Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Howdy. Not too much to report. Went to Cheddar's for dinner last night with Ryan and Jamie. I have to admit that I went in with sort of a skeptical eye, since, in general, I'm sort of opposed to big, chain restaurants, but Ryan and Jamie had been there before and enjoyed it, and I didn't want to be a snob...
Anyway, Cheddar's was pretty much what I expected. Better than Applebee's, and maybe a step above Bennigan's, but pretty much in the same vein (pretty standard fare prepared in pretty typical ways- the "hook" at Cheddar's is that they bring honey-soaked rolls to your table before you eat, but since I don't particularly like honey, that's not much of a draw for me). Our waiter was pretty annoying, but I'm not going to hold that against the entire restaurant, since waitstaff in Austin can tend to be pretty hit or miss, anyway.
I guess I would go back to Cheddar's, but it's not a place I would go out of my way to seek out, and I have to admit that I'm completely mystified by the huge crowd that was waiting to go into that place a couple of weeks ago when we tried to get in there. I only ordered a sandwich and a ceasar salad, and they were both ok, but I had a bit of difficulty finding things on the menu that interested me.
So that's Cheddar's. It seems to make Jamie happy, so I'm happy to go there every once in awhile, but I kind of doubt that it's going to make my top ten list.

And here's something that looks for all the world like a pseudo news article from The Onion, but I swear to God is real and from the Fox News web site: apparently there's a rumor amongst some of the protest groups which are planning to rally at the Democratic Convention this summer in Denver that a sonic weapon might be deployed by the police for crowd control which allegedly has the ability to make protesters feel disoriented, possibly nauseated, and which is rumored to cause people to lose control of their bowels (and involuntarily defecate). Protesters informally call the device The Brown Note or The Crap Cannon, and they claim that the weapon was already used against protestors in Miami during the free trade agreement protests of 2003. The article points out that the Discovery Channel program Mythbusters investigated the alleged sonicly induced defecation phenomenon in 2004, and found no evidence that particular sonic frequencies lead to defecation.
I love the fact that this article appeared on Fox News's main page. I'm sure that Fox's audience is rolling with laughter at the thought of a bunch of protest hippies literally crapping their pants as they run from the police in Denver.
I've heard of The Brown Note before. It's been a legend in the club circuit for years, with DJs swearing that they could make a dancefloor full of clubgoers mess their pants if only they could find a particular magical, mystical "brown note" to include as part of their song mixes.

Well, on that note, I gotta run, but you guys have fun.


The League said...

Well, the military DOES have a device designed for crowd control. It's called a "MAD" or magnetic audio device.


If you look at the last sentences of the article:

"That's not to say that sonic weapons can't do harm. Earlier this year in Jerusalem, the Israeli Army used a device nicknamed "The Scream" to scatter protest groups. The Scream sends out noise at frequencies that affect the inner ear, creating dizziness and nausea. The device can also cause hearing damage."

Keep your eyes peeled for how this thing is used as it won't leave welts like rubber bullets, and it won't leave anything obvious on video, like gas.

The League said...

Sorry, try this link to get to the story.

J.S. said...

Yeah, I guess I should have included the fact that real sonic weapons do, in fact, exist in my post. I think it's the issue of whether or not it makes you poop that moves the thing into the realm of urban legend (although nausea, dizziness, and disorientation are probably no fun, either). I wonder if wearing ear plugs would help to defend against this thing, or if the sonic frequencies cause vibrations that can travel through the body without necessarily having to go through the ear canal...

The League said...

I imagine if the thing is enough to make you throw up, a pair of Hear-o's isn't going to save the day.

There's also a "heat" weapon being tested. Some sort of beam weapon that just starts cooking you where you stand. I saw it demo'd on CNN, and the reporter seemed a little freaked out.

This isn't that story, but here you go.

Heat Beam story

The future is crowd dispersal.

J.S. said...

I think that if the cops are within their rights to use this kind of stuff on crowds, then the protesters oughta be within their rights to bust out the EMP...