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Monday, April 20, 2009

AMUSING & NOT-SO-AMUSING NEWSING

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STUPIDITY ON PARADE: CRAZY CURRENT EVENTS

SAD, SCARY, BRUTAL, HORRIFYING, UNBELIEVABLE, ABSURD & RIDICULOUS STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

YOUTUBE: "MON ONCLE" JACQUES TATI
"MONSIEUR HULOT EN VELOSOLEX 45 CC"
Note that the fiend is smoking!


If You See Yourself In One Of These News Articles, God Has Your Number


REUTERS
"Film character's pipe censored by Paris Metro"
No imaginary smoking, either!
' Jacques Tati's Mr Hulot, whose pipe was as much a trademark as his hat and beige raincoat, is seen riding his Velosolex motor scooter in a poster advertising a retrospective at the Cinematheque de Paris. But the pipe has been replaced by a small colored whirligig by Metrobus, the group that manages advertising on Paris public transport, because of fears the pipe could break a law forbidding it from "direct or indirect" tobacco and alcohol advertising. '

REUTERS
"Reported sale of "Slumdog" child star probed"
Seems a bit much. It was only a small supporting role.
' Indian police in Mumbai are probing accusations that the father of a child star of the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" tried to sell his daughter for 200,000 pounds ($290,000). The mother of 9-year-old Rubina Ali protested after a sting operation by a British tabloid alleged her father tried to sell her. '

YAHOO NEWS
"Winfrey cancels program on Columbine anniversary"
Focus groups thought it was tacky.
' "I decided to pull the Columbine show today. After reviewing it, I thought it focused too much on the killers. Today, hold a thought for the Columbine community. This is a hard day for them," Winfrey wrote on Oprah.com and her Facebook page. A similar message appeared on her Twitter feed. '

AFP
"'Vagina Monologues' exposes divide in Kyrgyzstan"
Double-feature with "Borat"?
' The first Russian-language performance of "The Vagina Monologues" in Central Asia, held in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek last week, exposed the deep cultural divides that still exist here almost two decades after the fall of Communism. Traditional practices such as bride-kidnapping have proven resilient even as a more austere Islam has taken hold in some regions, and many here feel that what little progress women have made is tenuous at best. While Islam is making inroads, Kyrgyz traditions that date back to ancient nomadic times also hold strong in the country. A large proportion of marriages in Kyrgyzstan are still the result of bride kidnapping, where a prospective suitor and his family abduct their chosen bride with or without the consent or her family. '

LIVE SCIENCE.COM
"Childbirth Painful for Neanderthal Women, Too"
Oh, boo-f**king-hoo! I'm SICK of those damned cavewomen and their endless complaining! Tell it to GEICO!
' Despite the difference in shape among the two species, the birth canals are about the same size. Scientists also think baby Neanderthals' heads were roughly the same size as modern human babies'. "We concluded that birth would have been about as difficult, but the mechanism would have been different," Weaver told LiveScience. The study, detailed in the April 21 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help reveal why modern human babies twist during birth. Some experts think this process developed because modern humans' brains are bigger than our ancestors', but the new findings hint otherwise. '

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
"Physicist Stephen Hawking is seriously ill"
So, I guess he won't be the centerfold for next month's issue of "Pumping Iron," after all.
' Stephen Hawking, the British scientist responsible for some of the most groundbreaking theories about the origin of the universe, was rushed to a hospital today in Cambridge and was "seriously ill" after weeks fighting a chest infection, according to The Associated Press. Remarkably, Hawking, 67, has lived for 46 years with the debilitating and commonly fatal Lou Gehrig's disease. "Before my condition was diagnosed, I had been very bored with life," Hawking told a group of disabled Seattle students in a visit to Seattle in 1993. The only trouble with the voice synthesizer that allows him to speak, he told them, "is it gives me an American accent." '

MCCLATCHY
"Robots are narrowing the gap with humans"
Robots are already a lot smarter than Republicans. And more independent. And more humane.
' Robots are gaining on us humans. Thanks to exponential increases in computer power — which is roughly doubling every two years — robots are getting smarter, more capable, more like flesh-and-blood people. "The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago," Rattner said. It's conceivable, he added, that "machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason in the not-so-distant future.'' "We're in a slow retreat in the face of the steady advance of our mind's children,'' agreed Paul Saffo , a technology forecaster at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. "Eventually, we're going to reach the point where everybody's going to say, 'Of course machines are smarter than we are.' '' "The truly interesting question is what happens after if we have truly intelligent robots,'' Saffo said. "If we're very lucky, they'll treat us as pets. If not, they'll treat us as food.'' '

PC WORLD
"U.S. Military Extensively Using iPod Touch"
This is what's really killing Steve Jobs. Feist doesn't like it either.
' The iPod touch specifically is being used for tasks as varied as translation, sharing data among soldiers, and even calculating ballistics. The article points out that since the iPod touch is pretty familiar to most recruits, training soldiers to use the device and new software is pretty straightforward. The soldiers can easily upload new images, data, and software without much of a learning curve. '

