res ipsa loquitur

Study suggests there could over 1,000 fingerprint identification errors a year in the U.S.

Are there a large number of criminal convictions based on junk science? LiveScience briefly reports on a study by UC Irvine criminologist Simon Cole, who estimates that there may be as many as 1,900 mistaken fingerprint matches a year in the U.S.

Hunter S. Thompon's last dispatch

Reuters reports on an apparent suicide note from Hunter S. Thompson. Perhaps the last thing he wrote:

The brief message, scrawled in black marker and titled "Football Season Is Over" (an apparent reference to the end of the NFL season he avidly followed as fan), reads as follows:

"No More Games. No More bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun -- for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax -- This won't hurt."

My new short-term hero: guy who yelled "Go Fuck Yourself, Mr. Cheney!"

Originally saw this on the Daily Show. Seems VP Dick Cheney was touring the second Gulf region he and George have helped to destroy, and while the cameras were on him, one of the locals summed up the resident's feelings for him with the same invitation Cheney delivered to Patrick Leahy a while back: "Go fuck yourself, Mr Cheney!"

I want to buy that man a beer.

Google: web says Bush == failure

Nothing quite like Google for reading the thoughts of the world as expressed on the web. Try a Google search on the word "failure" and what's the first entry? The official White House web site's biography of the George W. Bush.

That would be a lot funnier if it wasn't for the thousands of people left dead, maimed, or destitute because of Bush's criminal and incompetent behavior. But hey - a Google search for "impeachment" brings up www.VoteToImpeach.org, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark's organization devoted to giving W the treatment he has so richly earned.

You know, it occurs to me that in a few months, after all the Katrina refugees have at least been fed, families reunited, and have roofs over their heads again, the impeachment of George W. Bush would make a great Christmas gift to them.

Barbara Bush's boundless compassion

Well, we can see where George W. gets it from. The Nation reports:

Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees -- cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases -- former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out.

"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program...

I am not a robot

Pity Jason Striegel. He got his AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) account added to a list of sex chat bots...and can't convince IM'ers that he's really human. Read "How I Failed the Turing Test".

The Turing Test, for those not familiar with it, is a test of artificial intelligence proposed by Alan Turing, in which a computer program tries to act like a human in conversation. Turing envisioned using teletypes to hide the machine, but the 'net does the job even better.

Are faeries playing with my car keys?

For some time I've harbored a sneaking suspicion that, on occasion, some of my possessions will go off and have adventures without me.

I first began to consider this possibility at festivals like FSG and Starwood, when lost items would suddenly re-appear in places I was sure had already been searched.

Ok, fine. Between the consciousness-altering effects of staying up all night at the bonfire, and the generally magickal atmosphere at these events, perhaps one should be willing to let one's perception of reality warp a bit around the edges without complaint.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster theory of "Intelligent Design"

From www.venganza.org:

OPEN LETTER TO KANSAS SCHOOL BOARD

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Reuters: South Africa anti-rape condom aims to stop attacks

KLEINMOND, South Africa (Reuters) - A South African inventor unveiled a new anti-rape female condom on Wednesday that hooks onto an attacker's penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex", a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.

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