Monday, April 30, 2007
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers foiled an insurgent attack comprised of numerous improvised explosive devices targeting an all-girls’ school north of Baghdad April 28.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, discovered a command wire leading from the school’s outer perimeter to one of the rooms at the Huda Girls’ School, in Tarmiyah, Iraqi. Inside the room, the cavalry troops discovered five artillery shell explosives[...]
[...]The unit believes Al Qaeda extremists, operating in the area, are responsible for the emplacement of the explosives in an effort to thwart the progress the local government has made to improve the lives of the people of Tarmiyah[...]
A Syrian-born airline pilot allegedly tricked a schoolteacher from Haverfordwest into having sex with him by pretending he had to administer ointment on the end of his penis, a jury heard yesterday (Tuesday).H/T Code Monkey
Fadi Sbano, 38, even pretended to know a gynecologist who advised him on how often to have intercourse with her and whether to thrust "slowly or quickly". And, on the "doctor's advice", he kept a clock on the bedside table to time the sessions.
The teacher put up with the treatment for nine months before telling her doctor[...]
Saturday, April 28, 2007
[...]The team, from the IBM Almaden Research Lab and the University of Nevada, ran the simulation on a BlueGene L supercomputer that had 4,096 processors, each one of which used 256MB of memory.
Using this machine the researchers created half a virtual mouse brain that had 8,000 neurons that had up to 6,300 synapses.
The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for ten seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life - the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain[...]
Today I saw this line of DeWalt 36V cordless tools in a store. They seemed too large, heavy, and expensive to cause me to give up my stable of lesser voltage tools that are performing just fine. However, the 36V thing got me wondering just how little voltage it takes to cause an electrocution under the right circumstances.
This Wiki article claims fatal electrocutions have occurred with as little as 32 volts -- a number I vaguely recall reading in other trade journal articles on electrocutions.
[...]Twelve million years ago, at the bottom of the core, it was cold, says Naish. The bottom looks pretty similar to the top, which represents a million or so years.
The middle of the core, however, is much more dynamic and variable. Scientists can see periods where the ice sheet and ice shelf disappeared, around three to four million years ago[...]
The legs are long, the eyes are big, the bodies curvaceous.
Contestants in this Saudi-style beauty pageant have all the features you might expect anywhere else in the world, but with one crucial difference -- the competitors are camels[...]
Friday, April 27, 2007
The thought police have arrived...and they're arresting people.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A grandmother was alarmed to find a condom in a happy meal gift pack bought for her 7-year-old granddaughter at a McDonald's (MCD) restaurant in New Zealand, local media reported Thursday[...]
[...]a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance[...]
Sunday, April 22, 2007
A crocodile shot to death in south China during a search for a missing 9-year-old student was found to contain the child's remains[...]
[...]"The children shot the animals with catapults and beat them with wooden sticks," the agency said. "One of the irritated crocodiles bit Liu's clothes and dragged him into water, where he was eaten by a swarm of crocodiles."[...]
Saturday, April 21, 2007
About 40 miles from where I grew up. Quite a place and worth a visit if you're ever in the Albany NY area. As a little kid, the place was just fascinating.
The new owners of the mammoth Howe Caverns, which changed hands this week for $3.7 million, are planning an extravagant facelift to shore up its reputation as one of New York's most-popular natural attractions.
Wright-Galasso Inc. expects to invest $2 million in the next two years to improve cave lighting and renovate a gift shop, entrance road and the historic Cave House Hotel. Over the next decade, it aims to expand the cave tour by 1,800 feet and open a historic entrance not used by tourists for more than a century[...]
[...]One purpose of the party, Sattar said, is to promote a better image of American-led forces "to the Iraqis here."[...]
Friday, April 20, 2007
Another kinda cool plant in the yard is the century plant. Deadly buggers. Those black tips on the end of the leaves are sharp as a needle. Put one of these suckers in front of a window and no burglar is coming through it. A few years ago I had one of these decide to flower (a rare event). It shot up a stalk that was higher than the roof that had the flower on it, then eventually dropped hundreds of little babies on the ground.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Thousands of people were evacuated after a long-dormant volcano erupted late Tuesday and again early Wednesday, provoking avalanches and floods that swept away houses and bridges.
The Nevado del Huila volcano's eruptions were its first on record since Colombia was colonized by the Spanish 500 years ago[...]
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Had the team not insisted on this dome nonsense and its outlandish cost, they could have been in a new stadium by now. Morons.
