The New York Times reports that the Bush Administrationâ€™s Department of Health and Human Services is drafting a rule that would place new restrictions on domestic family planning programs. While current law allows health care providers and professionals to refuse to provide abortions based on their religious beliefs, this provision would threaten the funding of organizations and health facilities if they do not hire people who would refuse to provide birth control and defines abortion so broadly that it would include many types of birth control, including oral contraception.
Manikins (the alternate spelling, mannequin, is usually used for the store window variety) which are used for medical training are extremely interesting devices with accurate and working anatomical elements. This list is larger than usual since the number of interesting items meant that we kept on looking.
From SF Signal (easily my favorite scifi blog on the net):
There’s plenty of recent controversy in the science fiction field, most of it having nothing to do with books themselves. So let’s put the controversy limelight back where it belongs. We asked a panel of esteemed guests the following question:
Q: Which science fiction or fantasy novels, past and present, do you consider to be the most controversial? Why?
Read their answers below…and tell us which ones you think are controversial.
While there is no law which prohibits absinthe by name, any drink which contains in excess of 10ppm of thujone is prohibited from being imported into, or produced for sale and consumption in, the United States.
NOTE: No regulations have changed. Prior to May 2007 it was not widely known that the acceptable margin of error for official thujone analysisâ€”10ppmâ€”is such that it effectively legalizes many European absinthes. This is a major breakthrough.
Most of the laws which impact absinthe in the US are out-dated, unfair, convoluted, illogical, self-contradictory, un-evenly enforced and misunderstood even by those in charge of enforcing them.
Due to recent changes in the understanding of these regulatory issues, absinthe is once again reappearing legally in the US market. Some of these products are very good representations of what absinthe was a century ago.
Making your own:
Distilling any alcohol in the US without proper authorization is a federal offense (tax evasion) which is enforced by the the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), not the ATF, and is prosecuted by the IRS. They are quite serious about this. Heavy fines, seizure of property and/or imprisonment may result. We do not encourage this.
Possession of imported absinthe:
Absinthe is not a scheduled controlled substance and is not a drug or narcotic. There are no laws specifically prohibiting possession or consumption of absinthe in particular. Since importation of non-FDA compliant absinthes is prohibited and there are no proper means for ensuring duties or taxes, any non-FDA compliant absinthe in the United States is untaxed liquor, which is illegal. As such, technically, it can be seized during transit or from your home, with a warrant. Seizure in transit is fairly uncommon, but not rare. Seizure from home by warrant is unheard of.
I still don’t quite understand if it is illegal or not.
When I was working as a software developer during the bubble burst around 2002 I was laid off. I was lucky enough to still be living at home so didn’t have to worry about paying rent and was naive to think that it would be a few weeks before I managed to find new employment. It actually took me nine months of constant job searching before I managed to join the workforce.
The worst part about it is health insurance. Sure, if your company hasn’t gone bankrupt you can always opt for COBRA, but paying $300+ a month for health insurance when you’re only receiving about 60% of your old salary is a bitter pill to swallow.