Posts belonging to Category Miscellaneous


The FBI has raided the US facilities of Rackspace and taken hard drives which housed portions of Indymedia.  They also served a warrant against Rackspace to have them turn over drives from their London location which housed portions of various worldwide Indymedia websites.

The below is taken from an Indymedia press release, which was posted to Slashdot, given that portions of Indymedia are nonfunctional.

The US authorities issued a subpoena to Rackspace’s office in the US ordering them to physically remove Indymedia hardware located in London. Rackspace is one of Indymedia’s web hosting providers with offices in the US and London. Rackspace complied and turned over Indymedia’s hard drives/servers in the UK. This affects some 20+ Indymedia sites worldwide.

Frankly, it’s about damn time.  After allowing information stolen from Protest Warrior to remain on their site for days and publishing the personal information on the RNC delegates, they needed to be investigated to see if they had any part of these acts.

No, I’m not bitter about receiving several virus-laden emails a day on my old Protest Warrior email address.  Why do you ask?

Drink Your Beer

It’s good for you.

Beer drinkers can toast the news that their favourite beverage possesses the same benefits as red wine, the alcohol long celebrated for its antioxidant properties.

Researchers at The University of Western Ontario have found one drink of beer or wine provides equivalent increases in plasma antioxidant activity, which helps prevent the oxidization of blood plasma by toxic free radicals that trigger many aging diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cataracts.

Biochemistry and kinesiology professor John Trevithick, one of the lead researchers and a long-time expert on the role of antioxidants in human health, says, “We were very surprised one drink of beer or stout contributed an equal amount of antioxidant benefit as wine, especially since red wine contains about 20 times the amount of polyphenols as beer.”

I guess I’m just not drinking enough beer.  I’d better get cracking…

Link via Slashdot.

Eternal Rest, Discount Style

I’m sure some funeral directors won’t like this development, but more competition is better for the customer (or at least the people making the arrangements in this case).

On Monday, Costco Wholesale Corp., better known for bulk chicken and cases of soda, started test marketing caskets alongside mattresses at a North Side Chicago store. They’re also being sold at a suburban Oak Brook store.

Each of the six models from the Universal Casket Co., in colors including lilac and Neapolitan blue, is priced at $799.99, made of 18-gauge steel, considered medium weight for caskets, and can be delivered within 48 hours.


Spending A Mint On Repairs?

These guys must have been very desperate to get their truck back.

Police say two men driving a rental car were arrested Monday in connection with a bank robbery that occurred a few hours after the men dropped off a truck for body work.

“I told him he had a $996 deductible and that it would be due when he picked up the truck,” said Doug Germany, customer service manager. “His eyes got a little wide.”

The men, in their 50s, brought the 1997 GMC truck with right-side damage into the shop in the 4900 block of North Beach Street about 10 a.m., Germany said.

They rented a car from a Hertz rental branch at the collision center, he said. After lunch, authorities showed up wanting to know who had rented the car.

A man with a handgun had robbed the Frost Bank at 6301 N. Beach St. Witnesses saw him getting into the car, which another man was driving, robbery Detective D.E. Owings said.

I’m guessing that these two aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Darkly Distracted

I’ve recently been distracted by the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter, hence no posts since Friday.  It’s an interesting premise—the story is told in first person by Dexter, who just happens to be a serial killer who only kills bad people (like a priest who molests and kills children).  Ok, so it’s not Shakespeare, but it’s an entertaining distraction.

The story is set in Miami and from time to time we’re given some interesting observations, like this one:

“Every major city has a section like this one. If a piebald dwarf with advanced leprosy wants to have sex with a kangaroo and a teenage choir, he’ll find his way here and get a room. When he’s done, he might take the whole gang next door for a cup of Cuban coffee and a medianoche sandwich. Nobody would care, as long as he tipped.”

Fundamentally Unserious

As an agnostic, I don’t really have much interest in the Catholic Church, except for what I see in the news about the abuse scandals.  I’ve always been a bit suspicious of the church given its propensity for issuing edicts seeking to run people’s lives, especially in the sexual arena.  The abuse scandals certainly haven’t helped its moral authority.  So I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by this reaction from the bishop in charge of a Catholic seminary in Austria that is involved in a child porn and sex scandal.

A vast cache of child pornography and photos of young priests having sex has been discovered at a Roman Catholic seminary in Poelten, officials said yesterday. The announcement led Austrian politicians and church leaders to demand a criminal probe and the resignation of the bishop in charge.

Bishop Kurt Krenn, who oversees the diocese, refused to step down, however, dismissing the images as a “childish prank.” The seminary’s director, the Rev. Ulrich Kuechl, resigned along with his deputy, Wolfgang Rothe.

Until the church cleans its house of people like this and gets its house in order, it’d better keep its opinions about how we run our lives to itself.  Until then, I can only conclude that the church is fundamentally unserious about ending the abuse.

Crackle…  Run… Thump…  Bang!

This (270KB WMV) is why I’m glad I’m able to get away from the wet-blanket nannies of the city and celebrate the 4th the way it was meant to be.  Even though they seem to be making some things weaker every year (i.e. M-150s…), other items seem to be getting better all the time, like the artillery shells and the multi-shot display items.  With the quality, though, comes increased prices.  However, you can still find some impressive items (1.4MB WMV) for around $20.00.

Tightly Wound?

I think this guy (soul-sucking registration required) is a little too tightly wound to be a marshal.

Town Marshal Ron White was fired for pointing a gun at a man who had written a rude statement on a check and then refusing to attend a psychological evaluation, according to city records.

The records detail the May 28 incident, in which White, 42, drew and pointed his weapon at Michael Vincent Boland about 8:50 a.m. in the parking lot of the Westlake town campus.

White’s tenure as town marshal began April 1, 2002, and ended June 14, when he was fired by the town’s Board of Aldermen during a meeting he did not attend. He had been suspended with pay on June 4 by Town Manager Trent Petty.

It would appear that this wasn’t his first problem.

But White’s problems on the job began before May. Town records show that he was warned about controlling his temper in his 2002-03 performance review.

“If another loud and combatant verbal confrontation occurs between you and a co-worker, this will be grounds for immediate termination,” the review states.

In March, White failed his 2003-04 performance review and was put on probation for six weeks. He was given a “passing” rating May 14.

White claimed that when the man started his car that he was in fear that he would be hit with the car.  However, Keller police were called in to investigate the incident, and their report is particularly damning.

White “did not have a legal reason to detain the complainant,” Keller police Lt. Rex L. Phelps wrote to Chief Mark Hafner in a memo summarizing the investigation. “He clearly showed poor judgment and did not control his own emotions to the level expected of a professional law enforcement officer.”


Lucky To Be Alive

I saw a short article about this in today’s paper (although I chased down this link which doesn’t require registration).  It’s another case of someone lucky to be alive after being insufficiently armed for the occasion.

A woman was attacked by a mountain lion while hiking in central California, but was rescued when her friends stabbed the animal with a knife and threw rocks at it, officials said.

Shannon Parker lost her right eye, was injured in her other eye and suffered deep lacerations to her right thigh during the attack Saturday, officials with the California Department of Fish and Game said.

Authorities said Parker was hiking with three male friends about 20 miles north of Kernville when the 70-pound female lion attacked her as she walked alone back to her car, Martarano said.

Parker’s boyfriend, Mathias Maciejewski, 28, stabbed the lion with a knife and Jason Quirino, 30, and Ben Aaron Marsh, 15, threw rocks at the animal until it ran off, Martarano said.

They were very, very lucky that they were able to substitute balls for ballistics.  But you have to wonder if this woman would still have her eye if someone there was carrying an appropriate weapon.

New Site Layout And Backend

I’ve been working on this for a few days behind the scenes.  This weblog is now being run on Expression Engine.  While Movable Type is still installed, it’s been changed to generate “mt_index.html” instead of index.html.  For those users who are linking directly to index.html, I’ve removed it and created an automatic redirect that will bring them to this page (the weblog is run from a PHP file called “index.php” and in order for that file to act as the main site index, the HTML file has to be removed).

In a short while I will also be moving my gun site to an Expression Engine weblog, just as soon as some technical issues are worked out.  I also hope to move my gunshow listings to some kind of weblog as well.

All of the previous entries and comments have been imported into Expression Engine.  However, all of the old archives from the Movable Type weblog are still available at their original locations.  Any links to those articles will still work.