists
(from Jerusalem Post).

Monday, July 26, 2004

Palestinians 'made millions' selling cheap cement for barrier they bitterly oppose:
Palestinian businessmen have made millions of pounds supplying cement for Israel's "security barrier" in the full knowledge of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader and one of the wall's most vocal critics.
A damning report by Palestinian legislators, which has been seen by the Telegraph, concludes that Mr Arafat did nothing to stop the deals although he publicly condemned the structure as a "crime against humanity"
(from the Telegraph).

Friday, July 23, 2004

A cutting-edge science experiment left behind in the Sea of Tranquility by Apollo 11 astronauts is still running today...
a 2-foot wide panel studded with 100 mirrors pointing at Earth: the "lunar laser ranging retroreflector array." Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong put it there on July 21, 1969, about an hour before the end of their final moonwalk. Thirty-five years later, it's the only Apollo science experiment still running
(from Science @ NASA).

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Chinese accused of stealing rainclouds

A storm is brewing in China as drought-plagued regions accuse each other of stealing clouds for rain-seeding.
With the help of modern technology, scientists can fire rockets filled with various substances into light, fluffy clouds to make them rain.
"But the practice has caused considerable controversy in recent days, with some saying that one area's success with rain has meant taking moisture meant for one place and giving it to another," the China Daily said.

(from news.com.au).

Monday, July 19, 2004

Iraq wanted to buy Uranium from Niger:
First, contrary to what Wilson wrote in the New York Times, Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. In support of that proposition are a Senate report in Washington, Lord Butler's report in London, MI6, French intelligence, other European agencies - and, as we now know, the CIA report, based on Joe Wilson's original briefing to them. Against that proposition is Joe Wilson's revised version of events for the Times.
This isn't difficult. In 1999, a senior Iraqi "trade" delegation went to Niger. Uranium accounts for 75 percent of Niger's exports. The rest is goats, cowpeas and onions. So who sends senior trade missions to Niger? Maybe Saddam dispatched his Baathist big shots all the way to the dusty capital of Niamy because he had a sudden yen for goat and onion stew with a side order of black-eyed peas, and Major Wanke, the then-president, had offered him a great three-for-one deal
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Fallujah Savors Quietest Spell in a Year:
Two months after U.S. Marines pulled out, residents of Fallujah feel safe again, sleeping on their roofs to escape the heat without fear of the once-constant nighttime gunbattles, and traveling the streets without worrying they could be stopped or detained
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

The younger brother of vice presidential candidate John Edwards

The younger brother of vice presidential candidate John Edwards is wanted on a Colorado warrant issued a decade ago in a drunken driving case (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Iraqis don't like Saddam (picture):
Iraqis step on a page of a local newspaper featuring pictures of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein as they participate in a demonstration against Saddam in Baghdad
(from AFP, via Yahoo News).

Friday, July 16, 2004

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but

World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A new kind of Red Scare, Zimbabwe's color TV has banned Red, and may ban other colors:
"Red is just the start," said Solly Solinga, spokesperson for Zimbabwean Television, when I phoned him about the decision to ban that colour from the country's TV screens because it symbolised the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party. "We have other colours in mind, too."
"But there is red in so many things," I argued. "You can't simply ban it out of the spectrum."
"We can do what we like with the spectrum, whatever that is," said Solly. "We are not bound by Western concepts. Besides, red also signifies other hateful things to our revered president. It is the colour of London buses, so beloved by our former colonial oppressors. There is also the red herring of human rights abuses, when everyone knows our people have never been happier. Worst of all is when our enemies claim our national finances are in the red, so envious are they of our favourite colour, black."
"What about red carpets?" I asked.
"The president is prepared to make an exception in the case of red carpets, so long as they are for him," said Solly. "Pink is also banned. It reminds the president of homosexuals."
(from Cape Times).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Sadly, everyone knows how to hate: Rioting Between Palestinian Muslims and Christians Near Bethlehem
A "Peeping Tom" who photographed a woman in the changing room of a Bethlehem area clothes shop sparked a night of rioting between Palestinian Muslims and Christians, witnesses said today.
At the height of the hours-long riot, hundreds of Muslims and Christians fought each other with metal rods and stones overnight in the streets of the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, adjacent to Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
It was the first time in years that tension between Muslims and Christians in the Bethlehem area had exploded into large-scale violence, residents said.
Inter-religious tension has been brewing for some time in the Bethlehem area, where Christians number only around 20 percent of the population despite making up a majority of the population less than a century ago.
Among grievances cited by Christians are land seizures by Palestinian Muslims, a rise of Islamic radicalism during nearly four years of conflict with Israel, growing numbers of Muslims moving to Bethlehem from elsewhere and Israeli army operations and checkpoints in the Bethlehem area
(from HoustonChronicle.com).

Monday, July 12, 2004

Passengers Stuck on Plane All Night

Passengers stuck on plane all night:

Passengers on a United Airlines flight to Chicago arrived at O'Hare Airport on Saturday morning not by plane but by bus, after spending the night stranded on the tarmac in Milwaukee.
Flight 256 from Denver to Chicago was supposed to land at O'Hare at 9:58 p.m. Friday. Weather in Chicago caused the plane, carrying 155 passengers, to be diverted to Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport.
But the only gate at the airport capable of handling the wide-body 777 was occupied by an Air France cargo jet, which also had been diverted because of weather, United spokesman Rich Nelson said. The Air France crew couldn't move the plane because they would have exceeded the maximum number of hours they're allowed to work, Nelson said.
With the help of Northwest Airlines, United eventually got a movable stairway to the side of the plane, allowing passengers to disembark around 5 a.m. United then bused them to Chicago

(from Chicago Sun-Tmes).

Thursday, July 8, 2004

United States has removed some radioactive material from Iraq:
U.S. and U.N. officials said Wednesday Washington had transported 1.8 tons of enriched uranium out of Iraq for safekeeping more than a year after looters stole it from a U.N.-sealed facility left unguarded by U.S. troops
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Nigeria arrests 500 suspected email scammers:
Nigeria's agency against economic and financial crime said Monday that it had detained more than 500 suspects and seized property worth more than $US500 million from suspected fraudsters
(from The Australian).

Monday, July 5, 2004

Cassini-Huygens send pictures of Saturn's Rings to Earth:
The [Cassini-Huygens] spacecraft, which left Earth on Oct. 15, 1997, for its 2-billion-mile journey, is scheduled to spend the next four years orbiting the second-largest planet in our solar system, giving researchers what they hope will be insight into how that solar system formed
(from The Boston Globe).
Voting Official Seeks Terrorism Guidelines
The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.
Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.
Soaries noted that Sept. 11, 2001, fell on Election Day in New York City - and he said officials there had no rules to follow in making the decision to cancel the election and hold it later.
Events in Spain, where a terrorist attack shortly before the March election possibly influenced its outcome, show the need for a process to deal with terrorists threatening or interrupting the Nov. 2 presidential election in America, he said
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Saddam Dolls

Saddam Dolls

The freedom to openly ridicule (or just question) your leaders is... awesome!

Toy stores around Baghdad are doing a quick trade in dancing Saddam dolls - foot-high battery-powered puppets of the former president, kitted out in full insurgent regalia, who swing their hips to cheesy pop music at the flick of a switch
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News). Is Elmo Jealous?

Man Who Collected One-Milion Pennies Can't Cash Them In
Ron England has amassed 3.6 tons of copper in his garage in the Los Angeles suburb of Granada Hills after making a bet with his brother 30 years ago that he could collect 1 million pennies.
But neither the U.S. Mint, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, coin collectors nor the local bank is interested in cashing in his stash - at least not without a charge
(from MSNBC).

Monday, June 28, 2004

U.S. Hands Power to Iraqis Two Days Early:
The U.S.-led coalition transferred sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government two days early Monday in a surprise move that apparently caught insurgents off guard, averting a feared campaign of attacks to sabotage the highly symbolic step toward self-rule. Legal documents transferring sovereignty were handed over by U.S. governor L. Paul Bremer to chief justice Midhat al-Mahmood in a small ceremony attended by about a half dozen Iraqi and coalition officials in the heavily guarded Green Zone
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, June 21, 2004

Private craft soars into space, history:
The man who became the first person to pilot a privately built craft into space called his flight 'almost a religious experience' after his safe landing Monday morning
(from CNN).

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Kerry Took Money From Arrested Korean:
John Kerry's campaign collected a maximum $2,000 check from the recently arrested son of South Korea's disgraced former president, and some of its fund-raisers met several times with a South Korean government official who was trying to organize a Korean-American political group
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Clinton rages against Dimbleby in Panorama confrontation over Lewinsky
Bill Clinton loses his temper with David Dimbleby during a BBC television interview to be broadcast this week when he is repeatedly quizzed about his affair with Monica Lewinsky
(from telegraph.co.uk).
Stealth wallpaper could keep LANs secure:
The company has produced panels using the technology to produce a screen that will prevent outsiders from listening in on companies' Wi-Fi traffic but let other radio and mobile phone traffic get through.
The FSS (Frequency Selective Surface) panels are made in the same way as printed circuit boards - layers of copper on Kapton polymer - and used on stealth bombers and fighter jets. They come in two varieties: passive, which is effectively permanent, and active, where various areas can be switched on and off to enlarge or limit the area of the network
(from silicon.com).

Saturday, June 19, 2004

First Private Manned Spaceshot Attempt Set:
SpaceShipOne will try to climb 62 miles up Monday morning, leaving Earth's atmosphere for a few minutes to become the first privately funded, non-governmental manned spacecraft. The feat would set up SpaceShipOne designer Burt Rutan as the leader among worldwide contenders for the Ansari X-Prize, which aims to boost space tourism
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Monday, June 14, 2004

Sunday, June 13, 2004

UN inspectors: Saddam shipped out WMD on eve of war

UN inspectors: Saddam shipped out WMD on eve of war:

The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003.
The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council on new findings that could help trace the whereabouts of Saddam's missile and WMD program.
The briefing contained satellite photographs that demonstrated the speed with which Saddam dismantled his missile and WMD sites before and during the war. Council members were shown photographs of a ballistic missile site outside Baghdad in May 2003, and then saw a satellite image of the same location in February 2004, in which facilities had disappeared

(from WorldTribune.com). You can read this WorldTribune.com article at the MichNews.com site. You can also read these:

It seems Saddam Hussein had WMD in Iraq.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

JP Brown built a lego robot that solves a Rubik's Cube. Legos are awesome.

Monday, May 31, 2004

War deters WMD:
Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces in 2003, Qaddafi announced that his nation had an active weapons of mass destruction program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into his country to observe and dismantle them. The threat posed by illegal WMD programs had been cited by US President George W. Bush as one of his leading reasons for invading Iraq, and it is believed that after Saddam's downfall Qaddafi feared for the future of his own regime if he continued to keep and conceal the weapons. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying that Qaddafi had privately phoned him, admitting as much.
International inspectors turned up several thousand tonnes of chemical weaponry in Libya, as well as an active nuclear weapon program. The process of destroying the weapons continues
(from wikipedia.org).

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Tests Confirm Sarin Gas in Baghdad Bomb:
Comprehensive testing has confirmed the presence of the chemical weapon sarin in the remains of a roadside bomb discovered this month in Baghdad, a defense official said Tuesday
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Childless couple told to try sex:
A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex
(from Ananova).

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Funny Flash: The Shining in 30 seconds with bunnies [Warning: contains graphic bunny violence].

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Google Files Long-Awaited IPO Plans:
Internet search engine leader Google Inc. filed its long-awaited IPO plans Thursday, setting the stage for the company to make its stock market debut - a move that could be months away.
Without specifying a price per share, Google said it hopes to raise $2.7 billion with an initial public offering that's created the biggest high-tech buzz since the dot-com bubble burst four years ago
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Last Oldsmobile Rolls Off Assembly Line:
It's the end of the line for the oldest automotive brand name in the United States. The last Oldsmobile rolled off the line Thursday morning at the Lansing Car Assembly plant, which has produced the venerable vehicles for nearly a century
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ben and Jerry's free cone day today 12 PM to 8 PM, and Baskin Robbins free scoop night tomorrow (Wednesday, April 28th) 6 PM-10 PM.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Food for thought about what would've happened if Bush had tried to preempt 9-11.
North Korea says standoff with US at "brink of nuclear war:
Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear prorgammes, both plutonium and enriched uranium schemes, before it will offer concessions to the impoverished state.
Pyongyang denies having a uranium programme and has said it will freeze its plutonium weapons programme in return for simultaneous rewards from Washington
Isn't that extortion? (from Agence France-Presse, via Yahoo! Singapore News).

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Oh joy:
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - The only person convicted in the Sept. 11 attacks was freed by a court Wednesday, pending the outcome of his retrial on charges of aiding the Hamburg al-Qaida cell that included three of the suicide pilots
(via myway).

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Study: File-Sharing No Threat to Music Sales:
Internet music piracy has no negative effect on legitimate music sales, according to a study released today by two university researchers that contradicts the music industry's assertion that the illegal downloading of music online is taking a big bite out of its bottom line
(from Washington Post, via Yahoo News).

Monday, March 22, 2004

News of the weird: Airline Halts Plan for Lip-Shaped Urinals (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

One year anniversary: this blog started one year ago right now.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Happy Leap Year day! It's been four years since the last one (2000 had a February 29):
The leap year is a contrivance so that the calendar year (usually 365 days) doesn't get too far away from the solar (astronomical) year. You say: huh? Well, the astronomical year - the time it takes the earth to go exactly once around the sun - is not precisely 365 days. The ancients estimated it as 365* days. That wasn't bad as calculations go; it's actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.
To prevent this drift between the calendar year and the astronomical (seasonal) year, we add one extra day every four years. Thus, over the four year period, we have 1461 days, not 1460, for an average of 365.25 days per year.
Does that do it? Sadly, no. There are still those extra seconds - the astronomical year is 365.2422 days. So every 400 years, we DON'T NOT add the extra day (double negative intended). So 1700, 1800, 1900 were NOT leap years, but 2000 was.
If you've followed the math, that gets us very close. Over a 400 year period the calendar will contain an average of 365.2425 days per year.
Every 4,000 years (the first will be the year 4000, then 8000, etc.) we make the century years NOT leap years again. And that gives us an average of 365.24225 days per year over a 4.000 year period. Still not exact, but the calendar year won't vary by more than a day from its current place in the seasonal (astronomical) year in two hundred centuries - close enough for practical purposes
(from straightdope.com).

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

17 year old learns his mom abducted him:
Authorities arrested the mother of a 17-year-old boy after her son saw his picture on a missing children's Web site and discovered that she was accused of abducting him from his father 14 years ago
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, February 16, 2004

Riots in Sydney:
Rioters set fire to a train station and pelted police with gasoline bombs in an Aboriginal ghetto in Sydney on Monday during a nine-hour street battle that began after a teenager died, allegedly while being chased by officers.
The overnight rioting in the Redfern neighborhood, an Aboriginal ghetto of Australia's most populous city, left 40 officers injured and highlighted continuing tensions between authorities and the nation's original inhabitants
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Sunday, February 15, 2004

That's a big diamond:
If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093.
The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats. That's one followed by 34 zeros
(from The Sacramento Bee).
Kerry could be in trouble:
Alex Polier, the twenty-four year old journalist who could end Senator John Kerry's hopes of becoming the next president of the United States is alleged to have had a two-year affair with the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Last night the rumours were in danger of becoming a full-blown scandal
(from The Telegraph).

