Friday, October 29, 2004

Leprechauns are real!

Wow, this is turning out to be a pretty good day for news. From [UPDATE: which now seems to be defunct]

A 3ft tall 'hobbit' discovered on a remote Indonesian island has raised the extraordinary possibility that our human species might not be alone on Earth.

The female creature has been identified as a completely new member of the human race.

But, although she lived 18,000 years ago, scientists believe her relatives survived for thousands more years on the island of Flores.

And experts have not ruled out the possibility of her descendants, or other unknown human species, still hiding in the impenetrable forests and cave systems of South-East Asia.

Mythical tales abound in the region of a race of little people that dwell on the islands of Indonesia.

Dutch explorers who colonised Flores 100 years ago were told colourful stories of a human-like creature local inhabitants called 'ebu gogo'.

The tales described how they could be heard 'murmuring' to one another, and how, parrot-fashion, they repeated back words spoken to them.

Dr Henry Gee, senior editor of scientific journal Nature, said scientists who made the discovery were now having to think again about these stories' source.

'Until they found this creature they would have dismissed them as tales of hobbits and leprechauns, but no longer,' he told a news conference last night.

Are we still the good guys?

When we attacked Iraq we didn't bother to count the civilian casualties, but now someone has. The grand total: over 100,000. To put this number in perspective, according to published reports, in the much-ballyhooed poison gas attack by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds, 5,000 people died. Fewer than 3,000 died in the World Trade Center. I don't know what Saddam's grand total is, but it certainly appears based on these latest figures that the U.S. in contention for having killed more Iraqi civilians than Saddam Hussein and all the terrorist attacks in the history of the world combined.

I've asked this before, I'll ask it again: what exactly is it that makes us the good guys?

We've won the war on terror

The Deparment of Homeland Security has apparently made so much progress in the war on terror that now have extra time and manpower available to try to enforce copyright and patent law. That would be funny (or sad depending on how you look at it) even apart from the fact that their first target hadn't actually broken any laws. What's next? Breaking into people's houses to arrest them for jaywalking?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Just in time for Halloween

This is really scary.

(The PDF is huge, around 5MB, so if you have a slow connection here's the original PowerPoint presentation , which is only 900k.)