January 2002 Archives
Aardappel's tiny game engine Cube
is a tiny game engine (8 Mb) hosting a singleplayer/multiplayer first person shooter game.
Note well: the engine is still in beta stages, and also VERY different from any fps engine you have seen before. Failure to read the documentation in its entirety may cause you to:
- miss out on the cool features.
- run it in an unoptimal way for your system.
- conclude it "sucks" prematurely.
Coolest feature: the ability to "edit" the world, to add or remove architectural features and power-ups, on the fly, in the middle of a multi-player game.
Over the years, there have been more than a few misconceptions about Macs. Now Apple take's a look at some of the most popular ones.
Was tonight's "Will and Grace"
a coming out episode for Rosie O'Donnel? Sure, it was her character that came out---(though, so was Ellen's)---but she seemed a little choked up when she said the line: "Jack, I'm gay." PlanetOut.com
discusses the matter and reports that Rosie will be coming out for real in her soon to be published Biography: "Find Me." Either way, though, whether it was just her character or Rosie speaking through the character, it was a prettty memorable TV moment.
Not sitting at the front of the Airbus? Then maybe you need to pack a light bag, book a tight itinerary and rack up those miles. Here's a nice tool
for finding efficient flights. Otherwise the terrorists have already won.. ha!.
The business of crying in Japan
Interesting LAT article that discusses the controversy behind a Japanese lawmaker's comment on the use of tears by females.
We interrupt your war on terror to attack abortion rights...
The Bush administration has declared that a fetus is an unborn child
. And why not? Everyone believes in prenatal care. And of course, if the government wanted to extend medical coverage to poor pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS), it could have done so directly. But then, what fun is that?
New Scientist release a copyleft article on......wait for it......copyleft.
In it, they discuss what's going on in the world of Open Source and how the meme is spreading from software into other areas, like encyclopedias and law. It concludes saying that open source is currently good for things that don't need to be confidential and do need to be consistently upgraded/changed. Does open source have a chance, or is it just a passing fad? via slashdot
Bill & Melinda Gates' $24 Billion Charity
"The Gates Foundation often makes grants only on condition that governments or other nonprofits match them, and requires that recipients meet regular goals for performance—or risk losing their funding. (That hardball approach has met with criticism from some members of the philanthropic community, who argue that holding people to ambitious standards may make sense in Redmond but not in places where millions can’t read.) And experts have calculated that improvements in health care themselves have a huge ripple effect in the poorest countries: if parents believe their children will live longer, they save more and reproduce less. That will help create capital for investment, which will spur more development and so on, in a "positive feedback loop," as the techies like to say in Redmond."
Ideas have consequences.
On the subject of the Daniel Pearl kidnapping, an interesting letter to Media News today (scroll down to the "Journalists as Political Operatives" item), reads in part, "I would not want to trivialize it for all the world, but I am constrained to point out that it was only recently that Mr. Pearl's newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, felt compelled to praise the book "Bias" which perports to lay bare the 'liberal bias' of mainstream journalism. In fact, the WSJ editorial board has for years persisted, along with other conservative commentators, to label journalists as political tools in service of a larger political agenda. The kidnappers of Mr. Pearl insist that he is a political tool, a spy, for some foreign government (one day the U.S., the next day Israel.) Where could they have possibly gotten the idea that journalists are not the dedicated professionals they claim to be but are instead something else in disguise?" Thoughts?
Raisethefist.org shut down?
This hasn't been picked up by major media yet, but does appear in the Progressive Review. Apparently, raisethefist.org was shut down by Secret Service, FBI, and local law enforcement, for unspecified reasons. Is this a First Amendment issue? Is this a police state in action? Or does anybody have credible evidence that there's genuine illegal activity behind the shutdown?
Michael Jackson Wants Global Children's Holiday
``It would mean a lot. It really would. World peace. I hope that our next generation will get to see a peaceful world, not the way things are going now.'' Uh-huh. Does he have any comprehension of his public image about the fixation with children?
The chances you've played these games are slim.
Very slim. We're talking about arcade games made by Atari limited to runs of 2 or 3. Prototypes from dumpsters and ex-employee yard sales, original (hand-drawn!) marquees, garage-soldered circuit boards.
Somehow, this one guy keeps getting his hands on them. Lucky bastard. Sure obsessions like this might seem unhealthy, but he has working versions of Marble Man
, Primal Rage II
, and Beavis and Butthead
; you don't.
is a new housing design concept in London. It's a small living space intended for young urban types; as a gimmicky promotion, two people will live in Microflats within a department store. Flash required.
Pass it along
: GM buys Chumbawamba song for $70,000. Chumbawamba takes money and gives it to corporate watchdogs that use the money to fund anti-GM ads. All of which makes up for how annoying "Tubthumping" got after awhile.
Shut down the CBC?
Or at least, it's English-language television service? A former top CBC exec says CBC English TV has lost its financial viability, and should be sacrificed before it pulls down the CBC as a whole. What gives?
It ain't just Enron
-- This kind of pro forma reporting of "profits" is shifty, misleading, and common practice. Should us small investors be worried? Or do I need to be an accountant to know why this isn't a bad thing? And does this mean that there more Enrons out there, ready to implode in a pile of worthless paper?
Is a technology of ecstasy worth the risk?
My favourite critic Barbara Ehrenreich
writes a real thought-provoker for Forbes.
"We don't need ecstasy, of course. For that matter, we don't need plain old genitally driven orgasms either; humans can get along just fine and even reproduce without them. But we are, for unknown evolutionary reasons, wired for ecstatic experience--never mind that our current social arrangements do not encourage it. Since ancient techniques of ecstasy like the danced ritual are no longer easily applicable, why not develop new ones, more congenial to an overpopulated and urbanized world?"
Well, why not? Aldous Huxley's Soma is way overdue
Surely Pork and Apple?
The leader of a maverick team of biotechnicians has created Pigs with an implant of spinach genes. Lambs are to have mint sauce implant in the near future?
Is liquidating arafat the answer?
Ariel sharon claims that he should have liquidated Yasser Arafat in 1982, when perhaps he had the oppurtunity. Surely this is sharon diplomacy at its best.
The Guardian's story on Blogger Pro
covers everything you've heard about in the past week, but gets interesting at the end. "We have a tremendous amount of content flowing through our system, all in these little chunks that are separate from their sites. It should be easy to index and aggregate and present to people in all kinds of different ways.
" Blogger as the Associated Press of weblog syndication services?
"That's it. I'm done. Done writing books."
After Stephen King publishes his next five new books, he's ending his career in publishing. Viewing his latest work as mere recycles of older novels that he has written, he's choosing to stop while he's at the top of his game rather than meet a grim end to his career. Are any fans of his work disappointed or do you feel satisfied with the body of work that he has created over his career?
Video of a AIDS infected Rumanian kid fighting the medical bureacracy for therapy. Rumania has the highest no of pediatric AIDs cases - a legacy of the Ceausescu days when tainted blood and dirty needes were used regularly for blood transfusions (from WP)
that's the unofficial response from Baghdad it seems, regarding Bush's State of the Union Address. Who's overstepping here?
NBC announces "that if things go well at the Salt Lake City Olympics, then these could be America's 'healing Games.' Plus, NBC stands to make a lot of money."
Children can be cruel
and remarkably inventive with it, as this directory of playground insults shows. It's the personal remiscences which explain each insult that make it worthwhile.
. It looks like Verizon manages to get kudos on their service while getting relatively little exposure while they are trying to lock-in their customers. What do you think? Does it make sense to go to 3G with Verizon or should one go with competitive content providers who are willing to let you keep your phone numbers when we leave them? Which is more important?
The latest on the WSJ Reporter
... Damn. "The group that claims it has kidnapped a Wall Street Journal reporter in Pakistan has sent e-mail to news organisations threatening to kill him within 24 hours unless the U.S. government released Pakistani prisoners held in the Afghan war."
Just a follow-up
on this MeFi thread
, because the link has been making its rounds around the Internet. It's a hoax, folks. Sorry.
The building of this
has kept the average car driving commuter of my fair city enraged for 18 months. Not one person who complained to me, the token non-driver, knew that they were going to be wind-powered musical bus stops. Aren't they going to be happy when they find out? :)
There's also an audio (RM) link here
Is the Internet Suffering from Acute 'Englishitis'?
"...the advantage among Net surfers will soon no longer belong to English-speaking users but rather to those who master several languages. Multilingualism is without a doubt the future of the network...."
Lileks doesn't like us anymore.
He's had it with Metafilter and is looking for some other place to go on the web. Suggestions? [His journal entry will be up until late tonight, then will go into the "previous" section.]
How To Lose Faith Without Really Trying:
I lost mine when I was 13 and only recovered it twenty years later. I slowly read my way back to God. James Grimmelman lost his the same way. Reading Kierkegaard did it for him. Faith doesn't come easy but you can certainly lose it in a hurry...[This article from the Killing The Buddha webzine. Other good stuff by Grimmelman can be found on his web site, Laboratorium.
Rats R Us.
"Rats are the backbone of much scientific research, but only a few off-the-shelf models are available," says the National Centre for Research Resources
. So a new "rat boutique" is being opened to provide scientists with more diverse selection.
GOP Will Fight GAO Lawsuit.
Says Orrin Hatch, "the General Accounting Office, shouldn't be 'trying to impose disclosure on internal White House meetings to determine policy. ... If you have to do that, pretty soon there wouldn't be any meetings.'"
This is going to be a tough move to defend come election time.
The National Toboggan Championships
will be held this coming weekend in Camden, Maine. As a past resident of the area I can say that this event, and toboggan runs in general, are a blast. Read About
or Listen to
(about 40 minutes into the Real Audio File), descriptions of the event.
Any toboggan runs or similarly impressive downhill snow events in your neck of the woods?
The USA Freedom Corps
announced last night during the State of the Union address now has a live website for you to peruse. Is this a long-overdue program, or another feel-good waste of tax dollars? Can you name a better way to serve your country and countrymen?
Convict Heart Transplant
A 31 year old 2 time felon just got a heart transplant, costing tax payers close to $1 million dollars. With an annual additional cost of $15,000.
Right? Wrong? I'm not so sure.
The SEC has created a fake website
to try and educate the naive. I can't decide if this is a good idea, or if someone has too much time on their hands and is wasting my tax dollars.
Lisa Gier King
- 'clearly willing and consensual sexual intercourse'
'Yahraus has consistently maintained that his sexual relations with King were consensual, a view shared by the police, the state attorney's office and the court'
or institutional misogyny
Difficult to comment
without seeing the film. Will releasing this film help either case
Hard to find anything online from the alternative viewpoint
Power of Ten
View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
Jesus at 250 feet.
Tom Monaghan, best known as the owner of Domino's Pizza, wants to build a 25 story high crucifix on his Ann Arbor, MI property. Is this a monument to religion or a really tacky roadsign?
Governor of Maryland married his deputy chief of staff;
she resigned (effected immediately) from her $103,588 position on Friday, the day the couple were married. I'm sure boss/subordinate relationships go on all the time, but isn't it a problem when the boss is the governor of a state? I'm not one to focus on the personal lives of politicians, but this does raise my eyebrows. What do you think -- should state employees be subject to a dating policy simply because they work in the government? Or is this no big deal?
A new dynamic in e-publishing?
While at work today, I stumbled on Safari
, an online book library of sorts from O'Reilly & Associates, Addison Wesley Professional, New Riders and about 4 other companies (as previously mentioned here
). It allows to select from upwards of 1000 books, fully searchable and bookmarkable, online for a flat monthly subscription rate.
Safari is just for tech books, but wouldn't it be interesting to see the technology and business plan adapted for other uses?
U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher On Why The DMCA Sucks
has a Great Editorial
by Rick Boucher
who says traditional "fair use" rights are at the foundation of the receipt and use of information by the American people, and those rights are now under attack.
He goes on to say Congress agreed to a fundamentally flawed bill, which created the new crime of circumvention--a crime divorced from over a century and a half of respect for the fair-use rights of consumers. The DMCA, as enacted, quite clearly tilted the balance in the Copyright Act toward complete protection and away from information availability.
"Consider the implications. A time may soon come when what is available for free on library shelves will only be available on a pay-per-use basis. It would be a simple matter for a copyright owner to impose a requirement that a small fee be paid each time a digital book or video documentary is accessed by a library patron. Even the student who wants even the most basic access to only a portion of the book to write a term paper would have to pay to avoid committing a crime."
The Washington Post's tech site was hacked yesterday. Here's the text
(via FuckedCompany) that appeared after the hack and before the WaPo crew shut the site down. As of tonight, it is still not back up at its own domain
. Not sure why this gives me glee. I just wish one day someone could hack something and leave something profound in the way of a message.
to the state of the union address. I'm surprised that there isn't a play by play thread yet. Comments?
The most misunderstood and underrated band of the '80's is back.
And they've got a website and a terrific tribute album (featuring Motorhead and Chuck D[!]) to go with it.The Sister, as we S.M.F.'s call them, started off a New York Dolls inspired bar band, testified before Congress, and made some undeniably great videos. The old early 70's publicity photos alone make it worth the click. So "What do you wanna do with your life?...."
Butt Candles are an exciting, and time honored, device for internal cleansing
. Their slogan? "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack be at buttcandle.com".
And don't miss the FAQ section on how to avoid "folicular ignition".
More than you ever wanted to know about snow
, from the physics of formation to just priddy pictures.
[Link via CuriousLee
I love hot sauce
as much as anyone, but products with names like DOA Cyanide, Rigor Mortis
, and Dead Heat (packed with its own individually numbered Certificate of Death, inside a fiery coffin box)
make me a little nervous. Then there's Chet's Gone Mad
, which comes in a medicine dropper and is 700 times hotter than Tabasco (rating 1,500,000 on the Scoville scale
). Am I the only one who's afraid of this stuff?
State of the Union Blog:
quite possibly the first web site devoted to analyzing a speech before it happens. (warning: contains Republican content)
That's My Bush!
Another Bush girl in trouble with controlled substances... Fla. police say Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter allegedly filled a false prescription at a pharmacy, and cops showed up.
Save "The Tick" Petition
A true travesty of justice was the cancelling of the Fox series "The Tick." In a world where naked statues are veiled at public expense, can we afford to miss out on original programming?
The Freeway Firing Line
- "Caltrans workers often have to dodge objects thrown by irate drivers." How angry do you have to be to roll down your window, grab a beer can and throw it at a highway worker? Has anyone here been on either end of this?
Aguilera vs the Strokes!
George Michael meets Missy Elliot! Nirvana and Destiny's Child get it together! Mutant spliced mp3s: the new rock'n'roll, surely.
Svalbard, the Arctic pearl.
It appears Svalbard
has a tourism industry
, a pretty good FAQ
, some cold weather
, but not that cold, since the Gulf Stream terminates there
(scroll down to map).
The Polar bears are being studied for PCB accumulation
, which strikes me as interesting, considering the location of Svalbard
. Granted, it's not out of the way, like Franz Josef Land
, but then they don't have Restaurant Nansen
, do they?
Girls and Gaming
Yes, there are women involved in the gaming industry but always behind the scenes. Does more social interaction through online games mean that more women will become leading game designers?
E-Filing Your Taxes This Year?
If your adjusted gross income is $25,000 or less, you can file your taxes with Quicken Turbotax on the Web and waive the $19.99 filing fee through their Tax Freedom Project. Who says that all the good free web goodies are gone?
"The Official Secrets Act (in the UK) will soon be unenforceable, and the internet already makes absolute control of information impossible, says Northern Irish web journalist Newton Emerson. What worries him is the changing nature of censorship. Over the past 20 years, mostly by accident, he argues, censorship has been privatised." And Emerson should know: his satires
have caused an uproar in Northern Ireland.
Rock band Creed is not fond of free speech.
Creed was slammed on this site
recently and their actions toward this music critic in Cleveland doesn't help their cause. In this case, Creed seems to be doing a lot of "Do as I say, not as a I do" speak. I was at the Cleveland show Sunday night and I enjoyed the concert, but this story is disappointing.
The new COINTELPRO?
In an age of massive databases, shared law enforcement intranets, and wire-taps that can collect terabytes of data, privacy may well become an antiquated notion as legislators and law enforcement work to fight the current menace.
