Oh great!!! The belligerent and aggressive hallmarks of "short planet syndrome".
Size doesn't matter. That was the message as friends and colleagues
of the late Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto,
gathered on the New Mexico State University campus to protest the
International Astronomical Union's recent decision to strip Pluto of
its status as a planet.
Tombaugh's widow, Patricia, and their son, Al Tombaugh, also participated.
NMSU astronomer Bernie McNamara told the crowd that textbooks shouldn't be rewritten.
"Why not? Because the debate is not over," McNamara said.
The IAU determined last week that a planet must orbit the sun and be
large enough to assume a nearly round shape, as well as "clear the
neighborhood around its orbit." Pluto's oblong orbit overlaps
Neptune's, which led the IAU to downsize the solar system to eight
planets from the traditional nine.
McNamara argued that only about 400 of the union's thousands of members were present when the Aug. 24 vote was taken.
"This was not a statement by the astronomical community at large,"
he said, adding that a petition opposing the IAU definition of a planet
is circulating among the world's planetary scientists and astronomers.
Tombaugh was 24 when he discovered Pluto while working at Lowell
Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1930. He came to NMSU in 1955 and
founded the school's research astronomy department.
His legacy is visible across the city, where an observatory, a campus street and an elementary school bear his name.
Some say Tombaugh's discovery was significant because it took 60
years for stronger telescopes to locate another object with an unusual
orbit like Pluto's, and 73 years before scientists discovered a bigger
object in the area.
"Clyde Tombaugh was an American hero," said Herb Beebe, a longtime
colleague. "For that reason alone, Pluto's status as a full-fledged
planet should be kept."
Completely safe? Lab Tested for Your Safety On Mice!
Condoms aren't that hard to use; any flight attendant would be happy to demonstrate. But for men who just can't seem to learn, here's an infomercial for the Condom-On.
"Using technology developed by NASA for the Mars Lander, the Condom-On
has been aerodynamically optimized in wind tunnels to prevent air drag
and ensure that your condom arrives at its destination ASAP," says the Web site. There. Problem solved.
The gritty, in-your-face ads on television, radio, billboards and
newspapers have exposed Montana teenagers to the ugly truth about the
evil grip of meth addiction.
They're as subtle as a sledgehammer.
A billboard shows a grungy, dirty toilet with the words, "No one thinks
they'll lose their virginity here. Meth will change that."
One TV spot shows a young man covered with scabs harassing people in a
coin laundry and beating them up for loose change. At the end of the
ad, the teen runs up to his pre-meth self and screams, "This wasn't
supposed to be your life!"
Fueled by the deep pockets of software billionaire Thomas Siebel, the
Montana Meth Project has become a national success story with its
often-shocking content. Now, Arizona officials are close to bringing
the provocative ad campaign to the state, where meth has taken hold in
cities and suburbs, rural areas, affluent houses and lower-income
On Tuesday, county and state officials, including staff members from
the Governor's Office and the Attorney General's Office, will fly to
Helena, Mont., to watch the latest round of TV spots and meet with
Siebel. The multimillion-dollar ad campaign, "Not Even Once," has
saturated the airwaves in Montana, helping reduce meth use among teens
by as much as 30 percent.
"I just don't think we have time to waste," Arizona Attorney General
Terry Goddard said. "I don't think there is hardly a family in Arizona
that doesn't have some tragedy associated with meth. It's scary that
kids think this is a drug you can experiment with at parties and it
won't hurt you."
"We need teenagers talking to teenagers."
The goal is to have an Arizona Meth Project up and running by August,
Goddard said. A non-profit organization in Arizona would run the
project and continually raise funds. An advisory group, comprised of
elected officials, doctors, business owners, educators and tribal
officials, would be set up.
Dr. Marc Matthews, director of the trauma unit at Maricopa Medical
Center, has seen the physical, emotional and psychological devastation
of meth addiction firsthand.
"It's absolutely brutal," Matthews said. "The American people are
unwilling to recognize the horror that is happening every day here in
Arizona and across the country. The drug is almost maniacal. Once it
gets hold of you, that's it."
This campaign takes a lot of hits from ad professionals, which seems
strange to me. Toilet sex and flesh slicing are on the minimal end of
what meth can inspire.
I am sure that those who have issues with these campaigns have never
had a father/son/wife/grandmother who was a junkie... it is a different
animal when it is in your backyard and you have to live with it.
