The curse of Curveball

How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of ‘Curveball’

The German intelligence officials responsible for one of the most important informants on Saddam Hussein’s suspected weapons of mass destruction say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims during the run-up to the war in Iraq. […]

At the Central Intelligence Agency, officials embraced Curveball’s account even though they could not confirm it or interview him until a year after the invasion. They ignored multiple warnings about his reliability before the war, punished in-house critics who provided proof that he had lied and refused to admit error until May 2004, 14 months after the invasion.

Fold Paper in half any number of times

Fold Paper in half any number of times

Britney Gallivan has solved the Paper Folding Problem. This well known challenge was to fold paper in half more than seven or eight times, using paper of any size or shape.

For extra credit in a math class Britney was given the challenge to fold anything in half 12 times. After extensive experimentation, she folded a sheet of gold foil 12 times, breaking the record. This was using alternate directions of folding.[…]

She then derived the folding limit equation for any given dimension. Limiting equations were derived for the case of folding in alternate directions and for the case of folding in a single direction using a long strip of paper.

Beautiful people are waiting for you!

Match.com fraud

Match.com, is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees. In some instances, the suit contends, people on the Match payroll even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.

In a separate suit, Yahoo Inc.’s personals service is accused of posting profiles of fictitious potential dating partners on its Web site to make it look as though many more singles subscribe to the service than actually do.

Off-shoring High-Tech Research

Now, High-Tech Work Is Going Abroad

Mr. Decker said that besides financial reasons the export of research jobs is motivated by a looming dearth of engineering talent in the United States. Engineers in India earn one fourth of the pay of their American counterparts, roughly $25,000 a year in salary and benefits, compared with $100,000.

“If we can get two-thirds of our product development at one-fourth the cost, we come close to cutting our overall costs in half,” Mr. Decker said. In the first year of large-scale work in India, he said, Conexant reduced costs by $36 million.

Pat Robertson and the God protection racket

Conservative Christian evangelist Pat Robertson has upped the ante in the Dover, PA “Intelligent Design” court case. After local residents voted out 8 school board members who had promoted ID, Robertson warned the town that God might smite the town in retribution.

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city,” Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club.”
Later Thursday, Robertson issued a statement saying he was simply trying to point out that “our spiritual actions have consequences.”

That’s a comforting thought. Piss off God, and he’ll come after you like Tony Soprano. I wonder what Robertson had in mind. Flood? Fire? Plague of lawyers?

“God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever,” Robertson said. “If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”

This from the same voice of religious moderation that called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and blowing up the State Department with a nuclear bomb. He also said that feminism causes women to “kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”