Category: news

Danger bear, danger bear...

posted by collin on 07.09.27 at 17:29, null, nonsense, news, news, random, Leave a comment Permalink


posted by collin on 07.04.30 at 12:03, null, nonsense, news, news, random, Leave a comment Permalink

(yet another sign of the apocalypse) is currently valued at $1.2M...

...the horror...
...the horror...

"In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?"

posted by collin on 07.04.10 at 17:03, null, art, music, news, news, music, art, Leave a comment Permalink

Answer, not really. And this warms the cockles of my cynical heart.

Warning, it's a long article...

OMG Kim Jong-Il ate my bunnys!!!

posted by collin on 07.04.10 at 17:01, null, nonsense, news, news, random, Leave a comment Permalink

The fate of 12 German giant rabbits delivered to North Korea is in doubt. The breeder who sent them suspects they have been eaten by top officials rather than used to set up a bunny farm. Berlin's North Korean embassy denies the allegation. One thing is sure: the country will have to find another seller.

Why do NY AG's make me feel warm and fuzzy inside?

posted by collin on 07.04.05 at 10:42, null, news, news, rant, Leave a comment Permalink


April 5 (Bloomberg) -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed CIT Group Inc. and Columbia University in a widening probe of conflicts of interest between lenders and college officials in the $85 billion student loan industry.


Cuomo's office requested from the colleges documents about the three officials, who may have ``improperly'' received stock and options from Education Loan Group in exchange for recommending Student Loan Xpress to students, the attorney general's office wrote.

I vote for testicular shocks.

Mooninites attack Boston!

posted by collin on 07.01.31 at 16:07, null, nonsense, news, news, random, boston, 2 comments Permalink

OMFFFFFFFG! TEH TERROR! At least we blew one of them up.

ignignokt: we are mooninites from the innercore of the moon
err: you said it right
ignignokt: our race is hundreds of years ahead of yours
err: man you hear what he's saying
ignignokt: some would say the earth is our moon
err: we're the moon
ignignokt: that would belittle the name of our moon, which is the moon

Cartoon characters causing everyone to flip their shit. Ridiculous "Oh this isn't funny! This was a waste of police resources! This is a serious crime! 2-5 years in prison!" Gimme a fucking break. I have shit in my apartment that looks a hell of a lot more like a "suspicious device," fuck I've seen garbage in my neighborhood that's more dangerous.

Comment from: collin [Member] ·

BOSTON -- An Arlington man was arrested after 38 hoax devices were found throughout greater Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino and Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Wednesday night.

The devices were eventually determined to be part of a marketing campaign that involved a character from the cartoon show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."

Coakley said Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, was arrested Wednesday night and charged under a new statute that makes it a crime to place, transfer or possess a hoax device that results in panic. He was also charged with one count of disorderly conduct.
Permalink 01/31/07 @ 23:45
Comment from: graham [Member] ·

By the way, does anyone know if they're actually making a movie?
Permalink 02/01/07 @ 15:54

I believe that's called irony...

posted by collin on 06.12.13 at 16:55, null, math, nonsense, math, books, news, news, 1 comment Permalink

They were just lost in a bookstore. I'd like to think he would have laughed.

And some interesting heuristics.

Comment from: ben [Member] ·

“Good,” Wronoski recalled saying. “Now I don’t have to kill myself.”

Permalink 12/13/06 @ 17:23

"It's not all youths on MySpace. Half of the site's users are 35 or older..."

posted by collin on 06.10.06 at 13:24, null, news, news, rant, rant, 3 comments Permalink


Comment from: ben [Member] ·
Why am I vomiting about this? Come be my myspace friend instead of vomiting... you're over 25.
Permalink 10/07/06 @ 01:36
Comment from: Lauren [Visitor]
I saw that report. One half of unique visitors in August were 35 or older. That means that of the people who went to myspace for the first time ever, half of them were 35 or older. I doubt they're users, I bet they're perverts who heard about myspace in the news and are looking for naked girls. Or, parents who heard the news and are looking to see if their girls are naked.

