Duct-Tape Merit Badge

badge This site is leading the effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to recognize the proposed "Duct Tape Merit Badge," which has so far been twice-rejected by the National Council.


Me and Ruben

According to Ruben Studdard's concert agreement rider, the big crooner favors Potrone [sic] tequila for his dressing room. I myself favor the smooth taste of Patrón, and I like to think that it's something Ruben and I have in common. (On the other hand, I don't like to think about his four bars of black soap and six clean black bath size towels at all.)


Warning to Babies Everywhere

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan -- Seaman Robert Howard sat on his tiny baby to shut him up, playing Pokémon on his Game Boy as the infant suffocated and died beneath him, Howard testified on Monday.

In the base's main courtroom, Howard, a 21-year-old hospital corpsman who'd been assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, pleaded guilty to the March 9 murder of his 28-day-old son, Logan. Howard also pleaded guilty to assault and aggravated assault for attacks on the baby days before the killing, including one in which he strangled Logan until he lost consciousness and another in which he suffocated the infant with his hand until he saw the color drain from the infant's face.

Howard also admitted to sitting on the infant's chest on a previous occasion, saying he was practicing wrestling moves he'd seen on television. He seemed to be enjoying the moves," Howard said. "He didn't seem to be hurt."

"Please tell me why it is you decided to sit on him," military Judge John Maksym said to Howard.

“He was making some noise. He was a little fussy," Howard said. “I wanted complete concentration for the game."

- in Stars & Stripes, via Waxy.org: Links


A Poison Tree
by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
Factory Worker Fired over Kerry/Edwards Bumper Sticker

Bankruptcy Attorney and Insulation Factory Owner Phil Gaddis inserted political flyers in his employees paychecks last week to remind them that they all owed their jobs to the Bush tax cut. Later he fired employee Lynne Gobbell for displaying a Kerry / Edwards bumper sticker in the rear window of her Chevy Lumina in the parking lot.

You can read the full story at the Decatur Daily.

contributor "Snarky" provides the following information about the legality of this firing:

"Alabama law retains the general rule that an "at-will" employment contract may be terminated at any time by either party, with or without cause or justification. Hinrichs v. Tranquilaire Hospital, 352 So. 2d 1130 (Ala. 1977). Thus, employment may be terminated for "a good reason, a wrong reason, or no reason." Id. at 1131 (emphasis in original). Our supreme court has declined to create "public policy" exceptions to this general rule." Cunningham v. Dabbs, 703 So. 2d 979 (1997, Ala)



86,800 English words ranked by usage. Not sure how trustworthy.

Some examples:
majority 1027, minority 2840
felixstowe 24087, crease 24088
spectrum 5037, plectrum 62433
massage 9631, message 1473
mercury 6519, venus 10849, earth 1051, mars 9840
dystopia (no ranking), box 1148, blog (unranked)
employed 2003, hoped 2004, conclusion 2005
mob 9177, mafia 13314, cajun 39555
color 27077, colour 867
yank 36030, yankee 26484, doodle 41928
conquistador 86800


Dick Cheney

"On Capitol Hill, he combined a moderate demeanor with a radical agenda. People who find Cheney's extremism as vice president surprising have not looked at his congressional voting record. In 1986, he was one of only twenty-one members of the House to oppose the Safe Drinking Water Act. He fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste and backed tax breaks for energy corporations. He repeatedly voted against funding for the Veterans Administration. He opposed extending the Civil Rights Act. He opposed the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in South Africa. He even voted for cop-killer bullets."

Read the article at rollingstone.com

(Also interesting, "The Constitution forbids a state's electors from voting for candidates for president and vice president who are both "an inhabitant of the same state as themselves." Yet by voting for Bush and Cheney, electors in Texas did precisely that."
Science Catches up to Jurassic Park 2

"LONDON (Reuters) - Dinosaurs may not all have been the terrifying creatures portrayed in blockbuster films but could have had a more caring, loving nature. A fossil found in China of a Psittacosaurus, a small dinosaur that lived about 110 million years ago, shows it may have been a doting parent, scientists said on Wednesday. "This is a nice, straightforward example of parental care in dinosaurs," said David Varricchio of Montana State University in Bozeman. [...] Although there is evidence that crocodiles and birds were caring parents, there is little proof that dinosaurs, their two closest living relatives, were affectionate to their offspring. [...] "The close association of the adult and juvenile skeletons is consistent with a biological relationship and post-hatching parental care," the researchers said in a report in the science journal Nature."


"Terrifying creatures portrayed in blockbuster films"? What, like Jurassic Park? The entire plot (such as it was) of the sequel hinged on Julianne Moore's research into dinosaur family groups and the confirmation of her theories when the T. Rex's behave protectively toward their offspring.


The Vice President is THREATENING YOUR LIFE!

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

(Read the report or the official transcript.

Don't forget. If you return the sentiment you will be locked up and your premises searched and your belongings confiscated.
Presidential Mystery of the Day

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) offered an unexpected reason on Monday for cracking down on frivolous medical lawsuits: 'Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.'

The Republican president, long known for verbal and grammatical lapses, included the anecdote about obstetrician gynecologists in his stump speech attacking Democratic presidential rival Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites), a former trial lawyer.

At a rally of cheering supporters in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Bush made his usual pitch for limiting 'frivolous lawsuits' that he said drive up the cost of health care and run doctors out of business.

But then he added, 'We've got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.'

Unfazed, Bush went on to deride his rivals as 'pro-trial lawyer,' and concluded, 'I think you've got to make a choice. My opponent made his choice, and he put him on the ticket. I made my choice. I'm for medical liability reform now.' "

Yahoo! news

Normally the White House Press Secretary is pretty good about providing accurate transcripts. This speech, if Reuters is to be believed, must be an exception.


Slavery Alive and Well in Los Angeles

James Jackson, vice president of legal affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment was found guilty of enslaving his Filipino housekeeper. Asked to comment, Jackson said only "Filesharing is bad, m'kay?"

"Last week a jury awarded Ruiz, 60, back wages and punitive damages, finding James and Elizabeth Jackson liable for involuntary servitude, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, negligence and fraud. Elizabeth Jackson also was held liable for assault and battery.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Ruiz claimed the Jacksons took her passport away and paid her $300 for a year's work at their Culver City condominium.

Ruiz said she often worked 18 hours a day and was forced to do strange household chores such as heating chicken nuggets and cutting up bananas or pears for the couple's two dogs while she was fed leftovers and slept in a dog bed.

Ruiz also alleged that Elizabeth Jackson repeatedly slapped her and pulled her hair."

(Here's the rest of theThe CNN report)