January 2003 Archives

January 31

Poets Against the War At Sam Hamill's Poets Against the War, the story of the recent cancellation (link to Canada's Globe and Mail), by Laura Bush, of a Feb. 12 poetry symposium at the White House. From the G and M article: Stanley Kunitz, poet laureate 2000-01, told reporters, "I think there was a general feeling that the current administration is not really a friend of the poetic community and that its program of attacking Iraq is contrary to the humanitarian position that is at the centre of the poetic impulse."
Hamill is gathering contributions from poets around the world, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Yusef Komunyakaa and W.S. Merwin, National Book Award winner Marilyn Hacker, novelist Ursula K. Le Guin, and Adrienne Rich.
This post is not intended the fan the flames of 'War on Iraq: Yes or No', but to explore Kunitz's contention: Is there at the centre of the poetic impulse a particular type of humanitarianism? Is there a space for poets and poetry in political debate? Are poets the "unacknowledged legislators of the world"? [more inside]
posted by jokeefe at 9:06 PM PST - 35 comments

Ed Rosenthal found guilty. Is this man so harmful and dangerous to our society that he deserves a harsher sentence than child molesters?
posted by spazzm at 8:02 PM PST - 77 comments

The New Global Job Shift. The next round of globalization is sending upscale jobs offshore. They include basic research, chip design, engineering--even financial analysis.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:18 PM PST - 50 comments

The Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network Live in Washington or Oregon? Felt a little rumble recently (like I did)? Want to see if it was an earthquake? You can even check out the live seismographs, including some on Mt. St. Helens.
posted by doorsnake at 4:01 PM PST - 5 comments


It's been 2,000 years since the world has seen anything like this! As it says on the site: "In concept, The Holy Land ExperienceTM is an idea whose time has come . . . In quality of construction and theming, The Holy Land Experience compares favorably with some of the finest museums found anywhere in America. And in terms of Christ-honoring Christian venues, we believe it sets a new standard." I've never been, but you can bet I will be on my next trip to Orlando! (link via Mobtown Shank)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:41 PM PST - 17 comments

Andrew Antone can't help falling in love... If, like me, you're tired of good looking, teen pop icons with salon coiffed hair and rock hard abs, but don't want to give up the illicit pleasures of horrendous teen pop, I humbly submit Andrew Antone, 15 year old icon to be, in an alternate universe where looks & talent are no obstacle to pop icon, fame & fortune. For added delight, I encourage you all to customize your desk with the free wallpapers.
posted by jonson at 1:58 PM PST - 62 comments

Reagan's Son... It took me all week to get around to reading this article from last Sunday's Times Magazine. I was astonished to discover no discussion of the story here. This strikes me as one of the most interesting recent pieces written about the president, and from the pen of a journalist who doesn't pull punches...NYT OpEd writer, Bill Keller. (NYT reg required)
posted by cyclopz at 1:53 PM PST - 11 comments

Happy Meals No Longer Bringing Smiles To McDonalds. Best news I've heard since December. And to bring Mom ("very important to us") back into the fold, McD may begin including Mom-toys with the HMs. No, no. More like...lip gloss, or sweepstakes entries for spa visits. Stuff that would tip any conscientious mother over into the crap-for-food camp.Other ideas? Fact is, EVERY McDonalds customer should be eating the happy meal. (last link possibly NSFW)
posted by luser at 1:09 PM PST - 23 comments

Hmm...this one looks genuine: I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.... THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE. I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION.... I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ....
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Shawn Fanning - Patron Saint of the Internet? Fed up with hackers, a flood of spam and lousy connections, a group of Roman Catholics have launched a search to determine the Patron Saint of the Internet. Actually, I vote for Danni Ashe. I can't wait to see what her miracles are like...
posted by mathis23 at 12:06 PM PST - 17 comments

