November 04, 2005

LinkNews Digest [11/04/2005]

Denver Cool with Pot Possession

DENVER -- Residents of the Mile High City have voted to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. Authorities, though, said state possession laws will be applied instead. Under the measure, residents over 21 years old could possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

"We educated voters about the facts that marijuana is less harmful to the user and society than alcohol," said Mason Tvert, campaign organizer for SAFER, or Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation. "To prohibit adults from making the rational, safer choice to use marijuana is bad public policy."

Bruce Mirken of the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project said he hoped the approval will launch a national trend toward legalizing a drug whose enforcement he said causes more problems than it cures.

Seattle, Oakland, Calif., and a few college towns already have laws making possession the lowest law enforcement priority. (LINK)

Red Light Cameras in L.A. Unplugged Since June

A day after Councilman Dennis Zine revealed that Los Angeles' red-light cameras had been unplugged in June, several colleagues suggested Tuesday that he should have hit the verbal brakes. Zine said he was just telling the truth.

"I don't think it was good" that he told, Parks said. "People see those cameras and slow down. It's a deterrent."

Zine's disclosure came during a debate Monday over awarding a contract to a new vendor for the cameras, which photograph red-light-running drivers and their vehicles' license plates.

Red-light running has long vexed traffic officials. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 900 people were killed and 176,000 injured in the United States because of red-light runners in 2003.

The LAPD has said the cameras reduced the number of accidents at those intersections by 18%. About 64,000 citations, at $271 each in 2002 but eventually hitting $351, were issued in the first four years. (LINK)

Catholic High School DNA Girl Scientists

Sounds like great idea for an Anime series. Or geek pr0n.
HILTON HEAD, South Carolina -- There were many big-league DNA scientists at the annual genome sequencing conference held here last month, but no one stood out more than a slight high school teacher in religious habit towing five of her students through the imposing crowd of genetics pioneers with a quiet grace.

The unlikely delegate was Sister Mary Jane Paolella, of Sacred Heart Academy, an all-girls Roman Catholic high school in Hamden, Connecticut. She wasn't here on a sightseeing trip. Paolella showed up with her students to make an official presentation of DNA sequencing data that her honors biotechnology class generated from genes associated with osteoporosis. (More from the WIRED Magazine Article)

The Only Legal Way to Kill a Home Invader

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - It looked like a crime scene, but no charges will be filed after Wayne Goldsberry killed a buck with his bare hands in his daughter's bedroom.

The engagement lasted an exhausting 40 minutes, but Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.

Benton County Sheriff Keith Ferguson said that when he arrived he found the deer dead in the front yard. Goldsberry intended to have the deer processed for its meat.

Gay said that, this time of year, bucks that see their reflection in windows often charge them, believing the mirror image to be a rival. (LINK)

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