Recently, it has come to our attention that a “second” Bill of Rights has been found.  Lawmakers, weary of legislation filled with modern legal jargon have been contracting outsourced Indian staffers to comb through older legislation for new Cut-and-Paste laws.  A section containing FDR’s second Bill of Rights was directly cut from an old document and pasted into the middle of the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the new healthcare bill, tentatively titled:  America’s Healthy Future Act, or S. 1796.

For those who don’t know Cut-and-Paste legislation is a recent phenomenon, being born out of staffers’ frustration over lawyers’ inherent distaste for modern technology.  At some point an unknown senior partner found out and, instead of stopping the practice outsourced the work to firms in India.  The most popular explanation is that large firms, already drafting legislation for both senators and house members, seek to shift blame for poorly written laws to foreign firms out of government scrutiny.

Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee had nothing to say, but only made a slicing motion across his throat when confronted with the notion that Americans might be better off if he switched to the Republican Party.

Blue Origin recently broke new ground by testing the company’s first prototype spacecraft named “Goddard”. Images and Flash video were procured courtesy of the New York Times. A little known fact: Ikea engineers actually designed the outside of the craft based on their popular furniture designs and are set to work on the interface and computer systems Q2 2007.

HAMRA, Craft Design One

The IKEA HAMRA stool, first design inspiration for the Goddard craft. The leather covering had to be upgraded and the shape streamlined for upper atmosphere flight.

MAMMUT, alternative craft design.

 

Once on the drawing boards, the MAMMUT stool stood a strong chance of becoming the craft of choice but spaceflight engineers ultimately determined there was just not enough room for the equipment.

LOMSK, human hibernation capsule concept.

 

Originally based on the children’s chair of the same name LOMSK should allow future astronauts complete comfort as they hurtle towards distant destinations in hibernation.

TYBBLE, inspiring design for on-board flight computer.

 

Named SAL 3000, this flight computer will set the future standard for spaceflight. Subsequent versions will be fitted with artificial intelligence and voice circuitry by Dr. Chandra.

“Goddard”, final iteration of prototype vehicle

 

Blue Origin engineers finalized this design by IKEA designers based on improvements in the outer leather covering and the enhanced aerodynamic shape.

We are told to expect the next prototype in IKEA neon orange, for obvious safety reasons and brighter visibility on pre-dawn insertions.

 

 

 

 

Shaw asked me for a story about the last hours of my old Saab. Trusty ol’ “been in a few wars and had the dirt brown rusty paint job to prove it” goat wagon. This was a 1981 Saab 900 2 door coupe strangely resembling one which plied an attempt upon the life of another automobile I was involved with.

Heh.

I drove the damn thing all the way to Boston from the apt. on Canal St. The airport in Boston to be exact. It was a snowy and fatefully bizarre night for reasons I really don’t need to elaborate on as I’m talking about cars. I’d driven it to Boston a few times, all without incident. I was surprised and impressed and enamored and very involved with the mythology of this car.

Anyhow, as I said it was snowing everywhere between VT and MA and the damn thing had already stalled out a couple times in Boston traffic because it would lose pressure to the clutch and eventually I wouldn’t be able to shift gears. But it was fine as long as you were moving. And I should add that for a car which appeared to have shuttled goat’s milk in France before the Great War it was a bitchin’ fine ride. Very smooth through the iciest weather and ran like a top! (The engine, not the clutch.) There were other minor problems though and the worst of them was my refusal to repair the brakes. It needed front brake pads badly and would squeal like a family of swine at the trough every time I applied the fateful brake pedal. Hey, for $200 and no registration why the hell would I fix the damn brakes? I had to buy a front tire so I was not about to extend the car payments any further.

Well, we had driven all the way back from Boston to Brattleboro in fairly snowy conditions, generally not safe for anyone but the mentally infirm…and I. I don’t take no for an answer. And we made it back just fine with nary a scratch nor frazzled nerve.

Here you’ll have to remember how Canal St., heading into downtown Brattleboro twists to the right going downhill and at least visibly splits off into two streets which are extreme in their downhillness. The Little Caesar next door to the apartment shared it’s parking lot with us, except for when the manager had a customer. Then it was Hellfire-and-Brimstone. At least in his head. He rarely ever said anything about it. As I was saying the parking lot resided on the rare flat spot between downhill, curve and no-holds-barred-devil-be-damned downhillness.

