Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano erupted five times overnight, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles into the air in the volcano’s first emissions in nearly 20 years.
Volcano Monitoring… I hope the taxpayers aren’t shelling out for this pointless waste…
The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others’ trash-bins looking for “suspicious” chemical bottles, and to report on one another for “studying CCTV cameras.”
It’s hard to imagine a worse, more socially corrosive campaign. Telling people to rummage in one another’s trash and report on anything they don’t understand is a recipe for flooding the police with bad reports from ignorant people who end up bringing down anti-terror cops on their neighbors who keep tropical fish, paint in oils, are amateur chemists, or who just do something outside of the narrow experience of the least adventurous person on their street. Essentially, this redefines “suspicious” as anything outside of the direct experience of the most frightened, ignorant and foolish people in any neighborhood.
Even worse, though, is the idea that you should report your neighbors to the police for looking at the creepy surveillance technology around them. This is the first step in making it illegal to debate whether the surveillance state is a good or bad thing. It’s the extension of the ridiculous airport rule that prohibits discussing the security measures (“Exactly how does 101 ml of liquid endanger a plane?”), conflating it with “making jokes about bombs.”
Medicinal purposes are one thing, but marijuana received an unexpected recreational endorsement when Italy’s highest court ruled that an Italian shepherd’s smoking habit could be justified because he only had sheep for company.
The 45-year-old shepherd was caught with marijuana in his car as he was setting off for an extended period with his flock in the mountains of Alto Adige, in the far north of the country. Police found 38 grams (about 1.3 ounces) in the car, and the shepherd, identified only as Giorgio D., was convicted of possession. But upholding an appeal against the verdict, the Court of Cassation ruled that the shepherd was justified in possessing this small quantity of the drug on account of “the long and solitary period” he was about to spend “in the countryside and the mountains, due to the migration of his flock of sheep”.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said late Monday that 15 of the top 20 recipients of $165 million in retention bonuses from American International Group Inc.’s Financial Products unit have agreed to give back their bonuses — amounting to in excess of $30 million in cash.
Mr. Cuomo’s office said, in all, AIG FP employees agreed to return about $50 million in bonuses thus far.
“I applaud all the AIG employees that are returning the bonuses,” said Mr. Cuomo, though he acknowledged that, for some, returning the bonus was more a response to public outrage than atoning for a sin. He said many employees “had nothing to do with the meltdown in the financial products division,” but were trying to “do the right thing.”
Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build “the premier corporate aircraft hangar on the eastern seaboard” to house them, ABC News has learned.
“It’s a remarkably boneheaded decision,” said corporate watchdog Nell Minow, the editor and founder of The Corporate Library, a group that provides independent corporate governance research and analysis. “It’s completely tone deaf.”
“The CPU,” he said, “runs at a certain speed. It can execute a fixed number of instructions per second, and no more. There is a finite limit to how many instructions per second it can execute. Right?”
“Right,” I said.
“So there is no way, really, to make code go faster, because there is no way to make instructions execute faster. There is only such a thing as making the machine do less.”
He paused for emphasis.
“To go fast,” he said slowly, “do less.”
You may claim a kidnapped child as your dependent if the following requirementsare met:
- The child must be presumed by law enforcement to have been kidnapped bysomeone who is not a member of your family or a member of the child’s family,and
- The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred,the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half ofthe portion of such year before the date of kidnapping.
If both of these requirements are met, the child may meet the requirementsfor purposes of determining:
- The dependency exemption
- The child tax credit, and
- Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filingstatus.
This tax treatment will cease to apply as of your first tax year beginningafter the calendar year in which either there is a determination that thechild is dead or the child would have reached age 18, whichever occurs first.
On Friday, 20 March 2009, AntiPolygraph.org received a communication from a lawyer for NCS Pearson, Inc. demanding the removal of a post from our message board that purports to list the first 75 questions of the 567-question Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test 2 (MMPI-2). (A seemingly knowledgable poster on the message board maintains that the questions are not from the MMPI-2, but from the older MMPI.)
Many government agencies in the United States use the MMPI-2 to screen applicants for employment, so it is of considerable public interest. The post, made some three years ago, initiated one of the longest discussions on our message board–one that remains active with over 260 posts to date.
The 75 questions that were asked to be removed can be found after the fold:
NASA’s online contest to name a new room at the international space station went awry. Comedian Stephen Colbert won.
The name “Colbert” beat out NASA’s four suggested options in the space agency’s effort to have the public help name the addition. The new room will be launched later this year.
NASA’s mistake was allowing write-ins. Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report” to write in his name. And they complied, with 230,539 votes. That clobbered Serenity, one of the NASA choices, by more than 40,000 votes. Nearly 1.2 million votes were cast by the time the contest ended Friday.
When Brooklyn and New York’s population was booming at the end of the 19th century, the best way to get to and from Brooklyn was via ferries. As solutions were considered, I’m sure there were those who simply thought, “More boats!” These ardent defenders of the status quo were not engineers — they were the business. Their goal was not to build something great, but to make a profit.