In "I believe I've been hijacked"

Glad to hear things are looking up! Since I got rid of that Google redirect rootkit I have been much more careful. Mine got infected simply by viewing an innocent blog with malicious code posted to it - a Java exploit that installed the rootkit automatically. I'd recommend using NoScript Firefox plugin and disabling Java.

Sounds a bit like one I had... *very* persistent and didn't get removed by my usual tools (Avast, Malwarebytes AntiMalware & HijackThis). I saw a recommendation on a forum for these strangely named progs and they did the trick: 'Norman Malware Cleaner' 'Hitman Pro' I then ran scans with all my usual progs (in Safe Mode) and used SpybotS&D and IOBitSecurity360 to confirm things were AOK.

In "Curious George: Pets on a Plane"

Thanks again for the excellent advice monkeys - we arrived safely in the UK with pets and people intact :) Both our pets seemed to have had a good flight - we had ice-water dishes zip-tied inside their cages and kept checking-up with Virgin Atlantic that they were loaded/unloaded at departure and destination. They were well-cared for by Virgin Cargo US and Heathrow UK staff. However, there were some aspects that I'd warn people about... mostly to do with DEFRA bureaucracy. We had spent months checking DEFRA's website, and making sure we had all the correct paperwork for both pets from USDA, DEFRA and Virgin Atlantic. We were pretty sure we had everything in order, but on one form we had used the American date system mm/dd/yy and we had corrected it to the British date dd/mm/yy. According to the lady from DEFRA this "could be evidence of tampering"(!) Another piece of paperwork was from a USDA accredited vet, but apparently needed a "star" stamp from USDA... even though we had a "round" stamp from USDA on another similar piece of paperwork. These two errors meant we couldn't actually see the animals on arrival at Heathrow Animal Centre, and had a nerve-wracking five-hour wait and had to pay £230 for a vet to come out and inspect them yet again. In case it's useful for anyone, these are the minimum requirements for USA to UK pet travel without quarantine: 1. pets need to be chipped (with an "ISO" chip), and have proof of chipping date (which HAS to be before their rabies vaccination date). 2. they need an original Rabies Vaccination Certificate and Rabies Antibody Test Result. 3. You need to wait 6 months after that Rabies test (they may reduce that to 3months I think) 4. They need an "official PET passport certificate" endorsed by the USDA. 5. They (might) need a USDA Health certificate (stamped properly). If you can't find a USDA vet that has any "UK PET passport certificate" forms (see step.4). Most US vets, understandably, seem to know nothing about this UK paperwork. 6. They need an "EU 3rd Country Health Certificate", stamped by a USDA-approved vet 7. They need a certificate that treatment against tick/tapeworm using DEFRA-approved chemicals (Praziquantel/FrontlinePlus/Drontal) took place within 24-48hours of travel. 8. They need to have all this documentation validated before departure by an accredited USDA vet. 9. They need to travel in an IATA approved kennel... of the correct dimensions (enough room to stand-up and turn around) and with enough ventilation holes (Virgin gave me a power-drill to ventilate our cat's "IATA approved" kennel at the last minute!). 10. They have to fly on an "approved" airline, on an "approved route"... i.e. not just any airport. That's all I can remember just now - I may have missed some stuff, and all this bureaucracy may change. DEFRA's website has most of the info, but it is not a very well laid out website. Virgin Atlantic Cargo were very nice, but seem to try to distance themselves from the DEFRA paperwork, saying they thought it was "all on DEFRA's website" (which it isn't) and that DEFRA had "advised Virgin not to give people detailed advice" on the UK paperwork required... "in case they get it wrong". A bit of a cop-out, considering both Virgin and DEFRA are getting so much money for transporting pets - it cost double our human air-fares. They could at least organise a system where the airline sends people a concise list of everything they need! Anyway, all's well that ends well - despite the DEFRA/USDA paperwork kerfuffle our pets were well looked after by Virgin Cargo JFK & the Animal Reception Centre Heathrow and we were very relieved that they didn't have to go into quarantine. So, to sum-up this lengthy spiel... stick with one date-system throughout and make sure you find a USDA vet who is really familiar with the finer points of British bureaucracy!

