The Canard Times

Friday, March 17, 2006

Iran Dares US To Drop Nukes If They Do

Iranian leader Ali Khamenei made a video taped press release sent to all major US outlets offering to cancel their nuclear ambitions if the United States government vows to do the same. "We have every right as a free people to advance our technology for the benefit of our people as we see fit. And Allah willing, we will. But if America truly wishes to reduce the amount of nations that have nuclear power, then they should lead by example. As the leader of my people, I vow to order my people to stop producing, researching or using nuclear material if President Bush promises to do the same. Furthermore, we will vow to never research, create or use nuclear weapons if the United States decommissions their own nuclear weapons and promised to never make any more." The White House has not yet issued a response.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Study Claims 'Most Evolved' Species Found

Most people have heard of cockroaches and crocodiles as being "old" species since they haven't evolved much in the past hundred million years. But what would be considered a genetically "new" species and which are the "newest"? This is the question that two Princeton geneticists set out to answer.

Using the GenMAPP Gene Database, whose goal is to systematically store and categorize all of the world's genetic diversity, Dr. Gene Jenson and Dr. Alice Bratoa are using DNA analysis to weed out the old from the new.

"One of the most difficult aspects of this study was coming up with a working definition of what 'genetically new' is," said Bratoa. "We wanted to find species that have had the most 'branching' along their evolutionary path." They have theorized that they couldn't just find the most genetically unique beings because they are generally known as the oldest. Bacteria, for instance, are one of the most genetically distinct beings but they lack even a nucleus. On the other hand, finding the most genetically mundane living thing is even harder to define and yields such golden oldies as cockroaches and sharks.

The 'timepiece' that geneticists most often use are the genetic mutations that are found in the "empty" regions of the genome - the parts that seem to have no effect on how the being is developed or behaves. These accumulate at a semi-fixed rate over generations. The beings that accumulated the most of these harmless mutations are thought to be the oldest.

But the geneticists added another layer of complexity to ensure that the species had to endure the most branching before being labeled "most evolved". Within the group of species that had the most mutations that were harmless, they sought the ones who were then the most genetically distinct.

Then they looked through some of the major branches of evolution for their winners. "We couldn't just pick one winner," explained Jenson. "It's like comparing apples and oranges. The gulf between plants and animals is to great to make an adequate comparison."

In the plant kingdom, they have concluded that a wild fig tree was the most evolved tree and the orchid called creeping ladies tresses was most evolved among all plants. Yucca moths claimed the rights for the animals while the California red-backed vole holds it for the mammals and the greater honeyguide has it for the birds. Humans were on the "short list", Jenson said, but among primates our close ancestor the orangutan supercedes us.

Once they looked more closely at these species, they discovered that they all had two things in common. One was that they are highly specialized. The other is a survival strategy known as mutualism, a symbiotic relationship with another species where both species benefit from their relationship. Fig trees require a species-specific fig wasp to penetrate its fruit and pollinate it from inside, giving the wasp a place to lay her eggs. The creeping ladies tresses require a specific bee species to slip into its nectar and climb out through a special hole where two pollen sacks are glued on so it can pollinate another orchard. Yucca moths have a similar relationship with the yucca plant. Red-backed voles eat fungi, helping to disperse their spores. And honeyguides have a mutually beneficial relationship with humans; these birds lead people to hives where the humans take the honey and the bird eats the leftover larva and wax.

Dr. Bratoa speculates that these relationships force these species to change more rapidly since they would have to change not only for their own survival, but for their partner's as well.

Friday, March 10, 2006

*EXCLUSIVE* Interview With John McCain

KATIE COURIC - Many have brought up the possibility of an imminent terrorist threat that can only be prevented by harsh interrogation…

JOHN MCCAIN – Yes,yes. You want to know if I would be opposed to torture even then. Well, lets flesh that scenario out a little bit. Let’s say that some right-wing nut job who really wants state-sanctioned torture walks into the studio with a dirty bomb strapped to his chest. It’s got a keypad that will disarm it and only the terrorist knows what the combination is. The timer on it is ticking and he says that they’d have to torture him before he’d give up the combination. That sort of situation, right?

COURIC: Um…ah…sure…

JOHN MCCAIN – Well, in that case I still wouldn’t order anyone to torture him; I would torture him myself. I’d start slow at first: noogies, Indian burns, wedgies, purple nurples, whatever it takes. But if that doesn’t work, I’d start pulling out fingernails with needle-nose pliers attached to a car battery. Or perhaps I’d go old-fashioned and slowly dip him into a vat of boiling oil. Oh, and here’s an old favorite of mine from Vietnam; tie his hands behind his back with a long rope, throw the other end of the rope over the rafters and pull him up till he starts dangling. Then start jerking the rope up and down until both my shoulders dislocate. Sound like fun?


JOHN MCCAIN – But that’s not the important part. He would have told me anything to stop the pain long before that. The important part is what I would have done after it was over. Ask me that. Ask me what I would have done then.

SICKLY-GREEN COURIC – Wha- What would you have done?

JOHN MCCAIN – I would have gone straight to the nearest police station and turned myself in. Confessed to everything, pleaded guilty and asked the judge for the maximum sentence. Do you want to know why I would have done this?


