News Category

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Global Warming Scores For Cars

CALIFORNIA is making it mandatory for cars to be labelled with global warming scores.

From 2009, cars will feature with the figure takes into account emissions from vehicle use and fuel production.

The score ranges form one to 10. The higher the score, the cleaner a car is. The score takes into account emissions related to production of fuel for each vehicle as well as the direct emissions from vehicles.

Californian cars already feature a smog score.

It’s all to the good, of course. Americans can show off how green they are by giving themselves a low score, a questionable system in a culture when bigger is better.

Who wants a car with a score of 1 when you can have a perfect 10?

Picture: China today

Posted: 8th, July 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Sex Is Good For Men: Survey Says

AS you were:

THERE’S new advice for older men who want to preserve their sexual function: have sex, and have it often, researchers say.

In a study that followed nearly 1000 older Finnish men for five years, researchers found that those who were regularly having sex at the start of the study were at lower risk of developing erectile dysfunction (ED) by the study’s end.

In fact, the more often the men had sex, the lower their ED risk.

Source, Spotter

Posted: 8th, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Barbecue Sauce Is Urban Camouflage

POLICE in Wisconsin say 35-year-old Aaron Maurice broke into the family’s home on North Wilmer while they were sleeping around 4:30 A.M.

Not only was it frightening but police say it was very strange. At the time of the break-in, police say Maurice was whistling and covered in barbecue sauce.

“They thought they heard something in the basement, so they listened for a little bit and they heard what sounded like somebody in the basement whistling,” Sergeant Pat DeWall of the Appleton Police Department said.

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Posted: 8th, July 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Ninja Ant’s War On The War On Terror

DO you know the Ninja Ant, address “Parliament Square Peace Camp”?

A court has heard that the “peace campaigner” was caught near Downing Street just as he was about to stab himself in protest at the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Miss Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, says that when interviewed (Mr) Ninja Ant said he “had been on a camping trip… and acquired a knife to maintain his outdoor lifestyle and had forgotten he had it on him.”

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Posted: 8th, July 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Executing Iranian Bloggers

HAMID Tehrani writes at Global Voices on Iran’s open a just society:

In recent years, some Iranian bloggers have been sent to jail and many have had their sites filtered. If the Iranian parliament approves this draft bill, bloggers fear they could be legally executed as criminals. No one has defined what it means to “disturb mental security in society”.

Such discussion concerning blogs has not been unique to Iran. It shows that many authorities do not only wish to filter blogs, but also to eliminate bloggers!

About a year and a half ago, the Iranian government demanded that bloggers should register and provide their names and addresses on a site called Samandehi. Many people believed such a process would facilitate legal action against them.

Bloggers resisted and many published an “I do not register my blog/site” banner on their blogs. The Government then realised it cannot have real control of the situation, or force bloggers to register.

The people win…

Posted: 7th, July 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Climate Change Delusion, It Ends At 2012 And Brown’s Plan

IN the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Joshua Wolf and Robert Salo of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital note:

We describe a patient with climate change delusion, a previously unreported phenomenon. A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne with an 8 month history of depressed mood… He also …had visions of apocalyptic events…

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Posted: 7th, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Secret Of Rush Limbaugh’s Success

SAYS Rush Limbaugh in the NYT:

“Do you know what bought me all this?” [Limbaugh] asked, waving his hand in the general direction of his prosperity. “Not my political ideas. Conservatism didn’t buy this house. First and foremost I’m a businessman. My first goal is to attract the largest possible audience so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime.”

Business first…


Posted: 7th, July 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fear Of Terror On Wane

WE are not afraid, much:

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday, 35 percent of Americans believe a terrorist attack somewhere in the United States is likely over the next several weeks.

The figure is the lowest in a CNN poll since the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.


Posted: 2nd, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Christopher Hitchens Is Waterboarded: It’s Torture

HURRAH! Christopher Hitchens has been waterboarded.

His conclusion:

You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure. The “board” is the instrument, not the method. You are not being boarded. You are being watered. This was very rapidly brought home to me when, on top of the hood, which still admitted a few flashes of random and worrying strobe light to my vision, three layers of enveloping towel were added. In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited for a while until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Determined to resist if only for the honor of my navy ancestors who had so often been in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and—as you might expect—inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face. Unable to determine whether I was breathing in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with mere water, I triggered the pre-arranged signal and felt the unbelievable relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and stifling layers pulled off me.

