Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures

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Archive for July, 2003

NYT Defends Terror Market

Posted by glasscastle on 31st July 2003

Despite the early flood of criticism which caused the cancelation of the project, some media heavyweights have published articles defending the DARPA Terrorism Futures Market. Check out this articles in FORTUNE and another that just went up on the New York Times site.

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Kerouac has WAY more fans than the Lowell Spinners

Posted by glasscastle on 31st July 2003

As noted
here yesterday
, the Lowell, MA Spinners of the
Class A New York-Penn league have announced a JACK
KEROUAC
bobblehead
doll giveaway for August 21. As predicted, inquiries have come in from
all over North America for the limited edition (1000) dolls, coming soon
to E-bay for sure.

Kerouac, who was born and raised in Lowell, inspired
a generation with his tales of cross-country road trips, sex, and drugs.
from
the Boston Globe…

Posted in ESL Links | 1 Comment »

Teddy Kennedy: One-Man Wind Farm

Posted by glasscastle on 31st July 2003

US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, whose staff has been quietly negotiating a measure that could halt plans for a wind farm off Cape Cod, backed away yesterday from the controversial amendment to federal energy legislation.

Kennedy has remained vague about his stance on the project, which would be built in Nantucket Sound, roughly 6 miles from his family’s storied compound in Hyannis Port.

from the Boston Globe

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The Scottish Play from the Ground Up

Posted by glasscastle on 31st July 2003

Every summer I take my foreign law students to Shakespeare in the
Park, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Comnaly’s effort to increase the community’s
culture level. Every year I arrive ready for the bard, with bread
and fruit, blanket and pillow, water and wine. However, I have yet to
make it to the fifth act, due to chronic, progressive back pain which
makes it excruciating to sit cross-legged on the ground for three hours.

So last night I was supremely proud of my perspicacity
(actually, my wife’s) in finally purchasing those light-weight low-rider
folding beach
chairs. What comfort! What style! However, sitting so close to the
ground I could’t find my students in the record-setting crowd of thousands. Accordingly,
at the end of every scene I would stand and quickly scan the audience looking
for foreign lawyers, and then plop back down in my chair.

"Don’t plop down in your chair" my wife whispered savagely
as I did so. At the end of the third scene, just after
the Weird Sisters predicted greatness for Macbeth, I plopped my last
plop, and the new seat collasped irredeemably flat, spilling the guacamole
of the purple-hairded patrons of the arts seated behind us. It was
hard to enjoy the play after that. I have still never seen the last
act of a Shakespeare play….

excellent review from the Boston Globe

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Reason #854 to Quit – The Nicotini

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

Enter the nicotini: Smoking ban leads to tobacco-infused drink

Call it a liquid cigarette because this drink comes complete with the
nicotine rush and tobacco aftertaste found in a pack of Camels. These tobacco-spiked
martinis are being served up for die-hard smokers who don’t want to leave
their barstools and go outside to light up.

from
the Sun-Sentinel
via Fark

Posted in ESL Links | 1 Comment »

U.S. Judge Says Iraqi Fund Can’t Be Used to Compensate Ex-POWs

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

July 30 — Former U.S. fighter pilots held prisoner by Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War can’t collect compensation from seized Iraqi money that President George W. Bush set aside to rebuild that country, a U.S. judge said.

The former fighter pilots had been awarded $959 million in damages for their lawsuit charging they were tortured by Iraq during their captivity. The U.S. seized $1.7 billion from Iraq and has spent part of the money on reconstruction since Bush earmarked the funds for that purpose. At least $700 million remains in the account.

Question for my students: How is this case similar to and different from that of Belk v. United States (1988), in which the Iranian hostages were attempting to recover damages from seized Iranian assets?

from Bloomberg

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The End of an Era

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off
the assembly line Wednesday, 70 years after Adolf Hitler’s government introduced
Germans to a two-door passenger car that became an icon around the globe.

Workers painstakingly crafted the final car: a baby blue version marked
No. 21,529,464 that will go to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, home of
VW headquarters.  from the New York Times

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Yawns Proven Contagious

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

Self-aware or empathetic people are more likely to catch
the yawns, say US researchers.
Studies have shown
that 40-60% of people who watch videos or hear about yawning end up
joining in.

Contagious yawning may have helped our ancestors to coordinate times
of activity and rest. "It’s important that all group members be
ready to do the same thing at the same time."

Excuse me while I take a nap.from RedNova

Posted in ESL Links | 1 Comment »

Kerouac Bobblehead Dolls

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) A local literary icon will be
honored next month in a way usually reserved for sports figures:
a bobblehead doll.

The first 1,000 fans at the Aug. 21 game between the Lowell Spinners and
Williamsport Crosscutters of the Class A New York-Penn League will receive
bobbing likenesses of Jack Kerouac.

The eight-inch doll features Kerouac
holding a pen and notebook and standing on a copy of "On The Road," his
best-known work.

from Boston.com thanks to The Redhead

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‘Crack’ nicotine in cigarettes varies widely

Posted by glasscastle on 30th July 2003

Some cigarettes have a “kick” containing 35 times more “freebase” nicotine – the most addictive form – than others, researchers have found. The findings could help rate the addictiveness of different brands, they say.

The amount of freebase nicotine in cigarette smoke increases as the alkalinity, or pH, increases. This factor can be influenced by the use of certain additives. “It is likely that ingredients such as ammonia and urea account for this addiction-enhancing effect.”

from New Scientist

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Wolfowitz Kills Terrorist Market Brainstorm

Posted by glasscastle on 29th July 2003

Sorry, you won’t be able to buy shares in Usama Bin Laden
anytime soon, as
reported here this morning
. Reacting to immediate intense
pressure, Paul Wolfowitz killed the project

"I couldn’t believe that we would actually commit $8 million to
create a Web site that would encourage investors to bet on futures involving
terrorist attacks and public assassinations," said Senate Minority
Leader Tom Daschle. "There is something very sick about it," added
Barbara Boxer. from CNN

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Harvard Square Flash Mob Set

Posted by glasscastle on 29th July 2003

The first
Flash Mob in the Boston
area is set for Thursday in Harvard
Square.  Over 500 mobsters have signed up for the event, and today
received an email from the shadowy organizers.  The event will take
place "sometime after 7:03pm." We have been told where to hitch up near
the square, according to birth month. We have been told how to synchronize
our watches.
We
have NOT been told what actions we will be taking; that’s the whole point
of a flash mob. I am interested but not excited – having experienced
the "Days of Rage" in the square in the 70’s. The techo-weenies will
have to seriously gear up to surpass that "Mob"…..

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