53 Brentwood Blog

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Proposition 69

Californians recently approved a measure to create one of the nation's most aggressive criminal DNA databases, but civil liberties groups and privacy advocates are fighting to get it scaled back.
Law enforcement officials say Proposition 69 will be a boon to solving a growing backlog of violent crime cases, but it also raises the possibility of innocent people getting trapped in the vast database along with murderers and rapists and having limited ability to get their file expunged.

The new law, officially called the DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act, is expected to add the genetic data of 1 million people to California's databank over the five years, making it the largest state-run DNA databank in the country.

The law, approved by 62 percent of the state's voters in the Nov. 2 election, allows police to take DNA samples from every adult and juvenile convicted of a felony and from all adults arrested for specific felonies such as sexual assault and murder. In 2009, the law will be broadened to enable police to gather DNA data from anyone arrested for any felony -- ranging from residential burglary to murder -- whether or not they are ever charged or convicted with a crime.

By Julia Scheeres, http://wired.com/

Saturday, November 27, 2004

On Thursday, did Saddam have turkey too?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

This is what you're eating today...

A large North American gallinaceous bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is domesticated in most parts of the world

definition of "turkey", from http://www.merriam.com/ .

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"She also renounced marriage and motherhood for a fairly flamboyant lesbian life."

That quote was inspiring! Now that I've read this, I am renouncing marriage and motherood to live a flamboyant lesbian life. Thank you.

"... the great thing to learn about life is, first, not to do what you don’t want to do, and, second, to do what you do want to do."

Margaret Anderson (1886–1973), U.S. literary editor and autobiographer.
Anderson eschewed “the higher joys of country clubs and bridge,” which her parents had expected her to pursue after college, for publishing what would become an influential literary and arts magazine, The Little Review (1914–1929). She also renounced marriage and motherhood for a fairly flamboyant lesbian life.

from http://www.bartleby.com/

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The United States has intelligence indicating Iran is trying to fit missiles to carry nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says.
November 18, 2004 . CNN.


The pity is not that Colin Powell has resigned as secretary of state. The pity is that he did not do so quickly.
Had he resigned during the buildup to the war in Iraq, which he privately opposed, history might award him an asterisk and note that his tenure as secretary of state,
while notable for nothing notable, ended over an important disagreement. Had that happened, Powell could then join just two secretaries of state -- William Jennings
Bryan and Cyrus Vance -- who resigned because they differed with their presidents, Bryan with Woodrow Wilson, Vance with Jimmy Carter. The best that can be
said about Powell is that he disagreed. The worst is that he did nothing significant about it.
The decision to go to war was the single most important foreign policy act of George Bush's first term. Powell not only couldn't stop it, he never saw it coming. When the possibility of war first arose, he dismissed it to aides and, by the time he grasped what was happening, it was too late. Powell the soldier saluted and went to war. First, though, he stopped at the United Nations, where he delivered a speech whose facts -- many of them anyway -- were later
found to be wrong. That must have pained him -- but not, maybe, shocked him. Before giving the speech, he had gone over to the CIA to personally check the intelligence. That had to mean he was smelling a rat.
Richard Cohen, November 16, 2004. The Washington Post Company.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Spacey Sprockets

I didn't go, I would have but at the time I hadn't been paid in 4 weeks and was broke. So I couldn't afford the entry fee. Bummer. Though I might be getting benefits at my current job soon. Oh and they finally paid me, well some of what they owe me. Ahh the life of a temporary contractor.

So instead I spent my Saturday organizing my room and shoveling snow.

hey Mike!

how was the Space Conference at MIT? Any interesting jobs?

by the way, I just got a postcard from my Dutch friend Vivian - some of you might remember her; she in Boston, for a two-months trip in the US!


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sometime I read “normal” newspapers and it feels like I’m reading The Onion…

British soldiers sue Pentagon: $2.3m claim after military police and interpreter injured in crash.

Saturday November 13, 2004
The Guardian

Three British soldiers and an army interpreter are suing the American military after their vehicle was rammed by a US tank transporter in Iraq.
The $2.3m (£1.2m) suit is the first against the US army from coalition troops since the invasion of Iraq. It seeks to exploit provisions normally reserved for Iraqis claiming compensation for family members wrongfully killed in US raids.
The Britons, members of a Royal Military Police unit on duty with their Kuwaiti interpreter, suffered serious injuries on May 7 last year when their Land Rover was struck twice from behind by the hulking transporter.
The vehicle spun out of control and off the road, somersaulting into a sand dune. All four passengers were hurled out of the vehicle, and the Land Rover was wrecked.
Sgt Rogerson received head and spinal injuries. In court documents, he complains of lasting back and arm injuries that could prevent him from pursuing a lucrative post-army career as a security expert.
Corporal Stephen Smith and Khalid Allahou, an engineer with the Kuwaiti oil company who had volunteered as a translator, were sitting in the rear of the vehicle. They were also wounded.

In the court documents, Mr Allahou said: "I know now what it feels like inside a tumble dryer. It spun like nothing before I've seen in my life. I mean we were spinning."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

More relevant Onions.

Housemates reject third-roomate relief plan.

If Eileen used this plan of attack, would we have folded?

Hell no.

Overall, pretty funny Onion.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This IS funny. From The Onion.

The Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, breaking a "curse" that has persisted since 1918. What do you think?

Allen Palmer, Systems Analyst "So the curse only lasted 86 years, huh? I guess the ol' Bambino wasn't as powerful a necromancer as we thought."

Lacey Swain, Chiropractor "It's good to know that the World Series isn't just about which team has the highest payroll. The Red Sox are proof that you can spend the second most and still become champions."

Tony Mills, Construction Worker "Wow. Does this mean baseball can end now?"

Bryan Warren, Civil Engineer "I've been rooting for the Sox for the past 60 years, but I finally gave up hope on them this season. I was expecting them to lose, so they managed to let me down again."


Saturday, November 06, 2004

George Bush: what a mooncalf!

Back from Italy, where I witnessed the outcome of the 2004 US Presidential Election. In 2000, Bush basically stole the Presidency, while this years the Americans robbed themselves of the Presidency, so, with all due respect for the American readers, I have to conclude that:

2000 US Presidential Elections: an idiot for President.
2004 US Presidential Elections: a President for idiots.

from Roget’s II, The New Thesaurus:
idiot: One deficient in judgment and good sense: ass, fool, imbecile, jackass, mooncalf, moron, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, simple, simpleton, softhead, tomfool. Informal : dope, gander, goose. Slang : cretin, ding-dong, dip, goof, jerk, nerd, schmo, schmuck, turkey.

I've never heard anybody saying the word "mooncalf".
But I like it.
"What a mooncalf." or: "You mooncalf".

Why I don't like Bush? Because he is a crazy fanatic - as much as Osama. I mean, this guy is responsible for the death of as many as 30,000 (and probably more) people in Iraq, since the U.S.-led invasion. And these people had nothing to do with the deaths of September 11.