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Earlier Than We Thought

When was the first animated cartoon created?

Via Jams O’Donnell at Poor Mouth, an article in Animation Magazine says it was 5200 years ago painted around a bowl in Iran. They have a video showing the effect of spinning the bowl on a turntable [like a potter’s wheel].

April 28, 2008   6 Comments

Having A Bad Day?

Lisa at All Hat and No Cattle has another great photo essay/series at the bottom of today’s post.

April 28, 2008   10 Comments

Capitalism

So you need a lot of Tibet flags for your protest march and you put out a competitive bid to buy them and get a really good price for the complex banners. You wonder how the company can afford to make them, but the answer is simple according to the BBC: ‘Free Tibet’ flags made in China

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning.

The entrepreneurial passion of Disembowel-Meself-Honourably Dibhala is alive and well in the “Middle Kingdom”.

April 28, 2008   4 Comments

Why Food Is So Expensive

CBS does some actual reporting about a corporation I hate: Agricultural Giant Battles Small Farmers

Today, Monsanto’s patented “Round-up Ready” soy commands the lion’s share of the genetically-modified soybean seed market, its genetic code manipulated to withstand the company’s popular weed killer.

But the promise of fewer weeds and greater production comes with a hefty fee. Farmers must sign an iron-clad agreement not to re-plant the harvested seed, or face serious legal consequences – up to $3 million in damages.

“It’s about protecting the patent, defending the patents, so farmers have the protection and can use these technologies over time,” said Monsanto spokeswoman Tami Craig Schilling.

[Read more →]

April 28, 2008   5 Comments

This Really Ticks Me Off

I had to calm down a bit before I could report on this without scaring the cats: Atheist soldier claims harassment

It eventually came out in Iraq in 2007, when he was in a firefight. Hall was a gunner on a Humvee, which took several bullets in its protective shield. Afterward, his commander asked whether he believed in God, Hall said.

“I said, ‘No, but I believe in Plexiglas,”‘ Hall said. “I’ve never believed I was going to a happy place. You get one life. When I die, I’m worm food.”

The issue came to a head when, according to Hall, a superior officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, threatened to bring charges against him for trying to hold a meeting of atheists in Iraq. Welborn has denied Hall’s allegations.

[Read more →]

April 28, 2008   13 Comments

Channeling Otis

Ellroon has updated an Otis Redding classic: Sitting in the Dock of The Hague. You must know the tune.

[We lost Otis in 1967, but got the song 40 years ago, one of the few good things in 1968.]

April 28, 2008   5 Comments