Thursday, June 26, 2008

Next gadget for U.S. soldiers: Brain-aided binoculars?

Now this is amazing. What' next find and seek bullets??

LINTHICUM, Maryland (AP) -- Military binoculars may soon get information directly from the brains of the soldiers using them.

"Smart" binoculars could tap into the brain's ability to spot patterns and movement.

With the idea that that the brain absorbs and assesses more visual information than it lets on -- and that it could make more sense out of what's visible through high-power binoculars if it stopped filtering that information -- the Pentagon has awarded contracts to two defense firms to develop brainwave-aided binoculars.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is betting that intelligent binoculars can tap into the brain's ability to spot patterns and movement and help soldiers detect threats from miles farther away than they can with traditional binoculars.

Electrodes on the scalp inside a helmet will record the user's brain activity as it processes information about high-resolution images produced by wide-angle military binoculars. Those responses will train the binoculars over time to recognize threats.

"You need to present the soldier with many images and then use the person's brain to figure out what is of interest," said Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics, Inc., a Baltimore-based maker of panoramic head-mounted displays.

Sensics belongs to a team led by Northrop Grumman that won $6.7 million for its research. Other members include Northrop's Linthicum-based Electronic Systems division; SAIC of San Diego, California; Theia Technologies LLC, of Wilsonville, Oregon; and Dallas-based L-3 Communications Infrared Products.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Portland State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are also participating.

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Should apes have basic human rights?

Now this is the craziest shit I have ever heard of.
I borrowed this article from The SciGuy
A science blog with Eric Berger

Spain may soon say yes, making it the first country to extend rights to life and freedom to our closest genetic relatives.

I can has rightz?
Wow. It was only about two decades ago that Spain, a country deeply influenced by Catholicism, made divorce legal. And now this, for apes. You know, those with whom we share a common ancestor. The country has moved quickly after the pope accepted evolution, I guess. From the story linked above:

The new resolutions have cross-party or majority support and are expected to become law and the government is now committed to update the statute book within a year to outlaw harmful experiments on apes in Spain.

"We have no knowledge of great apes being used in experiments in Spain, but there is currently no law preventing that from happening," said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Ape Project.

Keeping apes for circuses, television commercials or filming will also be forbidden and breaking the new laws will become an offence under Spain's penal code.

The initiative is being pushed by the Great Ape Project, which "seeks to end the unconscionable treatment of our nearest living relatives by obtaining for non-human great apes the fundamental moral and legal protections of the right to life, the freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and protection from torture."

Apes include chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans. No word on whether the measure will soon be extended to bullfighting.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two killed, teen hurt in Pasadena shooting

Houston is really getting to be a dangerous place.

Pasadena police this morning are searching for a man who shot a couple to death and critically wounded a 16-year-old boy during what appears to have been a home-invasion robbery.

The boy, who apparently walked in during the attack Tuesday evening, was in critical condition when taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital and has undergone surgery, said police spokesman Vance Mitchell.

The victims were identified this morning as Leo Garza Sr. and Milagro Vanegas, both 53. The injured teen is Garza's son, Leo Garza Jr.

The victims, who appeared to have been shot in the head, were found dead on a bed in the master bedroom of the one-story home at Burke and Everglade, police Capt. A.H. "Bud" Corbett said.

Neighbors did not report hearing gunshots, he said.

"It is believed at the moment that the (teen) interrupted an offense," Corbett said. "He walked into the house at the time it appears to have been in progress."

Witnesses reported seeing a man, believed to be in his 30s, leave the area with a silver semiautomatic gun in his left hand and carrying a trash bag.

Police said the trash bag contained three "long guns," such as rifles or shotguns

Police said the killer drove away in the father's pickup. The truck was found a short time later, about 30 blocks away at the New Testament Christian Church in the 700 block of Fresa, Mitchell said.

A Pasadena police patrol supervisor was driving by the home about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when someone approached asking for help.

"She was flagged down by a friend of the young man who lives here," Corbett said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Pasadena police at 713-477-1221 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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East Houston workers detained in ICE raid

The games are in full swing again.

Federal immigration agents have detained at least 120 workers at an east Houston plant as they conduct a major raid to investigate allegations that the company is employing illegal immigrants.

The raid, involving 150 to 200 agents, was launched about 7 a.m. at Action Rags U.S.A, 1225 Port Houston, just north of the Houston Ship Channel.

