Publicity hound Jim Moran brought a sealed case of playing cards to a meeting of magicians. One randomly chosen audience member opened the case, a second chose a deck, a third opened the deck, a fourth cut it, and a fifth chose a card.
Moran said, “It’s the six of diamonds.”
It wasn’t. “But if it had been the six of diamonds,” Moran said later, “those bastards would still be talking about it.”
My daughter has been saving her birthday money and allowance for almost 9 months now so that she could afford an iPod touch with a camera in it.
As of this morning, she had saved the amount needed and headed to the Apple Store in Utah with my wife. They arrived at 10:30am, not realizing that the store would be closed from 11am to 2pm today. As they approached the store, two friendly Apple employees greeted them and said that they were sorry, but they were closed.
My wife pointed to my daughter who had a mason jar full of cash in her arms and explained why they were there and also pointed out that is was not quite 11am yet. They again said they were sorry, but could not let them in. My wife and daughter were sad, but understood and made their way to another store in the mall.
About three stores down, an Apple employee raced after them and explained that the manager was going to make an exception and let them in. When they were let in the store, they were the only customers in the place and every one of the employees stopped what they were doing as my daughter approached the register.
President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,” he said. Don’t believe him.
Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.
But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.
Physicists are notorious for believing that other scientists are mathematically incompetent. And University of California-Berkeley physicist Richard Muller is notorious for believing that conventional wisdom is often wrong. For example, the conventional wisdom about climate change. Muller has criticized Al Gore in the past as an "exaggerator," has spoken warmly of climate skeptic Anthony Watts, and has said that Steve McIntyre’s famous takedown of the "hockey stick" climate graph made him "uncomfortable" with the paper the hockey stick was originally based on.
So in 2010 he started up the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST) to show the world how to do climate analysis right. Who better, after all? “Muller’s views on climate have made him a darling of skeptics,” said Scientific American, “and newly elected Republicans in the House of Representatives, who invited him to testify to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology about his preliminary results.” The Koch Foundation, founded by the billionaire oil brothers who have been major funders of the climate-denial machine, gave BEST a $150,000 grant.
But Muller’s congressional testimony last March didn’t go according to plan. He told them a preliminary analysis suggested that the three main climate models in use today—each of which uses a different estimating technique, and each of which has potential flaws—are all pretty accurate: Global temperatures have gone up considerably over the past century, and the increase has accelerated over the past few decades. Yesterday, BEST confirmed these results and others in its first set of published papers about land temperatures.
At the start of this month, Michael Woodford was being feted as the man who could overhaul Olympus and return the ailing Japanese camera maker to its former glories. Just weeks later, the same board that welcomed him with glowing praise fired him after he became a whistleblower, forcing him to flee the country and seek police protection.
Mr Woodford was appointed president in February, the first non-Japanese head in the company’s 92-year history. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa stepped back and moved to chairman, describing it as “vital” for the company’s development. His appointment was also welcomed by shareholders.
Yet the rumbling had already started. In July, a niche financial journal in Japan published an investigative piece into deals Olympus had carried out in 2008. The piece, and its follow-up, shocked Mr Woodford. He sent a series of letters to board members asking why the company had paid ¥70bn for three companies, including a mail order skin cream group that did not seem to make much money. He then called in auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate a fourth deal, without the approval of the board, to find out why the company had handed over a staggering $680m in advisory fees.
In his sixth and final letter to the board last week, Mr Woodford called for the resignation of Mr Kikukawa, saying he should “face the consequences of what has taken place, which is a shameful saga by any stretch of the imagination”. He called the evidence “condemning and inexcusable”. Three days later, he was called into an emergency board meeting, where he was not allowed to speak as Mr Kikukawa put to the board that he should have his executive titles stripped. The all-Japanese members voted it through unanimously.
A senior colleague ordered Mr Woodford to hand over his house keys and told the ousted executive that he would need to take the bus to the airport as they had removed his driver.
Japan’s Olympus Corp admitted on Wednesday it had paid $687 million to deal advisers, confirming claims made by its sacked CEO and reversing an earlier denial, in a deepening scandal that has wiped out almost half its market value.
The military deleted a passage about unidentified flying objects from a 2008 Air Force personnel manual just days after The Huffington Post asked Pentagon officials about the purpose of the UFO section.
Before the recent revisions, the document — Air Force Instruction 10-206 — advised pilots, radar operators and other Air Force personnel on what to do when they encountered any unknown airborne objects. Now in the 2011 version, the reference to UFOs — which simply means “unidentified flying objects,” not necessarily spaceships with little green men — has been eliminated.
What makes this so intriguing is that the U.S. government officially stopped investigating UFOs in 1969 with the termination of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book.
