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Monday Open Thread

by afew Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:24:54 AM EST

This is the Navel of the World


Display:
Go ahead and gaze.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:25:17 AM EST
Monsanto jugé responsable de l'intoxication d'un agriculteur français - LeMonde.fr Monsanto held responsible for the poisoning of a French farmer - LeMonde.fr
Le géant américain Monsanto a été jugé "responsable", lundi 13 février, à Lyon, de l'intoxication à l'herbicide en 2004 d'un agriculteur français, ouvrant la voie à des dommages-intérêts, ce qui constitue une première en France.
U.S. giant Monsanto was found "responsible" , Monday, Feb. 13, in Lyon, for the poisoning by herbicide in 2004 of a French farmer, paving the way for an award of damages, which is a first in France.
"Monsanto est responsable du préjudice de Paul François suite à l'inhalation du produit Lasso", peut-on lire dans le jugement du tribunal de grande instance de Lyon. En conséquence, le tribunal "condamne Monsanto à indemniser entièrement Pierre François de son préjudice", qui sera évalué après une expertise médicale. "Monsanto is responsible for the harm caused to Paul Francois as a consequence of inhalation of the product Lasso" , states the verdict of the District Court of Lyon. Accordingly, the court "sentences Monsanto to fully compensate Paul Francois for his injury", for an amount which will be assessed after medical expertise.
Le 27 avril 2004, Paul François, un céréalier aujourd'hui âgé de 47 ans, avait reçu au visage des vapeurs de Lasso, un puissant désherbant produit par le leader mondial de l'agrochimie, en ouvrant la cuve d'un pulvérisateur. Il avait été rapidement pris de nausées puis de troubles (bégaiement, vertiges, maux de tête, troubles musculaires...) l'obligeant à interrompre son activité pendant près d'un an.On April 27, 2004, Paul Francois, a grain farmer now aged 47, opened the tank of a sprayer and received a faceful of pulverised Lasso, a powerful herbicide produced by the world leader in agrochemicals. He was quickly overcome by nausea and disorders (stuttering, dizziness, headaches, muscular disorders ...) forcing him to stop work for almost a year.
Aujourd'hui, Paul François ne travaille plus qu'à mi-temps, en proie à des fatigues chroniques et à des maux de tête tenaces. Les médecins considèrent que son système nerveux central a été affecté.Today, Paul Francois no longer works more than half-time, plagued by chronic fatigue and persistent headaches. Doctors consider his central nervous system was affected.

This case has been awaited for some time.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:48:12 AM EST
by asdf on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, may they nail the f...ers.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:53:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UPDATE 1-Swiss, Belgian sentenced to jail in Italy asbestos trial | Reuters

Feb 13 (Reuters) - A Swiss tycoon and a Belgian baron were convicted by an Italian court and sentenced to 16 years in jail on Monday for negligence that led to more than 2,000 asbestos-related deaths in the biggest trial of its kind.

The case in Turin could set a precedent for proceedings worldwide about safety at the workplace.

Former Swiss owner Stephan Schmidheiny, 64, and Belgian shareholder and former executive Jean Louis Marie Ghislain De Cartier De Marchienne, 90, were accused of intentionally omitting to put in place measures to prevent asbestos damage at Swiss firm Eternit's Italian plants.

The defendants, who were tried in absentia, were charged for their role as executives at the fibre cement maker's Italian affiliate Eternit SpA. They deny wrongdoing.

"This is the biggest trial in the world and in history as far as safety at work is concerned," said prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello as he entered the courthouse in Turin.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 12:01:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweet.

What are damages awards like in France?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not particularly spectacular, though that is gradually changing. There isn't a big tort law sector here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields

Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.
by das monde on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems to be an uncredited re-post of this article back from July, which was linked to on ET by Wife of Bath (and was itself mostly the literal translation of a Hungarian wire report).

That "bold stand" was not really a bold stand against Monsanto but late and rushed action hurting the farmers, as the article says:

Most of the local farmers have complained since they just discovered they were using GMO seeds.

With season already under way, it is too late to sow new seeds, so this years harvest has been lost.

And to make things even worse for the farmers, the company that distributed the seeds in Baranya county is under liquidation. Therefore, if any compensation is paid by the international seed producers, the money will be paid primarily to that company's creditors, rather than the farmers.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 09:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greetings from sofia (part deux)

although it was raining very heavily this morning in Sandanski, which is probably gonna result in a heckuva melt flow in the local river, the forecast was to get cold and heavy snow in the Sofia region.

This proved true just 30 km north where we entered snow territory and the road got a bit...interesting. I have to say that, while I have slagged off Bulgarian organisation before, their snow clearance is determined and aggressive. There was one moment where I though we might have a problem, north of Blagoevgrad, but the police were there in numbers very quickly and sorted it out before the queues got too long.

We didn't go quickly, but we went. And so now I am Sofia. And my hotel is great, unlike the one I've stayed in previously.

Fingers crossed for the flight tomorrow

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 11:50:00 AM EST
by ElaineinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 12:01:49 PM EST
As long as you're not starting it in GRRRRRmany, of course.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 12:35:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Windy and chilly here too.  A thin layer of styrofoamy white stuff on the ground this morning when I got up.  
by ElaineinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:22:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollywood must be filming near you!

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:42:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It had been snowing since about 3:00 AM until the snow turned to rain while I was bringing in the paper and mail about 2:00 PM. I have been watching the snow since about 11:00 AM. (There are advantages to being retired. :-)  )

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:40:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It fell during the night here and is still falling.

The Global Warming Lie is exposed for what it is.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But isn't it a warm snow?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:28:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant stuff !!!

Well, Cello !!

ps Didn't Woody Allen play the clarinet ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Things here in Sac are downright boring compared to Greece and Syria. Tutoring physics, org. chem., and general chem. We'll get our turn in the future ... just a matter of time. Saving cash for that rainy day; giving freebie sessions to those strapped for $.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:52:28 PM EST
'tis the season, yeah?



'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:55:16 PM EST
Dang, I hope I didn't bust anyone's margins.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:55:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of which, I'm off to New Orleans Wednesday for the occasion.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Always good times in the Big Sleazy. :)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding: Although the wife wants to play some slots at Harrah's, which is a tad unnerving.

But I've never been a gambling-type.  Plus, if I were going to gamble, I'd rather go to Vegas and do it properly.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i did it properly in Vegas. Was 15 years old, and couldn't believe there were slot machines in the boys bathroom where my bus stopped to take a piss. so i put a nickel in, and won a quarter.

with such winnings, i knew i was finished, and have never gambled since. (Nor been in Vegas.)

Well, ok, i've gambled my life a few times, but that's different.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strange coincidence. Exact same thing happened to me, at exactly the same age, some place downtown Vegas on Fremont Street (not in the boys bathroom, however). I put a nickel into a slot machine and won a quarter. First time.

Later that evening, a boy I had met at the Woolworth's counter earlier in the day took me to a show at the Sands where Danny Thomas was headlining. We came in late and (after my friend tip the waiter a $20) we were led down the aisle to way down front, right near the stage. As we were late arrivals and distracting his show, Thomas decided to draw attention to us by having the stage lights focused directly upon us while he made some silly comments about how it easy it was for a pretty young thing to upstage him. Embarrassed much.    

by sgr2 on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 04:38:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gambling is a Reality Fee placed on the innumerate.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:11:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
or a tax on stupidity...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonsense, pretty sure there's free booze, so I guarantee we'll win on the deal.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:53:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If anyone simply has nothing better to do, I would be hugely appreciative of said anyone's help in naming those persons pictured below, just to give me a head start on the April trip. Not saying that I'm suffering any early onset senility, but not saying I'm not, either.



'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:01:49 PM EST
didn't you know they're all sat alphabetically? :D

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:04:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
starting from bottom left hand side;-

cCrille, Helen, dvx, dear Leader, JakesS, Linca, afew, Colman, Sam, name escapes me sorry

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's Cyrille, not cCrille

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:12:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nomad, that's it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:14:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so who took the photo?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know; I copied it off EuroTrib when someone posted a diary of photos from the last meet-up.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 06:24:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LEP?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:09:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or redstar

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LEP.

