Friday, January 9, 2009

News Bits (and Bites)

the wind's back up, and it's snowing. Brrr....

Never mind. Boulder's wildfires have been contained:

(settle in -- this is going to be a long one)

Earthquakes in Yellowstone:

Getting the Lead Out:
From the LA Times, 1/9/09: "After a barrage of complaints, federal regulators shifted gears Thursday and said they won't require used children's clothing, toys and other items sold at second-hand stores to be tested for lead." If you haven't heard, U.S. legislation now mandates that, starting, Feb. 10, children's retailers are required to test all of their products for lead. (Prompted, of course, by the weird presence of lead and hazardous chemicals found lately in everything from clothes to toothpaste in imported goods.) Thrift shops had protested that they couldn't afford to do this, and stay in business. Finally, somebody listened.

Celebrity Money Mistakes:

Jet Pack Man Becomes A Reality:
From Popular Science, 2/09 issue: An interview with Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot who became the first person in history to pilot a jet-pack "personal wing" across the English Channel. Nine-plus harrowing minutes over 22 miles, part of it gliding, and ending with a chute opening in freefall. In spite of years of testing, including the current model, which is notoriously unstable, Rossy has never been hurt. (One of his predecessors, Patrick de Gayardon, tanked in 1998 while testing a "winged" skydiving suit in Hawaii.)
Read more about Rossy here:

Stupid Crimes by Stupid People:
Some should apply for the Darwin awards, now they're on a roll:

A Free Whopper:
...If you dump 10 friends from Facebook:

Israel vs Hamas:
From a column by David Harsanyi (Denver Post, 1/09/09):

In our nation, even twisted extremists are welcome to express their opinions.
Take, for instance, the young Muslim woman in Florida who used her constitutional right to tell Jews to 'go back to the oven!' last week. Or the more befuddled protester in New York who brandished a sign that read, 'Death to all Juice.' (And I thought we Jews ran the country. Clearly, someone is sleeping on the job.)
These rare but revolting displays of hate do offer the 'Juice' a valuable reminder that a secure Jewish state in Israel is a historic imperative.
Nevertheless, it is distressing to hear the large number of supposedly peace-loving critics of Israel in essence defend Hamas, one of the most virulently un-intellectual, illiberal, bellicose, misogynistic, hateful and violent brands of religious fanaticism on Earth.
That's no easy trick, mind now, detractors have turned to a feeble argument that claims Israel is guilty of failing to deploy a 'proportional' response against Hamas...
For Israel, there is no choice. There is no political solution. No happy ending. The present circumstance in Gaza refutes the Left's quixotic notion that antagonists can just, you know, hug it out for peace. It also counters the neoconservative idea that democracy will spread among people who place no value in it.
Because Gaza is free. Obviously the Palestinians cannot be placated with an independent state -- a gift they never had until Israel handed them Gaza with nary a condition. But this is not a 3,000-year-old war steeped in ancient history...this was a 20th century battle between Jewish and Arab nationalists. It has turned into a more insidious 21st century war with Islamic fundamentalism.
Hamas will not be romanced by the idea of 'building bridges' with Israel...When asked if he could ever imagine a long-term ceasefire with Israel, Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan responded: 'The only reason to have a hudna (cease-fire) is to prepare yourself for the final battle.' [Rayyan died last week in a bombing by the Israel air force. Unfortunately, he took four wives and 11 children with him.]
. ..The group (Hamas) provoked Israel with thousands of rocket attacks indiscriminately aimed at civilian centers. Once Israel responded -- after years of warnings -- Hamas placed caches of weapons near schools, mosques and homes in an effort to cause carnage on its own people. Civilian death is the point.
Most reasonable Americans will understand that Israel did not invade Gaza to terrorize the civilian population or murder the innocent...What other nation would allow a terror state to attack it on a daily basis without defending itself? The answer is none.

And don't miss Unsolved Mysteries' recent episode on Bigfoot in Colorado. Although I'm sure he has been (or is) around, it is still a tad unsettling to hear about sightings almost literally on my doorstep. Read more here:
(actually about the Pacific Northwest)
and here:
Colorado reports are here:
as well as here (the best of the batch):

Have a good (snowy) day...and an even better weekend. Maybe I'll ask Mr. and Mrs. S(asquatch) to tea.

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