Some of this makes sense, but keep reading

The AP is reporting that the TSA may relax restrictions on razorblades, scissors, small knives, etc., which makes huge amounts of sense. We’re pretty sure hijacking a plane is no longer possible, so frankly we’re comfortable with passengers carrying pocketknives and boxcutters and other nonweapon “weapons” all they want. Making the list of in-flight contraband saner would return air travel to a less-irritating level of ritual, and would allow the TSA to focus on finding actually dangerous items instead of knitting needles and Swiss Army knives.

But then there’s this paragraph:

Any of the changes proposed by the staff, which also would allow scissors, ice picks and bows and arrows on flights, would require [new TSA head Edmund] Hawley’s approval, this official said, requesting anonymity because there has been no final decision. [emph. added.]

Frankly, we wonder if this is some sort of giveaway to Ted Nugent, bowhunters in general, or them Duke Boys (though they’d have to buy their dynamite locally, as you can’t even have that in checked luggage).

We can’t decide which is worse

Ah, our government at work. From this CNet story:

  1. The Copyright Office wants to know if it would be okay if parts of their site became Internet Explorer-only — despite the facts that (a) only absurdly incompetant or biased developers create software only compatibile with a single browser and (b) the Department of Homeland Security stated some time ago that users should avoid IE due to its absurdly poor security record.
  2. They’ve invited comments on the subject that must be submitted on paper.

Things that piss us off

That this restaurant — widely hailed as the finest in the country — is closed for a private party on October 10 and 11. Mrs-Heathen-to-Be and I had planned to dine there 10/10 as the kickoff event of our California honeymoon.


Comment Warning

Certain other Heathen have been bitten by the comment-scrubber in overnight processing, so we want to take this chance to remind you all that certain words will get your comments automatically removed by a job that runs every night at midnight or so.

The forbidden words are (case-insensitive):


p style=”margin-left: 4%”> incest viagra cialis rape href beastiality cum phentermine hydrocodone vicodin green-card-lottery buy-rolex rolex-replica poker-room

N.B. that “href” is among the forbidden terms. This means you cannot put a link in your comments. Sorry. However, you CAN put in a bare URL, and rely on the above-average population of Heathen to figure out how to copy and paste it into their browsers.

Bacon anyone?

Jon Stewart pokes fun at the absurd, pork-full appropriations bill by noting it includes, among other things:

…and $1.6 million for something called the American Tobacco Trail in North Carolina. Here’s all you need to know about the American Tobacco Trail: It starts at “slaves” and ends at “cancer”.

From tonight’s show. Excellent.

Um, wow.

So, this aquarium moved a large octopus into a bigger tank, assuming that its strength and stealth would keep it safe from the other critters in the new environment — a population that included sharks in the 3 to 4 foot range.

Something weird happened. They kept discovering shark carcasses at the tank bottom each morning, so they stayed up to see what happened (link to embedded RealVideo at PBS). As it happens, the shark turns out not to be the indisputed food chain king in this particular tank. (Link via MeFi.)

Why you shouldn’t buy “locked” online music

Read this; the gist:

I have CDs that I have owned for nearly twenty years. I have made back-ups of those CDs. I have converted those CDs into mp3s and more recently into AAC files. I can play them on any device that I want simply by changing the format. If my hard drive dies I still have my CDs. If my portable player dies I still have my CDs. If I decide to run MacOS, Linux, BSD, Windows or any other operating system I will still have my CDs and my CDs will still sound better than the files I downloaded. I have some serious doubts that if music purchased online today will be playable three years from now without breaking the DRM.

He speaks Truth. (More on this issue here — same blog, different author.)

Top Ten Tech We Miss at CNet

Spot on, particularly number 10, but not for the reasons they cite. It’s only with the Treo that Palm devices approach the intelligence of the Newton 10 years ago, and even now they fall short of some of its abilities. Of course, the market moved toward “small and cheap” and away from “big and expensive,” and Steve wasn’t about to keep a Sculley product around, but the Newt was (and is) seamless and friendly in a way that Palms still aren’t.

Happy 30, buddy

frank in a mortarboard Today, my brother turns 30. We observed said event on Wednesday night with a trip to Philip M’s via booze-filled limo — I flew over to attend as a surprise, orchestrated by my sister-in-law — but today’s the actual day.

Happy birthday, Frank. I love you. See you soon.

“The street finds its own use for things.”

Lately, we’ve heard a lot about some sort of Euro-craze for a song/ringtone called Crazy Frog. We had no idea until moments ago that this track is little more than a remix/mashup of Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” (from Beverly Hills Cop) and this loop we blogged in 2001 clearly (originally) intended to be an imitation of an F1/Indy car (or, as some suggest, a two-stroke motorcycle engine).

Holy Shit: What the Hell is Wrong with Wisconsin?

It is now illegal to prescribe, dispense, or advertise any form of birth control on any University of Wisconsin campus. From the linked story:

Wisconsin State Rep. Dan LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, introduced this bill based on the belief that “dispensing birth control and emergency contraceptives leads to promiscuity.”

What. The. Fuck?

(Of course, our other reaction is “thank God it’s not a Southern state.”)