A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday.
Devon Staples and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in the backyard of a friend’s home in eastern Maine, said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.
Staples, 22, of Calais, a small city on the Canadian border, placed a reloadable fireworks mortar tube on his head and told his friends he was going to light it, McCausland said. But his friends urged him to stop.
“Apparently, he thought that was a great idea,” McCausland said. “His friends they thought dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly.”
They’re not called rednecks up there but the effect is the same.
Feminists have debated it for decades, but scientists have finally got to the bottom of why men still exist.
Biologists have always puzzled over why males have survived given that their only contribution to reproduction is sperm.
It makes far more sense in evolutionary terms to have an all-female asexual population which creates daughters who can reproduce rather than sons who cannot, such as the Mexican whiptail lizard.
But new research suggests that sexual competition for mates keeps populations healthy, free of disease and genetically diverse.
“Almost all multicellular species on earth reproduce using sex, but its existence isn’t easy to explain because sex carries big burdens, the most obvious of which is that only half of your offspring – daughters – will actually produce offspring,” said lead researcher Prof Matt Gage, from the University of East Anglia School of Biological Sciences.
“Why should any species waste all that effort on sons? An all-female asexual population would be a far more effective route to reproduce greater numbers of offspring.
“Our research shows that competition among males for reproduction provides a really important benefit, because it improves the genetic health of populations.”
How many decades is it since Matt Ridley’s Red Queen?
An Italian 90 year old grandmother is to be presented with service medals for her actions in WWII:
“It’s really very unexpected,” she told The Daily Telegraph from her home in Pitigliano, a medieval village clustered on top of a cliff in the Tuscan countryside.
“I never thought this would happen. People of my generation just got on with what we had to do. We never really talked about it after the war – even my children and grandchildren know very little of what I did.
“I’m deeply honoured but a bit embarrassed too. I’m an old girl now and it all happened 70 years ago, for God’s sake.”
The CIA might try and LOL away its record, but given the world is still dealing with the consequences of its many disastrous postwar interventions, it shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. “Terrorism” is normally used when referring to acts of violence committed by non-white people hostile to the west. But if we’re understanding the term to mean acts of terror committed for political ends, then the CIA is surely the greatest terrorist organisation on earth.
I dunno really. I would have expected at least some mention of the KGB, StB, Stasi and all the rest. But no. Only the Americans had a spy service that launched coups, murdered people, fought the Great Game with other peoples’ lives.
At the ASI.
It’s amusing that everyone’s worrying about hedge funds as they become no more profitable than other investment vehicles.
If the bid succeeds, the coalition government will have thrown its collective weight behind this sale of a major British asset
OK, AstraZeneca is a British asset.
But like all British plcs, AstraZeneca is an ownerless corporation. The hedge funds and global asset management groups that own more than half its shares have zero interest in British employment, public health, science base and exports
OK, so Britain doesn’t actually own AstraZeneca therefore it’s not a British asset.
WTF is it with these people that they’re willing to put two directly contrary arguments into consecutive paragraphs?
At the ASI.
The disaster of Britain’s solar industry: we’ve built the inefficient type too soon.
The lifetime risk of breast cancer for a woman drinking one bottle of wine each week rises by 10%, but breast cancer is a lot more common than liver disease, and one in 100 women drinking at this level will develop breast cancer as a result.
This is the level of drinking that the prodnoses are talking about. A bottle of wine a week.
The Home Office proposed a measured alcohol strategy, centred on a minimum unit price, and personally supported by David Cameron, and no one seems to understand why it was dropped
Because it’s illegal under EU law you dimwit. It’s also damn stupid. Why do you want to fatten the profit margins of the suppliers? If you want to make booze more expensive then raise the tax levels!
After ore is pried from the ground and unwanted minerals are sifted away to make a concentrate of minerals, complex acid and chemical treatments are required to separate individual rare earths into quantities that are useful. Many of the 17 rare earths share such similar physical properties that separating individual elements can require several months and 1,000 chemical treatments.
Grr. No, many of them share such similar chemical properties that we have to use physical differences to separate them.
The Big Six energy firms have been asked to freeze prices by the Government until the middle of 2015, it was reported last night.
The Government is calling for energy firms to commit to an immediate freeze on prices as part of a deal that could cut bills for families across the country.
The country is looking for £100 billion to be invested in the energy generation and distribution system over the next couple of decades. And the idiots are calling for price freezes?
At the ASI.
Not a good way to deal with the failures of the planning system.
So as I said I was invited to be on a panel with Ritchie and Prem Sikka on the subject of tax justice. I said yes, why not, should be fun. And so I was duly invited.
Just got the email disinviting me. Apparently some of the organisers of the conference did not think that my views would add much light to anything, only a certain amount of heat.
