In seeking wisdom, the first
step is silence; the second, listening; the third,
remembering; the fourth, practicing; the fifth, teaching
Solomon Ibn Gabirol
The terrorists cannot possibly stand up in light
to claim their prize
The statement of the Group of
Eight leaders on the London explosions, read by the
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on Thursday before
leaving for London: "This is a statement on behalf of
the G-8 leaders, but also on behalf of the leaders of
the five countries that have joined us at this summit …
We condemn utterly these barbaric attacks. We send our
profound condolences to the victims and their families.
"All of our countries have suffered from the impact of
terrorism. Those responsible have no respect for human
life. "We are united in our resolve to confront and
defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one
nation but on all nations and on civilised people
everywhere. "We will not allow violence to change our
societies or our values, nor will we allow it to stop
the work of this summit. "We will continue our
deliberations in the interests of a better world.
"The terrorists will not succeed," Sydney Morning
Herald, July 8, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: In general diseases in a system
strengthen the system in the long run even if damage to
innocent parts of the system are a tragedy. The
British people are tough, resolved, and resilient.
The Free World, aside from a few cowardly nations,
is tough, resolved, and resilient.
Terrorists can never win because they are afraid of
coming out of hiding behind children to claim their
surgery "should have been relegated to the
archives 15 years ago"
There's just one problem with
this happy tale of modern medicine: More and more
doctors are questioning whether such heart procedures
are actually extending patients' lives. One of them, Dr.
Nortin M. Hadler, professor of medicine at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author
of The Last Well Person, is urging the U.S. medical
establishment to rethink its most basic precepts of
cardiovascular care. Bypass surgery in particular, he
says, "should have been relegated to the archives 15
John Carey and Amy Barrett, "Is Heart Surgery Worth It?
Physicians are looking at troubling studies and
questioning whether bypasses and angioplasties
necessarily prolong patients' lives," Business Week,
July 7, 2005 ---
Setting the record straight about the true history
In his wonderful new book,
What the Dormouse Said..., John Markoff tells
these stories. Markoff was born in Oakland, CA, and has
been covering Silicon Valley for the New York Times for
more than a decade. From a distinctly West Coast
perspective, Dormouse chronicles the origins of the
personal computer and its place in the Bay Area culture
of the 1960s. Having lived, intensely, the later part of
this story, I am fascinated by the great back stories of
people I came to know and, often, work with. Many of
these stories were only vaguely familiar; many more, I'd
Bill Joy, "The Dream of a Lifetime," MIT's Technology
Review, August 2005 ---
Fat in Bloodstream Is Linked to Heart Problems
New research gives the first
solid evidence that a type of fat in the bloodstream can
trigger the earliest steps that lead to clogged blood
vessels, the top cause of heart attacks. If further
research bears this out, people might someday be tested
for this fat, just as they are for cholesterol now, to
see if they are in danger of having a heart attack. The
study found that levels of the fat strongly correlated
with the risk of heart disease, especially in people
under age 60.
"Fat in Bloodstream Is Linked to Heart Problems," The
Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2005, Page D3 ---
Sing whenever possible: Secret for reducing
Music teacher Alise Ojay
has developed exercises that she claims will help many
people stop snoring. The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
is studying her course, which teaches people how to
strengthen the throat muscles she says can help reduce
"Singing Your Way to a Snore Free Night," National
Public Radio, July 6, 2005 ---
Warnings to Soda Addicts:
Dangers in sugar-free as well as sugar-based sodas
Still, soda lovers will testify
that it can be awfully hard to give up the fizzy stuff.
One reason is that when we consume something sweet, the
taste triggers our brains to release chemicals called
opioids -- which make us crave more pleasurable tastes,
says Politi. So why would anyone want to swear off soft
drinks? Experts say that, while soda has few useful
nutrients, it is among the many sources of excess
calories contributing to the U.S. obesity epidemic.
