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The WeatherPixie
Weather Conditions, Wish we were there...

Odd things and such things, as I feel appropriate, possibly relating to the war.
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Comments by: YACCS

Thursday, October 31 - Ryder lawyer suggests frame-up - Oct. 31, 2002
A lawyer for actress Winona Ryder suggested Thursday that a Saks Fifth Avenue theft investigator might have had a financial motive to try to frame the actress for shoplifting.
Attorney Mark Geragos said the husband of Colleen Rainey, the investigator, is a struggling screenwriter. He suggested Rainey might have framed the actress in hopes the couple could make money from a story about the alleged December 12 shoplifting.
Okay. Now, here's the question I've got. Do the security cameras show her cutting tags and stealing stuff?

(And does this strike anyone else with the same feeling that if it had been you or I 'stealing', that we'd be in jail at this point? Sure, she's beautiful. Sure, she's a star. Sure, she was 'shoplifting to prepare for a possible role'.

Sure she was...)


Apollo program for energy?
In the United States, a hydrogen lobby that includes Shell Oil last month urged the U.S. government to invest $5.5 billion in hydrogen over 10 years.
That's promising. There's also critiques of solar, fission, and wind.

No easy answers, really. And no cheap ones - which may be more relevant.


MSN Entertainment - News
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Fox canceled producer David E. Kelley's new law office drama girls club after just two airings because of low ratings.
Does it strike you that maybe they need to actually let a show RUN in order for it to find an audience? Two airings - and it didn't have significant market share, so they cancel it.

I guess it makes sense in a Hollywoodish way, but it sure seems to me that you might want to give a show a chance to suceed.

But hey, if it's not a hit after two weeks - it'll never be, right?


Wednesday, October 30
Let everyone have a gun -
It is thus not clear that more gun control laws designed to reduce rates of gun ownership will make Australians safer. While they may reduce the availability of guns for the commission of crimes, they simultaneously reduce the availability of guns for defence, reducing the ability of private citizens to stop crimes during their commission and reducing the deterrent effect received from the likelihood of criminals facing armed victims. To evaluate the Prime Minister's proposals, we need to consider these potential costs as well as their potential benefits.
Sounds like Australia is starting to feel the clue-by-four beating on their heads. Defenseless doesn't win points from agressors. The mugger is glad, because his job is safer.

J. Man busted in stolen purple dingo head
Some thieves try to hide their stolen goods. Others put on a purple dingo head and go to the bar.
Ryan McAllister, 27, and James Masterson, 21, allegedly swiped the oversized costume of Zap, the mascot of the Detroit's WNBA team, the Shock, after attending a game at the Palace of Auburn Hills last Wednesday, Oct. 24.
They'd been watching a Detroit Pistons preseason basketball game when they decided to take the suit.

(bites lower lip)

Nope. Ain't gonna say it.

J. Radioactive cat poop gets out of the bag
Be careful what you do with your radioactive cat poop.
William Jenness agreed to pay a $3,856.47 fee for mishandling his cat Mitzi's litter box.
Jenness took Mitzi, 11, to a local clinic to treat her hyperthyroidism. The treatment involved giving the feline an injection of radioactive iodine, and Jenness was given strict instructions to flush his pet's waste down the toilet, rather than throw it out.
Cats who undergo the procedure are themselves radioactive for several days, as is their waste product. After a few days, radiation levels return to normal.
Jenness didn't follow the instructions.

Nah. I still won't say the obvious.

J. Amateur jackasses catch police attention
Police came scrambling to respond to a reported drive-by shooting, but it turned out it was only a bunch of Jackass wannabes.
"When we first got the call it was for a drive-by shooting," said Clearwater Police spokesman Wayne Shelor, describing the Saturday, Oct. 26, incident.
Instead they found a car full of teens with a paintball gun and video camera, who had decided to imitate the stunts in Jackass, the new movie of outrageous pranks and stunts that topped the box office rankings last week.

Nah. I won't say the obvious.


Tuesday, October 29
Detroit's voter rolls in question - 10/29/02
Detroit's voter rolls in question
Mayor's office says total too high by 150,000; dispute could skew count, prompt challenges

DETROIT -- Despite having died eight years ago, Kathe Beddow still retains one mortal privilege: The right to vote.
The city Elections Department in July sent Beddow a voter registration card, even though she hasn't voted in more than a decade. She is also still listed as a registered voter with the Secretary of State's Office.
Wonder what the breakdown is - how many of the deceased are Democrat, how many Republican...


Sunday, October 27
United Press International: Report: Nerve gas killed Russian hostages
The doctors in the footage described the gas as being a neuro-paralyzing agent, one that disables the body's nervous system. The description contrasts with other reports that described it as a sleeping gas.
Looks like I was wrong about it being a blood agent. Still keeping my fingers crossed on the counteragents. (Usually atropine and pralidoxime chloride, and some diazepam to take care of the convulsions.)

So - quick ethics question:

Was it okay for Russia to use nerve agents on terrorists and hostages, when there's a certainty of death for all if another course of action was followed?


Descent Into Evil
He was a soldier, a Muslim convert, and a man who had failed in love and business, who clung tightly to a teenager not his son. The story of a journey into darkness and murder—and the investigation that brought a killing spree to an end
Oh, are we supposed to feel sorry for this man? Oh, he went on a journey into darkness and murder.

It's not his fucking fault! It was (fill in favorite bleeding heart reason here) that was the cause!

No. Nobody forced this man to shoot people. Nobody forced him to make cutouts in his trunk so he could shoot people while going unobserved.

And that the spin is starting toward his not being fucking RESPONSIBLE for his actions is just plain idiotic.


The Russians have apparently used some sort of nerve gas to knock out the terrorists and save the hostages in the theater. They're saying it was an anaestetic gas, but I'm not sure it was.
The gas caused intense drowsiness, according to the released hostages, and many were seen having to be carried from the building.

"When the raid started, they let the gas out," one former hostage said. "People were fainting. No one could even think straight."
Russian authorities have not released the name of the gas used, but medical officials say it is a drugging agent used for anaesthesia before surgery. The gas can cause complications with lung, heart, liver, and kidney functions, medical officials added.
My thought is they used a blood agent on the people in the theater.
Blood agent: A blood agent is a chemical warfare agent that is inhaled and absorbed into the blood, carrying the agent to all body tissues where it interferes with the tissue oxygenation process. The brain is especially affected. The effect on the brain leads to cessation of respiration followed by cardiovascular collapse.
The antidote doesn't seem to have been effective so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the survivors.

BTW, no terrorists survived.


Saturday, October 26 - Investigators probe Wellstone crash - Oct. 26, 2002
Carmody said the plane's nose was pointed away from the airport, at a 90-degree angle to the runway, when it crashed. Why the plane was headed in that direction is unknown and will be part of the investigation, she said.
The angle of tree damage showed a descent much steeper than would be expected with a controlled landing, and propeller damage indicates the engines may still have been operating at the time of the crash, she said.
Let's count the strikes against the pilot.

1. Operating in freezing rain and snow. Prime icing conditions. Aerodynamics 101 - ice accumulation on wings is a Very Bad Thing because you are robbed of lift and weight is added to your plane.

2. The plane had rubber de-icing boots. This can be a problem, if you cycle the de-icing boots too soon, a crust of ice can build up that the boots can't break. If you wait too late, a crust builds up that the boots can't break. Close attention needs to be paid by the pilot on the ice accuumulating - too much, and you're screwed.

3. The pilot was flying an apparent IFR (instrument flight rules) approach, in icing conditions, with weather probably at or below minimum safe altitudes, to an uncontrolled airport with (probably) no navagational aids to speak of. Pilot workload on an IFR approach is real high, and to an uncontrolled airport it'd be even worse.

3 strikes. And the pilot most probably missed the window on cycling the de-icing boots. There was, judging from the fire, plenty of fuel. So the plane was heavy - which wouldn't have helped matters at all when he started losing lift from icing.

Of course, all the above is speculation. But I think that you're going to find #1 & 2 are the main culprits, with #3 a subsidiary reason.


USS Clueless - Those evil warbloggers
But that deep division to which I referred, elitism versus populism, comes down to this: do you believe that the "common man" is wise enough to make up his own mind and pick the right answer if he's exposed to all sides of an issue?
The elitists do not.
And they're angry they aren't getting more press, or attention in the media. For example, the Anil-LGF dust-up. Anil Dash thinks that war is evil. LGF thinks war is highly undesireable, but there are truely evil people out there and not acting to stop them is not an acceptable option. Anil would like to see LGF ignored, possibly shut down because of the 'racist' attitudes found there, and the 'hate speech' he sees.

Anil doesn't have a clue.

Personally, I love the way you're forced to actually THINK about what you find on the internet - especially if you're looking for reasonable information on things WHICH ARE NOT COVERED on the regular news channels.

But there are some who would like to see that choice eliminated. For our own good, of course.

Your mileage may vary, but I believe I speak for a lot of folks when I say "Don't attempt to censor what I see or read." I'm an adult, thank you very much, and can make my own decisions . That you feel you need to control what others see and read tells me a lot about what you're thinking - and I'l do my damndest to make sure you don't get the control over me you so obviously want.


12 Americans Stage Protest Hussein Is Happy to Allow
Asked repeatedly about Mr. Hussein's rights abuses, Ms. Kelly acknowledged there had been excesses in Iraq. But each answer was cast in a way that shifted the topic quickly back to what she sees as America's transgressions.
"I don't think there's any way to sidestep the fact that there have been abuses" in Iraq, she said. "However I come from the United States, and my primary responsibility is to speak out against the U.S.A. My responsibility is to speak out against my government inflicting punishment unto death upon hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children under the age of 5."
In other words, it's all America's fault.

How simple her world must be. Saddam refuses to comply with sanctions, and it's America's fault. Saddam builds palaces while his people starve, and it's America's fault.

And her primary responsibility as an American is to speak out against the U.S.A.

{sarcasm} Boy, isn't this woman just the most America-lovin' patriot you ever saw? {/sarcasm}

J - Sniper suspects charged with murder - Oct. 26, 2002
The two men suspected of killing 10 people and wounding three others in a three-week shooting spree were each charged with six counts of murder late Friday in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Arrest warrants were issued for John Allen Williams, 41 -- also known as John Allen Muhammad --- and John Lee Malvo, 17, charging them each with first-degree murder in the six killings that took place in Montgomery County.
CNN is apparently backing off calling John Allen Muhammad John Allen Muhammad. The man changed his name, apparently legally - so why change how they're reporting his name?

