Cow farts sparked into explosion, fire at German dairy farm

The methane gas released by 90 flatulent cows caused an explosion in a farm shed in Germany, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, local police said.

In a statement, the force said high levels of the methane gas had built up within the structure in the central German town of Rasdorf on Monday thanks to animals belches and flatulence, before “a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames.”

The subsequent blast damaged the roof of the cow shed, Reuters reported. Emergency services who attended the scene took gas readings to check for any potential further blasts.

One of the cows was injured and had to be treated for burns it sustained during the incident, a police spokesman added.

No need to add a political comment. You can come up with your own, no doubt.

Pete Seeger, 1919 – 2014

The film accompanying Pete’s rendition of “Which side are you on…?” is Salt of the Earth – filmed here in New Mexico and based on a strike by the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union. Just in case you think Women’s Liberation started in the US in the late 1960’s – instead of with a bunch of Reds in the 1950’s. Folks who made the movie were blacklisted. Folks in the movie, actors or local mine workers, were blacklisted. The movie was blacklisted.

Pete Seeger was blacklisted for years. An old American tradition, blacklisting. Trying to keep folks who got out of line from getting work. Believe me, it still happens.

I was on stage with Pete more than once. No one appearing with him ever thought of competing with the hold he had on an audience, his ability to communicate through song and good sense was greater than most can imagine – unless you ever experienced it. Matched by his courage, conviction, willingness to stick up for a good cause regardless of how popular it may have been. Or not.

He will be missed.

NSA and GCHQ target apps like Angry Birds to steal user data

Darth NSA bird

The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger…

Depending on what profile information a user had supplied, the documents suggested, the agency would be able to collect almost every key detail of a user’s life: including home country, current location (through geolocation), age, gender, zip code, martial status – options included “single”, “married”, “divorced”, “swinger” and more – income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and number of children.

The agencies also made use of their mobile interception capabilities to collect location information in bulk, from Google and other mapping apps. One basic effort by GCHQ and the NSA was to build a database geolocating every mobile phone mast in the world – meaning that just by taking tower ID from a handset, location information could be gleaned…

The NSA said its phone interception techniques are only used against valid targets blah, blah, blah.

GCHQ declined to comment on any of its specific programs, but stressed blah, blah, blah.

Official liars both sides of the pond assure us the protocols in place don’t violate anyone’s rights or privacy. Their patented bobblehead judges have examined the potential for abuse and found nothing to threaten our liberty.

Phew. I need a new pair of Wellies just to stand around in that much bullshit – even offered in irony.

County fair traditions will include pot in Denver

Canning, crafts and…cannabis

Colorado’s Denver County is adding cannabis-themed contests to its 2014 summer fair. It’s the first time pot plants will stand alongside tomato plants and homemade jam in competition for a blue ribbon.

There won’t actually be any marijuana at the fairgrounds. The judging will be done off-site, with photos showing the winning entries. And a live joint-rolling contest will be done with oregano, not pot.

But county fair organizers say the marijuana categories will add a fun twist on Denver’s already-quirky county fair, which includes a drag queen pageant and a contest for dioramas made with Peeps candies…

The nine marijuana categories include live plants and clones, plus contests for marijuana-infused brownies and savory foods. Homemade bongs, homemade roach clips and clothing and fabric made with hemp round out the categories.

Judges will look only at plant quality, not the potency or quality of the drugs they produce. Other contests — patterned after Amsterdam’s famed Cannabis Cup — already gauge drug quality and flavor.

Top prize is $20, plus of course a blue ribbon. The fair already has a green ribbon — awarded for using environmentally conscious methods…

Wait till we get legal ganja in New Mexico. I haven’t even had a contact high in 20 years – and I’m not likely to start smoking dope. But, I bet I could come up with a cashew, cannabis and sultana brownie that could challenge folks up north.