In "Curious George: Oven Self Destruction"

Something else to be careful of... depending on the age of the oven there's a chance the molten metal could be mercury. I had an oven that stopped working in a similar way. A thin tubular thermostat containing mercury corroded and leaked its contents, leaving a small toxic puddle and meaning that the oven could no-longer regulate the temperature. Less likely with a modern electric oven, but worth being aware of. Here's more information about mercury in ovens (and other devices): Oven thermostats were made of mercury until the mid 1970s. This was another capillary and bellows full of mercury that expanded and contracted as the temperature rose and fell. This device was connected to a switch that controlled the main oven burner.

In "Curious George: Pets on a Plane"

Thanks monkeys, much appreciated. Yes, will be following that good advice about zip-ties, ID labels and talking to the pilot. Other advice we've had is to put ice-cubes in their dishes, rather than water which would spill out. Currently from talking to Virgin and Continental it looks like the pets travel will be considerably more pricy than ours. Virgin were slightly cheaper, friendlier and e-mailed us all the forms. One more thought about "in-cabin" to Europe, which seems like it would've been much less stress for the pets than cargo: KLM/Northwest have said that they do allow small pets in-cabin to Europe (just not to the UK) and Wikipedia currently says " The UK restricts incoming flights to only ship animals as cargo. A cheaper alternative around this aberration in the rules is to fly to some other European city, such as Paris or Amsterdam, and then travel to the UK by rail or ferry instead, which do not have this restriction. " Should I believe this?


the sound of drifting tumbleweed (overlayed with canned laughter) Good satire gives a kicking where it's due, to idiocy from left, right & center... the right don't have a monopoly on stupidity. The writers of this show need to watch Comedy Central for some tips. (on preview, agree with TehUnderpants above)

In "Oxana is a feral child, one of only about 100 known in the world. "

interesting story, reminds me of ... yep, orientated is more common here in Britland [more]

In "Monkey pulls the tiger cub's tail,"

yay for monkeys (and tigers) Here's a different version (without distracting overlays) on Youtube and more about it: " A young white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) playfully keeps attacking two young tigers without ever getting caught by them. The gibbon appears to enjoy it, the tigers maybe less so. " from the 'Gibbon Network' website, lotsa cool gibbon flix there :)

In "This dude needs a new name. "

Elrond Ablution Skidoodle

In "Evolution of the eye."

bah... not there anymore: "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." ?

In "Bose-Einstein Condensates"

cool, to an atomic level Wish they'd had sites like this when I was falling-asleep over turgid textbooks of Quantum stuff at Uni. Also, much better than the animations in What the Bleep, which seems quite misleading (from the excerpts I've seen).

In "Despite the War, Love blossoms in Iraq"

Lonely man or hoax? What makes me suspicious is that it's not the first vid of US soldiers larking about with a donkey

In "Deportation rocks an island community:"

Thanks Plegmund - great news (with the caveat that there's a chance that the Home Office may appeal). The fact that justice finally prevailed and 10,000 Shetlanders supported him will hopefully take away some of the nasty taste left by his treatment from the knee-jerk cretins in the UK Home Office. Here's the story from the Shetland News and the Scotsman newspaper.

In "Nice tits"

Don't despair! The tits have been saved for posterity.

In "2 minutes silence in London"

v.sorry to hear that muteboy That Radio4 prog was v.moving, also there was a this documentary about the bomber, Khan. Apparently he was v.westernised as a kid, called himself "Sid" and brought back cowboy boots from a trip to the USA, which he loved. The supposed turning point was later-on when he went paintballing and found some 'fundie' friends. Shades of Bowling for Columbine.

In "HaHaHa America"

"the film is made by Jon Daniel Ligon, whose bio at his firm Improved & New Advertising, lists him as a former J Walter Thompson Senior Vice President with an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. In other words, it’s not the translated work of an angry young Chinese filmmaker" - more comment at this blog

In "Deportation rocks an island community:"

@berek We have an island called Rum - with no pubs. @chyren Shetlanders have got a kickass fire festival. Those vikings are a bad influence on today's youth.

In "Fuck yeah!"

haha, thanks for that laugh :) found this sharper version via their their wiki entry

In "Bohemian Rhapsody."

great links - Freddie rocked, what a voice ouch, the singing in the political one is rather painful - only just redeemed by screaming Powell and the "ballots put aside for me" :)

(limited to the most recent 20 comments)