Wednesday, August 31, 2005

BadCorp.org: Stop funding your own oppression.

BadCorp.org: Stop funding your own oppression.

This site chronicles the evil that is Corporate America.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina’s full wrath still being felt as body count rises

Katrina’s full wrath still being felt as body count rises: "By Holbrook Mohr
The Associated Press

By Holbrook Mohr
The Associated Press

GULFPORT, Miss. — Rescuers in boats and helicopters searched for survivors of Hurricane Katrina and brought victims, wet and bedraggled, to shelters today as the extent of the damage across the Gulf Coast became ever clearer. Mississippi’s governor said the death toll in one county alone could be as high as 80.

“At first light, the devastation is greater than our worst fears. It’s just totally overwhelming,” Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the morning after Katrina howled ashore with winds of 145 mph and engulfed thousands of homes in one of the most punishing storms on record in the United States.

In New Orleans, meanwhile, water began rising in the streets Tuesday morning, apparently because of a break on a levee along a canal leading to Lake Pontchartrain. New Orleans lies mostly below sea level and is protected by a network of pumps, canals and levees. Many of the pumps were not working this morning.

Officials planned to use helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags into the breach, and expressed confidence the problem could be solved within hours.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said there were unconfirmed reports of up to 80 deaths in Harrison County — which includes devastated Gulfport and Biloxi — and the number was likely to rise. An untold number of people were also feared dead in Louisiana. At least five other deaths across the Gulf Coast were blamed on Katrina.

“We know that there is a lot of the coast that we have not been able to get to,” the governor said on NBC’s “Today Show.” “I hate to say it, but it looks like it is a very bad disaster in terms of human life.”

Along the Gulf Coast, tree trunks, downed power lines and trees, and chunks of broken concrete in the streets prevented rescuers from reaching victims. Swirling water in many areas contained hidden dangers. Crews worked to clear highways. Along one Mississippi highway, motorists themselves used chainsaws to remove trees blocking the road.

Tens of thousands of people will need shelter for weeks if not months, said Mike Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And once the floodwaters go down, “it’s going to be incredibly dangerous” because of structural damage to homes, diseases from animal carcasses and chemicals in homes, he said.

Officials warned people against trying to return to their homes, saying that would only interfere with the rescue and recovery efforts.
More than 1,600 Mississippi National Guardsmen were activated to help with the recovery, and the Alabama Guard planned to send two battalions to Mississippi.

“We know that last night we had over 300 folks that we could confirm were on tops of roofs and waiting for our assistance. We pushed hard all throughout the night. We hoisted over 100 folks last night just in the Mississippi area. Our crews over New Orleans probably did twice that,” Capt. Dave Callahan of the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mississippi said on ABC.

National Guardsmen brought in people from outlying areas to the Superdome in the backs of big 2½-ton Army trucks. Louisiana’s wildlife enforcement department also brought people in on the backs of their pickups. Some were wet, some were in wheelchairs, some were holding babies and nothing else.

In New Orleans, a city of 480,000 that was mostly evacuated over the weekend as Katrina closed in, those who stayed behind faced another, delayed threat: rising water. Failed pumps and levees apparently sent water from Lake Pontchartrain coursing through the streets.

The rising water forced one New Orleans hospital to move patients to the Louisiana Superdome, where some 10,000 people had taken shelter, and prompted the staff of New Orleans’ Times-Picayune newspaper to abandon its offices, authorities said.

Downtown streets that were relatively clear in the hours after the storm were filled with 1 to 1½ feet of water this morning. Water was knee-deep around the Superdome. Canal Street was literally a canal. Water lapped at the edge of the French Quarter. Clumps of red ants floated in the gasoline-fouled waters downtown.

“It’s a very slow rise, and it will remain so until we plug that breach. I think we can get it stabilized in a few hours,” said Terry Ebbert, New Orleans’ homeland security chief.

As for the death toll in Louisiana, the governor said only: “We have no counts whatsoever, but we know many lives have been lost.”

The biggest known cluster of deaths was at the Quiet Water Beach apartments in Biloxi, a red-brick beachfront complex of about 100 units. Harrison County, Miss., emergency operations center spokesman Jim Pollard said about 30 people died there.

“This is our tsunami,” Mayor A. J. Holloway of Biloxi, Miss., told The Biloxi Sun Herald.

Joy Schovest, 55, was in the apartment complex with her boyfriend, Joe Calvin, when the water began rising. They stayed despite a mandatory evacuation order.

“The water got higher and higher,” she said, breaking into tears. “It pushed all the doors open and we swam out. We grabbed a lady and pulled her out the window and then we swam with the current. It was terrifying. You should have seen the cars floating around us. We had to push them away when we were trying to swim.”

Teresa Kavanagh, 35, of Biloxi, shook her head is disbelief as she took photographs of the damage in her hometown.

“Total devastation. Apartment complexes are wiped clean. We’re going to rebuild, but it’s going to take long time. Houses that withstood Camille are nothing but slab now,” she said. Hurricane Camille killed 256 people in Louisiana and Mississippi in 1969.

The hurricane knocked out power to more than 1 million people from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, and authorities said it could be two months before electricity is restored to everyone.

Oil prices jumped by more than $3 a barrel today, climbing above $70 a barrel, amid uncertainty about the extent of the damage to the Gulf region’s refineries and drilling platforms.

By midday, Katrina was downgraded to a tropical depression, with winds about 35 mph. It was moving northeast through Tennessee at around 21 mph.

Forecasters said that as the storm moves north over the next few days, it could swamp the Tennessee and Ohio valleys with a potentially ruinous 8 inches or more of rain. On Monday, Katrina’s remnants spun off tornadoes and other storms in Georgia that smashed dozens of buildings and were blamed for at least one death.

According to preliminary assessments by AIR Worldwide Corp., a risk assessment company, the insurance industry faces as much as $26 billion in claims from Katrina. That would make Katrina more expensive than the previous record-setting storm, Hurricane Andrew, which caused some $21 billion in insured losses in 1992 to property in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.

Mike Spencer of Gulfport made the mistake of trying to ride out the storm in his house. He told NBC that he used his grandson’s little surfboard to make his way around the house as the water rose around him.

Finally, he said, “as the house just filled up with water, it forced me into the attic, and then I ended up kicking out the wall and climbing up to a tree because the houses around me were just disappearing.”

He said he wrapped himself around a tree branch and waited four or five hours.

Anne Anderson said she lost her family home in Gulfport.

“My family’s an old Mississippi family. I had antiques, 150 years old or more, they’re all gone. We have just basically a slab,” she told NBC. She added: “Behind us we have a beautiful sunrise and sunset, and that is going to be what I’m going to miss the most, sitting on the porch watching those.”

Associated Press reporters Mary Foster, Allen G. Breed, Brett Martel, Adam Nossiter and Jay Reeves contributed to this report.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Half-Life 2: Aftermath and Lost Coast from 1UP.COM

Half-Life 2: Aftermath and Lost Coast from 1UP.COM

Exclusive info in refargs to the Half_life franchise! This is so incredibly exciting!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Great Noodly Appendage


Open Letter To Kansas School Board

Open Letter: "I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.

Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it reallly is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.



In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.

P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures."


I would like to announce that I've converted to Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. For I have truely been touched by His almighty Noodly Appendage. Noodles be with you, ramen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

ABC News: Filmmaker Cyrus Kar Describes Ordeal of Iraq Detention

"Allegations of 'Wanton Hostility' While in U.S. Custody

- For Cyrus Kar, a trip this spring to the Middle East for work on a documentary quickly turned into a nightmare that he says involved inhumane treatment at the hands of U.S. officials.

Some might have questioned his decision to visit war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. But Kar, an Iranian-American documentary filmmaker and U.S. citizen, says it was part of a labor of love: to complete his documentary about the ancient Persian King Cyrus the Great.

Kar's documentary took him from Tajikistan through Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. The final piece of the story was to be filmed in Iraq. As an American citizen and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the 44-year-old filmmaker felt confident about his presence in Iraq and had U.S. officials' permission to film there.

But soon Kar's plan to finish his dream project turned into a terrifying ordeal.

Cargo Draws Suspicion

On May 17, Kar and his Iranian cameraman hired an Iraqi taxi driver to take them to the outskirts of Baghdad. When they were stopped at a checkpoint, Iraqi police searched the trunk and found a bag of washing machine timers, devices that can be used to set off road-side bombs.

Kar, his cameraman and the Iraqi driver were all taken to a police station 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Once at the police station, Kar revealed his American citizenship and showed the police his passport and filming permit. When he asked to speak with the U.S. Embassy, the Iraqi police said they had contacted the U.S. military.

Military officials say they notified the FBI to begin investigating Kar's case and his possible connection to the devices found in his taxi's trunk. Eventually they concluded the filmmaker and his cameraman had nothing to with the suspicious equipment and both men were released. Officials said the taxi driver was still being held as the investigation continued.

U.S. officials insist Kar was treated fairly and humanely. "This case highlights the effectiveness of our detainee review process," Brig. Gen. Don Alston, a Coalition Forces spokesman, said in a statement. "We followed well-established procedures and Mr. Kar has now been properly released."

Kar, however, describes a violent and terrifying ordeal at the hands of U.S. personnel during his nearly two-month detention.

When U.S. military personnel first took him into their custody, Kar says they treated him with indifference and a lack of concern.

"They struck right by me and just mumbled, 'So these are the guys?' and 'Go into the room and close the door.' " Kar said. "And never asked us a single question."

Kar, his cameraman and the driver were blindfolded as they were led out of the Iraqi police station.

'He Grabs My Head and Slams It ...'

As he was transferred to American custody, Kar repeated that he was an American citizen and again asked to speak to the U.S. Embassy.

"And I said, 'Listen, I'm a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. This is how you treat your own?' "

Once at the American detention camp, Kar was placed on the dirt floor, restrained with flexi-cuffs behind his back and left with a blanket and bottle of water. Around 1 a.m. he was led to an interrogation room and photographed.

Kar's group was shackled, blindfolded and driven to Tikrit, in northern Iraq. U.S. officials there decided to take them to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, where Kar and his group say they were subjected to violence and humiliation.

"At that point, the punch had been taken out of me," Kar said. "I wasn't responding and he [the interrogator] is pulling me up ... and he just got a handful of skin and he's pulling me up. Skin comes loose, shirt rips and they're leading us into a processing area which looked like a lobby.

"Once we're inside the lobby, they make us face the wall, standing this time and they tell us to put our heads up against the wall. My head was about two inches from the wall and so he grabs my head and slams it against the cinderblock."

Kar was taken to another room, but his cameraman was asked to remove his clothes while the assembled group of guards laughed at him.

Kar's Iranian cameraman remained at Abu Ghraib but, as an American citizen, Kar was not allowed to be held there.

"I understand suspicion," Kar says, "I don't understand wanton hostility. And it was wanton."

By the end of his second day of captivity, Kar was taken from Abu Ghraib to the detention camp at the Baghdad airport, Camp Cropper.

After Kar was processed at Camp Cropper, it took several days for the FBI to check out his story, and another 47 days to get a hearing with the military's Detainee Status Board. Even after he was cleared, it was still six more days before he was released.

Kar continues to share this story to bring awareness to a situation he feels is jeopardizing American lives in Iraq.

"There's a reckless arrest policy," he says, "There's a tremendous amount of humiliation that follows that arrest policy, and I strongly believe that one of the major reasons that the insurgency is growing is because when detainees are released, they come out, and they're looking for retribution. ...They're angry."

Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Variety.com - 'Halo' makes a date

Variety.com - 'Halo' makes a date: "Master Chief is gunning for the bigscreen in summer '07.

Fox and Universal have closed their deal to make a movie based on Microsoft's hit vidgame 'Halo,' with plans for a tentpole in two years. Studios will pay the tech giant $5 million against 10% of the gross.

Universal will oversee the production and is handling domestic distribution, while Fox will take foreign distribdistrib. Studios will split revenues 50/50 out of a shared pot.

