Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weird Creepy Tales of the Truly Bizarre!

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Rising to the Occasion

 AVENGING ANGELS
Reimagining Socialism: A Nation Forum

By Barbara Ehrenreich & Bill Fletcher Jr.

Socialism's all the rage. "We Are All Socialists Now," Newsweek declares. As the right wing tells it, we're already living in the U.S.S.A. But what do self-identified socialists (and their progressive friends) have to say about capitalism's current troubles? We've asked them, and you can read their spirited replies in the forum that follows this essay.   --The Editors

If you haven't heard socialists doing much crowing over the fall of capitalism, it isn't just because there aren't enough of us to make an audible crowing sound. We, as much as anyone on Wall Street in, say, 2006, appreciate the resilience of American capitalism--its ability to regroup and find fresh avenues for growth, as it did after the depressions of 1877, 1893 and the 1930s. In fact, The Communist Manifesto can be read not only as an indictment of capitalism but as a breathless paean to its dynamism. And we all know the joke about the Marxist economist who successfully predicted eleven out of the last three recessions.

Besides, it wasn't supposed to happen this way. There was supposed to be a revolution, remember? The socialist idea, prediction, faith or whatever was that capitalism would fall when people got tired of trying to live on the crumbs that fall from the chins of the rich and rose up in some fashion--preferably inclusively, democratically and nonviolently--and seized the wealth for themselves. Such a seizure would have looked nothing like "nationalization" as currently discussed, in which public wealth flows into the private sector with little or no change in the elites that control it or in the way the control is exercised. Our expectation as socialists was that the huge amount of organizing required for revolutionary change would create an infrastructure for governance, built out of--among other puzzle pieces--unions, community organizations, advocacy groups and new organizations of the unemployed and nouveau poor.

It was also supposed to be a simple matter for the masses to take over or "seize" the physical infrastructure of industrial capitalism--the "means of production"--and start putting it to work for the common good. But much of the means of production has fled overseas--to China, for example, that bastion of authoritarian capitalism. When we look around our increasingly shuttered landscape and survey the ruins of finance capitalism, we see bank upon bank, realty and mortgage companies, title companies, insurance companies, credit-rating agencies and call centers, but not enough enterprises making anything we could actually use, like food or pharmaceuticals. In recent years, capitalism has become increasingly and almost mystically abstract. Outside manufacturing and the service sector, fewer and fewer people could explain to their children what they did for a living. The brightest students went into finance, not physics. The biggest urban buildings housed cubicles and computer screens, not assembly lines, laboratories, studios or classrooms. Even our flagship industry, manufacturing autos, would require major retooling to make something we could use--not more cars, let alone more SUVs, but more windmills, buses and trains.

What is most galling, from a socialist perspective, is the dawning notion that capitalism may be leaving us with less than it found on this planet, about 400 years ago, when the capitalist mode of production began to take off.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090323/ehrenreich_fletcher

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Taking in the trash

Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson
Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson checking out local Dumpsters, and some of the items they have scavenged.
 
An adventure in the thrifty, nifty world of die-hard scavenging, where you won't believe what you can find if you just know where to look.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Kristan Lawson's legs are dangling out of the mouth of a Dumpster, as if he's being eaten alive. Inside, the scavenger is grabbing loaf after loaf of freshly baked bread. This isn't just any bread; it's rarefied artisanal bread, the kind of baguettes and ciabattas that are displayed as impulse purchases in their own tempting wooden stand near the checkout at posh grocery stores, because shoppers just can't resist them, despite the eye-popping prices.

The price is free at this Dumpster behind a bakery in an East Bay neighborhood. Lawson, 48, hands the spoils off to Anneli Rufus, 49, his wife of almost 20 years. He opens his backpack to reveal another empty bag, which he takes out and stuffs with about 15 loaves of bread, which they will freeze and eat for weeks to come.

The couple is leading me on an expedition in the East Bay cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville to show me just how much stuff is free for the taking -- or at least extremely cheap -- if you're willing to spend the time and effort to look for it. Like this bread, not even a day old, discarded for a few bumps and dents.

"They know people go there, but I don't think they want to advertise it," says Rufus, making me promise not to reveal the bakery's name for fear the Dumpsters will be locked up tight. We make a hasty getaway in my car. (We're in my car, because, naturally, Rufus and Lawson don't have one.)

