Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January 8th, 2008

Music with a jolt

Posted by Charles II on January 8, 2008

Richard Wray, The Guardian:

     The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which is expected to receive more than 140,000 visitors this week, is no stranger to bizarre gadgets but the iTaser – as it has been dubbed – must rank as one of the oddest. It combines a Taser stun gun, used by 12,000 law enforcement and security forces, including the Metropolitan police, with an MP3 player and earphones….

     The company says the new device is particularly aimed at women – with red, pink and even leopard print designs intended to make carrying a stun gun fashionable.

Why does the scene from A Clockwork Orange come to mind?

Posted in WTF? | 2 Comments »

Bad News for Bears

Posted by MEC on January 8, 2008

(1) The Bush Administration will soon decide whether polar bears are an endangered species.

(2) The Bush Administration is opening up the bears’ habitat for oil exploration.

I suspect that (2) is a big fat clue as to how the decision (1) will go.

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Expect A Big “Surge” Next Month

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 8, 2008

A surge of violence in Iraq, that is.

Why?  Because Sadr’s truce ends in February.

What, you didn’t know that Moqtada al-Sadr, the most powerful Shia leader in Iraq, asked his fellow Shia to stand down for a few months last year — a time period that corresponds roughly to the much-vaunted “surge” of Petraeus?  And that this, and not the surge, is the proximate cause in the reduction of Shia-originated violence?  Well, I guess it’s not your fault, as the US media — especially those parts of which that reach the most Americans, namely the TV news and drive-time radio —  spent much more time in the last year talking up the awesomeness of Petraeus than mentioning the Sadr truce.  (The Sunni insurgents are under no such truce, but many of them are simply waiting out the US troop escalation, knowing that it will end soon.)

Wishful thinking has him extending the truce, but that’s just wishful thinking at this point.

When violence rises again next month, expect the administration-echoing, war-pimping US press to largely act all surprised and dismayed, much like they did in February 1968 when the Tet Offensive showed that the Vietcong really weren’t cowed and defeated as had been constantly proclaimed earlier.

Posted in Iraq war | 1 Comment »

Eighth Of January

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 8, 2008

It’s a classic old-time tune.  Enjoy!

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment »

The Iran incident

Posted by Charles II on January 8, 2008

As usual, the incomparable Steve Bell of the highly comparable Guardian says it best:


Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Iran | 2 Comments »

This Sounds Very Interesting

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 8, 2008

This might be a way of mitigating two problems at once: Carbon sequestration and toxin sequestration:

Imagine a Brita filter big enough to clean up San Francisco Bay.

Richard Luthy, chair of Stanford’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has a plan to clean polluted sediment at Hunters Point in San Francisco with activated carbon—the same technology in many water filters. Luthy proposes to sequester dangerous toxins by mixing activated carbon, a type of carbon with a large surface area, into the bay’s contaminated sediment.

Luthy, the Silas H. Palmer Professor of Civil Engineering, has discovered that certain toxins in mud stick so well to activated carbon that they are rendered much less harmful—like flies stuck to a fly strip. Luthy and his team want to apply this technique to contaminated waterways. They recommended their technique to the U.S. Navy, which is responsible for the cleanup at Hunters Point.

“This technique is radical because we are changing the chemistry of the sediment rather than digging up the mud and hauling it away,” Luthy said.

There are a lot of toxins in the bay, but Luthy’s work concerns PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls. PCB is a long-lived industrial chemical and probable carcinogen. It has been banned since 1979, but the PCBs already in the environment show no signs of leaving. “Bacteria don’t destroy them, and humans don’t have an easy way to deal with them in our bodies,” Luthy said.

Posted in environment, global warming, Good Things | Comments Off on This Sounds Very Interesting

%d bloggers like this: