Sunday, December 25, 2005

Iraqis Order the Re-Arrest of Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ

(Doh, thats another fine mess you've gotten US into.....)

The Iraqi government has called for the re-arrest of biological weapons scientists Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ, after their release earlier this week, following almost 3 years of captivity by US forces in Iraq.

The two - real names Huda Ammash and Rihab Taha - were released to a 'safe country' less than a week ago after the Americans said that they posed no threat, but Iraqi officials want them re-captured.

The pair were part of a 22 person group released in what is suspected as a pre-election deal to keep Sunni Arabs appeased. A lawyer speaking on behalf of Mrs Ammash said that she was abroad as per the release agreement and dismissed the threat.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ Released by US Forces in Iraq

Eight former members of Saddams government, including Mrs Anthrax and Dr Germ, otherwise known as Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash and Rihab Taha, have been released by the US after nearly 3 years in custody.

Some of the former aides were accused of being part of Iraqs old biological weapons programme, none of which has ever been found. They are no longer considered a security threat and so have been released to Jordan, considered to be a 'safe' country.

Some are saying that the move is part of a pre-election deal designed to placate Sunni Arabs in Iraq. Dr Taha was educated in the UK and Mrs Ammash in the US prior to them working for Saddam.


Wikipedia Founder Apparently 'Shot Dead' in Kennedy-Conspiracy Killing

Jimmy Wales, the founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has been shot dead by a friend of John Seigenthaler, the person recently linked to the Kennedy assassinations within the website, for which Wikipedia had to apologise.

The London Times, and Wikipedia itself, broke the news of the murder, reporting that a friend of Seigenthaler entered the Wales house "wearing a mask, he [sic] shot him three times in the head and ran". It seems, however, that the news of the murder was used to demonstrate Wikipedia's inaccuracies, as Wales seems very much alive.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Company Claims To Have Developed The Ideal Power Source

Blacklight Power Inc. claims to have developed a variant of the hydrogen atom that potentially will provide the world with a very cheap, almost waste-free power source. Unfortunately, the companys claim flies in the face of conventional quantum physics and has the science community divided:

It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. If that does not sound radical enough, how about this: the principle behind the source turns modern physics on its head.

Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation.

The problem is that according to the rules of quantum mechanics, the physics that governs the behaviour of atoms, the idea is theoretically impossible. "Physicists are quite conservative. It's not easy to convince them to change a theory that is accepted for 50 to 60 years. I don't think [Mills's] theory should be supported," said Jan Naudts, a theoretical physicist at the University of Antwerp.

What has much of the physics world up in arms is Dr Mills's claim that he has produced a new form of hydrogen, the simplest of all the atoms, with just a single proton circled by one electron. In his "hydrino", the electron sits a little closer to the proton than normal, and the formation of the new atoms from traditional hydrogen releases huge amounts of energy.

This is scientific heresy. According to quantum mechanics, electrons can only exist in an atom in strictly defined orbits, and the shortest distance allowed between the proton and electron in hydrogen is fixed. The two particles are simply not allowed to get any closer.

According to Dr Mills, there can be only one explanation: quantum mechanics must be wrong. "We've done a lot of testing. We've got 50 independent validation reports, we've got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles," he said. "We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here. People are very strong and fervent protectors of this [quantum] theory that they use."

Rick Maas, a chemist at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC) who specialises in sustainable energy sources, was allowed unfettered access to Blacklight's laboratories this year. "We went in with a healthy amount of scepticism. While it would certainly be nice if this were true, in my position as head of a research institution, I really wouldn't want to make a mistake. The last thing I want is to be remembered as the person who derailed a lot of sustainable energy investment into something that wasn't real."

But Prof Maas and Randy Booker, a UNC physicist, left under no doubt about Dr Mill's claims. "All of us who are not quantum physicists are looking at Dr Mills's data and we find it very compelling," said Prof Maas. "Dr Booker and I have both put our professional reputations on the line as far as that goes."

Dr Mills's idea goes against almost a century of thinking. When scientists developed the theory of quantum mechanics they described a world where measuring the exact position or energy of a particle was impossible and where the laws of classical physics had no effect. The theory has been hailed as one of the 20th century's greatest achievements.

But it is an achievement Dr Mills thinks is flawed. He turned back to earlier classical physics to develop a theory which, unlike quantum mechanics, allows an electron to move much closer to the proton at the heart of a hydrogen atom and, in doing so, release the substantial amounts of energy he seeks to exploit. Dr Mills's theory, known as classical quantum mechanics and published in the journal Physics Essays in 2003, has been criticised most publicly by Andreas Rathke of the European Space Agency. In a damning critique published recently in the New Journal of Physics, he argued that Dr Mills's theory was the result of mathematical mistakes.

Dr Mills argues that there are plenty of flaws in Dr Rathke's critique. "His paper's riddled with mistakes. We've had other physicists contact him and say this is embarrassing to the journal and [Dr Rathke] won't respond," said Dr Mills.

While the theoretical tangle is unlikely to resolve itself soon, those wanting to exploit the technology are pushing ahead. "We would like to understand it from an academic standpoint and then we would like to be able to use the implications to actually produce energy products," said Prof Maas. "The companies that are lining up behind this are household names."

Dr Mills will not go into details of who is investing in his research but rumours suggest a range of US power companies. It is well known also that Nasa's institute of advanced concepts has funded research into finding a way of using Blacklight's technology to power rockets.

According to Prof Maas, the first product built with Blacklight's technology, which will be available in as little as four years, will be a household heater. As the technology is scaled up, he says, bigger furnaces will be able to boil water and turn turbines to produce electricity.

In a recent economic forecast, Prof Maas calculated that hydrino energy would cost around 1.2 cents (0.7p) per kilowatt hour. This compares to an average of 5 cents per kWh for coal and 6 cents for nuclear energy.

"If it's wrong, it will be proven wrong," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace USA. "But if it's right, it is so important that all else falls away. It has the potential to solve our dependence on oil. Our stance is of cautious optimism."

Alternative energy

Cold fusion

More than 16 years after chemists' claims to have created a star in a jar imploded in acrimony, the US government has said it might fund more research. Mainstream physicists still balk at reports that a beaker of cold water and metal electrodes can produce excess heat, but a hardy band of scientists across the world refuse to let the dream die.

Methane hydrates

The US and Japan are leading attempts to tap this source of fossil fuel buried beneath the seabed and Arctic permafrost. A mixture of ice and natural gas, hydrates are believed to contain more carbon than existing reserves of oil, coal and gas put together.

