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Amish move barn by hand

KALONA - One. Two. Three. Lift!

Communitymembers, farmers and those just passing through along Highway 22 did a double take Friday as approximately 150 Amish men carried the wooden skeleton of a turkey barn along the shoulder of the roadway.

Around 150 Amish men from the Kalona area help to carry one of four pieces of a large barn Friday morning along Highway 22 east of Kalona. The men moved the barn by foot to the homestead of Paul T. Miller, who purchased the structure at an auction from Randy Billups of Kalona. It took the group about four hours to finish the task, and they drew the attention of numerous passersby. [...]

To facilitate the move, nails that held the 160-foot-long barn together were removed to break the barn into four 80-foot-long sections. Once all the men were in place, a foreman, who followed the group along the outside of the barn, yelled "one, two, three," and the barn was lifted off the ground with nary a grunt. [...] "On west, brother," one man shouted, eliciting a right-hand turn from the crew.

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Loophole In Tax Code Means Big Tax Breaks For SUV Buyers

I have two comments on this:

  1. This is essentially the same tax scam that gave us studio condominiums disguised as "live/work lofts";
  2. I've seen this in action: our contractor during DNA construction always got these giant seats-six pickup trucks, when he really needed, at best, a two-seater pickup, because it cost him more money to get the smaller vehicle.

Loophole In Tax Code Means Big Tax Breaks For SUV Buyers

NEW YORK - You see SUV's on the road everywhere these days, but sport utility vehicles are some of the least efficient and most expensive vehicles out there -- unless you get an unusual tax break that will save you plenty.

[...] "I was surprised that a $32,000 credit on a $47,000 purchase was available in the first year -- I mean, it's a substantial credit," he said. He was able to write off the majority of this huge SUV because of what critics call an even bigger loophole in the tax code.

Tax accountant James Jenkins steers many of his clients to the car lot. "This morning, I had a client in who had no intention of buying a vehicle prior to the end of the year, and he left here heading to the car dealership," Jenkins said.

[...] The incentives were designed to give tax breaks to small business owners buying trucks for construction or farming. But the tax code was amended before the very largest class of SUVs -- those over 6,000 pounds, existed. The SUV's carry the classification "light truck" even though they are used almost exclusively as passenger vehicles. As a result, people whose business involves hauling nothing more than themselves reap huge benefits buying Land Rovers, Cadillacs -- even Hummers. A new Land Rover, for example, with a sticker price of nearly $72,000 will cost only $50,000 after the tax break -- a savings of more than $21,000.

Of course, we also know that all SUV owners are assholes, but perhaps that's just a question of causality.

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Apple says "fuck you" to Mozilla

Apple just released a new web browser for MacOS X, called Safari.

It's based on KHTML, the rendering engine of KDE/Qt's Konqueror web browser, instead of on Gecko, the rendering engine of Mozilla. Don Melton explains why:

"The number one goal for developing Safari was to create the fastest web browser on Mac OS X. When we were evaluating technologies over a year ago, KHTML and KJS stood out. Not only were they the basis of an excellent modern and standards compliant web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open source projects. Your clean design was also a plus. And the small size of your code is a significant reason for our winning startup performance."

Translated through a de-weaselizer, this says:

"Even though some of us used to work on Mozilla, we have to admit that the Mozilla code is a gigantic, bloated mess, not to mention slow, and with an internal API so flamboyantly baroque that frankly we can't even comprehend where to begin. Also did we mention big and slow and incomprehensible?"

But I'm not bitter.

Update, Jan 14: Apparently the fact that Paul Festa linked here from his CNET article is going to reduce my Livejournal to the unadulterated depths of uselessness that the Slashdot forums have pioneered, so I guess I'll just turn off comments until the newbie shitstorm blows on by.

I'm not interested in your opinion. I'm not interested in explaining to you how you've completely missed the point of my post. I just don't care.

Thank you, drive through.

Update, May 7: (Shitstorm season over, presumably. It's a shame that turning off commenting also makes any existing comments be invisible.)

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