“Meanwhile, America is going to continue getting high as it always has,” he continued. “Legally, on booze, and illegally on a lot of things, including marijuana, which is a much, much healthier choice than whiskey.”
“Such hypocrisy carries an even stronger stench than the alcohol-drenched breath of those politicians and judges and prosecutors and DEA officials. I really don’t know how they can sleep at night.”
Today’s must read speech comes from Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig, who warns that the nation’s biggest banks are putting the U.S. capitalist society at risk: Do Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs) Have a Future?
“How can one firm of relatively small global significance merit a government bailout? How can a single investment bank on Wall Street bring the world to the brink of financial collapse? How can a single insurance company require billions of dollars of public funds to stay solvent and yet continue to operate as a private institution? How can a relatively small country such as Greece hold Europe financially hostage? These are the questions for which I have found no satisfactory answers. That’s because there are none. It is not acceptable to say that these events occurred because they involved systemically important financial institutions.
Because there are no satisfactory answers to these questions, I suggest that the problem with SIFIs is they are fundamentally inconsistent with capitalism. They are inherently destabilizing to global markets and detrimental to world growth. So long as the concept of a SIFI exists, and there are institutions so powerful and considered so important that they require special support and different rules, the future of capitalism is at risk and our market economy is in peril.”
After playing clips of Fox News claiming that Obama might have caused instability by getting rid of Gadhafi, and that it could have been avoided if Obama would have acted sooner, Stewart said, “Is there no one? Is there no Republican that can be gracious and statesmanlike in this situation? We removed a dictator in six months, losing no American soldiers, spending like a billion dollars rather than a trillion dollars, and engendering what appears to be good will to people who now have a prideful story of their own independence to tell. Not to mention oil, they have oil.”
If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that’s done, Herman, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick, Herman. Name the time and the place and I’ll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.
Very sincerely yours,
Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa was packed to twice its capacity for the funeral of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, a gay teenager who committed suicide after being bullied.
The traditional funeral mass was led by Rev. Pierre Champoux, who told the crowd that depression was like “a cancer of the mind,” and that it too could be terminal.
Can you believe a priest? I’d say that bullying was the cause of this, not some vague “cancer”.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park enters its second month, the giant Goldman Sachs investment bank announced October 19 that it had set aside $10.01 billion so far this year for year-end compensation and bonuses. At the same time, the bank reported a third quarter loss of $428 million, only the second time since Goldman went public in 1999 that it has reported a loss.
In an interview with AllThingsD’s Ina Fried, Google’s Andy Rubin made a two-line case against Siri, Apple’s new voice-controlled ‘virtual assistant’ for the iPhone 4S. “Your phone is a tool for communicating,” Rubin said. “You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”
Wow. That’s up there with Steve Jobs saying the Kindle was irrelevant because “people don’t read anymore”.
It’s hard to look at the viral spread of Gaddafi’s death images — being pulled through the street, slumped against someone’s knee, covered in blood — and not think of pornography. Not porn in the traditional sense, but in the more modern tabloid sense.
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>
Once upon a time, news images were created by photojournalists. These days, they’re made by whomever is nearby and holding a mobile phone. While journalists are supposed to maintain some kind of moral compass, random spectators are not. Therefore, with digital recorder running, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t record the fleeting moments of a self-proclaimed “King of Kings” being reduced to a corpse.
As soon as the story breaks, media outlets chase the footage and disseminate it to an eager public. Perhaps once porn — the pornography of sex, that is — became available to everyone, we grew bored with it. Besides, what Porn Valley produced was a simulacrum — of intimacy, of making love, of reproduction.
When reality TV is a fiction, we continue the hunt for what is incontrovertibly real. We find it in Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” Apache helicopter video, a narco-war clip of a man being beheaded with a chainsaw, the Neda snuff video.
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
Popular Mechanics, March 1949
The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris [official website, in French] on Friday ordered [judgment in PDF, in French] French Internet service providers to block access to Copwatch Nord Paris I-D-F, a website designed to allow civilians to post videos of alleged police misconduct. The decision was applauded by the police union, Alliance Police Nationale (APN) [union website, in French], which argued that the website incited violence against police. Jean-Claude Delage, secretary general of the APN, said that “[t]he judges have analyzed the situation perfectly—this site being a threat to the integrity of the police — and made the right decision.”
Air traffic routes are shown between North America and Europe. Felix Pharand-Deschenes has created global snapshots depicting how power lines, roads and even air traffic corridors have come to dominate the surface of Earth. His visualisations based on real data show air traffic routes, the underwater cables that carry the internet, road and rail networks and electricity transmission lines all superimposed over cities at night.
(13 images in total)