Solar chimneys

Sunlight heats trapped air, which rises through a giant chimney and drives turbines. Leonardo da Vinci designed such a power tower and the Australian company Enviromission plans to build one. Despite being scaled down recently, the concrete chimney will still stand some 700 metres over the outback.

Nuclear fusion

Turns nuclear power on its head by combining atoms rather than splitting them to release energy - copying the reaction at the heart of the sun. After years of arguments the world has agreed to build a test reactor to see whether it works on a commercial scale. Called Iter, it could be switched on within a decade.

Wave generators

No longer a dead duck, the hopes of engineers are riding on bobbing floats again. The British company Trident Energy recently unveiled a design that uses a linear generator to convert the motion of the sea into electricity. A wave farm just a few hundred metres across could power 62,000 homes.

article by David Adam, Guardian Unlimited.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Xbox 360 - Hype Suspected As Shops Sell Out Even Before The Console Release

A friend of mine was positively drooling as he told me how he will be receiving his pre-ordered Xbox 360 on 2nd December. "Why aren't you getting one?" he asked, as if to question my very sanity. What a short memory he has, forgetting when the original Xbox was released. Does no one remember the hype and the sudden shortage of consoles, with massive publicity suggesting that it really must be an awesome product if demand is so crazy? The fact that the hype was (allegedly) orchestrated by Microsoft and high street outlets and the stock deliberately kept down for the initial rush seems to have slipped some peoples minds.

Well here we go again. A similar strategy appears to be unfolding, with the hype aimed at the children who are more than able to close the deal with the end purchaser - the parent(s) - by hounding them from now 'til Christmas. As reports:

"Senior Xbox chiefs have also admitted they might not have opted for a worldwide debut had they known the supply issues they would be faced with, especially given the amount of marketing the launch will be accompanied by. Indeed, some sources in the games industry are now beginning to look at the upcoming shortages as an actual strategy on Redmond's part. A sell-out debut, so the theory goes, could create the impression that the system is incredibly desirable and sort-after, rather than merely inadvertently under-supplied." (see here for the complete article)

So I strongly recommend that you do what I'm doing - tell the kids that they'll have to make do with their two Xbox consoles, the PS2, PC and Gameboy Advance and wait until next summer, when (hopefully) the Xbox 360 will be adequately stocked by retailers, there will be a greater choice of games, there will be greater competition (don't forget the impending release of the PS3!) and maybe the prices will be lower. Plus I may get it at about the same time as my friend who pre-ordered it months ago. I myself am a marketing manager but would never employ the same short-term dirty trick twice (actually, not even once). Well Microsoft probably will get away with it (the lowest common denominator determines much of what the powerful get away with these days, be they politicians, trans-global corps or whatever) but they won't be getting my hard-earned cash. Well, not yet anyway.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Iraq: Proving The Lies Behind The War

The reasons for war in Iraq were fabricated and everyone knows it, but just can't prove it. In the UK the 'dodgey dossier', the outing of weapons inspector David Kelly (and his subsequent 'suicide'), the mauling of the BBC for their Iraq reporting and various other incidents have shown that the British government had a hidden agenda and lied completely about why we went to war. Now in the US the Valerie Plame case is giving us a similar glimpse into how the Bush administration threw up fabricated excuse after excuse while their train just kept on steaming down the track. I. Lewis Libby is the one chosen to fall on the sword after keeping the investigators at arms length during the election period. The weak and toothless Democrats are attempting to fully prise open a door which special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has left invitingly ajar but, from recent form, they don't have the strength or skill to do it. Rove and Cheney both have reasons to hide and look busy, but with the well-timed announcement of Samuel Alito to replace Harriet Miers as the new Supreme Court nominee , the Iraq thing is temporarily out of the public eye. It seems the US media can only concentrate on one big story at a time (convenient for the Bush administration).

Personally I don't think anyone will uncover the truth while this administration is still in power. If Bush was impeached as part of a cleansing 'truth and reconcilliation' exercise maybe we would get somewhere, but there are many 'dark actors' involved in this affair, most of which are not elected, accountable and are hugely protective of their own interests. As long as they are left to their own devices we will have to live with a destiny determined by them and not us.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design - Updated

JOHN WOLF of the NWI Times takes the 'third way'

Aha, so I'm not alone on the evolution/intelligent design hybrid theory (not that I thought I was):

"National Geographic in November 2004 raised the question, "Was Darwin Wrong?" and answers it with a resounding no, citing overwhelming evidence. Fundamentalist Christians, Orthodox Jews and Islamic writers have responded to the theory of evolution as a deceit. A Gallup poll in 2001 found 45 percent agreed "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." Only 37 percent allowed room for both God and Darwin.

Darwin's book "The Origin of Species" published in 1859 created a sensation. He had collected evidence from fossils and careful study in various parts of the world of a variety of species. He had raised the question of "How?" with natural selection the main vehicle.

nterestingly, the three major religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, all trace their origins to the Book of Genesis and its stories of beginnings. Literalists seek to give the stories scientific validity. Six days is six days. Yet Scripture says, "a thousand years in his sight is like a yesterday."

Genesis reveals God as creator whose hand is in all creation. It is the why of what evolution seeks to explain with a how? Call it intelligent design or one of God's many Scriptural names. There should be no conflict. Unfortunately, our culture does not allow for teaching religious concepts in public institutions. Many scientists acknowledge the mystery of their enlarging studies. The mystery has a name to faith-based believers.

The opening of the subject begun 146 years ago is not necessarily a contradiction. Let's pick our battles and look on evolution as an incredibly intelligent design."


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

$1 Billion Stolen from Iraq Defence Ministry

Goddamit! Now we'll never get out of this stinkin' shithole!

$1 billion in funds, earmarked for the training and equipping of Iraqs defence forces in the fight against terrorists and insurgents, has been stolen from the countrys defence ministry in what is being described as one of the biggest thefts ever.

The contract to equip Iraqis is under the spotlight, since it was a no-bid deal won by a Baghdad company acting as middle-man and all money was paid up front and paid very quickly. Equipment was purchased which was only good for scrap.

The theft has so weakened the defence forces that they cannot hold Baghdad without US help, meaning that any withdrawal is now unlikely. Rogue elements within the US military are suspected to be behind the theft, with negligence also blamed.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Christian Church May Apologise to Muslims for Iraq War

The Church Of England, the nucleus of the global Anglican communion, is considering apologising to Muslim leaders for the Iraq war, an event described by its heads as failing to meet the criteria of a "just war".

The suggestion of a "truth and reconciliation" meeting is laid out in the newly drafted "Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post-9/11" report which was drawn up by the Church of England's House of Bishops.

In the report a "long litany of errors" is described which includes years of support by the West for Saddam Hussein, arms sales to the former regime and sanctions which caused great suffering to the Iraqi people.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design - the third way

While its all well and good to have this debate about creationism (intelligent design) and evolution, it seems to me to be just another polarised debate between two entrenched ideologies which is just confusing or pissing off the rest of us. Children are probably the most affected out of all the third parties with what they should be taught in schools and in what context being the battleground. OK, its only going on in America and nowhere else it seems, but it could spread, as do many fads from over the pond.

The supporters of the creationism theory sight bacterial flagellum as a great example of intelligence design. They say

  1. The bacterial flagellum displays specified complexity.

  2. Specified complexity in biotic systems cannot be generated by the Darwinian mechanism, which relies on chance.

  3. Therefore the bacterial flagellum must have been intelligently designed - that is, it could have been actualized only with the assistance of form-conferring interventions by an unembodied intelligent agent.
They say that the system of movement, for example, is a machine, designed in a similar way to a machine designed and used by humans – ie. It displays the hallmarks of intelligence behind its design and so therefore must have been designed by an intelligent entity. How they make the leap from ‘wow, that assembly of organic machinery is really complex and clever’ to ‘only God could have designed such an assembly’ is critical. I could surely apply that to pretty much anything I don’t understand and/or am impressed by but it would surely be an irrational assumption.

They discount Darwinist evolutionary theory by saying that such efficient and useful characteristics could never evolve by chance. That’s possible if you underestimate nature of course and I do have a problem with aspects of evolution such as how a species survives when it is in the intermediate stage of evolutionary development. By that I mean how can, for example, a creature which is evolving wings where it once had legs survive when at that point it would be quite useless. It’s a good point but just because we cannot explain it it doesn’t mean that we jump on the intelligent design bus again.

Can’t the reality be a mix of both theories? I realise that we’ve reached a point where many people feel as though they have to choose between creationism and evolution, black or white, since you must be either a believer and worshipper of a deity or a believer and worshipper of science (the ‘new’ religion). But how about there being an ‘unembodied intelligent agent’ who is responsible for the big bang but, in his infinite wisdom, allowed nature to take its own course from there? Maybe nature itself is ‘god’ and pagan beliefs are more correct than either side give it credit. Or maybe we really are the product of intelligent design, but not by god. Maybe we are the product of a project conducted by another intelligent species from elsewhere in the universe. To some that would sound outlandish but I’ve always held the belief that if we exist, so could they.

In my opinion both of the camps which have dominated the debate up until now strike me as being incredibly arrogant in their self-belief. I’m a great believer in the logic and sound reasoning behind science but not so egocentric to think that we are are the pinnacle of existence. Hopefully someone will get the ‘third way’ option out there which may just bring everyone together a bit more, even if its just for the sake of the children. And to stop them dissecting those poor little flagella.

Two UK 'Undercover' Soldiers Arrested After Shooting Iraqi Police

Hmmmm. I heard this story on the way home from work on the radio and found it particularly interesting:

Two British soldiers dressed in Arab clothing and apparently working undercover have been arrested by Iraqi authorities after the pair allegedly opened fire on a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding another.

The incident occurred in Basra and sparked violence in the area which led to two tanks being set on fire. The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the soldiers were under Iraqi arrest but would not confirm that they were working covertly.


The BBC reported that the two had explosives and arms in their possession which makes me wonder what they were up to, especially if they were carrying out drive-by shootings on Iraqi police. Stoking up civil unrest maybe? This is something that has been reported before but never confirmed as such an act would be morally unthinkable as a policy and anyone suggesting it without concrete proof would be labelled a conspiracy nut. I’m keeping an eye on news sources and weblogs for further developments with this story but something tells me that it’ll soon be hushed up and forgotten.

(On The Subject Of Cosmetic Surgery) Stand By for the Worlds First Face Transplant

A shortlist of potential recipients of the first face transplant is being drawn up by US surgeons. Patients who undergo the revolutionary operation will be taking considerable risks and will spend the rest of their lives taking anti-rejection drugs.

The psychological effects of having a new face are unknown and the physical results are unknown. The dead donors face, when attached to the recipients face, is unlikely to resemble either the donor or the recipient according to computer modeling.

The Cleveland Clinic has said that the 8-10 hour operation will only be carried out on people with extreme facial disfigurement and not for those with simple scars.


Web Log Facelift

I've changed the look and feel of the blog while keeping all the old content, rather like redecorating the living room or, as is more hip, having plastic surgery. Well? Does it look younger and more attractive? Hopefully it won't have the falseness of a botox smile or the unreality of gravity-defying silicone breasts and nobody will notice the hairline scars or prick-marks (yep, when they visit, they leave their mark). And it cost nothing more than a bit of my time, which is nice. If time were money I'd be flush, but it isn't so I'm not.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

US Gives Iran New Warning on Nuclear Weapons

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, said that Iran should give up "forever" ambitions to possess nuclear weapons.

Asked whether Iran may combat the nuclear opposition by using oil as leverage, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "Any intelligent, healthy smart human being should use every resource in order to maintain his or her freedom and independence."

The Iranians say that their nuclear program is for peaceful means and is non-negotiable, with the intention being to get many other nations involved in its development.


Media Mogul Claims Blair Slammed BBC Katrina Reporting

The owner of the Sun, the Times and News of the World newspapers and Sky Television has claimed in a speech that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has attacked the BBC World Service as being anti-US in its coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

News Corporation media tycoon Rupert Murdoch told an audience at a Clinton Global Initiative forum in New York that Blair "said it was just full of hate of America and gloating about our troubles" and was anti-American.

The BBC responded saying reporting was "absolutely down-the-line straightforward reportage" and of President Bush "If things are not going well, he is there to be criticised, and if they were going much better he would expect to take the credit."


Friday, August 26, 2005

Absolute Stupidity And How To Achieve It

We live in a world dominated by stupidity. The media dumb down our TV programmes, magazines, newspapers and films. Modern-day politicians often employ stupidity in the decisions they make and how they communicate those decisions to the electorate. Take President Bush - he's either stupid or smart but pretending to be stupid. Either way we're screwed. Our society encourages stupidity and discourages independent thought. Stupidity is the new cool. Clever is the new stupid. Now I don't know whats what.