Several recent studies bear out the idea that drinking
too many sodas can affect your health . . .
Carol Sorgen, "Help for Soda Lovers: What to do
when you're a softie for soft drinks," WebMD,
July 1, 2005 ---
Hiring Pace Picked Up Last Month
The nation's employers stepped
up their hiring in June, the government reported
yesterday, adding 146,000 jobs to meet the gradually
rising demands of a sturdy economy.
Louis Uchitelle, "Hiring Pace Picked Up Last Month,"
The New York Times, July 9, 2005 ---
Your cell phone records are for sale (Warning:
mine are boring)
Cell phone records are far more personal than typical
Internet Identity theft
Think your mate is cheating?
For $110, Locatecell.com will provide you with the
outgoing calls from his or her cell phone for the last
billing cycle, up to 100 calls. All you need to supply
is the name, address and the number for the phone you
want to trace. Order online, and get results within
hours. Carlos F. Anderson, a licensed private
investigator in Florida, offers a similar service for
$165, for all major telephone carriers. "This report
provides all the calls with dates, times, and duration
on the billing statement," according to Anderson's Web
site, which adds, "Incoming Calls and Call Location are
provided if available." Learning who someone talked to
on the phone cannot enable the kind of financial fraud
made easier when a Social Security or credit card number
is purloined. Instead, privacy advocates say, the
intrusion is more personal.
Jonathan Kim, "Online Data Gets Personal: Cell Phone
Records for Sale," The Washington Post, July 8,
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking
privacy are at
Big Brother might be watching your car's accidents
Washington Post Trivia on July 8, 2005
investigators are increasingly using data from "black
box" devices similar to those used in commercial
airliners. What percentage of vehicles on U.S. roads are
currently equipped with the devices?
U.S. losing share of science and engineering grads
More than half a century of
U.S. dominance in science and engineering may be
slipping as America's share of graduates in these fields
falls relative to Europe and developing nations such as
China and India, a study released on Friday says. The
study, written by Richard Freeman at the National Bureau
of Economic Research in Washington, warned that changes
in the global science and engineering job market may
require a long period of adjustment for U.S. workers.
Moves by international companies to move jobs in
information technology, high-tech manufacturing and
research and development to low-income developing
countries were just "harbingers" of that longer-term
adjustment, Freeman said.
"U.S. losing share of science and engineering grads,"
C|Net, July 9, 2005 ---
Cows, chickens, sheep, and fish may become
outlines ways to
grow meat in labs. We could engineer it to be
healthier, and it would help the environment, since by
one estimate 21 percent of human-generated carbon
dioxide is produced by animals we use for food.
Unmentioned benefit: We would kill fewer animals.
"Burgers from a lab? US study says it's possible," Yahoo
News, July 7, 2005 ---
I shortened this link to
Deloitte & Touche under investigation
Deloitte & Touche LLP is under
investigation by the nation's accounting regulator over
a 2003 audit of Navistar International Corp.'s financial
statements, according to a published report. Earlier
this year, Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar restated its
financial results for the fiscal years 2002 and 2003,
and the first three quarters of fiscal 2004 because of
an error in how it accounted for customer truck loans
that were packaged into securities for sale to
investors. The regulator, the Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board, is looking into whether Deloitte's work
at Navistar may have failed to comply with at least five
auditing standards, according to Bloomberg News. Those
standards cover checking for fraud, performing work in a
professional manner and preparing reports on financial
statements. The two-page order does not explain what
Deloitte may have done wrong, Bloomberg said.
Ameet Sachdev, "Deloitte & Touche under investigation,"
Herald Today," July 9, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on Deloitte's troubles are at
"Google Earth Thrills With Photos, Stunts, But How
Practical Is It?" The Wall Street Journal,
July 7, 2005; Page B1 ---
It's good to have a healthy
skepticism about the claims of the hype-driven
technology industry. But there are times when even a
hardened skeptic has to admit to amazement and
delight at the sheer coolness of some of the things
you can do on a personal computer today. And one of
those "wow" moments happens the first time you run a
new program called Google Earth.
