Wednesday, February 23, 2005
- Amanda at Mouse Words takes a thoughtful look at the Supreme Court's refusal to re-hear Roe v. Wade based on the orginal Jane Roe - Norma McCorvey's - change-of-heart.
- Methyl anthranilate, the chemical that gives grape bubblegum and shampoo (grape shampoo?) its purple flavor is being used to repel starlings (and reduce their unsightly guano depredations) near the Indiana statehouse. A methyl anthranilate fog, generated by portable sprayers, will apparently offend the offending avians. I wonder if I could get some of that stuff to spray at my apartment building, which has a similar ever-growing white crust of pigeon poo under the eaves. And, like Hugh, I'm "holding out for a root beer-flavored mist that offends cell phone users." [via Three Bed, Two Bath]
- Slate links to NPR's audio news story on the upcoming Supreme Court decision (Kelo v. New London) on eminent domain - the pretext under which the government can force you to sell your property (in return for "just compensation") for a more important - generally understood to mean "publicly beneficial" - use. Frighteningly, many cases in which eminent domain is being invoked involve private citizens being forced out of their homes to allow private commercial interests to use the land; a perversion of the original Constitutional intention in many people eyes (including mine). For more background, check out Tim Sandefur at Freespace; he's been writing a series of excellent posts (with good links) on the case.
- A survey of British parents shows they'd like cartoon-free cereals for the kiddies:
Among the culprits named by the report was Nestlé's Golden Nuggets carrying a picture of Disney's Incredibles, which contains an extremely high amount of sugar. [via BoingBoing]Remember Sugar Bear, the shill for Super Sugar Crisp [a.k.a Post Super Sugar Crisp, a.k.a. Post Golden Crisp, a.k.a Super Crisp, a.k.a Honey Crisp, and Super Orange Crisp]? As I recall, it was damned sugary, but the 'crisp' part left something to be desired, especially if you forgot to close the inner bag tightly in summertime. It was like a cardboard box filled with gooey clumps of Rice Krispies™ treats. Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide is a wonderfully exhaustive resource for even obscure sugar bomb shills - like the Sugar Crisp Snake, who certainly wouldn't go over well in the Bible Belt. "Want an apple with that?"
- Village Voice: Is Laura Bush morphing into The Joker?
- This guy may take the prize as the dumbest crook ever:
Instead of the typical talk of naughty love affairs or childish road rage, a man who called himself "D" volunteered [in a phone call to the popular "Drex Morning Show" confessions call-in on Chicago's WKSC-FM (103.5)] that he and five others robbed a TCF Bank inside a Jewel-Osco last April. "D" gave specific details of a crime that went unsolved for five months, including that an employee had been in on it, that they tied up the bank workers, that those involved took money from the vault but avoided the dye packs and that they got off with $81,000.What a maroon. [Chicago Sun-Times, via MetaFilter]
He even bragged about heading to Michigan Avenue days later to buy himself a Louis Vuitton wallet in cash. "So...we set everything up. We planned it out. Turned my house into a ... bank actually and acted it out for like weeks," the caller said, adding he and others were "buyin' Louis Vuitton this, Blass that, everything man."
A TCF worker driving into work in the morning heard the tale on DJ Drex's morning program and recognized it as a holdup at her bank in April 2004, according to a criminal complaint made public this week...It didn't take long for the FBI to trace the call back to a cell phone belonging to Randy Washington, 24, of Dolton.
- The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time [via Slashdot]