The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years old.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. , and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.
The average U.S. Worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist made $2,500 per year, a veterinarian $1,500 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
(Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as “substandard.”)
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars.
(Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.)
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada , was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !
Quote of the week: “Either the theory is wrong, or I’m just incredibly stupid.” -Todd Friel on Evolution, from The Way of the Master Radio for 24 Dec. The first true utterance I’ve heard on that show since I started listening to the podcast.
The adjournment of the Congress has prevented my return of H.R. 1585 within the meaning of Article I, section 7, clause 2 of the Constitution. Accordingly, my withholding of approval from the bill precludes its becoming law.
Except that both Senate and Congress haven’t adjourned.
What Bush is trying is a “pocket veto“:
Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large in their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
So now we have two options:
1. Bush is allowed to get away with this, which means from now on it’s the President that decides if and when Congress and Senate is in session, or
2. this “pocket veto” doesn’t count, and the bill becomes law, and the Senate and Congress start impeaching everybody who refuses to execute it.
A retired Canadian pastor likely on track to leave a McHenry County courtroom Friday with probation for sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl instead found himself behind bars after he told a judge that the girl acted sexually provocative toward him.
“I tried to avoid the encounters. On a couple of times, I thought I was being sexually harassed,” Kenneth R. Cooke, 73, told a judge. “I think there is psychological evidence today that children, even in their younger years, could become interested in sex.”
After listening to Cooke’s statements, Judge Joseph Condon sentenced him to three years in prison. Condon said the sentence was based partly on Cooke’s attitude.
“He is not accepting responsibility for his actions,” McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said. “The defendant is blaming his criminal action on a 4-year-old as the aggressor.”
Cooke’s attorney, William Stanton, asked for Cooke to receive probation, a likely sentence considering Cooke’s lack of criminal history, age and health.
“He still remains a highly regarded member of his church and community,” Stanton said.
Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.
I first voiced my concern about the fact that there was a problem in terms of locating sales data from their own servers. Since I had bought the device from Palm’s website and I had given my serial number while on the previous call, I thought it odd that they could not locate the date of purchase of the device (especially since they consider it such vital data for customer service) . I was told that since my device was sold on January 1, 2007, the date I had given only a few minutes earlier to the previous call center person, it was out of warranty. I’m writing this on December 27, 2007 and, the last time I checked, a one year warranty generally extends 365 days from the date of purchase. My concern as a shareholder now turned to anger and frustration. With 3 other broken palm devices in front of me (2 of them my own fault so I won’t even bother talking to Palm about those), I thought that I could be considered a solid customer. But now I was told that warranties were not real and paying $199 (a drop in price of $100 in only a few minutes since talking to the previous person) was going to solve my problem. In the past, broken devices were repaired for $100 so this was getting closer to reality but I wanted to talk to someone more senior about two problems: first, it seemed that one can give any date and it won’t be checked (or maybe it will) and two, if it is checked, warranty terms do not apply for a full year.
So I asked employee C11329 to be transfered to her manager. She told me she was the most senior person at Palm. I asked her again politely to transfer me to her manager. She told me she had none. I asked to be transfered to the person that was reviewing her work, giving her assignments, etc.. I was told she had none. I told her I felt that was odd as, apart from the chairman and CEO, I didn’t know of anyone in a company not having a manager. She told me she was the CEO.
For a second, I paused. “You’re the CEO of Palm, Inc.?” I asked again, not really believing what I was hearing. “Yes, I am” she replied, now with a defiant tone. “So you’re telling me you’re Ed Colligan?” I asked. “I am the CEO and that’s all you need to know.”
Well, turns out I was now in a very odd situation. I had been at several industry events where Ed Colligan spoke (including a number of product launches from Palm) and, as far as my memory was concerned, his voice was neither feminine nor did it sound south-Asian in its inflection. My memory might have been playing games on me but I was pretty sure I was not talking to the CEO of Palm.
I don’t know but what I do know is that I am now part of the group of people who must say: “Don’t ever buy a Palm device.”
According to Pakistani government, because she bumped her head.
You can check if this is true by looking at eye witness account.
More pictures here.
As she races through Iowa in the days before next week’s caucuses, Hillary Clinton is taking few chances. She tells crowds that it’s their turn to “pick a president,’’ but over the last two days she has not invited them to ask her any questions.