The program lets you view
satellite and aerial photos of pretty much any spot
on the planet. In big metropolitan areas in the
U.S., Canada and Western Europe, you can locate, and
zoom in on, individual buildings and houses, and see
cars and trees. You can overlay streets onto these
urban images, as well as markers indicating
restaurants, hotels and more. In other places, you
can make out only towns and large geographical
features, like lakes.
The program rapidly fetches
the images from the Internet and visually "flies"
you from place to place around the globe. The
process is so fluid it feels like a Hollywood stunt.
For instance, if you're staring at a bird's-eye view
of St. Mark's Square in Venice and you type in your
address in Boston, Google Earth will zoom out till
you seem high in the sky, then rapidly "fly" you
west across the Atlantic into the U.S., and then
stop right over your house.
Google first released the
program last week at
But demand was so high that
the company's servers were overwhelmed, so Google is
intermittently turning off downloads. You may have
to visit the site several times to download the
When you first try Google
Earth, you'll want to type in all the places you
frequent and see how they look from the air. You're
also likely to call in family and friends to see how
cool the program is, which is exactly what I did. I
located my house, my office, my old college dorm and
the house where I was raised. I wowed visitors by
typing their addresses into the program and "flying"
them to aerial views of their houses.
Continued in the article
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at
From the Scout Report on July 7, 2005
The motivating vision
behind the Rethinking Schools organization is
the notion of "the common school." This vision
includes the belief that schools are integral
"not only to preparing all children to be full
participants in society, but also to be full
participants in this country's ever-tenuous
experiment in democracy." The organization was
founded in Milwaukee in 1986, and has been
intimately involved with addressing such
educational issues as standardized testing and
textbook-dominated curricula. Visitors to the
site can learn about the organization's various
programs, and more importantly, read a number of
articles from its in-house journal, _Rethinking
Schools_. One particularly nice feature of the
site is the collection of thematic articles
organized into such topics as "Bilingual
Education" and "Teacher Unions." Finally, the
site also has collected a list of selected
online resources, such as links to the Global
School Network and the American Federation of
As its website
proclaims, the "Woman's Hour" on BBC Radio is
designed for the purpose of "celebrating,
informing and entertaining women." As part of a
larger set of sites dedicated to like-minded
resources for women from the BBC's Radio 4, this
particular program tackles a number of germane
subjects, including relationships, health,
politics, and cooking. One of the definitive
highlights is the drama section, where visitors
can listen to radio versions of plays such as
"The Reef" by Edith Wharton. Visitors can listen
to the current edition of Woman's Hour, or elect
to listen to previous programs from the same
week. Guests are also invited to send in their
own comments on timely topics and also offer
their input on a series of moderated message
Revising Himself :
Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass
An impressive feat of
literary collation, the Library of Congress
presents this exhibition on Walt Whitman,
probably America's first superstar author, and
Whitman's book of poetry, _Leaves of Grass_.
Initially published in 1855, _Leaves of Grass_
contained 12 poems. Whitman continuously revised
it until his death in 1892, when it contained
400 poems. The poet added new poems, renamed
older ones, reworded lines, changed punctuation,
and regrouped poems (through the 1881 edition),
as well as inventing typography, and posing for
frontispiece portraits wearing various styles of
clothing and props. (front and back views of a
cardboard butterfly that Whitman posed with in
1877 are included in the show). The exhibition
traces this evolution of _Leaves of Grass_ and
Whitman's life, as a poet and a person, from the
first appearance of the lines "I am the poet of
the body, And I am the poet of the soul" in a
notebook dating 1847-1950s, to the final
"Deathbed edition" of 1891-1892. A wealth of
interesting biographical material on Whitman,
his friends and associates, his work as a
teacher, tending the wounded during the Civil
War, and for the federal government, also
appears in the exhibit.
from unscrupulous hackers are increasingly
common, and users concerned with such activities
would do well to take a look at the Jetico
Personal Firewall. With this application, users
will have three levels of protection. The
application will effectively filter network
packets, application-level network events, and
of course, various Trojans that might try to
sneak into Internet Explorer or some such
browsing application. Jetico Personal Firewall
184.108.40.206 is compatible with Windows 98 or newer.
