Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Comes to an End

As the ball prepares to drop at Time Square (NYC) ushering in 2011, I hope your 2010 was more interesting then your 2009 and 2008. Just as I have encouraged for the last two years; think about what you have done this past year and what you might have have done differently, not to live in regret but as a guide for the coming year. As the year ends, so does its once limitless potential. The lucky among us will have the full coming year to try again. Stop putting off what you want really want to do, because you do not know when circumstances may preclude you from fulfilling that dream.

Individual Short-Term Food Storage is Vital

The recent blizzard has shown once again the importance of having at least a basic short-term food store. Intentional slowdown or otherwise, people found themselves trapped in their home or apartment unable to go out for sustenance. Even if not technically trapped, many were in a position where they did not want to be forced out to face the elements or on to the dangerous roads.

The importance of having enough to eat and drink for a few days is matched by the ease of preparation. On your next trip to the supermarket, buy a few bags of beef-jerky, a jar of honey, and a mini-keg of beer and/or a few gallons of water. When you get home, put them away together in a cool dark place. That's it; your done. No need to think about if for at least a year. You can make it more complicated if you want. Add whatever canned food you would like as long as you store a mechanical (not electric) can opener with it. You can also buy special made survival packs, or even just a box of granola bars or pop tarts. Beck (Fox News) wants you to have enough food stored to last a year; which is not a bad idea if you have the space and resources. I would be satisfied if you had enough for three days, and happy if you had enough for a week.

Keep in mind these few basic requirements; the food should be ready to eat (no need to microwave or cook), it must have a long shelf life (do not want to open up the cabinet with your emergency food to find it expired or spoiled), and it must be sufficiently nutritious to sustain you over those few days.

You should make it one of your New Years resolutions to be prepared. Part of being prepared for any emergency is making sure have food/water to eat/drink and are not forced to take unnecessary risks to acquire them.

Cryptic Secrets - Unlocking The Crossword

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More Genies

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Say Aah!

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The Making of The Keynes-Hayek Rap: Economic Theory Meets Popular Culture

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Be Valuable - Not Invaluable

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Building With Beer Crates

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Schrödinger's Cat is Alive/Dead

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If you do not get the joke, find tin on the periodic table of elements.

Tired of playing 'techie' to some of your less technically literate friends of family? Google created to help those people learn through very simple instructional videos. You can browse the videos and send them directly, or go through the site to send them a message with the clips.

GOP-Controlled House Will Open Congress With Reading of The Constitution

I think it is a good idea. Separately, it may be a bit of a slight toward the Democrats. Why stop at once? You could start every week with a reading. The Constitution is not a long document. Also, slowing Congress down is generally good for the country, unless the action they are taking is to undo one of their earlier mistakes.

"As soon as Speaker Pelosi hands over her gavel to GOP leader John Boehner the 112th Congress of the United States will open with a reading of the US Constitution"

Becoming Your Own Banker

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Return of Lindy Hop

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Vicious Coffee Cycle

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How Everything Goes to H*ll During a Zombie Apocalypse

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End-of-Life Advisory Incentives Return to ObamaCare

The return, after Congress specifically removed it following the uproar over the 'death panels', comes through regulation. Politically it is important for the Republicans to take notice. Passive legislative resistance to portions of Obama's agenda that they oppose is insufficient. They will need to proactively block those provisions.

"Better get used to this process, because it's how President Obama will be pushing his agenda on all fronts.  The New York Times reports today that the White House will create incentives for doctors to discuss "options" for end of life care through regulation, after Congress removed the incentives from ObamaCare
There is, however, something at least vaguely disturbing about a government incentivizing doctors to do so as part of an expansive regulatory program that has, as one of its primary goals, cost reduction.  The process used by Obama and Kathleen Sebelius to get this into ObamaCare is more disturbing, and in a very specific way.  Congress made it clear that it didn't want this incentive as part of the new law.  However, thanks to the miles and miles of ambiguity in the final version of ObamaCare, with its repetitive the Secretary shall determine language, Congress has more or less passed a blank check for regulatory growth to Obama and Sebelius."

Will Net Neutrality Save The Internet?

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Going Beyond The Book: 21st Century Libraries

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Monday, December 27, 2010

What is Bayesianism And Why Should You Care?

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Lego Black Ops

Video embedded below. is a quick and easy way to share groups of links with people. In that sense it is similar to What makes is the ability to edit the group of links after you create them. You can also make the lists editable by other people or share a different link to those people you want to have the option to edit the list.

Why The Feds Banned Four Loko (And is Your Favorite Drink Next?)

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Wikipedians Are The Weirdest People on The Internet

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Navy Launches First Aircraft Using Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)

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"Newer, heavier and faster aircraft will result in launch energy requirements approaching the limits of the steam catapult, increasing maintenance on the system. The system's technology allows for a smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier's ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter. EMALS will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms from lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles to heavy strike fighters."

Distinct Group of "Archaic" Humans Discovered

Human genealogy appears to be more complex then previously thought. (via)

"Razib Khan has been dropping hints that some big story about human evolution was about to break. Finally the official announcements are here and it is quite a story. "Archaic" humans separate from Neanderthals bred with some human populations and some humans alive today carry some of their genes. Is that cool or what?

Researchers have discovered evidence of a distinct group of "archaic" humans existing outside of Africa more than 30,000 years ago at a time when Neanderthals are thought to have dominated Europe and Asia. But genetic testing shows that members of this new group were not Neanderthals, and they interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans who are alive today.

Well, if two such groups are possible is there a third group waiting to be identified? In theory we should be able to detect the presence of other lost groups that inbred with humans by sequencing the genomes of every human population. Look for sequences that seem out of place. Super cheap DNA sequencing will make that possible. What secrets lurk in the genes of Andaman Islanders, the Ainu of Hokkaido Japan, the Eskimos, or the Australian Aborigines?

Fossils of these Denisovans were found in a cave in Siberia.

The journal Nature reported the finding this week. The National Science Foundation's Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division partially funded the research.

An international team of scientists led by Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, used a combination of genetic data and dental analysis to identify a previously unknown population of early humans, whom the researchers call "Denisovans." The name was taken from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia where archaeologists from the Russian Academy of Sciences recovered a bone in 2008.

The finger bone of a girl provided the needed DNA sample."

Obama Administration Readies First Execution

The big question; will he step in and stop it?

"The Justice Department is making preparations for what could be the first federal execution under President Barack Obama, according to a new court filing.

The Bureau of Prisons gave notice to a federal judge Wednesday that it intends to set an execution date for Jeffery Paul, 34. Paul was convicted in 1997 and sentenced to death for the robbery-murder of an 82-year-old National Park Service employee, Sherman Williams, on federal land in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1995.

Plans for the execution were disclosed by Justice Department lawyers in a lawsuit pending in Washington over federal lethal injection procedures. Several federal death row prisoners are covered by a stay entered in that suit, but Paul is not among them, since U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts denied Paul permission to join the case earlier this year, saying he had waited too long.
", as you likely deduced from the URL, is a website devoted to reporting on people's horror stories or truly awful experiences with the TSA.

Sniper Scoped Pool Cue

One shot, one ball in the pocket

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TSA Laziness-Induced Security Lapse

While flying out of a NYC airport I observed something that is hard to consider anything other than a TSA laziness-induced security lapse.

I passed through security without setting off the metal detector. A female who I was traveling with was not so lucky. I saw her set off the alarm as I was putting my shoes back on. Her husband, who had also passed through the detector without incident, was collecting scanned bags oblivious his wife was about to receive the 'enhanced pat down'. I got his attention and told him to go tell his wife to request the agent put on a new pair of gloves. She was in that special glass-walled-off section where the pat downs are administered. He walks over, gets her attention, and tells her to make the request. Multiple TSA personnel heard the man, including the agent, it appeared to me would eventually give the pat down to his wife. Instead of giving what I understand is a mandatory pat down if someone sets of the metal detector, the agent took her to the conveyor belt to pick out her shoes. The agent took the shoes to do a secondary bomb screening. The women was not subjected to any further examination; not wanded, not sent to go through the detector again, not Naked Body scanned, and not given a pat down of any kind. She was allowed to continue on as if the metal detector had not gone off in the first place.

Now this lady was not a security threat; I know that, but TSA did not. This lady was unarmed (no knives, guns, metallic bats...); I know that, but TSA did not. All they knew was that a person set off the metal detector, and they let her pass without any further inquiry. If this was the result of an oversight or some mistake it would be bad enough. Instead it appears to be an intentional lapse because someone did not want to be bothered with the task of tracking down a new pair of gloves.

I have clearly distinguished the events/facts from my opinion. She set the detector off, was pulled aside for additional screening, and was let go without that follow up screening right after the TSA agent knew she wanted a fresh set of gloves. What other conclusions could be drawn?

Who Will Be The Next Host of Trifecta?

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Internet Culture: What Does it Mean?

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gitmo Not Closing Any Time Soon

The problem is the same it has been since long before Obama took office; where to put the terrorists if Gitmo closes. That problem did not seem to be a concern to Obama before, but apparently what ever solution he thought he had is now acknowledged as insufficient.

"Nestled among a string of improbable victories President Barack Obama racked up in the lame-duck congressional session is legislation containing the most debilitating setback to date to his plan to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and send many of its detainees to trials in civilian courts in the U.S.

Language contained in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House and Senate on Wednesday bars the use of Pentagon funds to transfer any Guantanamo prisoner to the U.S. for any reason, including a trial. Some supporters of plan Obama announced on his first full day in office to close the prison said the passage of the legislation signals nearly complete capitulation by the president.

Romanian Man Hurls Himself From Parliament Balcony in Protest of Austerity Measures

He survived.

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Adrian Sobaru, an electrician at the national television station, gestured as he stood on the handrail of a balcony at Romania's Parliament

More than a dozen lawmakers watched his fall

Republican Redistricting Edge 196 to 49

The Republican will be in control of redistricting 196 seats while the Democrats will only have control of 49. If you are wondering why the math does not seem to add up it is because the rest of the seats are done on bipartisan or neutral basis.

"the Census Bureau announced the new distribution of House seats reflecting population data from its 2010 survey. As a number of news outlets have noted, the reapportionment combined with Republican gains in state legislatures and governorships last month have given an edge to the GOP. In total, Republicans have control over the redistricting of 196 Congressional seats, compared to 49 for Democrats -- the rest will have to be done on a bipartisan basis."

China to Bail Out Europe?

Europe continues stepping down while China and Asia step up. Having China invest in the West could prove beneficial in another way. Global stability would becoming increasingly important so they would see that investment pay off. That could mean serious pressure on 'trouble makers' like Iran and North Korea to start behaving.

"China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund.

In a fresh humiliation for Europe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said it was one of the most important areas for China's foreign exchange investments.

The country has already approached struggling European countries with financial aid, including offering to buy Greece's debt in October and promising to buy $4billion of Portuguese government debt.

