Daily Archives: April 7, 2009

Burglars: Want good stuff? Just go to Broughton, Enlgand.

Those people are steeped in bling. Check it out:

Fearing the appearance of their well appointed properties on the Web site would attract criminals scouting for burglary targets, villagers in Broughton, north of London, summoned the police after spotting the car.

The car being the Goolge Camera Car that puts the street level view on Google Maps.

“I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane,” resident Paul Jacobs told The Times of London.

“The lane.” That makes me laugh.

“My immediate reaction was anger: How dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.

A crime?

“This is an affluent area. We’ve already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”

Ah. The crime. The crime of having no dough.


Hat Tip: Bioephemera

CDC Study Finds Rocket Fuel Chemical in Baby Formula

Perchlorate, a hazardous chemical in rocket fuel, has been found at potentially dangerous levels in powdered infant formula, according to a study (pdf) by a group of Centers for Disease Control scientists. The study, published last month by The Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, has intensified the years-long debate about whether or how the federal government should regulate perchlorate in the nation’s drinking water.

Details here.

Putting Viruses to Work

For the first time, MIT researchers have shown they can genetically engineer viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.

The new virus-produced batteries have the same energy capacity and power performance as state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries being considered to power plug-in hybrid cars, and they could also be used to power a range of personal electronic devices, said Angela Belcher, the MIT materials scientist who led the research team.

The press release is here.

Franken Lead Increases in Minnesota Senate Race

According to news reports, the Minnesota Election Contest Judicial Panel finished their review of votes, counting just under 400 absentee ballots that were previous excluded. These votes were included as the result of Former Senator Norm Coleman’s legal challenge to the election. With Senator Al Franken’s lead over Former Senator Norm Coleman rising from 225 at the start of the process to 312 as of a few moments ago, it would appear that Coleman’s challenge has backfired.

The judicial panel still has a few more issues to rule on.

One of the issues os the ca 130 votes that were lost in a Minneapolis precinct. It was previously decided that the machine count, rather than the hand recount, stand in for this set of votes. Even if the votes were thrown out, it would only change the current count by a small amount.

Another outstanding issue is the assertion by the Coleman challenge that some votes were double counted. Again, if this ruling went in favor of Coleman, it would not change the total count too much.

It is estimated that if these two rulings both went Coleman’s way, he would gain fewer than 100 votes.

Coleman is planning to appeal the outcome of the 3 judge panel’s decision in the Minnesota Supreme Court. In that appeal he is expected to argue that many more absentee votes be counted. Even if that were to occur, it is not expected to change the outcome of the election, but it will delay the seating of Senator Franken in Washington. It is now widely accepted that the Coleman challenge and subsequent appeals are nothing more than a bald faced attempt to delay the seating of Democratic Senator Franken, as an overall Republican effort to block the Obama Agenda.

Sources: NPR, WCCO

The Right to Bear Arms Shall Not Be Relevant

One of the arguments in favor of unrestricted ownership of firearms in the united states is that the 2nd Ammendment guarantees gun ownership as an inalienable right for all Americans. It doesn’t of course. Depending on which version of the Contitution you look in, it says this:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

What it really means is what the courts have said, and that is largely a set of 20th century case law leading to the “rights to bear arms” concept. But what it REALLY REALLY means, with respect to having an armed populous, is this:

…Sure, political and bureaucratic takeover isn’t as sexy as a cold, sleek piece of metal that makes noise and holes, but it’s the reality. Eric Rudolph didn’t change anything for any length of time except his own address. Same with the mountain militias. Same with every idiot who ever shot a government agent performing their duties….

Which you will find in its fully expanded form here.
Worth the read, go there please.

Autism linked with stress hormone levels

Some of the symptoms of the autistic condition Asperger Syndrome, such as a need for routine and resistance to change, could be linked to levels of the stress hormone cortisol, suggests new research led by the universities of Bristol and Bath.

Normally, people have a surge of this hormone shortly after waking, with levels gradually decreasing throughout the day. It is thought this surge makes the brain alert, preparing the body for the day and helping the person to be aware of changes happening around them.

However, a study by Dr David Jessop from the University of Bristol and Drs Mark Brosnan and Julie Turner-Cobb from the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, has found that children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) do not experience this surge.

Press release