Thursday, February 12, 2004

An interesting perspective:
If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush.
But isn't the concern over whether or not Bush personally recieved special treatment, not over his whole unit's duties?
If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG squadron, you will find other pilots excused for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment
(from The Washington Times: Letters to the Editor - Editorials/OP-ED). If that's true, then Bush did not recieve any special treament and fufilled his duties.
If this is true, it reminds me of someone...: "General Wesley Clark plainly stated: 'Kerry will implode over an intern issue'", (from Drudge Report)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Cool!:
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11 - Intel scientists say that they have made silicon chips that can switch light like electricity, blurring the line between computing and communications and presenting a vision of the digital future that will allow computers themselves to span cities or even the entire globe.
(from The New York Times).

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I guess they really don't want you to speed:
HELSINKI, Finland - Police gave a record $216,900 speeding ticket to a millionaire under a system in which traffic fines are linked to an offender's income
(from Associated Press, via, Yahoo News).

Friday, February 6, 2004

U.S. Shuns Calls to Boost Falling Dollar

U.S. Shuns Calls to Boost Falling Dollar:

While the greenback's drop to record lows against the euro, the common currency of 12 European countries, is causing economic heartburn among European executives faced with increased competition from now cheaper-priced American goods, it is bringing hope of an export revival to beleaguered American manufacturers

(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, February 2, 2004

You can post to a blog from any wap enabled device (like a cell phone). This post was made with ubique's wapblogger ("a WAP interface to popular weblog tools Blogger,

LiveJournal and any other weblog-style tool supporting the XML-RPC Blogger API").

Sunday, February 1, 2004

The sound of the wardrobe department losing their jobs:
The tearing of Janet Jackson's costume [during the Super Bowl half time show] was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance.
MTV regrets this incident occurred and we apologize to anyone who was offended by it
(from PR Newswire, via Yahoo Finance).

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Second Mars Rover Sends Pictures to Earth:
NASA's Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth early Sunday, delighting and puzzling scientists just hours after the spacecraft bounced to a landing on the opposite side of the red planet from its twin rover, Spirit. The pictures showed a surface smooth and dark red in some places, and strewn with fragmented slabs of light bedrock in others. Bounce marks apparently left by the rover's air bags when it landed were clearly visible
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Everyone is affected by the weather, even space probes:
Rain in Australia could continue to delay signals that instruct the Spirit rover to drill into a Mars rock, a milestone for NASA missions on the Red Planet. The six-wheeled robot on Thursday or Friday is to grind away a tiny area of the weathered face of a sharply angled rock dubbed Adirondack. Examination of the rock beneath could offer clues to Mars' geologic past. But on Wednesday, NASA scientists said a thunderstorm near a Deep Space Network antenna in Canberra, Australia disrupted controllers' efforts to initiate the drilling
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Friday, January 16, 2004

Close-ups of Mars taken:
NASA's Spirit rover snapped its first close-ups Friday, using a combination camera and microscope mounted on its arm to photograph in minute detail the rust-colored soil of Mars
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Monday, January 5, 2004

Cool pictures from Mars!
2004 Economy looking up:
The economy is expected to grow in 2004 at the fastest pace in five years and add jobs, and stock prices are expected to continue to rise
(from USA Today, via Yahoo News).

Sunday, January 4, 2004

News of the odd:
Paris Hilton is the No. 1 fake name used by people calling for Domino's pizza deliveries in Washington, according to a survey of Domino's drivers in the capital. And 38 percent of those using the name of the socialite hotel heiress and reality television star ordered pepperoni topping. Attorney General John Ashcroft was No. 2 on the list of assumed names used by people ordering pizza
(from The International Herald Tribune).