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Photo Gallery: The Microscopic World

Peering into the micro world - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Carbon nanotubes with Obama's face.

Safe Havens and unintended consequences

BBC NEWS | Americas | Safe haven or last resort?

Nevada passed a law letting people abandon children at hospitals without fear of prosecution. And then people began abandoning their teenagers . . .

It was widely assumed to mean any person under the age of 18, and so within two months more than 20 parents had abandoned children - not their newborn babies, but their growing teenagers.

One father left his four daughters and five sons, the oldest being 17.

His one-year-old daughter was the youngest of the 34 children abandoned between 13 September and 14 November, according to Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services.

Some parts of San Francisco voted to ban gay marriage

SF Gate: Multimedia (image)

Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?

Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies? - ProPublica

In July, a hydrologist dropped a plastic sampling pipe 300 feet down a water well in rural Sublette County, Wyo., and pulled up a load of brown oily water with a foul smell. Tests showed it contained benzene, a chemical believed to cause aplastic anemia and leukemia, in a concentration 1,500 times the level safe for people.

The results sent shockwaves through the energy industry and state and federal regulatory agencies.

Sublette County is the home of one of the nation's largest natural gas fields, and many of its 6,000 wells have undergone a process pioneered by Halliburton called hydraulic fracturing, which shoots vast amounts of water, sand and chemicals several miles underground to break apart rock and release the gas. The process has been considered safe since a 2004 study (PDF) by the Environmental Protection Agency found that it posed no risk to drinking water. After that study, Congress even exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Today fracturing is used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States.

Air Marshals found guilty of drug smuggling, human trafficking

Air Marshals: Undercover and Under Arrest - ProPublica

Shawn Nguyen bragged that he could sneak anything past airport security using his top-secret clearance as a federal air marshal. And for months, he smuggled cocaine and drug money onto flights across the country, boasting to an FBI informant that he was "the man with the golden badge."

Michael McGowan used his position as an air marshal to lure a young boy to his hotel room, where he showed him child porn, took pictures of him naked and sexually abused him.

And when Brian "Cooter" Phelps wanted his ex-wife to disappear, he called a fellow air marshal and tried to hire a hit man nicknamed "the Crucifixer."

Since 9/11, more than three dozen federal air marshals have been charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct, an investigation by ProPublica has found. Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a human trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.

Dan Savage versus the Family Research Council

Dan Savage versus the Family Research Council

Dan Savage is very, very sharp. And the religious douchebag here is desperately, desperately lying.

Get Your War On: Obama Bandwagon

Get Your War On: Obama Bandwagon - 236.com - Video

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

Colbert Round-Up: November 14, 2008

Daily Show Round-Up: November 14, 2008

This is why you don't want to own a sugar glider

The Drawbacks of Sugar Glider Ownership

What Obama can learn from The Wire

Casey Gane-McCalla: What Obama Can Learn from The Wire

Foreign Policy

If Obama was watching The Wire carefully, he could learn a lot about foreign policy from two of the major characters from the first three seasons, Avon Barksdale and his cohort, Stringer Bell. While Avon was always willing to go to war for territory and fight over pride, Stringer was more pragmatic, realizing that war was bad for business. Like Obama, Stringer was willing to negotiate with his enemies, including Proposition Joe and Marlo Stansfield. Rather than war with other drug dealers over territory, Stringer built an alliance of hustlers from both the east and west side to share a common package and economic interest.

Obama could take Stringer's role and avoid wars unless they are absolutely necessary, negotiate with countries previously hostile to the US and build alliances with other countries. He should not however be shady and conniving, the characteristics which led to Stringers death.

November 13, 2008

Trailer: Watchmen (new)

WATCHMEN on Yahoo! Movies

Obama considering Hillary for Secretary of State

Sen. Clinton considered for top diplomat: report - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sen. Hillary Clinton, who lost to Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, is being considered to serve as secretary of state in the Obama administration, NBC News reported on Thursday.

