Archive for February 4, 2008

Pork: The Other Dead Meat

February 4, 2008

Inhaling Pig Brains May Be Cause of New Illness

While the illness is similar to some known conditions, it does not match any exactly. Nor is the leading theory of its cause something medical researchers have studied. That is because the illness appears to be caused by inhaling microscopic flecks of pig brain.

“This appears to be something new,” Minnesota’s state epidemiologist, Ruth Lynfield, said last week.

The packing house, in Austin, Minn. (pop. 23,000), slaughters 1,900 pigs a day, working two meat-cutting shifts and one clean-up shift. Virtually everything is used, including ears, entrails and bone. The 12 sufferers of the neurological illness — most are Hispanic immigrants — all work at or near the “head table” where the animals’ severed heads are processed.

One of the steps in that part of the operation involves removing the pigs’ brains with compressed air forced into the skull through the hole where the spinal cord enters. The brains are then packed and sent to markets in Korea and China as food.

Investigators say there is no reason to suspect that either the brains or the pork cuts were contaminated. Their working hypothesis is that the harvesting technique — known as “blowing brains” on the floor — produces aerosols of brain matter. Once inhaled, the material prompts the immune system to produce antibodies that attack the pig brain compounds, but apparently also attack the body’s own nerve tissue because it is so similar.

Life just keeps getting more weird…

Information Dominance

February 4, 2008



Symbolism: The 2d Information Operations Battalion, First Information Operations Command (LAND) is a branch immaterial multi-component unit, with Operations, Intelligence, and Signal tasks and provides for new and important forms of warfare. The green border symbolizes the worldwide operations of the unit, emphasizing the “LAND” aspect of their mission. The black and white colors represent the unit’s continuous “round the clock” watch. The lightning flash denotes speed, agility, and exploitation of the adversary. The sword denotes strength and dominance of the information environment. The shield represents the steadfast and assured defense of the Army’s networks. The gold stars represent the six detachments of the Battalion deployed to each theater of operations.

Background: The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 4 May 2007.

Motto: INDICIUM DOMINATUS (Information Dominance)

They’ll Come To Get Me Now

February 4, 2008

I’m such a troublemaker.

I emailed a copy of that IDK patch photo to The Institute of Heraldry, which specializes in our government’s military insignia.

TIOH also has a list of Army Mottoes. IDK is not listed, at least according to my brief look-see. It might not be Army anyway.

They’ll call me a terrorist for asking about that patch. I’ll wind up in Cuba now. Or worse!

Nerval, Balzac

February 4, 2008

Source: NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library

Edgar, The Fount

February 4, 2008


Source: NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library

Poe: A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd

For Edgar Allan Poe, 1834 was an unhappy year. The death of his estranged foster father, John Allan, yielded no bequest for the 25-year-old journalist, poet and teller of tales. As it would throughout the remainder of his shadowed life, poverty bit hard.

“He had only the one shabby black suit that he donned on all occasions.” That frayed, funereal vestment, as Poe himself surely realised, serves as a metaphor for the unhappiness not only of 1834 but of so much of his life.

Emphasis added by me.

Why I fight so hard for my brother and sister writers.

How many suits do Eisner, Zucker, Ovitz, and Retard Boy own?

Show me a book publisher with only one suit.

Show me an agent with only one suit.

Now go on, you Suits: tell me the names of Poe’s publishers.

You are as forgettable as they were.

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 6: 1, 2, 5, 16

Emphasis added by me.

Enjoy your reward. It’s all dust. And so are you.


Annoyed with everyone and annoyed with myself, I long to redeem myself and to bolster my pride a bit in the silence and solitude of the night. Souls of those I have loved, souls of those I have sung, fortify me, sustain me, remove me from untruth and the world’s corrupting fumes. And you, Lord my God! Grant me the grace to produce a few beautiful verses to prove to myself that I am not the lowest of men, and that I am not inferior to those I despise!

Parisian Prowler, “At One O’Clock In The Morning, ” pg. 17

Source: NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library

Ken Kutaragi: Your Vindication Nears!

February 4, 2008

EA expects PS3 to outsell 360 in 2008

Electronic Arts has released estimates of what it thinks will be the range of hardware sales in North America and Europe through 2008, and while the Wii unsurprisingly leads, it’s the PlayStation 3 that will hold a strong second place.

That will, according to the estimates, be particularly true in Europe, where EA expects the PlayStation 3 to sell between 5 and 6 million units across the year, compared to just 1.5-2.5 million for the Xbox 360.

That means that while the company thinks the two will tie in North America on 4.5 to 5.5 million unit sales, the two sets of numbers combined give Sony’s flagship console a compelling 3.5 million lead.

You know I believed in you, Sensei:

Translation: I am three to five years ahead of everyone this time, but Sony is impatient. This would not have happened under other leadership. Patience is lacking at Sony in these desperate days. Desperate days which are hardly my fault. Sony would likely not exist today if my original PlayStation hadn’t been built! I shall return. With victory!

When you Ascend the Throne — kicking out the gaijin fool Stringer — remember to conquer the world with the Sony Reader!

The world of ebooks needs your leadership, Kutaragi! You can crush Amazon’s pitiful toy!

Kutaragi’s Next Hand!

Ken Kutaragi in the old blog:
Ken Kutaragi: God In The Machine
The Fall Of Ken Kutaragi
Take Heart, Ken Kutaragi!
Ken Kutaragi: The World WILL Catch Up To Your Genius!
Mother Of Mercy, Is This The End Of Ken Kutaragi?
Wii Wiinniing Buuzz Baattle
Kutaragi Will Rise Again
PlayStation 3 Mania

Marvel Comics: Some Great Vids

February 4, 2008

At the hi-res video portion of their site.

Aside from the two Iron Man movie trailers — including the new one that aired last night during the Super Bowl — they have a fantastic CGI 3-parter that features Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Hulk.

If someone from Marvel is reading this, how about a Comment with some background on who did that and how much it cost. Some of it is really spectacular and better than Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet.

And of course I’ve got some screensnaps after the break.


Some Things Are Just So Wrong

February 4, 2008


— from Matt St. Amand