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Archive for July, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
‘A new Texas law requires every computer repair technician to obtain a private investigator’s license, according to a lawsuit filed in Austin. Violators can face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail, as well as a $10,000 civil penalty.
Unlicensed computer shops will have to close down until they obtain a private investigator’s license.
A private investigator’s license can be obtained by acquiring a criminal justice degree or by getting a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator. [..]
In the Austin American-Statesman, State Rep. Joe Driver, (R-Garland) explains the intent of the law, and claims it does not place such restrictions on most computer shops.’
‘Of all the careers available to a devout Christian couple, revamping an urban pub and winning over its hardcore regulars was always going to be a gamble.
Sure enough, Krista and John Fleming found they were preaching to the unconverted – and the regulars had every intention of staying that way.
Now the Flemings, who banned swearing and gambling on horseracing, have been sacked after takings plunged. [..]
She said: ‘They should have built pews in here rather than chairs. I have no problem with their religion but… a pub is a pub. They started having a quiz and loads of the questions were on the Bible.
‘They took down the dart board… and now there’s some kind of calligraphy up there. [..]’
‘A couple telephoned police in the middle of the night after finding a man in their basement covered head to toe in barbecue sauce.
“He told the officers that it was urban camouflage,” said the homeowner.
This happened in Wisconsin.
The homeowners say they woke up to whistling sounds.
The husband grabbed his shotgun and headed toward the basement where he found the sauced-up intruder.
He held him at gunpoint until police arrived.
The guy told officers he covered himself in barbecue sauce because he wanted to hide from the government.
He now faces burglary charges.’
Thursday, July 3, 2008
‘The secret of how the cold sore virus manages to persist for a lifetime in the human body may have been cracked by US scientists.
The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) can lie dormant in facial nerves, emerging periodically to cause sores.
A Duke University Medical Center team may have uncovered how it can reactivate itself from a dormant state.
The finding, published in the journal Nature, could eventually lead to new treatments.
When fighting a virus, the immune system relies heavily on the protein chemicals produced by the virus which it uses to help mark it for destruction.
Herpes viruses manage to evade the immune system by shutting down production of these proteins completely, and remaining in this state for long periods before starting to replicate again.’
‘At “Buns and Guns” you can order a “Kalashnikov” sandwich from a bullet-shaped menu, prepared by chefs in military fatigues with the roar of explosions as background music.
This new fast food restaurant in Beirut’s southern suburbs, where the Hezbollah movement holds sway, was the brainchild of co-owner Ali Hammoud. He said the war theme was a novel concept that had nothing to do with Lebanon’s bloody recent history.
“It’s just an idea I had, nothing more, nothing less. I could have put toys in place of the sandbags and teddy bears instead of guns. But it was just an idea,” Hammoud told Reuters. [..]
“First time I came here, I thought it was a weapons shop. When I looked at the names of the dishes, I still thought so. I only realized it was a restaurant when I went inside,” said 15-year-old Hussein al-Hajj Ali.’
‘The Florida Retail Corporation and the Florida Chamber of Commerce are taking legal action against recent legislation which allows employees who have concealed weapons permits to bring guns to the workplace.
Disney and Publix are seeking to ban firearms from all areas of their property including the parking lots. Under the Florida law, workers will not only be permitted to have weapons, their employers will be prohibited from searching their vehicles or taking punitive action if a weapon is found.
In response to concerns that this legislation puts others at risk, Florida Governor Charlie Crist stated “It’s always a good idea to be able to protect yourself and the Second Amendment is a precious, cherished amendment that I fully support.”
Florida Chamber of Commerce member Sherri McInvale commented “It will absolutely hinder an employer’s right to control what happens on their property and most likely will not allow an employer to provide a safe environment for their employees and consumers.”‘
‘Investigators funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research are conducting research under the name of “ghost-imaging,” where a visual image of an object is created by means of light that has never interacted with the object.
The new technology may result in a more versatile use of field sensors, and have space applications. [..]
Ghost-imaging is similar to taking a flash-lit photo of an object using a normal camera. The image forms from photons that come out of the flash, bounce off the object, and then are focused through the lens onto photo-reactive film or a charge-coupled array.
“But, in this case, the image is not formed from light that hits the object and bounces back,” Dr. Shih said. “The camera collects photons from the light sources that did not hit the object, but are paired through a quantum effect with others that did. An image of the toy begins to appear after approximately a thousand pairs of photons are recorded.’
‘When President Bush announced his economic stimulus in January, he bragged that his package was the “right size” and would “boost” the economy [..]
It sure has led to “higher consumer spending,” but not where Bush had probably hoped. The adult pornography industry reports that has seen a huge uptick in business thanks to Bush’s package. According to a press release from the Adult Internet Market Research Company:
An independent market-research firm, AIMRCo (Adult Internet Market Research Company), has discovered that many websites focused on adult or erotic material have experienced an upswing in sales in the recent weeks since checks have appeared in millions of Americans’ mailboxes across the country.
