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Topics - Vampire_Hunter_Bob

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Berserk Miscellaneous / Berserk and History
« on: March 28, 2017, 01:27:17 AM »
Hi all,

I came across a Vintage News article that reminded me of Berserk. The article talked about the Battle of Ramree Island, during World War 2. It was fought between the British and colonial India armies against the Imperial Japanese army. After recapturing the airstrip, the Imperial army fled into the swamp.

While hiding out in the swamp the Japanese were attacked:
One night the British soldiers reported hearing panicked screams and gunfire emanating from within the darkness of the swamp. They didn’t know what exactly caused the shouts of terror they heard, but only that the Japanese troops were being ravaged by some evil menace.

Another account by the British naturalist Bruce Stanley Wright paints an even more horrifying image of the scene:
The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left.... Of about one thousand Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about twenty were found alive.

The Japanese lost a total of 500 soldiers in the swamps, which, in the articles, gets attributed to the saltwater crocodiles. Realistically, the leading cause of death was most likely from disease, and then the crocodiles.

Not that I’m saying Berserk is directly inspired by this moment, but it does sound familiar to a number of horrifying moments that take place in Berserk.

Does anyone know of historical events that played a role in Berserk, or, at least, sounds like something from Berserk?


Movies, TV, Books & Music / Dexter: Miami’s finest
« on: November 19, 2010, 07:29:38 PM »
So far Dexter is going five seasons strong and this season is only getting better!
In this season:It started from when Rita was discovered murdered in the bathtub by the Trinity killer, out of grief Dexter gets back to work and discovers a rape gang dumping dead women into marshes, and for the subplot we’ve seen Deborah getting suspended because of LaGureta’s fuck up. The third sub-plot is already tying into the main storyline, Quinn is investigating Dexter more and found out that he has the blonde girl living with him.

This season started off somewhat slow, but almost instantly picked up and with the massive disappointment the normal Sunday night line up is turning out to be [excluding the Simpsons], you guys might want to seriously consider some quality programing instead!

Anyways: So what do you guys think is going to happen with the Quinn sup-plot? I’m leaning in the direction that Quinn may end up finding out through the old PI he hired and siding with Dexter. I have no idea what to think about the rape gang, but I believe it’ll tie in somehow with the cult that Deb was learning about.

News & Not News / Supreme Court to hear Snyder vs Westboro case
« on: October 06, 2010, 01:36:06 PM »
The US Supreme Court is set to hear a high-stakes battle over free speech on Wednesday in an appeal filed by the father of a US Marine killed in Iraq who claims his son’s funeral in 2006 was disrupted and ruined by an antigay protest.
Albert Snyder had won a $5 million jury verdict against the Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his Westboro Baptist Church for intentional infliction of emotional distress and violating the sanctity of the funeral of his son, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. But the judgment was later reversed by a federal appeals court panel that ruled that despite the offensive nature of the protests conducted by the Westboro members, their activities were protected by the First Amendment.
Mr. Phelps is well-known nationally for his fire-and-brimstone opposition to homosexuality. Since 2005, he and members of his Topeka, Kansas-based church have organized protests at military funerals of service members who are not gay in an effort to attract public attention to their cause.

The group believes that God hates homosexuality and is punishing America for its growing acceptance of gay rights by killing US troops overseas.

Family members and others at military funerals have complained about the protests. But Phelps and his supporters insist they have a constitutional right to carry their message to the people at the funerals.

Snyder had one (and only one) opportunity to bury his son and that occasion has been tarnished forever, wrote Mr. Snyder's lawyer, Sean Summers of York, Pa., in his petition urging the high court to take up the case. Snyder deserved better. Matthew deserved better. A civilized society deserved better.

The appeals court that reversed the jury verdict did not disagree with that point. But the appeals court said despite the distasteful and repugnant nature of the words being challenged, Phelps had a First Amendment right to speak on public issues, even when the speech was highly offensive.
The panel quoted a fellow appeals court judge: Judges defending the Constitution must sometimes share [their] foxhole with scoundrels of every sort, but to abandon the post because of the poor company is to sell freedom cheaply.

The opinion continues: It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have often been forged in controversies involving not very nice people.

Phelps’s lawyer, his daughter Margie Phelps of Topeka, said that contrary to claims by opposing counsel, the Westboro protesters did not disrupt the funeral service.

The seven picketers stood in a place designated by a priest and by the police, over a thousand feet from the funeral, she said. They sang songs and waved signs that included the messages: Youre Going to Hell, and Thank God for Dead Soldiers. The demonstration was neither visible nor audible to those attending the funeral, she said.

No one going to the funeral saw them, including [Mr. Snyder], Ms. Phelps writes. Snyder did not hear them; and, they were gone when he left the church.

Margie Phelps says Snyders objections to the protest were prompted by news footage he viewed after the event and by written material he viewed on the Internet a month after the service.

Westboro's lawyer said Snyder's lawsuit violates the free speech protections of the First Amendment because the church members were engaged in public speech that has not been proven false.

The Constitution is imperiled if a subjective claim of outrage can be used to penalize into silence speech that does not make false statements of fact, uttered in public arenas on public issues, Margie Phelps writes.
In asking the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court decision, Snyder's lawyer says the high court has never granted categorical protection to the type of speech at issue in the case.

Mr. Summers says his client is a private individual who had done nothing to hold himself up as part of a public event or controversy. There is no reason for the court to extend absolute protection to expressive conduct that intentionally harms that individual, he says.

Mr. Snyder had a substantial privacy interest in attending his son’s funeral without unwanted interference, he writes. The Phelpses conduct during Matthew Snyders funeral caused Mr. Snyder serious emotional and physical hardship and hindered his grieving process.

Summers adds in his brief: The Phelpses freedom of speech should have ended where it conflicted with Mr. Snyder's freedom to participate in his son's funeral, which was intended to be a solemn religious gathering.

The case is Albert Snyder v. Fred Phelps.

It's going to be interesting to see how this is going to end up playing out. What is more important, rights to privacy or the right to free speech? Hopefully they manage to come down to something that satisfies Snyder and people afraid of infringement on Free Speech. Either way this goes, one side is going to dislike the outcome of this.

All said, I’m pretty sure the Court is going to end up ruling in favor of the Westboro Church.

Video Games / Games to look forward to!
« on: June 13, 2010, 02:38:33 PM »
I've been mulling over the idea of starting this thread for a while. Same as the movie thread only this time games we are anticipating to play!

Medal of Honor -
Looking forward to this reboot of the series. I'm interested in what they're going to do with this game. From the looks of the trailers, the Ranger section of the game is going to have more direct fighting in it than the Tier 1, which is looking like it may be more stealth oriented. Hopefully this game plays out better then COD: Modern Warfare 2 which was a let down in the single player department.

Fallout New Vegas -
Loved Fallout 3 and looking forward to what they can do with this game. I don't know much about it, but easily this is the game I've been looking forward the most for the past few years. I'm liking how everything is being revamped because of the location move, new robots, new mutants and new enemies. I do hope they raise the level cap, anything higher then 50 would be nice.

Try to keep this spoiler free guys.

News & Not News / Arizona thread
« on: June 13, 2010, 02:18:31 PM »
Starting this off with their newest idea they want to turn into a law.
"Anchor babies" isn't a very endearing term, but in Arizona those are the words being used to tag children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. While not new, the term is increasingly part of the local vernacular because the primary authors of the nation's toughest and most controversial immigration law are targeting these tots - the legal weights that anchor many undocumented aliens in the U.S. - for their next move.

