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Extra Aqua Vitae Nulla Salus

4.29.2006

A Few Weeks Late, But...

4.28.2006

Musical Interlude

I hate this song in any language.

Hey Men, Want To Stop AIDS?

Then cut off that foreskin!

From The Department Of Zany Reptile Stories, Drink Tank Brings You "Et Chew, Brute?"

A crocodile in northern Australia has chased a storm-clearance worker up a tree and made off with his chainsaw.

The 4.4m (14.5ft) saltwater crocodile called Brutus apparently took exception to the noise of the saw.

The worker was clearing a tree that fell on the crocodile enclosure at the Corroboree Park Tavern, 80km (50 miles) east of the northern city of Darwin.

Brutus chewed on the chainsaw for 90 minutes, reducing it to pieces. Neither man nor beast was injured.

Northern Australia has an estimated 100,000 saltwater crocodiles.

Worker Freddy Buckland was cutting a tree that had fallen as a result of a recent tropical cyclone.

Peter Shappert, the tavern's owner, said the crocodile jumped from the water and sped 20ft to the tree.

"It must have been the noise... I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him... I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw."

Tavern co-owner Linda Francis said: "Fred virtually gave him the chainsaw, shoved it at him.

"It was still going and he took the chainsaw onto the ground and proceeded to smash it and it stalled. The crocodile didn't cut himself, just broke a few teeth."

Mr Shappert said the saw was destroyed.

"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out."

Saltwater crocodiles are known to attack small boats, apparently disturbed by the sound of outboard motors.

4.27.2006

Where Were You, When They Built A Railway To Tibet?

The completion of the Tibet railway is being hailed in China as one of the world's great engineering marvels.

The longest high-altitude railway in the world, it will ease access to the remote region. Test runs are due to begin on 1 July.

Tibet's extraordinary isolation has kept it poor. Education levels and life expectancy fall well behind the rest of China. But that isolation has also helped to preserve Tibet's unique culture and way of life.

The arrival of the railway will bring tremendous change. China's communist rulers say it will open up Tibet, bringing greater prosperity for its entire people. Detractors say the opening of the railway is the death knell of an independent Tibetan culture.

Before the railway there were only two ways into Lhasa: an expensive plane ride, followed by a hair-raising touch down; or three days and nights on an overcrowded bus bouncing along back-breaking mountain roads.

Many a bus, and its passengers, has ended up crushed at the bottom of a lonely ravine.

Along the route of the railway, opinions vary about whether it is good or bad. While visiting a remote construction site on my most recent trip to Tibet I came across two Tibetan herders lounging beside the road. They were sitting on top of huge bundles of yak wool.

What did they think of the railway?

"It's a good idea" they said. "It'll make it easier for us to take our wool down to the market. At the moment we have to hire a truck to come up here, but with a train it'll be cheaper and easier."

Environmentalists worry about what effect the railway will have on the migration routes of rare Tibetan antelope, and about a fragile ecosystem that, once damaged, will take generations to repair.

But the real controversy is over what the railway will do to places like Lhasa.

When Francis Younghusband forced his way in to Lhasa at the head of an invading British army 100 years ago, he found a medieval city untouched by the outside world.

Huge sprawling lamaseries were populated by tens of thousands of purple-clad monks. Inside the vast Potala Palace, Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, ruled with divine authority.

Today the Dalai Lama lives in exile in India. Many of the great lamaseries lie in ruins. Some have been rebuilt in the last few years, but these days the monks number in the hundreds. Often the inhabitants of these once-great religious centres are outnumbered by camera clicking tour groups.

In the heart of Lhasa the ancient streets of the Barkor district still throng with groups of Tibetan pilgrims. Wizened old ladies with long grey plaits and sun-crinkled faces prostrate themselves every three steps as they process around the glorious Jokang temple, the oldest and most sacred in Tibet. Here the richness of Tibetan culture seems as deep and alive as ever.

But a few streets away you suddenly run into a completely different Lhasa. It is a city of broad straight avenues, flanked by white-tiled department stores. This city is in every way Chinese, down to the tacky plastic palm trees - the signature of a Chinese city-planning bureaucrat.

Here the people are also Chinese. The accents and dialects are of Sichuan and Hubei, Anhui and Henan - overcrowded provinces far away in China's east.