I haven't seen these ads but if they are an effective deterrent, then
more power to them and the agency that created them. The crack epidemic
of the 1980s was very real, and very obvious, to anyone who lived in a
city. But that's probably why nobody tried to say its existence was
being blown out of proportion. Meth addiction seems to be more of a
problem among poor, rural whites who are too often invisible to the
media or laughingly dismissed by the general population in "white
trash" or "trailer trash" jokes.
1. DO NOT commit suicide, and stay extremely calm if you have missed
the rapture. There will be a period of total chaos, suicides, and heart
attacks. People all over the world will be in total chaos. Please
understand the fact that you who remain here have missed the rapture,
and are living in the tribulation period, and nothing you do can change
that fact. Listen! DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look back. Face the fact you've been left, but
there still is hope for you!!
2. KEEP A TIME TABLE. Look back and find the date people were reported
missing or raptured, mark that date, and put it away. Keep track of the
following 7 years. The first three and a half years will not be too
bad, but the last three and a half years will be so horrible that human
vocabulary is insufficient to describe the events that will take place.
5. BEWARE OF A WORLD CHURCH. This church is not of God. Do not back
this church. It is from Satan himself. Do not associate with any kind
of world church. Beware of Communist agents who will play the role of
pastor. Beware of any big church movement after the rapture. Ask Jesus
for a spirit of discernment.
7. DO NOT accept the mark of the beast (666). The Anti-Christ will
control the economic system completely, and he will destroy the money
system and install a number system either on your hand or your
forehead. Do not take this mark. If you do, you will be automatically
doomed for eternity. Be prepared if you do not take it. You will be
tortured or even put to death, but your soul will be saved in the end.
You probably won't be able to buy, sell, or trade anything, but do not
take the anti-Christ's number system. Begin now to ask Jesus for
strength and boldness. There will be very rough times ahead.
Suggested Items NOT in original list:
1) Scope out the church parking lots and take whichever vehicle suits
your fancy. After all, they won't be needing their stuff anymore!
2) Find a nice mansion that has been "left behind", preferably with a pool, sauna, bowling alley, movie theater, etc.
6) Find girls/guys that have been Left Behind. Chances are it was for good
reason, and these are the girls/guys you always wanted to hook up with
before the Rapture anyway.
14) If anything that looks remotely cataclysmic is occurring in your
area, go to the nearest marina and take a yacht, then move to a
safe location. Begin again at Step 1.
The people left behind will immediately deny that anything out of
the ordinary has happened. "The world's leaders will declare that there
was no Rapture, that a mass hysteria took place, and the news media
will follow the party line," raptureready.com says. "Then to make
things easier, shortly after the rapture, one-fourth of the world's
population will be decimated due to wars, famine and plague. Those who
were Raptured will be counted among the dead."
Even after an Apocalyptic event, politicians and the media will lie.
A number of Christian celebrities will also be left behind and they'll
also do their best to convince you there was no Rapture. I'm sure Pat
Robertson will host an hour-long special on the faux Rapture and use it
to call for even more money.
This is where the real fun begins. You'll have to find a way to buy
and sell goods without having accepted the government-issued microchip
required to be a consumer. If you accept the mark of the beast, you'll
be able to buy Hostess Twinkies and All-Tempa-Cheer without worry. But
then you'll be assured of going to hell. Tough choice.
Raptureready.com advises, just as in the pre-millennium days, to
stock up. Hoard food, ammunition, gold and water and store them in a
remote area away from a major city. "You will need enough for seven
years," they point out.
The Bible says it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. So in actuality nearly
everyone will miss the rapture. What if we already did?
