We can always panic tomorrow.
daily archive: 09/08/2005
It's official: Arafat is still dead
Arafat's Death Remains a Mystery
. I'm not sure what's so mysterious about an old man dying but whatever. Arise, conspiracy theories, arise!
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The Return of the Man in Black Part I
The planet Altairius Prime, headquarters of the Grand Inquisition. A male choir can be heard chanting, it echoes throughout the towered fortress-monastery complex. A brown-robed functionary brother makes his way down the vaulted stone corridors to the offices of the Grand Inquisitor. He waited outside the immense wooden doors where two large power armored troopers stood like statues.
One of them turned and stated "His Holiness will grant you audience now, brother." As the functionary passed the guard hissed sotto voce "Keep it brief! He is in a foul mood today!"
"When is he not?" thought the brother, but quickly shooed the thought from his mind as unworthy. The inner chamber was dimly lit by glowglobes, a cloying incense assaulted his nostrils.
The brother entered and knelt on one knee, head bowed. He trembled. "I am standing less than a meter from the most dangerous man in the Empire." he thought.
"Arise, brother. And report." intoned the Grand Inquisitor.
"Your holiness...I bring distressing news. The Temporal Authority has failed to apprehend the being Thousand Sons."
The Grand Inquisitor frowned. In a dead voice he asked simply "Why?"
The brother cleared his throat. "The officer assigned, Darloch Khentari, has apparently gone native. No further sign of him has been found."
"And the Authority? Have they been made...aware of Our displeasure?"
The brother shuddered at the memory. "Yes, milord. They have repented their error."
"Hmmm. And where is this Khentari now?"
"On Earth, milord. Where Thousand Sons is currently."
"Pfah! Earth." spat the Grand Inquisitor. "The very name is like an epithet upon my tongue! Would that we could perform an Exterminatus upon that globe and cleanse it! Fie upon the Treaty!" he said slamming his fist on his desk.
The brother said nothing, but swallowed hard. "There is more, milord. There is word of a demon loose on the planet. It plays at being human, but is truly an undead creature. It appears as male or female at will. Somehow it is tied into this as well."
The Grand Inquisitor's eyes narrowed. "This cannot be borne." He folded his hands together. "Send Inquisitor Essington Streck to deal with this situation."
The brother blanched briefly at the name. "Streck...milord?"
"Yes. Streck. He is our finest Inquistor. He will not be swayed by that planets filthy ways."
The brother bowed deeply and made to leave.
"Oh, and brother?" asked the Grand Inquisitor.
The brother froze mid step.
"I am always in a foul mood." said the Grand Inquisitor. "Pray you do not make it fouler upon your return."
The brother sputtered and scurried away.
The cherry blossoms were in full bloom on Altarius Prime this time of year.
Streck had waited patiently for this day, wanting to savor springtime in its fullest.
Streck was a man of middle years, neither young nor old. Powerfully built and barrel chested. He sat outside at an easel ruminating about the landscape, stroking his close cropped grey beard. His large hand delicately lifted his paint brush with obvious dexterity. He winced slighty, disappointed, as he saw the brown-robed functionary walking towards him.
"I am summoned again, brother?" he rumbled. It was more of a statement than a question.
"Yes, Brother Inquisitor. Your orders are in this dossier."
The functionary handed Streck a black leather packet bearing the silver seal of the Inquisition. Streck looked at it and nodded. "Thank you brother. Begone now." he said, waving the brother away.
Cherry blossoms fluttered down like confetti in the air. Streck closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "So." he exhaled. He looked wistfully at his empty canvas. "Another day, old friend."
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The Mama Noodle Index
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A survivalist's list
I could write a book. :)
mre's are fine. The pre-made plans sold online, dehydrated foods, Church of Latter Day Saints plan, Walton Feeds, etc, all work... if you want to eat what someone else likes. Me, if I'm up on a rooftop I'd like a bag of doritos and a coke. You really need to customize ANY plan to what YOUR family likes and needs. Let me just touch on water.
In our boogie bags we have several sports bottles of water (and a pack of crystal lite individual mixes), a KATADYN Pocket Filter and a small bottle of bleach. Filter water into a container, add bleach, aerate, let rest until you don't taste bleach, then drink. Filtering removes microorganisms and bacteria, and bleach kills the viruses and giardia. Bring some bleach wipes because you don't want to drink from a container contaminated on the outside, either.