: "the Web's Premier Source For The Convergence of Bubble Gum Comics and Existential Philosophy!"
License for love.
Although some might call it a license for stalking. This is a patent for a method to request a date with a someone knowing only their vehicle license plate number. Quite a concept. I wonder what Mr. Wertheim will name this service.
Attack U.S. and win aid.
Is Afghanistan the 'Mouse that Roared'?
Why is Afghanistan rewarded with an outpouring of aid? The reason is simple: U.S. forces defeated Afghanistan's regime and Americans now feel responsible for fixing the country. This reflects the "mouse that roared" syndrome, named after the 1959 movie starring Peter Sellers in no less than three roles. It told the story of a tiny Europe duchy, Grand Fenwick, which finds itself on the verge of bankruptcy and decides to declare war on America in order to lose, then profit from the resulting aid.
Honest, Mister: I Was Looking For Literutcher...!
Well, I was searching for S.J.Perelman
, my favourite humorist, when I came across Foundations of Fashionable Thought
, a web site devoted to girdles
: girdles in the movies
, girdles in 1950
and girdles in every conceivable epoch and sense. It so happens I am
partial to girdles, though I'd never dream of searching for them. At least not until now
. And the question, I guess, is: has anyone else ever made a serendipitous find
on the Internet, almost entirely unrelated to what they they were looking for? [Though, ahem, there are some great Perelman quotes on the main link, not to mention William Carlos Williams, J.D.Salinger, Anne Sexton, Ogden Nash, Mary McCarthy and other great excuses
Indian & Pakistani ex-pats dissect world affairs,
write fiction, and discuss anything and everything under the sun. I'm a typically ignorant American, so it's illuminating to read the opinions of others much more familiar with central Asia and the Indian subcontinent than I am. Site features a high level of discourse and exemplary manners.
Wall Street Journal bureau chief is kidnapped.
Hostage-takers demand better treatment of prisions at Guantanamo Bay. But my questions are, (1) Since when do journalists make good hostages and (2) Isn't there any way more creative than the ole hostage-holding-today's-paper as a way to prove that he is alive?
the uproariously funny and at times controversial Fox cartoon, has apparently been cancelled
as of this season. A petition
is presently circulating. Many others are writing letters. For me, I'm just sobbing quietly in a dark corner.
Ultra Wide Band (UWB) communications:
The end of communication technology as we know it, and the dawn of an entirely new paradigm, or just the empty promise of yet another 100 mile-per-gallon carburetor? Robert X. Cringely holds forth...
Speaking of bibles, a man gets 2 years in prison
in China for smuggling them to an underground Christian organization. Nothing like religious tolerance.
New gender-neutral bible planned...
It seems there is a lot of controversy
surrounding the revised bible known as "Today's New International Version," or TNIV. The Council on Bibllical Manhood and Womanhood has released a statement
on what is wrong with a gender-neutral bible translation while admitting there are a few improvements regarding changing the word men
(which isn't specified by Greek text) to all people
, a faithful rendering of the Greek pronoun pas
According to some, this is the work of the devil and feminist groups
everywhere. There have been outright denouncings of the gender-neutral bible
by several Christian groups... but really, what do you think? Is it really the big deal people make it out to be? How can the church teach that man and mankind in the Bible refers to all of God's human creatures and yet, not support a genderless translation???
(warning rough language and images) is a PDF-based design zine. According to Chris Casciano’s interesting call to arms/challenge to web designers, Your CSS Bores Me
, this type of thing is on the rise. It’s slipped under my radar so far, but I’m sure there must be better examples. Does anybody have any pointers to really good
design PDF magazines?
Wealth Spawns Corruption
economies could be more at risk from corruption than Liberal
ones. Ironically, wealth condensation poses the greatest danger to economies that impose constraints on the accumulation of great wealth - broadly speaking, Socialist
economies that maintain free and unrestricted trade are less susceptible.
Lego isn't just for geeks
anymore. The latest video
directed by Michel Gondry for the White Stripes melds lego with rock in a wonderful way that just has to be seen.
"Those breasts were lethal weapons," he told reporters. Greene's father, George, won't specify the amount they are suing for, but claims that it isn't about the money.
'Mind-boggling drama,' indeed! (via FC)
Meet "The Osburnes"
NYT article on a new MTV show starting March 5 that spends three months with Ozzy Osburne and his family. Best line: "The (press) session became heated when a reporter asked MTV's president of programming if Mr. Osburne's often-slurred, heavy British accent would be accompanied by subtitles."
Names, names, names.
Whoever Jerry Hill is, he clearly has a glorious obsession with the naming of things, and he's created a massive but reasonably well-organized compendium of relevant links. It's easy to find sites that will offer to help you name your baby, or your pet; but where else will you find one source for links to sites on "Unfortunate Rose Names"? "Naming Your Homeschool"? "Welsh Castle Names"? "Weird Little Taxes with Oddball Names"? "Jamaican Bus Names"? (The only thing I see lacking is a link to any site about how internet users choose their on-line handles, a topic I find fascinating...)
Niches of Trust
is an Online Journalism Review article about three 'consumer journalism' sites run by individuals who come from journalism backgrounds. They do something now rare in corporate media - provide honest information separate from advertiser influence and, when necessary, are critical of the business or product being reviewed. The sites are The Car Place
, Theme Park Insider
and Consumer World
. What are your favorite run-by-one-person sites that provide critical analysis of products?
The Game of Life
is a mathematical 'game' which demonstrates how incredibly complex and chaotic patterns can emerge from a few simple rules. This site contains some truly staggering examples of just how complex things can get (click on the 'enjoy life' button to run the Java Applet). Here's an explanation of how the game works
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be launching a morals program
designed to teach high school students about "fundamental values and universal moral precepts." This in response to his observation that high school students did not feel a sense of outrage after September 11. Kennedy warned against trying to rationalize the actions of the terrorists, saying that "an explanation becomes the excuse." Do you think the justice system should be in the business of telling people the correct moral response to these events?
(a novel about the history of philosophy) is an international bestseller by Jostein Gaarder
. Praised by critics for successfully condensing over 3000 years of thought into 400 pages without dumbing the concepts down, itfeatures an enigmatic philosopher teaching a 14 year old Norwegian girl called Sophie. So far, there's been a board game
, a movie
, a weblog
, a musical
and a CD-ROM (full text online
). It's an absolutely wonderful read and a great introduction to philosophy.
10 Days in September: Inside the War Cabinet
The Washington Post today publishes the first of an eight-part special series, by investigative reporters Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, on the US government's -- and more specifically, the Bush Administration's -- initial response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The series is based on interviews with President Bush, Vice President Cheney and many other key officials inside the administration and out, and is supplemented by notes of National Security Council meetings made available to The Washington Post, along with notes taken by multiple participants. This is what journalism at its best is all about...
The Lion of Kabul has died.
He survived mistreatment at the hands of the Taliban and even lived through a grenande attack, but it was finally old age that put him in his grave. I'm hoping he's symbolic of the Afgan people -- that they will see their troubled times through to the end.
The Brand Called You:
Amazon lists the author of Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 Programmer's Reference
as “Eric A. Cascading Style Sheets Meyer”
28th Amendment to the US constitution?
The "Alliance for Marriage" seeks to amend the United States consitution to define Marriage as between a man and a woman only
, which would make it a first constitutional amendment to abrogate rather than protect individual freedoms. Bottom of the page has a link to fax your congressperson if you so choose.
And speaking of unnecessary design groups,
the Queer Design Alliance proposes to educate the masses and show that "gay art" does not equate to erotic art, and that "we are your neighbors, babysitters..." etc. So?
Batman vs. Superman.
Tonight we find out who wins at the end of the seven hour marathon which started a few minutes back on Cartoon Network. All week long the fans have been voting for their favourites, and from the last two hours of this marathon will be dedicated to the winner. [It's on Cartoon Network in the US.]
Justice Department Coverup
Attorney General John Ashcroft was fed up with having his picture taken during events in the Great Hall in front of semi-nude statues. So he has ordered massive draperies to conceal the offending figures (cost: 8,000 bucks)
The psychology of weblogs.
Interesting story about weblogs and why we continue, daily, hourly, to read them. What makes a weblog great?
Is it popularity or the quality of the site that draws the punters in? For me its the characters and the links. (mefi shoutout)
Wot, no black holes?
Those wacky boffins in science land have already had a pop at the Higg's boson
, but now they're moving on to everybody's favourite theoretical singularity, with a new theory about what happens when a star kicks the astral bucket.
is a fabulous Flash video set to a Chemical Brothers song. I was blown away (altho I may be easily impressed). Another wonderful use for Flash is the Control Group's
web site. Never heard of 'em? Try an MP3. Check out the video.
Link via Off On a Tangent
James Bond vs. Austin Powers
...and now for something completely trivial: MGM and Danjaq, the British company that controls the Bond film license, have obtained a cease-and-desist order against New Line Cinema that prohibits New Line from calling the latest installment of Mike Myers' shagadelic spy series Austin Powers in Goldmember
. Apparently, the 007 folks weren't too keen on the double entendre of Goldmember
--a takeoff on the 1964 Bond classic, Goldfinger
--and released the legal hounds to force the name change. That's not very sporting of them, is it?
Mideast vs West.
From a conservative-libertarian point of view, what's wrong in the Muslim world, what caused 9-11, and how to fix it. Even if you don't agree with the author's conclusions (maybe especially
if you don't agree with the author's conclusions) the piece is worth reading, as an exceptionally clear and forceful articulation of these ideas.
Link found on Arts & Letters Daily
Troll of trolls
In this one tiny piece in Modern Healthcare
hot button issues are pressed all over the place: abortion, public funds ($40 billion) for religious doctrine, contraception, patients rights, etc. etc. Of course none of this would be an issue if poor unwed mothers would take West Virginia up on their offer of $100 to just get married
. Flame away...
takes all the hard work out of reading Slashdot
. On a single page, it compiles the day's headlines, along with the top five rated comments on each, and graphs the signal % over time for each thread. Think of it as an automatic digest, showing just the best of Slashdot, each day.
The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as
the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, as caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.
The story recounts the wars between nations on an enormous and unnamed planet, of which Earth is a moon. The conflict is provoked by the Glandelinians, who practice child enslavement. After hundreds of ferocious battles, the good Christian nation of Abbiennia forces the 'haughty' Glandelinians to give up their barbarous ways. The heroines of Darger's history are the seven Vivian sisters, Abbiennian princesses. They are aided in their struggles by a panoply of heroes, who are sometimes the author's alter-egos. The battles are full of vivid incident: charging armies, ominous captures, alarms and explosions, the appearances of demons and dragons.
Message to you Rudy
this article is very anti Guiliani.Now as a brit I vaguely rememember Rudy first of all being disliked and then unloved and this article brings it all back.
Post 11/9 though he took on hero status even in this house,his first press conference my Mrs said "aww he looks just like Harold Lloyd," how cool is that? Plus alongside Bush he really is iconic ,truly.
My point is,has the backlash begun,it seems to have in the U.K,particularly with the "x.ray "camp coverage.
Are we at last being allowed to ponder the imponderables? Like are we really that holy?
I like football
as much as the next guy, but this has to be the lamest attempt at "sports humor" I've seen in a while.
Two anime movies
are hitting the big screen this weekend in a handful of locations (luckily for me both are coming to Chicago). I'm not the biggest anime fan but I'm dying to see this stuff on the big screen. I don't know if this is the sign of things to come, but I really missed out when Princess Mononoke
quietly snuck into town.
blogger goes pro
well, it looks like ev has finally gone and launched blogger pro. hopefully, this will prove to be sucessful for pyra. now if you'll pardon me i need to part with $35...
is a site for a book, and a traveling exhibit, of photgraphy of public lynchings in the Not-so-long-ago-as-you-might-wish American past.
A friend of mine went to the exhibit in Pittsburgh and said it was hardest thing he's ever done, it was moving and horryfying of what people are capable of when they become an angry mob.
However BAD you thoguht the world is now, it was worse just several decades ago.
WA Lawmakers try to remove "repugnant" Theory of Evolution from schools
. Yes, this is the 21st century, and yes - we in Washington State now have two bills, (Senate
) before our congress that propose "All textbooks and curriculum that teach the theory of evolution shall be removed from the public schools forthwith and replaced with textbooks and curriculum that teach the self-evident truth of creation".
I don't know whether this is a legitimate effort to change the law, or a (hopefully) doomed effort to curry favor with conservative voters. [originally via fark]
'Gen X' Parents
would like to see a return to more traditional standards inside their newly-purchased homes and impart to their children the value of hard work, according to a new study in American Demographics. Could it be that we 'Slackers,' are more motivated than the moniker suggests?
There's no justice like angry mob justice.
"But like vigilante gangs of the American frontier, ad hoc communities seeking justice on the electronic frontier sometimes trample the very laws they seek to enforce, as their quest for justice warps into a plot for revenge."
Sounds familiar. Man swindles eBayers out of 125 grand; angry mob takes control of his e-mail account, grills his mother and assumes his identity.
So When Can The Boy Start Drinking Then?
From February 1 you'll have to be 16 to order an alcoholic drink in Portugal. We Portuguese were the last bastion in Europe - with no age limit at all - but have finally given in the to pressures from the European Union. Yet young people here enjoy drinking but rarely get drunk.
Age limits vary wildly
all over the world and the debate on the ideal drinking age
rages on. The U.S. is still the strictest country of all. And yet public displays(and tacit approval)of drunkenness seem to be far more prevalent in the stricter countries than in those who have more liberal legislation. So what should be the minimum drinking age
? [The main link, in Portuguese, refers to the political battles that preceded the new law. Interestingly, it reports the Portuguese government resisted EU pressure to limit 16-year-olds to beer and wine, more or less saying "alcohol is alcohol - you can get drunk on anything - so it would be silly to limit young people's choices."
This issue has been building up for the last few years, ever since Title IX
has been enforced in high schools and colleges. Now a coalition of male athletes, primarily wrestlers, has sued the Department of Education for depriving men the opportunity to participate in collegiate sports (due to the lack of funds). Here are two contrasting perspectives of the Title IX issue: The Myth of Title IX
Why Genetic Engineering Is So Dangerous
Environmentalist/biologist Barry Commoner's essay in the February issue of Harper's magazine warns about the unknown dangers of genetic engineering.
"...billions of transgenic plants are now being grown with only the most rudimentary knowledge about the resulting changes in their composition. Without detailed, ongoing analyses of the transgenic crops, there is no way of knowing what hazardous consequences may arise. But,
given the failure of the Central Dogma, there is no assurance that they will not. The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a huge uncontrolled experiment; its outcome is inherently unpredictable.
Our project is designed to help develop effective public understanding of the dangerous implications of this critical predicament."
He asserts that the "Central Dogma", the basis for the Human Genome Project, was known to be flawed prior to the inception of the $3 billion program. Should we be amused/impressed or very worried when we read about pig/spinach crosses and the like?
Related article here
Americans to arrest Karadzic soon...
US intelligence officials and commandos have found Balkans war crimes suspect Mr Radovan Karadzic and he will be arrested soon, the Nezavisne Novine newspaper said today.
George Saunders imagines the future of advertising:
"But Teddy of course did not see Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly not being one of his Preferences, but instead saw his hero Babar, swinging a small monkey on his trunk while saying that his data indicated that Teddy did not yet own a Nintendo." Hilarious Vonnegut-like short fiction.
Some people claim they never listen to the lyrics, while others listen intently. As they listen to lyrics, some words may be incoherent or misunderstood. Other listeners may not care to know what the words really mean or how they may impact society. Regardless, lyrics are important. They provide expression, communication, and entertainment. They are messages with the potential to be very powerful, and therefore, useful in making points in our daily discourse.
A procrastination aid like no other. Find The One -- and score it
. I'm getting a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.
By The Way - food for thought (India Pakistan Relationship)
"When scorching winds blow across the Rajasthan desert they touch Cholistan and Bahawalpur too. When the snows don't melt in the Himalayas the effect is the same on the Indus and the Ganges. It is strange though that the pain which soil and vegetation can feel is not felt by the leaderships of the two countries."
George Bush: Union buster.
500 federal employees (including US Attorneys' offices, Interpol's U.S. branch, the Criminal Division, the National Drug Intelligence Center, and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review) fired because the presence of unionized workers would not be "consistent with national security requirements and considerations." [via bb
I'm fat and I'm suing Twinkies.