1.- Ride on the "Orient Express" train at least from Paris to Venice. 2.- Visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland 3.- Ride the "City of New Orleans" train to a rebuilt New Orleans 4.- Ride my mountain bike on the trails around Moab Utah 5.- Revisit battlefield at Gettysburg and monuments in Washington DC 6.- Ride train from Cusco to mountain-top Incas ruins at Machu Picchu 7.- Attend a "Burning Man" happening in the desert
Seven things I cannot do:
1.- Pat my head while rubbing my stomach 2.- Be too good-looking or have too much money 3.- Can't eat and chew food quietly 4.- Can't drive my car without listening to my iPod 5.- Can't organize my work space 6.- Can't find the CD/DVD that I need right now 7.- Can't have enough memory and/or disk space on my computer
Seven things I say most often:
1.- Damn 2.- God damn it 3.- Where's mine 4.- Just a minute Dear, I'm checking my eMail 5.- WTF 6.- Just go ahead and do what you want to, I don't care 7.- This is the worst, at least they can't do anything lower than this
Seven books I love:
1.- HTML for the Web - Elizabeth Castro 2.- The Cuckoo's Egg - Cliff Stall 3.- Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Greg Palast 4.- Rise of the Creative Class - Richard Florida 5.- Secrets & Lies - Bruce Schneier 6.- Body of Secrets - James Bamford 7.- Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser
Seven Movies I Watch Over and Over:
1.- High Noon - Gary Cooper 2.- The Gods Must Be Crazy - N! Xau 3.- Tom Jones - Albert Finney 4.- Breaking Away - Dennis Christopher 5.- Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf - Elizabeth Taylor 6.- The Birdcage - Robin Williams 7.- Mister Roberts - Henry Fonda
Seven Songs I Play Over and Over Again:
1.- Who Will Answer - Ed Ames 2.- A Good Hearted Woman in Love with a Good Timin' Man - Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson 3.- To Beat The Devil - Kris Kristofferson 4.- To All The Girls I've Loved - Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias 5.- Frankie and Johnnie - Glen Yarbrough 6.- As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow - Johnny Cash 7.- Suzanne Takes You Down - Judy Collins
Seven celebrity crushes:
1.- Angelina Jolie
2.- David Strathairn 3.- Charlize Theron 4.- Christina Applegate 5.- David Letterman 6.- Jon Stewart 7.- George Clooney
'Girls Gone Wild' Creator Probed About Police Record
The creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series was barraged with
pointed questions in court this morning designed to counter his claims
that he was the victim of robbery, kidnapping and extortion at his
Bel-Air mansion last year.
Joe Francis, 32, who made a fortune persuading young women to bare
their breasts for the camera, testified that an armed intruder stole
cash and possessions and then forced him to make a humiliating,
Francis identified his assailant as Darnell Riley, 28, who is accused
of six felony counts of burglary, robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and
In Los Angeles County Superior Court today, Riley's lawyer fired back at Francis, grilling him on his own police record.
Defense attorney Ronald Richards asked Francis about a theft arrest in
North Carolina, and a case pending in Florida alleging that he filmed
minors for one of his videotapes and was charged with racketeering,
prostitution, obscenity, child pornography and possession of an illegal
"Is it true you have a 47-count indictment against you in Florida?" asked defense attorney Ronald Richards.
"I cannot answer any questions about this case, per advice of counsel," Francis answered.
Francis declined to answer half a dozen times more, citing his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.
Under questioning by Richards, Francis acknowledged in the past, he had
accused four other people of extortion. But he said those cases, about
which no details were available, were separate from today's charges.
"Nobody else broke into my house and put a gun to my head," Francis testified.
Francis testified that after he returned home from a night of partying
Jan. 22, 2004, Riley broke in, pulled a gun on him and videotaped him,
seminude, making sexually humiliating comments about himself. He then
threatened to distribute the video unless Francis paid him $300,000 to
Riley has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His preliminary hearing is expected to end today
Police were tipped to the case by tabloid magnate and socialite Paris
Hilton, Francis' former girlfriend, who heard discussion of the alleged
plot at a party.
Over prosecutor Hoon Chun's objections, Los
Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bernard F. Kemper on Monday allowed
the media to film portions of the partially obscured video when it was
presented in court, but banned broadcasters from televising Francis'
Francis said Riley took his watch, $1,100 in cash
and his cellphone but demanded more. "He said, 'I need $100,000 in cash
right now or you're going to die,'" Francis testified.
Francis was unapologetic this afternoon following his testimony.
"Even if you think I'm a bad guy cause I do 'Girls gone Wild', it
didn't give him (Riley) the right too break into my home and rob me and
threaten me," Francis told reporters outside the courtroom.
"I don't want attention from this in my life," Francis said. "To relive this is even more painful."
Mr. Six, that freakishly festive old bald guy (actually, probably not old) with the oversized glasses and bad makeup is won't be invading our televisions again with his manic dancing and annoying "We Like to Party" song.
Now new owners will have finally put him to rest. He's
not an appealing character, and he would seem to frighten some
children. (He frightens some adults.)
