DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for August, 2009

Obama and the Constitutional peasant

28th August 2009

Read it.

And laugh.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Hitachi builds 3mm-thick vein scanner

28th August 2009

Read it.

Using a CMOS sensor to take almost instant readings, the vein scanner is deadly accurate — the chances of it authorizing the wrong person are a million to one.

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Why DirectBuy Sucks

28th August 2009

Read it.

DirectBuy sucks. It sucks hard. It sucks because they hardsell you into buying a membership (you get one chance to join) and don’t give you a chance to compare prices before joining. It sucks because (according to many testimonials) they often don’t deliver the savings advertised. And most of all, it sucks because once you’ve joined you’re in a 10-year contract and they’ll turn you over to a collections agency if you don’t continue to pay them–damaging your credit and subjecting you to harassment.

We passed on a opportunity to join one of these operations and have never regretted it.

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Bangladesh: Catholic women can’t attend Mass due to threats from Muslim villagers

28th August 2009

Read it.

Your life under Islam. Don’t say that you weren’t warned.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

A Beacon to Guide Cancer Surgery

28th August 2009

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A modified virus makes cancer cells fluoresce to better identify tumors.

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Gravity, Quantum Objects, and Violations of the Equivalence Principle

28th August 2009

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Electrons in a conductor seem to behave differently under gravitational and inertial accelerations, threatening to tear down one of the cornerstones of modern physics.

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Computing the spread of lactase persistence

28th August 2009

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Ford to cops: Crown Vic is out

28th August 2009

Read it.

About 85 percent of the approximately 75,000 police cars sold in the United States each year are Crown Vics.

That is not a huge number of vehicles, and margins on sales to public agencies are notoriously slim, but analysts say it is still a profitable business for Ford.

“The majority of the investment in the Crown Vic was paid off so long ago that they’re basically a license to print money,” said auto analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP in Birmingham. “They also have zero marketing cost.”

But Ford Americas President Mark Fields said the police business provides other benefits to Ford that go beyond the bottom line.

“Every municipality has police, so you have Ford product everywhere across the country,” Fields said. “It reinforces that Ford is part of the community.”

Ford stopped selling Crown Vics to consumers in 2007, but many police officers say they would prefer to keep the outdated sedan. Though long past its prime and easily outrun by vehicles as mundane as the Honda Accord, it nonetheless offers cops some features they can find in few other vehicles — most of which are considered liabilities, not assets, by civilian motorists.

Moreover, most of the aftermarket equipment produced for police vehicles — everything from computers to light bars — is designed to fit the Crown Vic. When some departments tried to make the switch to Chevrolet Impalas, they found that their communications equipment and computers did not fit in the narrower vehicle.

For cash-strapped agencies like the LAPD, abandoning the Crown Vic would also pose a serious fiscal challenge. It has millions of dollars invested in not only the cars, but also in parts, equipment and training.

So: it’s a profitable line of business for Ford, both financially and in terms of pubic relations; cops like the car and have built their operations around it, and having to change would cause already-financially-strapped units of government hardship.

Well, then, the only thing to do is quit producing them.

There, in a nutshell, is the American auto industry, and why it’s in trouble.

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Life lessons: From one Gates to another

28th August 2009

Read it.

How do he and Melinda, 45, raise kids amid such wealth?

“It’s everything from going around the dinner table saying what we’re thankful for to going downtown and serving meals together” at a soup kitchen, he says. There are also occasional trips overseas, most recently to impoverished African towns.

Yeah, I can see that — if I were the richest guy in the world, one of my top priorities would be exposing my children to Third World diseases.

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Speculators busier as crude oil cost spikes

28th August 2009

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Released Thursday, the study does not try to prove that speculators caused the price spike, as many politicians and consumer advocates believe.

But the authors note that prices rose steadily along with the number of speculative investors, and fell with them as well. Seven years ago, speculators accounted for 20 percent of oil traders on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That number jumped to 55 percent by the time oil prices reached their all-time peak above $145 per barrel last summer. Now oil costs $72, and speculative investors account for half the traders.

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Official: Google wants to tell you what to think

28th August 2009

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Google has anointed an “approved list” of writers it thinks you should read. But not only is Google’s choice far from “Neutral” – there’s no libertarians, merely one (shrieky and not very representative) conservative, and a preponderance of Greens – there isn’t a Google critic amongst them. Well, there goes “neutrality”.

The tech pundits Google chooses are safe, flavourless, humourless, and uniformly Google-friendly – it’s a list of Google’s trusted pals, really. If you locked them in a room with some drugs, by the end of the evening you’d have heard no new original insight or wit – and the drugs would be untouched. For example, Chris “Long Tail” Anderson tops the list. Do you need to know more?

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Chaos Manor: Highly Recommended

28th August 2009

Jerry Pournelle runs what may be the original blog and always has interesting things to say.