[...]The Marlins were rained out three times in 2006, all on the road. Florida's last postponement at Dolphin Stadium was on Sept. 5, 2004, when Hurricane Frances forced the rescheduling of a series with the Cubs.
It is with a weary heart indeed that, this week, I have been driving the new Mitsubishi Outlander. I know, I know, one more wretched SUV. Does the world really need another?[...]
[...]I am not necessarily opposed to SUVs on environmental grounds - the Outlander manages a respectable 40.9mpg[...]
Saturday, April 14, 2007
[...]Gypsum contains large amounts of water bound in crystalline form; 10 square feet (1.0 sq m) of gypsum board contains over 2 quarts (2 1) of water. When exposed to fire, the water in the gypsum board vaporizes; the temperature of the panel remains at 212°F (100°C) until all of the water is released, protecting the underlying wood framework[...]
[...]Each molecule of gypsum (or dihydrous calcium sulfate) is composed of two molecules of water (H20) and one of calcium sulfate (CaSO4). By weight the compound is 21% water, but by volume it is nearly 50% water[...]
[...]Zaeef, Muttawakil and other "good Taliban" recently visited Karzai for negotiations. Afterwards, the Afghan president let it be known he didn't trust this man in the black turban[...]
KABUL - The bodies of nearly 400 Afghan civilians killed during the communist regime that ended in 1992 have been found in a mass grave in northeastern Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday.
The grave was found by local farmers in a desert just outside Faizabad, the capital town of the remote Badakhshan province, deputy governor Shams-ul Rahman Shams said.
"We've so far recovered the bodies of some 380 people. They were killed during the communist time," Shams said.
He said that most of the victims appeared to be civilians who had been killed for opposing the Moscow-backed communist regime[...]
At the moment he was struck down, William Corum had his back to the highway.
Which is why he didn't see the tire coming as he worked 1,000 feet away.
But it flew toward him at about 60 mph, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Roger Reyes.
''It was a total freak accident,'' said Corum's sister, Donna Cheatham. ``It's like a massive area and to have bee-lined right to him is just incredible. He could've been five inches one way or the other and it would've missed him.''
The tire struck his right side, rim and all, rolled up Corum's back to his head and knocked him unconscious. That was a week ago today. He died four days later, on Easter Sunday[...]
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats". I suspect many are like[...]
[...]It's not as if those cowards will actually act on their threats. For better or for worse, this isn't a country in which media figures -- even hugely controversial ones -- are routinely attacked by anything more dangerous than a cream pie[...]
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
ANCHORAGE — An unbudging sheath of sea ice has blocked off the waters where the Alaska Peninsula's sea otters forage, forcing the starving animals inland on a search for food and making them easy prey for wolves and humans.H/T Tim Blair
Some otters have waddled or slid on their bellies for several miles onto the tundra near Port Heiden, where they have been attacked by dogs, killed for their pelts or have died of malnourishment[...]
Sunday, April 08, 2007
The infrastructure of industry is something that has fascinated me since I was a small child though. My dad owned an electroplating shop. Electroplating is one of the critical adjuncts to almost all modern industrial production in one way or another. We got to see and process interim products/parts ranging from ordinary nuts and bolts to parts of the Apollo launch pad cooling system come through the business.
One of the major customers we had was Bendix. Bendix makes brake parts for everything from cars to airliners and fighter planes. Specifically, we copper plated some of the stamped brake pad backers for airliners and fighter planes. Apparently the actual brake pad friction gook didn't stick well to steel, but it would stick well to copper.
Those Bendix parts always came into the shop coated with a stamping oil which we had to remove to get them clean. You can't electroplate oily/dirty/rusty stuff. Its gotta be clean, clean, clean.
Apparently, the process of modern metal stamping is very sensitive to the quality of the lubes used on the metal and in the stamping dies.(PDF document) You can't just dump old crankcase drain oil in there and expect to get good results with the newer high strength steel alloys. The metal can tear/gall/curl in unsatisfactory ways if the stuff isn't right and there's been a move towards synthetics to resolve some of these issues.
That article didn't talk much about it, but there's also the issue of die wear. If you're constantly having to change the dies because they're wearing out, that's very costly. One of the things we did in the plating shop was rechrome stamping dies and mandrels used for pipe forming. Its always cheaper to rebuild the surface of a worn die back to spec by building it back up with chrome than it is to have a new die built.
Next time you fly on an airplane, consider all the thousands of little things that had to work right for it to be able to land and stop and not kill your ass in the process ;-> Lowly stamping oil was undoubtedly one of them.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
It's not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni.
