Sunday, August 31, 2008

É2.0 Is Here!

Timeline:

July 4
: I make my first e-mail to Ed Vo, the designer of É2.0.

August 31: Ed applies the finishing touches to É2.0.

September 1: Call it an Évolution: the Wakefield Étudiant expands into something greater.

From this point forward, your favorite homepage will not be located at wakefieldnews.blogspot.com. Instead, this site will exist as a plain looking blog that houses an archive of every single post ever made. Also, the limitations of the internet do not allow for the classic É to be displayed in the domain name. Don't worry; there will be plenty of É on the new site.

In the event that the new server experiences difficulties, you are welcome to come back here. Changing back to É1.0 takes all of one minute so reverting remains a viable safety net. We don't expect any failure of that nature, so please enjoy the new site! For more information about 2.0 please visit the "About Us" section on the new site.

Click here for to access 2.0
: http://waketudiant.com/splash.html

Other ways to access 2.0: http://wakefieldetudiant.com OR http://waketudiant.com

Thanks,
Glen, Ed, and Chris

Microsoft To Buy Greenfield Online

LONDON — Microsoft on Friday said it will buy Web-based survey company Greenfield Online for about $486 million in cash in a move that will bolster its search and e-commerce services in Europe.

Microsoft will pay $17.50 a share for Greenfield. The deal tops an earlier proposal by buyout firm Quadrangle Group to acquire the company for $15.50 per share.

The Microsoft offer represents a premium of about 10 percent to the closing price of Greenfield shares Aug. 25, the day before it said it had received a $17.50 acquisition offer.

The deal, Microsoft's first since it failed to acquire Yahoo for $45 billion, will give the software giant access to Ciao.com, which provides consumer reviews and ratings along with comparison prices from online merchants in Europe. - The Seattle Times

I think we all agree: Web surveys are stupid.


Wakefield High School Makes Top 50

Wakefield Memorial High School was rated as the #39 best public school in Massachusetts according to Boston Magazine. WHS scored 39th for Cost Efficiency and 32nd for Academic Performance. The average SAT score is 1544, which isn't all that high compared to the #1 school, Concord-Carlisle, which averages 1797.

WAKEFIELD 39 32 Average SAT: 1544


Pop. Decreasing In Europe/Russia

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Population statistics and projections were released yesterday showing that European countries are dying out, even with immigration, their populations aging and shrinking. A report released this week by Eurostat, the European Union's statistical service, showed that by 2015, the number of deaths in Europe will have outstripped the number of births. By 2060, the ratio of people of working age to those over age 65 will be two to one.

None of the countries of Europe currently have a general fertility rate above replacement level and it is predicted that what is being called a "demographic winter" will strike Europe within thirty years. The report showed that the growth momentum of Europe's 27 member states will continue to carry it until 2035; after this the population will begin to decline drastically from a predicted 521 million to 506 million by 2060.
But teh populations are growing...are tehy not?!

Better Evacuate in Louisiana


NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 31 -- Emergency officials prepared Sunday for massive traffic backups as thousands of residents of New Orleans and coastal areas continued to follow mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Gustav, which swelled from an already deadly tropical storm into a monster depression that was packing winds of more than 120 mph. - The Washington Post
Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans, called Gustav the "mother of all storms."

Downtime Over The Next Day

With under 24 hours until the launch of É2.0, there might be some downtime/weird things happening to this particular site.

We apology for any inconvenience (which might include a lack of updates for Sunday, August 31).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chad Ocho-Cinco

If the Cincinnati Bengals' offseason couldn't get any more strange, Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson may have added a new chapter just before the regular season.

According to Miami radio station 790 The Ticket, which is in Johnson's hometown, the receiver has legally changed his last name to "Ocho Cinco." Johnson's -- sorry -- Ocho Cinco's reported name change has been rumored in NFL circles for weeks, and according to the station today, it's official.

Johnson forewarned the public that a major surprise was coming during a recent interview with Chris McKendry on ESPN's SportsCenter. - ESPN

Definitely "lol funny dude" worthy.

Oil Industry Shuts Down For Gustav

With tropical storm Gustav threatening to become a monster hurricane, the oil and gas industry is starting to batten down the hatches on its giant rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Already, many of the companies have evacuated roughnecks and geologists and are preparing to turn off the oil and gas deep under water.

On Thursday, Shell Oil Company, which produces about one third of the oil in the Gulf, said it had evacuated 400 workers with another 600 due out on Friday and Saturday. It was in the process of turning off the equivalent of 510,000 barrels of oil.

Any disruption of the oil and gas flow could eventually result in higher prices at the pump much as it did after hurricane Katrina. In recent days, the price of oil has moved up in anticipation of the storm but fell back on Thursday after some governmental organizations said they would release oil from stockpiles if there were disruptions. - Christian Science Monitor

Just...Just as $3.50 nears...

Palin Chosen As McCain's VP

DAYTON, Ohio — Injecting a new twist into the presidential race, John McCain on Friday named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, introducing the 44-year old at a rally that also celebrated the Republican presidential candidate’s 72nd birthday.

“My friends and fellow Americans, I am very pleased and very privileged to introduce to you the next vice president of the United States, Governor Sarah Palin of the great state of Alaska,” McCain told a capacity crowd of 12,000 at the Nutter Center.

Describing Palin as someone with “grit and integrity and devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today,” McCain said Palin “knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what is right and she doesn’t tell anyone to sit down. She’s fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats and anyone who puts their interests before the people they serve.” - Fox News

Damn, she should have ran for President.

Signs That the Apocalypse is Nigh

I know that Chris already had a quite humorous list up, but the difference here is that these things ACTUALLY HAPPENED. And instead of doing the whole list by myself, I'm going to make my own contribution and ask the rest of my fellow Ètudiants to put in their share.


1) Despite eight years of George Bush, a $9.6 trillion dollar deficit, a war started on false pretenses, a hurricane wiping out a famous city without the government batting an eye, loss of freedom through wiretapping and a redefinition of torture, it looks like the Democrats are so Godawful that they STILL can't come up with someone to beat a man with a voting record 95% similar to the presidents, more than anyone else.

2) A country actually successfully... err... actually bombed Russia (technically "South Ossetia"... whatever). WWIII here we come? No. NO ONE CARED.

3) I still haven't finished my summer assignments (GASP)

4) The Cubs and Tampa Bay currently have the best records in their respective leagues.

5) Large Hadron Collider...just... Large Hadron Collider

6) The U.S.'s biggest issue with the Chinese is currently that their athletes are too young (cough cough human rights cough cough)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pats Lose To Giants 14-19


It was more of the same for the Patriots in their final preseason game. No Tom Brady, no win and really, no positive signs for the first string offense or defense as far as putting together or stopping drives.

