You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

I wonder if you can

"... proletarians [were]... subjects of governments founded on the inequity of power, ... individuals who were inevitably exploited by and exploiters of others, because they had consented to be elements in the State-Machine...

"... The Odonian society called itself anarchistic, he [Atro] said, but they were in fact mere primitive populists whose social order functioned without apparent government because there were so few of them and because they had no neighbor states. When their property was threatened by an aggressive rival, they would either wake up to reality or be wiped out...."
- Ursula Le Guin in 1974 (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, pp 109, 203).
"... But we cannot have free and open dissemination of information and literature unless the use of written material continues to be controlled by those who write it or own legitimate right in it. We urge our government and our courts to allow no corporation to circumvent copyright law or dictate the terms of that control."
- Ursula Le Guin in 2010 (Petition Concerning the Google Book Settlement).

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"Iran unveils human-like robot"

Iran, huh.... So's that mean that, when the nukes start flying like maybugs, an android woman will say "God told us to do it, Gaius"?

IRAN has developed a new human-like walking robot to be used in "sensitive jobs", a government newspaper reported.

Soorena-2, named after an ancient Persian warrior, was unveiled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is 1.45 metres (4.7 feet) tall and weighs 45 kilograms (99 pounds), the report said.

"Walking slowly like human beings with regular arm and leg movements are among its characteristics,'' it said.

"Such robots are designed and developed to be used in sensitive and difficult jobs on behalf of a person or as help.''

The report did not elaborate on the robot's capabilities.

Iran has pursued a number of scientific projects in recent years such as cloning, stem cell research and satellite technology while it has come under increasing international pressure over its controversial nuclear programme.
- "Iran unveils human-like robot", AFP (4 July 2010)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I read the news today - oh, boy

FAMILY First Senator Steve Fielding was accused of base politics yesterday after he claimed the Government's paid maternity leave scheme would encourage late-term abortions by drug addicts and welfare cheats seeking to rort the system... Senator Fielding claimed women would get the benefit even if they had an abortion. "Drug addicts and welfare cheats can get themselves pregnant and then after 20 weeks have an abortion and still pocket the Government's cash," he told the Senate. "There may be mums out there who want to cheat the system in a horrific way."

His comments were rejected by fellow Senators as sad and pathetic. The Government said only parents of stillborn babies would be eligible. "A stillbirth is required to be certified by a medical professional," [Health Minister Jenny] Macklin's office confirmed. ... Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said Senator Fielding was the most minor pawn in the Parliament who had base political motives. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young accused him of "dirt politics," and Greens leader Bob Brown said he was "almost irrelevant."...
- Ben Packham, "Senator Steve Fielding scorned over abortion jibe," Herald Sun (17 June 2010)
A woman has been sentenced to 10 years' jail for prostituting her 12-year-old daughter to raise cash, in part with the stated aim of buying two new Commodore cars. The Tasmanian woman, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty to a series of charges associated with helping to prostitute her daughter, initially at a hotel and then a private house...
- Matthew Denholm, "Mother jailed for prostituting daughter, 12, for cars," The Australian (14 May 2010)

A Victorian father has been jailed for 13 years after prostituting his own teenage daughter to his truckie mates. The man, 58, was also sentenced for molesting the girl himself, the Age reports...
- "Man jailed after prostituting daughter," NineMSN News (8 June 2010).

A Gold Coast woman who prostituted her own daughter has had her jail term increased. Earlier this year, the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was sentenced in the District Court at Southport to six years' imprisonment. She had pleaded guilty to more than 60 offences relating to her 12-year-old daughter. The woman's trial heard that on one occasion she told one of her daughter's clients that he could do whatever he wanted...
- "Increased sentence for mother who prostituted daughter," ABC News (1 August 2008).

A MOTHER has been charged with sending her 16-year-old daughter to work as a prostitute at a brothel in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The Wollongong District Court was told yesterday the schoolgirl was taken by her mother to Liaisons Executive Retreat, a brothel in the eastern inner-city suburb of Edgecliff, and was made to work there for two weeks...
- Sallie Don, "Mother 'sent daughter to work in brothel'," The Australian (28 July 2010)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Well, of course there won't be any...

... if you introduce yourself with "Hi, it's me... Poindexter! ":

THERE is no room for romance on board the cozy confines of the International Space Station, a NASA space shuttle commander said when asked what would happen if astronauts had sex in space.

"We are a group of professionals," said Space Shuttle Discovery commander Alan Poindexter during a visit to Tokyo, after a reporter asked about the consequences if astronauts boldly went where probably no others have been.

"We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships are not... an issue," said a serious-faced Cdr Poindexter. "We don't have them and we won't."

Cdr Poindexter and his six crew members, including the first Japanese mother in space Naoko Yamazaki, were in Tokyo to talk about their two-week resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The April voyage broke new ground by putting four women in orbit for the first time, with three female crew members joining one woman already on the station.

Sex in space may appear out of bounds, but astronauts have been known to succumb to earthly passions.

In 2007 former NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak allegedly wore adult diapers when driving hundreds of kilometres across the United States without bathroom breaks to confront a suspected rival in a romance with a fellow astronaut.
- "No space for sex in space, says shuttle commander Alan Poindexter", AFP (28 June 2010)