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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Tuesday Morning News

Posted by on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Making the world safe for Democracy. Russian Czar Vladimir Putin says his troops have occupied Crimea in response to Ukraine's "unconstitutional coup."

Not a typo. Citing constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law, 20 Republicans from Western states have signed a friend of the court brief urging a US appeals court to rule that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. Yes, Republicans. And unconstitutional.

The prime minister was “extremely shocked.” A senior aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron who had helped draw up the nation's guidelines on Internet porn filters has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of child pornography.

Because politics. President Barack Obama will propose an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit in his new budget, and the Republican-obstructed Congress will do nothing because it is President Obama's budget.

PlayStation 4, Xbox 2. Sony's PlayStation 4 has sold more than 6 million units since being introduced in November, selling more than twice the units of Microsoft's second place Xbox One in January. In related news, something like 400 billion smartphones were sold last month.

I blame the minimum wage! RadioShack announced Tuesday that it would close 20 percent of its 5,500 stores after suddenly realizing that it had become irrelevant.

Because guns make you safer. A teenage boy was allegedly shot and killed by a "close" friend at the home of an Illinois state trooper.

Who'da thunk that somebody who believes in Noah's Ark would make an easy mark? Conservative Christian lawmakers in Texas lost $2.5 million in a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by a many who claimed to have found Noah's Ark.

Actually, that's a pretty damn clever scam. Kitsap and Thurston counties are warning residents not to fall victim to scammers demanding that they pay a $1,000 penalty for failing show up for jury duty.

This makes me so angry!!! A person's risk of suffering a heart attack increases after an outburst of anger, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of the Obvious.

Because eating worms is only slightly more disgusting than eating snails. French researchers fear that invasive snail-eating flatworms could wipe out the nation's prized escargot industry.

I remember this episode of the X-Files: Scientists have resurrected a giant virus that had remained dormant for 30,000 years in the Siberian permafrost.


Comments (21) RSS

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raindrop 1
Not just a fluke: The Republican party is starting to come to its senses.
Posted by raindrop on March 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Call me Scott 2
@1 . . . on one issue, anyway. On taxes? . . . not so much, eh?
Posted by Call me Scott on March 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM · Report this
venomlash 3
With regard to the giant virus story, there's a lot made of how our immune systems wouldn't be ready for viruses that might come out of the ice. However, it fails to mention that viruses that infected Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, and other humans in prehistory might not be able to infect modern humans.
Amoebas are simple, morphologically, and don't have much in way of defense against viral attack. Like many microorganisms, their survival strategy tends to be reproducing faster than they can be killed and exploiting resources quickly.
Humans reproduce incredibly slowly, on the order of years rather than of hours. As such, we have a wide variety of defense mechanisms against viral infection. The most basic is a simple inflammatory response; when a potential pathogen is detected, certain immune cells douse the area with indiscriminate toxins, killing off healthy and infected cells alike and cutting off any surviving viruses from new hosts. Specific immunity, where B cells manufacture antibodies that target a certain recognized pathogen, is a secondary response. We might not have defenses specifically against old viruses, but we probably wouldn't need them.
In essence, who needs silver bullets when you have a flamethrower?

@1: Let us know when it happens to you.
Posted by venomlash on March 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 4
Welcome to 1964.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 5
Since so many of the items listed this morning link to "Raw Story" why should I read Slog?
Posted by thatsnotright on March 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM · Report this
thatsnotright 6
@ 3 is it theoretically possible to alter amoeba viruses such as these as a treatment to kill amoebas infecting humans? That would be dead cool.
Posted by thatsnotright on March 4, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Goldy 7
@5 As if it would have shown so much more dedication on my part had I just grabbed all the headlines from Google News.
Posted by Goldy on March 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
mikethehammer 8

Not to pile on or anything, but I pulled this quote (quite predictably) from the Noah's Ark piece... "“I ran into him at a conservative event,” state Rep. Bill Zedler."

Zedler is, of course, one of the gullible buffoons who fell for the ponzi scheme. If the GOP ever somehow managed to purge the gullible buffoons from their ranks they might gain a shred of credibility. But then their numbers would be so compromised without their gullible buffoon base they'd be completely marginalized from a political standpoint.

It's quite sad really and I'd be genuinely intrigued to see how a competent GOP could re-frame the political landscape. Alas.
Posted by mikethehammer on March 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Fnarf 9
Aw, if Radio Shack goes out of business, where am I going to buy my, er, uh, things I need from Radio Shack? I can't think of any right now, but they must exist, yeah?
Posted by Fnarf on March 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Goldy, again, beats on his favorite straw man. Despite having been corrected many times for almost a year.…

"There is a difference between arguing the blanket statement that guns make us safer and arguing that guns can be used to defend one's self against death, serious bodily harm or tyranny."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on March 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 11
Does Radio Shack still print coupons for a free flashlight in the Sunday paper? That was brilliant marketing as us kids saw it right after reading the funnies.
Next time we were out we'd get Dad to swing by Radio Shack so we could get our free flashlight (always the bug seven-cell job).

Dad was, of course, now on the hook to buy seven batteries.

And being kids we would lose or break the damn thing within weeks. So next month, off to Radio Shack for another goddamn "free" flashlight!
Posted by Dr_Awesome on March 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 12
Oops. *big, not bug.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on March 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
raindrop 13
@3: Why did you blemish your interesting scientific insights with a jab of impertinence?
Posted by raindrop on March 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM · Report this
14 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
15 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
Theodore Gorath 16
@13: Why do you whine so much?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on March 4, 2014 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@ 1 Always have been a reasonable wing of the GOP, just been quiet recently.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on March 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM · Report this
venomlash 18
@6: Probably not. The "brain eating amoebas", Naegleria fowleri I think are what you're referencing. Unfortunately, "amoebas" are pretty damn polyphyletic, which means that they're actually several different unrelated groups lumped together because they look similar.
The bigger issue, of course, is the issue of delivering the virus. Brain and spinal cord infections are very difficult to treat because of the very reason they're so rare: the blood-brain barrier. That inflammatory response I mentioned? That would wreak havoc in nerve tissue, where healthy cells caught in the cross-fire would be difficult to replace. The membranes surrounding the brain are very very difficult for most things to cross; most medicines won't get across, and even the immune system's cells can't get through usually. A large virus wouldn't stand a chance, so the only way to use it to combat brain infections would be to deliver it directly via injection into the cerebrospinal fluid.
Posted by venomlash on March 4, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Goldy 19
@9 The CPU on the Z80 card in my Franklin ACE1000 was acting up—CP/M kept freezing when the card got warm. So I pulled the Z80 chip, went to Radio Shack, bought a new one, and inserted it in the card. Presto, good as new.

In my youth, Radio Shack was an indispensable resource for electronics tinkerers. But I am very old.
Posted by Goldy on March 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM · Report this
The Empty Yellow Houses of Fort Lawton 20
Didn't you guys hear about the pope accidentally saying fuck?
Posted by The Empty Yellow Houses of Fort Lawton on March 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
sad about Radioshack. Best job I've had in retail or service. We actually were really helpful for reasonable cost A/V stuff. And mobile phones, we did a pretty good job there, too. At least at my location. And for people who want to build their own electronics, it's one of the few places with in store supplies.

Posted by stilettov on March 6, 2014 at 11:34 PM · Report this

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