Firecrackers in a Department Store

The Turkmenistan government, ruled by President/Dictator Gurbanguli Berdymuchamedow, has reported that there was an explosion of fire crackers in a department store in Abadan, about 16 kilometers northwest outside the capital Ashgabat, close to the border with Iran. According to the report 13 people were killed in the accident that happened on July 8.

Here is some video evidence of this incident.

That is quite some firework, isn’t it. The sound needed to travel about 6 seconds until it reached the recorder, so the scene is about 2 kilometers away. Mind you, that there is already a big plum of smoke at the incident site, and how loud the boom is.

More details about this incident here and some follow-ups here and there

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How the U.S. arms industry benefits from the drug war (4)

An update to this series

As CBS news reported, “the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has encouraged gun shops to sell thousands of assault rifles and other weapons destined for Mexican drug cartels.”

Does it get any better than this?

The excuse was, well, we give them to the small guys, and we track them so we get to the big fish.

Problem is, tracking guns on the move appears to be difficult. Until they are used in a crime, such as the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona last December.

We are not talking about small things here. Over 1600 firearms worth over $1 million were sold on Phoenix-area gun-shops, among them 178 AK-47-type assault rifles and three Barret 50-caliber rifles to one suspect alone.

So, was it worth while?

That depends whom you ask. For the gun-shop owners, of course. For the drug cartel, sure.

As for the stated goal to take down drug cartels – not so fast. After 15 months of operation the ATF still “hope” evidence collected so far will help one day.

In the meantime ….

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Ten Stupid Traffic Laws

Ten stupid traffic laws from around the country..

10. It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. (Alabama)

9. Horn honking is not permitted as it might scare horses. (Mississippi)

8. Before proceeding through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway, a motorist is required to get out of their vehicle and fire three shot gun rounds into the air. (Wichita Kansas)

7. Any motorist driving along a country road at night must stop every mile and send up a rocket signal, wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock, and continue. (Pennsylvania)

6. It is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperon. (Montana)

5. If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. (Florida)

4. Prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash. (San Francisco California)

3. Cars may not be driven in reverse. (Glendale Arizona)

2. Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts. (Massachusetts)

1. It is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. (Memphis Tennessee, similar ones in New Orleans Louisiana, Waynesboro Virginia )

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Privacy Laws and Social Media

Found this interesting article on CNN’s website.

One of our intentions here at BrainTurnedOff is to report on stupid behaviors of sometimes so-called or wannabe celebrities.

Now we can accept something like a love affair. There are numerous of those, and this of course the food for some paparazzi. Celebrities should expect that – it is after all them who strive for celebrity status.

Where we come in is when cover ups occur. Like the one of Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs mentioned in the article. He got a “super-injunction” from a British court that would punish anyone in their jurisdiction to even report about the alleged affair, true or not.

Now this thing was made public because a member of the British parliament revealed that in one of their sessions. He can do that because of some privilege MPs enjoy.

So what does this injunction mean? Can we mention what an MP mentioned in the parliament? Was is broadcast on TV? Wouldn’t that be an contempt of court?

In today’s world with twitter and facebook it does not help much to prevent the spread of a rumor.

In fact, if you try to cover it up that way, the more curious people are going to get what the fuss is all about.

Wouldn’t it be nice that someone who has been caught having an affair would admit that he (or she) enjoyed it. They may be sorry, okay, but please have the courage to admit that they enjoyed it at least in that moment.

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Doomsday Update 2

I thought that the failure of the Doomsday prediction would be the end of it – not the end of the world, but the end all such predictions.

But now Mr. Camping says: “We’re not changing a date at all; we’re just learning that we have to be a little more spiritual about this. But on October 21, the world will be destroyed. It won’t be five months of destruction. It will come at once.”

So we have just 5 more months to prepare.

You should get your invitation by then in your mail.

But keep in mind he was wrong before. The judgment day on Sept 6, 1994 did not happen because of a “mathematical error”, and changed to this past Saturday. Now he says “we have to be a little more spiritual about this”.

Now he says. Why didn’t he say this before?

Camping said Family Radio would now drop its high-profile countdown to the Apocalypse, and concentrate on “religious music and God’s word”.

This sounds more like retracting. As if he cannot stand the heat of scrutiny.

