Error message from Hotmail:
Please note the steps to remedy the situation:
- In your browser, click Refresh.
As it’s an HTML error page, refreshing the error page will simply redisplay the error page.
- In your browser, click Back, and try again.
The application redirected me immediately to this page when I tried to reach Hotmail.com; ergo, clicking back would take me back to the unrelated previous Web site I would have visited. In this case, since I went directly to Hotmail when I opened the browser, the Back button was not enabled at all.
- Wait a few minutes and try again.
I guess that’s the only choice, really, and since it’s the only choice, it should be the only hint.
Microsoft: It’s some language for placebo.
Schools look for ways to dispose of radioactive materials:
School labs have used low-level radioactive materials safely for decades; experts say they’re critical in teaching physics and chemistry. Sealed samples — often leftovers from past experiments — frequently are saved in closets and storerooms.
But as teachers retire and containers get shoved aside to make way for new samples, it’s easy for schools to lose track of what they’ve got, or to store them incorrectly, said Dr. Sandra West, an associate biology professor at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.
No doubt this story has put our high schools at risk, once Al-Qaeda gets finished ransacking antiques stores for lumeniscient clock faces, dumps for old smoke detectors, and garage sales for twenty year old microwave ovens.
Google hit of the day:
From the U.S. Department of Justice, no less.
Finally, the feds are wising up to the emu threat.
State Senate passes $7.50 hourly rate:
Amid warnings that it could cost jobs in border areas such as the Metro East, the Illinois Senate on Wednesday approved a $1 minimum wage increase that would keep the state’s pay scale above Missouri’s and ahead of a proposed federal increase.
Rate freeze plan clears committee:
A proposal meant to spare consumers from double-digit electricity rate hikes next year easily cleared an Illinois House committee Tuesday, but its prospects of becoming law are uncertain.
Now that the Illinois state government has helped raise costs and hold prices down, making businesses’ decisions easy by removing them, the only question the legislators are leaving to its entrepreneur class is: To what state should I move?
Remember, if your employer offers free coffee, you should drink as much as possible. Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table.
Stem cell injections fight muscular dystrophy in dogs:
Stem cell injections worked remarkably well at easing symptoms of muscular dystrophy in a group of golden retrievers, a result that experts call a significant step toward treating people.
Fortunately, with the passage of Amendment 2 in Missouri, our canines will have access to these treatments and our biotech companies will have access to the sweet, sweet taxpayer cash to solve dogs’ problems.
The study was published online Wednesday by the journal Nature. It used stem cells taken from the affected dogs or other dogs, rather than from embryos. For human use, the idea of using such “adult” stem cells from humans would avoid the controversial method of destroying human embryos to obtain stem cells.
So another lifesaving cure for an animal that doesn’t require embryonic stem cells? Good thing we spent so much time and government effort in embryonic stem cell research!
Sportswriters around the country have discovered their disdain for having to prepay merely for the right to pay for something.
Oh, wait, it’s not PSLs; it’s paying for the privilege of negotiating with a player:
The Boston Red Sox can afford to and made the choice to pay $51 million just for the right to negotiate with a Japanese ballplayer. Sickening.
When the sports teams do it to loyal fans, it’s a creative revenue strategy. When agents do it to sports teams, it’s sickening.
I do see the subtle differences that make the moral equation opposite.
Maybe I am reading too much into unrelated events, but these two things could indicate the beginning of an escalating arms race and tensions between two non-governmental entities.
1: Dam plans jeopardize Amazon, experts say.
2: Private Texas spaceport launches test rocket:
A remote West Texas spaceport being built and bankrolled by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos launched a test rocket Monday for the first time.
So you have a dam threatening Amazon, and Amazon’s founder bankrolling a rocket program. Only a fool would miss the obvious.
Tobacco tax defeat smacks hospitals:
Missouri’s hospitals weren’t running for office last week, but they ended up among the losers.
Voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have increased cigarette taxes by 80 cents a pack.
Most of the money raised — about $289 million of the forecast $350 million — would have gone to Missouri’s hospitals to help pay for the care of the state’s lowest-income patients.
