Archive for July 16th, 2011
An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as “religious headgear”.
Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.
Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.
Later a police spokesman explained that the licence was issued because Mr Alm’s face was fully visible in the photo.
“The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible,” said Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in Vienna.
He was speaking on Wednesday, after Austrian media had first reported Mr Alm’s reason for wearing the pasta strainer.
Actress Googie Withers, best known for starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes and TV series Within These Walls, has died in Australia aged 94.
She was born Georgette Lizette Withers in what was then British India. She died at her home on Friday.
She was the first non-Australian to be awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Her last role was in the 1996 Australian movie Shine.
Withers’s family moved back to Britain from India and she began acting at age 12.
She had been given her nickname Googie by her Indian nanny.
She was working as a dancer in a West End production in London when she was offered work in 1935 as a film extra in The Girl in the Crowd.
A controversial posting on the U.S. Navy’s Facebook page meant to raise awareness on sexual assault prevention has followers asking, “Is this some kind of joke?”
The Navy says it’s for real.
A wall posting from June 22 shows a poster with 10 “sexual assault prevention tips.” Some of them include:
“1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.”
“2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!”
“3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!”
“5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!”
“8. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!”
Facebook followers seemed stunned and at times offended by the obvious nature of the tips. The comment page is overflowing with followers who have harsh words for the Navy, many questioning its judgment.
“Trying my hardest not to laugh,” wrote Joshua Jimenez.
“Navy, April Fool’s Day was a few months back,” wrote Chad Hall.
Others were clearly confused by the Navy’s intent.
“Not really amusing coming from the Navy. I can see some of my more uncouth friends posting something like this, but the Navy? Have some sense!” Cristina Bassitt commented.
“Some of these “tips” are the dumbest things I have ever read … it really does look like this isn’t being taken seriously,” Bernadette Theberge posted.
The poster was not actually the brainchild of the Navy, but of a feminist blog called TumblinFeminist, whose most recent entry states, “I honestly feel as though you can not by definition be a feminist and be a Christian, unless you are a bad Christian- or a bad feminist. Christianity is inherently and undeniably sexist among countless other things.”
Navy spokesman Lt. Alana Garas told Fox News that the Navy post should have included more context from the start.
“The intention of posting this poster was to encourage discussion on a serious issue,” Garas said. “It is a crime that will not be tolerated … and the Navy will continue to explore ways to reach our sailors on this serious issue.”
Within 20 minutes of the original post the Navy replied on the comment section saying in part it’s critical to remind the public of these basic ideas.
“As sad as it is, you’d be surprised how many people need to be told these seemingly basic things,” the comment reads.
According to Garas, in fiscal year 2010 the Navy reported 611 cases of sexual assault, including 441 unrestricted reports and 170 restricted reports. Restricted reports allow victims of sexual assault to confidentially disclose the crime to specifically identified individuals and receive medical treatment and counseling without triggering the official investigative process. Unrestricted reports initiate an official investigation of the crime.
More disturbing data shows that “blue on blue” assaults increased by 3 percent from 2009 to 2010.
More information about sexual assaults in the Navy can be found on the DoD’s sexual assault and prevention page, http://www.sapr.mil. The military also encourages any members who have fallen victim to sexual assault to seek confidential support from http://www.safehelpline.org.
Obama makes joke. Listen out for the amazing audience reaction, which more or less confirms a BBC3 Series.
here’s no shortage of Google+ in the air these days. Overeager pundits and soothsayers are hoping to be among the most visible voices on the net saying which service or company it’s going to topple, why it’s going to fail or succeed, and why it should or shouldn’t be more like this or that.
It all seems awfully premature, considering Google+ is just getting started, and I don’t mean in user numbers. We’re all familiar enough with Google products to know that practically everything they’ve ever done was launched early and incomplete, whether it went on to succeed (Gmail, Android) or not (Orkut, Wave). Most if not all of the big talk surrounding the network right now will have to be adjusted in a month, six months, and a year from now. It’s fun to speculate, but Google is always playing the long game. Google+ isn’t just half-baked; they haven’t even put it in the oven yet. Let’s not judge the cookie by the dough.
Is it an alternative to Facebook? Yes. To Twitter? Yes. To Yammer, to productivity suites, to Skype, to Office, to Microsoft, to Apple? If it isn’t now, you better believe it will be. Google is like a kind of Troll-Borg. You think they put out something that stands on its own, a “Facebook killer” or an “iPhone killer” — but it’s only later that you realize that the separation from the mothership was just an illusion, and the entire bulk of Google was right there the whole time. But it’s too late — you’ve been assimilated. Problem?
I wrote a long time ago about how all these little projects of theirs would be connected and unified, the way the Romans unified their empire by joining all the little roads to their big roads. I thought it was going to happen with Chrome OS, but a tumultuous mobile market meant a late start there; Google+ is more of a clear step in that direction now.