Love the one you’re near: GPS-enabled stalking, erm, dating

LORI CHEEK was walking through the meatpacking district of Manhattan when she spotted a handsome man sitting with friends amid the dinner crowd outside Pastis. As she neared his table, she flashed a diminutive black card.

“I nestled it in his French fries,” she said, “and kept going.”

As Ms. Cheek, 37, disappeared into the July night, the man plucked the card from his fries. It read: “Look up. You might miss something.” Below, in smaller letters, were the words “find me,” a code and the address of a new Web site for singles.

Move over, This is the next generation of online dating. Unlike traditional dating sites where members spend hours on computers writing autobiographies and scrutinizing photographs, a raft of newfangled dating tools are striving to better bridge the gap between online and real-world romance…

It’s almost like you’re shopping online,” said Ms. Cheek, “but you’re shopping in real life.”

At the same time, these hybrid dating tools still enable users to keep their names and personal information private for as long as they like…

Card users said companies like FlipMe! and Cheek’d are emboldening them to approach people who might otherwise have been missed connections. They also appreciate how the companies reverse the online dating process — observe someone in person first, then send an electronic message. There’s no need to contend with false advertising on dating Web sites.

RTFA. Long, sometimes humorous, sometimes silly, interesting to me because someone is always finding a new feature to seed and flower on the Web.

Axe murderers will probably love this.

Nutball birther Lieutenant Colonel refuses to serve in Afghanistan – “Obama’s not my president!”

Obama at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin went before a military judge — and a standing-room-only courtroom — in Virginia on Friday to face three charges of disobeying a lawful order, one count of missing movement (not deploying with his unit) and one count of dereliction of duty.

He did not enter a plea at the arraignment hearing, and his attorney, Paul Jensen, asked to defer any plea until after the court could consider a motion to dismiss the case…If the charges are not dismissed, court martial proceedings will begin on October 13.

Lakin is a decorated Army doctor and an 18-year veteran who is now facing court martial for disobeying orders to ship out for another tour of duty in Afghanistan. He specializes as a primary care physician and flight surgeon. Doctors in those positions often fly in medevac helicopters in the war zone.

Lakin says the orders are illegal because, he claims, Obama — the commander in chief — has not proven he was born in this country and is therefore ineligible to be president. Lakin wants Obama to produce his birth certificate…

Two newspapers in Honolulu, Hawaii, published announcements of Obama’s birth there in August, 1961. The Republican governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, has recently certified Obama’s birth certificate as legitimate…

Despite the evidence, roughly a quarter of Americans remains skeptical, including Lakin and other so-called “birthers…”

His “defense” isn’t worthy of further examination and hasn’t been since the first time this sillyass rationale was advanced against Obama as political candidate and office-holder – and demonstrated to be false.

I’d be scared to death to place my life in the hands of a doctor this far out of touch with reality.

Just one more example of [1] how paranoid and incompetent truly reactionary politics can make someone; [2] the level of irrelevance reached by what passes for conservative politics in the United States; and [3] looking at the statistics, just how falling-out-of-the-cabbage-patch ignorant the average American citizen has become.

Sex guide published as audio book [finally]

Too shy to read the Kama Sutra on the train during rush hour? Just take out your headphones.

The ancient sex guide dating back 1,600 years has been published as an audio book for the first time in its long history in what its British-based publisher described as a “perfect meeting of ancient history and modernity.”

“Now there’s no need to feel embarrassed by reading a copy of this wonderful and important book in public — simply download it on to your mp3 player and liven up your commute to work,” said Simon Petherick, managing director of Beautiful Books.

Some may also consider using the audio book as a step-by-step manual for improving bedroom techniques, without the need to stop and start with constant reference to a book.”

The Kama Sutra, narrated by a British actress, is based on ancient Indian philosophies and was first translated into English in the 19th century. It contains advice on relationships and one of its chapters describes 64 types of sexual acts.

Sounds like the suggestion for improving bedroom techniques would best be achieved with a wireless headset, eh?

Terrorist thugs try suicide attack on oil tanker in Persian Gulf

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

A Japanese oil tanker damaged in the Strait of Hormuz off Oman last month was hit by an explosives-laden dinghy, the Emirati state news agency has said. The report…was the first official confirmation that the incident that left a large dent in the hull of the M.Star was an attack.

An al-Qaeda-linked group said…that one of its suicide bombers had hit the tanker to avenge the plunder of Muslim wealth. If true, the claim by the little-known Brigades of Abdullah Azzam would mark the first time the armed group has attacked the Japanese…

The Marshall Islands-flagged ship, loaded with 270,000 tons of oil, was heading from the petroleum port of Das Island in the United Arab Emirates to the Japanese port of Chiba outside Tokyo.

In its claim posted on the internet, the al-Qaeda-linked Brigades of Abdullah Azzam carried a photo of the purported bomber pointing to a photograph of a tanker on a laptop.

