Aug 2, 2008

Excessive security may lead to ‘no-fun’ Olympics

Probably the biggest challenge the Chinese have to face is ensuring that their intense security doesn’t suffocate the festival atmosphere that usually surrounds the Olympics.

Just three weeks before the Beijing Olympics, concerns are growing that China’s sweeping security measures could end up sucking all the fun out of the world’s biggest sportsfest.

The atmosphere was less than festive this week at a checkpoint in Yanjiao on the outskirts of Beijing, one of hundreds thrown up around the capital where police with laptops and sniffer dogs halt traffic.

“I know they are working hard, but this really is overkill. We had been checked three times already before we arrived here,” said a bus driver from neighbouring Hebei Province.

The checkpoints are part of a security operation thrown up around the Games by leaders who fear they could be marred by protests, sabotage by “hostile forces” or terrorist attack.


Aug 1, 2008

This web site now loads properly using IE

For the last few hours this web site would not load properly using any version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

In order to fix the problem I had to remove the SiteMeter script temporarily until my blog host can fix the problem.

This site loaded fine using any version of the Firefox browser but would not load using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

SiteMeter will be re-installed when it will no longer be a problem (SiteMeter counts blog visits).

Sorry for any inconvenience.

McDonald’s iced coffee on Vegas TV news set

Las Vegas Fox 5 TV viewers have been exposed to a “nontraditional revenue source” along with their morning news.

Two cups of McDonald’s iced coffee sit on the Fox 5 TV news desk, a punch-you-in-the-face product placement (BUY!) to chase down your morning news.

They’ve been on the Las Vegas station set for about two weeks, following the lead of a few TV stations across the country, and they’re still looking every bit as frosty and tantalizing (BUY!) as they were the first day you laid your eyes on them.

No wonder they look “frosty and tantalizing” -- they’re fake -- made to scale models filled with a bogus liquid and fake ice that never melts.

So there you have it -- fake coffee on the real news there for your viewing pleasure. Completely ignored by the news anchors, subliminally tugging you to your nearest McDonald’s for a cup of real iced coffee.


Natural childbirth out - the ‘posh push’ is in

Today, natural childbirth is a medical anomaly in the United States. In fact, many doctors are often thrown off guard when a determined woman insists on natural childbirth without pain medication.

One doctor who was asked about breathing techniques replied, "How do I know? I've only ever done two natural childbirths."

A small but growing number of women who seek to avoid aggressive medical techniques like induced labor, epidural blocks and Caesarean sections find they are a lone voice among their friends and doctors.

Pre-planned Caesareans (the ‘posh push’) are in vogue. Women want to avoid future complications of multiple vaginal births, like uterine or bladder collapse. And today's body-conscious women worry needlessly about loss of muscle-tone.

Now, new technologies, the rising cost of malpractice insurance and even the changing attitudes of women have all contributed to the near-demise of natural childbirth.

With the high cost of liability insurance, doctors must take on more patients to keep their practices lucrative. This gives them less time to wait out a long labor.

Doctors more frequently induce labor, using synthetic hormones like pitocin to strengthen and quicken labor, an intervention that was once used only as a "last resort."

More of the story here.

Candidates based on experience

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Jul 31, 2008

Clever ploy to revive Vista’s image

Microsoft is counting on Mojave enhance Vista’s image. Microsoft is also counting on the naiveté of computer users.

Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft last week traveled to San Francisco, rounding up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista.

The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave.

More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista.

The Mojave project is likely to be just one of many efforts designed to resuscitate Vista's image as well as lend strength to the Windows platform among stepped-up competition from Apple and Google.

Mojave indeed!

Microsoft may lure some individual users over with the Mojave trickery but it’ll take more than smoke and mirrors to get corporations to shell out millions to convert to Vista.


Jul 30, 2008

Fire Sale at Hillary campaign headquarters

An article at the link below says, In the end, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign was sold for parts.

Staffers, supporters and bargain seekers had the chance to take a small piece of the historic campaign with them before the lights went out on HRC headquarters in Arlington, Va. - for a price.

Clinton's June campaign finance filings show that the second-place finisher raised $42,000 in the fire-sale liquidation of her campaign headquarters' assets.

Now, one can find $230 worth of Clinton's old office chairs backstage at a nightclub in Washington.

Great, but did the purloined White House silver show up at the fire sale? How about Monica Lewinsky T-shirts? … just asking …


Jul 29, 2008

Don’t be caught dead without your iPhone

Ever wanted to be buried in an iPhone coffin?

A company called Creative Coffins can fulfill your desire. Really.


Traffic jam at San Ysidro Mexican border crossing

The photo below shows motorists waiting in line to cross the border into the US from Tijuana, Mexico. They are waiting at the US Customs and Border protection port of entry in San Ysidro, California near San Diego.

It looks like any Southern California traffic jam—except you can buy a cappuccino and a 4-foot statue of Jesus from your car while watching dogs sniff vehicles for drugs.

This is the U.S.-Mexico border's most congested crossing, where local residents say already epic lines into San Diego have grown even longer since January, when the U.S. began phasing out a long-standing practice of allowing people they believed to be American citizens to enter by simply stating their citizenship.

Border guards now require most crossers to present a U.S. passport or other proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate—though they are still permitted to exercise their own judgment in order to keep lines moving. As always, Mexican citizens and other foreign nationals must show valid immigration documents to enter.

More than half the 21 million cars crossing from Tijuana to San Diego each year wait in lines of 90 minutes or more, with 26 percent waiting more than 2 hours, according to a recent survey.

The delays cost both cities an estimated $7.2 billion in 2007, while supporting a small army of Tijuana vendors that sell everything from cappuccino’s to crucifixes to commuters stuck in line.


Jul 28, 2008

Man’s best friend…

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never gave an active dog a bath.

Violence erupts while buying Olympic tickets in Beijing

So much for the good impression the Chinese wanted to present to the world prior to the Beijing Olympics.

Violence broke out today among the 50,000 people queuing for tickets for the Olympics in Beijing as police struggled to control crowds who had been waiting in line for over two days.

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At one point the surging crowd broke through a control barrier and lurched towards the ticket counters where the final batch of tickets for the Olympics, which begin next month, were about to go on sale.

In hot and dusty conditions, some groups in the crowd chanted insults at the police who were seen dragging people out of the line and kicking and punching them before leading them away.

The Police were apparently unprepared. One witness said, “ "The police didn't have a clue how many people would come here and there was no organization at all, it was chaos."


Jul 27, 2008

Terminological inexactitudes

Sometimes politicians don’t speak the truth because they just don’t know better such as when Obama said he had travelled to all 57 of the United States not including Alaska and Hawaii, and still had "one left to go." Hmm … maybe he was referring to the 57 Arab states …

However, most of the time when a politician tells tall tails it’s on purpose. Winston Churchill called these falsehoods terminological inexactitudes.