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Bits and Pieces
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A proposed law in Maryland that would promote the use of eco-friendly “hybrid” cars is being opposed by advocates for the blind, because the cars are so quiet. It seems that many people with limited vision use the sounds of traffic not only to cross the road but to navigate along sidewalks. The National Federation of the Blind is asking that the law be modified to require hybrids to make noise. Definitely eco-friendly.

The FBI can’t account for 160 of its weapons, including shotguns and submachine guns, and an equal number of laptop computers. Reportedly, these figures show an improvement over last year. I feel so much safer now.

For the first time in its 371-year history, Harvard University has named a woman, Drew Gilpin Faust, as its president. I’ll bet it has helped her career that she bears a name not immediately identifiable as feminine.

Turkish archaeologists have restored a 3,000-year-old dam in central Turkey, where it is once again irrigating farmland. Built of stone and clay, it comes complete with a purifying pool and irrigation channels. It was uncovered at a known Hittite site.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the formation of a natural gas cartel. Shades of OPEC.

And a new study in Pediatrics found that 42 percent of Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 have viewed online porn, allegedly while they were just innocently clicking along, surfing the Web. The journal cites the danger to children seeing images of ‘overendowed adults consorting like a troop of baboons’, while watching men and women ‘reduce each other to objects and orifices.’ I wonder what the researchers think has gone on in the heads of adolescent males since time immemorial….

Finally, so long as my brain is trolling the depths, here’s one about Chinese men renting dates for New Year’s to be able to bring home a female to meet the family. It’s a new way to observe an old custom, but China’s one child law and the preference for boy children leading to abortions of female fetuses and female infanticides, are having the result, two decades later, of a shortage of women to marry and bear children (that being their only true function in life). Don’t get me started….

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