People from these poor rural provinces are flocking to Tibet, drawn by the pull of money. Beijing is pumping tens of billions of dollars in to Tibet. Lhasa is a boom town; construction sites abound. But I searched in vain for a Tibetan worker.

'Better at business'

In a small backstreet of the Barkor I found a Tibetan art gallery. Rows of young men were bent over easels hand-painting beautiful Tibetan tankas - religious paintings depicting scenes of a Buddhist heaven.

In the corner of the shop I found its owner, a handsome Tibetan man with a winning smile. I asked Sedeng how he felt about what was happening to Lhasa.

"Of course we don't like it," he said. "The new city just looks like any other in the rest of China. It doesn't look like anything Tibetan. It doesn't feel like our home anymore."

Other Tibetans I met complained about the large influx of migrants from eastern China.

"They are much better at doing business than we are," one taxi driver told me. "They have lots of connections in other parts of China, and they can always get products cheaper than we can, so it's impossible to compete."

I searched in my own mind for an analogy for what is happening in Tibet. It is similar in many ways to what happened to Native American tribes in the 19th century.

As the railroads opened the west of the United States, they brought with them a huge influx of new population. The native peoples were pushed to the margins, dumped on reservations, their traditional way of life left in ruins.

As the trainloads of migrants begin to roll in to Lhasa station, does Tibet face a similar future?

Illinois General Assembly Gonna bring the Ruckus, Da Mutha Fucking Ruckus!

The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born.

Detailing five specific charges against President Bush including one that is specified to be a felony, the complete text of HJR0125 is copied below at the end of this article. One of the interesting points is that one of the items, the one specified as a felony, that the NSA was directed by the President to spy on American citizens without warrant, is not in dispute. That fact should prove an interesting dilemma for a Republican controlled US House that clearly is not only loathe to initiate impeachment proceedings, but does not even want to thoroughly investigate any of the five items brought up by the Illinois Assembly as high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Should HJR0125 be passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the US House will be forced by House Rules to take up the issue of impeachment as a privileged bill, meaning it will take precedence over other House business.

4.25.2006

Yeaaaaaah Baaaaby!

4.24.2006

Once a great nation

Shame on the law, locking up an American treasure like Tommy Chong.
”I know Dick Cheney's Secret Service guys smoke pot,” Chong said. “The reason I know that is I sold them bongs.”

He insinuated that President Bush was on methamphetamines.

”The dangerous thing about tweakers is they can take things apart but they can't put them back together again,” Chong said. “That's what George Bush has done to this country.”

Chong described when law enforcement officials raided his home as part of Operation Pipe Dreams.

”When they raided my home they asked me, 'Do you have any drugs in here?'” Chong said. “Of course I do.”

In prison he was enrolled in a drug education class.

”I signed up, I wanted to learn,” Chong said. “I ended up teaching it.”


More.

Red One

I would put a sick camera like this on my other blog, but I happen to know that Andrew is interrested in high definition image aquisition. Eat your heart out. (Via Gizmodo.)

4.20.2006

Fitzmas in july?!?!

Just as the news broke Wednesday about Scott McClellan resigning as White House press secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove shedding some of his policy duties, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case and introduced additional evidence against Rove, attorneys and other US officials close to the investigation said.

The grand jury session in federal court in Washington, DC, sources close to the case said, was the first time this year that Fitzgerald told the jurors that he would soon present them with a list of criminal charges he intends to file against Rove in hopes of having the grand jury return a multi-count indictment against Rove.

Unsubstantiated as of yet, but I'm smiling!

4.19.2006

Nazarene's Execution Augurs Joško's Good Friday & A Holy Saturday Millennia Later

It was my 26th birthday on Friday, and I had a successful pastel-themed birthday party the day after, conjoined with sister-in-law Abby.

A special thanks to Drink Tank members Miguel, Paul, Oded, and Ivan (a past and future member) for a special birthday gift, to be enjoyed by us all at some future opening ceremony. First neat, then with sugar and fire. Can't wait. (Background: 1, 2, 3)

Another shout-out to Mary Ann and JT for an awesome book!

Finally, a particularly life-changing thanks to Andrew and Fran for this extremely powerful device. I've been talking about it for a long time. I only hope I can handle the responsibility---the power!

Guess Who?