Before the brief Christmas break, the New York senator had been setting aside time after campaign speeches to hear from the audience. Now when she’s done speaking, her theme songs blare from loudspeakers, preventing any kind of public Q&A.
If she’s not listening to you right now, what do you think she will do when elected?
Rumours abound that hip hop star Just Blaze has told all about Apple’s much talked-about sub-notebook, after he was promised one for performing at a recent Apple Christmas party. The mystery machine is allegedly to be announced at Macworld in January…
Speculation about the sub-notebook itself isn’t new, we reported on the latest rumours regarding this back in July.
However, according to website boygeniusreport, Mr Blaze was one of several music celebrities who performed live at the company-sponsored music event for Apple’s employees. In exchange for their work, each artist was promised a free notebook that will be unveiled at the Macworld expo in San Francisco.
Parentists, the dogmatic believers that parents alone are the source of Christmas presents, may have new reason to believe, with the scientific approach of External Delivery. Of course, some skeptics have opined that External Delivery is just Santa Clausism with a pseudoscientific veneer. Other commentators are more forgiving, and point out the great strides that ED has made in the study of Yuleogy.
Iraq’s food rations system was introduced by the Saddam Hussein government in 1991 in response to the UN economic sanctions. Families were allotted basic foodstuffs monthly because the Iraqi Dinar and the economy collapsed.
The sanctions, imposed after Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait, were described as “genocidal” by Denis Halliday, then UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. Halliday quit his post in protest against the U.S.-backed sanctions.
The sanctions killed half a million Iraqi children, and as many adults, according to the UN. They brought malnutrition, disease, and lack of medicines. Iraqis became nearly completely reliant on food rations for survival. The programme has continued into the U.S.-led occupation.
But now the U.S.-backed Iraqi government has announced it will halve the essential items in the ration because of “insufficient funds and spiralling inflation.”
The cuts, which are to be introduced in the beginning of 2008, have drawn widespread criticism. The Iraqi government is unable to supply the rations with several billion dollars at its disposal, whereas Saddam Hussein was able to maintain the programme with less than a billion dollars.
Solomon Asch, with experiments originally carried out in the 1950s and well-replicated since, highlighted a phenomenon now known as “conformity”. In the classic experiment, a subject sees a puzzle like the one in the nearby diagram: Which of the lines A, B, and C is the same size as the line X? Take a moment to determine your own answer…
The gotcha is that the subject is seated alongside a number of other people looking at the diagram – seemingly other subjects, actually confederates of the experimenter. The other “subjects” in the experiment, one after the other, say that line C seems to be the same size as X. The real subject is seated next-to-last. How many people, placed in this situation, would say “C” – giving an obviously incorrect answer that agrees with the unanimous answer of the other subjects? What do you think the percentage would be?
A team at the Harvard School of Public Health could not find any studies showing whether the time-consuming process of X-raying carry-on luggage prevents hijackings or attacks.
They also found no evidence to suggest that making passengers take off their shoes and confiscating small items prevented any incidents.
The researchers said it would be interesting to apply medical standards to airport security. Screening programs for illnesses like cancer are usually not broadly instituted unless they have been shown to work.
Note the defense by the TSA:
“Even without clear evidence of the accuracy of testing, the Transportation Security Administration defended its measures by reporting that more than 13 million prohibited items were intercepted in one year,” the researchers added. “Most of these illegal items were lighters.”
This is where the TSA has it completely backwards. The goal isn’t to confiscate prohibited items. The goal is to prevent terrorism on airplanes. When the TSA confiscates millions of lighters from innocent people, that’s a security failure. The TSA is reacting to non-threats. The TSA is reacting to false alarms. Now you can argue that this level of failures is necessary to make people safer, but it’s certainly not evidence that people are safer.
The TSA measures “Success” by how much they harass you. Typical for inefficient government organisations is that they tend to measure their success based on how much “stuff” they’re doing, not on whether they’re actually reducing the problem they were created to solve.
How many cars are in this picture?
The message flickered into Cindy Fleenor’s living room each night: Be faithful in how you live and how you give, the television preachers said, and God will shower you with material riches.
And so the 53-year-old accountant from the Tampa, Fla., area pledged $500 a year to Joyce Meyer, the evangelist whose frank talk about recovering from childhood sexual abuse was so inspirational. She wrote checks to flamboyant faith healer Benny Hinn and a local preacher-made-good, Paula White.
