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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Morning Confusion!

As usual, the world presents us with a long list of stuff to confuse and confound us.

Maybe the tobacco companies were right all along!
Smoking is GOOD for you!
You can never be too careful, so smoke away!
Jesus Christ, this could be me in 20 or 30 years!















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Internet censorship is growing worldwide, with 26 out of 40 countries blocking or filtering political or social content, a study reported Friday.

The survey carried out by experts at four leading universities found that people in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were often denied access to information about politics, sexuality, culture or religion.

Conducting the first of what is planned to become an annual survey, the experts at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Toronto found that the approach varied according to the country.

For example, South Korea heavily censored only one topic, North Korea, while Iran, China and Saudi Arabia blocked both a wide range of topics and a great deal of content related to those topics.

The experts with the OpenNet Initiative, who carried out their research last year, listed six countries as "pervasive" filterers of political information: Myanmar, China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam.

They categorized seven countries, all of them Muslim, as "pervasive" social filterers: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Topics blocked are those considered antithetical to social norms, such as pornography, gay and lesbian content, and gambling.

Social filtering also was carried out by countries like France and Germany, where websites that deny the Holocaust or promote Nazism are blocked.

The survey found that Myanmar, China, Iran, Pakistan and South Korea have the "most encompassing national security filtering," targeting the websites of insurgents, extremists, and terrorists.

"The survey shows us that online censorship is growing around the world," said John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School.

"Some regulation is to be expected as the medium matures, but filtering and surveillance can seriously erode civil liberties and privacy and stifle global communications," he added in a statement. However, the survey found that a handful of countries where Internet filtering might be expected -- such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Venezuela and Zimbabwe -- were found not to filter.

The survey said that Internet filtering techniques have evolved with the growing complexity of content.

"Instead of just blocking static Web sites, such as pages online that show pornographic pictures or information about human rights, online censors are blocking entire applications, such as YouTube," it added.

Other applications that are often targeted are Internet telephony service Skype and Google Maps. Still others are blogs, political parties and local non-government organisations.

"In the case of blogs, a number of countries, including Pakistan and Ethiopia, have blocked entire blogging domains," it said.

The survey said the United States and European countries did not come in for testing, as the filtering practices were better understood than in other parts of the world.

The survey marked "the first step towards a comprehensive global assessment of Internet filtering practices," said Oxford University professor Jonathan Zittrain,who expects to find more countries that filter the Internet as testing is expanded.
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Then there was this story from Associated Press!

Man in deep doo-doo after sending dog shit with parking ticket payment.

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) - An man who allegedly included dog shit along with his payment for a parking ticket has been charged with disorderly conduct. The 22-year-old man was charged with the misdemeanor May 11 in a criminal complaint filed in Mower County District Court.

The man's vehicle was ticketed on April 18 while it was parked in front of his residence. He put an envelope containing his payment and dog shit in a drop box at the law enforcement center, the complaint stated.

On April 25, an office employee for the Austin Police Department smelled a rank odor as she gathered envelopes from the box. Opening the envelopes, the woman noticed one leaking a brown fluid, which got onto her hands and her desk, according to the complaint.

The next morning the woman awoke with a headache and vomited repeatedly. She was hospitalized for about two days with an undetermined illness.

The man allegedly admitted putting his dog's feces in the envelope because he was upset at the time, the complaint stated. He told police he immediately regretted doing it because he realized a secretary would probably open it.

He has been summoned to appear in court June 15.
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The payload container carrying experiments and the cremated ashes of some 200 dearly departed people - a cargo that includes remains of the beloved "Scotty" of "Star Trek" fame - has been recovered in the New Mexico mountains.

"It has been found. It is in good shape," Eric Knight, co-founder of the rocket firm UP Aerospace that launched the cargo, told SPACE.com Friday. Scotty has been beamed up!
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And finally for this Saturday morning, we have the latest news from your "dauntless" scribe about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Remember those? Then go HERE to get the full story!!!!

Your Pal - Al

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6 Comments:

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010 12:03:00 p.m.  
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