Archive for July, 2007

I’m Going Slow in the Left Lane of the Internet Superhighway

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

It’s bad enough that anytime there’s a huge lottery to be won, it goes to some old person who can’t possibly spend it as well as I could, now they’re getting the best speeds on the internet!

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — She is a latecomer to the information superhighway, but 75-year-old Sigbritt Lothberg is now cruising the Internet with a dizzying speed.

Lothberg’s 40 gigabits-per-second fiber-optic connection in Karlstad is believed to be the fastest residential uplink in the world, Karlstad city officials said.

In less than 2 seconds, Lothberg can download a full-length movie on her home computer — many thousand times faster than most residential connections, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, head of the Karlstad city network unit.

I hope robots eat all your medicine for fuel!

How Does Harry Potter End?

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Are you one of those who simply must know, even before you read the latest book, how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows brings the epic series to a close?

Well, you’ve come to the right place, because this is not just your source for all things American Idol, it’s also your source for all-things “most recent Harry Potter book.”

So, how does it end? You won’t believe me when I tell you!

First, Harry wakes up and discovers that all of the previous books were nothing but a dream. No lie! Suddenly everyone is calling him “Pat” or “Duffy” or “the Duffman.”

But, deep inside, he knows he is Harry Potter, boy wizard!

He sets off to find Hermione and Ron, asking everyone he meets if they have seen them. They all respond with “What the heck kind of name is Hermione? Sounds like it would make your hoody-hoo itch. What ever happened to nice names like Jane?”

Never one to give up, never one to surrender, Harry pushes on, and finds Hermione working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true. She’s traded in her magic for tips and she works hard for the money, so hard for it honey.

Hermione tells Harry about how he fell into a coma months ago, and Harry delights her with tales of their dreamed adventures. While they spend hours doing this, Ron, who lives just across town, is run over by a lettuce delivery truck and never gets to hear these great tales. His loss.

In the end, Harry and Hermione settle down in a nice little home with a white picket fence, where they spend their days writing posts purporting to be about the adventures of Harry Potter, but which are really designed just to see how many people click through to the post.

The end.

Flypaper Revisited

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Well, that approach worked well:

The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States…

The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here.

“Of note,” the analysts said, “we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland.”

The analysts also found that al-Qaida’s association with its Iraqi affiliate helps the group to energize the broader Sunni Muslim extremist community, raise resources and recruit and indoctrinate operatives—”including for homeland attacks.”

I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that history will not be kind to this administration.

Things to Do Before I Die

Monday, July 16th, 2007

1. Swallow a live bunny brandishing a barbed wire whip.

2. Be molested by a brazen and sassy camel with a lisp.

3. Go on a cruise with the idiots and readers of the National Review.

Truth be told, I’m looking forward to numbers one and two more than number three.

Alongside #3, I’d probably also rank a medicinal cruise to Cuba with Michael Moore.

One Nation Under God

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Yeah, sure, but not your god, Ghandhi.

(See, a nice, secular government could avoid such unpleasant displays of mythologically-motivated idiocy).

To The Stars, To The Stars!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Fascinating news from that great realm of human discovery, religion science.

LONDON (Reuters) – Astronomers said on Wednesday they had discovered the best evidence yet of water outside our own solar system — in the atmosphere of a giant planet 60 light years from Earth.

Writing in the scientific journal Nature, researchers said the planet itself, HD 189733b, was unlikely to harbor life but evidence supported the search for life in other solar systems.

“We’re thrilled to have identified clear signs of water on a planet that is trillions of miles away,” Giovanna Tinetti, a European Space Agency fellow at the Institute d’Astrophysique de Paris in France who led the study, was quoted as saying in an accompanying news release.

And, you know, according to famed exobiologist (and former Vice-President, even if he didn’t try to hide most of his actions from the American people, and never shot a friend on a hunting trip) Dan Quayle, speaking on the subject of Mars:

We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.”

Alas, the memorably named HD 189733b is a little farther away than the red planet, so we had better get to work on those faster-than-light drives right away! Perhaps instead of the X Prize for private space research, we need a >C Prize.