New England won the toss but broke their pattern this preseason of deferring and took the opening kickoff. After a first down on a 7-yard catch by Kelley Washington, the Patriots punted from their 49 three plays later.

Back for the New England offense in this game was Matt Light at his left tackle spot. Gone were Wes Welker, Ben Watson and Brady, who hasn't played a down in the preseason. Matt Cassel got the start at QB and remained in the game for two series finishing 4 of 6 passing for 37 yards. - Patriots.com

The Patriots finished the preseason 0-4. No worries though as back-ups and third stringers got the majority of the snaps in the games.

New England will have to make some tough decisions in terms of cuts as they must say good bye to over twenty players by Saturday.

Justice Dept. Guidelines For Corporate Crimes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department announced new guidelines on Thursday for investigating corporate crime cases, following criticism that prosecutors have gone too far in pressing companies to cooperate with criminal probes and restricted individual defendants' rights.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip said the rules would be binding with immediate effect on the department's prosecutors. Filip said he hoped the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies would also follow the revised policy.

This is great. As a socially responsible accountant, I will do my best to follow a Triple Bottom Line unlike the Smartest Guys in the Room.

No Word Yet On McCain's V.P

Republican presidential candidate John McCain decided on a running mate early Thursday, and top prospects waited to hear from the nominee-in-waiting.

"There's nothing really new to report on Senator McCain's decision. I think we'll all hear from him shortly and hopefully we'll be able to move forward together," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the Associated Press in Minneapolis. Earlier in Denver and without explanation, Pawlenty called off an AP roundtable interview as well as other media appearances at the site of the Democratic National Convention.

Another prospective candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met with donors throughout California on Thursday and was in Los Angeles and Orange County by evening. "I don't have anything for you right now," Romney said earlier in the day when asked about the vice presidential search. - Yahoo! News

We shall see...

CD Review: Apologies to the Queen Mary



Wolf Parade

1. "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" - A heavy drum and rangy vocals dominate this song about a father who left his home. Grade: 9.3

2. "Modern World" - Perhaps the most casual fan friendly track on the album, it features a great guitar solo in the middle which leads to a great finish. Grade: 9.5

3. "Grounds For Divorce" - One of my favorites off the album, this song features an inspiring little electronic sequence that gives way to a more stable, upbeat and edgy rhythm. Grade: 9.8

4. "We Built Another World" - A bit harsher on the ears and less catchier than many of the other tracks on this album, this still is excellent for those who crave a sound closer to punk than "indie". Grade: 9.0

5. "Fancy Claps" - Yes, yes, there is clapping in this song. Up tempo - lyrically and musically - the whole way through. Features a nice blend of electronics and strumming. Grade: 9.2

6. "Same Ghost Every Night" - Slow, ghost-like, and windy...that's all. The best part is Boeckner belting out a "oOoOoO" in a ghastly spirit. Grade: 9.7

7. "Shine A Light" - You'd expect "Shine A Light" to be a slow one wouldn't you? Not at all. Boeckner again is excellent and his supporting crew is even better. Grade: 9.5

8. "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" - A very chill, slower sing a-long that is always a live favorite. Grade: 9.4

9. "I'll Believe In Anything" - One of the best stretches of lyrics all-time in a song:

and I could take another hit for you
and I could take away your trips from you
and I could take away the salt from your eyes
and take away the spitting salt in you
and I could give you my apologies
by handing over my neologies
and I could take away the shaking knees
and I could give you all the olive trees
oh look at the trees and look at my face and look at a place far away from here
Krug wants to keep a relationship in tact, but it is over and both parties know damn well. Grade: 9.9

10. It's a Curse - A catchy post-punk revival-esque beginning simply demonstrates the variety and determination to try new things the band possesses. Grade: 9.3

11. "Dinner Bells" - Perhaps a bit more apropos as an album finale than the second to last song, in this track Krug addresses the effects of global warming and death. This is perhaps the most well-written and accessible track the album offers. Grade: 10

12. "This Heart's On Fire" - "This song is about my mother.... who died..... Three years ago.... today...." Boeckner said in an interview. This concluding track represents a complete volte-face from the first track "I Am..." Grade: 9.6

Final Grade: 9.5

Economic Springtime Rebound

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy pulled out of a dangerous rough patch in the spring, thanks largely to strong exports, but the rebound isn't expected to last. Economic slowdowns overseas could make exports tail off just as Americans are hunkering down after the bracing impact of rebate checks wanes, plunging the country into another rut later this year.

"There will be heavy sledding for the U.S. economy during the next couple of quarters," predicted Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Bank of America's Investment Strategies Group.

Gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, its fastest pace in nearly a year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The revised reading was much better than the government's initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists' expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.

It was too good to be true. Gas prices are still falling though! As the great Brian Hickey once said (and I'm slightly paraphrasing this): "Don't be satisfied if gas decreases and stays at $3.00."

Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables 3


Last Part: Tracks 12-14. I really dig the cover of Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas." It appeared over the credits in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (of course based on my favorite novel by Hunter S. Thompson) against Jello's wishes. Oh well.

Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables 2


Tracks 7-11 Enjoy!

Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables 1


Classic Hardcore/Anarcho Punk debut album by the legendary Dead Kennedys. This is only part 1; it includes tracks 1-6. The track listing can be found just about anywhere, perhaps Google? Also, for you DK fans out there, notice the difference between this album's versions of "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday in Cambodia." Quite different from their single counterparts; the single versions are more polished. I'll admit I do prefer the latter versions. So, for fans or non fans alike enjoy this Punk masterpiece!

Math Test For Kindergartners

NEW YORK (AP) -- The city is asking public school principals to consider giving math tests to kindergartners, a proposal that comes amid debate over the growing use of standardized tests nationwide.

The experiment could involve tests as long as 90 minutes and change reading assessments for kindergartners through second-graders in the nation's biggest school system, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has embraced testing.

The approach dismays some parents and educators who see it as mechanizing education.

The Department of Education unveiled the $400,000 program in an e-mail Monday inviting elementary school principals to participate. About 65 principals have expressed interest, and as many as 12,000 pupils may ultimately be involved, said James Liebman, the department's accountability chief.

Start 'em early. We're already lagging behind the likes of India.

Bloomberg Mistakenly Publishes Jobs' Obit

In an error that could have cost Apple investors millions of dollars the Bloomberg financial newswire accidentally published a 17-page obituary of Apple CEO Steve Jobs yesterday.

