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If it wasn't for bad luck...

BoingBoing has all the deets and links on that MIT student who was arrested at the airport in Boston. I don't think mine is the majority opinion, but "She's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue" is one of the most galling remarks I've ever heard. In fact it's the over-reacting security team who's lucky - lucky their embarrassing string of knee-jerk panic and jumping at shadows hasn't been crowned with the loss of a promising young American life. I know the counter-argument is that I'm the one who should feel lucky that this security force is so zealous about my safety and protection. I might feel luckier if I thought they had the ability to recognize an actual bomb and not just freak out over everything that looks like a red wire/blue wire suspense scene from a Die Hard movie. God forbid another Shoey Shoebomber strolls through while everyone is dazzled by blinking lights.

At least there's Bruce Schneier or I'd think there was something wrong with me.

Speaking of airport security ridiculousness, how clever of this terrorist to try to use a nun's habit as a disguise.

Ten things to keep in mind to avoid getting tased, bro.

"A police officer is on paid leave after dash-cam video shows him using a taser over and over again on a woman even after she's handcuffed."

"Orange County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday defended their decision to use a stun gun on a 15-year-old autistic boy who ran away from his parents and later dashed into traffic." Contains another one of those lines about luck: "If that were your son, would you want him Tased or hit by a car?"

Remember that YouTube video of the guy pulled over by a cop who ends up threatening to make up charges against him? They fired the cop.

This is a comparison of two similar ad campaigns. I'm less interested in the competition than I am impressed with the rendering. The second set has kind of a Kuato quality.

Here's an interesting little story that may have a lesson for us all.  Chewywong took this picture of his friend. Someone else noticed that Virgin Mobile was using a Flickr photo in an ad with an insulting context added. Sure enough, it was the same photo. Now the family of the girl in the photo is suing Virgin. It's a pretty tangled Web.

Tecktonik dance craze takes Paris by storm - I love this part: "The leaders of the Tecktonik craze can be found at meeting spots around Paris, including in the centre near the Pompidou modern art gallery, where dance-offs are organised between teams." What's French for "Bring it on?"

Dan Rather's producer Mary Mapes sticks up for her former boss and gives her perspective on the whole "Killian Memos" affair. She's pretty self righteous about it all, arguing that the questions about the documents missed the point about Bush's military service - a gambit that has come to be derided as "fake but accurate." Ironically, a criticism that went largely overlooked at the time was that by sloppily rushing the story to air, Mapes and crew undermined the work of more serious efforts to bring the story of Bush's military record into the public arena. Mapes herself points this out without realizing it.

Yet another twist in the story of the hacking of the anti-piracy company MediaDefender. Apparently the exposed documents reveal that the company was involved in illegal activities against Pirate Bay trackers. "The charges are infrastructural sabotage, denial of service attacks, hacking and spamming, all of these on a commercial level."

Did you see the cast list on this Southland Tales movie? I'm predicting media saturation.

It's funny enough that God replied to a lawsuit against him (Him) but the associated AP photo is hysterical.

Sometimes sarcasm is hard to recognize, particularly if you're not familiar with the person doing the writing. The source he's quoting has a lot of interesting entries on the war experience worth reading.

Speaking of waiting for loved ones to come home from war, I don't mind saying my colleagues did a great job on this piece.

Dial DIR-ECT-IONS worked when I tried. It didn't give the same directions I would have given, but it gave me free directions across New York City. You have to be patient with the computer lady's questions but the directions arrived at my phone before I even hung up.

Speaking of getting local advice online, Rotten Neighbor says it's about finding out about bad neighbors before you move next to them. I reckon it's more about complaining about the neighbors you already live next to. I imagine if this catches on it'll be the source of some significant fighting.

This explanation of photographic lighting led me to "Lighting Essentials for photographers." There are a lot of ads here but it's not hard to find the free, easy to understand lighting set-ups used for different effects. If you're like me and your interest in photography stems from the fact that you own a camera and that's about it, the idea of using umbrellas and soft boxes is pretty foreign so this is handy. Frankly, the sample shots on the site look a little cheesy to me, but I was recently reading acclaim for this photographer (NOTE: Some artful nudes. Stray, unshrouded boobage possible.) and his skills with lighting were particularly celebrated. At least now I have some sense of what that means.

Speaking the basics, The AudioFile: basics of uncompressed digital audio - (In case you hesitate to get into something with a "next page" button at the bottom, it's only three pages.

"Welcome to the wonderful world of umbrage, the new language of American politics."

lolsecretz - Mixes lolcats grammar with Post Secrets confessionals.

Extreme rich/poor divides - They're photos of ghettos next to wealthy neighborhoods. Pretty amazing.

Speaking of rich/poor, "the politics and economics of inequality" is the theme of Paul Krugman's new (and now free) blog. ADDING: I remember the NYTimes Op-Ed writers being more relevant to the national discussion. Friedman, Krugman, even Dowd were important opinions to consider. I wonder if they'll regain some of that with the subscription wall down.

Speaking of the Times being all free now, "Now that the NY Times has discontinued their Times Select subscription program and made much more of their 150+ years of content available for anyone to read and link to, let's take a look at some of the more notable items that the non-subscriber has been missing."

Most Voters Say Election 2008 is Annoying and a Waste of Time - It's funny because it's true - but it's not an Onion headline (again, because it's true).

Ralph's Recommendations:

Urban Stickman Sniper 2: Vengeance
Get revenge on the stickman mob boss for making you kill your own father.

This one's pretty violent and very challenging. I still haven't beaten the first level. The key is to wait for the right shot. (Oh, and if you wait for the fuel truck in level one, you can shoot the driver and blow up the truck to kill some of the bad guys.)
 
Hope you enjoy it!
-Ralph

Will remarks: As with the first one, I'm amazed at how cerebral this game is in spite of its meager rendering.