Buoyed by recent public opinion polls suggesting they're on the right track with illegal immigration, Arizona Republicans will likely introduce legislation this fall that would deny birth certificates to children born in Arizona - and thus American citizens according to the U.S. Constitution - to parents who are not legal U.S. citizens. The law largely is the brainchild of state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican whose suburban district, Mesa, is considered the conservative bastion of the Phoenix political scene. He is a leading architect of the Arizona law that sparked outrage throughout the country: Senate Bill 1070, which allows law enforcement officers to ask about someone's immigration status during a traffic stop, detainment or arrest if reasonable suspicion exists - things like poor English skills, acting nervous or avoiding eye contact during a traffic stop.

But the likely new bill is for the kids. While SB 1070 essentially requires of-age migrants to have the proper citizenship paperwork, the potential "anchor baby" bill blocks the next generation from ever being able to obtain it. The idea is to make the citizenship process so difficult that illegal immigrants pull up the "anchor" and leave.

The question is whether that would violate the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that "all persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It was intended to provide citizenship for freed slaves and served as a final answer to the Dred Scott case, cementing the federal government's control over citizenship.

But that was 1868. Today, Pearce says the 14th Amendment has been "hijacked" by illegal immigrants. "They use it as a wedge," Pearce says. "This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we've created." Pearce says he is aware of the constitutional issues involved with the bill and vows to introduce it nevertheless. "We will write it right." He and other Republicans in the red state Arizona point to popular sympathy: 58% of Americans polled by Rasmussen think illegal immigrants whose children are born here should not receive citizenship; support for that stance is 76% among Republicans.

Those who oppose the bill say it would lead to more discrimination and divide the community. Among them is Phoenix resident Susan Vie, who is leading a citizen group that's behind an opposing ballot initiative. She moved to the U.S. 30 years ago from Argentina, became a naturalized citizen and now works as a client-relations representative for a vaccine company. "I see a lot of hate and racism behind it," Vie says. "Consequently, I believe it will create - and it's creating it now - a separation in our society." She adds, "When people look at me, they will think, 'Is she legal or illegal?' I can already feel it right now." Vie's citizen initiative would prohibit SB 1070 from taking affect, place a three-year moratorium on all related laws - including the anchor baby bill - to buy more time for federal immigration reform. Her group is racing to collect 153,365 signatures by July 1 to qualify for the Nov. 2 general election.

Both sides expect the anchor baby bill to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court before it is enacted. "I think it would be struck down as facially unconstitutional. I can't imagine a federal judge saying this would be OK," says Dan Barr, a longtime Phoenix lawyer and constitutional litigator. Potentially joining the anchor baby bill at the Supreme Court may be SB 1070, which Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law in April. It is set to take effect July 29, but at least five courtroom challenges have been filed against it. Pearce says he will win them all.

What is appalling is the amount of time it's taking to try the legality [should be instantly thrown out of court for being unconstitutional] of this shit law in court. So far, in Arizona, police can challenge someone's citizenship because you had reasonable suspicion (dark brown skin and accent) they are illegal, it's illegal to now teach any class that promotes one particular ethnic group (Black History, Latin American History), any class that portrays the US in a negative light (Western Civilization, Native American History) and you face being fired from any teaching position for having a heavy accent (excluding southern drawls of course).

Besides the moral ramifications to all of this, Arizona is going to start seeing it's largest labor force disappear over time along with the children whom they are paying teachers to teach.
Arizona's tough new immigration enforcement law is fueling an exodus of Hispanics from the state seven weeks before it goes into effect, according to officials and residents in the state.

Though no one has precise figures, reports from school officials, businesses and individuals indicate worried Hispanics — both legal and illegal — are leaving the state in anticipation of the law, which will go into effect July 29.

Schools in Hispanic areas report unusual drops in enrollment. The Balsz Elementary School District is 75% Hispanic, and within a month of the law's passage, the parents of 70 students pulled them out of school, said District Superintendent Jeffrey Smith. The district lost seven students over the same one-month period last year, and parents tell Smith the Arizona law is the reason for leaving.
Businesses serving the Hispanic community say business is down, signaling that illegal immigrants are holding on to cash in anticipation of a move from the state, said David Castillo, co-founder of the Latin Association of Arizona, a chamber of commerce for nearly 400 first-generation Hispanic business owners.

Politically this is also going to have an impact on how Hispanics in Arizona (& presumably the rest of the nation) will end up voting.
The number of Latinos registering to vote as Democrats in Arizona has jumped from 100 a week to 500 in the seven weeks since a tough new immigration law was adopted, The Arizona Republic reports.

The newspaper says many of those registering are young Latino citizens whose parents may be undocumented.

From the looks of this it's only going to go from bad to worse before this gets better, and this law is only going to hurt people that are completely innocent to this whole mess (legal immigrants and US Citizens). Oddly enough, this is going to end up hurting the people that wanted to pass this bill just as much, their economy will slowly begin to turn into (more) shit, due to illegals going to other states, and the children of immigrants growing up to become yellow dog democrats.

News & Not News / Hasn't aged in over 16 years.
« on: June 30, 2009, 02:43:39 AM »

This was something a friend showed me. Link above has a video plus 4 pages on this story.

Among the many documented instances of children who fail to grow or develop in some way, Brooke's case may be unique, according to her doctor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine pediatrician Lawrence Pakula, in Baltimore.

"Many of the best-known names in medicine, in their experience ... had not seen anyone who matched up to Brooke," Pakula said. "She is always a surprise."

Watch "20/20" FRIDAY at 10 p.m. ET for Brooke's story.

Brooke hasn't aged in the conventional sense. Dr. Richard Walker of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, in Tampa, says Brooke's body is not developing as a coordinated unit, but as independent parts that are out of sync. She has never been diagnosed with any known genetic syndrome or chromosomal abnormality that would help explain why.

Shootin' the Breeze / Share your awkward/embarissing stories!
« on: June 19, 2009, 12:49:24 AM »
HI, Gang!

Vampire Hunter Bob again bringing you another thread for everyone to shell out more stories from our personal lives!

Beginning at 8:45, I leave to pick up a woman I promised I’d take to the movies. This is the 3rd time hanging out with her and I’m feeling proud of myself that I’m dating this attractive chick!  I get to her place five minutes late and we rush to the movie theater. “The movie starts at 10:10, it’s 10 minutes away no big deal”. We get to the movie theater at exactly 10 pm. We hustle to the door expecting to watch, The Hangover, and laugh our asses off… we did not!

“I think this is the wrong theater”, she says.

I, being a man admitted I was wrong, slowly walked towards my car and began plugging my GPS for any theaters in the area. We head out again on the road, but to my dismay it was 30 minutes in the other direction. So instead we settle to getting some brews and watching movies with her roommates instead. We get to the best liquor store where I run into a friend of mine who works there, we chit chat and my lady friend walks away.

“Dude, who is that”, my friend proclaims loudly.

“Ah. She is this girl that has wanted to hang out with me again and again”.

“Well, she’s fucking hot man. DO HER”, he ordered.

We get back to her place and her roommates give me an odd look. The same look me and John Water’s give each other whenever we run into each other buying booze at 1 in the morning. My lady friend and I make our way to the sofa, enjoying the booze we bought when suddenly, her ex-boyfriend walks, giving me a foul look.

 He chugs down one of my beers. “Rough stuff”, he belched out.

“Not really”, I replied while sipping on my beer.

I knew at this point I have two choices, 1. Get the hell out of there or 2. Stick it out like a man and be awesome. I picked 2.
What a great fucking idea that turned out to be. In the end my plan backfired and I was left with my chick friend giving each other looks which if they were words would only be, “so… this ain’t good”.

Around one o’clock, I realized I had still been sipping that same beer for the entirety of the night. I was about to suggest to my lady friend we go outside, but before I could move she said it’s her bed time. With my jaw dropped I got in my car and drove home.

