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*The Daily News Thread* - a place to post compelling daily news stories
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scratt
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2006-12-07, 06:15

/totally off topic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR View Post
I have 116 soy sauce packets.

I have over a billion sachets of tomato ketchup that they send with our delivery pizzas here. I have no idea why they feel we need tomato ketchup, but they put sugar and salt on their food at the same time here, so go figure!! The best thing is they come in really high quality baggies, along with various seasonings..

I use the baggies for my weed, and the seasoning for when I cook Spaghetti.
However, the sauce sachets now have a cupboard to themselves, and my wife is threatening to throw them out! I guess a few at the bottom are probably out of date now, so I should sort through them...

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
  quote
Yonzie
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2006-12-07, 06:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
I think it's funny how people save those damned soy sauce packets. I have some now that I've *tried* to throw away, but found myself stopped by the thought that throwing them away would be 'wasting' something useful.
Consider how much the thought of them are weighing you down and making you feel guilty whether or not you keep them or discard them.
Then throw them out and buy a bottle:

Scratt: Much better.

Converted 07/2005.
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scratt
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2006-12-07, 06:19

How about empting them into a bottle...
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Windswept
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2006-12-07, 06:48

"Alternative" uses of ordinary stuff for war:

- Silly string to detect trip wires for IEDs.

- Tampons to blug bullet holes to stanch bleeding.

- Condoms to keep sand out of rifles.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16079446/
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AWR
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2006-12-07, 07:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
/totally off topic!

I have over a billion sachets of tomato ketchup


That's a lot!

I like'd the line about "I've got 86 take-out menus from 4 restuarants".
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turbulentfurball
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2006-12-08, 18:23

Condoms 'too big' for Indian men

Quote:
The study found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms.


That smiley is all I can type here without being insulting and unintentionally racist
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scratt
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2006-12-08, 23:33

It's not just India. When I lived in Japan there was one place foreigners went to buy condoms. It was called Condomania, and imported western condoms..

The first time I ever tried to use a 'free' condom, which was provided on the pillow in a love hotel (instead of a mint I guess) I was soooooo suprised that it only fit on the top 1/3 of my little friend! Turns out that most Asian condoms are designed for penises of different 'erm, dimensions!

In Japan they say that foreigners have large soft willys, where as their's are short but firm... and our's are "soft and juicy like a jaffa"! That last bit is a quote from many of my male Japanese friends!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt

Last edited by scratt : 2006-12-09 at 00:31.
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Windswept
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2006-12-20, 17:58

I was planning to post an altogether different article here just now, but I got sidetracked by turbulent's link.

I'll add this article to counteract the one he linked.

Excerpt. (Full article includes pic of inflated 'extra-large' condoms at factory.)
Quote:
Large condoms for S African men

South African men might enjoy buying extra large condoms.
A range of extra-large condoms has been launched in South Africa, to cater for "well-endowed" men.

"A large number of South African men are bigger and complain about condoms being uncomfortable and too small," said Durex manager Stuart Roberts.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4155390.stm

Let's see... now what the 'heck' was that article about that I was originally planning to post here.
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turbulentfurball
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2006-12-20, 18:38



That looks like a picture of udders waiting to be milked. Would imagine my cereal would taste funny though
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Windswept
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2006-12-25, 19:33

98-year-old Dr. Michael DeBakey, pioneer of cardiovascular surgery, did *not* want to undergo heart surgery himself, mostly because of his advanced age.

But when he lapsed into unresponsiveness during a heart attack, his wife decided to go ahead with heart surgery.

He is now walking for exercise, and is glad he had the operation.

Kind of a cool story, don't you think?

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2006Dec...urgery,00.html

Quote:
NEW YORK — Dr. Michael DeBakey says he was reluctant to undergo the very heart operation he pioneered because, at his age, he feared it might leave him mentally or physically crippled, if he survived it.

"I'd rather die," he told The New York Times in a rare interview for its Monday editions.

Nearly a year later, DeBakey, 98, is the oldest survivor of the operation he developed to repair a damaged aorta, the main artery from the heart. He is back to working nearly full days and walks increasingly longer distances, but he mainly gets around with a motorized scooter.

"It is a miracle," DeBakey said. "I really should not be here."

