Saturday’s Wide World of News takes a look at various headlines and newsworthy items that have caught my eye throughout the week. Whether or not they’re actually newsworthy is anyone’s best guess, but fuck it; this is my blog and I can do what I want.
I haven’t really followed much in the way of news this week. I’ve been a bit busy with indigestion and LotRO and running errands for the kids and just generally being a miserable bitch to the asshole that knocked me up. (I kid about that last bit, but only kinda sorta.) So instead of really reading up on headlines and newsworthy items this week, I just randomly opened a few RSS feeds and clicked on links that looked marginally interesting.
Sorry. I’ll try to do better next week.
This week though, I have an offering of Cthluhoid horrors, software bugs almost old enough to vote, a Baptist kidnapping ring, dying tongues and a horrifying glimpse into the world of the modern-day SS – school security officers.
Giant Squids off the Port Bow
It appears that the Great Old Ones are finally making their move against the people of Earth, and they’re sending their many-tentacled minions ahead of them as an advance scouting party to determine our defense capabilities before the invasion begins. Their first invasion point appears to be Newport Beach in California, and they’re crafty enough to permit themselves to be captured by rabid fishermen and brought ashore. It’s all part of their evil, world-ending calamarian scheme.
Little do they know, Chuck Norris lives in Newport Beach.
Microsoft Finds a 17-Year-Old Bug
I wish I was kidding about this. Microsoft is so on-top of things with their software that they discovered a security vulnerability dating back to Windows 3.1 just last month. Now, I’ve been using (and also finding ways to avoid using) Microsoft products for most of my life. I’m quite accustomed to buggy software and security vulnerabilities. So I really shouldn’t be surprised by this. Yet, somehow, the idea of a vulnerability that has carried over to every single version of Windows for the last 17 years astounds me. It makes me feel just a little bit less safe than I felt before I read this article, and even though it’ll be fixed with February’s upcoming security patch, it makes me wonder just how many other holes they’ve missed in their programming.
American Missionaries Kidnap Haitian Children
I actually saw this one on the news following Lost Tuesday night. Yeah, I wish I was kidding about this one too. But I’m really not. Haiti’s going through a fuck of a lot with hundreds of thousands dead, injured and missing, but some people just like to sink to new, despicable lows. Y’see, a few missionaries decided to take it into their heads that they could coerce or entice parents to give up their children to the promise of “a better life”, presumably in America. I want you to remember that these are actual missionaries, Baptist missionaries, sent down to Haiti to help out in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that struck there not long ago. And instead, they take advantage of parents being unable to properly feed or house their families. Of course they’re going to claim that the children are from orphanages, that they’ve lost their families. Even when it’s total bullshit.
And people wonder why I think half of the religious are useless, dangerous fanatics that should not be allowed out in public.
It’s Not Just Animals that are Endangered
English is considered to be the global lingua franca these days, being the third-most popular language (based on first- and second-language speakers) behind Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Hundreds of millions of people converse in it every day, and no one thinks anything of it. But what about those languages that have only a couple of hundred thousand speakers? Ten thousand speakers? Less than a thousand speakers?
It’s a sobering thought, but there’s more than just animals on the endangered species list. Recently, another language passed the point of being endangered into being completely extinct when the last native speaker of a 70,000 year old Indian dialect died last month. Linguists estimate that over half of the world’s 7000 languages are in danger of dying out completely. Hundreds already have over the years. Where am I going with this? Nowhere in particular. It’s just food for thought.
School is Serious Fucking Business
And it is. It really is. But just like it was paraphrased from an Orwellian manifesto, some schools are more serious business than others.
I happened across this one on MSNBC while checking an old Hotmail account on a whim – a twelve-year-old girl was arrested for doodling on her desk. Yeah. Not “sent to the principal’s office” or “given detention”. She was handcuffed and hauled off to the nearest police station, where she was kept for a few hours before being assigned community service, a book report and an essay on her experiences. She wasn’t even drawing dirty pictures, or any pictures at all! It was one of the time-honored “Lex was here” scribbles, along with heartwarming messages about liking her friends.
Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little extreme for being bored and having a marker and a relatively flat surface on hand? Hey teacher! Leave them kids alone!