A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren't motor vehicles because they aren't useable on highways and can't carry passengers.
Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards[...]
[...]Internal inspectors found that "at least" 490 computers--including 13 desktop machines--were lost or pilfered in 387 separate incidents between January 2003 and June 2006[...]
[...]about 126 of the incidents "contained sufficient details to show that personal information for at least 2,359 individuals was involved[...]
Friday, April 06, 2007
A wolf, that would be a large carnivorous wild canine type wolf not a cuddly cartoon Mr. Rogers neighborhood wolf, snatches your poofy little rat dog for a snack and you decide to go wandering around the same woods where the abduction occurred?
This is like one of those cheap slasher flicks where the victim(s) say "I'll go outside and check it out", and you're sitting there in your seat thinking "dead man".
A black wolf snatched a small dog near a Juneau lake and ran into the woods with it, U.S. Forest Service rangers said. A woman was walking three dogs Tuesday at Mendenhall Lake when the wolf grabbed the unleashed Pomeranian then dashed off with the dog in its jaws. The woman unsuccessfully searched for the dog, which has not been seen since.[...]
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A U.S. Marine appeared before Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace March 21 to receive the United Kingdom's Distinguished Flying Cross for saving lives and in recognition for his bravery during combat operations in Iraq.H/T Black 5
Marine Maj. William D. Chesarek Jr., is the first U.S. servicemember to be so honored since World War II [...]
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
However, Desert Creatures Scorpion's Sting hot sauce has exceeded all expectations and then some. This stuff is the real deal and clearly made with a generous percentage of Habanero peppers. Just opening the bottle one could smell that very distinctive Habanero aroma and I just knew this would be a special experience.
If you like HOT stuff, pick up a bottle. Roughly equivalent habanero hot sauces from specialty stores have cost me in the $5/bottle range. This stuff is dirt cheap and outstanding.
Warning: Habanero peppers are seriously hot and make jalapeños look wimpy. Habanero products are to be treated with respect ;->
Monday, April 02, 2007
Thousands of Pakistani tribesmen vowed to expel foreign al Qaeda-linked militants from their lands on the Afghan border on Monday and to punish any tribesmen helping the foreigners.
Fighting broke out between the foreign militants, most of them believed to be Uzbeks, and Pashtun tribal fighters last month in the South Waziristan region after the militants tried to kill a pro-government tribal leader.
Government officials say more than 170 people have been killed, most of them Uzbek militants, although residents in the area say the toll has been lower.
Members of all nine clans of the Wazir tribe, many of whom support the predominantly Pashtun Taliban in Afghanistan, met in the region's main town, Wana, and pledged to fight the foreigners. The Waziris are the main tribe in the region.
"They were our guests but later they turned into our enemies as they started killing our people," a witness cited tribal leader Mohammad Sharif as telling the 4,000 tribesmen.[...]
The cabbies are apparently unionized in Korea. I'm thinking that they need to study US union tactics a little more. The way its supposed to work is that you set SOMEONE ELSE on fire, not yourself. When is the last time you heard of a Teamster torching themself? Never. Doesn't happen. They're smarter than that.
A taxi driver in his 50s set himself ablaze in protest against the planned a Korea-U.,S. free trade agreement on Sunday. The man set himself on fire near the Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel, where last-minute negotiations were underway, but survived with serious injuries.[...]
Sunday, April 01, 2007
[...] Pelosi's spokesman Brendan Daly said the speaker was reluctant to weigh in on the incident without knowing that such a message would do more good than harm. Daly said the British government had not asked Congress to try to pressure Tehran[...]
You can test your site to see if you've been banned in the PRC HERE
H/T Miriam's Ideas
A guy driving a roach coach (a truck that goes to work sites with food and drinks) is slowing down to make a turn and a moron in a pickup truck tailgating him smacks him from behind at maybe 15mph. That part was unremarkable, typical rear ender crash caused by an idiot with minimal damage to both vehicles right?
What happened next was hilarious. Apparently the roach coach driver's foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas pedal HARD - that truck lurched forward accelerating like it had a rocket assist. It zoomed across the side road he was trying to turn onto, clipped a phone pole and wound up in a small canal.
That dude poured out of the cab of his truck like a swarm of angry hornets and the guy who hit him had a "oh boy, I really fucked up this time" look on his face that was priceless as I continued by. Both drivers seemed unharmed, so I did just continue by not wanting to get mixed up in the middle of an aggravated assault. The guy in the lunch truck was really hot.