DeBakey is considered the father of modern cardiovascular surgery, pioneering now-common procedures such as bypass surgery and inventing a host of devices to help heart patients. He talked with the Times about his operation and recovery.

When the pain first charged through his chest at the end of last year in his Houston home, DeBakey said he assumed his heart would soon stop.

"It never occurred to me to call 911 or my physician," he said. "As foolish as it may appear, you are, in a sense, a prisoner of the pain, which was intolerable. You're thinking, what could I do to relieve myself of it. If it becomes intense enough, you're perfectly willing to accept cardiac arrest as a possible way of getting rid of the pain."

Before DeBakey developed the operation to repair torn aortas, his condition would likely have been fatal.

At age 97, it was still risky for him. DeBakey at first gambled that his aorta would heal on its own and refused to be admitted to a hospital.

He was unresponsive and near death when his doctors and his wife decided to proceed.

As he recovered, DeBakey told his doctors he was glad they had operated, despite his earlier refusals.

"If they hadn't done it, I'd be dead," he said.
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spikeh
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2007-01-03, 17:50

From The Beeb

Quote:
The finding of a parrot with an almost unparalleled power to communicate with people has brought scientists up short.

The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do.

N'kisi's remarkable abilities feature in the latest BBC Wildlife Magazine.

N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

About 100 words are needed for half of all reading in English, so if N'kisi could read he would be able to cope with a wide range of material.

Polished wordsmith

He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive.

One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.

When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: "Got a chimp?"

He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."

Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an "outstanding example of interspecies communication".

In an experiment, the bird and his owner were put in separate rooms and filmed as the artist opened random envelopes containing picture cards.

Analysis showed the parrot had used appropriate keywords three times more often than would be likely by chance.

Captives' frustrations

This was despite the researchers discounting responses like "What ya doing on the phone?" when N'kisi saw a card of a man with a telephone, and "Can I give you a hug?" with one of a couple embracing.

Professor Donald Broom, of the University of Cambridge's School of Veterinary Medicine, said: "The more we look at the cognitive abilities of animals, the more advanced they appear, and the biggest leap of all has been with parrots."

Alison Hales, of the World Parrot Trust, told BBC News Online: "N'kisi's amazing vocabulary and sense of humour should make everyone who has a pet parrot consider whether they are meeting its needs.

"They may not be able to ask directly, but parrots are long-lived, and a bit of research now could mean an improved quality of life for years."
One of the coolest stories I've read for a long time! Particularly applicable to me as I move on to theoretical linguistics and the development of language on my course next year.
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Wyatt
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2007-01-03, 19:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by spikeh View Post
From The Beeb



One of the coolest stories I've read for a long time! Particularly applicable to me as I move on to theoretical linguistics and the development of language on my course next year.
Wow. Very cool article. It's astounding what some animals can do when nurtured.
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spikeh
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2007-01-06, 13:00

This is ridiculous.

Quote:
A woman has won $2.1m (£1.1m) from a Los Angeles dating agency after she failed to meet a millionaire.
Anne Majerik, 60, paid Beverly Hills matchmaker Orly Hadida $125,000 (£67,000) to meet affluent men who wanted monogamous relationships.

But she claimed Ms Hadida failed to deliver on her promise by only introducing her to inappropriate men.
I won't put the rest on there, but have a look at what the foreman said at the end of the article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiot
Jurors said they had tried to reach a balance between conflicting desires.

"We wanted to punish the defendant, but in the amount we wanted to punish the defendant, we didn't want to reward the plaintiff," said jury foreman Christie Troutt.

"They were both wrong."
God Bless America.
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Windswept
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2007-01-10, 17:20

OUCH! Scorpion crawls up a passenger's pantleg as he sits on a plane, and bites him. Guy doesn't notice.

Scorpion moves to guy's other pantleg, and finally falls out of pants when passenger is waiting at luggage claim, after stinging him a second time.

The scorpion probably boarded the plane in Houston, but boarded 'the passenger' on the flight from Chicago to Vermont. Whoa! Pretty creepy.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/10/sco....ap/index.html
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Windswept
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2007-01-10, 17:31

(Continued from above.)

Sort of reminds me of the time my ex was putting gas in the car, and suddenly started jumping around frantically, shaking his leg as hard as he could.

As I watched, I couldn't imagine what was going on, and I laughed. Suddenly, something fell onto the concrete from his pantleg. It was one of these:

Spoiler (click to toggle):


I guess it had crawled up the pants fabric, and he didn't feel it until it got to his knee. It was really creepy looking, and *huge*. But I still can't help laughing when I remember him hopping around in a panic.
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spikeh
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2007-01-10, 19:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept View Post
I guess it had crawled up the pants fabric, and he didn't feel it until it got to his knee. It was really creepy looking, and *huge*. But I still can't help laughing when I remember him hopping around in a panic.
Sure worked out a hassle free way of getting rid of that guy
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turbulentfurball
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2007-01-13, 08:52

UK Chancellor defends the Union

Gordon Brown, UK Chancellor and likely successor to Tony Blair this year, defends the existence of the UK.


This year marks the United Kingdom's tercentenary, and right now, the UK is closest to breaking up than at any other time in its past. I'll give some background to the history and current state of the United Kingdom.

Prior to 1603, Scotland and England were independent nations, with their own governments and separate monarchies. England had annexed Wales several years earlier. However, upon the death of Elizabeth I of England, who died having no children, her closest living relative was James VI the reigning King of Scotland. This was a precursor to Great Britain being formed; England and Scotland, while being independent nations, they shared the same monarch.

Almost 100 years later, the English and Scottish governments differed on their views as to who should become the next monarch following the death of the incumbent, Queen Anne. The Scottish Parliament passed The Act of Security, 1704 which stated that the Parliament of Scotland would choose the successor to Queen Anne based on a descendent of previous Scottish Kings, since Anne had produced no heirs. The English Parliament had already decided on a successor without consulting the Scottish Parliament. The result of the Act of Security would most likely result in England and Scotland again having a different monarch. Following this, the English Parliament passed the Alien Act, which essentially treated Scottish citizens as legal Aliens in England, and barred Scotland from trading with England or any of England's colonies, which a the time included the colonies of New England in the present day US. This would have severely damaged the economy of Scotland. This Act was arguably and attempt by the English Parliament to force the Scottish Parliament to forge a political union with England to create a new nation-state; The Kingdom of Great Britain. Following in depth discussions in both nations, a treaty was decided upon, and the Acts of Union were passed in both respective Parliaments which led to their own dissolution; a new Parliament of Great Britain was formed in the former English Parliament in Westminster, which exists to this day. At the time, it is alleged that the Act of Union was only passed in Scotland due to bribes from English politicians, leading to the saying 'Bought and sold for English gold'.

Scotland was given several concessions in the Acts of Union, including a guarantee of a continuation of an independent legal system, an independent education system, and a separate church. Scotland was also given a higher ratio of Members of Parliament than England to compensate for Scotland's loss of statehood, combined with the physical distance from Scotland to the Parliament of Great Britain which sits in England.

I'll now skip over 150 years to the 1970s.

In Scotland, there had been a substantial desire for an element of home rule. In fact, every main political party in the UK has at some point advocated home-rule for Scotland. Following the election of several Scottish National Party (A political party which advocates Scotland again becoming and independent nation) members in the October 1974 UK general election, the Labour government passed the Scotland Act, 1978 which would create a legislature for Scotland giving legislative competence over a list of matters following a the passing of a referendum. However, the referendum failed, despite a majority voting for the creation of the assembly, since the required 40% of the electorate did not vote 'yes'. Shortly after the failure of the Scotland Act, 1978, the Labour Party lost the general election in 1979 to Margaret Thatcher's pro-union Conservatives, and the issue was more or less buried for twenty years.

Every main political party which operated in Scotland other than in the incumbent Conservatives backed the creation of a Scottish Parliament in the run up to the 1997 general election, in which Tony Blair's Labour Party won a landmark landslide. One of the manifesto commitments was to create a Scottish Parliament following the passing of a referendum. The referendum did indeed pass, and the current Scottish Parliament was created. The Scottish Parliament has more powers than were specified for the intended Scottish Assembly which failed in the 1970s. However, the Parliamentary Sovereignty of the UK parliament in Westminster means that Westminster retains the power to legislate for Scotland for all matters, including devolved matters, and could at any time vote for it to be dissolved.