Today Portugal had its credit rating downgraded by the Fitch Ratings agency amid mounting concerns over the country's ability to raise money in the markets to finance its hefty borrowings.
" bills itself as a sort of 'email roulette'. You write a message to an '' email address you come up with and see what happens. If someone else has already sent a note to the same address you will get their note and they will get yours. If you are the first, then your note will be stored until someone else uses it. At that point you will get their note and they will get yours. If you do not what to use your own email client you can go to and fill our the form instead. Along with the note you will get their email address (as they yours) so you can write each other if either/both of you are so inclined.

I have left a note on the site. I am not going to say what email address I used, but it should not be to difficult for you to figure out if you are interested.

"Simply send an email to

Then, the next time somebody sends an email to that same address, you get their
message (with email address) and they get yours!

It's a weird way to make random new friends!

The Warrior Ethos of Steven Pressfield

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How Crowdsourcing Changed Disaster Relief

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Friday, December 24, 2010 (Track Santa)

It is that time of year again; time to track Santa on his epic quest across the globe at (and)

"Every Christmas Eve, children all over the world ask themselves—and their parents—questions about Santa’s magical journey. How does Santa visit so many children in one night? Will he eat the cookies I left out? How does he fit all those presents into his sleigh? These childhood mysteries are part of what makes the Santa tradition so special.

There’s one timeless question that we’re proud to say we can help answer: Where in the world is Santa at this very moment? Thanks in part to recent advances in warp-speed GPS technology and some very clever elves (elveneering?) NORAD Tracks Santa is once again prepped and ready to go.

Starting tomorrow, December 24 at 2:00 a.m. EST, visit to follow Santa as he journeys around the world delivering presents to children in more than 200 countries and territories.

How The Obama Stole Christmas!

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Star Wars Christmas Special

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TSA Has no Regular Testing System For Naked Body Scanners

How are they supposed to ensure they are safe if there is not standard for regular testing?

"But when Andrew Schneider, AOL's public health correspondent, contacted the TSA to find out what maintenance and testing is in place to ensure the safe operation of the scanners, he discovered that the TSA appears to have no regime at all to ensure that they are functioning within normal parameters. While the TSA claims that entities like the FDA, the US Army and Johns Hopkins all regularly inspect their machines, none of these groups agrees, and they all disavow any role in regularly maintaining and testing the TSA's equipment (the Army has tested machines in three airports, but has not conducted any further testing). And Johns Hopkins denies that it has certified the machines as safe for operation in the first place -- let alone taking on any ongoing testing and certification program."

Netflix Plan vs. Reality

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A Nation of Desire

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The Government as Community Curator

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Muslim Group Launches 'Christmas is Evil' Poster Campaign

Religious tolerance at its finest.

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"It reads: 'On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an STD (sexually transmitted disease).

'On the second day debt, on the third rape, the fourth teenage pregnancies and then there was abortion.'

According to the posters, Christmas is also to responsible for paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, vandalism, alcohol and drugs.

Another offence of Christmas, it proclaims, is 'claiming God has a son'.
Condemnation: Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick

The bottom of the poster declares: 'In Islam we are protected from all of these evils. We have marriage, family, honour, dignity, security, rights for man, woman and child.'

The campaign's organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK.

TSA Message to Pilot - 'You’ve Angered us by Telling The Truth'

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Elie Wiesel Mistakenly Identified as "Holocaust Winner" on Fox News

It appears what they did was subconsciously combine Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Prize Winner resulting in a pretty bad mistake. It was corrected quickly, but it was easily noticeable.

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Keith Ellison (D) - 'God Willing...Border Will Become an Irrelevancy'

Maybe we can use this as an acknowledgment that their is currently a boarder and it needs to be secured.

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Nipple Enhancers (And 'Dehancers')

Wardrobe helpers for which ever direction you need help with.

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"Notice anything interesting about the woman pictured here?

Does anything ... poke out at you?

Admit it. You're not looking at her face.

But what you might not know about this woman is that those are not her nipples. Oh no.

They are silicone "nipple enhancers," and according to Bodyperks, the website selling them, they were "crafted to produce just the right amount of perkiness."
Personally, my nipples don't need any enhancing. I've been trying to hide them from public view for years, and if anything, I have trouble finding bras that cover them up without adding any more extra padding than is absolutely necessary. In fact, now that I think about it, I do have something similar to Bodyperks. They're called Dimrs.

Yes, Dimrs cover up what Bodyperks "enhances." And perhaps our choice between these two types of silicone says a lot about who we are as a person.

Revised 9/11 Responders Health Bill Passes House (206-60)

The main hold up to the bill was not if they should get support, but how that support should be paid for. The bill now heads to Obama who is expected to sign it.

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"Congress on Wednesday passed a bill that will pay for the health care treatment of first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after Democrats and Republicans reached a bipartisan agreement. The political deal lowered the total cost of the bill to $4.2 billion — down about $2 billion from an earlier version. Once signed into law by President Barack Obama, the measure will authorize a health benefits program for 9/11 first responders for the next five years while simultaneously placing several restrictions on hos the money is dispersed.

Despite a number of members of Congress already having left Washington for the winter recess period, the House of Representatives still had enough lawmakers for a quorum and passed the bill 206-60. New York Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer called the deal a “Christmas Miracle.”

Senate Ratifies New START Treaty (71-26)

Giving in on the missile shield was a massive unforced blunder. This treaty did not need to be rushed through in the lame duck session. I am a bit confused though, I was under the impression the Republicans won in the mid terms; so what are they doing here?