Media gossip blog Gawker.com has the full Steve Jobs obituary, recently updated.

It is common media practice to keep obituaries of the famous on file even when they are healthy, so that the obituary can be published at a moment's notice when the sad event occurs. Former UK music magazine Melody Maker famously had an obituary of Rolling Stone Keith Richards ready and frequently updated since the late 1960s.

The Associated Press has over 1,000 prepared obituaries in its files on a wide variety of public figures, including 26-year-old Britney Spears. The Los Angeles Times has 400. - PC Advisor

Like many have said: how the hell can you print 17 pages accidentally?

WHDH Weather Forecast

Looks like the first day of school will be a nice day.

Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft’s latest internet browser includes a piece of software that allows internet users to hide the audit trail of websites they have visited.

The InPrivate feature on Internet Explorer 8, nicknamed “porn mode”, allows users to conceal the sites they have viewed at the click of a button.

Once the setting is chosen, others using the same computer will not be able to see which sites have been accessed. Other browsers have similar functions, but this one is far more prominent. Although casual users cannot see the previous user’s search history, authorities such as the police will be able to access it if necessary. - Times Online

It is sad that this is what the Internet has come to.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Uninsured Get $56 Billion In Free Care

WASHINGTON - Americans who go without health insurance for any part of 2008 will spend $30 billion out of pocket for health care and they will get $56 billion worth of free care, according to a report released on Monday.

Government programs pay for about three-quarters, or roughly $43 billion, of the bills for these uninsured people, Jack Hadley of George Mason University in Virginia and a team at the Urban Institute reported.

"Physicians' donated time and forgone profits amount to $7.8 billion. After government payments to hospitals are subtracted, private philanthropy and profit margins are responsible for at least an additional $6.3 billion," they wrote in the report, published on the Internet at http://www.healthaffairs.org/. - Newsmax.com

Boo yah

Louisiana Hurricane Emergency

(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Gustav's impending arrival in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially as a major hurricane, has prompted Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to declare an emergency for the state.

"We are going to hope for the best, but we're preparing for the worst," Jindal said Wednesday.

The move puts Louisiana in position to receive federal disaster assistance. Jindal also said 3,000 National Guard members will be deployed to vulnerable areas in Louisiana on Thursday to assist with securing shelters and preparing for possible evacuations.

Jindal cited forecasts that Gustav, which killed 22 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic this week, could become a Category 3 hurricane in the coming days and hit the Gulf Coast by late Monday morning.

Let's pray that this is not Katrina Part Deux.

Barack Obama's Patriotism

I hate how patriotism is put on a pedestal. Is it really that important? Wow, you served in the military big whoop. You were brought up under the flag, big whoop. "That flag is an enduring symbol of our nation?" No bud, it's just a piece of cloth. Playing the patriot card to win the viewers at home, eh? I see what they (Democrats) are trying to accomplish and it's propaganda no less. They are appealing to a perceived positive emotion. This country will be divided no matter who is elected. Has poverty rates ever dropped to 0%? No. The Democratic Party proposes freedom to the working and lower classes because it sounds great. They want to use an inanimate object (the flag) to achieve that goal. Meanwhile, the United States government in coalesce with corporations and the elite has and will for sometime screw over the common man in order to pursuit its own interests. Lying can only get you so far. So yes, the Democratic National Convention unites millions of liberals to vote Obama in '08. The Republican National Convention will do the same in an effort to elect McCain in '08. The two parties aren't that far apart and people need to remember that while watching the candidates via media and especially while voting in November.

My Favorite Rap/ Hip Hop Artists

1)N.W.A.
2)Wu-Tang Clan
3)KRS-One/ Boogie Down Productions
4)Immortal Technique
5)A Tribe Called Quest
6)The Pharcyde
7)NaS
8)Eminem
9)The Roots
10)De La Soul
11)Run-DMC
12)Public Enemy
13)Eric B. and Rakim
14)Beastie Boys
15)EPMD
16)Notorious B.I.G.
17)Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five/Mellie Mel
18)Dead Prez
19)Geto Boys
20)Esham
21)Jungle Brothers
22)Jurassic 5
23)Gang Starr
24)Sugarhill Gang
25)Kurtis Blow
26)Arrested Development
27)Mos Def
28)Ice-T/Body Count
29)RATM
30)Necro
31)DJ Shadow
32)The Handsome Boy Modeling School
33)Fatlip
34)Dr. Dre
35)Snoop Dogg (earlier years)
36)Salt N Peppa
37)Ice Cube
38)Digital Underground
39)Biz Markie
40)Afrikka Bambaataaa (of course, who could forget him?)

.... and plenty others I just can't think of right now. Oh shit, I forgot Cypress Hill. They're also amazing.

Judge Declares Mistrial

WOBURN, Massachusetts — A judge overseeing the murder trial of Sean Fitzpatrick has declared a mistrial Tuesday after the jury announced for a second time that it was deadlocked.

The final note from jurors, delivered at the end of the fourth day of deliberations, said: “some members expressed conviction they could never vote guilty in the absence of physical evidence.”

Fitzpatrick was charged in the double murder of his ex-lover’s husband and the husband’s employee. - CNN Insight

Yesterday, a jury member kind of screwed it up by consulting an outside source for information on window replacements. You clearly aren't allowed to do that.

Clinton Speech Aims At Unity

Denver – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said virtually all the right things in her speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.

She called Sen. Barack Obama “my candidate.” She urged Democrats to unite as “a single party with a single purpose.” And in a plea to her fiercest supporters, some of whom say they will vote for Republican John McCain over Senator Obama in November, she asked whether they were “in this campaign just for me” or for the good of Americans.

Again and again, the crowd inside the Pepsi Center here roared. Delegates hoisted official signs with “Hillary” on one side and “Unity” on the other. But were her words enough to heal a divided party? - Christian Science Monitor

Hillary stop trying. You know Bob Barr is the most logical choice. You know it. Don't front.

2 Hijackers of Darfur Plane Surrender

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — An airline official says the two hijackers of a jetliner that took off from Sudan's Darfur region and was diverted to southern Libya have surrendered to authorities after a 22-hour standoff.

Sun Air Executive Director Murtada Hassan says officials at the airport in Kufra, Libya, informed him of the surrender. He says there were only two hijackers but others may have slipped out with passengers released earlier. The number of hijackers and their identities has been unclear.

Hijackers commandeered the Boeing 737 jetliner, which was carrying 95 passengers and crew, soon after it took off Tuesday from the southern Darfur town of Nyala.

Better surrender...

Iraqi Leader: Get Out!

