Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Feb 20th


And a group of US-based scientists say the first stars in the universe may have been dark. Fair enough but I think I might need to go and check my definition of “star”. I think it has to be bright and shiny to be a star, I think what they’re talking about are vast lumps of anti-matter. It’s like Kylie Minogue is a star but Michelle McManus is a vast lump of anti-matter. Aww mean.


A 70-million-year-old fossil of a giant frog has been unearthed in Madagascar by a team of UK and US scientists. The creature was the size of a "squashed beach ball" and weighed about 4kg (9lb). “It’s a real shame it’s extinct”, said a French researcher brandishing a knife and fork.


The coroner investigating the deaths of four British soldiers in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq has called for better protection for troops. The Ministry of Defence responded saying there was "no such thing" as perfect protection. Oh well that’s all right then – we’ll all be using that excuse next time. “I ran over your kid, but hey, no-one’s perfect!”. Also there is a way offering perfect protection to our troops in Iraq. That’s by not marching them off to an illegal war in the first place.


A San Francisco court has ordered the closure of the website, This is the whistle-blowing website which allows people to anonymously post leaked materials with the goal of discouraging “unethical behaviour” by corporations and governments. The site has been doing a fantastic job so far of sharing documents revealing information about torture at Guantánamo Bay, and of what must be called for legal reasons, “possible evidence”, by which I mean “clear obvious irrefutable evidence” of companies colluding, polluting and thieving.

Now a case has been brought against the website by a Cayman Islands-based bank. Now before I explain the case any further lets play “guess who the good guys are”. Is it (a) the tax-haven-based private investment bank? Or is it (b) someone else. Scores later.

The bank claimed that a “disgruntled ex-employee” stole documents violating banking laws on confidentiality. Since when did banks have laws? I mean employee guidelines, sure, but laws are supposed to be set by governments aren’t they? And why would a bank need confidentiality “laws”? What exactly are they hiding?

The documents “allegedly” (i.e. really) detail how the bank helped people evade taxes and launder money. The first of these is a way of ripping of ordinary tax-payers and the second is used by criminals and terrorists alike to move their money around and make it untraceable. But for some reason the courts have decided that the breaking the banks internal confidentiality code is the bigger crime.

This is a bit like if you were filmed murdering someone or shagging a child and you managed to get off scott free and instead sue the owner of the camera for filming you without your consent. If that’s ever happened to you then thanks for listening to the podcast, Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson.


And you really have to ask how dim the police are in South Wales. A seventeenth teenager has been found dead in Bridgend, having taken her own life. At the ensuing press conference Assistant Chief Constable Dave Morris told reporters “We have found no suggestion of any suicide pact”. Right – what about the seventeen dead bodies. Surely that’s a clue. He went on to say “I would like to put to bed any suggestion within the media that we are investigating suicide pacts or suicide internet links”. No? Well you should be mate. Thinks it’s worth at least checking isn’t it? Before anyone else dies.

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