THE GEEK CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

December 22, 2007

Mafia Sandwich

Mike @ 1:46 pm   |  Comments Off on Mafia Sandwich
Filed under: boston sucks,Food,GIKKU Approved,Morality/Ethics

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Italian Sub, Fresh Cheese Shop, Endicott Street, North End, Townie Town

Reputed Mafia underboss Carmen “The Big Cheese” DiNunzio was arrested on extortion and illegal gambling charges as he emerged from a North End social club yesterday, potentially ending the reign of an underworld leader credited with uniting the fractured Boston mob into a low-key, profit-focused machine.

DiNunzio, whose nickname comes from his ownership of the Fresh Cheese shop on Endicott Street, owns an interest in Carmen’s Kitchen restaurant in East Boston.

December 3, 2007

“Mohammed” Teddy Bear Controversy: Religious Zealotry? Anti-Imperialist Conspiracy?

Allen @ 1:35 pm   |  Comments Off on “Mohammed” Teddy Bear Controversy: Religious Zealotry? Anti-Imperialist Conspiracy?
Filed under: Morality/Ethics

Nope, just plain old “disgruntled worker syndrome”.  The moral of the story: Beware who you shitcan.  Especially in a Muslim country.

KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) — In an effort to shut down Khartoum’s Unity High School, a disgruntled former employee alerted Sudanese officials that a British teacher had allowed her class to name a teddy bear “Mohammed,” a British source and Sudanese presidential palace source told Time magazine’s Sam Dealey.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, was convicted last week of insulting religion and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir pardoned her from her prison sentence on Monday and she later left on a flight for England.

The two sources said Sarah Khawad was fired as the school’s secretary in November after an employment spat and threatened to shut down the school.

The sources said Khawad did not appear to have a vendetta against Gibbons, but hoped that by bringing the teddy bear incident to the education minister’s attention, he would close down the school for anti-Islamic teachings.

December 2, 2007

Deep Thoughts

Mike @ 6:51 pm   |  Comments (1)
Filed under: lol*,Morality/Ethics

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He who fights monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
–Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I’m all about bursting my balloons, personally.

Mike @ 6:27 pm   |  Comments Off on I’m all about bursting my balloons, personally.
Filed under: GIKKU Approved,Morality/Ethics

A House for Mr. Biswas, p. 205:

“Presents were compared, and when it was established that there was no cause for jealousy, the children ate up their apples, blew up balloons, and raised a feeble chirruping with tin whistles. Many whistles were soon silenced by spittle or some fundamental mechanical defect, and most of the boys burst their balloons before going downstairs to kiss Mrs Tulsi. Those boys who were to grow up into detestable men gave a single toot on their whistles, nibbled at their apples and blew up their balloons hardly at all, in this resembling the girls, who already showed their pleasure in possession and anticipation rather than fulfilment.”

November 30, 2007

On Insulting the Prophet

Allen @ 10:13 am   |  Comments (5)
Filed under: Morality/Ethics,The End Is Near

KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) — Hundreds of angry protesters, some waving ceremonial swords from trucks equipped with loud speakers, gathered Friday outside the presidential palace to denounce a teacher whose class named a teddy bear “Mohammed” — some calling for her execution.

Friday’s demonstrations began as worshippers spilled out of mosques in the capital after Friday prayers. They marched to the palace, which is on the same street as Unity High School, where Gibbons taught grade school students. Those who named the bear were 7 years old.

Gibbons asked the children to pick their favorite name for the new class mascot, which she was using to aid lessons about animals and their habitats.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/11/30/sudan.bears/index.html

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OK, I really am started to get mystified by Islam.  I’m all for tolerance and accepting other faiths, but at some point we’ve gotta call BS and not dance around the issue that sometimes Islam produces creepy shit.  If parents named their child Mohammed, and the child ends up being a thief or murderer, do you execute the parents for insulting the prophet?  What the hell is going on here?

Or is this all some orchestrated “beat down the Western powers” gambit?

November 26, 2007

Bad Idea Bears: Video Game Training for Terrorists?

