A group of religious figures in Saudi Arabia have threatened to strike the labor minister who seeks to create jobs for women with “deadly prayers.” They threatened to pray that he gets cancer like his predecessor Ghazi al-Gosaibi, who died of the disease in 2010.
During a meeting at the labor ministry on Tuesday, about 200 religious figures accused Minister Adel Fakeih of executing a “Westernization” plan and asked him to ban women from working in lingerie shops within a month or he will face their dangerous prayers.
A rickety truck packed with 14 people rumbled down a desert road from the town of Radda, which al-Qaeda militants once controlled. Suddenly a missile struck flipping the vehicle over. Then a second missile hit the truck.
Within seconds, 11 of the passengers were dead, including a woman and her seven-year-old daughter. A 12-year-old boy also died that day, and another man later died from his wounds.
The Yemeni government initially said that those killed were al-Qaeda militants and that its own Soviet-era jets carried out the September 2 attack. But last week US officials acknowledged for the first time that it was an American strike and that the victims were civilians.
Furious tribesmen tried to take the bodies to the gates of the presidential residence, forcing the government into the rare position of withdrawing its claim that militants had been killed. The apparent target was the senior regional al-Qaeda leader Abdelrauf al-Dahab, thought to be travelling on the same road.
The two survivors and relatives of six victims, interviewed separately and speaking to a Western journalist, said they would be willing to support or even fight alongside al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.
”If we are ignored and neglected, I would try to take my revenge,” said Nasser Mabkhoot al-Sabooly, the truck’s driver who suffered burns and bruises. ”I would even hijack an army pickup, drive it back to my village and hold the soldiers in it hostages.”
”The people are against the indiscriminate use of the drones,” the Yemeni Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, said. ”And more important, they want to have some transparency as far as what’s going on – from everybody.”
Is the McDonald’s beef washed in ammonia? (No). Do you put anti-nausea agents in the food? (Absolutely not)
Those and a multitude of other no-holds-barred questions (including the “secret” recipe to Big Mac sauce) were answered at McDonald’s Canada’s groundbreaking “Our Food. Your Questions.” social media site, a real-time twist on standard corporate frequently asked questions Web features.
The company gamely promised to answer any and all consumer questions about its food that were not profane. It was pretty much a polar opposite approach to the U.S. parent company’s mum reaction to the 2004 film Super Size Me, in which documentarian Morgan Spurlock gained weight and made himself ill on a steady 30-day diet of McDonald’s food. The critical response to the Q&A site was overwhelmingly positive and in the process McDonald’s managed to debunk a number of long-standing myths about its food.
What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.
– Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962)
Slitastjórn Landsbanka Íslands krefur PriceWaterhouse Coopers um tæplega 100 milljarða króna í skaðabætur vegna tjóns sem hún telur fyrirtækið hafa valdið Landsbankanum fyrir hrun.
Í stefnu slitastjórnar gegn PriceWaterhouseCoopers, sem fréttastofa hefur undir höndum, kemur fram að stjórnin telur að endurskoðendur bankans hafi valdið tjóni með athöfnum sínum, athafnaleysi og rangri ráðgjöf.
For those you of not speaking much icelandic…
In the subpoena of the banks liquidation committee against PwC, which our news team has obtained, it is reported that the liquidation committee argues that the auditors of the bank have caused huge damage with their actions, inaction and wrong consultations
The company [PwC] has not audited the banks accounts according to regulations and not informed the Board of Directors [of the bank], the meeting of shareholders [of the bank] or the Financial regulatory agency about the banks serious violations
The prosecution is citing evidence that Landsbanki was making loans far in excess of the 25% of their total net worth, which is illegal.
PWC has refused to turn over their documentation.
This is significant, because in the reports submitted by PWC, everything was filed “without comment”. So whatever PWC was seeing at that time, they’re either guilty of incompetence for not seeing it, guilty of negligence by not reporting it, or guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and they appear to prefer paying a huge fine to turning over documentation that could clear that up.
On 23 occasions over the past several years, wild dolphins were observed giving gifts to humans at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The gifts included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. While these gifts might not be your choice for a gift to find underneath your Christmas tree, some of the items that were offered to humans are highly valued food sources for cetaceans such as dolphins. Areport describing this rare form of food sharing behavior in wild dolphins was published on December 4, 2012 in the journal Anthrozoös: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People & Animals.