The Missouri Hospital Association, the major supporter of the failed amendment, says it’s not giving up.
That’s the spirit, Missouri Hospital Association, you continue finding ways to have the taxpayers chip in to bolster your and your members’ bottom lines. Don’t give up.
Oh, I know, you’re saying, “There goes MfBJN, attacking the poor again,” but note, fellows, that any wide-ranging industry serves the poor. Just because it’s health care doesn’t mean it’s exempt from my free market-loving scorn.
I mean, how many poor people could be served with the money spent in the Missouri Hospital Association’s budget? Plenty, I would guess, but no doubt that capital is doing more good paying salaries and expenses for lobbyists who are self-selected to do the work for the poor.
As the price of scrap metal has risen, bad men have begun stealing or destroying working and expensive equipment to get at the copper or aluminum within. The City of St. Louis will do something to help deter the thieves. No, not rigorous enforcement of existing laws nor increased patrols and police presence on the street. Perish the thought.
The city will introduce new regulations that deputize (and burden) private industry and inconvenience law-abiding citizens:
Alderman Lyda Krewson has an idea of what to do. She’s proposing a law requiring scrap buyers to pay only by check and to photograph, fingerprint and even take the license plate number of every seller.
Police say the paper trail would help stop the scourge of thefts from businesses and homes that has risen with the price of recycled metals.
Because it’s easier to catch businesses in breaking the law because they don’t run as fast nor do they shoot back at law enforcement.
Red tape: It’s like duct tape for the government.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles a veteran for Veterans’ Day. Lest we think the paper might lavish some attention on an American veteran or, hell, even an ally who fought with the Americans in some war or another, don’t worry: the Post-Dispatch sepia-tones an opposing soldier from World War I:
On this Veterans Day, consider that rarest of veterans, Walter Heiman of University City.
First, he’s 105 years old and a World War I veteran.
Second, in WWI, he wore the field-gray uniform of the German army.
Funny, I don’t think the paper would have profiled a Confederate soldier or a Nazi soldier with the same affection, but World War I is just forgotten enough that the paper hopes we can help celebrate all sides and all veterans the same. Or maybe it hopes we can celebrate our opponents and keep them close to our hearts at all times.
Now I remember where I got these books; I bought them at Patten Books for a couple dollars each after I discovered how well they sold on eBay. Unfortunately, I would also later discover that the books available in bookstores tended toward the later, less salable editions. In a final stroke of ill luck, I started reading the ones I couldn’t sell and found they were okay. So now I go into bookstores looking to buy them and might, someday, float ludicrous sums of money to buy back the very books I once bought for fifty cents and sold at great profit.
But I digress. This, the fifth book in the series, finds Tarl Cabot disguised as an assassin hunting someone who wanted to kill him in his rebuilding home city of Ko-Ro-Ba. He travels to Ar and enters the employ of a slaver to find out what he can about his adversaries. In the course of having his vengeance, he aids a plot to overthrow the leaders of that city.
Again, the main character is strong, assertive, and still a pawn of things he only half-understands. The book continues some of the serial story alluding to a bigger payoff and bigger plots to come in the series.
I remembered where I got these books because I returned to Patten Books to fill in the gaps in my set. I picked up 1, 2, 6, 7, and 10, which means I now only lack 9 of the first 10. Although Patten had a number of the later books, I held off on spending the sums to which I alluded (over $20 for at least one of the paperbacks) until I get a better sense of whether I’ll enjoy the books that late in the series. The earlier books remained in print for a long time, making them cheap and plentiful, whereas the later books are expensive because they had fewer printings. Whether this is due to quality drop-off or the backlash against the books that arose in the 1980s, I’m unsure, but I’m certainly not spending good liquor money on those books yet.
But all signs indicate that I’ll buy 11 sometime in the next year or so.
Books mentioned in this review:
I bought this book this year at the Carondolet Y Book Fair, I think. It’s back when I thought I might write for Damn Interesting, so I purposefully sought out compendia like this that would give me inspiration for stories I could write. I never got the gig, but I do have a number of interesting books to read.
