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2008 May 22 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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So Much For Magic

The Associated Press reports that the Mouse has a problem: Disney recalls sleeping bag, toy wand

LOS ANGELES – Thousands of sleeping bags and magic wands contaminated by excessive levels of lead paint are being recalled by The Walt Disney Co., federal inspectors said Thursday.

The recall targets 4,100 Pirates of the Caribbean sleeping bags and 8,000 Tinker Bell wands sold at Disney Stores nationwide between April and October of 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

When do marketing people get it – if it is cheap, painted, and Chinese, you should assume it has lead. There is nothing cheap about anything from a Disney Store, so there is no reason for this other than corporate greed.

The good news is that with the dollar in the tank and the high cost of fuel, people may actually start building things in the US to save money.

May 22, 2008   2 Comments

Denial Is Not Just A River …

but it can still cause floods.

The Associated Press reports on the “repaired” Katrina-Battered New Orleans Levee Leaking

(AP) Despite more than $22 million in repairs, a levee that broke with catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again because of the mushy ground on which New Orleans was built, raising serious questions about the reliability of the city’s flood defenses.

Outside engineering experts who have studied the project told The Associated Press that the type of seepage spotted at the 17th Street Canal in the Lakeview neighborhood afflicts other New Orleans levees, too, and could cause some of them to collapse during a storm.

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May 22, 2008   2 Comments

Copyright Craziness

The BBC has an example of the lengths to which some people apparently feel they must go to comply with RIAA insanity: Exam papers had answers on back

Thousands of teenagers are facing uncertainty over their exams after a GCSE music paper was found to have some of the answers on the back.

The paper – taken across England – involved pupils listening to pieces of music and then identifying composers and styles of music.

The music clips are identified by copyright notices on the back of the exam papers, as in:

Question 6: Who wrote this piece [listen to music].

And on the back:

Q6 Sound clip Chaikovski Waltz from Swan Lake from Sony Classical

I really think that inclusion in a test would constitute “fair use”, especially since the entire piece will not be played. It would also have been easier to have had an exam CD created by testing authorities with one of the many local orchestras in Britain that do not have recording contracts but could use some extra funding.

May 22, 2008   4 Comments