It said the bomber was a “martyr”, meaning he had died in the attack…

The WAM report said the vessel left the Emirati port of Fujairah today after the damage to the hull was fixed.

These terrorist fools – masquerading as religious zealots – have neither the sense nor the sensibilities to refrain from attacks which would diminish the day-to-day lifestyle and values of the ordinary people in the region they claim as ideological fiefdom.

My experience with legitimate national liberation movements over the decades rarely had to deal with such sectarian stupidity. My usual suggestion would be that idiots like this should be deployed for exactly what they wanted – suicide missions.

Send them up against military forces who would grant their wish on the spot.

U.S. officially attends Hiroshima Ceremony for the first time

Doves released during the ceremony at Peace Memorial Park
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Hiroshima — The United States ambassador participated for the first time in an annual ceremony to mark the anniversary of the atomic bombing here in World War II, raising hopes that President Obama may soon follow.

With the mournful gonging of a Buddhist temple bell and the release of doves, a crowd of 55,000 solemnly marked the moment 65 years ago when the world’s first atomic attack incinerated this city under a towering mushroom cloud.

During the ceremony, Hiroshima’s mayor welcomed the ambassador, John Roos, and praised President Obama as one of the world leaders who “wielded their powerful influence” to rid the world of nuclear weapons…

“We greet this August 6 with re-energized determination that no one else should ever have to suffer such horror,” said the mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba. “Clearly, the urgency of nuclear weapons abolition is permeating our global conscience.”

Mr. Roos did not speak at the ceremony, which included a minute of silence at 8:15, the moment the bomb detonated on a Sunday morning in 1945, killing more than 140,000 residents. In a statement issued by the American Embassy, Mr. Roos said, “we must continue to work together to realize a world without nuclear weapons.” While no one mentioned it during the ceremony, city officials have said they hoped Mr. Roos’s attendance would serve as a step toward a future visit by President Obama to Hiroshima, which along with Nagasaki has become a symbol of the horrors of nuclear war.

Mr. Akiba also praised the ambassadors of Britain and France and also the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, all of whom also attended the ceremony for first time.

It is time to move from “ground zero to global zero,” Mr. Ban said in a speech, referring to the elimination of nuclear weapons. “For many of you, that day endures as vivid as the white light that seared the sky, as dark as the black rain that followed.”


Australia’s turn to deal with burkas in a court case

A Muslim woman has sparked a national debate in Australia after she said she would feel uncomfortable giving evidence in a A$1 million fraud trial unless she were able to wear a burka.

The woman, who is a witness for the prosecution, has asked a judge at Perth District Court for permission to appear in the full burka, which covers the whole body except the eyes and hands.

Mark Ritter, a lawyer for the prosecution, told the court that the woman, who has only been identified by her first name Tasneem, wanted to give evidence but would feel uncomfortable without the burka and that could prejudice the way she presented her evidence.

“It goes beyond stress, it would have a negative impact,” he said…

Tasneem, 36, has lived in Australia for seven years and has worn the burka since the age of 17, he said. She had worn the veil while passing through customs and is photographed in it on her driving licence.

She would usually only remove it for her family and male blood relatives at home, he said because “female modesty is a very important part of the religion.”

However, the defence team have argued that wearing the burka is a cultural, not a religious, choice and that it would prevent the jury from reading her facial expressions during her testimony.

Lawyers for the defence also said that in Islamic courts women were obliged to remove their veils. They suggested allowing Tasneem to appear via video link with a limited number of people present in the court.

In the history of Islam, the burka is in fact cultural. Preferred in some countries. Required in a few. Accepted or rejected as a political statement in some Muslim nations.

I don’t believe she can argue for it legitimately – as a point of religious principle.

Not that “legitimate” has much to do with how attorneys would/will approach the question. The essential premise of most legal pleading – as opposed to jurisprudence – is getting a victory regardless of how you achieve it. Sophistry was invented for lawyers.

Tea Party candidate claims bicycles are a socialist UN plot

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes says a Denver bike-sharing program could threaten residents’ “personal freedoms” because it is part of an attempt to control U.S. cities.

Maes said last week that an international environmental group that promotes Denver’s B-Cycle program is part of a “greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”

The group to which Maes was referring, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, is an association with more than 1,200 communities as members, half of which are in the United States…

Maes made the comments at a rally where he criticized Democratic Mayor John Hickenlooper’s initiative to increase bicycling in the Denver through the bike-sharing program. B-Cycle allows people to use about 400 bicycles at dozens of stations around the city for a daily or monthly fee.

This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said in comments that were first reported Wednesday by the Denver Post…

Nate Strauch told The Associated Press that Maes was trying to say that the biking initiative is a “gateway program” being pushed by ECLEI on cities that eventually lead to extreme measures, such as the promotion of abortions and population control.

This obviously presents a realistic danger to Colorado residents. Denver’s membership in this heinous plot has only been around for eighteen years.

Anyone feel subverted, yet?