Should FCC allow big media to get bigger? The FCC will soon rule on whether media megaboxes should be allowed to dominate a given market's radio, television, and print media simultaneously. They have already loosened restrictions on radio and the proliferation of Clear Channel has led to a 30% reduction in radio station ownership and, some believe, to the homogenization of popular music. Should the FCC eliminate the regulations preventing mega-media from monopolizing television and print media?
posted by answergrape at 11:37 AM PST - 28 comments


So THAT'S what that sound is! This has been driving me crazy for weeks! Just when you thought that it couldn't get any louder in your nabe... Oh well, at least some people are enjoying it.
posted by ubi at 11:06 AM PST - 37 comments

Video game music is designed to heighten tension, and get you involved in the game, but it's come a long way from the days of Pong, now we have a single video game generating a 4 CD boxset & a greatest hits CD. Game Music Home, one of the first sites dedicated to gaming music is still preserved online. Now there's even a game music database and sites like GameMusic.com, VGMusic.com, etc specialize in selling video game soundtracks. Here's a brief timeline of video game music. Of course with original songs like "Taxi Drivers Must Die" (lyric), how long before we see a video game song on the Billboard charts?
posted by riffola at 10:25 AM PST - 38 comments

National Engineers Week begins February 16, and this year, students everywhere will be competing to design Future Cities or the ever popular egg drop devices for competitions all over the country. They also plan to profile 50 engineers in honor of their 50th anniversary, and welcome submissions. Did you ever participate in egg drops or other cool engineering projects while in school?
posted by madamjujujive at 9:44 AM PST - 18 comments

Let the celebrations begin! According to the Chinese calendar, tomorrow begins the year 4700. The festivals and superstitions surround the celebration for the new year are fascinating in China as well as Korea. Which animal year were you born in and do you follow the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean zodiac? Finally, the mathematics behind the calendar are truly fascinating.
posted by Plunge at 9:10 AM PST - 15 comments

Hearing deja vu? It's true, the crew of a few are the voice of a who or two.
posted by pedantic at 8:42 AM PST - 13 comments

Vaclav Havel is retiring as president of the Czech Republic this weekend. The former dissident and playwright-cum-politician is profiled in the Guardian, the Globe & Mail and Radio Prague's site; or you can browse the great man's website.
posted by plep at 8:41 AM PST - 12 comments

Bandlink CD Intelligence provides instant access to... tour dates, latest photos, news, video and chat community whenever you play a specially encoded CD in an internet-connected CD drive. But is that really all? "Go online any time and check to see how many people are listening to your CD, what songs they are listening to, and how long they are listening." As a marketing professional, I can see the value of it to business. But from the consumer perspective, the possible abuses are scary.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:21 AM PST - 4 comments

Dr. Mitch McGraw, famous scientist, is shrunk in a freak accident to the size of a flea and ends up in the hair of his assistant, Ted Preston. Some Friday fun for those of you stuck in the office.
posted by essexjan at 7:53 AM PST - 3 comments

High Tec Shadow Play 'In Rotterdam, Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer used two 7000 watt lamps to create 1200 square metres of projected images which were overlayed by the shadows of passer-by's. A computer based tracking system monitored the shadows. Once the shadows matched the projected image, a new image (or "scene") was triggered. ' An impressive (if extravagant) bit of public art (QuickTime)
posted by rolo at 7:45 AM PST - 15 comments

A War Crime or an Act of War?

But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..

This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.

And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl at 7:43 AM PST - 34 comments

Ever wondered what the Aurora Borealis sounds like? The northern (or southern) lights generate VLF radio waves as well as light. These sounds have been captured here as hundreds of free mp3 downloads, and they make amazing ambient soundtracks. Random clicks, whirrs, pops and whistles, direct from outer space. The site also features other "weather sounds" generated by lightning storms and such, and explains how you can get your hands on a VLF receiver to hear the sounds yourself.
posted by Jimbob at 7:24 AM PST - 12 comments

I'm a Poet and I know it? Recognizing appalling verse as a humorous, sometimes oddly affecting balm. Rick from the Young Ones TV show made a huge impact on the field But tributes and poetry, of course, make for wonderful bedfellows. Just ask Ethan Hawke. Sometimes, though, one can try too hard to get the yucks. But perhaps nothing inspires inspired verse like our feline friends.
posted by chandy72 at 7:18 AM PST - 27 comments