Donks Defy Dick

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Senate Democrats are looking to play budgetary hardball with Dick Cheney’s office over his refusal to, you know, let the American people know just what he’s been up to (aside from shooting his friends):

A Senate appropriations panel chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., refused to fund $4.8 million in the vice president’s budget until Cheney’s office complies with parts of an executive order governing its handling of classified information.

At issue is a requirement that executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify. That information is to be provided to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives.

Cheney’s office, with backing from the White House, argues that the offices of the president and vice president are exempt from the order because they are not executive branch “agencies.”

Naturally, some Republicans are not pleased with this development:

Republicans on the Senate panel said Durbin was going overboard in using Congress’ power of the purse to try to force Cheney to conform with the order.

Such a step, said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would set a terrible precedent in relations between the executive and legislative branches of government, which have historically let each other set their own budgets.

But, uh, wait… I thought Cheney’s office wasn’t part of the Executive branch. So, just how is it going to “set a terrible precedent in relations” between the two branches. Why, if anything, this is just a familial squabble among fellow legislative members of the government!

Oh, Cheney’s full of crap? And Brownback’s an idiot?

Got it.

Be Alert, Good Citizens

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

ABCNews is reporting that an Al Qaeda cell is on the way to, or already in, the United States.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell ABC News new intelligence suggests a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here.

The White House has convened an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday afternoon to deal with the new threat.

In response, all Americans who use public transportation, or not, and who work in pretty much any field, or who maybe stay at home, are being asked to look for anything suspicious, even mildly so, or not at all, because you can never be too safe.

And not to sound like a Clinton-era Republican, but please ignore the President’s poll numbers, the defection of Republicans from support of the Iraq strategy, and the upcoming hotness of the make much sexy time DC madame’s phone number logs.

Also, if anyone has any “new and improved” flypaper for the Bush administration, please let the White House know. The old stuff doesn’t seem to be sticking.

Seriously, (if I need say it again) I’d be surprised if Al Qaeda wasn’t already here, hadn’t been here for some time, plotting with patience, living a sinful Western life in the knowledge that blowing up a shopping mall, bodies shaved to pristine glory, will get them their virgins. That, if anything, makes these latest dire warnings of them digging some Neil Diamond ring more hollow to me.

Al Qaeda is planning to attack us?

Well, uh… duh.

I Wonder if the Muslims Will See This as Meaning They Are REALLY Off the Mark

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

I suspect that Pope Benedict didn’t play well with others in school.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — The Vatican on Tuesday said Christian denominations outside the Roman Catholic Church were not full churches of Jesus Christ.

The Vatican said other churches are “wounded” since they do not recognise the primacy of the Pope.

A 16-page document, prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict used to head, described Christian Orthodox churches as true churches, but suffering from a “wound” since they do not recognize the primacy of the Pope.

But the document said the “wound is still more profound” in the Protestant denominations — a view likely to further complicate relations with Protestants.

“Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress … it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of ‘Church’ could possibly be attributed to them,” it said.

No word, however, on whether or not “real Churches” have to interpret Luke 18:15-17 as meaning it’s okey-dokey to touch little pee-pees.

Silly, Harmless Beliefs – The Tom Cruise Edition

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Irrational religious belief strikes again:

A SYDNEY woman accused of fatally stabbing her father, sister and injuring her mother was denied psychiatric treatment by her parents who were Scientologists, a court was told today.

The 24-year-old woman, who cannot be named, was diagnosed with a psychotic illness in late 2006 and recommended follow-up treatment at Bankstown Hospital, in Sydney’s south-west.

Dr Mark Cross, the consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of Liverpool and Fairfield Mental Health Services, said the woman’s parents refused this treatment.

“She had a history of being diagnosed with a psychotic illness in late 2006 at Bankstown Hospital, but follow-up from the mental health team was apparently declined by her parents because of their alleged scientology beliefs,” Dr Cross said.

Hey, on the bright side, that’s two nasty Thetans that are looking for new bodies to inhabit.

On the flip side, this poor woman – once her condition is regulated by the wonders of science – has to live with the knowledge of what she has done.

Yes, yes, good Christians, I know that your particular brand of irrationality is ever so different.

So very different indeed.

All kinds of different.

Crazily so!

(found at Pharyngula)