On education, the usual critique of charter schools is that they are guilty of “cherry picking” which is to say, they accept only students who want to learn something and are willing to be disciplined. Thus an academically accomplished charter school in DC was not allowed. Cherry picking is supposed to be a bad thing? As opposed to the current practice of making those who would like to learn in DC go to a school that accepts those who do not want to learn and refuse to be disciplined? And this from people who are supposed to be liberal? It seems to me a very good way to keep the blacks in their place. Make them go to lousy schools filled with disorder while you send yours to schools that have discipline, and then on to Harvard. Is that the goal of liberalism? To keep the blacks down? Because I think of no better way to accomplish that goal than what is happening in DC. Tons of money spent on truly horrible schools that no one who could possibly escape them would go to? Would anyone who had in mind the good of black children in DC permit the current school system there to exist for ten minutes more?

The money is spent, and the results are known, and nothing is to be done. Yet under the Constitution the Congress is responsible. One presumes that both parties intend the results obtained since neither party makes any attempt to do anything about it.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

John Scalzi’s Guide to Epic SciFi Design FAILs – Star Trek Edition

27th August 2009

Read it.

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First Complete Image of a Molecule, Atom by Atom

27th August 2009

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

KFC’s new ‘Double Down’ sandwich swaps bun for two deep-fried chicken breasts, extra calories

27th August 2009

Read it.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Did two species mix to make butterflies?

27th August 2009

Read it.

What does that say about tadpoles and frogs?

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Power of the Gun

27th August 2009

Megan McArdle is always worth reading.

First of all, as it shows in the articles I linked earlier, something like 90% of homicides are committed by people with criminal records, i.e. people who probably cannot legally own a gun. A lot of the rest are committed by juveniles, or mentally unstable people, who also cannot legally own a gun.

It is perfectly true that adding a gun to a dispute involving violent criminals increases the likelihood that someone will be shot.  But violent criminals are not like the rest of us.  They have very poor impulse control, and, well, a demonstrated willingness to use violence.  They also are not likely to apply for a permit before packing heat.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

NHS report reveals ‘appalling care’: NHS facts

27th August 2009

Read it.

I got your government-run health care system, right here.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Millionaire sues wife for children that were not his

27th August 2009

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The 48-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is demanding unlimited damages of more than £300,000 from his ex-wife and her lover, for the distress caused and the cost of bringing up the children he believed were his for more than a decade.

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Liam Neeson has spoken of how the US reaction to his wife’s death earlier this year helped him decide to become an American citizen

27th August 2009

Read it.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Grandmother delivers baby in layby because of midwife shortage

27th August 2009

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More great news from the British National Health Service that everybody is so eager to bring to America.

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Nanoparticle inks that fade away in hours could be ideal for secure communications.

27th August 2009

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

An Interesting Consequence of United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing

27th August 2009

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Am I right that the Ninth Circuit’s Fourth Amendment decision in United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing has rendered every computer search warrant that has ever been obtained — and every offsite search — unconstitutional? I’ve been working in this area for over a decade, and I have never heard of a case that satisfies the Ninth Circuit’s new procedural standards.

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Stimulus For Convicts

27th August 2009

Read it.

See, conservatives are in the habit of pointing out that when you start handing out money, you start losing track of where it goes (or at least, losing the ability to defend where it goes with a straight face). Whereas the worst thing that can happen when you let people keep their own money is, they do what they want with the money they have earned themselves.

At least Dukakis didn’t cut Willie Horton a check.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

The Way Singapore Does It Is Amazing, So For God’s Sake Don’t Let It Happen Here!

27th August 2009

Will Wilkinson is always worth reading.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Democrats Invoke Kennedy’s Death in Calling for Health Care Reform

27th August 2009

Read it.

Good. Democrats tried this same crap after Paul Wellstone died and it resulted in a Republican Senator for Minnesota.

The only thing I’m likely to do for Ted is to piss on his grave.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Mawked by Dawkness

26th August 2009

Read it.

It’s twue, it’s twue.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Finding out What Colors Dinosaurs Were

26th August 2009

Read it.

Affirmative action legislation is no doubt already in the works.

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Why Multitaskers Stink at Multitasking

26th August 2009

Read it.

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Stirling heads ‘conceal harp music’

26th August 2009

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A series of marking found etched in the Stirling Heads, a set of carvings in one of Scotland’s largest castles, may be 16th century harp music, according to academics.

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MSNBC & The Great Liberal Narrative: The Truth About The Tyranny of Political Correctness

26th August 2009

Watch it.

A peek behind the scenes. It’s hell when the Oppressed Masses don’t play along.

If it’s not a conspiracy, it’s the next best thing.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Nessie spotted on Google earth

26th August 2009

Read it.

We have the technology.

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Tax Penalties and the Health-Care Bill

26th August 2009

Read it.

More scary stuff creeps in under the radar.

Under current law, taxpayers who lose an argument with the IRS can generally avoid penalties by showing they tried in good faith to comply with the tax law. In a broad range of circumstances, the health-care bill would change the law to impose strict liability penalties for income-tax underpayments, meaning that taxpayers will no longer have the luxury of making an honest mistake. The ability of even the IRS to waive penalties in sympathetic cases would be sharply curtailed.