"The Senate ratified the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as New START, by a vote of 71 to 26, easily clearing the threshold of two-thirds of senators present as required by the Constitution for treaty ratification.

The final vote came after Senate Democrats accepted two amendments designed to placate Republicans who had qualms about the treaty. The amendments, which passed on voice votes with bipartisan support, emphasized the administration's commitment to a limited missile-defense program and to continued funding to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

The amendments were to the resolution of ratification accompanying the treaty, a nonbinding statement that codifies the Senate's understanding of the pact but does not directly affect its language. Republican efforts to alter the treaty language were defeated, with supporters of the pact arguing that such changes would have forced new negotiations with Moscow and effectively killed the treaty.

Thirteen Republicans joined all of the Senate's Democrats in voting for ratification, helping to exceed the 67 votes required. Three senators - all Republicans - were not present.

Obama's Press Conference on a 'Historic Congressional Session'

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Muslim Student Files Complaint Against Teacher For Talking About Ham

Fortunately sanity appears to have eventually prevailed.

"It’s hard to keep track these days of what ¨shows disregard to the feelings of Muslims.” Consider the case of the student at the Menéndez Tolosa school in Cadiz who recently asked his geography teacher to stop discussing ham in class because it was disrespectful to him as a Muslim. It should be noted that the teacher, José Reyes Fernández, was not mocking the Koran’s prohibition against eating ham. What was so offensive to the student was Fernández’s use of the Granada town of Trevélez as an example of a cold mountain climate conducive to the curings of hams.

Fernández’s explanation to the student that he did not consider his pupils’ religious beliefs when creating his lesson plans apparently did not pass muster. The student’s parents immediately filed a complaint against the teacher with the National Police for psychological ill-treatment due to xenophobia and racism.

Fernández is a well-respected teacher with 20 years of experience and no history of problems with students. In a note to the media, he wrote that the incident has damaged “his honor [and] image.” Fortunately, it appears that the complaint will not also hurt his professional career: a local prosectuor on Tuesday announced plans to archive the case.

Mass. School Requires Permission Slips to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

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"A public school in Brookline, Massachusetts is bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance. Except now, in a move that suggests the recitation and its words are controversial, the school is requiring parents to sign a permission slip so their kids can participate."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama Signs Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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Freed Gitmo Detainee - 'The Jews Used Witchcraft on me'

I really think at some point it may be in our best interest to embrace all these ridiculous claims; 'your dam right we know which craft and if you attack us again we will turn your whole family into frogs...'.

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Assange Upset Confidential Documents About Him Were Leaked

The hypocrisy here is just blinding. It also appears that the rape charges were not just about a condom breaking or Assange convincing the girl not to use one, but about physically forcing them to have sex with him or 'surprising' a sleeping women. Hard to consent if you are asleep... (via)

"In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange's closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. One witness is said to have stated: "Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent."

Bjorn Hurtig, Mr Assange's Swedish lawyer, said he would lodge a formal complaint to the authorities and ask them to investigate how such sensitive police material leaked into the public domain. "It is with great concern that I hear about this because it puts Julian and his defence in a bad position," he told a colleague.

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"I do not like the idea that Julian may be forced into a trial in the media. And I feel especially concerned that he will be presented with the evidence in his own language for the first time when reading the newspaper. I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing - trying to make Julian look bad."

Mr Assange is facing criminal allegations in Sweden over claims by two women that he sexually assaulted them while he was in the country earlier this year.

High School Official - "Candy Canes Are Weapons Because You Can Sharpen Them With Your Mouth And Stab People"

If the administrators are worried about candy candy canes being used as stabbing weapons, I wonder what the student use to take notes given that pens and pencils must have also been banned...

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Janet Napolitano - "People Are Working 24/7, 364 Days a Year to Keep The American People Safe"

I wonder what day they are taking off...

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Clapper Admits he Was Not Briefed on UK Terror Arrests

You would hope someone would have mentioned this to Clapper at some point given his job. Not only was he in the dark about it, but no one thought to say something given huge news story it was. Is this a 'we are in the best of hands' moment...

"Immediately after James Clapper professed ignorance of the arrests in the UK of a dozen suspected terrorists during an ABC News interview, the Obama administration denied that Clapper hadn’t been briefed on the news. They blamed Diane Sawyer for asking an “ambiguous” question. However, as Jake Tapper reports, the White House admitted this morning that Clapper hadn’t been briefed at all"

13-Year-Old Boy Arrested For Using a Permanent Marker in Class

Arrested for using a Sharpie in school. I assume j-walkers are summarily shot on site on site.

"A 13-year-old boy was arrested Friday for using a permanent marker while in class at his Oklahoma City middle school, a violation of an obscure city ordinance.

According to an Oklahoma City Police Department report, the boy was spotted “in possession of a permanent marker” by Roosevelt Middle School teacher DeLynn Woodside. The 50-year-old educator told cop Miguel Campos that the student was “writing on a piece of paper, which caused it to bleed over onto the desk.”
Campos reported that he allowed Woodside, a seventh grade math teacher, to “sign a citation” against the boy, who was then transported to the Community Intervention Center, a juvenile holding facility. A police sergeant subsequently “booked the marker into the property room.”

A police spokesman referred to the student’s bust as a “citizen’s arrest” effectuated by Woodside.

CBS News Airs Fake, Typo-Ridden Cover of Bush’s 'Decision Points' Memoir

You do not have to be as 'eagle eyed' as CBS seems to think. The book looks much different then it is supposed to. While it is true if you blinked you could have missed it, if you had any idea what the book was supposed to look like you would have noticed it was not right; then may have gone back to see what it actually said.