Ben, you sound creepy.
Permalink 10/14/06 @ 06:49
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
What did I do? Why am I creepy? Why the preoccupation with nudity?
Permalink 10/16/06 @ 13:41

Why do you say things that make no sense?

posted by collin on 06.10.04 at 14:27, null, nonsense, news, rant, random, rant, 2 comments Permalink

So I'm sitting here listening to NPR, and they're talking about the HP "pretexting" scandal. And then the reporter said something pretty close to:

blah blah blah... They did various things... blah blah blah... and sending a reporter an email with tracking software attached. But where they ran afaul of the law is with the pretexting.

Huh? Prima facie that sounds like the most blatantly illegal thing in the list he rattled off. I've heard this mentioned nowhere. Anybody know what he meant?

Comment from: anwar [Member] ·
Speculation has it that it wasn't really tracking software, but a web-bug.

The fundamental problem here is that if your employer wants to screw you over, there is little they can't do/find out about you...

Since you've given them your Social Security number, and a host of other personal information -- they can use this to steal your identity, pretext to get yet more information.
Permalink 10/05/06 @ 06:05
Comment from: scott [Member] ·
"Pretexting" seems a little too euphemistic to me. How about "impersonation"?
Permalink 10/05/06 @ 19:16

Can I take ice on a plane?

posted by collin on 06.08.11 at 14:47, null, news, news, rant, rant, 2 comments Permalink

Ice isn't a liquid. But at room temperature it does become liquid dihydrogen-monoxide, which can be very dangerous. What about dry ice? I'm pretty sure that the pressure on a plane is low enough that there's no danger in it becoming a liquid.

How is it possible that "liquid explosives" are new or novel in anyway? Am I to assume that no one in this administration saw Die Hard III? Why is NPR talking to "experts" about liquid explosives? It's not like they have existed since at least 1847.

Who knew that there's a Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion?

Comment from: graham [Member] ·
I was going to go off on Glass and say how it's not a real solid, and that it's a waffler, but then I read this.
Permalink 08/11/06 @ 15:48
Comment from: graham [Member] ·
What about batteries? I could perform hydrolysis with a 9 volt, some paperclips, and the water they serve for refreshments. I might be able to collect enough gas going across the country to make a very loud pop. And we all know loud = fast = dangerous = scary = terrorist plot.
Permalink 08/18/06 @ 21:27

...dee dee dee da da dee da dee dee da da da...

posted by collin on 06.08.01 at 08:38, null, news, news, 1 comment Permalink

Just off the wire:

Yesterday at the Multnomah County Courthouse the law came down against fixed gear bicycles.

On June 1, 2006 Portland bike messenger Ayla Holland was given a ticket for allegedly violating Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 815.280(2)(a) which states,

A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. strong enough to skid tire.

At issue was whether Holland’s fixed gear bicycle met this requirement. She and her lawyer Mark Ginsberg thought it did, but Officer Barnum of the Portland Police Bureau thought otherwise so they brought the matter in front of a traffic court Judge.

Why does this seem familiar...
And of course via boingoing.

Comment from: ben [Member] ·
For posterity...

and, of course...
Permalink 08/01/06 @ 22:56

What's he building in there?

posted by collin on 06.07.26 at 11:32, null, news, news, politics, 7 comments Permalink

Run of the mill sat photo of the middle of nowhere? Looks kinda similar to this sat photo...

Zoom out. Switch from sat view to map. Found out about it here, or you could look there if you can't figure it out...

Is this scary? Or just funny? Curious the NYT hasn't written anything about this.

Comment from: ben [Member] ·
I saw this story at a legitimate news source, but this is all I can find now.

Apparently most countries request that google make certain areas low resolution, but since North Korea doesn't like anyone, they haven't made that request of google. So, North Korea is the only country in the world with all its military installations visible on google earth.

Of course, I can't find my sources for any of this, so it'd be best to ignore me.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 15:06
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
While what you say is true, I also heard that story and forgot where, neither of the photos above are anywhere near the DPRK. Did you figure out what it is?
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 15:36
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
No, I'm dumb.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 18:02
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
I don't want to give it away just yet. Scroll around slightly and look at the lakes in both photos.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 18:09
Comment from: ben [Member] ·
It's clearly a missile silo.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 18:12
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
Yes, the lakes clearly hide a missle silo, like Moonraker. Ok I just say it: the Chinese [for some reason] built a very large scale model of the disputed area in the Karakoram claimed by India, Pakistan, and China.

I for one think that is very strange, and a cool Google Earth find.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 18:39
Comment from: graham [Member] ·
That's awesome...
Somehow I completely missed this when you posted it.
Permalink 10/20/06 @ 11:39

Oh shit...

posted by collin on 06.07.26 at 10:56, null, nonsense, news, news, rant, random, rant, Leave a comment Permalink

You pissed off Studs. Now his 94 year old body will be filled with the power of righteous indignation. He will rend his red-and-white checked shirt and use the strands to garrot spineless DOJ lawyers everywhere.

Well, a boy can dream...

Singing Statements

posted by collin on 06.07.26 at 07:20, null, nonsense, news, news, random, 1 comment Permalink

No, wait "signing statements." Why do I listen to NPR?

So if the ABA thinks [among other things] that Congress should pass a law that a Presidential signing statement should contain the complete argument for the interpretation/ignoration [I got to make up a word] of the law...

Could not the President just pen a signing statement ignoring the law about signing statements?

I can't take the time to write down why I'm ignoring this law, gotta go fight some terrorists.


And this gem:
"Congressmen feel they have the right to legislate and pass statutes."

Well slap me in a dress and call me a hairy tranny!

Comment from: scott [Member] ·
Look, if you want to stand by as we erode the powers of the executive from the rightful heights they achieved under the Nixon administration, then clearly you hate America and seek to succor its enemies.
Permalink 07/26/06 @ 09:44

Cognitive dissonance...

posted by collin on 06.07.17 at 11:09, null, nonsense, news, news, random, 2 comments Permalink


Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon first identified by Leon Festinger. It occurs when there is a discrepancy between what a person believes, knows and values, and persuasive information that calls these into question. The discrepancy causes psychological discomfort, and the mind adjusts to reduce the discrepancy.


In the days of Richard Nixon's "imperial presidency" and the epic Watergate scandal, John Dean was Nixon's White House counsel, at the right hand of a president whose abuse of power led to disgrace and resignation.

Now, John Dean is charging that his old boss Richard Nixon's abuse of power was peanuts compared to the executive power-grab he sees underway in the Bush/Cheney White House.

Today's GOP leadership, charges Dean in a hot new book, is downright and dangerously "authoritarian," leaving behind traditional conservative restraint in the exercise of government power. Leaving behind, charges Dean, American democracy and the US constitution.

Comment from: devin [Member] ·
So . . . who is the person in psychological discomfort, what did they believe they knew, and what is calling that into question?
Permalink 07/17/06 @ 12:00
Comment from: collin [Member] ·
1: Me
2: That the Nixon administration was the paragon of evil.
3: Some one from that administration saying that shit has gotten a lot worse.

That's not to say that rationally I thought that the Bush administration wasn't worse. It was more of an intellectual gut-check that Nixon's counsel was saying stuff has gotten that bad.
Permalink 07/17/06 @ 13:33

Those silly capitalist hippies...

posted by collin on 06.07.14 at 12:02, null, nonsense, news, news, random, boulder, Leave a comment Permalink

Do any of us know this guy? Any guesses as to what bridge it was? I'd bet the one on the bike path by the band shell.

Robert Hibbs, 19, was arrested for demanding $1 tolls from joggers and bikers crossing a bridge in Boulder, Colorado. Hibbs claimed to be a troll who owned the bridge. He was apparently tripping on LSD. Hibbs was arrested after demanding that an off-duty deputy pay up. From

The off-duty deputy, who was not identified, told police the confrontation with Hibbs started after the man hit his bike with a broken golf club when he forced his way past without paying. The two became involved in an altercation and Hibbs hit the deputy with a golf club, the police report stated. The deputy said he took the golf club away from Hibbs and struck him in an attempt to defend himself...

