Quantum Bond

Being a classic 007 junkie, I never thought I’d say this but the new Bond movies are the best of the entire 40 year series.

Finally, A Good Use for British Wine!

and that’s two British posts in one day, certainly a record for this blog!

It is certainly a vintage vehicle. And now Prince Charles’s beloved Aston Martin DB6 is running on vintage too.

A nice little white from a vineyard in Wiltshire, to be precise.

As part of cutting his carbon footprint, the prince has converted the 38-year-old classic car – a 21st birthday present from the Queen – to run on 100 per cent bioethanol fuel distilled from surplus British wine.

[From Prince Charles converts his beloved Aston Martin to a green machine… run on English wine| News | This is London]

The Day the Shark Jumped in Britain

OMFG, I’m dying here. The city council of Gateshead spent taxpayer money to have salt shakers manufactured with fewer holes in them in order to get people to use less salt.

Gateshead Council defended its decision. A spokesman said: ‘Research carried out by us discovered customers were often receiving huge quantities of salt with their fish and chips – up to half their daily allowance. The council was so disturbed it decided to commission a manufacturer to produce a salt shaker with fewer holes, which it distributed free to every fish and chip shop and hot food takeaway in Gateshead.

[From Now health and safety cut number of holes in chip shop salt shakers | Mail Online]

Hard Working Iowans

Oh, great. I looked over on her TV set and the reporter was talking about how all the “hardworking Iowans” were “quietly pitching in,” and “picking up the pieces,” and “stoically moving on.” Frankly, I’m getting a little sick of being labeled with these kind of destructive stereotypes. Hey, media – what about the Iowans who aren’t necessarily stoic or hardworking or self-reliant? Or don’t we matter in your stupid media soundbites?

It was clear that somebody needed to take the bull by the horns and create some socko headlines to keep the media ball rolling. Kyle and I tried to get some of the little kids to start a riot inside the Refugee Center, but that fell apart when Dora the Explorer came on. Next we tried calling CNN to report possible cannibalism, but they just hung up. The only real violence I sparked was when Tammi Jo showed up at the gym with Dakota and Tiffani. And her 12″ Maglite.

[From iowahawk: Flood Ravaged Iowans Idiotically Move On]

A Red Tide Threatens Olympics

There is poetic irony in this story… red tides are typically are naturally occurring but are commonly linked to nutrient loading (aka pollution) from human activities.

With less than six weeks before it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the city of Qingdao has mobilized thousands of people and an armada of small boats to clean up an algae bloom that is choking large stretches of the coastline and threatening to impede the Olympic competition.

[From Olympic nightmare: A red tide in Yellow Sea – International Herald Tribune]

Qponix Coupon Widgets

I’ve wondered why marketers haven’t done more stuff like this. Pampers could put out widgets on baby care and feature local promotions on related products and coupons for POS redemption. The most powerful engagement you can get with a consumer is to get them to install your widget on their startpage or blog.

Qponix provides retailers and consumer goods manufacturers the opportunity to engage with consumers during the purchase decision through a widget-based advertising network. Qponix seamlessly integrates promotion tools and coupons into an expanded lifestyle-related and organizational environment for consumers, placing the brand prominently and powerfully within the buying process.

[From Qponix Provides a Coupon Widget for Retailers [The Startup Review]]

CA Keeps Tesla

This is exactly what governments should be doing to keep companies in the state… while they are at it CA should streamline business permit and regulatory filings, healthcare and sick time requirements. Of course it’s easy to offer tax incentives to companies that don’t have any taxable income…

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc said on Monday it will manufacture the lower-priced follow-up to its Roadster sports car in California after the state offered a tax break to keep the operations there.

[From California offers tax break to keep Tesla in state | Technology | Reuters]

Newspapers in Survival Mode

You know it’s bad when your trade organization just gives up trying to put positive spin the numbers.