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"CBS aired a grammatically incorrect book cover
that read, “Desision Points: How I managed to go on eight years without making one good decision.”

A CBS spokesperson told Newsday that the false cover was aired by accident, and was the result of the network pulling a bad photo from the internet.

“Good catch: It’s a mistake no one could see because you’d have to freeze the frame to notice it. Another cautionary tale about the risks of the internet age – clearly, we have to be more careful when downloading material,” the CBS spokesperson said.

60 Minutes - Fiscal Day of Reckoning is Here

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repealed (65-31)

I really hope that this does not result in soldiers being wounded or dieing; unfortunately I am not convinced based on the study that this will be the case. The policy is something that needed to be repealed eventually; the military may have just had their schedule pushed up a bit.

"By a vote of 65-31, the Senate has voted to repeal "Dont Ask, Don't Tell." All that's left now is for President Obama to sign the legislation, which I'm sure he will do as quickly as possible.

Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture. Six Republicans voted in favor of doing so: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Mark Kirik, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, and George Voinovich. On the final vote, two conservatives, John Ensign and Richard Burr, joined in to support repeal.

Census Findings Released, US Population 308,745,538 on April 1

As was largely expected, Republican leaning states will gain seats while Democratic leaning states will lose seats. Besides effecting Congressional distracting, it will also effect the presidential election and the Electoral College is based on the number of seats a state has. Add to that the fact that Republicans won big in the state legislatures (meaning control of much of the redistricting) and the Democrats could be on the receiving end of a 'one-two punch' making it difficult to regain political power.

"The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation's population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation's population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.

Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

The new numbers are a boon for Republicans, with Texas leading the way among GOP-leaning states that will gain House seats, mostly at the Rust Belt's expense. Following each once-a-decade census, the nation must reapportion the House's 435 districts to make them roughly equal in population, with each state getting at least one seat.

That triggers an often contentious and partisan process in many states, which will draw new congressional district lines that can help or hurt either party.

In all, the census figures show a shift affecting 18 states taking effect when the 113th Congress takes office in 2013.

Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Florida will now have as many U.S. House members as New York: 27. California will still have 53 seats, and Texas will climb to 36.

In 2008, President Barack Obama lost in Texas and most of the other states that are gaining House seats. He carried most of the states that are losing House seats, including Ohio and New York.

Each House district represents an electoral vote in the presidential election process, meaning the political map for the 2012 election will tilt somewhat more Republican.

Nina Totenberg (NPR)- "I Was At – Forgive The Expression – a Christmas Party"

When did 'Christmas Party' become a low grade slur needing an advanced apology for using the phrase?

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"Totenberg’s bashfulness came as she explained how the failure of Congress to pass an annual budget has left federal workers in limbo:

Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this.

So, what did Totenberg mean by “forgive the expression”?

Holder - 'What Keeps me up at Night is Home-Grown Terrorist'

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Crowdsourcing The Price of Weed

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Map from the Website
(Green = < $300 per oz; Yellow = $3oo-400 per oz; Red = > $400 per oz

So Long to ya, 2010 | The JibJab 2010 Year in Review!

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Terror Plot Foiled in Britain (12 Arrested)

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A Joe Biden (War On) Christmas

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Free Calling in Gmail Extended Through 2011

Good news for you Goggle phone users through Gmail. Free phone calls continue for at least another year.

"When we launched calling in Gmail back in August, we wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010. In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we’re extending free calling for all of 2011."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Story of Evolution of Life on Earth, as Told Through Fingers

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Cuba Banned Sicko For Depicting 'Mythical' Healthcare System

Basically, Michael Moore's movie Sicko made Cuba's socialized medicine look so much better than it really is that the government feared a backlash from the people if they were to see it and than actually go through the medical system. Despite what skewed movies would have you believe, socialized medicine is much worse than our system. That is why people fly here to pay for treatment instead of staying home and getting it for free.

"Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.

The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.

But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so "disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room".

Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it "knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them."

Emails of Julian Assange Published

I wonder how he feels about being on the other end of the disclosure mentality.

"Julian Assange, the founder of the world's most notorious secret-sharing operation, has some embarrassing documents in his own past. We've obtained a series of emails detailing his stalkery courtship of a teenager in his pre-Wikileaks days.

Elizabeth (not her real name) met Assange one night in April 2004, about two years before Assange started his now-infamous whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. She was 19 at the time; Assange was 33 and a student at the University of Melbourne studying physics and mathematics. Elizabeth spotted Assange at a bar near Melbourne and approached the older man with the long white hair because he seemed different than other guys she'd met."

Head to the source if you want to see those emails.

PJTV's InstaVision: S.M. Stirling on The State of SciFi And The Creation of New Worlds

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Learning From Bangalore: Urban Informatics at Street Level

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

NASA - 'Man Caused Global Warming May be Staving Off The Next Ice Age'

Does this mean we should be blaming non-polluters for this frigid winter? Seriously though, why is it so hard for people to say we really are unable to calculate (or even know?) all of the factors involved with the Earth's climate. Taking 'action' will have a significant, and almost certainly negative, impact on many people's lives. Before we do something major, I think it would be a good idea to know that the sacrifice being asked of us will actually have an impact, and that the impact will be a positive one. (via)

"Earth's orbit around and orientation toward the Sun change over spans of many thousands of years. In turn, these changing "orbital mechanics" force climate to change because they change where and how much sunlight reaches Earth. (Please see for more details.) Thus, changing Earth's exposure to sunlight forces climate to change. According to scientists' models of Earth's orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling -- perhaps the next ice age.