I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

There’s a video, here.


Posted: 2nd, July 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Becker-Posner: Newspapers Are Doomed

BACK Anorak:

Are Newspapers Doomed?–Posner

A newspaper is a bundled product. A bundled product is one that combines a number of products the demands for which may be quite different–some consumers may want some of the products in the bundle, other consumers may want other products in the bundle. (Another good example is the Windows operating system, a bundle of a number of different programs.) Bundling is efficient if the cost to the consumer of the bundled products that he doesn’t want is less than the cost saving from bundling. A particular newspaper reader might want just the sports section and the classified ads, but if for example delivery costs are high, the price of separate sports and classified-ad “newspapers” might exceed that of a newspaper that contained both those and other sections as well, even though this reader was not interested in the other sections.


Posted: 1st, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

World Youth Day Sydney Makes Pope Nostalgic For Past

POPE Benedict XVI is a champion of youth and World Youth Day:

At the age of 14, he joined the Hitler Youth, as was required of young Germans of the time, but was not an enthusiastic member.

And now he’s celebrating World Youth Day, a time of freedom and youthful fun:

New regulations give police and emergency services workers the power to order anyone to stop behavior that “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event,” according to a New South Wales state government gazette. Anyone who does not comply faces a $5,300 fine.

The laws will apply in dozens of areas of downtown Sydney — including the city’s landmark opera house, train stations and city parks — that are designated venues for World Youth Day, a Catholic evangelical festival at which Pope Benedict XVI will conduct mass and lead prayer meetings when he visits.

Plus ca change…

Posted: 1st, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pat Buchanan On Churchill, Jews And The History Of Iran

PAT Buchanan, onetime US politico, Booby Charlton impersonator (c. 1978) and man who tries hard to look like he’s thinking is an authority on war.

Buchanan is promoting his latest tome Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War. As Sheryl Longin says: “According to Buchanan, the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2008 no more wants war with the west than Germany did in 1939.”


“They [Iran] don’t want a war. They haven’t fought one since the revolution. I can’t think of the last time they did.”

A look on the internet, and:

Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980, triggering a bitter eight-year war which destabilised the region and devastated both countries.

Of course, Buchanan might have his own sources. Like him

Posted: 1st, July 2008 | In: News | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Boing Boing Kills Off Violet Blue

Boing Boing, the blog about stuff, has rid its archives of all the works of Violet Blue.

The reason for the disappearance is unclear; but whatever it is, it can’t fit in well with Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow‘s free speech crusading.  

Why not? You can do as your please on your own organ – it’s what blogs are for. Violet Blue can have hers…

Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Iran Digging Graves For American Invaders

YOU’LL never get rich by digging a ditch, you’re in the Army now:

A senior Iranian military official said on Sunday the Islamic republic is digging some 320,000 graves in its border provinces for future slain invaders, Iran’s English-language satellite channel Press TV reported.

Iran’s Armed Forces headquarters has approved the plan to dig graves for enemy forces in case of any attack on its territory, said Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh, head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defense.

“We do not wish the families of enemy soldiers to experience what Americans had to go through in the aftermath of the Vietnam War,” said Baqerzadeh, who is also head of Iran’s search committee for missing soldiers.

So caring. Although it might be satirical, or heavy-handed and laughable propoganda… (That music is from the Pink Panther cartoon, right?)

Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mandela And Mugabe In New York

PAUL Berger, Anorak’s Man in New York, notes that in the Times, Clyde Haberman reports that only two Africans have been given the red carpet treatment at New York’s City Hall in the past twenty years: Nelson Mandela (1990) and Robert Mugabe (2002).

The man responsible for Mugabe’s reception in New York at a time when white farmers, and their black farmworkers, were being attacked and driven from the land was city councilman and former Black Panther activist Charles Barron.

Is he unhappy now that black are fighting blacks?

“Does he do things that I disagree with? Yes,” Mr. Barron said. But he clearly still regards Mr. Mugabe as a liberator more than an oppressor. “You didn’t care about black Africans when whites were killing them in Rhodesia,” he said. As he sees it, the real reason that Mr. Mugabe has come under strong attack from the West is the confiscation of white-owned farms.