Bob Jensen's threads on firewalls are at
Bottom feeding: Equal pay in education
versus supply and demand by discipline
Some experts think colleges
should resist these trends (salary
differentials based upon supply and demand).
“Even within a single college, differences are
growing, and that creates some difficulties for
faculty to see themselves as part of a common
profession,” said John Curtis, director of research
for the American Association of University
Professors. “Higher education really is something
for the common good that provides a benefit for
society as whole. When you see some of these large
differences, it’s easy to slip into a system that
emphasizes individual payback instead of payback for
David Epstein, "Pay and Prestige," Inside Higher
Ed, July 8, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: Some liberal arts colleges
succeed with smaller pay differentials that
virtually ignore salary differentials outside
academe. I can't imagine major universities
with highly successful professional schools
(medicine, law, engineering, business, etc.)
attempting to ignore the marketplace for top talent
in faculty. How many highly skilled surgeons,
patent attorneys, robotics engineers, and financial
experts will ignore market alternatives? For
top universities to ignore market differentials
would condemn leading professional programs to
bottom feed for teachers and researchers. The
same may apply to some science disciplines where
certain specialties are in great demand and short
Leniency in the Modern Age
Millions of dollars in malicious damage and the
German court gives him probation
Sasser exploited a flaw
in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000 and Windows XP
operating systems. It caused infected computers to
crash and reboot, making it impossible to work on
them. The worm snarled hundreds of thousands of
computers and caused Internet traffic to slow.
German prosecutors estimate that damages ran into
the millions of dollars.
Imke Zimmermann, "German Court Convicts Sasser
Worm Creator," The Washington Post, July 8, 2005 ---
Portland State University Professor expounds
U.S. as an evil empire
Free Republic, July 9, 2005 ---
Amanda Byron, Graduate Program in Conflict
Portland State University (Portland, Ore.)
Professor Amanda Byron, a faculty member of the
"Conflict Resolution Graduate Program" at PSU.
Among the courses she teaches are the
- Introduction to Conflict Resolution
- Enmification: The Art and Consequence of
- Restorative Justice
Of these, the curiously titled course "Enmification"
deserves some attention. Here is the course
description from her website ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the "Evil Empire"
expounding professors are at
The Evil Empire is supposedly intent of utterly
billions of Jewish-Christian enemies.
Leniency in the Modern Age
Cheating then versus now
What this means in
evaluative practice is not only that the
opportunities to cheat (just to continue to use this
word) are enormously expanded. The nature of
cheating itself changes accordingly — to the despair
of every teacher, beginning with those who teach
freshman composition. The very fact that
“plagiarism” must be carefully defined there defers
to the absence of what the dean in (the
movie) School Ties refers
to as a vacuum. (Could cheating even be punished —
in his terms — if one has to begin by defining it?)
It also testifies to the near-impossibility of
judging a paper on SUV’s or gay marriage or
God-knows-what that has been cobbled together out of
Internet sources whose fugitive presence, sentence
by sentence, is almost undetectable. Furthermore, to
the student these sources may well be almost
unremarkable, with respect to his or her own words.
What is this business of one’s “own words” anyway?
What if the very notion has been formed by CNN? How
not to visit its site (say) when time comes to
write? Most students will be unfamiliar with a
theoretical orientation that questions the whole
idea of originality. But they will not be unaffected
with some consequences, no less than they are
unaffected by, say, the phenomenon of sampling and
remixing as it takes place in popular culture,
especially fashion or music. “Plagiarism” has
to contend with all sorts of notions of imitation,
none of which possess any moral valence. Therefore,
plagiarism becomes — first, if not foremost — a
matter of interpretive judgment. Cheating, on the
other hand, is not interpretive in the same way
(and, in the world of (the movie)
School Ties, not
“interpretive” at all). No wonder, in a sense, that
test gradually has had to yield to text. It is
almost as if the vacuum could not hold. By the
present time, the importance of determining grades
(in part if not whole) by means of papers acquires
the character of a sort of revenge of popular
culture — ranging from cable television to rap music
— upon academic culture.
Terry Caesar, "Cheating in a Time of Extenuating
Circumstances," Inside Higher Ed, July 8,
Jensen Comment: The 1992 movie School Ties
focuses on cheating brought to light by an honor
code that requires students to report seeing other
students cheat. It also focuses on education
at a time when cheating was more severely punished,
usually by expulsion from school. In most
colleges today, first-time offenders who get caught
are generally placed on some type of probation.
At the same time most schools have modified their
honor codes in this litigious society such that
students are no longer required to report observed
cheating of other students. Many instructors
view reporting of cheating as becoming too much of a
hassle in terms of time and trouble when the student
will not be severely punished in any case.
This leads to greater risk taking on the part of
some students when it comes to cheating. They
are less likely to be detected and, if detected for
the first time, the punishments are negligible
relative to the rewards. Such risk taking
continues on when they are tempted to cheat as
executives in business/government and the
temptations to siphon off millions of dollars are
Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
You can practice being an investigator of a
vicious sex offender, kidnapper, and alleged
Duncan stopped blogging on
May 13, two days before the brutal slaying of
40-year-old Brenda Groene, her son Slade and her
boyfriend Mark McKenzie, at Groene's home near Coeur
d'Alene, Idaho. The fugitive turned up last Saturday
at a 24-hour diner just a few miles from the murder
site. He was in the company of Groene's 8-year-old
daughter Shasta, who'd been missing since the
attack. Now charged with two counts of kidnapping,
police said this week that Duncan is the only
suspect in the slayings. Shasta's missing 9-year-old
brother Dylan is also believed to be a murder
Kevin Pousen, "Cops Watched Sex Offender's Blog,"
Wired News, July 8, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: Duncan's blog is still active
You can put yourself in an investigator's pair of
shoes in detecting whether Duncan's self-described
torment is real or faked. The classic problem
with serial rapists, murderers, and pedophiles is
they are very skilled and convincing liars about
their insanity in an attempt to convince the public
and the courts that they would be such bad persons
if they weren't mentally ill. The classic
example is Kenneth Bianchi who was one of the two
infamous Hillside Stranglers (
). After being arrested, Bianchi concocted an
elaborate ploy of faked multiple personalities that
pitted experts against experts until some clever
ploys by investigators unraveled his entire charade.
His skill at deceptions dragged out his murder trial
for over two years.
We've seen some interesting trends in using the
Internet, and one of these ways may be to fake
insanity and/or otherwise justify crime.
Terrorists are increasingly using the Internet to
justify their acts of terror on totally innocent
victims. Do you think Duncan's pre-crime
revelations of torment before his crime were
intentional as "insurance" in case he got caught
after the fact?
Overcharging for overdrafts?
Banks earn a substantial
part of their income from fees charged to customers.
Personal finance contributor, Michelle Singletary,
talks with host Alex Chadwick about whether
overdraft fees are reasonable, or just a way banks
are taking advantage of their customers.