However, a new force for change has arisen: humans. After the industrial revolution, humans introduced increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and changed the surface of the landscape to an extent great enough to influence climate on local and global scales. By driving up carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (by about 30 percent), humans have increased its capacity to trap warmth near the surface.

PJTV: Author John Ringo: The Merger of SciFi And Military Tech

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China Reveals Plan to Build an Aircraft Carrier

It is hard to be considered a serious navel power without one; at least as far as projecting power is concerned. There is a big difference between planning to build one and actually having it. We will have to wait for more detailed plans (ex. size, aircraft armaments, range, defensive capabilities...) to see how much it will change the balance of power in the region.

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"China has confirmed for the first time that it is preparing to build an aircraft carrier, a move set to heighten international concerns over the rapid expansion of its naval power.

Beijing announced its step quietly with one sentence buried at the end of a lengthy government publication.

“In 2009, China put forward a plan and a programme for building an aircraft carrier,” says China’s Ocean Development Report (2010), a book published in May by the State Oceanic Administration, a body under the Ministry of Land and Resources.

“This shows that China has started entering a new historic era of comprehensively building itself into a great naval power. [This] is China’s historic task for the entire 21st century,” the report said.

A senior Chinese defence official told the Financial Times two years ago that the world should not be surprised if China built an aircraft carrier. In March last year, Liang Guanglie, China’s minister of defence, told his Japanese counterpart that China would not remain forever the only major power without an aircraft carrier.

Gold Vending Machine in Florida

This type of machine is not new, but it is the first I have seen in the USA.

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Ayn Rand & The World She Made: Q&A With Anne Heller

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King of Geeky Pillows: How I turned a One-Time Sewing Hobby Into a Global Business - Roberto Hoyos

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Washington Post Fails to Publish Own Poll on ObamaCare's Showing it Has The Lowest Popularity Ever

I thought ObamaCare was supposed to get more popular after it passed; I guess not... . Of course, you would not know this if you put to much faith/emphasis on traditional media sources.

"A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law's "lowest level of popularity ever." But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”

This is the same Post that highlighted the news on Page One on October 20, 2009, when they found a “clear majority” in favor of a socialist “public option” -- amid charges they oversampled Democrats.

The numbers weren't excluded because they arrived late. The Post poll numbers went up on the website yesterday at about 1 pm, under the headline “Health care opponents divided on repeal.” That obscured the numbers a bit, as Cohen found a “slim majority” (not a “clear majority”?) currently oppose ObamaCare:

Overall, 52 percent of those polled oppose the overhaul to the health care system, 43 percent are supportive of it. Fully 86 percent of Republicans are against the legislation; 67 percent of Democrats support it. Independents divide down the middle, with 47 percent in favor and the same number opposed.

Cohen made no mention of that phrase "lowest level of popularity ever."

10 Years of "Whatever," Hate Mail & Practicing For The Apocalypse With John Scalzi

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Radley Balko Talks Cops And Cameras on Freedom Watch

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Obamas Not Invited to Prince William's Wedding

I does not matter how they try to justify the lack of an invitation; it is most definitely an intentional snub at Obama. Given the way Obama treated England thus far in his presidency; while it seems a surprising move, maybe it should not.

"President Obama and his wife Michelle will not be invited to Prince William's wedding next year.

Because Prince William is not yet heir to the throne, his wedding to Kate Middleton is not classed as a ‘state occasion’ – and the couple feel under no pressure to fill the 2,000-strong guest list with heads of state, the Mail understands.

They are more eager to ask ordinary citizens and charity workers than foreign dignitaries and VIPs to what will be the first royal ‘people’s wedding’, courtiers suggested.

A handful of heads of state are likely to be invited in line with previous royal weddings, possibly including France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni.

But the decision to exclude the American premier and his wife Michelle from the celebrations marks a break from tradition.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana invited then-American president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy to their 1981 ceremony – though she came alone because the president was too ill to travel following an assassination attempt on him.

Urinal-Based Gaming Interface Lets You Pee For Points

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Business Lessons From Star Wars - Becky Anderson

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Friday, December 17, 2010

James Meeks (D) - 'Minority Contracts Should Only go to Blacks. Definitely Not White Women'

What is wrong with a system based on meritocracy? (via)

"Meeks made the statement on Wednesday during an interview on WVON-AM (1690). It happened during a discussion of why African-American businesses got a 7 percent sliver of Chicago’s $1 billion spending pie through Aug. 31, down from 8 percent a year ago.

“The word ‘minority’ from our standpoint should mean African American. I don’t think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title,” he said. “That’s why our numbers cannot improve — because we use women, Asians and Hispanics who are not people of color, who are not people who have been discriminated against.”

Hours after making those remarks, Meeks back-tracked by saying he would only exclude white women if elected mayor. The set-aside program currently earmarks 25 percent of all city contracts for minorities and 5 percent for companies owned by women.

“I don’t believe white women should be considered in that count ….You have white women in the category. They receive contracts. Then, white men receive contracts. Where does that leave everybody else?” he told Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 news.

Go Green, KILL PEOPLE! (Crowder Visits Mexico)

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Cop Stops New Robbery While Collecting Footage From Previous One

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Obama Signs Tax Compromise Bill

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Walden (R) Announces Chairmanship Using Morse Code Tweet

Not the most strait forward way to make an announcement, but one of the more novel/interesting.