As I was driving down the hill, readying the brake pedal for slowing down and pulling into the parking lot (across traffic no less, to the left) the brakes decided to give up the ghost. Quietly. Without remorse or so much as a weak squeal. The pedal hit the floor and that damn old goat wagon (2 door sedan actually, but wagon sounds better) had the nerve to begin speeding up! In the snow!

As fortune would have it the snow was a tiny bit slushy which hampered the slalom somewhat. Also, the E-brake lever was a lever and not a pedal. I pulled up on the lever and slowed the car right across the road and directly into a parking space. A damn fine parking space directly in front of Little Caesar. Yes! And there the car sat for another 3 or 4 months.

The wonderfully tolerant Little Caesar manager finally threatened to tow the car away if I didn’t move it. I went out to do just that and discovered that my little brown Saab goat taxi’s spirit had gone on to that great barn in the sky. Hah! And they told me I’d have to fix it! I tried to push it and it wouldn’t even roll! In neutral! Without further adieu I looked up a nice junkyard in the yellow pages…and had a nice man haul that beast-o-burden away into the night for free!

I only wish I’da taken pictures of that beast!

Senator Barbara Boxer removed a “certificate of achievement” from the hands of alleged Islamic extremist Basim Elkarra, head of the Sacramento office Council on American-Islamic Relations. Senator Boxer was quoted: “I’m saying the four words that every elected official hates to say: ‘I made a mistake, I hope they won’t believe that I did this to hurt the Muslim community…. We just have to be more careful when we reach out.”. Apparently American right wing activists recently uncovered evidence of plans for another attack to be carried out by Muslim children residing within the country. As of Friday Muslim children from all over were spotted playing with American toys, widely regarded as spreading blood-soaked violence across the nation. Senator Boxer added: “Normal American children know better than to view playtime guns and army men as real, but recent immigrants and others unfamiliar with American culture might be coerced into thinking otherwise.”.

Right wing activists have warned over and over of the possibility of domestic Islamic insurgency but only now have provided hard evidence. Senator Boxer’s office recommends not giving toys and other children’s materials to charitable organizations who might not distinguish between different ethnic groups. The senator also personally recommends hiding all toys from viewing by passersby, thereby reducing risk of immigrant children from becoming inadvertently indoctrinated.

In a rare manouver by the Mexican government, Tijuana police lost their guns due to increasing displeasure by regular citizens over corruption. Random policemen polled stated in part: “The new president thinks that removing our guns will keep us from our livelihood, but he is dead wrong. We will fight back and this time we will win.”. The confiscated guns were temporarily replaced with slinkys, both of the plastic and metal variety. Staff sergeants were instructed last week on both offensive and defensive uses of said tools, including trip-up traps and distraction methods.

Senior Mexican officials were unavailable for immediate comment.

Samsung just announced a new chipset allowing cellphones to receive over-the-air digital TV programming. Just in time for the year 2007, Samsung executives are confident cellphone users want complete freedom to watch TV whenever and wherever they want.
“We think cellphones are the next frontier regarding TV advertisements. Users want to be able to watch TV even when they are away from their televisions. We envision a world where a person can keep up with their favorite sports team or sitcom in the movie theater, the bathroom at Starbucks or even while at the stadium rooting for the home team!”

Samsung plans a rollout later this spring along with matching sunglasses and portable camping chairs.

Imminent research institute CBS Research says that Americans who cruise the internet watch more network TV. Incredible as it seems, the scientists say that people who subscribe to high speed internet are much more likely to have digital cable. The scientists said in part “Americans looking for the best deal are smarter and have more access to digital broadcasts due to shopping sites such as Froogle.”

Pure genius!

In other news, people who surf the internet are more likely to own a computer.

iPod knockoff maker Luxpro filed countersuit in Taiwan today against Apple for damages exceeding the “wealth of the world”. Apparently, Apple sued them over their very-very-similar iPod shuffle lookalike which Apple claimed hurt overseas sales of the original iPod. Luxpro initially had to stop selling them but later managed to get a Taiwan judge to reverse the decision due to the products looking “rather dissimilar”. Luxpro’s countersuit asks for a Taiwan court to grant them the “keys to Apple headquarters” for Steve Job’s mismanagement of said company. Luxpro went on to say that stock options for all employees would be re-backdated to reflect the true worth of the company and that Steve Job’s head would be posted on a spear outside the front door.

Apple representatives were not available for immediate comment.