Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sexting Anyone?

So it had to happen - any technology can be used for positive or negative. Turns out the great freedom that cell phones give each user, also allows teens to send nude pictures of themselves to each other, mainly girls to guys ...

"Some teens send the graphic photos of themselves to boyfriends, and some teens send them to prospective boyfriends or girlfriends in a graphic update of the old calling card. Either way, the images might meet the legal definition of child pornography, and the trend is raising moral and legal dilemmas along with a heavy dose of good old-fashioned shock."

While this isn't a shock, just an unwelcome surprise, the legal ramifications are severe and largely uncharted. (I've even heard second-hand that this has been an issue at some of our youth camps, though I can't verify that.)

What's most interesting to me is a teenager commented on this story (at the bottom of the article) proclaiming:


First, PLEASE stop calling it ''sexting''. No one uses that word. It's dumb. Second, guys don't pressure girls into sending nude pictures. EVER. They always ALWAYS ask (if they ask at all) "wanna send me some pix" and it is completely the girl's decision whether she will or not, and then if she does she can always just send a picture of her face. I was asked just the other day for these pictures, and I told him my camera was broken. He kept pushing, so I sent a picture of my face. He called me "stunning" and then proceeded to send me two pictures of himself with his shirt off without me saying anything! It was, needless to say, disgusting."

So, is this our sex-crazed media latching onto a story of a few sex-crazed deviants and blowing it out of proportion, or is this the unveiling of a persistent problem that will always be with us?

In Case... don't check our other blogs:

* "Month in the Life" offers its final missive.

* CompassionART is out. Ann offers her response to this lively CD that features Israel, Chris Tomlin, CeCe and others in a review and on Notes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Have a Darwin Day

A UGST graduate is celebrating Darwin's (upcoming) 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species on February 12th (Darwin Day), by daily blogging on evolution, creationism, intelligent design, and the Genesis account of creation.

So go visit Creation Moment. It's definitely worth perusing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dutch Lawmaker Faces Possible Prison Over Criticism Of World's Most Peaceful Religion

Of course I say that last part tongue-in-cheek, as I currently retain both. This man, however, may not in a few months:

A member of parliament in the Netherlands who has been charged with "insulting" Muslims says he fears he will be found guilty and sent to prison in only a few months.

An appeals court on Wednesday overturned a previous decision by prosecutors not to charge Geert Wilders, and ordered that he stand trial.

Sounds almost like Nancy Pelosi's running the Kangaroo court over there. This--is downright chilling. And anyone that believes these things will be isolated to the Dutch shores doesn't know the meaning of "Jihad." A man like me isn't given much hope in this life, anyway, when the new President's first concern in office was to make sure the genocidal maniacs at Guantanamo Bay aren't forced to acknowledge the five pillars in substandard housing, possibly moving them into a congressional district that doesn't even have a proper prison (the sheer irony of Jack Murtha, a congressman that slandered our Marines at Haditha with no evidence, would wind himself into a tortured little ball of hospitality for terrorists. next thing you know, tax evaders will be running the IRS).

I already feel safer. Hope and Change, baby!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All The Best, Mr. President

As you acclimate to the tangible shift of gravity, may God be with you and your family, sir. I'll be praying for you. As will many. And though the upcoming days will have their sheer moments of ideological logrolling and dispute amongst peaceful men, today is not that day.

All the best, Captain.


Monday, January 19, 2009

From The "Shooting Fish In A Barrel" Column

Bro. Curry asked us to provide our "predictions" for the year 2009, which was then pooled here. The above title refers to the non-clarivoiant nature of one of my predictions:

"That our new and energetic President will discover that those that hated America before he was president will hate America after he was president as well. "
Looks like Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, is already running with the template:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez apparently doesn't appreciate Barack Obama's classifying him as a supporter of Colombian terror group, FARC, likening the president-elect's odor to that of Chavez nemesis President Bush.

In an interview airing on Venezuelan television and reported by The Washington Post Monday, Chavez said Obama has "the same stench" as Bush. The comment harkens back to September 2006, when Chavez followed Bush at an appearance at the United Nations General Assembly opening and said he could still smell the "sulfur" left behind by the U.S. president's presence at the podium.