That was pretty damn awkward for me!

Lets hear it gang, share your stories.

News & Not News / Florida prison guards shocked over being fired
« on: May 16, 2009, 02:38:13 PM »

Three US prison officers have been dismissed and two others have resigned after 40 children in Florida were deliberately shocked with stun guns.

The incidents at two prisons occurred last month during a national day when people take their children to work.

In one case, a group of children were told to hold hands in a circle before one of them was shocked with a stun gun and the shock ran round the group.

No one was seriously hurt, but an official said it was "inexcusable".

In the other case in a second prison, children were given individual shocks.

The children, aged from five to 17, were all sons and daughters of employees of the Florida Department of Corrections.

Some parents had given permission for their children to receive the shocks, but this did not justify the actions of officials, said the department's secretary, Walter McNeil.

"We believe this behaviour is inexcusable," he said.

"I apologise to the children and parents. None of these kids should have been exposed to these devices."

He said that the circle shock demonstration was common practice during training classes for prison officers.

A stun gun delivers an electric shock intended to disable someone temporarily, without resorting to firearms.

Who in their right fucking mind would ever think this was a good idea?  :???:

Shootin' the Breeze / Official Goal Thread!
« on: April 17, 2009, 08:49:40 PM »
Hello Everyone!

 Bub here, reporting in to you another exciting thread! While surfing through Something Awful’s E/N forum I came across a guy that was bitching about everything under the sun including his tiny debt of $1,000. I know for him this might be a lot, but it is not. While this might be nothing to most people even myself, I myself am in the same predicament. That I cry and bitch about my debts [around 10k, but still that’s mostly car payments]. So what I am going to do is work my ass off and finish dis shit. Now here is my list of goals for my summer [later the fall addition will follow].
Here is my list!

  • Secure a summer job.
  • Pay off at least 1 debt if not 2.
  • Lose an additional 20 pounds. [There is another thread about that, but when I reach it I'm going to mention it here also]
  • Work on relationship with friends.
  • Pay off large portion of car debt.
  • Set $400 aside for tires anything exciding $400, will go into car repair fund. Car repair fund will not exceed $1,500.
  • Add more money to 401k, if at all possible an additional $1,000.
  • Get a place of my own.

Now everyone lets see what YOU the reader would like to do this summer!

News & Not News / Scientists in possible cold fusion breakthrough
« on: March 25, 2009, 12:47:16 AM »

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Researchers at a US Navy laboratory have unveiled what they say is "significant" evidence of cold fusion, a potential energy source that has many skeptics in the scientific community.

The scientists on Monday described what they called the first clear visual evidence that low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), or cold fusion devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists say are indicative of nuclear reactions.

"Our finding is very significant," said analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss of the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, California.

"To our knowledge, this is the first scientific report of the production of highly energetic neutrons from a LENR device," added the study's co-author in a statement.

The study's results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The city is also the site of an infamous presentation on cold fusion 20 years ago by Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons that sent shockwaves across the world.

Despite their claim to cold fusion discovery, the Fleishmann-Pons study soon fell into discredit after other researchers were unable to reproduce the results.

Scientists have been working for years to produce cold fusion reactions, a potentially cheap, limitless and environmentally-clean source of energy.

Paul Padley, a physicist at Rice University who reviewed Mosier-Boss's published work, said the study did not provide a plausible explanation of how cold fusion could take place in the conditions described.

"It fails to provide a theoretical rationale to explain how fusion could occur at room temperatures. And in its analysis, the research paper fails to exclude other sources for the production of neutrons," he told the Houston Chronicle.

"The whole point of fusion is, you?re bringing things of like charge together. As we all know, like things repel, and you have to overcome that repulsion somehow."

But Steven Krivit, editor of the New Energy Times, said the study was "big" and could open a new scientific field.

The neutrons produced in the experiments "may not be caused by fusion but perhaps some new, unknown nuclear process," added Krivit, who has monitored cold fusion studies for the past 20 years.

"We're talking about a new field of science that's a hybrid between chemistry and physics."

This is really interesting. I'm in no way skilled in either chemistry or physics, yet I can't help but be amazed at how these things are coming about. Hopefully this is proven real.

News & Not News / With pick of judge, Obama begins reshaping bench
« on: March 17, 2009, 10:47:07 PM »

With pick of judge, Obama begins reshaping bench


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama nominated a moderate Indiana judge Tuesday to serve on a Midwestern federal appeals court, his first step toward reshaping the federal judiciary and preparing for a possible Supreme Court opening.

The White House chose U.S. District Judge David Hamilton of Indiana for the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, contending Hamilton was a mainstream jurist who could overcome the bitter Senate confirmation fights of the past several years.

Obama has 15 federal appellate vacancies to fill, including the 7th Circuit court that covers Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Since most cases do not reach the Supreme Court, the 12 geographically based federal appellate circuits often provide the last word on a variety of issues affecting Americans.

Their decisions cover, among other issues, civil rights and liberties, capital punishment, abortion, gay rights, corporate wrongdoing, review of federal regulations and treatment of detainees in terrorism cases.

Three of the appeals courts can gain a majority of Democratic-appointed judges if Obama's nominees are confirmed for existing vacancies.

The importance of Obama's choices increased last week when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told law students there could be an opening on the Supreme Court soon. Ginsburg, who has cancer, didn't hint at who might be leaving. White House officials said they were preparing now for any future opening.

The White House acted before Hamilton's nomination to make sure that his home-state Republican senator, Dick Lugar, was on board. Lugar's office confirmed that he supports the nomination.

Conservative Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Orrin Hatch of Utah said they haven't formed an opinion yet on Hamilton, while another GOP conservative, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, said he was troubled by Hamilton's ruling against a sectarian prayer to open the Indiana House of Representatives.

That ruling was in 2005, when Hamilton banned the practice of opening the chamber's business with prayers mentioning Jesus Christ or using terms such as savior. He said that amounted to state endorsement of a religion. If confirmed by the Senate, Hamilton will serve on the circuit appeals court that overturned the ruling.

In 2003, he struck down part of an Indiana law on abortion. The law had required abortion clinics to give women information about alternatives to abortion in the presence of a physician or nurse, 18 hours before the procedure. The 7th Circuit court also reversed that decision.

As Obama prepares to send additional nominees to the Senate, the 4th Circuit, covering Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, has six Republican-appointed judges and five appointed by Democrats, with four vacancies.

The 4th Circuit has been one of the nation's most conservative courts and supported the Bush administration's policies on treatment of enemy combatants.

The 2nd Circuit, covering Vermont, New York and Connecticut, is 6-to-6 and the 3rd, covering Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands, also is 6-to-6.

Lugar's support for Hamilton would make it difficult for Republicans to filibuster his nomination, because Democrats would only need two GOP senators to stop the delaying tactic. Attorney General Eric Holder and two top deputies had opposition from Republican conservatives, but they easily won Senate confirmation with significant Republican backing.

The American Bar Association, resuming its historical role in evaluating judicial nominees, gave Hamilton a "well qualified" rating. During the Bush administration, the ABA was not consulted about judicial selections.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama will look for nominees with "the ability to empathize and walk in someone's shoes."

Hamilton has ruled on issues ranging from pornography to corporate misdeeds. He:

_Upheld an Indianapolis ordinance requiring parental consent for children to have access to video games with extreme violence, or explicit sexual content. The video game industry had challenged the law.

_Held white-collar criminals accountable for corporate wrongdoing. He sentenced a former credit union head teller who embezzled $7 million to eight years and one month in prison, and ordered restitution. He sentenced a former real estate executive, who had written $217 in bad checks, to 6 1/2 years in prison.