Former Columbia prexyprexy Peter SchlesselPeter Schlessel, who served as a Hollywood liaison for Microsoft, is producing. '28 Days Later''28 Days Later' scribe Alex GarlandAlex Garland was paid $1 million by Microsoft to pen a script that met its approval (Daily Variety, Feb. 4). He'll now do a rewrite with studio notes, after which U will go out to directors.

' 'Halo' is one of those rare properties where you have a rich world from which to draw as well as a recognized brand, which in today's times is a benefit to anyone developing and producing films,' Universal production prexy Donna LangleyDonna Langley said.

When Microsoft first hit studios with the script in June, delivered by messengers dressed as Master Chief, it had a long list of deal points, including $10 million against 15% of the gross, extensive creative control and quick progress to production (Daily Variety, June 7).

It was the details of Microsoft's involvement that took several months to finalize, since financials were largely worked out by mid-June (Daily Variety, June 10).

Tech giant is now guaranteed extensive consultation on the project, but won't have approval over any elements. Several employees at Bungie, the Microsoft-owned development studio that created 'Halo,' will serve as Microsoft's creative consultants.

'Our conversations in the last few weeks focused on the level of collaboration needed to bring this complex property to life,' said Peter Moore, marketing and publishing VP"

Google Talk

Google's IM has arrived! What are you waiting for? DOWNLOAD IT!!!!!!!

Americans United: TV Preacher's Call For Murder Of Venezuelan Leader Is Chilling

Americans United: TV Preacher's Call For Murder Of Venezuelan Leader Is Chilling, Says Americans United: "TV preacher Pat Robertson’s call for the killing of a foreign leader is chilling, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

During his “700 Club” broadcast Aug. 22, Robertson lit into President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela as an American enemy that needed to be done away with.

“You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he [Chavez] thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Robertson told his audience. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.”

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said Robertson’s call for violence should be condemned by American officials.

“It is deplorable for a Christian preacher to go before his vast audience and urge the American government to murder a foreign leader,” Lynn said. “His bloodthirsty commentary is over the top, even by Pat’s rather elastic standard.

“This is just the kind of religious fanaticism that the world does not need more of,” Lynn continued. “President Bush should immediately disavow Robertson and his extremist rhetoric.”

Lynn noted that Robertson has a long history of outrageous commentary, including shrill attacks on Islam. Most recently, Pat has been urging his “700 Club” audience to pray for more vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court so that current justices can be replaced by President Bush with “righteous” judges.

During the same Aug. 22 broadcast where Robertson called for the assassination of Chavez, the TV preacher prayed that God “take control of the court, that you would take control of the confirmation process for Judge Roberts, that you bring about other vacancies on the court….”."

Researchers: violent games rub off on kids - News at GameSpot

Researchers: violent games rub off on kids - News at GameSpot: "Children who play violent games exhibit more aggressive behavior afterward, more likely to be involved in fights, don't perform as well academically."

According to a recently released study covering the last 20 years of psychological research on the subject, exposure to violent games can increase aggressive behavior in children and adolescents in the short-term and long-term. The findings were presented to the American Psychological Association on Friday, the final day of its convention in Washington, DC, by Jessica Nicoll, BA, and Kevin M. Kieffer, PhD, of Saint Leo University.

Nicoll and Kieffer cited a study where youth who played violent games for a short time span behaved more aggressively immediately afterward, and another where eighth and ninth graders who played violent games more frequently were rated by their teachers as more hostile than others, were more likely to be involved in fights, and didn't perform as well on academic tasks.

Kieffer also noted that children who played violent games tended to imitate the actions of their onscreen counterpart.

"In those studies that are true experiments, we are more likely to say this [violent] game was the cause of this subsequent behavior," Kieffer told GameSpot. "But the question is always going to be how enduring is that behavioral change? Does it last today, this week, next year?"

In assessing the existing body of research on the subject, Nicoll and Kieffer sought to reconcile the various conclusions of their colleagues' past studies, but performed no new studies of their own. The task was complicated by the differing definitions each study had used for what constitutes a violent game, or what qualifies as aggressive behavior.

"We didn't really come up with 'This is the one definite conclusion,'" Kieffer said. "It's just 'The preponderance of the evidence suggests…'"

As for what's next in the field, Kieffer said researchers need to go beyond simply establishing the link between violent games and violent behavior, and search for the root cause of violent outbursts like the case of Devin Moore, who killed three police officers in Alabama and then pled not guilty by reason of mental defect, claiming that exposure to games like Grand Theft Auto and abuse as a child resulted in the shooting.

"We need to look at the personality correlates of the people who play these violent games, who are most attracted to them, or who don't just play them for pleasure," Kieffer said. "Is there something about these people who play these games that's suggestive of future consequences or events that's a cause for concern?"

Kieffer acknowledged that the research he's done has greater social implications beyond his field, but says he isn't so much concerned about how it affects legislative issues.

"I really have personally no investment one way or the other in any of this," Kieffer said. "I certainly understand the gaming industry's perspective. They're out to make money. That's the business. Psychology's position is just that we want to make sure the consumer is not hurt in any kind of way."

In other APA-related gaming news, the Association's Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media last week adopted a resolution calling for a reduction in violence in all interactive media used by children and adolescents, and encouraged "parents, educators and health care providers to help youth make more informed choices about which games to play."

The APA called for children to be taught media literacy so they have the ability to critically evaluate the games they play. It encouraged game makers to link violent behavior in their games with negative social consequences, and asked developers of violent games to address the notion that their titles negatively affect children and adolescents in ways greater than exposure to violent TV and movies due to the interactive nature of games. Perhaps most interestingly, the APA called for the development and dissemination of a content-based ratings system that accurately reflects the content of games and interactive media, the implication being that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's existing system is inadequate.

By Brendan Sinclair -- GameSpot
POSTED: 08/22/05 03:37 PM PST

Sunday, August 21, 2005

No Spamming!

Please, keep your comments relevant to the post. I implore you not to link to outside sites unless they're relevant! If you wish to comment on the blog in general, please e-mail me.

Japan project aims to create 3D TV by 2020 | CNET News.com

Japan project aims to create 3D TV by 2020 | CNET News.com: "Imagine watching a football game on a TV that not only shows the players in three dimensions but also lets you experience the smells of the stadium and maybe even pat a goal scorer on the back.

Japan plans to make this futuristic television a commercial reality by 2020 as part of a broad national project that will bring together researchers from the government, technology companies and academia.

The targeted 'virtual reality' television would allow people to view high-definition images in 3D from any angle, in addition to being able to touch and smell the objects being projected upwards from a screen parallel to the floor.

'Can you imagine hovering over your TV to watch Japan versus Brazil in the finals of the World Cup as if you are really there?' asked Yoshiaki Takeuchi, director of research and development at Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

While companies, universities and research institutes around the world have made some progress on reproducing 3D images suitable for TV, developing the technologies to create the sensations of touch and smell could prove the most challenging, Takeuchi said in an interview with Reuters.

Researchers are looking into ultrasound, electric stimulation and wind pressure as potential technologies for touch.

Such a TV would have a wide range of potential uses.

It could be used in home-shopping programs, allowing viewers to 'feel' a handbag before placing their order, or in the medical industry, enabling doctors to view or even perform simulated surgery on 3D images of someone's heart.

The future TV is part of a larger national project under which Japan aims to promote 'universal communication,' a concept whereby information is shared smoothly and intelligently regardles"

It seems there's a real trend toward true VR all over the place. Really, I can't wait for al of this technology to be feasable. so cool!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

We don't Like You



Friday, August 19, 2005

Protester departs for ill mother - Americas - International Herald Tribune

Protester departs for ill mother - Americas - International Herald Tribune: "
Protester departs for ill mother
By Elisabeth Bumiller The New York Times

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an soldier killed in Iraq and who is in a monthlong protest near President George W. Bush's ranch, said that she was temporarily leaving her encampment to be with her mother, who had suffered a stroke.

In a statement to reporters Thursday, Sheehan, 48, said that she received word around 4 p.m. that her mother, Shirley Miller, 74, was in a hospital emergency room in Los Angeles. 'As you can imagine, this is a devastating blow for my sister, my brother, my children and me,' Sheehan said.

