Monday, January 7, 2013

The Incredibly Stupid Files Leaked…

In the age of nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles and spy satellites, France maintains Europe's last "squadron" of military carrier pigeons. Legislator Jean-Pierre Decool lauds the pigeons and campaigns for their upgrade, warning that in the event of war or other catastrophe, the birds would be a valuable messaging network. (Pigeons have been used at times in the current Syrian civil war.) Until very recently, pigeons wearing harnesses had been used by a hospital in Normandy to ferry blood samples to a testing lab (a 25-minute flight).

Tunisia's Ministry for Women and Family Affairs demanded in October that the government prosecute the publisher of the children's magazine Qaws Quzah ("Rainbow"), aimed at ages 5 to 15, for an article in the then-current issue on how to construct a gasoline bomb (also known as a "Molotov cocktail”).

Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found recently in tests that 10th-grade students who play video games (especially shooting and sports games) regularly score just as high in robotic surgery dexterity as resident doctors. The lead researcher said that surgery simulations (for example, suturing) have built-in unpredictability, for training purposes, but since complex video games are laden with unpredictability, players logging at least two hours a day with the joystick in fact may even slightly outperform the doctors.

Homeless man Darren Kersey, 28, was jailed overnight in November in Sarasota, Fla., after being busted for charging his cellphone at an outlet at a public picnic shelter in the city's Gillespie Park. The police report noted that "Theft of city utilities will not be tolerated ...." However, for owners of electric cars (less likely to be homeless!), the city runs several absolutely free charging stations, including one at city hall. (Kersey was released the next day when a judge ruled the arrest improper.)

Briton Robert Moore, 31, got a relatively light sentence in Bradford Crown Court in October when he convinced a judge that he only inadvertently possessed child pornography. He was largely interested in human-animal porn (including with a pig, a goat, a horse and an octopus). Moore was not eligible for a court-ordered "treatment" alternative to prison because he told the judge that he does not believe he has a deviancy.

Daniel Greer, 24, told the New York Daily News that in Sept. a police officer who had been trailing the bicyclist stopped him and issued separate traffic tickets for riding through three red lights while listening to music through earphones. The three offenses, plus a related ticket, forced Greer to court, where he clumsily pleaded guilty, not aware of the amount of the fine. His multiple offenses made him a repeat offender, and he was fined $1,550.

Live Long and Prosper…

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