Another by Ted Welch.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:46:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
La première éolienne offshore de France érigée en Loire-Atlantique - LeMonde.fr The first offshore wind turbine erected in France Loire-Atlantique - LeMonde.fr
La toute première éolienne offshore française est actuellement érigée par Alstom au Carnet (Loire-Atlantique). Dotée des plus longues pales (73,5 mètres) et de la plus puissante turbine au monde, cette éolienne géante a vocation à servir de test pour l'exploitation et la maintenance des cinq premiers champs d'éoliennes offshore qui vont être établis au large des côtes françaises.The first French offshore wind turbine is currently being built by Alstom at Carnet (Loire-Atlantique). With the longest blades (73.5 meters) and the most powerful turbine in the world, this giant windmill is intended as a test for operation and maintenance of the first five offshore wind farms which will be built off the French coast.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:20:47 PM EST
I don't much like "biggest & most powerful" anything.  Typically those kinds of installations don't bother to think about redundancy so when the "biggest & most powerful" stops working, for whatever reason, everybody and everything dependent on it stops working as well risking a cascade failure.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 02:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I couldn't give you a technical answer, but as this one is an operations and maintenance test site for the future wind farms, perhaps they will give some thought to redundancy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given my experience with Big Iron computer installations ... I doubt it.  However, I may be more cynical and pessimistic than the situation warrants.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given my experience with Big Iron computer installations ...

Such as the time the architects put the electric power conduits and outlets in the same sub-floor channel they used to carry away excess flowing water if the air conditioning system broke or the near-by river flooded.

(!)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:25:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahh! The infamous "failure to coordinate trades" fiasco, compounded by the typical attitude of architects to minimize the footprint of utilities and hide everything.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I worked at a site where they had a redundant UPS setup (uninterruptible power supply system--rooms full of batteries). And rigorous testing of the whole environment on a scheduled basis, etc.

One day during the test they shut off the A side UPS by mistake--which should be ok because the redundant B side UPS would take over--but 1/3 of the machines crashed. Turns out they had many of them with both power supplies connected to the same side. And testing had always been of the "disconnect main power and see if A+B can take up the load" sort. Had never tried running on just one side...and apparently the electricians had never worried about which outlet they were plugging things into under the floor...

by asdf on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's like the 1986 Arpanet outage when they discovered that all the redundant logical connections went through the same physical cable in White Plains.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My personal favourite :
I used to work at one of the French railways's three big computer centres. Periodically, they test their readiness for power failure by flipping the whole shebang onto battery backup.
In a parallel universe, with apparently no means of communication with the one above, the site has backup diesel generators and a contract with the electricity company where they can be cut off from the grid, 20 days a year, with 12 hours' warning.

So, one cold winter day, the grid cut-off happened on a day when a routine battery-backup had been previously scheduled. Rather than re-schedule this eminently re-schedulable event, they ploughed optimistically ahead (or perhaps they just didn't notice the smoke coming out of the chimneys, I don't know).

Apparently, the wiring was in place for this combination of events, but manifestly, it had never been tested... so the lights went out, and trains ground to a halt all over France.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, it's a test for next generation wind turbines, without which no progress. If it's successful, it will be installed as normal in bunches, so if one goes down, the rest keep spinning.

Modular works well for large wind power plants, meaning, if a few go down, the rest are still spinning. I'd repeat, except i already did.

Again, this one is a test machine, with a huge rotor. Is it too big? Not big enough?  I seem to side with give it a try kind of thinking.

There are larger rotors already in the works, and a whole test station for them already being built in Denmark. And who's the MD of the test site?

The former PM of Denmark.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:13:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Test bench and field test are whole other things from field deployment.  


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
???

This is simply the first test of the prototype. They take place in the field so there's wind to harness. This is not a computer. Bench tests are only for components when things get this large, if even.

blades are tested both statically and dynamically, and after the dynamic test, then bent to failure.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't run CAD simulations?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goes without saying. at high levels, for many components as well as the whole system. But when things get built, they're tested as much as possible.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CAD is a test bench, part of the point.    

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simulations simulate, test benches for hardware provide data with which to measure the simulations.

Und noch besser, putting the test turbine on different wind sites will give a slightly different power curve.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am NOT going to engage in this argument.  

Again.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was just talking with people who are planning direct CAD-to-production in shipbuilding. Testing is for cissies.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:48:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell that to the power train manufacturer.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 02:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know,  I know.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 02:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh believe me, when changing a fuse requires a 4-hour boat trip and a transfer from boat to fixed chunk of steel in the middle of the ocean, engineers do care about redundancy.

