so many Oswalds, so little time

This is great stuff for fueling my paranoid fantasies: xymphora.blogspot.com

He presents some evidence that the "boxcutters" story was a lie, that the hijackers were in fact armed with explosives. But the best part is the stuff about the identity-hijacking of this "Saeed Alghamdi" character, who supposedly went down with one of the planes, but is in fact still alive: it sounds like he's a composite like Oswald was. And we do like the Oswalds, don't we? Sure we do.

And it just keeps getting better from there...

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K19

I liked K-19. If you enjoy claustrophobia or radiation poisoning, this movie is for you! The first half of it was especially tense, they really gave you a good sense of how cramped and horrible submarines must be.

I think they got some of the physics wrong, but not in plot-critical ways.

Really minor spoiler that you already saw in the commercials:

I thought it was impossible for a reactor coolant failure to result in a bomb-like detonation? I thought that kind of slowly-ramping-up chain reaction would just get you a small sun that would then melt through the floor and head core-ward? They were also worried about the warheads detonating, which I thought was similarly impossible to do by accident. You can get a big toxic mess, but not an explosion.

Right?

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Current Music: Curve -- Recovery ♬

True Porn Clerk Stories

You must go here now.

Update: she was on This American Life on July 12 reading some of this recently: RealAudio, starting at around 31:30...

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In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War

In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War

By Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.

WASHINGTON, July 12 - The Halliburton Company, the Dallas oil services company bedeviled lately by an array of accounting and business issues, is benefiting very directly from the United States efforts to combat terrorism. From building cells for detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to feeding American troops in Uzbekistan, the Pentagon is increasingly relying on a unit of Halliburton called KBR, sometimes referred to as Kellogg Brown & Root. [...]

Mr. Cheney played no role, either as vice president or as chief executive at Halliburton, in helping KBR win government contracts, company officials said.

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--(38%) ">

In a written statement, the company said that Mr. Cheney "steadfastly refused" to market KBR's services to the United States government in the five years he served as chief executive. Mr. Cheney concentrated on the company's energy business, company officials said, though he was regularly briefed on the company's Pentagon contracts. Mr. Cheney sold Halliburton stock, worth more than $20 million, before he became vice president. After he took office, he donated his remaining stock options to charity.

Like other military contractors, KBR has numerous former Pentagon officials who know the government contracts system in its management ranks, including a former military aide to Mr. Cheney when he was defense secretary. The senior vice president responsible for KBR's Pentagon contracts is a retired four-star admiral, Joe Lopez, who was Mr. Cheney's military aide at the Pentagon in the early 1990's. Halliburton said Mr. Lopez was hired in 1999 after a suggestion from Mr. Cheney.

[...] For example, KBR got the Army to agree to pay about $750,000 for electrical repairs at a base in California that cost only about $125,000, according to Mr. McIntosh, an agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

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don't pee on drugs

So I was having dinner at a fairly swank, pricey restaurant, and availed myself of the facilities. Staring down into the urinal I couldn't help but notice a slogan staring back up at me: "Say No To Drugs!" printed on the rubber urinal-cake holder.

Which I found puzzling.

So as I was standing there I kept trying to follow the money in this transaction: the restaurant had to pay for the urinal deodorant, obviously. So these particular ones must have been cheaper for some reason. Do manufacturers of cleaning products get a federal grant if they print War On Drugs propaganda on their wares? Does the restaurant get a tax break for placing a "public service announcement" in a (ha!) conspicuous public area? (Pubic area?) In what way is the deluded notion that seeing a vague feel-good slogan beneath a puddle of pee might affect my behavior costing me money as a taxpayer? Was it some kind of attempt at Pavlovian conditioning? Were we to subconsciously associate the relief of "no longer needing to go" with this message? What Would Freud Do?

Then it occurred to me that I was standing there pissing on Nancy Reagan's life work, and that made me feel better about it.

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holy rats

"A child places his arms in a tray full of milk as rats drink at the Karni Mata Hindu temple in the town of Deshnoke in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan. Rats, hundreds and hundreds of them, are everywhere at the temple in the state and woe betide anyone who takes fright and steps on one. June 20, 2002. Reuters/Kamal Kishore"

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hey kids, let's make a utopia!

Remember oceania.org? It was one of the first crackpot-oriented websites I remember seeing, back in 1994: "let's build a luxury hotel on an oil rig, call it a country, and live out our libertarian tax-haven fantasies!"

Well that predictably went nowhere, but now the founder has apparently learned just enough about nanotech to be scared, so he figured that since he couldn't raise enough money to build an oil rig, instead he should raise money to build a space station from which to repopulate the earth after it has been wiped out by __________.

lifeboat.com choice quotes:

"A bunker/cave would be of little use if a particle accelerator mishap created a small black hole that sucked in all the matter on the planet. Just as useless as it would be in the event of an antimatter bomb attack."

"Why isn't the government making preparations to save us from this impending doom?"

"In the case of gray goo, the government would have to, among other things, sponsor and implement the development of active nanotechnological shields which would have to be embedded in every gram of matter on earth. Not an easy task."

"...The Atlantis Project, an ambition made obsolete by current events."

I think the timetravelfund.com folks are a better bet.

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The Truth About Baby Smashers

BabySmasher.com

Here, you can read the truth about Baby Smashers, which are available to the public all over the nation under the guise of "Baby Changing Stations". BabySmasher.com exists to provide the public with a means of spreading the truth about Baby Smashers - educating more people about the true use of these devices.

Order stickers today!

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Current Music: Shriekback -- Suck ♬

more like The Jokers, or The Dead Presidents?

Armed Clown Gang Has Last Laugh

LONDON (Reuters) - Police in the northern city of Manchester appealed for information on Tuesday after a gang of clowns mounted an armed raid on a wine bar.

Three men in fancy dress handcuffed a manager and threatened him with a sawn-off shotgun and a knife before escaping with what was described as "a small amount of money."

Police were not amused. "This was a highly organized team, who had obviously spent some time planning this robbery," Detective Inspector Darren Shenton said in a statement.

The gang made off in a van with police in pursuit, and managed to escape despite being involved in three accidents on the way.

Police said witnesses could not have failed to notice the robbers.

"There is no doubt that anyone walking along the road at the time the robbers were heading into or out of the building would have spotted them, especially as they were dressed as clowns," the statement said.

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Now That's a Big Molecule

Now That's a Big Molecule:

By Lakshmi Sandhana

The largest, tallest DNA model in the world wooed visitors to the Tomorrow's World Roadshow at Earls Court London last weekend, smashing a Guinness record in the process.

[...] Standing 40 feet tall and containing about 300 base pairs, the gigantic molecule broke its own record when 50 base pairs were added by roadshow visitors to the original record-breaking 250 made by the Children of Staffordshire and Cheshire and a group of Science celebrities including Francis Crick the DNA pioneer, earlier this year.

Assembled at the Potteries Shopping Centre in Stoke-on-Trent the older version of the record-breaking molecule was 35.36 feet tall and contained over 15,000 atoms. [...]

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