BAGHDAD (AP) - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dug in his heels Monday on the future of the U.S. military in Iraq, insisting that all foreign soldiers leave the country by a specific date in 2011 and rejecting legal immunity for American troops.

Despite the tough words, al-Maliki's aides insisted a compromise could be found on the two main stumbling blocks to an accord governing the U.S. military presence in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.

Last week, U.S. and Iraqi officials said the two sides agreed tentatively to a schedule that includes a broad pullout of combat troops by the end of 2011 with the possibility that a residual U.S. force might stay behind to continue training and advising Iraqi security services.
Let's listen to the man, damnit!

An Ice Age Cometh

Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming, the average temperature on Earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. If the temperature does not soon recover, we will have to conclude that global warming is over.

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries, the winter in China was simply terrible and the extent of Antarctic sea ice in the austral winter was the greatest on record since James Cook discovered the place in 1770. - The Australian

When will it cometh?

"The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027."

Israel To Put Dead Sea Scrolls Online

JERUSALEM — In a crowded laboratory painted in gray and cooled like a cave, half a dozen specialists embarked this week on a historic undertaking: digitally photographing every one of the thousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the aim of making the entire file — among the most sought-after and examined documents on earth — available to all on the Internet.

Equipped with high-powered cameras with resolution and clarity many times greater than those of conventional models, and with lights that emit neither heat nor ultraviolet rays, the scientists and technicians are uncovering previously illegible sections and letters of the scrolls, discoveries that could have significant scholarly impact.

The 2,000-year-old scrolls, found in the late 1940s in caves near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, contain the earliest known copies of every book of the Hebrew Bible (missing only the Book of Esther), as well as apocryphal texts and descriptions of rituals of a Jewish sect at the time of Jesus. The texts, most of them on parchment but some on papyrus, date from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. - New York Times

This is exciting considering most people know what the Dead Sea Scrolls are, but don't know what is contained within them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CD Review: Person Pitch



Panda Bear (Of Animal Collective)

1. "Comfy In Nautica" - A nice little clap along mixed with the ambient and exotic sounds that have made Animal Collective an experimental staple. Grade: 9.5

2. "Take Pills" - The title leads you to believe that this song is a song promoting drug use. Maybe that's so, but regardless it makes you feel like you've taken one too many. This is an ideal song to start the children on. Grade: 9.6

3. "Bros" - As one YouTube commenter put it: "This song is insane while tripping on acid." When not on acid, it is still quite insane. Add a little Tornadoes and a little Cat Stevens and you've got the song's main riff and a secondary guitar part. That, of course, combined with epic noise elements. Grade: 9.8

4. "I'm Not" - Panda Bear makes High Places look like Rick Astley. Other than amazing, there is really no other way to put it other than perhaps "chills-inducing". You could compare this to "Kid A" but even that comparison doesn't do much justice. Grade: 9.9

5. "Good Girl/Carrots" - Good Girl is more accessible vocally than most of the prior tracks, this one really hits the spot combining folk, psychedelic, and experimental patterns. It is an awesome listen especially while doing homework. Carrots is just nuts. It's awesome nuts. Grade: 9.9

6. "Search for Delicious" - Have you ever felt a really nice breeze while sitting outside chillaxing on a scorching hot day? This song is that breeze except in music form. It's the kind that you keep wanting and wanting. Grade: 9.9

7. "Ponytail" - What a sad way to end things. I guess the only solution is to put the album on repeat and play it from the beginning again. Out of all of the tracks this is perhaps the most chill and subtly upbeat. There is no flaws in this song to prevent it from getting a... Grade: 10

Total Grade: 9.8

Monday, August 25, 2008

CD Review: A Little Bit Longer



The Jonas Brothers

1) "BB Good" - Fuck, where do I begin? This shit sounds like it was directly manufactured by the likes of Disney. I'm not going to "BB Good" just 'cause. At the best, I'll say that this song's like really really bad Click Five. There is a solid guitar solo near the end. Grade: 4.o out of 10

2) "Burnin' Up" - Come on girl! To do what? Hold your hand? I had several urges to throw my speakers into my fireplace, but I didn't. I can picture myriad girls going crazy over this song because it has infinite pop "qualities," but in the alternative realm of things that is less than special. Grade: 2.5 out of 10

3) "Shelf" - A solid guitar, but a suicidal voice (for the listener) is ever so present. I guess when the Jonas boys head towards the "Power Pop" path they are more bearable. Grade: 5.0 out of 10

4) "One Man Show" - A faux Pop-Punk track filled with a more passionate Joe Jonas. Of course, when he plays from his fucking heart (a travesty, almost) everything just gets worse. Grade: 3.0 out of 10

5) "Love Bug" - Taking a rest from the electric, the Brothers try the acoustic route. What this amounts to is something that could have been penned by Daniel Johnston and sung by Connor Oberst. Nick Jonas does a decent job in one of the better tracks the album offers. The electric mix-up at the end is stupid. Grade: 6.0 out of 10

6) "Tonight" - A half ass electronic/post-punk attempt proves once again that a decent background beat can always be spoiled by shitty vocals. Give Bloc Party the beat and this would be great. Grade: 5.5 out of 10

7) "Can't Have You" - Remember when you got bullied on the playground? The Jonas Brothers cried harder than you did. Recalling those grand days (sorry, sorry), they decide to write this. This is great for Disney and Kiss 108, but keep in mind that those stations have a ridiculously awful track record. Grade: 3.5 out of 10

8) "Video Girl" - Damn, why couldn't they just become victims of Video Girl syndrome? God bless them for knowing how to play the guitar well, but I still can't give them anymore than that. Sorry, ladies. Grade: 3.0 out of 10

9) "Pushing Me Away" - Ew. After listening to eight tracks in a row, I've started to realize that they are all sound a like. Not kidding. The formula is this: slow.slow.fast.fast.fast.slow.fast.fast.slow.slow.fast.fast.fast. Grade: 3.0 out of 10

10) "Sorry" - For breaking all the promises? You mean... for making this song? When they don't sing, it's decent. I've said that before, haven't I? Same deal again. And from my old days as a dabbler in the art of listening to the Backstreet Boys, this sort of sounds like them. Not good. Grade: 3.5 out of 10

11) "Got Me Goin' Crazy" - Nice, garage rock! Oh..oh..nevermind. I liken this song to a combination of The Fratellis and The Hives. More Fratellis since The Hives are a great band. The vocals screw it up again. Grade: 5.5 out of 10

12) "A Little Bit Longer" - It's over! It's over! It's over! Thank God! Thanks guys for calling it quits after 12. I really couldn't bear too much more. Grade: 4.0 out of 10

Total Grade: 4.0

Fascinating Video

9 Year Old Too Good For League

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP)—Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is a good baseball player— too good, it turns out.