Michele Singletary, "The Color of Money,"
National Public Radio, July 5, 2005 ---
Oregon law now requires notification when
academic degrees are phony
In Oregon, degrees from
unaccredited institutions that are not licensed in
the state are about to carry the higher ed version
of a scarlet letter. A bill, which would require
disclaimers on any résumé bearing suspect degrees,
passed through the Oregon legislature last week, and
is expected to become law soon. The bill stems from
a lawsuit against Oregon that was settled earlier
this year. Prior to the lawsuit, the state fined or
prosecuted anyone doing business in Oregon who
claimed a degree from an unaccredited institution
not licensed in Oregon.
David Epstein, "Scarlet Letter," Inside Higher Ed,
July 7, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: The problem is that diploma
mills have already formed phony accreditation
agencies such that many diploma mills are dubiously
Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at
Pennsylvania state trooper issues
both tickets and Berkley college
diplomas (even to dogs)
the Pennsylvania attorney general’s
office decided to sue an institution
its officials called a “diploma
mill,” after Colby Nolan, their
undercover student, got his master’s
degree in business administration.
The fact that Colby is a pet cat
bolstered their case.In a lawsuit
filed Wednesday against another
attorney general said
diploma mill, the office is going
University of Berkley’s
and it isn’t bothering with pet
tricks.The lawsuit, filed in local
court in Erie County, where the
business is based, charged a former
New Mexico state trooper, Dennis
Globosky, 50, with selling thousands
of fake degrees in the United States
and abroad, since the late 1990s,
and operating under a bogus
accreditation institution. Along
with the complaint, the attorney
general asked the court to
immediately shut down Berkley’s
operations. After several hours of
review Wednesday morning, the judge
granted the request.
David Epstein, "Class Dismissed,"
Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at
A Win for ‘Academic Bill of
For all the
uproar over legislation inspired by
Academic Bill of Rights,
of it has gone anywhere. There have
been hearings — some of them noisy —
in many states, but not much more
this year.But on Tuesday, the
Pennsylvania House of
Representatives passed a
creating a special committee that
is charged with investigating — at
public colleges in the state — how
faculty members are hired and
promoted, whether students are
fairly evaluated, and whether
students have the right to express
their views without fear of being
punished for them.The language in
the resolution closely follows that
of the Academic Bill of Rights,
which has been pushed nationwide by
David Horowitz, a former 60s radical
who is now a conservative
activist.Horowitz, writing in
one of his
publications, called the
Pennsylvania vote “a tremendous
victory for academic freedom.” He
said that opposition from faculty
groups “was fierce, and their defeat
is that much more bitter as a
Scott Jaschik, "A Win for ‘Academic
Bill of Rights’," Inside Higher
, July 7, 2005 ---
The Trial Lawyers' Enron
The Justice Department is
finally starting to take a hard look at some dubious
legal practices, and it isn't a pretty sight. If a
recent federal indictment that refers to Milberg
Weiss is anything to go by, the trial bar has its
Enron. That indictment, delivered up in late June,
charges two California attorneys with conspiracy,
fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice
-- among other felonies. Class-action lawsuit giant
Milberg Weiss isn't formally charged, though the
firm has admitted it is the "New York Law Firm"
cited in the indictment as having made numerous
illegal payments to plaintiffs. Justice has also
made clear that criminal charges against Milberg
Weiss partners, or even the entire firm, are
"The Trial Lawyers' Enron," The Wall Street
Journal, July 7, 2005; Page A12 ---
Many Americanisms now in
use sprang from political campaigns, says Mitford M.
Mathews, lexicographer at the University of Chicago.
Among these are: O.K., 1840; pork barrel, 1801;
platform, 1803; campaign, 1809; civil rights, 1874;
fence straddler, 1948.
The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1952
From U.S. News on July 7, 2--5 ---
Beyond Arabism: Music videos and
Lebanese revolution ---
In Praise of Vulgarity
At the time
of this reading, I was engaged in
consumerism. In fact, I found myself
in a state of rebellion against what
seemed to me a kind of neo-puritanical
obsession that many countercultural
types have with this particular
"ism" as a locus of all evil. As a
lover of personal choice (kill my
fuckin' TV and I'll kill you) and
ambiguity, I found this not merely
alienating — I found it lame. Here
we'd presented a range of
philosophies and thinkers from the
Socratics to the Sufis to the
Surrealists and all anybody wanted
to talk about is how Iggy Pop songs
were being used to sell cars. So I
was particularly receptive to the
In Praise of Vulgarity: How
Commercial Culture Liberates Islam —
and the West.