In fact, the industry group that compiles and releases ad revenue figures, the Newspaper Association of America, this month stopped putting out quarterly press releases with the numbers, though it quietly updated them on its Web site.

NAA spokeswoman Sheila Owens said in an e-mailed statement that the organization will now put out press releases only with full-year data “to keep the market focused on the longer-term industry transition from print to a multiplatform medium.”

[From Washington Times – In ‘survival mode,’ newspapers slashing jobs]

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All Expense Paid w/Right of Return

UPDATE: it gets worse, much worse. Not only is SF basically pissing all over their own police force by treating crack dealers like victims, they are actively engaged in an organized scheme to evade Federal law and in the process they are dumping felons in communities far away from SF county. Not only should SF officials be fired for this activity, they should be prosecuted themselves.

WTF is wrong with San Francisco? Seriously, regardless of your partisan bias or where you stand on immigration policy it’s simply a jaw dropper that San Francisco officials are 1) detaining illegal alien suspected crack dealers and taking their juvenile status story at face value, 2) sending them back to their country of origin all expenses paid and then doing nothing to prevent them from coming back to resume their illegal activities.

Federal officials recently detained a San Francisco juvenile probation officer at the Houston airport, where he was accompanying two Honduran juvenile drug offenders about to board a flight to Tegucigalpa.

[From Feds probe S.F.’s migrant-offender shield]

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THE Legal Decision of Our Generation

I’ve been watching the D.C. vs. Heller case that the SCOTUS handed down the decision on this morning with a sense of fascination about the historical aspect of what happened today. Whether you agree with the decision or not, your opinion will not change as a result of this ruling but you should not overlook the moment in history that we have just experienced.

Yet I don’t think most casual observers recognize what happened today. For the first time in over a century a question about the Bill of Rights itself was resolved. The Heller decision today was ultimately not about the Washington D.C. gun ban, this decision was about something much bigger, what the framers intended when they put pen to parchment and the Heller decision further resolved an obscure debate about the grammatical differences between what was passed by the House and Senate and what was later ratified by the states in 1789-1791. This is gripping stuff, not the dusty remnants of history!

We enjoy a society that is a product of some of the greatest minds that history has ever seen, men who argued extensively, and in written word through the Federalist Papers, about every detail that would come together to form the United States of America. Indeed Hamilton himself argued that the Bill of Rights itself was unnecessary because the People were not surrendering anything therefore no rights needed to be protected, an insight to a powerful intellect who appreciated the immense reality of what they had fought a revolution for, not for the defiance of a monarchy but for ideals.

The brilliance of the U.S. Constitution is not what it says but what doesn’t say. Rather than establish a rigid piece of government machinery, it establishes a framework bound by irrefutable rights and a form of government that serves the People and not the other way around. What has been accomplished with ten amendments, 7 articles, and 27 additional amendments is truly extraordinary, but it all started with the notion that men are endowed with 10 unalienable rights that begin with religion, speech and assembly, and end with a boundary put around federal power.

On this day in history it will be noted that the Supreme Court handed down a decision that laid to rest one of the great legal arguments about what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the Second Amendment. Simply put this is the most significant legal decision of our generation, probably a great many generations. This is a once in a lifetime event; what the Court decided is the very meaning of one of the Rights we are endowed with not by a government but by a higher power and carry with us.

The opinions that were rendered on the majority and dissenting sides reflect amazingly well reasoned and scholarly insights and the references in the opinions are extraordinary, it’s not often that the 1689 English Bill of Rights is included in a SCOTUS opinion!

In reading Justice Scalia’s opinion, there is an overwhelming theme that to interpret the Second Amendment as not protecting an individual right would gut the amendment of meaning and defy logic. It is, after all, the Second Amendment, not the two hundredth. This is not an obscure line buried among thousands of pages of text. It is inconceivable that the framers would have given it the priority they did, placing it ahead of so many other critical rights, if they only meant it to apply to militias as the dissenting justices suggest.

[From SCOTUSblog ]