In 1979, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon produced a frisson of fear with their starring roles in "The China Syndrome," a fictional evocation of nuclear disaster in which a reactor meltdown threatens a city's survival. Less than two weeks after the blockbuster film opened, a reactor core meltdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant sent shivers of very real anguish throughout the country.

What nobody noticed at the time, though, was that Three Mile Island was in fact a success story: The concrete containment structure did just what it was designed to do -- prevent radiation from escaping into the environment. And although the reactor itself was crippled, there was no injury or death among nuclear workers or nearby residents. Three Mile Island was the only serious accident in the history of nuclear energy generation in the United States, but it was enough to scare us away from further developing the technology: There hasn't been a nuclear plant ordered up since then.

__________
Why, it's Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace! Read on to see what else he says about the need to go nuclear.

4.18.2006

Drink Tank Echoes The World

DID HE EAT THE PLACENTA??????????????

4.17.2006

Ian Curtis died for your sins

This Easter, he is resurrected on BBC3.

4.16.2006

Real Heroes



Appointed Test Director of Project Excelsior, which tested man's ability to survive high altitude bailouts, he made his most significant jump on August 16, 1960. He stepped from a balloon-supported gondola at the altitude of 102,800 feet. In freefall for 4.5 minutes at speeds up to 714 mph and temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit, Colonel Kittinger opened his parachute at 18,000 feet. The jump set records that still stand today: the highest ascent in a balloon, the highest parachute jump, the longest freefall, and the fastest speed by a man through the atmosphere. He occasionally ribs Chuck Yeager about being the first man to break the speed of sound.



Colonel Kittinger volunteered for three combat tours in Vietnam and served as commander of the famous 555th "Triple Nickel" Tactical Fighter Squadron flying F-4s. He downed a MiG-21 before he himself was shot down on 11 May 1972, after which he spent 11 months in captivity as a P.O.W.

He retired as a colonel in 1978. He won the Gordon-Bennett balloon races in 1982, 1984 and 1985 before accomplishing his most ambitious feat, a solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic.

Living in Orlando, Florida, he is Vice President of Flight Operations for Rosie O'Grady's Flying Circus and is also the star of the new Boards of Canada video.

Col. Kittinger's birthday is coming up fast (b. 07/27/28), and I say we send him a bottle of whiskey with two brass balls tied to the cork.

4.14.2006

Heroes

Banned by Comedy Central from showing an image of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the creators of "South Park" skewered their own network for hypocrisy in the cartoon's most recent episode.

The comedy -- in an episode aired during Holy Week for Christians -- instead featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag.

__________________________
I saw it last night. Jesus poops on the flag and Bush and it's really funny.

4.13.2006

Another Person Found Grossly Decomposed In Their Apartments Years After They Died, Testament To Our Lonely, Disconnected Society

LONDON, England -- The skeleton of a British woman has been discovered in her apartment nearly three years after she is believed to have died.

The woman, named as Joyce Vincent, was found lying on her back surrounded by unopened Christmas presents and the television and heating were still on, the UK's Press Association reported Thursday.

Her body was so decomposed that the only way to identify her was using dental records, a coroner's court was told.

Police believe the 40-year-old probably died of natural causes in early 2003 and was only found in January this year when local government housing officials visited the apartment in north-east London to collect thousands of pounds of rent arrears.

A spokesman for the coroner -- who recorded an open verdict -- said on Thursday that Vincent had apparently been a placed in the women's refuge accommodation as a victim of domestic violence, PA reported.

When representatives from London's Metropolitan Housing Trust arrived at the property In January, they drilled the door open and discovered stacks of unopened post.

Some mail was marked February 2003. Medication and food had February 2003 expiry dates, a Trust spokesman said.

Pathologist Dr Simon Poole told the inquest -- attended by Vincent's relatives -- he had been unable to establish cause of death because the remains were "largely skeletal", but police do not regard the circumstances as suspicious, PA said.

Another Rediculously Cute Picture


It's been a while.

Vote early and vote often

For Billy's Browser, the Firefox commercial my friend Matt made and I shot.

Germany VS England

"Sun protection seems to be an alien concept for a lot of them and they like to drink at 10 o'clock in the morning, but that's OK if they don't hit passers-by.

"That's what a lot of people in Germany understand. They also drink a lot and sing, so in that respect Germany and England are very close, and different from France, Italy or Spain."