Only the blessings didn’t come. Fleenor ended up borrowing money from friends and payday loan companies just to buy groceries. At first she believed the explanation given on television: Her faith wasn’t strong enough.
“I wanted to believe God wanted to do something great with me like he was doing with them,” she said. “I’m angry and bitter about it. Right now, I don’t watch anyone on TV hardly.”
All three of the groups Fleenor supported are among six major Christian television ministries under scrutiny by a senator who is asking questions about the evangelists’ lavish spending and possible abuses of their tax-exempt status.
America: the country of the “have”s and “been-had”s.
More than one-third of all PCs worldwide now have LimeWire installed, according to data jointly released by Digital Music News and media tracking specialist BigChampagne. The discovery is part of a steady ascent for LimeWire, easily the front-running P2P application and the target of a multi-year Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuit. For the third quarter of this year, LimeWire was found on 36.4% of all PCs, a figure gleaned from a global canvass of roughly 1.66 million desktops.
PC Pitstop collected the data required for this report though voluntary systems scans.
PC Pitstop, LLC hosts a web site, (www.pcpitstop.com), that allows individual PC users to run their PC system through a battery of online tests and diagnostics. The primary purpose of these tests is to identify things that might help improve the performance of the PC in question. Based on the results of these tests, the service offers tips and suggestions to the user for improving PC performance or enhancing the PC experience.
So, 36.4% of computers of users who are dumb enough to use a site like that have Limewire installed? Most people I know would never run anything like that, and thus we’ll never get counted. Since most only go there because they’re a) stupid and b) already infected with some crap that slows down their machine, the only meaningful statistic I get from that is that the people that click yes to “free” anything (free screensavers, free porn, free download enhancers, free performance scans) also want free music.
Number 58 on the list of 101 Dumbest Moments in Business, according to Fortune:
Can’t wait for the follow-up album, ‘In Debt’
British rock band Radiohead makes its new album, “In Rainbows,” available for download on the Internet and lets its fans decide how much they want to pay. Sixty-two percent, according to comScore, decide to pay nothing, while the other 38% voluntarily fork over an average of six bucks.
So a band trying out a new business model for music getting 3 million bucks without a penny going to the labels is “dumb”? I think Radiohead can live with that… especially if you see how the labels promote a record, like Sony on nummber 60.
Let me be the last in the greenosphere to note that Nanosolar has shipped its first panels, and it’s no exaggeration to say that this moment will likely be seen as a historical turning point.
For a taste of the breathless anticipation around Nanosolar, read “innovation of the year” over on PopSci (or this recent piece in the NYT). Unlike so many other hyped green tech dreamers, the company is not just talking and researching prototypes. They’re building factories. Once the factory they built in San Jose is up to full production capacity, it will be cranking out more solar panels than every other U.S. plant combined — 430 megawatts worth.
Nanosolar’s claim is that power from their panels will pencil out at about $0.99 a watt. The implications are pretty stunning:
“With a $1-per-watt panel,” [CEO Martin Roscheisen] said, “it is possible to build $2-per-watt systems.”
According to the Energy Department, building a new coal plant costs about $2.1 a watt, plus the cost of fuel and emissions, he said.
Get that? If he’s right, we already have renewable power cheaper than coal.
Home prices fell 6.7 percent in October, compared with a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 10-city home-price index. It was the largest drop recorded since the index began in 1987.
It marked the 10th consecutive month of price depreciation and 23 months of decelerating returns.
“No matter how you look at these data, it is obvious that the current state of the single-family housing market remains grim,” said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets, in a statement.
Case-Shiller’s 20-city index fell 6.1 percent. Shiller noted that 11 of the markets in the 20-city index posted a record fall.
“This is just the beginning,” said Peter Schiff, a Darien, Conn.-based investment adviser known for his bearish views of the housing market. “Pressure is there for much, much lower prices.”
Charges: You believe in freedom of speech, until someone says something that offends you. You suddenly give a damn about border integrity, because the automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit you can find to support your ludicrous belief system, and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary. You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism — it’s nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes than actual people. You love to blame people for their misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over. You still think Republicans favor limited government. Your knowledge of politics and government are dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears’ children. You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy. You think you’re going to get universal health care. You tolerate the phrase “enhanced interrogation techniques.” You think the government is actually trying to improve education. You think watching CNN makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough. You can’t spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole reason that you don’t want to die. You think lowering taxes raises revenue. You think the economy’s doing well. You’re an idiot.