However, since the creation of the Parliament, and in particular in the past year or so, the idea of real independence for Scotland has seen much increased support for several reason.
  • The West Lothian Question. While Scotland has it's own parliament, Scotland also sends members to the UK parliament in Westminster, and can vote on matters which do not apply to Scotland. The incumbent Labour Party has very strong support in Scotland, and without their Scottish members of the UK parliament, some of their legislation, which would only affect England and Wales would have failed. Many people in England, and indeed Scotland think that this is wrong.
  • The UK cabinet; i.e. the most important members of the UK government has a disproportionate number of Scottish members. This so called Scottish Mafia often are in posts which effect England and Wales only. The Chancellor of the Exchequor, Gordon Brown who will most likely become Prime Minister this year, is Scottish.
  • Scotland receives a certain amount of the UK budget from the Barnet Formula. According to this formula, Scotland receives more taxpayers money per capita than England, almost to the sum of £2000 annually, and this obviously leads to some animosity.
    • To link in with this, In Scotland, University education is normally free at point of use, which students paying £2000 after graduation. In England, Student pay fees at least £1200, to £3070 per year.[citation] Additionally, students from England are charged more than Students from Scotland for fees.
    • Eye tests are free in Scotland, they are not in England.
    • Personal care for the elderly is free in Scotland, it is not in England.
    • Travel by bus is free for the elderly in Scotland, it is not universal in England.
    • This was all due to Acts of the Scottish Parliament.
  • As a result of the above, there has been increasing opinion in England that Scotland receives more than its fair share of the 'union dividend'
  • Many in Scotland do not believe that the Scottish Parliament has enough powers to change Scotland for the better.
As a result of all of this, several polls have seen support for Scotland's independence reach heights unseen for decades, in both Scotland and England; the results of the most recent of these are shown below:
Would you approve of Scotland becoming an independent country?
Scottish Views
Approve: 51%
Disapprove: 36%
Don't Know: 14%

English Views
Approve: 48%
Disapprove: 39%
Don't Know: 12%

The next Scottish general election is on May the 3rd this year; two days after the tercentenary of the United Kingdom, the results of which may end the UK as the world knows it; it remains to be seen. The Scottish National Party currently lead the polls, but not with enough support to form government.

I'm not 100% sure of my own views on the subject; my current leaning would perhaps be to completely rewrite the UK constitution to create a federation on US lines; with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having their own legislature enshrined in law, with a federal UK government to cover the most important of issues. Sometimes I think independence would work, but sometimes I have my doubts.

I considered starting a new thread for this, but it's political, so I'm not sure how long it would last. However, it's not partisan, and hopefully the discussion should go well. I may start a thread about it nearer to the election.

Note to Mods/Admins: If you think this deserves its own thread despite it's political content, please split it; if not, feel free to delete my post (Although I did just spend 2 hours researching and writing it)
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spikeh
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2007-01-13, 09:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulentfurball View Post
I'm not 100% sure of my own views on the subject; my current leaning would perhaps be to completely rewrite the UK constitution to create a federation on US lines; with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having their own legislature enshrined in law, with a federal UK government to cover the most important of issues. Sometimes I think independence would work, but sometimes I have my doubts.
I'm 75% Scottish, but have lived in England all my life. I can't say the status of the Union bothers me. Americans refer to anyone from here as "British" anyway, it's only a few European countries that generally make the distinction between English, Scottish and Welsh. Everyone lives their lives and gets on with things anyway, I don't mind if Scotland is technically a separate country or not. Life's too short, I don't understand why people get het up about this sort of thing. Which is not to make light of your post, but just saying there are people who have dedicated their entire lives to 'the cause' (and the IRA, for example, in Ireland, although I know that's a lot different). People should just get on with their lives.
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Windswept
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2007-01-13, 13:09

As an objective outsider with no dog in this fight, it seems to me that if:

1) Scotland gets considerably *more* than their fair share of finances, and 2) Scottish members get to cast influential votes on matters that don't concern them...

...then it would be more fair 'for others' if Scotland were separate and independent.

May I ask, what do you folks consider the 'advantages' of staying together?