Oh, wait - we might be reminded he's a Muslim? Can't have that, apparently...


Friday, October 25 : Muslims Fear Sniper Backlash
"The whole Muslim community was praying day and night: 'God, please. There has to be no connection to Muslims,'" Faiz Rehman of the American Muslim Council said Thursday.

"We'll probably have a backlash. People in a hurry will think that this is just a Muslim thing again. The community really fears it."
Funny thing? I have absolutely no problems discerning Muslims who wish me, my family, or my country harm from those who do not. And I'd guess that 99.9998% of the other people in this country can tell it too.

Muslims who want to harm the US seem to have this wonderfully verbose bent to them. "We want to kill Americans because of this, that, something else, and by the way it's also the way the Americans support the Jews in Palestine. You are all infidels, prepare to die for the glory of Allah." They put out press releases, for crying out loud, taking credit for anything and everything destructive they can. They want the glory they've been told accrues to the warrior, they want the fame.

Reminds me of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy's chasing through the marketplace, is stopped by an overmuscled swordsman, who procedes to do his warm up bladework to impress and intimidate Indiana Jones. Indy, being the hasty American who doesn't properly appreciate how he should watch and be impressed and intimidated by the swordsman, blows him away with a Webley.

You see - that's a marvelous example of the difference between a 'warrior' and a 'soldier'. A 'warrior' is going to be concerned with looking good, being impressive, and generally trying to intimidate his opponent so he can get as much glory as possible in the eyes of his fellow warriors. A soldier goes "Oh, crap. Not again..." and shoots the warrior with a minimum of fuss and bother. He won't play games, it's not a glorious thing to him, it's just something he needs to do.

J. - Pair of deer smash through D.C. McDonald's window - Oct. 25, 2002
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A pair of deer interrupted the lunchtime rush Friday at a McDonald's restaurant in Washington when they smashed through a plate glass window and pranced around the store, a fire official said.

Ummm, they just wanted a salad?


MSN Entertainment - News
LONDON (AP) -- Irish actor Richard Harris, the roistering star of screen gems such as A Man Called Horse and This Sporting Life, died Friday night at a London hospital, his family said. He was 72.
He also played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies.

Alas. No more. (sigh)


BELLESILES UPDATE: Michael Bellesiles has resigned from the Emory faculty:
Of course, in his statement, he didn't falsify data. And he doesn't agree with their conclusions.

My thought? Same as the Emory review board - the guy falsified his data to fit a preconceived outcome. And got caught.

Emory's statement

Bellesile's statement

The main reason I'm pointing this out - we have a tendency to trust what academics in the US educational system say will be the carefully researched truth, and adjust our public policy at times accordingly. In this case, he published without peer review, he published fraudulent data, he published information which he knew to be false and which was immediately seized upon by the anti-gun lobby as proof of their own claims. When confronted with research that disproved his assumptions, and indeed his claims of even visiting particular archives to search their records, he 'lost' his records in an accident.

He dug his hole willingly. And tarnished academic honesty in the process. Perhaps I'm a trifle naive here, but I feel that the integrity of our academic research establishments HAS to be as high as possible, has to be as UNBIASED as possible, and that anything less simply won't do. Maybe the standard I'm wanting them to hold is too high - but I feel the stakes are high also.


Thursday, October 24 - British students to test condoms - Oct. 24, 2002
British students are being recruited to test condoms, rating them for their pleasure, comfort and performance qualities.
The 100 to 150 successful job applicants will be paid £100 ($155) per academic term as they road-test a range of condoms from German manufacturer Condomi.
Okay... I just have one question...

Why are they getting BRITISH students to test GERMAN condoms?


Is Little Green Footballs a hate site?

There's been quite a tussle in the blogosphere between Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs and Anil Dash at his blog. The short version is, Anil Dash thinks Charles is a racist for putting up stuff showing Islam in a bad light, and NOT censoring the comments people make when they're angered by it. Not that the stuff is incorrect, mind you, but he objects to snarky comments like Charles labeling a picture of masked men holding up copies of the Q'uoran while wearing explosive belts "Religion of Murder".

A photo of a man showing how to cut through a chain link fence while carrying a mortar tube and rocket is labeled "Terrorism for Dummies".

The Peaceful Religion Watch which showcases the rhetoric being spouted in the ME mosques is also under fire.

Interestingly enough, MSNBC put LGF up as one of their 'Best of the Web' sites on their Weblog Central, but...
" “Are you aware of the fact that LGF (Little Green Footballs) is a blog which conveys a message of intolerance, hatred (and so forth) towards Muslims? I’m quite shocked that you listed LGF in this Best of Blogs: have you looked at the content and the editorial line, and more importantly, at the anti-muslim anti-left anti-prettymucheverythingnotgeorgewbush hate that gets its way on that weblog ? How can a blog be considered worthy of reading when it’s so obviously dedicated to bad mouthing Islam by relentlessly confuse it with the Islamic terrorists’ view of it?”

The objections are based on the fact that LGF has, over time, increased its focus on militant Islam and terrorism and in the process has drawn a constituency of considerable hostility to Islam to its comments section.

