News stories the mainstream media missed : 11/20/10

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.

* Those Amish heaters that are advertised on the late late night commercials? Turns out they’re 90% hooey, 6% baloney and 4% shenanigans. Or something like that. Consumer Reports exposes the funk. [MSNBC]

* What do McDonald’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Denny’s, Jack In The Box, Aetna, Cracker Barrel, Dish Network and Uncle Julio’s have in common? They’ve all been granted waivers from insuring their employees under ObamaCare! Wait, what? How did that happen? [HHS.GOV]

* I can sum up this next big expensive scientific study in four words and two punctuation marks… “Eat less. Live longer.” Do scientists need a TL;DR writer? And if so, where can I sign up? [MONTREAL GAZETTE]

* Speaking of scientific studies, scientists are absolutely baffled about this one woman from Texas who has to eat 8,000 calories a day just to stay alive. Thing is, she has a BMI of 10.9! For reference, “A body mass index (BMI) value of 20 to 25 is considered normal. Someone with a BMI of less than 16 is considered critically underweight.” If scientists can figure this major medical mystery out, this can have major implications for the whole world. Seriously. [SPIEGEL]

* A “cascading failure” is pretty much when one thing messes up another, and soon you’ve got something that wants to go all explodey-like. That happened on the emergency Qantas jet landing recently. It wasn’t just a “problem” engine that went thbttttt. “Kerosene was leaking from two of the 12 fuel tanks… an automatic extinguishing system failed to activate… the machines were unable to pump kerosene from the back to the front of the aircraft, causing it to become increasingly unstable as kerosene escaped… and one of the two hydraulic systems failed and important connecting cables were severed, including those leading to the outer engine one. Although the pilot could still control the engine manually, it could no longer be shut off AND the aircraft tire’s anti-lock system also stopped working, which caused three tires to burst when the plane touched down as a result, sending sparks into the air.” In related news, I ain’t never flying on no Quantas jets. [SPIEGEL]

* Speaking of cascading failures, the Euro may be in store for a cascading failure of their own if more Euro-based countries’ economies keep failing. This would be a “9” on the bad-chit-o-meter scale. [BLOOMBERG]

* George Bush says he authorized waterboarding in his new book, and paraphrasing somewhat, pretty much says waterboarding isn’t really torture and everybody else can suck it if they think it is. OK, Dubya, here’s a slow pitch for you to swing at… if waterboarding isn’t torture, why does it kill someone if you keep doing it? [THE ATLANTIC]

* And finally, the Pope said it’s OK for male prostitutes to use condoms. Nobody else, though. I’m just going to leave that right there and back away sloooowly. Very slowly. [THE STAR]

The Catholic church converted a portion of a sacred crypt to a nightclub?

The article from the Wall Street Journal seemed sensationalistic enough. “Tales From the Crypt: To Attract New Blood, Church Joins Club Scene”

Oh brother, I thought. Now what? Did the Catholic church open a nightclub in some major city with some stupid “Twilight” theme?

Nope. Nothing so tame.

“The crypt of the Basilica di San Carlo al Corso near St. Peter’s Square has boasted tombs of cardinals for centuries… Rev. Maurizio Mirilli, head of youth ministry in Rome’s Catholic Church, has converted a section of the crypt into a nightclub with a live-music stage and a bar stocked with beer, Prosecco and other wine. Father Mirilli has christened the new watering hole GP2, short for “Giovanni Paolo II,” as the late Polish pope was known in Italian.”

OK. So blasting music among the crypts of hundreds of years of entombed cardinals while getting plastered isn’t somewhat…. I don’t know… inappropriate? Bad ju-ju? Creepy?

Oh, and speaking of bad ju-ju….

“Scrawled across the bar was a biblical passage from the Gospel of St. John, quoting Jesus Christ: “Give me a drink.”

Um… the article itself points out that Jesus Christ was referring to water. He didn’t push through some saloon doors, mosey up to the bar and ask for a brewsky.

Beer, disaronno, whiskey sours, dirty martinis, jack and coke… the only thing that ever goes with these things is maybe a small snack. That’s it. Sacred crypts with centuries of dead cardinals laying around do nothing to enhance my drinking experience whatsoever, thank you very much.

The article is in the “free” section of the Wall Street Journal’s website.

Google Voice app for the iPhone! The direct link to download…

Apple finally released the Google Voice app for the iPhone.

Unfortunately, the app is not showing up if you search the app store! (Figures!)

If you want to install Google Voice directly on your iPhone, just launch Safari on your iPhone and go to…

… or a shortened version…

This will launch the App Store on the iPhone and you can install Google Voice directly to your iPhone right now. You can also visit the…

…link on your PC or Mac and download Google Voice directly to iTunes.

RT Tuesdays : 11/16/10

Every Tuesday I re-post all zee tweets that didn’t originate from this blog just to keep everything in sync.

