Category Archives: news

CNN’s triumphant return to accurate journalism

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
…ok, ok, fine — I admit it. I changed it; I couldn’t help it. Sorry. :)

Citizen Spies

Thanks to Google Maps, we know that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has an awesome swimming pool, complete with a bitchin’ water slide:



(click to see it on Google Maps)

But Google Maps also shows us the cost of excess.



(click to see it on Google Maps)

This is a very small sampling of the mass graves resulting from the 1995-1998 famines (the “Arduous March”) that killed around two million people.

This hellish tour of North Korean is curated by Curtis Melvin, a PhD candidate who, along with a few fellow investigators, has spent the last two years annotating the maps of North Korea in Google Earth. He was recently profiled in a fascinating Wall Street Journal article.

Go to Curtis Melvin’s site to download the incredible kmz file which will open up in Google Earth if you have it installed.

The black art of online ad placement

This YouTube clip of a CBS News story of the 8-year old boy accused of murdering his father and another man had a disturbing embedded advertisement:



Such a horrible, horrible news story. There is a lot of speculation about whether or not the boy actually killed his OOOH look, a cute bunny!!

At least it wasn’t this bunny.

(more examples of bad ad placements.)

R-obama-noke

Obama held a rally here in little ol’ Roanoke on Friday. He is the first major-party presidential candidate since JFK in 1960 to visit Roanoke. So, Kathryn and I took the day off and waited in the cold, wet line with our friend Kelly to witness this historic event. Here is a video showing highlights of our day:

WARNING: The video shows an anti-abortion truck that was parked near the line. Plastered on all sides of the truck is a gruesome image of an aborted fetus, accompanied by the message “Abortion is an ObamaNation”. We’ve seen similar images and statements proudly held by protesters hanging out near the Planned Parenthood facility in town. I was hoping to see more protesters at the rally, but the best we got was two zealots holding signs with biblical quotes, and some McCain/Palin supporters dressed as Joe the Plumber, who we didn’t see but found out about later via CNN:

Despite the cold rain, everybody was in good spirits. When we got inside and Obama finally reached the stage, the crowd went wild. He spoke with his usual eloquence, hitting many of his usual stump speech points. Including his crowd-pleasing pie story. I think the only big new point he made was his accusation that McCain wants to cut Medicare, an accusation based on a Wall Street Journal article.

It was very interesting to experience the Obama visit in person. Kelly thought the crowds swarming around Obama looked like a school of fish, all changing direction simultaneously during a feeding frenzy. We all marveled at the amount of logistical planning, endurance, expense, and show business required by presidential campaigns. And it’s all going to end two weeks from Tuesday. GO VOTE!

(We also took a few photos during Friday’s rally.)

SUBJECT: Request for URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

I’ve seen this many other places, but I cannot help reposting it here. It is a great statement on the current economic crisis:

DEAR AMERICAN:

I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.

I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.

I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.

THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.

PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.

YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON

(samples of scams parodied by the above letter)

Inclement weather

What CNN should have looked like today:

How to hurl things at people

This week I met someone who recently got to watch the Navy’s latest railgun test firing in person.



The flames are caused purely by friction with the air, not by any kind of explosive propellant. Yikes.

The projectile was traveling at 5,600 miles per hour (Mach 7). By contrast, a round fired by an average hunting rifle only travels at about 2,000 miles per hour. The railgun projectile was traveling at Mach 5 when it hit the target. The railgun has a accuracy range of about 220 miles – conventional naval weapons have only gotten us to around a tenth of that number.

The YouTube videos of the test firing are insane:



In other hitting-stuff-with-really-fast-stuff news, here’s the military video of the Navy missile blowing up the wayward spy satellite:



Article | Article

Zodiac copycat

Speaking of Zodiac cipher news, Chris tipped me to this recent Florida news story:

A student at Rutherford High School was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of making death threats against teachers and other students.

Freshman Dakota Gates, 14, is alleged to have written a coded note with detailed plans for an attack on the school. However, investigators have not yet turned up any weapons or other evidence the teen actually intended to carry out the threats, according to Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen.

The article includes a photo of the coded letter.



Snippet of cryptogram; click to embiggen.

The cryptogram was solved by authorities, but I could not find any mention of the solution in news sources. But Fark, ever the defender of justice and freedom for all, has become a source for the cryptogram’s solution. Look for postings by user “Mayhem of the Black Underclass” in this comment thread on the story. The interesting thing is that the news article claims that in the decoded crytogram, there are “detailed plans of an attack” on the school. But Mayhem’s solution reveals no such plans.

Ooops.

In one of the biggest upsets in NFL history, the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants (10-6) defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots (16-0) by the score of 17-14.

A Patriots win in this game would have made New England the first NFL team to complete a perfect season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the first since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season in 1978.

(thanks, Josh)

Scientology is shiny

…Shinytology?


A new calendar system!


They brought us into the golden age. It’s about time SOMEBODY did.


Awesome logo!



Why can’t Amazon.com be this organized?


Learn under the glorious tutelage of LRH



This is how you will be processed.


How much worse can the LRH Congress be than the US Congress??


Shades of dictatorship here.


NEWS ALERT: Congress can increase your IQ by 6 times!


If only I could understand the grade chart in the first place…


Can’t… find… Scientology… book…


I finally understand Scientology now. It is an elaborate system whose sole purpose is to promote book sales. Look at the altar here. Books. Everywhere. You authors out there should take notice. Next time you write a book, start a religion.

And now, if organizational emphasis and jargon meant to confuse outsiders aren’t enough to convince you of Scientology’s cult status, then feast on the personality worship:







“I’m looking at you, Suppressive Person. Yeah, you. I know it’s fashionable to make fun of Scientology. But we are the authorities of the mind. Don’t you forget it.”