October 10, 2005

Squirrels on Crack

The idea of a squirrel on crack scares the crap out of me.

Squirrels go nuts on crack

 Picture 0,,2005461143,00
squirrels, digging up stashes

SQUIRRELS are getting hooked on crack cocaine -- hidden by addicts in gardens.

They are digging up the stashes and eating the mega-addictive drug, which comes in small chunks.

Several have been spotted behaving bizarrely in Brixton, South London, since a police blitz against pushers and users.

One resident said: "My neighbour said dealers had used my garden to hide crack.

"Just an hour earlier I'd seen a squirrel digging in the flower-beds.

"It was ill-looking and its eyes looked bloodshot, but it kept on desperately digging. It seems a strange thing to say, but it seemed to know what it was looking for."


Crack squirrels are a recognised problem in America. They are common in parks used by addicts in New York and Washington DC. [The Sun Online]

Has anyone else heard of this problem with crack squirrels in America? Should I be frightened? The squirrels in my backyard always look a bit crazed and hyper. I'll have to start carrying a bat to fend them off when I go out to the car.

Posted by snooze at 4:55 PM

October 5, 2005

Idiot Teachers

Thank god this substitute teacher was fired.

Teacher Mistakes Boy's Insulin Pump For Phone, Rips It Out

CLERMONT, Fla. -- A substitute teacher in Lake County, Fla., was terminated and banned from teaching in the county after he ripped out a student's insulin pump during class apparently thinking it was a ringing cell phone, according to a Local 6 News report.

Officials said a ninth-grade student at East Ridge High School, who is a Type I diabetic, was in class Monday when his insulin pump began to beep, indicating he was low on insulin. [local6.com]

A friend of mine has an insulin pump, there's no way I'd think someone could confuse it with a cell phone. I mean, the tube running from it to his body would be a dead giveaway I'd think.

Posted by snooze at 2:50 PM

September 12, 2005

Wow. Just Wow

My mom posted a link to a post at nola.com which has an account of the hurricane and its aftermath at Tenet's Memorial Medical Center. Rene Goux, the CEO of Tenet's Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, writes about hurricane and the flooding of the hospital (it's pretty much at the bottom of the bowl that is New Orleans).

Conditions at the hospital deteriorated rapidly. There was no plumbing; the toilets were overflowing. The stench was overwhelming. None of us had been able to bathe for four or five days. The smell of sewage was nauseating and it was unbearably hot. We started breaking windows to give our patients some ventilation. At the end, we were reduced to one meal a day. We had no power at all for the last two days. None of the elevators were working, so we had to carry patients up as many as eight floors to the helipad or down to the boats. [nola.com: Memorial Medical Center Evacuation]

The people working at that hospital deserve some kind of recognition for the work they did. They work in an intense environment as it is and this just sounds insane.

Posted by snooze at 10:01 AM

September 8, 2005

New Orleans Photos

My mom's been pretty much glued to the computer every spare moment she has trying to figure out just how bad the flooding is by my sister's apartment. She came across some pictures taken by someone taking a boat ride through areas near the apartment. There's something really eerie about it all. It made me realize that most of the pictures I've seen of New Orleans on the news are focusing on places with people. There's a link to a slide show of pictures at the nola.com link.

 Servlet Images Photos1346 3 98 91 36 56 0 56369198308 0 Bg

My neighbour and I took a boat ride through Uptown flooded flooded streets yesterday morning. Our route was as follows:boat launch at Nashville and Freret. Travel north on Nashville to cross Claiborne into Broadmoor. Right on Rocheblave. Return through Robert and Octavia back on Nashville. I took over 120 pics of the streets. Overall impression: news aren't good. Water 5-6 feet high on the street, every home is affected starting two blocks past Freret. Dead body floating at the corner of Octavia and Rocheblave. Our house at 4900 block of Rocheblave has 3 feet of water. We didn't even go into it. Pictures cover our route:Boat launch at Nashville and Freret. Travel north on Nashville, cross claiborne. Go into broadmoor, take a right on S. Rocheblave (we live on that street). Head out back on Robert, Octavia and Nashville. [nola.com]

Posted by snooze at 2:17 PM

September 3, 2005

Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Worse

CNN reports that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has died at the age of 80. Time for even more chaos.

