Friday Night Funnies

April 23, 2010

The latest NewsBusted, with Jodi Miller:

Where our oil money goes

April 23, 2010

Oh, well. I suppose it’s better than having it go to bin Laden: Arabs Spend 5 Billion Dollars Annually on Magic and Sorcery

Dr. Fahd Bin Abdulaziz al-Sunaidi, a Professor at the Department of Islamic Studies of the King Saud University has revealed that Arabs spend a total of 5 billion dollars a year on practices of magic and sorcery, and that there is one magician for every 1,000 people in the Arab world.

During a lecture at the Department of Education in Najran entitled “The Media and Educations; Cooperation or Discord” Dr. Sunaidi said that the media campaign against magic and sorcery has significantly contributed to reducing the influence of this phenomenon in the Arab world.

In 2009 a study by the Center for Research and Study, which is affiliated with Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [CPVPV] set procedural guidelines in an effort to combat magic and those who practice it.

The report in question included scientific definitions of magic, witchcraft, divination, fortune-telling and other similar practices and a model in order to help uncover such practices.

The good doctor also recommended that efforts be made to fight Internet sites and other communication media that promote magic.

And I don’t think he’s talking about the card game.

Then again, maybe that link will get me in trouble with the CPVPV. Oh, what the heck. I’ve always wanted a fatwa of my own.

RELATED: They aren’t going to kill the sorcerer – yet.

When science fiction becomes real: US Space Marines?

April 23, 2010

Okay, so they won’t be as cool (yet) as the armored chap pictured above, but the Marine Corps has begun serious development on an orbital space plane that would be able to deliver combat troops anywhere in the world in under two hours:

After decades of unsuccessful development, military space planes are finally getting some respect. On April 19 the U.S. Air Force plans to launch the X-37B, an unmanned space plane that will circle the planet a classified number of times before making an autonomous landing. (Popular Mechanics profiled the effort as the magazine’s cover story in April.) The idea of a pop-up reconnaissance platform, to be used if a satellite is not available or is disabled, is an importantrationale for the Air Force’s project.

The Marines’ space plane takes the Corps’ slogan of “first to fight” to the extreme: It could transport a squad of Marine riflemen to anyplace on earth within 2 hours, and then extract them after their mission is complete. Though the goal is appealing—imagine delivering well-armed Marines at hypersonic speed to a suspected Osama bin Laden hideout or besieged embassy—the concept seemed outlandish to many when it was first proposed.

Of course, the idea of orbital insertion of combat troops and drop-ships or space planes isn’t a new one, but it always fascinates me how these ideas seem to start bearing fruit much sooner than science fiction usually assumes.

Neat stuff!

(via Confederate Yankee, who has thoughts on other applications)