November 2006 Archives

….the rest of the story (with apologies to Paul…) Charlie Stross deconstructs the recent assassination via polonium-210 in London:

The point is, someone with access to fresh Polonium 210 (read: less than a year old, hot from the reactor) decided to use it to bump off an enemy. And the terrorism alert status hasn’t risen a notch? Pull the other one. Anyway, to the point: this wasn’t simply an assassination. There are any number of poisons out there that would do the job painfully well but much more rapidly, and without the same scope for a diplomatic incident. Likewise, a bullet to the back of the head would have worked just as well (as witness the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya). What this is, is a warning: “we have the capability to detonate a dirty bomb in central London any time we feel like it, so don’t fuck with us”. (Just take Polonium and add a little TNT.)

I’ve got about 50 open tabs of things to blog, split across two or three machines, and I keep not having time to get to them. Work is completely nuts, LISA is next week (holler if you’re going to be there and we’ll grab a beer), I’ve got two lectures left in this semester’s BioPerl class, and oh yeah, we’re having a baby on (or before, mustn’t forget that possibility) December 18th. Waah! So, aside from complete overwhelming overloading, things are great; hope it’s much the same where you are.

So, first they win back the House, then Rummy jumps and/or gets pushed out the door, capped off by capturing the Senate. Not bad for a 2 day period, you crazy kids, not bad at all. I’m slightly happier than Medley reports she is, although at least part of that is willfully not thinking too much about the future and just enjoying the moment. This Billmon post captures a lot of my mood, roughly. There’s plenty of time in the next two years to dwell on how the Dems are screwing things up in their own way; for the moment, I’m trying to focus on the good news that things might not actually be as fucked up as they’ve seemed for the past couple three or four years (Marsellus Wallace comparisons notwithstanding, of course.)

I voted this morning on the way to work, after dropping off TheChild. TheWife had voted earlier at the same location, and called back to report that it had taken her about an hour to get through the line — so I was pleased that it only took me about five minutes. Diebold machine seemed to work correctly, but who knows what got written to that little card, or how it got counted once it got to the tabulator…

It’s around 2320 as I’m writing this; CNN called the House for the Dems about 15 minutes ago. It’s getting to be time for me to head to bed; here’s hoping that when I wake back up we’ve grabbed the Senate as well.

I somewhat anticipated that this would happen, but it would have been nice to not be right for once: somebody is pr0n spamming via del.icio.us RSS feeds. At the moment, I’m only seeing it in the ‘lifehacks’ feed, but looking at the links in there, they’re tagged with a conglomeration of various popular things.

And noted for the resonances: in a last-ditch completely craven attempt to retain some of their seats, the National Republican Congressional Committee (the NRCC) is joe-jobbing Democratic candidates with (illegal, in case you were wondering) automated phone bank calls. (A joe job is a spamming run designed to look like it comes from a particular organization in an attempt to tarnish that organization.)

Everybody make sure to get out there tomorrow and earn that ‘Yo vote!’ sticker, eh?