4.12.2006

Hijacktic Interlude

0956:
"[Unintelligible.]"

0957:
"(In Arabic:) Is there something?"

"(In Arabic:) A fight?"

"(In Arabic:) Yeah?"

0958:
"[Unintelligible.] (In Arabic:) Let's go, guys. Allah is greatest. Allah is greatest. Oh guys. Allah is greatest."

"Ugh."

"Ugh."

"(In Arabic:) Oh Allah. Oh Allah. Oh the most gracious."

"Ugh. Ugh."

"Stay back."

"In the cockpit."

"In the cockpit."

"(In Arabic:) They want to get in there. Hold, hold from the inside. Hold from the inside. Hold."

0959:
"Hold the door."

"Stop him."

"Sit down."

"Sit down."

"Sit down."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) What?"

"(In Arabic:) There are some guys. All those guys."

"Let's get them."

"Sit down."

"(In Arabic:) What?"

"(In Arabic:) What."

"(In Arabic:) What?"

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) What?"

"[Unintelligible.]"

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) Trust in Allah, and in him."

"Sit down."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"Ahh."

"[Unintelligible.]"

1000:
"(In Arabic:) There is nothing."

"(In Arabic:) Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"

"(In Arabic:) No. Not yet."

"(In Arabic:) When they all come, we finish it off."

"(In Arabic:) There is nothing."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"Ahh."

"I'm injured."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"Ahh."

"(In Arabic:) Oh Allah. Oh Allah. Oh gracious."

"In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die."

"(In Arabic:) Up, down. Up, down, in the cockpit."

"(In Arabic:) The cockpit."

"(In Arabic:) Up, down. Saeed, up, down."

"Roll it."

"[Unintelligible.]"

1001:
"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) Is that it? I mean, shall we pull it down?"

"(In Arabic:) Yes, put it in it, and pull it down."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) Saeed."

"Engine."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) Cut off the oxygen."

"(In Arabic:) Cut off the oxygen. Cut off the oxygen. Cut off the oxygen."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"[Unintelligible.]"

"(In Arabic:) Up, down. Up, down.

"(In Arabic:) What?

"(In Arabic:) Up, down.

"Ahh."

"Ahh."

"[Unintelligible.]"

"Ahh."

"Shut them off."

1002:
"Shut them off."

"Go."

"Go."

"Move."

"Move."

"Turn it up."

"(In Arabic:) Down, down."

"(In Arabic:) Pull it down. Pull it down."

"Down. Push, push, push, push, push."

"(In Arabic:) Hey. Hey. Give it to me. Give it to me."

"(In Arabic:) Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me."

"(In Arabic:) Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me."

"[Unintelligible.]"

1003:
"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest."

"No."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest."

"(In Arabic:) Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest."

Cartographical Interlude





A list of everything mah main man, Andy Roomy has ever complained about. Big up yourself!

01/02/94: "Classified Ads" - language in newspaper ads

01/09/94: "Television Magazine Shows" - not enough good stories to go around

01/16/94: "Ex-Presidents" - rating former U.S. Presidents

01/23/94 "Roman Numerals" - refresher course on Roman numerals

ect...

Kyrgyz Officials To Curb Partying At State Cost

By Bradley Cook
April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Felix
Kulov told government officials to stop partying so hard at state
expense and urged them to kill fewer horses and cows during
celebrations, Interfax reported, citing a government statement.
"Political and administrative officials are advised to
celebrate family events without inviting a lot of people and
without an overabundance of food and killing of horses and cows,''
Kulov wrote in a decree, Interfax reported today.
The decree was necessary "to eliminate the artificially
cultivated custom of opulently celebrating national events,'' the
Russian news service cited the government statement as saying.
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet state located between China and
Kazakhstan, has a population of about 5 million. Former President
Askar Akayev, the country's first post-Soviet leader, was driven
from power by a popular uprising last year. He fled to Moscow.
________________________________________

Thanks Fran.

Drink Tank: Your source of funny reptile stories and Central Asian decrees.

Product Of The Week OR NASA Finally Gets Something Right?


I so want this:

INZA, Colombia — Call it the "Real Thing."

Indians in this remote mountain village in southern Colombia are marketing a particularly refreshing soft drink that harks back to Coca-Cola's original formula, when "coca" was in the name for a reason.