_Sentenced a child pornographer to 100 years in prison, a penalty upheld by the 7th Circuit.

_Admitted into a case a surveillance video of drug defendants, even though the police did not have a warrant. The police did, however, have permission from a person with access to the room.

_Struck down a state provision requiring sex offenders to provide authorities with personal information.

While this may be interesting I can't help but be worried about that last part I bolded. Since this guy isn't a real pick there isn't much to be worried about, but the possibility and the fact he just sent someone to jail for 6.5 years for 217 dollars.

Anyways what are your thoughts on the vacancies that need filling?

News & Not News / 75-year-old Syrian woman sentenced to 40 lashes
« on: March 09, 2009, 11:53:21 AM »

CNN -- A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports.

According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, troubles for the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, began last year when a member of the religious police entered her house in the city of Al-Chamli and found her with two unrelated men, "Fahd" and "Hadian."

Fahd told the policeman that he had the right to be there, because Sawadi had breast-fed him as a baby and was therefore considered to be a son to her in Islam, according to Al-Watan. Fahd, 24, added that his friend Hadian was escorting him as he delivered bread for the elderly woman. The policeman then arrested both men.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism and punishes unrelated men and women who are caught mingling.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, feared by many Saudis, is made up of several thousand religious policemen charged with duties such as enforcing dress codes, prayer times and segregation of the sexes. Under Saudi law, women face many restrictions, including a strict dress code and a ban on driving. Women also need to have a man's permission to travel.

Al Watan obtained the court's verdict and reported that it was partly based on the testimony of the religious police. In his ruling, the judge said it had been proved that Fahd is not the Sawadi's son through breastfeeding.

The court also doled out punishment to the two men. Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes; Hadian was sentenced to six months in prison and 60 lashes. In a phone call with Al Watan, the judge declined to comment and suggested the newspaper review the case with the Ministry of Justice.

Sawadi told the newspaper that she will appeal, adding that Fahd is indeed her son through breastfeeding.

The case has sparked anger in Saudi Arabia.

"It's made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother," Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider told CNN. "Forty lashes -- how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it."

This is not the first Saudi court case to cause controversy.

In 2007, a 19-year-old gang-rape victim in the Saudi city of Qatif was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for meeting with an unrelated male. The seven rapists, who had abducted the woman and man, received sentences ranging from 10 months to five years in prison. The case sparked international outrage and Saudi King Abdullah subsequently pardoned the "Qatif Girl" and the unrelated male.

Many Saudis are hopeful that the Ministry of Justice will be reformed. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz announced in February a major Cabinet reshuffling in which many hard-line conservatives, including the head of the commission, were dismissed and replaced with younger, more moderate members.

The new appointments represented the largest shakeup since King Abdullah took power in 2005 and were welcomed in Saudi Arabia as progressive moves on the part of the king, whom many see as a reformer. Among ministers who've been replaced is the minister of justice.

The actions of the religious police have come under increased scrutiny in Saudi Arabia recently, as more and more Saudis urge that the commission's powers be limited. Last week, the religious police detained two male novelists for questioning after they tried to get the autograph of a female writer, Halima Muzfar, at a book fair in Riyadh, the capital of the kingdom.

"This is the problem with the religious police," added Al-Huwaider, "watching people and thinking they're bad all the time. It has nothing to do with religion. It's all about control. And the more you spread fear among people, the more you control them. It's giving a bad reputation to the country."

All very stupid. As the person in the bottom of the article says it's all just about control. Hopefully with the new Cabinet in the ministry of justice that country will have some relief from those wahhabi shit bags.

Creation Station / Berserk Comical Comic Championship: Round 2
« on: March 07, 2009, 10:09:36 PM »
Hey Guys and Madams.

Welcome to 2009's Berserk Comical Championship. This year there will actually be a reward of my choosing.

Anyways while talking to Genome and looking at his submission I came to a realization what this years theme will be continual comic strips. If you refer to Griffith's submissions last year (Gutsfild) you'll see how each strip is continued on to the next strip he made. Well this is the direction I want to take the Comicalness to make it better than last year. Feel free and as a matter of fact I want to encourage the use of minor characters in this years. So feel free to make that crazy story about Gannon you've always wanted to do!

Here are the rules:
1: No porno, awkward sexual situations are a ok with me.
2: No  limits on the number of strips one can make. Just make any number of strips you want. Hell do one, however keep in mind if you do I want the storyline and punch line to your individual project completed.
3: Feel free to create your own character for this event. For example, Fred the missing god hand, is alright to use as long as it's funny and includes other REAL Berserk characters.
4: Do your own drawings. Taking full scans from the manga and just re-writing them is unacceptable.

See how this will take longer then last year I want you all to know the end date has been set at May 31st.

Lets get those pencils scribbling people!
Edit - I wanted to let you guys know how scores will work this year.

This time there is actually something to win, So there is actually going to be some sort of judging going on.

Things that will be scored are title*, storyline and humor. Art isn't one of the things to be graded, because I don’t' want to discourage submissions that feel their shit isn't up to par with anyone else.

I'm not going to do the judging this year, I'm going to pick a panel of judges that will do so. They will be announced when I feel like it.

* You don't have to name your project until the last day. So just take this time to think of something nice to call it.

News & Not News / Obama Helps Stem Cell Research & Health Care reforms
« on: March 07, 2009, 11:42:15 AM »

WASHINGTON – Eight years of frustration are close to an end for scientists seeking ways to use embryonic stem cells to combat illness and injury.

On Monday, President Barack Obama plans to reverse limits imposed by President George W. Bush on using federal money for research with embryonic stem cells.

The long-promised move will allow a rush of research aimed at one day better treating, if not curing, ailments from diabetes to paralysis — research that is has drawn broad support, including from notables like Nancy Reagan, widow of the late Republican President Ronald Reagan, and the late Christopher Reeve.

But it stirs intense controversy over whether government crosses a moral line with such research, and opponents promptly denounced the move.

Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move, a senior administration official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the policy had not yet been publicly announced.

Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them so they can create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases — such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics, cells that could help those with Parkinson's disease or maybe even Alzheimer's, or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.

"I feel vindicated after eight years of struggle, and I know it's going to energize my research team," said Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children's Hospital of Boston, a leading stem cell researcher.

But the research is controversial because days-old embryos must be destroyed to obtain the cells. They typically are culled from fertility-clinic leftovers otherwise destined to be thrown away.

Under Bush, taxpayer money for that research was limited to a small number of stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001, lines that in many cases had some drawbacks that limited their potential usability.

But hundreds more of such lines — groups of cells that can continue to propagate in lab dishes — have been created since then, ones that scientists say are healthier, better suited to creating treatments for people rather than doing basic laboratory science.

Work didn't stop. Indeed, it advanced enough that this summer, the private Geron Corp. will begin the world's first study of a treatment using human embryonic stem cells, in people who recently suffered a spinal cord injury.

Nor does Obama's change fund creation of new lines. But it means that scientists who until now have had to rely on private donations to work with these newer stem cell lines can apply for government money for the research, just like they do for studies of gene therapy or other treatment approaches.

The aim of the policy is to restore "scientific integrity" to the process, the administration official said.

"America's biomedical research enterprise experienced steady decline over the past eight years, with shrinking budgets and policies that elevated ideology over science. This slowed the pace of discovery and the search for cures," said Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan's Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Critics immediately denounced the move.

"Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for experiments that require the destruction of human life," said Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council. "President Obama's policy change is especially troubling given the significant adult stem cell advances that are being used to treat patients now without harming or destroying human embryos."