You know, he is 89 years old. Like one commenter said a few days ago, leave old cranky grandpa alone.

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Doomsday Update

As you well know by now, the Doomsday prediction for this past Saturday was simply wrong.

It just didn’t happen.

There are some opinions why that was. I won’t go into the religious reasoning details. As you might know, I’m not that religious, so I won’t try to get into this.

A few notes though:

(1) As I was watching the chatter on the internet I noticed the rolling of the concerns from East to West. It was New Zealand/Australia first reporting that the time for the start of the rapture has past.

This raises the question about the timeline. I know it was predicted for 6 p.m, but no timezone indicator. As this type of thing goes global I would have expected more precise information (which I didn’t see). It could have been UTC or PDT (as the minister is located in California).

(2) For some reason I believe that this was an event by invitation only. I didn’t get any invitation in my mail, and by judging what actually did (or did not) happen this time – or on the previously predicted judgment day back in 1994 – nor did anybody else.

As many internet marketer will tell you, it is important to have a mailing list for successful promotion of your products. Without that you’re just less trustworthy and the people won’t buy from you.

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So this is it.

The world is coming to an end starting today, May 21, 2001.

At least according to Harold Camping, an 89-year-old leader of the ministry Family Radio Worldwide.

He has predicted, that starting today a five-month destruction of humanity will commence this Saturday with a Rapture, in which believers will ascend to heaven. “Whereas this five-month period will be an enormous horror story for those who have not been raptured, it will be a time of great joy and wonder for those who are raptured,” according to the Family Radio website.

Camping uses a mathematical formula linked to prophecies in the Bible. He once predicted Sept. 6, 1994 as Judgment Day.

I don’t remember that day. Do you?

In case you’re wondering what happened that day, see here.

Important for these people involved, certainly. But otherwise?

Just in case, you may prepare for the things to come following this advice

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Is the Government desperate?

There are reports that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has seized the State of Georgia’s supply of a drug used in lethal injections.

You know, the drug named “Sodium Thiopental” is part of a cocktail along with two other drugs that is administered during lethal injections in 34 states. However, the last U.S. manufacturer, Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP), headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, has announced on January 25, 2011 to stopped the production this drug.

The drug was actually manufactured at a facility in Italy. However, due to a new law Italian authorities stated that they would only license the manufacture if it was used for medical purposes and not, crucially, for executions. Since the abolition of the death penalty has been lobbied by the EU since 2008, no other manufacturer has been found in Europe that is willing to supply it for use in conjunction with the death penalty – although it is produced for medical purposes.

Georgia’s stockpile came under scrutiny in February when John Bentivoglio, representing death row inmate Andrew Grant DeYoung, asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation into whether state corrections officials violated federal law by not registering with the DEA when it imported its supply of sodium thiopental.

“The United States has strict drug import rules for a reason: To ensure drugs used for legitimate purposes are not adulterated, counterfeit, or diverted into the illicit market,” Bentivoglio said.

“We commend the DEA for forcing the Department of Corrections to immediately cease using black market execution drugs,” said William Montross, an attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights

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April 11, 1954

In this day and age, with all the things happening around us, can you ever imagine a day that nothing happening worth reporting?

When the evening news on TV are canceled because there was nothing to report?

No extraordinary athletic achievements, no discoveries, no catastrophes, just nothing going on. Only the Turkish electrical engineer and rector of the University of Bilkent may see it differently: He was born on that day. Oh, and in Belgium it was election day again – but that happens so often, especially on a Sunday.

We are talking of April 11, 1954, the dullest day since the start of the 20th century, according to British scientists.

You have to be at least 56 years old to have lived on that day. Maybe one of you older folks may remember something special, like when it is your birthday (see the Turkish engineer mentioned above) or any other events important to you. But other than that?

TV was in its infancy those days. But I wonder what the newspapers where reporting. Papers that don’t publish regularly on Mondays weren’t quite stressed about their publishing schedule I would think.

Now, of course, with the declaration of 4/11/54 as the most boring day, that day has now sparked some interest, making it not that boring after all.

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Blurred Houses are back – with eggs

It appears that the blurred houses have now re-emerged after they have been in a black hole (see also the video), with a more blurry look (compared to the snapshots taken here)

It has been now reported that some houses have been “egged”.

What a shame we can’t see these eggs in Street View. It is just too blurry.

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