Mr. Six memorabilia flies off the shelves. The look-alike contests draw
hundreds. He has his own roller coaster, Mr. Six's Pandemonium. All in
all, Mr. Six has been a huge, if annoying, success. Despite this, Dan Snyder, who took control of Six Flags amusement parks along with two partners yesterday, plans to force the old spokesgeezer into retirement, the New York Post
reports. Apparently, Snyder and his team want to shift the primary
marketing focus from thrill-seeking teenagers to mothers with young
Don't let the fact that you were filmed stripping the ball out of an
NFL quarterback's hands on live television stop you from pleading
innocent to the charge
CINCINNATI - The fan who ran out of the stands and snatched a football
from Brett Favre's hand pleaded innocent to a variety of charges at his
arraignment Monday, while the Bengals promised not to let it happen
Gregory Gall, 31, of Cincinnati, is accused of resisting arrest,
trespass and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. He was released on
his own recognizance following his appearance in Municipal Court.
The Bengals are reviewing their security measures to prevent a
repeat of Gall's run on the field, which interrupted the final minute
of Cincinnati's 21-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that the league doesn't get involved in team security issues.
"It's a local matter," he said. "If there's any questions, we can
assist them. But it appears to be an isolated incident, and the Bengals
are reviewing it."
Favre drove the Packers to the Cincinnati 28 in the final minute and
took a snap from center when Gall ran onto the field, prompting
officials to blow the play dead.
Gall approached Favre from behind, snatched the ball from his
throwing hand and ran to the other end of the field with security
guards in pursuit. He was finally tackled and taken from the field.
The five-minute delay gave the Bengals time to regroup. They sacked
Favre on the next play, and the clock ran out after Favre faked a spike
and wound up running downfield. He flipped the ball forward illegally
as the game ended.
Several Packers complained about security, noting that the fan could
have hurt Favre. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis acknowledged after the game
that the delay broke the Packers' momentum, and joked that the team
would pay the fan $20.
A day later, Lewis said fans must be kept off the field.
"That's the first fear you have — there's a guy running clean at
Brett Favre," Lewis said Monday. "That's why you can't allow that to
occur. Our people that handle security feel very badly about it and
will take steps (so) that kind of thing never happens here again at
Paul Brown Stadium."
Sports leagues have struggled with the question of how to prevent
fans from going on the field. In September 2002, a father and his son
ran onto the field during a Chicago White Sox game and attacked Kansas City first base coach Tom Gamboa.
A fan went onto the field at halftime of the Patriots' Super Bowl
win over Carolina two years ago, briefly delaying the second-half
The NFL required all 32 teams to conduct pat-downs of fans entering
their stadiums before games this season. Local government officials
initially balked, but the pat-downs were conducted before each of the
last two Bengals home games.
Ghost town alive. After the real horror of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans revels in 'Mardi Goth'
Revellers get political in the French Quarter Saturday night. The
"You're doing a great job, Brownie" sign is an ironic paraphrase of
U.S. President George W. Bush, who praised former FEMA director Mike
Brown's handling of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina before
Brown resigned under a torrent of criticism.
The margarita Diane Spieler sips during her nocturnal masquerade on
Bourbon St. perfectly matches the glow-in-the-dark green of her hideous
face, airbrushed in dreadful detail with reptilian scales and skeletal
hollows. Is she a radioactive ghoul? An alien sea serpent?
somebody asks me, I just tell 'em I'm Katrina," the 57-year-old New
Orleans accountant says, glaring through ghostly pale contact lenses
beneath hair molded into spikes. "Doesn't it look mean and freaky?"
months after the monster hurricane's horrifying rampage, Halloween has
brought back the French Quarter's thirst for theatric horror and
debauchery, its Mardi Goth mojo in the heart of a city long known for
its reverence for voodoo and Anne Rice's glamorously gothic vampire
"Halloween is the best kept local secret. It's shoulder-to-shoulder, just like Mardi Gras, but everybody's in costume,"
said late Saturday, the spooky celebration in full swing two days
early. "It's the first big, fun, drinking night since the hurricane."
of New Orleans remains a ghost town, but the French Quarter teems with
wicked witches and pimps in purple velvet. Elvis struts the sidewalk
flanked by Supergirl and Marilyn Monroe. An Amazonian blond's skimpy
cop outfit flirts with indecent exposure. Others share the Katrina
theme, dressing as discarded refrigerators and the blue tarps that
cover broken city roofs.
"Enough cleanup! Time for a drink!" said
Bobby Hughes, 23, a Loyola University graduate student sporting a blond
pigtailed wig, a plaid skirt that is too short on his 6-foot-6 frame,
and a blouse knotted above his waist that bares traces of a red bra.
my name tonight," said Hughes, joined by girlfriend Kat McKibben, a
"love bug" with floppy antenna, feather boa, butterfly wings and fuzzy
slippers. "You're hot!" a passing man tells Hughes.
