Once again, Russians lead the way

MOSCOW, April 21 — At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.”
Wait til the DOOFUS hears this.

Link: 50% Good News Is the Bad News in Russian Radio - New York Times

Why he gets the big bucks

“The suspect shot himself one time to the head. He appears to be deceased at this time,” Houston police captain Dwayne Ready said at a press conference.
Link: The Raw Story | Gunman kills hostage, self at NASA Space Center

It didn't hurt the pigs, did it?

WASHINGTON -- An industrial chemical linked to kidney failure in dogs and cats has found its way into the human food supply chain. California officials quarantined 1,500 animals at the American Hog Farm and are tracking who purchased nearly 100 hogs from the farm this month, when the animals' feed included pet food that had been tainted with melamine...

For now, the risk to humans who ate the pork is thought to be minimal, said Dr. Kevin Reilly of the California Department of Health Services.
But don't worry, Bunky!

So little is known about melamine that it remains unclear why hogs that ate tainted food survived, merely excreting the chemical in urine, while cats and dogs died from kidney failure.
If you're more like a pig than a dog you're probably OK.

Link: Tainted pet food reaches human fare - The Boston Globe


Feeling safer, Bunky?

WASHINGTON, April 20 — The Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of people who received loans or other financial assistance from two Agriculture Department programs were disclosed for years in a publicly available database, raising concerns about identity theft and other privacy violations.
Link: Federal Database Exposes Social Security Numbers
- New York Times

New Mexico police got more than they bargained for last fall when they responded to a call about a domestic dispute in a trailer park near Los Alamos National Laboratory. Not only had they stumbled on paraphernalia for making the drug crystal meth; they also found thousands of pages of highly classified documents detailing the designs of U.S. nuclear weapons.
Link: A Breach in Nuclear Security -- Printout -- TIME
If ethanol ever gains widespread use as a clean alternative fuel to gasoline, people with respiratory illnesses may be in trouble.

A new study out of Stanford says pollution from ethanol could end up creating a worse health hazard than gasoline, especially for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Link: Study warns of health risk from ethanol

God help me, I do.

“There are jobs Americans aren't doing. ... If you've got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I'm talking about.”
He's talking about a plucking chicken factory. Isn't he?

Link: Bush muses on marriage, chicken-plucking - Yahoo! News

Please, NYTimes...

On a Very Hot Seat With Little Cover and Less Support
...spare us.

Link: On a Very Hot Seat With Little Cover and Less Support - New York Times

I heard of party animals...

...and I've heard of a Liberal Party, I think, but what the hell is a “party liberal,” AP? Sounds a little kinky to me, but AP writer Anne Flaherty says Diane Watson, a representative from California, is one. So hey, go Diane!

Of course I don't know if they have any party conservatives in California. I suppose a party conservative would be one of those people who serves green punch with the lime sherbet floating around, but I don't know. Maybe they're like people who don't dance.

Link: Liberals hesitant to oppose Iraq funding - Yahoo! News

And now this news flash from the Weather Channel

All good computers, as you know, must have names

“I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tred
You fine-haired sons of bitches.”
- Black Bart, 1877
I'm thinking “bart” for a black one would be good.

Link: Charles Bolles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rehabilitating walls

For a while there, they were out of style - that one in Berlin and all - but the Bush Brigades seem to be quite fond of walls (as opposed to levees, which are mostly underwater and don't count).

BAGHDAD — A U.S. military brigade is constructing a 3-mile-long concrete wall to cut off one of the capital's most restive Sunni Arab districts from the Shiite Muslim neighborhoods that surround it, raising concern about the further Balkanization of Iraq's most populous and violent city.

U.S. commanders in northern Baghdad said the 12-foot-high barrier would make it more difficult for suicide bombers to strike and for death squads and militia fighters from sectarian factions to attack one another and then slip back to their home turf. Construction began April 10 and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
Some Army Lt. Col. spokesbimbo explains...

“We defer to commanders on the ground, but dividing up the entire city with barriers is not part of the plan.”
...implying there actually is a plan and raising the intriguing question, what if the “commanders on the ground” were actually expected to follow it, but hey. Which commanders are not on the ground is what I want to know, and where are they anyway? Floating around in balloons or something?

Or just, you know, high?

Link: In Baghdad, U.S. troops build wall to curb violence - Los Angeles Times


Getting a little touchy there, aren't we?

According to multiple sources, CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux said, “Gonzales is in trouble.”

Malveaux claimed that two senior White House aides said that the Attorney General was “going down in flames” and “not doing himself any favors.”

“One prominent Republican describing the testimony this way,” Malveaux continued, “as 'clubbing a baby seal.'”
White House Bunker spokesbimbo says “Heckuva job.”

