Your tax dollars at work

Apparently, police investigations of prostitution in Spotsylvania, MD are very thorough:

According to the affidavit, after receiving a tip about possible impropriety at Moon Spa, two unidentified Spotsylvania detectives promptly visited the spa and each paid $60 for 30-minute massages in separate rooms. A woman known only as Mimi gave the detectives a bath, a brief massage and then performed a sex act on them. “For her services, ‘Mimi’ was paid a $50 ‘tip,’ ” Doyle wrote. Police made two more visits with similar results.

Published in: on February 13, 2006 at 15:06  Comments (10)  


The New York Times has a very short article about changing rules for credit on scientific papers. Somehow, a creative writer managed to sneak in a sample page from the “Journal of Imaginary Genomics” after these rules are implemented; it’s worth the look.

Published in: on January 17, 2006 at 10:51  Comments (2)  
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List of titles

I was just at the donations page for Médecins Sans Frontières, and was amused to see the list of titles you can fill in on the form…
Which would you like to be?

Published in: on December 22, 2005 at 22:58  Comments (6)  

Odd sentence:

(From a WP article about rioting in China)

“he was also director general of the Dongzhou Buddha Council, which the statement described as ‘a superstitious organization in charge of divine activities in Dongzhou.'”

I believe that some game that I run in the future will have to contain a Dongzhou Buddha Council, which will be in charge of divine activities in the area. Although I can’t imagine who would sit on it.

Published in: on December 21, 2005 at 11:49  Comments (4)  
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Just when you thought the Middle East was getting normal…

Let me present Susblood Labs, which is manufacturing a combination pen and capsule of preserved pig’s blood, designed to reconstitute in the heat of a suicide bomb and defile the body of the bomber. Apparently this is meant to act as a deterrent to bombers, by keeping them out of heaven.

(I could talk about the basic physics and theology problems with this, but why bother? There’s something delightfully mad about the whole thing.)

EDIT: But wait! There’s more! From the Middle East Media Research Institute, a translation of a fascinating contest showing up on some Islamist websites. Help design a website for a terror group, and get to fire missiles at American troops!

(You know, I really wish I were kidding. It could be that both of these things are bogus… but somehow, I doubt it. The first one, in particular, just seems so appropriate to the mindset that if it’s satire, it’s the most brilliant bloody satire I’ve seen in a while. The latter… well, all sorts of strange things show up on the public fora of terror groups. Most of them are nonsense. But such splendid nonsense! For that one, I think the best commentary came from Dry Bones.)

Published in: on December 13, 2005 at 18:33  Comments (14)  
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Back in the USSR…

Well, at least something in the news feels familiar… twenty or thirty years out of date, but familiar. Plus ça change, plus la même chose…

Published in: on November 23, 2005 at 10:42  Comments (4)  
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Your news warning for the day

Armed, military-trained dolphins are loose in the Gulf of Mexico following Katrina.

‘My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,’ he said. ‘The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?’

Apparently, the warnings from the Onion weren’t adequately heeded.

Now the question is, what will they do? Will these dolphins stay together or disperse? Will they try to assimilate into the broader Gulf cetacean society, and if they do, will they communicate their newfound knowledge to others? Will US military training help these dolphins build a future for themselves and their people, and give them the organizational skills – and force multiplication ability – to effectively counter expanded fishing and pollution threats? Or will they remain perpetual outsiders, even becoming delphinic bandits or warlords, in the manner of unexpectedly disbanded soldiers in civil wars?

(I’m hypothesizing that the latter won’t happen – that’s normally a symptom of people who have lived with the pervasive anomie of a civil war, rather than of professional soldiers suddenly on leave.)

But honestly, after thinking about this a bit – it could be worse. I would certainly trust dolphins with guns more than, say, chimpanzees; they seem less likely to engage in completely gratuitous warfare, or hurl feces. But IANAMB (I am not a marine biologist) so I may be wrong on this. For now, I’ll just say that I, for one, welcome our new cetacean overlords.

Published in: on September 25, 2005 at 21:39  Comments (2)  
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Worst excuse ever

Pat Robertson apologized for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez today, but claims he was “misinterpreted” by the press:

“I said our special forces should ‘take him out.’ ‘Take him out’ could be a number of things, including kidnapping.”

Well, I’m glad that’s straightened out, then.

Published in: on August 24, 2005 at 16:32  Comments (12)  
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Brought on by too much work, this rather interesting essay, and who knows what else, it occurred to me that D20 Modern is far too alone among games. We could have a D20 Postmodern, where the players as a group transform (“the death of the author”) the sequence of ordinary events described by the GM into a narrative arc by imposing the world-view of “adventurers;” D20 Epic, where the ultimate ending is written in advance and known, like the laws of the gods, to all the characters, who must then live their lives knowing what the ultimate ending will be; and similarly D20 Tragedy, Comedy, Picaresque Romance, and so on.

We all play these games, of course, but it would still be amusing to form up a list of them all, and see if conversely there are some characteristic modes of RPG’s which could be translated into unusual modes for other forms of storytelling.

(Hmm… is it just me, or does D20 Modern seem tailor-made for a game based on Gravity’s Rainbow?)

And yes, I realize this is elaborate nonsense. What can I say, I’m sleep-deprived…

Published in: on July 13, 2005 at 00:45  Comments (7)  
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A plot device waiting to happen

Any news article that includes a discussion of the “Society for Mutual Autopsy” is just begging to be made into a plot for something, somewhere.

Published in: on May 23, 2005 at 18:13  Comments Off on A plot device waiting to happen  
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