Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The White House requires pregnant visitors to register their unborn babies separately, as a distinct human beings -

The White House requires pregnant visitors to register their unborn babies separately, as a distinct human beings - 

The White House Visitors Office requires that an unborn child—still residing in utero—must be counted as a full human being when its parents register for a White House tour, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

White House Visitors Office director Ellie Schafer sent an email to a Capitol Hill staffer Tuesday morning explaining the process for registering an unborn fetus for a White House tour:

We have received a number of calls regarding how to enter security information for a baby that has not yet been born.

Crazy as it may sound, you MUST include the baby in the overall count of guests in the tour. It’s an easy process.

LAST NAME: The family’s last name

FIRST NAME: “Baby” as a first name
MIDDLE NAME: NMN as in No Middle Name
DOB: Use the date you are submitting the request to us as their birthday
GENDER: if the parents know put that gender down if not, you can enter either M or F as we’ll ask you to update it at the time of birth
SOCIAL: As they will not have a SSN and are under 18, you will not need to enter this field.  Again if the spreadsheet asked for a social enter 9 zero’s (not the word nine zeros but 000000000 and yes it happens!)
CITIZEN/CITY/STATE: The citizen, city and state should be entered the same as the parents

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THE funniest weather report you'll ever see -

THE funniest weather report you'll ever see -

Teenager Tried To Rob Officer At Police Station -

Teenager Tried To Rob Officer At Police Station - 
keithan kennard manuel PD: Teenager Tried To Rob Officer At Police Station

 If you had to pick a place to rob — a police station would probably be at the bottom of the list. That would be you. But one would-be North Texas robber apparently thought PD was a good place to ‘knock off.’

Police say Keithan Manuel walked into the Wilmer Police Department Saturday evening. The 18-year-old had a white towel covering his hands.

Police Chief Victor Kemp described the incident saying, “Yeah well, a young man walked into the lobby and approached the dispatch window there and told our Communications Officer ‘give me all your money.’”

After pointing a towel-covered hand at the officer and making the statement, Manuel soon changed his tune and claimed he was there to get some information.

“He said he’d like to check on a warrant, but it was pretty obvious it was a situation…he gave a different name and after a few moments of maybe playing it off he said ‘you do know I have a gun’. At that point he seemed to be very serious,” Chief Kemp said.

It was then the officer decided she didn’t feel like ‘joking’.

“She called for officers immediately and called for backup from another agency,” Kemp recalled. “The officers arrived and were able to take him down at gunpoint.”

Manuel didn’t have a weapon.

Manuel remains is in the Dallas County Jail with a $200,000 bond for several charges, including Robbery.

Of the entire incident Chief Kemp said, “This young man wasn’t using his head for sure.” “You hear of those World’s Dumbest Criminals every once in a while but you never think it’s gonna happen in your city.”

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Bake sales will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards -

Bake sales will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards - 

Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.

At a minimum, the nosh clampdown targets so-called “competitive” foods — those sold or served during the school day in hallways, cafeterias, stores and vending machines outside the regular lunch program, including bake sales, holiday parties and treats dished out to reward academic achievement. But state officials are pushing schools to expand the ban 24/7 to include evening, weekend and community events such as banquets, door-to-door candy sales and football games.

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Nevada issues license for GOOGLE's driverless car... -

Nevada issues license for GOOGLE's driverless car... - 

Nevadans will soon see driverless cars being tested on streets and highways.

Google received the first license Monday from the state Department of Motor Vehicles to test the autonomous vehicles. It is believed to be the first such license issued in the country.

The 2011 Legislature passed the first law in the nation to permit testing of driverless cars. But state regulations require a person behind the wheel and one in the passenger’s seat during tests.

“It’s still a work in progress,” said Tom Jacobs, a DMV spokesman. “The system regulates the brakes, accelerator and steering.”

Google has equipped a test fleet of at least eight vehicles — six Toyota Priuses, an Audi TT and a Lexus RX450h.

License plates issued for driverless cars will have a red background and feature an infinity symbol on the left side.

“I feel using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the 'car of the future,'” DMV Director Bruce Breslow said.

DMV officials have been in the vehicles during demonstrations on the Las Vegas Strip and in Carson City. There have been other demonstrations of the technology on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and around Lake Tahoe.

The system permits a human driver to take control by stepping on the brake or turning the wheel.

Google says it hopes to market the technology to auto manufacturers. It combines artificial intelligence software, a global positioning system and an array of sensors to navigate its way through traffic.

The DMV says other companies have indicated their desire to test and develop autonomous technology. “Google has a lot of competition,” Jacobs said.


Indonesia seeks to ban on window cleaning after 8 maids fall to death -

Indonesia seeks to ban on window cleaning after 8 maids fall to death - 

Eight Indonesian maids have fallen to their deaths from high-rise apartments in Singapore this year, and the Indonesia Embassy said Tuesday it is pushing for a ban on cleaning outside windows.

Indonesia, which supplies about half of Singapore’s 200,000 maids, has asked employment agencies to include a clause in work contracts that prohibits maids from cleaning the outside of windows or hanging laundry from high-rise apartments, Indonesian Embassy Counsellor Sukmo Yuwono told the Associated Press.

“It’s upsetting. These are human beings dying for nothing,” Yuwono said.

Singapore is under pressure to improve the working conditions of foreign maids, who live full-time in one in five households in the city-state of 5.2 million people. In March, the government pledged to mandate at least one day off a week for maids starting next year.

Last week, a court fined an employer 5,000 Singapore dollars ($4,000) and barred her from hiring domestic workers in the future after a maid fell and died from her fifth-floor apartment last year while cleaning windows standing on a stool.

Eight maids, all Indonesian, have died after falling out of windows while working this year, five of whom were cleaning windows, Singapore’s Manpower Ministry said. Four maids fell to their deaths in 2011.

Local media have published photos of maids squatting on windowsills, crawling on ledges or reaching dangerously off-balance to clean window exteriors of high-rise apartment buildings.

“When you are used to a very simple life in the village, (there’s) no such thing as a high-rise building,” said Mareyeami, an Indonesian who has been a maid in Singapore for six years. “Maybe they don’t know how to clean the windows safely, so they will just try their best.”

The Indonesian Embassy helped at least one maid return to Indonesia after her employer insisted she climb out on a ledge to clean windows, he said.

“She was so scared,” Yuwono said. “But at least she is alive. I have to call the families of the maids who die. It’s very hard.”

Hong Kong, another popular destination for Indonesian maids, sees far fewer accidental maid deaths because buildings hire professional window cleaners.

Many Singaporeans who hire maids would likely resist a ban on chores such as cleaning windows or hanging laundry, said Theresa Low, who has employed Indonesian maids for 10 years.

“Singaporeans want to get their money’s worth,” Low said. “They really do work the maids very hard. Singaporeans don’t value them, don’t treasure them as much as they should. It’s a tragic thing. That’s somebody’s daughter.”

Maids from Indonesia are often eager to please the employer and may not speak up when a task is dangerous, Low said.

“Sometimes they know something is dangerous, but they do it because they want to work hard,” said Kartinah Yawikarta, a maid from Indonesia who has worked in Singapore for nine years. “We come here for money. But I always tell the other maids, it’s better to go home with no money than to die.”


Mythbusters Banned From Discussing RFID By Visa, Mastercard, and Discover -

Mythbusters Banned From Discussing RFID By Visa, Mastercard, and Discover -

Host Adam Savage of Mythbusters tells how Visa, Mastercard, and Discover had the Discovery Channel put the kibosh on an episode that would have revealed just how “trackable and hackable” the RFID chips found in many credit cards are. It’s a telling example of how corporate advertisers serve as the gatekeepers of mainstream media/entertainment: