What do ‘Patriot’ missiles have in common with butter?

Both have been siezed from smugglers in Scandinavia this week.

Yes, it is hard to believe…

The ‘Patriot’ missiles were found in Finland:

“The Finnish authorities have impounded an Isle of Man-flagged ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say.”

Over in Norway, where the government may fall over the butter shortage, they have caught butter smugglers:

“The two men, who snuck into the country from Sweden, were arrested with about 550 lbs of butter divided into 18-ounce packets, the Norwegian daily newspaper Adresseavisen reported.”

So, how can a country encounter such a catastrophic shortage of butter?

“Authorities at Norway’s butter monopoly blame the shortage on bad weather…”

Ah, ‘butter monopoly’… Say no more!



A new particle discovered at LHC

BBC is reporting the discovery of a new particle at LHC:

“The Chi-b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in previous collision experiments, explained Prof Roger Jones, who works on the Atlas detector at the LHC.

“The new particle is made up of a ‘beauty quark’ and a ‘beauty anti-quark’, which are then bound together,” he told BBC News.

“People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now.”

Physics:  the search for ‘Truth’ and ‘Beauty’!

An appeal for support of the plight of US online gambling sites facing persecution by the US government

At times, I come accross interesting information on topics on which I do not consider myself qualified to comment on.  The situation faced by online gambling sites in the USA and the actions of the US government in this ‘legal gray a area’ falls into this category.

However, as I have written about various abuses of government authority, especially in the areas concerning the internet and electronic privacy, I have privately received an article about this topic from PokerCanada with a request to publish it. Without making a judgment on this specific situation one way or another, I present it to you for your consideration:

Description: The government’s war on online poker rages on, with a legal maze of regulations to hit online poker providers hard.

It’s been a tough few years for the world of American online poker. With some of biggest US sites having been seized by the FBI, it would appear that the government sure has made a pretty penny on what online poker fans see as a great loss.

The United States Department of Justice have been cracking down on online poker since 2006, but this vendetta really hit the headlines in April of this year when US investigators shut down and charged three of the biggest and best online poker websites in the world: Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars. Not only were the founders of these 3 online poker giants said to be facing a whopping 20 years in jail if they were found guilty to be in breach of US money laundering and anti-gambling law, but they were all ordered to repay $3 billion to cover the “illegal gambling profits”. The US Department of Justice also allege that these companies masqueraded the money earned from U.S. poker players as payments of jewellery and golf balls.

The fact that these online poker sites were hit so very hard with such a massive fee sparked online poker fans worldwide to be extremely suspicious of this battle on online gambling suppliers. Take the crackdown of the Wachovia Bank for example. Though alleged to be involved in a serious drug-smuggling ring, they were fined only $160 million. This may very well be due to the government’s attitude regarding online gambling rather than a ploy to make titanic amounts of money, but online gambling fans tend not to see it this way.

However, while some online poker sites have been seized by the FBI, legislation surrounding online gambling is still very much of a “grey area”, and fans of the 3 aforementioned online poker venues remain strangely optimistic. They believe that their poker favourites will beat the charges and business will continue as normal. Understandable, considering Full Tilt Poker expect to be cleared of all charges, with PokerStars conveying the same optimistic attitude. The fact remains that there is a LOT of legal tape surrounding gambling in the US and indeed Canada, so even if these online poker giants do have all charges against them dropped, they will need to adhere to the government’s labyrinth of rules and regulations.