Indeed, there are different types of stem cells: So-called adult stem cells that produce a specific type of tissue; younger stem cells found floating in amniotic fluid or the placenta. Scientists even have learned to reprogram certain cells to behave like stem cells.

But even researchers who work with varying types consider embryonic stem cells the most flexible and thus most promising form — and say that science, not politics, should ultimately judge.

"Science works best and patients are served best by having all the tools at our disposal," Daley said.

Obama made it clear during the campaign he would overturn Bush's directive.

During the campaign, Obama said, "I strongly support expanding research on stem cells. I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations."

He said he would lift Bush's ban and "ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight."

"Patients and people who've been patient advocates are going to be really happy," said Amy Comstock Rick of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.

The ruling will bring one immediate change: As of Monday, scientists who've had to meticulously keep separate their federally funded research and their privately funded stem cell work — from buying separate microscopes to even setting up labs in different buildings — won't have that expensive hurdle anymore.

Next, scientists can start applying for research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The NIH already has begun writing guidelines that, among other things, are expected to demand that the cells being used were derived with proper informed consent from the woman or couple who donated the original embryo.

This is good news for researchers. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the illnesses this stuff can fix.

I still don't really understand what all the controversy was about. The embryos were going to be destroyed in the first place, why not give them to researchers.
WASHINGTON – The search for agreement on health care may be short lived.

The flashpoint is a proposal that would give Americans the option of buying medical coverage through a government plan. President Barack Obama and many Democrats have endorsed it, as one part of a broader health overhaul. On Saturday, Republicans laid down a challenge.

"I'm concerned that if the government steps in, it will eventually push out the private health care plans millions of Americans enjoy today," Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in the Republican weekly radio address.

Blunt, who will play a leading role in the debate, warned: "This could cause your employer to simply stop offering coverage, hoping the government will pick up the slack."

The proposal he referred to would, for the first time, offer government-sponsored coverage to middle-class families, as an alternative to private health plans. By some estimates, it could reduce premiums by 20 percent or more — making it much more affordable to cover the estimated 48 million people who don't have health coverage.

It could also be a deal breaker for broad, bipartisan agreement on health care.

Insurers fear competition from a government plan could drive them out of business, and Republicans worry it would lead to a government takeover of health care. Liberals, meanwhile, are equally adamant that Americans deserve the choice of government-sponsored health care.

"The purpose of health care reform is to make sure all Americans have health care, not to promote the insurance industry," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who serves on a House panel that will help write the legislation.

The new government coverage could be similar to what seniors have in Medicare, which is run directly from Washington. Or it might be designed like the federal employee health plan, available to members of Congress, and delivered through private insurers.

Asked at the White House health care summit this week about the brewing controversy, the president promised to address the qualms felt by some. But he did not abandon the notion of a government plan.

"I'm not going to respond definitively," Obama said, answering a question from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. "The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and it helps ... keep the private sector honest, because there's some competition out there.

"I recognize, though, the fear that if a public option is run through Washington, and there are incentives to try to tamp down costs ... that private insurance plans might end up feeling overwhelmed."

Obama says he is committed to preserving a health care system in which government, employers and individuals share responsibility. Many Americans may not realize the government already picks up nearly half the nation's $2.4 trillion health care bill, through programs including Medicare and Medicaid.

A public plan for the middle class could give a final nudge that puts the system firmly in government hands.

Obama's campaign proposal — a foundation for Democrats in Congress — called for setting up a national insurance marketplace through which individuals and small businesses could buy coverage. People could pick private insurance or opt for a government plan that would resemble coverage for federal employees.

A recent analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit group that sponsors health care research, is giving supporters of a public plan some ammunition.

The study estimated costs and coverage under a hypothetical health reform plan similar to what Obama proposed in the campaign. It found that a public plan like Medicare could reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over an 11-year period. Premiums in the public plan would be at least 20 percent lower, partly because of reduced administrative costs. Within a decade or so, some 105 million people would be in the public plan, compared with about 107 million with private insurance.

Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis said the administration has been very interested in the study. "Some of their top economists are on the phone, poring over it," she said in an interview.

Democrats say they will fight to ensure a public plan stays in the final bill.

I find the whole argument that it's going to push private companies out of buisness just stupid. Basically it's going to end up being the same thing as public schools when they were first introduced. Still I don't see the problem with it. This will free up a lot of money for everyone all around because they can get something that's not going to cost a lot, yet the people that really want their private insurance company still have the option to use them instead.

News & Not News / IPhone Hipsters save starving family
« on: February 23, 2009, 07:13:23 PM »

How do you pull you and your family out of the funk of the economic recession? For Ethan Nicholas, it was simple: He spent six weeks' worth of nights and early mornings writing a video game for the iPhone.

All it took was a great idea and some programming savvy -- all typed out on the living room couch -- for Nicholas to create iShoot, a top-selling iPhone app that was a best-seller for weeks and has now earned the man more than $700,000 -- more than enough to rescue his family from financial ruin, which looked likely after Nicholas saw medical bills pile up.

iShoot, a simple game involving tanks shooting at each other, sells for $2.99 on the iPhone app store, but Nicholas seems to have hit on the best idea for juicing sales by creating a free version of the game, iShoot Lite, clearly designed to entice players into upgrading to the full version of the game.

After the runaway success of the game, Nicholas is now pouring his full efforts into developing additional games for the popular handset. He also quit his job as a programmer for Sun and has started his own development company.

Of course, with 15,000 apps on sale for the iPhone and many thousands more rejected by the company, for every Ethan Nicholas there must be hundreds of aspiring programmers who haven't found much success on the platform. I love to hear success stories like Nicholas's but I also worry about the ideas they give to other people who'd love to replicate his triumph. If you're hoping to follow in his footsteps, remember: Nicholas quit his job after the game became a runaway hit, not the day he came up with the idea.

You also just never know when the magic will happen -- and in a business like this, lightning rarely strikes twice. (Just ask the guys who used to spend up to $100,000 developing games for pre-iPhone cell phones. The vast majority of those never recouped their production costs, much less made enough profit to merit continued investment in the business.)

Of course, that's all unlikely to stop people from trying: A quick search for "tank game" reveals about 20 titles alone on the iPhone app store already.

This is good news for this guy. Personally I only wish I had thought of ripping off the game that ripped off Worms first.

News & Not News / Salma Hayek feeds a hungry child
« on: February 12, 2009, 02:04:18 AM »   
While on a humanitarian mission for UNICEF in Sierra Leone, Salma Hayek came across a hungry baby and took immediate action - with her breasts. Angelina Jolie, you should probably be taking notes here. NY Daily News reports:

    Hayek, 42, discovered the child, whose mother was unable to produce milk, during a tour of a hospital in the war-torn country.
    "The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother did not have any milk," she later recalled to USA Today. "He was very hungry - I was weaning my daughter Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk, so I breastfed the baby."
    "You should have seen his eyes," she said. "When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying."

I think it's time we, as Americans, recognized true heroism and put Salma Hayek's breasts on the one dollar bill. This will allow me to not only tip a stripper, but inspire her to use her breasts for the greater good. (After my lap dance, of course.) I just care about the children.

WARNING: Video is NSFW. Unless you're a wet nurse.

I just don't have much to say. Well besides, awesome tits.  :carcus:

News & Not News / Russia wants to help the US in Afghanistan
« on: February 04, 2009, 06:02:43 PM »

MOSCOW – President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia and its ex-Soviet allies want to help the United States stabilize Afghanistan, saying Moscow wanted "full-fledged" cooperation with Washington.

He spoke a day after the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan announced it would evict the U.S. from an air base key to the Afghan war. Kyrgyzstan made the move after getting a promise for $2 billion in loans from Russia — which resents the American presence in a region Moscow regards as part of its traditional sphere of influence.