For example, fish are, by general consensus, stupid. Do they burn fossil fuels or develop weapons of mass destruction? No. They swim and they do it well. Do cows have any awareness of the path of their lives, being fed, milked and then slaughtered? No and if they did they would immediately realise the futility of their existence. It is therefore totally logical that humans should be the same. Thinking is self-harming. Intelligence has got us into a lot of trouble and we really should stop 'doing' it.

In order to lead a happy, content life people need to install within themselves a wilful stupidity or ignorance. Thankfully you are not required to think, even about how to make yourself stupid. An author called Trevor Strong will guide you. Through his books Ignorance Is Bliss and Get Stupid within just a week, using a few very simple steps, you can become the dumbshit that you always wanted to be. Here's how it works:

Step 1. Stop Thinking - empty your brain and use it as seldom as possible. You won't be needing too much of it from now on.

Step 2. Shift The Blame - this is needed in order to change your mindset, alter your perception and, on the few occasions that you do think, to make your thought processes work efficiently in your favour. For example, imagine that you are drunk, driving your car and you crash into a telegraph pole. Your first instinct will probably be to blame yourself. Straight away you need to stop because already you are thinking again. Shifting the blame minimises this, so you must immediately blame 1) the bar for allowing you to get drunk in the first place, 2) the automobile manufacturers for producing the car that you were driving, and/or 3) the telephone company, since if there were no pole you would not have crashed in the first place. See how easy it is?

Step 3. Loose Touch With Your Feelings And Delete Your Emotions - stop feeling things, such as love, empathy, etc. They'll only get you thinking again (contravening Step 1) and possibly taking responsibility for stuff (contravening Step 2).

Step 4. Build Walls - separate yourself from anything significant and treat it as if it were on the 'outside'.

Step 5. Avoid Challenges - after all, you cannot possibly fail if you never even attempt to succeed.

Step 6. Deny Deny Deny - the only truth is your own truth. Protect yourself by denying anything troublesome in order to protect yourself and then forget it as soon as possible. You don't want those pesky thought processes kicking in again, do you?

Step 7. Consolidate all the previous steps. Remember that all things are simple to a simple mind. The beauty of all of this is that if and when you finally reach the holy grail of complete stupidity you'll not even be aware of it. You'll never know how stupid you really are! Isn't that great? Its kinda like being put to sleep - you're there before you know it and its all totally painless.

So all you intelligent, free-thinking individuals out there - stop screwing up the world with all that 'thinking' stuff and get on the Stooopid Bus. You're fucking it all up for the rest of us.    

Monday, August 08, 2005

Robin Cook

What sad news to hear regarding the tragic death of Robin Cook, the bravest and most eloquent politician to stand up and shout about the Iraq war. His resignation speech was historic and he did himself proud by taking the unusual step of following his ideals and sticking with them.

At this rate, the anti-war movement will be no more, what with Robin Cook, Dr David Kelly, Dr Paul Norman and MANY others who have all unexpectedly left us right when we need them.

For all those in this world still with an intact sense of concience, love and genuine honesty - keep up the fight. The only thing you can take away with you from this earth is the knowledge that you always did the right thing, for the right reasons.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Global Terror - Where Are We Now?

It seems that we've hit a milestone in the 'global war on terror', 'clash of civilizations' or whatever else you want to call the madness. Its been 4 days since the bomb attacks in London and the British public are understandably nervous. Sporadic reports of attacks on mosques are being reported although to keep things in context the attacks are reasonably minor.

So whats finally bought terror, probably carried out by home-grown Muslim radicals, to the UK streets? Well, Iraq certainly. I noticed that Charles Kennedy, the Social Democrat leader, said yesterday that there is no connection between Iraq and the terror attacks (conveniently taking the pressure off Blair) but I totally disagree.

In turn, I also read yesterday that Vice Premier Ehud Olmert of the Israeli government contradicted Tony Blairs assertion that terror attacks such as that experienced in London two days ago were linked to the Palestinian conflict. They say that the acts are part of a wider campaign against the West and its culture. Olmert said "The terrorists operating in London last week were doing it as part of a comprehensive terrorist war against the Western civilization similar to what they've done in America, similar to what they've done in Spain."

I'd say that the basic underlying reasons are:
1. the Palestinian cause
2. the invasion and subsequent actions in Iraq
3. various other pockets of what is seen (and may well actually be) as the oppression of Muslims (eg. Chechnya)
4. the steady emergence of an extreme fanaticism which moderate Muslims disown (but not necessarily in a particularly vocal way
5. the steady march of imperialism primarily by the US and secondarily by the UK and others

It seems that the majority on both 'sides' is made up of moderates who are both caught in the crossfire of their respective extremist leaders and factions.

In the red corner we have university students indoctrinated, over many years in some cases, into a hugely extreme and inflexible form of Islam. As was seen in Algeria not so long ago, it is so inflexible its easy to see how it is ultimately self-consuming. Nobody, including fellow Muslims, are good enough for this evil sect. Backing the militants are the older teachers, clerics who seem to make up the interpretation of the Koran as they see fit. They appear to be turning their brand of Islam into not a religion of peace but of hatred of pretty much everything, where even the believer is expendable.

In the blue corner, we have the neocons and Christian religious right. They too have created their own brand of religion, believing that they are absolutely on the side of good fighting evil. They ignore the atrocities and the overwhelming tide of public opinion and see fit to make a pretty penny out of their activities on the way. The US administration has admitted, when it was in another form, of the need for US global domination, achieved militarily and with pre-emptive attacks at the heart of their policies. If you are righteous you can do exactly as you want.

The US public, as with the moderate Muslim majority, has been slow to react to the personality changes within its own ranks. This is partly out of a fear of being seen as unpatriotic or disloyal. Also, both sides have developed a culture of fear - this is especially true of the Western leaders - where the well-intentioned are paralized or the vocal activists cannot stir up support because of the seemingly drugged-up state of their peers.

I'm convinced that, rather than step back, the US (with the UK in tow) plans to forge ahead. The next destination will be Iran, probably in the next few months. To be honest, this will confirm (as if confirmation was really needed) that the righteous US is fully intent on clashing head-on with the rabid fundamentalists in the Middle East. Bush has said that Iraq was about 'fighting terror in its own back yard'. The problem is, the terrorists are in OUR back yard now.

I don't suppose it helps having an oil crisis mixed in with this but the US seems prepared to square up to absolutely anyone who gets in their way (including China). The fact that an undefinable war will continue to be fought for decades after the US global conquest seems irrelevant.