The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

Officials for the three-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho’s team, redistributing its players among other squads, and offered to refund $50 sign-up fees to anyone who asks for it. They say Jericho’s coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.

But Vidro says he didn’t quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league’s field on Saturday urging the league to let Jericho pitch.

Oh no, not 40 miles per hour!

My Boy Jim


Simply the best.

Fitzpatrick Case Deadlocked

WOBURN, Massachusetts — On the third day of deliberations, 12 jurors deliberating over the fate of Sean Fitzpatrick sent a note to the judge saying that after careful consideration of the facts and several votes, they are deadlocked. Shortly after, the judge, Kathe Tuttman, sent the panel home and ordered them to return to court tomorrow at 9 am. At that time, Tuttman will read a so-called “Rodriguez charge” — essentially instructing the jury to continue deliberations in an attempt to break their impasse.

Fitzpatrick stands accused of gunning down Michael Zammitti, Jr. on March 13, 2006, after Zammitti’s wife, Michele, told Fitzpatrick that she was ending their affair and staying with her husband. Chester Roberts, the second murder victim, apparently stumbled across the crime in progress, and was killed to eliminate a witness. - CNN In Sight

Juror #1: "He's guilty."

Juror #2: "Please. He's as innocent as a koala bear."

Juror #3: "I'm not sure, I'll let you guys decide."

Building Fires Caused WTC 7 Collapse

GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The fall of the 47-story World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City late in the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, was primarily due to fires, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today following an extensive, three-year scientific and technical building and fire safety investigation. This was the first known instance of fire causing the total collapse of a tall building, the agency stated as it released for public comment its WTC investigation report and 13 recommendations for improving building and fire safety.

“Our study found that the fires in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event,” said NIST WTC Lead Investigator Shyam Sunder. “Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down.” - Nist.gov

To Chris: It looks like the research has been done for you.

The Digital Age Distractions

Chronic distraction, from which we all now suffer, kills you more slowly. Meyer says there is evidence that people in chronically distracted jobs are, in early middle age, appearing with the same symptoms of burn-out as air traffic controllers. They might have stress-related diseases, even irreversible brain damage. But the damage is not caused by overwork, it’s caused by multiple distracted work. One American study found that interruptions take up 2.1 hours of the average knowledge worker’s day. This, it was estimated, cost the US economy $588 billion a year. Yet the rabidly multitasking distractee is seen as some kind of social and economic ideal...

“I feel that much of my life is ebbing away in the tide of minute-by-minute distraction . . . I’m not certain what the effect on the world will be. But psychologists do say that intense close engagement with things does provide the most human satisfaction.” The psychologists are right. McKibben describes himself as “loving novelty” and yet “craving depth”, the contemporary predicament in a nutshell. - Times Online
Professor Chomsky probably agrees.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

CD Review: Forth



Release Date: August 25, 2008

1) "Sit and Wonder" - A spacey opening leads to horns and electronic noise. Ashcroft's vocals recall Thom Yorke's earlier productions. Grade: 9.3

2) "Love Is Noise" - Reminds me of Bloc Party except a bit more accessible. This track was definitely the most hyped of them all and for good reason. Grade: 8.9

3) "Rather Be" - Slower, more vocally dominating than the first songs, this song almost has an R&B feel to it. Grade: 8.8

4) "Judas" - Similar to "Rather Be," but more encompassing in terms of vocal variety and technique. I guess you could classify this as "Brit Pop," but that label doesn't do any justice. Grade: 9.1

5) "Numbness" - A low tempo folk/mod track that reminds me a bit of Paul Weller. Grade: 9.0

6) "I See Houses" - A piano/electric combo that screams Radiohead. As the song progresses, a certain aura of psychedelia is felt. Grade: 9.0

7) "Noise Epic" - The title says it all. The background noise is epic. At about the 2:10 mark, the song really picks up and sounds like something out of the late 80s/early 90s alt-rock scene (think Pixies or Sonic Youth). Grade: 9.4

8) "Valium Skies" - One of the only slight fuck-ups this album offers. Casual fans might say this is one of the better songs off Forth, but it amounts to a modern U2 sound, which isn't all that great. Grade: 7.3

9) "Columbo" - This ought to make the Stone Roses happy. The slappy bass and far-reaching vocals provide for a nice recovery after the average "Valium Skies." Grade: 8.9

10) "Appalachian Springs" - Clearly not an amazing concluding track, it still holds up well. The chorus is kind of annoying while the verses aren't. Grade: 8.6

Total Grade: 8.8 - Forth will go down as one of the best albums of 2008 and why not? With an abundance of great tracks, the Verve has reassured its status as one of the all-time great rock bands of the 90s and 00s.

Myanmar update

YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar's opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday labeled a recent visit by a UN envoy "a waste of time" as the ruling junta continued to trumpet its own vision of democracy.

Ibrahim Gambari, the United Nations' most senior negotiator with Myanmar, left the country Saturday after failing to secure a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, who is kept under house arrest by the ruling generals.

The junta said that the Nobel peace prize winner had refused to see Gambari, and on Sunday printed pictures in its New Light of Myanmar newspaper of his entourage waiting in vain outside her lakeside home in Yangon.

What's wrong with a little visit?

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Best of the G.I Joe Videos

Man Convicted of Giving $20K To Hamas

A Pennsylvania man wanting to help Palestinian refugees was sentenced in Miami federal court for giving money to a group considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

Richard David Hupper, 33, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison Thursday for giving $20,000 to the Palestinian group Hamas. The conviction comes a year after he was convicted of identity theft and passport fraud in a Pensacola federal case.

Hupper's attorney could not be reached Friday.

Hupper's odyssey began in September 2004 in his hometown of York, Pa., where a work-related injury left him at home with little more than a television to pass the time. Hupper became absorbed with the plight of Palestinian refugees and decided to help, according to court records. He flew to Israel and connected with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group that advocates nonviolent resistance against Israeli occupation of Arab territories. - Sun Sentinel
46 months? Sounds kind of pussy given the U.S's track record against terrorist related crime.

Hatin' On Wikipedia

Broadway runs east of Seventh Avenue north of 45th Street. Donald Trump owns an office building on Sixth Avenue. Lee Brown, the early 1990s police commissioner who presided over the highest murder rate in the city's history, was a hero in the war against crime.

In what otherwordly New York City can this be true? In the wacky world of Wikipedia, the engine of ignorance "compiled by volunteers" and masquerading as a legitimate reference work. Its unreliability is not exactly news - it's the bane of educators who must teach pupils not to trust it.