JOHN MCCAIN – Because torture is a heinous crime against humanity. Because no matter who you are, who you do it to or why you did it, it is still a sin and a crime. Because if I am willing to degrade the very essence of what it means to be a human being for my country, then I’d be willing to spend the rest of my days in prison for my country also. If any soldier or intelligence agent believes that torturing another human being is the best way to serve their country, then they better be willing to pay the consequences.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Opening Transcript


[Darkened silhouette of a woman]

Woman [voice disguised]: At some point, you just have to throw the red flag.

Mike Wallace (narrating): Government insiders are increasingly leaking information about the Bush Administration's behind-the-scenes policy initiatives to the press. This has lead to a crackdown on leaks, but these officials still feel the need to speak out.

[Darkened silhouette of a man]

Man [voice disguised]: Finally, I had to ask myself, Where does my loyalty lie? With my President, or with my country?

Mike Wallace (narrating): This, and Andy Rooney, tonight on 60 Minutes.


"There's a tone of gleeful relish in the way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries, their appetite for withholding information, and the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors," said New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, in a statement responding to questions from The Washington Post. "I don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values it professes to be promoting abroad."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Samsung Releases 'Portable Window'

Today at the '26 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Samsung introduced the Portal Authentica, a new Ultra Definition TV that is not meant for watching vids or playing games, but as a way to poke a hole in your dreary cubicle.

The UDTV is 802.11n equipted and comes with a wireless 24 megapixal all-weather video recorder with mic. The idea is to have the camera pointed at your backyard and hang the TV in your office. If you work up to a dozen miles away, you'll have a reality-quality view of your suburban garden. And if you haven't cleaned up your yard lately, you can always sync the screen to any of the hundreds of web cams around the world. With its veritable sizing, it can be squeezed into the most cramped workspace, or, if you have the wallspace, stretched to the industry standard 8'x10'. The retail price for this gadget is $899, but expect the price to drop as the novelty fades.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Police Tentions Lead To Reduced Highway Speeds

In New York, the tensions between local and state police officers escalates and interdepartmental enforcement of speed limits spreads across the state.

This all started four months ago when Chief Edger Heliet of the Islandia Police Department was run over and killed by State Trooper George Neilson while giving a routine speeding ticket. Forensic evidence and Heliet's camera installed in his car revealed that Neilson was traveling in access of 80MPH in the right-hand lane at the time of impact. Although Neilson was charged with one count of manslaughter, Judge Mitch Warner acquitted the State Trooper stating that that his speeding was done "in accordance with his duties."

After swift public outcry condemned the ruling, the Islandia Police Department issued a statement saying that they would strictly enforce the state's speed limit for all drivers, including State Troopers. Three local townships joined in the pledge in a show of solidarity.

After many reports of tickets issued to Troopers in the weeks that followed, State Troopers themselves began to pull over local law enforcement throughout Suffolk County. This "tit for tat" speed limit enforcement has spread as far north as Buffalo and is causing headaches for commuters.

"I used to remember getting pissed at cops flying past me going 20 miles per hour over [the speed limit] with no sirens or nothing," said Yorktown motorist Jack Dempson. "Now that they're hovering around 55 all the time... Well, I just hope I don't get 'cop locked' on the way to work."

Since motorists are warey of passing traffic cops, an open invitation for speeding tickets, a traffic jam can form behind a single police car. This 'cop locking' has become an almost daily annoyance for long commuters.

The slowing highways have left politicians in a difficult position since they cannot order law enforcement to resume breaking the law. A memo leaked from Governor Pataki's office suggested that law enforcement travel at 45 miles an hour on the highways to allow traffic to flow around them.

Whatever solution presents itself, there is no doubting the substantial savings in fuel costs and human lives. "In just a few weeks we've seen a reduction in highway accidents by 48% and deaths by 139% throughout the state," said Dr. Peter Statle of Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Professor David Elia of NYU, who studies gas price fluctuations, calculated the gas savings. "The average highway driver saved $20 last month. If this keeps up, they'll save another $100 by the end of the year."

But public officials may not want to keep this up. A recent AP poll showed the Empire State had statistical anomalies compared with the rest of the country concerning their mood. New Yorkers were seen to be more pessimistic and had lower approval ratings for public officials at all levels of government. Although having the strictest speed limit enforcement in the country has reaped benefits for New Yorkers, they don’t seem too pleased about it.


Bush Proposes "Preventive" Vet Health Care Plan

*For Immediate Release*

President Bush today revealed a groundbreaking proposal to lower the mounting costs of health care for military veterans by reducing their chance of injury. "For all those who look into long term health care, they know that today's watch word is 'preventive medicine'," Bush said. "If you stop people from getting hurt in the first place, then you don't have to treat them. And the people who can benefit from that the most are the people who are most susceptible to injury - our soldiers!"

The President's bold plan seeks to make sure that today's modern battlefields are a safe and healthy workplace environment for our military. "Just because you're trying cause casualties doesn't mean you have to be a casualty," insists Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. "It's amazing how much money we can save if your average soldier just follows basic OSHA industry standards. Bend with your knees, wear protective goggles while throwing frag grenades, turn on the juice after you attach wires to someone, and for Goodness Sake, give your trigger finger a rest now and again. Carpal tunnel syndrome will only heal if you give it the chance to."

President Bush's proposals go beyond just orthopedic foot insoles. "Recent studies have shown that 95% of workplace accidents occur in areas of high velocity metal," Bush reported. "It is in these areas that caution should be your highest priority. But before entering any of these areas, ask yourself: How much would it cost to taxpayers if I get hurt here? Remember: For every soldier's leg that isn't blown off, that's one more artifical limb we don't have to pay for."


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