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Leap Day Sucks February 29, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.
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The Mideast heats up, as Israel threatens Hamas.

ASHKELON, Israel – Israel’s deputy defense minister warned on Friday of a disaster in the Gaza Strip after Israel activated an air raid system to protect a major city from increasingly threatening Palestinian rocket barrages.As Israeli troops, tanks and aircraft went after Palestinian rocket operations, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio that Israel had “no other choice” but to launch a massive military operation in Gaza.

“As the rocket fire grows, and the range increases … they are bringing upon themselves a greater ‘shoah’ because we will use all our strength in every way we deem appropriate, whether in airstrikes or on the ground,” Vilnai told Army Radio.

Israel warns Gaza of impending invasion

Meanwhile, America threatens Hezbollah.

BEIRUT – The pro-Iranian Hezbollah group accused the United States on Friday of endangering regional stability by deploying a warship off Lebanon and vowed to defy what it called an act of military intimidation.

The United States said on Thursday it sent the destroyer USS Cole to the eastern Mediterranean because the Bush administration was concerned about Lebanon’s political deadlock.

“The American move threatens the stability of Lebanon and the region and it is an attempt to spark tension,” Hezbollah member of parliament Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters by telephone.

Hezbollah: U.S. warship threatens stability

Meanwhile, reality threatens the stock market.

Stocks fell sharply Friday after a series of depressing economic and corporate reports and high oil prices stoked concerns about the health of the economy. The major stock indexes fell more than 2.5 percent and the Dow Jones industrials lost 315 points.

Investors were unnerved by disappointing quarterly results from American International Group Inc. and Dell Inc. And an index of regional business activity that Wall Street regards as a good indicator of a broader report set to arrive next week had its weakest showing in more than six years.

Leap Day Loser: Stocks Plummet

Screw the Mideast — that last one hurt me personally. It hurt me bad.

But I’m still trying to be positive. We’re having Papa Murphy’s Pizza tonight. I like pizza.

Nickel and Dime Credit Card Fraud February 29, 2008

Posted by Michael in Crime.
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Read your credit card bills carefully, folks.   The latest trend in credit card fraud is very small charges that, the bad guys hope, you won’t notice.

A recent victim, Andy at World Wide Rant, emailed me about his experience, and I have read about it elsewhere in the news.  Andy is  crusading to make sure everyone is aware of this threat.  You can get more information here.

Tell Me Why February 29, 2008

Posted by Michael in Humor, Music.
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Did you know that Weird Al Yankovic did a parody song devoted to eBay? Did you know that there is a whole genre of YouTube videos devoted to this song?

Well OK, maybe you did, but I just noticed it yesterday.

Leap Day Blues February 29, 2008

Posted by kevlarchick in Women Ranting.
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Even the cat wants to open the pool.   Will it ever end?   I feel cooped up in my house.   My car is filthy.   Lack of sun is making me very cranky.   I fell on the ice and cracked my head the other day. 

Will I be bitching about the heat and relentless sun in August?  If I do, somebody smack me.  


Forkin’ Cool February 28, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Personal Experiences, Travel.
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I learned this from our Malaysian waiter on our cruise last summer. Just try to do it like it looks. Put the spoon inside the tines, then run one toothpick through the tines and kind of flatten or tip the fork/spoon combo as shown. Then balance it on the toothpick tips.


I should have put one up at the IB Super Treats table, but I forgot. I was still too stunned from R.G.s incredible rubber band trick.

Cell Phone Karma February 28, 2008

Posted by Lipstick in Heroes, Humor, Terrorist Hemorrhoids.
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This just cracked me up.

(Sorry I can’t embed the video.  Click on the photo at the link)

Thieves Steal 100 Tons of Chocolate Spread February 27, 2008

Posted by daveintexas in Crime, Women Ranting.
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Any bets on gender?

Garfield Minus Garfield February 27, 2008

Posted by Sobek in Humor.
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As it turns out, the thing that has kept Garfield from being funny all these years has been Garfield.  Check out Garfield minus Garfield.

The Crusher February 26, 2008

Posted by Michael in Science.
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From the people who brought you the intertubes (no, not Al Gore), something new:


Photo credit: Carnegie Mellon, National Robotics Engineering Center.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA (which brought you a little thing called the Internet), has nearly finished work on the Crusher, a six-wheeled robot that rolls through ditches, walls, streams, other vehicles and almost anything else that gets in its way.”This vehicle can go into places where, if you were following in a Humvee, you’d come out with spinal injuries,” Stephen Welby, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, told the military-oriented Stars and Stripes newspaper. “Usually vehicles are set up to protect humans. Here, we didn’t have to worry about that.”

FOXNews.com – Technology News

Honestly, I don’t know why DARPA wasted time inventing the intertubes when they could have been working on cool stuff like this. Go here for video of the Crusher in action.

Now, all we need to do is mount some nasty frickin’s remote-contolled guns on that thing.

It’s interesting that combat is becoming increasingly robotic. Like with CIA drones executing Hellfire missile strikes.

Interesting, and kind of scary.

For three hundred years, combat has been gradually morphing into a less personal experience, while the technology continues to make it more destructive. Space-based energy weapons are the next frontier in combat.

What does this lead to?

The Battle of Armageddon, I suppose.

Obama’s lead increasing in Texas, Ohio, and New Delhi February 26, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Politics, Travel.
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If we’ve lost Tushar, we’ve lost the country.


Is this heaven? No it’s the Riverside Casino and Gold Resort south of Iowa City February 26, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Ducks, Economics, Sex, Travel.
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Iowan Neil Jorgensen (Scandi alert) was fired for asking casino management to “hook” him up. He apparently figured it was all part of the buffet experience that should have been included with his free lodgings and meal.

IB Legal Department? I think Mr. Jorgensen needs some help. These do not strike me as phrases that would help a judge see you in a favorable light (or argue in favor of Mensa membership):

  • “The advertisement is that it’s just like Las Vegas, so I thought I was in Las Vegas.”
  • “Gamblers have been allowed to continue gambling after they’ve urinated on the blackjack table standing in full public view,” he testified. “I think there’s a little dual standard here.”
  • “I was absolutely plowed.”

Actually, I kind of like the last one. It shows salt-of-the-earthness honesty. I’m ready to cut him some slack.


German Crimefighting Dogs To Wear Shoes February 26, 2008

Posted by Michael in Crime.
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I know, you’re thinking the Germans are crazy.

Well, they are crazy, of course, but this may actually be a good idea.

BERLIN – Police dogs in the western city of Duesseldorf will no longer get their feet dirty when on patrol — the entire dog unit will soon be equipped with blue plastic fiber shoes, a police spokesman said Monday.”All 20 of our police dogs — German and Belgian shepherds — are currently being trained to walk in these shoes,” Andre Hartwich said. “I’m not sure they like it, but they’ll have to get used to it.”


Surely even Germans could have come up with something more stylish. Why are these dogs being forced to suffer this indignity?

The problem is drunks.

The unusual footwear is not a fashion statement, Hartwich said, but rather a necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty. Especially in the city’s historical old town — famous for both its pubs and drunken revelers — the dogs often step into broken beer bottles.

The problem is exacerbated by cobblestone streets, which are difficult to clear of glass debris.

My hat is off to the Dusseldorf police for making an extra effort to protect their canine crimefighting friends.

German police dogs to wear shoes – MSNBC.com