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November 20, 2007

Shatner and Mr. T pimping Warcraft

WoW -> Downloads -> Movies

The Shatner commercial is especially awesome.

(via)

The Office: Top ten pranks on Dwight

Top 10 Pranks On Dwight at :: about:blank :: How Random Is That!?

My favorite isn't on here, which is when Jim slowly adds more and more nickels to Dwight's phone--until Dwight gets used to the weight--and then removes them all, causing Dwight to answer the phone and punch himself in the face.

Military demanding bonus pay back from wounded vets.

Think Progress � Military demanding bonus pay back from wounded vets.

“The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.” Jordan Fox of Pittsburgh was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, cutting his service short by three months. “A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back.”

Wall Street Plans $38 Billion of Bonuses as Shareholders Lose

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Shareholders in the securities industry are having their worst year since 2002, losing $74 billion of their equity. That won't prevent Wall Street from paying record bonuses, totaling almost $38 billion.

That money, split among about 186,000 workers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos., equates to an average of $201,500 per person, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The five biggest U.S. securities firms paid $36 billion to employees last year.

The bigger bonus pool derives from a record $9 billion of fees for arranging acquisitions and $5 billion for underwriting initial public offerings and sales of junk bonds, the most lucrative securities, Bloomberg data show. Bankers' record fees help explain why 2007 will prove to be the industry's second- most profitable after the subprime mortgage market collapse led to losses at Merrill and Bear Stearns. The last time bonuses declined was 2002 when the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 23 percent, and Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. went bankrupt.

Airplane de-icers are poorly trained, and given the answers to the test

The Denver Post - Travelers Advisory: Brian Maass gets airline de-icing scoop

Undercover camera work by a Channel 4 staffer reveals blatant cheating by an instructor for Servisair, one of the world's largest aviation ground service providers. The teacher spoon-feeds applicants the test answers, even telling them to get one answer wrong so as not to draw attention to their uniformly perfect scores. In fact, the applicants for these $13/hour jobs had little or no understanding of the de-icing process.

Servisair has been working out of DIA for two years, serving 22 airlines.

If you've ever sat on a runway watching ice build up on the plane's wings before takeoff, you'll relate.

What Maass' story uncovered isn't just cheating, it's cheating with potentially lethal consequences. Footage of the deadly Continental crash in Denver 20 years ago this month makes the point. Some 135 crashes in the U.S. since 1993 have been attributed to ice.

My favorite book covers of 2007

The Book Design Review

*Thanks, Emma!*

Kittens adopted by bunny

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | North East/N Isles | Kittens 'adopted' by pet rabbit

Six abandoned kittens have found an unexpected new mother figure - a pet rabbit.

Veterinary nurse Melanie Humble took the three-week-old kittens to her Aberdeen home.

The kittens seemed to think Summer the rabbit was their mother and began to climb all over her and try to feed from her.

Freddie Mac out of money

Credit Crunch: Freddie Mac Loses $2 Billion, Needs Cash

Freddie Mac is the arm of the government that helps poor folks with housing loans. Them being broke is really, really bad. This could have disastrous ripple effects across the entire economy.

Government-sponsored mortgage lender Freddie Mac, the second largest U.S. mortgage company, posted a $2 billion loss for the third quarter and warned that it may not have enough cash to cover its mortgage commitments.

"It's as bad as it possibly could be,'' said Howard Shapiro, an analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton in New York told Bloomberg, as he downgraded the lender to "sell."

Government-sponsored mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were considered "less vulnerable in the housing crisis because have had less exposure to high-risk, subprime mortgages," said the Associate Press.

Trailer: Teeth, aka the vagina dentata movie

Feministing

LARPCore

LARPcore

Worth it for the giant smacking people around with his huge axe.

The Dangers of The World of Warcraft

� The Dangers of “World of Warcraft” � The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century

(Via Wonderland)

Lack of proofreading leads to invalidation of national reading test

For Want of a Proofreader, or at Least a Good One, a Reading Exam Is Lost - New York Times

In an episode that has embarrassed the Department of Education, thousands of flawed testing booklets forced the invalidation of United States reading scores on an international exam administered without major mishap in 56 other countries.

The contractor that printed the faulty exams for the government is reimbursing it $500,000, government officials said yesterday. But the department admitted it had not proofread the tests.

“I’m really upset about this,” said Mark Schneider, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics at the department. “It’s a big embarrassment.”

The problem came on a test known as the Program for International Student Assessment that allows students’ proficiency to be compared with that of their international peers. It was administered to 5,600 American 15-year-olds last fall, as well as to students in the 30 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and in 27 less developed countries. Scores are scheduled for release next month.

Massive French strike grows even massiver

BBC NEWS | Europe | France gripped by massive strike

Hundreds of thousands of civil servants have joined striking transport and energy workers as France is paralysed by a second week of industrial action.

Teachers, postal workers, air traffic controllers and hospital staff are holding a 24-hour stoppage over planned job cuts and higher wage demands.

Students are continuing to demonstrate over university funding plans.

After vetoing healthcare and education for the poor, Bush asks Americans to be generous to the poor this holiday season

In Thanksgiving Speech, Bush Urges Americans to Give Back - New York Times

CHARLES CITY, Va., Nov. 19 — In a reflective mood as he looks toward his final year in office, President Bush delivered his first official Thanksgiving speech Monday, urging Americans to “show their thanks by giving back” and to remember that “our nation’s greatest strength is the decency and compassion of our people.”

Truck carrying 30,000 eggs flips, spilling eggs everywhere

Gooey mess: big rig carrying thousands of eggs overturns

A truck loaded with 30,000 pounds of eggs overturned on a rural road near Perris, covering the road with a slippery layer of egg whites and yolks.

The California Highway Patrol says no one was injured in Monday's crash, which occurred about 10 miles east of Perris in Riverside County.

Dozens of eggs spilled, forcing authorities to temporarily shut Juniper Flats road for several hours so workers could remove broken eggs and clean the road.

Imagine what a chicken would think upon seeing this.

November 19, 2007

Reid to keep Senate in session over holiday to prevent Bush from making reces appointments

Reid to Keep Senate in Session to Prevent Recess Appointments

One of Bush's big tricks in recent years is to put forward awful people for appointments, and to wait until Congress goes into recess for a holiday, and then he just appoints them into power. It shows complete disregard for law and country. And finally the Democrats have worked out a way to stop him: never go into recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided to keep the chamber in session over the Thanksgiving break to block President Bush from making any unsavory recess appointments while Senators are out of town.

In a statement inserted in the record Friday, the Majority Leader said he will hold the Senate in a series of pro forma or nonvoting sessions to prevent the controversial practice. In the statement, Reid argued that nominations need to get on track, and that Bush has not met the Democrats “halfway” in agreeing to Democratically backed nominees to “important commissions.”

“While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations,” Reid said. “I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me halfway.

“But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.”

Senate sources said Reid made the decision after he was unable to strike a deal with White House officials that would have allowed swift consideration of several key Democratic picks for the executive branch. In his statement, Reid points to the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission as examples where Democratic choices have not been moved al

The Simpsons, featuring Alan Moore, Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman

The Savage Critic(s): Extraordinary Gentlemen!

Dave on ZeFrank's show, again

ze's page :: zefrank.com: more stories...