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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

News You Can Use

Hello again. There are plenty of things you need to know about going on in the world, so let's get to it:

Apparently China has a space program, and there's now another "race to the moon" going on. The chinese managed to send two of their billion people into space, and this is not the first time they've done this. If there was ever a reason to fear China, this is it. Only countries with bad bad intentions race us to the moon. Remember the Soviet Union, how evil they were? Maybe the Chinese are different, but I can't help feeling like they're doing this just to make us look bad. Btw, the linked article mentions that the U.S. is planning another manned expedition to Mars in 2018. Can't we move the timetable up on that a little bit? I mean, we've done it once -- we can do it again, right? I suppose all the problems we've had with the Space Shuttle and the o-rings and the foam and the explosions has made us understandably cautious, but that caution may cause us to get to the moon and find a bunch of Chinese flags and empty fried rice containers lying around.

I'm just kidding, of course. The Chinese consume nothing but Tang up there, just like everybody else.

In Germany, they have elected a woman President, er, "Chancellor," for the first time ever. She's for better relations with the U.S. and keeping Turkey out of the European Union, which makes her a conservative, but she also made some deals with the "social democrats" who want to help the poor. Also, apparently there is a news source named the Khaleej Times, because that's where I learned this all from.

Another weird newspaper, the "ADNKronosinternational," tells us that the Iraqis have made a historic constitution deal. It is historic because not everybody hates it. Well, most of the Sunnis probably still hate it, but they're not violently opposing it. Except the ones that are. Everything in Iraq is so confusing these days, we probably won't know for years what's really going on. I can't even tell if things are getting better or worse. There are a lot of killers out there, to be sure, but are we making progress? I'd like an honest person who knows the answer to that to e-mail me. If you're a partisan shill or hack, please don't respond, because nobody needs what you have to say.

Watch out, evil AOL! Microsoft Windows Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger are lining up against you. Soon, the two IM platforms will be able to talk to each other, leaving AOL users out in the cold (again). It's going to be like the AOL people are the only Norweigans at a party where people are speaking Swahili.

Remember when AOL went to "unlimited dial-up" from their previous limit of 20 hours a week? Remember how you couldn't get a connection because so many people were just leaving their phone lines connected to AOL all the time? Remember what a P.R. blow that was to them? Somehow, they're still around. Evil.

I love this headline: Bones Prove the Existence of Hobbits. Ok, so not really, but as recently as 12,000 years ago a Hobbit-like people existed, so say some scientists. Others are quite skeptical of the whole thing. As usual, in these journalistic articles regarding science, the truth is buried under an avalanche of differing scientific opinions and flawed research techniques. Anyway, my favorite part of the story is where they hunt a diminutive form of elephant. It's like Miniature Island! What is this, a 1950's comic book? Somebody needs to make this into a movie right now! And think about it -- in World History terms, 12,000 years ago is quite recent. Who's to say that they aren't still around, hiding in an undiscovered cave somewhere. They are small. Maybe they saved up enough miniature elephant meat to last them thousands of years, or they have their own world down there, complete with miniature casinos and buffets.

Also, last week GW Bush nominated a lawyer buddy from Dallas for the US Supreme Court. There has been much debate about this in every news outlet, because she could end up being one of the 9 people who shape our laws in this country, and nobody really knows what she believes. News outlets have also been reporting that there may or may not be a fight on Capitol Hill over her nomination. GW Bush seems to have befuddled the world with this. Either it's a brilliant move to get a "stealth conservative" and a good friend onto the Super Supreme Court, or it's a clueless move that could blow up in his face. Either way, he always keeps us guessing, and that's why he's a fascinating President to watch.


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