Rufus and Lawson are the authors of the new book "The Scavengers' Manifesto," a do-it-yourself handbook and love letter to the joys of salvaging, swapping, repurposing and reusing stuff. Getting something for nothing -- or close to it -- is their way of life, and it defines what they wear, eat, how they decorate their home, right down to the way Lawson dispenses with the whiskers on his chinny-chin-chin. (He has literally never paid for shaving cream, using free samples that companies give away to U.C. Berkeley students to get them hooked on their brands.) These two are no slumming trust-fund babies. Rather, they save so much money scavenging that Lawson hasn't worked a full-time job in over a decade, and Rufus never has, which just gives the two writers -- they've both written other books -- time for their perpetual hunt.

Rufus defines scavenging as "any way of legally acquiring stuff for cheap or for free -- any way that's not full price. That's anything from clipping coupons and getting discounts to picking something off the ground, to going to yard sales to the Dumpster." While the duo clearly revels in saving money on something other people pay top dollar for, like fancy bread, they also relish the constant sense of the unexpected that comes with scavenging. Instead of going out and getting what you want, like a regular shopper, you accept and even delight in whatever you happen to find.
 
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Army vet billed $3,000 for war wounds

Erik Roberts, an Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq, underwent his 13th surgery recently to save his right leg from amputation. Imagine his shock when he got a bill for $3,000 for his treatment.

Army Sgt. Erik Roberts was badly wounded in Iraq with two comrades in April 2006.

 I just thought it was bull---- that I'm getting billed for being wounded in Iraq doing my job. I always put the mission first, and now that I was wounded in Iraq, they're sending me bills," he said.

"I put my life on the line and I was wounded in combat, and I came back and they're not going to take care of my medical bills?"

It's a level of outrage shared by his mother, as well as the doctor who performed the surgery.

"It's hard to understand why we're not taking care of guys like Erik whose injuries are clearly related to their service. They deserve the best care of anybody," said Dr. William Obremskey, an Air Force veteran and surgeon at Vanderbilt Orthopaedics in Nashville, Tennessee.

"For him to be responsible for $3,000, I think, is a little ridiculous or is uncalled for, particularly in this situation."

His mother, Robin Roberts, put it more succinctly: "Why should any soldier pay one penny of a medical bill from injuries that occurred while they were fighting in a war? That's what really frustrates me."

The Department of Veterans Affairs has now decided to pay his bill, but only after prodding from a U.S. senator who got involved after CNN brought it to his attention.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/26/wounded.warrior/index.html

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Connecticut School Bans Physical Contact

 
East Shore M.S. Outlaws "High-Fives," "Hugging" And Horseplay Of Any Kind; Violators May Face Expulsion

A Connecticut middle school principal has laid down the law: You put your hands on someone -- anyone -- in any way, you're going to pay.

A violent incident that put one student in the hospital has officials at the Milford school implementing a "no touching" policy, according to a letter written by the school's principal.

East Shore Middle School parents said the change came after a student was sent to the hospital after being struck in the groin.

Principal Catherine Williams sent out a letter earlier in the week telling parents recent behavior has seriously impacted the safety and learning at the school.

"Observed behaviors of concern recently exhibited include kicking others in the groin area, grabbing and touching of others in personal areas, hugging and horseplay. Physical contact is prohibited to keep all students safe in the learning environment," Williams wrote.

Students and parents are outraged. They said the new policy means no high-fives and hugs, as well as horseplay of any kind. The consequences could be dire, Williams warned in the letter.

"Potential consequences and disciplinary action may include parent conferences, detention, suspension and/or a request for expulsion from school," Williams wrote.

Many think the school's no tolerance policy goes way too far. Others said it's utterly ridiculous.
 
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Twelve amazing shipping container houses

By Brian Clark Howard

Container City
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

Invented more than five decades ago, the modern shipping container is the linchpin in our global distribution network of products. In the containers go toys from China, textiles from India, grain from America, and cars from Germany. In go electronics, chocolate, and cheese.

While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers into make-shift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks.

Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor, and resources of more conventional materials.

Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping container architecture, from disaster relief shelters to luxury condos, vacation homes, and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting edge.

Redondo Beach House
(Photo: Andre Movsesyan / DeMaria Design )

De Maria Design Redondo Beach House

With its modern lines and appealing spaces, the award-winning Redondo Beach House by De Maria Design turns heads. The luxury beach-side showpiece was built from eight prefabricated, recycled steel shipping containers, along with some traditional building materials. According to the architects, the modified containers are "nearly indestructible," as well as resistant to mold, fire, and termites. Seventy percent of the building was efficiently assembled in a shop, saving time, money, and resources.

One of the containers can even sport a pool! The lessons learned from Redondo Beach House are being incorporated into a line of more affordable, accessible designs, soon available as Logical Homes.

London's Container City
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

London's Container City

Conceived by Urban Space Management, London's Container City first sprang up in the heart of the Docklands in 2001. It took just five months to complete the original 12 work studios, at a height of three stories. Shortly after that a fourth floor of studios and living apartments was added.

Container City was designed to be low cost, as well as environmentally friendly. Recycled materials made up 80% of building supplies. Architect Nicholas Lacey and partners and engineer Buro Happold used component pieces to build up adaptable living and work spaces.

 

Container City II
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

Container City II

Container City I was a success, and in2002, Urban Space Management added an addition, dubbed Container City II. Reaching five stories high, Container City II is connected to its earlier iteration via walkways. It also boasts an elevator and full disabled access, as well as 22 studios.

 

 

 

Port-a-Bach
(Photo: Paul McCredie)

Port-a-Bach

Need some flexibility with security? Need a temporary structure or small vacation home? Going off the grid? The Port-a-Bach system from New Zealand's Atelier Workshop might be a good fit.

Costing around $55,000, Port-a-Bach sleeps two adults and two children comfortably, in a dwelling that folds up into a fully enclosed steel shell. It comes with large internal storage cupboards and shelves; a stainless steel kitchen; bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet; bunk beds and dressing room. Fabric screens allow you to shape internal space, as well as shelter the outdoor deck area.

Bach (pronounced Batch) is Kiwi slang for "Bachelor Pad," and refers to the many small cabins that dot the famously picturesque country.

 

 

Cove Park Artists' Retreat
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

Cove Park Artists' Retreat

Set on 50 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, Cove Park is an artist's retreat designed to stimulate and reinvigorate. Urban Space Management first brought in three repurposed shipping containers in 2001, and the center became so popular that more units have been added.

Doesn't look like your average shipping box, does it?

 

 

 

 

All Terrain Cabin
(Photo: Bark Design Collective)

 

 All Terrain Cabin

Canada's Bark Design Collective built the All Terrain Cabin (ATC) as a showcase for sustainable (and Canadian!) ingenuity. The small home is based on a standard shipping container, and is said to be suitable for a family of four, plus a pet, to live off the grid in comfort and style.

The cabin folds up to look like any old shipping container, and can be sent via rail, truck, ship, airplane, or even helicopter. When you're ready to rest your bones, the cabin quickly unfolds to 480 square feet of living space, with a range of creature comforts.

Invented more than five decades ago, the modern shipping container is the linchpin in our global distribution network of products. In the containers go toys from China, textiles from India, grain from America, and cars from Germany. In go electronics, chocolate, and cheese.

While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers into make-shift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks.

Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor, and resources of more conventional materials.

Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping container architecture, from disaster relief shelters to luxury condos, vacation homes, and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting edge.

Redondo Beach House
(Photo: Andre Movsesyan / DeMaria Design )

De Maria Design Redondo Beach House

With its modern lines and appealing spaces, the award-winning Redondo Beach House by De Maria Design turns heads. The luxury beach-side showpiece was built from eight prefabricated, recycled steel shipping containers, along with some traditional building materials. According to the architects, the modified containers are "nearly indestructible," as well as resistant to mold, fire, and termites. Seventy percent of the building was efficiently assembled in a shop, saving time, money, and resources.

One of the containers can even sport a pool! The lessons learned from Redondo Beach House are being incorporated into a line of more affordable, accessible designs, soon available as Logical Homes.

London's Container City
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

London's Container City

Conceived by Urban Space Management, London's Container City first sprang up in the heart of the Docklands in 2001. It took just five months to complete the original 12 work studios, at a height of three stories. Shortly after that a fourth floor of studios and living apartments was added.

Container City was designed to be low cost, as well as environmentally friendly. Recycled materials made up 80% of building supplies. Architect Nicholas Lacey and partners and engineer Buro Happold used component pieces to build up adaptable living and work spaces.

 

Container City II
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

Container City II

Container City I was a success, and in2002, Urban Space Management added an addition, dubbed Container City II. Reaching five stories high, Container City II is connected to its earlier iteration via walkways. It also boasts an elevator and full disabled access, as well as 22 studios.

