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* Posts by cortland

676 posts • joined 29 Mar 2012

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Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

cortland
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" is, or is likely to be, involved in activities that pose a risk to, or are likely to pose a risk to, the operational security of ASIS”."

Anyone on the payroll, right!

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

cortland
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Re: I have argued for many years

So here in the Untied Snakes, when asked why I don't own a firearm, I replied, "I'm an engineer. I can do worse with what's on the shelf at my supermarket." End of conversation, as my hearer sidled nervously away. So could any intelligent teenager FWIW.

We kill more of our fellows with automobiles than firearms anyway; an online acquaintance there in the UK wrote some years ago he was going to print bumper stickers reading:

"I'll start worrying about terrorists when I can stop worrying about motorists."

Watch out! There's a man with turban driving a car! Call the Army! Call the police! Call me a taxi!

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BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

cortland
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A theme, by Jove!

Sorry! Reception is no longer possible; you can hear our programming via your friendly PLC service.

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cortland
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Bring back

Shortwave -- long wave and medium wave too, for those afflicted by Blighty Web migration. Damn those spiders!

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German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

cortland
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Re: Actually, this may not be a bad idea...

In the security line...

Sir, you'll have to turn on that typewriter. Bomb Squad, STAT!

http://typewriterreview.com/2014/02/05/smith-corona-skyriter/

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MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

cortland
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Re: It's the lair of the white worm

Sex scene? Oh, WHERE's Dabbs when you need him?

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Unbridled BONKING and rampant ROGERING at YOUR office!

cortland
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R AR

http://www.a2-freun.de/forum/showpost.php?s=202330ed47f433c0abab2fe8785da675&p=455515&postcount=28

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OK, EU chiefs, 3 years of copyright wrangling - let's get it sorted. Now this white paper... DOH!

cortland
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Dog days?

Is that when members begin to chase their own "tales"?

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

cortland
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The UN is not *excatly* powerless but

it is EFFECTIVELY powerless because nations who wish it to do their bidding are all the rest of the time content to frustrate its ability to act.

And because (as they say in Nigeria) a tree that won't hold your weight when you lean on it can't hurt when it falls on you.

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Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!

cortland
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Already on file!

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Pluto

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Get an EYEFUL OF CURRY for the sake of your brain

cortland
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Re: Turmeric's not a root ...

I'll not curry favor, but it's good to have gotten to the root of all that. Pukka Sahib!

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It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

cortland
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Wakeup for masochists?

Some decades ago I proposed an electric Platoon Sergeant: First it blows a whistle, next it shakes the bed, and finally overturns it and roars at you.

Ah, technology!

And yes, I've BEEN a Platoon Sergeant.

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

cortland
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Big Brother

What's next?

Criminalizing communication by means untraceable to government, of course.

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

cortland
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Blackadder, right?

Hmm. Why am I thinking, "I have a cunning plan!"?

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cortland
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Here you are

On write only media, too.

http://img8.uploadhouse.com/fileuploads/15754/15754398626c257c6149a40fe7b70efc1a6917df.jpg

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Military-grade bruiser: Getac F110 rugged tablet... is no iPad

cortland
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Re: What, a QUIET USB3 port?

And also

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth

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cortland
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What, a QUIET USB3 port?

See http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

Having spent some decades working with radio interference and susceptibility specs, problems and fixes, I wish all electronics were quiet enough to meet Mil-Std 461.

(Your side of the Pond, DefStan 59: http://www.tuv-sud.co.uk/uk-en/industry/aerospace-defence/defence-testing-and-certification/uk-defence-standard-59-411-on-electromagnetic-compatibility).

Regrettably, they're not; the latest kefluffle here is LED and fluorescent lamp (luminaire) ballasts jamming safety, law enforcement and shortwave radio comms. The only good from that might be that they'll also mess up PLC. What fun.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

cortland
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So

So the lights are going off all across Europe. This time, HACKED.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/features/uk-turn-lights-next-month-3834559

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Give an exoplanet a new name: Fill in this form and hope these astro-boffins pick your $input

cortland
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Just pick 'em from EE Smith.

http://thelensuniverse.blogspot.com/2009/05/planet-trenco.html

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Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

cortland
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Lovely concept in a book; but it's the sort of thing that absolutely should not be allowed in real life.

Right. Hellfires are so much more humane.

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

cortland
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Re: Silly sod

Rare? I learned a few years ago -- I'm 70 -- that I'd been "on the spectrum," as they say, all my life.

FWIW department: An "aspie" memory got me caned for obstinance at St Pirans, ca 1953, when I couldn't answer questions about what I'd learnt the day before. Ask me in a week.

140 IQ (according to later US Army tests) but a doctor is asking me, slowly enough the imbecile he thought me would understand, "How many fingers am I holding up?" Fun, eh?

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

cortland
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Meanwhile in Brussels...

http://www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm/4328

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

cortland
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Prepare in advance

Generate data on millions of randomly spelled names with compliant but imaginary telephone numbers and IP addresses, for communications to occur in the future.

This probably violates six kinds of privacy laws.

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

cortland
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What you mean "we", paleface?

My 1970;s and 80's stereos work just fine, thanks, and a license-free FM transmitter serves the whole house. Even better, at 70 I don't NEED 20 KHz audio (can't hear it, in fact).

So F Off, you vendors. It's used CD's 'til I die!

Sons of toil and plunder

Will you knuckle under

Or bow down to RIAA?

(apologies to Rudolf Friml)

http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/s/songofthevagabonds.shtml.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

cortland
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Coat

Banned earplugs, woman

Could not be turned on, says TSA inspector...

"Neither can my wife," says passenger, as woman refused entry.

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

cortland
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Two words

Comb filter.

Do it in DSP and notch mains frequency harmonics.

Not that it will help. There's already a mike in the telephone.

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

cortland
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Re: I name this ship White Elephant.....

Not at all. What is lacks is an ability to SURFACE afterwards.

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cortland
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IT Angle

Re: Bust-up

That's for a SERIAL bus. Parallel has more impact.

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Experts suspiciously eye LOHAN's cantankerous canards

cortland
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It's done, then?

And that's your base canard, right? (ducking)

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Catch cack-handed baggage handlers in the act with Ericsson's SPY SUITCASE

cortland
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Could be worse

In,1984 or so, my then-employer wanted to find out how much shock a planned laptop computer needed to withstand. One of our VP's, a Russian who'd escaped the USSR many years previously, was flying to the Far East on company business, and he was elected to carry a clockwork-accelerometer-instrumented briefcase. The way I heard things, he might have gotten less attention on that trip if our tech had not had a very strange sense of humor....

When our flyer's bag was X-rayed at the San Francisco airport there was of course nothing for it but to open the briefcase. As the tale reached me, that was when the trip became interesting. The tech who fitted the instrument had done a little more than specified; he'd painted dowels used to hold the accelerometer in place red, stenciled "DYNAMITE" on them and wrapped copper wire around the package to really make people nervous.

At that point, a Russian accent probably did not help.

It was apparently a long enough trip for a hot temper to cool, else the tech might have been dismembered by one very Mad Russian on his return, but he wasn't even fired. IIRC, this was the same tech who later (IIRC) came to work one week with his arms bandaged, having on a fishing trip needed >100 stitches after one night falling into a campfire full of broken beer bottles and passing out...

Ah, youth!

http://devilanse.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/nablopomo-wang-laptop/

http://www.vincentflanders.com/wang-laptop.html

And in the "How the mighty are fallen" department:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wang-Laboratories-Vintage-Professional-Laptop-Floppy-Drive-Paper-Disks-Case-/291179730117?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item43cbaa14c5

No bids, four days to go and a minimum of just $50US.

But it was rugged! And as I can personally attest, it could take as much as 25kV of ESD.

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If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

cortland
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Re: The key to this is in the final para

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

--old saying

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

cortland
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Chicxulub

http://www.talkrational.org/showpost.php?s=aca42ed5af9ec9c7ca1b4bbfb09541c6&p=647691&postcount=20

However, I've heard it's said Chicks-who-lube. Ahem.

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LONGER flights burning MORE fuel can CUT planes' climate impact

cortland
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Say

"burning dinosaur food," not "dinosaurs."

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

cortland
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Gutenberg

And movable type were the tipping point for a wider spread of information and the end of church monopoly on what's in its bible. We've been waiting for the Net to go supersonic and maybe we are seeing it accelerating. How long will it be before the education that has been a guild monopoly (look at their robes) is available to everyone? Free!

The currency of physical trade is standards of living. THIS sea change will end with no one in Africa disconnected from the Net -- and everyone in Afghanistan allowed to use it.

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A future queen, the spy chief behind the Iraq 'dodgy dossier' – and a war base rendezvous

cortland
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Re: Oh, yeah... decode this:

My Uncle had a little ditty he learned in the Marines during WW2:

//

Radio, radio; RAH! RAH! RAH!

Three dits four dits two dits DAH!

//

KA5S

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cortland
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_ .... ._ _ ... _. .. _._. . ._._._

Can she get OFCOM to shut down PLC firms jamming reception of UK shortwave listeners and oeperators NOW?