Sheehan said she would return to Texas as soon as possible, and that while she was gone, mothers of other Americans killed in Iraq would keep pressure on Bush and continue to demand a meeting with him here. The group wants all U.S. troops immediately withdrawn from Iraq.

Sheehan's group is moving from a temporary encampment about two miles, or three kilometers, from Bush's ranch to a larger pasture, offered by a local landowner, that is only a mile from the ranch and adjacent to a U.S. Secret Service checkpoint. Sheehan has been here since Aug. 6, and on Wednesday night she inspired more than 1,600 candlelight vigils across the United States.

It is still not clear whether Sheehan's effort is the start of a lasting antiwar movement or a fleeting summertime event fueled by liberal advocacy groups who understand how to manage media relations. Republican Party leaders worry that the so-called Peace Mom has brought long-simmering unease over Iraq to a boil by galvanizing antiwar activists.


CRAWFORD, Texas Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an soldier killed in Iraq and who is in a monthlong protest near President George W. Bush's ranch, said that she was temporarily leaving her encampment to be with her mother, who had suffered a stroke."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Korea Times : Science Fiction Becomes Reality With New Holograph Machine

The Korea Times : Science Fiction Becomes Reality With New Holograph Machine: " Science Fiction Becomes Reality With New Holograph Machine


By Peter Stephenson
Contributing Writer


The Heliodisplay machine can make a holograph image in the air from almost any video source.

The idea of a real holograph, a free-floating video image suspended in mid-air, has always been the stuff of science fiction. Usually not the near future kind, either. Movies that depict the use of holographs tend to be set centuries into the future.

Scientific breakthroughs have a way of sneaking up on us though _ and pouncing when we least expect it.

That may describe the way you feel should you visit IO2’s Web site (io2technology.com) and take a look at the videos showcasing their ``Heliodisplay.’’

Developed by Chad Dyner at IO2, the surprisingly compact Heliodisplay, which is about the size of an average PC case laid on its side (and only a bit noisier), is said to intake air, ``alter’’ it, then expel it and use lasers to project the image onto the ``still invisible’’ conditioned air.

For obvious reasons, IO2 isn’t revealing how it modifies the air, but say that its perfectly safe. The machine could run all day in a sealed room and the air would still be breathable. Some have speculated that the secret may lie in ionization.

The Heliodisplay image is actually just as 2D as the ones on any TV or computer screen, which appear 3D through use of animation. Amazingly, the machine can take input from just about any video source, such as TV, DVD or even video game systems can be interfaced to view the image in free space.

What’s more surprising is the cost of the early production models. Units capable of levitating a 55centimeter image can be had for $18,600. Considering that DVD players were ten times their current price just a few years ago, this begs the question of how long it will be before holographic projectors are a common home or office fixtur"


OH MY GOD, STAR TREK IS REAL!!!!

Audio: Pres. Bush at Late Night

http://media.putfile.com/Conan_bush

Here's a recording of a "visit" President Bush payed to Late Night with Conan O'Brien (NBC.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Xbox 360 pricing revealed: $299 and $399 models due at launch - News at GameSpot

Xbox 360 pricing revealed: $299 and $399 models due at launch - News at GameSpot: "The 360 gets two spins: the $299 'Core System' and the $399 fully loaded package with 20GB hard drive, wireless controller, headset, HD cables, and remote control.

As the Big Three (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) planned their business tactics for the next-generation console wars, none have been willing to divulge their strategies, lest competitors get the scoop. All that was left was for industry media, fans, and analysts to speculate on what would be of the new consoles.

In its quest to get the console out in time for the holiday season, Microsoft hasn't exactly kept the shutters drawn on its secrets regarding its next-gen contribution: the Xbox 360. Pictures of the console surfaced before its debut on MTV, its name was exposed before the company could spin it itself, and the prospect of standard wireless controllers came with no strings attached.

Today, Microsoft laid down new facts about its upcoming console at the Games Convention in Leipzig, and they sounded awfully familiar to analyst predictions and forum posters' speculations.

Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 will be released in two SKUs, the 'Xbox 360 Core System' and the 'Xbox 360.' The two products will be sold at $299 and $399, respectively. The two systems break down as follows:

Xbox 360 Core System - $299 (299 Euros, 209 GBP)
•Xbox 360 console
•Wired controller
•Detachable faceplate
•Xbox Live Silver membership
•Standard AV cables

Xbox 360 - $399 (399 Euros, 279 GBP)
•Xbox 360 console
•20GB detachable hard drive
•Wireless controller
•Wireless Xbox Live headset
•High-definition AV cables
•Ethernet cable
•Xbox 360 Media Remote Control (limited time)
•Detachable faceplate
•Xbox Live Silver membership

Peter Moore, Xbox corporate vice president of worldwide marketing and publishing, who spoke with GameSpot, reiterated that the Xbox 360 is still on schedule to launch simultaneousl"

Politics of War Could Pivot on Mother's Vigil - Los Angeles Times

Politics of War Could Pivot on Mother's Vigil - Los Angeles Times: "By Ronald Brownstein, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The high-profile vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, could scramble the politics of the war as much for her allies as for the target of her protest.

An immediate effect may be to increase the pressure on liberal activist groups and Democrats — who have focused mostly this year on other issues — to challenge Bush more persistently and forcefully on the war.

'It has gotten people back in the fight,' said Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with the liberal MoveOn.org. 'What we're seeing is a lot of people … recommitting themselves.'

Antiwar activists, largely inactive since the 2004 election, are organizing around Sheehan's protest: Tonight, the MoveOn PAC and two other liberal groups plan to sponsor about 1,000 candlelight vigils around the country to support her.

For Bush, a reinvigorated protest movement presents obvious dangers as he struggles to bolster flagging public support for the mission in Iraq. But such a challenge could present opportunities for the White House.

If a revived antiwar movement promotes alternative policies that the public resists — such as the immediate withdrawal of all American troops, which Sheehan favors — Bush could garner support for his course, some analysts say.

'If it's a message that he is able to portray … as a fringe opposition group, I think he can use that as a foil,' said Christopher Gelpi, a Duke University political scientist who studies public opinion during wartime. 'On the other hand, if the movement's [message] is picked up by other politicians or prominent opinion leaders, that could be very damaging to him.'

The neighbor who fired a shotgun over Sheehan's roadside camp Sunday and the pickup driver "

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan: President Bush's Note to Grieving Mother...

PATRIOTIC POSTERS - WHITEHOUSE.ORG

PATRIOTIC POSTERS - WHITEHOUSE.ORG

I like these posters. Take a wild guess what they're about...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Religious Right's Justice Sunday II’ To Bash Courts

Great article by AU. Definitely a good read.

Religious Right leaders will gather Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., to trash the federal courts and lobby for the confirmation of Bush Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts and a radical re-make of the nation’s judiciary.

The highly politicized national broadcast, dubbed “Justice Sunday II,” is a sequel to a similar gathering at a Kentucky mega-church last spring. During that April 24 event, leading Religious Right politico James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, blasted federal judges as “unelected and unaccountable and arrogant and imperious and determined to redesign the culture according to their own biases and values.”

“And they’re out of control,” Dobson added.

The first “Justice Sunday,” coordinated by the Family Research Council (FRC), was a merger of politics and the pulpit. U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) joined the rally via video telecast. The FRC is coordinating the Aug. 14 event as well.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the second Religious Right rally is certain to be as shrill and politically charged as the first.

“Dobson and his cohorts want federal courts beholden to their religious dictates, not the U.S. Constitution,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “The first event was replete with hysterical accusations against the federal courts; the second is certain to be just as offensive.”

Lynn said “Justice Sunday II” should be canceled. FRC President Tony Perkins, Lynn said, should follow Hollywood’s lead.

“Movie makers know that when the original stinks, there’s no point in cranking out a sequel,” Lynn observed. “Tony Perkins ought to learn something from that.”

