Thursday, November 30, 2006

---AP Fakes Iraqi News, Congo, No More Ipods for NK, Russia Meddles and Murders, The Pope, Pluto, and Other Stories 

New terror attacks on America

My Way News [AP]- Shiites Burn 6 Sunni Worshippers Alive
This horrific account of Sunni worshippers dragged from their mosque and burned alive while the Iraqi police stood by reached the major news services last week . Iraq is clearly going straight to Hell, along with American aspirations for peace and stability in the region.
The problem is, the events depicted in the story, along with AP’s frequent source, “ police Capt. Jamil Hussein”, evidently are fictitious. CENTCOM and other relevant sources profess no knowledge of these events, or of a "Jamil Hussein" serving in any capacity in the Iraqi police forces.
Between accounts (see, for example, Half of U.S. still believes Iraq had WMD - Boston.com[AP]) of what credulous yokels those conservative bloggers---and the American people in general---are for believing silly rumors instead of the reliable information provided by professional news sources, the AP apparently has been regularly publishing made-up stories from non-existent sources.
I first heard about this lapse of corporate judgment from Glen Beck’s TV show while randomly channel surfing---CNN HN isn’t on my cable favorites list. It is also being pursued by a number of those silly, credulous news bloggers:
Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » Getting The News From The Enemy
Gateway Pundit: AP Is Busted! Uses BOGUS Source For Months in Iraqi Fables!

My Way News [AP]- Gunfire, Street Fighting Erupt in Congo
Hopes for peace in the Congo are also vanishing, if we can believe this AP account, based on the lack of any apparent motive for the news agency to distort news from any place where a non-politically-favored U.S. administration is not actively involved or vulnerable to manipulation of public opinion.

Never mind the nukes....
My Way News [AP]- U.S. Bans Sale of IPods to North Korea
...now you’re gonna have a fight on your hands!

At least Russia is on our side...
FOXNews.com [AP]- Official: Russia Sending Air Defense Missile System to Iran
Oh, wait....

At least we can count on Russia to be discreet....
FOXNews.com [AP]- Traces of Radioactive Material Found in Sushi Restaurant, Home of Dead Spy
...in having its critics assassinated.
Nope. They apparently left traces of Polonium-210 all over London in the process.
Polonium-210, known as a component in fusion bomb initiators (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/intro/polonium.htm), is not exactly something a casual murderer or terrorist would have lying around.
“Way” to cover your tracks, Russia!

FOXNews.com [AP]- Pope Visits Turkey in First Trip to Muslim Country
The conflict of competing heresies continues to heat up.

Judge Rules Paper Money Unfair to Blind People
Yes, Judge James Robertson of the D.C. Federal District Court has declared U.S. money illegal.
An organization representing the interests of blind Americans, described the decision as “distracting”.
I will decline to describe it here.

SPACE.com -- Pluto-bound Spacecraft Spots its Target
The New Horizons probe obtained its first image of Pluto, using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager. It’s still a little difficult to make out any details. We’ll have to wait until 2015 for a close-up.

A nice photo of the gravitationally-induced waves kicked up at the edges of the Keeler Gap in Saturn’s rings by the passing of the moonlet Daphnis.

Spaceflight Now | STS-116 Shuttle Report | Meeting to review plans for next week's shuttle launch
It should be okay---it’s not February yet.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

---Hell is For Idiots, "Borat" Cheats Poor People 

FOXNews.com - Abizaid: No Timetable for Iraq Withdrawal, But Control Must Come Soon
Yes, boys and girls, War is all Hell. Could it get worse?

Of course! Now, Hell is being run by idiots!

Their intention, as far as I can guess, is to unleash apocalyptic chaos in the Middle East, and blame it on the Republicans....

Speaking of idiots....
FOXNews.com - Romanians Say 'Borat' Misled Them
...there’s this wretched “mockumentary” posing as humor, and featuring anti-Semitism and overt abuse of poor people. Why did so many of you pay money to watch this mortal insult to the human species?


