By Daniel Tencer | March 22, 2009 - 9:29 pm - Posted in Newsburger

Headed for the exit?

Headed for the exit?

Our new man in Kabul
Few would argue that Hamid Karzai’s performance as president of Afghanistan has been less than stellar. Now, at least one news source says the Obama administration plans to install a new “prime minister” who would essentially usurp Karzai’s authority. The plan may have merit, but it’s a clear sign that the government in Kabul, for all its elections, is a puppet of Washington…

The global treaty you’re not allowed to know about
According to leaked documents, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a treaty currently being negotiated by most of the world’s developed countries, “would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers’ communications.” But we can’t know for sure, because the Obama administration has declared the whole thing a national security secret…

‘Now you own it, Mr. President’
“If Washington had a buck to spare, it still wouldn’t stop at the top. But let’s, for the sake of argument, concede that presidents trigger recessions. Well, then, we also must concede that nearly every initiative enacted in the first 50 days by the Obama administration has exacerbated what Bush started…”

Genetic scar tissue
In the latest development in the nascent field of epigenetics, researchers at McGill University have found that early childhood abuse changes the way certain genes are expressed. The research may mark the first step in finding a cure for childhood trauma…

Once again, a warning about the Singularity
“Artificial life could be created within five years, researchers from the USA have claimed … A synthetic, made-to-order living system could produce everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers. Opponents of the controversial research claim the technology could lead to machines becoming ‘almost human’…”

What’s happening to Canada?
Even as the US crawls out of its disastrous neo-conservative era, Canada seems determined to mimic America’s mistakes. Take, for example, the minister of state responsible for science, who won’t confirm his belief in evolution… or the Conservative Party’s attempts to hijack student groups… or the immigration minister’s decision to ban a British MP from Canada over his left-wing views… Or British Columbia’s latest zeitgeist on energy: Fossil fuels only, please…

The human sonar
Using a brain scanner, researchers have been able to determine where a person is located through their “spatial memories…”

A Biblical fiction?
The Essenes, a Jewish sect known for their celibacy and generally believed to have written the Dead Sea Scrolls, may have never existed…

You’ll never believe what’s become of banking
Entropia Universe is about the become the first online video game that’s also a bank…

Cast Lead redux
“In the end the directive was to go into a house, switch on loudspeakers and tell them ‘you have five minutes to run away and whoever doesn’t will be killed’. In a crowded civilian city, there are all sorts of people who cannot run away: the elderly, the disabled, the pregnant, the terrified. This soldier was told to kill them…”

You have a project you need completed. You post the assignment to a forum. Hundreds of contenders scramble to put together the best solution; only one will be chosen, and only one will be paid. Is this the end of steady income for creative workers? Or is it the start of a new era of meritocracy?

Prohibition’s legacy
From disrespect of the law, to the glorification of gangsters, to police and judicial corruption, the scars of Prohibition are still with us…

Why are diamonds a girl’s best friend?
Because, like picked flowers and meals at overpriced restaurants, they have no intrinsic value. It’s how women determine which men are willing to make a commitment…

Prisoner art
For the past two years, prisoners at Delhi’s Tihar jail have been given painting lessons. The results have been spectacular…

The secret message in Lincoln’s watch
A watchmaker marked the start of the US Civil War by inscribing a diary entry into the back of Abraham Lincoln’s watch: “Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels … thank God we have a government.” Lincoln never knew about it…

Headline of the Week: Shuttle-Riding Bat Dies the Most Glorious Death Imaginable…

And finally: Photos from a Gypsy bride market in Bulgaria…

And finally finally: Too big to fail…

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 at 9:29 pm and is filed under Newsburger. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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