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    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2011 edited
     (10152.61)
    Too much going on in Libya to be contained in this thread - possibly too much to fit even in its own thread - but one of the strangest parts of last night was a live phonecall with Mohammed Gadaffi on Aljazeera Arabic:

    Ok this is on UniversalSubtitles.org but doesn't want to embed. (skip to about 4 minutes in)

    After about an hour of wondering if Mohammed had just been killed, AJA was able to make contact again, confirming that his guards had exchanged fire with a group of rebels, but that he was ok. Mohammed had handed himself over to the NTC earlier that evening. (As the Gadaffi family goes, Mohammed is basically the black sheep. Which, relatively speaking, makes him the most tolerable one).

    Unrelatedly, this is somewhat Fortean:
  1.  (10152.62)
    In Mexico, demand is rising at a healthy pace for radio 'locator' implants as a protection against kidnapping. The company featured in the article, ''Xega," says sales have gone up 40% in the last two years.

    And, their executive notes, "Thirty percent of our clients arrive after someone in their family has already experienced a kidnapping"...

    Awareness of the RFID implants is promoted by heavy media coverage in Mexico, spiked by a high-profile incident in which famous political figure "Boss Diego" Fernandez de Cevallos experienced surgery mid-kidnapping to take his implant out of his arm.

    Mexico is under-appreciated as a behavioral future-frontier-scape. What I think is significant about this trend is that the break-down of law and order is driving an embrace of weird tech by the middle class. When truly human-transformative tech suddenly drops into reality, should we look to the fringe and unstable societies to field-test the future while the G8 world is still sending weathermen out to bake cookies on sidewalks? I bet yes.

    What is not significant about this trend is the tech itself. Because as the article continues on to mention, actually the tech doesn't really work. The implant signal is very weak and useful only if the subscriber has their companion GPS transmitter on their person.

    Nobody has made an actual GPS beacon with always-on performance that could fit in a body without taking out a kidney first. Without the transmitter, the implants being sold in Mexico now wouldn't make it out of most basements, which is probably where kidnapped people will end up.
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011 edited
     (10152.63)
    This is where you go to pre-order the new Tom Waits album Bad as Me. The title track is available for download now from Amazon and probably iTunes. The scheduled street date is October 25th. You can get additional information here.

    Private Listening Party edited to add
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      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.64)
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.65)
    So, a pretty wide-ranged but shallow-occurring earthquake just nudged the east coast. 5.9, according to the USGS, centered just under Richmond, VA. Was felt at least as far west as Ohio, up into southern Canada, and down to South Carolina (a few of my friends in Georgia say they felt little tremors, too, but no "official" news has confirmed that yet.

    I was in a Panera with the roomie just now when it happened. Whole place shook up pretty good, but we didn't lose power or anything.

    WEIRD.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.66)
    Frozen Bull Semen Falls From Greyhound Bus, Causes Highway Ramp Closure In Nashville, Tenn.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Canisters of frozen bull semen that fell from a Greyhound bus caused a minor scare when emergency officials found them emitting vapor by the side of the road near downtown Nashville.

    The canisters fell off just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday as the bus traveled around the curve of a ramp to Interstate 65. Metro Nashville police and fire officials were called to the scene because of reports of a foul odor coming from the leaking canisters.

    Officials shut down the ramp until they determined what was in the containers, but the scene was cleared around 9 a.m.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.67)
    @Alan

    Was it your first? I'm a California native so earthquakes are a regular occurence for me.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.68)
    @RenThing: My first in a long time - I used to live just south of L.A., so we'd get little ones now and again. It's just odd how far-ranging it was, yet how relatively harmless considering the magnitude.
  2.  (10152.69)
    felt in NYC and Pittsburgh even -- wow!
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2011
     (10152.70)
    We felt it in Akron, Ohio. It's effects were similar to uncomfortable gas by the time it got here.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.71)
    @Alan Tyson

    Honestly, I'm glad it wasn't stronger as I can't imagine that building codes on newer buildings on the East Coast, let alone all of the historic older neighborhoods and buildings, are up on earthquake safety.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.72)
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.73)
    @Renthing, agreed. It was JUST big enough to be fun, basically. No need for it to have been even bigger.
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      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.74)
    The Atomic Cafe
    One of the defining documentaries of the 20th century, THE ATOMIC CAFE (1982) offers a darkly humorous glimpse into mid-century America, an era rife with paranoia, anxiety, and misapprehension. Whimsical and yet razor-sharp, this timeless classic illuminates the often comic paradoxes of life in the "Atomic Age," while also exhibiting a genuine nostalgia for an earlier and more innocent nation.
    Narrated through an astonishing array of vintage clips and music--from military training films to campy advertisements, presidential speeches to pop songs--the film revolves around the threat--and thrill--of the newly minted atomic bomb. Taking aim at the propaganda and false optimism of the 1950s, the film's satire shines most vividly in the clever image splicing, such as footage of a decimated Hiroshima alongside cheerful suburban "duck-and-cover" routines. More than anything else, THE ATOMIC CAFE shows how nuclear warfare infiltrated the living rooms of America, changing the nation from the inside out.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.75)
    @Alan

    Well, apparently we joined you in the earthquake having fun last night with one near Hayward, CA. Colorado apparently also got in on the action which is a bit more scary.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.76)
    @Renthing, yeah we (my roomie and I) learned about the Colorado quake about ten seconds after the VA one subsided. That one is indeed a little more worrying, considering its proximity to Yellowstone.

    In other news, Tripoli is turning into probably the last place anyone on Earth wants to be right now.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.77)
    @Alan Tyson

    Well there is that, but, AFAIK, earthquakes happen on fault lines due to the movement of tectonic plates grinding against each other and/or built up pressure from such things. In theory, Colorado shouldn't have any fault lines because it's in the middle of the plate. So...?
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011 edited
     (10152.78)
    Colorado (and Virginia for that matter) aren't on any tectonic plates, no, but we do have small fault lines which do tremor occasionally. Some geologists think that there's a big, mostly-but-obviously-not-always-dormant fault line running right down the middle of North America, and that's where the Rocky Mountains come from.

    That or, y'know, Paul Bunyan left his lunch out in the sun one day, and the bread dried to rock and a bunch of animals and trees moved in. Take your pick.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.79)
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
     (10152.80)
    I've never been much of an Apple / Mac guy, but that news feels me with sadness and dread.