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April 27, 2007

What's Happening?

So, in fact, I have been largely avoiding the news -- actually not so much avoiding news as it is not having a whole bunch of time to read it. What I'm trying to say is I have no clue what is going on out there in the rest of the universe.

So: Anything you think I should know about?

Yeah, I totally trust you not to lie to me.

Posted by john at April 27, 2007 12:29 PM

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Matt | April 27, 2007 12:48 PM

Let see...

The biggest news in my little world is that Congress passed the Iraq bill, which is going to vetoed immediately. They also gave Gonzales' assistant immunity and approved supenas for Rice (which she is 'not inclined' to follow).

I didn't see the Democratic Debate yesterday, but from what I'm reading...neither did anyone else. I've heard nothing about it. And I'm looking.

Ummm...otherwise, I don't know. Kobe Bryant scored a whole bunch of points last night, but you dont' care about that.

Its actually been a pretty slow week, so its worked out pretty well for you.

Chang, for rizzle. | April 27, 2007 12:54 PM

Richard Gere. Shot. Jack Valenti.

Jeff Hentosz | April 27, 2007 12:56 PM

Squat's happening, that's what. Down at the general store, Mabel caught the Peterson boy trying to steal some gumballs and a pack of firecrackers. Mrs. Michin's peach cobbler gave the pastor an upset stomach. And Stan Armond left the Tap Room three sheets, went off the side of Route 29 and killed one of Old Man Stoddard's pigs. Otherwise, nothing.

Camron Winslow | April 27, 2007 12:57 PM

As I live in Virginia, there still doesn't seem to be any news happening in the world apart from VA Tech. I'm as interested as you are.

Though this is good: On the Fountain Bookstore site, they have listed your upcoming tour stop thusly:

"5/9 John Scalzi - Bigshot SF Writer!"

I thought that was an amusing description.

Ryan | April 27, 2007 12:57 PM

A failure in generalship
By Lt. Col. Paul Yingling

Interesting reading on failures of command.

JCK | April 27, 2007 01:17 PM

Stephen Hawking's zero-g flight was a success and he loved every minute of it.

Alison Scott | April 27, 2007 01:22 PM

A scam has been uncovered where a company was cashing in on the Japanese fashion for toy poodles by giving lambs a poodle cut and selling them to unsuspecting rich women as poodles. "When my new poodle didn't bark and refused dog food I took him to the vet" explained one famous Japanese actress. Another took hers for a poodle pedicure only to be told that it had hooves.

Alison Scott | April 27, 2007 01:24 PM

Actually, rats, Snopes has debunked it. Shame.

Kathryn from Sunnyvale | April 27, 2007 01:25 PM

In the rest of the universe?

If astronomers discovered that 20 light years away in the direction of Libra, an earth-sized rocky planet orbits in the habitable zone of its star, a star already known to have Neptune-sized planets, would you consider that great news or big great news or not news?

Just wondering.

Tor | April 27, 2007 01:26 PM

Actually, the sheep/poodle thing turns out to be an urban legend... sigh


| April 27, 2007 01:27 PM

I know you don't want us to lie to you, but this one is too amazing to believe on the face of it.

From metro.co.uk:

"Thousands of people have been 'fleeced' into buying neatly coiffured lambs they thought were poodles.

Entire flocks of lambs were shipped over from the UK and Australia to Japan by an internet company and marketed as the latest 'must have' accessory.

But the scam was only spotted after a leading Japanese actress said her 'poodle' didn't bark and refused to eat dog food."

Annalee Flower Horne | April 27, 2007 01:30 PM

Bearing in mind that I'm on the wrong side of the pond for accurate, timely news:

-Kusinich is filing Articles of Impeachment against Cheney for lying about Iraq. It seems to be a stunt, though-- he doesn't seem have the party leadership behind him (Pelosi dismissed it as a waste of time).

-Rudy Guliani's apparantly making a bit of a dick of himself with the 'vote republican or the terrorists will kill you' rhetoric. I haven't read up on the specifics yet, but a bunch of people seem annoyed about it (and by a bunch of people, I mean my livejournal friends list and Keith Olbermann).