Art imitating life? Who else saw this past Sunday's episode of The Simpson's? First a bus driver named Otto kidnapping children and now this.
Missing school bus found near D.C.
Berks Academy administrator Robert Becker said: "I am totally relieved and thankful to the Lord for protecting these kids." Um, excuse me?
Fireplace log may cause fire.
No kidding? "Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch" releases it's winners of "Wacky Warning Label" contest. Click on "Wacky Warning Label" button. Also, be sure to check out past winners, such the bottle of sleeping pills which says, "Warning: May cause drowsiness".
The "Pardon Effect" - economic theory applied to the death penalty
Pardons increase homicide rates. "The pardon effect is a matter of simple market economics... pardons reduce the chances that convicted killers will pay the ultimate price for committing murder. Thus a pardon represents a decrease in the cost of committing the crime and is accompanied by an increase in the homicide rate. Conversely, if you increase the "cost" of committing murder by executing a larger share of convicted killers, then economic theory suggests that the murder rate will fall" . The chairman of the economics department at the University of Colorado claims to have the data to support the theory from their analysis of all 6,143 death sentences handed out between 1977 and 1997 in the United States.
In 1976 four ABA teams joined the NBA.
This left 2 teams to be compensated. One team accepted a $3 million buyout. The other team, as per an agreement made 6 months earlier and thought up by the owner of the team, got 1/7 of the other 4 teams television money forever
. Has there ever been a better business deal/gamble?
Smoking Gun in Enrongate
A serious charge that President Bush is open for impeachment, according to this piece, which also dismisses out of hand GOP dismissing all Enron involvement besides the taking of polical donations. The source of this piece is, clearly Liberal, but that does not change matters if true.
Are you sick of those Survivor/House programs that are based on competition and "winners"? Then take a look at Quest For The Bay
- it's about co-operation and getting along together. Different, eh?
How much does a worm's soul weigh?
Dr. Amrit Sorli thinks it's around 90 micrograms
. "It appears that to determine the average weight of a worm's soul, Dr. Sorli only needs to divide 90 micrograms by the number of worms he murdered..."
says James Randi
(scroll down the Randi page until you see the worms)
Police Boycott "Harry Potter"
Police in Penryn, PA (near Harrisburg) have refused to direct traffic at a YMCA event. The police claim that because the YMCA reads "Harry Potter" to local children that they are promoting witchcraft. Fire Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn says "I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft). As long as we don't stand up, it won't stop. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be."
Think you're dedicated?
Aussie football player has a finger chopped off at the first joint because it was affecting his ability to catch the ball
The Perfect Rock 'n Roll Photo
A photo of The Clash bassist Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage has been picked as the perfect rock 'n' roll photo of all time. It's a great picture, summing up violence, anger, frustration and an adandonment of common-sense. But do you agree?
The most sensible take I've seen
on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker
link, no registration required.
Last week, the WTO ruled
against a corporate welfare program for US exporters (again
). This week, a Canadian hemp company claims
the US owes them US$20m under NAFTA for harrassment and impinging on future returns.
In Greece, a military officer decapitates (article in greek
) 5 puppies, using an axe. Just like that. The jury reached a verdict, yesterday: he will face imprisonment for up to 6 months
, while the two soldiers who tried to stop him may go to jail for 5 years
! I'm just wondering, what would the verdict be if this happened in the US? And how solid is the legislation regarding animal abusement, in general?
"It just hit me... they won't be contributing any more money, will they?" Abruptly changing his tone about a company that heavily contributed to his political campaigns, President George W. Bush now says that he was "outraged" that Enron Corp. misled its employees and investors, including his mother-in-law, who he said lost more than $8,000 when the energy firm's stock collapsed.
Stanley Marcus Dies at 96
We've all heard corporate propaganda about "customer service." He really practiced it. Neiman's has really been expanding their online shopping services. Can Web retailers in the 21st century learn anything from such old-skool customer service?
(NYT password link obituary is here
Attack of the Luddites?
A group from my high school visited Mendocino High School in the early 1990's to see how they were implementing internet access, as we were getting ready to do the same. We were, frankly, jealous of their "fat pipe," their all-wired classrooms and their much-vaunted community support. Things are apparently much different now. "Wireless Free Mendocino has been instrumental in defeating attempts to bring cell phone and a high-speed Internet service to the town's 1,000-odd residents. Now the group is trying to force the high school radio station to remove its antenna from the school roof -- a move that could sound the death knell for the struggling student outfit."
CNN gets Chung. Beefs up roster.
Their continued battle with Fox News heats up with their hiring of Connie Chung. All this sounds a lot more exciting than it really is.
Hold on, Mr. President - you forgot your makeup!
NBC is showing this special tonight about the "real" West Wing, but of course the President's handlers have manipulated the day so it looks good on tv. But it's not just Bush - theatrics in the same vein of "Look, he's being presidential
" have been going on a long time in Washington. Is it good, bad, or just the nature of the beast? Who's your favorite "The Real World: Pennsylvania Ave."
Are you insane?
a quick easy test to see whether you are insane. Looks like I am insane, what about yourself.
culprit behind the 9/11 attack.
6 degrees of email.
A project is going on to test the 6 degrees
theory. And it occured to me that something like this could be done on the web. Is it possible to go from any web site to any other in 6 links? (More inside)
Bad Poetry. There is a huge amount of bad poetry in the world. Although new bad poems are being written by the hundreds every day ... most bad poetry is simply weak and ineffectual and lacking in interest and (fortunately) is soon forgotten. ... To achieve memorable badness is not so easy.
Pong and the Universe
A cool little shockwave video about Pong, Life, Death, and the Universe. I hope this is not a double post.
All that glitters ain't gold.
Or is it? Mariah Carey's last record sold 2 million copies. Not good enough! The solution? Pay her $28 million to walk away. I wish my career failures paid so well.
Fed Up? Happy? Excited?
Step right up and add your comments to the Microsoft Antitrust Trial. Due to the Tunney Act, all of us have the right to comment on the proceedings. The comment period closes Monday morning (the 28th) so if you have an opinion, and we know everyone here does, email/snail mail/call the DOJ.
Neil Bush is in Saudi Arabia "The US media campaign against the interests of Arabs and Muslims and the American public opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be influenced through a sustained lobbying and PR effort," Bush, chairman and chief executive officer of Ignite! Inc., said in his keynote address on the concluding day of the three-day Jeddah Economic Forum at Hilton Hotel here.
Does this seem appropriate? Are'nt the Saudis' cranking out terrorists at a pretty good clip?
AOL's Netscape sues Microsoft
for damage done to its Netscape Internet browser by violations of antitrust law found in a separate government case against the software giant. "I don't see this case as primarily about money. I see it as primarily about injunctive relief,'' said Steve Salop, a Georgetown University law professor.
What is your medieval vocational personality?
CMI's "Kingdomality" Personal Preference Profile is a fun way to gain a broader understanding of the basic complementary personality styles and types that help determine each individual's vocational interests.
Mine was benevolent ruler.... just as I thought.
A procedure known as haploidisation
could allow lesbian couples to have a baby that shares both their genes. The procedure may be available in 18 months' time. Sperm? We don't need no stinking sperm!
Headlines You'd Never have seen b4 9-11
Owner of world's largest U.S. flag dies at 72
Thomas Demski, who owned the world's largest American flag, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, has died. He was 72.
This is what passes for news.
Getting to know the Hitlers
David Gardner, a UK journalist, travelled to the US to chase up the family of Adolf Hitler's "loathsome nephew", William Patrick Hitler, who found himself fighting in the US Navy during WWII. Interesting enough, his four sons made a pledge to not have children, to ensure the end of the Hitler bloodline.
FBI investigating Enron shredding
Some recent postings of commentary seem to feel that Enron wea merely the fault of public not paying attention to stock pics, or the failure of a company that is a risk of the open market....why, then, the FBI being called to find out why key documents destroyed? And whn does it become time for a special prosecutor? This is much bigger than Whitewater. Example: some 1.3 billion lost in pension money for firemen, police and teachers
Crime in the Suites.
William Greider claims that the Enron collapse demonstrates the failure of market orthodoxy.
Somalis cheer at bootleg "Blackhawk down" screening
Somali citizens paid the equivalent of US $.10 to see a bootleg copy of the movie in a playground in downtown Mogadishu on Monday. The audience cheered at scenes where American troops were killed and American choppers were shot down. Somalia may be the next target in the 'War on Terrorism'.
"As you can see, Somalis are brave fighters," one man said. "If the Americans come back to fight us, we shall defeat them again."
Mysterious Skeletons Washing Up in Micronesia
Five skeletons washed up in the FSM on Friday on rafts. Rafts have been inexplicably arriving since September, but this time the chief of police (1?
) has been asked to assist the investigation.
The identity card of one of the raft victims has lead the police to think that the victims were fleeing from either Maluku or Sulawesi, where the Laksar Jihad has been terrorizing Christians and other locals (1
). Not only has the movement been stepping up violence since '98, it's been expanding too. An NGO in West Papua has been complaining that they are setting up shop as a pro-Jakarta paramilitary to fight against Papuan separatist groups (1
). It's interesting to see how close these far-flung places are to one another (Map (~300k)
)---Close to the southern Philippines too.
Lewis-Tyson Conference Disrupted by Mass Brawl
Determined to turn this conference into a World Wrestling Federation spectacle, Tyson took a swing at Lewis and one of his handlers, pointed to his crotch while yelling at Lewis and screamed profanities at some of the boxing writers in attendance. Yes, Tyson BIT
Lenox Lewis in the foot! Bert Sugar says Tyson was trying to get out of the fight since he is in the process of applying for a Nevada license which he had lost for biting Evander Hollyfield.
Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit!
Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines
they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.
) How would you
spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
Real Big Fish.
"Bruce" is a goldfish the size of an average housecat. What did they feed it?
Indiana Jones and the Geriatric Star
Spielberg and Ford confirm it to Fox News -- Indy will don his fedora again after Spielberg's next project. The film has a title and a script (they're mum on both). Can Harrison Ford be a believable hero at his age? He looked winded in Air Force One a few years ago...
The trouble with "orphan diseases":
"most people with orphan diseases are treated only with horribly blunt instruments. The dearth of drug treatments for them is a reflection of basic economics. The profit-driven pharmaceutical industry has little incentive to pour research money into discoveries that will not return big dividends. Small patient populations hold out little potential reward." An orphan disease is a rare disorder
that affects fewer than one in 20,000 people; there are apparently more than 6,000 of them.
The Robots Are Coming (Yawwwn...)
. Yet another corporate futurist (with a bizarre 1996 Mosaic-type website
) telling us that A.I. will deliver the "homework" robot by 2006 (now, is that January or December?). Also, look out for an emotionally responsive Barbie
"We already have technologies that can measure stress, using simple cues like skin condition and temperature and it will be easy to put these in Barbie dolls which will be able to talk to little girls when they are upset and ask what is wrong." Ech
Compulsory military training
is not just for Switzerland and Israel anymore. The Universal Military Training and Service Act of 2001 seeks "To require the induction into the Armed Forces of young men registered under the Military Selective Service Act, and to authorize young women to volunteer, to receive basic military training and education for a period of up to one year." (more inside)
English amnesiac may be porn star.
"Philip Staufen" tried to convince Canadian authorities that he was an English citizen who suffered from amnesia as a result of a beating. As it turns out, he may
be George Lecheit, a French gay porn star. Authorities aren't ready to close the case yet, but even his lawyer doubts the amnesia theory. In a previous MeFi thread
, a few people took the Canadian government to task for not helping Staufen return to the UK. In light of recent developments, did Ottawa make the right decision?
The next killer app?
Scheduled for release in 2003, Google meets Echelon in a project
that could spell the end of privacy as we know it. (Flash warning)
A New Vision for America.
It's time, says the UPI editor-at-large. He calls for a presidential commission. Who should be on it? Do you have a new vision for America?
Cyber gripers arise!
In response to the trend of big corporations successfully taking 'sucks' domains away from the owners (vivendiuniversalsucks.com is an example in the article), the Free Speech Center
will be offering 'sucks' domains for free for the taking (and presumably first amendment/article 19 exercising).
"Kill duck before cooking"
and other chortle-worthy corrections from The New York Times. If newspapers were smart, they'd recognize that their corrections columns are a potential gold mine in terms of entertainment value, and promote them accordingly. But, alas, newspapers are not smart. (NY Times link, naturally, so the usual warnings apply.)
Limbaugh gets hearing back.
Love him or hate him, it is great to know that technology has enabled someone to get some hearing back. However, to implant the device requires doctors to "destory the inner ear". But it seems to have worked.
The worst banner design ever?
I've seen some tasteless advertising in my day, but this simple animation leaves me speechless. Is there any depth to which advertisers will go to hawk their services?
What if someone went looking for your nuggets?
Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns is back in the news
, this time accusing the fast-food chain Carl's Jr. of "...portray(ing) chickens in a degrading and demeaning manner"
in its latest commercial, which features "a group of men in suits standing around as one turns a live chicken every which way in a futile search for nuggets."
Human Rights Watch 2002 Report
There will undoubtedly be (deserved) criticism of any report that seeks to take both West and East to task for human rights violations, often seemingly judging one far more harshly than the other and perpetuating a victim and agressor view of the world. That being said, this report is still highly relevant and interesting, and deserves your attention for its data and its primary agenda: to expose violations of human rights around the world.
Is intelligence hereditary or environment? A new theory
sees the brain as a plastic mold of potential with the more neuron connections the better [hereditary] and environment stimulation shapes the mold untill maturity. "You could present a person with an IQ of 200 with the appropriate phenomena when they are 20 years old, after the critical learning period, and they would not have the capacity to adapt their brains to the new phenomena".
People of low IQ perform poorly because their brains do not adapt well to environmental stimulation.
In bigot versus bigot, white racist is winner
: "Hey, when you find a black bigot, feel free to censure and ostracize him or her as the circumstance warrants. I don't care. Just don't pretend the transgression is what it is not. Don't claim it represents a significant threat to the quality of life of white Americans at large." (via a2g2
US Agency Says El Nino Pattern Emerging
Vanuatu decided this a few days earlier, and told its residents to start conserving water (1
In 1997, a major El Nino pattern created droughts in the Pacific followed by floods toward the end of the year (1
). I think one can reasonably attribute fires in Australia to El Nino influenced dry spells and high temperatures (1
). If you care to make your own predictions, the number to watch is the SOI
Thank Mahalia Jackson for King's "I have a dream."
"On August 28, 1963, under a nearly cloudless sky, more than 250,000 people, a fifth of them white, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to rally for 'jobs and freedom.'... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson
called out, 'Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!' Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America--a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy."
Could the Surplus be Vacuumed Away?
A US Treasury official, who must have regretted picking up the phone that day is engaged about the macroeconomic effect of change ending up in vacuum cleaners...
The New, Bigger Size For Just About Everything!
In this article Joseph Epstein coins the word upsizing
. The gap between America and Europe grows ever larger. Your Individual Japanese Minimalist
pack of potato chips is now our Family Size
. Does anyone remember E.F.Shumacher or still believe that small is beautiful
? Hey, is MetaFilter
itself upsizing?[via Arts and Letters Daily
Home of, among many wonders, The Surrealist Compliment Generator
--May clinging breasts always come to your aid in the kitchen
, was mine--and you can talk to ESMÉ
, Cadaveric Enigma Engine Generator*, visit The Department of Objects and Delusions
or the cool links page
.--and I quote: USENET: For those willing to brave the endless morass of asses, alt.surrealism...
Now there's a tagline for here
embedded in that there sentence!
In reviewing ‘A beautiful mind’ NYT reviewer said of Nash
"Before he married Alicia …he fathered another child…. and abandoned both mother and child to poverty. He formed a number of intense, apparently sexual bonds with other men, and he lost his security clearance ….. after he was arrested for soliciting sex in a men's room. When his illness became intractable and his behavior intolerable, Alicia divorced him. …. None of this has made it to the screen." It went on to say that "The story ….egregiously simplifies the tangled, suspicious world of cold war academia." Most other reviewers appears to have judged that movie on its merits as a work of art and seemed to like it
. Recently, the plans to build a statue to honor the FDNY firefighters were dropped
after a controvery broke out over plans to alter the original image of three firefighters hoisting the American flag. In an article
that tried to put the later controvery in a context, NYT said that that "Sculptors, and artists in general, always take liberties". Conservative columnist Jonah Golderg in a different column
defended the sanctity of ‘factual accuracy' in art. I rarely agree with Goldberg. But I think if one is depicting an event or a likeness of an event one has an obligation to stay close to the truth. Where do you draw the line between creative freedom and factual accuracy?