I sent the
piece around to friends (and I'm
sure Iggy would agree) and I started
reading Reason magazine more
carefully and more enthusiastically.
"Right On! RU Sirius in Conversation
with Reason Editor Nick
The pursuit of
Let's just agree it's all
Thomas Jefferson's fault. The writer of the
Declaration of Independence inscribed "the pursuit
of happiness" into the very DNA of America by
asserting that such a right was every bit as
inalienable as those of life and liberty. It's been
downhill ever since, as we desperately strive to get
too rich and too thin - all while blaming toxic
parents, codependent spouses, abusive bosses, and
total strangers for every problem, big and small, in
our endlessly tortured and continually disappointing
Nick Gillespie, "The Happiness Scam (Book Reviews),"
Reason Magazine, July 6, 2005 ---
Nigerian political porn scam
Kano: A Nigerian man
successfully blackmailed Muslim state governors by
threatening to release mocked-up computer images
depicting them cavorting with prostitutes, police
say. Musa Baffa Bashir, 35, had warned leaders he
had been paid by their opponents to create fake nude
pictures of them, police in Kano said. He was
arrested on Wednesday. He had targeted seven
governors from the country's conservative north who
had backed the reintroduction of Islamic law, which
prescribes the death penalty for adultery, and would
have been highly embarrassed if the pictures became
public. Four of the seven had already paid Bashir
500,000 naira ($5000) each before the governor of of
Kebbi state tipped off security agents, who set up a
sting to capture him. "The governor played along by
asking the suspect to name a place where someone
would meet him with 500,000 naira," said Sadiq
Dalhatu, head of the State Security Service in Kano,
at a news conference where the suspect was paraded.
"He named a hotel in Kano where our men went under
the guise of giving him the money." Bashir is said
to have told police he had resorted to blackmail
after his business failed, but would not say what
the business had been.
"Nigerian political porn scam," Sydney Morning
Herald, July 8, 2005 ---
Over $568,000 per square inch
The Metropolitan Museum of
Art’s recent purchase of an early Renaissance
“Madonna and Child” by Duccio di Buoninsegna, for a
price said to have been between forty-five and fifty
million dollars, has been greeted by most New
Yorkers with unruffled calm. Although the
acquisition was covered extensively last November,
with emphasis on the price and the extreme rarity of
works by this Sienese master, the little picture (it
measures eleven inches high by just over eight
inches wide, and is painted in tempera and gold on a
wooden panel) has not attracted the multitudes that
would make it difficult to see.
Calvin Tomkins, "The Missing Madonna, " The New
Yorker, July 11, 2005 ---
Vatican Sacks Six Pervy Priests for Having Sex
With Drunken Teen Boy
The Vatican has defrocked
six priests from the Archdiocese of New York —
including one who paid for sex with an underage boy
and another who was convicted of sodomizing a
drunken teen, officials said yesterday. All the men
lost their pensions and will not be allowed to
perform priestly duties and were stripped of their
collars by the Roman Catholic Church following
allegations of sexual abuse. A seventh priest, who
was also accused of sexual abuse, Rev. Alfred
Gallant, of Orange County, was allowed to retain his
title of priest and keep his pension, but not
allowed to perform sacraments.
Jennifer Fermino, "VATICAN SACKS SIX PERVY N.Y.