Link: The Raw Story | Off-the-record, White House senior aides excoriate Gonzales testimony

It's a medical problem.

Little Alberto has amnesia!

Link: TPMmuckraker April 19, 2007 12:55 PM

Yeah those Cheeseheads, they are a tolerant bunch.

Minnesota wolves have been showing up in Wisconsin, where...

The population is rising because of an abundance of public land, a teeming deer population and wolves' own population dynamics. Another factor is a ''fairly tolerant public,'' said Adrian Wydeven, a wolf ecologist.
Back when I was a kid growing up in Duluth our house was on the highway that comes down from Canada along the shore of the lake, and in the winter, every now and then, you could see a station wagon - one of those old woodie wagons - drive by with some stuff written on the doors in French and two big timberwolves strapped on the fenders. There was a bounty in the US on timberwolves, then, but apparently none in Canada, so the Canucks would haul their wolves down to the wolf-shooting office in Duluth and claim they had shot the wolves on the US side of the border, and try to collect the dough.

Now it seems they don't shoot them any more, they just send them to Wisconsin, where they get hugged.

Link: Wisconsin packing wolves in :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Nation

But they was just funnin', Bunky

Poor little Dinesh D'Souza. His latest book, which Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi for 9/11, isn't selling too well.

“He's bearing the brunt of the backlash against something a lot of mainstream conservatives have done -- blame liberals for a lot more than liberals have done,” said Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative magazine....

Even the man D'Souza calls his mentor, retired Dartmouth English professor and conservative columnist Jeffrey Hart, said of liberal-bashing: “That's the shtick.” [Yes! He said “shtick”!]

In interviews, some conservatives described liberal-bashing as a stunt that has grown old.
I met a dog once who could bite his own tail. So maybe if they're looking for a new stunt...well, I'm only trying to be helpful here.

That Jeffrey Hart, BTW, the retired English professor, was advisor to the Dartmouth Review, an unofficial student newspaper, back in the day when young Dinesh earned his conservative credentials [Yes! Conservative credentials!] by outing the campus gays. Yeah I know, that doesn't make much sense, but wait til you read this next thing: Hart thinks the Dartmouth Review is a “serious engine of conservative thought.” Toot, toot! Engine of conservative thought.

D'Souza is now a “research scholar” (probably how he found out about Nancy Pelosi) at Stanford University, which is also where that little Condi Rice came from too, isn't it? So maybe Stanford is another engine of conservative thought too, I don't know.

Damn. I just love saying that. Engine of conservative thought. Welcome to Tooterville.

Link: Conservatives sour on 'rebel media' - The Boston Globe


Sun!, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

All of a sudden it's like 64! Degrees! And the sky is blue, woohoo! Dude, that is totally better than a frozen puddle! I'm not going to say (spring) out loud, but I think it is!

Finally, a solution

An Australian scientist called Wednesday for an end to the age-old tradition of cremation, saying the practice contributed to global warming.
So now can I have that SUV?

Link: The Raw Story | Scientist says cremation should meet a timely death

Progress, of a sort

PETER FORD, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Deep in the belly of one of Hong Kong's largest malls, a mechanical stomach is digesting a social ill that is now catching the attention of this city's restaurateurs and environmentalists: too many leftovers. Elsewhere in the territory, restaurant owners are starting to sound like your mother. They are putting little signs on tables that threaten to fine diners who leave food on their plates. . .

In the past five years the amount of food wasted by Hong Kong's restaurants, hotels, and food manufacturers has more than doubled, according to the Environmental Protection Department.
What my grandmother used to say was, “Think of all the staving children in China.”


But “self-government” is so hopelessly 200 years ago

BOB MCCHESNEY - The U.S. Post Office is in the process of implementing a radical reformulation of its rates for magazines, such that smaller periodicals will be hit with a much, much larger increase than the largest magazines.

Because the Post Office is a monopoly, and because magazines must use it, the postal rates always have been skewed to make it cheaper for smaller publications to get launched and to survive. The whole idea has been to use the postal rates to keep publishing as competitive and wide open as possible. This bedrock principle was put in place by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. They considered it mandatory to create the press system, the Fourth Estate necessary for self-government....

The new rates, which go into effect on July 15, were developed with no public involvement or congressional oversight, and the increased costs could damage hundreds, even thousands, of smaller publications, possibly putting many out of business. This includes nearly every political journal in the nation.

Damn you, “feels like”

Who ever invented that anyway? “Feels like.” I don't want to know about “feels like.” When I look at the thermometer I want it to say 56º, not “feels like” 36. Fie upon “feels like.” “Feels like” should be banned.

