News stories the mainstream media missed : 03/20/10

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* This did make the mainstream news, but it’s important to mention again… Walgreens said they are not accepting any new Medicaid patients as of April 16 because they are losing money on them. This might be important to remember later on when this national health care bill comes around. [SEATTLETIMES]

* Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] and Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT] have proposed legislation… “which they are calling the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act, would empower the U.S. military to arrest anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise, who is suspected of terrorist associations and detain them indefinitely, without right to a trial.” I put a lot of that sentence in bold because every so often, I remember why I voted for Obama. I think if McCain made it into the White House, we would’ve all had draconian legislation like this enacted by the first month. Obama may be screwing up a lot of things, but he’s still the lesser of two evils. [OPENCONGRESS]

* Viacom is suing YouTube for $1 billion for hosting copyrighted video Viacom owns. Thing is, Viacom uploaded the videos themselves! And since YouTube is owned by Google, they have tons of proof on where the uploads came from. Hey Viacom, next time try picking on someone from your own century. [CONSUMERIST]

* WTF! Texas Stadium is set to be demolished with a giant explosive show on April 11? I’m out of Dallas for a while and everybody gets delusions of grandeur! Original story at [WFAA] and a more modern followup at [WFAA].

* An 11 year old picks 3 of the top gunlocks in a few seconds with a flathead screwdriver. Now all the hoplophobics are screaming that gun locks don’t work and are useless. Using their same argument that “since the lock didn’t hold forever it’s useless”, door locks, car locks, drawer locks, cabinet locks, and safes are useless too! [ENGADGET]

* CNN has an interview with Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist, Exorcism Department, Vatican City – Rome. Now THAT’S a business card! [CNN]

* Fortis, an insurer, had an in-house computer program to find HIV members on their policies and get rid of them so they did not have to pay their medical bills. Nice company! [REUTERS]

* Madoff was beaten in prison. That is all. [WSJ]

* What does a spacewalk feel like? As described by an astronaut? “WOW!” I knew it! My turn! My turn! [UNIVERSETODAY]

* Basic training has gone back to the basics! “The reshaped 10-week course reduces the amount of physical stress on recruits — fewer pushups and shorter foot marches — and increases marksmanship. And adds more sleep.” The sad thing is that the changes are the result of the new recruits being too tubby to do pushups and march too long! Somebody take the jelly donut away from Private Pyle! [ARMYTIMES]

* Oklahoma has a new law for those citizens who don’t use the city’s water supply but instead use their own free well water. Those citizens will now be charged $20 a month. Wait, what? [KFOR]

* Brain scans are getting closer to accessing your memories. Right now what they see is abstract and pixelated to hell and you can’t see anything in detail, but then again, so were video games 20 years ago. I think I’m going to invent “concentration aversion meditation” to my list of things to do, because that’s the only thing that’s going to keep your private thoughts your own property in 20 years or so. [SCIENCEBLOGS]

* A microphone no bigger than a match head gives the original location in 3-d of any sound in battle. The idea is to immediately locate snipers and the exact location of incoming enemy fire in seconds. This is terrifying and awesome at the same time! [DVICE]

* Octopuses like high definition television! But only the first showing. They think all the repeats suck. [BBC.UK]

* Another week, another looming financial disaster. There’s a junk bond tsunami coming in 2012. Specifically, “$700 billion in risky, high-yield corporate debt begins to come due”. Move along people. Nothing to see here. [NYTIMES]

* Dude. The Toyota acceleration thing? Totally caused by cosmic rays. F’shur. [Jalopnik]

* Newsweek has a photoessay on things that are no longer made in the USA. Chuck Taylors, Fender Stratocasters, Radio Flyer Wagons, Craftsman Tools, and Stanley Tools only make half the list. How’s this for a scavenger hunt idea… find 5 things with a “Made In the USA” label in three different stores that you actually want to own. [NEWSWEEK]

* The Japanese were working on their own “nuke” back in World War II. A series of bombs that were biological in nature. Anthrax bombs. Plague bombs. Cholera bombs. Plus they experimented with these on live prisoners of war, even dissecting them while they were still alive. The “Japanese officials were impressed that germ warfare had been banned by the Geneva Protocol of 1925. If it was so awful that it had to be banned under international law, the officers reasoned, it must make a great weapon.” WARNING: Graphic story. [ARCHIVE.ORG]

* Gustave the killer crocodile has been terrorizing the locals of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi for the last 20 years. He is over six meters long, weighs one ton and has allegedly eaten over 200 people. “Using his fearsome tail, he has been known to swipe children playing on the shore of the lake, and has been caught on camera hitting a fisherman. Now Frenchman and Burundi resident, Patrice Faye has become a local hero after devoting his life to capturing the killer.” Helloooo Hollywood?! I got your blockbuster summer movie right here people!! [BBC.UK]

* A Forest die-off is sweeping North America. And a website in England has the news about this? [GUARDIAN.UK]

* Apparently the hillbilly idiots working in the po-lice department in Medford Oregon have no concept on the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing. A man gets fired from his job and is anonymously reported as being “disgruntled” to the police, so two Medford SWAT teams show up, storm his house on a warrantless search, and throw him on the ground to cuff him after he willfully walks out of his home and surrenders. A press release from PD touts they “were able to successfully take a potentially volatile male subject into protective custody for a mental evaluation”. The community at Medford Oregon needs to fire every single badge wearing jackass in their local po-lice department that was involved in this BS. [REASON]

* A tantric guru named Pandit Surender Sharma said he had the pow-ah to kill someone with his jedi-like mind powers anytime he wanted to. Sanal Edamaruku came forward and challenged Sharma to kill him on live TV. Sharma accepted, and on live TV, in front of millions of viewers… absolutely nothing happened! Mr. Sanal Edamaruku lived, and continues to actively pursue and challenge those in his country who say they have mystical power, often confronting them on live TV. If I was a millionaire, I would fund a worldwide tour for Sanal Edamaruku and sell the series to USA or SPIKE. Instant hit! [TIMESONLINE.UK]

* And the winner of the solid gold WTF crown this week is SAUDI ARABIA! Because in this day and age, 20-freakin-10 AD, a man is going to be killed for sorcery. No kidding! The “Saudi Arabian religious police (known as the Mutawa’een)” arrested this man (Ali Hussain Sibat) in 2008 for “predict(ing) the future on his show and give(ing) out advice to his audience.” And their appeals high court upheld the death sentence! The judges said that killing Ali Hussain Sibat “would deter others from practicing sorcery”. WTF!! Shouldn’t Saudia Arabia handle “sorcery” claims by calling Sanal Edamaruku? Or at least see if Ali Hussain Sibat weighs the same as a duck first? [CNN]

* And finally, in happier news, science has discovered that babies are born to dance! Well, duuuuuh! My nephew showed me this years ago! Excuse me, but I’ve got to go and get down with him to Mickey Mouse’s “hot dog” song now! [SCIENCEDAILY]

Have a great weekend ya’ll! Be back Monday!