Thursday, January 19, 2012

News Roundup

  • From the "What's In A Name?" Department - The twin spacecraft currently orbiting the moon have been named "Ebb" and "Flow" by an elementary school in Montana.  I personally liked "Ren" and "Stimpy", "Shaggy" and "Scooby", or "Mork" and "Mindy", but to each his own.
  • From the "Portable Pornoscan" Department - Police in New York have unveiled a new way of finding out if someone is carrying a gun.  Their new toy would note when the infrared radiation from a human body would be disrupted by a gun, which would allow police to stop a suspect and investigate.  The claim is that it would only be used when there is probable cause for a search, but I don't buy it.  No tool given to the authorities is immune from abuse.  How would a legal CCW carrier signify to police that they are legal unless they do something takes away the "concealed" portion of CCW without being hassled by every police officer who points this thing at them?  If this is successfully developed and deployed, I suggest that all people start carrying around blunt triangle shaped pieces of pot metal so that the signal to noise ratio goes to hell for Officer NotSoFriendly.
  • From the "Really?" Department - A new study asserts that nitrogen, one of the most common elements on our planet, is bad for the ecology.  Now, I'll accept that misuse of nitrogen based fertilizer and contamination of rivers and oceans is bad.  But I'd prefer to find a way to mitigate that damage than go back to the days when scientists used math to predict how many people would starve to death because we were overcoming the ability of the planet to produce enough food for everyone.  Then again, maybe that's the point.
  • From the "Happy New Year" Department - Fox News is reporting that the State Department plans to disapprove of the proposed oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, which would have added more petroleum to our stocks, provided jobs to build and maintain the pipeline, and reduced our dependence on oil from such bastions of democracy as Venezuala and Saudi Arabia.  However, there are concerns about the environmental impact of the pipeline, especially as it crosses several sensitive areas in the midwest.  So to my Chinese readers, please take this as an early New Year's present from our country to yours.  Canada has already said that if we don't want to buy their oil, they're more than happy to ship it to their west coast and put it on tankers for y'all.  Gung hei fat choi!
  • From the "Not Good Enough" Department - The TSA has announced that screeners at Kennedy Airport were mistaken when they made elderly women remove a back brace so that it could be x-ray'ed and expose a colostomy bag for inspection.  The screeners in question will be given 'refresher training' on how to deal with travellers with medical conditions.  How about this:  If you think that elderly grandmothers pose a security risk dire enough that you'd make them disrobe in an airport, you're too screwed up to be a TSA security screener.  Instead of refresher training, these bozos should be shown the door, given a firm handshake, and told to find somewhere else where they're better qualified to make a living.  

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