Saturday, December 08, 2007
The judge ruled that the prosecutors have not presented any more direct evidence than before either indicating either that Natalee Holloway was murdered or vander Sloot had been involved in her death.
Makes you wonder what was the point. Investigators had interrogated the men but they provided no new information. So it was just a stab in the dark. An attempt to see if one of them would let something slip.
Friday, December 07, 2007
My wife and I celebrated Hanukkah for the first time last night with our two-year-old twin daughters. Sure, the last two years we lit the candles and gave them some presents. And a few weeks ago my family assembled for Thanksgiving and followed our (brilliant!) tradition of having an early Hanukkah celebration. The kids love it because they get all their gifts from their paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in one night. We love it because it reduces the stress of December in America.
But last night we had a real Hanukkah celebration, went to a neighbor's house and lit tons of menorahs, sang songs, ate latkes and jelly doughnuts, the whole thing. It was great. And when one of my daughters came over and asked me to spin the dreidel, and the other tried to rip open a bag of Hanukkah gelt, I knew the rituals were starting to penetrate. Awesome!
But wait! I come home to find that net-roots-Jews are spreading the word that Hanukkah candles are causing global warming. They've even hired a PR agent! Maybe that's what the Maccabee boys needed against those evil Assyrians -- a spin machine.
In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.
The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.
"The campaign calls for Jews around the world to save the last candle and save the planet, so we won't need another miracle," said Liad Ortar, the campaign's cofounder, who runs the Arkada environmental consulting firm and the Ynet Web site's environmental forum. "Global warming is a milestone in human evolution that requires us to rethink how we live our lives, and one of the main paradigms of that is religion and how it fits into the current situation."
Cofounder Tom Wegner, who heads the public relations firm Update Marketing Media, spread the campaign via mass e-mails and through social interaction Web sites like Facebook and Hook.co.il. He said no money had been invested in the campaign, but it had already raised awareness around the world and made people realize that they have to consider the environment this Hanukka.
Wegner said he did not consider the campaign anti-religious. The unlit candle could be the shamash, which is not required for the mitzva, he said. But he said he would encourage people who do not keep mitzvot not to light a hanukkia at all for environmental and educational reasons.
"We have many environmental traditions in Judaism like Tu Bishvat and Succot, but there are also traditions like Lag Ba'omer and Hanukka that made sense when they were instituted but are more problematic now in the days of global warming," Wegner said.
"There are many people who just light candles for the tradition and for their children," he said. "To tell a child on the eighth day that we are not lighting the last candle as a sacrifice for the environment is an act that is not only educational but also will prevent the release of a huge amount of carbon dioxide that would hurt the environment." Why stop there? I say. Maybe we should all light one of those funky new bulbs everyone is selling -- after all, they would last more than eight days! Or maybe we should add Al Gore's name to some of the Hanukkah songs -- "Gore" is pretty easy to rhyme. I mean, think of all the olive trees that are felled to make the oil to fry latkes! Think of the pesticides that flood those strawberry fields that produce the jelly for all those doughnutes! Come on, people, where is the anger!?! Hanukkah is destroying our planet.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
They lived in a $3,000 a month apartment in Center City. They traveled the world hitting Paris, Hawaii and Turks and Caicos and taking pictures to remember it all.
Neighbors wondered how a young college student (she was going to Drexel) could afford all the fancy clothes she wore. He had recently been fired from his job as a financial analyst, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
Police finally caught up with Bonnie and Clyde when one of their victims was told that her package had arrived and would be waiting at a local UPS store. The victim who didn't order anything, called police, who were waiting for Kirsch and Anderton when they showed up to pick up the stolen stuff.
In their apartment police found keys to at least 40 apartments and mailboxes, high tech electronics include an Apple laptop, a machine for making high-quality fake IDs, as well as fake IDs and credit cards in many different names.
The two wild kids have been dominating Philadelphis headlines for the last few days.
Oh and those nice big boobs were a gift from Jocelyn's dad, a plastic surgeon.
Ontario's Healthy Food for Healthy Schools Act will call for:
- An end to selling food with trans fat in school cafeterias
- An all-out ban on junk food and trans fat in all public school vending machines
Healthier menu choices in cafeterias, based on the new Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide.
Under the proposal, Ontario would move to exempt some foods that naturally contain small amounts of trans fat, including beef, lamb and milk.
I thought that part of the mandate of the Ministry of Health Promotions was to promote healthy eating habits. So has the Ministry failed and now the government has to make it illegal to sell junk food? The school boards and schools are supposedly run by people who care about children. Can't the government just ask the boards to stop selling unhealthy food? In fact, the government could provide some money to make up for possible reduced sales because some kids might stop buying cafeteria food.
I just find that governments are too quick to use legislative and regulatory solutions to problems. These tools should be the last resort. But your chances of getting headlines increases when you make it illegal to sell junk food. And isn't that what this Bill is all about?
Another gun battle yesterday and this time it was in the Jane and Sheppard area. It seems it was the last straw and has prompted city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti to suggest a drastic proposal to curb the ongoing gang violence problem - bring in the army to clean up his ward?
When police arrived at the scene they found numerous shell casings but no suspects. Two men in their 20s had fled the scene and one has since been picked up.
Two schools in the area were in lockdown for several hours.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Alyson Hannigan (mother is Jewish)
Gwyneth Paltrow (father is Jewish)
Evan Rachel Wood
Daniel Jacob Radcliffe (mother is Jewish)
Scarlett Johansson (mother is Jewish)
Amanda Bynes (mother is Jewish)
They indicate that a dinner will be held tonight at the Toronto home of Ron McLaughlin, former chief of staff to one-time premier Mike Harris, for about a dozen top Conservatives. Sources say disaffected backers of Tory's 2004 leadership, who worked on the recent campaign, are also planning to go tonight and that the people attending represent a broad coalition.