-On this side of the pond, the Northern Ireland Assembly is set to begin sessions in two weeks. It's a landmark occasion and a hefty step forward for the peace process. Unfortunately, it's forcing the DUP and Sinn Fein to form a mandatory coalition, which is unlikely to lead to an efficient and smoothly-run government (Think Lyndon LeRuche splitting executive power with Strom Thurmond--that's a bad analogy, but the level of 'oh dear gawd' is about the same). Also, a smoking ban in all public buildings, including pubs, goes into effect here in three days. But this probably isn't what you meant when you asked for news.

-BBC Reporter Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped by a paramilitary group in Gaza, is still missing, but word now is that he's still alive.

-A pie shortage has taken the east coast by storm. Prices have skyrocketed as the populace makes a run on the remaining pie.

Josef | April 27, 2007 01:33 PM

There's something brewing between Russia and Estonia over a statue.

LizT | April 27, 2007 01:42 PM

Turns out our troops used the Japanese Comfort Women after WWII also. The word 'used', while a good descriptive in this headline, really gives me the creeps when I think about what the sentence means. (Link above in URL).

Ian | April 27, 2007 01:44 PM

If you'd like to see Olbermann go after Rudy for his comments, a good editing of the show is here. It's definitely worth watching.

Aside from the alien race of giant ants taking over the space station and making the astronauts their laboring slaves, nothing much is going on. I think we're expected to launch missiles to bring down the ISS and its new Ant overlords around tea-time.

Randy | April 27, 2007 01:46 PM

Who cares? Rosie O'Donnell is leaving the View!!!!

J at The Dundies | April 27, 2007 01:50 PM

Some Democrats had a 2008 Presidential Debate... in April 2007. They could at least wait until late 2007. I hate this long election.

rick gregory | April 27, 2007 01:51 PM

There have been periodic and unsubstantiated hobbit sightings on the west coast.

Michael Rawdon | April 27, 2007 01:54 PM

The Red Sox have a 3-game lead in their division and the New Yank Yorkies are tied for last and have a 6-game losing streak.

Annalee Flower Horne | April 27, 2007 01:55 PM

dude, Rosie O'Donnell was on The View?

scuze me while I crawl back under my rock now.

Eric B | April 27, 2007 02:02 PM

Boris Yeltsin died on Monday. Or is that news too old?

Justme | April 27, 2007 02:08 PM

Intrepid investigative reporters have finally uncovered the truth: www.snopes.com is operated by a small girl and her pony out of their attic bedroom using the neighbors wireless internet service illegally. They decide what's true or not using a Magic 8-Ball.

And the word "Tiv-over" is officially going in the dictionary to refer to all the shows you've recorded on Tivo, but can't stand to watch because they aren't as good as they used to be.

Speaking of which ... Ronald Moore let loose with a startling spoiler ... Starbuck is not a Cylon, but it turns out she was actually a man all this time. Lee is a little disappointed.

Otherwise, you haven't missed much.

Jonathan Vos Post | April 27, 2007 02:26 PM

Thaumaturge/Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the
world's leading experts on gravity and 4-dimensional spells, has taken off on a flight which lets him experience weightlessness without a levitation spell on his own frail body.

The renowned theoretical magician-physicist, who is almost totally paralysed by a motor neuron curse, abandoned his wheelchair to float freely in a spherical ghost-glass sphere attached to specially modified Flying Carpet.

A similar carpet, nicknamed the "vomit comet" is used by the American space agency Celestine to train astral voyagers, and which simulates zero gravity by taking a steep dive and going into "freefall".

A nurse lifted Professor Hawking's arm so he could wave to news cameras before he boarded the flight. He was carried aboard the plane by a worker-gorilla in his wheelchair, which was then returned to the ground.

Professor Hawking's flight was made possible by Zero Gravity Consortium, a celestial tourism and
entertainment company based in Area 52, Nevada.

Before the flight, he said, through his magicked
talking parrot with its eerie mechanical/operatic
voice: "As someone who has studied gravity and black holes all of my life, I am excited to experience, first hand, weightlessness and a zero-gravity environment.

"I am thankful to Zero Gravity Consortium for making this experience available to the general public, especially for disabled individuals."

The carpet, G-Force One, took off from the Rose Bowl parking lot, near the California Institute of Thaumaturgy, in Paradena, California, under a
commercial agreement with Celestine.

On his return, he was hosted at a banquet by
Thaumaturge/Professor Richard Feynman.