Echoing Mr. Mugabe’s party line, he suggested that Mr. Tsvangirai is a tool of “British imperialism and the United States as well.” As for political violence, “I don’t think we can deny people are dying,” Mr. Barron said. “Who’s responsible and how many — we need to really get reports other than from the opposition.”

Barron could always ask Supa Mandiwanzira for a less partisan view, or someone else Mugabe allows to report on his good deeds…

Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Roger L Simon Is Fact Checking The New Yorker

SO sources say:

In his latest New Yorker entry “Preparing the Battlefield” [in Iran] Seymour Hersh seems to be competing for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the greatest numbers of anonymous sources in one article. The first sentence alone presents a trifecta of the unnamed: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.”

They are never identified.

Source – indeed…

Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Polar Bear Watch: Frightened Out Of Its Skin

POLAR Bear Watch: Anorak’s look at polar bears in the news

A polar bear caused panic in a park filled with children in northern Canada Wednesday before it was shot and killed, reports reaching here said.

The incident happened at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Parklocated in the suburbs of Iqaluit, capital city of the Nunavat Territory. About 37 kids from a nearby school were having a picnic there, besides other visitors.

Polar bears are endangered:

Conservation officer Johnny Nowdlak skinned the polar bear and doled out the skin and meat to nearby residents. He estimated that it was male, about 10 years old. It appeared to be healthy and was likely looking for food in the park, he said.

Not all that healthy. They’re endangered, don’t yer know…

Posted: 29th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Battery Chicken: Man Attacks Neighbour with Frozen Bird

WAS it a free range chicken?

Police said an Ypsilanti man is accused of stabbing his mother with a fork and hitting another woman over the head with a frozen chicken.

Jamie Oliver demands to know:

Frederick McKaney, 40, was arraigned in a Jackson courtroom on Thursday on two felony assault charges, one count of assault and battery and one count of resisting an officer.

“He stabbed his mother in the back of the neck when she refused to give him money, and then, an hour later, he attacked a neighbor woman with a chicken,” Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer told the Ann Arbor news.

You don’t need much money for a battery farmed chicken…

Posted: 29th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jeffery Goldberg On Trusting Guns Over Police

JEFFREY Goldberg comments on the latest Supreme Court decision on handguns:

Maybe it’s my long experience in Israel, but I believe that the average, law-abiding citizen can be trusted with a firearm. More than that – and again, maybe this is my experience in Israel talking – I don’t like the idea of subcontracting my own defence to the police. Why should a person who is paid $40,000 a year, who doesn’t know me, who doesn’t live in my neighborhood, risk his life for me when, properly armed, I’m fully capable of defending myself? It never seemed fair to me.

Of course, if the police didn’t have guns, either… the criminals would win…


Posted: 29th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transexual Israeli Aderet Is Hit In Lebanon

SAYS no more, a song by a transsexual Israeli tops Lebanese song chart:

“Say No More,” a pulsating trance music track by up-and-coming Israeli female singer Aderet and DJ Dvir Halevi, has been at the top of the playlist this month on the “Beirut Nights” Internet radio station devoted to dance music.


Posted: 28th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

War On Terror: Headline Of The Day

WRITES Patrick Moser for The AFP:

New rocket strike on Israel as Gaza truce enters second week


Posted: 28th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Not Lamenting The Dagmush Clan

THE Army of Islam are also klnown as the Dagmush clan. They are thugs. Writes. Tim McGirk provides a snapshot of daily life in a war zone:

Martyrs’ funerals are great social events. In fact, going to funerals is one of the major pastimes in Gaza, though maybe that will change now that the truce has started…The Dagmush were expecting a big crowd for the three Army of Islam guys killed by the Israelis. They had huge posters of the victims’ faces, floating above the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem. They also cordoned off the street traffic and erected a long tent with hundreds of plastic chairs for mourners. The tent was empty saved for a few old men, probably the dead men’s fathers and uncles.

“See?” says my friend, whose son had the run-in with the Dagmush kid over the stolen bike. “Everybody in Gaza hates them.” He adds: “For once the Israelis did us a favour.”

A few bad men…

Posted: 27th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Canada Fails To Get Mark Steyn

MARK Steyn remains at large.