 

 

 

 

Port-a-Bach
(Photo: Paul McCredie)

Port-a-Bach

Need some flexibility with security? Need a temporary structure or small vacation home? Going off the grid? The Port-a-Bach system from New Zealand's Atelier Workshop might be a good fit.

Costing around $55,000, Port-a-Bach sleeps two adults and two children comfortably, in a dwelling that folds up into a fully enclosed steel shell. It comes with large internal storage cupboards and shelves; a stainless steel kitchen; bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet; bunk beds and dressing room. Fabric screens allow you to shape internal space, as well as shelter the outdoor deck area.

Bach (pronounced Batch) is Kiwi slang for "Bachelor Pad," and refers to the many small cabins that dot the famously picturesque country.

 

 

Cove Park Artists' Retreat
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

Cove Park Artists' Retreat

Set on 50 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, Cove Park is an artist's retreat designed to stimulate and reinvigorate. Urban Space Management first brought in three repurposed shipping containers in 2001, and the center became so popular that more units have been added.

Doesn't look like your average shipping box, does it?

 

 

 

All Terrain Cabin
(Photo: Bark Design Collective)

All Terrain Cabin

Canada's Bark Design Collective built the All Terrain Cabin (ATC) as a showcase for sustainable (and Canadian!) ingenuity. The small home is based on a standard shipping container, and is said to be suitable for a family of four, plus a pet, to live off the grid in comfort and style.

The cabin folds up to look like any old shipping container, and can be sent via rail, truck, ship, airplane, or even helicopter. When you're ready to rest your bones, the cabin quickly unfolds to 480 square feet of living space, with a range of creature comforts.

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/8/twelve-amazing-shipping-container-houses.html

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Settling once and for all whether Ravel was gay

Hidden clue to composer's passion

Renoir was among the artists who depicted Parisian socialite Misia Sert

 

The French composer, Maurice Ravel may have left a hidden message - a woman's name - inside his work.

A sequence of three notes occurring repeatedly through his work spells out the name of a famous Parisian socialite says Ravel expert David Lamaze.

He argues that the notes, E, B, A in musical notation, or "Mi-Si-La" in the French doh-re-mi scale, refer to Misia Sert, a close friend of Ravel's.

Well known in art circles, she was painted by Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Ravel never married, but Misia was married three times. Ravel composed some of his work while staying on a boat belonging to Misia and her second husband.

It has never been done before. To take one person and to place them at the centre of a life-long work
Professor David Lamaze, Conservatoire de Rennes

"It has never been done before. To take one person and to place them at the centre of a life-long work," says Professor Lamaze of the Conservatoire de Rennes, who is working on a book about Ravel and Misia.

Professor Lamaze believes Ravel was romantically inspired by Misia. "To put the feeling of love at the very central point of the creation without us knowing it. That is typical of Ravel, I think."

Secretive

Maurice Ravel. Original Artwork: By Elliott & Fry.
Ravel was intensely private about both his work and his love life

Ravel was notoriously secretive about all aspects of his life, from his compositional process to his private life, which has led to speculation that he may have been gay.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7968024.stm

FREE PRESS REBUTTAL

We're supposed to buy the premise that "Mi-Si-La" in French refers to "Misia," a friend of Ravel's? If Ravel was such a perfectionist, where'd that extra "L" come from? Sorry, bub, close but no cigar, and I do mean that in the Freudian sense.

MD

 

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Granny's Got Your Back

 
by Heather Robinson

Granny's Got Your BackThe Raging Grannies defy just about every stereotype our culture has about older women. They are politically active, intellectually sharp, unapologetic about their opinions and willing to do just about anything to get their message of peace and social justice out into the world. These are women who aren't ashamed they've been around the block a few times, and are ready and willing to apply some of the important life lessons they have learned along the way. Lesson No. 1 is that a hilarious ditty often catches a lot more ears than an angry chant. The group recently sang their social justice hearts out at a rally they organized to protest the passage of California's Proposition 8:

Another Groom, another groom
Another sunny honeymoon
Love is so pleasin', no other reason
For makin' whoopee

The Raging Grannies are known for using a unique style of interactive street theatre to tell their story. "What we really go for is camera ops for TV and photo ops for the paper, because mainstream media does not want to talk to women our age, but when we're on the streets and making something for them to photograph they're very interested in hearing our message," said Ruth Robertson (aka Granny Ruth) who organizes many of the groups actions. The recently released documentary Raging Grannies follows the adventures of the gaggle from Mountain View, Calif. as they protest for peace and justice.

Many of the women in the film mention the frustration over not being listened to in a sexist and ageist society. Together in their granny getups of fancy hats, shawls and aprons, they gain power and make an impact. For the Prop. 8 protest they donned wedding gowns, held bouquets and belted it out for the civil rights of gay people. One of the grannies even squeezed into her original wedding dress, with the assistance of some helpful grannies and quite a few pins. Lesson number two is that not having a perfect singing voice shouldn't stand in the way of getting one's message across. "We don't want to sit around in rehearsals. We just want to be out on the streets," said Robertson.

Italian shoes, who cares the price
Both grooms are nervous
They answer twice, Prop. 8 was killin'
Some folks weren't willin'
For them to whoopee

There is no minimum age requirement for Raging Grannyhood, though the average age is 50 plus. "If you're willing to put on the persona of a granny, which we like because it's a non-threatening sort of humorous image, then you're old enough," said Robertson. Granny Marion Bush, who also appears in the documentary, is currently the ripest granny, at the age of 92.

http://www.curvemag.com/Curve-Magazine/Web-Articles-2008/The-Grannies-are-coming-Hurrah-Hurrah/

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The 'revolution' starts here as 35,000 pack the G20 march

by Tracy McVeigh and Paul Lewis

G20 demonstrators

Demonstrators attend the Put People First march through central London, beginning several days of protest surrounding the G20 summit. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

They hoped for 10,000, but in the end more than triple that number turned out on London's streets for the biggest demonstration since the beginning of the economic crisis.

The Put People First march yesterday was organised by a collaboration of more than 100 trade unions, church groups and charities including ActionAid, Save the Children and Friends of the Earth. The theme was "jobs, justice and climate" and the message was aimed at the world leaders who will be gathering for the G20 summit here this week.

The marchers, estimated at 35,000 by police, accompanied by brass bands and drummers and a colourful assortment of banners and flags, walked the four miles from Embankment to Hyde Park, where speeches from comedian Mark Thomas and environmental campaigner Tony Juniper, and music from the Kooks, made for a party-like atmosphere.

People came from all over the country and families with children in pushchairs were among those marching. Jyoti Fernandes, an organic farmer who travelled from Somerset with her four children, said: "We are here to remind people that we have to look after our land and look after our food."

A group of fewer than 200 anarchists joined the march and were kept isolated and surrounded by police. Chants of "Burn the bankers!" were the closest anyone came to any show of aggression despite a heavy police presence and a few buildings along the route, including the Ritz Hotel, boarding up their windows. As protesters passed the gates of Downing Street, there were chants and shouts of "Enjoy the overtime".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/29/g20-protests-london

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Dirty bomb threat looms over G20 meet

 
LONDON: After decades of campaigns by Irish Republicans and, most recently, Islamist militants, Britons have become used to the daily threat of terrorism.

But in a warning that the stakes have been raised — and just days before world leaders gather here for the Group of 20 meeting — a warning was given this week that a so-called dirty bomb on a British city is more likely than ever. The government alert accompanied the launch of a major new anti-terrorist strategy that encourages ordinary citizens to offer Britain an additional layer of security.

The new approach aims to train some 60,000 retail, hotel, and service industry staff to recognize terrorist threats. In addition, more resources will go into blocking access to information posted online on how to stage terror attacks. Most significant, as part of a broader ideological offensive against terrorism and amid growing concern that alienated Muslim youths are being recruited by terror groups, the government will allocate funds for influential groups and individuals in Britain's Muslim community.
 
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New York's lavish new stadiums spark outrage among baseball fans

New York's lavish new stadiums spark outrage among baseball fans

Thousands are losing their jobs and new skyscrapers are scratching around for tenants, but judging only by its baseball, no-one would know that New York is gripped by recession.

Planned in more affluent times, the replacement of the landmark Shea and old Yankee stadiums with buildings designed to pamper corporate customers has angered fans and non-fans alike.

The projects received hundreds of millions of dollars of public money, as well as lucrative sponsorship deals with banks now being bailed out by Washington.

But ordinary fans must now compete for fewer cheap seats, while many question who will patronise both stadiums' luxury restaurants and who will buy their front row tickets costing £1,800 per game.

