Archive for February, 2007
The College of William and Mary in Colonial Williamsburg has a beautiful campus. I didn’t go to school there. But I delivered lots of pizzas there back in the day.
Now the College is in a bit of the National Spotlight because its University President, Gene Nichol, removed the cross from the Wren Chapel on campus because he didn’t want it to offend Muslims. Or vampire Muslims, both of which are the only religious beings on the planet that are offended by the display of the cross.
Wealthy donors are hitting back now. One donor was going to leave 12 million bucks in her will to the school, but not anymore. Fruity Multi-Culti dopes like Nichol need to be taught a lesson, and its a lesson that he still doesn’t get. He blames the donor for hurting the students. Not his own foolish liberal ideals.
From the Daily Press here:
A longtime donor to the College of William and Mary has revoked an approximately $12 million pledge to the university over the Wren Chapel cross controversy, school officials confirmed Tuesday.
The money, earmarked for the school’s $500 million Campaign for William and Mary, had been pledged as an estate provision in the donor’s will.
The donation – pledged to the campaign fund before Gene Nichol became the university’s president – was revoked because the donor, who wasn’t identified, disagreed with Nichol’s decision to remove a brass cross from permanent display on the chapel’s altar, spokesman Mike Connolly said.
Nichol said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday afternoon that he was “heartsick” to learn of the decision. “It represents a serious setback to the college,” he wrote. “And while I know it is intended to make a policy statement, ultimately it only hurts our students.”
All Nichol had to do was apologize and put the cross back.
This looks incredible! This new trailer features a chase sequence between the Human Torch and the Silver Surfer. Behold the Power Cosmic by clicking on the photo below.
The largest magnet has been installed in the largest particle accellerator, the “large hadron collider” at CERN. In order to detect the types of particles that scientists theorize may be available, they must use the world’s largest particle detectors pictured below. What do they think they will find?
Maybe time travel. Alternate universes. The fifth dimension. They just need to hurry up and invent warp drive. What can I say? I’m a trekkie.
From Reuters here:
The world’s leading center for research into the origins of matter on Wednesday took a giant step toward the launch of a 15-year experiment which scientists hope will unlock many secrets of the universe.
A huge magnet, weighing 1,920 tonnes or the equivalent of five jumbo jets and a key element in the program, was lowered into a vast cavern 100 meters below ground at the multinational center, CERN, on the Swiss-French border near Geneva.
Some of his colleagues say the experiment, smashing particles together at high speed in a Large Hadron Collider (LHC), may bring new knowledge such as the possible existence of multiple dimensions beyond the four of traditional physics — width, length, height and time.
Others speak, if cautiously, of venturing into realms long regarded as those of speculative science fiction — multiple universes, parallel worlds, black holes in space linking different levels of existence.
I know just a tiny bit about particle physics. I did a lot of research on it when I became interested in the “Jefferson Lab” formerly CEBAF, which is an underground particle accelerator in midtown Newport News VA, which is right next to a major shopping mall.
If you want to read what scientists think about this LHC, read their forum here. And Dan Brown’s best work was not the DaVinci Code. It was Angels and Demons. It was about anti-matter being stolen from CERN to blow up the Vatican. You can get a copy of it by clicking the pic below.
It seems that two Picasso Paintings were lifted from the Paris apartment of Picasso’s grandaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso. And the crime was pulled off by professionals. There was no sign of a break-in. Sounds like a job for the FBI Art Crime Team.
From Reuters here:
Two Picasso paintings valued at 50 million euros ($66 million) were stolen this week from the Paris home of the Spanish painter’s granddaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso, police said on Wednesday.
The paintings, identified by police as “Maya a la poupee” (Maya with doll) a 1938 portrait of the artist’s daughter, and “Portrait de femme, Jacqueline” were stolen in the night of Monday to Tuesday from her home in the French capital.
Lombard said Widmaier Picasso and a friend had been in the building, a grand house in Paris’s smart seventh arrondissement, and the circumstances of the theft were still unclear, with no obvious signs of a break-in.
Also blogging about this is the Esoteric Rabbit Blog here.
Every new generation comes along and thinks that they are unique. That no previous generation or group of kids were anything like them. The truth is that before there were “Emo’s” there were goth kids. And before that there was punk. And so on and so on all the way back to bohemians. Sometimes the look changes, as does the music. But the kids are the same, along with their ever-present adolescent angst. One thing that doesnt change is the way that some uptight adults view these kids.
Thanks to Best Week Ever, I found this Emo Kids in the News segment, which talks about how “extreme” the fashions are and how deadly the lifestyle can be. I’m still laughing. Click the Emo Emu Below to see the video.
I usually don’t give much credence to those that publish tech surveys about hacking and malware. Invariably such surveys are published by the marketing departments of various tech firms, who wildly inflate statistics in order to push a product. But it seems like the Infonetics Research survey has data that seems plausible and in line with what I have seen in organizations as well.
From their survey highlighted here at VNUnet:
Large US organizations are losing an average of 2.2 per cent of their annual revenue, or more than $30m, to security attacks, research published today has revealed.
Analyst firm Infonetics Research found in a study on network downtime caused by security attacks that small and medium-sized organizations lose about half a per cent of annual revenue to security attacks, which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The research found that medium-sized organizations are most vexed by client malware, while large organizations are plagued more by denial of service attacks and server malware.
Small and medium-sized organisations have “major problems” with spyware, which represents a staggering 40 per cent of all security downtime costs with these companies.
Its nice to see a survey that doesn’t pitch a solution. And its a little surprising to me that so much downtime among small businesses is due to spyware, but it makes sense. Smaller companies don’t have large IT staffs and high-end solutions to block malware at the gateways. Also small companies often choose to shortcut even the cheapest AV and spyware solutions and they don’t patch regularly. It will be interesting to see how much this changes once organizations begin to adopt Vista. Vista has greater inherent armor against common malware.
I expect that in the future, fraud from phishing will replace malware as a loss leader in the business world.
Just what every young Chinese boy needs: His own remote control pigeon.
From the AP here:
Chinese scientists have succeeded in implanting electrodes in the brain of a pigeon to remotely control the bird’s flight, state media said.
Xinhua News Agency said the scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology in eastern China used the micro electrodes to command the bird to fly right or left, and up or down.
The implants stimulated different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to electronic signals sent by the scientists via computer, mirroring natural signals generated by the brain, Xinhua quoted chief scientist Su Xuecheng as saying.
It was the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world, said Su, who conducted a similar successful experiment on mice in 2005.
What is the purpose of these cruel experiments? Do the Chinese want to be able to master mind control? I honestly think that they want to be able to implant chips into human brains so they can control humans. Manchurian candidate anyone?
And where is PETA? Oh yeah, the Asian director of PETA is running around in a Chicken Suit protesting KFC’s. Stupid.
The New York Times printed an article on the decline of honeybee colonies across the country. I expected the article to blame the losses on Global Warming, but was surprised to learn that many of them are dying because of the cold. That, and the fact that bees are probably having to work longer seasons. They have to work almond groves in California in February, where many of the bee deaths due to cold are taking place.
From the Times here:
Bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening not only the livelihoods of beekeepers, but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nation’s most profitable.
Bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why. Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold.
This bothers me mostly because I love to make mead. Less bees mean that there may be less honey, or more expensive honey in the future. Honey is running about 4 dollars per pound currently. I blame Al Gore for the deaths of the honey bees. As the prophet of eco-doom, he should have seen this coming and moved those bees somewhere warmer.
You know, some of these stories that I stumble upon sound so far-fetched I almost hesitate to post them. But then again, it is China. These guys have buses that serve as mobile execution chambers, so why would this really be any more bizarre?
It seems that teens that seem to have problems with wanting to surf the internet all of the time merely lack discipline. They need to be “re-educated” with the help of some ol’ fashioned Chinese Electro-Shock Therapy. From VNUnet here:
China is employing a hardcore program of bootcamp-style military training, psychological counselling and even electrocution to deal with the problem of internet addiction.
The program is not mandatory and young sufferers are usually admitted by their parents. The government-backed clinics can charge parents from $1,300 per month, roughly 10 times the normal Chinese salary, for their child to be treated.
China has previously passed laws banning teens from cyber-cafés and limiting online gaming sessions to five hours before the user is logged out.
The moves follow a survey in the country which found that almost 14 per cent of teens are vulnerable to internet addiction. The Communist Youth League has also called excessive internet use “a grave social problem”.