Spared the brunt of Katrina's wrath and the flooding that followed when levees ruptured, the French Quarter has steadily revived since reopening a month ago. Its bars, restaurants and T-shirt shops have been kept afloat by a transient stream of construction workers, relief volunteers and journalists.
cans overflow with discarded beer cups. Shoes stick to sidewalks
lacquered in spilled liquor. Outside the Bourbon Street Blues Company,
a woman lifts her shirt in return for a shower of beads tossed from the
"Different parts of the city, the Garden District and
everything, are not the same at all," said Dawn Carroll, 33, dressed as
a "Tool Time" character from the sitcom Home Improvement, only with a
naughty tool belt. "This makes you think that (New Orleans) is going to
come back. It'll be back full force."
Bourbon St. might not be
kid-friendly, and many neighbourhoods remain too wrecked for
door-to-door trick or treating, but children haven't been neglected.
De La Salle High School in the Garden District, little Batmen and
butterfly-winged fairies fill sacks with chocolate bars and lollipops
from bowls on tables lining the sidewalks. Indian warriors and
cheerleaders dance to zydeco music, oblivious to the downed power lines
in the median of St. Charles Ave.
Cherly Oncale worked on her son's costume for
two weeks during their hurricane exile in Atlanta. Their flight from
Katrina took them to five hotels in five cities. They returned two
weeks ago to a friend's house.
"We need a good party right now, to kind of reground us," Oncale said.
Lawyers acting for Dan
Brown, the world's highest-paid author, and the two men who claim he
stole their ideas, met at the High Court in London yesterday to agree
details of a trial scheduled to begin on February 27.
historians, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, are suing Brown's
publishers, Random House, claiming that Brown lifted "the whole
architecture" of the research from their 1982 book, The Holy Blood and
the Holy Grail, for The Da Vinci Code, Brown's global hit of a
Baigent and Leigh's
non-fiction work presents the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene
married and had a child, and that their descendants have carried on
their bloodline to the present day. This theme forms the basis for the
action in Brown's novel, which has sold 29m copies worldwide, earning
its author £45m in the last year alone.
novel's suggestion that the Catholic church has spent the last 2,000
years working tirelessly to cover up the relationship between Jesus and
Mary Magdalene has roused the ire of the Vatican, which was driven in
March to appoint a cardinal to rebut what it calls the "shameful and
unfounded errors" contained in the book.
the combination of the central conspiracy theory and the clues,
anagrams and puzzles that litter the pages are central to the appeal of
the book, which has been translated into over 40 different languages.
have already pointed out that the name of one of the major characters,
Sir Leigh Teabing, is an anagram of the names Leigh and Baigent,
although there is no sign of Henry Lincoln, the third author of the
1982 book, who has chosen not to take part in this suit.
is not the first time that Dan Brown has been called to defend himself
over the provenance of his novel. In August, he won a court case
brought by another author, Lewis Perdue, who claimed that The Da Vinci
Code reproduced elements from two of his novels, Daughter of God and
The Da Vinci Legacy. Perdue had sought damages of $150m (£84.2m), and
had requested that the court block further distribution of the book and
stop work on the movie adaptation currently in production, starring Tom
Hanks and the French actor Audrey Tautou in the lead roles.
yesterday's discussions between the lawyers, Random House says that a
"substantial" part of the claim by Baigent and Leigh has been dropped.
The publishing house adds that it is "delighted with this result, which
reinforces [its] long-held contention that this is a claim without
To superstitious athletes, hair is a big thing. They'll grow good-luck
beards, carve out funny-looking goatees, shave their heads bald.
Somehow, this is supposed to improve their chances of winning. So, what
are we to make of this year's World Series? The Astros were the ones messing about with their hair,
and they're just got swept four games to none. (They grew beards, then shaved
them. Who knows what they'll do now that it's over.) The White Sox, meanwhile, have a
more unusual superstition -- they think it's a good thing to have Journey's Steve Perry follow them around. Hair is less important. Or is it? Back on Sept. 2, the team did host a Mullet Night
promotion at U.S. Cellular Field. It seemed like no big deal. But
before Mullet Night, the Sox had lost 15 of 22 games at home, and they
had a losing record overall for August. After Mullet Night, they picked
things up, steamrolled the Indians, the Red Sox, the Angels and the
Astros, and now they just won their first world championship in 88 years.