So, better cancel those supporters’ buses I hired to bring in the righteous to confer with the bien pensants then, eh?
” the concern was not at all about you personally; it was about the explosive chemistry which might have resulted from having you on a panel with Richard and Prem”
Ed Miliband will on Tuesday declare the cost of living crisis has become the preeminent issue facing Britain, as he sets out plans for employers to receive a tax rebate if they choose to pay a worker the living wage, which is now worth £7.65 an hour, £1.34 higher than the minimum wage.
The rebate is designed to incentivise a high wage and high skill economy and would last for a year at a minimum. In a speech, Miliband will claim the policy symbolises the choice facing the country at the next election between Labour committed to tackling low living standards and the Conservatives committed to broken markets.
That living wage comes out to a shade under 15 grand a year. Out of which the government takes a couple of thousand pounds to pay for things like the salary of the Leader of the Opposition.
Yes, indeed, Ed Miliboy gets paid from the crusts stolen from the mouths of poor babes in arms.
And if you think that the working poor don’t have enough money at the end of the day then there’s really a very simple solution. Stop fucking nicking it off them in tax.
However, research has shown employers paying the living wage secure a more productive workforce with lower absenteeism and turn-over. Dominic Johnson, employee relations director at Barclays, said on Monday that paying the rate had improved retention rates for its cleaners. “Early research on the impact of the living wage for cleaners on Barclays’ contracts shows our suppliers have a 92% retention rate versus an industry average of 35%,” he said.
Dear God Barclay’s employs some ignorant cunts. Yes, of course you have a greater retention rate. You’re paying more than everyone else. When everyone is paying the same as you then you’ll have the same retention rate as everyone else. Doesn’t anyone at all recall the story of Henry Ford and his $5 a day?
At the ASI.
Maybe Marx was just a little bit right.
In a long and sometimes heated session, HMRC was accused of having a “supine attitude” to international tax collection. Ms Hodge said the existence of a £35bn tax gap – the difference between the total amount owed to HMRC and the figure collected – suggested the body was “institutionally incapable”. She argued that if the tax legally avoided by international companies “such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks” were included, the tax gap would be far larger.
The tax officials repeatedly explained that HMRC could only collect what was legally due. “Our tax gap is a complete measure of what tax we’re owed under rules currently in place,” said Mr Harra.
Mr Troup added: “Our job is to collect tax [and we follow] the law as it stands.”
Quite. The Google, Amazon stuff is not tax avoidance. So it cannot be included in an estimate of tax avoidance.
Seems clear enough to me.
Grand Theft Auto V Is Fastest Selling Entertainment Property Ever, Which Makes Willy Hutton Look Pretty Foolish
Although as I point out, Will Hutton makes Will Hutton look pretty foolish.
Enforced servitude is something this country stamped out a long time ago – although we kept the vile principle of national service long after we freed our slaves and stopped other people trading in them. The state, however, seems to think that slavery to the state is, somehow acceptable – or, at least, this particular state apparatchik does. It is not. It never will be and it should be opposed vigorously.
I own me.
Nowt else to say about the fat fucker’s idea, is there?
*Both sides and the middle.
Scientists believe they have achieved the ‘holy grail’ of the green economy by designing a hydrogen production plant that can split water with sunlight.
The University of Colorado at Boulder envisages an array of mirrors that would focus sunlight onto a central tower several hundred feet tall.
The tower would heat up to around 1,350 °C – enough to liberate hydrogen from steam with the help of a metal oxide compound.
Reforming steam with an iron/cobalt oxide catalyst to produce hydrogen isn\’t new, no. I think I\’m right in saying that hydrogen is generated in steel furnaces as any residual water passes over the iron oxide that is the ore in fact. Nor is using sunlight to heat water all that amazingly new. Combining the two is interesting but it ain\’t a Holy Grail of anything at all. For this reason:
Commercialisation of such a solar-thermal reactor is only likely to happen when the economic conditions are right, claims Professor Weimer.
‘There would have to be a substantial monetary penalty for putting carbon into the atmosphere, or the price of fossil fuels would have to go way up,’ he added.
It ain\’t economic.
And we\’ve many ways of producing energy, of storing energy (which is what this is, a storage method, not a production method), that are not economic. Even if we look to the hydrogen economy we\’ve got ways of doing this that are not economic. For example, take the electricity from either solar or wind power and electrolyse water to release the H2. That might be better or worse than this method but they\’re both still uneconomic.
What we\’re looking for of course is something that is economic. And what we\’d really like is something that is cheaper, unsubsidised, without a carbon tax, than fossil fuels at which point the entire climate change problem goes away. That would be the Holy Grail….