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November 29, 2005

From the wtf/florida dept.  

&epsilon Epsilon forms 2 days before the season close

Epsilon has formed in the Atlantic

The 26th named storm of the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record was expected to be absorbed by other weather systems and shouldn't affect land.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/150544.shtml?5day
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177009,00.html


November 28, 2005

From the politics dept.  

Bruce Willis making a new movie supporting the war

"ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy."

Its about time! Bruce rules, hudson hawk to the rescue, or something.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-524-1892675-524,00.html

Bruce Willis comes out fighting for Iraq’s forgotten GI heroes
Sarah Baxter, Washington

ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.

Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.

Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.

“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.

He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.

Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on www.michaelyon.blogspot.com. “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”

Willis is likely to take on the role of the unit’s commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Kurilla, 39, a Bruce Willis lookalike with a chest full of medals, more hair than Willis and a glamorous blonde wife.

He was injured in August after being shot three times by insurgents “in front of my eyes”, Yon recorded in his blog: “He continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”

Kurilla now has a titanium plate in his leg. He met Willis at the ball and said that his men were “very excited and appreciative that he was there”. ”

Deuce Four has a chequered history. For decades it was a segregated black unit commanded by a white officer. It was disbanded in 1951 but veterans felt hurt that its past was considered to be a stain on the army and it was revived in the mid-1990s.

When the battalion arrived in Mosul in November last year the city was under threat from insurgents. “We faced very heavy fighting for about three months,” Kurilla recalled. “Every patrol was making contact with enemy forces. We would hit them where they slept, where they worked and where they ate.”

Today the picture was very different, he said. “I have watched a city that was in absolute chaos turn into one that has a viable Iraqi security force, which is taking the lead in fighting the terrorists.”

Yon, 41, went to Iraq after a friend from high school, Scott Helveston, a former navy Seal, was hanged from a bridge in Falluja in an incident that shocked the world. Yon had never blogged before but was the author of Danger Close, a book about his experience as a green beret when he killed a man in a bar-room brawl. He was charged with murder and acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

“When I landed in Baghdad I was immediately struck by how much of a war zone it was,” Yon said. “Explosions were going off constantly. It was full-on.”

His first experience of Mosul was worse: “I got attacked on my first mission. One of our vehicles got hit with a car bomb and three guys were killed.”

In May, Yon took a photograph of a soldier from the Deuce Four cradling a little Iraqi girl who had been fatally wounded by a suicide bomber. He sensed that the inhabitants of Mosul were turning against the insurgents. “People began to realise that all the insurgents ever did was break things and kill people,” he said. “It started to switch from a firefight to an intelligence war. People started to talk more to us. They would pull us over and give us tips.”

The Iraqi security forces began to take pride in their work, Yon added: “These guys were getting slaughtered but they continued to volunteer and fight. It’s very dangerous now to be a terrorist in Mosul. They’re still out there but it’s not like it was.”

Willis said it would be wrong for Americans to give up on Iraq just as progress is being made. “The Iraqi people want to live in a world where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed,” he said. “I mean, doesn’t everybody want that?”


November 23, 2005

From the wtf/florida dept.  

will Delta be the last?

Looks like Motehr Nature isnt giving up and setting the record high. Tropical Storm Delta formed today, and looks like its going nowhere.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at3+shtml/204547.shtml?3day


November 22, 2005

From the misc dept.  

Safest and most dangerous cities this year

So Camden NJ get sthe worst city honor again this year. Looking at the worst overall list, I cant understand how New Orleans only got #8 after what we saw unfold. Thats gotta be in a category of its own. Well, At least its good to know the city I live in, Round Rock, TX (home of Dell), is #8 of the best! yey. anyways, heres the articles:

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,176206,00.html
http://www.morganquitno.com/xcit06pop.htm#25


November 21, 2005

From the wtf dept.  

Big Brother is watching you, no really

Too funny...

FBI: Surveillance E-mail Is Really a Scam

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert Monday about a scam involving unsolicited e-mails, purportedly sent by the FBI, that tell computer users that their Internet surfing is being monitored by the agency.

The users are told they have visited illegal Web sites and are instructed to open an attachment to answer questions.

The FBI did not send these e-mails and does not send any other unsolicited e-mails to the public, an agency statement said. As many harmful computer viruses are located in e-mail attachments, the FBI said it strongly encourages computer users not to open attachments from unknown recipients.

The FBI is investigating the scam. Recipients of these e-mails are asked to report them by visiting the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.


From the g33k/online dept.  

Twentieth Century Fox signs Internet Movie Deal

Ever wanted to watch a movie on your ipod? maybe some seinfeld on your palm/CE device? stream a movie to your laptop in a n airplane? here ya go!