For all its popularity, Wikipedia is an agent of intellectual negation, based on the seditious idea that truth is subjective. Let anyone weigh in on the Boer War, or cyclotrons, or hula hoops - surely, the theory goes, if mistakes are made, they'll be promptly corrected by more knowledgeable contributors to the site or by in-house editors. - New York Times

Here is the entire article. What the author doesn't realize is that he can go in and change the inaccuracies. What's he waiting for?!

Darfur update

August 23, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – The Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rejected the ‘People of Sudan’ initiative made by President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir last month.

JPEG - 23.2 kb
Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) (AFP)

The Sudanese head of state invited all political forces and the Darfuri figures, including the non-signatories rebels, to take part in it.

JEM said in a statement that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) continues military operations on the ground while talking about peace.

“Al-Bashir cannot be the defendant and the judge at the same time” JEM said.

The Darfur rebel group also condemned threats by the Sudanese president to expel peacekeepers if an arrest is issued for him and vowed to protect them from government retaliation. - Sudan Tribune

Ben Tan, young sir, what do you make of this?

Plane Crash Kills Approx. 70

A passenger plane has crashed shortly after take-off from Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, killing a large number of those on board.

The head of Kyrgyzstan's civil aviation authority said that out of about 90 passengers and crew, only about 20 people have survived.

The Itek Air Boeing 737 took off bound for Mashhad, in north-eastern Iran, but turned round some 10 minutes later.

An airport spokeswoman said the crew had reported a technical problem. - BBC News
Planes really need to stop crashing.

Umenyiora's Season Ends

New York Giants Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is out for the season with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the Giants announced this afternoon.

Umenyiora is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

He left Saturday night's game against the Jets in the second quarter when his left knee locked up and had an an MRI and exam today at Hospital for Special Surgery. - Philly.com

This will sure make one Charnjit Singh, a sophomore at WHS and a wearer of Umenyiora's jersey, mad.

The Jonas Brothers

Y our daughter would rather be grounded for a month than miss the Jonas Brothers sold-out concert on Sunday in Tinley Park?

Still pulling your hair out because you paid 10 times what any sane person would consider reasonable so that your kid could attend one of Miley Cyrus' sold-out "Hannah Montana" concerts last year?

Parents may not fully understand, but to a nation of adolescents, Cyrus and the Jonas boys aren't just pop acts. They're 24/7 obsessions. To a legion of business execs presiding over a slumping industry, they are trend-defying sales juggernauts. And to culture-watchers, they are the latest in a series of teen-pop acts dating back to Ricky Nelson who serve as a generation's musical rite of passage. - Chicago Tribune
Please refer to the 'Jonas Brothers Are A Disgrace To Music' group on Facebook for a more complete analysis. The Bros. story is somewhat of a travesty according to Chris DeCarlo; they've pledged to not have sex, but there are millions of teen (and pre-teen) girls craving to do them.

iTunes Store Blocked In China

Internet users in China have been complaining this week that they cannot access Apple’s iTunes Store. The start of the problems coincided with an announcement from an activist group which said that around 40 Olympic athletes had downloaded a pro-Tibet benefit album that was also carried on iTunes.

The IDG News Service reported Friday that the Amazon.com page for the “Songs for Tibet” album, which includes 20 songs from artists like Sting, Dave Matthews and Moby, could not be reached within China. Michael Wohl, executive director of the Art of Peace Foundation, which produced the album, cited comments on YouTube which said a video promoting the album might also be inaccessible in China. - New York Times

Pff, who buys music anymore?

Union Rejects Boeing's Wage Offer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co. offered its (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) largest workers' union wage increases and other incentives for a new labor contract, but the union called the proposals "insulting" and stepped up its threat to go on strike in early September.

Boeing proposed a pay raise of 2.5 percent the first year and 2 percent in each of the following two years, but the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) -- which represents 27,000 Boeing workers, mostly in the Seattle area -- demanded more.

The machinists' union said it submitted a counter-proposal including a substantial increase on the pension, improvements in health care, and retiree medical and pensions for all employees.

Damn unions are never satisfied...

18 Year Old Pushes For Clinton

Colton Crawford was 10 years old when George W. Bush was elected president — an election he says “I’m not very happy about, to put it lightly.”

Now, at 18 years old, Crawford is one of the youngest delegates from Washington to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

His agenda? To convince other delegates that Hillary Clinton should join Barack Obama on the Democratic ticket — despite Joe Biden’s having been named Obama’s running mate.

“My dream ticket would be Obama and Clinton — preferably Clinton first — but seeing as that’s not likely to happen now then I’d like her to be second. Together, they cover a vast group of voters from all demographics,” Crawford said. - Fox News

Poor kid. He needs to look Beyond Two.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Week In É (8.15 to 8.22)

It's not easy taking over This Week In É, but since it was such a great feature it needs to be continued. I am going to discuss the five biggest stories of the past week:

5. Making science/technology readers happy, I did a post about a Hadron Collider being constructed in Geneva.



4. My article College Presidents Seek Debate On Drinking Age allows for a little dicussion regarding this topic.



3. Ben concludes his Picking The President segment by selecting Barack Obama.




2. Big Foot.




1. Ben Tan says his goodbye to the Étudiant after nearly two and half years of service.

Pope Advises Against Road Rage

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 18, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging Christians to make an examination of consciences regarding their conduct behind the wheel.

The Pope spoke of traffic accidents Sunday in his reflection before praying the midday Angelus with crowds who had gathered at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.

He called numerous driving accidents "another prayer intention."

"Human life is too precious and it is too unworthy of man to meet death or become an invalid due to causes that could mostly be avoided," the Holy Father said. "There is certainly a need for a greater sense of responsibility, above all by drivers, as accidents are often caused by excessive speed and imprudent conduct."
Thank you for stating the obvious, Your Holiness.

Iran Purchases Wheat From U.S

Iran this summer resumed buying U.S. wheat after a 27-year hiatus, a sign of
the limited options for importers seeking large quantities of high-quality
grain.

So far, Iran has bought more than one-million tons of hard red winter wheat
directly from the U.S., which is "a very large amount," said Bill Nelson,
analyst for Wachovia Securities.

The purchases mean at least 3% to 4% of U.S. wheat exports for the 2008-09
marketing year, which began June 1, will go to a country the U.S. hasn't done
business with for more than a generation. U.S. sanctions against Iran don't
prohibit agricultural trade. - Wall Street Journal
Iran is too busy paying Hezbollah and Hamas to care about irrigation.