PRIESTS ," Yahoo News, July 9, 2005 ---
Google Wins 'Typosquatting'
arbitrator has awarded
to several Web site addresses that
relied on typographical errors to
exploit the online search engine's
popularity so computer viruses and
other malicious software could be
unleashed on unsuspecting
visitors.The National Arbitration
Forum, a legal alternate to
litigating in court, sided with a
Google complaint alleging that
Sergey Gridasov of St. Petersburg,
Russia, had engaged in ''typosquatting''
by operating Web sites named
"Google Wins 'Typosquatting'
Dispute," The New York Tim
July 10, 2005 ---
Bisexual men allegedly lie about sexual
The study, by a team of
psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends support
to those who have long been skeptical that
bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual
orientation. People who claim bisexuality, according
to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are
ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply
closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as
some gay men have put it. In the new study, a team
of psychologists directly measured genital arousal
patterns in response to images of men and women. The
psychologists found that men who identified
themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively
aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by
Benedict Carey, "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality
Revisited," The New York Times, July 5, 2005
Forwarded by Paula
This is a test to see if you are a "Know it All"
This is a quiz for people who know everything! I
found out in a hurry that I didn't. These are not
trick questions. They are straight questions with
1. Name the one sport in which neither the
spectators nor the participants know the score or
the leader until the contest ends.
2. What famous North American landmark is
constantly moving backward?
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to
produce on their own for several growing seasons.
All other vegetables must be replanted every year.
What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. Name the only sport in which the ball is
always in possession of the team on defense, and the
offensive team can score without touching the ball?
5. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
6. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear
brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear
is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it
hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get
inside the bottle?
7. Only three words in standard English begin
with the letters "dw" and they are all common words.
Name two of them.
8. There are 14 punctuation marks in English
grammar. Can you name at least half of them?
9. Where are the lakes that are referred to in
the Los Angeles Lakers?
10. There are 7 ways a baseball player can
legally reach first base without getting a hit.
Taking a base on balls (a walk) is one way. Name the
11. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is
never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in
any other form except fresh.
12. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on
your feet beginning with the letter "S."
Answers To Quiz:
1. The one sport in which neither the spectators
nor the participants know the score or the leader
until the contest ends . . . boxing
2. North American landmark constantly moving
backward . . . Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down
about two and a half feet each year because of the
millions of gallons of water that rush over it every
3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce
on their own for several growing seasons . . .
asparagus and rhubarb.
4. The only sport in which the ball is always in
possession of the team on defense, and the offensive
team can score without touching the ball . . .
5. The fruit with its seeds on the outside . .
6. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle?
It grew inside the bottle. (The bottles are placed
over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in
place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for
the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe,
they are snipped off at the stems.)
7. Three English words beginning with dw . dwarf,
dwell and dwindle.
8. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar
. . . period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen,
apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point,
quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and
9. The original lakes referred to in Lakers . . .
in Minnesota. (The team was originally known as the
Minneapolis Lakers, and kept the name when they
10. Seven ways a baseball player can legally
reach first base without getting a hit . . . taking
a base on balls (a walk) . . . batter hit by a
pitch, passed ball, catcher interference, catcher
drops third strike, fielder's choice, and being
designated as a pinch-runner.
11. The only vegetable or fruit never sold
frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other
form but fresh . lettuce.
12. Six or more things you can wear on your feet
beginning with "s" . . . shoes, socks, sandals,
sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes,
Forwarded by Auntie Bev
The Perks of Being Over 60
01. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to
02. Your secrets are safe with your friends
because they can't remember them either.
03. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists
than the national weather service.
04. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake
05. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
06. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
07. Things you buy now won't wear out.
08. You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.
09. You can live without sex but not without
10. You enjoy hearing about other people's
11. You get into heated arguments about pension
12. You have a party and the neighbors don't even
13. You no longer think of speed limits as a
14. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no
matter who walks into the room.
15. You sing along with elevator music.
16. Your eyes won't get much worse.
17. Your investment in health insurance is
finally beginning to pay off.
18. You can't remember who sent you this list.