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things that just are

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Men Let Off for Drunk Riding
"Keith Travis and Richard Noel left a Mercer County, Penn., bar one dark night in 2002 somewhat the worse for what they drank, and soon got into an accident. But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this week that while they both failed sobriety tests, neither man should have been charged with drunken driving. The horses they were riding, the court ruled, didn't count as vehicles."

From Wall Street Journal Afternoon Report

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Israelis invent stink bomb for riot control

"Israel's weapons research and development directorate have created the ultimate stink bomb, with a disgusting smell that lingers in its victim's clothing for up to five years.

When soldiers try to control crowds, or take action against guerrillas hiding in urban areas, there is a high risk of damage to property and people near by, so these non-lethal weapons could solve the problem." Full Story

Via Gizmodo

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Blogging for the Famous

Dutch Minister's World Revealed in 'Blog'

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm says his "blog" -- personal diary on the Internet -- gives people an idea of what it is to be a minister, with insights into his professional and private life.

"Blogging" may be the domain of teenagers and young adults in Europe, but Zalm, 52, says he got hooked two years ago in his time as parliamentary leader of the VVD free-market liberals and continued the habit after he took office again in 2003.

Zalm posts entries several times a week and says he spends about 20 minutes a day to blog -- writing the entry on old fashioned paper for an assistant to send into cyberspace.

"It is a way of making it possible -- for people who are interested of course -- to have some idea about what it is to be a minister," he told Reuters.

Zalm does not divulge the contents of meetings with Queen Beatrix or other confidential information in the blog on the finance ministry's Web site http:/www.minfin.nl.

But Sunday's entry covered government meetings, two news conferences on Friday, and a more relaxed weekend with his granddaughter's first birthday party.

The Grey Market for Coke

The secret is out. The special Coca Cola produced for Passover under the auspices of the Orthodox Union (OU) may actually be the premium Coke. Coca Cola officials in Atlanta are concerned by a growing demand by U.S. cola connoisseurs for foreign-made Coke, which has real sugar and costs more than the everyday variety made with high-fructose corn syrup, the ingredient that is removed for Passover. Unauthorized distribution networks for Mexican-made Coke have sprung up to truck the brown, fizzy soda across the Rio Grande and around the country. In Fort Worth, it can be found at outlets from Central Market and Fiesta Mart to family-owned taco stands. The Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta says it wants the trafficking in Mexican Coke stopped. The soft drink industry switched from sugar to a 50/50 blend with high-fructose corn syrup in the early 1980s, then shifted gradually to just the corn sweetener, said Richard Adamson, the American Beverage Institute's vice president of scientific and technical affairs. Coca Cola produces a special version of the Coke for Passover where it replaces the corn syrup (kitniyot) with the sugar. The Passover Coke is an extremely popular item with Jews who observe Passover ands even with some non-Jews who are allergic to corn.

From Kosher Today

Friday, September 10, 2004

Toll Operators

"A generous sampling of entertaining 2004 beefs filed by motorists traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. If these aggrieved drivers are to be believed, some toll takers are abusive, vulgar, threatening, and violent..." More
From The Smoking Gun

Massachusetts Tolls

New York Tolls

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tabasco Crops Too Hot for Bunnies

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch farmers have devised a hot and spicy way to stop rabbits and rodents from munching their lettuce, carrots and wheat.

Spraying fields with the American sauce Tabasco sends the rabbits 'three feet in the air' with shock and running for cover, said a spokesman for a local agriculture cooperative.

The Dutch animal protection society is happy with the spicy repellent, unworried by the possibility of burned bunny mouths.

'Preventive measures are exactly what we want. It's better than going into the fields with a shotgun,' said animal welfare spokesman Niels Doorlandt.

The farmers will now try to make Tabasco an officially recognized pesticide for subsidized use on a larger scale. At least five small supermarket-sized bottles of the spicy sauce are needed for spraying 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of crops.

Although rain washes the Tabasco off, the crops are only sprayed in the first phases of growth to spare the taste buds of human consumers.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Onion: Al-Jazeera Introduces 'Lighter Side Of The News' Segment