I can

The big story in Japan is toilets bursting into flames. You could see how this would be a concern.
Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Protecting human dignity and upholding the sanctity of life


There are some things you just can't argue with

While it is true that most guns, in the hands of sane and safe operators like Dick Cheney, are relatively safe, when in the hands of people who are temporary unstable they are not.
Link: Cannonfire

BushCo and Big Pharma: What a team!

The Food and Drug Administration approved the United States' first human vaccine for bird flu Tuesday, saying it could slow a possible pandemic despite its modest effectiveness....

Sanofi's vaccine, based on a virus isolated in Vietnam, will not be available commercially. The federal government has already secured about 6.5 million doses of the vaccine....

The federal stockpile also includes about 6.5 million doses of another Sanofi vaccine, based on an H5N1 strain from Indonesia, that has not yet received FDA approval.
Yeah that's right, Bunky. It's modestly effective (or not approved at all) and 100% government issue - brought to you by the folks who don't believe in health care. But don't worry, you probably won't get any anyway...

Even if every vaccine manufacturer in the world turned all its production efforts toward producing the H5N1 shots, he said, they would churn out only enough to vaccinate 12 million to 20 million people a year — a fraction of what is needed in the U.S., let alone the world.
I say we eat the chickens before they kill us all.

Link: FDA approves bird flu vaccine - Los Angeles Times


There really is a cookie monster

Yes, Bunky, it's you.

“In my browser, I regularly go to the tools menu and clear my private data. This includes my cookies. As a result, people like me who destroy cookies by the thousands may be inflating estimates of Web traffic by up to 150 percent....every time you delete cookies, many of the sites you've visited count you as a new visitor next time.”
Link: Slashdot | Delete Cookies, Inflate Net Traffic Estimates

When your scroll wheel only goes up...

...man, it really screws up your day. Well, anyway, mine. Day, I mean. Scroll wheel too. I've just been sitting here sort of, you know, staring. I tried starting at the bottom of the page and reading up, but somehow that makes everything seem backwards.


The key words of the day seem to be shock and sad. George Bush, who once excitedly unleashed what he called shock and awe on Iraq, says the whole nation (the US, not Iraq) is shocked and saddened. Queen Elizabeth is not inconsiderably shocked and saddened. Personally, I can’t say I’m particularly shocked. Indeed, anyone who can be shocked by someone in America getting hold of a firearm and shooting a bunch of random strangers simply hasn’t been paying attention.
Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Shocked and saddened

The river and the rain

The river and the rain, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

No need to say something stupid, Sir, when Reuters will do it for you

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian weapons headed for Taliban fighters were intercepted in Afghanistan in the last month, according to the United States' top general on Tuesday.

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, stopped short of saying Iran's government had provided the weapons. Instead, he said he was not sure which Iranian “entity” was responsible.
But don't worry, Gen. Peter Pace! Stop short if you must. Kristin Roberts of Reuters is on the job. She'll say it for you:

His comments mark the first U.S. accusations that Iran's Shi'ite government could be helping the Sunni Taliban.
Like that? Yeah, I thought you would. Give Kristin a big hug!

Top U.S. general says Iranian weapons in Afghanistan


Patriot's Day parade

Patriot's Day parade, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Virginia Tech news links

Google News

Yahoo News


Google Blog Search

If you're not interested you can take a nap

weather.com - Local Severe Weather Alerts Details

Wait a minute

If there's no gravity...
Her long dark hair bounced above her, a bounce for each stride.
...how does that happen? I'm just asking here.

[Astronaut Sunita] Williams, who qualified for the Boston race by finishing the 2006 Chevron Houston Marathon at just under three hours, 30 mintes, was strapped to the treadmill with over-the-shoulder harnesses and bungee cords clipped to her waist. The force of the restraints was adjusted to simulate her own weight on the ground.
Yes? And?

Link: Astronaut running her own Boston Marathon | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Somehow I'm glad Carl Sandburg missed this

The City of Chicago has been chosen as the United States Applicant City for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

Link: Chicago wins 2016 USOC Olympic Bid - Wikinews

First, they'll come up with a better name

After six billion dollars and over three years, the Pentagon is finally going to examine the office that is supposed to help solve the IED problem. More telling, one of the people tapped to head the review was a vocal war critic early on. It seems some in government have grown frustrated with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).
Link: Danger Room - Wired News

There'll always be an England

Residents in north London believe they have found the shortest yellow lines in the country....

The 18-inch single yellow line in Highbury Crescent in Highbury is just long enough to fit one wheel, reports the BBC....

Ms Lishman said: “It wouldn't surprise me if someone got a parking ticket if they strayed on to the line.”
(Visit Ananova for a picture.)