Exhibit A: You couldn’t get enough Anna Nicole Smith coverage.
Sentence: A gradual decline into abject poverty as you continue to vote against your own self-interest. Death by an easily treated disorder that your health insurance doesn’t cover. You deserve it, chump.
There I stood at the pharmacy counter, with a head cold, sniffing away, and begging for some product that contains pseudoephedrine, which works like a magic nose unclogger. The stuff you can get off the shelf now contains the similar-sounding drug called phenylephrine, but it might as well be a placebo. It just doesn’t work, and most everyone knows this.
You can still get the good old stuff from the pharmacist but you will be suspected for this grave action. The government, you see, says that people have been buying the old stuff and turning it into methamphetamine. This is why Congress and the administration passed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which rations the amount you can buy and requires that you prove your identity and sign a special form.
And, yes, this act is now part of the monstrosity called the Patriot Act. I went over this whole subject last year, but this year, I really began to smell a rat, about which more below.
Let’s follow the money a bit. It seems that most all pseudoephedrine is manufactured in China and India, and very cheaply, much more cheaply than it can be made in the United States or Europe. What that means is that these companies don’t have lobbyists in Washington who can make an effective case for their product.
Contrast this was phenylephrine, the world’s largest manufacturer of which is located in Germany. The company is called Boehringer-Ingelheim, according to MSNBC. It developed the drug in 1949 for use in eyedrops. In the last two years, virtually every manufacturer of cold medicine has changed its formula to include the Boehringer drug. Some continue to make the old formula available but only with special access.
Is it possible that the move against wonderful pseudoephedrine and in favor of useless phenylephrine was really a form of protectionism in disguise? That it was really about rewarding a well-connected company at the expense of companies without connections?
If that sounds cynical, take a look at this. It seems that our friends at Boehringer Ingelheim are rather interested in American politics, with 73% of its donations going to Republican candidates for federal office. You can see here that Boehringer even has a PAC located in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Someone with more time than I have ought to check to see how the people it supported for Congress voted on the act that resulted in a massive shift toward their product, and has nearly kept its competitive product off the market.
And in case you still think the “War on Drugs” is fought to make your life better and safer:
Social Indicator USA Netherlands Lifetime prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+) 36.9%1 17.0%2 Past month prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+) 5.4%1 3.0% 2 Lifetime prevalence of heroin use (ages 12+) 1.4%1 0.4% 2 Incarceration Rate per 100,000 population 7013 1004 Per capita spending on criminal justice system (in Euros) €3795 €223 5 Homicide rate per 100,000 population 5.566 1.516
Source 1: US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Volume I. Summary of National Findings (Washington, DC: HHS, August 2002), p. 109, Table H.1.
Source 2: Trimbos Institute, “Report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point, The Netherlands Drug Situation 2002″ (Lisboa, Portugal: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Nov. 2002), p. 28, Table 2.1.
Source 3: Walmsley, Roy, “World Prison Population List (fifth edition) (London, England: Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office), Dec. 2003, p. 3, Table 2.
Source 4: Walmsley, Roy, “World Prison Population List (fifth edition) (London, England: Research, Development and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office), Dec. 2003, p. 5, Table 4.
Source 5: van Dijk, Frans & Jaap de Waard, “Legal infrastructure of the Netherlands in international perspective: Crime control” (Netherlands: Ministry of Justice, June 2000), p. 9, Table S.13.
Source 6: Barclay, Gordon, Cynthia Tavares, Sally Kenny, Arsalaan Siddique & Emma Wilby, “International comparisons of criminal justice statistics 2001,” Issue 12/03 (London, England: Home Office Research, Development & Statistics Directorate, October 2003), p. 10, Table 1.1.
Earlier today Kris Kobach, chairman of the Kansas GOP, sent out a self-congratulatory litany of accomplishments. Among them was one particularly eye-catching item:
To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!
We’re going to move past the fact that any amount of voter identification would be more than the amount the GOP has done in the last two years, or four for that matter. The practice of caging is what caught out eye.
Caging is a particularly devious and underhanded method of purging likely Democratic voters from the pollbooks. It’s also illegal.
Slate.com has the best comprehensive write-up on how the Republican Party employs caging techniques to suppress the votes of the poor, the deployed, and college students. (You know, likely Democratic voters.)
Did we mention it’s illegal? And that Kris Kobach is proud to be doing it?