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Yes, it's old news now, as TMZ reported it half an hour ago, but I prefer more reliable sources. From NPR:

Singer Michael Jackson, the man known as the King of Pop to legions of fans around the globe, who lived most of his extraordinary life in the public eye, died Thursday in Los Angeles after going into cardiac arrest, sources tell NPR. He was 50 years old.

No comments from me. There will be plenty of those elsewhere from others (and I'll likely ignore them).

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How to make cricket exciting; From Reuters:

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A helicopter stopped play in a domestic cricket game in India after the pilot mistook the pitch for a landing pad, local media reported on Sunday.

Players were forced to abort Saturday's one-day game and scurry for cover when the hapless pilot set the chopper down on the letter 'H' painted in the corner of the cricket ground.

The 'H' stands for the name of the Himachal Pradesh team in the north-west Indian state.

A fire near the stadium also added to the confusion of the pilot, who misinterpreted it for smoke signals, according to the Hindustan Times.

A giant H and a fire causing a chopper to set down on a cricket field...who needs television sitcoms anymore!

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The AFP:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A Russian and a US satellite crashed into each other in an unprecedented collision unleashing clouds of space debris that could threaten orbiting spacecraft, officials said Thursday.

A disused Russian military satellite, Kosmos 2251, collided on Tuesday at 1655 GMT with a communications satellite owned by US-based Iridium Satellite LLC, Russian and US space officials said.

The accident took place about 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Siberia, said Russia's Major General Alexander Yakushin, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

After more than five decades of human activity in space, the news raises fresh concern over the swarms of hazardous debris orbiting the Earth.

The magnitude of the two large debris clouds from the collision, the first hypervelocity impact between two intact spacecraft, will not be known for at least several weeks, NASA said.

Based on Iridium's Wikipedia entry, not only did this accident cause massive clouds of space pollution, it probably caused a bunch of people to suffer an interruption to their satellite phone service. I think it prudent to be more concerned about the massive clouds of space pollution, however.

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I'm not sure how I feel about this. I am generally for development, with the exception of cul-de-sacs filled with McMansions, however, I like my neighbourhood's business district as it is. From the Post-Gazette:

A public hearing conducted by Mt. Lebanon commissioners last night provided details for a proposed boutique hotel on Washington Road.

The 12,600-square foot parcel is a parking lot but developer Kratsa Properties of Harmar is promising a seven-story SpringHill Suites by Marriott that will echo the architecture of major buildings surrounding it. James McMullan of architects Burt,Hill said the 108-room hotel will provide "the smallest footprint possible" at the ends of what is considered downtown Mt. Lebanon.

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From Pennlive.com:

Ellen Ewing, who has two Brittany spaniels buried in the Humane Society of Lebanon County's animal cemetery behind its Myerstown headquarters, said she and other pet owners couldn't believe what they saw recently.

She and others "walked around in shock" after seeing how gravestones were removed and markers covered over as the society converts the cemetery to a memorial park.

"We feel very violated," Ewing said, adding it looks like someone took a backhoe and pushed the headstones to one side of the cemetery, breaking some.

Tracy Stevens, president of the society's Board of Directors, has said the ground was sinking, making the cemetery difficult to maintain. Plans are to fence in the plot and create a memorial area in which dogs can exercise and prospective owners can meet pets, with no further burials planned.

Eventually, remaining headstones might be placed along a new memorial walk in a wooded area next to the cemetery, Stevens said.

Owners of pets in the cemetery weren't notified of the changes because the society lost the list of names, Stevens said. But the society did put a notice in its newsletter, she said.

So far, Stevens said, no one has asked for a refund of the fee paid for burial, which ranged from $75 to $300.

So, I guess it would be safe to assume that no one at the Humane Society of Lebanon County has ever read a Steven King novel?

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George Bush gets a pair of loafers (I think) pitched at his head. I'm impressed by his reaction time, but then again he's probably used to such things.

Perhaps we should have more respect for the office of the presidency, but no one in this household can stop from laughing. Thirty-seven more days, George - and try not to let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

U-crash

Dec. 13th, 2008 03:30 pm
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Dallas/Fort Worth television station WFAA reports:

A man just meant to pop the hood on his U-Haul truck Friday night. Instead, that simple act started a chain reaction of dangerous and destructive events.

The truck was parked in front of a house on Joe Pool Drive, where a family was moving out around 7 o'clock.

Fire investigators say the driver reached in to open the hood, but apparently disengaged the parking brake by mistake.

In his frenzy to stop the rollling truck, the driver made another mistake — he hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

Witnesses said the moving truck careened across the street at a high rate of speed, running over the driver's friend, who was standing right in front of the vehicle.

Then the U-Haul crashed into the front of the house where Amy Nicholas and her fiance were inside.

Unanswered question: why was he popping the hood in the first place? Furthermore, how could one ever forget brake left, gas right? At least the only people hurt in this case were the ones "operating" the truck.

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Obituary from the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES – Bettie Page, a 1950s pinup model who helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, has died. She was 85.

Her agent Mark Roesler says Page died Thursday night at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a heart attack nine days ago. He says she never regained consciousness.

Page attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls across the country. Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.

Roesler says Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia and was about to be released when she suffered the heart attack Dec. 2.

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From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK – A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday after an "out of control" throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains broke down the doors at a suburban store and knocked him to the ground, police said.

At least four other people, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Nassau police said about 2,000 people were gathered outside the store doors at the mall about 20 miles east of Manhattan. The impatient crowd knocked the man to the ground as he opened the doors, leaving a metal portion of the frame crumpled like an accordion.

Happy fucking holidays, everyone. Try not to get anyone killed while celebrating the spirit of the season.

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The Christian Science Monitor reports:

Atlanta – In rural Georgia, a group of high-schoolers gets a visit from the Secret Service after posting "inappropriate" comments about President-elect Barack Obama on the Web. In Raleigh, N.C., four college students admit to spraying race-tinged graffiti in a pedestrian tunnel after the election. On Nov. 6, a cross burns on the lawn of a biracial couple in Apolacon Township, Pa.

The election of America's first black president has triggered more than 200 hate-related incidents, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center – a record in modern presidential elections. Moreover, the white nationalist movement, bemoaning an election that confirmed voters' comfort with a multiracial demography, expects Mr. Obama's election to be a potent recruiting tool – one that watchdog groups warn could give new impetus to a mostly defanged fringe element.

Most election-related threats have so far been little more than juvenile pranks. But the political marginalization of certain Southern whites, economic distress in rural areas, and a White House occupant who symbolizes a multiethnic United States could combine to produce a backlash against what some have heralded as the dawn of a postracial America. In some parts of the South, there's even talk of secession.

"Most of this movement is not violent, but there is a substantive underbelly that is violent and does try to make a bridge to people who feel disenfranchised," says Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. "The question is: Will this swirl become a tornado or just an ill wind? We're not there yet, but there's dust on the horizon, a swirling of wind, and the atmospherics are getting put together for [conflict]."

Though postelection racist incidents haven't posed any real danger to society or the president-elect, law enforcement is taking note.

There is still much work to be done.

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

Yesterday evening, I posted a link to an article about a McCain campaign volunteer who had allegedly been attacked by an individual who became enraged upon discovering her political affiliations. As of this afternoon, the story had been debunked as a complete fabrication. The Post-Gazette reports:

Read more... )
illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

From KDKA:

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Pittsburgh police are investigating after a volunteer for the Republican campaign says she was attacked by a mugger who became enraged after seeing a John McCain bumper sticker on her car last night.

According to police, Ashley Todd, 20, said she was robbed at an ATM at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street in the Bloomfield area around 9 p.m. Wednesday after leaving a Republican phone bank.

Todd told police that the suspect, described only as a dark-skinned African-American man about 6'4", stole $60 from her and became enraged after seeing a bumper sticker supporting Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain on her car.

Todd, who is from Texas, said the suspect put a knife to her neck and demanded money.

Todd told police that the man became very angry after noticing the McCain sticker on her car and began punching and kicking her.

After repeatedly hitting, kicking and threatening her, Todd told police that the man carved a "B" in her cheek.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a hate crime. The fact that this poor woman was "branded" is beyond appalling. All rational people can agree with the Obama and McCain campaigns in their mutual condemnation of this reprehensible act.

Update 10/24/2008: The Post-Gazette reports that Todd has confessed to completely fabricating the story. Being the victim of a violent crime is a horrible thing, but lying about it for untenable reasons is far worse, in my opinion.

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

Sometimes I think the media pushes a narrative in an attempt to cause trouble because having nothing to report is bad for their bottom line. Is that paranoid and cynical of me? You're damn right it is! From The Hill:

Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation’s first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.

Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.

Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters.

Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee for president, has seen his lead over rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grow in recent weeks, prompting speculation that there could be a violent backlash if he loses unexpectedly.

Cities that have suffered unrest before, such as Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, will have extra police deployed.

Two more weeks until this shit is over with!

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

So, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. This doesn't sway my opinion nor do I feel that it matters much in the grand scheme of things...still, I can't help but think that it should have been the other way around. Time was, Colin Powell would have made a fine President.

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With an appropriate "stupid" tag, an article regarding Pittsburgh has been Farked. And yes, I do believe that Pittsburgh appears on Fark just a little too much for comfort. It is not a badge of honour for a geographical entity to have its own tag (here's looking at you, Florida).

From the Post-Gazette:

A national children's advocacy group is pushing to get Pittsburgh removed from the Street View of Google's map search until the technology is refined so pedophiles can't use it to pinpoint children's homes, schools and playgrounds.

Street View, an addition to Google Maps that uses vehicle cameras to take 360-degree, street-level views of neighborhoods, allows users to virtually cruise down a street and across a city. In the process, the tool shows pictures of children, toys and family cars that could tip a would-be predator to an area where children could be found and potentially victimized, according to the group, Stop Internet Predators.

Street View is available in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and 17 other cities in the U.S.

Google has said it would consider requests to remove such images from Street View but has not yet done so, according to Stacie Rumenap, executive director of Stop Internet Predators. Until the tool can be used without potentially endangering children, it should not be allowed, she said.

While we're at it, let's remove listings of daycare centres and schools from phonebooks as well, since those enable paedophiles to pinpoint where children are. Also, let's take down all the street signs pointing out the locations of schools and not allow daycare centres to use the word "daycare" in the signs denoting their businesses. I suspect that the people working for this child protection group were collectively dropped on their heads as babies.

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From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK - The failure of the bailout package in Congress literally dropped jaws on Wall Street and triggered a historic selloff — including a terrifying decline of nearly 500 points in mere minutes as the vote took place, the closest thing to panic the stock market has seen in years.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 777 points Monday, its biggest single-day fall ever, easily beating the 684 points it lost on the first day of trading after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

As uncertainty gripped investors, the credit markets, which provide the day-to-day lending that powers business in the United States, froze up even further.

At the New York Stock Exchange, traders watched with faces tense and mouths agape as TV screens showed the House vote rejecting the Bush administration's $700 billion plan to buy up bad debt and shore up the financial industry.

I did a quick recap of the causes leading up to the Stockmarket crash of 1929, which was the lynchpin for the Great Depression in the United States. Among the main causes were the following: lack of regulation of the financial industry, predatory and risky lending and borrowing, a lack of faith in the American economy, and natural disasters such as a hurricane hitting Miami in 1927 and the Midwestern dustbowl crises straining economic resources. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? It's time to read the writing on the wall.

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Earlier today, the McCain campaign asked the Obama camp to delay Friday's debate so that both candidates could focus on the current financial crises. The AP reports that Obama just said, "no deal."

"This is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess," Obama said in Clearwater, Fla. "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."

So, those of us who were going to play the Presidential debate drinking game may still get to do so. Remember, take a shot whenever McCain says, "Country first" or whenever Obama says "Hope and change." Try not to die of alcohol poisoning.

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Whether or not there will be buses running in Pittsburgh apparently gets decided this Friday. From the Post-Gazette:

The authority's nine-member board will meet in special session at 1 p.m. to decide whether to accept or reject a report from former Dickinson School of Law Professor Jane Rigler, the neutral third party appointed by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

On the same day, Local 85's 20-member executive board will meet at an unannounced time to decide the same matter, based on the 22-page report Ms. Rigler released one week ago.

Also on Friday, Local 85 will hold two regularly scheduled quarterly membership meetings, at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., where the recommendations for a new contract will be the main topic.

If either party decides to reject Ms. Rigler's report, the bargaining process moves to talks before state and federal mediators. Meanwhile, the union membership could authorize its leaders to strike as a measure of last resort.

If it's not one thing...

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

In of himself, Barack Obama makes me queasy. However, when you mix in his supporters, then I get to the point where I may actually vomit. Today, the Associated Press, now in the business of propaganda for unqualified democratic candidates published not one, but two articles about how Obama is just so much cooler than that crusty old John McCain. The first article:

Read more... )
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George Carlin died today.

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Seth Warren

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