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Canada, WTF?! Surprise bus beheading shocks Manitoba

globeandmail.com | Man beheaded on bus to Winnipeg
BRANDON, MAN. - A young man travelling on a Greyhound bus was stabbed to death and beheaded by a stranger in a horrifying act of apparently random violence.

The incident occurred on a bus travelling from Edmonton to Winnipeg just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

A man of about 18 who was sleeping with headphones on was suddenly attacked by his seat mate, according to the man who sat directly in front of them.

No tits, thanks, we're French

telegraph.co.uk | Topless sunbathing goes out of fashion on French beaches
The beaches where Brigitte Bardot first introduced the world to topless sunbathing are undergoing a mass cover up as French women ditch their penchant for a little harmless nudity. The development has sparked a minor debate in the country which has always prided itself on being less prudish than its Anglo-Saxon neighbours. For some it is simply a change in fashion, for others it marks a new conservatism sweeping France. Yet others say it is to do with increased health concerns about skin cancer and sensitivities to the growing Muslim community. Geraldine Doree, a 34-year-old publishing executive from Paris who was enjoying the beach at St Tropez, said: "In the past the whole place would have been filled with topless women, but people are a lot more sensible nowadays. "The health risk is very great, and people prefer to cover up for longer periods. It might also be that people are now more aware of the offence topless sunbathing might cause. "There are many Muslims in the south of France who might find such a sight upsetting."

July 30, 2008

Orson Scott Card is terrified of gay marriage, brings the crazy

Mormon Times - State job is not to redefine marriage

It's always sad when an author whose work you enjoy reveals themselves to be a crazy bigot.

The first and greatest threat from court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to "gay marriage," is that it marks the end of democracy in America.

These judges are making new law without any democratic process; in fact, their decisions are striking down laws enacted by majority vote.

The pretext is that state constitutions require it -- but it is absurd to claim that these constitutions require marriage to be defined in ways that were unthinkable through all of human history until the past 15 years. And it is offensive to expect us to believe this obvious fiction.

It is such an obvious overreach by judges, far beyond any rational definition of their authority, that even those who support the outcome of the decisions should be horrified by the means.

July 29, 2008

CNN cherry-picking data to create controversy

Why report news when creating it is so much more fulfilling? -- TheZoo

They are only reporting the poll data where it looks like McCain has a lead, and ignoring all of the info where Obama has a significant lead. Also, they are lying about which states are red and which are blue (I still hate that notion).

This shows a disturbing trend where the media wants the presidential race to be closer and more dramatic so that people will, y'know, watch the news more. But it also warps the actual politics of our country.

The Minnesota result is only the beginning of what appears to be a concerted effort by CNN to “keep things interesting”. Looking at the CNN national polling map, we see Virginia identified as red, meaning McCain is winning, and the poll connected to that designation (VCU) shows McCain up by 8 points. Yet the RCP Average for Virginia reveals Obama at 1. The VCU survey cited by CNN was done on May 12-18. RCP lists no less than six polls that are more recent. Five of them give Obama the lead, while one gives McCain the lead by a single point. Clearly this is a very close race, but why did CNN feel it necessary to quote a poll that is over two months out of date and well outside the statistical norm of the other polling? Are they too lazy to have looked at other polls, or are they intentionally selecting a certain poll merely for effect?

. . .

All of these examples show CNN identifying states as red where the preponderance of polling suggests they should be blue (or neutral in the case of Florida). Are there counter-examples where CNN reported a state as blue when RCP data suggest it should really be red? No, there is not a single such example. Assuming CNN is not politically biased, this evidence suggests they are trying to help the underdog in order to keep the story as “hot” as possible. This is news creation, not news reporting. It is sensationalism, not journalism.