Food sharing is a fairly common behavior among animals of the same species, but it is a much rarer phenomenon between animals that are from different species. Perhaps one of the best known examples of inter-species food sharing occurs in domesticated cats that have a tendency to drop prey items at their owner’s feet. Inter-species food sharing in wild animal populations has not been widely documented in the scientific literature.
There has been one observation of inter-species food sharing in false killer whales, a member of the dolphin family (Delphinidae). During an encounter that National Geographic photographer Flip Nicklin had in Hawaii, a false killer whale swam up to the photographer, released a large mahi mahi from its mouth and backed away. The photographer accepted the gift then, returned the fish to the whale. I suppose that is proper etiquette if a large cetacean offers you food while you’re in the water with it.
The wild dolphins that were observed giving gifts to human in Australia were regular visitors to a provisioning program at the Tangalooma Island Resort. The provisioning program was started in 1992, and each evening staff members from the resort wade into the ocean to feed the wild dolphins fish. The program is regulated by a permit issued by the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management.
In 1998, an adult male dolphin named Fred was observed giving a dead moray eel to one of the staff members. Since that first occurrence of gift giving behavior among the Tangalooma dolphins, staff members have documented an additional 22 other events.
Dolphins of diverse ages and both sexes engaged in the gift-giving behavior, and scientists are not entirely sure of what is motivating their behavior. Food sharing in animals is often motivated by an urge to play, a desire to reciprocate food sharing or the belief that the recipient of the food is an incompetent hunter. Based on their detailed observations, the scientists think that gift giving among the wild dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort was likely a form of play behavior.
The research was published by Bonnie Holmes and David Neil. They are scientists affiliated with the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Staff at the Tangalooma Island Resort assisted in collecting the data for the study.
Bottom line: On 23 occasions over the past several years, wild dolphins were observed giving gifts to humans at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The gifts included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. A report describing this rare food sharing behavior in wild dolphins was published on December 4, 2012 in the journal Anthrozoös: A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People & Animals.
People’s expectations tend to stretch far beyond anything that resembles reality. And the people whose expectations tend to stretch furthest beyond reality — especially at Christmas — are known by the colloquial term “the young.”
We should, therefore, bow in solemn gratitude to writer Jon Hendren, who tears himself away from his own personal Xmas in order to retweet the messages of those who aren’t happy with their gifts.
Yes, the young, the feckless, the occasionally heartless.
Here’s a tweet — retweeted by Hendren — offered in advance of Santa wafting down a sooted chimney.
@annemcgerber groaned: “If I got a black iPad I’d probably kill myself.” Yes, there’s nothing more disappointing than getting a black iPad.
Women in Swaziland risk arrest if they wear miniskirts or tops which expose part of their stomach as they will be violating moral standards, a police spokesperson has said.
“The act of a rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying.
Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889.
Don’t tell victims how to dress, tell men not to rape!
The FBI’s crime lab was at one point reputed to be one of the most elite, well-run labs in the world. Not so much anymore. For the last year, the agency has been embroiled in a huge and growing scandal in which its crime lab technicians have been found to have vastly overstated the value and conclusiveness of forensic evidence in criminal cases. The breadth and seriousness of the problem have only come to light in the last year or so, although there have been warning signs going back to the 1990s. The number of convictions affected is in the thousands, possibly the tens of thousands.
From the early fifties to the mid-seventies, the Nashville based Excello Records released the kind of raw blues, R&B, and rock & roll that maybe wasn’t ever going to make it to the Top 40, but was full of grit and sweat and soul, for those who liked their American roots music unadulterated. Their most well-known release was probably Slim Harpo’s Baby Scratch My Back, but rocking blues like Lazy Lester’s I Hear You Knockin’ and Leroy Washington’s Wild Cherry are little unpolished gems which deserved their place on any self-respecting cheap bar’s juke box. Lowdown blues like Lonesome Sundown’s My Home Is a Prison also found a welcome home at Excello, as did tunes that blurred the distinctions between country/rockabilly and R&B, like Lazy Lester’s I’m A Lover Not A Fighter, and latin-tinged swamp-rock chuggers like Charles Sheffield’s It’s Your Voodoo Working. Then there were the straight up country tunes (reminiscent of that classic early Johnny Cash sound) like Al Ferrier’s I’m the Man, or rough-hewn, raucous rockabilly like Johnny Jano’s Havin’ A Whole Lotta Fun. In short, Excello Records was a microcosm of the sound of the South, and though their artists mostly never achieved much in the way of wider national fame, they are an important part of the patchwork quilt of American pop music history. The tunes included in this post are just the tip of the iceberg: there’s so much to explore from this one amazing little label. Happy searching!