You can't store a year's worth of DRINKING WATER. Besides, how much WATER do you drink? If you're like us, you drink things besides water - soda, beer, juice, and milk. I buy two cases of water in sports bottles every week, we drink one case, the other goes into storage. Cans of soda and beer will last for a long time, buy when on sale. Ditto bottles of Apple Juice, Cranberry and Grape. I get Tropicana Orange Juice and Parmalot milk at the warehouse stores, but they only last 3 months. ROTATE your supplies.
You need water to flush toilets, wash yourself and your clothes, do dishes, clean your house, etc. Take a look at your water bill and see how many THOUSANDS of gallons you use every month. If the electric is out your water might not flow out of the tap. You can buy big blue 55 gallon water containers like this, often locally. I store one per person and expect it to last two weeks. I don't have to worry about water because I live on a spring feed lake, but I do have to worry about water quality because there's a lot of critters living IN that lake. I have a gravity fed water distiller, and supply of bleach.
If you have any specific questions I'll be happy to answer them.
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FEMA Site Requires IE 6 For Filing A Claim
As if hurricane Katrina didn't put enough misery on survivors, now to request for disaster help
online at FEMA web site, you need to have IE 6.0 or higher. Firefox and Opera users need to go somewhere else. Out of this world.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), already the subject of sharp criticism in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, may find itself chastised further for restricting access to its online assistance site to Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer users.
That cuts out everyone running Linux or the Mac operating systems, as well as Windows users running alternate browsers such as Firefox or Opera.
Attempts to contact a FEMA representative were unsuccessful.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Copyright Office came under fire for a similar limitation when it said that its soon-to-be-launched revamped site will allow only Internet Explorer and a version of Netscape Navigator to access a copyright preregistration system.
Switiching the browser agent in Firefox and Opera to IE6 seems to work!FEMA Aid Site Blocks Access To Firefox, Macs, Linux Users
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To The Cemetery
In the middle of the dark and stormy night, a big, rusty, steel gate opens with a loud creak. A group of comrades are tiptoeing on the path next to the outer walls of bloggie.
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How blogs make things worse: a case study
The left-wing blogosphere was buzzing with the news that a German station, ZDF, had reported that a food distribution center in New Orleans was staged to give Bush a photo-op, then disappeared after he was gone, leaving the people there without any help. It sounded like left-wing German media bullshit, but it turned out to just be left-wing American blogosphere bullshit. Read on...Respectful of Otters
Looking at the transcripts, it seems easy enough to figure out what happened. Laura's commenter, who appears to have been reconstructing from memory a news story he'd seen on TV, elided the New Orleans segment (which had Bush speaking at "one of the few" supply distribution points) and the Biloxi segment (which had cleaning crews working only along Bush's route, and disappearing afterward). Combined, these two segments became a story about supply distribution points disappearing after Bush's visit.
That story fit in well with Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's report that construction equipment had been brought in to the levee for Bush's visit, and then removed again. And it also fit in well with the lefty blogosphere's traditional distrust of the American media ("There was a striking discrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV"), and their perceptions that foreign reporters are more likely to get it right.
The fact that the story fits so well with our current frames for interpreting Katrina news may explain why, when War and Piece posted a translation the day after the original report, no one (including Laura Rozen) seemed to notice that the translation was substantially different from the original story. It's natural that rumors are flying everywhere right now. But we should be careful about what we do with unsourced news, especially when it confirms our biases. We here at Respectful of Otters and Idealistic Pragmatist are hardly Bush supporters, but we do think it's important to set the record straight. It's easy to lose the subtleties--or even the main point--of a news story that isn't in your native language. But we need to be careful not to undercut the points we're trying to make with even unintentional amplification. The news coming out of the U.S. Gulf Coast, including the biting commentary by ZDF news, is damning enough as it stands.
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Amazing story of a Katrina survivor
tried to ride out the storm with his two dogs, and found out it was a bit more than he'd bargained for. When some guys in an airboat showed up offering to help him evacuate his second-story house, they promised that the situation for pet owners had changed and he would be allowed to keep his dogs, and that they would take him to Baton Rouge, where he could get further transportation. Instead, they took him to a hellish refugee camp and locked him in with 20,000 people. Officials were walking around confiscating pets, so he teamed up with two other people and made a daring escape and an extraordinary 30-wile walk to the nearest town. Read it for yourself.
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