Friday, January 27, 2006

Aibo Barks No More

Sony Corp. has officially euthanized the Sony AIBO entertainment robot and stopped development on its QRIO humanoid robot, the company said today.

The "announcement" was slipped into Sony's 2005 third-quarter earnings report, which also detailed a number of plant closings and a refocusing to core businesses like entertainment, pictures and music.

According to the report, AIBO development had already ceased in mid-to-late 2005 and production ended late last year. "However, sales and support will continue," the report said. "There will also be no new development for QRIO."

[Full Story...]

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Murtha "Dishonest" and Wrong

War Hero or Not? "[Murtha] is putting himself forward as some combat veteran with serious wounds and he's using that and it's dishonest and it's wrong," Don Bailey of Pennsylvania [One of Murtha's former Democratic congressional colleagues and a fellow decorated Vietnam veteran] said.

This is what happens when you put yourself out there like this. "In the first incident, his right cheek was lacerated, and in the second, he was lacerated above his left eye. Neither injury required evacuation," the Post-Gazette reported. But an Oct. 26, 1994, article in the Herald-Standard quoted Murtha as describing two different injuries.


( - Having ascended to the national stage as one of the most vocal critics of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha has long downplayed the controversy and the bitterness surrounding the two Purple Hearts he was awarded for military service in Vietnam.

Murtha is a retired marine and was the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress. Since 1967, there have been at least three different accounts of the injuries that purportedly earned Murtha his Purple Hearts. Those accounts also appear to conflict with the limited military records that are available, and Murtha has thus far refused to release his own military records.

A Cybercast News Service investigation also reveals that one of Murtha's former Democratic congressional colleagues and a fellow decorated Vietnam veteran, Don Bailey of Pennsylvania, alleges that Murtha admitted during an emotional conversation on the floor of the U.S. House in the early 1980s that he did not deserve his Purple Hearts.

[Full Story...]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Happy Cow" Granted Clemency

A US cow that escaped last week from a Montana slaughterhouse, leading workers and police on a six-hour chase, would be spared following a wave of popular support, officials said Del Morris, manager of Mickey's Packing Plant in Great Falls, said he decided to let the cow live the instant he saw it cross the Missouri River through Great Falls.

Town residents will now decide through a telephone poll whether the cow will remain a resident of Montana, where it will live out its life on pastureland surrounding the packing plant, or be shipped to an animal sanctuary in Seattle.

[Full Story...]

RELATED: "Molly the Cow Avoids Slaughter"

"Cow Escapes Slaughterhouse"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dow Sneaks Past 11,000

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday breached the 11,000 mark for the first time in four-and-a-half years. "

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen from the dead, closing above 11,000 for the first time since June 2001. Monday's advance above the psychologically important 11,000 level has the potential to create some buzz and excitement, a nice change as the blue-chip index had fallen out of favors over the past several years. The Dow even fell 0.6% in 2005, its first annual loss since 2002. The Dow's last attempt to breach the key level, in March 2005, quickly fizzled away.

But on Monday, at least, the Dow managed to hold onto its gains and closed at 11,009.26, adding 49.95 points, or 0.5% on the day. It earlier touched an intraday high of 11,020. The S&P 500 rose 0.35% to 1289, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6% to 2318. "It will be important psychologically to show that the Dow can stay above 11,000 this time around," says Owen Fitzpatrick, head of the U.S. equity group at Deutsche Bank. But in a market that's hungrier for real catalysts than for symbolism, fourth-quarter earnings will take precedence in the weeks to come, according to Michael Malone, trading analyst at SG Cowen.

[Full Story...]

RELATED: "Dow Could Reach 11,000"

"US blue chip index reaches four-year high"

"Gold Hits 25-Year Peak" -$550 per ounce.

"At its peak, gold was up more than 5 percent from a week ago, 18 percent from some two months earlier and 30 percent from a year ago. The price has more than doubled in five years. "

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Worms Survived Columbia Explosion

"When Columbia broke up the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, the nematode canisters hurtled at more than 1,000 km/h and hit the ground with an impact 2,295 times the force of Earth's gravity."

Tiny nematode worms in aluminum canisters aboard the space shuttle Columbia fell up to 40 kilometres when the orbiter blew up but were recovered alive in Texas. The survival of the nematodes, each one about as big as the comma on a sheet of newsprint, suggests ways in which simple life forms might endure traumatic interplanetary journeys, the researchers said.

The report, in a paper published last week in the journal Astrobiology, said six coffee-can-size canisters of nematodes were on board Columbia to monitor muscular atrophy during spaceflight. NASA astrobiologist Catharine Conley said nematodes are useful in studying how prolonged spaceflight can affect the aging process in humans as well as human tolerance for cosmic ray exposure and muscular deterioration from weightlessness.

[Full Story...]

Happy Cows Live in California...

Not Montana.

Cow Escapes Meat Plant, Dodges SUV, Train

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A cow that escaped a slaughterhouse dodged vehicles, ran in front of a train, braved the icy Missouri River and took three tranquilizer darts before being recaptured six hours later. News of the heifer's adventures prompted a number of people to offer to buy the animal.

The black, 1,200 pound heifer jumped a gate at the packing plant at around 5 a.m. Thursday and apparently wandered through residential areas. Police received reports at about 9:30 a.m. that it was in the middle of a busy intersection.

Police tried to catch the cow, and had her wedged between a stock trailer and a fence, but the heifer barreled through the fence toward the river, nearly being hit by a Chevrolet Suburban.
It was the first of many near-death experiences.

[Full Story...]

Cow: I've not yet begun to fight!
*gets hit with tranquilizer dart*
*gets hit with two more darts*

"Slaughterhouse workers created a makeshift pen with metal panels that led to a stock trailer."
Cow: ooo shiney!


Scared of Mice? I Am!

Mouse Thrown Into Fire Sets Home Ablaze

FORT SUMNER, N.M. - A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire.

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it. "I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house. No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.
Unseasonably dry and windy conditions have charred more than 53,000 acres and destroyed 10 homes in southeastern New Mexico in recent weeks. "I've seen numerous house fires," village Fire Department Capt. Jim Lyssy said, "but nothing as unique as this one."

[Full Story...]