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Oddities

My new almost-favorite thing…

Feeling stressed? Just click. Do it….
bubblewrap.swf

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Art and Beauty possible shananapocalypse Uncategorized

The New Tower of Babel

While I am neither Christian, Muslim, or Jew- I have always appreciated and enjoyed many of the stories of the Old Testament. One that has always held many layers of meaning for me (perhaps in part because of my days as a tarot card reader) is The Tower of Babel. Among other things, the tower represents the coming together of diverse aspects to create something that is larger than the individual alone could reasonably do. It represents a flowering of cooperation. It also inherently represents the dangers of trying to achieve too much. Here is one interpretation of the tower from aeclectic.net
“No card scares a Tarot reader like the Tower – or the person they’re reading for if that person knows anything  about Tarot cards. It is however one of the clearest cards when it comes to meaning. False structures, false institutions, false beliefs are going to come tumbling down, suddenly, violently and all at once. What’s important to remember as a tarot reader is that the one you’re reading for likely does not know that something is false. Not yet. To the contrary, they probably believe that their lover is being faithful, that their religious beliefs are true and right, that there are no problems in their family structure, that everything is fine at work…oh, and that they’re fine. Just fine, really.”
Can there be any doubt as to why this symbol should be rising amongst the lands of the Middle East? The world works in symbols and perhaps this is one we should pay attention to.
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DUBAI (AFP) – Slated to become the world’s tallest skyscraper and symbol of a city given to grandiose projects, “Burj Dubai,” or Dubai Tower, is rising in parallel with the profits of its promoter, Emaar Properties.
With two stories added every week, Burj Dubai is taking shape as the centerpiece of a 20-billion-dollar venture featuring the construction of a new district, “Downtown Burj Dubai,” that will house 30,000 apartments and the world’s largest shopping mall.
Launched in early 2004, the construction of the tower by
South Korea’s Samsung should be completed at the end of 2008 and cost one billion dollars, according to Greg Sang, the Emaar official in charge of Burj Dubai.
Burj Dubai already has 79 stories, taking its height to more than 200 meters (656 feet). But even after having gone that far, Emaar is still not revealing the tower’s final height.
“At the moment, we are not answering. We’ll say it (will be) more than 700 meters (2,296 feet) and more than 160 stories … The people who need to know, know,” Sang, a 40-year-old New Zealander, told AFP.

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critters Uncategorized

The Real Batman? or is it Captain Americus?

AMERICUS, Ga. – So many bats have infested the town’s historic district that the sky turns black with each sunset and the neighborhood is calling on Batman to come to the rescue.
Vitacost.com
That’s what the local bat remover goes by. George Perkins often makes public appearances in the caped crusader’s costume and drives his own Batmobile — a retro-styled Chrysler Prowler with bat emblems. Callers to his office in Eufaula, Ala., known as Bat Cave 1, or Union Springs, Ala., known as Bat Cave 2, hear the “Batman” TV show theme while on hold.
The bat-weary residents of Americus aren’t laughing. The problem is even too big for Batman, and now the state has promised to help. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has proposed a long-term plan that includes surveying the bat population, possibly training city workers to do bat removals for needy homeowners and building bat houses in safe areas where the flying mammals can continue providing environmental benefits without being a nuisance.
“They’re perpetual crap machines,” said Tripp Pomeroy, who moved to the town of 17,000 in 1989 to work for Habitat for Humanity, which has its global headquarters here.

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Crime and Punishment Uncategorized

Something for my Mom to think about….

My Mom is a very sweet woman, but she used to embarras the fuck out of us by hugging strangers. She would hug old people in the grocery store, on the street, or wherever. She would hug anyone that looked like they needed it. It was nice, but not so much for us, just embarrassing. These days, she can hug whoever she wants to, but she may want to think twice before she hugs some Chinese person or she might end up in the klink….
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Chinese fail to embrace hugs from strangers
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese appear not to have warmed to a “free hugs” campaign aimed at cheering up strangers by hugging them on the street, with some huggers even being hauled away by police for questioning, media said Monday.
The campaign hit the streets of Beijing, Changsha and Xian this weekend, with participants opening their arms to embrace passers-by and brandishing cards saying “free hugs,” “care from strangers,” “refuse to be apathetic,” the Beijing News said.
In the capital, police moved in and took away four huggers briefly for questioning, baffled by their wacky, Western activities on a busy city-center shopping street.
In the ancient capital of Xian, home to the terracotta warriors, no more than 20 people, mostly children, had volunteered for the free hugs in two hours.
“Passers-by showed interest and curiosity, stopped and asked, but most of them walked away after hearing the explanation,” Xinhua news agency said, quoting a local newspaper.
“Embracing is a foreign tradition. Chinese are not accustomed to this,” a man named Li, a Xi’an citizen, was quoted as saying.
The ancient city of Changsha, capital of Hunan province, fared better, a local affairs Web site reported.
“Though some people refused (to be hugged), I hugged 20 people in one minute,” one girl was quoted as saying.
The Free Hugs campaign started in Australia and gained fame with a music video this year.

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Uncategorized

The Kingdom of Heaven as at Hand, with a digital margin of error.

…If thy right arm offend thee and causeth thee to sin, cut it off!…
ring
VIENNA – A Viennese man cut off his ring finger and presented the digit, still holding his wedding band, to his ex-wife after an acrimonious divorce, Austrian news agency APA reported Tuesday.
Charged with dangerous harassment and assault for the act, he told a preliminary hearing he did not regret having cut off the finger and had chosen deliberately not to reattached it.
“It was an act of breaking free,” the man was quoted as saying. He did not miss his finger, could work well without it and did not plan on getting married again anyway, he said.

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insurance nightmares Uncategorized

Don't Arrest Him, Hire Him!!!!

He obviously wants to be a bus driver. Get this kid in the program!
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FERN PARK, Fla. – A 15-year-old boy stole a bus, drove it along a public transit route, picked up passengers and collected fares, authorities said Sunday.
Ritchie Calvin Davis was already on probation for taking a tour bus and driving passengers around, authorities said.
In Saturday’s incident, he took the bus from the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, where it was parked awaiting sale at an auction, a Seminole County sheriff’s report said. The bus belongs to the Central Florida Transportation Agency, which runs LYNX public transit services in the Orlando area.
“I drove that bus better than most of the LYNX drivers could,” the teen, who is too young to drive legally, told a deputy after he was stopped and arrested. “There isn’t a scratch on it. I know how to start it, drive it, lower it, raise it.”
Passengers and deputies noted Davis drove the bus at normal speeds and made all the appropriate stops on the route. One passenger, suspicious of the youthful looks of the driver, called 911.
The bus had two passengers when deputies stopped it in Fern Park, about 12 miles north of the fairgrounds. Authorities believe Davis picked up a total of three passengers and collected only a few dollars.
He was charged with grand theft auto and driving without a license. A court hearing was scheduled Tuesday to determine whether he will be charged as an adult.
A message left at the home of a man identified as a Davis relative was not immediately returned Sunday.

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in and out Politics Uncategorized

A Message from Dubya re: The Bushplug

Because he cares about you and wants to know your most intimate details, we’ve brought you The Bush Butt Plug . Now it seems the President has a message for those of you with one…
A Message from Dubya
Advanced Response

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cash and poverty Politics

U.S. Jobs Shape Condoms’ Role in Foreign Aid – New York Times

Great NYT article on the big business of foreign aid.

EUFAULA, Alabama — Here in this courtly, antebellum town, Alabama’s condom production has survived an onslaught of Asian competition, thanks to the patronage of straitlaced congressmen from this Bible Belt state. Behind the scenes, the politicians have ensured that companies in Alabama won federal contracts to make billions of condoms over the years for AIDS prevention and family planning programs overseas, though Asian factories could do the job at less than half the cost.
In recent years, the state’s condom manufacturers fell hundreds of millions of condoms behind on orders, and the federal aid agency began buying them from Asia. The use of Asian-made condoms has contributed to layoffs that are coming next month.
But Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, has quietly pressed to maintain the unqualified priority for American-made condoms and is likely to prevail if the past is any guide.
“What’s wrong with helping the American worker at the same time we are helping people around the world?” asked the senator’s spokesman, Michael Brumas.
That question goes to the heart of an intensifying debate among wealthy nations about to what degree foreign aid is about saving jobs at home or lives abroad.
Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those that make condoms.
The wheat to feed the starving must be grown in United States and shipped to Africa, enriching agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill. The American consulting firms that carry out antipoverty programs abroad — dubbed beltway bandits by critics — do work that some advocates say local groups in developing countries could often manage at far less cost.

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Politics Uncategorized

Boing Boing: Bush legalizes martial law — what Constitution?

This was on Boing Boing this morning. Scary. Never mind Halloween, this is really scary!
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Boing Boing: Bush legalizes martial law — what Constitution?
Bush legalizes martial law — what Constitution?
On Oct 17, George Bush quietly signed a bill allowing him to declare martial law. The Toward Freedom website summarizes it:
For the current President, “enforcement of the laws to restore public order” means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against “disorderly” citizenry – protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.
The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called “illegal aliens,” “potential terrorists” and other “undesirables” for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That’s right. Under the cover of a trumped-up “immigration emergency” and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.
It’s easy to get scabbed over about the Bush White House’s assault on the Bill of Rights, but every now and again, they rip loose with an attack so egregious, it rips the scab right off. Between the right-to-torture bill and this one, it’s clear that Bush intends to bring back the pork-politics glory of the Cold War by reinventing the Soviet Union on American soil.
The elections are coming up in a matter of weeks. Vote America. Throw the traitors out. Install some leaders who love the Constitution more than the raging hard-on they get from settling political disagreements by imprisoning their opponents.

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Technology Uncategorized

Get paid for lying around all day

NASA is seeking applicants for an experiment in counteracting the affects of zero gravity. 20 seats or should I say beds are still available.

NY TIMES ARTICLE
HOUSTON, Oct. 23 — What does it say about this country that it’s hard to find people willing to be paid to lie around all day and take an occasional spin?

NASA’s Johnson Space Center is conducting experiments on counteracting the effects of weightlessness. To simulate a zero-gravity environment, volunteers lie down for three weeks on beds with their feet about five inches higher than their heads. They do not get up: they eat propped on an elbow, use bedpans and shower lying down on a waterproof gurney.