Laurence and Jeff talk about “Zippers”, which are basically pre-packaged Jell-O shots sold by an Ohio company, and how that state is considering prosecuting the company. Which is interesting, except that I wrote about this product two weeks ago when Alabama decided to reverse itself on allowing their sale.
I hate it when people stop posting and don’t announce it — are they taking a break, or are they gone for good? Has something happened? Sometimes I feel guilty about this, but I always feel I should mention it if I’m going away.
As it happens, I’m not — unlike seemingly everybody else — taking a break. However, for most of July I will probably be lighter than it’s been, on what I think of as a “weekend schedule”. I’m going on vacation starting tomorrow (save a half day on Saturday), and I usually post less when I’m not working, since most of my posting is done during breaks at work. (I’m not actually leaving town, for two very good reasons: I’m lazy, and I’m cheap.) When I get back, seemingly everybody else (well, there are only five people here) is going on vacation for the rest of the month and I’ll be away from my computer most of the time. (I won’t actually be working, since I can’t really do that. I’ll be sitting at the circulation desk, even though hardly anyone will be around.) I’ll probably post about half as much in July as I did in June, but I’ll try to have something every day. What passes for normal around here will resume sometime in August.
China Buys 8 Russian Submarines
The story doesn’t say how advanced these subs are, only that they’re armed with missiles. According to this site, the Kilo-class subs are a relatively advanced diesel-powered model, and “effective for missions such as coastal defense, where high speed and long range are not crucial.” Another such mission would be an attack on Taiwan; I don’t know about a blockade. Teipei is hoping the US will step up and sell some subs in answer. Interestingly, Taiwan has long been trying to buy the same number of subs, eight.
Fireworks destroy osprey nests, injure two teens
Today’s Jackass Award is shared between the idiots in Washington state who thought it would be fun to build a pipe bomb out of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day (and blew off their fingers) and to the other idiots in Washington state who thought it would be fun to set an osprey nest on fire with a bottle rocket. If forced to choose, I go with the latter, since the former were hurt by their own stupidity instead of hurting others, though it easily could have gone the other way.
I really hate people who kill animals for no reason. I’m a carnivore, and I know animals will be killed, even wild animals, even rare ones. I know hunting is not only a major part of some people’s lives but necessary for some species to survive (since their natural predators have been driven out). But this sort of casual cruelty for thrills sickens me.
New Fossil: Link Between Fish and Land Animals?
Paleontologists may have found the first vertebrate truly adapted to walking on land. Pederpes apparently is the earliest known animal with a five-toed foot (ancestrally common to all land vertebrates) but also had rear legs and feet that point forward, not to the side like the lobed fish that were its (and our) ancestors.
The Nando Times: NASA finds crack in Columbia’s pipe liner
Oh, boy. That’s three shuttles with the same defect. And nobody seems to know why.
Bert & Ernie have a video out and they’re doing interviews to support it. But they keep ducking (ha!) the questions about the nature of their relationship (they’re the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck of puppets) and Bert’s connections with Osama bin Laden.
Group Drops ‘Sopranos’ Lawsuit
An Illinois appellate court has upheld a ruling dismissing the ridiculous suit by an Italian-American group against the makers of The Sopranos. Despite the above headline, this story says that they will try again.
Not to exaggerate, but this really is an important case, in the sense that all assaults on freedom of speech are important. As far as I can tell, the First Amendment hasn’t come into play here (all cases were in Illinois’ state courts, nothing Federal).
Tyson Foods, Ikea Among Embargo Violators – Report
Apparently, Saddam’s chicken needs are being met. Meanwhile, IKEA was shocked to learn that the rugs it bought were from a Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan.