Oh what fun it is to fly

by twit

Thank you Consumerist:

[T]he EMD Safety Bracelet from Lamperd Less Lethal is designed to make flying a fun experience once again. Just check out everything it can do:

Take the place of an airline boarding pass.

Contain personal information about the traveler.

Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage.

Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes.

That made my eye twitch. and then on April 18, 2008, Wired reports:

This is the worst air travel security idea I’ve heard of in a long time.

A Canadian company called Lamperd Less Lethal is promoting the EMD Safety Bracelet. It’s equipped with electro muscular disruption technology, which effectively short-circuits the central nervous system. Zap someone and they’ll be completely immobile for several minutes.

The technology isn’t new — cops and security guards have been using it for years in tasers. What’s new is the marketing approach. Lamperd is hawking the EMD bracelet as the ideal tool for fighting terrorists intent on taking over an airplane.

And they’re doing so with a blatantly exploitive promotional video.

Read more of this post

The Great Sonics Swindle of 2008

by lestro

Many thoughts on the Great Sonics Swindle of 2008.

Not being a Sonics fan, I do not have a stake in the team, but I see in the Sonics saga the potential fate of any professional sports team city that has the audacity to stand up and tell billionaires that they are going to have support their own investments.

What happened is this: Former owner and Starbucks magnate Howard Schultz sold the team after failing to get a many hundred million dollar handout form the city and state to renovate the arena they use and reap the profits from. After Schultz realized the people, still sore over the extortion the Seahawks and Mariners laid on them to get Qwest and Safeco Fields, respectively, weren’t gonna pony up for a new stadium, he bailed, selling the team to the group led by Clay Bennett, of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City picked up a basketball jones after Hurricane Katrina forced the Hornets to relocate to the capital of Flyover Country while their city was pumped out and rebuilding began. Since there is nothing to do in Oklahoma City, the arrival of the NBA was HUGE and the people came out to support the team.

Once the Hornets went back to New Orleans – because the value of a sports team to a city cannot be measured in dollars alone – Oklahoma City got itchy. Sensing opportunity as well as the realization that yes, a sports team has a value that can;t be measured in dollars alone, Bennett turned his sights on the Sonics.

Bennett promised Schultz and the city that he was not there to steal the team – despite internal emails which revealed he was telling his investors exactly the opposite. But even Schultz said he knew selling the team to a guy from Oklahoma City would spur the government into coughing up money for a new stadium.

So Bennett pledged to negotiate in good faith with the city and state to get his shiny new stadium, knowing full well that what he was asking for demanding was ridiculous. Everything went as expected – excepting the offers from other local cities that were also dismissed – and even the NBA Commissioner – and the guy that inducted Clay Bennett into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame – David Stern approved the outright theft of the team.

The owners, of course, were looking out for their own good, knowing that when they wanted shiny new showplaces for their product, their host cities would have no choice but pony up. After all, if the No. 13 market in the country could lose a team to Oklafuckinghoma ( No. 45), anyone could be next.

Read more of this post

Hillary For Worldwide Emperor

by twit

https://i0.wp.com/imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/MMPH/28364~Remington-Steele-Posters.jpgSome of Hillary’s most avid supporters are under the impression that she has been offered the Veep slot on Obama’s ticket. So they have created a site, that allows comments without moderation, with the following inspirational message:

Hillary, don’t take a VP slot. Stay in the Senate (or retire or go worldwide).

We won’t let you sacrifice your own future to prop up Obama.

No Remington Steele presidency!

Go worldwide? Is it time for the Emperor of the World election already?

Click here to sign the petition, and don’t forget to leave a comment! Certainly we can all agree that we do not, under any circumstances, want Hillary anywhere near a ticket led by Obama…

Since so many of us actually want Obama to win.

Read more of this post