In these troubled times, we would all do well to remember the lesson of the Apasht. But you'll have a hard time finding this vanished Neolithic culture in any mainstream anthropology textbook. That's why these archives are such an invaluable resource.
posted by staggernation at 7:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Frivolous Fun for Friday (although not quite lighthearted…) As an avid Gorey fan, I couldn't pass up posting these interactive murder mysteries. Shockwave required.
posted by Fenriss at 6:51 AM PST - 5 comments

So What Happened After The Wise Man Discovered He Was Wearing The Red Hat? Don Steinberg's hilarious brainteaser aftermaths inevitably makes one wonder what happens after fairy-tale endings or the punchlines in jokes.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:34 AM PST - 20 comments

Skydive naked! This 4.1 MB mpeg is NSFW, but if you enjoyed madamjujujive's pianist post, you might like this too.
posted by homunculus at 12:21 AM PST - 19 comments

January 30

"everyone knows the consequences of killing three Americans" from the guy who hung out with the taleban - and one of the few who actually makes the right call on al queda: "But instead of just always knowing that it was a small Mickey Mouse outfit, now they made it into this huge global conspiracy, which it isn't. Which has created all kinds of problems in the Muslim world because we're sort of demonizing the wrong people. The bad guys are living in America and Saudi Arabia and Germany and the U.K.; they're not sitting in caves in Afghanistan." - say what you will about the guy, hes got b*lls that clank when he walks.
posted by specialk420 at 10:34 PM PST - 26 comments

A Brief History of Goosestepping. Shades of Busby Berkley perhaps? Or something much more sinister? To some, goosestepping is a fun and comical activity. But what about these guys?
posted by The Michael The at 8:52 PM PST - 8 comments

Jasmina's Joy of Bellydancing is a fantastic site that will make your head spin(.mov) with links to every aspect of the world's oldest dance. Maybe you just want to learn a cool party trick(.mov) or lose a few pounds(.mov). Whatever the reason, whether you're young or old, you too can learn. So make your harem pants and cook up some henna, but forget about the navel jewels. Need a little inspiration? Check out these great vintage galleries. Hurry up though because the 13th Annual Belly Dancer of the Universe competition is just weeks away! Questions? Ask the Gypsy.
posted by snez at 8:07 PM PST - 12 comments

How many different Starbucks outlets in North America have you been to? Less than 3,381? If so, this guy has you beat. See Winter's caffeine-propelled roadtrip stats and peruse his mind-numbing photo gallery.
Do not try this at home; you WILL end up looking like this.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:56 PM PST - 31 comments

The moon does not exist! This is no lie. Until recently, I, too, believed in the traditional, establishment view of the moon. But any thinking person, untainted by the biases imposed on us by the controlled media, will have no choice but to reach the conclusion I did once faced with the facts described in this account.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:53 PM PST - 25 comments

Ireland's road signs are notorious for getting travellers lost, but the Irish government has announced that it will finally do something about it.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:49 PM PST - 22 comments


Have you filled out your Arbitron Diary? Radio watchfrogs Arbitron more or less provide the nooses in which Conglomerations hang themselves with (or, switch formats from R&B to Country.) Perhaps your station is losing "ears" and you'd like to beat that system? First, don't play too much music. It gets in the way. Also, your morning show might want to adopt that old sawtooth sawhorse The Birthday Game! ("People perceive their chances of winning a substantial prize in the Birthday Game to be 1 in 365. Plus, most folks think of their birthday as lucky.") Diarists love it. If you're feeling especially sub-moral you should announce the wrong time to your listeners, a sneaky move deemed Time Warping (PDF) that in effect cuts a hole in the space-time collusion, not to mention your competitor's 'Drive-By' block. Arby's getting wise, though: The new-for-2003 The Portable People Meter, a snap-on privacy preventing prosthetic that records "invisible and inaudible" radio station cues removes that pesky Human Element from the diaries.
posted by neustile at 3:39 PM PST - 10 comments