You know what else I call a “Grave Social Problem?” State sponsored forced abortions to enforce a one child per family policy. Maybe if these kids had brothers and sisters they wouldnt need to go online for social contact.
Islam means misogyny. For a culture and religion where women are treated as possessions, is it really surprising that a man would bet his own daughter in a card game? And is it less surprising that the local Sharia police would demand that the gambling loss should still be paid?
For 151 dollars you too could get your own Muslim Teenage Girl. And who knows, with a little makeup, some tweezing of that unibrow, maybe she would even be hot! From Reuters here:
A teenage girl in southern Pakistan, whose late father lost her in a poker game when she was 2 years old, has asked authorities to save her from being handed over to a middle-aged relative.
Rasheeda, 17, said she has filed applications with the police and a local councillor asking them to prevent Lal Haider, 45, from taking her to his home.
Her mother, Nooran said her husband racked up a debt of 10,000 rupees ($151) to Haider playing cards.
“My husband didn’t have money to pay, and instead he told Lal Haider that he could take Rasheeda when she grows up,” she said.
Despite being paid his money last year, she said Haider still insisted the girl should be given to him because of tribal customs. Khalid Rajput, a local councillor dealing with the case, said the decision that Rasheeda should be handed over to Haider was taken late last week at a tribal council meeting.
Apparently is is now against the law to have forced marriages in Pakistan. Police are searching for the ten tribal leaders that demanded that the girl be handed over. The girl and her mother are under police protection.
I am stunned. This is awesome progress for the Islamic community in Pakistan.
I watched all four hours. Not really, my wife watched, and I sat on the chez with my nose in the laptop. But I could tell she was bored. And pissed too. Pan’s Labyrinth took way too many statues for such a crappy movie. Al Gore’s stupid science fiction movie was treated like it was the holy grail while better movies about AIDS in China, Iraq Documentaries and the Gay Meth Preacher movie didn’t get anything.
All of America rolled their eyes when Melissa Etheridge won for best music. I mean C’Mon! It beat Dreamgirls? Can the shallow political views of the Academy be any more apparent?
I love Ellen Degeneres, and thought she did a pretty good job. But was she wearing a velvet tux? And what was up with that Vacuuming skit? I hope she comes back next year, and also hope she is not so self deprecating.
Comedy Gold came when I pointed out George Lucas’ enormous jabba-the-hutt chin to my wife. She was totally freaked out by it and she was fixated on it the rest of the night, uttering over and over, “Why have I never noticed that? Is that a disease? Its so gross! He could get a tuck!”
Honestly, you know why the Oscars sucked? The movies this year sucked.
My Website has been mentioned in the news several times before. It was the “hot site of the week” in USA Today once. And my website was featured in the centerfold pullout for Maxim Magazine’s 50 best websites.
Today I was listed in an article in the Toronto Star here.
Hostage lunch: a meal, often pizza, paid for by the company and delivered to employees whose bosses require them to attend a meeting on their lunch hour. E.g.: “I was planning on running some errands over my lunch hour, but the VP is keeping us in a meeting. At least he ordered us hostage lunch.” (UrbanDictionary.com)
Thursday is Pig Day. The saying “sweat like a pig” is a misnomer: pigs can’t sweat. Their well-known method of cooling off (rolling around in the mud) has contributed to the misconception that they’re dirty. (brownielocks.com; pbs.org) Sir Isaac Newton is credited with inventing the cat flap. (mentalfloss.com)
Fig Newtons were not named after the inventor of the cat flap. Rather, they took their moniker from Newton, Mass., a town near the regional bakery that created them. (As one wag noted, “Thank it wasn’t near Belchertown.”) (straightdope.com)
Belch.com has accumulated “the largest collection of digitally recorded belches on the Net:” 550.(belch.com) Thursday is National Beer Day in Iceland. It marks the end of a 75-year prohibition of the beverage, which expired on March 1, 1989. (www.geographia.com/iceland)
On this day in 1940, a hockey game was televised for the first time. Viewers of New York station W2XBS saw the Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens, 6-2, at Madison Square Garden. (Hockey Night in Canada debuted on CBC-TV in 1952.) (nytimes.com/learning)
Dry ice weighs about twice as much as regular ice. (dryiceinfo.com)
How cool are you if you’re as cool as a cucumber? The inside of the fruit can be up to 20 degrees F (11C) cooler than the outside temperature. (foodreference.com)
Yuppie food stamps: “the $20 bills that everyone gets from ATMs. They become an issue when a group goes out to eat and it comes time to pay. Each person owes $11 and no one has anything smaller than a $20.” (BuzzWhack.com)
Thanks to John Sakamoto for the mention in the article!
