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The latest news from around the world, hot off the presses.

Plagiarism in Bush's Memoir?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture
Cover of

Cover of Decision Points

Say what you like about George W. Bush's intelligence, but he's done one thing you probably haven't — write a book. Or most of it anyway.

Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post dropped a bombshell on Friday:

"[The book includes] worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections. He took equal license in lifting from nonfiction books about his presidency or newspaper or magazine articles from the time. Far from shedding light on how the president approached the crucial "decision points" of his presidency, the clip jobs illuminate something shallower and less surprising about Bush's character: He's too lazy to write his own memoir."

The Wake of the Week - Everyday Stories

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture, Opinion

Passport from 1971

Image by ukhomeoffice via Flickr

… Continues …

The week that was - Punters, A Pound Up or a Pound of Flesh

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture, Opinion
Best of luck for PNE this season!

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Last Week's the week that was.

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture, Opinion
  Deputy leader of the Labour...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

1. Harriet Harman receives the MrShaw  award for quickest turnaround this week.  Earlier in the week Mrs Harman decided to open her mouth and accuse Danny Alexander of being a ginger rodent.  Great stuff, had me giggling for a wee while.  Harriet went onto to say ""There's something deeply unnatural that's happened in Scotland.".  I'm popping up to Hadrian's Wall this weekend to see if the Ghost of Robert Burns, William Wallace and Gregor Fisher (the man, not the ghost) are leading a group of disgruntled Scots to Parliament to the tune of "Scots Wha Hae".  In the interim, the Ginger rodent in person has stated via his Twitter account something he feels is funny and cute, but has come across as a bit of a twit.… Continues …

Something is Happening in the Ring of Fire

— Filed under: Breaking News, Science & Technology
Krakatoa or Krakatau or Krakatao is a volcanic...

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Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa) - Ready to blow?

It's been quite a week for the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Mount Merapi blew its top, taking the lives of dozens, including Mbah Maridjan, Merapi's sacred gatekeeper (or 'kuncen'), who "died instantly in a 1,000-degree Celsius pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving wall of superheated gas and ash." There have been several powerful eruptions since then, with the latest occurring today. Mount Merapi holds special significance for the Javanese, who view it as part of a spiritual axis of the world.

On the same day that Merapi started erupting, there was a magnitude 7.7 earthquake off Sumatra that sent a tsunami crashing into the Mentawai islands. The latest death toll stands at 449 and is certain to rise.

And now Krakatoa is rumbling to life (video here). Or more accurately, Anak Krakatau (meaning literally 'child of Krakatoa'), the volcano which arose from the ashes after the original volcano blew itself to smithereens in 1883 in the loudest explosion in modern history.… Continues …

Sellabrity Auctions - Cherie Blair flogs Tony for a Tenner

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture, Opinion
Tony Blair's signature.

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Tony Blair would be a wise man to check around the house (all 7 of them) to see if any "valuables" were missing, including copies of his memoirs, several watches and possibly other gifts presented due to his exploits as Super Politician Man/Two Faced Greedy Little Robber Toad and quite possibly pictures of his own signature!

It would seem that Cherie Blair, not content with attempting to rustle up £250,000 on the back of a charity speaking tour of Australia, been accused of having showers with a former topless model at Number 10, creating shame for Tony and Al by showing sympathy for Palestinian Suicide Bombings, using an Con Man (not Tony for a change) to negotiate a discount on a purchase of two flats, enacting a Richard Madeley in style when she walked out of a Sydney Supermarket with £2000 worth of shopping, singing "When I'm 64" shortly after receiving the news Dr David Kelly had committed suicide, attempting to dodge tax on precious jewels and many many more chewed faced blunders has recently turned her Ebay account into a electronic version of Carbooty.… Continues …

The Third Dimension - Just an Illusion?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Science & Technology
Cell-first perspective projection of the tesse...
3D: What a rip-off!

Nevermind trying to understand the fourth dimension. It turns out that the good ol' third dimension, loved and relied upon by millions worldwide, may in fact be nothing more than a holographic illusion, and that the entire universe really exists in just two dimensions.

Confused? PopSci offers a brainy-but-still-sort-of-understandable summary:

"The universe-as-hologram theory is predicated on the idea that spacetime is not perfectly smooth, but becomes discrete and pixelated as you zoom in further and further, like a low-res digital image. This idea isn’t novel; recent experiments in black-hole physics have offered evidence that this may be the case, and prominent physicists have proposed similar ideas. Under this theory, the universe actually exists in two dimensions and the third is an illusion produced by the intertwining of time and depth. But the false third dimension can’t be perceived as such, because nothing travels faster than light, so instruments can’t find its limits."

Breaking News - 10 stories that caught my attention

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture, Opinion
Portrait of Jane Austen, from the memoir by J....

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1. This story, published here by The Telegraph is about claims that Jane Austen, one of Englands most famous novelists was heavily edited and was by and large written by two people.  Good Stuff. The News article, not Jane Austen.  Give me Terry Pratchett any day of the week.

2. The details of Dr David Kelly's death have been made public, despite previous statements that this would not be released for 70 years, in an attempt not to distress the family with Headlines regarding the subject.  The findings seemed to have pleased no one and caused a lot of finger pointing and debate over whether the findings report might, just might, been tampered with long before it was started, or just a load of piffle that somebody made up in a in the pub, while eating pork scratching's and drinking a Bitter.

3.The Government, bless them have decided that if they build on a green belt, then there is nothing we can do about that.  Incredulous.

4. The Nuclear Submarine, which some silly so and so parked on some rocks off the Scottish coast is getting a tickety boo check, whilst the Commander in charge may getting his discharge( You may need to setup an account with The Financial Times to access this article)… Continues …

Self-Driving Cars Are Just Around the Corner

— Filed under: Breaking News, Science & Technology
Congestion caused by a road accident, Algarve,...

Image via Wikipedia

Goodbye traffic jams?

Who among us hasn't daydreamed about cars that could drive themselves? Dream no more — that sort of technology is literally just around the corner, as Google has been test-driving these new cars on over 100,000 miles of California road. Not surprisingly, the computer-controlled vehicles are safer than human drivers, with only one accident in all that testing, and even that one was caused by human error.

Other benefits include better fuel efficiency, less-maddening traffic jams (computers aren't inclined to slow down to rubber-neck at accidents as they pass, which should be less frequent anyway), and the ability for the passengers to engage in other pursuits, like checking their Gmail accounts. Presumably Google would also attempt to harness the potential of its cloud computing endeavors, with these new vehicles collaborating and communicating with each other to improve performance even further.… Continues …

China Makes a Play for Rare Earths

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Science & Technology

Everyone knows China is planning to take over the world. But with most of the focus centered on their booming economy, the Asian giant is quietly putting together an entirely different strategy, one which involves domination of natural resources. As the importance of oil dwindles over the next few decades, what will become the new scarcity? The answer is "rare earth".

Rare earth elements are perhaps not so much rare as they are expensive and difficult to extract. They're used in the manufacturing of computers, LCD screens, wind turbines, car parts, cellphones, missiles, light bulbs, solar panels, and countless other technological necessities. To call them essential would be an understatement. And China controls 97 percent of them.

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