The thing that should be the most disconcerting isn't the fact that the nefariously addled, possessed and intoxicated are going to continue fulminating and calling for the death of America. The thing that should concern all is an insular media that will pretend that all dangers and perils facing this country face an exit on January 20th. The American press is far more than just a little infatuated with Mr. Obama, but are given to near intercessory moments in his presence. This is neither healthy for a press that--in my opinion--needs to die a structural death anyway, nor Mr. Obama, who will hopefully overcome the throng of "yes men" who actually see in him a messianic backdrop.

To the media, it was funny when Chavez told the UN General Assembly he could "smell" Mr. Bush's stench. Now it isn't so funny anymore to them. Looks like the only stench now is the one emanating from the New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencier.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Wonderfully Obligatory Post

Not even sure where to begin.

I'm sure a higher-resolution video will manage to surface eventually, but this one gets more amazing every time I see it.

At 3:31:02 we see the plane enter from the left, already broaching the water.

By 3:31:41, after the Coast Guard camera zooms in, we already see a good number of people evacuated to both wings.

At 3:33:58, we see just how fast the Hudson River's current is actually moving.

At 3:34:42, we see the first ferry boat reach the plane to provide assistance. Let's do the math:





I'm downright blown away by this. 155 souls, including one infant. Saved. Quite possibly the most gratifying thing I will see for a very long time.

Honorable mention here. Notice how that ferry boat races to the plane, makes the proximal arrival, and immediately assumes a congruent, downward current trajectory with the plane. Those crew members--all of them--the pilot, the flight attendants, the rescuers--every last one of them--are my heroes.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Download Info, "Gig Economy" & More

Get a nice cultural snapshot of the moment at my post on "Month in the Life".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Perfect Job

As I'm currently in the market for a new job when I saw this one posted I KNEW it was for me.

It's being billed as "the best job in the world" - six months working as a "caretaker" on Hamilton Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. As if these weren't enough, the job comes with a pay packet of nearly £70,000 (that's almost USD$105,000) and a rent-free three-bedroom villa, complete with pool. In return, the successful applicant will be expected to spend the six-month contract exploring the idyllic surroundings, filing weekly blog, photo diary and video updates and conducting "ongoing media interviews".

The job is open to applicants from around the world, starts in July - which is Australia's winter but where temperatures on the island rarely drop below 80, and seems way too good to be true. So, now the question is how do I go about beating out the other 2 million unemployed people who are so busy trying to apply that they've crashed the website?

Kudos to the marketing genius who came up with this idea in an effort to bolster Australia's tourism industry.

Free "Fiction Family" Download!

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek have joined forces to create “Fiction Family.” Their self-titled debut album will be released on January 20 via ATO Records/Credential Recordings.

They’ve graced with a free download off the CD, to be available Tuesday night, January 13-January 20, 2009. Don’t miss out on this exclusive listen on this exciting new project or read/hear more at their website!

The Best Job in the World

Tired of winter yet?  Ready to escape?  How about spending a few months relaxing on a tropical island.  How about living in a multimillion dollar beach home and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef.  How about getting paid for it .


josh r

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gospel is Good News to Atheists Too

After hearing the remarkable remarks of the pro-proselytizing atheist, Penn Jillette, it was fascinating to read this article by another committed atheist, Matthew Parris.  In it he makes a strong case--based on his own personal experiences--that Africa needs Christian missionaries more than secular aid organizations.  Having grown up in and toured Africa he concludes that where Christian missionaries where hard at work, the people were better off.


Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.


He goes on to claim that many in Africa are suffering under the burden of an oppressing paradigm.  The only thing that can change this oppression is supplanting it with another paradigm.  So why not atheism or pure secular humanism?  While Parris doesn't venture an opinion, is it possible that he feels the logical oppression of his own paradigm?  At any rate, two atheists calling for more evangelism from Christians has brought me to a place of personal repentance.  Because it is not just in Africa that Christ brings spiritual transformation, rebirth, and change, it should also be in Clermont, FL.


josh r

Astronomy On Steroids

Think this picture is some pixellated, CGI construct? Think again:
Explanation: In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and slightly scattering sunlight, in the above exaggerated color image. Saturn's rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in theabove image. Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, visible on the image left just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.