Can't afford those expensive fertility treatments? Just beg for money on the internet! This childless couple has even set up a CafePress store to help bring in cash so they can try to have a baby. Childfree advocates react with expected disdain.
posted by beth at 3:38 PM PST - 13 comments


"We are male and female. We are artists, athletes, students, and business owners. We have depression, DID, PTSD, eating disorders, borderline personalities, bipolar disorder, or maybe no diagnosis at all. Some of us were abused, some were not. We are straight, bi, and gay. We come from all walks of life and can be any age. We are every single race or religion that you can possibly think of. Our common link is this: We are in pain. We self-injure. And we are not freaks". 29 days until March 1 - National Self-Injury Awareness Day.
posted by nthdegx at 3:03 PM PST - 42 comments

The critique of mass society has been one of the most powerful forces driving consumerism for more than 40 years. This is an article written by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter for This Magazine. They raise the question; if we all hate consumerism, how come we can't stop shopping? They say that consumerism is not based conformity, as seen in movies like Fight Club and American Beauty, but is based on distinction.
posted by Quartermass at 2:55 PM PST - 24 comments


The State of the Union & The Super Bowl: Two of the biggest television events of the year occurred at almost the same time in 2003, and from where I'm sitting, each seems about as relevant as the other. Both events are pageants of performance and strategy, featuring a lineup of carefully selected special guest stars, played to an audience that mostly supports one of two sides, whose preference is largely dependent on geographical and demographical influences.

So, now that both are over, for your continued entertainment, I present The Real State of the Union, as posited by the good folks of the Atlantic Monthly. If no more relevant than the other two, I hope this one's at least more enjoyable.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 1:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Bound For Victory? One of the trio of "Joe Millionaire" finalists has starred in dozens of kinky bondage and fetish films that feature her being handcuffed, gagged, hog-tied, and bound with duct tape, The Smoking Gun has learned (Disclaimer: While accompanying images contain no nudity or flagrant violence, viewer discretion might be indicated).
posted by LinusMines at 12:55 PM PST - 21 comments

The Met Museum has an online gallery exploring the work of Da Vinci. It allows you to zoom in and out on specific parts of a work thus enabling minute exploration. It's stuff like this that makes the web indispensable.
posted by Fat Buddha at 12:27 PM PST - 6 comments

national philistine is putting a very neccessary look at iraq and it's people - an american in iraq, the blog on the front page is one of the most humanizing things i've read in months.
.. part of the iraq peace team
posted by Peter H at 11:32 AM PST - 10 comments

The warm water ocean currents of the Gulf Stream are why London rarely gets snow yet Boston is fridged despite London being as far north as Montreal, Canada. New weather modeling research from Columbia University may turn this long-held belief on its head; London can thank the Rocky Mountains for its mild winters. Good news for the rest of Europe too in case the Gulf Stream stops due to Arctic melting.
posted by stbalbach at 11:00 AM PST - 22 comments

Don't believe in evolution? Don't get a recommendation. The Justice Department has been asked to look into the case of a Texas Tech biology professor who has made it clear that you won't get a recommendation from him if you believe in creationism. In his online notes to students, Dini writes "If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of recommendation, I will ask you: 'How do you think the human species originated?' If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences." The Liberty Legal Institute, calls the policy "open religious bigotry." Texas Tech supports Lini, saying the decision on whether to recommend someone is a personal one. Clearly, it should be a professor's call on whether to give a student a recommendation or not, but did Lini make himself a target by laying out this criteria this way?
posted by Gilbert at 9:16 AM PST - 182 comments

Keep off the grass These days in London it's okay to smoke grass but not okay to walk on grass. Perhaps it's not all that surprising given that there's been a material breach. Any other current examples of civil liberties being eroded quite so outrageously where you live?
posted by skellum at 7:52 AM PST - 25 comments

