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Archive for March, 2008

I’m sorry to hear that Arthur C. Clark has died at age 90. As Bruce Webster notes, he was the last of the “big three” writers who created the foundation for modern science fiction. The other two giants of 20th century SF were Issac Asimov, who died back in 1992, and Robert A. Heinlein, who died in 1988.

via Instapundit.

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Here’s some street photography of a different kind. A typical neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the bygone years of 1972 and 1973. There are some very nice photos.

McCLELLAN STREET – Digital Journalist

I was born in 1971 in Maryland, quite a ways from Indiana, and grew up in working middle-class neighborhood not far from Baltimore City. The houses were less run down and the cars were a little newer, but every decade has a sort of sameness wherever you are, and there’s a lot in these photos that seems familiar to me. The kids, especially. My sister and our friends were not much different from those little kids running around the neighborhood barefoot. Not because we couldn’t afford shoes, just because going barefoot wasn’t unusual back then. And there were the older kids a lot like these, who always seemed to be sitting around smoking and listening to loud music.

I have a few photos up on flickr from back then, most taken by my dad, and quite a few more to scan. But, still, I really wish I’d taken more pictures back then myself. Not just of Christmas or special events, but of boring everyday stuff. I think it’d be nice to have them. That’s the thing about everyday life, though; it seems boring and commonplace now but it’ll be a lot more interesting in 15 years or so. So do you have a camera? Why not go out and take some pictures?

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via AVGeeks

Vodpod videos no longer available. from video.google.com posted with vodpod

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I get the impression that this woman had problems:

A 35-year-old woman who apparently spent two years in her boyfriend’s bathroom in Ness City had become stuck to the toilet seat, authorities said Wednesday.”She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body. It is hard to imagine. … I still have a hard time imagining it myself,” Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said in a telephone interview, adding that it appeared her body fat had grown attached to the seat.

Uh oh. A woman trapped on a toilet, and a Sheriff Whipple is involved. Does this man have an alibi?

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Short on space? Well, now you can hang your bed from the ceiling! What could possibly go wrong?
Beds: Bedup Saves Space by Storing Your Bed in the Ceiling

This reminds me of that Daffy Duck cartoon where he upgrades Elmer Fudd’s house with all sorts of mechanical gadgets, including a revolutionary way to avoid stairs by bringing the second floor downstairs. Which, of course, smashes everything underneath.

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I’m not generally in favor of drug legalization or decriminalization. Drug manufacturing, distribution, and dealing  are serious crimes and should be punished harshly. Possession and drug use are often punished too harshly. Putting those people in jail for years or decades and giving them a permanent criminal record doesn’t help them, stop drugs, or serve society. That’s why this article is hard to disagree with:

If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

Jury nullification is American dissent, as old and as heralded as the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, who was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, and absent a government capable of repairing injustices, it is legitimate protest.

Notably, this may be the first time many people have ever heard of jury nullifcation. Even though it’s been a part of the legal system for a very, very long time.

Via Radley Balko, a longtime critic of current drug laws and the law enforcement excesses they are used to justify.

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Big breasts win verdict for Japanese pin-up – Yahoo! News

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese pin-up model says that her big breasts have not only boosted her career — they also helped her overturn a court verdict.

The bikini model, who goes by her professional name Serena Kozakura, was cleared after a court decided she was too well-endowed to squeeze into a room through a hole, as she had been found guilty of earlier.

Japan is a strange place.

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