March 2007

Monthly Archive

Not any better for cats than for counters, apparently

Posted by on 30 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Current Events

Hills MD Prescription diet dry food is contaminated with melamine.

This is starting to get a bit close to home.

Firefox

Posted by on 30 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Tech

…is crashing on me roughly every other day.

Is this consistent with others’ experience, or am I just a bad Mozilla owner? (I don’t think I’m trying to do anything especially crash-inducing)

England expects… you to do what your captors tell you to

Posted by on 30 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Current Events

Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord (these titles — truly mirth-making) in 2004 when Iran detained eight servicemen, comments on the current situation:

What training would the personnel have been given to help them in the event of capture?

These particular people would not be trained in counter-interrogation techniques because they are not expected to be captured. But I think our guidance to anyone in that position would be to say what they want you to say, let’s not be silly about it. Don’t tell them secrets, clearly, but if they tell you: ‘Say this’, well if that’s going to get you out, then do it. It means absolutely nothing, what they say, to be honest.

Rest here.

I survived Vegas

Posted by on 29 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: People News, Travel

Went to Vegas with my family and Randy for my mom’s 60th. They liked Cirque du Soleil and the short flight to the Grand Canyon was actually fun. vegas_group.jpg

Ads, they understand. Bike racks, not so much.

Posted by on 29 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Toronto

The “street furniture” proposals are on display. One of the Spacing folks helpfully broke the PDFs into images for easier viewing. (He’s not making the images CC licensed, though [oddly] so no direct links.)

All the bike racks suck. They’re either flimsy-looking, impossible to lock to safely (locking both frame and at least one wheel, keeping the lock up off the ground), or impossible to lock to at all — check out the Astral one that looks like a small pillar, and picture trying to use it with a U-lock. Now picture the Clear Channel ones that look like oversized bottle openers surviving an encounter with a snowplow.

Lots of lovely ad space on everything. And shiny, cold metal. Low maintenance, but none of it would add anything to the city, IMO.

Spacing.ca intersection

Posted by on 29 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Toronto

Today’s has me totally stumped. It’s a signalled intersection on a fairly wide street, with some sort of dead end or curve the better part of a mile away.

England expects; or, I cannot answer that question, sir.

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Current Events

I’m trying to get inside Leading Seaman Turney’s head. (Sordid details here.)

“Obviously we trespassed into their waters,” British sailor Faye Turney said on the video broadcast by Al-Alam, an Arabic-language, Iranian state-run television station that is carried across the Middle East.

“They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we’ve been arrested, there was no harm, no aggression,” she said.

It also showed what appeared to be a handwritten letter from Turney to her family. The letter said, in part, “I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologize for us entering their waters.’’

Does the Royal Navy really do no training at all in behaviour on capture? I guess it’s possible – there isn’t a large-scale tradition of naval POWs. On the other hand, Cornwall‘s crew, or at least her boarding parties, clearly counted as prone-to-capture troops. The AP story explains:

In 2004, eight British sailors were captured as they were delivering a patrol boat to the Iraqi Riverine Patrol Service. Britain described the mission as “routine” but Tehran accused them entering Iranian waters illegally.

A day later, Iran said the sailors would be put on trial, and Iranian TV broadcast video of them blindfolded and sitting on the ground. Two of them later read a statement of apology for entering Iran’s territorial waters, saying it was a mistake.

The sailors later told reporters they had been mistreated and subjected to mock executions.

So either this is a serious, serious training failure which should be ending careers at the Admiralty, or Turney should be looking at the business end of a court martial. There were Commonwealth POWs who co-operated with German propaganda broadcasts during the Second World War (though not the week after capture), and many of them ended up doing serious prison time for treason. Two Canadians served 25 years in Dorchester for this kind of thing, if memory serves.

Here’s more!

Dear Mum & Dad,

I am writing to you from Iran where I am being held. I will try to explain to you the best what has happened. We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters. I wish we hadn’t because then I’d be home with you all right now. I am so sorry we did, because I know we wouldn’t be here now if we hadn’t. I want you all to know that I am well and safe. I am being well looked after. I am fed three meals a day and have a constant supply of fluids.

The people are friendly and hospitable, very compassionate and warm. I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologize for us entering into their waters. Please don’t worry about me, I am staying strong. Hopefully it won’t be long until I am home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party with a present from the Iranian people.

Is this woman an adult?

Research dollars at work

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Small people, Stuff

Toppling televisions are a hazard for tots: Halifax researchers

March 28, 2007 – 14:12

Call me Milton, but does public money really need to be spent to figure this one out?

Arrrrr

Posted by on 28 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Stuff

1103281.jpgI’m not sure I believe a word of this, but it’s a great story. Toronto Star, February 27, 1911.

Mild weirdness

Posted by on 27 Mar 2007 | Tagged as: Tech

Does anyone know what the source of the first comment on the Via Oliveto thread is?

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