We have been getting the nursery ready for painting today. This involved installing chair railing around the nursery. The cutting was done with a mitre box and some shims to hold the railing in place.
My wife did an awesome job with the wood filler and putty to make the joints in the corners look smooth. We also used caulking along the edges to make it look like it was part of the wall.
To finish it off, we used white semi-gloss spray paint. Now that it is dried, we are going to tape it off and paint.
Woke up to a snowstorm. Its pretty.
The kitten got fixed today. When she got home from the vet, she still had problems walking from the nerve block the vet applied. Below is a pic of her shaved butt.
But I also got a cool toy in the mail today. Its a little articulated walking raptor dinosaur. I put batteries in it and set it loose on the kitten. Kitten no like!
Even if they are old. You never know if you are up against a former Marine. The late Wagner Segura, a 20-year old Costa Rican professional mugger, learned this lesson the hard way.
From Reuters here:
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – A group of U.S. tourists, including a former Marine, killed a Costa Rican mugger by breaking his neck after he pulled a gun on them in a Caribbean port, a local police official said on Thursday.
The cruise ship passengers told police they jumped on Wagner Segura, 20, to defend themselves when he pointed a .38 caliber revolver at them near the Caribbean port of Limon on Wednesday, and somehow snapped his neck, regional police director Luis Hernandez said.
Segura died instantly and two other unidentified thieves, one of whom was armed with a knife, fled the scene, Hernandez said.
“One of the tourists was a former Marine and he was probably the one who broke his neck,” Hernandez said. “His neck was completely snapped.”
No charges will be filed against the tourists because police viewed the incident as an act of self-defense. The Americans were passengers aboard the Carnival cruise ship Legend.
Last time I went on a cruise I almost got jumped in Jamaica. I certainly hope that word gets around that American Tourists are not to be trifled with! In one story, I heard that the former Marine was a senior citizen, aged 70.
It is very rare that I write about hackers that do really good things. This is one of those times. Canadian Vigilante Hacker Brad Willman sent out links to kiddie porn users, promising new photos, but instead tricked thousands into downloading a trojan horse backdoor program. Willman then reported all computers with kiddie porn on them to a watchdog group which would file charges against the ISP’s involved.
A judge in California was swept up in this. Judge Ronald Kline had hundreds of photos of nekkid little boys on his computer. From VNUnet here:
Ronald Kline, a former judge at Orange County Superior Court has been sentenced to 27 months in jail for possession of child pornography.
Kline was arrested in 2001 after he was reported to authorities by a vigilante hacker who had been monitoring Kline’s computer without his knowledge.
Kline admitted at the time that he had stored more than 100 sexually explicit images of under-aged boys on his computer.
The hacker, Brad Willman from Canada, was 20 years old at the time. In a 2002 interview with the Ottowa Citizen, Willman admitted to hacking into 3,000 computers using a Trojan hidden in an image that promised a pornographic image of a child.
His actions have since exposed child predators across Canada, the US and Russia.
Kline’s defense attorney had argued that the evidence gathered from the judge’s computer was inadmissible because it had been stolen.
For years Kline dragged out his legal case. At one point, a man had come forward and accused Kline of having orally copulated with him when he was 14, but that case was dismissed because of statute of limitations expiration.
From another account at 4law here:
Bradley Willman, a self-described “computer cop,” then forwarded his findings to a Colorado-based Internet watchdog group, Pedowatch, which relayed the information to Irvine police, who searched Kline’s home, seized his computer and arrested him.
In a legal battle that lasted four years, Kline sought to suppress the prosecution’s evidence by contending that Willman, acting as a government agent, had violated his 4th Amendment privacy rights.
In 2003, Judge Marshall tossed out most of the evidence. But last year the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Marshall, which resurrected the case.
The appeals court found that Willman had acted on his own. “Searches by private individuals are subject to the 4th Amendment only if the private individual is acting as an instrument or agent of the government at the time of the search,” the court said.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined this year to hear Kline’s appeal.