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Sunday, November 12, 2006

---Ed Bradley, Jack Palance Dead, Rwanda, U.S. Space Defense Policy, MS Vista, Polar Hurrincane on Saturn 

FOXNews.com - CBS News' Ed Bradley Dies After Battle With Leukemia
Ok, so I haven’t watched “60 Minutes” since the ’80’s, but Ed Bradley was one of those seemingly permanent fixtures of television even then. Nobody seems to have known he was seriously ill.

FOXNews.com - Actor Jack Palance Dies at His Home in California
Another regular acting institution we grew up with has died.

My Way News [AP] - Catholic Nun Gets 30 Years for Rwanda Ro
In 1994 as the unending resonant cycle of reprisal and revenge in the African nation reached a murderous peak, Mukakibibi---a nun with Hutu sympathies---forced Tutsis who sought refuge in a hospital outside to be killed by rampaging Hutu militias.

Remember the ‘90’s? Remember how hard the Clinton Administration worked to stop the horrific genocide in Rwanda? No? That’s probably because they didn’t---do---anything.

Remember how Bill Clinton started a war in Central Europe for the sole purpose of distracting everyone from impeaching him for having a liaison with an intern in a government office on government time and lying about it while pedantically wagging his finger at us on national television? Remember how many U.S. soldiers died in that war, and how Apache helicopters---sent in as an afterthought without ground support--- and an F-117 “stealth” fighter---the only example ever downed in combat---were lost, and how Wesley Clark somehow arranged to bomb the Chinese embassy? Do you remember how many news reporters worldwide ever referred to that hellish misuse of American lives and credibility a “quagmire”?

See, it’s history, and if you’re ignorant of it, and you get bored and forgetful and let people order you to make the same stupid collective mistake all over again, you get to re....oh, never mind. Just try to pay attention this time....

An outer-space war of words escalates - Space News - MSNBC.com
James Oberg at MSNBC relates the rise of tensions with Russia and other foreign governments over the recent publication of the Bush Administration’s space defense policies. The source of the tension seems to be a misrepresentation of the contents of the U.S. policy in an article in the Washington Post:
Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority - washingtonpost.com
Several people with known tendencies to paranoia and anti-American sympathies, including Vladimir Putin and Al Gore, have jumped to hysterical conclusions based on the mis-statement of American intentions toward potentially hostile users of outer space in the U.S. news media. The consequences could be quite grave, if the Russians decide to implement actual orbital weapons systems, and trigger another real arms race.
In fact, the current policy statement is basically a continuation of the space defensive posture established in the Clinton era.

FOXNews.com - Microsoft Wraps Up Windows Vista, Sets On-Sale Date of Jan. 30 - Technology News | News On Technology
What? Oh, yeah---Vista!
Which is why I’m still using W2K, and why I’m starting to explore various distributions of Linux and Open Office....

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Problems for Mars Global Surveyor orbiter
Ten years after its launch to Mars orbit, Global Surveyor has failed to check in. A positioning motor for one of the solar arrays experienced problems, and the spacecraft subsequently lost contact with Earth while aiming the array at the Sun.
There are plans to have the new Reconnaissance Orbiter take a look at the veteran spacecraft. The two apparently approach within 60 miles of each other in orbit on a regular basis. Is that a good idea? I guess a maneuvering error or system failure that could cause an actual collision is an extremely remote possibility.

Cassini-Huygens: Multimedia-Videos
Polar vortices are very fashionable these days. All the planets under study seem to have them, including Earth, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. This Cassini study of the Saturnian south polar vortex is especially spectacular. The vortex resembles a Terrestrial hurricane with a deep eye and eye wall, albeit 5000 miles across. It forms a hole in the upper cloud layers, and infrared studies have shown that atmosphere is descending into the eye at the pole, and warming to form a polar “hot spot”. The monstrous storm appears to be fixed to the planet’s pole.