Officials would not specify the information that led them to plan the raid, which is at least the second major immigration enforcement action in Houston by federal agents in recent months.

The sign at Action Rags includes the phrase ropa usada, Spanish for "used clothing." A number of companies in Houston buy and sell used clothing, much of which is cut up for use as industrial rags.

The agents are questioning workers to determine their immigration status, said Bob Rutt, special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement criminal office in Houston.

"We're trying to sort out who's who," he said.

Five detention vans have been brought to the plant to transport any workers whom agents decide to arrest.

Agents also are dealing with several "medical issues" that arose after the raid began, Rutt said without elaborating.

A black ambulance drove onto the property at 8:25 a.m.

Scores of ICE vehicles are parked at various spots at the plant, a numerous agents in body armor can be seen talking with workers and walking around the site.

Workers at an adjoining plant have gathered in a nearby lot and along railroad tracks to watch the events.

Houston police are providing perimeter security for the federal action.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thank Your From NOBAMA

My fellow Americans:

As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bi-partisan agent of change.

I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush's youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.

I would also like to thank the Kennedy's for coming out in support of me. There's a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr., and Teddy killed a female employee with whom he was having an extra marital affair and who was pregnant with his child. And I'm not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively.
And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.

Americans should vote for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.
I say things that sound meaningful, but don't really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them. Americans are tired of thinking. It's time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart. So when you go to vote, remember, don't think, just do. And do it for me.

Thank you.

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She Must Be From Texas

725 yards, just 465 feet short of a ½ mile

On Easter this ex-cheerleader was watching a road that lead to a NATO military base
when she observed a man digging by the road. She engaged the target..she shot him.
Turned out he was a bomb maker for the Taliban and was burying an IED that was to be detonated
when a US patrol walked by 30 minutes later. It would have certainly killed and wounded several soldiers.

The interesting fact of this story is the shot was measured at 725 yards.
She shot him as he was bent over burying the bomb.
The shot struck him in the butt blowing into the bomb which detonated.
He was blown to pieces.

The Air Force made a motivational poster of her.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mexico appeals to World Court to stay U.S. executions

And how much did it cost us to feed these people for all those years. We need to implement our express lane again in Texas.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Mexico made an emergency appeal to the U.N.'s highest court today to block the execution of its citizens on death row in the U.S.

Mexico's chief advocate Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo said the U.S. was "in breach of its international obligations" by disregarding a 2004 judgment by the U.N.'s International Court of Justice, which ruled that Mexicans had been denied the right to help from their consulate after being arrested.

Gomez-Robledo said that without urgent action now, five Mexican citizens "will be executed before the conclusion of these proceedings."

The court, informally known as the World Court, had ruled that the Mexicans were entitled to a review of their trials and sentences to determine whether the violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention affected their cases.

The decisions of the court, the U.N.'s judicial arm for resolving disputes among nations, are binding and final, but it has no enforcement powers.

President Bush accepted the 2004 judgment and asked state courts to review the cases, but Texas refused.

The issue went to the Supreme Court, which ruled last March in a 6-3 vote that Bush lacked the authority to compel state courts to comply with the judgment from The Hague. The Vienna Convention cannot be binding on the states unless Congress enacts legislation enforcing it as federal law, the Supreme Court ruled.

Mexico argues that international law applies not only to the U.S. but also to individual states.

"The United States cannot invoke municipal law as justification for failure to perform its international legal obligations," it said in its application to the court two weeks ago.

Mexico asked the World Court for an "interpretation" of its earlier ruling to clarify what it meant when it asked the U.S. to "review and reconsider" the cases of the condemned prisoners. In the meantime, it asked the court to order the U.S. to halt the execution timetable.

U.S. representatives were due to respond later today before the 13-member tribunal.

Sandra Babcock, representing Mexico, said the World Court's decision four years ago referred to 51 Mexican nationals. Since then, 33 had sought reviews of their cases in state courts.

Only one request was granted, Babcock said. A second inmate accepted a commutation to life imprisonment in exchange for waiving his claim for a review.

"All other efforts to enforce the judgment have failed," she said.

Mexico listed five of its citizens slated for imminent execution, all in Texas. The first, on Aug. 5, is Jose Medellin, 33, condemned in the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls 15 years ago in Houston.

Texas authorities have said Medellin's case has been reviewed by state and federal courts and that he had been given the same right as any American citizen.

Babcock said a Texas judge peremptorily dismissed Medellin's appeal for a stay of execution following the Supreme Court decision to allow Congress to consider legislation.

"I'm not here to listen to evidence. I'm here to set an execution date," she quoted the judge as saying, refusing to hear expert witnesses and setting the earliest date possible under state law.

If the U.S. fails to intervene, executive clemency remains the only resort of the condemned men, she said. But since 1982, only two death sentences were commuted through clemency, while 407 inmates were put to death.

The Mexican case is the third time the U.S. death penalty has come before the World Court.

In 1999, German national Walter LaGrand, convicted of murdering a bank manager during a botched robbery, was executed in Arizona just hours after the tribunal in The Hague urged the U.S. to halt the proceeding. Two years later, the court said its injunction in the LaGrand case had been a legal obligation, and the U.S. had violated international law by ignoring it.

In its first case in 1998, the U.S. declined to stop the execution of a Paraguayan citizen in Virginia.

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Hidalgo County 5-year-old killed in pit bull attack

Why is this breed of animal still allowed to exist. Kill all of these little killer bastards. Oh sorry to all of you pit bull lovers.

WESLACO — A 5-year-old boy has been mauled to death by a pit bull at the home where he was staying with relatives, said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Rosa Trevino told The Monitor in McAllen for today's editions that the condition of the child's body suggested there was no way emergency responders could have saved his life.

Sheriff's deputies were investigating at the home north of Weslaco late into the night on Wednesday. The sheriff said deputies must determine whether the dog had been confined and how the boy came into contact with the animal.

Sheriff Trevino declined to identify the boy pending notification of his mother, who lives and works in Washington state. The boy's father lives in Mexico.

The sheriff said the boy had been living with his aunt and uncle after Child Protective Services placed him with them. The circumstances of that placement were not immediately known.

Luis Palomo, 20, said he was down the street playing football with friends when the trouble began. He said the victim was at home with a baby sitter when one of two pit bulls at the house began running around the front yard, getting a second pit bull inside the home riled up.

He said that the baby sitter and boy were inside the house with the second dog and were scared, so he tried to intervene. While he managed to distract the dogs temporarily, the boy wandered out the back door and one of the dogs grabbed him by the torso and dragged him.

Palomo said that the dog locked its jaws around the boy's neck.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bit of Excitment At The House Next Door To Mine

Man, it looked like something out of a movie. Police car pulls up in the driveway next door to me. Me and my daughtetr are home for lunch and about to go back to work. Cop pulls out his gun and holds it by his side and then gets on the radio. Three minutes later two more police cars arrive. Hold short discussion and in the mean time three more police cars pull up, more talking and everyone has their guns drawn. Just damn I think. Well three more police cars arrive and it's time to move. Two go around one side of the house, three more go around the other side and two go inside the open garage and enter the house again wtih guns out. Several minutes later they come out with three teens at gun point. They were searched and put in cuffs. I must admit I was impressed with all of this. My daughter said cool. Well it turned out that the boy who use to live there and was kicked out by his parents had came by to pick up an old couch and an old TV. Well the neighbour on the other side saw a truck back into the driveway and these teens attempting to get in the front door, which was locked, so they went around to the back. Well she called 911 and the rest is history. Turns out that the kid had permission from the parents who were out of town to get the stuff, and had left the back door open for them. Talk about learning a lesson, the teen punks were scared shitless. Good job HPD. I took a picture of all of this, and will post it when my internet at home is fixed. Damn it's been down for two days. Tech are suppose to come out today and fix it.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Working on Fathers Day

Well here it is Sunday, Fathers Day, and where am I but at the office. Don't ya just love it. Seems kinda strange this year. My wife is overseas and won't be back untill August. She left last week, on Monday. I guess I will BBQ this afternoon for my daughter and my youngest son. I haven't even had the time to get on the internet for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would post a short blurb about nothing. Any Happy Fathers Day to all of ya'll.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Haven't Posted In A While

I feel bad that I have not done any posting or blog reading in a while. The new added responsibility that has been forced upon me is kicking my ass. I am not complaning though, I mean everyone loves working 7 days a week right. Things are starting to slow down now, so I may be able to get back into it before long. I plan on taking vacation all of next week to unwind. My wife is leaving the country to visit her aging parents, and will be gone for almost the whole summer. Leaving me, my daughter and son to fend for ourselves, and that will be a challange in itself, but we will make the most of it.

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