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Because God needs a new parking lot

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 23:06 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Members of the small congregation at Houston Unity Baptist Church said when they refused to give the pastor their tax refunds; he refused to give them their Communion.

Some members of the church spoke with FOX 26 anonymously.

"He said for all those who are getting a tax refund, ‘How many are you are going to give it to the church’?" James said.

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Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 21:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


What is a photocopier?

That seems like such a simple question.

But last year, a lawyer in a public-records case being heard by the Ohio Supreme Court had a hard time getting a $64,000-a-year Cuyahoga County worker to say whether the county recorder’s office had a photocopier.

The effort consumes nearly 10 pages of a court transcript.

Okay.. let me try this:

Marburger: Mr. Patterson, during your tenure in the computer department at the Recorder’s office, has the Recorder’s office had photocopying machines?
Cavanagh: You don’t have to answer that question!
Patterson: I’ll answer the question!
Patterson [to Marburger]: You want answers?
Marburger: I think I’m entitled.

Patterson: You want answers?
Marburger: I want the truth!
Patterson: You can’t handle the truth!
Patterson: Son, we live in a world that has documents, and those documents have to be reproduced by men with Xerox machines. Who’s gonna do it? You? You? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Cuyahoga County, and you curse the county recorder’s office. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That bad record-keeping, while tragic, probably saved money. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves money. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that Xerox, you need me on that Xerox. We use words like photostatic, xerographic, scanning. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent making copies. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very document retention policies that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a ream of Xerox Business Multipurpose 4200 Plain paper, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Marburger: Does your office have a photocopier?

Patterson: I did the job I…
Marburger: Does your office have a photocopier?
Patterson: You’re goddamn right it does!

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  1. As an ex-accountant with 10 years experience of office life, this sounds like one of those pedantic, paranoid, hidebound jobsworths that I encountered from time-to-time. There’s no teaching them, all you can do is avoid them or at least ignore them.

    My sympathies to the somewhat bewildered-sounding Mr. Marburger…

  2. well found!

Ann Coulter tells O’Reilly: Radiation is ‘good for you’ 

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 21:32 by Paul Jay in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

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  1. She says batshit insane things to get exposure, and voila, here you are helping her get air time.

  2. I have an idea…

    Let’s all penny-in together to fund her a healthy trip to Fukushima Dai-ichi! 🙂

  3. Of course she also believes (and states in this video) that the government has >>>minimum<<< radiation standards.

  4. She’s a cow, that Sharon-Louise.
    And no-one with half a brain can resist rising to the bait. Least of all me…lol.

House votes to cut NPR funding

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 21:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


"The object of this bill is to get NPR out of the taxpayer’s pocket," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. "It is time for us to be good stewards and save the money of the American taxpayer."

$0.00009 trillion saved, $14 trillion to go. Well done!

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  1. Wow, that’s sad… I just became a serious fan of This American Life – which I access through their app. Hopefully some such solution can prevent radio greatness from collapsing.

  2. [Quote]:

    Five minutes after acting on this budgetary emergency, House Republicans voted to continue the war in Afghanistan — which costs about $10 billion. Per month. They then flew home for a vacation.

  3. Well, I just sent some more money to my local U.S. public broadcaster (NCPR), to help them to pay their dues to NPR. As a Canadian, it’s the only thing I can do. You ‘mericans can lobby your legislators _and_ send more money.

A boy’s own guide to building a giant creepy eyeball that follows you round the room

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 20:33 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


There was a lot of excitement in the Technology Studio this week when a nice man with a van dropped off three large flight cases containing something rather special: a spherical display system called a Puffersphere. Pufferfish, the company which invented them, has been kind enough to lend us one for a week.


For the next step, the Kinect

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  1. That is farking creepy! Coming soon to a mall near you, I’m sure.


Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 19:52 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Pastor jailed for trafficking African child ‘slaves’

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 19:49 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


A church pastor has been jailed for 11 and a half years after being found guilty of trafficking children into the UK for use as domestic "slaves" at her home in Barking, east London.