The lady with the mystic smile - over the years, she's been stolen, lampooned, revered in song (mp3 file) and the subject of mystery and mania for many. Her visage has been been the inspiration for socks, cookie jars, bathtub toys and lots of kitsch and pop art. What's the secret to the world's long standing love affair with this lady?
posted by madamjujujive at 7:37 AM PST - 32 comments

Do Dogs Have History? For those of you who participated in this discussion a while back (I linked here to the discussion, but be warned the FPP link from that discussion is to a gruesome, sad picture), the author of this book review elucidates many of the reasons why some of us love dogs as much (if not more than?) people. via Robot Wisdom
posted by vito90 at 7:34 AM PST - 26 comments

Welcome to the Russian Wodehouse Society[more] Fellow admirers of the inimitable P. G. Wodehouse have created The Wodehouse Society, Wodehouse information, and The Everyman Wodehouse.
posted by hama7 at 7:13 AM PST - 14 comments

The greatest TV show you will probably never see: Aunty Jack, a ten-foot tall, boxing-glove wearing, motor-cycling, moustached cross-dresser, was the star of The Aunty Jack Show, which ran for thirteen episodes in 1972-73 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission TV network (and was the first show broadcast on Australian TV in colour). Many of the original episodes have been lost (but records of them exist). Re-release on video or DVD of the remaining episodes is tangled up in copyright issues. The 1974 album Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong was re-released on CD, and still seems to be available. It includes such classics as 'Fish Milkshakes' and 'Teenage Butcher' and the song 'Farewell Aunty Jack', which was a number 1 hit in Australia. Some samples can be found here. There were spinoffs from Aunty Jack, most notably the Norman Gunston Show, with Norman playing the prototypical terrrible interviewer and inspiring the much later Ali G, Dennis Pennis and many others. I was two years old when the series aired: Aunty Jack's threat at the end of each episode, that: 'If you don't watch next week, I'll rip your bloody arm off!' meant that I never, ever, missed it.
posted by chrisgregory at 5:02 AM PST - 33 comments

Jeff VanderMeer is not only a great author of weird sf, and a creator of the mysterious city of Ambergris, but has an alternative official site where he makes merciless fun of himself and the whole idea of author web pages. The site includes bad poetry, a secret subsite of the "webdesigner" Garry and a strange alien baby project, just for starters.....
posted by inkeri at 3:21 AM PST - 3 comments

Jesus H. Christ: That's H for Historical. A person of interest to several schools of inquiry, historical whereabouts unknown, somewhere between palimpsest and projection. You have your Jesus Seminar, for one. Earl Doherty asks Was there no historical Jesus? Mystae's The Jesus of History and Archeology is a bit more on the X files tip. A decidedly nonbeliever overview is Infidel.org's The Search for the Historical Jesus. And Gospel.Net provides Jesus of Nazareth in all gospels known to have been written within 200 years of Jesus' birth, a number considerably larger than the canonical four.
That should be enough for a start. Now go in peace and sin no more.
posted by y2karl at 3:01 AM PST - 26 comments

Vonnegut Weighs in on the State of the Union. As a writer and artist, have you noticed any difference between how the cultural leaders of the past and the cultural leaders of today view their responsibility to society?

Responsibility to which society? To Nazi Germany? To the Stalinist Soviet Union? What about responsibility to humanity in general? And leaders in what particular cultural activity? I guess you mean the fine arts. I hope you mean the fine arts. ... Anybody practicing the fine art of composing music, no matter how cynical or greedy or scared, still can't help serving all humanity. Music makes practically everybody fonder of life than he or she would be without it. Even military bands, although I am a pacifist, always cheer me up.
posted by crasspastor at 2:51 AM PST - 80 comments

January 29

Does the eBay fun ever stop? Apparently not. Sometimes, auctions like these are even more hilarious than The Onion. Sometimes.
posted by cinematique at 11:52 PM PST - 26 comments

Amusing Op-Ed piece on this year's Anti-Drug Superbowl ad "But this has got to be good news for some. Infertility clinics are in for a big surprise with this one. Forget all those expensive, painful procedures. Simply grab some weed, and boom-boom!" [NORML article]
posted by skallas at 8:34 PM PST - 53 comments

