Tarry for the Nonce

February 28, 2005

The Next Einstein?

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:29 pm

If a couple wants to adopt, they have a new alternative:

The Barcelona clinic launched a scheme last year to allow embryos left over from fertility treatment and destined for stem cell research to be implanted into women.

Tens of thousands of embryos are currently frozen in Spain and the launch of the program coincided with the government allowing scientists to use them for research . . .

The clinic said about a third of the people who had shown an interest in the embryo adoption program were from outside Spain, with most coming from France, Italy and Portugal.

Just wait until these kids get old enough to tell their stories . . .

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February 22, 2005

Shall We Sing?

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 2:27 pm

Happy Birthday to You!!
Happy Birthday to You!!
Happy Birthday, dear Randall!!
Happy Birthday to You!!

February 17, 2005

The Day the Sun Danced

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 3:42 pm

Sr Lucia died in the Carmelite cloister in Coimbra, Portugal, on Sunday at the age of 97.

Sr Lucia dos Santos was the only surviving visionary of Fatima.

February 11, 2005

Like the Very First Time

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 5:00 pm

Love is in the air for Bakr Melhem and his wife Sanaa:


Separated for several months, boredom and chance briefly re-united Bakr Melhem and his wife Sanaa in an Internet chat room, the official Petra news agency said.

Bakr, who passed himself off as Adnan, fell head over heels for Sanaa, who signed off as Jamila (beautiful) and described herself as a cultured, unmarried woman — a devout Muslim whose hobby was reading, Petra said.

Cyber love blossomed between the pair for three months and soon they were making wedding plans. To pledge their troth in person, they agreed to meet in the flesh near a bus depot in the town of Zarqa, northeast of Amman.

The shock of finding out their true identities was too much for the pair.

The couple divorced. Pity. I think it’s sweet that they could fall in love all over again.

You Don’t Need to See His Identification

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 12:10 pm

Boo to George Bush for supporting the Real ID Act. And “hiss!” to all the Republicans who joined him:

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver’s licenses.

Under the rules, federal employees would reject licenses or identity cards that don’t comply, which could curb Americans’ access to airplanes, trains, national parks, federal courthouses and other areas controlled by the federal government. The bill was approved by a 261-161 vote . . .

States would be required to demand proof of the person’s Social Security number and confirm that number with the Social Security Administration. They would also have to scan in documents showing the person’s date of birth and immigration status, and create a massive store “so that the (scanned) images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format” permanently.

Another portion of the bill says that states would be required to link their DMV databases if they wished to receive federal funds. Among the information that must be shared: All data fields printed on drivers’ licenses and identification cards, and complete drivers’ histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions and points on licenses.

The government can’t even protect its own web sites! Whatever makes it think it can protect the personal data for hundreds of thousands of people? Whatever happened to state’s rights? Whatever happened to privacy?

Responding to Peer Pressure

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 11:51 am

Hooray for George Bush standing firm on North Korea!

The Bush administration said Friday that it wasn’t interested in one-on-one talks with North Korea about its nuclear programs outside the six-party negotiations involving the communist nation’s neighbors.

“It’s not an issue between North Korea and the United States. It’s a regional issue,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. “And it’s an issue that impacts all of its neighbors.”

North Korea has plenty of opportunity to talk to the United States within six-party talks, McClellan said.

In an interview with a South Korean newspaper Friday, North Korea’s U.N. envoy demanded bilateral talks with the United States.

“We will return to the six-nation talks when we see a reason to do so and the conditions are ripe,” Han Sung Ryol told Seoul’s Hankyoreh newspaper in an interview published Friday. “If the United States moves to have direct dialogue with us, we can take that as a signal that the United States is changing its hostile policy toward us.”

Oh, cry me a river. North Korea just wants to return to the glory days of the Clinton pay-outs. Well, if I may be so bold, sir, the United States isn’t going to be your sugar daddy while George Bush is in the White House.

February 10, 2005

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 10:15 am

Today is certainly the day for fracas in the U.K.