Former Best of Blogs blogger Anil Dash is one of LGF’s most vocal detractors and has made many critical posts in his own blog as well as in the LGF comments section."
Now - having looked over LGF for quite a few months, I've noticed that he's even-handed. He's posted when Muslim clerics have objected to the more fanatical aspects of Islam, and he's pointed out when ArabNews opinions go against what we're coming to see as Islamofacism.

But he's not afraid to call it like he sees it. And that, I think, is very much against the PC crowd who have tried to shut him up or down, or get him dropped off the MSNBC site. Because there's things better left hidden - or at least not brought to our notice. Like this bit about a cartoon strip for Palestinian children...
The newspaper also attacks those assisting the "Jewish enemy" from within the Palestinian population, portraying them as traitors who sell themselves to the Jews. The newspaper connects the Jihad and the religion of Islam. It calls upon children to educate themselves according to Islam, in order for them to become Jihad fighters and assist the Palestinians.

Below the headline, "Why is Darer Furious?" - Darer is the name of one of the children - is a dialogue between two Palestinian children. The dialogue indicates that children are integral participants in the Palestinian Intifada. The children complain of the silence of the Arab world regarding the current events in the region and they mention their own never tiring activity on behalf of the Intifada: "We, the children of Palestine, take part in the national struggle and encourage our heroes ... We observe the actions of the settlers and of the soldiers of the occupation, and report it to our heroes ... "

One of the children seeks justification for his claims from within Islamic tradition. "Our expectations will not be fulfilled until we fight and kill the Jews, especially as we are standing east of the river [of Jordan] with the Jews still standing west of the river of Jordan; and until the rock and the tree says, 'woe Muslim, woe subjects of Allah, here is a Jew [hiding] behind me. Come and kill him ... ' "

Is Little Green Footballs a hate site? Or does he showcase hate sites that others would prefer to remain beneath our notice?

You read. You decide.


LILEKS (James) The Bleat
Just passed the TV, and they’re looking for a fellow named John Mohammed. And I wonder again what I would feel like were I one of those live-and-let-live Muslims who don’t want to tamp their faith down the kaffir’s throat with a rifle butt. A devout Christian would wince to learn that the authorities wanted to talk to Bob Jesus about some random slayings for the glory of God: talk about “Not in My Name.” Or His. If this is Islamic terrorism, then they’ve made another characteristically stupid move: that line about “your children are not safe anywhere anytime” is the sort of thing that shoves otherwise peaceable soccer moms into the Bellicose Women Brigades. Pop off a round at an elementary school in Minneapolis on behalf of Jihad, and suddenly a lot of good Linden Hills liberal moms are going to be less inclined to attend the church-sponsored appearance by a survivor of the Jenin Massacre."
Read today's Bleat. It's chock-full o'goodstuff. Like....
We don’t dress up our children in dynamite belts - and they think this makes us weak. We shield our children from death, not marinate them in its bloody juices, and they think this means we lack conviction. Morons. Come after our children, and you don’t know what you’re in for. You heard the part about awakening a sleeping giant? The sleeping giantess is the one you want to look out for, because she’ll tear off your head and lactate down your throat. Do not mess with American moms.
I wish I could write like this man...


Wednesday, October 23
Radiation Risk and Ethics
The psychosomatic disorders observed in the 15 million people in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia1 who were affected by the April 1986 Chernobyl accident are probably the accident’s most important effect on public health.2 These disorders could not be attributed to the ionizing radiation, but were assumed to be linked to the popular belief that any amount of man-made radiation—even minuscule, close to zero doses—can cause harm, an assumption that gained wide currency when it was accepted in the 1950s, arbitrarily, as the basis for regulations on radiation and nuclear safety.
Hmmm. Interesting article here, that suggests that the moving of the folks from Chernobyl was actually more harmful than leaving them there. Very interesting...


And a big WELCOME to all the folks who have popped in from Anil Dash's site. Glad you could stop by!

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the John Walker Lindh case, a Georgia congressman is introducing legislation that would make it easier to strip U.S. citizenship from turncoats.
Oddly enough, I don't agree with this. Lindh was found in a group of prisoners, not actively fighting against US forces. Therefore, I think he (and any American citizen caught in the same situation) deserves a pass. If he want to renounce his citizenship, that's one thing. But in this case, I'd say the most he was guilty of is damn near terminal stupidity. (And really, who among us hasn't done something almost terminally stupid themselves? With not quite the same repercussions, of course...)

However - someone goes to a foreign country, puts on the uniform of that country and fights against the US FOR that country - they should be stripped of their US citizenship, IMO. There's ways to change the course the US is taking - look at the Viet-Nam war protestors. (Admittedly, there's indications that their protests PROLONGED the war, but hey, the concept of change from within worked.) Actively fighting the US in the military of another country if you don't like the course the US is taking... well, stay and change the system if you don't like it. Leave and give up your citizenship if you're too angry/embarrased and can't stand the idea of staying any longer. But don't go out and fight against the country, and expect to retain your citizenship. Unless you're on the winning side when it's all over, at which point it's rather moot.

So - you get caught where you shouldn't be, that's one thing. You get caught actively fighting - that's another. Lindh was where he shouldn't have been, 'fallen in among bad companions', you might say. If he'd had a gun in his hand, and surrendered during a firefight - that'd be different.