The possibility of the base closure poses a serious challenge to the new U.S. administration and President Barack Obama's plan to send up to 30,000 more American forces into Afghanistan this year.

"Russia and other (alliance members) are ready for full-fledged comprehensive cooperation with the United States and other coalition members in fighting terrorism in the region. This fight must be comprehensive and include both military and political components. Only in the case will this have a chance to succeed," Medvedev said.

It was not clear if Medvedev's reference to "full-fledged" cooperation was an attempt to reassure Washington or an indication that Moscow would seek concessions in exchange for helping keep the Manas air base open.

In Washington, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Wednesday that about 1,000 U.S. troops — and dozens each of French and Spanish — are working at the base to move 15,000 people and 500 tons of cargo monthly through the facility for the Afghan campaign.

"Kyrgyzstan has been a good ally. And we certainly appreciate the arrangement that we have with them right now," Whitman told Pentagon reporters. "The base does contribute to the security and stability of Central Asia and Afghanistan."

Use of the facility is laid out in a July 2006 U.S.-Kyrgyz agreement that requires the U.S. to pay $17.4 million a year, renewable each year through July 2011 — and with the option by either side to back out of the agreement with 180 days notice, Whitman said. Total U.S. assistance to the country is about $150 million a year, including health, police, human rights and economic programs.

Russia has appeared open to aiding the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan by facilitating attempts to find northern alternatives to Pakistani supply lines increasingly threatened by militant attacks. But Moscow also wants to protect what it says as its strategic backyard by blocking the possibility of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. Russia has also vehemently opposed U.S. plans to put a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Medvedev appeared to criticize U.S. efforts on stabilizing Afghanistan, saying it would be impossible to defeat terrorism there only using military means.

"It is necessary to form a full-fledged political system, keeping in mind, cultural and historic traditions. Democracy cannot be forced upon (a country). It must grow from within," he said.

"It's not the number of bases that matters. It would be good if that would help reduce the number of terrorists, but the fight against terrorism is not limited to building up military forces," he said.

Russia, which waged its own bloody and unsuccessful attempt to control Afghanistan, has sent mixed signals about working with the Obama administration, after years of political clashes with the administration of George W. Bush.

On Wednesday, Medvedev hosted presidents from seven-member Collective Security Treaty Organization — a loose, Moscow-dominated alliance made up of several ex-Soviet states.

After Kremlin talks, the group announced the creation of a joint rapid reaction force that would boost the military dimension to the alliance, which until now has served mostly as a forum for security consultations.

My only comment is this.

News & Not News / Would be rapist learns a valuable lesson
« on: January 27, 2009, 01:57:35 PM »

A FEISTY raccoon has bitten off a pervert’s PENIS as he was trying to rape the animal.

Alexander Kirilov, 44, was on a drunken weekend with pals when he leapt on the terrified – but toothy – fur ball.

When I saw the raccoon I thought I’d have some fun,” he told stunned casualty surgeons in Moscow.

Now Russian plastic surgeons are trying to restore his mangled manhood.

“He’s been told they can get things working again but they can’t sew back on what the raccoon bit off," said a pal.

“That’s gone forever so there isn’t going to be much for them to work with."

Personally I think he got what he deserved.

News & Not News / 2009 is looking bad for Baltimore
« on: January 13, 2009, 09:13:49 PM »

Murders This Week: 9
Murders in 2008: 234
Murders in 2009: 7

As 2008 ended and 2009 began, Baltimore City continued its backslide. Though the city's 2008 homicide total was its lowest since 1988, there was an uptick in murders during the last two months of the year. The trend continues into the new year, with seven murders on record for 2009 by Jan. 5, compared to just two at the same time last year.

Even though 2008's final homicide tally was markedly lower than that of 2007--234 homicides in 2008 vs. 282 in 2007--Baltimore's per capita homicide rate exceeds that of many neighboring cities. If Baltimore had Washington, D.C.'s homicide rate, there would only have been 202 murders here this year; if it had Philadelphia's, there would only have been 146; and if Baltimore had New York City's homicide rate, only 40 of its citizens would have lost their lives to violence this year.

The two women murdered last week have been identified. The woman shot in the head on Dec. 23 in the 800 block of South Bouldin Street in Canton was 22-year-old Alaina High. The woman shot repeatedly in the 1900 block of North Broadway, just south of Clifton Park, was Lisa Bushrod, a 42-year-old African-American.

At the end of 2008, one homicide victim from the year still has not been identified. A skeleton was found in a wooded area in the 4800 block of Strathdale Road in Frankford on April 30. Police know the victim was male and was shot to death but they still do not know his name.

Monday, Dec. 29

10:58 p.m. Police were called to the scene of a shooting in the 800 block of Chauncey Avenue in Reservoir Hill. When they arrived, they found a 37-year-old African-American woman shot. She had tried to escape the house, but collapsed in the doorway. She told police that Antonio Coby, a 28-year-old African-American man, had also been shot. He was lying on the kitchen floor. Coby had been shot in the head and was dead. The woman survived.

Tuesday, Dec. 30

12:23 p.m. Someone working on a sewer line in Leakin Park found a badly burned body in the woods. The body was that of Petro Taylor, a 20-year-old African-American man. Police later discovered that Taylor had been beaten to death in the 5800 block of Reisterstown Road. His body was then dumped in Leakin Park.

Thursday, Jan. 1

12:55 a.m. Just after midnight on New Year's Day, Mario Williams, a 31-year-old African-American man from Owings Mills, was shot in the head outside a bar at North Luzerne Avenue and East Monument Street in East Baltimore. He died at an area hospital at 8 p.m. that night.

Friday, Jan. 2

4:56 a.m. Police received a call for a shooting in the 1100 block of Orleans Street just two blocks from Baltimore's main Post Office. There they discovered Marcel Mitchell, a 20-year-old African-American man from East Baltimore, lying in the street shot numerous times. Glenn Cunnigham, a 22-year-old African-American man from Pikesville, was found in the vestibule of an apartment complex in the block. He had also been shot several times. Cunningham was dead. Mitchell was taken to an area hospital but was dead by the time he arrived.

5:37 p.m. Andre Thorpe, a 17-year-old African-American male, was shot in the head in the middle of the street in the 800 block of North Kenwood Avenue. He was taken to a nearby hospital in grave condition and died at the end of the week. This is the second homicide in the Madison-Eastend neighborhood in the first four days of 2009.

Sunday, Jan. 4

7:49 p.m. Trevane Ricks, a 16-year-old African-American male, and an as-yet-unidentified African-American girl, who police believe was also a minor, were shot at an apartment building in the 5600 block of Loch Raven Boulevard near Good Samaritan Hospital. Ricks was shot in the chest and died at a local hospital an hour later. The girl was shot in the side and died at 10:57 p.m. This is the second double homicide in the first four days of 2009.

8:40 p.m. People living in the 4000 block of Chesmont Avenue off Belair Road heard gunshots. When they went outside, they found Lougene Williams III, a 20-year-old African-American man, lying in the middle of the street shot in the right shoulder. He died at a local hospital that night.

Well I guess it couldn't have been expected to stay down two years in a row. This is looking pretty bad for Baltimore this year after what looked like a turning point in the murder rate last year.

Shootin' the Breeze / Official Weightloss/gain Thread!
« on: January 02, 2009, 09:57:56 PM »
Hello boys and girls, geeks and jocks, trolls and... you get the drift.

 While scavenging through the Happy news years thread I came across a good number of posts of people saying they want to lose weight. Well it accord to me that, instead of waiting for new years I just started losing weight instead, because I of course am tired of being a closet fatty.