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CNN Sending Eight Times More Staff to Royal Wedding Than to Japan

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 18:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


This crazy statistic comes from the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Chozick and Cecile Rohwedder, who discovered, as proof of the media madness that will be Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, "CNN alone will have a team of roughly 400 reporters, cameramen and crew assigned to the wedding." To compare: A group of just 50 CNN employees, one-eighth the size of the anticipated wedding fleet, are currently on the ground in Japan covering the aftermath of the earthquake and the continuing nuclear containment problem.

No wonder I prefer Al Jazeera…

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  1. It perfectly correlates to how many people will be following either event. And, shockingly, I cannot say I blame them anymore.

  2. While I’m not overly sympathetic here, it should be noted that one will be a drawn-out, tedious experience with a lot of standing around in a very crowded place where none of the natives can be understood by you and some of the places are areas you really wouldn’t want to go to…

    and the other place is in Japan.

Pope’s visit debt: now overdue

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 18:22 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


According to a Government response to a parliamentary question from NSS honorary associate Baroness Turner of Camden, the Catholic Church has not yet paid the £6.3 million it owes the British taxpayer for debts incurred during the visit of the pope last September.

The Church had promised to pay the money back by 1 March, but responding to Baroness Turner, the Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Lord Howell of Guildford, said his office sent the invoice to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales on 25 February 2011. “We expect to receive the funds in due course,” he said. The NSS is monitoring the situation and will ask for a subsequent question to be tabled if the money is not paid in good time.

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  1. Well, they could put a lien on the church’s properties… then foreclose! Works for me!

Haley donor replaces Darla Moore on USC Board of Trustees

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: News


Governor Nikki Haley has removed philanthropic businesswoman Darla Moore from the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees, and replaced her with a donor to Haley’s gubernatorial campaign.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said Moore’s removal happened on March 10, but was not made public until Tuesday. "As is the case with many of our appointees, the governor looked for a fresh set of eyes to put in a critical leadership position –- a governor’s appointee to the USC board," said Godfrey.

That "fresh set of eyes" is Lexington attorney Thomas Cofield, a Columbia native and USC graduate who Haley appointed to Moore’s former seat. State ethics reports show Cofield gave $4,500 to Haley’s gubernatorial campaign.

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U.N. Security Council approves no-fly zone over Libya

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 9:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


The U.N. Security Council Thursday gave the go-ahead to Britain and France – backed by the U.S. and at least two Arab nations – to launch airstrikes to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians in rebel-held areas from forces loyal to dictator Moammar Gadhafi.


The resolution’s key provision also authorized countries enforcing the zone “to take all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack . . . including Benghazi,” but it ruled out a foreign occupation force “of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”

it basically means “you have the right to aerially bombard the shit out of every military target you can find”.

This is not a war to save people. If we cared about that we would be intervening in Cote D’Ivoire, where there has been horrible violence on the same level as that in Libya. The problem here is that Tripoli is 226 miles away from the EU.

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  1. John, notwithstanding the hypocrisy of this, (and you might as well add Zimbabwe, Bahrain, etc. to the list that includes Cote D’Ivoire), it does not mitigate the fact the action is needed here (also). Maybe the fact that this time there was no unilateral cowboy action as seen so many times before, it will serve as a model for resolving other venues of injustice. Although I must add that as to likelihood of such action in other venues, well, I remain cynical.

  2. Save the oil! uh People..


Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 9:05 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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  1. I knew that the quake moved the whole island of Japan, but I never picked up on the “FOX” news that it has also flipped the Earth’s Magnetic Poles! Or did it only rotate Japan by 180 deg.? (See the sherffius21-23 cartoon)

  2. Nik,

    you’ve heard of a place called California, right?

