So, how did someone get a stun gun onto a JetBlue flight?

Federal US officials are attempting to determine how a stun gun was brought onboard a JetBlue flight that landed at Newark airport in New Jersey.

Crew members at Liberty International Airport found the stun gun tucked into the back of a seat on the plane following the flight from Boston.

The FBI said on Monday that there was no indication the gun, found on Friday, was intended for an attack…

How do you determine the gun wasn’t intended for an attack? Because there wasn’t one?

Members of the airline’s crew were cleaning the JetBlue aircraft at 2220 local time on Friday evening when the gun was discovered…

Authorities said they gave the weapon to the Port Authority of New York, before it was handed over to the Transportation Security Administration, the body responsible for carrying out security screening of passengers.

The TSA can be counted on do as thorough a job at finding who brought it on board – as they did at preventing it from being brought on board. Right?

Who copped the blueprints to Germany’s new spook shop?


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Germany is investigating reports that the blueprints for the future headquarters of its BND intelligence agency have gone missing. If the report in Focus magazine is confirmed, it could pose a serious security risk – and would be a huge embarrassment for the spy agency…

The government said a commission was looking into the “serious issue“.

The plans purportedly show extremely sensitive aspects of the building’s construction, such as the alarm system, anti-terror installations, emergency exits, cable routes and sewers.

“It has not yet been possible to verify the authenticity of the reports, but an investigation was launched into the matter on Friday,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference…

Building in a former East German district of the capital began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion in 2014. It is set to be one of the most expensive and hi-tech government structures in Germany.

Sounds like they hired someone from George W. Bush’s brain trust to design and secure the facility. Could end up being as much of a white elephant as the State Dept/NSA/CIA/Military Intelligence [sic] barn we’re still paying for in Baghdad.

You probably can buy duplicate copies by now in any souk in the Middle East.

Not quite certain what an owl says instead of “Oops!”, but —

A woman returned to her Cumbrian home to find a near perfect imprint of an owl on her window.

The bird had apparently crashed into the window of Sally Arnold’s Kendal home, leaving the bizarre image – complete with eyes, beak and feathers.

Experts said the silhouette was left by the bird’s “powder down” – a substance protecting growing feathers.

Mrs Arnold said she could find no sign of the owl, so assumed it had flown off without serious injury.

She said: “Our first concern was for the welfare of what we suspected was an owl and we opened up the window to check if it was still around. Fortunately, there was no sign of the bird and we can only assume that it had flown away probably suffering from a headache…”

Val Osborne, head of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) wildlife inquiries team, said: “We don’t very often see an imprint of a bird that’s flown into a window that’s this clear and where it’s pretty obvious exactly what kind of bird it is.

“This would have been very uncomfortable for the bird but thankfully it looks like it survived as Mr and Mrs Arnold couldn’t find it anywhere close by.”

I can think of a couple things this owl might have said – other than “oops!”

See your doctor for a prescription for cigarettes

In the global war against smoking, Europe remains a difficult battlefront. Despite ad campaigns featuring grisly images of rotting lungs and crumbling teeth, “the beautiful continent” continues to have the highest smoking rate in the world.

So forgive Iceland for considering something truly radical — prescription-only cigarettes. Under proposed legislation, only those with valid medical certificates would be permitted to buy cigarettes from pharmacies.

“I think Iceland can be a test tube to try out progressive things because we are a small country and we don’t have a massive lobby for tobacco,” said Thorarinn Gudnason, a cardiologist at Landspitali University Hospital in Rejkyavik. ”We are taking care of people who are dying of this disease in their 40s and we’re fed up with it.”

Iceland’s smoking rate is already one of the lowest in Europe. Just 15 per cent of the population lights up compared to an average of 31 per cent across the continent. However, the story among young Icelanders is more worrisome: 20 per cent of children and teenagers smoke. Dr. Gudnason hopes the new plan will dramatically reduce that figure and cut overall smoking rates to less than 10 per cent…

Tobacco and nicotine would be classified as addictive drugs and second-hand smoke would be treated and controlled like other carcinogenic substances. Lighting up in public places such as parks and in cars with children would be outlawed.

Eventually, smokers who are unable to kick the habit through treatment and various addiction programs — or those smokers who simply refuse to quit — may get a prescription for tobacco from their doctors. Once cigarettes become available only through physicians, the price will go down again — as it would be unfair to tax those unable to quit supporters of the plan say.

“Tobacco is very addictive and we would recognize them as addicts,” said Ms. Fridleifsdottir.

Bravo! Once again the political side of Iceland is willing to experiment with a daring approach to a disgusting problem. It would force a lot of people with lazy personal ethics to confront a personal problem. They can still maintain their addiction if they wish.

Saving their lives is a side effect.

Bravo, Mexico!


Photo by Moises Castillo/Associated Press

Mexico won the Under-17 World Cup final on Sunday, defeating Uruguay 2-0 with goals from Antonio Briseno in the 31st minute and Giovani Casillas in second-half stoppage time.

The victory thrilled a boisterous crowd at Azteca Stadium in Mexico, a country getting used to football success. Two weeks ago the Mexico senior team won the Gold Cup, the regional championship, defeating the United States 4-2 in the final in California…

Briseno scored chipping in a short shot from a header into the area, beating keeper Jonathan Cubero. Casillas got his two minutes into stoppage time, scoring on a counterattack as Uruguay pressed for an equalizer.

Uruguay had its chances with Elbio Alvarez hitting the crossbar.

It was a stunning end for Uruguay, which beat Canada 3-0 in the tournament opener for both teams.

It was a great match to watch live – as much as I got to see. Our less-than-stellar electric company here in New Mexico presented us with 6 power failures in the last 20 hours. Two of them during the match. 😦