Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Waiting For The Guards is the first of 3 films commissioned by Amnesty to highlight the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the “War on Terror”.

The Directors approached the making of the film in a way that has never been done before, choosing to show the reality of Stress Positions in as authentic a way as possible. They filmed a person being put into Stress Positions over a 6 hour period. There is no acting on the part of the “prisoner” – his pain and anguish is for real.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Radioactive Ammunition Fired in Middle East May Claim More Lives Than Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By firing radioactive ammunition, the U.S., U.K., and Israel may have triggered a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East that, over time, will prove deadlier than the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan.

So much ammunition containing depleted uranium(DU) has been fired, asserts nuclear authority Leuren Moret, "The genetic future of the Iraqi people for the most part, is destroyed."

"More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing (of nuclear bombs) has been released from depleted uranium weaponry since 1991," Moret writes, including radioactive ammunition fired by Israeli troops in Palestine.

Link. Via Harper's Weekly Index.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If you're happy and you know it

Kent French is the world's fastest clapper. Via Metafilter.

721 Claps Per Second - Free videos are just a click away

I once saw a slightly toned down version of this at a STOMP performance, and have since wanted to learn how to drum by double-clapping, but it is not easy.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Taser Happy

More tasers.

An internal police investigation is under way after a formal complaint was filed against a Utah state trooper who was videotaped Tasering a man who refused to sign a speeding ticket.

The officer’s conduct has been called into question after a videotape of the incident was posted on YouTube.

The video, taken from a Utah Highway Patrol dashboard camera, shows Trooper John Gardner using a Taser on Jared Massey during a traffic stop on State Road 40 in Uintah County on Sept. 14.

“We do have an open internal review, or investigation, of the case,” Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, told “We’re trying to expedite that to get that done as quickly as possible. If the trooper acted inappropriately we will definitely, absolutely, take the appropriate measures to resolve that.”

Via Cynical C.

UPDATE: A commentator at Cynical-C provides a link to a truly horrifying discussion of this video by police officers. Yikes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drum Warfare

Buddy Rich battles with Animal on The Muppet Show.

Via BoingBoing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Good News For Me

Who can tell me what those elitist, left-wing bastards of the ivory tower do all day? Anyone? Anyone?

A: Nothing. Except bitch and wine about capitalism and how all their precious sinecures are being taken away from them.

Well, the NYT, that bastion of libearlism, suggests that those namby-pamby, effete dillettantes are not happy about it. Apparently, the intelligentsia is getting upset. Apparently those bloviating masters of sophism are mad that all their jobs are being outsourced. Apparently doing so diminishes the quality of higher education. Who knew!

It appears those lazy, novel-reading, want-to-be-writers may have a good thing coming.

The shift from a tenured faculty results from financial pressures, administrators’ desire for more flexibility in hiring, firing and changing course offerings, and the growth of community colleges and regional public universities focused on teaching basics and preparing students for jobs.

But it has become so extreme that some universities are pulling back, concerned about the effect on educational quality. Rutgers University in New Jersey agreed in a labor settlement in August to add 100 tenure or tenure-track positions. Across the country, faculty unions are organizing part-timers. And the American Federation of Teachers is pushing legislation in 11 states to mandate that 75 percent of classes be taught by tenured or tenure-track teachers.

Via, that bastion of liberalism, the NYT.

More tasers

Your daily taser-death story. Via Thomas.

A 20-year-old man died Sunday after being shot with a Taser device during a scuffle with a sheriff's deputy in Maryland, a spokeswoman for the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said.

Amnesty International blames dozens of deaths on police use of stun guns.

Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said deputies responding to a report of a fight in progress arrived at the location in Frederick, Maryland, just before 5 a.m. ET and found four people fighting.

A deputy used a Taser device on one of the men, who fell unconscious, Bailey said.

The man was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not immediately released, pending the notification of his family.

And here's a link to Amnesty International's page on Taser abuse, including reports from 2004 and 2006, as well as recent Taser-related news. Here's the blurb on the page:
Since June 2001, there have been more than 270 TASER-related deaths in the United States. AI is concerned that TASERs are being used as tools of routine force--rather than as weapons of last resort. Rigorous, independent, impartial study of their use and effects is urgently needed.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Get out of bed, you old coot.

Secret villainy in Wonka. Via metafiler.

We know this is the quintessential question. After all, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a well-loved movie based on the wonderful book Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Parents love it, children love it, heck, we even love it.

That does not mean it is perfect.

Our goal is to expose the dark underbelly of the story. To reveal once and for all the truth about the only real villain in the movie (and no, it is not Slugworth). It is Grandpa Joe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tasers Tasers Tasers

Tasers in the news, via Gerry.

A mentally-ill, 82-year old woman was tasered on Tuesday.
A 40-year-old Polish immigrant was tasered to death on Oct. 26th, 24 seconds after the police arrived.
And a 68-year-old stroke victim was tasered yesterday on suspicion of double parking.

It's getting sillier and sillier.

Sharp Tongue

"You are ignoramus, you are a burro, Mr Danger... or to say it to you in my bad English: [switching languages] You are a donkey, Mr Danger. You are a donkey, Mr George W Bush.

[Returning to Spanish] You are a coward, a killer, a [perpetrator of] genocide, an alcoholic, a drunk, a liar, an immoral person, Mr Danger. You are the worst, Mr Danger. The worst of this planet... A psychologically sick man, I know it."

The BBC has a list of fine (and not so fine) put-downs issued by Chavez. Enjoy.