  3. Hey, if I live in Sendai now, why is good Japanese food so expensive?

The New York Times Paywall Is … Weird

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 8:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


The paywall is certainly being set high enough that a lot of regular readers will not subscribe. These are readers who would normally link to the NYT from their blogs, who would tweet NYT articles, who would post those articles on Facebook, and so on. As a result, not only will traffic from these readers decline, but so will all their referral traffic, too. The NYT makes more than $300 million a year in digital ad revenue, so even a modest decline in pageviews, relative to what the site could have generated sans paywall, can mean many millions of dollars foregone. On top of that, the paywall itself cost somewhere over $40 million to develop.


Wait, wait, wait. Times spent $40 million to implement this paywall? Are the developers’ keyboards gold plated with diamond encrusted function keys? I mean the specs are as follows:

– 20 views a month unless they come from Twitter/Facebook
– If they subsribe, let them in.

Okay, so you have some routing rules in what constitutes an article, and granted there can be some complex logic in what I’m sure is a very complex distribution system. Still, I can’t imagine it taking more than 20 competent, senior developers a years work to get this going. This isn’t 1965 anymore, we have high level languages.

Eh, I’ve seen enough of these implementations to know better:

– $15mil McKinsey Consulting for coming up with ways to “monetize new media, cross-platform technologies” (read: a hundred PowerPoints where the solution is charge more than the fucking pay subscribers, yes more than it costs to have someone deliver a physical product to your house every Sunday).

– $5mil to lawyers at some firm that I’m sure someone at AboveTheLaw is both snarking at and secretly resenting they never got an offer to.

– $15mil for data center expansions, and I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Cisco/HP/Oracle sold them on some sort of new “modular” or “pod” data center that, if you squint, manages to save money.

Hey we’re at $35mil. So yeah, $5mil for this sounds about right.

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  1. Reminds me of the german government labor offices, who had the plan to employ a huge internet search service for open job positions nationwide.

    The project failed miserably. At the end, it cost several 100 million euros in taxpayer money. All for a system which was extremely slow, crashed regularly, the user interface was cumbersome, and it assigned job positions which didn’t match qualifications at all.

    Who was responsible for this textbook example of a failed software project? Accenture (the former Arthur Andersen consulting, who were involved in the Enron scandal, btw)

    And nobody should be wondering that Accenture got the contract under very dubious circumstances …

Japan: Hopes fade for finding more survivors – The Big Picture

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 8:43 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


As officials desperately tried to prevent disaster at a damaged nuclear facility, hopes faded for finding survivors amid the rubble as snow and cold blanketed the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan. Residents were allowed back into damaged areas for the first time since the disaster to inspect what might be left of their homes. And flights out of Japan were full as foreign nationals and others left the country. The Big Picture continues special daily coverage of the disaster through tomorrow, with later updates anticipated as events merit. — Lane Turner (27 photos total)

A couple cross a large intersection in front of blacked out light displays in Tokyo’s Ginza district March 17. In the famous shopping mecca – and elsewhere in the nation’s capital – public apprehension over a brewing nuclear disaster is draining the streets and stores of the crowds that normally define this dynamic, densely packed city. (Gregory Bull/AP) #

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RSA Breached: SecureID Affected

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 7:43 by John Sinteur in category: Security


You will see this all over the headlines during the next days, weeks, and maybe even months. RSA, the security division of EMC, announced they were breached and suffered data loss.

Before the hype gets out of hand, here’s what we know, what we don’t, what you need to do, and some questions we hope are answered:

What we know

According to the announcement, RSA was breached in an APT attack (we don’t know if they mean China, but that’s well within the realm of possibility) and material related to the SecureID product was stolen.

The exact risk to customers isn’t clear, but there does appear to be some risk that the assurance of your two factor authentication has been reduced.

I wondered why my fob has been 8008135 all day.

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Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Posted on March 18th, 2011 at 7:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


The story of the quake- and tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant continues to unfold, with reports suggesting that the situation with respect to the three damaged reactors at the plant may soon be stabilised without serious consequences. The focus of attention has now moved to problems at a pool used to keep spent fuel rods cool. There remain no indications that anyone has yet suffered any radiation health effects, and the prospect is growing that this will remain the case.

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