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Annals of Sheer Stupidity:

Soldier toy disarmed at airport:

‘A doll caused a security alert at an American airport because its two-inch plastic gun was considered a dangerous weapon.

Judy Powell, 55, from Walton on the Hill, Surrey, bought the GI Joe toy in Las Vegas and packed it in her hand luggage.

But security staff at Los Angeles International Airport refused to let Mrs Powell on board the plane with the replica rifle.

Mrs Powell had to put the gift – minus the rifle – in her suitcase so it could go in the aircraft’s hold.

Mrs Powell said: “I was simply stunned when I realised they were serious.

“Security examined the toy as if it was going to shoot them and looked at the rifle…’ BBC

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Gone Today, Hair Tomorrow:

“A drug normally used to treat an adult form of leukemia may be able to restore color to gray hair, a team of puzzled French doctors reported on Wednesday.

Of the 133 people they treated with the drug, sold under the brand name Gleevec by Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, five men and four women who started out with gray hair ended up with their old color back.” Reuters

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The secret history of Donna Tartt’s new novel

Fans plot to be the first readers of a reclusive writer’s long-awaited new blockbuster:

“On Mother’s Day in 1964 a boy of nine is found hanging from a tree. This mysterious killing changes everything for his family. It is also the mysterious killing at the heart of the most jealously guarded second novel in publishing history: Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend.

Tartt’s first book, published 10 years ago when she was 28, was a literary sensation. The Secret History told the suspenseful story of a privileged band of classics scholars who attended an elite American college. A potent mix of murder, adolescent sexual tension and ancient Greek ritual, it sold more than a million copies in the United States alone, and has been translated into 23 languages.

Now the long wait for Tartt’s next book is almost over. Simultaneous publication of The Little Friend in the United States and in Britain is set for the end of October. For the enigmatic author’s devoted fans, however, a few more weeks of patience is proving hard to muster. Some are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to be first to buy a copy.” Guardian UK

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Justice Defiant:

U.S. Defies Judge on Enemy Combatant:

“The Justice Department yesterday defied a federal judge’s order to provide him with documents that would have supported the government’s classification of a man captured in Afghanistan and being held in a Navy brig in Norfolk as an ‘enemy combatant.'”

Washington Post

As the WoT® widens, does the definition of ‘enemy combatant’ become more and more arbitrary and privileged? Am I an ‘enemy combatant’ ?

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Mysterious greasy blobs materialize in Camden

Something strange has a grip on the sidewalks of Camden and it’s not letting go.

Scores of half dollar-sized globs of a dark, tar-like substance have been popping up on sidewalks in a South Camden neighborhood near the Delaware River, worrying neighbors and puzzling state and county officials.

Like a scene from a low-budget horror movie, they have invaded a sidewalk in front of a Chinese take-out restaurant, turning it into a polka-dotted maze of mystery goo.

The Camden blobs are smeared evenly into some sidewalks, making it tough to scoop up, even with a spatula. Stranger still, the waxy stuff does not stick to cars and residents say it seems only to materialize during the wee hours of the morning…” Newark Star-Ledger [via Obscure Store]

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The ‘Death of the Subject’

Review by Dr Michael Fitzpatrick: The Death of the Subject Explained, by James Heartfield, Sheffield Hallam University Press, 2002: ” ‘While this book is philosophical in its basic tenor, it is first and foremost an engaged political intervention, addressing the burning question of how we are to reformulate a leftist, anti-capitalist political project in our era of globalised capitalism and its ideological supplement, liberal-democratic multiculturalism.’

Though this is how the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek describes his own book, The Ticklish Subject, it serves even better as a characterisation of James Heartfield’s work.” sp!ked

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Travel Free on 9-11:

“Spirit Airlines is offering Free airline tickets on all flights that originate on September 11, 2002. Spirit provides service to tlantic City, N.J., Chicago/O’Hare, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, S.C., New York/LaGuardia, Oakland, Calif., San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Flights must be booked online by 9/8/02. As you can imagine, the Spirit Website is operating extremely slow as of this post.” DealsOnTheWeb [via boing boing]

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Body Parts Are Recalled

“A medical center whose handling of cadavers is being investigated by the F.B.I. said today that it was recalling body parts sent to research institutions around the country because they might carry the AIDS virus or other infections.

The center, the University of Texas Medical Branch, ordered the recall because the unpreserved remains might not have been properly tested for hepatitis and H.I.V. before they were shipped.” NY Times