Anthrax Missing From Army Lab
A story of lax security, missing Anthrax and anti-Arab harrassment. Quoted in the article is a Dr. Rosenberg who issued a report
stating, "The FBI has surely known for several months that the anthrax attack was an inside job." Then why hasn’t anyone been arrested? Two reasons: "a fear that embarrassing details might become public, and a need for secrecy in order to acquire sufficient hard evidence to convict the perpetrator."
Watching the golden globes there was a commercial for something called mlife, so this link
works, and is quite content-free. anyone have any ideas, other than this
:) which somehow i don't think is cool enough for a big ad-campaign.
"Stare at the doorway,
in particular. If you don't see it, keep looking for a good minute or two. You'll know it when you see it." Quote and link stolen from Ernie, without permission.
Killer attempts robbery to get back to prison
After serving 8 years for killing his girlfriend he "was running out of money" once on the outside. So he robbed a banked, then waited outside for the cops to come on by and pick him up. It must be nice to know this clearly what you want out of life. I'm jealous.
Another way to quit smoking,
or is it just another ploy to make a quick buck? As a smoker, I think this could be a great way to quit, if it actualy works
. Are there any other Mi-Fi'ers that are trying to quit smoking?
[Stolen from Fark.com
What is the worst sex scene of all time in Canadian literature?
Sandra Martin of the Globe and Mail writes it is Leonard Cohen in Beautiful Losers
: "Oh what a greasy tower he there massaged!. . .His right hand beneath the steering wheel, urging, urging, he seemed to be pulling himself into the far black harbour like a reflexive stevedore. . .F's eyes closed suddenly as if they had been squirted with lemon. . ."
The New WTC?
The Max Protech Gallery in Manhattan has an exhibit
of sketches and designs from artists, architects, and others with their ideas on how the World Trade Center could be rebuilt
The geranium: Nature's camera.
The sensitivity of certain silver salts to light was known from about 1727, when Johann Heinrich Schulze published his findings in the Nuremburg Academy of Natural Philosophers. But many natural things are sensitive to light. Long ago people noticed the effect of light on green plants, or how it made coloured fabrics fade. It is the effect of light on plants that makes Roman Photography possible. [via bifurcated rivets
The Food Timeline:
Want to know when people first started eating watermelon? This site claims to tell you (roughly). I've no idea how accurate their dates are but this is a grand place to surf foodstuffs. (Also links to some ancient, ancient recipes that sound mouth-watering.)
The Collective Unconsciousness Project
is a cool Flash website that allows you to "travel through the dream database in a fluid and exploratory manner.
Your travel will be based on connections of ideas and themes, and will be formed by both your interactions and the connections that are created. You have a limited amount of control, yet everything is related somehow."
Europe's first brothel for women goes bust.
Fear as the latest anti file-sharing campaign
MSNBC has a whopper of an article intending to scare the poop out of users of file-sharing programs with names like Gnotella, BearShare, Morpheus etc. They can't shut the system down 'honestly', smirk, so they're beginning the fear campaign. The article is titled "Is your computer inviting voyeurs? Embarrassing, private text files find their way onto the Net". It details some frightening examples of acidentally sharing sensitive information, a lot of which seem farfetched; FBI documents, Korean military files, bank account numbers with pins.. If the courts can't stop file sharing, maybe fear will.
A new way to get the old snip snip.
A Johns Hopkins researcher has developed a new vasectomy technique that uses ultrasound to clog up the tubes without any incision. Of course, they've only done on dogs so far. On the other hand, the article also claims that the procedure could be done by non-physicians. Do-it-yourself? Personally, I want to make sure that the person permanently altering my family jewels does have that M.D. sheepskin on the wall.
Is Your Cat As Smart As He Thinks He Is?
If so, he could be in the movies. To find out if that's Einstein or Marie Curie staring at you over there, submit the beast to Hollywood Paws'
impressive I.Q. test. (Dogs are su
Do you want to be a slum lord?
Well you can, with just $2,100,000, you can own enough guns and cheap broken tv sets to last a lifetime. Yes, you even get to own their dirty laundry as well. "ALL OUTSTANDING LOANS ( ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE ) $200,000.00 BRINGING IN 20% PER MONTH." I am sure that you can walk up to these people and collect right away ;-)
Are you tone deaf?
The official name for tone deafness, or the inability to distinguish between tones, is "amusia." NPR has been running a series of programs lately dealing with musical disabilities and researchers are convinced it is due to genetics if there is no physical damage. RealPlayer required to hear the tone tests on the site. (Link spotted at girlhacker.com
AOL to buy Red Hat?
It seems like the Odd Couple of computing: the aggressively user-friendly behemoth marrying the most popular Linux distribution, united in their common hatred of Microsoft. Is Unix ready for the computer-illiterate masses? Will AOL be embraced by the geek community? The world's largest media company
seems to think so. Hey, maybe they'll buy Lindows
while they're at it. (See the Slashdot thread
for more comments.)
Satan Doesn't Wear Sweaty Socks.
Matthew Parris of The Times weighs in on the War on Terrorism, painting the U.S. as the 900-lb. gorilla of world affairs and offering the observation that maybe Al-Qaeda isn't as scary as the Bush and Blair administrations say it is.
An "enthusiastic amateur astrologer"
lays out the case for teaching astrology, a "hard science", in the public schools. Judging from the article, he doesn't quite understand the difference between "astronomy" and "astrology".
I know he's not a popular man on here,
but I'm going to say it: What's happened to Kimble
? Ignoring the 'I don't care, it's only Kimble' path, is his present rant justifiable - is Germany's enterpreneurial policy 'destructive'?
Looks like the Saudis may kick the US out.
The US presence in Saudi Arabia has been blamed for a lot of discontent in that country. Sounds as if once the campaign in Afghanistan is considered finished, the US may no longer be the guest of the Saudi royals.
For Ali's 60th, The Guardian
reprints Alistair Cooke's original account of the Clay-Liston title bout in 1964. "...quicksilver against concrete. Mercury v the Dragon, a live contemptuous picador planting the flags at will in the neck of a tottering old bull." Was the era that this fight ushered in the last hurrah for the sweet science?
Kava exporters in Pacific react to Western Kava bans
Pacific countries who export kava called for an
international review of its alleged health risks. They are reacting
to a recent spate of warnings on its use and, in some cases, bans on
its sale (1
Growing concern over a link between kava use and liver
toxicity has prompted Germany, Switzerland and France to ban
the sale of kava-derived herbal medicine
The US, Canada, and NZ are advising against its use, pending their
own reviews (1
Kava is cultivated and brewed to produce an narcotic
ceremonial drink in much of the Pacific. Recently it has become a
cash crop for an herbal-enthused Western market (1
), as well as part of
a growing drug-abuse problem (1
) in Pacific countries.
Kazaa halts downloading
at least until a court decision. Does this really matter, as you're only blocking distribution of the client from the kazaa site. The "servers" still run, and people can still download the client from any other site.
tried to collect $60 million for Enron on a recent trip to India...
Can internet savvy skew a poll?
When the stakes are high, is it fair for someone to bring an email plea to friends and relatives outside of the target area to influence the results? Here, the band at the school with the most votes gets to do a warm-up with the famous Blast! ensemble. The numbers are interesting (and yes, I probably do have inside info on this).
As long as the same opportunities are available for others, is it still 'cheating'?
Why libertarians can't get dates
"So what if someone you hit it off with has different politics? You want that. "You can be like Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting," he notes encouragingly. The tension only makes things more charged." "I couldn't help wondering: Would women in my arty downtown Toronto social circle start warning each other? "Stay away from that one. You get to the restaurant and he harangues you about agricultural subsidies.""
None of my female friends date Republicans OR Libertarians of any stripe, for reasons that are pretty obvious to us. And yes, we are all cute. Any thoughts on this?
Anyone see the new offering from Ann Coulter?
Remember the picture of the firemen raising the flag, sometimes called "The New Iwo Jima"? New York has commissioned a statue of that picture, but they want to change two of the firemen to be a black man and a Hispanic man. Ann tells exactly what she thinks of this, in her... er... own particular idiom.
Feeding the leaping lizards of Oz
Seems like the fellow from Delaware had nothing else to feed his flesh eating 6 ft. long monitor lizard. And what did you serve your pets today?
FDNY backs down
on plans to build a multi-ethnic representation of the WTC flag raising. They "will consider new options."
37 year old self-appointed detective fools potential pedophiles with usernames like "dadanddaughtersex."
Not only is there no victim, there cannot not be a crime because of the woman's true age, and the method of 'baiting' pedophile suspects looks like a violation of one's civil rights. On top of that her pedophile website is quite the money-maker, churning $1,000 a month in advertising revenue. Illegal entrapment or civic minded vigilante? Obviously this is a touchy subject, but I can't see the different between this and a plain-clothed police officer asking everyone on the street if they want to buy illegal drugs or guns just for a quick bust.
Al Qaeda as death cult.
From The Monde Diplomatique
: "Al-Qaida has been thought of as a global or national political movement, or representative of an entire religion. It isn't. It's just another of the many death-obsessed sectarian movements to emerge in the past 20 years."
Woomera detainees sew lips together
At least 58 asylum seekers have sewn their lips together during a hunger strike at the Woomera detention centre.
I don't know what to think, I know we have to take precautions against letting terrorists in, but this is just awful.
Viewing begets more viewing:
A Scientific American article exploring television addiction, its effects on the mind, and its similarity to other addictions. It raises the interesting question: Do people turn to TV because of boredom and loneliness, or does TV viewing make people more susceptible to boredom and loneliness?
A very interesting page on how to recognize and avoid emotionally-charged propaganda and political rhetoric. A broader question would be, how do you go about analyzing competing truth-claims made by environmentalists and anti-environmentalists, pro- and anti-gun control activists, Moonies, socialists, libertarians and capitalists? Are there any hard and fast rules you use to choose who and what to believe in a world of name calling and information glut?
Devil's Pretzel (in my mouth)
to the tune of Beck's 'Devil's Haircut'
Something's wrong 'cause my windpipe's closing
chest feels like it's near exploding
earphoned bully boys walking other places
Spot & Barney staring, Nipperesque faces
...a song by Jim Higgins on G.W."s almost self-assassination.
Here's a story, of a man named Brady...
...who's no longer allowed on the Brady Bunch merchandise! I noticed that his likeness was cut out of the Brady Bunch 2002 calendar. The Wash Post has an interesting article on the whole situation.
...a laughable pseudointellectual discussion of an old, weird movie I first saw in high school when HBO was still Home Box Office.
World's Scariest Satanists.
Self described German satanist-vampires kill a person, various animals to fulfill their blood-lust. I don't think there's a political answer to this sort of bizarre behavior, but at least in America they would face the death penalty.
Let Slip the Blogs of War For a while I didn't think I was gonna make it, but around 1800 hours I laid down a barrage of trenchant observations and we finally broke through
...star studded article by tim cavanaugh.
NDb -(60% x Nc/Nt +40% x Dc/Dt) x 17,585
"Mathematicians called in by the Metropolitan Police think they have worked out the best way to beat crime in the capital."
Are there any UK mathematician/cops out there that know what the variables actually are?
Oh how the mighty have fallen. He went from this
. There's nothing like watching the "downward spiral" segment of an E! True Hollyword Story
unfold before your very eyes. Any other favorite falls from grace?
Who could build the MeFi mascot?
Mascots Interntational, silly! (via my friend Leslie) Imagine "Pancake Bunny" entertaining your kids during the International MeFi Convention in glitzy Las Vegas. If MI could make "Freddy Combine," "Mr. Crab," "Ripster" and "Mazola Bottle," they apparently could make anything
Saga the bear has her own webcam. "The web camera is located inside one of the winter dens in the Bear Park Grönklitt, where the female bear Saga hibernates. At the time, when she started hibernating she was already pregnant. Now, we are curious how many cubs she will have given birth to."
A new Darwin Award Winner? The county passed an ordinance to stop the proliferation of exotic pets
. This guy should have taken the hint.
Cure for Cancer in 10 Years?
Anyone else see West Wing
last night? Apparently, drugs called signal transduction inhibitors (STIs)
- such as phenoxodiol
, the drug referred to by Pres. Bartlet - are a reality, and early studies
have shown their effectiveness in striking cancer's Achilles heel. Furthermore, in the Law and Order episode which followed, Gleevec was mentioned as the key to curing a type of leukemia, which is in fact a remarkably potent STI recently FDA-approved. Perhaps Aaron Sorkin isn't spinning a fantasy tale as I initially thought -- any oncologists in the house? [If Newsgurus doesn't let you in, try Google's cache.]
Bush approval ratings in low 80's; "disapproves" rising.
Is the growing Enron
debacle catching up with George W.
? The president's job approval ratings
, once above 90%, are now threatening to fall below 80%, while his disapproves
are at their highest since 9/11.
By any measure, his numbers are still good--but they do seem to be heading south. Is this temporary? Or is it the anticipated post-attack "correction," as Franzen might say?
Olympics ban skate 'porn'
I was so looking forward to the Olympics, and they had to do this. ;-(
(link courtesy of Daily Rotten)
Laptop thieves beware! We can now make your ill-gotten loot explode on command...
Carriers Aim to Kill Number Portability
- Large cell phone carriers are trying to squash a requirement that they allow consumers to switch services and still keep their same phone number. This would allow them to continue providing low levels of customer service, coverage, and quality.
Porn and pizza
keep inmates happy over New Year's. Typically New Year's Eve is a somewhat rowdy event at this prison with inmates starting fires and refusing to go back to their cells. So this year, some employees struck a deal with the inmates to show porn and have pizza at New Year's provided they don't cause any trouble.
Now that word has got out to higher authorities and an investigation is in place. And heads will roll...
man protests prison construction by burying buses
This is one of the more original methods of protest I've seen. The "artist", an excavator by trade who is trying to protest what he sees as an unlawful zoning change that will lower the value of his property, says his inspiration came from Cadillac Ranch
Will his protest be successful? Do you think this was an appropriate way to catch the attention of the local authorities? I, for one, think this was clever.
David Duchovny why won't you love me? "The X-Files," the Emmy-winning sci-fi drama that thrust two federal agents into spooky paranormal situations, will end its nine-season run on the Fox television network in May.
It is still uncertain whether Duchovny, who is no longer involved with the show, will make an appearance in the finale.
Do you have a 'Super Cookie' ??? Another m$ screw-up...
Very interesting since wmp just minutes before tried to access the net through my firewall that is set to block all except a few programs. If you're running mozilla his demo
doesn't hit but using msie it sures pulls up the ID# of my wmp... time to tighten things down again!!! Another blasted waste of time to fix what m$ should not have let out in the first place!!! Link via... Inflight Correction
wants to ban anyone with HIV or hepatitis from visiting or living on the island. I can't see how they can get away with this.
is now doing battle with the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. And he's taking the band Devo
down with it. Whip it good, Snoopy!
black hawk down
easy to glamourise a war isn't it, however the story behind the media hype/historical distortions is also in need of highlighting
Microsoft to make products more "trustworthy."
A lot of buzz words floating around here, like "trustworthy" and "security." Does this mark a true sea change in Microsoft strategy, or is it just a PR stunt, too little, too late? One thing I'll say, though - I never thought I'd hear this coming from Bill: "Users should be in control of how their data is used... It should be easy for users to specify appropriate use of their information, including controlling the use of e-mail they send." (from the AP report
Bin Ladin, the fashion label.
, forget Monica
, Yeslam Binladin, one of Osama bin Laden's 53 siblings, is planning to launch a clothing line under a label that might carry a marketing challenge: "Bin Ladin."
"We're fighting our own terrorist war,"
says Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. David Rocci conters: "There's a huge difference in what people think copyright is and what the corporations think copyright is. I'm not so sure it's morally wrong for someone to go [see] 'Lord of the Rings' in the theater two or three times and then download it because they like it." (NYT link)
A Tale of Two Jesse Jacksons
In the battle to maintain his congressional seat, Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D., Ill.) is up against... Jesse L. Jackson?
Yep, a 68-year-old truck driver named Jesse Jackson is running in the primaries against the son of the best
-known Jesse, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson. Jackson Jr. has occused the other Jackson of being a fraud, put up to running by Jr.'s rivals. Jackson Jr. was in court Tuesday
, but the judge thwarted his efforts to get the other Jackson thrown off the ballot, denying Jr. the opportunity to questions alleged conspirators. The other Jackson, for his part, has given conflicting testimony in two court appearances. (Confused yet?) So far, no word as to what Rev.
Jackson has to say about all this.
Astroglide kills HIV
...in the lab, at least, according to a study performed at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
, a peer-reviewed medical journal. So do two other widely-available lubricants.
Se habla español?
Not in Connecticut you don't. Or maybe the media shouldn't try reading so deeply into bar room brawls.
The Washington Post makes fun
of foolish freshmen at Princeton.
Jeff Linkous must have been a Yalie.
"We have entered the Century of the Environment,
in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck: science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through it and out."
Or so says Edward O. Wilson in February's Scientific American. Consumption and production can NOT be infinite, no matter what "near-horizon timelines" predict. But will capitalism rise to the occasion and will the free market fix the wrongs it's committed?
"Want Security? End the Occupation"
Op-ed piece in today's Washington Post
, by Marwan Barghouti. The writer is general secretary of Fatah on the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Gay doll gets UPS all hot and bothered.
, the first openly gay doll, has his hands full fending off UPS lawyers for trademark infringement, because of the BPS logo and outfit Billy is sporting. I've read elsewhere that Totem
says it's a parody and doesn't plan to back down. The thing that made me laugh the hardest was the collection of limited editions at the homo depot
. Tell 'em Carlos & Tyson sent ya'.
World's Smallest [Libertarian-centric] Political Quiz...
Nothing earth-shattering. It's short, thought-provoking, and a tad biased. Or maybe it isn't and I'm just chafing at being called an Authoritarian (neither Fascist, nor a Communist... somewhere in between).
I'm not I tell you... really!
Anti-Terror Campaign Cloaking Human Rights Abuse
The Human Rights Watch annual global survey was released today. According to it, the anti-terror campaign led by the United States is inspiring opportunistic attacks on civil liberties around the world
"Leave no man behind"
is the tagline for the new Scott
battlepic, Blackhawk Down
In October of 1993, US Rangers and Delta Force personnel stationed outside of Mogadishu, Somalia, launched what should've been a 30 minute grab-and-go mission to capture higher-ups under the command of Mohammed Aidid
, a Somali warlord. Before it was all over, many hours later, 19 US servicemen and 1000+ Somalis were dead.
PBS has a decent writeup
on the Bakara Market ambush, but I still feel like I am missing something. Some sources
share the movie's claim that the US was there to support humanitarian relief efforts, that Aidid was preventing the distribution of food. Others
say we were there to protect American oil interests.
So what really happened on that day in October 1993? The movie opens on Friday, I saw it last night, and I am still exhausted. Admittedly, this film is far better than Pearl Harbor
(no contrived love-triangles are used as a framing device here), but for all the simulated shooting and on-screen heroism, it still seems hard to make out the truth through all of the Hollywood dust. So I guess I am wondering, can we prevent Hollywood's versions of history from replacing the truth (or even the truth-as-we-knew-it)? Should we even try? Is it even possible?
How do you prove you're not crazy?
Adam Ant would like to know. He has shown himself to be a little nuts in a recent interview
, but isn't that what we expect from our washed-up stars of yesteryear who wore tights and streaks of makeup under his eyes?
But really, how do you prove you're sane - especially if you're a preformer?
Don't Confuse Me With The Facts
Post 9/11- fewer folks are taking vows and more are splitting up, Armed Forces Enlistment figures haven't budged, people not going to church more, Washington, D.C., the murder rate spiked 47 percent after Sept. 11; in Denver, shoplifting went up by 12 percent.
Never one to be confused with any type of facts, Government Folks
I guess I'll continue to believe only that which reinforces my preconceived notions.
2 students shot in MLK Jr. HS yesterday.
"A gunman sneaked into Martin Luther King Jr. HS yesterday through a side door - evading 14 safety agents, two cops and metal-detectors - and shot and seriously wounded two boys headed to class, officials said. "
"The fact that the shooting occurred on King’s birthday was a "cruel irony," said [Manhattan Board of Education member Irving ] Hamer. King and the school stand for non-violence, he said, and "instead, we get a shooting."
projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE projet
is a collection of independently-produced books and zines traveling and exhibiting across North America in a vintage Airstream trailer. The project is accepting submissions
for the 2002 tour.
A plaque intended to honor James Earl Jones at a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration said: "Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive.''
This is what
the Segway should
have been. (It's still in prototype but it works.)
In Gold We Trust by Julian Dibbell
"You want to be radical? You don't need to blow up the bank, just burn your bank account. And for that you are going to need an alternative. What is the alternative? E-dinar." I think economic warfare is pretty fascinating, like in the tungsten/wolframite markets of Portugal and Spain during WWII. Although the article acknowledges e-gold is pretty far from wresting away control of the money system from central banks, technology is certainly supplementing traditional (and arguably archaic) currency institutions. An interesting counterpoint is the rising popularity of decentralized money creation.
Every Third Word Is A Bleep
Hey, hey, it's The Osbournes.Yep, Ozzy has his own TV show now.I just thought America needed to see what a normal family was really like
says Mrs. Osbourne.Ozzy won't be getting subtitles, though.
I'll always love my Beanie Babies.
I don't care if I did lose money
. The decadent nineties have come to a close. The world is in upheaval. And a simple barterer of velveteen cutsies can't even love his stuffed animals properly.
How willing are you to whore yourself?
City buses have been doing it for years. Now an ad company is willing to give you a free car for two years if you're willing to drive a mobile billboard for them. Ideal candidates live in busy urban and suburban areas, park on the street, and get stuck in traffic all the time. You pay for insurance and gas, and they take care of the rest (including maintenance). Or have your current car wrapped with advertisements and get up to $400 a month. The company will also entice you with free concert tickets if you'll drive the vehicle to the show.
, the ad company will use your detailed profile to sell more stuff to you.
Jello Biafra calls bait-and-switch on his old bandmates.
Jello Biafra states, "In my opinion, this is the real great rock and roll swindle. They have a right to play cover versions of Dead Kennedys songs. Everyone does. But I feel really badly for all the people paying ticket prices, reported to be as high as $25, thinking it's the real Dead Kennedys, and wind up getting stuck with the world's greediest karaoke band."
Season 11 of the Real World
started tonight! Among guitly pleasures, this one's gonna be good: 2 person showers! lifeguarding! conflicting interests! I'm hooked.
Arthur Anderson checking up on the FBI! "The consulting firm Arthur Andersen LLP is currently conducting a review of the FBI’s management practices, including recordkeeping, technology and human resources issues."
Their checking on the FBI, the FBI is checking on them,
Genetic engineering leaves mice impervious to pain.
By removing a protein called "DREAM", scientists were able to create rodents that didn't mind extreme heat, pressure and inflammation. This could provide hope for those suffering, or a strange removal from the experience of living, and classic human traits like bravery, strength, volition, and empathy, depending on your view.
the Red Herring digs into the X-Files-esque Carlyle Group, that connects the Bushes, bin Ladens, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and on and on. How serious is the conflict of interest? And does this investigation by a business magazine make the conspiracy nuts
seem any less nutty?
Calling all NZers ..
Lord of the Rings fans may enjoy it too.
, aged 17, was arrested and interrogated for 8 hours by the police without caution and without legal counsel. Despite having the reading age of an 11 year old, he was allowed to sign a confession to the brutal slaughter of typist Wendy Sewell. 27 years later at the UK Court of Appeal, he became today
the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in the Britain's history.
U.S. Will Seek Life in Prison for John Walker: The Bush administration will charge American Taliban John Walker Lindh with conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens in Afghanistan and will ask for life imprisonment rather than the death penalty, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Tuesday . . .
"Tooonight, we're going to have A TERRRRIBLE time! Boo ha ha ha ha,"
Sammy Terry used to say, and he was usually right, because he'd then show a movie like "The Monolith Monsters" or "The Tingler." Unless you grew up in Southern Indiana, you probably never heard of Sammy Terry. He was the local host of all B-horror movies, like Elvira only cornier (if that's possible!). His "cohost" was a rubber spider, dangling on a string. And his costume included dishwasher gloves (look closely at the picture). Of course, this being the Internet, someone has a created a Sammy Terry fan site: here
. Did anyone else grow up with wacky local shows? I'm not even gonna talk about "Cowboy Bob" and "Janie."
How long before all animal rights groups go from extremist, to being classified as Terrorist groups?
Are they acting on behalf of animals, or just acting like animals? And how long before their methods and actions become downright un-American?
One of PeTA
's favourite punching bags, Ringling Bros.
, has started hitting back. Coming after a win in the recent court case
involving trainer Mark Gebel, Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Producer of Ringling Bros., issues an open letter to animal rights groups
in an attempt to appeal to them to stop attacking what he says are responsible animal care providers. In it, he alledges some of PeTA's own cruelty, as well as making the connection to the Animal Liberation Front
, which is classifed as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI (see opening link).
PeTA isn't backing down and has just launched their latest campaign
against Ringling Bros. which cites cruelties no more recent than 1999.
I was also surprised to hear about companies finding it easier to buy off activists
by donating money, which just continues to allow them to flourish. Is it time to start ignoring the good intentions of these groups and really scrutinizing their actions? Should animal rights groups which engage in and support extremist/terrorist activities be shut down and broken up by governments? How far is too far when it comes to activism?
Phew! It's okay to drive stoned in Idaho now.
Assuming you can pass a field sobriety test, that is. To quote the attorney, "just having smoked marijuana doesn't give somebody cause to arrest you for that when driving." This seems to be a technicality, and you have to assume it's going to be overturned. If not, anyone up for a road trip to Boise?
MTV sets Powell for global meeting.
"So, like, um, Mr. Powell, the U.S. is the coolest right?" I can't wait to see this one on TV. Maybe he'll explain to these kids that since Bin Laden
escaped, we have an excuse to keep fighting.
Another new drug? Not really. It's all fun and games. This commercial spoof shows us that one day there may be a drug for just about everything.
Oil pipeline? What oil pipeline?
It appears we have been snookered. We fought this war for Unocal, and now they don't want the place! (Or perhaps the motivations for current events are more complex than convenient slogans -- or less complex than elaborate conspiracy theories.)
Thank God there are still mad Geniuses Out There
Aqua Team Hunger Force and Sealab 2021 always make me cry with laughter. Makes me a little less afraid of the TV. I think the kicker is their stuff is funnier than I could ever be.
Want the songs
? Never a problem. Fan site that has the scoops and skinny? That too
can be arranged.
Ginger (or Segway) was invented in Japan first. "TOKYO--A self-balancing scooter billed as heralding a revolution in the way people travel could run into an obstacle in Japan, where a robotics professor wants recognition for inventing a nearly identical machine 15 years ago. "
Wen Ho Lee - his own country versus him.
On the Today show on NBC, Wen Ho Lee made his first public appearence along with the release of his new book My Country vs. Me
. It was such a sad and disturbing moment in seeing how a person's life can be shattered in such a brief moment. On the show, he remarks how "your freedom can be so capricious. It can be taken away at any moment" (not an exact quote). My heart really sank to see how the government, the media, and the general US public quickly jumped the gun in villifying this one person, who by the way, was originally from Taiwan, NOT China. What's sad is that Wen Ho Lee's coworkers, who were mostly Caucasian, would also download files to take home and as for the one Asian in the lab, he goes home with FBI on his trail.
Here's one more kicker, even the federal judge, James Parker, apologizes for the erroneous witchhunt...
So lots of people hate links to news sites. How about an olds(?) site? Wrote
reports the news of the past, and I don't mean last year.
"Observing" other dimensions.
The existence of tiny black holes, produced by cosmic rays in the Earth's atmosphere, if confirmed by the Auger cosmic ray observatory
, might provide evidence for other dimensions beyond Space and Time.
Amazing how theories considered untestable by experiment a few years ago are turning into "real" science.
So lots of people hate links to news sites. How about an olds(?) site? Wrote
reports the news of the past, and I don't mean last year.
"Today's heroes don't have to do anything; they just need to be noble victims"
The people who lost their lives on September 11 -- office workers, firefighters, airline pilots -- have almost unanimously been labeled "hereos." Were they really, or were they "just" victims who tragically died while "doing their jobs"? According to this article, we should be hesitant to loosen the requirements for heroism: "Heroes often end up as role models, a task not well suited for victims. Moreover, by lowering the bar for heroism, we cheapen the word and, in some ways, the exploits of people who have earned the right to be called that in the past. "
(via a & l daily
and other space-based mindcontrol weapons would be banned under a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) last October. If it passes, can I take off my tinfoil helmet
Mark Twain: A Film Directed by Ken Burns
started on PBS tonite, on my local station. I know we have discussed Mark Twain's writting before, but I found this
as I was looking for other sources about Twain.
What do you think? Was he racist or was he trying to expose racist thinking? Or just weaving a good story?
Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a model communist Chinese village? Apartments come in only two sizes. Residents are bound by strict rules. The approval of a Communist Party committee is required for all marriages. A mass wedding is held once a year on New Year's Day.
After childbirth women are sterilised. Wrongdoers are paraded through the village with their heads shaved. The village has acquired cult status among those who still pine for the certainties of the Mao era
The Jargon File
Just how long is a jiffy? and what does a robocanceller do?
Divorce: Not So Bad For Kids?
this report, detailed by USA Today
says "After studying almost 1,400 families and more than 2,500 children. — some of them for three decades — trailblazing researcher E. Mavis Hetherington. finds that about 75% to 80% of children from divorced homes are 'coping reasonably well and functioning in the normal range.' Eventually they are able to adapt to their new lives."
Of course, many of us with single parents could have probably told you this a long time ago but here are numbers, controversial to the "pro-family" establishment of course.
What a dick.
Good advice: don't go to a party dressed as bin Laden. It may seem funny to you, but apparently not everyone else agrees.
No VC after the dot-com bust? No problem!
Just sign up for eight no-annual-fee credit cards with interest rates as low as 1.7 percent (for a few months, anyway), and shazam: You've got $35,000; you're a start-up! Question: Has this guy read a newspaper in, say, the last 18 months?
Maybe you DO have to be born in France!
After much debate, and worldwide press, the French Parliament has decided that you were supposed to be born. Glad to know that. So much for the worst FPP ever.
The Conservative Intellectual's Matchmaker Quiz:
Just answer the questions - whichever ones you like - and you'll know the name of your potential real-life
conservative sweethearts. Not to mention a great collection of like-minded, mostly highbrow and academic links
. Ideal for lying, trouble-making lefties too![more inside
Rivers Cuomo produced by fans.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has been chatting with his fans about their new album. So far so usual. Except it hasn't been released yet and they've been listening to the rough cuts via mp3.
"Google effect" reduces need for many domains.
Dan Gillmor says effective search engines can and should stop people from freaking out that "Wah! All the good .com names are taken" and compulsively registering all the .biz, .info, .tv, .to, and other .crap domains which the registrars would like us to believe are vital.
Bob Frankston agrees
, [link via Ev] adding that reducing our dependence on semantic (i.e. keywordy) web addresses will improve the stability and usefulness of the web.
(I agree too!)
Good news for fans of the late, great Replacements
Paul Westerberg has signed a new deal, will return in April with a 2 cd set and is also considering a tour.Hey Paul, Tommy Stinson is wasting his time with Axl Rose, so call him up.I'm guessing Chris Mars and Slim Dunlap would be available for gigs too.Billboard articles have a pop-up, sorry 'bout that.
Film, TV Director Ted Demme Dies
"Demme was participating in a celebrity basketball game at the private Crossroads School when he was stricken Sunday, said Ted Braun, a spokesman for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.
Paramedics rushed Demme to the hospital's emergency room in full cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.