Something has to be done by the decent and rational on both sides. Nobody is going to win this and we really don't need to wait 25 years to find that out the hard way. I believe our respective leaderships are a lost cause. Tony Blair and George Bush are insane and need to be removed, but not to be replaced by more of the same. Something fundamental is wrong in the world and much of it is not because of the 'common people' but the ruling elite. Leaders should reflect the views and aspirations of who they represent, not dictate to us whats best for us and - worst of all - openly lie to us, knowing that they'll ultimately get away with it.

Every individual has to take responsibility for themselves or you'll have to accept whats inevitable.

Monday, May 23, 2005

US Government Doing Iraqi Arms Business With Alleged Corrupt Jordanian

The businessman named by US authorities as being in partnership with British politician George Galloway in the Iraq oil-for-food scandal has a major arms contract with the US military in Iraq which was approved by the US government.

Fawaz Zureikat was named alongside Galloway as being a beneficiary of Saddams oil smuggling operations while sanctions were in force against Iraq. Galloway called the subsequent US investigation "cavalier with justice" and making "schoolboy" errors.

Zureikats company, Middle East Advanced Semi-conductors, has been working with the US Army through US firm Transcrypt in Iraq since January 2004, selling highly sensitive military encryption chips, used by the US and the Iraqis.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Koran Desecration at Guantanamo Began in 2002 Says Red Cross

In a rare break of protocol, a report by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been made public which details how the organisation told US authorities of detainee allegations of Koran misuse from early 2002 to mid 2003.

It says that they believe action was taken by the Americans after mid 2003 because reports of desecration of the holy Islamic book ceased after that. ICRC representatives have frequently visited the camp since it was established in early 2002.

Coincidentally, a memo released on January 19, 2003 by the Defence Department gave guidelines as to how the Koran should be handled and inspected at Guantanamo, including places where it should not be placed including toilets and floor.


Hardcore Porn Star to Dine With President Bush

Porn star Mary Carey, along with Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, is to attend a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) dinner with George Bush and presidential advisor Karl Rove on on June 14.

"I’m especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove," Carey said. "Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he’s against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn’t so bad!"

Her boss Mark Kulkis, in addition to being the head of a company which produces hardcore adult videos guaranteeing "No Fake Boobs & No Condoms", is also an Honorary Chairman on the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council.


Sniffer Dogs to be Retrained After Practicing on Talcum Powder Instead of Cocaine

Police in the Australian state of Victoria are conducting an investigation after it was discovered that sniffer dogs had been trained on talcum powder samples, with the original cocaine samples having been omitted due to an administrative error.

"I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice smelling noses at the moment, but they are in fact trained in detecting talcum powder so that means that they will have to be re-trained in detecting cocaine." said Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans.


Car-Sized Giant Armadillo Fossil Found in South America

The fossilised remains of a giant armadillo have been found in Cusco, southern Peru. It is a glyptodon, an Ice Age species which is comparative in size to a Volkswagen Beetle.

The fossil is said to be almost complete, with a 2 metre long body, 1.1 metres wide and 1 metre high. This armadillo variant is believed to have lived from approximately 2 million years ago until about 10,000 to 15,000 years BC.


US Air Force asks Bush to Approve Space Weapons

The United States Air Force is asking for presidential approval to its plan to lock down space as the next frontier of attack from its enemies, despite warnings that such a move may trigger an arms race in space.

The US has signed no treaties or declarations preventing it from putting into orbit any weapons other than those of mass destruction. Away from public debate, space weapons have been developed already and they now await their deployment.

Pete Teets, former acting secretary of the Air Force said "We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space. Nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities." Donald H. Rumsfeld headed a 2001 commission preparing the ground.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

UK Politician Blasts US Senate Hearing Over its "Cavalier" Justice

George Galloway, the British member of parliament accused by a US senate committee of financially profiting from the Iraq oil-for-food programme, blasted the same committee in a hearing in Washington for using forged evidence and claims against him.

He went on to contrast his two visits to Saddams Iraq to those made by Donald Rumsfeld. He stated "The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps...I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war."

Galloway also argued that the real sanction-breakers were the American companies aided by the US government. He also said that his record of opposition to the Saddam regime was better than that of the US and UK administrations.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

US Media Control?? Pffffffffff!!! As if!

US National ID Card Act to be Made Law Today

When the Senate approved a Bill calling for $82 billion in funds for Iraq and tsunami relief, it also approved the Real ID Act which in effect will see the introduction of a hi-tech national identity card system, possibly within months.

Opposition to the Act, which many say was unfairly introduced under the cover of the war fund request, is considerable, with about 600 different organizations opposing the plan, not least because there was no public debate prior to its approval.

Tim Sparapani, a legislative council for privacy rights with the ACLU, said that no politician would have voted down the Real ID proposition for fear of upsetting the main priority of the bill which was the Iraq war and tsunami relief funds.


US Senate Report Accuses Politicians of Iraq Corruption

A report just released by the US Senate claims that two politicians, one British and the other French, acted as middlemen for Saddam Hussein while the oil-for-food programme was running and were rewarded with profits from oil sales.

No evidence is given in the report of the two accused actually receiving any money and George Galloway, a staunch anti-Iraq war supporter and former Labour MP in the Blair government, denies all allegations of wrong-doing.

Galloway, who last week won a parliamentary seat in the national elections on an anti-war ticket, said "These are the same false allegations which are still the subject of a libel action with the Daily Telegraph - so far I'm £1.6m up".


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Jesus Christ Finds Trouble in West Virginia

When Jesus Christ moved out to West Virginia to enjoy a slower lifestyle, he didn't realise how much trouble a name can get you into. Mr Christ, previously known as Peter Robert Phillips Jr, is fighting the authorities over a driver's licence.

Despite owning his own property, U.S. passport, Social Security card and Washington driver's licence - all under the name of Jesus Christ - West Virginia refuses to issue him their own license unless he can verify his name.

An application for an official name change was refused, with the courts judge saying "taking the name of Jesus Christ may provoke a violent reaction or may significantly offend people." Christ insists his name change was as an expression of love.


US Couple Offer Their Baby as Advertising Space

In a long line of unusual forms of advertising space which has included foreheads and shaved heads, parents from Winnipeg are offering up their baby as the next big marketing medium.

Johnathan, the babys father, said "People, often........wear clothing with logo advertisements on it as it is. They don't get paid a dime. Maybe they should."