It’s only after I cracked this book open that the brevity coupled with the large print size indicated that this might be a juvenile book. That’s okay, though, as I am often juvenile.
The book contains a number of short chapters on famous spies through history, including Mata Hari, Nathaniel Hale, Gary Powers, and Rudolf Abel. Aside from these well-known figures, the book also covers Major William Martin (see, it is Damn Interesting sort of material); Velvalee Dickinson, spy for Japan in World War II; Peter Ortiz, Marine reserve and leader of the French resistance in WWII; and others. The brief chapters and simple language make it a very quick read and serves as trivia fodder or a source for further investigation.
So it was worth my time, even if I’m three times the age of its target audience. Plus, it’s the 76th book I read this year. So there.
Books mentioned in this review:
Hey, it’s opening weekend for Harsh Times, a movie about a violent ex-Army Ranger shooting the hell out of Los Angeles because he likes killing.
Thank you for your disservice, Hollywood.
Well, why aren’t the climate experts making that claim? Because the bad storms are happening on Saturn:
NASA says its Cassini spacecraft has found a hurricane-like storm at Saturn’s South Pole, nearly 5,000 miles across — or two-thirds Earth’s diameter.
“It looks like a hurricane, but it doesn’t behave like a hurricane,” said Andrew Ingersoll, a member of Cassini’s imaging team at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. “Whatever it is, we’re going to focus on the eye of this storm and find out why it’s there.”
Maybe it’s an ozone hole or something on account of all the CFCs.
In a startling turn of events, when the price of something goes up, consumers buy less of it. This holds true of labor, where the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has performed some hard-hitting post-election journalism to discover that businesses will hire fewer employees at minimum wage now that the state’s citizens have ordered businesses to do so:
26 percent increase in Missouri’s minimum wage to $6.50 an hour will hit urban and rural workers hardest because some may lose their jobs or not be hired as businesses adjust to hold down costs, some business owners and analysts say.
So Missourians have elected to lessen customer service to themselves and to promote the use of illegal immigrants whereever possible (it’s not that they do jobs Americans don’t want, but they do take pay that Americans cannot).
Meanwhile, in Illinois, the re-elected Governor Rod Blagojevich cannot wait to impose an additional hiring freeze in his state:
Two days after his re-election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich wasted no time spending some political capital on what had been one of his biggest campaign promises: raising the minimum wage, again.
Such a campaign pledge had helped Blagojevich win his first term in 2002 and it became a pledge he made good on when he signed a $1.35-an-hour hike above the federal level in the summer of 2003.
On Thursday, he called his proposed $1 hike, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour, his “first order of business” as the legislature returns for its fall session next week.
Meanwhile, in the bowels of the Power-to-the-People headquarters in Missouri, the master tacticians have begun their planning for agitation for the next attempt to raise the minimum wage in Missouri or select parts thereof to a “living wage” because the electoral victory on Tuesday was only the latest victory in a struggle to make the job market equal. In which half the people make a living wage of some sort or another, and the other half are unemployed.
The return of the Electric Venom Snark Hunt (now called the “Carnival of Snark”) looks to be a little light.
No doubt next week will be more chock full of pith once everyone sees she really means it.
Preposition 1: Will Brian go to work today?
Yes 111,110 No: 85,109 Passing
Amendment A: Will Brian take the trash to the curb on Wednesday night, as in past Wednesday night?
Yes 191,688 No: 4,531 Passing
Proposition B: Will Brian J. read a portion of one or more books as recreation this evening, whose summaries he will report on his blog to the great acclaim of Just D?
Yes 8 No: 1 Passing
Household Leader: Who will run the household?
Brian (Daddy): 1
Heather (Mommy): 781
Jimmy Ray (Dep.): 2,548,159
In other words, more of the same.
I voted. Now, I am going to drink a little wine and read a bit of classical literature.
Because, gentle reader, this Republic will go on beyond tonight, beyond the tallies, beyond tomorrow.
Regardless of what the panting pamphleteers of pixels say tonight.