Demme, a nephew of director Jonathan Demme, directed Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in last year's "Blow." The film was based on the true story of George Jung, who was the American connection to the Colombian cocaine cartel in the late 1970s and early '80s when the drug became hip. "
A 90 minute uncut video of Sept 11
We've all seen parts of it. However, we will probably never see the whole thing. Personally, that ticks me off. Why do only firefighters and family of victims get to see this? I don't like censorship in any form (meaning by the video company.) Especially in this event.
Praises to anyone who can find the video. I wonder if it's out there on the net somewhere...lurking...waiting to be discovered....
The spookiest lipbalm ever!
Check out the prominent plug for ChapStick in the new film "The Mothman Prophecies." You'll find it in the full trailer, not the "teaser" trailer. Product placement isn't anything new, but this is pretty blatant.
Ouch, it hurts to watch!
Going to NYC? Wanna take in a Broadway show but aren't interested in the normal fare? This might raise your spirits. Or not.
It's the music *you* love but everyone
you know hates it... It's the band you love. You've played them to all your friends. All
your friends hate them (don't they see? haven't they got ears? can't
they hear?) You've tried the old "no - really just *listen*
to them...honestly they *are*
great - can't you even see yet?" ploy... But you can't make anyone understand and everyone you know still hates them. This is my one
. (mp3's available) What's yours?
(nb. i know most of you are going to hate this band, so it would
be pointless to post replies of the "this band are sh*t nature)
I like to watch...
A disturbing video combining September 11th scenes, professional sports, and pornography. NOT SAFE FOR WORK. I won't post this otherwise, but maybe they have something to say about voyeurism brought on by mass media exposure...
Are sweeping generalisations
about French 'arrogance' and 'cowardice' really justified? What if Rob had suggested that Satchel take a more aggressive 'German' stance on Bucky's beanbag borrowing antics?
"The largest private creative writing school in the United States" they claim. Everything is covered, yet nothing on weblogs. How is it possible.
Break the Chain
has all kinds of nifty resources for stopping the neverending flux of chain mail wandering through your e-mail box, though if you're like me, you'll probably just read through the chain archives for their amusement. A nice companion to Snopes
for your hoax-debunking needs.
We'll have to settle for this
until flying cars and transport tubes show up. George Jetson would (or will) be proud. Now, how to slip roofie into one of these?
"Enrongate" in a nutshell.
Our own Oliver Willis
has compiled a very thorough catalogue of clips from the Enron scandal, dating all the way back to April 2000. If you haven't been following all along, it's a great resource to catch up.
Criticism Over WTC Statue Race Issues
-- I'm sure many of you are familiar with a recent photo featuring three firefighters raising an American flag over the WTC rubble. Now a company has been commissioned to make a statue of the photo at FDNY Brooklyn Headquarters. In the statue though, the three white men who were originally depicted in the photo have been transformed into one white man, one black man, and one Hispanic man. There has been criticism over whether it is going to far to make these changes in order to be politically correct. Others are saying the statue should be more of a symbolic representation of all ethnicities that sacrificed themselves during this tragedy.
What do you think?
for the "U.S. brought it on themselves" crowd, courtesy of the New York Times.
"One report obtained by Dr. Zilinskas from the government is "Development of `N' for Offensive Use in Biological Warfare." `N' was the code letter for Bacillus anthracis, the germ that causes anthrax. Another is "The Stability of Botulinum Toxin in Common Beverages." The germ-derived substance is the most poisonous known to science."
Seems that the United States has been selling instructions for the creation of bio-weapons.
The new TV show, The Chamber
"involves contestants who vie for a chance to enter a torture chamber. The winner is strapped into a chair in the chamber and must answer game show questions while enduring such torments as 100 mph winds, earthquake simulations and extreme heat, Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman told reporters today."
Is there any
depth to which Fox won't stoop? It premieres tomorrow night
Poor Prince Harry
Drug rehab clinic it is. Also chips thumb
playing football and puts foot
through a glass door at party. Wonder if its all connected. PS Rehab for weed and alcohol only? Fishy.
Insane Collection of 555 phone numbers from TV-Movies-cartoons.
555-6542 Rev. Lovejoy The Simpsons
555-4044 Tanners residence ALF
A 9-year-old girl has been arrested on sex charges, perhaps the youngest suspect ever to face such charges in Manchester, local police say. [...] The alleged incident occurred in the fall, when the girl and three other children a 3-year-old boy and two girls, 4 and 5 were playing in a bedroom, [Police Sgt. John] Maston said. The girl is charged with initiating sex between the younger children and then with her, Maston said.
, via Billy Wildhack
I admit I don't have all the facts, but it seems like this little girl's life about to be ruined because a game of Doctor went out of hand.
Cosmos Patrol: Star Trek for Communists
In the late 60s, the Soviets copied the TV show Star Trek
and used it as propaganda and entertainment. Set in the 23rd Century, the 400 galaxy-exploring crewmembers are led by a handsome Commander with a coldly logical First Officer. Ensign Chekhov assists as they encounter alien life forms and embrace them as brothers.
Register as a Patriot!
Quote: As part of the Bush Administration's ongoing efforts to obliterate all traces of terrorism in the United States, the Department of Justice has commenced registration* of each and every American Patriot. By registering all non-terrorists within our borders, it is our intention to make use of the process of elimination to identify the evil ones who walk among us. If you are a non-terrorist (American Patriot), your participation is required. " (It's a joke kids, John Ashcroft doesn't really expect you to register...yet.)
Kandahar, the "gay capital of South Asia"
is coming back out of the closet with the forced departure of the Taliban.
"Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy — locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior..."
What happened to the two-step invasion?
In early 2001, America was supposed to be poised for an invasion of this skittery garage/R&B combo, with Craig David's "Fill Me In" taking over the charts. However, while two-step has conquered England, it remains unknown in the US. Where is the homegrown two-step, and why are Artful Dodger, Oxide & Neutrino, MJ Cole and the rest failing to gain any converts on this side of the pond?
What would you pay for this stuff?
CBS/Survivor auctions off gee-gaws from Survivor Africa to benefit Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation. Way to go Survivor! As much as you may not like this show, it's a pretty cool thing to do.
Would you pay $25,000 for the Immunity Idol, though?
Hard to believe it's been twenty years.
Convicted Hockey Dad Killer to get only 3- 5 years?
i know he only threw a few punches, but he was 275 lbs and his victim was 165 lbs. I'm sorry, but killing a guy nearly half your size in front of children - in front of both of their children even - is reason enough for throwing the book at this thug. 20 years = 10 years if he stays cool in the pokie - a pittance if you're the victims kids. Hopefully the Mass judge will make an example out of this totally unneccessary tragedy.
A new definition of 'Gun Nut'
Alaska state appeals court says a judge "erred" when she removed a gun permit from a man who "claimed someone had implanted a computer chip in his head and injected him with deadly chemicals". Apparently "general concerns about mental illness" are not allowed to be considered in such cases.
Judge kills Microsoft private suit settlement
that would have had MS donate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of software to schools... and effectively killed any incentive to use non-MS products such as a Macintosh or Linux.
"Err...hello...is that Alex Braganza? Sorry to disturb you ...
my name is Kenny Patterson. No you don't know me. But I took my computer into PC World for repair and when I got it back they'd replaced my faulty hard disk with a reconditioned one which used to be your old machine. Thing is, they hadn't actually bothered to format the thing so now I've got all your personal details. Yes that right -- that's were I got your phone number." I imagine that's how the conversation would have started ...
a project 25 media artists and activists, who converted a Soviet-era 32meter dish antenna in Irbene, in the forests of western Latvia, which also happens to be a top 5 most precise radiotelescopes in the world, into one of the coolest art projects ever. [via milov
Keep on rockin in the free world.
You go Neil!
"People for the American Way, which once described the goal of the PMRC censors as "to bring children and parents together on music selection," gave Neil Young its Spirit of Liberty award at a December 11 Beverly Hills banquet. Young used the occasion to proclaim his support of the USA/Patriot Act, which became law on October 26. "To protect our freedoms," Young said, "it seems we're going to have to relinquish some of our freedoms for a short period of time."
One of John Ashcroft's favorite rockers?
Who says DeCSS litigation is dead
? Norwegian court indicts the fellow who cracked DVD protection.
A bunch of artists and designers were sent a small Flash file and told to change whatever they wanted, and send back the results. You get to see the mutations
After yesterday's feverish response to the greatest bands of all time, I gotta ask who do you think are the worst
bands of all time? Creed
has got to be it for me. I don't think these guys can ever even have nostalgia value.
Superstition ain't the way.
A new study
confirms that you can actually be scared to death. They found a 13% increase in cardiac related deaths of Chinese and Japanese Americans on the fourth day of each month. In Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese, the pronounciation of the word 'four' (shi) is the same
as the word for death. So be careful where you aim those fireworks the next 4th of July.
Widow of Sept. 11 Hero Gives Birth.
"Lisa Beamer, the widow of the man who cried, 'Let's roll!' as passengers aboard one of the doomed Sept. 11 flights prepared to confront their hijackers, has given birth to a healthy girl." How bittersweet; a part of him lives on, but I'm sure there is sadness because the husband couldn't be there for the birth.
Also, the Beamers have started a memorial foundation
for children who lost parents in the 9/11 attacks.
Ron Rosenbaum writes interestingly in the NY Observer about how Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan, expatriate Brits both, have become the "most forceful, eloquent and influential voices in the American debate over the Sept. 11 attacks and their meaning."
Welcome to Enrongate. Ashcroft and his aide David Aryes are off
the Justice Department investigation which means Larry Thompson
, the Deputy Attorney General, is heading it up. Thompson worked as an attorney for law firm King & Spalding, whose client list included Enron subisidiaries like Enron Global LNG
, Enron Energy Services
and Enron Global Markets. Check out Larry Thompson’s King & Spalding bio
courtesy of the Web Archive. Apparently, some of his areas of expertise are in "white collar criminal defense matters" and "Government Investigations".
from The Guardian discussing the fact that people seem willing to pay for annoying ringtones, but seem unwilling to pay for near-CD-quality music. Unfortunately it doesn't really address the question of "why?"
fights back for the Koreans. Eat them, just kill them humanely. Please.
From America to Europe to Russia, birthrates are declining -- and eventually, so will population. What are the implications? Guess who has some answers.
Carson Daly doesn't want just pop stars on his new late-night talk show
. He tells Time magazine: "I've been dying to talk to [White House spokesman] Ari Fleischer. ... That guy's like a rock star. He handles a room." (more)
The East Coast knows...
Survivor Africa is over. You may not have noticed it ever starting...
But Kim, Lex, Ethan, or Tom won.
I'll let someone else spoil the surprise for those West Coast viewers.
Sprint sets this summer for nationwide 3G launch in US
Huh ??? Everywhere in Europe, which is supposedly so much more advanced, the talk is how far off the 3G roll out is, how carriers may go under because of the prices paid for spectrum, how hand sets won't be available, how it will take years to make any money. I mean, the best they can currently do is 76,000 people on the 30-mile by 10-mile Isle of Man
. Yet a nationwide 3G network in the US this summer ? We should be so lucky. It's hard enough for the phone companies to get DSL to work. (PS Voicestream's 2.5G GPRS service in NYC does work well most of the time.)
Tick, we hardly knew ye.
The much-anticipated and often-overlooked live action show has officially been canned by the Fox network after only eight episodes.
Yasmine Bleeth only gets two stinking years probation.
Yeah, she gets court costs, yeah, she gets community service. But no jail time. Unless it's because she only had (only had?) less than 25 grams of cocaine...oh, and driving under the influence. The question this post begs is: Is this another instance of a double standard for celebrities? I've heard about double standards for child molestation (a football player in New York), murder (Ray Lewis), etc...and there are obviously MANY instances of celebrities getting preferred treatment when it comes to drug charges. I guess this is just another one.
The Ramones named #2 band of all time
magazine, following the Beatles at #1. I think we all can agree to disagree about the vailidity of the yearly Grammy nominations
, but when given a little more time, you'd think that the editors of Spin could come up with something better than placing The Smiths at #21, or Fugazi at #31. In other news, Bruce Springsteen was left off the list.
Breakup businesses in Japan
I wouldn't be surprised is this became a television show in Japan. Best line: "Men can always be seduced if the woman operative is reasonably good-looking," says Hiwatashi. "That's an absolute. Men are basically simpletons."
Dear (insert patient name here): Despite the fact that you are 80 years old...and male...our records show you are pregnant!
I imagine the lads had a good chuckle over this one, but this must have been quite a scare for some of the gals until the mess was straightened out.
Avoiding Wrongful Birth Lawsuits
, ob/gyn's in France have decided just to "not know" about problems before birth. So, no more ultrasounds. Original wrongful birth thread can be found here
Department of Labor eliminating women's bureau?
Posted on the CWA
site is some info on how the Bush Administration is trying to close all of the regional offices of the Women's Bureau at the Labor Department.
I guess, since we're being paid almost 73%
of what men are, we should be grateful and assume that this 80 year institution has done all it can do for women?
Have u finished reading the complete collection of O'Reilly
books?, and thought u could do better, but dont know where to start. Well u can try designing the front cover
has been making good music for so long that it was great finally to see his picture in the NY Times. Not a very informative article, but it's a small victory for Fugazi
fans everywhere. "We're not the first, hope we're not the last..." (Requires log-in)
China, North Korea, and Iran
will have nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States by 2015, says the CIA. Other delivery methods are mentioned as well, but this news certainly does make missile defense sound like a good idea.
The editor of CBS Marketwatch predicts that Enron is not Bush's Whitewater; it's worse
. "Don't expect to see either Bush or Vice President Cheney directly linked to the financial shenanigans that brought Enron down. They won't be.... Enron won't bring down Bush.... But it will be a major thorn in his side through the rest of this presidential term, and it might even play a role in the next election, depending on what comes out." (via Drudge)
List of Opt-out links that
take you directly to the "opt out" feature of the ad server listed. Clicking these links stop the advertising from that adserver. Opt out of double-click, advertising.com, x10, 24/7 media.
MLB in turmoil ... should teams be contracted?
Send Bud Selig
an email telling him why you don't think that contraction should happen (or why it should). Or read
one writer's opinion on why expansion never should have happened in the first place.
set of scenarios is discussed in Minneapolis. In Miami
, no one seems to realize that the metro are a had a baseball team to begin with.
What does the MeFi team think of all of this? What should we do with these teams that are losing money? Is a luxury tax
going to solve the problem or just create more weird scenarios for capologists?
I hate to post from Salon but this just torqued my ass!
"The Vatican has come up with new guidelines for the Roman Catholic Church to handle pedophilia accusations against priests, ordering church officials worldwide to inform it swiftly of such cases and declaring them subject to secrecy..."
Since when does being a Catholic priest exempt you from the law? Vatican II
was supposed to bring Catholicism to the people and that included allowing man's laws to permeate the pontifical sphere that has protected so many priests for centuries. We expect holiness from these men, allowing for human failing and error; however, no one should be above the law!
Slow news day?
This is the kind of reporting that really ticks me off. On the surface a serious piece about BSE in British Sheep. Reading the words however......
"The scientists' warning is based on
a theoretical prediction
of the potential
health risk if
passed to sheep and is
spreading through the national flock."
You really couldn't get many more provisos into that sentence if you tried. This kind of story can only serve to scare-monger and put the French off. Again.
The return of "Water Cooler News?"
The Boston Globe discusses whether or not the trial of hockey dad Thomas Junta (on trial here in Cambridge, MA for allegedly beating to death another dad, Michael Costin) is ushering in "a kind of news normalcy" as it ushers out terror-related news (more)...
Could tomorrow's Blogger announcement
be that they are launching a Premium Service... (more)
Interview with the certified forensic entomologist.
In other words she examines insects in dead bodies for criminal investigations. Its good to know that there are dedicated professionals doing this just in case I happen to wash up on the shores of Lake Michigan. Hey, it could happen to any of us.
Hackers: Computer Outlaws
A TLC show(that I'm 3/4 through) that seems to actually use reliable sources
to discuss not just cracker behavior, but also the creative side of hackers, pointing out the developments attributed to some hackers
Now Markoff and Mitnick. Not a bad little show....
covers an interview with an actress
about her role in a film
she recently starred in. It's the first time I've heard of the film.
At the expense of sounding prudish, what is the difference between this film and pornography?
Her mother is quoted as saying she "loved" the movie. Her boyfriend was "very supportive" of her "going to work every day and performing oral sex on her co-star". Hello?
Getting paid for having sex sounds more like prostitution
than "art". That goes for the lead actor as well, by the way.
Are we supposed to believe that this is legitimate movie content? What do you think?
Aztecs Conquer Russian Civilization
…Now that Sid Meier's Civilization III
has been released for the Mac OS
, I shall now begin to wall myself off from our own actual
civilization and begin a weeks-long campaign to rule a fictional world.
Civ3 truly is, as its packaging claims, “the Greatest Game of All Time.” Civ is not merely a battle simuator or an extrapolation of the board game Risk — it's a chance to learn how successful (and not-so-successful) societies can be developed through history. Strategy gaming at its finest.
it's not as sexy as the ipod
but for just as much money sonicblue announced their entry into the mp3's on a multiple-gig unit today - the rio riot. twenty gigabytes worth of music storage for $399. perhaps one of the coolest features has to be the personal dj which manages playlists and also remembers your favorite songs and will mix personalized playlists.
is NASA's nifty new site where they'll be posting info on new planetary discoveries. It's a long shot, but hopefully this will lead to broader based public support for the space program.
It's About Freaking Time!
Finally, Someone is actually looking into whether or not Enron might maybe have violated the law. Until now, Ashcroft's little Department was just about the only organization in Washington DC not investigating these jokers. For those who haven't been paying attention, allegations include accounting irregularities, improper partnerships, price fixing, single handedly causing the California Energy Crisis, and failing to let thier employees get thier 401k money out of company stock before it dropped precipitously.
An interesting twist
in the trial of a bunch of Greenpeace protestors. The government drops felony charges in return for a guilty plea to misdemeanors and a promise from Greenpeace USA not to conduct any illegal demonstrations in the US for the next five years
. Any bets on whether or not the deal will hold, and if we'll see this tactic used in the anti-globalization arena?
Whatever happened to "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"?:
A regional Miss France contestant, disqualified for having her spine stretched so she'd meet the pageant's 1.72-meter height requirement, is now demanding that the winner be measured to determine whether she's tall enough. If women are to be judged by such arbitrary standards, why not give extra points to those who are willing to submit to surgical enhancement to conform to the ideal?
The Morning News Gets Hosed.
Due to a server meltdown (and probable incompetence by their webhosting provider) the guys at Morning News lost all kinds of data. Now on a new server, their old host is looking into the possibility of coughing up a decent backup. As a website designer who relies on the kindness of server farms, I know I've been hosed this way before. Since they can't be relied on to provide good backups, when was the last time you backed up your site yourself? Better make one today!
Pity the poor moped. Not really a scooter, nor a motorcycle, yet more than a bike. The Moped Army
(motto: "2-Stroke Power. Swarm and Destroy") attempts to bring some respect, or at least, geeky cult-like fanatacism, to this underappreciated mode of transportation.
Who killed John O'Neill?
If the lads on the Right have their Vince Foster "mystery" death, the folks on the Left now have their John O'Neill "story."
Copy protection for CDs does not have future
. Philips spokesperson Klaus Petri, speaking to Reuters, says its company counts on the fact that the refusal of consumers will convince the music industry to step back from copy-protected CD's. Petri said that Philips could sue the manufacturers of CD's with copy protection (as managers of the world-wide CD patents), because they would not correspond to the standards. "those are silver disks with music on them, but which do not resemble CD's". [via Neowin.net
Patron Saints Index
I used to live in Bolivia, where they have an annual Day of the Dog
celebration in honor of Saint Roch
. It was while searching the Internet for the date of this event (August 16), I stumbled across this comprehensive site on the history and patronage of the Saints.
...Only thing that's missing is a virtual graffiti wall
Sex and the Kitchen
(NYT article) Anyone watch TV cooking shows? "She is voluptuous. She licks her fingers and likes to flick her hair as she flirts with the camera. And her cooking show, "Nigella Bites," has created a sensation in Britain, where it is one of the country's most popular cooking programs." Our compatriots across the ocean have done quite a 180 since The Two Fat Ladies.
days are numbered. What is it about food and sex anyway?
In gaming news, Disney
has thrown itsself into the online gaming market, with Toontown
, pitting it against some of the other successful online games
, but targeted towards kids. The reviews have been decent or better
, and heck, who wouldn't want the chance to become a toon
. From personal experience, online games can be incredibly addictive and time intensive, limiting actual human contact to zero. So, is this a great way to introduce young kids to the wonders of the online experience, or is it another way for parents to let technology play babysitter?
Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism.
An excellent essay by classicist Martha Nussbaum on the importance of a cosmopolitan education and the limitations of nationalism.
Links.net Mileage Giveaway Contest!
To celebrate the eighth (!) anniversary of his web site, Justin Hall is having a contest. Write the winning essay and get a free plane ticket to, well, anywhere!
There must be something
about Geocities that attracts the most unusual people to create such enriching websites. What it is, I'm not sure.
If you've ever been dissapointed with the results of your "hey, we have a video camera - let's make a private movie" attempts, Live Acts Video offers a three camera setup, a videographer, and a fantasy themed room for around $500 an hour.
I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.
I shot the Sharif?
Interesting Salon piece on the Arabian influence on the West down the ages. Lest we forget?
CHILD's PAUL SIMON COSTUME, used only once. Also, GLASS SOFA with three brass cushions. And much more, via Framley Examiner classifieds (link found at FunJunkie
Pakistan & Terrorism: The Evidence?
Well, finally a detailed account of what has actually been going on to create this particular mess. Or is it merely a biased indian opinion?
When I first saw this
in the Indiana Living
section of the Indianapolis Star,
I nearly did a spit take on my morning coffee.
These "educational" dolls have names like Starlet Stephanie, N.Y. Sammy, San Juan Carmen, Windy City Girl, East L.A. Lupe, Beantown Cynthia, and Confederate Tammy,
and seem to be the worst sort of stereotyping (as well as relying on overly simplistic moralizing backstories).
What... no Waspy Wendy?
Apparently they're working on a "Black-American" (from the article, I assume they mean "African-American"). Shouldn't children, by definition, be innocent, and not be subjected to these badly designed, poorly plotted, crypto-racist, "Ghetto-Patch kids?"
Feeder drummer Jon Lee found dead
"JON LEE, drummer with Welsh rock trio FEEDER, has been found dead in his MIAMI home after committing suicide."
are one of my favourite bands. In my eyes a tragic loss. What drives (apparently successful) people such as Jon to suicide? Especially since they've just had a track in UK Top 20...
In what seems to be a major turnaround for the state, Texas may not be seeking the death penatly
against Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in a bathtub. They're bargaining for a guilty plea; should she take the deal? Or, does she actually deserve death?
is gone. Juan Garcia Esquivel, Godfather of Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music, Avatar of Wildly Panning Hi-Fi Stereo Effects, and Owner of the World's Geekiest Pair of Glasses, died last Thursday, due to complications from a stroke, at his home in Juitepec, Morelos, Mexico. He was 83 years old. (more inside)
The founders of Webshots.com
sold out to Excite@home in '99 for $82.5M, they just bought it back--for $2.4M. $6.7B Excite.com goes for $10M and Blue Mountain Greetings ($780M) goes for $35M. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we're talking more than pocket change.
So I was thinking about all the people laid off from dot.coms
, and people laid off from places like LTV
, luckily I’m not in either group as of yet, but I wonder about the differences
On one hand, the dot.bombers still have their computers, the web is there, so are some jobs
, and the possibility of free lance work is always bobbing around, but the glory days are behind us.
Steel workers, on the other hand, well… the plant is gone, they can’t open another plant in their basement, plus to make things worse, they are probably older, and less educated, it seems harder to find work
Who has it worse, and with the current economy, will things get
for all of us?
Next gen TiVo announced
. Apparently "by holiday season 2002" we can look forward to broadband, photos, CD storage/playback, streaming audio, VOD, and something called "video party games" on our TiVos. But will my Wishlist ever learn to refresh in under 15 minutes?
Weblog Junior High.
Just in case you felt a little left out trying to figure out the pecking order, you'll be happy to know that Mr. Haughey is a jock. I won't even mention the K
Florida company announces a breakthrough
They say they have managed to compress random data, losslessly 100 times over, Cold Fusion or huge discovery, guess we'll have to wait and see.
If you want an on-line diary but LiveJournal just doesn't quite have your tone, try a DeadJournal
Juanita Jordan files for divorce.
MJ's wife cites irreconcilible differences. What does this mean for his sponsorship careers? Does (should?) marital status make a difference in role-modeling?
Bush is an ignorant hick
, with his racial slurs that are explained, but not apologized for. Mel Lastman, after a similar gaffe
, said he was really really sorry. I think the President should apologize to the Pakistani people.
are part of the holiday fun in Spain's Catalonia region... How was this tradition started?
Toxic Exposure Near Ground Zero
EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said a week after the attacks: "I am glad to reassure the people of New York...that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink." Yet now: "Dust taken from an air vent in the apartment building's hallway contained 555 times the suggested acceptable level for asbestos.....Many of those who live or work downtown report strikingly similar symptoms: nosebleeds, sore throats, bronchial infections and an endless racking cough." How long do we need to wait until we see some full blown investigative reporting
A short Japanese action cartoon rendered entirely in animated gifs
. Really impressive stuff.
Would someone please translate the 'little match girl' one at the very bottom?So many instances recently where I've wished I spoke Japanese...
No, ummm, no Guns n' Roses reunion show, I guess.
Ex-GnR guitarist and Hair Club for Men spokesman Slash was denied entry to the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe to see his old band perform New Year's Eve. GnR management were worried that Axl would be "freaked" if he know Slash was there. I bet the guys at Buddyhead
are pissed that GnR are never coming back.
Wendy's founder dead at 69.
As fast food goes, he did a pretty good job of making it taste better than the competition
. Plus, one of the longest TV commercial campaigns will need to change. So long, and thanks for "Where's the Beef?"
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)
Dave Thomas, the portly pitchman whose homespun ads built Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers into one of the world's most successful fast-food franchises, has died. He was 69 ... The cause of death was not given.
Britain's strict gun laws not really working. While Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, the recent spate of gun murders in London has highlighted a disturbing growth in armed crime.
Could the NRA be correct? Should the Bobbies now be required to carry guns, something they have never done before?
Nader to Gates:
"It is significant that a small number of persons who run the company hold a substantial share of the stock in the company, a fact that is very unusual for such a large publicly traded corporation."
"This also raises questions about whether or not these persons, including yourself, are accumulating these staggering sums of cash to advance other agendas, rather than to advance the interest of shareholders."
Nader Nader Nader
a Metropolitan Area Network (or MAN). In short, it is broadband for the masses in the Chicago area to be developed over a span of 10 years (if you're lucky). To be clear: I am not the man.
SF Chronicle article
about a condition that I have seen but didn't know had a name. . . .Orthorexia Nervosa
. . .The obsessive quest for healty food
. . .I would suspect that your average computer-active person would NOT experience this condition but perhaps you know someone or perhaps live with someone who could be described in this way. . .
"For 35 million chickens in the United States alone, every single night is a terrorist attack."
In an open letter to the Vegan Voice
, Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns, compares the poultry industry to the September 11 tragedy. "I think it is speciesist to think that the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a greater tragedy than what millions of chickens endured that day, and what they endure every day because they cannot defend themselves against the concerted human appetites arrayed against them."
Air Force pilot in Saudi Arabia forced to wear local garb
when going off-base. Lt. Col. Martha McSally sued the Secretary of Defense last month over the requirement that female personnel wear the abaya
and matching head scarf while outside Prince Sultan Air Force Base. "If it were in our national security to deploy to South Africa under apartheid, would we have found it acceptable or customary to segregate African American soldiers from other American soldiers, and say, 'It's just a cultural thing?' "
say the government isn't giving them enough money. Some say the government is giving them too much, and any honest libertarian will tell you that the government shouldn't be giving them anything. What do you think?
Judge to referee road hockey complaint. HAMILTON, ONT.
- A Hamilton man whose son likes to play road hockey will have to face off in court Monday against a neighbour who's fed up with stray tennis balls landing on her property.
it's the strangest noise ever.
it's called a daxophone
and as far as i can make out it seems to be some kind of wooden bowed instrument. there's more stuff on the inventor here
(this does require flash) and a video clip of hans playing it here
. some of his guitars are odd
please note that i have not accused anyone of anything as yet this year.
The Fountain of Youth
is in southern California, and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12-4 PM on the first three weekends of the month, except as noted.
An asteroid large enough to wipe out a country that was discovered a month ago will pass less than twice the Moon's distance from the earth. Meanwhile the British have selected a site for their near Earth object information centre
. Hopefully they will have a direct line to Bruce Willis, just in case.
action figures are now available! Collect all four and reenact scenes from Spinal Tap, Joe Dirt, Wayne's World, and more.
Consider This, America.
The Washington Post has nine editorials from around the world on how America should use it's current bully pulpit: Uganda on tunnel vision, Germany
on "softly flexing" muscles, Mexico
on energy and labor, Canada
on women's rights, Peru
on capitalism/property rights, Japan
against unilateralism, England
encourages being a "real" superpower, while Pakistan
wants us to be balanced. Sage words of advice, or more finger wagging from the global set?
Does genius exist?
According to commonplace descriptions, a genius creates artworks beyond the abilities of the merely talented. A genius's achievements are uninfluenced by vagaries of taste and marketplace; in fact, a genius may be shunned at first and only later acclaimed.
But genius has been far more flexible a concept than its critics recognize; it is less a reflection of a rigid ideology than an attempt to characterize an infinitely variable phenomenon.
, registration required]
There are a number of culture-specific disorders
, such as genital retraction
or the old hag's sleep paralysis
These disorders are, maybe, too mixed up in "exotifying The Other" (as they say in the ivory tower), but maybe most interesting is the inclusion of anorexia. Some evidence seems support this idea -- after 3 yrs of TV in Fiji, a rise in eating disorders was reported
. Are these disorders caused
by culture? And/or are the people afflicted expressing an underlying problem in a culturally specific way?
America the Polarized
NYT's Paul Krugman says that Congress is polarized because Republicans have moved to the right, while Democrats have remained fairly constant. He (and a political scientist) attribute the change to economic polarization, the sharply widening inequality of income and wealth.
Pee on a plane and get 20......years.
After consuming alcohol, prescription sleeping tablets and cocaine, Rodrigo Deambrosio urinated on seats and threatened to bring the plane down. He may now face 20 years if convicted. Mr. Deambrosio insists it was the drugs he consumed but we all know it was the United Airlines service that drove him to his fit of rage.
The Texas sleeping lawyer case
is being submitted to the supreme court by the TX Attorney General in hopes of overturning the 5th Circuit Court's ruling that maybe the lawyer in question did doze a little too often during the trial. It seems the issue is " how often an attorney can sleep during a trial without violating his client's constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel."
From the "No good deed goes unpunished" file: What's in your pet food?
(And is your first reaction upon finding out really the right one, in the long run?)
A duct tape wedding
Sorta like the Rose Bowl, only with duct tape instead of flowers, people instead of floats and marriage instead of a parade connected to a foodball game.
AMERICA THE WEIRD VISITING THE U.S. IS LIKE LANDING ON ANOTHER PLANET.
But we still like ya...
Akebono's sumo retirement ceremony
American-born sumo Yokozuna Akebono retired from the sport Sepetember 29th in Kokogikan, Japan.
This excellent photo essay talks about a few of the 300+ people scheduled to help cut off the topknot, a little on the history of Sumo, and why he needs 8 men to help him with the belt tying ceremony
Also a few good photographs of another American-born Yokozuna, Musashimaru, and one Japanese one, Takanohana.
Does anybody really know what time it is?
If anybody really cares, the NIST is the place to go for not only the answers (including a list of government operated open access NTP servers), but more information than you probably ever wanted to know about standard time.
Weatherman faces up to six months.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Cesar Maya has asked prosecutors to seek charges against Luiz Carlos Austin, claiming his weather forecast was irresponsible. The city's acting chief prosecutor, said he would likely charge Austin with sounding a false alarm, which is punishable by up to six months in prison.
Was it really irresponsible to report that the storm could hit?
