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Apparently the city government in Birmingham England has not been outside in a while. They didn’t notice that they sent out 720,000 leaflets featuring a picture of the skyline for Birmingham, Alabama. The worst part?

This is the second time.

From the Associated Press:

Britain’s second-largest city, Birmingham, has a new skyline — only it belongs to its Alabama namesake. Birmingham City Council distributed 720,000 leaflets that praised residents for exceeding recycling targets, carrying a message that read: “Thank You Birmingham.” The message appeared stamped across a photograph of the city’s skyline. But the photo was not of Birmingham, England, but of Birmingham, Alabama.

It’s the second time British officials have mistakenly used images of Birmingham, Alabama. Three lawmakers who represent Birmingham at the European Parliament accidentally used a picture of the U.S. city on their Internet site in January.

Apparently, the Iranian government felt that showing 4 missiles being test fired yesterday would be 33% scarier than showing 3 missiles. Problem was that only three took off and one was stuck on the pad…

(click on the pictures to see more detail)

From the New York Times:

Agence France-Presse said that it obtained the image from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday. But there was no sign of it there later in the day. Today, The Associated Press distributed what appeared to be a nearly identical photo from the same source, but without the fourth missile.

As the above illustration shows, the second missile from the right appears to be the sum of two other missiles in the image. The contours of the billowing smoke match perfectly near the ground, as well in the immediate wake of the missile. Only a small black dot in the reddish area of exhaust seems to differ from the missile to its left, though there are also some slight variations in the color of the smoke and the sky.

Does Iran’s state media use Photoshop? The charge has been leveled before. So far, though, it can’t be said with any certainty whether there is any official Iranian involvement in this instance. Sepah apparently published the three-missile version of the image today without further explanation.

Candidate\'s Wives


David Brooks had some interesting insight into the relationship between presidential candidates and their wives. From his and Gail Collins’ blog at the New York Times:

Gail, Here’s why I’m not a politician. First, I can never imagine believing that I am qualified to be president of the United States. Second, I can never imagine meeting a person of the opposite sex who also believes I am qualified to be president of the United States. Third, if I did in fact meet such a person, I certainly would never marry her. I’d get a restraining order.

As a result, I’ve always felt political couples are bound by a joint delusion. They are both so nutso beyond the bend as to believe that one of them should be leader of the free world.

Smarter Than A Fifth Grader VS

The collected energy ministers of the EU have spent 18 months working on something, only they just discovered that they should have been working on something else…

From AFP:

Documents issued by the EU describing its ambitious energy and climate plan, unveiled in January 2007, have consistently said that 10 percent of all the fuel powering vehicles would come from plants by 2020.

A closer reading of the texts by the ministers apparently revealed otherwise.

“The member states realised that the Commission’s plan specifies that 10 percent of transport needs must come from renewable energy, not 10 percent from biofuels,” Jean-Louis Borloo, the French environment and energy minister, said at the close of the three-day gathering.

Apparently the White House has decided that playing peek-a-boo with the mail is an appropriate way to avoid bad news.  I used the same technique when I was four and didn’t want to eat my brussels sprouts.

peekaboo

From the New York Times:

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.

The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.

Nelson MandelaApparently Nelson Mandela will turn 90 on July 18th. In order to celebrate that event, the United States congress has decided to remove him from a list of known terrorists. Happy Birthday!!! From the article:

Rep. Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat, told the Africa Society late on Wednesday that removing organizations from the terrorist list was an administrative matter that had taken too long, adding: “We’re trying to make sure that he is not a terrorist when we celebrate his 90th birthday.”

This process has taken seven years. Once again, the Department of Homeland Security has got our back. Good job guys.