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United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-vote-on-this-instead dept.
Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"
Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Posted by kdawson
from the revenge-of-the-lawn dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."

Comment: Re:Shurikens (Score 1) 1142

by frallon (#31063662) Attached to: If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

I not only learned a lot about Shurikens, like yourself. But I am reassured to know there are other curious people like myself who know want to and know how to "learn stuff and figure things out" . If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About..how to learn stuff and figure out things you want to know.

Image

Wired Writer Disappears, Find Him and Make $5k 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the hiding-in-plain-sight dept.
carp3_noct3m writes "A freelance Wired magazine journalist has decided to see what it is like to disappear from normal life, all while staying on the grid. The catch, is that he is challenging anyone and everyone to find him, take a picture, and speak a special codeword to him. If you can do that, you can make 5000 dollars, which happens to come out of his paycheck for the article he'll be writing. Oh, and to top it all off, whoever finds him gets pictures and interviews in Wired. He has been posting to his Twitter, using TOR for internet, and the Wired website will be posting his credit card transactions."

Comment: Re:And was never heard from again. . . (Score 1) 648

by frallon (#28269847) Attached to: 11-Year-Old Graduates With Degree In Astrophysics

But what is life really all about anyway? Am I more of a success because I have a faithful wife and healthy children or is it something else?

Those are big questions...
The Harvard Grant study has tried to address those issues. Here is a recent article about the study (also from the Atlantic):
What Makes Us Happy? - The Atlantic (June 2009)

Comment: Re:And was never heard from again. . . (Score 1) 648

by frallon (#28253479) Attached to: 11-Year-Old Graduates With Degree In Astrophysics

I had a path similar to the one you described - gifted high school, Ivy League college, burnout. Though instead of "civil service" I have ended up in a dilbert corporate cubicle job to pay the mortgage.

I hope this boy doesn't get Lost in the Meritocracy like I did.

Check out:
Lost in the Meritocracy - The Atlantic (January/February 2005)


Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever by Walter Kirn

--
I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
General George S. Patton

Medicine

New Startup Hopes to Push Open Source Pharmaceuticals 101

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-luck-breaking-the-strangle-hold dept.
waderoush writes "Nothing like the open source computing movement has ever caught fire in biology or pharmaceuticals, where intellectual property is king. But drawing inspiration from the people who make Linux software, and the social networking success of Facebook, Merck's cancer research leader has nailed down $5 million to launch a nonprofit biology platform called Sage, which aims to make it easier for researchers around the world to pool their data to make better drugs. 'We see this becoming like the Google of biological science. It will be such an informative platform, you won't be able to make decisions without it,' says Merck's Eric Schadt, a co-founder of Sage. He adds: 'We want this to be like the Internet. Nobody owns it.'"
Image

Science Unlocks The Mystery Of Belly Button Lint 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the extreme-navel-gazing dept.
After three years of research, including examining 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button, Georg Steinhauser has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel. Dr Steinhauser's observations showed that "small pieces of fluff first form in the hair and then end up in the navel at the end of the day." Chemical analysis revealed the pieces of fluff were not just made up of cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the lint were also flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat and dust. Unfortunately, further study has failed to yield a hair or fiber that would give Dr. Steinhauser the last three years of his life back.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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