LOS ANGELES -- Movielink, a joint venture of five Hollywood studios to offer movies over the Internet, has signed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox, allowing it to offer movies from all major studios for the first time.

The deal, announced Monday, comes at a time when studios and TV networks are looking at alternative ways to distribute programs, including video on demand and portable devices, such as Apple's iPod.

While Fox has offered some of its content online at sites such as CinemaNow.com, it waited until more homes had high speed Internet access and could view downloaded movies on large screen TVs before signing a deal with Movielink.

"I think you're going to see us be a lot more aggressive in the next few months," said Peter Levinsohn, president of Worldwide Pay Television and Digital Media at Fox, a subsidiary of New York-based News Corp. "This marketplace is really going to start to grow."

Movielink and similar legitimate movie download services exist, in part, to offer an alternative to illegal piracy. But Movielink has yet to become popular, in part because films can only be viewed on a computer or watched on a TV screen using a cable.

But over the next few months, consumer electronics devices, such as the recently released XBox 360 game console, will allow users to more easily view material stored on a hard drive on a large TV screen.

Studios also are expected to experiment with other business models, including allowing viewers to purchase movies online and burn copies to DVDs.

"The end of 2005 and into 2006 is really a watershed year," said Jim Ramo, chief executive at Movielink. "I think you're beginning to see a snowball effect."

Starting Monday, Fox will make movies such as "Robots" available and will add more movies over the next few months.

But viewers won't see any of George Lucas's "Star Wars" films, which Fox distributes in theaters and home video. Fox does not own the Internet distribution rights to the films.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,176242,00.html


November 18, 2005

From the wtf/florida dept.  

here comes γ (Gamma).

you thought wilma, α and β where bad, here comes γ. What seems to be the last named storm of this season is aiming stright for Miami. Guess you have to love miami to stay living there after this year. Happy Thanksgiving Miami!

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT27/refresh/AL2705W5+gif/204548W_sm.gif

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,176080,00.html


From the politics dept.  

In God we trust

Yup, he's at it again, Michael newdow is sueing to remove "In God we trust" from our money. Where does this loon get all this money to keep filing stuff for his own spotlight? Does he not know this phrase isn't religious? Does he not realize the Judeo-Christian background of this country is what makes it so good? Can you imagine if Athiests framed the constitution? we'd be in civil wars every 10 years. We'd have poligamy running rampant. We'd still have slavery. We'd basicly be living in anarchy because there would be no rigid backbone to society. While I dont beleive religion should be pushed upon someone, as they should be asking it to be imposed on themselve individually, but on the flip side, you cant erase it completely. anyways, here's the article and several sources:


Newdow should actually read the Constitution

It appears as if Michael Newdow is at it again. Recently I was listening to KCBS on my way in to work and I heard the unbelievable story about the lawsuit filed by atheist Michael Newdow. This time, he is attacking the "in God we trust' wording on our money. His lawsuit against "under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance is still in process as well.

His claim is that wording on our coins violate the separation of church and state that is covered in our Constitution. Doesn't he understand the meaning of separation of church and state? Doesn't he understand the fundamentals of the United States? I understand that everyone has a right to their opinion, but this has gone far enough.

The separation of church and state simply means that the U.S. government will not select a religion for its citizens. And the U.S. government will not punish a citizen for practicing their own religion and praying to their own god or idol, should a person choose that path. As long as they do not violate the law, a person is free to practice the religion they select of their own free will.

Another thing that Mr. Newdow either doesn't realize or doesn't care to admit is that this country's value system is based on a god-based faith. Maybe Mr. Newdow should read the Constitution again and again, and see what I mean by that. Where does he think we get our laws from? How about "thou shall not kill?' That not only is a law, but one of the Ten Commandments? People like him don't want the Ten Commandments shown in our courtrooms. But since some laws were written from them, should we no longer follow those laws? What message are we looking to send?

If U.S. currency truly offends Mr. Newdow, then he should stop using it. He can use checks and credit cards so that he does not have to see such harmful words. If that isn't enough, perhaps he could donate it to a church or needy children or to anyone who needs it. Trust me, they wouldn't have a challenge with "in God we trust'. But then again, by the sheer fact that he would donate money, others might think God does exist, so maybe he shouldn't.

Let's say we do take out all religious writings and sayings from any official government documents, currency, proceedings or gatherings, what would Mr. Newdow put in place of it? What would our money say on it? How about "in our Constitution we trust'? I don't think so.

