Net News

Jan. 25th, 2009 03:38 pm
valkyrieza: (NCIS - Ducky serious)
This is an old report from the "Onion" about McDonalds, referenced by someone on Digg It is about 12 years old by now, but still funny as it laughs at the idea of obsessive cult fan and the lack of usefulness of some of the aspects of modern consumerist culture.

There is also an old issue of some expensive NCDs (negotiable certificates of deposits) using teleportation. It starts of with a mysterious disappearance of approximately 8 million South African Rand en-route from the headquarters of one bank to another in Johannesburg. The distance between the two banks? About 10 minutes walking at a leisurely pace. These same NCDs were put to the branch in the Western Cape Province to be cashed out on the same day they went AWOL in Johannesburg, bear in mind we are talking more then 1000km difference between the physical places and back in 2000, when this started not very frequent air trips between the Johannesburg and Cape Town. Of course, everyone has signed off to the fact that they were in Johannesburg and the businessman who has asked for the NCDs to be redeemed has proof of purchase for the these papers. Add to that a grisly death, a persistent heir still trying to redeem the money, a bypass of the Reserve Bank's exchange rules regulations and numerous court dates. I reckon the people who specialise in being Private Investigators in financial matters will have a ball. Who needs a smoky office and people shooting at you?

I did not know that this year is an International Astronomy Year 2009 for South Africa. It seems there is also a solar eclipse on the cards this coming Monday. My neighbour bought a telescope so this will be an opportunity to view a solar eclipse with proper equipment.

There is also the tragic news of the murders of infants and one of the minders in the small town near Brussels in Belgium. I had spent about two, not the nicest months in Belgium and despite my feelings towards certain people there, it is a law-abiding place where such violence, especially towards infants (youngest was 6 months old) is doubly unexpected.

CNN.com offers the first page story about 25 years of Macs. I wonder how much Steve Jobs paid for that little promotion? It took a little scrolling to see this article. It is about reversing the policy that "prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counselling or referrals about abortion services." [CNN.com, "Obama reverses abortion-funding policy", accessed 25.01.09]. This policy has been implemented each time an uneducated, pardon the expression 'hick' like presidents Reagan and Bush reverse it. I applaud the common sense shown by the Obama administration, this is one of those issues that should not be politicised. I believe most women, myself included do not appreciate a mainly male body of politicians deciding about their bodies.

BBC offers a cheerful combination of reporting about violence in the world and more impacts of the global financial crisis. it is interspersed with a cheerful article about a pilot who had managed to land his plane on water after both its engines were crippled by birds . I have done some quick Googling, it is exceptionally difficult and has only been a few times before, where like in this case, everyone had survived.

Also, for[livejournal.com profile] lyonza , an academic article about how MUDs were started. It is a bit old, but still interesting to know how.

Back to studying, thank goodness, it is an open-book exam.
valkyrieza: (@theoffice)
Striking US screenwriters are threatening to picket the Oscars ceremony. If they do, one thing's for sure - they'll be walking in orderly circles. Why do they do that?

The enduring image of a British picket line is one of men in donkey jackets huddled around a fire on a rusty brazier.

But pictures from the writers' strike in the US show a very different practice - the picketers are on the move, often walking round in circles while holding their placards.

 



Published: 2008/01/15 11:03:22 GMT

BBC always has the coolest stories:)

© BBC MMVIII
valkyrieza: (music solo jazz)
Scientists in hybrid embryos plea
By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

Leading scientists have urged peers not to block the use of human-animal hybrid embryos for research.

Amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would restrict the use of such embryos, which contain a small amount of animal DNA.

But the scientists say they are vital to the development of new treatments.

The appeal comes from the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Contentious proposals

The government's bill attempts to update the current rules on the use of embryos for research in light of recent scientific advances.

One of the most contentious proposals is to enable researchers to create animal-human hybrids for research purposes - a move that some in the House of Lords are keen to overturn.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/7187168.stm

Published: 2008/01/15 00:01:20 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

I think the concept of human-animal embryos is making me extremely uncomfortable. I keep thinking of  the High Evolutionary villain from Marvel Comics.
valkyrieza: (armchair review)
I have been playing around on tv.com and came across the pages of all the network TV pilots that will be subjected for network executives' scrutiny and the judgment of the numerous focus groups. Is it just me or do the plots seem repetitive to you?  Especially ABC and CBS?

Here are some of the 'bright ideas':

John and Jane Smith's marriage is not going well. The spark is gone from their marriage and their professional life is taking up most of their time. The only thing that may help their marriage is some action, but their life together is not containing a lot of it. Except, once they are out of the house, both have their own special job -- they are assassins.
 Hello, the movie story only held thanks to the chemistry between the two movie stars. Most people were banking on Angelina in this movie anyway. 'Lara Croft and husband' as an alternative title?