"Rep. Greg Walden (R-WA) issued the following tweet yesterday:

That sent the newspaper The Hill scrambling for answers. Using an online Morse code translator, the newspaper came up with the following announcement: “”WILL CHAIR COMM AND TECH SUB 73S W7EQI.”

The first part is self explanatory, but the last part (the number and letter combination) forced some more digging. The Hill explains what it found:

The Hill needed help on the last part, and a Walden aide came to the rescue:

“73s means ‘best regards’ or a similar sign-off. W7eqi is his [amateur radio call sign],” he said. Walden has a long history in the radio business where he picked up the lingo.

Walden issued a follow-up tweet to clarify his announcement:


Festivus Now Legally Considered a Holiday/Religion

The real test will be to see if this guy can finagle some tax exempt status...

"When sentencing day came, King pleaded guilty to the sale or transport of a controlled substance – a felony. Two other felonies were thrown out.

But King still wanted his non-salami meals.

Judge Johnson pulled King's lawyer and the prosecutor aside and said he needed a religion to put down on the order to make it stick, explained Thiagarajah.

“I said Festivus,” said Thiagarajah. The order was granted – three non-salami meals a day.

County Counsel researched Festivus, arguing the holiday was the creation of writer Dan O’Keefe to celebrate his first date with his wife in 1966. The holiday was introduced to the world by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for "Seinfeld," who wrote it into the show.

Seinfeld celebrated Festivus with an aluminum “Festivus pole” instead of a tree and traditions such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength.” Easily explainable events were “Festivus miracles.”

“Festivus for the rest of us!” was the pseudo-holiday’s motto.

Still, the judge’s order stood. No salami.

Julian Assange Not Happy to be Asked About Rape Allegations

Apparently disclosure works in one direction. Listen till the end, he has some not so kind words for the man asking the question.

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Busybodies, Babes, and Bacon! Presenting's 2010 Nanny of The Year

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Omnibus Bill Shelved, Replaced With Continuing Resolution

A victory for the Republicans, but a looming test as well. We will soon see what they plan on doing with their increased power.

"Speaking now on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) says he is “sorry and disappointed” to announce that he does not have the votes for the omnibus spending package. Instead, he will work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to draft a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year."

Pranksters Draw Massive Penis in The Snow For Eiffel Tower (Paris) Tourists

Did no one understand what they were doing until it was done, or did no one care enough to stop them?

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Step Aside Julian Assange, KlaviLeaks Makes Andrew Klavan Public Enemy No. 1

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Jon Stewart Pokes Fun at MSNBC /Fox News/ CNN Advertisement Campaign

I think Fox News comes out on top here.

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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Best F#@king News Team Won't Stop Ever
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

This is the earlier clip he was referring to.

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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
MSNBC Left Behind
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Metrodome Roof Collapses Again

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See also:
Berman Post: Metrodome Roof Collapse: "Metrodome Roof Collapse"

Reid (D) - 'Stopping Earmarks is Obama Stealing Power From Legislature'

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What's the Biggest Threat to Free Speech?

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Geological Remnants of a 'Planetary' Ring System?

If a ring system is not stable, there are only two places for it to go. The debris is either flung out to space or goes crashing down to the planet/moon (or what ever it is circling). This may be what it looks like after it goes crashing down.

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"There’s a new theory for why Saturn’s moon Iapetus looks like a walnut. The moon has a mysterious large ridge that covers more than 75 percent of the moon’s equator. Figuring out the reason for the ridge, say researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, has been a tough nut to crack. But they propose that at one time Iapetus itself had its very own moon, and the orbit of this mini-moon-around-another-moon would have decayed because of tidal interactions with Iapetus, and those forces would have torn the sub-satellite apart, forming a ring of debris around Iapetus that would eventually slam into the moon near its equator."

Omnibus Spending Bill: More of The Same

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Physical Internet' Contemplated Able Ferry Freight Through a Series of Tubes

I think this is one of those ideas that sound interesting, but are ultimately impractical. The volume of goods that would be needed to make it viable based on the costs is not demanded; especially in rural areas. It may have some potential between suppliers and distribution points, or if the costs could be brought down significantly.

"Hungry? Better turn on your linear induction motor and send a metal capsule through an underground polyethylene tube to retrieve some groceries.

That’s the vision of Foodtubes, a UK program that seeks to reduce carbon emissions by building a pipeline-capsule system to deliver food and freight. A series of tubes could ferry 6-foot-long metal bins among neighborhoods, entire cities or even to different countries, moving goods at 60 mph using linear induction motors and intelligent routing software. Foodtubes says it’s “really fast food,” brought to you by the Internet of Things.

“In the long term, we could see an ostrich slaughtered in Cape Town, and delivered to Edinburgh,” said Noel Hodson, Foodtubes’ CEO, in an interview in EWeek Europe.
It sounds crazy, but Foodtubes points out that other commodities — oil, water, gas and even sewage — have dedicated pipeline networks, and new 3-foot-diameter tubes are installed all the time. Dedicated Foodtube pipelines would require little maintenance and could earn $125 million a year, Hodson said.

Apparently the group initially considered vacuum tubes, like the kind you use at a drive-through bank teller, but realized it would be impractical on a massive scale. Instead, capsules would be accelerated with linear induction motors, which would be controlled by computers.

AP Runs Intentionally Misleading Caption to Disparage Palin

The caption; 'Palin has her hair done during a visit to a cholera treatment'. What it fails to mention is the person fixing Palin's hair is her daughter.