Current offshore wind turbines are designed so that you need to go there only once a year, to do all the required preventive maintenance in one go, and so that the turbine actually works the rest of the time. Pretty much every sensitive component is installed in double or more (engines to rotate the turbine in the direction of the wind - you typically have 8); the turbine itself is pressurized to avoid the nasty corrosive sea air, and you have zillions of sensors around to warn you in advance of any potential problem.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:14:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's accentuate this point a bit more. Not only are the turbines designed to minimize O&M (for example with condition monitoring sensors and evaluating programs), but there's the simple fact that a wind power plant consists of lots of windmills.

Failure in one or more doesn't halt the generation.

worst case, they all fail. except they don't. when there's a serial failure, as there have been, parts are interchanged.

meanwhile, there isn't an exclusion zone.

PS Condition monitoring means sensors at key places so we know loads, vibrations, stray currents, and such so the faults can be dialed back until the guys get out there again. If needed.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...a wind power plant consists of lots of windmills.

Key difference between Wind Power Plants and the computer installations I used/worked-on/designed.  Never did figure-out how to make Upper Management understand¹ the up-front cost of redundancy, while a hard bill to pay, was cheaper than the loss suffered when the computer system went down.  (A regular and expected happening in them thar days.)  

From what I gather, the lack-of-redundancy problem has moved from the cybernetic device(s) per se to the network and network routers and the security - or lack thereof - systems and procedures for the network and network routers.  Fortunately for me ...

IT AIN'T MY PROBLEM NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YIPPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

¹ Two-by-fours, baseball bats, cricket bats, and shooting them in the head were all considered and then dropped on advice from lawyers.

 

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Mapping 10.000 taxi journeys during 24 hours in Manhattan

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:04:16 PM EST
'Sun' executive attacks police - The Irish Times - Mon, Feb 13, 2012

A senior figure at the Sun  today attacked police who arrested five Sun  journalists, claiming his colleagues had been treated like "members of an organised crime gang".

The journalists were among eight people arrested at the weekend over allegations of improper payments to police and public officials.

Trevor Kavanagh, the newspaper's associate editor, said the police investigation into alleged press malpractice was regarded by many as a "witch-hunt" and suggested that free speech in the United Kingdom was under attack.

In a strongly worded article printed in the tabloid, he argued that those arrested had been released on "draconian" bail terms like those imposed on suspected terrorists.




Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:48:28 PM EST
Liberal conspiracy - Sunny Hundal - The Sun deserves all the police pressure it is under

Kavanagh wails:

 

Wives and children have been humiliated as up to 20 officers at a time rip up floorboards and sift through intimate possessions, love letters and entirely private documents.

Funny, he never generated that outrage when his paper was branding Muslims as `terrorists' even before an investigation had taken place. His own paper branded one as a paedophile without a shred of evidence.
[....]
I can't even begin to list the amount of times the Sun has wanted the police to be given more powers of arrest or investigation. Nor can I begin to list instances when the Sun attacked civil libertarians for being too harsh on the police. This is the environment Trevor Kavanagh helped create.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is where he attacks the NI for ... co-operating with the police.

Rupert Murdoch hit by feud over Sun arrests | Media | The Guardian

Trevor Kavanagh, the associate editor and former political editor, took to the airwaves to give voice to anger and frustration emanating from the Sun's newsroom - which in turn prompted the MSC to defend the anti-corruption investigation, and the Metropolitan police its tactics.

The Sun veteran, for years a close confidant of Rupert Murdoch, told Radio 4 that "there is unease about the way that some of the best journalists in Fleet Street have ended up being arrested on evidence that the MSC has handed to the police".

In another interview, on Radio 5 Live, he accused "certain parts of the company" of "boasting that they are sending information to police that has put these people I have just described into police cells".

... after all, "co-operation" between the Sun and the police is what it's all about...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 04:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Madagascar is about to get pounded:

...Tropical Cyclone Giovanna, ... is bearing down on Madagascar as a powerful Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Giovanna is predicted to hit a heavily populated portion of the east coast of the island near 22 GMT tonight as a Category 3 storm, then move inland, passing near the capital of Antananarivo as a Category 1 storm on Tuesday morning.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:50:27 PM EST
Shut. Down. Everything.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Onion | New Breeding Program Aimed At Keeping Moderate Republicans From Going Extinct:

WASHINGTON--Saying the now critically endangered species of politician is at high risk for complete extinction within the next 10 years, Beltway-area conservationists announced plans Monday for a new captive breeding program designed to save moderate Republicans.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:57:00 PM EST
What do you get when you mate and extreme Republican with an extreme Democrat?  Ron Paul?

The problem with tea party Republicans is not a lack of breeding - its a lack of an education...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  Only a multi-generation Mendelian experiment can provide insight into the answer.

  2.  You've obviously never been to the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and/or Arkansas.  I can testify, from direct, multi-year, personal experience the Virulent Stupidity Gene is rampant in the west part of North Carolina AND the lack of education is considered a positive condition, devotedly to be wished.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 08:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've actually hitch hiked as far as North Carolina - in 1973 - which was as far as I felt safe with my long hair and beard. I seem to remember acquiring a mock Nixon re-election poster which asked "Why change Dicks in the middle of a screw: Vote Nixon in '72" and listened to Neil Young in a loft where some students had kindly put me up.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:57:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and/or Arkansas.

you left out texas and missouri. any reason?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 04:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was being nice.  Otherwise I'd have had to include Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and ... I'm sorry to say ... New Mexico.

Large swatches of the central plains and inter-mountain west need professional help:



Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 12:07:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
elitist snob!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 03:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The polls are out and the Romney_Bot 2012 (Rev. 5945(d) is in deep trouble.  Gallup's five day moving average has:

Romney 32% (sinking from his high of 37%)
Santorum 30% (continually rising)
Gingrich 16% (Another Not-Romney bites the dust)
Paul 8%   (Don't laugh, may be a factor in Tampa)

While PPP showing a nation-wide Frothy surge:

Santorum 38%
Romney 23%
Gingrich 17%
Paul 13%

Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as 'very conservative,' he's now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney.  Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.

PPP analysis confirms what I've been saying for some time now:

The best thing Romney might have going for him right now is Gingrich's continued presence in the race. If Gingrich dropped out 58% of his supporters say they would move to Santorum, while 22% would go to Romney and 17% to Paul. Santorum gets to 50% in the Newt free field to 28% for Romney and 15% for Paul.

but they've been able to put some numbers to it.

The Santorum surge is a direct result of a closed door meeting of over 150 evangelical leaders early last month.  

The move represents an eleventh-hour effort by social conservatives one week out from the crucial South Carolina primary to unify around a single candidate and blunt the momentum of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whom many evangelicals consider insufficiently conservative.

These leaders represent a significant percentage of GOP primary voters, have established organizations, have people already staffing those organizations, can put "boots on the ground" in the precincts, and have their own money raising networks.  Together these people reflect a serious and substantial percentage of the GOP primary vote.

Possibly reflecting this, Santorum has become the Not-Romney of choice  in Michigan and has a goodly lead:

Santorum 39%
Romney 24%
Paul 12%  
Gingrich 11%

But with 50% of voters still willing to change, it's all soft for Frothy and Romney could buy himself another primary win.

No polling I can find for Arizona (Feb. 28, along with Michigan) or Washington state (Mar. 3.)  

Three Super Tuesday (Mar. 7) states: Vermont, Ohio, and Georgia, have started voting.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:47:35 PM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Following recent widespread approval of my inclusion of a Gillian Welch song in my desert island discs, Stewart Lee is going in the other direction.

W A R N I N G This contains descriptions of a nature so hilarious it may cause body part failure

Guardian - Stewart Lee - I was getting on so well with Gillian Welch. Then David Cameron butts in

For David Cameron to attend a Gillian Welch show is the equivalent of him standing in front of another modern American great, say Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and daubing it with his own faeces. "No One Knows My Name", especially, occupied a special room in the house of my heart and now David Cameron has blundered all around that house in his Bullingdon Club blazer, drunk on champagne, with dog muck on his spats, smearing it on everything I hold dear, and telling me to "calm down" while I plead with him to stop.

The first time I personally was confronted with the moral dilemma now known as Welch's Hot Potato was after a performance I directed at the National theatre, when I suddenly found my hand being shaken warmly by Michael Portillo. At first, I assumed it was the Cuprinol wood goblin, but then I realised I had touched a Tory and so I ran to the kitchens and plunged my hand into a pan of boiling water, before cutting it off and throwing it into the Thames. Dead fish floated upwards and the river foamed with much blood. But I have since met the charming Michael, and his painfully shy wife, Diane Abbott, on BBC TV's This Week, where he apologised for my stump and asked me to accompany him to the Greco-Roman wrestling at this year's Olympics. (I also worked with Ann Widdecombe once, who sadly was a lout. But then you should never meet your heroes.)



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:27:30 AM EST


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