I think if you wanted to keep a united kingdom, it should be rearranged on a more fair basis. 'All' should be taxed the same; 'all' should benefit the same, generally speaking.

It doesn't seem at all fair to me that some parts of the union would have 'vastly' greater benefits for its residents, paid for by 'everyone else'.

As I say, I feel that my thoughts are relatively objective; and I'm just going by how you stated the case.

Last edited by Windswept : 2007-01-13 at 14:28.
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turbulentfurball
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2007-01-13, 14:48

Thanks for your thoughts Carol. The reality of the Barnett formula is subject to much discussion:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another blatant lift from Wikipedia
Scottish Nationalists have also pointed to what has been termed the Barnett squeeze. They say that rather than protecting the favourable spending position of Scotland, that instead the Barnett formula is a method to steadily erode that advantage. They point out that if a 4% increase is needed in expenditure to cover inflation, Scotland will only get an increase of 3% of its total budget, whereas England will get the full 4% (proportional to population share; however, both amounts will be equivalent). After inflation, this would mean a 1% budget reduction for the Scottish Executive.
I've read lots of conflicting views on the subject so I'm undecided as to whether or not it's a 'good' thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept
1) Scotland gets considerably *more* than their fair share of finances, and 2) Scottish members get to cast influential votes on matters that don't concern them...

...then it would be more fair 'for others' if Scotland were separate and independent.
That's the main reason that English support for Scottish independence has been rising.
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hiltond
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2007-01-13, 15:17

In light of turbulentfurball's mention of a US style federal system, from the AP:

Quote:
By RICHARD PYLE

The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- If there is such a thing as immortality, it may be having people gather to celebrate your 250th birthday.

Alexander Hamilton met that standard on Thursday, as a group of descendants, along with latter-day admirers, convened to mark the anniversary of his birth in 1757.

The setting for the event, to quote another famous American, was altogether fitting and proper -- the Manhattan churchyard where Hamilton was buried after being killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804, in the shadow of Wall Street towers that symbolize his role as the Founding Father who best understood high finance.

Wreaths were laid and the Rev. Anne Mallonee, vicar of the historic Trinity Church, offered a prayer in memory of the Caribbean immigrant who, among other achievements, became the first U.S. treasury secretary. That put him on the $10 bill, an honor that was briefly imperiled a few years ago by a lobbying campaign to replace him with Ronald Reagan.

"For a long time he never got any credit for doing anything, but I think in the last couple of years his popularity has increased significantly, recognizing the contributions he made," said Douglas Hamilton, an Ohio computer salesman and one of several seventh-generation direct descendants attending the ceremony.

The Hamilton history revival got a boost of sorts with a 2004 reenactment of the duel in which he was killed by Burr 200 years earlier. Douglas Hamilton played the role of his fallen ancestor.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean island of Nevis, making him ineligible to become president of the United States. But that did not stop him from playing what historians recognize as perhaps the most varied -- yet vital -- roles of any of the founders of American democracy.

Gaining fame for battlefield exploits in the early days of the American Revolution, he became Gen. George Washington's most trusted personal aide and helped to forestall a chaotic retreat by Continental troops at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth.

He also earned a law degree, served in the Continental Congress after the war, helped lead the fight for ratification of the Constitution and wrote most of the Federalist Papers, tracts later published in New York newspapers to win public support for the Bill of Rights.

But as Washington's choice to head the treasury, Hamilton made what many historians believe were his most important contributions, issuing national currency, creating the banking system, establishing credit in domestic and foreign financial circles and other policies that spurred a functioning economy in the struggling new nation. His other accomplishments included creating the Coast Guard to protect commerce.

Pugnacious in politics, Hamilton had sharp differences with several Founding Fathers, including John Adams and Burr. It came to a head when he led successful efforts to have the House of Representatives back Thomas Jefferson over Burr in their deadlocked 1800 presidential race.

Their mutual hostility led to a showdown with pistols on a field in Weehawken, N.J., on July 11, 1804, in which Burr fatally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton died the next day, saying he forgave Burr for "all that happened."
More specifically on your topic turbulentfurball, at least it sounds like your process is likely to be peaceful, should it proceed. If the nine northern states were ever to attemp to break off this would not be the case.
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PKIDelirium
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2007-01-17, 13:20

I don't even know how to describe this, other than WHAT THE FUCK!

