Rick Santorum has failed to get on the ballot in Virginia, has failed to file full delegate slates in Tennessee, New Hampshire and Illinois, and has failed to submit enough delegates in several Ohio congressional districts. The fact that he cannot execute the simple tasks that are required to win the Republican nomination proves that Rick Santorum is incapable of taking on President [Barack] Obama’s formidable political machine.
In any case, with over 20,000 ballots already in for Super Tuesday’s early polling period and the the promise of more spending this year than in any previous election, we can expect a hotly contested battle this week that may ultimately decide who challenges Obama this November. Very soon, we’ll know who takes the lion’s share of delegates.
Of course, for many of us, the local weather may be a little more pressing than the national news. The death toll is mounting after a string of tornadoes on Friday. With some towns heavily damaged or outright leveled, the search for survivors is underway, and — as many of our Indiana subscribers will want to know — both Indiana and Kentucky are officially in states of emergency. Hopefully none of your families or friends were hurt in last week’s severe weather. Take care out there, everyone.
This week hasn’t brought any major global incidents like last week, but there are still some developing stories to consider. It appears that five U.S. soldiers and a local translator were responsible for the Quran burning last week, which sparked outrage throughout the Middle East that resulted in six U.S. troops being killed. Elsewhere, President Obama is concerned about Iranian plans to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has his own problems, as political rivals are moving to wrest control of parliament from his cronies. Perhaps the most shameful defeat was handed to Ahmadinejad’s younger sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad, in their hometown, Garmsar. Ahmadinejad belongs to what Iran terms its conservative party, and the conservatives technically have a big lead. However, many of those conservatives turned against their president last year after he challenged the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the theocratic ruler who is supposed to be obeyed unconditionally. This has set off an unprecedented power struggle between the two men and their respective supporters.
Syria has been the site of more volatile Middle Eastern turmoil, with rebel fighters battling the Syrian army throughout last week. With their position looking hopeless, the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad urged those around the country to “pray for us.” Nonetheless, it appears that their efforts have fallen short. Dozens of army deserters have already been executed, and with aid blocked to the rebels’ desperate stronghold in Homs, the revolt appears to be nearing its end. Still, the struggle has set off a diplomatic battle between the U.S. and Russia, the latter of which vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution last month. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the February veto “despicable,” blaming Russia for the inevitable “murders” of Syrian “women, children, [and] brave young men.” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin retaliated, blasting the U.S. for the “bellicose itch” to jump into other countries’ internal squabbles and saying that Russia would stop any American interventions in the Middle East. So much for President Obama’s hope for a “reset” of more cooperative U.S.-Russia relations.
We’ll also continue our coverage of the series of cruise ship disasters that have occurred over the past few weeks. By far, the biggest disaster was January’s Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy. The incident resulted in 32 deaths and has unearthed an array of scandals around the ship and its captain. Apparently, Francesco Schettino, who was at the helm of the Costa Concordia on its fateful voyage, damaged the Aida Blu cruise ship in June 2010 by sailing too quickly into the German port of Warnemunde. That’s right: the Costa Concordia wasn’t his first crash. He denied fault for the earlier Aida Blu incident, saying that he “did not know the speed limit.” Remind me to use that excuse the next time I get pulled over.
So why are we talking about the SNES now? Because it’s about to get a new release.
No, I’m serious! As Geekologie reports, the development company Super Fighter Team bought the rights to Nightmare Busters, a game whose development was scrapped in 1995, and are preparing for a 2013 release. It will be the first new game released for the system in 15 years. The company is currently taking pre-orders for the first 600 copies of the game, but Super Fighter Team asks “that only the most serious fans participate in the pre-order process.” So if you’re itching to dust off your old SNES and pop in a new cartridge, just send them $68 (or $75 if you’re outside the U.S.) over PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or money order (Super Fighter Team, P.O. Box 713188, Santee, CA 92072-3188), and you’ll have Nightmare Busters as soon as it’s complete.
In other gaming news, both Apple and Nintendo were shamed a couple of weeks ago when a fake, unlicensed Pokémon app became a bestseller on Apple’s App Store. The 99-cent “Pokemon Yellow” app, created by third-party developer Home of Anime, rocketed to #2 before being pulled. It raked in an estimated $10,000 in the week before it was yanked, a five-figure insult to the control that Apple maintains over its store in order to block disreputable apps like this one. At the same time, it’s yet another reason to question Nintendo’s decision not to publish smartphone applications — after all, if a fake app could make so much money in such a short time, imagine the profits that Nintendo could find with a legitimate piece of software. But even though Nintendo took its first ever operating loss last year, company representatives have repeatedly attacked smartphone games in general, saying that their developers “have no motivation to release high-quality software” and that “cheap, disposable smartphone games are one of the biggest problems facing the games industry today.” They may end up eating those words, unless their upcoming Wii U console is as much of a sensation as the Wii was.
Let’s finish this week with a little more tech news. Take a look at the newest weapon against annoyance, lovingly dubbed the “STFU Gun“:
Okay, so it’s not actually called the STFU Gun, despite how catchy the name might be. But the SpeechJammer, devised by scientists at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, really does make people physically incapable of speech. The device works by recording your speech and playing it back at you a few hundred milliseconds later. The problem is that humans listen to themselves while speaking in order to control their cadence, so when their timing is thrown off by the recording, they are rendered incapable of forming coherent sentences. The effect, called Delayed Auditory Feedback, pushes people into a pattern of stuttering. You may have experienced a similar effect if you’ve ever encountered feedback during a phone call. Interestingly, though, while the SpeechJammer induces stuttering in people with normal speech patterns, it actually seems to alleviate stuttering for those who suffer from the impairment.
That’s enough for this week. If I talk any longer, my fiancee’s going to grab her STFU Gun. Ha ha!… ha.