After the success of QMD (quantum magicodynamics,
Feynman turned to quantum gravity. By analogy with the photon, which has spin 1, he investigated the consequences of a free massless spin 2 field, and was able to derive the Einstein field equation of general relativity. However, a calculational technique that Feynman developed for gravity in 1962 — "ghosts" — later proved invaluable. Besides sheedding light on previously unsolved mysteries of thanaton-photon
interaction in hauntings, this led, in 1967, to Fadeev and Popov quantizing the particle behaviour of the spin 1 theories of Yang-Mills-Shaw-Pauli, that are now seen to describe the weak, strong, and psionic
interactions, using Feynman's warpath integral
technique. At this time he exhausted himself by
working on multiple major projects at the same time, including his Lectures in Physical Spells, and his famous self-activated bongo drums. He also became interested in forensic magic, much to the annoyance of the Paradena Police Department...

Adam Rakunas | April 27, 2007 02:30 PM

Moscow in flames, missiles are flying, film at 11.

Scott Spiegelberg | April 27, 2007 02:43 PM

Mstislav Rostropovich died.

Scott Spiegelberg | April 27, 2007 02:44 PM

Oh, and so did the guy who sang "The Monster Mash" Bobby Pickett.

Rhiannon_s | April 27, 2007 03:04 PM

Well, apprently they are shooting a sequel to the '80s computer flick Wargames (ok, that is old news really, but I just found out about it) and in the upcoming Scottish elections it looks like we are going to be giving Tony Blair a right good kicking (figuratively speaking anyway, sadly).

Oh and as the row about Wolfowitz and corruption gets worse and a senior US army officer critisies US policy in Iraq, the Pentagon annouces the surprise capture of another senior al-Qaeda leader. Oh and a police cheif in Wales showed a decapitated head in a road safty campaign. Well a picture of one anyway.

And president Putin threatens nuclear war.

Steve Buchheit | April 27, 2007 03:05 PM

Dinosaurs invaded Delaware. But then they were all given credit cards which they immediately maxed out, and now they're in debtor's prison.

Matt | April 27, 2007 03:16 PM

Boris Yeltsin died. No need to embalm as his body has been soaked in alcohol (vodka, in particular) for such a long time. They just have to keep an open flame away from it, otherwise, it might just burst into a big ball of fire.

Bush caught on tape dancing with the natives - looks like he has been inhaling something or back on the drink.

kevboy | April 27, 2007 03:34 PM

I don't know what's going on either... I've spent the entire week at my mom's house, trying to get her new goddamn poodle to eat its Kibbles 'n' Bits.

Marc Moskowitz | April 27, 2007 04:11 PM

Celine Dion sang a duet with Elvis Presley on the American Idol stage.

Ralph_Desmond | April 27, 2007 04:44 PM

Consu have indeed taken over Claremont, California. The Governator doesn't want to do anything about it. I think it was always part of his plan.

Adam Rakunas | April 27, 2007 04:58 PM

Ralph, as long as they leave Some Crust alone, I'm cool with that.

Anne C. | April 27, 2007 05:26 PM

There was a media bruhaha over allegations that Curt Schilling's bloody sock at the 2004 World Series was a publicity stunt.

Top Republicans introduced a bill to abolish term limits so Bush could run for a third term. Democrats dithered about how to counter it and it accidentally passed.

In a shocker of an episode, American Idol "Gives Back" and no one is kicked off the show.

And apparently human beings have a genetic tendency towards confusing sheep and dogs. Explains Wallace & Grommit's A Close Shave, doesn't it?

Heather Shaw | April 27, 2007 05:42 PM

Not exactly world news, but I'm pregnant!

Andrew S. | April 27, 2007 05:57 PM

I haven't been following the news closely myself. But apparently, Don Imus shot a bunch of people at some school? Something like that.

eviltammy | April 27, 2007 06:34 PM

Kevboy: Maybe it's really a lamb?

Katherine | April 27, 2007 06:52 PM

Apparently all pet food is now deathly poison.


