Blogging in Berkeley. Notes on news, politics, law, and technology in the US and China. [This blog is inactive. I am now staying busy and having a great time at UVA Law.]
Thursday, March 24, 2005
  Bank of Oops

Dye Pack Explodes, Bank Customer Thinks He's Shot:
"LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A Lakewood businessman thought he had been shot after leaving a bank branch where a teller mistakenly gave him a dye pack with his cash.

Rajiv Diwan was walking out of the bank with the cash in his pants when the dye pack exploded. He put his hand in his pocket, and when it came out red he thought he had been shot.
Then police arrived and thought he might be a bank robber until the misunderstanding was explained.

He was taken to a hospital and given a hazardous materials shower for the dye-pack paint, which had a strong ammonia smell.
He's recovering from a burn on his thigh and awaiting an apology from the bank."

I would hate to be the customer service guy that had to deal with this screw-up. I wonder if they have a form letter for this kind of thing:

Dear Bank of Oops Customer,

Bank of Oops is committed to providing excellent customer care, so we sincerely regret every instance of mistaken exploding dye-pack distribution.

I would like to personally assure you that it is not bank policy to distribute exploding dye-packs to customers that are making lawful, legitimate cash withdrawals.

A note has been added to your account stating that exploding dye packs are not to be included with your future withdrawals.

Please accept the enclosed Bank of Oops pens, t-shirt and travel mug as our apology. The minimum balance to maintain your Bank of Oops free checking has been decreased from $100 to $50 as well.

Again we are sincerely regret any inconvenience you have experienced, and if we can be of any further assistance please call our award-winning Oops Customer Care Linetm, press "1" then press "8" and listen to the automated message.

Sincerely Yours,
Oscar O. Periwinkle Sr.
Deputy Assistant Sub-District Coordinator for Bank of Oops Serious Mishap Management
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
  HBO Documentary: Air America

"HBO is set to air a behind the scenes look at the launching of liberal radio network AIR AMERICA.

The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained a director's cut of LEFT OF THE DIAL, a grossly entertaining docu-drama of life on the other side of the AIR AMERICA microphone."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  Monkey Kung Fu

This video is amazing and amusing...

Video: Monkey Vs. Tiger
Monday, March 21, 2005
  Terri Schiavo

Fred Barnes wrote a brief article naming the three key facts that warrant a federal review of the Terri Schiavo case:
Facts First

On the applicant message board for a law school I am applying to there are applicants lining up to claim that Congress should not interfere with the workings of the judiciary. Here is my response:

It is hardly surprising that future lawyers don't want the legislative arm of government interfering with the power of the judiciary to do whatever it likes regardless of the will of the people. A lot of Americans wish that the judiciary would stop striking down laws that their democratically elected representatives pass. Thank goodness that our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances that insures that there will be neither judicial tyranny nor a tyranny of the majority.

If Congress was doing something inappropriate/illegal by passing the law, then it will be struck down in court. If it stands then we should respect the fact that our representatives are doing the right thing by representing the will of the people within the boundaries of the law.

All that the law passed by Congress does is give Terri Schiavo a chance in federal court anyway. She did not have a living will, so we do not know for sure what she would have wanted. Is it really so awful to err on the side of caution in a life or death decision? I suspect many who are enthusiastically advocating the killing of Terri Schiavo support death row convicts getting federal appeals before execution. Let's give Terri the same opportunity. Besides, if she is really in a "persistent vegetative state" as the death advocates claim, she will not have known that she had to wait any longer and will not suffer any additional discomfort before they successfully end her life.

Sunday, March 20, 2005
  Funnel cloud rips over roofs in South San Francisco

Funnel cloud rips over roofs in South San Francisco: "A rogue funnel cloud raced through South San Francisco Sunday afternoon, knocking down power lines and damaging several rooftops, police said."
Saturday, March 05, 2005
  Peeking Into Google

A behind the scenes look at how Google manages all the data they have to store:
Peeking Into Google
Friday, March 04, 2005
  Mortar Attack

Mortar attacks are a daily reality for US troops in Iraq. Experience a mortar attack from the point of view of a US serviceman with a video recorder at the following link.

VIDEO: Incoming Mortar Shells

Here is what happens when mortar attacks work:

Seabrook Marine recovering from Iraqi mortar attack

Stamford woman killed in mortar attack in Iraq

14 killed in Baghdad mortar attack
  Martha Stewart Out of Jail

Martha did the crime and she did the time. I hope she will be able to put the whole issue behind her now. She seems to have handled the whole thing admirably, the question really is whether all of us will be able to let the issue go.

My Way News:
"ALDERSON, W.Va. (AP) - Wasting no time, Martha Stewart left prison in the middle of the night Friday and quickly set her sights on rebuilding her homemaking empire after serving a five-month sentence for lying about a stock sale.

Stewart was allowed to leave prison at 12:30 a.m Friday in a two-vehicle motorcade and headed to a nearby airport where she was to board a private jet for a flight to New York. She will spend the next five months on home confinement at her 153-acre estate in Katonah, N.Y."
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
  String Theory

RedNova News - Space - Finding the Ultimate Theory of Everything:
"Could two lookalike galaxies, barely a whisker apart in the night sky, herald a revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics? Some physicists believe that the two galaxies are the same - its image has been split into two, they maintain, by a 'cosmic string'; a San Andreas Fault in the very fabric of space and time.

If this interpretation is correct, then CSL-1 - the name of the curious double galaxy - is the first concrete evidence for 'superstring theory': the best candidate for a 'theory of everything', which attempts to encapsulate all the phenomena of nature in one neat set of equations. "
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
  Iraqi Anti-Terror Demonstration

2,000 Demonstrate at Iraqi Bombing Site:
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - More than 2,000 people demonstrated Tuesday at the site of a car bombing south of Baghdad that killed 125 people, chanting 'No to terrorism!'"

Location: California, United States
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