Japanese Create Stem Cells W/ Wisdom Teeth

Japanese scientists said Friday they had derived stem cells from wisdom teeth, opening another way to study deadly diseases without the ethical controversy of using embryos.

Researchers at the government-backed National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said they created stem cells of the type found in human embryos using the removed wisdom teeth of a 10-year-old girl.

"This is significant in two ways," team leader Hajime Ogushi told AFP. "One is that we can avoid the ethical issues of stem cells because wisdom teeth are destined to be thrown away anyway.

"Also, we used teeth that had been extracted three years ago and had been preserved in a freezer. That means that it's easy for us to stock this source of stem cells." - Breitbart

See, at least there is some good in getting your wisdom teeth yanked.

Obama Picks Biden As VP

DENVER - The candidate of change went with the status quo.

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate — the ultimate insider — rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't even make his short list. - Yahoo! News

Biden is considered a moderate liberal, but he really isn't all too moderate. I can't imagine the Obama campaign gaining much more support from moderates and conservatives mainly because of McCain's status as a moderate himself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Funny Pic of the Day (8/22)

Grammar Nazis Sentenced To Probation

PHOENIX (AP) — When it comes to marking up historic signs, good grammar is a bad defense.

Two self-styled vigilantes against typos who defaced a more than 60-year-old, hand-painted sign at Grand Canyon National Park were sentenced to probation and banned from national parks for a year.

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson pleaded guilty Aug. 11 for the damage done March 28 at the park's Desert View Watchtower. The sign was made by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect who designed the rustic 1930s watchtower and other Grand Canyon-area landmarks.

Deck and Herson, both 28, toured the United States this spring, wiping out errors on government and private signs. They were interviewed by NPR and the Chicago Tribune, which called them "a pair of Kerouacs armed with Sharpies and erasers and righteous indignation."

I remember reading about these guys somewhere. Deck is from Somerville. These guys are crazy, but well-intentioned.

Russia Announces Troop Withdrawal in Georgia

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- International observers are arriving in Georgia after Russia announced it had completed a troop pullout under terms of the cease-fire that ended its war with Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, chairman of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said in Tbilisi today the OSCE will deploy 20 armed observers and seven armored personnel carriers into the conflict zone ``this weekend.'' Some monitors have already arrived and another 80 will be deployed in coming weeks, the OSCE said.

Finally. I thought following the terms of a cease-fire were mandatory to begin with?

Still Awaiting Obama's VP Choice

Democrat Barack Obama was poised to announce his choice for running mate as the chatter about possible vice presidential candidates this morning increased in volume, if not substance.

With the news media concentrating on two senators and a governor, the talk this morning turned to possible surprise choices. Obama has said he has made his decision but has teased reporters by insisting he is waiting to announce it at a moment of his choosing.

The campaign has said Obama and the vice presidential pick will hold a rally on Saturday in Springfield, Ill., where Obama announced his presidential drive months ago. - Los Angeles Times
Speculation has Chet Edwards, a 57 year old Texas politician, as Obama's running mate.

August 22 WHS News

All incoming freshmen are invited to an orientation on Wednesday, August 28 at 9:30 AM in the Field House. Learn about WHS, tour the building, take ID photos, and meet administrators, guidance counselors and class advisors. Pizza will be served courtesy of the PTSA.

Students new to WHS who are in Grades 10-12 are invited to attend their own oerientation session on Thursday, August 29 at 10 AM in the Guidance Office.
Orientation is spelt wrong. I'm sorry, but ever since the Yearnbooks error, I can't help but notice these things.

Songs of the Week

00s- Interpol- NYC (2002)

90s- Pixies- Head On (1991)

80s- Willie Nelson- On the Road Again (1980)

70s- ZZ Top- Tush (1975)

60s- Phil Ochs- Love Me, I'm a Liberal (1965)

50s- Don Gibson- I Can't Stop Loving You (1957)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sean Fitzpatrick On Witness Stand


WOBURN, Massachusetts–Defendant Sean Fitzpatrick is being cross-examined by prosecutors as he begins a second day on the witness stand. He’s hoping to convince the jurors that he is not the person who brutally shot Michael Zammitti, Jr. and Chester Roberts on March 13, 2006.

After three weeks of the prosecution’s case, on Wednesday the defense began its case and Fitzpatrick finally stepped up to the plate. Prosecutors believe that Fitzpatrick murdered Zammitti because he was in love with Zammitti’s wife, Michele. Roberts, they contend, was killed simply because he stumbled across the shooting, a classic case of a victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But on the stand, Fitzpatrick insisted that he was an innocent man. “Did you shoot Chester Roberts and Michael Zammitti?” “I did not. I had nothing to do with these homicides. No way.” Fitzpatrick has pleaded not guilty to the double murders. - CNN In Session

Beyond reasonable doubt? Now, I'm not even sure. I'm kind of like Barack Obama when it comes to this murder trial.

Speaking of Bizarre Love Triangles:

Every time i think of you
I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It's no problem of mine but it's a problem I find
Living a life that I can't leave behind
There's no sense in telling me
The wisdom of a fool won't set you free
But that's the way that it goes
And it's what nobody knows
While every day my confusion grows
Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I'm waiting for that final moment
You'll say the words that I can't say

Peace out


"Enough about me," I remarked on the first post of the Wakefield Étudiant as we know it. It's never been about me, up to my final post. It's about the many characters that have made my run here so enjoyable.
Before anyone else, there was Chris Morrill. Thank or blame him, because this news blog was his idea, after a particularly bad Spin issue. Me, I was just along for the ride.
For a while now, the driver of that vehicle has been another talented friend of mine, the amazing Glen Maganzini. He's been my closest collaborator on this project for almost two years, and despite our many differences, his contributions have been key to making the site the great thing it is. This blog was once a one man show, now an exciting collection of personalities.
Along the way, we picked up plenty more riders, among them a legend, a musical genius, a fan boy, a straight A student, a former spammer, and a talented web designer. I thank every one of them for giving this site something new. The one-man band thing won't always work, but everyone loves an all-star jam.
Believe me, this website is in good hands. It'll be a little different, a little less lo-fi, but still independent, informative, and entertaining. In short, I'm no longer needed, so my work here is done. Good night, good luck, and goodbye.

North Korea Declares Sweden An Enemy

According to information from the Swedish Armed Forces, this brusque message was first conveyed in a North Korean radio broadcast, then printed as an official document and distributed to the United Nations.

The North Koreans' attack is not directed against the Swedish government as such, but against Sweden's and other neutral countries' military observation missions on the border between North and South Korea.