To counter the Religious Right’s second “Justice Sunday,” Lynn will participate in a “Freedom & Faith” event at Cathedral of Praise Church at 3 p.m. EST in Nashville. Lynn will join local and national religious leaders in arguing for the importance of a balanced judiciary.

The FRC’s event will include appearances from Dobson, U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.).

Another of the event’s scheduled speakers, Bishop Harry R. Jackson of Hope Christian Church in College Park, Md., said recently in a Focus on the Family publication that Christians must be concerned with the make-up of federal courts, because, “America will either remain a Christian nation protected by the laws based on morality or it will be come more morally lawless than ever before.”

Lynn said such thinking is dangerously wrong. America, he said, is a pluralistic country where people of all faiths are welcome.

“Our federal courts must not be taken over by the Religious Right,” Lynn said. “That misguided movement is seeking control of all three branches of government in an attempt to roll back civil rights and civil liberties. The separation of church and state is at stake.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Some Liberal Sattire...


May not be the official political borders. But it does (very) accurately plot the "political" borders. (H.E.R.B.)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
I love this comic. :) (56k warning) (biggercheese.com)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
I hate SUV's. (56k warning) (nataliedee.com)

"...and commutes to work on the highway. I live alone so of course I needed a car that could seat 12 and is equipped to drive across Arctic tundra. It just makes me feel better!"
-- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)

So true, and ties in with the sattire above!


This is just funny!

Saved!

Hallelujia! Some people who have common sense. I found these quotes at the H.E.R.B (Had Enough Religious Bullshit) website. Enjoy!

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
-- (Epicurus)


The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.
-- H. L. Mencken


Sunday school: A prison in which children do penance
for the evil conscience of their parents.
-- H. L. Mencken


What is the function that a clergyman performs in the world?
Answer: He gets his living by assuring idiots that he can save
them from an imaginary hell.
-- H. L. Mencken


Satan hasn't a single salaried helper;
the Opposition employ a million.
-- Mark Twain


If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be -- a Christian.
-- Mark Twain


Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need
strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other
people's business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you'd want them
to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.
-- Gov. Jesse Ventura


Over the years I've met a handful of people who regularly talk with God,
but they usually do so only when they're off their medications.
-- Harley Sorensen


If Jesus were among us today, he’d bitch-slap George Bush, Mel Gibson,
Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly for using Christ as political cannon-fodder.
--Thurston Wells


I have a problem with people who take the Constitution loosely and the Bible literally.
--Bill Maher


So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
-- Bertrand Russell


Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day.
Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.
--Timothy Jones


Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
(Gee, and to think, Dubya has abused both.)



These televangelists say they don't favor any particular denomination, but I think
we've all seen their eyes light up at tens and twenties...
-- Dennis Miller


So Dubya goes to war because god told him to.
There's a woman down in Texas who bashed in her kid's skulls for the same reason.
-- Ed Krebs


And let's take a look at these laughable (yet true) quotes from the religious right.

I had a student ask me, "Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?"
Of course. We know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell


The "wall of separation between church and state" is a metaphor based on bad history,
a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging.
It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.
-- William Rehnquist, Supreme Court


I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you.
Yes, hate is good.... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God,
to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
--Randall Terry, quoted in The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 16, 1993


We have no king but Jesus.
--John Ashcroft, May 8, 1999


We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular
humanism right out of the public schools of America.
--Pat Buchanan, at an anti-gay rally in Des Moines, Iowa, February 11, 1996


The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by
the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell


After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil
and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.
--Gary Potter, president of Catholics for Christian Political Action


The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers
who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ.
--D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries, 1993


The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people.
But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to
destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening.
--Pat Robertson


The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that
encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.
--Pat Robertson


I think we ought to close Halloween down. Do you want your children to dress up as witches?
The Druids used to dress up like this when they were doing human sacrifice...
[Your children] are acting out Satanic rituals and participating in it, and don't even realize it.
--Pat Robertson


Get the few liberals out. If you don't do it, it ain't gonna be done.
You will be doing the Lord's work, and he will richly bless you for it.
--Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, Christian Coalition's Road to Victory Conference, 2002, Washington D.C


If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell.
-- Jimmy Swaggart