Man tapes wife's rape, hangs her from tree
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Windswept
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2007-01-18, 19:54

News helicopter blows stranded deer off icy lake.

(with video)

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/18/deer.ice.ap/index.html

Quote:
NORMAN, Oklahoma (AP) -- The pilot of a TV news helicopter used the wind from the aircraft's rotor to push a stranded deer to safety after it lost its footing on a frozen lake and could not get up.

A small crowd had gathered to watch the deer struggling, its hooves repeatedly slipping, near the shore of Lake Thunderbird around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

With the helicopter's camera rolling, KWTV pilot Mason Dunn used the wind from the rotor to push the deer, initially sending it into a break in the ice where the animal managed to hold onto the ice with its front legs. (Watch the deer slip, slide and glide )

Dunn then lowered the helicopter and the wind sent the deer sliding on its belly across the ice until it reached shore and scampered into a nearby wooded area.
Yay, deer!
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digitalprimate
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2007-01-18, 20:09

This news is a few days old, but remarkable enough to post here:

Car takes the metro

Quote:
Brussels metro staff had the surprise of their life this morning after two men attempted to drive their car down onto the platform of a metro station in Brussels on Monday night.
And a filmclip can be found here (in dutch though)
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Moogs
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2007-01-19, 09:50

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6279241.stm

Genocide denying bastards can't even take a little political dissent and discourse. Along with Iran these two countries seem like they have a younger generation that wants to change, but somehow neither country ever does. They constantly seem to teeter back and forth between more open to change, then less open. Neither allows public criticism of the country or its policies, and both are full of nutjobs like the POS that killed this journalist, and both full of people that deny extremely well-documented historical tragedies.

"Traitor"... ya right. The guy trying to open people's eyes and have a real debate so that your country can join the rest of the civilized world, is the traitor.

Moral of the story: [Turkey is a joke] and so is its government.

[Side note: BBC is a little off the mark with "hundreds of thousands". Many respected historical figures and accounts put the number well over 1 million dead, often close to 1.5 million. The spin they get caught up in is the slaughter part which was around 500,000... however close a million people were driven like cattle into unlivable areas, and left there to starve to death.]

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2007-01-19 at 10:03.
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turbulentfurball
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2007-01-20, 13:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulentfurball View Post
*snip* blah blah blah Scotland election later this year blah blah blah *snip*
It just so happens that I met the First Minister of Scotland today; the equivalent of the Prime Minister, sorta. He's fighting for his job in the upcoming election I spoke about above.

Here he is meeting Dubya:
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2007-01-21, 09:27

Holy Crap! I thought only cats could do this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6284061.stm
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2007-01-21, 14:44

And how about this poor duck that was not only shot, but (being presumed dead) was put in the fridge for two days.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6283677.stm

Quote:
A duck in the US state of Florida has survived gunshot wounds and a two-day stint in a refrigerator.
A hunter shot the duck, wounding it in the wing and leg. Believing the bird was dead, he left it in his fridge at his home in Tallahassee.

The hunter's wife got a fright when she opened the fridge and the duck lifted its head, a local veterinarian said.

Staff at the Goose Creek Animal Sanctuary who are treating the bird said it has a 75% chance of survival.

The plucky duck was taken first to a local animal hospital, and then to an animal sanctuary for more specialised treatment.

A veterinarian at the sanctuary said he thinks the duck will live, but will probably never be well enough to be released into the wild.

The veterinarian, David Hale, said the duck's low metabolism rate helped it survive its time in the refrigerator, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.

"This is an extremely tough duck with a lot of spirit to live," he said. "This shows how tough and adaptable wildlife are."
Poor little duck. Being shot 'and' refrigerated. I hope he lives a long and happy life in the wildlife sanctuary.
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hiltond
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Tampa Bay and CNJ
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2007-01-24, 22:42

Know any caring, intelligent, tough people looking for a job that has a direct impact on real people and not abstract ideas? From the AP:

Quote:
NEW ORLEANS - Wanted: Idealistic teachers looking for a Peace Corps-style adventure in a city in distress.

