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Kobayashi Maru

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 21:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Astronomy, critical thinking, philosophy and pseudo-science are covered at Camp Quest.

One of the most popular exercises is the invisible unicorn challenge. The children are told there are two invisible unicorns who live at Camp Quest but that they cannot be seen, heard, felt or smelt, and do not leave a trace. A book about them has been handed down through the ages but it is too precious for anyone to see.

All counsellors – as the adults are called – are said to be staunch believers in these unicorns.

Any child who can successfully prove that the invisible unicorns do not exist is rewarded with a prize: a £10 note with a picture of Charles Darwin on it signed by Richard Dawkins, or a “godless” $100 bill, printed before 1957 when “In God We Trust” was added to paper currency in the US.

Since this challenge began in 1996, the prize has been unclaimed.

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  1. A better prize might go to the child that proves they DO exist…

  2. In the interests of being fair and balanced, a clergyman from any church that wants to participate should be allowed to come and preach the gospel.

    And forever thereafter, that clergyman’s sermons back at his church should be cut in half and half his time given to science teachers (or people from Camp Quest) to teach some science and critical thinking to the congregation.

    Let’s see how many churches sign up…

What the US government tells European parliamentarians about ACTA

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 19:03 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


I visited Washington in the European Parliament, the Liberal andCentre Group Presidency with the beginning of the week. We met with U.S. Congressional representatives and financial experts. One of the most talked subjects had anti-counterfeiting agreement, Acta.

We heard some unexpected information. U.S. Congress senator responsible for ACTA foreign trade committee chairman Ron Wyden, said he’d tried to find out if Acta is binding towards US or not. Congress has been kept outside of the process for forming the treaty, and the senator has received no response to his inquiries.

We also got to hear that the U.S. government does not intend to give Congress a vote on the agreement as it would collapse in Congress, which is a pretty worrying rationale. According to the U.S. law, Congress always deals with international agreements.

The U.S. government characterized in a reply to Wyden that ACTA is a bilateral trade agreements and as such has no effect on U.S. law. The big question remains as to whether the Acta at all binding on the United States.

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The Dutch

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 17:40 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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  1. Come on, the summer caravan is not too far off the mark 🙂

  2. the soccer fans is pretty accurate as well…

Council claims boy’s pirate flag in garden in Tattershall, Lincolnshire, breaches advertising rules

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 15:57 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


FLYING a skull and crossbones flag as part of their child’s pirate play has landed a Lincolnshire family in hot water with the district council.

The Tattershall couple have been instructed to take down the pirate flag from their garden because, the council says, it breaches advertising regulations.

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  1. What’s wrong with this council? Don’t they know that flying or even possessing the pirate flag should mean an automatic death sentence anywhere the British Empire rules?

  2. I suppose the council thought that it was an advertisement for The Pirate Bay? :rolleyes:

Banksy On Advertising

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 15:47 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself

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Your mom’s house

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 15:36 by John Sinteur in category: News


Talk about over-sharing. As part of a safe sex marketing campaign for National Condom Week — which exists, apparently — Planned Parenthood gave away 55,000 condoms with smartphone-ready QR codes to college students for online check-ins.

Hey Honey… up for a little geo-caching tonight?

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Canadian company hired diplomat’s spouse for Ghadhafi prison project

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 14:48 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


The husband of Canada’s ambassador to Libya was hired by SNC-Lavalin to work as part of the Montreal-based company’s joint project with the Gadhafi regime, CBC News has learned.

The initial project for the unit was a controversial $271-million prison in the North African country, known as the Gharyan Rehabilitation Institution or “Judicial City,” a SNC-Lavalin PowerPoint presentation from June 2010 shows, with hopes it would be followed by work on a highway, water and power plants, as well as a “military academy.”

Two senior executives have resigned, a representative has been arrested in Mexico for allegedly trying to help the colonel’s son to escape, and millions of dollars are missing (allegedly for bribes, enhanced by kickbacks). It is not clear if the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act applies to SNC-Lavalin.

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Peter Schiff’s Brother Says Living On $350,000 A Year Isn’t Enough

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 10:25 by John Sinteur in category: Boo hoo poor you


“I wouldn’t want to whine,” Schiff said.

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  1. Really what he says is that the life he thought he would have on an income that high isn’t what he thought it would be.

    I thought there were two notable bits in the article.

    First, the comment that a lot of these people don’t save for less wonderful times; they’re spending all their income to get what seems like a normal lifestyle to them: private schools, vacation rental, maybe a nanny. (It seems normal because that’s what everyone at their level does…) This is kind of a rerun of the whiny professor who blogged about having to fire the nanny if the Bush tax cuts were to expire.

    Perhaps the best bit:

    “Yes, terminal diseases are worse than getting the flu,” he said. “But you suffer when you get the flu.”

    If you interviewed me while I had the flu, I’d be a little whiny too all while recognizing it’s not so bad and it’s going to pass. I think that’s really all that’s in this article.

  2. If I had the flu and most of the rest of the world had terminal illnesses and I was whining about having the flu, then I’d be an obnoxious, self absorbed ass which is exactly what this guy is.

  3. This is the trickle down effect. The little guys in this financial centre are losing jobs and pay. Happening in London as well. Like workers where the company has moved to a lower cost jurisdiction they are going to have to do something else. I think we are seeing the financial world moving to Asia.

  4. So by the same standards people in the US shouldn’t ever whine anything like jobs disappearing or having to work 3 jobs to make ends meet or about trying to survive on umemployment insurance, cos there’s a billion people living on less than $1 a day and pretty much starving.

    The fact that you don’t have any empathy for this guy doesn’t make him an asshole.

  5. He’s an asshole.

Bully bullies Bully when bully threatens to bully bully.

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Bully is an unflinching new documentary about teenagers and bullying. Controversially the MPAA is giving it an R for “language”, preventing it’s subjects from seeing it, and refusing to change that rating. In response Harvey Weinstein is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA, 75,000 people signed an online petition urging the rating be overturned and now in retaliation the National Association of Theatre Owners is now threatening to give all Weinstein Company films an automatic NC-17 rating in future.

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Verisign seizes .com domain registered via foreign Registrar on behalf of US Authorities.

Posted on March 1st, 2012 at 8:48 by John Sinteur in category: News


That is a truly scary quote but we’ll emphasize that: “The indictment focuses on the movement of funds outside the U.S.” and that you can’t just “flout US law” by not being in the US. What also needs to be understood is that the domain bodog.com was registered to via a non-US Registrar, namely Vancouver’s domainclip.

This is exactly the scenario we were worried about when Verisign originally tabled their very troubling takedown proposal. Said proposal was quickly retracted, but here we have the same situation playing out anyway. Granted, this was an actual court order, to Verisign – not a “request” from a governmental or “quasi-governmental” agency as originally proposed.

But at the end of the day what has happened is that US law (in fact, Maryland state law) as been imposed on a .com domain operating outside the USA, which is the subtext we were very worried about when we commented on SOPA. Even though SOPA is currently in limbo, the reality that US law can now be asserted over all domains registered under .com, .net, org, .biz and maybe .info (Afilias is headquartered in Ireland by operates out of the US).

This is no longer a doom-and-gloom theory by some guy in a tin foil hat. It just happened.

The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of US federal and state lawmakers (not exactly known their cluefulness nor even-handedness, especially with regard to matters of the internet).

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