 What am I doing you ask? Well of course I'm exercising when I can and more importantly I'm trying to eat right. Two of the best resources I've come across was pointed out to me by my sister which is, and . It's a great help, especially since I for one was never familiar with what foods added what to my total calorie intake for a day and the other because it helps me calculate what my current calorie intake should be at currently.

For example my food log from a while ago looks like this:

My activity log from a while ago looks like this:

Of course I don't exercise that hard all of the time, just when I'm bored and horny. It's really up to you how hard you want to exercise.

Anyways, I started weighing my self on December 8th, where I weighed in at 230.5 pounds. Nearly a month later of hard work and dieting, I was down to 215.5 by last Monday. My current goal weight is set at 200 by the end of February. Then after that, I don't know I'm not trying to get ahead of my self.

Anyways, hopefully this is able to help out my fellow sknet homies get into shape.

Best of Luck, Bub!


 I don't think I was very clear at first, but I meant this for people to talk about their own weight loss/gain goals. This wasn't really intended for arguments about benching, bulking up or what proteins to take.

 Instead talk about what your current weight is, what you want to lose or gain, what you're doing about it and every now and then post about your current status. This is more intended to help encourage each other and if you want to make a suggestion to someones routine feel free to do so, but try to keep it to pm so we don't get off topic. Thank you!

News & Not News / Moron parent gets child killed.
« on: December 31, 2008, 12:13:26 PM »

BOISE, Idaho – Less than three weeks after her daughter turned 11, JoLeta Jenks picked out the clothes the girl would be cremated in.

Sage Aragon died, apparently of hypothermia, after she and her 12-year-old brother, Bear, tried to trudge through 10 miles of snow on Christmas Day to see their mother after their father's car got stuck in a snowdrift.

The girl who wanted to be a lawyer when she got older, and then decided she'd rather be a judge, was pronounced dead a short time after a rescue dog found her Friday.

"She was just starting to grow up," Jenks said Tuesday. "I don't know why this had to happen."

The boy survived and the children's' father, Robert Aragon, has been charged with second-degree murder and felony injury to a child.

As prosecutors builds a case against the father, authorities are trying to nail down an exact timeline of events, such as when the children started walking.

"You try to connect the dots on this thing and you can't, it's just difficult to understand," said Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, whose agency handled the search for the children.

Robert Aragon, 55, was being held on $500,000 bond at the Blaine County Jail, about 60 miles north of where mourners planned to gather Wednesday to grieve the death of his daughter.

The children lived with Aragon. He was taking them to visit their mother for the holidays when his 1988 Buick Century got stuck in a snowdrift north of Shoshone.

"I told him there was a storm coming," Jenks told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.

After the sedan got caught in the snow, authorities allege Aragon let the children out to walk to their mother's house while he and his cousin Kenneth Quintana, 29, stayed behind to free the car. Jenks said she eventually called Aragon because she was concerned after no one arrived at her home on Thursday.

Aragon had driven back to his hometown of Jerome after letting the kids out to walk to her house, Jenks said.

"I could not believe it," she said.

A public defender assigned to represent Aragon did not respond to calls from The Associated Press on Tuesday. A visibly upset Aragon cried during an initial appearance Monday, when a judge said the second-degree murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 7.

Jenks said she called 911 for help after she phoned Aragon and learned the kids were on foot. A search and rescue team found the boy at a rest area near the highway shortly before 10 p.m.

Sheriff Femling said the boy was delusional from hypothermia and had discarded his jacket and pants, stripping down to his long underwear, and taking off his tennis shoes.

Snow had drifted 4 feet deep in some places and deputies had to crawl over the drifts to reach the rest area and retrieve the boy, Femling said. The child was treated at a nearby hospital and released.

"He did the right thing, he found some shelter," Femling said.

The rest area was about 4.5 miles from where the children started walking. Femling said the girl walked about four miles with her brother and then turned back.

The girl was found by a search dog about 2.7 miles from where the two set out, barely visible under windblown, drifting snow. Femling said she was wearing a brown down coat, black shirt, pink pajama pants and tan snowboots.

The girl was pronounced dead at a Ketchum hospital. Initial autopsy results indicate she died of hypothermia.

Officials say temperatures in the area at the time the girl was missing ranged from 27 degrees above zero to minus 5.

"I've never seen anything like this, it was a 10-mile walk, the way they were dressed, it's just all mind-boggling," Femling said.

Records show Aragon was convicted in February for misdemeanor drug possession. In 1994, he was found guilty of drug possession with the intent to deliver or manufacture.

Quintana, the cousin who was with Aragon on Christmas Day, said his relative has been wrongfully accused.

"There's no way that he could have known what was going to happen," Quintana told the Times-News.

Bull shit he couldn't have known. You don't live in a place like that and go through some shitty ass winters without knowing what will happen when you send your kids on a fucking batan death march to their mother's house. What I find more surprising is that they didn't charge his shitbag cousin with the same thing.   :chomp:

Here's a picture of the dad

« on: December 17, 2008, 01:30:05 AM »

EASTON, Pa. – The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance. Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only with the decision made by the Greenwich ShopRite, but with an outpouring of angry Internet postings in response to a local newspaper article over the weekend on their flare-up over frosting.

"I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they've been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past," Heath Campbell said Tuesday in an interview conducted in Easton, on the other side of the Delaware River from where the family lives in Hunterdon County, N.J.

"There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change," the 35-year-old continued. "They need to accept a name. A name's a name. The kid isn't going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did."

Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to the ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

A store manager at ShopRite referred questions to a corporate spokeswoman who did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday. But spokeswoman Karen Meleta told The Easton Express-Times for Sunday's editions that the store considered Campbell's request inappropriate.

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said. About 12 people attended the birthday party on Sunday, including several children who were of mixed race, according to Heath Campbell.

"If we're so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?" he asked.

The Campbells' other two children also have unusual names: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell turns 2 in a few months and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell will be 1 in April.

Heath Campbell said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name." He sounded surprised by all the controversy the dispute had generated.

Campbell said his ancestors are German and that he has lived his entire life in Hunterdon County. On Tuesday he wore a pair of black boots he said were worn by a German soldier during World War II.

He said he was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically. But he said he would try to raise his children differently.

"Say he grows up and hangs out with black people. That's fine, I don't really care," he said. "That's his choice."

If these parents really wanted to make a political statement they should have done something else besides use their kid. Hopefully when he turns 18, he'll change his name out of spite.

News & Not News / Proposal on the rocks.
« on: December 05, 2008, 08:03:04 PM »

sneaker ocean wave

NESKOWIN, Ore. – A romantic marriage proposal on the Oregon coast turned deadly for the bride-to-be when a wave swept her out to sea. Scott Napper had taken 22-year-old Leafil Alforque to Proposal Rock near Neskowin Beach to pop the question at a place that got its name from couples ready to marry. Napper and Alforque had been dating since they met on the Internet in 2005.

But Alforque had arrived in Oregon on a visa from the Philippines just three days before the fateful trip to the coast.

Napper said the tide had receded around Proposal Rock on Saturday when the couple began to walk to it. He planned to propose and give her the ring he carried in his pocket.

About 10 feet from the rock, a wave about 3 feet high suddenly came toward them.

"I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it," Napper said.

By the time he turned to find Alforque, only 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds, she had been caught by the receding waters.

"She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away," Napper said.

The 45-year-old Silverton man tore off his jacket to get rid of any extra weight, and when he looked up again she was gone.

"That's the last I saw of her," he said in an interview Wednesday, breaking into tears.

Emergency personnel called by a someone on the beach arrived within minutes. His own phone no longer worked after being exposed to the water.

Along with rescuers, he searched for any sign of Alforque.