Moral of the story: If you're gonna be high as a kite in Boulder, don't hit a cop with a golf club.

via boingboing


posted by collin on 06.01.23 at 15:06, nonsense, news, random, Leave a comment Permalink


University of Florida employees have to pledge that they're having sex with their domestic partners before qualifying for benefits under a new health care plan at the university.

The partners of homosexual and heterosexual employees are eligible for coverage under UF's plan, which will take effect in February. The enrollment process began this month, and some employees have expressed concern about an affidavit that requires a pledge of sexual activity.

...In addition to declaring joint financial obligations, prospective enrollees must "have been in a non-platonic relationship for the preceding 12 months," according to the affidavit.

God damn it!

posted by collin on 06.01.06 at 11:05, news, news, rant, rant, Leave a comment Permalink

This just got posted to /., from the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Chicago Police Department is warning officers their cell phone records are available to anyone -- for a price. Dozens of online services are selling lists of cell phone calls, raising security concerns among law enforcement and privacy experts.

To test the service, the FBI paid $160 to buy the records for an agent's cell phone and received the list within three hours, the police bulletin said.

Apparently this isn't brand new news, and while I find the FBI part ironically amusing, I don't really like it.

Ray Kurzweil is an ass. Bill Joy too.

posted by collin on 05.10.27 at 20:21, news, news, rant, rant, Leave a comment Permalink

This NYTimes editorial [or here] has been sitting on my desktop for a bit over a week now. First the good part...

After a decade of painstaking research, federal and university scientists have reconstructed the 1918 influenza virus that killed 50 million people worldwide. Like the flu viruses now raising alarm bells in Asia, the 1918 virus was a bird flu that jumped directly to humans, the scientists reported. To shed light on how the virus evolved, the United States Department of Health and Human Services published the full genome of the 1918 influenza virus on the Internet in the GenBank database.

And now the bad part...

This is extremely foolish. The genome is essentially the design of a weapon of mass destruction. No responsible scientist would advocate publishing precise designs for an atomic bomb, and in two ways revealing the sequence for the flu virus is even more dangerous.

I am fucking sick and tired of We're all going to die! We're all going to die! We're all going to die! [TM, me]. And yet, I can't come up with a cogent argument against their position that I'm happy with. Well there is one thing.

The genome was found by a researcher in the US [unless I'm mistaken] and as some one who performed their research under government grants, they published the genome with the approval of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. While it would have been possible for the US government to prevent this, doing so would not have prevented anyone else from making the same discovery and publishing the information.

They go on to make feel-good points about international cooperation and things, but the whole premise of the article leaves me uneasy. Isn't it counterproductive to try to advance human understanding, only to restrict access to that knowledge? Somebody help me out here. There has to be a good argument against them. And not a simple slippery slope, because that's not strong enough. Though there is one sentence that I can easilly ridicule.

We realize that calling for this genome to be "un-published" is a bit like trying to gather the horses back into the barn.

No, it's not like that at all. I commend you for trying to step down to the level of us peons and using a phrase that appears to be in the vernacular, but last time I checked it isn't impossible to move horses from outside a barn to inside a barn. This is more like trying to shoot every horse west of the Mississippi. It can't be done. Ok, rant over.

Virtual Epidemiology.

posted by collin on 05.10.07 at 13:44, science, news, news, Leave a comment Permalink

I thought that the "virus" in World of Warcraft that got mentioned on slashdot twice had the potential to be an extremely valuable source of extensive and easilly parsable epidemiological data. The breif [5 min] piece on NPR mentions that bio-math researcher Nina Fefferman was interrested in looking at the data, but I could find no mention of the project on her page.

One interesting thing that differentiates the virtual data from real world data is that the lattice approximation of the "world" has all the edges from a complete graph glued onto it, since people can teleport which apparently the did and often to densely populated areas. Maybe I'm thinking about this in the wrong way and you can treat teleportation as equivalent to a plane flight, and since people seemed to teleport to cities you can ignore the topological differences between the virtual and a real transportation network.