News of the weird, high-tech edition

Breast implants may soon carry MP3 players!

Breast implants may soon carry MP3 players!
Asian News International
London, October 14, 2005

Music may one day be very close to a woman’s chest, with BT futurology which manufactures computer chips that store music, creating a MP3 player that can be implanted into a woman’s breasts.

Via The Stream of Consciousness.

What’s the Average Age Of US Soldiers Who Died In Iraq?

What’s the Average Age Of The 2000+ US Soldiers Who Died In Iraq? 30.

The average age of the soldiers who died in Vietnam was 19. It’s a sobering statistic — you can’t help but think about all those young lives cut short.

Thanks to the end of the draft, the story is quite different — but just as sad — in Iraq. After 2000 deaths (and 15,000 wounded), I added up all their individual ages to find out what the average was. It’s 30.

The whole Iraq war situation is depressing and a national disgrace, but this figure was particularly unwelcome on the week before my 30th birthday. I hope el Shubbito is excoriated in the judgement of history.

The sad thing is, despite the popularity of suggesting total withdrawal, I tend to agree with Kerry’s assessment/malapropism during the 2004 campaign — “you break it, you fix it” — we have to take responsibility for a mess of our own making there, and as such… we are probably (as Bernard predicted on RASSF) going to have to be entangled there for a long time to come. I hope those who support partial withdrawal are right.

And as long as we are there, where are all the people who supported the unelected President when he went to war? They should be signing up. And for those too old to serve, where are the war bond drives, so they can bear the cost in dollars? Chickenhawks, the lot of them.

Deism, and the “Christian Nation Myth”

The Christian Nation Myth

by Farrell Till
Whenever the Supreme Court makes a decision that in any way restricts the intrusion of religion into the affairs of government, a flood of editorials, articles, and letters protesting the ruling is sure to appear in the newspapers. Many protesters decry these decisions on the grounds that they conflict with the wishes and intents of the “founding fathers.”

Such a view of American history is completely contrary to known facts. The primary leaders of the so-called founding fathers of our nation were not Bible-believing Christians; they were deists. Deism was a philosophical belief that was widely accepted by the colonial intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution.

via Squirrel on DBA. Long, but worth reading. A good response to such nutters as Peroutka’s “Constitution Party,” if nothing else.

I don’t like Mondays…

Both true for me, and a good songto boot. (*)

Congratulations to Peter and Jane, whose wedding I was at this past weekend. I’m not sure whether it’s appropriate to post a photo or two here, but I may.

Also, for lack of a better place, here’s some interesting science news:
The key to fresh water: imitation spleen proteins

Burlingame, Calif.–The human spleen doesn’t get a lot of good press, but the Electronic Power Research Institute has come up with a spleen-inspired molecule that could expand the world’s water supply.

(* Does someone know a good spam/adware-free lyrics site? My usual approach to just finding the first on google tends to produce sites that are fine for me, but look like they’re full of crapware if you don’t have a good blocker. Also, geez, how many people have covered that song… the original WAS the Boomtown Rats one, right???)

“[DBA] no beer? no bacon?!?”

The Simpsons’ Exported to Arabs — Minus Bacon, Beer

Key Aspects of New Middle East Version Get Lost in Translation

By JAKE TAPPER and AVERY MILLER, ABCNews.com
AP
‘The Simpsons’ has been exported overseas to the Arab world as ‘Al Shamshoon.’

(Oct. 18) — After 17 seasons of entertaining U.S. audiences, “The Simpsons” can now be seen on Arab television. While U.S. foreign policy is not always a hit overseas, there is a huge audience for American popular culture.

So the Arab satellite network MBC is bringing the cartoon saga of Springfield to the heart of the Arab world. “The Simpsons” has been exported overseas and is now called “Al Shamshoon.”

Via DBA.

Also on DBA tonight, a link to Study Reveals Pittsburgh Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack

Oh, and I can’t sleep :(

“A keyboard, how quaint”

Air Force testing new transparent armor

by Laura Lundin
Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

10/17/2005 – WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) — Engineers here are testing a new kind of transparent armor — stronger and lighter than traditional materials — that could stop armor-piercing weapons from penetrating vehicle windows.

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s materials and manufacturing directorate is testing aluminum oxynitride — ALONtm — as a replacement for the traditional multi-layered glass transparencies now used in existing ground and air armored vehicles.

Remember Star Trek IV? Well, once again we’re living in the future… they’ve got transparent aluminum now. Via a post on rassf;

What’s up with me, lately…

First, because it’s too cute to resist:
(from a mailing list I’m on.)

Other than that, not a lot of news. I’m back from a vacation that wasn’t, in the end, all that relaxing… though I will have got my AA Platinum renewed for another year once the miles post for the flight home. I’m not sure I’m going to bother next year; I’ve got the miles for Marie’s graduation trip, and I can’t help feeling that I’ve got better things to do with my life than travelling by myself (with company would help, I grant… perhaps someday, when Marie is done with school, or under other better circumstances.)

Slappy’s getting married this Saturday, which is really cool, though I am sad I will be missing a third weekend in a row out of town. Work is hectic; we have some deadlines coming up I have been procrastinating on finishing up rather badly, so I will be busy with that. Ah well.

If you’re really bored… some book/movie commentary follows.
Continue reading

“The Republicans’ gift to America”

On AMERICAblog: The Normalization of Treason, the Republicans’ gift to America

If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed an American spy during World War II, he’d have been shot.

We’re at war, George Bush keeps reminding us. We cannot continue with business as usual. A pre-9/11 mentality is deadly. Putting the lives of our troops at risk is treason.

Then why is the White House and the Republican party engaged in a concerted campaign to make treason acceptable during a time of war? That’s exactly what they’re doing.

Go read the rest, now. How can anyone, even of right-wing values, continue to defend this administration? It will go down those of Nixon and Buchanan as among the worst ever.

(Updated tonight for crap html.)

I am so l33t!!!

There was planned downtime this weekend. The server now has mirrored hard drives, using the software RAID1 driver. And a hopefully much faster news spool on its own partitition, but that is a separate issue most of you are unlikely to see (if you actually know me in person and don’t already have one, do feel free to ask for an account…)

The electronic nose at work…

E-nose to sniff out hospital superbugs

22 September 2005
From New Scientist Print Edition
Paul Marks

AN ELECTRONIC nose that sniffs out infections could help hospitals tackle outbreaks of the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA.

Culture tests routinely used to identify MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) take two or three days to complete. This hampers attempts to manage outbreaks as infected patients remain untreated and at risk of infecting others.

Sometimes, living in the future is very cool.

via the Daily Illuminator