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Sunday, March 6, 2011

In the News: March 6, 2011

Local Priest Offered Sex to Officers After Arrest
How could I not open with this?

"A local priest may need more than the Lord's forgiveness after what police officers say he did Sunday night.

"I sum it up as unusual at best," said Brimfield Township Police Chief David Blough.

It started just after 11:45 p.m. Sunday when officers received a report of a car off the side of the road at the intersection of Meloy and Sandylake roads.

Father Ignatius Kury was laying down in the back seat of the vehicle.

"He was extremely intoxicated," said Chief Blough.

Kury tested three times the legal limit and was taken to the police station for processing. Officers say that's when things really got interesting.

Police rolled a video tape of the incident to protect themselves and use it as evidence in court.

"Because of the fact that one of my officers walked by the holding cell and he was exposing himself," said Chief Blough.

Kury is heard on the tape saying, "I'll give you a sermon on the mount."

According to Chief Blough, the priest's rant lasted over 20 minutes during which he threatened and propositioned officers.

Kury is heard saying, "I'll pay you whatever you want. What do you want? Want me to give you a [expletive]? Is that what you want ?" "Do you want me to be a sexual slave?"
(via Barstool)

Pope Benedict: Jewish people not guilty for Jesus death
Phew. Glad we cleared that up.

"Pope Benedict has rejected the idea of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus Christ's death, in a new book to be published next week.

Tackling an issue that has led to centuries of persecution, the Pope argues there is no basis in scripture for the Jewish people to be blamed.

The Catholic Church officially repudiated the idea in 1965.

But Jewish groups say the Pope's detailed analysis of the gospels is a major step forward.

"This is a personal repudiation of the theological underpinning of centuries of anti-Semitism," said Elan Steinberg, vice-president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

The Anti-Defamation League said it was an "important and historic moment".

Low-flow toilets cause stink in San Francisco

"The city of San Francisco's push for low-flow toilets is saving water – at a smelly price.

Use of the low-flow toilets has cut city water consumption by 20 million gallons a year, Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue told the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the cost is both monetary and olfactory.

Because water flow isn't pushing the waste through the system fast enough, a stinky sludge is building up in the sewers, the Chronicle reports. It's blamed for a rotten-egg smell wafting through areas of the city, especially during summer, according to the report.

So the city is spending $14 million to buy a three-year supply of concentrated bleach to combat the sewer odor, disinfect treated water before it's pumped into San Francisco Bay and sanitize tap water.


Dior moves to fire Galliano after Hitler comments
I don't particularly care about this story, but just look at the guy! "Creep" written all over that face.

"Christian Dior has started proceedings to fire designer John Galliano after he was filmed making anti-Semitic comments in a Paris restaurant, the fashion giant said Tuesday.

The company condemned his "deeply offensive statements and conduct" in a statement announcing the plan to fire him.

The statement came hours after Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman condemned Galliano's praise of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

"I love Hitler," Galliano said in a video obtained by Britain's Sun newspaper. "Your mother, your forefathers would be f---ing gassed and f---ing dead."

'Tractor beam' is possible with lasers, say scientists

"A laser can act as a "tractor beam", drawing small objects back toward the laser's source, scientists have said.

It is known that light can provide a "push", for example in solar sails that propel spacecraft on a "wind of light".

Now, in a paper on the Arxiv server, researchers from Hong Kong and China have calculated the conditions required to create a laser-based "pull".

Rather than a science fiction-style weapon, however, the approach would only work over small distances.

The effect is different from that employed in "optical tweezers" approaches, in which tiny objects can be trapped in the focus of a laser beam and moved around; this new force, the authors propose, would be one continuous pull toward the source.

Spiders lead to Mazda recall

"Mazda is recalling about 52,000 Mazda6 sedans in the U.S., because yellow sac spiders like to build their nests in part of the fuel system.

"A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction of the line," Mazda said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The evaporative canister vent line runs from a charcoal-filled canister that cleans air coming out of the gas tank. Blockage of the line can prevent air from getting into the gas tank as the gasoline is used, resulting in negative air pressure inside the tank. That can lead to a crack in the gas tank and the possibility of a fire.

New Demolition Robot Rips Through Walls, Snips Rebar and Turns Concrete Into Dust
Aww... so cute. Can I have one?

"Need to take down some infrastructure? Turn to the new F-16, a demolition robot that can easily break down stairwells, concrete slabs and walls. For a full spectrum of destructive power, it uses shears, breakers, grapples, a drop hammer, buckets and a concrete-pulverizing claw.

The electrically powered robot rolls on a tank-like track, with four movable pedestals that stabilize it. It’s designed for selective dismantling of concrete slabs, stairwells, walls and other interior structures, according to Stanley LaBounty, a division of Stanley Hydraulic Tools. It even has a camera for precision demolition action.

It weighs 3,417 pounds, which Stanley says is the lightest in its class, enabling it to enter areas where heftier machines can’t go.

Watch it slice through steel and crumble concrete with a flick of its robo wrist. Let’s hope these destructo-bots never start sharing their destructo-plans.

Last living U.S. World War I veteran dies

"Frank Buckles, the last living U.S. World War I veteran, has died, a spokesman for his family said Sunday. He was 110.

Lawmakers Monday began to move ahead with proposed resolutions that would allow his casket to be displayed at the Capitol Rotunda, and plans were already in the works for his burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buckles "died peacefully in his home of natural causes" early Sunday morning, the family said in a statement sent to CNN late Sunday by spokesman David DeJonge.

Buckles marked his 110th birthday on February 1, but his family had earlier told CNN he had slowed considerably since last fall, according his daughter Susannah Buckles Flanagan, who lives at the family home near Charles Town, West Virginia.

Buckles, who served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe during what was then known as the "Great War," rose to the rank of corporal before the war ended.

The 'Michigan fish test' and the Middle East

"When I read about the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, I think about life under the sea.

Wonder what I mean?

Study the image below for five seconds, then look away and quickly describe it to yourself.

"What did you see, and what did you say? Did three large fish, the prominent individuals of the scene, hold your gaze?

Or was your eye drawn more to the environment, taking in the rocks, the bubbles, the kelp?

Just what does this visual exercise have to do with Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya?

It turns out that how you go about even this simple and straightforward task of describing what's in this image depends on your worldview, which is greatly shaped by your culture.

Essentially, people from different cultures will perceive and remember different aspects of the same picture. A perfect example of this phenomenon is how we perceive the current events in the Middle East.

"The image here, known in psychology as the Michigan Fish Test, was presented to American and Japanese participants in a study conducted by Richard Nisbett and Takahiko Masuda.

In their five-second viewing, Americans paid more attention to the large fish, the "main characters" of the scene, while Japanese described the scene more holistically. For Americans, the large fish were the powerful agents, influencing everything around them. For Japanese, the environment dominated, interacting with and influencing all the characters.

After the initial test, the researchers offered participants different versions of the fish picture, with some elements changed and some not. With the altered pictures, the Japanese were more likely to notice changes in the scenery or context. The Americans, on the other hand, proved adept at recognizing the large fish wherever they appeared, while the Japanese had more trouble recognizing the fish in new contexts, outside the original environment.

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