An advertisement they placed on eBay says "We are constantly stopped on the total strangers who want to see our little girl. Every single one of them is a potential customer that could be exposed to a company's message."


Genetic Scientists Concerned About Threat from Biological Hackers

Genetic research and technology is in its infancy, currently at the equivalent stage of computer development as producing biological 1940's AND, NAND, and NOR gates, but already concerns are being expressed at the potential for outside viral threats.

The power of the scientists is growing and so is the potential threat. In 2002 researchers recreated the polio virus after downloading genome database information from the internet. Future malicious coders could make such a creation even more potent.

One fear is that rogue scientists will target a single genetic pattern, a concern voiced by the British Medical Association in October 2004. Genome information may eventually proliferate as it has with international nuclear and chemical weapons.


Warnings Given Over Fake 'Tony Blair' Emails

Recipients of emails with the subject line "BBC: Tony Blair email account hacked!" should avoid going any further. Visitors to the destination website, which they expect to contain screenshots of the UK leaders email account, are soon disappointed.

A trojan is installed on the victims computer, which in turn installs further malicious software which steals passwords and sensitive information from the host. The trojans include PWSAgent-A, JDownL-A, Viper-A, Viperjs-A and the Dumaru-BE variants.


Islamic Academic Calls for Radical Muslim Reform

Irshad Manji, a writer and broadcaster based in Canada and once described as Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare, has called for a movement of reform concerning Islamic attitudes towards human rights, women and pluralist societies.

She says "Through our screaming self-pity and conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we are dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it is now."

Ms Manji wrote a best-selling book entitled The Trouble with Islam: A Call for Honesty and Change and she has been praised by many established figures with an interest in such matters, including Oprah Winfrey, Ms magazine and the Jakarta Post.


Vatican Cardinal Spared Prison Sentence in Environment Pollution Case

A Vatican cardinal, along with a senior Vatican Radio official, were given a 10 day jail sentence, immediately suspended, after being found guilty by a Rome court of polluting the environment with electromagnetic waves from a transmission tower.

Cardinal Roberto Tucci and the Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo were accused of transmitting excessive electromagnetic emissions in the Rome suburb of Cesano and therefore damaging the health of the residents living there.

The transmissions were so strong that the radio broadcasts could be heard from lamps due to electromagnetic disturbances. Present at the verdict was the mother of a child leukemia victim who "shouted out of emotion when the verdict was read out".


Mumbling Mayor Buys Domain Names as an Election Precaution

'Mumbling' Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston has bought up a clutch of domain names which could have been used against him in the up-coming election campaign. Menino has a reputation for mumbling his way through speeches.

To be on the safe side, the Mayor bought, and along with others. "We bought both positive and negative domain names." his campaign manager said.

"I've done pretty well for a guy who mumbles. We're not in a speech class. It's not a debating society." said Mumbles, otherwise known as Mayor Menino.


Saturday, May 07, 2005

New York Conference Voices Concerns About Religions Role in US Politics

A conference held by academics at the City University of New York has voiced concerns over "the real agenda of the religious far right" and the threat posed by theocracy - meaning a regime where clergy monopolize power and impose divine dictates.

Joan Bokaer of said "There's something strange about the folks running our country", while others attacked evangelical Protestants and the religious rights alleged attempts at installing their own brand of judiciary.

The Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, expressed concern too. "This may be the darkest time in our history. Our very liberties are at stake." Conservatives have reacted angrily at what they call liberal "hysteria".


Friday, May 06, 2005

NASA to be Sued for Planned Comet Destruction

An astrologer is planning to sue NASA over its planned mission to blow a crater in the Tempel 1 comet. The claimant, Russian Marina Bai, says that such an act will "disrupt the natural balance of the universe" and wants $300 million in damages.

The $279 million project involves launching a spacecraft called Deep Impact in January which will intercept the comet and release a 370-kilogram self-guided impactor which is expected to make a football stadium-sized crater in its target.

The astrologers lawyer says "My client believes that the NASA project infringes upon her spiritual and life values as well as the natural life of the cosmos and would disrupt the natural balance of forces in the universe."


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Report Accuses British American Tobacco of Lies and Deceit

A report commissioned by a group of organisations, including Friends of the Earth (FoE), Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Christian Aid, uses the words of British American Tabacco (BAT) itself, gleaned from internal memos, emails and letters.

In the report, BAT is accused of supporting AIDS prevention in Africa in order to win favour with politicians there and to 'relegate' its own product as a leading health issue. Also, it is said BAT attempted to undermine nicotine addiction research.

BAT products are estimated to cause three-quarters of a million deaths per year while at the same time the company makes £2.7 ($5.1) billion a year in clear profit.


Britneys Pregnancy Test Stick Sold by Hotel

The positively-indicating pregnancy test stick used by Britney Federline (formerly Spears) has been recovered from the waste bin of her hotel room and sold on auction website

The successful bidders were radio network Hot 89-9, who said "We saw an opportunity to offer a bit of pop culture history to our listeners, and we jumped at it. It meant that we could also find a creative new way to support two great charities."


New Bible Fragment Reveals the Number of the Beast is Really 616

A fragment of the original Book of Revelation, written in Greek and dating back to the third century, has been deciphered using a revolutionary technique (SN reported) and has found that the number of the beast is not 666 but is in fact 616.

Refering to the writing, Professor David Parker, of the University of Birmingham says "This is an example of gematria, where numbers are based on the numerical values of letters in people's names."

"Early Christians would use numbers to hide the identity of people who they were attacking: 616 refers to the Emperor Caligula." he added. The number 666 is often refered to in sermons by fundamentalist Christians concerning the apocalypse.

They (the Christian fundamentalists) and satanists responded coolly to the new "Revelation". Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, based in New York, said: "By using 666 we're using something that the Christians fear. Mind you, if they do switch to 616 being the number of the beast then we'll start using that."


Friday, April 29, 2005

Riddle of Mystery Exploding Toads Solved

The mystery of why toads in the Altona district of Hamburg, Germany, (SN reported) have been exploding has finally been solved. They have been subjected to precision attacks by crows who have been pecking out their livers with a single thrust.

The toads expand their bodies in an act of self-defence but with no liver and a punctured stomach, the toads inadvertently blow up their own blood vessels, their lungs then collapse and then they explode.

Veterinary surgeon Frank Mutschmann says that just three to five crows can kill up to one hundred toads and they learn the technique of extracting a toads liver very quickly.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pope John Paul II Aide was 'Secret Agent'

Father Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo, aide to former Pope John Paul II, was a secret agent working for the communist authorities in Poland during the 80's according to the Polish Institute for National Remembrance investigating Nazi and communist crimes.