Sweden is active in the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) present in the area. Following the end of the Korean War in 1953, the NNSC's task is to keep the peace with the help of the Swedes and the Swiss in demilitarized zones. - The Local (Sweden News In English)
Don't mess with Sweden. Their military is in excellent shape (maybe 'cause they don't use it?)

Dead Baby Comes Back To Life

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A stillborn Israeli baby who was pronounced dead by doctors "came back to life" on Monday after spending hours in a hospital refrigerator.

The baby, weighing only 600 grams at birth, spent at least five hours inside one of the hospital's refrigerated storage units, before her parents, who had taken her to be buried, began noticing some movement.

"We unwrapped her and felt she was moving. We didn't believe it at first. Then she began holding my mother's hand, and then we saw her open her mouth," said 26-year-old Faiza Magdoub, the baby's mother.

Miracles. They happen.

Kexin Is Possibly 14 Says IT Expert


A determined U.S. computer expert has delved into cached pages on the Internet to unearth Chinese official documents showing a gymnast who took gold in the uneven bars competition, edging the U.S.'s Nastia Liukin, may indeed be underage.

Controversy over whether He Kexin is under the minimum age of 16 has surrounded her participation in the Beijing Olympics. The latest challenge over the age of the tiny Olympian comes from the discovery through a cyberspace maze of Chinese official documents listing her date of birth. - Fox News

The documents give her date of birth as January 1, 1994 - which, if you know how to do simple math, is two years under the minimum.

Sign of the Apocalypse: Hallmark Caters To Gay Marriage

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Most states don't recognize gay marriage — but now Hallmark does. The nation's largest greeting card company is rolling out same-sex wedding cards — featuring two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with best wishes inside. "Two hearts. One promise," one says.

Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage. A handful of other states have recognized same-sex civil unions.

The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark says the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure.
Consumer demand? Evil corporations like Hallmark need to realize that morals are more important than profits.

Ben's last Olympics update


The other night, NBC ran a cute piece toward the end of its prime-time broadcast—which means it probably aired somewhere around midnight—about how people are battling sleep deprivation thanks to how late we’re all staying up to watch the Olympics each night.
Don't wag your finger at me, evil corporation. I'm in bed by 1.

Ben's last Myanmar update


Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is ``very concerned'' about her health after she failed to show up yesterday for a meeting with a United Nations envoy, said National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win.
Like any enemy of the Myanmar state, she apparently doesn't get much health care...
The junta stopped allowing her physician to visit her home for monthly medical checkups earlier this year, NLD member Soe Aung said by telephone today from Thailand.

``It's been quite a long time since her doctor visited her,'' said Soe Aung, who was elected as a lawmaker in 1990 elections that were rejected by the junta when the NLD won. ``She's not getting proper care.''

Ben's last Iraq update


That's what happened to Horatio Sanz!

Iraq and the U.S. pushed close to a deal Thursday setting a course for American combat troops to pull out of major Iraqi cities by next June, with a broader withdrawal from the long and costly war by 2011.
Celebrate good times...in three years!

Conventions don't give candidates bounce


Washington – The bunting’s hung. The podiums are almost finished. As the two big parties that govern America ready for their quadrennial conventions, the question on the minds of many political pros is … well, OK, it’s who the vice presidential picks will be. But they’re also wondering something else: What’s happened to the bounce?
Forget the bounce. Where's the beef? I don't care if my burger has big buns, I like meat!

Ben's last Darfur update


Dongola, Sudan - Ask Abbas Adam Ibrahim whether he is Arab or African, and he does not quite know how to respond. "Both," the Sudanese man says, after slight hesitation.

Mr. Adam comes from the Fur tribe, of Darfur – commonly understood to be an African tribe, under persecution by Sudan's Arab-dominated government.

Last month, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur, saying "evidence shows that al-Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity."

But for Sudanese Arabs and Africans coexisting peacefully outside Darfur, these racial distinctions are not so clear.
I never saw Darfur as simply racial conflict. For several reasons, the Sudanese government would rather wipe out a region than help it.

Obama: McCain "just doesn't get it"


Sen. Barack Obama says his Republican rival Sen. John McCain is out of touch and "just doesn't get it."

Obama's argument sprang from comments made by McCain Wednesday during an interview with Politico's Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen in which the Arizona senator said he wasn't sure of how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain said.

"It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you," he added.

Obama, whom McCain has tried to portray as an arugula-nibbling, fancy-berry-tea-quaffing elitist, used the gaffe to further his argument that McCain is out of touch with average Americans.

"If you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong," Obama shot back during a campaign event at John Tyler Community College in Virginia.

"But if you're like me and you've got one house," he continued, "or you're like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so that they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."

The Obama campaign thinks the gaffe may mark a "metaphorical moment" in the campaign -- on par with notorious presidential election gaffes like in 1992 when it was widely reported, perhaps unfairly, that President George H.W. Bush didn't know what a grocery scanner was or in this past year when former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was busted for getting a pair of $400 haircuts.

"They think it's going to have that kind of power," ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said on "World News With Charles Gibson." "The McCain team says, 'No way.'"
Way.

Wakefield may receive less aid


WAKEFIELD — It appears that state revenues for the current fiscal year may be even less than originally expected, according reports town officials are getting from Beacon Hill and that could mean less aid for Wakefield.
The Tri-Board met for an hour last night at Town Hall and discussed the worsening financial outlook.
Like I said last night, things always get worse before they get better...right?

Party Spotlight: Constitution Party

History: The Constitution Party was originally founded as the U.S Taxpayers Party in 1992. The changeover to the current name came in 1999.

Chairman: Jim Clymer

Platform: Defending the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Associated Political Ideologies: Conservatism, Paleoconservatism

Economic Issues (10% Government Involvement Grade):

  • Reduce government regulation in economic affairs
  • Abolish taxation including, but not limited to: income tax
  • Reduce or dissolve government programs and agencies such as the Department of Education
  • Stop participating in international lending institutions
Foreign/Immigration Issues (100% Protectionist Grade):
  • Eventually stop participation in the United Nations
  • Continue protectionist policies by levying a tariff on imports
  • Favors a non-interventionist military policy
  • Restrict immigration
  • Reject amnesty to illegals
Social Issues (80% Traditional Values Grade):
  • Supports pro-life policies: anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia
  • Favors the death penalty for capital crimes
  • Opposes same sex marriages
  • Opposes pornography
  • Rejects government funded gambling
  • Opposes government's anti-drug laws
  • Supports the right to bear arms per Second Amendment
2008 Election Candidate: Chuck Baldwin
Source: Beyond Two, A Wakefield Étudiant Affiliate

Ben and Glen Talk About É2.0

Part One



Part Two