“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for December 2006

Keeping An Eye on Santa Claus

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The Patriot Act? bah!

According to some cranks those cunning “imperialistic yankees” are keeping an eye on everyone, including Santa.

NORAD have been tasked with tracking Santa Claus:

“NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft.

Detecting Santa all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

The moment our radar tells us that Santa has lifted off, we use our second mode of detection, the same satellites that we use in providing warning of possible missile launches aimed at North America. These satellites are located in a geo-synchronous orbit (that’s a cool phrase meaning that the satellite is always fixed over the same spot on the Earth) at 22,300 miles above the Earth. The satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can detect heat. When a rocket or missile is launched, a tremendous amount of heat is produced – enough for the satellites to detect. Rudolph’s nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph’s bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph. “

Keep an eye on him here

Enjoy, but don’t believe everything that those cranks say!

Written by modernityblog

23/12/2006 at 19:15

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Irving off to Iran

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David Irving’s release from Austria can only give hope to President Ahmadinejad, a week after the Holocaust denial conference in Tehran.

The clemency shown to Irving will only embolden Holocaust deniers and it wouldn’t surprise me if that conference in Tehran becomes an annual event, a regular neo-Nazi shindig.

Hopefully the conditions of Irving’s probation will limit his activities somewhat, but I imagine that Ahmadinejad’s invite is already in the post.

I think that opponents of Holocaust denial and neo-Nazis need to step up a gear.

Written by modernityblog

21/12/2006 at 00:21

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Abbas’s Gamble?

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Mahmoud Abbas’s tactic of calling early elections is a shrewd political move, for months Fatah and Abbas have been trying to outwit Hamas and now is their chance.

Abbas is presumably calculating that Hamas’ record of poor rule; inability to recognise Israel and receive international funding will dramatically affect Palestinian’s voting, so swinging people around to voting for Fatah/PLO.

Abbas probably thinks that the previous perception of Fatah/PLO as corrupt and ineffective will not worry Palestinians terribly, as long as they get sufficient international aid.

Fatah, etc would most likely argue that in government they alone can bring massive aid to Gaza and the West Bank, and the Palestinians in their current dire situation may consider that more important than any temporary bond that they might have had with Hamas.

Of course, Fatah and the PLO have a terrible record of corruption but there may be a small window for peace if Fatah/PLO beat Hamas, who knows?

Written by modernityblog

17/12/2006 at 01:20

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Newsnight On The Iranian Holocaust Deniers

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Written by modernityblog

14/12/2006 at 00:25

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What Ceasefire?

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The Jerusalem Post reports:

“Two Kassam rockets landed in open fields in the Sderot region Tuesday evening. A third rocket was also fired, but the place of its landing was undetermined.

No one was reported wounded and no damage to property was reported in the latest attack. Since the Israeli-Palestinian cease fire last month, 21 Kassam rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel.”

Written by modernityblog

12/12/2006 at 19:40

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Pinochet Escapes Justice

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According to the radio news, Augusto Pinochet’s plan to avoid justice, over his murderous regime in 1970s Chile, looks as if it may pay off, after receiving the last rites last week, he has finally died, thus escaping justice.

Written by modernityblog

10/12/2006 at 18:26

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Early Sunday for Darfur

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BBC’s Newsnight programme carried the appalling experiences of a Sudanese doctor, who for inexplicable reasons has been refused asylum in Britain.


Since 2003, some 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur.

Another 2m have been driven out of their homes. Yet the world’s attention is elsewhere.

Sunday is a Global Day for Darfur, focusing on the appalling incidence of rape and other sexual violence which is the hallmark of the rebel Janjaweed militias.

Kofi Annan today promised to make the crisis his top priority for the remainder of his time at the helm of the United Nations.

But in the meantime, a whole generation has been brutalised.

Tonight, we have moving testimony from a Darfuri woman who has horrific experiences of the very worst of the conflict.

Not only did she witness the violent gang rape of a group of girls – some as young as eight years old – by the Janjaweed, she also was repeatedly raped herself by Sudanese government security men.

She believes there is not one woman in Darfur who has not suffered a similar fate.

Eventually finding her way to the UK, she has now been told her application for asylum has been refused, and she must return to Khartoum.

She tells us she’d rather return to her village, and die with her people, than go there.”

Written by modernityblog

09/12/2006 at 00:35

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