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Hackers reverse-engineer NSA spy kit using off-the-shelf parts

cortland
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High School

Physics and Chemistry are a lot more capable than people like to think it is. The "railgun" I built at age 12 could embed ball bearings in my bedroom wall , and with more coils and some not very complex sequencing, could have penetrated them. Now imagine someone creative with a barrel of finishing nails...

The landlord and Dad bought me a crystal radio the very next week Gee. What a surprise.

FWIW, tune around; you may not need WiFi or Bluetooth to hear that CD player.

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TIME TRAVEL TEST finds black holes needed to make photons flit

cortland
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My electron

Feynman wrote that he once tried to verify mathematically the idea that there is in fact only one electron, traveling forwards and backwards (as a positron) in time,. Didn't work, but...

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Mobe-orists, beware: Stroking while driving could land you a £4k fine

cortland
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Facepalm

Re: GPS?

So's you'll *have* to take your eyes off the road. THAT makes sense.

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

cortland
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Ideitifying features

Physicist Richard Feynman wrote that he and some colleges went to conference on gravity and forgot the address. They told the taxi driver to go where other passengers using words like "mu" and "nu" with each other had sent him. No problem.

We don't have boffins in the US (One of my High School classmates -- 1962 -- would qualify for his work at Argonne National Labs) but sometimes use nerd or geek. I suspect these are rather off target, though; I've been called the latter myself simply because I know a little about electronics . (Is a kid who builds a railgun in his bedroom at 12 a nerd or a geek? The landlord thought I was a threat to his wallboard.)

A few years ago, before I retired, I was to do a class on practical electromagnetic compatibility at an aerospace firm to newly hired engineers , and had to drop part where I wanted to ask them the field radiated by a wire carrying current (given radiation pattern and resistance). High School arithmetic!

Boffins? Ask an archaeologist.

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cortland
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Boffin envy

Here in the US some three of ten adults I ask can't say what makes a dropped tennis ball bounce. That's the bad news. The good news is that about as many eight-to-ten-year-olds CAN, sometimes with a little help. We are working very hard to make sure they forget before they're old enough to vote.

FWIW. *I* junked my TV in 1997 and can still tell an ångström from an angleworm. (But see http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?122828-Pronunciation-of-angstrom)

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

cortland
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Re: @stanimir

Elegance counts!

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cortland
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A halber nar...

Say, a khokhem boffin (back-of-the-throat Hebrew "kh" ). Under Yiddish sayings, see "A halber nar iz a gantser khokhem." http://kehillatisrael.net/docs/yiddish/yiddish_pr.htm

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cortland
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Assembling the evidence...

http://www.transfur.com/Users/AlrightOwl/Images/puffinpotion.jpg

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MIGHTY SOLAR FLARES fail to DESTROY CIVILISATION. Yes!

cortland
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Surely

just the STEAM age, no? The telegraph system mostly survived one that DID hit us, with aurora's as far South as Cuba.

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

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LOHAN ideas..

cortland
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Do remember

That the thermal expansion/contraction of your your copper-wire (tinned?) electrical contacts and the tubing it slides into has to match. It is _slightly_ warmer at ground level than at altitude underneath the balloon, and it could be *embarrassing* were those wires to hang up on ignition.

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Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

cortland
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Re: Personally I think

Unbribed-Argh News Service: A little known turn of the century (not this one) car-maker recently lost -- if that's the right word -- a recent lawsuit alleging neglect, misfeasance and knowingly marketing an unsafe product. Despite a summons posted at the firm's last known site in Dunbarton, South Carolina*, none of its officers or their heirs or counsel appeared, leading to a default judgment retroactive to the date the product was sold.

Industry watchers -- after they stopped laughing -- said the case sets a precedent for firms such as Abble, Mcirosoft, and others whose obsolete products continue to cost their users.

*Dunbarton, SC is inside the boundaries of the US Atomic Energy Agency's Savannah River nuclear processing site. The process servers are expected to make a full recovery after bone marrow transplants.

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Fast-fingered Filho flicks aside WinPhone-furtling fumbler after 4 months

cortland
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.._. ._ ... _

I calculated him hitting 89 wpm. FAST fingered, indeed.

http://www.arrl.org/news/morse-code-at-140-wpm (receiving)

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/fastest-speed-for-a-morse-code-transmission/ (sending) 216 "marks"(?) in one minute

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Microsoft swats away FBI request for Office 365 subscriber data

cortland
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It is apparently not a crime to SAY one is subject fo an NSL unless he's actually gotten one.

I foresee a popular theme for webtags and avatars: "I got an NSL."

When it goes away everyone will know what happened.

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Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

cortland
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Ohmygosh --- fish F*CK in it!

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