The institute says that secret documents reveal that Father Hejmo, who is still working within the Vatican, reported the movements of Polish pilgrims and maybe the Pontiff himself.

The files are said to be "convincing and shocking" according to Father Maciej Zieba, the priests Dominican superior, who has viewed the documents. It is alleged that Hejmo worked under the pseudonyms 'Hejnal' and 'Dominik'.


Paint The Whole World With A Rainbow!

For all you 30+ Brits out there, here's a special treat. Its the 'lost episode' of that popular childrens educational programme Rainbow. Click here to see it in its entire unedited form ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Calls for Kilogram to be Redefined (Physicists Have Had Enough of the Wait)

Calls for a redefinition of the kilo are coming from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since, unlike all other international standards, it is defined by a physical object - a platinum-iridium alloy kept in Paris.

The metre, for example, used to be calculated as ten-millionth of the distance from the north pole to the equator but has been updated to be the distance light travels in one 299,792,458th of a second.

A lump of alloy, on the other hand, is subject to slight deviations and does not remain constant. Also, it means that other nations have to rely on regular trips to the French capital to calibrate their standard masses.


The all-new Xbox 360 - pic here!

Ok, calm down. Move on, there is nothing to see here.....

Well, except the new Xbox 360.....

My, Xbox 360, how concave you are! We also admire your simple, round nexus. Mmmmmm.

Google Logos

Ever wondered why the logo on Google changes every so often? Or just plain curious to see a summary of the logos? Well lookee here then. I liked the recent Da Vinci one and the 2005 New Year one is quite clever.

For example, soon its Fathers Day (yum, yum) and so a design similar to this one should appear:

Just think, somebody gets PAID to sit and do those. I could do that. No, honest, I could. In fact, maybe for the fun of it I'll do some of my own. Keep checking back just in case this actually happens ;-)

US Companys Exposed as Green Frauds for Fooling Public

A Green life report due out this week is set to expose the US top ten worst offenders for appearing environmentally concerned but their performance contradicts their high-profile marketing campaigns - also known as 'greenwashing'.

At #1 is the Ford Motor Co., manufacturers of the Escape Hybrid, made at their eco-friendly River Rouge factory. The reality is that hybrids make up less than half a percent of Fords annual sales and the gas-guzzling F-150 is made at River Rouge.

Next is BP with their "beyond petroleum" marketing campaign. The company sells solar panels which may save 0.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetime, while 1,298m tonnes of CO2 will be produced thanks to their fossil fuel products.


Schwarzenegger Creates Storm after Making Menstrual Cycle Gaff

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, has said that he would like to get rid of the moon to stop womens mood swings as they approach their period. His comments have been labeled as 'appealing to the lowest common denominator'.

Arnie is quoted as saying to DJ Howard Stern in a radio interview "If we get rid of the moon, women, whose menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get PMS. They will stop bitching and whining."

Last year the former actor-turned-politician dropped another gaff by calling his Democratic rivals 'girlie men' which provoked similar outrage.


Smell Jesus Thanks to New Scented Candles

Fill your home with the smell of Jesus. Thats the message husband and wife Bob and Karen Tosterud from the US are sending out while selling their creation - "His Essence" Jesus-scented candles.

They say the odor is just how it is described in the Bible. Psalm 45 is "a Messianic Psalm referring to when Christ returns and his garments will have the scent of myrrh, aloe and cassia" according to Karen.

"We wanted people to be able to experience Christ in new ways and to be able to read a bible and have that scent and that candle as a reminder that he is with us all the time." For $18 you too can be reminded of the Lord through the sense of smell.


Nazi Monkeys to Lead World War II Celebrations

The Russian Yekaterinburg circus is to help in the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in WWII by parading monkeys dressed up as Nazis. "You can not dress a horse like a Nazi" commented the circus director.

Originally, leopards were cast as the Nazis because they were seen as perfectly representative of the National Socialists, but they could not fit the felines into the uniforms.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Controversy as Bigfoot Sighting is Caught on Video

Some experts are tempering the excitement of jubilant residents in northern Manitoba, Winnipeg, with warnings of skepticism regarding an alleged Bigfoot siting which has been caught on nearly three minutes of videotape footage.

"I would say I'm very skeptical, because indeed most of these purported sightings prove to be hoaxes in the end" said James Hare of University of Manitoba.

But Bigfoot researcher Chris Murphy says "It could be a highly credible sighting. Manitoba has had 35 sightings that we have recorded." All evidence of Bigfoot, from footprints to hair samples, has turned out to be inconclusive thus far.


Inventor Wins $500,000 Prize for his 'Soundless' Sound System

Elwood "Woody" Norris has won the annual Lemelson-MIT Prize for a revolutionary system that transmits sound in a focused beam above the range of human hearing. If a listener gets hit directly by the beam the sound is heard within his or her head.

The theoretical applications for the device are wide-ranging, including as a wireless stereo that only one person can hear, or a device for yelling at someone far away, assured that the target will be the only person to hear it.


Russian Man Wakes Up with Knife Stuck in Face

A man living in central Russia, Artur Dzhavanyan, awoke with a headache after a drinking session and discovered that it wasn't the booze causing the pain but a 35cm knife sticking out of his face.

He says that the day before he had been drinking with a friend at his house and they got into an argument, after which Dzhavanyan went to bed. An hour later he got up and looked in the mirror, only to see the knife embedded just below his left eye.

With the weapon still stuck in his head, he went next door to ask for help. An ambulance was immediately called and he underwent a 40 minute operation. He says that he will not press charges, saying that he would prefer to punish his friend himself.

For the not-so-squeamish, see some photos here.


Exploding Toads Concern Experts

Up to a thousand toads have died as a result of a strange phenomenon gripping the Altona district of Hamburg, Germany - the amphibians swell up to over three times their normal size and then explode, propelling their entrails a metre into the air.

The 'pond of death' where the toads reside has been declared a no-go zone, with a biologist visiting the area and examining them between the hours of 2.00 and 3.00am - the peak time for the amphibians to go pop.

Experts can only guess at what might be causing the ghastly demise of the toads, with a virus or fungus being suspected. Another apparent explanation is that crows are attacking the colony and literally scaring them to death.


