Airline employee finds boxes of human heads

A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said.

“It wasn’t labeled or packaged properly,” said Ashley Rogers, a Southwest spokeswoman. “They called the local authorities.”

The incident happened in Little Rock, Ark., last Wednesday, she said. Little Rock police turned the package over to the county coroner, who questions where they came from and if they were properly obtained.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that there is a black market out there for human body parts for research or for whatever reason,” said Pulaski County coroner Garland Camper. “We just want to make sure these specimens here aren’t a part of that black market and underground trade.”

The heads were being transported to the Fort Worth office of Medtronic, a leading medical research and technology company based in Minnesota.

Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry…identified the supplier as JLS Consulting of Wynne, Ark.

JLS’s business license was revoked in December, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online database.

Sound familiar. We’re still trudging along through a case in New Mexico where a hustler promised free cremations and other goodies to families donating bodies – and shipped the leftovers off to an incinerator in Missouri.

I’ll give you all a heads up when I learn more.


Texas Republican, Joe Barton, apologizes to poor Tony Hayward (he’s been through so much!)

“Are all American congressmen fracking raving loonies?”

B.P. C.E.O. Tony Hayward took to the House floor today to chat about the oil spill with the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He delivered some contrite remarks like “I understand the seriousness of the situation” and “I give my pledge as the leader of B.P. that we will not rest until we make this right.” Still, these admissions failed to tug at the heartstrings of some shout-y woman who interrupted Hayward’s statement by yelling at him, “You need to be charged with a crime. You need to go to jail.” She was escorted out.

Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) directed his anger at President Obama, not Hayward. What a relief this change of pace must have been for the latter! Barton accused Obama’s administration of conducting a “$20 billion shakedown” of B.P. and complained that he was “ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday.”

Barton then apologized to Hayward

If you ever worked in the U.S. oil industry you’d know that when I refer to the Oil Patch Boys – home base is Texas. And home base for brown nosers who keep their face up the keister of korporate klowns is the Republican Party.

Put the two together and you get Joe Barton.

You may get your iPhone 4 by Bastille Day

If you were wondering why both Apple and AT&T melted down when taking orders for the iPhone 4 on Tuesday, we have the answer. Apple sold 600,000 of the things.

According to Apple’s press release, “It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions.”

It wasn’t helped by AT&T’s new ordering system which, according to an AT&T insider was updated over the weekend with new fraud-prevention measures and then left untested before iPhone ordering opened. AT&T has issued a statement saying that on launch day, pre-order sales were “10-times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3G S last year.” Now AT&T has “temporarily suspended” ordering for the iPhone 4…

The crush of orders shouldn’t have come as a surprise to AT&T and Apple. All the iPhone 3G owners who held off buying the 3GS last year are now ready for an upgrade…And AT&T has decided to let many 3GS owners upgrade early without penalty. You might think that this unholy combination would lead to a surge in demand, and you’d be dead right: On Tuesday there were 13 million visits to AT&T by customers checking their eligibility to upgrade.

What does this mean for you, the customer? Delivery dates have slipped again, this time to July 14th – launch day is June 24 and new orders were already delayed to July 2…And this is in the United States. Countries that do not yet even have a launch date should be prepared for a long wait.

The only thing missing from the seven thousand articles noting the demand are new rationales from Apple-haters still convinced that sound and useful engineering, attractive design, means nothing in the marketplace.

It’s a psycho-social plot by Steve Jobs to take over the world – still seems to suffice.

Strange clouds form when aircraft inadvertently cause precipitation

As turboprop and jet aircraft climb or descend under certain atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently seed mid-level clouds and cause narrow bands of snow or rain to develop and fall to the ground, new research finds.

Through this seeding process, they leave behind odd-shaped holes or channels in the clouds, which have long fascinated the public.

The key ingredient for developing these holes in the clouds: water droplets at subfreezing temperatures, below about 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius). As air is cooled behind aircraft propellers or over jet wings, the water droplets freeze and drop toward Earth.

“Any time aircraft fly through these specific conditions, they are altering the clouds in a way that can result in enhanced precipitation nearby,” says Andrew Heymsfield, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of a new study into the phenomenon.

Just by flying an airplane through these clouds, you could produce as much precipitation as with seeding materials along the same path in the cloud…”

As far back as the 1940s, scientists have wondered about the causes of these clouds with gaps seemingly made by a giant hole punch. Researchers have proposed a number of possible aviation-related causes, from acoustic shock waves produced by jets, to local warming of the air along a jet’s path, to the formation of ice along jet contrails.

Indeed, the earliest observations implicated jet aircraft, but not propeller aircraft, as producing the holes.

Researchers in the 1980s observed that propeller aircraft could transform supercooled droplets into ice crystals, and experiments were launched in the 1990s to characterize the phenomenon.

RTFA – for the tale of how one group of researchers had the data they needed to understand this process – fall into their laps.

Somalis murdered for watching the World Cup

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Somali fighters from the Hizbul Islam group have killed two people and arrested dozens for violating a ban on watching World Cup football matches on television.

Eyewitnesses said masked men from the group raided houses on Sunday and Monday in the Afgoi district, 30 km south of the capital Mogadishu, to make sure their ban stands.

“Hizbul Islam killed two people and arrested 35 others, all World Cup fans,” Ali Yasin Gedi, vice-chairman of the Elman rights group, told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Islamists unexpectedly entered houses in Afgoi district and then fired (at) some people who tried to jump over the wall to escape” he said.

Hizbul Islam and another group al-Shabaab, which are widely seen as al-Qaeda’s proxy in the region, control large swathes of the country and much of the capital.

The groups enforce their own strict interpretation of Islam, routinely banning sport, music and dancing…

Three years of fighting in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation has left 21,000 people dead and forced 1.5 million from their homes. Only small pockets of the capital remain in the hands of a Western-backed government and African Union peacekeepers.

My only suggestions for sorting out gangsters like this – and their pathetic masquerade as religious leaders – comes down to firearms and explosives.

They only achieve recognition as representing Islam among two kinds of idiots: Equally depraved thugs seeking political power – and the teabaggers and other right-wing nutballs who are willing to believe in any ideology that gives them a chance to hate furriners.