The national Canadian Human Rights Commission has dropped its complaint against Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine

The complaint that was heard in the B.C. Human Rights Commission is still pending, however, so they’re not out of the woods yet. There’s also the very real problem that these commissions might sidestep penalizing Steyn and Maclean’s out of self-preservation. They know that in going after high profile targets they’ve bitten off more than they can chew — any action against them would likely stir political action to do away with the commisions altogether. If they drop the complaint against Steyn, the political pressure will simply go away and they’re free to continue zealously violating the rights of lesser known individuals and organizations.



Posted: 27th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Bloggers: One Post Wonders

A SITE for bloggers who never made it beyind a single post…

Posted: 27th, June 2008 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dmitri And Olga: A Modern Love Story

Once upon a time a guy, we’ll call him “Dmitri,” became obsessed with a woman named Olga on the San Francisco Marina. Olga gave Dimitri a business card.

He left her two voicemails:

Message 1

Hey Olga, it’s Dimitri.

Sorry I had to leave such a rushed message with you when we met the other day. I just wanted to quickly give you my phone number, and needed to get the heck out of the area. In any event, I thought I had better leave you a more detailed message and explain why I approached you. I am single. I have no trouble meeting women; I mean, women approach me six or seven times a day. But I’m extremely particular about what I like. You’re an extremely elegant woman. I couldn’t take my eyes off you, and your friends were very jealous, even if they say they weren’t they were envious of the fact that I approached you, and I was very taken by you. Elegant women are very rare. I’m Greek and I’m extremely particular about what I like. So I’m giving you an opportunity here. I don’t know if you picked up the message on the weekend but I’m working on a movie script so I’ll be doing that all weekend…

This looks like land line, and if it is, you may not get the message till Monday. But when you do, call me and we’ll get together for coffee or drinks, and let the romance begin. You looked very taken aback by my approach, and I hope that wasn’t timidness, I hope it was just shock at being approached so directly. Because I don’t really date timid women, because I’m a very direct, very passionate, very assertive man, and I want a woman who is very independent and strong. So… we’ll talk about that, but I just wanted to formally introduce myself. I leave the ball in your court. You call me as soon as you have the courage to. Okay, Olga? Talk to you soon, bye.

Message 2:

Hi there, Olga it’s Dimitri calling again, the guy from the street.
I left you a message several days ago you said you were interested. now here’s the way I work. I don’t like leaving second messages but I like you, you’re a very elegant woman, you’re very attractive, but, you know, I don’t play that game. I know your friends tell you not to return calls, you’re playing games like you see in stupid TV shows. So here’s how it’s gonna work it is now 4:30 on Wednesday. Now I’ll assume, I’ll assume that you’ve already left work, because, you know, some people leave work early, so I’ll grant you that. But if I don’t receive a phone call back from you by 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon I’m no longer interested and I’m going to erase your number. I don’t play games like that. I’m completely single, I’m very intelligent, I’m great in bed, I make great money. Believe it or not, I’m a complete catch. I’ve only been single four months; I had a long distance relationship for about a year, it’s very tough to maintain it like that; there’s nothing wrong with me. As a matter of fact I’m one of the few men in the city that has nothing wrong with him. So I’m giving you the three o’clock deadline. If I don’t hear from you by then, you lose my number — I’m erasing your number right now, so you won’t be hearing back from me.

So that’s it: three o’clock tomorrow, or you can just completely forget it.

Now I understand if you’ve got other issues, maybe you’re not playing games, I don’t know… maybe you were abused in childhood?…Maybe your mother has cancer, and you’re going to chemo…maybe you’re just a person who’s extremely frightened or has an anxiety disorder, maybe you’re on some medication for that…I don’t know, there could be another issue that I’m not aware of. But nobody says “Call me,” hands a person a business card and then doesn’t return calls. It’s extremely passive aggressive. You should actually look that up, passive-aggressive personality disorder. You let me know, if you’ve got issues, psychological issues, if you’re on any sort of medication for anxiety or depression, I’m not interested. But if you’re psychologically normal, and you haven’t called me because there’s been some horrible thing that’s happened in your life that’s prevented you from returning my calls, that’s fine. But otherwise? Don’t call me. Okay, bye.


Posted: 27th, June 2008 | In: News | Comments (13) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0