Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nokia Patents Vibrating Tattoo

Nokia has filed a US patent application for a magnetic vibrating tattoo. The tattoo would be connected wirelessly to a cell phone, laptop, music player, tablet, or a game console.

It would vibrate to let you know about texts, emails, phone calls, battery status, and more. Different vibrations would let you know which you were being notified about.

The patent says the device could potentially be tattooed, stamped, sprayed, attached with adhesive tape, applied as a decal, or even drawn on.

Benefits to the device would be the ability to never worry that you'd miss a message. But there does seem to be many negatives. Those who say cell phones cause cancer are sure to jump on the possibility that the mark would cause cancer. What if you can't turn it off? What if someone else's phone sets yours off? And how awkward would it be if you could see someone's vibrate?

North Korean Plans Receive Warnings From Japan

Japanese Defense Minister, Naoki Tanaka told Parliament on Monday that he is, "considering giving an order to intercept it". It being a North Korean rocket that is scheduled to cross over Japanese territory in April.

North Korea states that the rocket is carrying a satellite into space. The date chosen would be the hundredth birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung. His grandson, Kim Jong-Un rules the country now.

The United States says that a launch would violate North Korea's agreement to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment, and long-range missile launches. And that such a move would stop US planned food shipments.

China has also come out against the launch, saying it could jeopardize peace in the region.

North Korea maintains that a launch of a working satellite is a far different matter than that of a long range missile test.

In 2009, North Korea launched a rocket claiming it had a satellite on it. The rocket once fired appeared to be a ballistic missile test, and was decried as such by South Korea, Japan, and their allies. The North still holds to it having been a failed satellite launch.

7.4 Earthquake Strikes Mexico

A 7.4 earthquake stuck 15 miles east of Ometepec, Guerrero, Mexico this afternoon. Aftershocks as high as 5.1 have been felt, and continue to rattle the area.

Despite reports of damage to multiple structures, including collapsed bridges and houses, there are no reports of serious injuries or deaths.

Francisca Villalva Davila, Ometepec's comptroller, said that at least fifty percent of the houses in the town had seen severe damage.

President Felipe Calderon said that in Mexico City there are broken windows and scared people, but that that was the worse that would come from the quake. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said that beyond cracks and broken windows, they were lucky that there were no injuries.

Especially lucky was the driver of a minibus when a pedestrian bridge fell onto it, no one was injured in the event.

Soosha, Denver Zoo's Polar Bear; Dead at 25

The Denver Zoo lost one of their long time residents today. Soosha, the polar bear, died at 25.

She had been in declining health and medicines were no longer helping her out. The decision to euthanize her was made, and today the action to keep her from further pain was taken. Denver Zoo Vice President of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Scott Larsen said "It is always difficult to make this type of decision. As hard as it is, this was the right thing to do."

Soosha joined the zoo in 1987, and was one of the first Northern Shore residents. Her niece Cranbeary and Cranbeary's mate, Lee, remain residents there.

Polar bears generally live twenty to twenty-five years.

Peyton Manning Officially a Bronco

After fourteen seasons as an Indianapolis Colt, Peyton Manning has signed with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos offered a five year, $96 million contract. The thirty-five year old missed playing all of last year, with a neck injury, under going four different surgeries to help with it.

On March 7, the Colts released Manning from their contract with him, announcing that his number, 18, would never be worn by a Colt again, but that it was time for them to move on.

Manning holds an impressive number of awards, including four MVPs, eleven Pro Bowls, six offensive player of the year awards, and one super bowl ring.

Unknown at this point is what will be the result for Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow, who had won the starting position last year, and led the team to the playoffs. Whether he'll be kept on as backup, to learn from Manning, or traded off will have to be seen.

Florida Gov. Scott Signs Drug Test Law

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a controversial bill allowing random drug screenings of up to 10% of state employees and people on state subsidized temporary assistance, up to four times a year.

Scott issued Executive Order 11-58 in March of last year allowing the random drug tests, but backed off after a law suit was filed by the Florida chapter of the ACLU. The ACLU said that the law "punishes poor people", and that "If the drug test comes back positive, Florida will not provide drug treatment, it will merely make the applicant ineligible to reapply for TANF for a year".

It's not enough that the State ("tax-payers" for those of you who don't know where the State's money come from) is responsible for your food, it's also the State's responsibility to treat your personal, harmful health decisions.

Scott, after signing the bill, said:
[it is] "unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction"

"It's the right thing for taxpayers"

"It's the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don't want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs."
There are many on the Left that are upset with the (Individual responsibility of keeping yourself clean while sucking off the teat of the Florida tax-payer) newly signed law. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fl), a well known elected embarrassment of the State of Florida, said:
"[the law] represent[s] an extreme and illegal invasion of personal privacy."
...and Rep. Alcee Hastings:
"If Governor Scott wants to drug test recipients of TANF benefits, where does he draw the line? Are families receiving Medicaid, state emergency relief, or educational grants and loans next?"
This morning, the Florida chapter of the ACLU responded on Twitter:

Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, regarding Governor Scott’s signing of HB 1205 last night:
“No one should be surprised if this latest effort ends up in court – just as the Governor’s past efforts to impose urine testing on applicants for government benefits and his Executive Order for state employee testing are now before the courts. “And when this matter lands in the courts, we expect they will make it clear once again that government cannot subject people to suspicion-less searches just because it wants to. People do not lose their constitutional rights just because they work for the state of Florida.”
Simon did not say this time that they would file suit, just that you "shouldn't be surprised". In the last suit, the ACLU said the law was in clear violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
If not contested, the law goes into effect July 1st of this year. This will make Florida the first state to allow random drug testing for people on temporary assistance.

Update: via WOKV in Jacksonville, Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi is bracing for the lawsuits she anticipates will be filed against the state's new law requiring that state employees be drug tested.

Russia May Back UN Security Council on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia would be willing to endorse a UN Security Council statement backing UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's Syrian peace mission, as long as the "threat" of further measures and the deadline of seven days are removed from the text. Annan's proposal includes a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and diplomatic talks between the government and the opposition groups.

Russia has repeatedly blocked other UN Security Council decisions on Syria, accusing the world of trying to nation build in Syria. The Russian government will not accept anything that calls for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power. Monday, Russian press accidentally leaked that Russian troops are in Syria, which the government quickly denied. Russia already supplies Syria with military hardware, and maintains a naval base in Tartus.

Syria, has seen deadly protests for over a year. Some areas of the country have simply been massacred by the government, whilst other areas are in a state of total civil war. The Syrian government has recently been caught placing land mines in areas frequented by refugees as escape routes. The death toll in Syria, is likely over 10,000, possibly even closer to 15,000.

Remembering: Operation Iraqi Freedom

On March 20, 2003 US and allied forces began an invasion of Iraq. Three main objectives were set for the war, the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, the confiscation of any and all biological and chemical weapons, and the installation of a free democratic society for the Iraqi people.

The invasion was highly unpopular throughout the world, and only a few countries actually helped the United States in the original fighting. Other countries would join in once the war was 'over', and help with the attempted pacification of the country. The war is estimated to have killed, or led to the deaths of over 150,000 people.

On December 18, 2011 the last US combat troops officially left Iraq. Leaving behind a nation still in pains, that hopefully will lead to growth and eventually peace.