United Press International: Anglosphere: Crunch time for Australia
Australia's options are permanently connected to the fate of Indonesia. For the foreseeable future, Australia will have as its closest major neighbor a state that is vastly more populous, vastly poorer, riven by religious factionalism and ethnic separatism, and burdened in its quest for development by a weak civil society.

An Indonesia fragmented by religious and ethnic struggle would be a source of masses of desperate refugees. An Indonesia dominated by radical Islamists would be a nightmare. Consider the words of one of Indonesia's radical Islamist leaders, Abu Bakar Baasyir. Asked if there was anything he wanted to say to families who lost relatives in the Bali bomb attack, he said: "My message to the families is please convert to Islam as soon as possible."
Wrong message.


Tuesday, October 22
Top Muslim Groups Urge Crackdown In Indonesia (
Indonesia's two largest Muslim organizations, claiming nearly one-third of the population as members, today urged the government of President Megawati Sukarnoputri to crack down on Islamic militants suspected of violent activities.
Well, well. It's about damn time some Muslim organizations spoke up about their militants...

Shame it wasn't in the US, though.


Experts ping-pong on protein advice
The latest nutrition guidelines seem to reflect confusion even among the experts. No longer are there hard and fast numbers for the percentages of major food groups. Now protein can range from 10 percent to 35 percent of daily intake. At the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association this week, nutritionists basically admitted that they really don’t know how much protein Americans need.

And several new studies have shown that diets that have moderately high levels of protein can lead to weight loss that targets fat and spares muscle, said Donald Layman, a professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Maybe Atkins was onto something? A very interesting article indeed...


Powerful attack cripples Net’s core
An unusually powerful electronic attack briefly crippled nine of the 13 computer servers that manage global Internet traffic this week, officials disclosed Tuesday. But most Internet users didn’t notice because the attack only lasted one hour. The FBI and White House were investigating.
Well. North Korea announces they have nukes. And the Internet is attacked.



Monday, October 21
Norwegian Blogger
[Satellite of Love]
Oooh. Painful. But strangely enjoyable...


Sunday, October 20
Aaron and Sue are off visiting Mum this week, so I'm doing a bit of cleanup and fixup around the house. It's remarkable how little time you have when there's a 4-year old around.

One of the things I've been meaning to fix for some time is an old Civil Defense radiation meter - a Victoreen CD-717, to be exact. I got it shortly after 9/11, when it looked like things were going to get radiologically interesting. It was an Ebay buy, cost about $20 or so. I wasn't expecting much, but I was surprised when it came in an unopened box. According to the included manuals, everything was there including an old D-cell battery that was installed around 1964 or so...

Yeah. It had leaked, and corroded the battery terminals. I picked up a D-cell battery clip at Radio Shack and put it to one side, figuring I'd get to it when I either had to (as in something going *Boom*) or when there was time. Well, I'm cleaning up this weekend and found that clip and the box with the meter and figured "why not?" So the thing is fixed, and it apparently works. I can circuit-test it and the meter pegs as it's supposed to, and I can zero the thing without any problems. Whether it's accurate or not is anyone's guess, and I figure it's a 50-50 shot whether the geiger tube is even functional at this point. Doesn't really matter much, I guess. It's more of a security blanket sort of thing anyway. Hey, I grew up in the '60s, when it seemed that the USSR was going to lob missiles over the pole at any point, and when I was a kid I thought this was something I'd need. I was wrong then, I'd be glad to be wrong now.

And it's kind of funny - we thought of the USSR as madmen then, who would be willing to risk nuclear war in order to spread Communism across the world. In retrospect, they seem rather sane and stable compared to the likes of Bin Laden and Saddam, folks who WOULD use nukes if they had them.

Guess it goes to show that times change, and so does the threat du jour.


United Press International: New microwave drill is clean, quiet
RAMAT AVIV, Israel, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Microwaves can do more than just reheat leftovers -- a new, clean, quiet drill from Israel with no spinning parts uses microwaves to bore holes in rock and glass, researchers reported Thursday.

"It penetrates like a hot knife through butter," researcher Eli Jerby, an electrical engineer at Tel Aviv University in Ramat Aviv, told United Press International. "The microwave drill should find use in industry, construction and geology."

As described in the Oct. 18 issue of the journal Science, the drill bit focuses microwaves at a spot just below the surface of the target using radiation sources similar to those found cheaply in microwave ovens. When matter heats up, its conductivity goes down. This makes it even more likely for microwave-bombarded matter to absorb more microwaves, in what is known as a "thermal runaway" effect.
New tech. Don't you just love it?


Saturday, October 19
NY TIMES op-ed queen Maureen Dowd is planning to rip President Bush like she has never ripped before in a dispatch set for Sunday publication, sources close to the columnist tell DRUDGE.

Controversialist Dowd declares: "The Boy Emperor picked up the morning paper and, stunned, dropped his Juicy Juice box with the little straw attached. 'Oh, man,' he wailed. 'North Korea's got nukes... 'Get me Condi!' the boy yelled. 'And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.'"
If you EVER want proof that the US isn't a dictatorship - think what Saddam would do to an Iraqi journalist who would write like this about HIM.