This last week on Twitter…

  • WSJ: “Chinese Plan To Buy Stake in GM” – About 16% of GM will be foreign owned after the US $50 billion bailout. (5:41 AM Nov 15th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • Galaxy on Fire game tip (iPhone/iPad): getting over $1 million lets you dock and trade anywhere. Fun game. Still free. (9:22 PM Nov 14th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • So the power goes out for the whole stadium just as Dallas starts winning in NYC? Figures! (3:17 PM Nov 14th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • When I had insomnia in Dallas, I would ride my motorcycle on the empty city freeways to zen out. I really miss my bike on nights like these. (3:01 AM Nov 14th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • The movie previews for “Unstoppable” makes me think it’s “Speed”, but with rails. (1:27 PM Nov 12th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • New iTunes 10.1 isn’t installing iOS update yet for iPad/iPhones. Looks like server coordination issues again. (11:45 AM Nov 12th via web)
  • New iTunes is out. Should finally allow for folders on iPad. Available under software update. (10:10 AM Nov 12th via web)

Cat vs. Alligator? Cat vs. two alligators? [VIDEO]

A cat stands his ground against not just one, but two alligators (the second alligator shows up at the 1:03 mark).

(Spoiler for those worried this video won’t end well : the cat smacks them both back into the water.)

Dude. I know that cat. The friendliest, most lovable creature to ever purr, but when it’s time to throw down, he doesn’t care how big the intruder is. He brings it.

On a serious note, WTF is up with the humans in the video? Help the cat! Move the kids! Damn!

News stories the mainstream media missed : 11/13/10

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.

* The next time you’re busted for sleeping in, just say you were actually very hard at work rebuilding your synaptic pathways! Scientists just figured out sleepin’ helps “consolidate memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later… new research is showing that sleep also seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details and reconfiguring the memories to help you produce new and creative ideas.” [PHYSORG]

* Brace yourself… I see a stamps going up to a dollar soon! The U.S. Post Office just announced they doubled their losses “in fiscal year 2010, despite cutting billions of dollars in expenses and trimming its staff.” I think the problem is the post office is fighting 2010 tech with a 1800’s mentality. So how can they update themselves to be profitable in these modern times? Off the top of my head…

  • They need to get into the digitization of magazine subscriptions and print periodicals so that customers have the option to read, search and archive all of their “paper” mail in a secure online account. (As a bonus, resell the high-quality digitized copies back to the magazine vendors for their own redistribution purposes.)
  • Get into the “app” stores of  iPhone and Andriod and offer a take-a-photo-and-send-it-through-the-regular-mail service (or just buy one of the dozens of apps that already do this). As a bonus, tie into Walgreens, Sams, Target and WalMart to have a copy of the postcard printed at a local photo printing location as well.
  • Setup a secure email confirmation service that has the US governments’ seal of approval on it. I’m thinking something like the “e-cards” from a few years ago, where you send an email to a “certified” USPS site and the recipient “picks it up”. The USPS would track the IP address of the sender and recipient, keep all the tech info on file, and make the output court-friendly.
  • Setup something like a “USPS micropayment” service for internet transactions, where customers can make little transactions online (.10 cents, .50 cents, etc) in exchange for a bill at the end of the year.

Oh, and one more thing they can do… quit with the constant catalogs I’m getting in the mail that say how wonderful they are and how spiffy everything they do is. [CNN]

* Wanna’ know another way you can tell someone is lying to you? They start an answer to you with “Well”. It’s actually scary how many times this happens. [PSYCHOLOGY TODAY]

* Oh Danny boy, the banks, the banks are failin’… [SPIEGEL]

* A federal judge found warrantless cell phone tracking is unconstitutional! Dude! What’s next? Closing Guantanamo? Stopping the torture of prisoners? Ahhh, I can dream of such righteous freedom and liberty! [ACLU]

* The future called and said it’s really here. You can now create blood for your own transfusions from your skin cells. Science is awesome! [TELEGRAPH.CO.UK]

* Have you ever heard of the movie “Victor, Victoria“? It’s about a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman, all in the name of getting a part on a Broadway show. That’s kind of a goofball premise, right? Well check this out… an man engaged to be married (with millions to waste) decided he not only did not want to get married, but he really wanted to be a woman! He went through a complete sex change, then partied hard with a ton of men. In the middle of his partydom, he met a “very special” woman, and decided he really didn’t want to be a woman anymore. So he went back through the sex change process to become a man again, and then married this new woman. Dude. I can’t tell if this is going to wind up on Lifetime, Sci-Fi, or the Horror channel. [DAILYMAIL.CO.UK]

* And finally, allow me to present a completely fabricated fully holographic singer. Terrifying concept. Seriously awesome high-tech. Japan. Of course.

Video #1

Video #2

aaaaaand Video #3

OK, so if this crap exists, where are my Star Wars hologram phone calls and my R2 unit already?

That’s all I got! Back Monday!!