After six years, the sentence was finally handed down. Upon hearing the sentence, the Judge fainted. I’m no expert, but I would guess that fainting child molesting Judges would be easy pickings in the Big House.
At least the Eco-Religionists are finally admitting that their beliefs in man-made global Warming amounts to a religious cult. And in this cult of the Gore, there are all types of freaks and weirdos.
From the Canadian Globeandmail here:
Eco-pilgrims gather to ‘heed the Goracle’
They came in their hundreds to hear him speak, and even those left standing outside the crowded hall would not be deterred from lingering in the proximity of the Baptist prophet from Tennessee.
It wasn’t any old-time religion that drew these believers to Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto, but a concept they feel is every bit as crucial to humanity — global warming — that made them want to get close to Al Gore, the impassioned former U.S. vice-president, as he delivered his now famous Inconvenient Truth about climate change.
“From my perspective, it is a form of religion,” said Bruce Crofts, 69. “The religion for this group is doing something for the environment.”
While he no longer espouses traditional religion, Mr. Crofts recalled how, as a Sunday school teacher decades ago, he included Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Kennedy as well as Jesus Christ in his lessons, as examples of great leaders who stepped forward when called upon by circumstance. In that sense, he feels Mr. Gore fits the bill.
There were vegans seeking new recruits, people calling for the closing of Ontario’s coal-fired power plants, a Greenpeace mascot dressed as a polar bear — even the UFO believers showed up.
“I know you won’t believe this,” one of them, a man named Victor Viggiani, said with a practised tongue, “but the extraterrestrial technology involved in this . . . it’s free energy, man. Absolute free energy, and it’ll be the end of fossil fuels.”
Mr. Viggiani, a retired school principal, tried to get an information package to Mr. Gore when he arrived at a side door, but “the Secret Service were there; they saw my backpack and they pushed me away.”
Across the driveway in front of the hall, a large banner exhorted the crowd to “Heed the Goracle.”
“It was not our intention to have a religious approach,” ecoSanity group founder Glenn MacIntosh said, “but it was our understanding that it was that kind of movement that people were craving; that kind of spiritual connection in their gut.”
The environmental movement is a religion and their Muhammad is named Al Gore. As a religion, I hereby call on the United States to cut off all funding for this movement under the separation of church and state.
Fishermen hauled up a 990 pound Colossal Squid off the coast of Antarctica while fishing for Chilean Sea Bass. It is the largest specimen ever captured.
As a comparison to how big this squid is, here is a photo of the fishermen at this past year’s White Marlin Open standing next to a 737 Pound Blue Marlin that won them 660 Thousand dollars.
From Reuters here:
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand fishermen may have caught the largest Colossal squid ever found — weighing around 450kg (992 pounds) and with rings the size of tires.
The adult Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) was caught by fishermen long lining for toothfish in deep ocean off Antarctica. The squid was still alive when caught and was eating a hooked toothfish when hauled aboard.
The squid was frozen in the ship’s hull and brought back to New Zealand for scientific examination.
Colossal squid are one of the most mysterious creatures in the deep ocean, growing up to 12 to 14 meters (36 to 42 feet) in length. Anderton said the squid would be photographed, measured, tissue sampled, registered and preserved intact.
O’Shea said if calamari were made from the Colossal squid’s rings it would be the size of tractor tires.
Colossal Squid are bigger than Giant Squid.
Finally! A Clown Act that I can really cheer for. No more throwing confetti from buckets. No more cramming clowns in a tiny compact car. No stupid red noses, balloon animals and floppy shoes.
Two clowns in a circus in Columbia were shot dead in front of a crowd of fifty circus-goers. Its about time that creepy clowns finally did something funny. From Reuters here:
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Two clowns were shot and killed by an unidentified gunman during their performance at a traveling circus in the eastern Colombian town of Cucuta, police said Wednesday.
The gunman burst into the Circo del Sol de Cali Monday night and shot the clowns in front of an audience of 20 to 50 people, local police chief Jose Humberto Henao told Reuters. One of the clowns was killed instantly and the second died the next day in hospital.
“The clowns came out to give their show and then this guy came out shooting them,” one audience member told local television. “It was terrible.”