Thursday, August 25, 2005

BSN Update! "Pat Robinson Proclaims Fatwa Against Hugo Chavez"

The Grand Ayatollah Pat Robinson has issued a fatwa calling for the assassination of Venezulan president Hugo Chavez. "He who slays Hugo Chavez is assured a place in Heaven," announced Robinson before a crowd of thousands. "May the streets of Caracas run red with the blood of martyrs and infidels!" His speech ended with the crowd shouting "Death to Venezula! Death to Chavez!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Oven Mitt Shot Dead in Arby’s Holdup
BSN UPDATE "The 'N' Stands For 'News'"
Oven Mitt, the famous Arby’s employee and anthropomorphic oven mitt, was killed last night in an apparent robbery attempt. Witnesses say that Mitt, age unknown, was closing the restaurant when an armed suspect entered the premises and ordered him to hand over the contents of the safe.
When Mitt insisted that the safe could only be opened at certain times of day, the robber shot him.
A source at the Cook County prosecutor’s office said that the perpetrator, if caught, probably would not serve time.
“Oven Mitt is not a person, so this is not a homicide. He cannot be considered to be an animal either, so there cannot be any animal cruelty charges. The only crime that has been committed is the destruction of property, namely one $2.39 oven mitt and one 79¢ ceramic wall tile, which was damaged when the fatal bullet passed through Mitt.”
Services are to be held at 1pm Friday by the Dumpster behind the Evanston Arby’s. His remains will be permanently interred at the Cook County Landfill. Funeral attendees will receive coupons for free small orders of curly fries.
This marks the third death of a fast food mascot this year. In January Colonel Harlan Sanders stepped on a Soviet era “Bouncing Betty” landmine while serving in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, PepsiCo had the Taco Bell Dog put to sleep after he failed to meet quarterly sales goals.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Isreali troops have pulled out settlers from their homes in the Gaza strip. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Never mind the flagrant violation of property rights, a recent Supreme Court ruling shows how much sympathy that can get you over here.
The cold hard fact is that this gesture intended to move the peace process along will ultimately fail. In order for the returned land to be acceptable to the Palestanians, the Jews had to be removed from it. The two groups are not willing to live next door to each other. As long as this is the case there will not be peace. Leaders on both sides may claim there is, but fringe groups and people acting indepedently will continue to attack civilians.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Latest news report from BSN "The 'N' stands for 'News'!"
Allah, the deity revered by all Muslims world wide, was apprehended infront of a mosque in Basra a month ago, according to a recentlydeclassified report. His prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus,and Mohammed, are all believed to be dead.Allah is allegedly responsible for numerous plagues, wars, and thecreation of the universe. He is currently being held at the naval brigat Guantanimo Bay, Cuba.He is alleged to have several aliases including God, Lord, Yahwell,Jehovah, Gott, and Dios.
There are many conflicting reports on this person. Former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has even claimed thathe has a son, though most captured officials from the former regime denythis. He is believed to occasionally take the form of George Burn orAlanis Morrisette.An anonymous Marine NCO posted at the naval base commented on themilitary's attempt to confine an omnipotent being."We took a suggestion from the Kansas state board of education. We'veplaced copies of 'On Origins of Species' around the facility. The bookhas been credited with keeping God out of schools, so we hope that itwill keep Him in jail."
Allah’s spokesman, the Arch Angel Michael, also known as “Mecca Mike” made a statement. "By what ever name you know Him, He is very pissed off at all 6,128,725,923 of you assholes. Wait, make that 6,128,725,926. Some lady in Calcutta had triplets."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Recently TSA has begun to allow passengers to bring small knifes and nail clippers aboard airliners again. This is a very small step in the right direction. When air screeners take away any object that could be remotely contrued as a weapon, it inconveinces passengers, detering even the most law abding citizen from traveling by air. This is causing a lot of problems for an already troubled industry.

The fact of the matter is that there is only one kind of weapon that can be plausibly used to hijack a plane in the post 9/11 world: Explosives. Boxcutters will not work anymore, since passengers can be expected to defend themselves now that we know that anyone who trys to kill or interfere with the pilot probably wants to crash the plane. Gun related hijackings have ceased since the installation of metal detectors in airports. Terrorists now know that they have to be able kill everyone on board, only a bomb would be enough to keep everyone quiet and in their seats.

And even the use of explosives could prove difficult. Once upon a time, Semtex was the explosive of choice for terrorist since it had no smell. Now the Czechs have been nice enough to add chemical tags and scents to Semtex, and they have also stopped exporting it. All batches of the unscented variety are no longer usable since the stuff has a 20 year shelf life. Anything now should be detectable by chemical sniffers. Rather than spending $100, 000 a year per airport on five air screeners who can only expediantly pat down one in 10 passengers, the money should be spent on the one time cost of one chemical sniffer for every airport. This way, every passenger will get checked, instead of just elderly grandmothers who fit a profile.

There have been no terrorist incidents on domestic flights in almost 4 years. Only one terrorist incident has occured on a flight headed for the US since 9/11, and it was stopped by two observant flight attendants. It may be the case that al Qaeda has given up on airliners and is starting to look into other targets. Let's spent our homeland security dollars accordingly.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This morning I listened to news coverage of the shuttle Discovery's return to Earth with a sense of foreboding and dread. With all the problems that had plagued this mission I was thinking "For want of a piece of foam, all of space may be lost."
If these astronauts had died it could have jeopardized and possibly even ended humanity's quest for the cosmos. This is the best case for private space flights and exploration. NASA, being a government organization, is ultimately subject to the will and whims of the public at large. Every time an expensive piece of equipment fails, there is pressure to cut funding. Every time an astronaut dies, there is pressure to take unreasonable safety measures. A privately funded space flight only needs the approval of two people: the guy who paid for the rocketship and the guy who is supposed to fly the damn thing, assuming they aren't the same guy.

When heavier than air flight was being developed over a century, there were many would-be pilots who tried to fly and died as a result. Early in the history of railroads, some "experts" were convinced that it would be fatal for a human being to travel faster than 30 mph. Progress depends on brave men and women pushing the envelope, not 298 million spectators fretting over the safety of seven people.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Recently there has been a flap over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The game contains hidden sex scenes which nobody detected until ten months after the game was released.

Why are video games held to a different standard than other mediums? I have been pondering this for a while and I came up with several reasons.

-Books for a while have received immunity from active government censorship, that is, while schools might remove them from a required reading list, nobody ever advocates banning a book outright anymore. The printed word is sacred. Banning a book brings up images of communists or facists dumping outlawed texts on a pyre. Neither the Nazis nor the Soviets have outlawed video games, so that makes the medium a safe target in contemporary America. Also, since nobody has time to read anymore, there's no point in banning something that I only bought to put on my bookshelf to impress guests with how literate I can pretend to be.

-Voting turnout rates among Generation X-box is lower than the turnout rates among those who defied the establishment by listening to Elvis or by listening to jazz. This makes attacking video games safe politically for now.

-You can watch a movie with friends and family, then talk about how you almost cried during Padme's funereal. You can read a book review and then fake your way through a conversation with several other people who have claimed to have read "The Da Vinci Code". But try and find someone to discuss what you thought about Snake's "Traces of Life" speech at the end of "Metal Gear Solid 2". It will be some time before snooty elitists give weight to the plot, character development, dialogue in contemporary games.

-Movies and books are accesible to almost anyone. You need more money to buy video games, time to play them, and skill to be able to progress through the levels. Many elderly people on fixed incomes who have arthritis in their thumbs don't get to see what I see in "Time Spliters". Its rather like reading works by Cervantes in their original Spanish. Not everyone is able to understand it.