Hundreds of people were crushed as the opening of the biggest Ikea store in England descended into chaos . . .

Video footage showed shoppers fighting over furniture. One man was pinned against a wall by a burly customer as they argued over a sofa. A woman was left with blood pouring from her nose after she was pushed against a wall, while another was heard screaming in pain as she tried to escape the crush. Shoppers were stretchered into ambulances while others sat on the floor, where staff gave them first aid.

After half an hour the store was closed – but at the main doors, staff were reduced to writing signs in black marker pen and holding them up against the windows to announce the fact. The crowd refused to disperse, and at one point some outside the main entrance tried to smash down the glass doors.

Fights broke out between Ikea staff and shoppers. More than 30 police officers were drafted in to keep the sides apart as firefighters tried to free customers who were still trapped in the crowd.

Meanwhile, traffic on the North Circular ground to a halt as people who had been in jams for over an hour simply abandoned their cars.

I like Ikea as much as the next person, but golly gee whiz, the products aren’t that good! Ikea just chooses interesting names.

Bowling a Split

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 9:48 am

I’ve never really followed the intrigues of the British monarchy very closely, but I know that some of my faithful readers do . . .

British heir to the throne Prince Charles announced Thursday he will marry long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles . . .

Camilla, 57, will take the official title of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall after marriage.

Once Charles becomes king, his wife will be called Princess Consort, a fudge aimed at killing off constitutional controversy and one that legal experts said will demand a change in the law . . .

Once Charles succeeds his 78-year-old mother Queen Elizabeth, he will be titular head of the Church of England, which overcame clerical objections to his marrying a divorcee.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who heads the world’s Anglicans, will preside over “a service of prayer and dedication” after the civil ceremony, bestowing establishment approval on their controversial union.

So Camilla Parker Bowles is to marry Prince Charles. I guess it’s morally not adultery anymore – even for people that consider marriage inviolate – since the former wife is deceased. And it will certainly remove the element of hypocrisy that dictates their separation at public events.

But on a different note: isn’t there something deliciously naughty-sounding about the title “Princess Consort?”

February 9, 2005

When Moses Spake

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 4:38 pm

Apparently, there is another problem with the Ten Commandments:

The case was brought by an attorney who was admitted to practice before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June. In his lawsuit against the San Francisco-based court, Ryan Donlon said the certificate admitting him contains the court’s seal which unlawfully contains what he believes is a tablet object representing the Ten Commandments.

Cathy Catterson, the court’s clerk, said the seal highlights a woman, known as “the Majesty of the Law” who is reading a large book. At her feet is a tablet with 10 unreadable lines on it what Donlon believes is the Ten Commandments.

The story sorta reminds me of the judge who has the Ten Commandments embroidered on his robe:

A judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney objected to his wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments embroidered on the front in gold . . .

Attorney Riley Powell, defending a client charged with DUI, filed a motion objecting to the robe and asking that the case be continued. He said [Circuit Judge Ashley] McKathan denied both motions.

“I feel this creates a distraction that affects my client,” Powell said.

Isn’t the judge usually sitting behind a huge bench, with only his shoulders and head visible? Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. His case must not be very strong.

Ted “Hic” Kennedy

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 4:25 pm

Ted Kennedy has friends in high places:

Yesterday’s “Prickly City” showed Stantis’ two main characters talking. “Did you hear what Ted Kennedy said during the Condoleezza Rice confirmation? ‘They lied and people died,'” says Carmen the girl. Winslow the coyote pup replies: “Wow! Ted Kennedy said that? Was he driving?” . . .

Geoff Brown, associate managing editor/features at the Tribune, told E&P: “The first two panels of the strip stated as fact that Sen. Ted Kennedy made a certain comment in a public forum. Kennedy made no such comment in that forum.”

Ohhhhh, they were merely striving for journalistic accuracy. Riiiiiiiight. Good thing they cleared that up. A casual observer might have thought they were biased.

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