Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 15, 2005

Unrest in Iran

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:48 pm

Lots of Iranians are celebrating the Persian New Year, in open defiance of a regime that has prohibited the celebration of all pre-Muslim holidays. (The Persian New Year is of Zoroastrian origin.)

I heard on the radio that some demonstrators were changing “Where are you, Bush?”

Carnival of the Liberated

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:20 pm

The Carnival of the Liberated is a round-up of blogs from Iraq (and now Afghanistan also!). It’s written by Dave Schuler but hosted by Dean Esmay.

There are blogs about everything

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:12 pm

Dennis Prager used to (and may still) say that TV news presents “a proctologist’s view of America.”

He was speaking metaphotically. If you’d like a more literal view of a proctologist’s view, here’s a blog that’s all about colonoscopies.

I hope this blog never becomes that specialized….

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Daylight Axe Murder in London

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:00 pm

Britain banned all handguns in 1997. Nice how that eliminates street crime, isn’t it?

A man is being questioned over a brutal daylight axe murder which stunned residents in an upmarket area of north London.

Shocked witnesses described how the victim’s head was turned to “mush” after he was set upon in Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage.

Nick Blackford, 20, said the “calm and precise” killer seemed unworried as he handed himself over to armed police.

The 61-year-old victim was married with children and lived nearby while the suspect was from the Camden area.

The suspect, aged 37, was taken to Holborn police station after being arrested at the scene. He did not appear to have a history of mental illness.

Of course, some people knew this already:

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.

And even gun crime went up:

The [British] government recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

So, now they are banning toy guns, and starting guns on TV:

Worried that even showing a starting pistol in a car ad might encourage gun crime in Britain, the British communications regulator has banned a Ford Motor Co. television spot because in it a woman is pictured holding such a “weapon.” According to a report by Bloomberg News, the ad was said by regulators to “normalize” the use of guns and “must not be shown again.”

What’s next? Toy guns? Actually, the British government this year [2004] has been debating whether to ban toy guns. As a middle course, some unspecified number of imitation guns will be banned, and it will be illegal to take imitation guns into public places.

I wonder why all these bans didn’t stop Mr. 37-year-old-no-history-of-mental-illness.

(Speaking of which, why don’t they give his name? Are ax murders now entitled not to be embarrassed by their crimes? Or are they afraid someone might take revenge by throwing toiletpaper on his house after he’s released next week?)

Good News from Mars

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:53 am

The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars over a year ago, on January 3 and January 24, 2004, respectively. They were designed to last through 90 days of taking scientific measurements, but it’s been 436 days and 457 days now, and they’re both going strong.

Or were — until Spirit’s solar panels started to get covered with dust and the power output declined. But now, as Bird’s Eye View explains, things are going fine again. Amazing. (And no, they didn’t put windshield wipers on the solar panels. They probably should next time, though!)

Grand Rounds XXV

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:49 am

The weekly round-up of medical blogs is here.

If you got here from there and are looking for the post on the Groningen protocol, it’s here. You might also find this post interesting.

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