A new website, www.draftaleader.com, was launched by Windsor party activist Nick Kouvalis designed to help concerned party members join forces and elect delegates who will vote Yes at the Feb. 24 leadership review in London. John Tory needs at least half the vote to prevent a leadership review. To date, Tory supporters have not organized and delegate selection takes place in January. With a little over 2 months to go, he may be in trouble.
I think the anti-Tory campaign is being either too hasty or short-sighted. It takes time to turn around a political party. Dalton McGuinty failed to meet expectations in his first election but has since won two majorities. It takes time to establish name recognition with the public when they pay so little attention to politics between elections. It didn't help that he jumped on an issue (religious school funding) that polarized voters and ensured his defeat. But the next time he will be that much wiser.
The issue to be considered should be whether he is a strong leader and can continue to direct the party to an election victory. If the feeling is he can't then he should be replaced. But making him a scapegoat does not serve the party well at all.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
You begin to question why the Americans have been threatening an attack and why they have been so aggressive in pushing for sanctions. Could it be that the objective is merely regime change. Sounds like Iraq all over again.
Clearly there is a need to monitor the Iranian nuclear program. It would be in everyone's interest to ensure that Iran does not pursue nuclear weapons. But just a few weeks ago Bush was suggesting that WWIII was a real threat in the near future.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to the report by stating that Iran was continuing in its efforts to produce a nuclear bomb. According to the minister, Iran had indeed stopped its program four years ago but has since renewed it. But Israel has no credibility either because they have been saying for several years now that Iran is about a year away from producing its first bomb. Could it be that they would love to see the Americans attack a regime that has been so hostile to Israel.
Leticia Magee was 13 and living in Chicago when she gave birth to her oldest child, Celia. Celia, now aged 16, recently gave birth to baby Russell Eugene making Leticia a grandmother at 29. My wife became a mother at age 29.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Japanese researchers have shown that young chimps outperform adult humans in a memory test, a Concentration-like game using numerals on a computer screen. It seems adult chimps lose the ability which scientist are suggesting indicates that as the chimps age, their memory capability is otherwise occupied.
I'm falling back on that excuse as well.
This guy is a goon, nothing more. He has played in 18 games averaging less than 4 minutes per game. So in 70 minutes of ice time, he has managed 61 penalty minutes. Oh yes, I forgot. He also has 1 assist.
Still Flyers coach John Stevens keeps playing these guys. I'm just not impressed. The Flyers have receiving a suspension for every 5 games played. At this rate they will have accumulated 16 suspensions by the end of the season.
For all this mayhem the five suspensions only add up to 52 games. Hardly a deterrence. The NHL keeps saying they want to eliminate head shots but do they really?
The Flyers' other suspensions:
– Hartnell got two games for checking Bruins defenceman Andrew Alberts in the head in a game last Monday.
– Jones was given a two-game suspension after he sent Boston's Patrice Bergeron face-first into the boards on Oct. 27. Bergeron hasn't returned to action since he broke his nose and sustained a concussion as a result of the hit.
– Boulerice was handed a 25-game suspension for his cross-check to the face of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in an Oct. 10 game.
– Downie got 20 games after flying down the ice, jumping through the air and delivering a hit to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond during a pre-season game.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell held a conference call with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on Monday. They read him the riot act. I bet he is shaking in his boots.
The other two awards went to the United States and Saudi Arabia. Can you imagine, we are lumped in with those too countries. How embarrassing is that? It seems Canadian delegates were accused of telling a committee in Bali that emission reduction obligations were not necessary for all largest emitting countries. It seems our government is lecturing others while it has backed out of the commitments we made to the world.
The awards, a daily feature of annual Kyoto Protocol gatherings, are presented by youth delegations from around the world to heap scorn on nations accused of having less-than-green views.
If you are undergoing or have completed sex reassignment surgery, and want to change the gender designation on your driver’s licence, the following documents are required:
- A letter from the applicant specifying the change requested. This letter needs to include the applicant's full name, current address, driver's licence number and the name and address of the physician who has signed an opinion letter in support of the change.
- A letter, on the letterhead of a physician licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and signed by the physician, in which the physician states that:
- the physician has examined or treated the driver who is requesting the change in sex designation on the driver's licence; and.
- ii. it is the opinion of the physician that the change in the sex designation on the driver's licence is appropriate.
The Ministry will review the application to ensure that the documents meet MTO's requirements and are in order.
Full surgery is not required as a condition for sex designation changes.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Police arrested four people in connection with the case and they will all likely be charged with murder. Police tracked down the individuals thanks to citizens' tips. Police say they have at least one confession.
The crooks broke into the home to burglarize it, not expecting anyone to be home.The four men are Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18; Eric Rivera Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; and Venjah K. Hunte, 20.
Police did not say why the men decided to target Taylor's home but said they might have visited the house before the burglary. People close to the family indicated there was a link between the men and Taylor's stepsister, Sasha Johnson, who often stayed in Taylor's house when he was out of town. Wardlow's uncle, Christopher Devon Wardlow, 21, was dating Johnson, a neighbor of Wardlow's said.
Police probing allegations that someone put pepper spray on Puerto Rican Universe Ingrid Marie Rivera's clothing said Saturday they would investigate whether anyone lied to them after tests found no traces of the substance on the woman's belongings.
This is an interesting development because earlier reports indicated that her belongings had tested positive for pepper spray.
She had broke out in hives and swelling during the pageant and was forced to ice down her face and body backstage during the event.