Arkansas town searching for toe-sucking assailant

There’s nothing illegal about a foot fetish but police in Conway, Arkansas, are looking for a toe-sucking man they said has crossed the line into assault.

Police have received two complaints in the past week about a man who seems desperate to suck women’s toes — whether they want him to or not…

Last Saturday, Ruth Harris, 83, told police she was sitting in a chair in front of her apartment when a man approached and said he liked her feet. According to a police report, the man took off one of her shoes and began sucking on her toe.

“The man then asked if he could kiss her and she had told him no and told him he was crazy,” the report stated. The man left quickly after people walked into the apartment complex’s courtyard.

On Tuesday, police received another call from a woman who said that on Saturday she was shopping when she noticed a man staring at her.

The man then told the woman that he had a foot fetish and that “her toes are so long and succulent” and he wanted to suck them. When the woman’s cell phone rang, the man retreated…

It is not the first time that Conway has dealt with this sort of complaint. In the 1990s, a man who was known as the “Toe Suck Fairy” kept Arkansans captivated with his foot fondling antics in Conway and Little Rock.

That assailant, Michael Robert Wyatt, pretended to be a podiatrist in order to fondle and suck a Conway woman’s toes at a clothing store. He received probation, a fine and court-ordered therapy but his probation was revoked after he was arrested in another town on similar charges.

There are parts of this nation that have long-standing problems with unregulated sucking.

Take your dead buddy cruising for a farewell wake

Two men face charges in Denver for allegedly driving around with the body of a friend after discovering him dead. The pair bought drinks, dinner and took $400 from Jeffrey Jarrett’s bank, visiting a strip club before reporting his death, police said.

Robert Young, 43, and Mark Rubinson, 25, are charged with identity theft, criminal impersonation and abuse of a corpse…

The cause of death is not currently known, with police saying the results of toxicology tests may not be available for several weeks.

Mr Young discovered Jarrett’s body on 27 August 2011 when he arrived at his friend’s home after being offered the chance to stay there for a while, according to a statement of probable cause released by Denver police.

Instead of calling the police, though, he went to the restaurant where Mr Rubinson worked. The two men, both friends with Jarrett, put his body in the back seat of Mr Rubinson’s car and took it to Teddy T’s and Sam’s No 3 – both bars in Denver – before taking the body back to Jarrett’s home.

They continued to Viva Burrito, a Mexican restaurant, and Shotgun Willie’s, a strip club in nearby Glendale.

At Shotgun Willie’s they also withdrew $400 from Jarrett’s account…The two men stayed at Shotgun Willie’s until closing time, and reported Jarrett’s death to the police at around 04:00 in the morning.

Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson called the incident a “bizarre and unfortunate crime”.

He added: “This isn’t anything you want to have happen to a loved one. You want them treated with respect in death.”

Poisonally, I don’t see much wrong with friends toasting a peripatetic farewell – even with your own money. You haven’t much to do with it anymore.

NASA plan for giant deep space rocket

NASA has unveiled plans for a mammoth deep-space rocket to carry astronauts to the moon, Mars and other destinations beyond the International Space Station.

The rocket project would cost $10 billion through 2017, when the first test flight of the Space Launch System is scheduled to take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Another $6 billion is allotted to building the Orion deep-space crew capsule, a holdover from the defunct Constellation moon exploration initiative canceled by the Obama administration. NASA already has spent $5 billion on Orion.

In addition, $2 billion would be spent to refurbish NASA’s Florida spaceport to accommodate the new rocket.

The new rocket is based on the space shuttle’s liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen engines and fuel tanks, coupled initially with upgraded solid-fuel shuttle booster rockets that also were developed under Constellation…

The rocket would be more powerful than the Apollo-era Saturn booster that carried crews and equipment to the moon between 1969 and 1972…

The announcement follows a year-long tussle with Congress over the project’s cost, scope and technical parameters. The Obama administration withheld its plans while it obtained an independent cost estimate for the Space Launch System…

Compared with the now-retired space shuttle, which could carry about 50,000 pounds to an orbit about 300 miles from Earth, the new booster is intended to lift as much as 140,000 pounds of cargo.

Future versions would have nearly twice the lift capacity for missions into deep space.


Congress fix our broken patent system? Republicans said NO!

The first thing you need to know about the U.S. patent system is that it has a backlog of more than 700,000 patents.

The second thing you need to know is that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been so neglected for so many years–essentially robbed of funds by Congress, which reappropriated portions of the agency’s budget for other purposes–that the organization tasked with protecting America’s technological and scientific assets labors with too few staff and a “20-year old technology infrastructure that does not even remotely enable it to take advantage of modern information technology.”

And the most important thing you need to know about the U.S. patent system is that the America Invents Act just passed by Congress doesn’t fix any of this. Nor does it touch the larger issue of whether or not it’s wise to allow inventors to patent business processes and software and then sue the hell out of each other in a cage match that is essentially a tax on innovation.

The major opportunity in this act, aside from the elimination of software patents, was to free the USPTO from the congressional appropriations process, whereby Congress exercises control over the agency’s budget. The USPTO doesn’t use taxpayer money–it’s funded by application fees–and yet it still has to ask Congress for permission to access those funds, giving that body an opportunity to reappropriate them for any other purpose.

Giving the USPTO self-determination over its own budget would have at least allowed it to tackle that 700,000+ backlog of patents. That provision of the bill, which originally appeared in the Senate version, was blocked by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), who appear to have been confused about the source of the USPTO’s funds. (i.e., not taxpayer dollars.)

Surely no one expected Congressional Republicans to take the time to find out what exactly it was they were saying “NO” to?

If the appropriate corporations – in this a range of korporate killer klowns from Walt Disney to Microsoft – tell them to say “NO” – the only question from Republicans is, “How loud, boss?”

Denmark elects 1st woman PM – turns away from economic failures

Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Denmark’s center-left “Red bloc” took power on Thursday after defeating Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen’s government in a tight election driven by voter anger over the state of the economy.

Social Democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt will become Denmark’s next prime minister, the first woman to hold the post, after Rasmussen conceded defeat…

The center-right “Blue bloc” has been in power for 10 years, during which Denmark, like other countries, suffered the worst economic downturn since World War Two. “Tomorrow I will hand in the government’s resignation to the Queen,” Rasmussen said on TV2 News. “There is no longer a basis for remaining in government.”

Thorning-Schmidt’s Red bloc will have a majority of up to five seats in the 179-seat parliament, its final size depending on the results from far-flung Greenland.

Her Social Democratic party actually lost a seat and will only be the second largest in parliament after Rasmussen’s Liberals, who gained one.

But two Red coalition parties on the far left and in the center made up the difference to put the Red bloc ahead, allowing it to claim victory and forcing Rasmussen out.

The state of the economy has been the overriding issue of the campaign, with the governing coalition parties under fire for failing to spur growth. Thorning-Schmidt attacked Rasmussen for taking the country deep into deficit…

If the count holds up, Denmark would become the latest in a series of European countries to see incumbents voted out at least in part because of struggling economies…

Denmark has been spared much of the trauma suffered by other west European countries because it remains outside the euro zone. This means it is not involved in bailing out debt-laden countries like Greece, an issue that has stirred popular anger in neighboring Germany.

But the economic crisis has turned Denmark’s healthy surpluses into deficits, forecast to climb to 4.6 percent of GDP next year. Danish banks have also been struggling, with small bank Fjordbank Mors falling into the hands of administrators in June, the 9th Danish bank to be taken over by the state since the start of the crisis in 2008.

Bravo. Ms. Thorning-Schmidt seems ready and willing to try progressive – and also unusual – solutions to what Denmark inherited from the global economic crisis. After a decade of economic charlatans and ideologues as backwards as any ever produced by the Republican Party – it’s about time Denmark gets as shot at revival.

Why do Republicans hate science?

More Americans than last year believe the world is warming and the change is likely influenced by the Republican presidential debates, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Thursday.

The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12. Republican presidential candidates, aside from Jon Huntsman, have mostly blasted the idea that emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human actions are warming the planet.

The current front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, has accused scientists of manipulating climate data while Michele Bachmann has said climate change is a hoax.

As Americans watch Republicans debate the issue, they are forced to mull over what they think about global warming, said Jon Krosnick, a political science professor at Stanford University. And what they think is also influenced by reports this year that global temperatures in 2010 were tied with 2005 to be the warmest year since the 1880s.

“That is exactly the kind of situation that will provoke the public to think about the issue in a way that they haven’t before,” Krosnick said about news reports on the Republicans denying climate change science…

While more Americans believe in global warming, the skeptics are becoming more entrenched in their belief that it is not happening. In 2010 the certainty of skeptics was 35 percent, while it was 53 percent in 2011. Again, the Republican climate skeptics are influencing that, Krosnick said.

Ask someone a serious question, someone with a modicum of education and willingness to learn and evaluate information gained by scientific means – and rejected by opportunist looneybirds – and they begin to walk away from conservative political correctness that says human beings should ignore responsibility.

On the other hand…

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