Saturday, November 18, 2006

Preliminary PlayStation3 Hubbub Casualty Toll: One shot (Putnam, Conn.), one stabbed (Sullivan, Ind.), a trampling (Fresno, Calif.), a beating (Manchester, Conn.), a drive-by shooting (BB gun) (Lexington, Ky.), and at least two other robberies (Englewood, Ohio; Allentown, Pa.). Now for a PS3-compatible game in which PS3 geeks waiting in line to buy the game whip up on street punks trying to rob them. [Associated Press]

The Kinder, Gentler President (of Slovenia): Back in the 1970s, the Calif. governor, Jerry Brown, made minimalism fashionable (for example, allegedly sleeping on a mattress in the governor’s mansion). (Brown, by the way, is now on about his Fifth Act in politics, just elected the state’s attorney general on a dirty-Harry platform.) Now comes Slovenian president Janez Drnovsek, 56, who has moved from the palace to a hut and preaches the virtues of communing with nature. And there appears to be no ulterior mo—oh, wait; he’s got a book out.

Recurring Theme: Texas Justice: The state’s highest criminal appeals court denied death-row Daniel Acker’s writ, but that’s not the issue. The problem is that his state-funded lawyer, Toby Wilkinson of Greenville, Tex., got $25k for writing the writ, and apparently the only thing he did was copy, verbatim, a couple of Acker’s old rant letters. For example, Wilkinson managed to include in the formal writ this language: "I’m just about out of carbon paper. As soon as I get some more typing supplies I have about thirty more errors I want [included] in my appeal."

Recurring Theme: The Litigious Society: A small victory. The first of 1,000 steps. Legislators in British Columbia, and last week in Saskatchewan, have introduced amendments to laws of evidence that make apologies inadmissible in lawsuits for damages. It’d be put-up-or-shut-up for litigants who claim that all they wanted was for the perp/company to say, I’m sorry.

Below The Fold
It’s a laugh riot on the left and right coasts, but the new Ordinance 208 of Greenleaf, Idaho, asking all residents to keep a gun at home, wasn’t a big deal locally, where 80 percent were already armed . . . . . A county council in the UK wants Welsh Dragon Sausages to be better labeled so people don’t think they’re buying dragon meat . . . . . Another tool of Zionism: the Israeli robotic hornet that detects and pursues suicide bombers . . . . . A North Carolina high school Spanish teacher named Khalid Chahhou resigned after getting carried away with a translation assignment straight out of Hamas [link corrected] (but give the dude credit for learning Spanish!) . . . . . In Charlotte, N.C., a high school student called home to complain about being bullied, whereupon his mom and two sisters stormed his classroom and starting beating on the bully (so that should put an end to the bullying!) . . . . . Your freedom to swing your fist ends at the end of my nose (and also your freedom to ignore hygiene) . . . . . "Global Orgasm" day is December 22, and we’re all asked to, er, do our parts to create surges of human energy, to see if anything happens to Earth. (PS3 geeks can help, too, ‘cause you don’t need a partner for this.)