Wolfie is Back

Chased from the World Bank right back to the swamps of DC.

Wolfowitz Picked for Arms Control Panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department will name former World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz to head a high-level advisory panel on arms control and disarmament, The Associated Press has learned.

The move by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice marks a return to government for Wolfowitz, a conservative with close ties to the White House. Wolfowitz was replaced as World Bank chief in June after a stormy-two-year tenure. His leadership was undermined by a furor over a hefty compensation package he arranged in 2005 for a bank employee who was also his girlfriend.

Wooden Bicycle

I am 16 years old and attend St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, Québec. As a student in the International Baccalaureate program, I am required to complete a ‘personal project’ on a non-academic topic that is of interest to me. I have always enjoyed woodworking and design, so I decided to build a functional wooden bicycle. There was to be no metal used in its construction, only wood and glue. I wanted a project that would be a challenge.

(via Andy’s Blog)

Morgellons, Disease or Hysteria?

From the Washington Post:

Every morning, Sue says, she found little black specks all over her side of the bed. Then she discovered droplets of blood where the specks appeared to be coming out of her skin. “I looked like I had paper cuts all over,” she says. She began washing the sheets in ammonia every day. Next, her chest, neck, face, back, arms and legs broke out in painful, red gelatinous lesions that never seemed to heal. To get some relief, she stayed in the shower for hours. She bathed in vinegar and sea salt and doused her body with baby powder. Nothing really helped.

Her joints began to ache. She lost all her energy and became forgetful. She says she would comb her hair, and tangled clumps of what looked like hair, fibers, dust and skin tissue would fall out. Then, she says, her actual hair began to fall out and her teeth began to rot. She refused to let anyone in the house and stopped going out. She didn’t know what she had, but she was afraid she might be contagious.

One day, she says, a pink worm came out of one of her eyeballs and she coughed up a springtail fly. “That’s when I thought, ‘I’m really going to kill myself,'” she says.

Sue visited a dermatologist, who said he didn’t know what was wrong. In time, Sue, 51, came across a condition on the Internet that sounded exactly like her own, and joined 11,036 others from the United States and around the world who, as of earlier this month, had registered on a Web site as sufferers of what they say is a strange new debilitating illness. Some call it the “fiber disease,” but most refer to it as Morgellons, a name taken from a similar condition of children wasting away with “harsh hairs” described in the 17th century. A frustrated mother, Mary Leitao, then living in South Carolina, happened upon the description in an old medical history book in 2002 after doctors didn’t believe her when she told them that her son had fibers growing out of his lip.

(Thanks Critic)

Bartender Could Go to Jail For Serving Sangria in Virginia

From the Washington Post:

RICHMOND, Jan. 23 — A Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agent conducting a routine inspection in 2006 cited La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria for violating an obscure 75-year-old state law:

It’s illegal to serve sangria in Virginia.

The fruity cocktail of wine and brandy that is a must-have at Spanish restaurants violates a law that forbids mixing wine or beer with spirits. If convicted, a bartender could go to jail for a year.

Three Little Pigs Banned Because it Could Offend Muslims

From BBC News:

A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned by a government agency’s awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.

The digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that “the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.

Becta, the government’s educational technology agency, is a leading partner in the annual Bett Award for schools.

The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.

The book’s creative director, Anne Curtis, said the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was “like a slap in the face”.

(via Linkbunnies)