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Tuesday, 01 February, 2011

Eliminate Driver’s Licenses?

In Georgia: Lawmaker Proposes Doing Away With Driver's Licenses.

State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, has filed House Bill 7, calling it the "Right to Travel Act."

Representative Bobby Franklin In his bill, Franklin states, "Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right."

Franklin told CBS Atlanta News that driver's licenses are a throw back to oppressive times. “Agents of the state demanding your papers," he said. "We’re getting that way here.”

And that's not all:

Franklin’s name is on the first 21 bills of the legislative session, including one that would require the exclusive use of gold and silver as tender in payment of debts by or to the state, as required in the Georgia Constitution.

Franklin is also behind House Bill 11, which would repeal the authority of the governor to issue mandatory vaccination orders. “I’m a firm believer that no person should be subjected to an invasive medical procedure without their consent,” he said.

Who is Bobby Franklin?

A graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Representative Franklin earned a degree in both Biblical Studies and Business Administration. Bobby is an active member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

At least his church has been reformed.

Permalink | Posted in General @7:22am | Comments (21)

Library Offers Free MP3 Downloads

This is pretty odd. A library that gives away MP3 files: Free MP3 music files at library.

Free MP3 music file downloads are now available at the Seattle Public Library website through Freegal Music.

Freegal Music is an online database that provides access to songs from Sony Music. The music files are DRM-free and do not expire, and are compatible with PCs, Macs, iPods, iPads and other MP3-compatible devices.

Library cardholders are eligible for three MP3 downloads per week. A library-card number and PIN is necessary to access and download songs.

More than half a million tracks are available.

More about Freegal:

The libraries must pre-pay for a minimum number of downloads from Freegal, and each library user will be limited to, at most, 20 downloads per week. Libraries that see a spike in use can limit the number of systemwide downloads in a week or month to ensure wider access, and library card holders can also reserve downloads.

Libraries must make a minimum annual commitment based upon size (total circ), ranging approximately from $1,500 to $20,000.

Permalink | Posted in Music @7:32am | Comments (14)

Switchblades For One-Armed People?

In Maine: Bill seeks to let one-armed people use switchblades.

12 angy men A local lawmaker has proposed a bill to allow one-armed people to have and carry switchblade knives.

State Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, said Friday that she's asking Maine to comply with a federal law that allows individuals with one arm to own or carry any switchblade knife with a blade of 3 inches or less.

“Obviously, people with just one arm cannot open anything but that type of a blade, that type of a knife,” she said. “So all we're asking is for the people with one arm to be exempt.”

Why would a lawmaker be spending her time on something like this?

Briggs said one-armed Mexico lawyer Paul Dumas Jr. asked her to propose the legislation. “It gets tough to open up a knife one-handed,” Dumas said Friday. “I use my teeth sometimes and that isn't very safe.”

Shown here is Henry Fonda, holding a switchblade in a movie.

Permalink | Posted in General @7:40am | Comments (17)

Cork Paradox

Something I didn't know yesterday, but know now -- thanks to Futility Closet.

If a cork ball about an inch in diameter be tied at the end of a thread about a foot in length, and then swung so that it enters a smooth stream of water flowing from a tap at about three inches from the mouth of the latter, it will be found that the ball will remain in the water, and that the thread will make an angle of about thirty degrees with a vertical line passing through the ball. The latter, it should be added, must be thoroughly wetted before this result is produced.

cork ball

Permalink | Posted in General @7:48am | Comments (13)

Uncooperative Doves

Something like this would almost make it worthwhile to go to church: Pope suffers dove malfunction.

Doves of peace released by Pope Benedict XVI during the weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday refused to leave the Vatican and flew straight back in through the open window.

Embarrassed officials in Italy only managed to catch and re-release one of the birds.

The pope was accompanied at the window of his studio in St. Peter's square by two children from the Catholic Action of Rome who had celebrated a "Month for Peace" in January.

dove malfunction

They need to start using robotic doves. Or maybe holograms.

Permalink | Posted in Religion @7:52am | Comments (9)

Meg Whitman’s Election Expenses

And she still couldn't get elected: Meg Whitman's grand total- a record $178.5 million spent.

The books are closed on the most expensive non-presidential race in U.S. history, and defeated Republican candidate Meg Whitman's final tally is a record-breaking $178.5 million spent on her gubernatorial campaign.

That includes about $144 million of her own money, making her by far the biggest self-funding candidate in U.S. history. Despite the big bucks, the billionaire former CEO of online auction firm eBay lost to Democrat Jerry Brown by 13 percentage points.

Including the money she spent winning the Republican primary against Steve Poizner, Whitman spent about $43.25 for each of her 4,127,391 votes in the general election.

She's shown here holding a microphone, with her left arm extended, and fingers spread apart.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman gives her opening remarks during her reception during the California Reublican Party's convention in Santa Clara, Calif.
on Friday, March 12, 2010.

Permalink | Posted in General @8:16am | Comments (13)

Celebrity Rehab

I saw a reference to this, and I thought it was a joke. But it's a real TV show on VH1: Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.

It seems like a fun series. Celebrities who appear on the show, get free rehab treatment -- plus a weekly salary.

celebrity rehab

It's in its 4th season, and it should have a long run. There's an unlimited supply of celebrity candidates.

Permalink | Posted in Movies & TV @8:35am | Comments (14)

Penny Auctions

Has anyone used any of those "penny auction" sites?