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

U.S Midterm Elections 

Condemned to repeat it....
Voting | Vote | 2006 Elections - FOXNews.com
As of this hour, Americans appear to have found the speed of the express elevator too stately, and opted to cut it loose into free fall. [AP photo]


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Monday, November 06, 2006

---Saddam on Appeal, Google Targets Nazis, Discovery Ready to Roll, and Other Stories 

FOXNews.com - Iraq Appeals Court Expected to Rule on Saddam by Mid-January
The appeal of Saddam Hussein’s sentence of death by hanging is set to be completed in record time, compared to U.S. legal customs. As predicted, the Shiite Iraqis are firing their guns in celebration, while the Sunni Iraqis are firing their guns in protest. Violence in the wake on the ex-dictator’s conviction doesn’t seem to have been as severe as expected, at least not yet. It was surprising to hear that Hussein bade his supporters not to seek revenge against the Americans for his death sentence. I don’t actually know what that really means...

My Way News [AP]- Germans Tell of Secret Nazi Program
This story is really nothing new---I’ve heard of the attempted Nazi WWII “uber-Aryan’ breeding programs for years. The main reason for this post is to stifle a few giggles over the Google “targeted ads" that resulted from reading it:
Google sponsored links
Are You a Slacker Mom? - A Fun Test to find out what type of Parenting Style fits you!

Nazi Germany - Find great deals and save! Compare products, prices & stores.

Hitler Ringtones - Send this complimentary ringtone to your cellphone.

(JPEG Image, 750x544 pixels)

This is why I don’t read Dilbert much any more---it’s too much like going to my job for six years at a NASA contractor....

Speaking of NASA....
The Flame Trench space blog by Florida Today:" NASA aims to move Discovery to pad"
The Shuttle Discovery is about ready to move to the pad in preparation for a December launch attempt for the next big ISS assembly mission.
Glitch could postpone shuttle launch - Human Spaceflight - MSNBC.com[Reuters]
If Discovery’s mission is delayed to a point that the Shuttle would be in space through New Year’s, 2007, the launch will have to be delayed until next year---to prevent the craft’s computers from “inventing” a day #366, while ground computers properly reset the date to Jan. 1. Flying through the end of a year apparently just wasn’t something the programmers thought about.
The Flame Trench space blog by Florida Today:" Toxic fuel leak prompts evacuation at KSC"
Two hangars at KSC were evacuated because of a hydrazine leak, thought to have come from residual fuel in tanks for Atlantis’ OMS manuvering engines. No one was injured in the incident.
FL Today Space [AP]:"NASA workers sleeping in photos"
Cowing’s NASA Watch evidently found a 1 ½- year-old photo of Workers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center sleeping at their consoles and playing online card games.
At least they weren’t working crossword puzzles---I guess that was the dodge of choice at JSC in the “old days”, before online poker games were available. Everyone seemed to have their crossword puzzle books stashed in their desks in those days. When the management leaves you with absolutely nothing to do, sometimes for six months at a time, you have to find something or risk insanity.
FL Today Space:"ISS crew repairs oxygen generator"
But among people who have been busy lately, the Space Station crew has successfully repaired the Elektron O2 generator, which burped KOH electrolyte soon after the last Shuttle visit.


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Thursday, November 02, 2006

---U.S. Troops Respond to Kerry Outburst 

This picture, from a U.S. National Guard unit in Iraq, shows a level of intellectual sophistication which Sen. Kerry and his colleagues probably didn't expect: [found on http://www.drudgereport.com/]


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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

---Kerry: Officially Stupid, AMD/ATI?!, Empires of the Middle East 

It’s Official....
Voting | Vote | 2006 Elections - FOXNews.com
Kerry has admitted that his remarks about U.S. troops in Iraq were “stupid”. Now members of his own party are calling on Kerry to apologize. Does saying something "stupid" mean you don't have to say you're sorry?

Advanced Micro Devices - Smarter Choice - Graphics and Media Processors
When did this happen?! Is this going to set AMD up against NVidia? Was this a good idea?

Empires of the Middle East
EMPIRE17.swf (application/x-shockwave-flash Object) [reference from “Matthew”]
This is a very interesting interactive map with a moving timeline, graphically showing the empires throughout history which have controlled the Middle East. It’s surprising to see the extent of some of these empires, especially the Macedonians and the Mongols. It’s also easier to see why the Muslims look back on the Caliphate with such nostalgia.


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