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December 31, 2001

Analysis of an al Qaeda computer
Wall Street Journal | Submitted by: Soylent
A reporter from the Wall Street Journal stumbled across a computer for sale in the Kabul marketplace, which he purchased for $1100. It had been looted from an al Qaeda house, and contained much useful data documenting the workings of the Company, but also incredible mundanity such as: people not getting paid, terrorist cells with big mouths, communications difficulties, etc.

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Fart detection device available
Japan Today | Submitted by: Sweet P
Men in white lab coats have done it again: "The fart detector, which sells for 200,000 yen, measures about the size of two boxes of facial tissue. It interfaces with the patient by means of a vinyl tube that is secured to the patient's inner thigh. Any, er, activity is duly recorded."

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Mystery man to be deported
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Submitted by: Soylent
"When agents asked why he had come to the United States, he at first said he was afraid to say "too much." He later said he was from Sudan and had been sent to observe what was happening in New York. He wouldn't say who sent him or why. He also said he was a computer programmer but refused to name his employer."

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Did psychic predict 9-11 attack, to the day?
Boston Phoenix | Submitted by: Soylent
"In June 2000, Lynne Palmer, a 69-year-old Las Vegas resident, published her Astrological Almanac for 2001 (Star Bright Publishers). On page 95 of the book, buried among advice on the best days to go to the movies and worst days to lend people money, Palmer had written, in an odd combination of the obvious and the prophetic: Avoid terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001." [Yes, if enough psychics predict enough things, some of them will end up being true. I am not even sure what the credibility of the "Boston Phoenix" is, or whether that book was actually published in June. But it should be noted that Pluto and Saturn were aligned that day, and perhaps the terrorists knew this!]

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$1.8M stashed in old pickup
South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Submitted by: Soylent
Palm reading is perhaps more lucrative than any of us realized. The town of Plantation is seeking possession of $1.8M that was found in an old pickup, seized in a drug raid in which 161 grams of cocaine was also taken. Of course, the money has no connection with the cocaine: "That money is not what you think -- it is my mother's life savings for the children when we die." Our crystal ball doesn't seem to agree with that assessment-- it's mostly tens and twenties.

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Hot sauce plant destroyed in blaze
Associated Press | Submitted by: Jopydevil
This company won't have to worry about its next marketing slogan, having your hot sauce factory destroyed in this manner is just good business.

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