Archive for August 5th, 2011
LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. – A Pasco County school bus driver is out of a job for using her cell phone while driving students.
School board members decided Monday night to uphold the superintendent’s recommendation to fire Lori Conley.
Conley has been reprimanded five times during the six years she has driven Pasco County school bus 07-269. She was suspended in December and warned if she picked up her cell phone again, she could lose her job.
Conley admits to those offenses, but says the latest complaints that got her fired are bogus.
“From that suspension on, I didn’t do what I was accused of doing, by no means at all,” she said. “I’m feeling very empty right now and very heartbroken.”
Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull
Shea Stadium, New York, 1976
I stood with the rest of the band at the top of the ramp leading down to the field of Shea Stadium. As with the Beatles’ Shea show 10 years earlier, this was not to be an artistic success, to say the least. Commercial jets on final approach to the adjacent La Guardia airport drowned out the sound, when it wasn’t being drowned out by the firecrackers, whistles, hoots and hollers of the crowd. In those final moments before walking out on to the field, I was suddenly drenched with warm, sticky liquid from high above, where some of the rowdy, 50,000-strong audience looked down on to the players’ access ramp. Only as I began the inaudible first verse of Thick as a Brick on acoustic guitar, did I realise with resigned horror that the liquid I assumed to be beer, was not, in fact, beer at all. It was urine. The unmistakable pong wafting from my then-ample head of damp hair and freshly laundered stage-clothing would remain for the duration of the show. An unholy baptism from above.
With a keen understanding of the old “eyes are the window to the soul” truism, Steven Spielberg equipped E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with a look similar to Albert Einstein’s deep-set visage. In a pair of remarkable new movies in theaters now, charismatic simians — the aliens among us — bridge the species gap with their soulful gazes.
Both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Project Nim remind us there’s plenty of nonhuman intelligent life in the universe. Just check the cages at a university research lab. Both films raise intriguing questions about the scientific imperative: Does medical progress require inhumane treatment of sentient beings with DNA quite similar to ours? If primates could talk, what would they say? At what point does a chimp’s charm wear thin and turn savage?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opens Friday, follows San Francisco scientist Will (played by James Franco) as he seeks a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which is slowly killing his father (John Lithgow). Lab experiments unexpectedly produce a super-bright baby chimp named Caesar, who moves in with Will and his family.
Elaborate symbols and ornate depictions of animals carved in stone by an ancient Scottish people have given up their secret – to mathematics. Statistical analysis reveals that the shapes are a forgotten written language. The method could help interpret many other enigmatic scripts – and even analyse animal communication.
Conventional statistical methods for analysing scripts calculate the entropy or “orderedness” of the symbols: Shakespeare’s prose would have a higher entropy than Egyptian hieroglyphs or Morse code, for example. However, such analysis only works for datasets large enough to capture most of the vocabulary in a language.
To overcome this problem, Rob Lee of the University of Exeter, UK, and colleagues have devised a way to compare small undeciphered scripts with known texts. The team compared symbols created by the Picts – a Scottish Iron Age society that flourished from the fourth to the ninth centuries AD – with over 400 known ancient and modern language texts.
Yesterday, we published an item based on a former Newt Gingrich staffer’s claim that Gingrich assembled his 1.3 million Twitter followers—a number that he’s taken to bragging about—in part by buying fake Twitter followers.
A lot of people did not think that was true! But today social networking search firm PeekYou announced that it had crunched the data and come to the conclusion that roughly 106,055 of Gingrich’s million-plus followers are real people. The rest are fakes.
She reclines among leopard print pillows, her rouged lips pouting at the camera. But shockingly the model in these highly sexualised pictures is only 10 years old.The provocative images of Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, who is tipped as the next big thing on the fashion scene, are causing a storm of controversy with campaigners furious that a child so young should be displaying the sexual allure of someone twice her age.Thylane has appeared in numerous campaigns and her image is all over the internet. To date she has an impressive portfolio – the French girl has graced the cover of Vogue Enfants and posed for high-end editorials.
Seriously, people who do this. FUCK YOU. This is not a game. Children are not a commodity to be bartered and used for cheap proxy-fame. Children are a privilege and anyone who thinks this is acceptable, from the bottom of my heart, FUCK YOU.
Actor Rowan Atkinson is in hospital after reportedly being injured in a car crash in Cambridgeshire.
The Blackadder star is believed to have suffered a minor shoulder injury when the car he was driving hit a tree and lamppost and caught fire.
It is understood the crash happened on the A605 at Haddon near Peterborough at 19:30 BST on Thursday.
Media reports said he walked from the McLaren F1 super car and waited with a motorist until an ambulance arrived.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to put out the fire.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews brought the fire under control by 8.13pm. They made the vehicle safe and used one hose reel to put out the fire.
“There was one casualty but he was not trapped.”