Last June, the Small Business Council of America sent some compelling tales of woe to Congress, including one in which a 72-year-old owner of a coin operated car wash set up retirement plans for his seven employees and got socked for his good deed with a $900,000 penalty for not reporting the plans properly. The company and its owner are now headed for bankruptcy. In another case, a penalty of $100,000 each was imposed on the six minor children of an owner of a small business in Utah for not filing the right tax forms.

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That’s No Vestigial Organ, That’s My Appendix

26th August 2009

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A study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology finds that many more animals have appendixes than was thought, and that the appendix is not merely a remnant of a digestive organ called the cecum. All of which means that the appendix might not be so useless.

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Behind the Scenes With the World’s Most Ambitious Rocket Makers

26th August 2009

Read it.

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Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

26th August 2009

Read it.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Argentina rules on marijuana use

26th August 2009

Read it.

The supreme court in Argentina has ruled that it is unconstitutional to punish people for using marijuana for personal consumption.

This will be interesting.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Chickenosaurus: Canadian scientist says he can create dinosaurs from chickens

25th August 2009

Read it.

And they’ll probably want a beer.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Abolish the DHS

25th August 2009

Read it.

Hear, hear. Born of a desire for the government was doing something even if it were wrong (like the TSA), it has no purpose and merely creates another layer of bureaucracy on top of all of the other sedimentary layers of bureaucracy we already have.

Eventually the bottom layers will turn to oil — not that we’ll be allowed to drill….

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Intensive farming good for forests

25th August 2009

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Not that you would know it by listening to the enviro-fascists.

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“Perry for Texas. Hutchison for Washington.”

25th August 2009

Read it.

An interesting external perspective.

Perry’s high-handedness in the cervical cancer vaccine affair and his apparent willingless to rip a corridor through central Texas and to hell with what the existing property owners want disgusted me, and the best thing I can think to say about Hutchinson is that the blocks a place that could have gone to someone worse.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind throwing both of them into a Dumpster, but you go to war with the army you have, not the army you’d like to have.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Magic ink offers full-colour printing in an instant

25th August 2009

Read it.

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‘Mad professor’ becomes YouTube hero with explosive science videos

25th August 2009

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The world has too many politicans and not enough mad scientists.

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Uncreative Destruction

25th August 2009

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When we talk about government policies destroying wealth, we usually mean taxes that shift money from efficient to inefficient uses. Rarely do we mean the deliberate destruction of valuable assets. Yet, thanks to the Cash for Clunkers program, which ground to a halt yesterday, we now have a visual aid to help with this abstract concept. Mechanics tasked with destroying the so-called clunkers have been posting the videos on YouTube, often muttering in anger as they fill the engines of perfectly good Corvettes and Cadillacs with sodium silicate and then run them until they self-destruct. The goal of the Cash for Clunkers policy is, literally, the destruction of wealth.

Our government, our enemy.

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Dog who believes he is a cat

25th August 2009

Read it.

Can he use a litter box? Can he clean himself? That’s the key.

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Freediver swims through longest ocean cave in Australia

25th August 2009

Gotta love Australians.

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SMS text messages grounds for divorce in France

25th August 2009

Read it.

Of course, pretty soon in France it will only be necessary to say “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you”, so it doesn’t really matter.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

What We Are Not Embarrassed by

25th August 2009

Will Wilkinson is always worth reading.

Here is a good debate proposition: It ought to be less embarrassing to have been influenced by Ayn Rand than by Karl Marx.

Even for those of us who came of age after 1989, Marxism, like cigarettes, remains linked by association to the idea of the intellectual, and so, like cigarettes, shares in the intellectual’s glamour. I don’t know if cigarettes or Marxism have killed more people, but it’s pretty clear cigarettes are more actively stigmatized.

It ought to be embarrassing, but it isn’t.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Meat Loaf: Anything For Love (Literal Video Version)

25th August 2009

Watch it.

Megan McArdle is a very strange person.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Obama’s Summer of Discontent

25th August 2009

Foud Ajami nails it.

A political class, and a media elite, that glamorized the protest against the Iraq war, that branded the Bush presidency as a reign of usurpation, now wishes to be done with the tumult of political debate. President Barack Obama himself, the community organizer par excellence, is full of lament that the “loudest voices” are running away with the national debate. Liberalism in righteous opposition, liberalism in power: The rules have changed.

The Obama devotees were the victims of their own belief in political magic. The devotees could not make up their minds. In a newly minted U.S. senator from Illinois, they saw the embodiment of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Like Lincoln, Mr. Obama was tall and thin and from Illinois, and the historic campaign was launched out of Springfield. The oath of office was taken on the Lincoln Bible. Like FDR, he had a huge economic challenge, and he better get it done, repair and streamline the economy in his “first hundred days.” Like JFK, he was young and stylish, with a young family.

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