What Happens to Lay’s Millions?

I’m sure this won’t fuel the “He’s faking his own death” theories:

Ken Lay’s sudden death will scuttle US prosecutors bid to seize $US43.5 million ($A58.75 million) they charged the former chief executive earned through illegal acts at Enron Corp, legal experts said.

“Because of what’s happened to Ken Lay, everything has been extinguished,” said Joel Androphy, a partner at law firm Berg & Androphy who has closely followed the case.

However, claims filed by shareholders against Lay and other senior Enron executives in a civil case can proceed, the lawyers said.

And then this:

The US Justice Department’s Enron Taskforce filed a motion on Friday asking US District Court Judge Sim Lake to force Lay to pay $US43.5 million ($A58.75 million) and Skilling to pay $US139.3 million ($A188.13 million).

Under precedents set by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, a defendant is not technically ruled guilty until the person has been sentenced and has exhausted the appeals process, lawyers said.

Since Lay died before his sentencing and appeal, the conviction does not stand, and the financial claim by the government will not proceed, they said.

“I think it’s pretty clear the conviction will be abated,” Michael Wynne, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice said.

Fallen Soldier Gets a Bronze Star but No Pagan Star

From the Wash. Post:

At the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in the small town of Fernley, Nev., there is a wall of brass plaques for local heroes. But one space is blank. There is no memorial for Sgt. Patrick D. Stewart.

That’s because Stewart was a Wiccan, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion — a five-pointed star within a circle, called a pentacle — to be inscribed on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

The department has approved the symbols of 38 other faiths; about half of are versions of the Christian cross. It also allows the Jewish Star of David, the Muslim crescent, the Buddhist wheel, the Mormon angel, the nine-pointed star of Bahai and something that looks like an atomic symbol for atheists.

Cricket Pac Man

WimEck_PackmanBugs.jpg

Animal Controlled Computer Games is the graduation project from Wim van Eck, a study college and friend of mine. In his project he build a Pacman game, in that the player can play Pacman against real crickets, that controls the ghosts in the Pacman maze. By doing this he analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of real-time behaviour of live animals in comparison to behavior-generating code in computer games.

Christine Chubbuck

Christinechubbuck.jpg

Wow, I hadn’t heard about this before.

Christine Chubbuck (also named “Chris Hubbock” by some sources) (August 24, 1944 – July 15, 1974) was a Hudson, Ohio native and an American television news reporter who committed suicide during a live television broadcast.

On July 15, 1974 at 9:38 AM, 8 minutes into her talk show, Suncoast Digest, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a .38 caliber revolver and shot herself in the head. She died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital 14 hours later.

According to her co-workers working the day of her suicide she took the unusual step of excusing herself to write her script for the newscast. She normally opened her show with an interview and conducted an informal half hour; she never once opened her show with a newscast. She also placed under her desk a bag of puppets that she had occasionally used during a broadcast and also to entertain local children. Hidden in the bag was the revolver. Before her newscast she told the producer that she wanted them to get ready a film of a shooting that happened the weekend before and then she took her seat. After three pieces of news, she led into the shooting piece but without the film because it wouldn’t run correctly. It was here that she delivered her last words:

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts in living color, we bring you another first, an attempted suicide.”

She then shot herself. The technical director reacted quickly enough to cut the on-air video to black a split-second before she pulled the trigger.

(via del.icio.us/mosties)

More Mail

Whenever I post about religion I can expect some email about it. Usually the emailer gives me a proctological sobriquet so this one stands out.

listen, I have logged onto your site religiously (forgive the pun!) for about 1 year now… I note that it seems like you have bit of a chip on your shoulder about religion, specifically Christianity… and because I have read hour BLOG for this long, I have discovered that you live in Seattle, WA (I live in Lynnwood, but work in Seattle area as a counselor)

…this might sound kinda weird or freaky but I’d like to meet you and discuss religion and see why you are so hostile… I mean from a political standpoint, it is beneficial for agnostics to have the Christian religion around (beneficially)…

ho hum

I havE all sorts of theories…

oh heck if interested, email me back

Chett

Thanks Chett but I have to clear a few things up. I’m kind of curious as to how you “discovered” I’m from Seattle when in my about section and in frequent posts I disclose that I’m from Boston. Also, I’m not an agnostic but an atheist and I’m not sure why it would be beneficial for either to have any religion around.

To clear up Chett’s concern that I have a chip on my shoulder about religion, specifically Christianity I will just say that I am a firm believer in the Bill of Rights and that everybody should have the right to worship whatever god they desire as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others to worship their own personal deities, or not worship any at all. The problem is that Christian groups in the U.S. are constantly trying to push their beliefs on others by putting the ten commandments (and always the christian version of the commandments, never the catholic or jewish commandments) in public buildings, teaching their pseudoscience in public schools, or sending me emails trying to figure out why I don’t believe in the invisible man in the sky who knows all yet does nothing.

Thanks Chett.