Click the image for even larger luminosity.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Atlas Shrugged: From Farce To Fact In Only 50 Years

And Stephen Moore from the Wall St. Journal's not sure anything close to resembling America will be around for a sequel:

Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.
* * *

David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."
Wouldn't be holding my breath for a follow-up, entitled Taxes Shrugged, either.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Shocker: Parents Matter

I know. I know. Only the behind the vaunted walls of science can we arrive at the following conclusions:

The difference between male and female brains may come down to something as simple as a mother’s touch.

Treating a baby boy like a girl and vice versa can change the way their brains work, new research suggests.

It had previously been thought that such things were decided long before birth.

This, of course, on the informative-to-revelatory ratio, pales in comparison to the following conclusion, achievable only through the most labyrinthine research methods:

The research, reported in the New Scientist, challenges the long-accepted belief that the physical differences between a male and female brain are genetic.

Celia Moore, of the University of Massachusetts, said: “Sex may not be just genes and hormones.”

Copy that. Color me informed.


Michael Moore Already Thorn In Obama's Side

If it isn't bad enough that Rick Warren's got people rending their clothes for sackcloth and ashes, now, the President-Elect can't even appoint a legitimate doctor to the highest medical position in the land without having to run them through the "Castro-is-god" prism:

Citing a lack of experience, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) is leading an effort to thwart Barack Obama’s expected nomination of CNN’s Sanjay Gupta to become surgeon general.

But there are also indications that Conyers’s opposition is linked to a 2007 public clash between Gupta and the liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman doesn’t have a vote, or a formal role, in the anticipated Gupta nomination. Yet, he is lobbying the Senate and the incoming president to reject Gupta.

Michael Moore, of course, being the picture of health himself. The coming clash with Conyers points up a very vivid intersect between Mr. Obama's idealist protractions with the "real world" of entrenched congressional dogmas. I don't know terribly much about Mr. Sanjay, above and beyond his telegenetic appeal, but man. Just because he might think that, you know, Michael Moore's affinity for Cuba's free and horrible health care system may not be the best template for the American model . . . I for one hope Mr. Obama sticks to his guns on this one.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Extraterrestrials Now Attacking Alternative Fuel Sources

Or . . . something:

At the nearby wind farm one of the 60ft blades from a 200ft turbine was found ripped off. Another had been left twisted and useless.

So far, so mysterious, except - of course - to the UFO experts.

For them, the strange goings on at a wind farm in Conisholme, Lincolnshire, can be explained by a flying saucer crashing into the turbine in a close encounter that could, at last, provide the evidence of other life forms they have been waiting for all their lives.

John Harrison, of nearby Saltfleetby, saw the ball of light and its 'tentacles' over the farm. 'It was an incredible sight, I have never seen anything like it before,' he said. 'I have no idea what it was.'

Odd. Not odd enough for me to buy the whole Roswell/Hangar 18/Megadeth validation thing, but odd nonetheless.


An Interesting Geek: Coding

I don't remember what got me reading Jeff Atwood's blog, but I go back to it every few days just to see what he's got going over there.

Don't know what his daily traffic stats are, but anyone that can distill computer programming experience into something I actually want to read is quite a feat. Currently, he's addressing the recent Twitter hijackings, and manages to analyze the human proclivity to create predictable--and therefore vulnerable--passwords for on line accesses. In fact, the guy's a veritable analysis freak. Seems to have tables, charts, breakdowns and stats for nearly everything.

Worth a look.


