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Thursday, February 17, 2011

In the News: February 17, 2011

Quick update for those that don't read the news:

So... apparently it's revolution season in the Middle East.

Libya protests: Death in al-Bayda as unrest spreads

Complete respect for the protesters. I'd be terrified to go up against this guy; Gaddafi looks like he does not fuck around.

"At least one person has been killed in protests across Libya on Thursday in what anti-government activists described as a "Day of Rage".

Amnesty International says a man was shot dead when security forces opened fire in the city of al-Bayda.

Police and protesters also clashed in Zentan and Benghazi, where one witness told the BBC at least 16 people are believed to have been killed.

This week's protests are the first in Libya, where dissent is rarely allowed.

Bahrain urged to show restraint after bloody clampdown

"Washington has urged Bahrain to show restraint in dealing with protesters and called for meaningful reform in the small Gulf state kingdom.

Security forces cleared hundreds of demonstrators from a square in the capital Manama on Thursday, leaving four people dead and hundreds injured.

Prayers and funerals are due to take place in the city on Friday.

A pro-government demonstration is also expected to be held, just hours after Bahrain banned public gatherings.

BBC also has this informative (and interactive) map on the recent unrest in the region:


Is there any other news besides revolution in the Middle East?
Let's find out!

South Sudan chosen as name for new country
Wait, so there's mayhem in the Middle East, while a new African nation just formed (relatively) peacefully?

"South Sudan has been chosen as the name of what will be the world's newest country when it comes into existence on 9 July, ending months of speculation.

Other suggested names had included Nile Republic and Cush, a reference to a Biblical-era kingdom in the area.

Some 99% of southern Sudanese voted for independence from the north of Sudan in a referendum held in January.

"The week-long vote itself passed off peacefully, but tension remains high in parts of the oil-rich area which straddles the north and south.

Last week, some 200 people were killed in south Sudan's Jonglei state in fighting involving fighters loyal to rebel leader George Athor.

OK, enough politics.
Check out this crazy Madagascan mammal that can chirp like a cricket:

Creepy Madagascan Beasts Rub Their Back Hairs Together To Make Squeaks

"The only mammals in the world that chirp like crickets — by rubbing body parts together — are these strange shrew-like creatures called streaked tenrecs. A BBC film crew has captured their stridulations on camera for the first time.

The animals have special quills on their backs, which look like pale teeth and are noticeably different from the rest of its coarse fur and porcupine-like spines. When a young tenrec gets lost, as in the video below, its family members rub these quills together to produce high-pitched squeaks. The sound penetrates the rainforest undergrowth to help guide the tenrec back to its kin.

Google: Sting proves Bing copied search results
Old news, but still interesting.

"Microsoft's search engine Bing is copying results from Google, the dominant search engine on the internet, has claimed.

Suspicious of their new rival, Google engineers set up random results on their site for a series of unlikely search terms, such as "hiybbprqag." (Google arranged for the nonsense word to point to a Los Angeles theater seating plan on its search engine.)

"Within a couple weeks of starting this experiment, our inserted results started appearing in Bing," Google said in a statement on its official blog Tuesday.

Google said it welcomed honest competition, but sneered at Bing's "recycled search results from a competitor."

Bing did not deny that it took Google into account when producing its own search results, but suggested they were only one factor among many. They also accused Google in turn of a "spy-novelesque stunt" that would only affect very unusual search terms.

New Orleans pizza delivery man blinded by bleach in robbery

"A New Orleans pizza delivery man is still having trouble seeing after a robber threw bleach in his eyes last week in an effort to steal a pie he ordered.

That's the scene a police report paints of the events that led to the arrest of Terrence "Baby Tee" Alexis.

New Orleans police were led to 19-year-old Alexis through several sources, the report said. Officers arrested him Friday at the 2nd District police station in the 4300 block of Magazine Street and jailed him on charges of simple robbery and second-degree battery.

Last Thursday about 2:30 p.m., the Domino's Pizza delivery man, whom police did not identify, pulled up to a house in the 8600 block of Palm Street in Hollygrove. He walked to the front door and began to knock when a man standing nearby said he lived there. The man, identified in the police report as Alexis, told the driver to keep knocking and someone would answer.

Then, unexpectedly, Alexis allegedly splashed a cup of bleach into the delivery man's eyes, blinding him, and stole the pizza, police said.

The delivery man ran back to his car. "You know you're not supposed to be back here, white boy!" Alexis allegedly yelled as the man pulled away.

The ever entertaining gents at Barstool had this commentary to add:
"Listen I’m not condoning what Baby Tee did to this Domino’s driver. It’s never cool to throw bleach in somebody’s eyes. But Baby Tee gonna do what Baby Tee gonna do. My question is how oblivious was this driver? Like if you’re holding a piping hot pizza while endlessly knocking on a door and you see a 4 foot 11, 309 pound midget come waddling around the corner then bells and whistles should start going off in your head like a motherfucker. Obviously something ain’t right. So you can either keep knocking like a jack ass or get the fuck out of there. This guy decided to stick around and got detergent in his eyeballs for his trouble. Not necessarily his fault, but at the same time a little common sense will go a long way in this situation."
(NOLA via Barstool)

100-foot-long narco sub found in Colombia
Where do they get this stuff??

"The Colombian military has seized a 100-foot-long submarine capable of transporting eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico, news reports say.

The vessel was found in a jungle area in Timbiqui in southwestern Colombia on Sunday, according to a report from RTT News.

Colombian navy officials said the homemade sub had two diesel engines and sophisticated navigational equipment that would enable it to travel to Mexico while remaining up to 30 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The Catholic Church Gives Blessing to Confession iPhone App
Just what I always wanted!

"You can’t buy absolution—at least, not anymore—but $1.99 will help you get there. A new app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch has been “developed for those who frequent the sacrament and those who wish to return” in what is the first known imprimatur to be given for an iPhone or iPad app. Can we get an Amen?

Confession: A Roman Catholic App was developed by Little iApps to help walk the penitent through the sacrament of penance, a.k.a. confession. The app won’t impart absolution to you—sorry, but there’s no getting out of the actual act of confession—but it does help one organize his or her sins into a handy list and maintain proper confessional decorum.

The app helps users examine their consciences by listing the 10 Commandments and asking users questions about their lives related to the fundamental rules of Christianity. Password protected profiles even allow the app to question a penitent soul about aspects of Christianity as they pertain to the person’s age, marital status, and gender, helping them to better enumerate their spiritual shortcomings and make sure nothing is forgotten when the get into the booth. Almost like a grocery list, except instead of general food items it lists all the ways you fall short of the glory of God.

Guitar Hero gets axed; Activision shares dip 10%
I guess the  potential to get Kurt Cobain to sing 'No Doubt' songs didn't sell as many copies as they hoped.

"The stock price for Activision Blizzard hit a sour note Thursday, the day after the video game company said it was abandoning "Guitar Hero" and focusing on battle games such as "Call of Duty."

"Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its "Guitar Hero" game for 2011," said Activision, in its fourth-quarter earnings statement Wednesday.

(Nerf Now)

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