Advertising posters here describe the carbonated, citrus-flavored Coca-Sek as "more than an energizer" — a buzz that just might be provided by a key ingredient, a syrup produced by boiling coca leaves.

Since January, the Nasa indigenous community has been offering the soft drink locally and in neighboring Popayan, where it is bottled. By the end of the year, the Nasa hope to sell Coca-Sek nationwide, targeting the same consumers who drink Gatorade or Red Bull, both highly popular with Colombians.

For six years, the Nasa have been quietly selling coca-flavored cookies, aromatic teas, wines and ointments at informal sidewalk stalls and in health food stores. They say they're trying to capitalize on a plentiful resource — and remove the stigma from a leaf that for them is sacred.

"I love shopping. And now my life is great because I have money to spend!"

4.10.2006

Good god is that a baby comming out Britney's whoo ha?

Whew! No, its just an Anaconda pukeing up a hippo.
WTF!?


Previously on Drink Tank:
Python swallows cat
Snake bursts after gobbling gator

Globalizing Good Government

4.07.2006

The Picard Song



Shout out to haveboard @ crucialbrutal.

4.05.2006

Smell you later

I'm going to go have lots of crazy fun in Utah.

A few things I thought I'd point out.

Modern Drunkard at my old haunts (via Paul).

Natalie Portman
When I was in Harvard
I smoked weed every day
I cheated every test
and snorted all the...

BTW, V for Vendeta is quite good.

John Kerry gripes about civil war. Dude, the question over whether or not Iraq is in a civil war isn't even a "debate" - in fact, it's a sectarian argument.

Obviously our bleeding heart liberal readers in Massachusetts are acting locally. 1st they give the poor heating oil stolen from capitalists in Venezuela, now they're offering universal health care.

YouTube - Octopus vs Shark.

Our Italian readers will be glad to see their PM picking boogers and eating them, among other things.

Brooklyn Jews go nuts and set a cop car on fire. Every NYC paper calls it a protest; the word "riot" is only used to describe what type of police came. Maybe violently lashing out at the repressive arm of the state has lost its stigma?

See ya on Sunday.

Glorious, Even For The Sober


THE arrival of spring raises an important question. Is it better to admire the cherry blossoms drunk or sober? In Japan, the consensus is “drunk”. When the sakura bloom, Japanese people sit in parks getting raucously sloshed and contemplating the transience of life, as symbolised by those briefly spectacular flowers. Everyone agrees that alcohol heightens the experience.

Not so in Washington, DC. America's capital ought to be a great place for hanami (flower-watching) parties. The Tidal Basin below the Mall is surrounded by some 3,000 cherry trees—a gift from Japan in 1912. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, which began on March 25th, involves copious amounts of art, fireworks and light opera. But no drinking. Open a Bud beneath the opening buds and you risk arrest.

How do visiting Japanese feel about this outrage? They may be too polite to say. “Drunken hanami parties are fun, of course. But they can be vulgar too, with all the karaoke machines,” says Naoki Ito, a tourist. “Actually, I prefer it here,” says Kyoichi Shimazaki, a Tokyoite who works in DC. The cherry blossoms in Japan may be prettier (to a purist), but in America the lack of carousing makes it easier to admire them without interruption, he says. He adds that, given the lack of fences around the Tidal Basin, if people were to get as drunk here as they do in Japan, they would fall in.

Washington's blossoms are better to photograph, offers Mr Ito: “In Tokyo, there are always buildings or telegraph poles in the background.” And it is so crowded that young salarymen have to camp overnight in public parks to reserve prime blossom-viewing spots for their bosses. That would not happen in America, he reckons.

_________________________________________

As an asside, I hereby refuse to read un-spell-checked content on this blog. (Do you really want to lose 20% of our readership?)

William Saffire eat your heart out.

Defense Closes With Style in Trial of 2 Ex-Detectives


Bruce Cutler stood up yesterday and buttoned his suit coat. It was a dark blue suit coat, and he gave its shoulders a quick athletic roll, then went to work.

He raised his voice. He raised his fist. He raised the issue of whether ducks can stand a chance against coyotes and then, amid digressions into David Lean's movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and the life of Crazy Horse, the Oglala Sioux warrior chief, he drew upon his 2,072-page fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary and raised a last argument in defense of his client, Louis J. Eppolito, a defendant in the so-called Mafia Cops case.

Though Mr. Eppolito stands at the center of the federal trial — accused, with his former partner, Stephen Caracappa, of killing for the mob — Mr. Cutler, 57, has stood as the trial's resident semiotician. His summation was less a legal argument than a free-associative ode, a lawyerly tone poem on the themes of hope, justice and the spoken word.

"I've tried as best I can to use the English language in a precise way," he told the jury. "I've tried to use words in a precise way. It was drilled into me as a boy."

Thus it was that he turned to the dictionary — "Because that's where the words are," he explained — and read aloud the definition of "justice" ("the quality of being just, fairness"), which led him, somehow, to the definition of "spring" ("the season of the year between winter and summer during which the weather becomes warmer and plants revive"), which led him to the definition of "hope" ("to wish for something with an expectation of its fulfillment"), which led him to his own hopes, which were, as he put it, that in the future, people like the government's witnesses — men he has attacked as "desiccated miserable lowlifes" — "will not be permitted in a court of law, a temple of justice."

From the start, the Brooklyn racketeering trial has had its share of literary moments (including mentions of Mr. Eppolito's memoir, "Mafia Cop"), but Mr. Cutler's presentation was a masterpiece of rambling allusion, including references to Émile Zola, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Brooklyn Bridge, the Acela train and the soullessness of television — all delivered in what could be called the Belle Apocalyptic style.

It may be best — at least in terms of his summation — to think of Mr. Cutler less as a lawyer than a poet, a bebopping, stream-of-consciousness type who progresses more by rhythm than by logic. At times he swerved between the third and second person, addressing unseen government witnesses; at others, he donned someone else's first person, assuming the identities of the witnesses themselves.

He proved himself a master not only of the metaphor (saying that Mr. Eppolito had carried "the backpack of his lineage" so long that "his legs grew strong"), but also of the pejorative.

A short list of the insults he has hurled includes: "cretin," "reprobate," "bum," "degenerate," "thieving scurvy lowlife" and "sophisticated unctuous polished lowlife thief." But yesterday he outdid even himself when he referred to a 5-foot-4, illiterate government witness as a "gnome" — defined, from the dictionary again, as "one of a race of dwarflike creatures who live underground and guard treasure hoards."

In between these slights, Mr. Cutler derided the reporters covering the trial as "scribes" and the prosecutors as men "with light shows and erudition" whose "machines are bereft and denuded of life."

"There is no hope in those machines," he said.

He even found time to discuss his client, a man who, unlike the "intelligent, educated, sophisticated, professional" prosecutors, was "a cop," "a working man," "a man who has to be someplace, to do something, who contributes somehow." It was a leitmotif of his summation: the distinction between the working class and the federal elite.

The embodiment of that elite was, in some sense, Robert Henoch, the chief prosecutor, an earnest, Jimmy Stewart-like man, who has said that his father has attended every one of his trials. Mr. Henoch closed the government's case yesterday with a rebuttal summary; today the jury is expected to get the case.

Mr. Henoch is a colonel in the Army Reserve and seemed affronted by Mr. Cutler's slurs.

"You can't just say it and it becomes true," he said in his rebuttal. "You need evidence in a temple of justice — not just words from the dictionary."

4.03.2006

Anatomy of a Gerymander

here ye, here ye, NYC "tankers"


"Whisky Live, one of the top Whisky magazines, will be hosting the Whisky event of the year at Tavern on the Green. The top producers will be showcasing the rare, the complex and the truly excellent whiskies from around the world. Some of the producers that Gothamist is excited to see are Dalmore, Woodford Reserve, Laphroaig and Glenmorangie (specifically the scotch aged in the Sauternes cask). In addition to throwing back the good stuff, there will be great food, seminars lead by the great producers and what would a whisky event be without the festive sounds of MacTalla Mor, the latest in Celtic rock?

For those who are just starting to love whisky and those who dream in amber, this event should be one not to miss. Tickets cost $95, slightly steep, but Gothamist plans to drink three times that in alcohol. We’re excited to try some great whiskies this week, but even more than that, there’s something about going to a whisky tasting that is energetic, dynamic and pure – Whisky fans tell it like it is, and the spittoon -- well, that’s just reserved for the whiskeys that don’t make the cut."

Lifted from the gothamist. Field trip this week kids, time to start calling in to work now.

"Something is coming...."

... April 14th is someone's birthday!