July 2006
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Month July 2006

Students Strike Oil on Alaskan Beach

Alaska High School Students find Oil on Prince William Sound beach, just inches under the surface. Dig shallow hole, pour water, get oil. 17 years after tragic oil spill, oil remains on beaches.

Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time

From Filmcritic.com:

I’ve seen Chinatown a dozen times, and while it’s a great movie, two specific things about it stick in my mind: Jack Nicholson’s bandaged nose and the final line of dialogue. Acting, directing, a great script… these are essential to any film. But a classic ending, now that can really make a movie.

We spent literally months brainstorming and corralling the 50 films with the absolute best endings we’ve ever seen. We’re not talking about the last half hour. We mean the last minute of movie. You know, the ending.

Bush Administration Nervous About War Crimes Prosecution?

From WaPo:

An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.

Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.

In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the international Conventions apply to the treatment of detainees in the terrorism fight, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such “protections,” according to someone who heard his remarks last week.

(via Metafilter)

Cave Photos


Some amazing cave pictures from a russian site.
(via Look at This)

Random Joe in the comments says some of the ads are NSFW. I think I’ve become ad-blind because I didn’t notice it. Thanks Joe.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Rainbow

Somebody posted The Wizard of Oz to Google Video with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon dubbed as audio for those of us who were too lazy to see how well they matched up together. It’s 45 minutes long and syncs up better than I expected although I’m still not buying they did it on purpose. The Dark Side of Oz has a list of details to watch for.

(via Neatorama)

How AIDS in Uganda Became a Disaster When Christianity Trumped Science

From Global AIDS Alliance:

Back in 1986, when Ronald Reagan had yet to make a single public speech about AIDS, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni launched an ambitious HIV prevention campaign, which included massive condom distribution, explicit information about transmission, and messages about delaying sex and reducing numbers of partners. HIV rates dropped from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 5 percent in 2001.

But conservative think tanks and Christian right activists saw what they wanted to see. Uganda’s balance of abstinence, being faithful, and condom use, or ABC, became abstinence, be faithful, with condoms “only as a last resort.” It was common to claim, as Focus on the Family’s James Dobson did in 2002, that, “Uganda has made great progress against AIDS by emphasizing abstinence, not condoms.”

This rewrite became a mantra in Washington, as a third of Bush’s global prevention money was set aside only for abstinence. Soon, players among Bush’s evangelical base, from Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse to Anita Smith’s Children’s AIDS Fund, began to rake in millions in federal grants to spread the abstinence-only message in Uganda. (Smith’s proposal was rejected by a scientific review committee, but the head of USAID intervened.) Martin Ssempa, a local minister known for staging public condom burnings, joined the U.S. money train. Museveni himself began to sing the new tune. At the 2004 International AIDS Conference, he disparaged condoms as an “improvisation, not a solution.” Uganda released a new HIV prevention plan based on A and B only, while Museveni’s evangelical wife proposed a national census of virgins.

(via No God Blog)

Psychic Uri Geller busted on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show!

Self-proclaimed psychic Geller embarrasses himself big time when he realizes his pre-bent spoons and other props have been switched before the taping of the show. Watch Uri sweat and panic as he realizes that his career is about to end on live TV.

(via Boing Boing)

Hammerhead Attacks a Tarpon

After a 1 hour fight on this low to mid 100 pounder, a giant Hammerhead cruised in for a meal. 5 minutes of chaos ensued…which made for some great video!

Alaskan Shipwrecks


A gallery of, well, Alaskan shipwrecks.
(via Information Junk)

How Fast Does the Eye Transmit Visual Input?

As fast as an ethernet connection.

(Philadelphia, PA) — Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at about the same rate as an Ethernet connection, one of the most common local area network systems used today. They present their findings in the July issue of Current Biology. This line of scientific questioning points to ways in which neural systems compare to artificial ones, and can ultimately inform the design of artificial visual systems.

(via Robot Wisdom)

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