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August 17, 2002

Who should own what
Darwin Magazine | Submitted by: Soylent
An interview of Lessig, which everyone should probably read. He notes that the most interesting innovations tend to be outside the system: "Look at the history of innovation in the context of the Internet. The World Wide Web was built not by AOL or Prodigy, but by a researcher in Switzerland. Hotmail was developed by an Indian immigrant. ICQ, which was the beginning of the really persistent instant messaging system, was developed by an Israeli, or rather stolen by an Israeli from his son, and deployed outside the United States and sold to AOL for $400 million."

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Cat with 28 toes
Canadian Press | Submitted by: Clay
"A manx cat that narrowly escaped death by euthanasia now has a chance at getting in the Guinness Book of Records. Bobbi has 28 toes, said owner Kathy Williams. "The record to date is a cat with 27 toes," said Williams, who lives at Stone Creek just south of Prince George."

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NASA wants to read terrorist minds
Washington Times | Submitted by: mel
"Space technology would be adapted to receive and analyze brain wave and heartbeat patterns, then feed that data into computerized programs "to detect passengers who potentially might pose a threat." But: "A lot of people's fear of flying would send those meters off the chart. Are they going to pull all those people aside?"

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Elvis bust 'weeps' in Dutch town
Wire Services | Submitted by: Plasticine
The mass media has been full of stories about "Elvis Week", commemorating the King's death, whereupon a tummy full of prescription pills toppled him from his magestic throne onto the bathroom shag carpet. Far be it from us to not participate in this deification.

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The second stupidest thing I've ever done
Click on SA | Submitted by: anonymous
"FBI agents on Thursday arrested a man who they say tipped off police when he admitted on a local radio call-in show that he had ripped off his insurance company... Federal affidavits say an FBI agent was listening to a San Antonio radio station on the morning of Dec. 11, when listeners were asked to call in with stories under the topic "What's Your Biggest Lie?"

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US germ warfare in Korea
Japan Today | Submitted by: Meerkat
"Japanese researchers announced Wednesday that they made a video copy of film footage in Pyongyang indicating the United States conducted germ warfare against China and North Korea during the Korean War... the footage includes germ weapons believed to have been dropped by U.S. forces, as well as a confession by a captured pilot admitting to U.S. involvement in germ warfare."

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French hiding truth about Napoleon?
Wire Services | Submitted by: NachoMama
"Far from ending a decades old controversy, a French refusal to allow DNA tests on the body resting in the Invalides army museum has added to questions over the fate of the expansionist emperor whose military antics made him the scourge of Europe."

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Body found inside Salvation Army donation
Kansas City Star | Submitted by: Epicurious Crabcake
"Kansas City police on Thursday were seeking clues about a woman's body found in a van donated to the Salvation Army... Murphy said the body apparently was not inside the van when the charity received it several weeks ago. He said Salvation Army employees did not report seeing anything unusual while making their Wednesday morning checks."

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Cultists hack recent graduates to death
All Africa | Submitted by: ian m.
"Calm has returned to Calabar, Cross River state, after 15 days of killings by cultists who invaded the city, allegedly from a first generation university in one of the southern states of the country. In all, 11 students from the University of Calabar were hacked to death by the cultists who carried out their dastardly act in the daylight... Those killed were either traced to their parents' houses, invited out and shot dead at the door step of such houses, or caught up in the traffic, or picked up while buying things in the market or sighted in the library and gunned down without qualms... On its part, the state legislature hurriedly passed an executive bill outlawing secret cults."

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High cost of suicide in Japan
Mainichi Daily News | Submitted by: LucrezaBorgia
"Trains don't usually stop too long after a suicide, there's rarely much damage to carriages and we rarely have to send anyone off to catch trains on different lines. In that regard, train suicides probably don't cost too much," says an employee of a commuter line. "But to make sure we can cover the costs incurred when a suicide leads to a derailment, we have to ask the bereaved families of suicide victims to compensate us. The costs are usually in the range of 100 million yen."

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French police blockading international ravers
BBC | Submitted by: Iskra
Rules in France have made it nearly impossible to hold raves in the country, so young people have resorted to partying just inside the Italian border. But when this happens, the French police blockade the border to prevent them from ever arriving. [Does this strike anyone as very wrong?]

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Masturbating on a police car
AAP | Submitted by: Mark Knipe
"A 25 year old Brisbane [Australia] man has been charged with indecent behaviour after masturbating over a police car early this morning... The man was caught on security cameras and apprehended before he could complete his mission."

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Hindus infuriated by book about cows
New York Times | Submitted by: Son of Benway
Early Hindus ate cows. This fact seems to upset a lot of people: "As Mr. Jha's book was going to press last August, excerpts were posted on the Internet and picked up by newspapers. Within days the book had been canceled by Mr. Jha's academic publisher, burned outside his home by religious activists and, after a second publisher tried to print it, banned by a Hyderabad civil court. A spokesman for the World Hindu Council called it 'sheer blasphemy.' A former member of Parliament petitioned the government for Mr. Jha's arrest."

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Penis shaped prison cake
Hartford Courant | Submitted by: f00f
"On the day the prison system held a seminar for sexual harassment counselors, revelations surfaced that two employees at Janet S. York Correctional Institution in East Lyme have been fired for having sex with female inmates and three others have been suspended for bringing in a cake shaped like a penis."

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Miss Cleo unwitting accessory to murder
Gainesville Sun | Submitted by: f00f
"After about eight hours of deliberation, seven men and five women returned a unanimous verdict against Marcus L. Isom, 26. The Orlando-area man had been accused of orchestrating the Newberry resident's murder after consulting a spiritual adviser and a psychic hot line [Miss Cleo] about his missing $15,000 in drug money."

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Julia Child's gin-powered longevity
CBS News | Submitted by: Son of Benway
It seems that both Julia Child and the Queen Mother have discovered an identical secret to long life: "Child credits her longevity to good genes and a habit begun in her 40s of eating everything in moderation. But she often has said the secret to a long life is red meat and gin. Most any type of gin will do, she said during her party in Napa, though she's partial to Gordon's."

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Used crapper water cleaner than tap
Deseret News | Submitted by: Agent Orange
Engineers in Fountain Valley, CA, are collaborating with the Orange County Sanitation District to build a new $600 million dollar sewage treatment system that will pump flushed toilet-water back into the homes of some 600,000 Orange County residents. "There is a yuck factor, but we explain to people the quality of water will end up being actually higher than what we already use."

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Florida candidate beats off, leaves race
St. Petersburg Times | Submitted by: Toots
"Don Bates, who proclaimed himself one of the 'God guys' in his campaign for School Board, quit the race Friday after the Times confronted him with his having been arrested and charged with masturbating in public at the Crystal River Mall in 1994." D'oh!

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