India plans to make hot chilli hand grenades

Out of deference to my South Asian readers, I’ll leave that spelling of “chilli” alone. It wouldn’t last a minute here in New Mexico, the chile pepper capitol of the world.

Indian defence scientists are planning to put one of the world’s hottest chilli powders into hand grenades.

They say the devices will be used to control rioters and in counter-insurgency operations.

Researchers say the idea is to replace explosives in small hand grenades with a certain variety of red chilli to immobilise people without killing them.

The chilli, known as Bhut Jolokia, is said to be 1,000 times hotter than commonly used kitchen chilli.

It hasn’t been that long since I did a post about an Indian woman who set a new world’s record for contact with this chile. Let’s hope her relatives aren’t moonlighting as insurgents.

Wingnut church ‘exorcism’ of gay teenager

An American church has been condemned over a video showing a 16-year-old boy apparently being exorcised by church leaders trying to cast a “homosexual demon” from his body.

The 20-minute video posted on YouTube shows the teenager lying on the floor, his body convulsing, as elders of a small Connecticut church shout “Rip it from his throat!” and “Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!”

Later, the teenager is seen coughing and apparently vomiting into a bag before lying on the ground, limp and covered in a white sheet.

Superstitious crap like this is dumb enough on its own; but, subjecting a young person – already struggling with questions of their sexuality – to medieval scorn and maltreatment is another conrete example of the inhumanity of religious despotism.

Reverend Patricia McKinney denied the ritual was an exorcism, describing it instead as a casting out of spirits. She said the church took care of the youth, providing him with clothes…

Robin McHaelin, the executive director of True Colors, an American advocacy group for young gay people, said her organisation was aware of five cases in recent years in which people in her programme were threatened with exorcism.

In one case, she said, a child called to report that his caregiver had called a priest who was throwing holy water on his bedroom door.

“I think it’s horrifying,” McHaelin said of the video by Manifested Glory. “What saddens me is the people that are doing this think they are doing something in the kid’s best interests, when in fact they’re murdering his spirit.”

The idiots berating these kids are brutes who deserve to be caged. Protect society from their Dark Ages ministry.

Oz crop circles made by – Wallaby stoners

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around “as high as a kite”.

Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine…

Australia supplies about 50% of the world’s legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers…

“The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Lara Giddings told the hearing.

Then they crash,” she added. “We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.”

Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids, said the wallaby incursions were not very common, but other animals had also been spotted in the poppy fields acting unusually.

“There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles,” he added.

Some people believe the mysterious circles that appear in fields in a number of countries are created by aliens. Unfortunately, they also vote.

Supreme Court says girl’s right to privacy violated by strip search


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

In a ruling of interest to educators, parents and students across the country, the Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1, that the strip search of a 13-year-old Arizona girl by school officials who were looking for prescription-strength drugs violated her constitutional rights.

The officials in Safford, Ariz., would have been justified in 2003 had they limited their search to the backpack and outer clothing of Savana Redding, who was in the eighth grade at the time, the court ruled. But in searching her undergarments, they went too far and violated her Fourth Amendment privacy rights, the justices said.

Had Savana been suspected of having illegal drugs that could have posed a far greater danger to herself and other students, the strip search, too, might have been justified, the majority said, in an opinion by Justice David H. Souter.

“In sum, what was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear,” the court said. “We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable.”

In fact, no pills were found on Savana when her underwear was examined by two school officials, both women, who were acting on a tip passed along by another student…

Questions of individual responsibility vs. institutional bureaucrat protections will come up in lower courts – if the young lass and her family care to pursue them.

Meanwhile, an important step in redefining privacy has been taken. I’d be the first to admit to contradictory feelings about crime vs. privacy; but, this appears to be just one more case of officials thinking they are little tin gods.

Monkey pees on Zambian president during press conference

A monkey urinated on Zambian President Rupiah Banda as he spoke to journalists at a news conference on Wednesday.

Banda softly shouted: “You (monkey) have urinated on my jacket,” and paused as he looked up to see the animal playing in a tree just above his chair.

Perhaps these are blessings,” he said continuing his address amid laughter from the audience of journalists and diplomats at the State House presidential offices.

Ain’t any different from the occasional gopher snake wandering through the governor’s grounds here in New Mexico.

It’s nice to see a politician who ain’t offended by nature.

Camelina could diminish jet fuel’s carbon footprint over 80%

The seeds of a lowly weed could cut jet fuel’s cradle-to-grave carbon emissions by 84 percent.

David Shonnard analyzed the carbon dioxide emissions of jet fuel made from camelina oil over the course of its life cycle, from planting to tailpipe. “Camelina jet fuel exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any agricultural feedstock-derived biofuel I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This is the result of the unique attributes of the crop–its low fertilizer requirements, high oil yield, and the availability of its coproducts, such as meal and biomass, for other uses.”

Camelina sativa originated in Europe and is a member of the mustard family, along with broccoli, cabbage and canola. Sometimes called false flax or gold-of-pleasure, it thrives in the semi-arid conditions of the Northern Plains; the camelina used in the study was grown in Montana.

Oil from camelina can be converted to a hydrocarbon green jet fuel that meets or exceeds all petroleum jet fuel specifications. The fuel is a “drop-in” replacement that is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, from storage and transportation to aircraft fleet technology…

Because camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish, it can be grown on marginal agricultural lands. “Unlike ethanol made from corn or biodiesel made from soy, it won’t compete with food crops,” said Shonnard. “And it may be used as a rotation crop for wheat, to increase the health of the soil…”

I’m a firm advocate of running biofuel wherever and whenever possible. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. It’s even high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Nutball blogger arrested for threats to judges


From a previous arrest
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The FBI has arrested an Internet blogger from New Jersey on charges of threatening three prominent Chicago judges who authored an anti-gun rights ruling earlier this month.

Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen, N.J., allegedly posted a headline “These judges deserve to be killed,” supplemented the next day by, “Judges official public work addresses and a map of the area are below. Their home addresses and maps will follow soon. Behold these devils.”

Below this headline, the entry listed the names, photos, phone numbers, work addresses and room numbers of the three judges involved in the handgun decision, as well as a photo of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago and a map, according to an affidavit. The photo of the building had been modified to include arrows and a label referencing “Anti-truck bomb barriers,” according to the affidavit…

We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period,” Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said in a written statement.

Turner is charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.

I’ve not read his babble or listened to it; but, if he’s fool enough to break established criminal law – he’ll probably get what he deserves. The nutballs, of course, will consider him a hero. Surely you don’t think America’s right-wing is ready to accept the Constitution or federal law as binding.