Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum D L T B G Y D

13May/070

Dick Cavett : still very entertaining

Posted by

I don't know how many of youse are old enough to remember your parents watching Dick Cavett, but he's a super entertaining guy. He used to have a talk show on PBS and he wrote an op-ed on the NYTimes this week shamelessly promoting the sale of it on DVD, but I'll be damned if the article wasn't so entertaining that I don't hold it the slightest bit against him. Definitely worth reading if you happen to have the keys to the NYTimes Select firewall.

Filed under: Television No Comments
10May/070

Correctional Billing Services

Posted by

I have been getting some sort of automated phone call every day for the last week or so, and yesterday at lunch I decided to try and figure out what it is. I called back to the number and it asked me for my name, address, last 4 of social, all kinds of stuff, before even getting to any kind of explanation of what it was. Deciding that was a bunch of horse hockey I fed it garbage info for all questions. Eventually I got through to some sort of support person by just pushing zero over and over at every request. They explained that this was a service to allow me to receive collect calls from certain jail facilities. In fact someone had been calling me from Travis County Correctional Facility in Del Valle. I checked out the website of this company while I had the guy on the phone and looked them up a little to make sure they weren't some kind of scam or illegal peeps. Sadly, they are not illegal, and they ARE a scam. I asked how much these calls cost, they said an average 15 minute call would cost about $17.30. !!!!!!!!!!!! They are the SOLE means for a prisoner in that facility(and it turns out thousands of facilities across the country) to call out and talk to anyone. What a racket. They will let you prepay to receive calls, but only in payments of a minimum of $50. I went ahead and set up an account because if there is someone trying to reach me that needs help or something, I want to be able to know about it, but have not received any calls since. It turns out there is no government body that has any oversight over the fees charged for these kinds of calls, so they charge as much as they want. It turns out that even worse, most states receive a huge commission, ranging from 25 to as much as 60% of the fees collected. Why can they get away with this? Because it only affects poor people and is tangentially related to people in jail. Who's going to defend them? If you spend any time googling this subject there arearticles about it all over the place. Virtually every state has deals with companies similar to this. Nice eh?

9May/071

Imaginary Crack Babies

Posted by Zoidberg

About 20 years ago, there was big media storm about the coming generation of crack babies who would be born with developmental problems and would have serious issues into adulthood. Turns out, crack and cocaine might not have the awful effect on kids that it was believed to have. In actuality, it may be less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes:

In fact, research so far suggests that crack may not even be as harmful to a fetus as half a pack of cigarettes a day — which can be bad enough, causing stillbirths and sudden infant death syndrome, but doesn't raise the same alarms.

By no means is this a free pass for expectant moms to line up at the crack lollipop vending machine, but I'm sure the findings are a relief to many drug-addicted mothers who gave up their children or had them taken away from them.

And I'm sure the crack baby scare had absolutely nothing to do with the War on Drugs. No, nope, not at all...

3May/071

PAX Keynote

Posted by rabidchild

Yesterday, Penny Arcade announced that they had decided and that Wil Wheaton would be the keynote speaker for PAX this year.  Today Wil put up a cool piece about being offered and describing how he decided to do it, pretty cool stuff.

Filed under: Webcomics 1 Comment
3May/070

LAPD Attacks Press in a May Day Rally

Posted by

7 reporters were among those that were taken to the hospital to have injuries caused by LAPD treated on Tuesday. The police decided the rally was being cancelled at 6:20 pm when they claim they had rocks and plastic bottle thrown at them and started to disperse the crowd. Originally a permit had been issued to organizers for this event to go on until 9pm. Cops attacking the press is pretty disturbing.

Filed under: Political No Comments
3May/070

And on a lighter note

Posted by

McSweeney's list about ID is funny stuff.

3May/071

In other freedom removed news…

Posted by

A kid in Fort Bend Independent School District is being investigated by police, and also suspended from his school for making a counterstrike map out of his high school. His parents have opposed all actions against him, which pretty much puts this squarely in the face of the first amendment. This kid has not hurt anybody. Don't think bad thoughts! We must all remember to think nice things all the time. Other wise they'll send you to Coventry. Now while no one wants to have people around them be jerks, I strongly support the right of every human being to think and act like a jerk. Because who's to say what's ok? I don't think anyone is. This was a nonviolent act. Meanwhile, while we punish some kid for playing video games, we're loosening the restrictions on where you can carry guns, not to mention on KILLING PEOPLE. I'm so glad I live in Texas.

2May/072

What in the fuck?

Posted by Stephen F.

Is this a goddamn Onion article? What the christ kind of bullshit is this.

Filed under: Political 2 Comments