Drunk copper + crash = wrong theme for Traffic Safety Night!

A senior Belgian police offier drunkenly crashed into a ditch on Belgium’s “night of traffic safety”.

The crash happened on the night of a high-profile national campaign against drunk-driving

Marc Guillemin, a Flemish police chief, lost control of his car at the weekend, after visiting friends, on the night of a high-profile national campaign against drunk-driving.

He has been forced to withdraw his application to run Ghent police, one of the top police jobs in Belgium. The job became vacant after its previous incumbent was sacked after drunkenly causing an accident and then trying to get junior officers to cover it up.

Mr Guillemin, 50, the head of the Flemish maritime police, was not injured in the crash, which did not involve other people or cars. When breathalysed he tested positive…

“You keep replaying the movie all the time. But that does not help. It’s no use crying over spilled milk. It was stupid and avoidable. But regret only comes after the sin.”

I didn’t realize Belgian coppers are so into dichos.

Voyager 1 spacecraft nearing edge of the solar system

NASA’s Voyager 1 probe is nearing the edge of our solar system after 33 years and nearly 11 billion miles of spaceflight. The spacecraft may make the final crossing into interstellar space in just four more years…

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a region of space in the outer solar system where the speed of solar wind – charged particles streaming from the sun – is effectively zero. NASA scientists think the steep drop in solar wind speed is a sign that it has been blown sideways by a more powerful interstellar wind that blows in the spaces between stars…

Voyager 1 has traveled about 10.8 billion miles from the sun since it launched on Sept. 5, 1977 on a mission to swing by the gas giant planets of Jupiter and Saturn.

But Voyager 1 did not stop there. It continued on its way and in 2004 crossed a solar system boundary known as the termination shock – the border at which the sun’s supersonic solar wind crosses a shockwave, slows down and heats up…

NASA thinks Voyager 1 could cross into the interstellar frontier by 2014. When the probe makes the crossing, there should be a sudden drop in the amount of hot particles Voyager 1 encounters and a spike in the number of cold particles it detects, NASA officials said…

In June, Voyager 1’s solar wind sensor began clocking an outward speed of zero. Scientists tracked the speed measurement for months to make sure it was accurate.

“When I realized that we were getting solid zeroes, I was amazed,” said Rob Decker, a Voyager Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument co-investigator and senior staff scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. “Here was Voyager, a spacecraft that has been a workhorse for 33 years, showing us something completely new again.”

As shortsighted as our politicians and pundits have always been – opportunism is a demanding mistress – they were less so when space exploration made bigger headlines. Anyone think we could get such a project approved today?

I mean – in the United States Congress, of course.

Submerging your feet in alcohol will not get you drunk – WTF?

Research in the Christmas issue published in the British Medical Journalexplodes the Danish myth that it is possible to get drunk by submerging your feet in alcohol.

The authors, led by Dr Peter Lommer Kristensen from the Hillerød Hospital in Denmark, say it was important that the myth underwent scientific scrutiny to prevent students wasting their time experimenting with this activity.

Three adult volunteers took part in the study. None of them suffered from any chronic skin or liver disease and they were not addicted to alcohol or psychoactive drugs. The participants were not members of any local Alcoholics Anonymous groups and had not been implicated in any serious accidents or socially embarrassing events related to alcohol in the week prior to the study.

The volunteers drank no alcohol for 24 hours before the experiments and they provided a blood sample before submerging their feet in a washing-up bowl containing three bottles of Karloff Vodka. The participants then kept their feet in the vodka for three hours and provided blood samples every half an hour.

The group undertook a self-assessment for signs of drunkenness — they rated themselves on a scale of 0 to 10 on self-confidence, urge to speak and the number of times they desired spontaneous hugs.

The results show that after the three hours there was no increase in the concentration of alcohol in the participants’ blood stream.

Kristensen concludes “that the Danish urban myth about being able to get drunk by submerging feet in strong alcoholic beverages is just that; a myth.

Uh, OK.

FBI arrests at tech firms for insider trading

U.S. Attorney Preet Bahrara

Four people who worked at technology companies were arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a long-term insider trading probe. A fifth person has pleaded guilty.

James Fleishman, an executive for Primary Global Research, an expert-networking firm, was arrested this morning on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy for allegedly trying to give non- public information to the firm’s clients, including hedge funds, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.

Also arrested were Mark Anthony Longoria, who worked at Advanced Micro Devices Inc.; Walter Shimoon, who worked at Flextronics International Ltd.; and Manosha Karunatilaka, who was employed at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, the statement said. The charges were unsealed today in Manhattan federal court.

A corrupt network of insiders at some of the world’s leading technology companies served as so-called consultants who sold out their employers by stealing and then peddling their valuable inside information,” said Bharara in a statement.

A fifth man, Daniel DeVore, formerly a supply manager at Dell Inc., was arrested in the same probe and pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, according to the statement.

Hey, look! The SEC is actually out on the streets doing what they get paid for.

“Whatever” voted most irritating word in poll

Whatever you think about using grating words, at the end of the day it’s actually better not to say whatever, if you know what I mean.

For the second consecutive year “whatever’ topped a Marist poll as the most annoying word or phrase in the English language.

Nearly 39 percent of 1,020 Americans questioned in the survey deemed it the most irritating word, followed by “like” with 28 percent and the phrase “you know what I mean’ at 15 percent…

Mary Azzoli said words like “whatever” can be quite dismissive depending on how they are used.

“It’s the way they are delivered and inherent in that delivery is a meaning.


[And I know exactly who KB will think of]

House votes to end military’s bigoted policy on gay troops

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a ban against gays serving openly in the U.S. military.

On a largely party-line vote of 250-175, the House sent the legislation supported by President Barack Obama to the Senate, where the prospects for approval are uncertain.

The vote came just a week after Senate Republicans blocked a similar measure to end the policy — known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — as part of an annual defense bill.

Senate backers now say they have the needed 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to clear such a hurdle and pass the new stand-alone measure before lawmakers wrap up their work for the year. “We are very confident that there are at least 60 votes,” a Senate aide said.

“We’ll see,” said a Republican aide. “They said they thought they could get 60 last time…”

A Republican admission of unity in bigotry. How’d that slip in?

If Congress doesn’t repeal the policy, the issue may be decided by the courts, where the ban has been challenged.

Obama, along with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, want to do away with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but favor a congressional rather than a court-imposed remedy.

Men and women of good will have always had a problem with official bigots opposing a move towards equal opportunities for Americans. It doesn’t become less disgusting when padded by deceit and flip-flopping excuses by hypocrites like John McCain.

Democracy was allowed to function in the House of Representatives. Since that scarce political commodity is not given a chance in the Senate, folks will have to wait and see if the majority supporting civil rights are allowed an opportunity to vote.