In 2010, nearly 700 Chicago school children were shot and 66 of them died. Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended a memorial for 260 school children who had been killed in just the previous three years. On several occasions in the past year, tens of people have been shot in a single weekend on the streets of the city. The worst three-day stretch saw 10 killed and 37 wounded in gun fire. But Google the term “Chicago weekend shootings” and the results are far too many deadly weekends to count.
Oakland, Calif. has seen a huge increase in shootings. Last year, three small children were murdered in shootings. The youngest victim hadn’t yet turned 2. Oakland has become the first city in the country to have its police force taken over by a federal court. Because of a lack of resources, the city has one of the lowest police to resident ratios in the country.
Gun violence in America is a pandemic, but there is no round-the-clock news coverage. No national address from the President with tears. No pledge for urgent change.
The holidays have been rough for the Newtown Police Department, which is why officers from across Connecticut joining forces, so that not a single Newtown officer has to work on Christmas Day. The plan has been kept on the down low for the past few days, since the various police departments are making the effort not for the press but as a gesture of solidarity with their fellow officers. After whispers of the touching gesture from local law enforcement emerged on Twitter over the weekend, however, the Newtown Police Department confirmed the news in an interview with The Atlantic Wire on Monday. “They’ve been actually non-stop with their aid. It’s pretty amazing,” said Newtown police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Santucci said of his fellow Connecticut officers. “And tomorrow, they’ll be at our assistance so that Newtown [officers] can be home with their families.”
But wait there’s more. One of the only perks about working on Christmas Day is overtime and holiday pay. Just as they’re not doing it for the press, though, many of the officers filling in at Newtown aren’t interested in the money, so they’re reportedly donating their paychecks to Newtown and Sandy Hill Elementary School charities. At least, those ones that are even accepting payment are. Santucci said that he knew some of the officers were volunteering their time on Tuesday but wasn’t able to say who was making donations or how much money would be raised, since the Christmas Day pay would be coming from officers’ hometown departments.
Twenty two years ago today, a British physicist, former trainspotter, science fiction fan and computer builder, with the help of Robert Cailliau and other colleagues at CERN, executed the first successful communication between a HTTP client and server on the Internet.
The web was devised in France (not Switzerland), and built on decades of hypertext and internet protocol developments. The first browser was called WorldWideWeb and ran on the NeXT computer. The first website was info.cern.ch. Despite promotion of the system within CERN, take-up was low for the first year or two.
By the end of 1993, there were 623 websites. In May 1994, the First International Conference on the World-Wide Web was held (at which the first Best of the Web award winners were announced), attracting 380 participants; the preliminary proceedings are downloadable. In 1995, Matt Haughey designed his first website; in June of that year, there were 23,500 websites – or less than 20,000.
However, within 18 months (by the end of 1996), there were over 600,000 websites. In 1998 the first Google index recognized 26 million pages, and by 2000 the number of pages in the “surface” web was measurable in the billions.
The author of the software participated in the opening ceremony of this summer’s Olympic Games, during which he tweeted. Not everyone knew who he was. This didn’t bother him and he won’t tell you what he had for breakfast.
Family fact: his father worked in the team which developed the world’s first commercially available general-purpose electronic computer, followed by text compression techniques and some of the earliest applications of computers in medicine.
More than a year and a half later, it’s clear the New York Times’ paywall is not only valuable, it’s helped turn the paper’s subscription dollars, which once might have been considered the equivalent of a generous tithing, into a significant revenue-generating business. As of this year, the company is expected to make more money from subscriptions than from advertising — the first time that’s happened.
Digital subscriptions will generate $91 million this year, according to Douglas Arthur, an analyst with Evercore Partners. The paywall, by his estimate, will account for 12 percent of total subscription sales, which will top $768.3 million this year. That’s $52.8 million more than advertising.
Remember all the digirati railing about how crazy the NYTimes paywall was?
A Webster firefighter was shot during a call to a fire on Bay Road in Webster.