Posted by snooze at 11:37 PM

July 4, 2005

NASA Violates Spiritual Rights

Those damn people at NASA! How dare they? :)

Russian astrologer sues NASA over comet experiment

MOSCOW (AFP) - A Russian astrologer has taken legal action against NASA for compensation, claiming that the US space agency's bombardment of the Tempel 1 comet will upset her horoscope and violates her spiritual rights.

The experiment, in which NASA fired a projectile the size of a fridge at the comet Monday, was an attack on "the holy of holies," Marina Bai's law suit claims, according to Russian press reports. Her suit, filed at a Moscow court, claims violation of her "life and spiritual values." [Yahoo! News]

Posted by snooze at 9:45 PM

May 31, 2005

Deep Throat Steps Forward

MSNBC has an article up reporting the identity of the infamous Deep Throat.

>Ex-FBI official says he's 'Deep Throat'

Magazine quotes him as saying he was 'doing his duty'

Updated: 12:01 p.m. ET May 31, 2005

W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the "Deep Throat" source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told John D. O'Connor, the author of Vanity Fair's exclusive that appears in its July issue. [MSNBC]

No word yet from Woodward and Bernstein, who have pledged not to reveal the identity until the person has died.

Posted by snooze at 12:15 PM

April 1, 2005

Gotta Find One of Those Caps

 Googlegulp Images Logo
Google has announced their latest project: Google gulp! (with auto-drink(tm)).

Think fruity. Think refreshing. Think a DNA scanner embedded in the lip of your bottle reading all 3 gigabytes of your base pair genetic data in a fraction of a second, fine-tuning your individual hormonal cocktail in real time using our patented Auto-Drinkâ„¢ technology, and slamming a truckload of electrolytic neurotransmitter smart-drug stimulants past the blood-brain barrier to achieve maximum optimization of your soon-to-be-grateful cerebral cortex. Plus, it's low in carbs! And with flavors ranging from Beta Carroty to Glutamate Grape, you'll never run out of ways to quench your thirst for knowledge.

I'm still unsure about the bottles reporting information about me to Google, but the Sero-Tonic Water sounds tasty. They are also rolling this out slowly, as they did with Gmail. You can only get some if a friend of yours gives you a bottle cap for it. Hopefully I'm cool enough that I can get one.

Posted by snooze at 3:12 AM

December 18, 2004

Would You Let Your Kid Go?

From CNN.com:

Jackson hosts 200 kids at Neverland party

LOS OLIVOS, California (AP) -- Christmas came early for some 200 children who got to play at Michael Jackson's amusement park and meet Santa Claus.

"I hope you have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas. I love you," the pop singer called out to the children Friday from the driveway of his estate.

Jackson, who faces trial next year on child molestation charges, appeared happy during the few minutes he spoke to the arriving throng.

One of the youngsters shouted, "We love you."

"I love you more," Jackson replied before putting an umbrella over his head and walking back toward his house. [cnn.com]

If I was a parent I'm not sure I'd want my kids going anywhere near him.

Posted by snooze at 11:15 PM

November 26, 2004

I Just Can't Think of a Title for This One

In the world of bizzare news:

Pickled cats thrown at police

Hamilton woman angry at police confiscation of pickled snakes so threw a jar of pickled kittens at them

It has been revealed a Hamilton woman was so angry about police taking her three preserved snakes that she stormed into the station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter.

The jar shattered. [NZCity News]

I personally think the sentence "It has been revealed a Hamilton woman was so angry about police taking her three preserved snakes that she stormed into the station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter." would make a great entry into the Bulwer-Lytton Contest.

Posted by snooze at 1:02 AM

October 9, 2004

Someone Fired For Running SETI@Home... Again

Once again, someone has been fired for running SETI@Home.

Man Said He Used Computer During Off Hours

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The search for extraterrestrial life has ended at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The department on Thursday fired a computer programmer who admitted to using a state-owned computer server to process data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project, run by the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles E. Smith, 63, told administrators he didn't think loading the SETI software on the server was much of a problem because he ran the program only on weekends and on weekdays between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., when the server wasn't being used, according to a disciplinary report.

Department director Tom Hayes disagreed.

"I understand his desire to search for intelligent life in outer space, because obviously he doesn't find it in the mirror in the morning," Hayes said. "I think that people can be comfortable that security has beamed this man out of our building." [newsnet5.com] [via AP]

I'm not sure if I posted about this kind of thing the last time it happened, but without knowing more background I'm not sure how to react. At most places I've worked there has been an official policy that you aren't supposed to install unauthorized software. This was mostly to try and stop people from installing every little thing they download from the net, and to be able to scold them when something they've downloaded broke their computer. In the case of something like this though, I almost have to wonder if the application was actually cutting into computer resources. But, the article doesn't give us any information about that (though I'd be curious to know more). The other issue is that I think the department director's comments are a bit unprofessional and unnecessarily insulting.

Hmm, maybe I should give SETI@Home a download and start it running on one of the machines I have floating around.

Posted by snooze at 7:17 PM

Looking for a Date? Try a Wingwoman

There's an article in the New York Times today about Wingwomen.com. It's a service where you rent a woman to help you meet other women.

Are You With Him? Why Yes, Want to Date Him?

10Wing.1842 ... When he expressed no interest in the next woman she pointed to, a brunette in a preppy sweater, Ms. Frenkel shrugged. "He's the man, whatever he wants," she said. "It is not about me." Then Mr. Blumberg gestured toward the bar area. "What about that Kylie Minogue look-alike over there?" A moment later the couple headed over.

Ms. Frenkel was not on a date with Mr. Blumberg, in pursuit of a kinky threesome; she was on the clock. A 29-year-old graduate student, she is one of a dozen women who work for a New York-based Web site called Wingwomen.com, earning up to $30 an hour to accompany single men to bars and help them chat up other women. The Web site's founder, Shane Forbes, a computer programmer, started it in December after realizing he had more success with women when he went to clubs with female friends. "Every time I was with them, I would meet women," he said.

The wingwoman is the latest twist on the wingman, that devoted male sidekick who helps a buddy pick up women at bars and clubs. Originally a "Top Gun" kind of term that referred to a pilot flying protectively behind his squadron leader, its more recent meaning entered popular culture around 1996 through the movie "Swingers," about two men road-tripping to Las Vegas, serving as each other's wingmen in attempted conquests. [more] [nytimes.com]

Posted by snooze at 4:38 PM

September 20, 2004

More Pulmonary Fibrosis News

Here's an interesting article from a few days ago:

Adult Stem Cells Migrate to Lung, Contribute to Pulmonary Fibrosis

09 Aug 2004

UCLA researchers for the first time identified and then stopped a type of adult stem cell from migrating to the lung and contributing to pulmonary fibrosis in an animal model. Pulmonary fibrosis (i.e, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) in humans is a devastating terminal disorder that causes an overabundance of scar tissue to form in the lung.

IMPACT: The new study may offer novel therapies to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis– currently there are no effective treatments and the mortality rate is approximately 70 percent within five years of diagnosis. Over 80,000 individuals in the United States suffer from the disease. [medicalnewstoday.com]

Posted by snooze at 12:10 PM

September 9, 2004

More People Gasping For Breath

Given my issues with my own lungs, I'm always keeping my ears out for news stories about them. The scary part is that I can see this leading to more people getting things like IPF earlier in life. Not something I'd wish on anyone.

Pollution's Long-Term Effects on Pre-Teens' Lungs

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week indicates that current levels of air pollution have chronic adverse effects on lung development in children aged 10 to 18. The large study's authors conclude that the exposure leads to clinically significant deficits in adult lung function. NPR's Richard Harris reports. [via NPR News: Health & Science]

Posted by snooze at 7:27 AM