Allen @ 12:45 pm   |  Comments Off on Bad Idea Bears: Video Game Training for Terrorists?
Filed under: Morality/Ethics,The End Is Near,Video Games

I’ve been playing this video game called “Assassin’s Creed” lately.  You play a Muslim assassin in the 12th century, and your goal is to assassinate all the Crusaders and Templars in the Holy Land.  A lot of the game relies on sneaking around and not being detected by the guards and soldiers and such.  It’s a fun game, but part of this game mechanic disturbs me — sometimes you sneak into a group of scholars or monks to get past military checkpoints, and to get closer to your assassination target.  You even bow your head and put your hands together to pray when you’re “undercover” as a scholar/monk (your character is the one in the middle, in the image below).

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Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Victor Victoria 2007

Allen @ 12:32 pm   |  Comments (2)
Filed under: Morality/Ethics,The End Is Near

Official: Bride, groom stopped in Iraq actually terror suspects 

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  • Soldiers became suspicious because car wouldn’t stop; convoy was all male
  • Troops also suspicious that groom refused to life his bride’s veil, official says
  • Stubbly-faced man in bride’s gown, three others arrested on terror-related charges

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/26/iraq.bride/index.html

The funny thing is, they got these guys to pose for a PICTURE at the checkpoint before hauling them off?  Doesn’t even look like they’re in handcuffs.

November 25, 2007

CNN validates “party” as BOTH verb and noun.

Mike @ 4:00 pm   |  Comments Off on CNN validates “party” as BOTH verb and noun.
Filed under: Morality/Ethics,The Great Outdoors

For years, I’ve really been into the verb form of “to party.”

And now, major news organizations have finally woken up to the potential of this amazing word:

Partiers’ fire may have sparked Malibu blaze

A campfire set by people “partying” in the woods may have started a huge wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes near Malibu, California, on Saturday. The fire, fueled by dry Santa Ana winds and low humidity, forced thousands of people to evacuate

Someday, it won’t have quotations around it.

Because I’m all about partying, not “partying.”

November 21, 2007

Teh baby. It knows.

Mike @ 11:24 am   |  Comments (2)
Filed under: Morality/Ethics

Babies can tell helpers from hurters

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer 38 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Even infants can tell the difference between naughty and nice playmates, and know which to choose, a new study finds.

Babies as young as 6 to 10 months old showed crucial social judging skills before they could talk, according to a study by researchers at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center published in Thursday’s journal Nature.

The infants watched a googly-eyed wooden toy trying to climb roller-coaster hills and then another googly-eyed toy come by and either help it over the mountain or push it backward. They then were presented with the toys to see which they would play with.

Nearly every baby picked the helpful toy over the bad one.

The babies also chose neutral toys — ones that didn’t help or hinder — over the naughty ones. And the babies chose the helping toys over the neutral ones.

“It’s incredibly impressive that babies can do this,” said study lead author Kiley Hamlin, a Yale psychology researcher. “It shows that we have these essential social skills occurring without much explicit teaching.”

There was no difference in reaction between the boys and girls, but when the researchers took away the large eyes that made the toys somewhat lifelike, the babies didn’t show the same social judging skills, Hamlin said.

The choice of nice over naughty follows a school of thought that humans have some innate social abilities, not just those learned from their parents.

“We know that they’re very, very social beings from very, very early on,” Hamlin said.

A study last year out of Germany showed that babies as young as 18 months old overwhelmingly helped out when they could, such as by picking up toys that researchers dropped.

David Lewkowicz, a psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton who wasn’t part of the study, said the Yale research was intriguing. But he doesn’t buy into the natural ability part. He said the behavior was learned, and that the new research doesn’t prove otherwise.

“Infants acquire a great deal of social experience between birth and 6 months of age and thus the assumption that this kind of capacity does not require experience is simply unwarranted,” Lewkowicz told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

But the Yale team has other preliminary research that shows similar responses even in 3-month-olds, Hamlin said.

Researchers also want to know if the behavior is limited to human infants. The Yale team is starting tests with monkeys, but has no results yet, Hamlin said.

November 1, 2007

Do you believe in The Lord’s work?

Mike @ 8:00 am   |  Comments (4)
Filed under: Morality/Ethics

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Because I do.

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