Here's my understanding of how a typical penny auction works:

  1. First you buy some bids (you pay real money).
  2. You use these bids to bid on an item.
  3. Each bid costs a small amount (for example, $0.65), and raises the price slightly (for example, $0.013).
  4. Each item is available for a fixed amount of time, and you can't tell when the time expires.
  5. The final bid placed before the time runs out wins the item.
  6. Everyone else loses the money they bid.

But, losers are invited to buy the item at full retail price, and the money they spent bidding is credited to the purchase price. If you don't want to sit around bidding manually, you can set up an "agent" to bid for you.

I suspect that they are all scams, but it's impossible to tell without actually trying it to see if it's possible to actually get a good deal on something. You'll find lots of "reviews" online, but I'm sure they aren't legitimate.

It seems more like gambling than bidding.

(Thanks haiku)

Permalink | Posted in Spam & Scams @9:30am | Comments (10)

Birthday Boy Needs Kindle Tips

Today is Toad's birthday, and he has joined the ranks of Kindle owners. Mrs. Toad got him a Kindle DX -- the large Kindle suitable for reading legal documents in PDF format.


He wants some tips, so give him your tips. They can be Kindle-related tips, or just general tips on living.

I've already given him two Kindle tips, and one general tip:

  • Don't drop your Kindle. I dropped my Kindle 3 and it came apart. Fortunately, it popped right back together again good as new. So maybe that's not a tip at all. Go ahead and drop it.
  • Don't sneeze on your Kindle. If you do, wipe it off on your shirt before the sneeze droplets solidify on the screen.
  • Don't eat the entire birthday cake. Give Mrs. Toad a piece, and save a little for tomorrow.

Permalink | Posted in Kindle @1:53pm | Comments (39)

If You Were Mubarak

What would you do if you were Hosni Mubarak?

If I were him, I would have acted about four days ago. I would take about $500 million in cash and go to some undisclosed location in a different country. I would change my appearance, and get a new identity. Then I'd lay low and watch what happens on TV.

But that's just me. I'm not driven by the need to have power over people.

Permalink | Posted in General @2:05pm | Comments (29)

Chinese Fire Drills

Do people still perform Chinese fire drills?

Popular in the United States during the 1960s, a Chinese fire drill is a gag performed by a vehicle's occupants when stopped at a traffic light, especially when there is a need to change drivers or procure something from the trunk: Before the light changes to green, each occupant gets out, runs around the vehicle, and gets back inside (but not necessarily in his original seat). If one of the participants lags, the others may drive off without him.

chinese fire drill

Permalink | Posted in General @2:48pm | Comments (15)

Maddow A Victim Of Poe’s Law

Ha-ha: Maddow falls for satirical story calling for Palin-led Egypt invasion.

rachel MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was red-faced Tuesday after it emerged she and her producers had fallen for a satirical article jokingly calling for a US invasion of Egypt led by Sarah Palin.

In her broadcast Monday night, Maddow reported on an article at ChristWire.org, a satirical site that has fooled reporters before.

ChristWire responds: What the Liberal Media Can Learn From Rachel Maddow’s Christwire Scandal.

Maddow, like so many of her liberal ilk, is so obsessed with the rise of the Tea Party that she fails to appreciate dangers beyond her elitist, navel-gazing circle of self-aggrandizing wantons. The idea that a national movement could be birthed on our factory floors, nurtured in our churches and catapulted to media prominence through town hall protests simply terrifies the subversive elements in the United States today.

Maddow is shown here doing some weird thing to her eyes.

Permalink | Posted in General @5:29pm | Comments (21)


Anybody tried 'em? Pretty tasty!

Permalink | Posted in Food & Drink @5:47pm | Comments (30)

Keeping Our Homeland Secure

Pretty scary stuff. The ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has the power to seize a domain name, and put up their own message: Sports Streaming Sites, Including Roja Directa & Atdhe, Being Taken Down En Masse.

It would appear that several popular streaming sites are being taken down as we speak. One that I’m familiar with, Roja Directa, has a note on its front page saying that its main domain, rojadirecta.org, has been taken down by its U.S. provider. (Dot-org now displays a scary-looking notice from the U.S. Homeland Security Department, while other domains, including dot-com are up and running just fine.) This, despite the fact that the site was deemed by Spanish courts (the site is based in Spain) to be 100 percent legal. Hm.

Another popular site, Atdhe, also appears to have been taken down, with only a simple message appearing on the site right now telling visitors to bookmark a specific I.P. address. The site’s Twitter account says that the site will re-launch sometime tomorrow.

3 badges

I've never heard of ICE, but I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about it. It's the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently, they can do whatever they want if it involves the "illegal movement of people and goods." In a post 9/11 world, we can forget about that old innocent until proven guilty thing.

Here are some ICE agents with their faces obscured:

ICE agents

(Thanks Uhclem)

Permalink | Posted in General @7:40pm | Comments (17)

Wednesday, 02 February, 2011

Lightning Not As Productive As Lotteries

From the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries:

Q. Is it true that the odds of winning the lottery are worse than being struck by lightning?

A. No, even if we just consider the awarding of large jackpots. In 1996 1,136 people won $1,000,000 or more playing North American lotteries. An additional 4,520 won $100,000 or more. By contrast, 91 people were killed by lightning.

In addition, there's no second prize in a lightning strike. In a lottery, you win lesser amounts of money by coming close to the winning numbers. On many games odds of 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 are not uncommon. Lotteries award over $50 million in prizes in North America every day. Lightning isn't nearly that productive.


Permalink | Posted in General @8:01am | Comments (7)

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