Link: Ananova - UK's shortest yellow line?

Welcome to the Boston Marasplash

Pumps have been stationed at low-lying areas in case of flooding. Ponchos will be provided for workers assigned outdoors. Runners were warned by e-mail to wear appropriate clothing....

Near the start in Hopkinton, the usual carnivallike atmosphere was subdued. The town green was nearly empty less than two hours before start time, with few hot dog stands and no lines at the portable restrooms. A vendor who ran out of ponchos Sunday was selling trash bags for $1 apiece.
Well hey, if they don't have hot dogs you can count me out.

Link: Boston Marathon starts in the rain - Yahoo! News

No! It wasn't the dog!

BLITZER: You have had a chance to read all of those pages that the justice department released this morning. What's the bottom line on his defense?

TOOBIN: The bottom line is it's all Harriet Miers' fault. It's really an amazing document, this uh, uh, this opening statement.
It was that Harriet Miers woman who ate the homework!

Link: The Raw Story | Gonzales suggests firings 'all Harriet Mier's fault': Analyst

Pack up all your cares and woes...

Vice President Dick Cheney continued to express the White House’s support for Mr. Gonzales, but he made it clear that it was up to the attorney general to save his job.
...bye bye, Gonzo.

Link: ‘Nothing to Hide,’ Attorney General Insists - New York Times


What a difference a little coding error makes.
[Condoleeza] Rice was included in the volume Were It Not For Grace: Stories From Women After God’s Own Heart, along with First Lady Laura Bush.
Thanks to Spiderweb™ for finding this piece, which concludes...
“She’s already said she’s not interested in running for president,” Montgomery said in response to questions about Rice’s future in the post-Bush administration. “She’s going to go back to teaching and also working with an organization that her father founded to help inspire more kids to attend college. I also think that when she leaves the White House, she will start speaking out on more issues and people will see the warm and funny side of Condoleeza Rice that she’s purposely kept hidden away while in office.”
I, for one, can't wait.

Link: The City Paper - Smart, Fast, Free


Meta über alles

This isn’t Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood but Sin City. Make yourself at home and stop your fucking whining. The angels got chased out long ago and we all know who goes where they fear to tread.
Link: Welcome to Pottersville: JP On Frank Rich On Imus On Rutgers

And Brian? I know nothing about the development of your credentials, but your current field of work is “TV talking head.” That may be some sort of career pinnacle where you come from, but this bathrobed babe is not impressed. I've gotta hot date with the bloggers listed above, and you can take your developed credentials and be “up against Vinny” all night long.
Link: Blue Gal: Brian Williams, I got yer qualifications right here.

It’s amazing — not to mention depressing — how little has changed in the past 80 years or so. T.E. Lawrence was complaining about many of the same things which critics of the current war in Iraq are complaining about today.
Link: Jesus' General

it's official now, we've all been transported back to 3rd grade, where the excuses are large and easy to grasp: I didn't mean to. Billy did it first. I can't find it. No fair, that's not my job. you're poopy. no, you are. am not. are so.
Link: The Aristocrats

Beware the Ug!

No, not those hideous boots! The Ug99 black stem rust fungus, a strain of Puccinia graminis. It doesn't kill people directly, but it could wipe out much of the world's wheat crop. As always, the developing world will probably be hit the hardest. And it's a potential failure of surveillance.
Link: Mike the Mad Biologist


Feast your eyes...

...on this outstanding Osborne portable computer, circa 1982, a newer, more powerful, and way, way, way heavier machine than my own most excellent Model 100 but running on the same Zylog Z80 processor - at the blazing speed of 4 Mhz. And it had disk drives! Two of them! It did, however, require AC power, whereas my own computer ran on flashlight batteries.

The Osborne (this an Osborne 1) was priced at $1,800, about $300 more than Apple's current top-of-the-line MacBook.

In cruel twist, great expectations dashed

Barkis is willin’ but the Ghost of Christmas Future is not.
It is an embarrassment for the owners RMA Ltd headed by Kevin Christie and a blow to tourism at the Chatham Maritime site....

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “This is a brilliant idea and we are all very excited but this is bit of a blow and there is a real feeling of upset among staff here.”
Upset indeed. Here these guys were, all set to open a brand new multi-million pound Charles Dickens theme park (there'll always be an England) and the freakin' ghost won't work, along with some other stuff unnamed. So now no park until the 25th of May.
Earlier this week invitations were mailed out to hundreds of journalists and camera crews urging them to come and see the site for themselves just two days before it opened to the public. That event has now been shelved too.
The ghost was manufactured in the United States (but not, apparently, at FermiLab).

Dickens World opening cancelled after 11th hour problem with animated figures