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Monday, May 31, 2010

In the News: May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!
Hope you all had a nice day off (for those who got one) and quick 'thank you' to all the men and women who are serving and have served our country in the armed services.

Let's start off with some words from our Commander-in-Chief:
Obama chides heckler seeking fast repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

""Maybe he didn't read the newspapers, because we're working with Congress as we speak to roll back 'don't ask, don't tell,' " Obama said at the event for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California."

""C'mon, man, I'm dealing with Congress here," Obama said to laughter. "It takes a little bit of time.""

Pretty awesome. Further proof Obama would be a pretty cool dude to hang with. (Though that says nothing to what I think of his policies, I think Bush would be the man to chill with. Kinda like how he was portrayed in Harold & Kumar 2).

Tropical storm leaves more than 115 dead in Central America
This picture is nuts!

"At least 115 people have died after a tropical storm battered Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador over the weekend, officials in those countries reported."

"In the northern part of Guatemala City, the downpour created a giant sinkhole that swallowed up a space larger than the area of a street intersection. Residents told CNN that a three-story building and a house fell into the hole."

A curiously French complaint 
"But I am le tired..."

"After a couple of days of wheezing and coughing, I took myself to the doctor and explained that I was feeling a bit ropey.

One hour later I had been diagnosed with a severe lung infection, mild asthma and had in my hand a prescription for six different types of medicine, an appointment at the local hospital's radiology department and an emergency referral to a specialist in pulmonary disease.

The next day I flew home to the UK for the Christmas holidays where my worried parents persuaded me to visit their local GP for a second opinion.

After five minutes in his consulting room, I emerged empty-handed but with a new diagnosis. I had… a cold."

"I am not suggesting that the French are a nation of hypochondriacs but they do take their health very seriously.

France is the biggest consumer of antibiotics in Europe. The government has recently tried to wean the country off its dependency with a series of TV advertisements which reassure the ailing that they do not always need drugs."


Report: TSA behavior detection efforts missed alleged terrorists
Unfortunately not surprising at all... Does anyone really feel safer with TSA?

"A new report by the Government Accountability Office says behavior detection techniques failed to lead authorities to at least 16 alleged terrorists who traveled through U.S. airports."

"Mica, the top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, asked for the GAO report. Although Mica supports behavior detection, he said the TSA has not carried out its program effectively.

"It leads me to again call for reorganization of TSA," Mica said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "TSA is an agency in total disarray.""

North Korea 'severs all ties' with Seoul
These guys are ridiculous.

"North Korea is to cut all relations with South Korea, Pyongyang's official news agency reports.

KCNA said the North was also expelling all South Korean workers from a jointly-run factory north of the border."

""The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea... formally declares that from now on it will put into force the resolute measures to totally freeze the inter-Korean relations, totally abrogate the agreement on non-aggression between the North and the South and completely halt the inter-Korean cooperation," KCNA reported."

"In a warning to South Korea's navy, a newsreader on North Korean state television (KRT) said: "South Korean puppet army gangs have been recently trespassing our territorial waters without restraint.

"They have conducted provocative acts which severely irritate us, by making dozens of warships intrude upon our waters from 14 to 24 May.""

Remember when China used to use language like that? Maybe they can send a few pointers to NK.
Although a more definitive condemnation of NK from China would be nice too...

Sony Unveils Paper-Thin OLED Screen That Rolls Up While Still Playing Video

"The 80-microns-thick (that's 80 millionths of a meter, or about as thick as a human hair) full-color display can be rolled up and unfurled repeatedly without degrading picture quality. It was made possible by a breakthrough in OLED tech, in which Sony researchers created organic thin-film transistors with 8 times the performance of conventional OTFTs."

Research to find effects on brain of bilingualism

"Prof Virginia Gathercole said the obvious benefits included being able to converse [Genius!] and to participate in two cultures."

"But she said there was also evidence of non-language benefits, such as the ability to protect the brain from ageing.

"The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people's abilities to pay close attention to a aspects of tasks relevant to good performance," she added.

Research carried out already had also shown having two languages helped protect against the decline in the brain's abilities when ageing," she added."

Open letter to pope urges end to celibacy
Interesting concept. Doubt the church would ever actually go for it, despite the fact that they have no real reason to remain celibate.

"About a dozen Italian women have posted an open letter to the pope on the internet in which they claim to have had intimate relationships with priests and urge the church to abolish celibacy for Catholic clergy."

"The group calls celibacy a man-made law that needs revisiting and adapting to the times.

"We wonder if, like all man-made laws, at a certain time, in a certain historic time, it is not the case to discuss it again and change it or even, as we hope, completely abolish it.""

BP Tries Again to Divert Leaking Oil With a Dome
"Well, we're run out of ideas, let's start from the top again!" -BP
Apparently a real ad from 1999 (9gag)

"Unable for six weeks to plug the gushing oil well beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP renewed an effort Monday to use a dome to funnel some of the leaking crude to a tanker on the surface. A similar attempt failed three weeks ago, but officials said they had resolved some of the technical problems that forced them to abort last time."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting really tired of BP's lack of effort (I'm still sticking with my initial belief that BP could care less about the environmental impact and they're still trying to keep the well alive to recover more oil) and with the government's lack of response (despite Obama's claim that he was throwing everything at the problem weeks earlier, after visiting the area last week, he said he will now devote three times the manpower).

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