The firefighter, whose name has not been released, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, according to Webster Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier.
He is listed in satisfactory condition, Boutillier said.
Other firefighters were also shot at, but at this point, no other injuries have been reported.
“I’m not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon, he said.
Firefighters are currently letting the fire, which has spread to another house, burn until the area has been secured, Boutillier said. It is unknown if occupants are inside the houses.
And no doubt the NRA will call for arming fire fighters.
A conservative U.S. senator from Idaho who has said he doesn’t drink because of his Mormon faith has been charged with drunken driving.
Sen. Michael Crapo, a three-term Republican with a reputation as a social and fiscal conservative, registered a blood alcohol content of .11 percent after police pulled his car over in this suburb south of Washington, D.C., authorities said.
There’s saying about always taking TWO mormons fishing. If you take only one, he’ll drink all of your beer.
Facebook has become the latest multinational to come under the spotlight for its tax affairs after figures revealed it paid just £2.9m in tax on profits of more than more than £800m.
Filings for Facebook Ireland, through which all of the social network’s profits outside the US are channelled, show it paid the Irish tax authority €3.2m (£2.9m) last year.
Facebook is structured so that companies buying advertisements on the website in the UK, or anywhere outside of the US, have to pay Facebook Ireland.
This allowed Facebook Ireland to make gross 2011 profits of £840m – or £3.1m per each of its 287 staff. Despite the high gross profit, Facebook Ireland was able to cut its tax bill to just €3.2m by using an accounting technique called the “Double Irish”.
he Iowa Supreme Court says a dentist did not commit sex discrimination when he fired an attractive female assistant he viewed as a threat to his marriage.The court ruled Friday that a boss can fire an employee he considers an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employee has done nothing wrong. The decision is the first in Iowa, but in line with rulings elsewhere.
If the wireless Internet connection during your holiday flight seems more reliable than it used to, you could have the humble potato to thank.
While major airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi on many flights, the signal strength can be spotty. Airlines and aircraft makers have been striving to improve this with the growing use of wireless devices and the number of people who don’t want to be disconnected, even 35,000 feet up.
Engineers at Chicago-based Boeing Co. used sacks of potatoes as stand-ins for passengers as they worked to eliminate weak spots in in-flight wireless signals. They needed full planes to get accurate results during signal testing, but they couldn’t ask people to sit motionless for days while data was gathered.
“That’s where potatoes come into the picture,” Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler said.
It turns out that potatoes — because of their water content and chemistry — absorb and reflect radio wave signals much the same way as the human body does, making them suitable substitutes for airline passengers.
Philippine legislators passed a landmark bill Monday that would provide government funding for contraceptives and sexuality classes in schools despite strong opposition by the dominant Roman Catholic Church and its followers, some of whom threatened to ask the Supreme Court to block the legislation.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, vice president of the Philippines’ Bishops Conference, said that “the wide and free accessibility of contraceptives will result in the destruction of family life.”
“Money for contraceptives can be better used for education and authentic health care,” he said, adding that “those who corrupt the minds of children will invoke divine wrath on themselves.”
Bring it on, fucker!
A loop hole big enough to drive a truck through.
Get Down On It:
Jean Knight – Mr Big Stuff
Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
The Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child
Al Green – Tired of Being Alone
Shirley Brown – Woman to Woman
Joe Tex – I Gotcha
A Taste of Honey – Sukiyaki
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Firecracker
Five Star- All Fall Down
Eddie Kendricks – Happy
Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
Al Green – Love and Happiness
The Staples Singers Come Go With Me
Sly & the Family Stone – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
And as no Soul Train post would be complete without a line dance: Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn’s shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. (The sun is behind the planet, which is shielding the cameras from direct sunlight.) In addition to the visual splendor, this special, very-high-phase viewing geometry lets scientists study ring and atmosphere phenomena not easily seen at a lower phase.
Since images like this can only be taken while the sun is behind the planet, this beautiful view is all the more precious for its rarity. The last time Cassini captured a view like this was in Sept. 2006, when it captured a mosaic processed to look like natural color, entitled “In Saturn’s Shadow-The Pale Blue Dot” (See PIA08329.) In that mosaic, planet Earth put in a special appearance, making “In Saturn’s Shadow” one of the most popular Cassini images to date. Earth does not appear in this mosaic as it is hidden behind the planet.