‘Alcoholics Anonymous, the renowned 12-step program that directs problem drinkers to seek help from a higher power, says it’s not a religion and is open to nonbelievers. But it has enough religious overtones that a parolee can’t be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
In fact, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the constitutional dividing line between church and state in such cases is so clear that a parole officer can be sued for damages for ordering a parolee to go through rehabilitation at Alcoholics Anonymous or an affiliated program for drug addicts.’
‘Eighties television icon MacGyver has beaten Indiana Jones, James Bond and Jack Bauer as the fictional hero most Americans would want by their side in the event of a disaster.
In the survey, commissioned by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, participants were given a choice among seven fictional heroes for help in an emergency.
Twenty seven per cent of respondents said they would want MacGyver to help them out should disaster strike.’
‘Two men have been arrested for stealing a man’s clothes and leaving him to wander around naked, officials said. The victim, a 19-year-old Hazleton man, was taken by two men to a rural area west of Oelwein where the men took his clothes at gunpoint, officials with the Fayette County sheriff’s office said.
The investigation began after the sheriff’s office received a report of a naked man walking down a county road early Sunday morning.
Deputies searched an Oelwein home later in the day and found the victim’s clothes and several guns.’
‘European Union commissioners have ruled that Britain can carry on using imperial measurements such as pints, pounds and miles.
Europe’s Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said: “There is not now and never will be any requirement to drop imperial measurements.”
The decision will not affect current law on metric measurements, but means imperial equivalents can be used too.
It follows years of wrangling between London and Brussels over metrication.’
It seems that using an umbrella to slow your decent is not an effective technique.
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‘A man cut off his own penis and threw it in a toilet ‘so he would stop sinning’.
The 30-year-old was recovering in the Hospital Clinico Universitario in Salamanca in western Spain.
Doctors said his condition was ‘stable’ and he was not in danger of losing his life. [..]
The newspaper said it was not known if the man’s penis could be sewn back.
There was also a suggestion he may be suffering from psychological problems.’
‘These kids come up with the bright idea to stand on top of a stack of chairs lined up next to the pool then have a friend run straight at them. It does not go well.’
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‘Pro wrestler Chris Benoit suffered brain damage from his years in the ring that could help explain why he killed his wife, son and himself, a doctor who studied Benoit’s brain said Wednesday.
The analysis by doctors affiliated with the Sports Legacy Institute suggests repeated concussions could have contributed to the killings at Benoit’s suburban Atlanta home. [..]
The level of brain damage Benoit had can cause depression and irrational behavior, Cantu said.
Benoit’s brain showed the same degenerative processes that doctors working for the institute found in the brains of three men who had played pro football and committed suicide, Cantu said. There were abnormal protein deposits caused by trauma to Benoit’s brain, Cantu said.
There’s no evidence that steroid use causes such protein deposits, Cantu said, though he noted the issue has not been exhaustively studied.’
Followup to Benoit wrestle hold killed son.
‘A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization.
Scientology said it would fight the criminal charges recommended by investigating prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen, who said that up to 12 unidentified people should face charges.
Van Espen’s probe also concluded that Scientology’s Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.
“They also face charges of being … a criminal organization,” Pellens said in a telephone interview.’
‘Let’s get this action goin’, baby.’
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‘My senior year of college opened with the customary research projects, grad school applications, and the like. But that all changed two months ago. Some of you may have heard rumors of some bizarre accident that I was involved in. Here is the truth, unabridged, for those who actually want to know.
In the second week of school, the society of physics students held a roughly annual welcome back party. As tradition dictates, we made our own ice cream with liquid nitrogen, 77� Kelvin, as a refrigerant and aerator. We spilled a little liquid nitrogen onto a table and watched the tiny little drops dance around. Someone asked, “Why does it do that?” That may have been the point of no return.’
‘A Whitehall man escaped serious injury when his attempt to wipe out yellow jackets literally exploded in his face Monday afternoon.
[..] Sekol put a dried Christmas tree over the grate and poured gasoline over it, according to Benner. At least some of that gas ran down into the storm sewer.
When Sekol lit it, the combination of warm air temperature and confined space caused the liquid gasoline and fumes to explode. [..]
[His wife] found her husband sitting on the grass near the sewer grate, with his hair and eyebrows singed.
”I guess he learned a lesson,” she said.’
‘The head of PC maker Acer, Gianfranco Lanci, has hit out at Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, saying that the “entire industry” was disappointed by it.
Microsoft Windows Vista
“The entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista,” the head of the world’s fourth-biggest PC maker told the Financial Times Deutschland in its online edition on Monday.
Never before had a new version of Windows done so little to boost PC sales, he said.
“And that’s not going to change in the second half of this year,” Mr Lanci said.
“I really don’t think that someone has bought a new PC specifically for Vista.” [..]
“Stability is certainly a problem,” he said.’
‘A chubby-faced tearaway nicknamed Chucky after the demonic horror movie doll has been issued with an Asbo after using up 85 per cent of the local police time.
Oliver Clinch, 12, brought chaos and fear to his neighbourhood as he went on an alcohol-fuelled crime spree, smashing windows, stealing, abusing residents in the street and leading other youths ‘like the Pied Piper’.
Clinch’s victims are looking forward to their first peaceful night in more than a year after he was given a two-year anti-social behaviour order.
They hope it will bring to an end the 12-month reign of terror during which
4ft 5in Clinch committed at least 60 offences in Little Lever near Bolton.
PC Graham Westwell told Bolton magistrates that he had spent 85 per cent of his working life dealing with Clinch’s crimes. He said: ‘In my view, these 60 offences in the last year represent only half of the crimes he has committed.’
‘Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from a U.S. aid organisation have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported on Thursday.
NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children’s laptops.
“Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials,” NAN said.
A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.’
‘The Defence Minister today listed the security of the world’s oil supply as one of the major reasons for Australia’s continuing military presence in Iraq as John Howard spelled out plans to keep troops in the country.
The Prime Minister said Islamic extremists remained a threat to Australia and it would be against “our national character” to let terrorists prevail.
He has again ruled out any timetable for withdrawing soldiers from the country plagued by sectarian conflict and regular deadly attacks against coalition forces.’
I need an “obvious” tag, really.
‘Australia hasn’t witnessed a single mass shooting since a massacre 10 years ago prompted nationwide gun law reforms, according to a study Thursday that linked the tough laws with a dramatic reduction in firearm deaths. [..]
The study found the buyback coincided with an end to mass shootings and dramatic decreases in shooting deaths in Australia.
“The Australian example provides evidence that removing large numbers of firearms from a community can be associated with a sudden and ongoing decline in mass shootings and accelerated declines in total firearms-related deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides,” the report concluded.’
Seems obvious, really. 🙂
What happens when you use a scooter to make a merry-go-round type thing go faster?
Pretty obvious really.
Edit: Now with working video.
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‘Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency — five Republicans and one Democrat — accused the Bush administration Wednesday of neglecting global warming and other environmental problems. [..]
All of the former administrators and EPA’s current chief, Stephen Johnson, raised their hands when asked by the event moderator whether they believe global warming is a real problem, and again when he asked if humans bear significant blame.
But agency heads during five Republican administrations, including the current one, criticized the Bush White House for what they described as a failure of leadership.’