Box Office Mojo > Box Office By Movie - Swept Away (With Madonna)

Wow. This movie did an impressive... $120 per theatre on the 17th. At $6 a ticket, she's drawing 20 people a day.

Well, at least you'll be able to find a seat. I really don't think she's cut out to be an actress...


Friday, October 18
daily news, uk weather, business news - online newspaper - The Telegraph - North Korea 'has two nuclear bombs'
North Korea 'has two nuclear bombs'
By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 18/10/2002)

North Korea possesses two plutonium-based nuclear bombs, a senior Bush administration official said yesterday. It was the first official confirmation that a member of President Bush's "Axis of Evil" has obtained nuclear weapons.

"It is our assessment that North Korea has reprocessed before 1994 sufficient plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons," the official said, asking to remain anonymous. When pressed he said North Korea had two bombs.

Option #1, looks like. Wonder how long it'll be before they declare support for the People's Republic Of Iraq?

Could be wrong - hope so, in fact... I'd much rather see Option 2 or 3.


Thursday, October 17
Independent News
The United States already has a force of 60,000 within striking range of Iraq, and would be in a position to launch a land war as early as December, a military think-tank reported yesterday.
The past six weeks have seen intensive, and largely undisclosed, movement of American service personnel and material to the Gulf, and the Pentagon has secured the full complement of "roll on-roll off" ferries necessary to deliver heavy armour.

Keep watching the news. As early as December, they think? Well, there's not going to be much of an air war, IMO. The Iraqi Air Farce wouldn't stand a snowball's chance. Maybe it'll be direct to a ground war phase. We'll see...


U.S.: N. Korea news ‘troubling’
President Bush described North Korea’s apparent admission that it was running a secretive nuclear weapons program as “troubling and sobering news” Thursday. The president’s assessment, via a spokesman, followed a U.S. disclosure that Pyongyang had acknowledged the program and said it was no longer bound by previous non-nuclear agreements. The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it was “urgently” seeking information from Pyongyang.
This is troubling.

I can think of three reasons why North Korea would come out and admit they've got a nuclear weapons program.

1. They've developed a working weapon, have several copies of it (maybe up to 5) and are getting ready to play nuclear brinksmanship with S. Korea and the US.

2. They've developed a working weapon, have only one, and are looking to use their current abilities to get concessions from the US, Japan, and S. Korea in return for providing it TO the US, and dismantling their program.

3. They're not able to develop a weapon, though they've tried hard, and have decided to come clean in order to disassociate themselves from Iraq.

There might be other reasons, but those spring to mind. Any way you look at it, I don't think I like it much.


‘Rosie’ magazine shuttered
NEW YORK, Oct. 17 — A month after talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell severed ties with the magazine bearing her name, publisher Gruner Jahr suspended publication of “Rosie” and eliminated most of its employees — 120 positions. The publisher, who is suing O’Donnell, the magazine’s former editor, for breach of contract, blamed her for the job cuts saying, “As a result of Rosie O’Donnell’s decision to terminate her participation in ‘Rosie’ magazine, Gruner Jahr is left with no choice other than to reduce staff levels until further plans, if any.”
Oh, well....


Wednesday, October 16
Memory upgrades from - Download the Belarc Advisor
The Belarc Advisor is a free, downloadable program that tells you what software and hardware are installed on your system. All you have to do is download and install the program from the Crucial site. The utility then scans your machine and gives you a wealth of information about your system, including how much memory is installed and what kind of motherboard you have. This information makes shopping for a memory upgrade at Crucial even easier, especially if your computer's manufacturer is not in our database.
This is one of the most comprehensive (and cheapest, at free) system information utilities I've seen. It's like having a doctor examine your tonsils - from underneath. It'll show you software licenses, installed hardware and software, bios revisions and motherboard type, and installed hotfixes and updates. Worth getting...


Al Udeid Air Base - New Analysis

It's amazing what you can see with satellite imagery. Nice looking little town there... Wonder what that octagonal building is in the center? Chow hall?

J. : Iran Plans 16 Refugee Camps on Iraq Border
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said Tuesday it plans to set up 16 camps along its border with Iraq to stop a possible exodus of refugees fleeing any war there, but vowed not to let them enter the country, the official IRNA news agency said.


Tuesday, October 15

You have two cows.

That one on the left is kinda cute.
Heh. Fun Cow Stuff.


Monday, October 14
Tim Blair
READER GEORGE S., from Seattle, writes:

You know something? I believe these Islamofascist bastards just permanently welded together the iron balls of the two ballsiest peoples on the planet.

I think he's right.
How are the multilateralists going to come up with a way to blame AUSTRALIA for their sins regarding supporting Israel, stealing oil from the ME, and all the usual crap they spout to justify 9/11 for the US?

Short form - they're trying. And the Aussies aren't going "Oh, yes, we're despicable people who deserved getting TOURISTS blown up in BALI!" They're going "Patience my ass, where's the assholes responsible for this?" And the folks in their media who are suggesting it's the Australian's faults are being... well, they're being pretty well fisked. And it's not a pretty sight.