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"The Associated Press transmitted a photo from Haiti of Palin captioned, "Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, center, has her hair done during a visit to a cholera treatment center set up by the NGO Samaritan's Purse in Cabaret, Haiti, Saturday Dec. 11, 2010. Palin arrived Saturday in Haiti as part of a brief humanitarian mission. Dieu Nalio Chery / AP"

That photo and caption set off rabid attacks on Palin from the Huffington Post, the U.K.'s Daily Mail and, of course, Palingates.

The photo does indeed show Sarah Palin standing with her husband Todd as a woman whose face is obscured uses two hands to fix the hair on the right side of Palin's head.

However, one can observe that the woman is white, with her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a white shirt with a bulky scarf and dark pants.

In other photos from Saturday, Todd and Sarah Palin's white, brunette, eldest daughter Bristol, who accompanied her parents on the trip to Haiti, is wearing the exact same clothing and ponytail as the "hair stylist" in the AP photo.

That's right, what the Palin-hating AP and others fail to report is that the "hair stylist" is Bristol Palin.

2-Year-Old Survives 'Internal Decapitation'

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High School Basketball Player Throws Ref to The Ground Upset With a Call

This is some seriously unsportsmanlike conduct.

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From the Youtube clip discretion:

"The game ended in forfeit after the player from Desoto High School in Arcadia, FL attacked the referee after being issued a technical foul and was ejected from the game. The player has been banned from all extracurricular school activites according to the coach, suspended till January 10th as of now, and a police report has been filed. However, the official involved chose not to press charges at this time."

Nanosatellite Launch From a Microsatellite a Failure?

This seemed so promising. Now it may be a second NASA triumph turned failure in a week.

"the most recent release from NASA states that things might have turned out otherwise. Not only has the sail potentially failed to deploy, it’s currently unclear if the nanosatellite was even ejected.

In NASA’s own words on the mission site:

At this time, it is not clear that NanoSail-D ejected from the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) as originally stated on Monday, Dec. 6. At the time of ejection, spacecraft telemetry data showed a positive ejection as reflected by confirmation of several of the planned on orbit ejection sequence events. The FASTSAT spacecraft ejection system data was also indicative of an ejection event. NanoSail-D was scheduled to unfurl on Dec. 9 at 12:30 a.m., and deployment hasn’t been confirmed. The FASTSAT team is continuing to trouble shoot the inability to make contact with NanoSail-D. The FASTSAT microsatellite and all remaining five onboard experiments continue to operate as planned.

What a bummer."

11 Million Dollar Christmas Tree Erected in The United Arab Emirates

This is billed as the most expensive Christmas Tree ever. The tree itself is now where the value comes from, but the 'jewelry ornaments'.

"Christmas came in extravagant fashion to the Muslim desert emirate of Abu Dhabi as a glitzy hotel unveiled a bejewelled Christmas tree valued at more than 11 million dollars on Wednesday.

It is the "most expensive Christmas tree ever," with a "value of over 11 million dollars," said Hans Olbertz, general manager of Emirates Palace hotel, at its inauguration.

The 13-metre (40-foot) faux evergreen, located in the gold leaf-bedecked rotunda of the hotel, is decorated with silver and gold bows, ball-shaped ornaments and small white lights.

But the necklaces, earrings and other jewellery draped around the tree's branches are what give it a record value.

It holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones, said Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery, which provided the jewellery.

"The tree itself is about 10,000 dollars," Olbertz said. "The jewellery has a value of over 11 million dollars -- I think 11.4, 11.5."

Stuxnet Virus Set Iran’s Nuclear Program Back by Two Years?

Lets hope it is longer then that.

"The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by two years, a top German computer consultant who was one of the first experts to analyze the program’s code told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“It will take two years for Iran to get back on track,” Langer said in a telephone interview from his office in Hamburg, Germany. “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”

Gallup - Congress' Job Approval Rating at All Time Low (13% Approval, 83% Disapproval)

When Congress flagrantly disregards the will of the American people, what else is to be expected...

"Americans' assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.
Frustration with the tax deal among Democrats in the general population could be a major reason for Americans' historically low approval rating of Congress. That frustration could be opposition to the bill's particulars or frustration with the Democrats in Congress opposing the president's deal. Democrats' approval of Congress is down significantly, to 16% now, from 29% in November. The November poll was conducted after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for 2011-2012 in the midterm elections, so the drop in this month's numbers is not a reaction to the Democrats' midterm losses.

TSA Supervisor Says Advanced Pat Down Selection Based on Having Breasts (Picking Females)

If it was a joke, it was a pretty stupid one. This is especially true given the concern that attractive people are being intentionally selected for the 'benefit' of the screeners.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HIV Cured by Adult Stem Cells

The message from the scientist is that it works but is not practical. I think the 'it works' part is much more important. A lot of things that started off as impractical (or even impossible) are common place today.

"Timothy Ray Brown, an HIV-positive American living in Germany, had leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy, when he received a transplant of stem cells from a donor carrying a rare, inherited gene mutation that seems to make carriers virtually immune to HIV infection.

The transplant appeared to wipe out both diseases, giving hope to doctors, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been studying HIV/AIDS for almost 30 years, said while this is an interesting proof of concept, it’s absurdly impractical.

“It’s hard enough to get a good compatible match for a transplant like this,” Fauci told, “But you also have to find compatible donor that has this genetic defect, and this defect is only found in 1 percent of the Caucasian population and zero percent of the black population. This is very rare.”

Fauci said while this patient is “functionally cured” this is not something you can do with every HIV-infected individual.
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