Monthly Archives: July 2006

US backs down on charging citizens for evacuation from Lebanon

According to the State Department website:

Secretary Rice has directed the State Department in this case to waive the requirement for American citizens departing Lebanon to reimburse the United States Government for their travel costs. We want to do everything we can to facilitate the departure of American citizens from Lebanon. Today’s step removes one potential worry for our citizens at this difficult time.

Score one for the people. (Previously)

US Government to Charge for Evacuation from Lebanon

I posted this over at MetaFilter, and figured I should probably share on my blog.

The US State Department is reminding its citizens that it does not provide free transportation. It looks like it might be about $300 for the evacuation. If you can’t pay at the time, you can sign a promissory note and pay interest. It looks like other countries are not charging (or, if they are, they’re not saying so quite like the US is).

Why is the government charging to evacuate its citizens from a sudden hostile zone?

At the State Department, McCormack said the cost of a massive evacuation was beyond U.S. resources. He said evacuated Americans would be asked to pay commercial rates, and if they did not have the money to promise to pay in the future.

“Everybody who wishes to leave will be able to leave,” he promised.

The U.S. Embassy advised Americans to carry a valid passport, a birth certificate and marriage or other civil documents. Each traveler is limited to one suitcase weighing up to 30 pounds. Pets will not be allowed to travel.

Saving its citizens comes second to the almost $300 billion we’ve spent in Iraq or the overall US Debt. Cue “God Bless America…”

Flock: Mighty fast

I’m giving Flock a try. It’s really fast compared on my Powerbook G4. I mean, super fast compared to a G4 optimised version of Firefox. They’re the same core version of Firefox too. I’m going to give it a try and see how I like it. I’m writing this in the built in blog editor. It doesn’t really offer tags ((After I hit submit, it gave a spiffy tags interface. But, it just created a bunch of Technorati links. I had to go back and add my local tags through the WordPress interface.)), which means I’ll get to go back and add tags after the fact. It’s a WYSIWYG editor that seems okay (Wow, except it totally is screwing up that <abbr> tag back there… Invalid XHTML here we come!).

I don’t think I’ll get much use from the Flickr integration if for no other reason than I think that the Lightbox plugin is too damn cool to give up.

Yet another example of why drugs are bad: Trolls

Two men were arrested in Boulder, Colorado after an altercation with an off duty sheriff’s deputy. One of the men, aged 19, was stopping joggers and bicycle riders at a bridge in a public park. They said the bridge was owned by a troll and demanded $1 in toll to allow them to past. When the deputy refused the toll and forced his way past them, they hit his bike with a golf club. They then struck the deputy with the club. The deputy was able to gain control of the club and struck the attacker back to defend himself.

His friend told police that the attacker was having a bad LSD trip

Police found marijuana rolled inside of a dollar bill (‘kay… don’t understand that). They also searched his friend’s apartment and found “drugs and drug paraphernalia.” Needless to say, they’re charging them both with various crimes.

And that, kids, is why you should not do drugs.

Link, via Boing Boing

New Theme, Complete with Page Header Graphic

Disclaimer: There are a lot of links in this post. I suggest that anyone who reads this views each and every one. You will be a better person for it, and will understand why I’m drooling about this like a small child.

Some of the links may contain items which may be considered “not safe for work.” Be advised.

As you may have noticed, the theme has changed again for the site. I found one I really really like, and I’ve been able to make it my own. Now, you’ll see a title graphic on the pages of a string bassist. The photo is by Chris Weeks, a superb professional photographer whose work can be found all over the place, and you probably don’t realise it. Here’s a sample from his gallery at Deviantart. Keep digging, and once you get past the photos of the celebrities of the moment, you can see what I really love about his photos: the realness. This photo of two older men playing chess… or the things he’ll notice and shoot that most people would miss… nevermind the amazing depth of field he can pull out of a shot. I wish I had a millionth of his talent and ability behind the camera.

Anyway, thank you, Chris, for allowing me to use your beautiful picture on my site.