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Cincinnati Jail Imposes Dress Code On Visitors May 27, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.

Immodest attire had become a problem.

CINCINNATI – Officials say visitors to a southwest Ohio jail can’t wear plunging necklines, Spandex or see-through garb. The Hamilton County jail said the new dress code also requires guests to wears shirts, shoes and underwear.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Barnett said the dress code has become a problem in recent years, especially after a woman named “Kevlarchick” began visiting her many friends at the facility. He says the rules are in line with visitor dress codes at state prisons.

[Quote slightly altered to complete the story.]

Cincinnati-area jail: Visitors must wear underwear

Berlin Memorializes Gay Victims of the Nazis May 27, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.

Germany has inaugurated a 600,000 euro concrete memorial to honour the thousands of homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

I’m OK with that. Something like 15,000 gays were executed by the Nazis, and this injustice should be remembered.

So, exactly how do you memorialize such persecution?

The four-metre high monument, which has a window showing a film of two men kissing, was unveiled in Berlin.


That cost €600,000?

New Robot Mimics “Falling-Forward” Walk of Humans May 26, 2008

Posted by Michael in Science.

A new robot that walks like humans is one of the most advanced of its kind.

Attempts to get robots moving like people typically result in very stilted gaits and limited range of motion.

Human walking is “really very similar to falling forward in a controlled fashion,” researchers at TU Delft in The Netherlands explained today in a statement. “Adopting this method replaces the cautious, rigid way in which robots walk with the more fluid, energy-efficient movement used by humans.”

The new robot, Flame, weighs about 40 pounds (15 kg) and is 4 feet tall (1.3 meters). Its got several moving joints attenuated by springs. An inertia sensor (called an “organ of balance”) helps keep the ‘bot stable. Seven motors get it all going.

New Robot Walks Like You – Yahoo! News

I actually contributed to this project. Here are the suggestions I submitted to the Dutch scientists and engineers in charge of the computer program that governs Flame’s motion.

Hey, apparently Flame got the message, because here he is in action:

Potato Potentate Passes Peacefully May 26, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Economics, Food.

Titan of Tubers

Monarch of Mashed

Sovereign of Starch

Ruler of Roots

The 99-year-old King of the Spudders passed away Sunday. Pretty much a self-made man, although he probably owes something to the wild horses he shot to feed his hogs at an early age:

In 1923, he left home at age 14 with four $20 gold coins given to him by his mother. He paid $1 a day for room and board at Declo’s only hotel.

As a shrewd young businessman, Simplot bought interest-bearing scrip paid to teachers who were also boarding there for 50 cents on the dollar. He used it for collateral on a bank loan to buy 600 hogs at $1 each.

He spent the winter shooting wild horses, selling the hides and boiling the meat with potato scraps to feed the hogs.

When pork prices jumped the next year, he brought some rare fat hogs to market for a whopping $7,500.

That was Simplot’s stake for the potato business.

He supplied dried potatoes and vegetables to U.S. troops during WWII and later cut a deal with Ray Kroc to supply McDonalds with potatoes for french fries and hash browns. His estimated worth was $3.2 billion. In his 70s, he added variety to his “chip” investments by staking Micron.

Late into his life, the former McDonald’s board member drove his white Lincoln Town Car with “Mr. Spud” vanity plates to the fast food chain [in Boise] for hash browns or french fries several times a week. 

Sounds like a character. Raise a chip to the spudders today. Mine’s sour cream and cheddar.

Sudan On Verge of Civil War May 26, 2008

Posted by daveintexas in Commenting Tips, Ducks, News, Science.

Senior representative from the Sudan People’s Liberation Front pledges to wear ridiculous hat for the duration of the crisis.

“All your bitches are belong to us!”


Pastor-ized May 26, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Politics, Religion.

Pastors pose problems for McCain and Obama

I find this jaw-droppingly stupid. Is it just me?

Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, both seeking to use religion to their advantage in the presidential campaign, have learned painful lessons about the risks of getting too close to religious leaders.

Both now realize that sermons given to a narrow audience on Sundays don’t always play as well on the national stage, where context can be a casualty. [my emphases]
There’s just not hardly a sliver of difference between the “pastor problems” of the respective candidates is there?
. . . both have been slowed by their respective pastor problems. Whether the controversies will play a role in the months ahead remains unclear, but the two candidates face decisions about how clergy fit into their efforts to reach voters informed by faith.
Those “informed by faith” worry me a lot less than those “informed” by articles like this.
McCain supporters say it’s unfair to equate his endorsements with the Obama-Wright saga.
Ya think? I would guess most people with even a thimbleful of commonsense would agree that it is unfair to equate McCain’s “endorsements” with Obama’s 20-year relationship to Jeremiah Wright. Seems to me the commonsense criteria eliminates AP religion writers.

Hillary Hits A New Low May 25, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.

Today we finally learned why Senator Clinton just can’t quit.

She’s on a mission from god.

HORMIGUEROS, Puerto Rico — Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday offered a spiritual defense for continuing her presidential campaign, as she sought to put to rest the uproar over her comments about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

Speaking to a full congregation at the Pabellon de la Victoria evangelical church, Clinton spoke in measured terms about faith in the face of adversity.

“There isn’t anything we cannot do together if we seek God’s blessing and if we stay committed and are not deterred by the setbacks that often fall in every life,” Clinton said.