I am calling out Mr. Newdow for a debate on our Constitution. I would love sit down with him in an open forum and exchange thoughts on how we both see this great nation and our Constitution. Clearly, we see it differently. So, anytime, any place, I will be there.

http://www.thereporter.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?article=3230645
http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read.html?id=5388
http://www.therant.us/staff/hagin/11182005.htm


November 11, 2005

From the wtf dept.  

Group behind daytime awards expected to announce new category for handheld devices

Whats next, Best online porn ring? this is kinda lame, not like we have a "Best while on an airplane" category, or "Best while standing in line"

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/11/technology/emmys/

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The group behind the daytime Emmys is expected to announce a new category specifically for content made for computers, cell phones and other hand-held devices, according to a news report Friday.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is to debut at the next Sports Emmys show and eventually become a category in other Emmy presentations, The New York Times said.

Entries in the category must be original, and cannot include content that has already been shown on television. Devices that can play videos -- like the video iPod and PlayStation Portable -- are seeing more original content developed for them.

The market for portable video content is still small compared to broadcast television, but it is growing rapidly. There are currently an estimated 500,000 mobile video viewers in the US, according to the newspaper.


November 4, 2005

From the politics dept.  

ANWR: its about time

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,174487,00.html

Senate Permits Oil Drilling in Alaska Refuge

WASHINGTON � The Senate brought the country one step closer Thursday to drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (search) after it narrowly defeated an attempt to kill drilling in an amendment attached to the deficit reduction bill.

"The state of Alaska has been waiting a long time to let the United States of America, which they're part of, share in their abundance of oil, and today we finally have said that it's time," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"Using backdoor tactics to destroy America's last great wild frontier will not solve our nation's energy problems and will do nothing to lower skyrocketing gas prices," Sen. Maria Cantwell (search) D-Wash., argued in calling for opposition to drilling.

Cantwell fell two votes short when the Senate defeated her amendment to strip the provision, 51-48. Supporters of drilling say the vote reflects new political realities dictated by higher gasoline prices.

"The public opinion polls, particularly after (Hurricane) Katrina, have established the American public is in support of opening ANWR to limited exploration and development," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Drilling would occur on the coastal plane on a 1.5 million acre plot within ANWR's 19.5 million-acre terrain. Available oil reserves are estimated between 4 billion and 12 billion barrels, a six-month to 20-month supply for the entire United States if it were completely dependent on the reserve. Currently, the United States now uses about 7.3 billion barrels of oil a year, or 20 million barrels a day. Almost 60 percent of it is imported.

In an 86-13 vote, the Senate required that none of the oil from ANWR can be exported. Without protecting it, "there is no assurance that even one drop of Alaskan oil will get to hurting Americans," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a drilling opponent who nevertheless sponsored the no-export provision with Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who strongly supports drilling in ANWR.

Even with instant approval for drilling, it will take 10 years before the oil from ANWR will be brought to market, and another 10 years after that to get to 1 million barrels pumped per day.

"The Department of Energy says that drilling in ANWR will do little in the near term and very little in the long term, reducing gas prices by only one penny," Cantwell said.

Alaska's North Slope (search) has produced oil since 1977, with what some said has been a great cost to the environment around the area. Cantwell said she feared similar environmental damage from drilling in ANWR.

"There is an average of over 500 oil spills a year on Alaskan North Slope, and over 4,000 spills in the last 10 years. Let's not pollute one of the great last refuges of America," Cantwell said.

Republicans have sought ANWR drilling for a decade. In addition to new political calculations, the Senate GOP shielded ANWR drilling by sticking it into a budget bill opponents cannot block with a filibuster.

After voting all day Thursday on several amendments to the deficit reduction bill, senators passed a five-year bill to reduce the growth of federal spending by $36 billion or three tenths of 1 percent.

Across the Capitol, House Republicans muscled a five-year bill with $54 billion in savings through the Budget Committee. It too included an ANWR provision.

The House Democratic leader predicted unanimous party opposition.

"When we take this vote, we will make this budget very hot for the Republicans to handle," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

That threat drew the wrath of Rep. Tom DeLay, the former majority leader now fighting indictments on campaign finance charges.

"Republicans have proposed to find $50 billion in savings from a $2.5 trillion budget, and not a single Democrat will help," DeLay said.

The Senate passed the budget bill by a vote of 52-47. House Republicans hope to bring their version to the floor next week. But Republican moderates have yet to commit to opening up ANWR, which was set aside for protection 44 years ago, or reducing spending on food stamps and health care programs.

The provision in the budget bill assumed $2.5 billion in federal revenue from oil lease sales over the next five years. Alaska would get a like amount as well as half of future oil royalties from the refuge.