Psychic Finds Caylee In Exact Spot Where She Was Already Located By Mere Mortals

In the Old Testament, these people were killed outright. Now I think I know why. Not because of the direct, abominable vocation of hanging out one's necromancer shingle, but because you look like an out-of town turtle, just now showing up to the forest fire. Being really annoying must have been 9/10ths of Mosaic Law:

Meanwhile, a psychic said this week she sensed that 2-year-old Caylee's remains were in the wooded area where they were found last month.

The skull and bones were discovered in a bag a half-mile from the Anthony family home in Orlando by a water meter reader, Roy Kronk, who says he called investigators months earlier about a suspicious find there.

Psychic detective Gale St. John, who will star in a forthcoming reality show called "The Body Hunter," told she was drawn to the same area on the same day in August that Kronk was — and caught her hunch on video.

Is this even news? Isn't it bad enough that this little girl's death was cruel and heartbreaking, only to have this second-tier Nostradamus pouring retroactive salt into the wounds?

Although, I just called MyFoxOrlando a few minutes ago and told them that President Lincoln would be shot at Ford's Theater. Provided them details too. Maybe they'll get back to me.


Update: Arianna Huffington Aks Forgiveness For Blasphemous Global Warming Article

. . .because, you know, Mother Earth could come back any minute, and she wants to be ready.

This, of course, references my post from the other day, in which I wondered, somewhat sarcastically, how such a well-written piece of anti-totalitarian apostasy ever made it to her site, anyway. Via NewsBusters:

Harold Ambler reached out to me about posting a critical piece on Al Gore and the environment. We are always open to posts that present opinions contrary to HuffPost's editorial view . . .

When Ambler sent his post, I forwarded it to one of our associate blog editors to evaluate, not having read it. I get literally hundreds of posts a week submitted like this and obviously can't read them all -- which is why we have an editorial process in place. The associate blog editor published the post. It was an error in judgment. I would not have posted it. Although HuffPost welcomes a vigorous debate on many subjects, I am a firm believer that there are not two sides to every issue, and that on some issues the jury is no longer out. The climate crisis is one of these issues.

I expect that "associate blog editor" will meet a Trotsky-like fate and be airbrushed from the final manifest.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Atheists Regale British Buses Displaying Slogan Skeptical Of Own Slogan

The irony of these guys is what I enjoy the most.

I have a good many friends--and I mean legitimate friends--who profess to be atheists. I find most of them to be an avatar of the sign to the right, despite their more resolute professions to me verbally. Mainly because their arguments about war, poverty, genocide and pain being either a subset of an impersonal god or no god at all also latently argues that we exist in a broken model of something that had a higher ideal to it. And of course we all know what--or more imporatnly who--that points to.

Now as far as Richard Dawkins goes, I've got to give him props for at least decorating his prevaricating, inaugural slogan in non-threatening pinks with accompanying balloons for the trial run. I think the campaign may be successful. Probably.


Meanwhile, Outside The Static, Academic Bubble . . .

Imagine a siren that gives you 30 seconds to find shelter before a Kassam rocket falls from the sky and explodes, spraying its lethal shrapnel in all directions. Now imagine this happens day after day, month after month, year after year.

If you can imagine that, you can begin to understand the terror to which hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been subjected. Three years ago Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. And since that withdrawal, our civilians have been targeted by more than 6,000 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza. In the face of this relentless bombardment, Israel has acted with a restraint that other countries, faced with a similar threat, would find hard to fathom . . . We fight to defend ourselves, but in so doing we are also fighting a fanatical ideology that seeks to reverse the course of history and throw the civilized world back into a new dark age. The struggle between militant Islam and modernity -- whether fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, India or Gaza -- will decide our common future. It is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

--Benjamin Netanyahu--Wall Street Journal, three hours ago.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009



Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.


--Ernest Hemingway


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.


--Dwight D Eisenhower


Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.  It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible.  It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue.  Violence ends by defeating itself.  It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.  A voice echoes through time saying to every potential Peter, "Put up your sword."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.


