Thursday, May 18, 2017

History: The Year is 2006

I've uploaded year 2006 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* The Spinach E. Coli Outbreak -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* The UK Foils Yet Another Airline Bombing Plot -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


The Spinach E. Coli Outbreak

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
The story begins at two major fast food outlets, but they are not the problem. The farms that grew the produce for the restaurants are the problem. As December rolls around, a lot of people become ill, mostly in New York and New Jersey. It's E. Coli bacteria usually associated with contaminated, uncooked food. The source is traced to Taco Bell, and Taco John's. The restaurants are judged clean, but they are using prepackaged lettuce and spinach. The food processing and packaging are also judged blameless. Somehow the contamination comes from the farms themselves. The E. Coli outbreak is finally traced back to farms in California's Central Valley region. Local streams are contaminated. Apparently, cow and pig waste is making its way into the farming irrigation system. With several people dead and many more hospitalized, lawmakers are looking into legislation. California is looking at a major disaster for their farming industry. (You may not realize this, but California is a major farming state.) Since the farmers do not want intrusive regulations imposed upon them by lawmakers who think that food comes from supermarkets, they move quickly to draft standards to address the problem. The standards mainly involve the regular testing of irrigation water by state inspectors and training produce workers in sanitary practices. Comedian Jay Leno jokes that the produce pickers should not be stuffing lettuce down their pants. (Uh... yeah. Thanks, Jay.) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The new rules helped, and produce buyers limited themselves to the farms that pledged to keep to the rules, but contaminated produce remains a concern. Eventually outbreaks coming from Mexican produce forced the Obama Administration to sign new federal legislation regulating produce coming into the country. (That is the federal government's role, after all.) If you will recall the past Mad Cow disease scare, people were frightened that the meat they were eating could kill them... ten years down the line. While that concern was well-founded, the probability that one might die from Mad Cow disease is very small compared to dying from a contaminated melon, cucumber or salad. It's like the difference between being hit by lightening or being hit by a random motorist. Both can result in serious injury or death, but one is more likely to happen to you than the other.


Contributed by Southpaw Ben
My Take by Southpaw Ben

The UK Foils Yet Another Airline Bombing Plot

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Last year the London transportation system came under attack by British Islamic terrorists using homemade peroxide bombs. (The bombs failed to detonate, but the blasting caps went off just fine.) In the midst of that bombing investigation, four British-Pakistani subjects come under surveillance. They have been buying items out of the ordinary, and in larger quantities than one would normally use... such as bottles of hydrogen peroxide. It's normal stuff found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and used as a medical disinfectant. When it is mixed with other chemicals it is used to bleach one's hair, but how much of the stuff does a normal person use in year? If you try really, really hard, maybe a quart, but several quarts in a month? Forget it! While returning from a visit to Pakistan, British agents search a suspect's luggage. It contains powdered Tang® and batteries. While these are normal items, MacGyver could use them, along with peroxide and a few other things, to make a bomb. The police break into the suspect's apartment and set up a camera and microphone. He and his buddies are turning drinking bottles to bombs. One suspect visits an internet cafe to look up international flights over the Atlantic that will leave from Heathrow International. Then they record their jihad suicide videos. That does it. They are arrested. Everyone they know is arrested. Heck, they arrested a mother too! The list is long, but only a few will be convicted of plotting to murder thousands. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm NOT going to tell you how to make a bomb with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide... mostly because I have no idea how to do that, but even if I did know, I wouldn't want to give any budding pyromaniacs any ideas. Any MORE ideas, that is. I will say that this bombing plot was NOT in the execution phase. It was in the "Let's test this out and see if we can get the chemicals on board the plane" phase. That is close enough for me. Accidents happen, and the chemicals the terrorists were using are inherently unstable. Did the terrorists have links to Al Qaeda? Probably, but that is the wrong question to ask. Al Qaeda is a leaderless organization. Jihadists sympathetic to Al Qaeda do not require a "go" order. They already know what to do, so they just do it. That is what makes a leaderless organization so difficult to stop... personal initiative. It's not always a good thing. [20]

Notable Births

None that I can find at this time.--alexshrugged

Notable Deaths

  • Gerald Ford (age 93, coronary artery disease): President of the United States. He had selected the University of Michigan fight song, "Hail to the conqu'ring heroes for his funeral procession." [21] [22]
  • Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (age 39, injuries from 2 laser-guided bombs): 1st Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. (Bye-bye.--alexshrugged) [21] [23]
  • Saddam Hussein (age 69, execution by hanging): President of Iraq. (He requested to be shot because he thought it was more dignified. Request denied.--alexshrugged) [21] [24]
  • Slobodan Milosevic (age 64, heart attack): President of Yugoslavia. He was on trial for crimes against humanity and genocide. [21] [25]
  • And... Milton Friedman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Steve Irwin ("The Crocodile Hunter"). [21]

This Year in Film

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: A film based on the Disneyland amusement ride. [26]
  • The Da Vinci Code: A professor hunts for the Holy Grail. (The interpretation of ancient documents is total BS, but fun.--alexshrugged) [26]
  • And...: Cars, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and V for Vendetta. [26]

This Year in TV

  • Heroes: Human beings with superpowers are hunted down and controlled... or killed. (Great show.--alexshrugged) [27]
  • Friday Night Lights: A Texas high school football team drama based on the book and movie. [27]
  • Disney's Hannah Montana: Miley Cyrus plays a teenage recording artist. (Quite a stretch. Eh?--alexshrugged) [27]

This Year in Music

  • Madonna's Confessions Tour breaks all records: Every venue is sold out within hours. [28]
  • Tower Records assets are auctioned off: With iTunes selling its billionth song this year, the reason is obvious. (A customer of Tower Records could listen before buying. Apple iTunes samples are online and available for instant purchase per track rather than purchasing an entire album.--alexshrugged) [28]
  • White and Nerdy: "Weird Al" Yankovic hits the Billboard top ten. (Funny and sounds good too.--alexshrugged) [28]

This Year in Video Games

  • New Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS: 900,000 copies are sold in the first 4 days in Japan. [29]
  • Gears of War for the Xbox 360: Sales will reach $1 billion over 8 years. [29]
  • Resistance: Fall of Man for the PlayStation 3: A horror-SciFi first-person-shooter. Controversy erupts due to a shooting scene inside Manchester Cathedral. [29]
  • And... Madden NFL 07: (What else?--alexshrugged). [29]

In Other News

  • US housing bubble: over a million foreclosures are filed: A stock market meltdown ensues. [30] [31]
  • General Motors loses $8.6 billion: (Golly! I know I left it here somewhere.--alexshrugged) [32] [31]
  • Insurance company AIG apologizes for deceptive business practices: It makes a $1.64 billion settlement with the federal government. Next year that same federal government WILL BAIL OUT AIG to the tune of $180 billion because AIG insured sub-prime mortgages without sufficient collateral. [33] [31]
  • Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion: . [31]
  • The Blu-ray Disc is released in the US: . [31]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2006, Wikipedia.

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