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May 31, 2011

Overnight Open Thread

If you enjoyed Ace's super-blogging over the holiday weekend, now might be a good time to kick in a little donation for him. Even $5 or $10 helps keep the lights on in Little Endor. He's too proud to ever ask so we have to occasionally do it for him. And trust me - you do not want to see an ewok in a depressive funk

Murder By Country

Contrary to most Europeans' views the US is not murder central, and actually has a pretty low homicide rate compared to to the rest of the world. In fact I recall reading someplace (alas I can't find the link now) that if you were to exclude a handful of certain notorious 'urban' areas from the US statistics, our homicide rate would be the same as Canada and the UK.

Places to avoid: Honduras and Jamaica. With a whopping 60 annual murders per 100,000 people they make central Africa seems positively Amish in its tranquility.


How The Pima County Police Killed a Marine Vet
On May 5th the Pima County SWAT (under Sheriff Dupnik) team burst into Jose Guerena's home and shot him at him over 70 times, hitting him 22 times and killing him. They were there to serve a search warrant for drugs based on a tip. But no drugs or drug paraphernalia (nor any evidence that Guerena was involved in drugs) were found and now the whole raid seems to have been a giant Arizona-sized fuckup from the get-go.

MikeM, a former SWAT officer himself, has a full analysis of the raid at confederateyankee:

As you read further accounts of this situation keep in mind that the actions of the police must be judged only on what they knew, or reasonably should have known, when they arrived to serve the warrant that morning. Post-shooting attempts to paint Guerena as the worlds most dangerous drug dealer and homicidal maniac (who, faced with four armed men he likely recognized as police did not take his weapon off safe) mean nothing at all, other than that the police are furiously spinning to justify what may turn out to be unjustifiable.

I don’t have all the facts. No one does. But based on the video, and what is currently known, it is very hard indeed to see how the police acted with anything less than amazing incompetence, incompetence that cost the life of a former Marine, a man who was apparently a solid citizen working hard in a copper mine to provide for his young family.

Note that this is the same Sheriff Dupnik that allowed Gerald Loughner to stay on the streets.

100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism
Some of these I'd already read, but of the four I picked at random, all four were good reads. Sadly good journalism seems to be dying, but it's not quite dead yet.
[Caution: some of these articles may be written by <gasp> liberals so don't read if you're content in your bubble]

Like Talking?
And want to help science? Then take the North American dialect survey.

If you grew up in America or Canada, and have a microphone for your computer (like those used for Skype) as well as Flash, go to their survey of North American dialects. You'll be asked some questions. Answer them, and be part of those lines on the next map.

The 6 Most Badass Weapons Ever Improvised in Battle
Anti-tank sniper rifles, the "stinger", and the flamethrower anti-tank mine are just some of the weapons that soldiers jury-rigged up during WWII.


The Emperor Has No Kiai
Okay this is kinda sad but also hilarious. Apparently there is a 'Master' of mystical non-contact kung fu who challenged an MMA fighter to a bout. From the video it seems that he truly believed in his 'powers' and his ability to zero-handedly 'defeat' all of his students. Needless to say - things did not go his way and it turns out that 'non-touch' kung fu will get your ass beat in the real world.

Slide Walking?
Japanese dancer Kazumi has the rather unique style of breakdancing/yoga and 'side-walking'. I figure it will quickly appear in both porn and horror movies once they add tentacles.

The 5 Best Games On Steam For 5 Bucks Each
Why not get'em all for less than the price of seeing a movie these days. Such a deal.


Oh and Doom has been ported to javascript so you can play it in your browser here. So you can hack, slash, and shoot your way through it like it's 1993.


Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Hello Kitty
Well among other things it turns out that her real name is Kitty White, there is the Hello Kitty Band of Shame, and there is also an official Hello Kitty kilt. Plus they have some more, uh, adult-oriented products. I always assumed they were Chinese knock-offs but they may be legit:

This shift to more adult products has been a bit controversial, though. Hello Kitty thongs, Hello Kitty Wine, and a “Hello Kitty Massage Wand” (AKA The Hello Kitty Vibrator), have been popular with adult female fans, but have been frowned upon by those who feel the brand should remain focused on its youngest followers instead.

The Yahoo AoSHQ group. You know the way.

Tonight's post brought to you by Bogie relaxing:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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