Do not resist the one who is evil.  But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...  You have heard that it was said "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven.



josh r

Sunday, January 04, 2009


War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill--English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

Al Gore's Glacial Influence Melting

Earlier in the month, I was going to be self-serving and reference something that buttresses the position I've taken from the beginning, but after all, it is 650 scientists making these claims--that the giant, yawning chasm between what can be called "Climate change" and "man-made global warming" is joined only by a suspension bridge of fraud. Click the link. The language is unequivocal, and at least as acerbic as me on the subject. So whatever you may think about the subject, scientific consensus doesn't get to fortify your position anymore, because it doesn't exist.

Me? I'm a man who endures verbal persecution on a daily basis for simply contesting that we've gone from "Don't litter" into an entire secular religion. Being a global warming denier on the modern campus is equated to telling the Nazis that Anne Frank is hiding in the attic as they invade Poland. I may as well be a holocaust denier, according to one of the correspondents in my local paper--all for simply asking how Halliburton managed to cause the ice age, or the global cooling that still has Greenland isolated from its lush, foresty potential.

Now, it looks like one of the uber-leftys from Arianna Huffington's site has had enough, too. I'll get out of the way, and let him have at it, since he does it so well. In part:

Indeed, it is Mr. Gore and his brethren who are flat-Earthers. Mr. Gore states, ad nauseum, that carbon dioxide rules climate in frightening and unpredictable, and new, ways. When he shows the hockey stick graph of temperature and plots it against reconstructed C02 levels in An Inconvenient Truth, he says that the two clearly have an obvious correlation. "Their relationship is actually very complicated," he says, "but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others, and it is this: When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer." The word "complicated" here is among the most significant Mr. Gore has uttered on the subject of climate and is, at best, a deliberate act of obfuscation. Why? Because it turns out that there is an 800-year lag between temperature and carbon dioxide, unlike the sense conveyed by Mr. Gore's graph. You are probably wondering by now -- and if you are not, you should be -- which rises first, carbon dioxide or temperature. The answer? Temperature. In every case, the ice-core data shows that temperature rises precede rises in carbon dioxide by, on average, 800 years. In fact, the relationship is not "complicated." When the ocean-atmosphere system warms, the oceans discharge vast quantities of carbon dioxide in a process known as de-gassing. For this reason, warm and cold years show up on the Mauna Loa C02 measurements even in the short term. For instance, the post-Pinatubo-eruption year of 1993 shows the lowest C02 increase since measurements have been kept. When did the highest C02 increase take place? During the super El NiƱo year of 1998.
Ouch. And this is just one paragraph. His entire takedown is brutal, factual, and not only backed up with pointed data, it also simultaneously addresses the repulsive, totalitarian hand in the puppet that is Global Warming:
To be told, as I have been, by Mr. Gore, again and again, that carbon dioxide is a grave threat to humankind is not just annoying, by the way, although it is that! To re-tool our economies in an effort to suppress carbon dioxide and its imaginary effect on climate, when other, graver problems exist is, simply put, wrong.
How this essay made it to Huffington's Post, I have no idea.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

US Lawmakers Worried About Coming Apocalypse

You guess which apocalypse has lawmakers laying awake at night:

a) A sudden, lightning fast invasion of our shores by a raping and pillaging Chinese military.

b) The detonation of a crudely-formed, radioactive dirty bomb by Islamic fundamentalists.

c) America's television viewing making a precipitous drop.

If you guessed "c," you are correct:

The Feb. 17 transition from analog to digital television broadcasts looms and as many as 8 million households are still unprepared, but the government program that
subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is about to run out of money.

People who still rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air signals — whether it is through rabbit-ear aerials on TVs or antennas on the roof — will see their screens go dark when the changeover happens. To avoid that, those people have to switch to cable or satellite TV, buy a television set with a digital tuner or buy a converter box that can translate digital signals from the airwaves into analog.

If you surf over to the article proper, you won't find even the faintest hint of indignation--the kind that should exist when the government is willing to toss this kind of money at a frivolity. But no. We are literally talking about saving the very fabric of American culture; falling far short of heroic measures and simply providing the water and air needed for life essential:

Now the NTIA is warning that unless lawmakers step in quickly with more funding or new accounting rules, it will have to create a waiting list for coupon requests. That would mean it could send out additional coupons only as unredeemed ones expire, freeing up more money for the program.

Do you feel the extreme, "imminent threat" to Americans? Do you see the grappling hooks of the apocalypse coming over the starboard side? You don't? Well, let the Associated Press paint the picture for you:

In other words, if Congress doesn't act soon, consumers who apply for coupons in the final weeks leading up to the digital transition might not get them in time.
If Congress doesn't act soon? I have a feeling MSNBC , the AP , and Congress would support waterboarding children in the HeadStart program if it meant keeping their influence on the air. They know a real crisis when they see it. television access is not only a phantom inheritance enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but the lifeblood of all that matters. Islamic terrorism, H5N1 viruses, and the Jackals at our national gates will have to take a financial back seat until Charm School and Flavor Of Love are over.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Why Does All the Weird News Come from Florida?


Thousands of shoes were discovered on a Miami highway early this morning.  Authorities had to get a front-end loader and a dump truck to clear a half-mile stretch of road of the offending footwear.  Nobody knows where they came from or how they got there--evidence, the authorities say, that the shoe-dumpers were probably wearing sneakers.  My suspicion is that Miami was mobbed by angry Iraqi journalists.


josh r


Gotta love those scientists when they do something cool:

A clinic is offering mothers bronze models of their unborn babies.

The London Ultrasound Centre, near Harley Street, is the first in the country to offer the service, which allows parents to 'celebrate' their babies in the womb.

A 3D printer uses ultrasound images to build a cast of the child. The models cost £1,200, take up to two-and-a-half weeks to make, and are created when the mother is at a safe stage of pregnancy at 24 weeks.

Doctors say the technology could also help improve survival rates for sick babies. Accurate casts of birth defects could be taken in the womb then studied by surgeons before they operate.

Which . . . oh I don't know could still manage to aggravate someone out there. Anyway, the technology--nearly similar to that toy-store novelty--the one where you can shove your face into a canvas of movable "nails" and then see your own mask--is intriguing to say the least:

Instead of ink, the printer uses a special dust which is built up layer by layer. An adhesive glues these layers together to form an accurate cast of the unborn baby. This mould is then used to make the bronze.

Hopefully, a widespread demand and sufficient and predictable copycatting will drive the prices down. Seems safe enough, at the outset anyway.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Coming Bailout For Newspapers

Seriously. I want this whole notion to become as simply laughable as it is. But it looks like what may happen in Connecticut may not stay in Connecticut:

Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.Nicastro represents Connecticut's 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.

That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.

If you click on the link in my first sentence, you will be treated to the following headline: "Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate."

Spark debate? Debate? Debate? Debate on what? On having the the very thing that the press was supposed to help keep in check become its primary underwriter? You'd thing a Congressman--you know, someone who has actually . . . oh I don't know READ the constitution once or twice would know this. But in a tumultuous time where jobs are evaporating as quickly as our nation's proclivity for self-defence, it's not surprising:

Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. "The media is a vitally important part of America," he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.

To some experts, that sounds like a bailout, a word that resurfaced this year after the U.S. government agreed to give hundreds of billions of dollars to the automobile and financial sectors.

Relying on government help raises ethical questions for the press, whose traditional role has been to operate free from government influence as it tries to hold politicians accountable to the people who elected them. Even some publishers desperate for help are wary of this route.

Remember, we must rely on "some experts" to arrive at the conclusion that this is a bailout. And AP writer Marc MacMillan's contention that violating the very breath of an independent media's existence struggles in a tepid arena of "ethical questions" is simply ludicrous.

This, all on the heels of recent reports that the economic downturn has shoved the New York Times closer to the precipice of actually doing the world a favor and imploding on itself. How in the world any lawmaker, who's spent the last seven years watching the Old Gray Lady turn over our national defence strategies to the Jihadists can keep a straight face while these erstwhile counterculture unibombers start clamoring for their jobs in a country they've sought to marginalize and render naked before its enemies . . . well I just don't know. I for one, believe that newspapers that can't "evolve" should just go ahead and die.