It's now wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, some of which is not appearing on the labels of affected food. Menu Foods is suing Chem Nutra. Chem Nutra is suing Menu Foods. A couple of small pet food companies claim the manufacturer put rice protein concentrate into their food without their knowledge or permission. Pet Connection's self-reported database (bear in mind the problems with self-reporting) is around 4500 pets dead. The CFO of Menu Foods dumped his stock a couple of weeks before the recall. The Chinese say it's not their fault they didn't do it. Companies that process veterinary medical tests are raking in the dough (Idexx Labs earnings are up 15.1%). The poison could be in pork sold for human consumption, too, and they're investigating whether it's in chicken feed as well.

The ASPCA advises against the dangers of home cooking for your pets. Have a nice day. Don't order the pork.

Old Jarhead | April 27, 2007 07:51 PM

It's been discovered by researchers that if you are cornered by a boring person at a function you can get rid of him/her by intoning the word "potrzebie" a number of times or asking in a bright voice "Do you know that its crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide?"

Steve Buchheit | April 27, 2007 08:15 PM

Heather Shaw, congrats!

Jim Wright | April 27, 2007 10:21 PM

Apparently all pet food is now deathly poison.

See, that's how it began. All the dogs and cats died and then the apes became our pets, then servants, then our masters. I saw in Beneath the Return to Children of the Planet of the Apes, the one with a bunch of monkeys, a circus, and Ricardo Montalban.

Apes! Dammed dirty apes are taking over the world. For the love of the Lawgiver, John, turn on the news!

Nathan | April 27, 2007 10:40 PM

It's taken a while (distance, donchaknow), but Pluto finally heard about being downgraded from planet status. It's left orbit and is now headed toward somewhere, it will, presumably, find love.

J.D. Finch | April 28, 2007 01:06 AM

News to me (and maybe to you):

"It could be worse. Howard Hendrix could start writing crime. 8D

Now if John Scalzi would like to start writing crime… Well, he openly admits copping Hiassen in his most recent book.
Comment by Jim Winter — April 25, 2007 @ 6:28 pm"

Context here:

Frank | April 28, 2007 06:48 PM

It turns out "Carbon Credits" are a scam.

I guess the only real news about this is that someone actually looked into it and confirmed what most people already knew.

Of course there is this tiny, but very wealthy minority who were shocked.

Just shocked.

And will continue to buy (and sell) them anyway.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little | April 28, 2007 11:41 PM

Apparently all pet food is now deathly poison.

Yeesh. Imagine my relief upon reading this.

The ASPCA advises against the dangers of home cooking for your pets.

Is this the fairly well-known "if you don't know what your pets' nutrition needs actually are you could end up with malnourished and/or poisoned pets" danger, or is this some sort of "warning! cooked human grade meats are BAD for cats! (who knew?) Feed them processed byproducts and preservatives that may contain traces of melamine instead! (This warning paid for by Menu Foods and the pet food industry.)" ?

Matt | April 29, 2007 02:50 AM

Since melamine has been added to pet foods, some pets who have developed tolerance for the chemical have now developed a taste for it. These pets are now starting to chew melamine dishes and countertops and will eventually start eating all furniture with melamine in them. So much for evolution.

SFC SKI | April 29, 2007 04:24 AM

I spend a far amount of time away from TV, newspapers, and the INTernet, and when I do finally get back to civilization and connectivity, I found that a quick sweep of headlines indicate I have not missed much at all.

Caroline | April 30, 2007 04:25 AM

Australia won the world cup...

Djscman | April 30, 2007 06:41 PM

The South rose again. :p

Max | May 1, 2007 03:30 AM

Woah. Two other folks who've been to Claremont? Now there's something you don't see everyday.

Lee | May 2, 2007 04:44 AM

Someone needs to send a Schadenfreude pie to this guy...


In the immortal words of Homer Simpson...Mmmmm, pie.

Lee | May 2, 2007 04:46 AM

Someone needs to send a Schadenfreude pie to this guy...


In the immortal words of Homer Simpson...Mmmmm, pie.

Katherine | May 2, 2007 01:51 PM


The ASPCA warning was basically the "If you don't know what you're doing, you can have a malnourished pet" warning. Okay, that's fairly reasonable, except that it came out when the FDA was refusing to name which pet food companies had the poison rice protein concentrate (even though they knew). In light of "There's poison food out there, but we won't tell you where. Have a nice weekend!" I really think my attempts to whip up cat food without the benefit of a team of veterinary nutritionists advising me at every turn was really the lesser of two evils.

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