At the new £1 billion Yankee stadium, which opens in the Bronx on Friday, the players' locker room covers 30,000 square feet and TV screens are built into the mirrors found in the mens' toilets.

Despite receiving £31 billion in federal aid, Citigroup has found £276 million for a sponsorship deal with the Mets.

The new £700 million Citi Field stadium, previously the Shea, is now saddled with the unfortunate nickname "Bailout Park".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5072222/New-Yorks-lavish-new-stadiums-spark-outrage-among-baseball-fans.html

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Old AIG Commercial - "Butterflies"

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US Used by Afghan Drug Clan to Take Out Rival

A "high-ranking" member of al-Qaida was seized during a recent US mission in Afghanistan which left five people dead. But the Americans were set up: The tip-off as to his location came from a drug clan who wanted to get rid of a rival.

A secret mission by elite American Delta Force commandos in northern Afghanistan has triggered resentment among German forces, SPIEGEL has learned.

 
An Afghan boy looks through a broken window at the site of the raid in Imam Sahib.
An Afghan boy looks through a broken window at the site of the raid in Imam Sahib.
The American forces were tricked by a drug clan into taking out a rival as part of an operation to seize an al-Qaida member. Now German soldiers are paying the price for the operation's civilian casualties.

The raid took place on March 21 in Kunduz province, where German forces are helping with security and reconstruction. A US liaison officer asked the German reconstruction team to keep the Kunduz airport clear but said nothing about the impending mission. Around half an hour later, a Hercules transport aircraft landed at the airfield, together with a whole fleet of combat and transport helicopters, which then took off for the nearby town of Imam Sahib.

There, the Americans stormed a guesthouse belonging to the local mayor, who had previously been friendly towards German forces, killing his driver, cook and bodyguard, as well as two of his guests. The US commandos also seized four people. According to the US military, one of those captured was the "target" of the operation, a "high-ranking" member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida.

However, sources in the intelligence community have told SPIEGEL that the US forces were apparently used by a drug clan to take out one of its rivals, who was reportedly one of the men who was killed or detained. The tip-off regarding the location of the al-Qaida terrorist had come from a source close to a member of the Afghan government in Kabul who is reputed to be deeply involved with the illegal drugs trade in Afghanistan.

Politicians and members of the German military in Berlin have been sharply critical of the incident. The resentment of the local population regarding the civilian victims of the US attack is now directed against the previously popular German ISAF troops, they say. A further criticism is that the unilateral mission could also have posed a threat to Bundeswehr patrols in the area.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,616244,00.html

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'Star Wars' scientists create laser gun to kill mosquitoes

Vital Signs
By Anouk Lorie

LONDON, England -- Scientists in the U.S. are developing a laser gun that could kill millions of mosquitoes in minutes.

The WHO has reported that around half of the world's population is at risk of malaria.

The WHO has reported that around half of the world's population is at risk of malaria.

The laser, which has been dubbed a "weapon of mosquito destruction" fires at mosquitoes once it detects the audio frequency created by the beating of its wings.

The laser beam then destroys the mosquito, burning it on the spot.

Developed by some of the astrophysicists involved in what was known as the "Star Wars" anti-missile programs during the Cold War, the project is meant to prevent the spread of malaria.

Lead scientist on the project, Dr. Jordin Kare, told CNN that the laser would be able to sweep an area and "toast millions of mosquitoes in a few minutes."

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people from the bites of female mosquitoes.

It is particularly prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and kills an African child every 30 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

There are an estimated 300 million acute cases of malaria each year globally, resulting in more than one million deaths, the WHO reports.

Responding to questions about any potential harm the laser could pose to the eco-system, Kare said: "There is no such thing as a good mosquito, there's nothing that feeds exclusively on them. No one would miss mosquitoes," he said.

"In any case," he added. "The laser is able to distinguish between mosquitoes that go after people and those that aren't dangerous. What remains to be seen is how precise we can get."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/16/mosquito.laser.weapon/

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CULINARY CORNER///WTF?!? FILES///ERIC WHITE’S REDNECK SUSHI

rednecksss.jpg

Supertouch's own master painter ERIC WHITE makes some interesting food choices in his life as a NYC bachelor. That and the fact that he was raised in Michigan more than explain his latest dinner of redneck sushi…

http://www.supertouchart.com/2009/03/20/culinary-cornerwtf-fileseric-whites-redneck-sushi/

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