Monday, December 27, 2010

Amazon patents procedure to let recipients avoid undesirable gifts

...Amazon is working on a solution that could revolutionize digital gift buying. The online retailer has quietly patented a way for people to return gifts before they receive them, and the patent documents even mention poor Aunt Mildred. Amazon's innovation, not ready for this Christmas season, includes an option to "Convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred," the patent says. "For example, the user may specify such a rule because the user believes that this potential sender has different tastes than the user." In other words, the consumer could keep an online list of lousy gift-givers whose choices would be vetted before anything ships.

Amazon's idea has raised the ire of the Miss Manners crowd, which thinks the scheme rather uncouth. After all, receiving an e-mail notification of a forthcoming gift - and thereby being able to check its price - is hardly the same as unwrapping the item at home.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sally Ann bans Harry Potter and Twilight toys | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

The Salvation Army says it refuses to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys collected for needy children because they're incompatible with the charity's Christian beliefs.

The policy has alarmed a Calgarian who volunteered to sift through a southeast warehouse full of unused, donated items and was alarmed when he was told by Salvation Army officials that the two kinds of toys are "disposed of" and not given to other charities.

"I asked if these toys went to another charitable organizations but was told no, that by passing these toys on to another agency for distribution would be supporting these toys," said the man, who wouldn't give his name due to his occupation.

The man called himself an admirer of the Salvation Army and was impressed by the massive quantity of toys collected in city malls, schools and police stations through the Toy Mountain campaign.

But he questioned why the charity would be sifting out Harry Potter and Twilight toys, which involve sorcery and vampire themes, respectively.

"I was told to withhold a six-inch Harry Potter figure, but when I picked up a plastic M-16, I was told, 'That's for the 10-year-olds,'" he said.

"I was shocked...war-themed toys and toys from TV shows and movies with far more violence than Harry Potter and these were considered appropriate toys?"...

Click here to read the rest: Sally Ann bans Harry Potter and Twilight toys | Canada | News | Toronto Sun

Saturday, December 4, 2010



Am I the only one who finds this song totally suspicious? Basically it's a Christmas song that talks about Mary being a teenage mother scared and unprepared for parenthood, but happy at the outcome. The moral of the story, of course: A baby changes everything, you will be happier as a teenage mother.

So, what the heck is this? A fundie pro-lifer attempt to get teens to avoid abortions? Yet the lyrics promote getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Yes, I know they eventually identify the family as the Holy Family, but the underlying message is clearly about teenage pregnancy being a great thing. They were illegal immigrants too. Will the fundie teabaggers be promoting illegal immigration too?