YAHOO TECH
"Laptops Bring Youth off the Streets"
Or, they could just join the army and get a free iPod.
' Laptops can be easily taken for granted by those who have direct access to them, but the devices are a salvation for some at-risk teenagers and young adults caught up in gang and drug-related activity in San Francisco. The lack of laptops prevents at-risk teenagers and young adults in foster homes and juvenile halls from finding decent jobs, educational resources and other services critical to improving their lives. A laptop donation program in San Francisco aims to help the teens build a promising future by providing technology resources. The nonprofit group City Youth Now donates refurbished laptops for at-risk teenagers to use. Laptops are a key element in helping the teens succeed as they prepare to graduate high school and go to college, said Brittany Heinrich, executive director of CYN. '

REUTERS
"U.S. Supreme Court to rule on animal cruelty law"
Videos not available on military iPods.
' The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday that it would decide whether a federal law that makes it a crime to sell videos of animals being tortured or killed violates constitutional free-speech rights. The high court agreed to hear a U.S. Justice Department appeal defending the 1999 animal cruelty law after it was struck down for infringing free-speech protections. A U.S. appeals court declared the law unconstitutional and overturned the conviction of a Virginia man, Robert Stevens, who sold three videos of pit bulls fighting each other and attacking hogs and wild boars. Congress adopted the law in 1999 in an attempt to stop people from profiting by the interstate sale of depictions of unlawful torture and killing of animals. Laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with various other federal laws, already prohibit animal cruelty. Justice Department attorneys said Congress, in adopting the law, also is aimed at videos in which women in high-heeled shoes crush small animals as a type of sexual fetish, sought to stop a unique and reprehensible type of criminal conduct. They told the Supreme Court that the animal cruelty law should be upheld just like child pornography laws. The justices are expected to hear arguments in the case and then rule during their upcoming term that begins in October. '

LA TIMES
"Man beheads his horse and feeds its head to his dogs, police say"
Attorneys blame "The Godfather," plan to call Coppola to testify for the defense.
' A Riverside County man was arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty after police say he bludgeoned his horse with a sledgehammer, decapitated it with a chainsaw and fed it to his dogs. Jack Ziniuk, 64, of rural Anza called authorities Sunday morning to say his horse had been injured by dogs, was having seizures and needed to be put down, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Roach said. But when officers arrived they found a headless horse. A bloody sledgehammer was submerged in a bucket of water and a chainsaw sat nearby. The animal’s head was lying in a dog run where Roach said it was serving as food for Ziniuk’s dogs. '

CHATTABOX
"Twenty-One Horses Drop Dead Before Polo Match"
Apparently, they'd all just heard from their brokers.
' The well-heeled Palm Beach spectators at Sunday’s United States Open polo championships witnessed a horrific scene right before the day’s events, when dozens of horses began stumbling and falling to the ground dead in a tumble at the South Florida polo grounds. All 21 of the dead horses came from the Venezuelan-based Lechuza Caracas team. The veterinarians on the scene and an investigative committee, don’t know the precise cause of death yet, but believe the horses perished from poisoning, either accidental or deliberate. '
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4 Comments:

Blogger Southern Beale said...

Childbirth was painful for Neanderthal women too, and all women have gotten for their trouble is thousands of years of oppression like what's in resurgence in Kyrgystan and the selling of little Indian girls.

Still a man's world.

I didn't get the thing about the scooter-riding pipe, though. I think I need more coffee.

1:11 AM, April 21, 2009  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Ha! Love the intro to the robot story.

3:26 AM, April 21, 2009  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

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SoBeale, What, candy & flowers ain't enough for ya???

Yeah, I know. It's horrifying how women are treated in many places, still. It almost makes the West seem like paradise for women, until you read about another murder for "love," or the glass ceiling at Walmart, or the boys club in the Senate. We've come a long way, but we have a long way to go, even in America.

It always catches my eye, when I scan the news, these horror stories involving women. I'd really like to see O&M Obama focus on it, to counter this bullsh*t that's coming out of the most backward regimes on Earth, and turn the moral imperative back toward enlightenment; make it a cause, a priority.

It's time that we used whatever is left of our "sole superpower" status to set certain things in stone, or they will be lost in the Chinafication process: Human rights, civil liberties, rule of law, equal justice, and an end to the oppression of "minorities," including the majority in many countries, women.

If that means a final battle between secularism & fundamentalism, ruthless capitalism and moderate democratic socialism, militarism and international cooperation, let's fight it right now. We owe it to our kids. The alternative is a nightmare.

Also, we need to dump "free trade" for fair trade: No access to US markets without labor, environmental, and human rights equity. And that would mean we would have to come up to European standards on things like health care, education, housing, employment & child care. This race to the bottom is being payed for by all of us, but women are getting the worst of it, everywhere.

*Note: Mssr. Hulot is a sort of French Charlie Chaplin Tramp or 1960's Mr. Bean, and the pipe was his trademark. To replace his pipe with a whirligig in images of him used in ads by the subway system, just to comply with anti-smoking laws, is just too ridiculous. Mais tres francaise bureaucratique.

Or, like Jerry Lewis, maybe it just ain't funny in English.

My favorite French grafitti was "DEFENSE DE DEFENSER," or no forbidding, in response to all the signs plastered all over Paris saying that you couldn't do this or that here or there, as in "Defense de Stationner," no parking, or "defense de fumer," no smoking.

They're the most liberated and the most regulated people in the world, I guess is what I meant.
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8:58 PM, April 21, 2009  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

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Thanks, Libby! Some day, we may be able to replace all Republicans with robots. But they'll never replace humans.

Let's just hope they don't have a screw loose, too.
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9:00 PM, April 21, 2009  

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