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Peruvian village fighting U.S. metals giant

Poisoned city fights to save its children | World | The Observer

At an altitude of 13,000ft the Andean air is clear. A plume of white smoke rises from the chimney at the La Oroya smelter, hard at work refining arsenic and metals such as lead, cadmium and copper. But today the company is not discharging any gases over this city in central Peru. 'It's a nice day, so the company won't be letting off any gases,' says Hugo Villa, a neurologist at the local hospital. 'They keep the worst emissions to overcast days or after dark.'

When the gases are released, they make this one of the most polluted places on the planet, with La Oroya ranking alongside Chernobyl for environmental devastation, according to a US think-tank, the Blacksmith Institute.

The company is a US corporation, Renco Doe Run. The gases are the product from the main smelter a mile or two down the valley. The high mountains around keep out the cleansing winds, meaning that airborne metals are concentrated in the valley. Neither humans nor nature can escape the company's outpourings of poisons. And, despite evidence that gases have been behind the premature deaths of workers and residents young and old, the business-oriented, pro-US government of President Alan Garcia is too afraid of foreign investors to do anything about it.

Most podcasts are hillbilles screaming about the price of Sudafed

From Warren Ellis' email list:

A few people have asked why I don't do a spoken-word podcast myself. The reasons are that 1) I cannot stand the sound of my own voice, believe it or not (pause for snark), and 2) I'd have to write it before I spoke it, and, being a writer, I tend to see the writing as the finished piece of work.

So, as I said, I installed Juice, which worked perfectly while I was asleep. And I've finally gotten around to installing Miro, previously known as The Democracy player. Which I thought was a pain in the arse. I'm sure it's very clever to run a video tutorial for a vlog-catcher, but, frankly, my VCR doesn't come with a videotape explaining its operation.

And blip.tv? If you're a dedicated vlog site, why can't I get more than 14 kb/s out of you on a Sunday night?

Oh, and to answer a few comments: no, I'm not looking for high production values in podcasts. But I'm also not looking for a gaggle of hillbillies yakking away about nothing in their fucking meth lab. The podcast guides are full of this shit. "Skeeter and Mothra are cousins, brother and sister and husband and wife, and every morning on trailer-radio they shriek in an unknown language about the price of Sudafed while their eighteen children rape dogs in the parking lot outside." Fuck the democratisation of radio. That's nothing but retarded people trying to emulate what they already hear on American radio.

Erotic roleplay group forcibly disbanded by Warcraft admins

Blizzard disbands extreme erotic roleplaying guild - WOW Insider

An erotic roleplaying guild that now spans two realms has been accused of defending pedophiles and engaging in extreme sexual situations without any way to verify that their members are above the age of 18. While the guild in question says it has been reported many times and is not violating policy, and that minors joining an ERP guild are being poorly parented, Blizzard has forcibly disbanded the guild -- only to have it reform under a new name. There might be some disturbing content following the cut, so click at your own risk.

Abhorrent Taboo was mainly a Hordeside RP guild on Ravenholdt, but recently expanded to an Alliance auxillary on Blackwater Raiders. The guild leader posted a somewhat hostile "welcome message" on the BWR forums: "Role-playing is legal. Even if you are role-playing something that would be considered deplorable and highly illegal IRL, it's still just role-playing and isn't subject to any form of disciplinary action. Negative publicity is still publicity. Make a Digg or website about how sick we are. Report us to PervertedJustice. All it does is bring in more members. In fact, the Digg the guy on Ravenholdt made about us was so effective, several people signed up for WoW just to be in our guild. The bottom line is: We're allowed to do what we do on any server we please and no one can do anything about it."

To be clear: these were people talking about extreme things, in Warcraft, on a server dedicated to role play. Yes, they were play-acting illegal acts. But isn't murdering and poisoning and all of the extreme violence of Warcraft also essentially play-acting extremely illegal acts?

What do you think of this?

September 15, 2007

ABC reporter caught faking interviews, pushing for war with Iran

mediabistro.com: FishbowlNY

Alexis Debat, a former French defense official (and ex-ABC consultant) employed at DC's Nixon Center as a senior fellow, writes for French magazine Politique Internationale. Apart from PI, Debat has a healthy career as a talking head.

Debat even published an interview with Barack Obama for PI in which Obama said Iraq was "a defeat for America." That major statement would undoubtedly get attention in the American press. Except it turns out that Debat apparently made up the whole interview. Out of thin air. Fake interview. Never happened.

Much more here.