Clinton Talks Up Faith in Face of Long Odds

Freedom Rock May 24, 2008

Posted by Michael in Heroes.

You can find patriots in the darndest places.

Like Iowa, which is mostly known for bacon-eating contests.

On an empty stretch of highway in Iowa, a 12-foot-tall, 56-ton rock gets a fresh paint job every Memorial Day.

It’s the “Freedom Rock,” and for each of the past ten years, its creator has dedicated a month of his life to covering it with tributes to veterans – a living monument to the troops.

Ray “Bubba” Sorensen was only 19 years old when he first saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” and decided that patriotism was at an all-time low.

“People think Memorial Day is just a three-day weekend,” said Sorensen. “I decided to go out there and paint the rock to say ‘thank you’ to the soldiers for their freedom and flag-raising.”

This is not an example of great art. It is an example of a great heart.

Three years ago, a group of veterans on their way to the Vietnam Wall Memorial dropped by the site in Adair County and asked to sprinkle ashes there.

Sorensen offered to incorporate them into the paint so that they wouldn’t blow away. Everything happened so quickly that he never even got the names of the eight veterans whose ashes now reside underneath his 2005 painting of a helicopter.

What began as a spur-of-the-moment decision has come to define it. Just the other day, Sorensen received a call to paint the ashes of an eleventh veteran onto the rock. It will happen at the ten-year celebration of the “Freedom Rock,” which will take place this Sunday.

Fashioning A Memorial Of Art And Stone, A Painted Rock In Rural Iowa Becomes A Touchstone For Remembering Veterans And War Dead – CBS News

‘Miracle’ Marine Loses Final Battle May 24, 2008

Posted by Michael in Heroes.

This weekend, we’re flying the flag at our house. I hope you are too.

The young Marine came back from the war, with his toughest fight ahead of him.

Merlin German waged that battle in the quiet of a Texas hospital, far from the dusty road in Iraq where a bomb exploded, leaving him with burns over 97 percent of his body.

No one expected him to survive.

I’m going to have a good time this weekend. In fact, I’m cooking meat with fire right now. But I hope we all pause for a moment to remember the sacrifice of those who made this great nation possible.

But for more than three years, he would not surrender. He endured more than 100 surgeries and procedures. He learned to live with pain, to stare at a stranger’s face in the mirror. He learned to smile again, to joke, to make others laugh.

He became known as the “Miracle Man.”

But just when it seemed he would defy impossible odds, Sgt. Merlin German lost his last battle this spring — an unexpected final chapter in a story many imagined would have a happy ending.

Rest in peace, Merlin German.

‘Miracle’ Marine loses final battle

Black-on-Black Violence in South Africa May 23, 2008

Posted by Michael in News.

We’ve all been shocked by the mob violence. How to explain this?

Well, you can always blame the white people.

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South Africa’s security chief accused rightwingers linked to the former apartheid government on Friday of fanning anti-foreigner violence that has spread to Cape Town, the second largest city and tourist centre.

At least 42 people have been killed and more than 25,000 driven from their homes in 12 days of attacks by mobs who have stabbed, clubbed and burnt migrants from other parts of Africa they accuse of taking jobs and fuelling crime.

The South African government has been criticized for its slow reaction to the violence, which started in a Johannesburg township on May 11, and for not adequately addressing poverty widely blamed for the bloodshed.

So then, it looks like economic competition between natives and immigrants is the issue.

But no, there is supposedly another problem. Those white devils are guily of “stoking.”

But Manala Manzini, head of the National Intelligence Agency, told Reuters people linked to former apartheid security forces were stoking the violence.

“Definitely there is a third hand involved. There is a deliberate effort, orchestrated, well-planned,” he said.

“We have information to the effect that elements that were involved in the pre-1994 election violence are in fact the same elements that have re-started contacts with people that they used in the past.”

Give me a frickin’ break. The curse of Africa has always been tribal rivalries, and Manzini is doing a poor job of covering this up. Actually, Manzini sorta admits this. Perhaps anticipating that the “blame whitey” excuse might not fly, he also points at the ANC’s traditional rival — the Zulus.

Zulu War Dance

Manzini said some violence emanated from worker hostels where Zulu migrants traditionally live.

Much of the township bloodshed in the final years of apartheid involved brutal clashes between supporters of the Zulu-based Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress, which has been in power since the end of white rule.

I’m thinking the ANC needs a better excuse for their utter failure to maintain public order in their country. For starters, maybe they should take a look at official corruption, widespread criminality, and failed socialist economic policies.


A friend of mine lived in South Africa, and reveres that country as one of the most beautiful places on earth. It could make a ton of money as a premiere tourist destination. But, tourists seeking an African experience go to Kenya instead, because nobody feels safe in South Africa today. My friend lived in Johannesburg, in a compound surrounded by high walls and concertina wire, just to deal with ordinary criminal gangs. It’s a shame.

South Africa says apartheid-era foes fan violence

Haute Fashion May 23, 2008

Posted by composmentis in Food.

I found the perfect suit for Russ to wear to the next company Christmas dinner.

This suit screams \

A suite of bacon trumps Jon Blow Jovi every time.

I think I’ve perfected the mixture May 23, 2008

Posted by skinbad in Man Laws, Science, Technology.

Dave in Texas’ muse. You know what’s coming.