India's red hot chili grenade

Think mustard gas is bad?

In possible contravention of long-standing international conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, the Indian military has announced the addition to a new weapon to its arsenal: chili grenades.

Made from bhut jolokia -- the spiciest chili pepper in the world, according to the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records -- the grenades are expected to be "effective nontoxic weapon[s]... [whose] pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts."

I urge readers to be on the lookout for one of these things at the next international weapons exhibition they attend.  



Chavez to join the blogosphere

While his media-savvy is undeniable, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has never been the most tech-savvy of leaders. He has equated Twitter users with terrorists and threatened to impose controls on Internet content. But apparently not satisfied with his weekly TV broadcast or his radio-show that can air at any time of day, Chavez has apparently decided he needs a beachhead in the blogosphere

He said a computer is being set up in a room of the presidential palace of Miraflores--and from it he would directly inform the public on who he is meeting with, what legislation he's signing, and other presidential matters.

"I'll be communicating with millions, and not just in Venezuela, but the whole world," Chavez said, who didn't provide any possible start-up dates for the blog.

Chavez said he also would use the blog to respond to comments and questions from readers, both supporters as well as those opposed to him. "It's going to be a battle, indeed," Chavez said.

The Web has been a favorite outlet for the Venezuelan opposition and student activists who are already sharpening their knives for Chavez's blog debut.

In more serious news, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission is holding hearings on Venezuela today, possibly including the case of hunger-striker Fraklin Brito.