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Some of New Orleans' most desperate, run-down schools are beset with a severe shortage of teachers, and they are struggling mightily to attract candidates by appealing to their sense of adventure and desire to make a difference. Education officials are even offering to help new teachers find housing.

"There's been an incredible outpouring of sympathy toward New Orleans. We feel we're trying to say, `Here's a clear path to go down if you want to act on that emotion,'" said Matthew Candler, chief executive of the nonprofit New Schools for New Orleans, which is trying to recruit teachers.

The school system in New Orleans was in desperate condition even before Hurricane Katrina struck 17 months ago, with crumbling buildings, low test scores and high dropout rates.

After the storm, some of the worst of the worst public schools were put under state control, and those are the ones finding it particularly hard to attract teachers. The 19 schools in the state-run Recovery School District have 8,580 students and about 540 teachers, or about 50 fewer than they need — a shortage so severe that about 300 students who want to enroll have been put on a waiting list.

"Recruiting is a challenge," said Kevin George, principal of Rabouin High School in downtown New Orleans. "The housing market is terrible. The area has a poor image due to the violence. ... And then there's just coming into a place that historically had just a terrible track record of education."

In hopes of finding at least 150 new teachers for the state-run district in the 2007-08 school year, when more schools are expected to open, education officials are trying to recruit candidates at job fairs, on the Web or through newspaper ads that show the raised hands of students and read plaintively: "We need you ... so do they."

The Recovery School District is also working with a real estate agent to help candidates find affordable housing. In addition, it plans to collaborate with Teach for America, which pairs college graduates with a school-in-need for two years.

Norman Smith III, recruited to Rabouin High, said he wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids wary of authority and uncertain of their potential. It has been tough at times, he said.

"I wasn't used to proving myself to kids. But before you teach kids, they have to trust you," said Smith, an English teacher who writes lessons in dusty chalk in his stuffy, second-floor classroom while wearing a pinstriped suit and cufflinks.

"I think the kids are starting to realize, `I can learn,'" he said. "They're looking at the reality, which is, they have something to believe in: themselves."

The state-run district is faced not only with a shortage of teachers, but with a shortage of well-qualified teachers. The district requires prospective teachers to pass a basic skills exam. But over the past two months, half the test-takers have failed. About one-third of the district's teachers are not certified.

Salaries for elementary and high school teachers in the Recovery School District begin at $36,900 a year.

In a reorganization that followed Katrina, the New Orleans school board got to keep a few of the city's best-performing public schools, while those that did relatively poorly academically went to the state or to private groups that turned them into charter schools.

In all, 55 public schools are now open in the city, with about 27,400 students, or less than half the pre-Katrina enrollment. But a group that monitors the charter schools said it was unaware of any widespread teaching vacancies among the charters. And the superintendent of the Orleans Parish schools recently reported only one teaching vacancy.

Many of the schools inherited by the state were run down even before Katrina, plagued by leaky roofs, lead paint or poor heating systems. Many of the students are indifferent to learning or are far behind, with some freshmen unable to read and some teenagers disappearing for days. Some have been arrested for fighting with each other or beating up security guards. Some schools lack classroom supplies.

"This is inexcusable," said Brenda Mitchell, president of the United Teachers of New Orleans. "The persons being hurt the most are the children of the city of New Orleans. I am appalled."

At Rabouin High, which has about 600 students, the halls echo with the shouts of teenagers who should be in class. Doors lack knobs or, in the case of a girls' bathroom, don't close completely. Students have to pass through a metal detector to get inside, and guards patrol the halls.

About half of Rabouin's 34 teachers are first-year educators or new to Louisiana. Some, like David Sneed, 46, commute an hour or more to work each day. The principal said he praises his teachers constantly for fear some will leave.

Sneed, a first-year teacher and former restaurant manager, said he is committed to Rabouin for at least four years.

"The future of our state lies in the education of our students," he said. "I don't want to leave. You'd have to pry me out."
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Foj
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta
 
2007-01-26, 17:30

A chinese court rules that a 4 year old boy's screaming is the cause of death for hundreds of chickens.


A marine park in Japan captures rare frilled shark. With video.

A knife and a fork, a bottle and a cork, that's the way to spell New York.
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