"I yelled for her," he said. "I was praying to God."

At one point, he saw someone wearing red — the color of her jacket — on the shore signaling for him. But he quickly realized it was a rescuer.

Thick fog and dangerous water conditions hampered the rescue efforts before the search was suspended on Monday.

Her 25-year-old sister, Nova Alforque, said the family hopes the body can be recovered.

"My mother is always crying, day and night," Nova Alforque said by telephone from the Philippines. "She wants my sister back. Even if she is dead, she wants her body to bury."

The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office is routinely checking the beach and looking for possible witnesses, said Sheriff Todd Anderson.

Police don't suspect foul play, he said.

Joking aside, that sucks.

News & Not News / 9-year-old one ups pick up artists
« on: December 03, 2008, 03:08:50 PM »
He's only 9, but this pint-sized pickup artist already knows plenty about pleasing the ladies.

So much, in fact, that Alec Greven's dating primer, "How to Talk to Girls" - which began as a handwritten, $3 pamphlet sold at his school book fair - hit the shelves nationwide last week.

PHOTOS: Nine-Year-Old Gives Dating Advice

The fourth-grader from Castle Rock, Colo., advises Lothario wannabes to stop showing off, go easy on the compliments to avoid looking desperate - and be wary of "pretty girls."

"It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry," he writes in Chapter Three.

"Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil."

He advises, "The best choice for most boys is a regular girl. Remember, some pretty girls are coldhearted when it comes to boys. Don't let them get to you."
Alec - who just finished a children's book on the Watergate scandal - said he wants to be a full-time writer when he grows up, with a weekend job in archaeology or paleontology.

I don't know what I should be more suprised about, he's on the news and didn't murder his family or that he got his book published.

News & Not News / Squids develop elbows... The End is Nigh.
« on: November 26, 2008, 12:14:46 PM » Video clip of this awesome being is in there with the link.

A mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater, a remote control submersible's camera has captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and—strangest of all—"elbowed" Magnapinna squid.

In a brief video from the dive recently obtained by National Geographic News, one of the rarely seen squid loiters above the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico on November 11, 2007.

The clip—from a Shell oil company ROV (remotely operated vehicle)—arrived after a long, circuitous trip through oil-industry in-boxes and other email accounts.

"Perdido ROV Visitor, What Is It?" the email's subject line read—Perdido being the name of a Shell-owned drilling site. Located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) off Houston, Texas (Gulf of Mexico map), Perdido is one of the world's deepest oil and gas developments.

The video clip shows the screen of the ROV's guidance monitor framed with pulsing inputs of time and positioning data.

In a few seconds of jerky camerawork, the squid appears with its huge fins waving like elephant ears and its remarkable arms and tentacles trailing from elbow-like appendages.

Despite the squid's apparent unflappability on camera, Magnapinna, or "big fin," squid remain largely a mystery to science.

ROVs have filmed Magnapinna squid a dozen or so times in the Gulf and the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

The recent video marks the first sighting of a Magnapinna at an oil development, though experts don't think the squid's presence there has any special scientific significance.

But the video is evidence of how, as oil- and gas-industry ROVs dive deeper and stay down longer, they are yielding valuable footage of deep-sea animals.

Some marine biologists have even formed formal partnerships with oil companies, allowing scientists to share camera time on the corporate ROVs—though critics worry about possible conflicts of interest.

Real Deal

The Perdido squid may look like a science fiction movie monster, but it's no special effect, according to squid biologist Michael Vecchione of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is based at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

In 1998 Vecchoine and University of Hawaii biologist Richard Young became the first to document a Magnapinna, based on juveniles of the Magnapinna pacifica species. M. pacifica was so unusual that the scientists had to create a new classification category to accommodate it: the family Magnapinnidae, which currently boasts four species.

In 2001 the pair released the first scientific report based on adult Magnapinna specimens, as seen via video. The study demonstrated that Magnapinna are common worldwide in the permanently dark zone of the ocean below about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters).

(See "'Weird' New Squid Species Discovered in Deep Sea" [December 20, 2001].)

In 2006 a single damaged specimen from the North Atlantic led to the naming of a second Magnapinna species, M. talismani. And in 2007 the scientists documented two more: M. atlantica and a species based on a specimen from the mid-Atlantic.

That fourth Magnapinna species remains nameless, because its arms were too badly damaged for a full study. "However, it was clearly different from the three known species," Vecchione said.

The Magnapinna species apparently have only slight physical differences, mainly related to tentacle and arm structure in juveniles.

The subtlety of those variations makes it impossible to identify which species is in the oil-rig video, given that at least two Magnapinna species—M. atlantica and M. pacifica—are known to inhabit the Gulf of Mexico, Vecchione said.

Enduring Mystery

Based on analysis of videos not unlike the one captured at the Perdido site, scientists know that the adult Magnapinna observed to date range from 5 to 23 feet (1.5 to 7 meters) long, Vecchione said. By contrast, the largest known giant squid measured about 16 meters (52 feet) long.

And whereas giant squid and other cephalopods have eight short arms and two long tentacles, Magnapinna has ten indistinguishable appendages that all appear to be the same length.

"The most peculiar structure is that of the arms," said deep-sea biologist Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.

Referring to the way the tentacles hang down from elbow-like kinks, Robison said: "Judging from that structure, we think the animal feeds by dragging its arms and the ends of its tentacles along the seafloor as it drifts slowly above it."

The elbow-like angles allow the tentacles to spread out, perhaps preventing them from getting tangled.

"Imagine spreading the fingers of a hand and dragging the fingertips along the top of a table to grab bits of food," he added.

But NOAA's Vecchione suggests a feeding behavior that is more like trapping than hunting. He speculates that Magnapinna passively waits for prey to bump into the sticky appendages.

Strange Bedfellows?

As oil companies and their ROVs spend more time in the bathypelagic zone, more discoveries are sure to follow, experts say.

Eager for hard-to-come-by deep-sea video and data, some biologists are formally aligning themselves with the companies.

The U.K.-based SERPENT (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology) project, for example, matches oil companies with researchers "to make cutting-edge ROV technology and data more accessible to the world's science community," according to the project's Web site.

Despite such partnerships, Monterey Bay's Robison said, most sightings of the Magnapinna squid have come from research vessels, not oil companies. The November 2007 video, for the record, was captured without scientific involvement.

Some scientists, including Robison, are not entirely comfortable relying on corporations for new data.

Andrew Shepard, director of NOAA's Undersea Research Center, is excited about the potential for new ocean resources, but he does have concerns.

"Oil companies are there to develop hydrocarbons, not find new species," Shepard said.

"These discoveries may, in fact, have a negative impact on very expensive and valuable lease tracts if someone decides a rare species needs to be protected."

But given how expensive and time consuming ROV-based deep-sea research is, scientific cooperation with industry is crucial, SERPENT project oceanographer Mark Benfield said.

"There are relatively few research vessels and far fewer ROVs and manned submersibles capable of working down through [extremely deep regions of the ocean]," said Benfield, who teaches at Louisiana State University.

Research funds are getting scarcer, he added, and "with SERPENT we gain access to sophisticated ROVs for free.

"These systems are based on vessels or rigs that spend months to years at a single location. This allows us to build up a much more complete picture of life in the deep-sea than would be possible with [only] academic ships and deep-submergence vehicles."

NOAA's Vecchione said he has "gotten a lot of interesting observations from the SERPENT project and other petro sources."

But the oil-industry collaborations "should not get in the way of purely scientific exploration," Vecchione said. "We need to be careful about deep-sea conservation."

So awesome. I would like to welcome our Elbow Squid Warlords and plead with them to not eat me.

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