And who listens to weathermen anyway? I say if you want to find out what the weathers going to be like, stick your head out the window. Major storm warnings are the only things I want
to hear about.
After 30 years of working in the journalism industry, CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg
has released this book
, apparently a scathing critique of the media's liberal slant. The book, of course, has created much controversy
, with many saying that Goldberg is biting the hand that feeds him
. There are many who would argue that, contrary to Goldberg's claims, the media (at least in recent months) has been censoriously conservative
in the wake of wartime patriotism.
You may have thought the fourth estate has been corrupt for quite some time, but recent months have brought a heightened degree of scrutiny of the media. America's relationship with the press seems to be more complex than ever. The plight
of (now released) amateur journalist Vanessa Leggett posed some interesting questions
about restrictions on the power of the media. What is the actual state of the American media, and in which direction is it going to go?
God's role on 9-11
from the article "As the various interpreters of God's will appear and crash airliners into buildings, or on the contrary assert that God frowns on people crashing airlines into buildings, or that God will help our blessed nation in its quest for Osama, or that God will help Osama to escape, one might ask again an epochal question: huh?"
is the creator of Zap Comix, Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, Keep on Trucking, and a lot more classic Underground Art. Tonight at 6:30 pacific time on International Film Channel, the David Lynch Presents/a Terry Zwigoff Film, Crumb
, (Winner Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival). Six years in the making, this documentary profiles a very talented, very strange family. A "creepy, darkly funny, and haunting glimpse", to say the least. If you are interested in the 60s counterculture, Crumb was the man. Art, maladjustment, maybe a touch of insanity? Watch this film.
Bad Director! No biscuit!
Apparently, the incredibly civilized British have found a way to rid themselves of stupid executives. Using the Insolvency Act,
executives can be banned from starting new businesses, or from "materially taking part" of an existing business, if they can be proven to have no idea how to run one ethically.
(As opposed to the American model, where this bozo
can lose 50 million dollars, and then get hired as an "visionary" executive at Yahoo, where he promptly directed the layoffs of the majority of technical staff.) My question becomes, how do we implement the "stupid manager law" here in the states...and if we did, would there be anyone left to run the RIAA?
Watchdog Watchdog on Your Side
"ActivistCash.com states that its mission is to expose 'where anti-consumer organizations and activists get their money.' ... ActivistCash is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman. Berman & Co. represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains." Not a new phenomenon, but a helpful accounting.
U.S. representative questions the legality of copy-protecting CDs.
A decade ago, record companies pushed through a law (the Audio Home Recording Act - summary
or full text
) that gave them a royalty on the sale of certain blank recording media; in return, they acknowledged the right for listeners to make some digital copies for personal use. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) is asking if new schemes blocking even legitimate copies are in violation of this law.
More Public Servants to Rally Around.
In what appears to be a extremely trying time, the members of the NSW Fire Brigade have been working insane hours, under the most intense conditions
....and with a largely volunteer force. Although, I heard NSW Premier Bob Carr this morning on the news state that he intends to have the (accused) arson culprits visit burn wards and help with clean-up with the intent to "traumatize" theses kids. Strong stuff but I gather that's the kinda guy he is. Of course, if you feel the urge, you can give until it hurts.
(registration required). Makes me want to emmigrate again.
"The New P.C." Post 9/11 Political Correctness: "In the new p.c., anyone who says anything critical about the president or his administration is branded an anti-American akin to the Marin County Taliban,"
writes Frank Rich in the New York Times. The old p.c. died when Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect"
was nearly cancelled. Where will the new p.c. take us in the 21st century? (more inside)
"Active Denial Technology
uses a transmitter to send a narrow beam of energy towards an identified subject. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the subject and penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up the skin’s surface. Within seconds, an individual feels an intense heating sensation that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the individual moves out of the beam."
[The link is to an MS Word document, I saved an HTML version here.]
Nominations for the Grammy Awards
were announced this morning. A crop of new female artists (India.Arie, Nelly Furtado, Alicia Keyes) scored big, and Michael Jackson got yet another nomination. Which was your favorite nomination? Who should have been nominated? Do Grammy voters have a clue?
Has J-Ko called it a day?
Anyone know what's up with kottke.org? Could he really be gone for good? Is he redesigning? What's up, J-Ko! Your fans await your next move with breathless anticipation...
The Polaroid photographic archive is under threat
The archivists are trying to sell the collection together, but as always seems to happen in these cases, it looks like it might be separated. If buildings can be listed, why can't collections like this, which documents six decades of social and artistic history, be protected as well?
Ever wonder what it's like to spend 16 hours in a Home Depot?
Now you don't have to. "Many people asked what it was like to spend 16 hours in the home depot. For those who want to know I provide you with a transcript of the journal that I kept during the event. It is raw and unedited so be warned. Due to the state of insanity that I was in on this strange day I take no responsibility for what I wrote.
allows you to construct basic shapes using lines, joints, and "muscles" and adjust the settings (gravity, and I'm guessing that f
stand for force
but I could be wrong) to create "living" creatures.
Do you want to play?
"If these rules make sense to you, we could quickly cross the line from words to action, both on the Web and in neighborhoods and villages around the world, by inviting people and organizations that support these goals to meet and work together, locally and face-to-face -- in schools, community centers and houses of worship -- or online and across any cultural or national border." I like the sound of this ambitious initiative of idealist.org.
This propaganda leaflet
is apparently being dropped in afghanistan by the American Military (taken from this msnbc story about the first american soldier to die from hostile fire
). Regardless of your opinion about propaganda, this seems rather sloppy. If the purpose of propaganda is to convince people of something, wouldn't you want to say it in a language they understand? Is the American military getting lazy / sloppy / over-confident? It looks like the propaganda leaflets from Desert storm
(1991), Desert Fox
(1998), and the bombing of Kosovo
were at least in the local languages. (Who knew there was a quarterly magazine
dedicated to aerial leaflet propaganda?)
50 tons of weapons smuggled from Iran on a Palestinian ship. Palestinians claim the ship has nothing to do with them, even though Israel asserts that the ship's captain and officers are all Palestinian Naval officers. Palestine says it is an Israeli attempt to ruin the mission of the American, Zinni. I think Palestinians are lying here (similar to what they have always done) ... What do you think?
Search-indexing video footage? Dremedia's software can analyze video footage -- either raw or edited -- and not only identify nearly every word spoken but also differentiate between speakers and even understand when a scene changes.
And who said the gee-whiz startup was dead? Well, it is, but Futureboy
still has rent to pay, I s'pose.
For the Amazon obsessed author or others interested in Amazon rankings
Did anyone watch the PBS show- "Taxi Dreams"? The PBS site is very informative. I enjoyed the video clips in the gallery
. The facts and figures
section was decent. Overall, I thought it was a great way to study the immigrant experience and the American dream.
Lynne Cheney says husband not hurt by stresses of 9/11
This developing story via Drudge makes an important slip! Note that there had been some speculation as to what had happened on flight 93, the hijacked plane over Pa that crashed when the passengers rushed the terrorists. Aside from some reports that there had been an explosion first, a later story noted that the FBI would not release the black box because it would be "emoitionally disturbing." But Lynne notes the anxiety felt by the White House of having to "shoot down ANOTHER plane." What does that mean?
Register International Domain Names
such as "http://www.nërd.com", which is actually available. (Note the umlaut on the e.) If you've been looking for an interesting domain name, only to find that they've all been registered, this may be just the ticket.
Killer Paid Online Data Broker for Material Obtained Through Trickery
A stalker who eventually murdered his victim acquired her home address via a company named Docusearch
. However, Docusearch didn't get it via database mining, but through a process they call "pretexting" (aka "human engineering" or "pretending to be someone else"). Docusearch, on the stalkers behalf, called the victim's business associates posing as an insurance rep or some such, and tricked the colleagues into giving over the victim's address. Legal? Perfectly legal. Ethical? Maybe. It's a tried and true investigative technique employed by private investigators for decades. It reminds us once again that the human dufus at the next desk over is the biggest security risk. However, this is an issue of an investigative firm exercising a typical, long-standing investigative practice for a purpose that, unfortunately, turned nefarious. Given that, why did the Post put the online
data broker spin on the article?
Canadians figure out exactly how many nukes it would take.
Using the software, researchers estimated it would take 124 weapons to destroy the U.S. and 51 to eliminate Russia as a country. The computer program mimics the U.S. military's SIOP, or Single Integrated Operational Plan, which outlines the targeting of America's nuclear weapons and the likely consequences of each attack. [via dailyrotten.com]
UAE Information Ministry calls for greater freedom in the Arab World 'In my view, religious extremism that begets terrorism will not recede without a review of Arab and Islamic conditions,"
he said. "We cannot speak of stamping out extremism without revising the educational system and without rethinking our political state of affairs and economic problems."
Skywriting "God is great"
scares bejesus out of Palm Beach residents, assuming the message might be the beginning of a terrorist attack. Is this any different than skywriting "Allah is great," and would the pilot have been treated any differently?
no one has mentioned yet that greg
is writing again this new year.
How Cosmopolitan Are You?
So you think you're a man of the world? Or a femme du monde
? Well, The Economist's
quiz will tell you if you are or not.
There's lots of controversy
about Nebraska playing for the national championship in tonight's Rose Bowl because they didn’t win their division or conference and got crushed 63–26 by Colorado in their last game of the season. [more inside]
New Contraceptive to Block 'Sperm and Germs.'
Scientists working in conjunction with Johns Hopkins
have spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on BufferGel
. Now it's in clinical trials with the NIH
. Put simply, BufferGel appears to kill sperm and most STDs
by raising vaginal pH. Unlike its predecessors, however, it doesn't contain any detergent, which means (they hope) no irritation. (Of course, trials may not end until 2005. Don't have to throw out the Dr. Bronner's
One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair
"Historically, beards have been used to distinguish one group from its enemy. And evolutionists believe the beard gives more prominence to the jaw and teeth, all the better for baring those pearly whites in a fight. We won't even get into Freud's theory, which, of course, involves the nether regions of the body and shaving's being akin to castration (Freud had a beard). Then there's the ''gay beard.'' For more on that, you'll have to buy the book."
..... and I thought facial hair was just hair.
Former Pres. Clinton's dog Buddy was hit and killed by a car near their home in NY.
(Nope, not the codename for Dean Kamen's followup to "Ginger
"...) Could this the product that Apple
is hyping for release at the upcoming MacWorld Expo
? Pretty convincing video clips on this page... or is this simply the next generation of AppleFan fakery
Even Safire is getting sick of Bush
in today's NY Times op-ed piece writing about the bogus executive privilege order he signed re: FBI missteps in Boston: "Why is Bush, so early in his term and with little to hide, going down this road to upset our system of checks and balances?...It's another mistake that will come home to haunt the Bush presidency." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi) And with Lieberman and Levin opening up the Enron investigation
("Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., the full committee's chairman, promised Wednesday `a search for the truth, not a witch hunt.' But he did not rule out an examination of Enron's relationships with the Bush administration.") does anyone not think the Dems are getting fired up for the fall elections, war or no war?
The North Face
's newest jacket
is a technical wonder: It heats itself
. Although for $499, I would expect a fleece jacket to also climb mountains, shovel snow, and balance my checkbook for me.
So what are your Top Ten movies for 2001? The NYT's Elvis Mitchell
cites "In The Mood For Love" as the best and David Kehr
chooses "The Royal Tenenbaums." Then there's Roger Ebert
who's #1 is "Monster's Ball" and Harry Knowles
who picks, surprise surprise, "The Lord of the Rings."
according to andy borowitz, the cia is using
mariah carey's movie "glitter" in the interrogations of al qaeda operatives. apparently, "the film usually induces prisoners to talk after 10 or 12 minutes.
" yow. the US is fighting dirty!
this has got to be one of the most humorous things i've read in a while. (via newsweek)
Another Hotmail Scam.
Dated November 28th, this scam masquerades as a response to a request for a password. The HTML is convincing - convincing enough to fool a friend or relative who doesn't know better. It fooled me for a half a second. [More...]
Snow is falling throughout the WRAL-TV viewing area
Southern snow. Better get milk and bread! It will be like going to the Kroger in Moscow, but you must have milk and bread. Wow, I love it when it snows hard in the South, what a magic time. Only once every 5 or 10 years do we see a foot of snow.
I Don't Wanna Grow Up...
When did you first consider yourself to be a full-fledged adult? How many more years later was it when you realized what a child you were when you first thought that? :-)
The Washington Post had this conversation-starting story this morning about stretching the boundaries of what we consider adolescence. Some social scientists now argue that our (e.g. American) society has allowed the maturing process to take longer and longer, and that many people are still adolescent in their emotional and intellectual development into their mid-30s. Needless to say, there's a lot of disagreement.
Emancipator or Oppressor?
E.J. Dionne talks about how the global economy may not be as evil or as good as its respective supporters and detractors make it out to be. It seems like a pretty balanced look at a subject that gets horribly slanted coverage.
George F. Will complains about the Euro.
Interesting, many of the arguments Will uses against the adoption of common European currency (loss of sovereignty, loss of cultural coherence) are the same ones used by critics against the WTO and corporate globalization.
Speaking of Apple, it might be a niche market for a niche platform (Mac), but the president of Westlake Interactive (the company who's ported such titles as The Sims, Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament to the Mac) is having a sex change,
and discusses it in a public forum. Mark Adams becomes Glenda Adams, and it doesn't appear that April is for another few months.
Moussaoui appears on September 11th charges
Surprised not to see this posted, given the amount of coverage the attacks have been getting here at MeFi.
"In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plead," Mr Moussaoui, a French citizen said. "I enter no plea." The judge took this as a not guilty plea which was entered into the record.
Another excellent editorial by Thomas Friedman.
"I have no problem with nation- building in Afghanistan, but what I'm really interested in is nation- building in America — using the power of Sept. 11 to make our country stronger, safer and a better global citizen in the world of Sept. 12, beginning with how we use energy." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi)
Discovery of America: A Picaresque Punk Pastoral
by Jim Ruland is about one of the funniest things I've read in a long time and most certainly deserves your attention. He's undertaking a spoken-word tour in support of the story-in-progress. Give him a place to sleep and maybe he'll come to your town!
Apple setting the marketing bar higher than their engeneers can jump again?
Today apple.com reads "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond." Apparently yesterday it said something like "This is big, even for us." All of this is reference to the San Francisco MacWorld Expo on Jan, 7th where they presumably plan to launch a new product. The most credible rumour
so far is a new iMac with an LCD flat-panel display that has been ready for months, but held back
. It's interesting that after the iPod popped the expectations bubble (don't get me wrong, it's a cool toy, but lots of people were disappointed after the hype), Apple is stirring up so much hype themselves. I guess they've got me talking about it.
C'est Si Bon! Jean-François Jonvelle's Sexy Photographs:
He's been photographing women for decades and he just gets closer and closer to l'éternel féminin
. Meaning reality. His books are beautiful. And expensive. But here's a very generous, unauthorized gallery
(click on the cute fenêtre
)of some of his best work. So who's your
what will 2002 bring?
the guardian newspaper asked various people, like the british tiolet association, for their thoughts on the new year. the result is an interesting portrait of britain today
Buzkashi, the Afghan National Sport
"In Buzkashi, a headless [goat or calf] carcass is placed in the center of a circle and surrounded by the players of two opposing teams [on horseback]. The object of the game, is to get control of the carcass and bring it to the scoring area..." It's in the news
now, including my favorite photo
asks the question: if Stalin and Hitler were both powerful wizards and battled each other, who'd win? I wish I could read enough Russian to tell whether or not this is a put-on.
Everything But The Girl
has had a website for some time now, but there's more to the band than meets the eye. Ben
recall their interesting histories including when and where they met. Though an excellent resource for information on the releases of the band, you may also discover Ben's struggle
syndrome, a quite bleak
condition. And, of course, you no longer need wonder how Ben and Tracey came up
with the name.
A good omen?
Here's hoping 2002 turns out to be a better year than 2001. This seems like a good enough start.
May auld grievance
be forgot: "I'm sorry I haven't spoken to you in 10 years," Mark Pilgrim wrote today
to fellow weblogger Eric Soroos
. "I forgive you. Please forgive me."
Happy New Year!
Looking forward to the first double post of the new year...