American Family follows a modern family who keep up the appearance that they have it all together, but behind closed doors their life is chaotic and full of challenges.
And that has never been done before?

This pirate-themed reality series puts contestants through a series of land- and sea-based challenges.
Yes Mark, the Survivor is no longer doing it for us.

A lawyer, Annie (Alyssa Milano of Charmed), and her infant son move from Boston to her hometown of Savannah, GA, where she must deal with her eccentric family while adjusting to her new job at her father's law firm.
They are hoping the 'Charmed' fans will gobble this one right up.


Zachary Levi (
Less Than Perfect) plays Chuck, a nerdy computer tech who has a database of government secrets downloaded into his brain. Chuck soon finds himself recruited by John Casey (Adam Baldwin of Day Break), a veteran NSA Agent, for espionage work with his new partner Sarah (Yvonne Strzechowski) -- leading Chuck to live a split life of computer geek and secret NSA missions.
Yes, because the NSA and CIA can never get anything done without the help of those accidental 'geniuses' - Jake 2.0 and Alias were canceled and now someone actually decided that the concept had potential. I am breathlessly waiting for the 'Spy kids' TV series.

A 35-year-old man is a newcomer to the world of dating when his marriage crumbles after more than 10 happy years.
Eh, does he not have two daughters by any chance ,going by the names of Mary-Kate and Ashley?

Stana Katic stars as Baker, an NSA agent who recruits Paul Fisher (Stephen Moyer), a normal family man as a spy against his will. Baker is described as a sexy, smart and tough woman in her mid-thirties.
NSA must really be desperate.

A New York City homicide detective is cursed with immortality.
The ABC channel has something similar about an immortal vampire turned detective. *Cough*...Angel ripoff....*Cough*

There is a vote button next to each plot and if like me, you like polls, most of those 'ideas' are vetoed by the Internet community. Of course, I forgot to mention the numerous chick flicks plots, mothers constantly struggling with careers and families(somehow everyone else in the world is coping okay with the idea) and some really bad ripofs of the BBC shows among many others.

Out of the numerous bad ideas, Fox and CW had some promising pilots with ABC and NBC scoring highly on the reject scale.

There were a few interesting ideas like:


The Terminator franchise arrives on TV to give us insight into the lives of Sarah and John Connor, as they hide from Skynet and its army of Terminators.
I am just fascinated to find out really what really happened, blame it on Arnie everyone.

Pushing Daisies
This romantic drama shows us the strange world of a man, Ned, who can bring dead people back to life through the power of his touch. The people he touches, however, can only stay alive for one minute, and if they don't die again, someone else nearby will die. Ned decides to use his ability to solve crime. He and a local investigator, Emerson, bring murder victims back to life and find out who killed them, to cash in on case-solving rewards. But, when Ned brings an old crush back to life, and decides to let her live, things start to get complicated...
Definitely has potential.

A twenty-something slacker finally scores a job as the devil's bounty hunter.
Yes, I know it's a 'Mort' rip, but it is still interesting.

The documentary looks very promising, but with those things one can never tell, especially considering Sci-Fi's past decisions.

“Destination Truth”, hosted by Josh Gates, takes viewers across the globe in search of answers. Every week Josh visits a different locale where he will interview witnesses in an attempt to get to the truth regarding some of the world’s most notorious supernatural mysteries, like the Chupacabra of Chile and the Mongolian Fire Worm.

A series of mystery books by James Patterson was the inspiration for this new series, which tells the story of four women who work together to solve some of the most confounding murder cases out there. Their jobs as a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter, and an assistant district attorney give them a formidable range of skills, and their strong friendship provides basis for the teamwork that's necessary to crack each case.
I am a fan of the books and I like female cop shows, well, mostly. I think that the concept is not as repeated as some others ones.

I am also quite tickled about the 'Life on Mars', the American version of a BBC show that had a detective in our time suddenly wake up in the 1970's - still, worth a peek since the British version was excellent.


There are a few others, some supernatural and some comedies as well as one or two dramas, but I think it is most likely that those that sound the most inane will probably be approved by the focus groups. After all, if we could have 9 seasons of 'Walker, Texas Ranger' then a show with a title 'Cashmere Mafia' has a chance.

Here are the links to the TV pilots pages:
ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, Other.

All plot information taken from the tv.com website.

Got milk?

Feb. 27th, 2007 03:31 pm
valkyrieza: (malcolm)
Early man 'couldn't stomach milk'
A drink of milk was off the menu for Europeans until only a few thousand years ago, say researchers from London.

Analysis of Neolithic remains, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests no European adults could digest the drink at that time.

University College London scientists say that the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action.

 

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/health/6397001.stm
© BBC MMVII

Even after all that, I am not a fan of milk

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