The report cited two unnamed advisers to President-elect Obama. The report said Clinton's office would only say that any decisions on the appointment would be up to the president-elect.

Man sues classmates.com for false advertising

Class Action Lawsuits: Classmates.com Sued Because Classmates Weren't Really Looking For Him

You know how Classmates.com has all those ads and spams telling you how your old school chums are looking for you? Well someone is suing them because after seeing those promotions, he paid to sign up, only to discover no one was actually looking for him. Shocking, I know, but when you think about it, what's more shocking is that it's taken 13 years for someone to do it. It's a pretty clear-cut case of false advertising.

How to: Hack YouTube URLs for high quality output

High quality YouTube video hack

Noting this here for later use.

Violet Blue knows why Prop. 8 passed

Fear of A Gay Planet / Violet Blue knows exactly why Prop. 8 passed, and it's distasteful

We all know what it means when someone goes way, way out of their way about gayness. It's because they can't stop thinking about all that hot gay sex. That's the real message behind the Protect Marriage agenda. It's not the people getting married because they really love each other for life. When the anti-gay marriage people say they're "saving marriage" what they really mean is that gay sex is like totally gross and strange and diseased and not okay and it's gonna get you, possibly on a toilet seat. Or a water fountain.

It's about the sex. That's how they scared the little old ladies on their front porches.

Now, I know we live in an erotophobic culture and anything that is about sex -- especially gay sex, which is what gay marriage acknowledges -- is going to deliver an erotophobic result. But how appropriate is it to apply the same standards in reverse? No one talks about marriage between a man and a woman with the not-so-subtle subtext of wondering aloud, "Is she gonna be on top, or is she going to just lie there and take it? Will she take it up the butt? And how, exactly, are they going to make babies? Will they then expose their children, and other people's children, to their sexual practices to indoctrinate them into heterosexuality?"

No, because it's inappropriate, distasteful and ridiculous. Kind of like how ridiculous it was when Reverend Ted Haggard would crusade against gay rights at the White House and then call up a hooker to get a little dick in his gay-bashing mouth when he was off the clock.

Blackwater caught illegally smuggling arms into Iraq

TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Blackwater To Be Fined Amid Allegations Over Shrink-Wrapped Weapons

Blackwater USA, the State Department's largest personal security contractor in Iraq, is set to be hit with a multi-million dollar fine for shipping automatic weapons to that country without the necessary permits, reports McClatchy. Some of the weapons are believed to have ended up on Iraq's black market.

The State Department has been looking into whether Blackwater employees shipped weapons hidden in shrink-wrapped pallets from the companies headquarters in North Carolina to Iraq. No criminal charges have been filed in the case.

But according to one official, the department found that Blackwater shipped 900 weapons to Iraq without the paperwork required by arms export control regulations.

Daily Show Roud-Up: November 13, 2008

Colbert Round-Up: November 13, 2008

November 12, 2008

Bigoted old woman surrounded by gay mob

Old Chrstian woman attacked by gay mob, cross trampled

Congress sets sights on universal health care

Senator Takes Initiative on Health Care - NYTimes.com

The actual plan implemented looks to be even more progressive than originally promised.

WASHINGTON — Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.

Click through for details.

In my opinion, the plan won't be totally effective until we eliminate the insurance companies completely.

Formaldehyde in Victoria's Secret bras causing awful rashes, class action suit filed

Class Action Lawsuit: Victoria's Secret Bras Causing Skin Rashes?

Discover Magazine has an interesting blog post about some consumers who were complaining that Victoria's Secret bras were giving them painful rashes. When their lawyers bought similar bras and had them tested — they were found to contain formaldehyde.

. . .

Formaldehyde is considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and is also a known allergen.

Photo Gallery: The struggle in Afghanistan's Korengal valley

Afghanistan's Korengal Valley - The Big Picture - Boston.com