John McCain

Something to remember next time you’re tempted to view John McCain as the acceptable face of the Republican Party: A last-minute amendment added by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would require the Department of Homeland Security to create an “integrated screening system” inside the United States. McCain envisions erecting physical checkpoints, dubbed “screening points,” near subways, airports, bus stations, train stations, federal buildings, telephone companies, Internet hubs and any other “critical infrastructure” facility deemed vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Vegas Day 3: The Hoover Dam

I’d always wanted to see a dam, and as dams go, they don’t come much bigger than the Hoover Dam. Named after Herbert, rather than the more infamous J. Edgar, it’s possibly the most impressive piece of structural engineering of the 20th Century. Hoover gets the credit because as well as being a politician, he was a former engineer, and arranged the contracts between 7 different US states which would allow the project to go ahead.

Rush

After comparing [Rush] Limbaugh to a “circus clown,” the Arizona Republican [John McCain] apologized. “I regret that statement,” he told an interviewer on Fox News the other night, “because my office has been flooded with angry phone calls from circus clowns all over America. They resent that comparison, and so I would like to extend my apologies to Bozo, Chuckles and Krusty.”

LaTOUR

Ripped LaTOUR’s self-titled CD yesterday. Listening to it today, I wondered to myself what he’d been doing since 1991. A few quick web searches revealed the story… William “Bud” LaTour was a DJ for a radio station in Arizona, and had recorded a novelty/parody single that still gets airplay on Dr Demento’s show. His first semi-serious release (People Are Still Having Sex) was a surprise hit, and his first album did respectably well.

Fancy a pork chop?

From News of the Weird: In April, the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., surgically removed a dead worm from the brain of a woman because, having entered the woman’s body via pork she ate in Mexico and then having died, its carcass was causing her periodic seizures. The operation took six hours and required that the patient be only mildly sedated, in that she needed to keep talking to surgeons to help guide them from point to point in her brain.

Only apparently real

This is a scene a couple of blocks from where I live. The curvature of the pole isn’t just distortion from the cheap zoom lens; it really is leaning over slightly. When I first moved to America, one of the things I noticed was the ugly cabling everywhere. Not just cables, either—big cylindrical metal transformers are stuck out in plain view on the tops of poles. I’m not alone in noticing this; friends who’ve visited from the UK have also taken pictures.