Bleeding hearts left exposed as fools -
McCalman is but one of a number of commentators who have failed to appreciate the impact of September 11 on the US. It is true that some Americans have little knowledge of the rest of the world, but it is also a matter of fact that some commentators in Europe and Australasia have a minimal understanding of the US.
Man, getting whacked with a clue-by-four hurts. We found it out on 9/11. Australia and Bali have found it out also.


Times Online
The Yemeni-based terrorists said that when they could not reach the American ship, they sailed a dinghy packed with explosives into the tanker. The tactic was the same as that used in the suicide attack on the USS Cole in Aden Harbour in October 2000, in which 17 sailors were killed.

A spokesman for the Islamic Army of Aden told the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper yesterday: “We would have preferred to hit a US frigate, but no problem because they are all infidels.” The group claimed to have carried out the attack to avenge the execution of one of its leaders, Abu Hassan, for the 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists.
"They are all infidels."

You know, it's kind of nice to have that sort of attitude out in the open. No making nice, no 'we're only doing it for the Palestinian cause' garbage. "They are all infidels."

Okay. Can we kill you now? Seeing we're infidels and all. Nothing personal, of course.


USS Clueless
President Bush made a speech earlier this year where he said that the nations of the world would have to choose sides: either they're with us or they're against us. That wasn't a threat. It wasn't hyperbole. It was literal truth. In this war there can be no bystanders. If you try to sit out the war, then by your acquiescence you aid those opposing us in this war, and you make yourself a high profile target.
As Bali has found out...


Sunday, October 13
Stephen Ambrose, historian, dies at 66
Stephen E. Ambrose, whose best-selling books made America’s aging World War II veterans hometown heroes again, died early Sunday at a Bay St. Louis, Miss., hospital. He was 66.
Ah, damn.


Thursday, October 10
Blue Streak
A couple of weeks ago, one of the other counselors asked me, "What are you smiling about?" I told her "Hey, I'm having a great time." The truth is a bit more complicated than that, and I surely didn't want to get into a long conversation about it (we were both in the middle of dealing with clients).
I could easily have been one of her clients, once upon a time.

There but for the grace of God, indeed...


COMPY 386 How Techno songs are... made.



The Sacramento Bee -- -- Tree-sitter dead after fall from tree in Corralitos
CORRALITOS, Calif.(AP) - A man with the environmental activist group Earth First! has died after a 50-foot fall from a redwood tree in which he'd lived for several weeks.
It's the trees, man. The trees have gotten wise. They LIKE carbon dioxide, you know. Earth First doesn't like people, man. The trees know this. They also know people breath out carbon dioxide, and run all sorts of stuff that puts more carbon dioxide into the air for trees to breath.

The trees like to breath, man. And they're onto Earth First. You gotta watch out for them - trees gotta breath, you know...

You can't trust them....


(At least, not if you're with Earth First.)

Zogby News!
Generally speaking, how much do you believe that government can be trusted to do the right thing -- All the time, Most of the time, Some of the time, Rarely, or Never?
All the time - .3
Most of the time - 22
Some of the time - 55
Rarely - 19
Never - 2
Not sure - 1
Total - 100
Don't you just love polls?


Wednesday, October 9
Live from the WTC
The chap I was debating ended up, after the interview was finished, debating the occupants of the bar we were at. He had lots of questions about why we were doing this, and how our foreign policy had failed, and what have you. And one guy looked at him, after fifteen minutes or so, and said, as I should have: "That's fine. But what would you do?"

Somewhat taken aback, he said "Well, I'd first like to look at the ways in which we created this mess with our foreign policy --"

At which point his interlocutor cut him off. "Great. Let's look. But what would you do?"

He had no answer. And this segment of the anti-war brigade doesn't. They don't have any plan for containing Iraq, keeping Saddaam from getting nukes, protecting our interests in the region, protecting Saddaam's neighbors. . . all they have is questions. Questions are necessary. I too, would like to know in what ways our foreign policy went wrong, so we can hopefully avoid those mistakes in the future. But at the end of the day, whatever we did or did not do, we have to resolve the situation as it exists now. Only if this group gets their way, we'll be far too busy gazing at our own navels to ever actually act.
Interesting look at the anti-war folk. They're against the idea of war (and honestly, so am I - but I'm even more against US cities being bombed, poisoned, or otherwise having the population killed) but they have no IDEAS about what could or should be done.


Tuesday, October 8
Kuwait attack blamed on terrorists
Two Kuwaiti gunmen in a pickup truck attacked U.S. Marines during war games Tuesday, killing one and injuring a second in what the Kuwaiti government called a terrorist attack. The attackers were shot dead when they raced off to fire on a second group of troops, officials said.
No comment - except the attackers should have known better. But if they were looking for their 72 virgins in paradise, I hope they get 72 blow-up dolls in Motel Hell.

Rules of engagement, pre 9/11 - you fire on us, we'll protect ourselves but not fire back. Post 9/11, you fire on us and we'll kill you. Which is what it should have been pre-9/11 - but hindsight's always 20-20.


The Prior-Art-O-Matic
jerry lawson
jerry lawson is a bar of soap that fetches your hat! It never needs repairing and is heavier than it looks.
Pretty well describes me. Got any hats you need fetched?

Cute page - just type in whatever you want, and it'll give you ad copy for it. For example...

Daniel Taylor:

Daniel Taylor is a burglar alarm that has a mind of its own! It uses the Google API and can speak twelve languages.

or -

Lockheed Aircraft

Lockheed Aircraft is a tricycle that's different every time you use it and connects to the web.

Well, that describes the software load for the C-130J... how about:

Boeing Aircraft

Boeing Aircraft is a necklace that remembers all of its past actions, does exactly what it says on the tin and rotates at high speed.

Hmmm. Wonder how it would do with...


Aaron is like a normal baseball cap, but it explodes when dropped.

or -

Aaron Edward Lawson

Aaron Edward Lawson is a hi-fi that remembers all of its past actions!

Yep. They're accurate. How about the people or companies in YOUR life?

Thursday, October 3
Sneaking Suspicions  Archives
More recently, however, Ms. Bucher appeared back on the web with a new site, maintaining a pleasantly productive blogging schedule.
The real mystery remained: Where was Ms. Bucher all this time?
Now it can be told.
Shiloh Bucher is actually Janeane Garafolo.
Don't know about you, but I've always liked her work. Nice to know there's a good mind behind the pretty face...


Wednesday, October 2
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Poll on US ties rocks Iran
According to the poll of 1,500 Iranians, conducted by three separate institutes including the National Institute for Research Studies and Opinion Polls (NIRSOP) and published by Irna on 22 September:

74% of respondents over the age of 15 support dialogue with the US

45.8% believe Washington's policy on Iran is "to some extent correct".

But the judiciary has responded by charging NIRSOP director Behrouz Geranpayeh and Irna's Abdollah Nasseri of "publishing lies to excite public opinion", the Iran newspaper reports.
The fuse on the powderkeg over there is getting shorter...


LILEKS (James) The Bleat
I’ve never seen anything like this - you have to step back and consider what this means. A guy knows he’s going to lose, so the party yanks his short hairs until he quits and hands the campaign to a more attractive candidate. We’re used to guys resigning because they were caught with their hand in a pocket or their dinghy moored in a non-marital port, so Toricelli’s resignation seemed to fit that pattern. But you had to remind yourself that he hasn’t been indicted. He had some really, really, really bad publicity, and was shown the door when his poll numbers started chewing the basement floor.
You gotta hand it to James Lileks. The man can turn a phrase...

J. - News - Dems Go To Court Seeking To Replace Torricelli On Ballot
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Taking their fight for continued control of the Senate to the state Supreme Court, Democrats are asking justices to let them put former Sen. Frank Lautenberg on the November ballot instead of scandal-tainted Sen. Robert Torricelli.


Under New Jersey law, a party can replace a statewide nominee on the ballot if the person drops out at least 51 days before the election. Torricelli missed the deadline by 15 days, setting the stage for a court fight five weeks before Election Day.
You'll note the Republicans aren't complaining much about this - just pointing out that the law says it can't be done legally.

The Democrats are in a lose-lose situation here. They backed someone who had been accused of illegal campaign donations and improper gifts, and backed him until he was 13 points down in the polls and REALLY being looked at negatively by the Feds. Then they try to swap him at the last minute for someone with less baggage.

Is it just me, or are they a lot more inept these days than they were in the '70s and '80s?


Well, this should just tickle the cockles of the Anti-War protestors...

Marines: Someone cut lines of jumpers' chutes
CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (AP) -- Suspension lines on 13 parachutes were cut before a training exercise last month, forcing three jumpers to use their reserve chutes, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The tampering was discovered September 21 when five Marines jumped from a C-17 aircraft during heavy equipment parachute training at Camp Lejeune.

Three parachutes malfunctioned and the jumpers used reserve chutes to land safely, a statement from the Marines said.

An inspection showed the lines of the three parachutes had been cut in a way to avoid detection, the statement said.

At least nine other chutes still packed and waiting on the shelves in warehouses were found with similar problems.

It was unclear where the 13th sabotaged parachute was found. A call to the Camp Lejeune public affairs office was not returned.

Marine investigators and agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are looking for a possible saboteur. There have been no arrests.
Sabotage. No - attempted murder. But then, if they find the person who did it I can just see how the faithless bastard will be lionized by the antiwar fringe as acting in the name of a higher morality. < sarcasm > So what if it involves letting Marines impact the ground at 150 mph? If they were highly evolved beings, they wouldn't have been in the Marines in the first place. < /sarcasm >

One of the things about the military that a lot of civilians don't understand is the level of trust. For instance, the jumper trusts that his parachute was packed properly and will function as advertized. The pilot trusts that the maintenence folk know their jobs and did them right, that the tankers will be on location so he can do in-flight refueling as needed. The tank commander trusts that the mechanics know their job and that he's going to get munitions and POL when and where he needs them. Everyone depends on everyone else to do their jobs - because it's all a large team and the failure of one part of the team affects other parts negatively.

Screw up that trust, introduce suspicion that someone didn't do the job or did it in such a way as to kill you - and efficiency is affected. You'll be constantly rechecking what others have done, wasting time and money. Affect it enough, and your warfighting capability is degraded.

Degrade it enough - and you're not ready for war.

I hope they catch who did this. I hope they prosecute him (or her) under the UCMJ and give them the maximum punishment they can. This wasn't a 'statement of protest or principle' - this was attempted murder and it violated trust - and should be prosecuted as harshly as the law allows.