According to Kirk Mishkin, Head Research Consultant for AIMRCo, “Many of the sites we surveyed have reported 20-30% growth in membership rates since mid-May when the checks were first sent out, and typically the summer is a slow period for this market.”‘
‘Researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in The Netherlands have developed a technique for generating atom clusters made from silver and other metals. Surprisingly enough, these so-called super atoms (clusters of 13 silver atoms, for example) behave in the same way as individual atoms and have opened up a whole new branch of chemistry. A full account can be read in the new edition of TU Delft magazine Delft Outlook.
If a silver thread is heated to around 900 degrees Celsius, it will generate vapour made up of silver atoms. The floating atoms stick to each other in groups. Small lumps of silver comprising for example 9, 13 and 55 atoms appear to be energetically stable and are therefore present in the silver mist more frequently that one might assume. Prof. Andreas Schmidt-Ott and Dr. Christian Peineke of TU Delft managed to collect these super atoms and make them suitable for more detailed chemical experiments.’
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
‘So, I pay my money to Ms. Rainbow and she leads me back to a louder darker room divided by cubicle walls. She pushes me down on a worn, dirty vinyl couch and takes off her clothing. She was smooth shaven and her nipples were that perfect color of dusty rose against heavy cream colored skin. She turned around and began rubbing herself against my lap, and I let my hands begin to wonder. She kept me away from the most private of private areas but other than that I had free run of the amusement park.
No attachment, no connection, just drunk hands on drunk skin and a blissfully thought free moment.
Then I felt it. [..]’
‘A man who used several different bent sticks to hit a ball to an area comprised of very short grass surrounding a hole in the ground was praised for his courage Monday after he used a somewhat smaller stick to gently roll the ball into the aforementioned hole in fewer attempts than his competitors. “What guts, what confidence,” ESPN commentator Scott Van Pelt said of the man, who was evidently unable to carry his sticks himself, employing someone else to hold the sticks and manipulate the flag sticking out of the hole in the ground while he rolled the ball into it. “You have to be so brave, so self-assured, so strong mentally to [roll a ball into a hole in the ground]. Amazing.” The man in question apparently hurt his knee during this activity.’
Not particularly clever, really. Lucky tho. 🙂
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‘A serious debate has heated up in the Swedish blogosphere on Monday after an eight-year-old boy’s failure to invite two classmates to his birthday party resulted in a complaint filed with parliament. Nearly 200 outraged comments had been posted on the website of the local southern Swedish daily Sydsvenskan on Monday, just days after the paper reported about the unlikely string of events that followed a young boy’s decision to invite all of his classmates to his birthday party except two.
The policy at the boy’s school in the southern town of Lund was that all children (or all the boys or all the girls) had to be invited to parties when their invitations were handed out in class. When a teacher noticed that two children had been left out of a party list, she promptly confiscated all the invitations, according to Sydsvenskan.
“Two people in class had not been invited, and that is not allowed. The ones who were not invited felt sad and left out,” the school principal, who was not named, told the paper.
The boy’s father meanwhile decided to file a complaint with the Swedish parliamentary ombudsman, insisting his son’s rights had been trampled on. [..]’
‘The “spiritual” effects of psilocybin from so-called sacred mushrooms last for more than a year and may offer a way to help patients with fatal diseases or addictions, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
The researchers also said their findings show there are safe ways to test psychoactive drugs on willing volunteers, if guidelines are followed.
In 2006, Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues gave psilocybin to 36 volunteers and asked them how it felt. Most reported having a “mystical” or “spiritual” experience and rated it positively.
More than a year later, most still said the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction, Griffiths and colleagues report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
“This is a truly remarkable finding,” Griffiths said in a statement. “Rarely in psychological research do we see such persistently positive reports from a single event in the laboratory.”‘
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
‘When asked by the Pope to demonstrate his artistic skill, 14th century Italian painter Giotto di Bondone supposedly drew a perfect circle freehand and said: “That’s more than enough.” Now, an international group of engineers and craftsmen has gone him one better and built a pair of nearly perfect spheres that are thought to be the roundest objects in the world.
The unusual balls, discussed last week at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in France, were created as an answer to the “kilogram problem”.
The kilogram is the only remaining standard of measurement tied to a single physical object: a 120-year-old lump of platinum and iridium that sits in a vault outside of Paris, France. But the mass of this chunk of metal is slowly changing relative to the 40-odd copies kept by other countries, and no one knows why or by how much.’
‘The planet Earth has dismissed claims it is in danger from global warming, stressing the worst that could happen is the extinction of the human race.
The Earth spoke out after a series of books, television programmes and environmental campaigns urged people to do everything in their power to ‘Save the Planet’.
Earth, 4,000,000,000, said last night: “I’ll be absolutely fine, seriously. I might get a bit warmer and a bit wetter, but to be honest, that actually sounds quite nice.
“Try living through an ice age. Pardon my French, but it’s absolutely fucking freezing.”
The planet, based 93 million miles from the Sun, said it was ‘sick and tired’ of being drawn into arguments about human behaviour.’