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Rather a pity, but their reasons are understandable.. seems Doctor Who won't be going to HD just yet. 'When a show moves over to HD, even the smallest visual details because highly important to clean up. Because "Doctor Who" is so special effects-oriented, the production crews would have to have the effects finished down to the most minute detail, Gardner said.' (New season starts in the UK on Sat, Mar 31, BBC 1, 7pm, yay!)

All of the underwater photos here are of the highest quality, but this one featuring a harbor seal and the diver himself is just wonderful. ^_^

Interesting.. seems the erstwhile NPR show This American Life is making a branch into TV. Said (cable) channel's made a Flash video promo short of one segment here. And then there's word of the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" being made into a Broadway musical - by Aaron Sorkin, of West Wing fame.

So, it seems The Daily WTF has relaunched as Worse Than Failure. Still seems like a good home for inexplicable code. ^_^

Here's something I'd like to share: one of the Mark Steel Lectures, a co-production between the BBC and the Open University. It's an unusual show, as it looks at famous movers in history not purely from the standpoint of a dry list of accomplishments, but also who they themselves actually were, what motivated them, how they became who they're known as. So, here's his look at Albert Einstein. It's very light on the scientific side, regrettably, but the fundamentals of his work are covered.

I thought dagoski and dronon especially would enjoy this brief tale of one shirt and two libraries. =:D

Yay! Lapin le Beau's taking commissions. Throw lots of money at him. ^_^

Perhaps you'll want to wait until you're outside the office, for the first two.. maybe the third, if it's an uptight place. ^_^ Enjoy! =:D

US politics are currently taking quite an interesting turn. As some of you have observed, the administration recently demanded the resignation of several US Attorneys - an uncommon move, as they're generally only replaced at the start of a new administration, being political apointees. (In the past 25 years, only ten have been dismissed at any other time, eight for a clear cause, such as biting a stripper on the arm) The serious matter at hand is that their abrupt terminations interrupted several significant cases, such as Carol Lam in San Diego, handling the remarkably wide-ranging Jerry Lewis/Abramoff/"Duke" Cunningham corruption case. Seeking to investigate, the House called upon several involved White House personnel to testify, including Karl Rove. This request was refused, and subpoenas have now been approved by the panel in question. Should these be refused, the legal situation appears to fall to the House for resolution, becoming a matter of Inherent Contempt, requiring a trial in the House.

The White House's reply? '"Such interviews would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas," Fielding said in a letter to the chairman of the House and Senate judiciary committees.' Senators Specter (R) and Leahy (D) respond to this offer - it's a memorable thirty seconds. =:D

'Two thirds of Hungarians polled for their opinion of dole-scrounging immigrants from Piresa demanded "absolutely no asylum" for the parasitic newcomers, Ananova reports. This came as a bit of a surprise to opinion research institute Tarki, which carried out the probe, since the country of Piresa is fictional. Tarki said: "We were surprised that two thirds of the interviewees demanded absolutely no asylum for Piresans, accused them of being spongers, and agreed they should be sent home immediately."'

Be happy, citizen! On entering the US in the future, you'll no longer have to put up with the indignity of being eye-scanned and thumbprinted - the future holds the glorious assurance of security through having all your fingerprints taken.

Four more Shaun the Sheep shorts: The Bull, Saturday Night Shaun, Little Sheep of Horrors, and Buzz Off Bees.

Here, have some bunneh porn. =:D

And by way of mycroftb, this is officially amusing.. as you know, laser pointers are pretty much the ultimate cat toy. Here's the canine equivalent - a little more expensive, but every bit as effective. ^_^

Now that's a bit annoying.. reinstalled the Intuos driver, as that got lost in the OS reinstall a while back, and now it seems to work fine up to the point I disconnect the tablet. Then, it seems to get stuck in a random state - once, any mouse click (or pen click, if I reconnect it) would act as a right-click, and another time, giving focus to a window would immediately cause it to scroll to the bottom. Blarg. Wacom hardware is superb, but their software is another matter.

Iraq in Fragments looks like it could be a documentary to catch.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nice underwater photos.

The library shirt sounds great, too - especially since the statement is actually so true. ^^

"The US has a less stringent privacy regime than Europe." - that's one way to phrase it, although "less stringent" sure is quite the euphemism for "none at all".

I really have no idea what the "Ball Busters" game is actually about, though.
Mmm, really good eye for the camera.. think I'd probably enjoy scuba diving a lot, but obviously, that's something for more prosperous times. Seems like it'd be a very good means of keeping fit, too. Pity we can't just morph into seal or dolphin forms instead of having to lug around tanks, regulators, goggles, and a thousand pieces of safety equipment, all meticulously checked.. someday, someday. ^_^

That posting definitely fills one's irony RDA. I'm still a bit puzzled quite what the guy found so offensive about it, but I suppose for just about any given thing, there'll be someone, somewhere offended by it. *chuckle*

True, about the only meaningful privacy legislation in the US remains HIPAA. Other than that, you're fair game, it seems. *sigh* Always a good idea to check privacy policies (of course, who's to say they're actually followed? Let alone the NSA's new-found love of mass interception of data traffic..), I feel - the best, of course, are the simplest. Ones that begin with phrasing like "Your privacy is very important to us" can usually be filed for sincerity alongside "Your call is important to us".

I'm still wondering if Ball Busters was for real, as the advert doesn't actually explain what the game's purpose is. A quick googling only showed links to the ad, no further information. Of course, this means I must find out. =:) Seems like tracing the manufacturer's history might turn up something. I was surprised not to come across a fan site for it, though. ^_^
SCUBA diving is nice - or at least, it can be, depending on the people you're diving with. Well, that, and a nice area to dive in is crucial, too; nothing sucks more than spending lots of energy, time and money and grinning and bearing it when you have to deal with a bunch of idiots, only to find that you literally can't see more than 6 inches ahead of you and that the water is so cold that you start freezing after 20 minutes even in your neoprene suit.

Yeah, I'm still wondering what he found offensive about the t-shirt, too - maybe the word "offensive" was offensive to him, but that's all I can think of, and even that doesn't really make much sense. Ah well.

Yeah, I agree about privacy (or the lack thereof), too.

And as for the game... I don't know, but maybe it really is a spoof; I certainly wouldn't be surprised. The commercial just seems unreal, to an extent, although I'm not familiar enough with US-American commercials from the 70s to say for sure whether it's over the top or not.
Mm, that's got to be a problem until you start getting into Mediterranean or southern Atlantic waters.. the gulf stream is only comparatively warm. ^_^ Wonder if the Great Ocean Conveyor is indeed in the process of shutting down.. it'd mean tremendous disruption (not least of all agriculturally), but I'll admit I wouldn't be averse to a more snowy wintertime.

And lo, the internet knows everything: "Each of these poles was topped with a hinged plastic ball. There were a variety of colors available (such as red, yellow, and blue), with each player choosing a color of their own. The poles would be pulled back, catapult-style, and released. The pole would then spring forward and, hopefully, slam your ball into another player's ball. The first player to break all of their opponent's balls wins." It does indeed appear to've been a real product. ^_^
Mmm. The baltic sea isn't even situated at the gulf stream - I suppose it still has some influence, of course, but it really *can* get pretty cold in there. I'd kinda like to dive in a more tropical setting some day, though.

As for the gulf stream itself... let's hope it won't shut off. I wouldn't mind more snow, but another ice age wouldn't be nice, and I also don't think society would handle drastic changes in climate in a peaceful way.

As for the game, I'd still take information from Everything2 with a grain of salt. Ah well. :)
Doctor Who won't be going to HD just yet

Well, seeing as New Labour's money-making instincts mean that enough spectrum will be sold off to make Freeview HD more or less impossible for the next few years (thus leading to the wonderful prospect of the UK being the only major country in Europe were most of the citizens won't be able to see our own Olympics in 2012 in HD) I can't say it bothers me all that much!

Interesting statistic in the Register story about US immigration that you link to: "Around 4.7 million UK citizens visited the US in 2001, a figure that fell to 4.3 million in 2005." That's about an 8.5% drop - I wonder how much revenue that's lost the US?
Oh, hairballs! That's not good news. I was quite excited to read of the success of the London trials of HD over Freeview. Of course, that won't exactly help to speed the adoption of HD equipment, either, though I suppose an argument could be made in favor of HTPCs and boxes like Apple TV, which are entirely medium-agnostic. Ideally, the BBC would make torrents available themselves, as simply another means of broadcasting, and an exceptionally low-cost one, but the DRM bug seems to've bitten. (So all those smelly OS X, *BSD, and Linux folks can get lost for another two years or so, until they (maybe) work out some other DRM system more widely supported than Windows Media's)

Hoo.. indeed, that's quite a noticeable drop, even in the face of a drooping USD making it that much cheaper for visitors to the US.

*sigh* Now I'm thinking of that terribly prescient Onion story, wherein a newly sworn-in Bush promises "an end to our national nightmare of peace and prosperity"..
Aiee! Great rab pics. Can't afford squat but can always afford to add someone in on FA.

*SIGH* I am becoming more and more convinced that I will never enter the US again. This is very sad as that's where all the cons are, and so many of my friends as well. Maybe if I go across in a beater car at a fly-speck border post.
*grin* I do hope his commissions drive goes well - he's got such a sense of fun in his work. At some point, I'm going to have to pummel myself into wielding the tablet again and coming up with some new stuff for my FA page, too..

The oddest checkpoint I encountered was one in the middle of Oklahoma, for some reason. Thankfully, I had my passport with me. (And then there's the ever popular one north of San Diego.. *sigh* Always hated going through that, despite having nothing to worry about)

Not that it'd be a cheap adventure, but there's always Feral - and further afield, EuroFurence. (And there even seems to be a UK furcon finally coming together, which will guarantee at least a month's rain either side)
Oklahoma??? Now if it was Kansas, what with Oz and all that.
Feral would be quite cheap and easy for me. It's in where, Ontario? I'm sure a quick cheap flight to Toronto would put me in the laps of many furs (whee!) who'd be driving out there.
Oh god... I just watched the "Ball Buster" commercial. I don't know how I'll be able to sleep at night.
Well, just wander around and mutter lines from it just loud enough for the others to hear (or has the move taken place already?). That way they'll be too busy giggling as well. =:D
(grins) That's a great shirt, and the very essence of a good library collection policy. You just need the right administration to back it up, because public libraries get all sorts of censorship requests.

I once saw a dark blue security jacket online for sale, except instead of the words "POLICE" or "SECURITY" across the back, it read "AUTHORITY CONTROL" - which while it sounds like something an anti-authority activist might wear, was actually a very geeky librarian in-joke. :)
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There's the thing, of course - the USAs do indeed serve at the whim of the president. Seems a bit odd to me, but the system's worked fairly well up to this point - the crux being that if a US Attorney issues a search warrant, or asks for your arrest, you need to know it's in the course of upholding the law, not enforcing a party's whims. Carol Lam's the most prominent of the fired, and was in the middle of conducting her investigations into the Cunningham/Lewis/Abramoff scandal; the timing doesn't help their claims, let alone the mound of contradictions - TPM's US Attorney timeline notes:

May 10, 2006

Carol Lam informs the Justice Department that she intends to serve search warrants to Foggo.

May 11, 2006

The LA Times reports that the investigation of Cunningham has expanded to include Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman.
Sampson emails deputy White House counsel William Kelley: "The real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires."


Latest to be called to appear by Waxman is Abramoff's former secretary, who, upon Team Bush taking power, moved to become Karl Rove's secretary. So, you see, no connections between these guys. =:D
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Nice Bernie userpic. That's the version off the 'Peace Pasta and Parmesan', right? Because it seemes to me that that's the only variety that uses that version of the logo instead of the generic version of the Bernie logo...
Hmm! Would make sense.. I actually found it at random, with a quick Google Images search. I felt in need of an icon of our favorite lapine gourmand, and it seemed to fit me nicely, being a peacenik. ^_^
Yay! Bunny!
That's some incredible art, and at that price a bargain. I soooo comissioned him when I saw this post.*chuckles* So far I'm impressed with what he's come up with for me. ^_^