Friday, April 22, 2005

House Okays Drilling in Alaska

The House approved a highly debated energy bill today, allowing for drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge. The bill passed with a 249 to 183 vote, stifling attempts by Democrats to raise fuel efficiency standards and reduce energy consumption.

Provisions of the bill also provide protection to companies that produce methyl tertiary butyl ether, a gasoline additive that helps it meet clean air regulations.

(srce) (thanks to SN reporter 'diggity' for this story)

My comments: While drilling for oil in a nature reserve seems like a bit of an oxymoron, the providing protection to producers of
methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) seems equally contradictory. While it reduces air pollution, especially carbon monoxide, MTBE readily dissolves in water, can move rapidly through soils and aquifers, is resistant to microbial decomposition and is difficult to remove in water treatment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has classified MTBE as a potential human carcinogen.

Anyone'd think the US government are going out of their way to kill ppl and wreck the environment (nah, god bless ya, guv!). It seems to be a case of 'our beloved oil and automotive industry is going to kill you one way or another - we've just tweaked it from
death by global warming to death by cancer. That's nice of them.

You can read more on this at the
USGS Water Resources of California website.

Virus That Deletes MP3s From PCs Found on P2P Networks

A worm known as Nopir-B is doing the rounds on some peer-to-peer networks disguised as a program for copying commercial DVDs. In reality, once on a host pc it will indiscriminately delete all MP3s found stored on the computer system.

The worm, which is believed to have originated in France, masquerades as a vigilante anti-piracy malware, displaying an anti-piracy graphic as it wipes .COM files and disables various system utilities.

"The Nopir-B worm targets people it believes may be involved in piracy but fails to discriminate between the true criminals and those who may have legally obtained MP3 files" said a Sophos Anti-Virus representative.


Study Finds Email Worse For The Mind Than Marijuana

Email addicts drop 10% in IQ scores, twice that of marijuana users according to a study carried out by psychiatric experts at King's College, London. A clinical trial involving over a thousand participants produced other startling results.

Dopeheads are renowned for their doziness, lethargy and an inability to focus, but these symptoms are apparently amplified in email users, with a deterioration in mental capacity being linked to an addiction to technology.

In the trial, 20% of participants would rush off to check their inbox during a conversation, putting their immediate relationships at risk. Similar studies have found non-computer using children performed better in literacy and numeracy.


Pope Issues His Email Address to the World

Recently elected Pope Benedict XVI, the ex-Cardinal formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, has put himself within easy reach of his flock by having his own direct email address. The big man can be contacted via

Optionally, visitors to the Papal website at can click on the 'Greetings to the Holy Father' link to email him. Recently, the domain name was scooped up by cyber speculator Rogers Cadenhead.

He has offered to hand over the domain name in return for an audience with his holiness. No news on the offer has thus far emerged from Vatican sources.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Italian PM Berlusconi 'To Resign Today'

Sources within Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party have been reported as saying that the premiere is to resign today so that a new coalition government can be formed.

An announcement was made yesterday that he would face a confidence vote on Thursday after his party was badly defeated in regional elections. Senior members of the Northern Alliance, coalition partners to Forza Italia, have threatened to resign.

The controversial billionaire leader has been dogged by scandal for some time, including accusations of Mafia involvement, corruption and a conflict of interest with his media empire.


Domain Buyer Not Sure What to do With

A Florida technical writer bought a series of Pope-related domain names three weeks ago including,,, and and hit the jackpot with

However, the buyer, named Rogers Cadenhead, has yet to decide what to do with it. He has wisely stated that "The decision would be guided by the idea not to piss off 1.1 billion [Roman Catholics]."

The papal domain is already getting 100 hits a minute, according to the news website Wired and bought in the princely sum of $12 from Google ads on his blog. As expected, some complaints have been received from people unhappy about his cyber sinning.


New Pope Selected: German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

The selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as the next pope was signaled by white smoke and pealing bells in the Vatican at about 11:50 a.m. ET. He needed a 2/3 majority of the 115 cardinals, and will be Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th pope.

The election of this pope can be seen as a move towards traditionalism in the Catholic church. Ratzinger, the head of the voting College of Cardinals, had wanted a traditionalist pope elected, and is himself very popular amongst conservatives.

Ratzinger's positions include strictly traditionalist views on sexuality and women in the Church, which have rallied some and alienated others within the faith. These matters, as well as some on science, are hot-button issues for this new pope.

Thanks to ShortNews reporter
'MomentOfClarity' for this story.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

London Marathon Winner Defecates in Public During Race

The female winner of the London Marathon, Olympic runner Paula Radcliffe, has described the embarrassing moment where she was forced to stop running due to stomach cramps and defecated on the road.

Onlookers were initially concerned that Radcliffe may have been dropping out of the race, as happened at the Athens Olympics, but were astounded to see her pre-race meal drop out instead.

"I was losing time because I was having stomach cramps and I thought 'I just need to go and I'll be fine'" she said. "I want to apologise to the nation. I didn't really want to resort to that in front of hundreds of thousands of people."


Breakthrough in Reading Ancient Documents May Herald a 'Second Renaissance'

Oxford University scientists have found a way of using infra-red technology to enable them to read the ancient remnants of Greek and Roman documents including the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and possibly lost Christian gospels.

A new technique developed from satellite imaging means that it is suddenly possible to read a huge collection of writings previously believed to be illegible. Some are saying that there will be a 20% rise in significant Greek and Roman works.

The literary revolution should lead to the reading of "central texts which scholars have been speculating about for centuries". 400,000 fragments of papyrus from one site alone has sat waiting to be read since its discovery in the late 19th century.


Spoof Gibberish Academic Paper Accepted by International IT Science Conference

Three MIT students decided to test the standards of their peers by submitting a series of academic papers for use as presentations at the forthcoming World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI) in Florida.

One paper, entitled "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy", complete with meaningless text, charts and diagrams, has been accepted.

An example of the gibberish included reads "the model for our heuristic consists of four independent components: simulated annealing, active networks, flexible modalities, and the study of reinforcement learning".


Thursday, February 10, 2005

OK, I'm back

Its been a while I know, but the work thing, in combo with the family thing, rounded off with the doing nothing thing, has made me neglect my duties. After some months off from news reporting, I am back with greater freedom because of the lack of administrator duties which I previously held. Now I can call a spade a spade agin (before I referred to spades as a 'A sturdy digging tool having a thick handle and a heavy, flat blade that can be pressed into the ground with the foot-type thing'). Anyway, stand by for some hard-hitting, wacky, bottom-wobbling news and commentary now that service is being resumed.