Decoding Anti-Europeanism In America: Although European anti-Americanism focuses on one country, with one government and one foreign policy (the U.S.), growing American (i.e. U.S.) anti-Europeanism seems to conflate dozens of separate and disparate countries, governments and foreign policies into one abstract entity, "Europe", which doesn't really exist as such. Or exists just as much as "America", North and South, Central and Carribean does. So what the hell is up? What terrible confusion of categories is clogging up Western political communications? [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:57 PM PST - 77 comments

At D.C. protests, a few hundred thousand go missing - "Like most young Americans, I've been trained to think of protests and demonstrations as something shameful and vaguely embarrassing-something one outgrows, like Journey albums, or those hour-long showers you took when you were eleven and twelve." Stinging dead-on reportage about the media's coverage of the anti-war movement, from Matt Taibbi.
posted by GriffX at 5:27 PM PST - 66 comments

An Edinburgh man got back from holiday to find his car had gone missing. It hadn't been stolen. It had been moved by the local council because it was obstructing some drain and hadn't bothered to tell him. How far can local government authority really go in matters of personal property? [more]
posted by feelinglistless at 4:05 PM PST - 36 comments

A list of articles by former weapons inspector Richard Spertzel on current inspections. Also former weapons inspector Bill Tierney says Saddam has nukes and the French sabotaged U.N. WMD searches.
posted by Ron at 3:51 PM PST - 25 comments

Fixin'to Die after all these years Woodstock-era protest singer Country Joe McDonald still keeps an active pulse on today's events on his website. One of what eventually came to be perhaps his most famous song, the "I-Feel-Like-Fixin'-to-Die rag" has taken new life in light of current events, which is quite simple to deduct: just substitute all the Vietnam references with "Iraq" and there you have it - as many people have been happy to do by submitting their own lyrics versions to the site, somehow confirming that the world actually hasn't changed much in that respect 30 years after Vietnam...
posted by betobeto at 2:25 PM PST - 7 comments


Future of Sky Scrapers? Is this the future of sky scrapers, or are they now irrelevant with the current threats that are presented? Would you work in this building?
posted by npost at 1:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Large scale ballistic fingerprinting of guns doubtful. The California Attorney General's Office has said that large scale ballistic fingerprinting of all weapons is not yet practical. Ballistic fingerprinting spawned much discussion earlier on MeFi. I couldn't find the complete report online yet.
posted by stevefromsparks at 1:41 PM PST - 5 comments

Athina Roussel picked up an estimated $2.7 billion in cash, homes, companies, art, shares, a private jet She will inherit a further $2 billion on her 21st birthday That's right, she is the richest teenager on the planet...
posted by bureaustyle at 1:37 PM PST - 34 comments

Computer user suffers "eThrombosis" People who spend many hours every day sitting in front of a computer could be at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis - the potentially fatal blood clots. Go get a sandwich.
posted by semmi at 12:52 PM PST - 12 comments


Dan Savage takes on the Rolling Stone "bug chasing"/HIV+ gay sex story in his column today, and lambastes one of his favorite sacred cows, Gay Men's Health Crisis and other outreach groups that seem to have a lackadaisical attitude towards their clients' risky behavior. He's written about this before, in the case of Seth Watkins, an HIV+ sex education worker who admitted in the NYTimes he has unprotected casual sex at clubs. Does any of this coverage increase awareness of the still-plenty-big threat of HIV, or does it just make gay men look bad? Respectful discussion within...?
posted by serafinapekkala at 10:59 AM PST - 42 comments

"i am arogon, son of alfred." it's nothing shocking to hear that europe is being flooded with asian-made bootlegs of the two towers. but who would have thought the sub-titled translations would prove so hilariously incorrect and occasionally inappropriate?
posted by grabbingsand at 10:35 AM PST - 37 comments

No Time For Cold Feet In the land of 10,000 lakes... 10,000 people dig for $10,000 buried in the snow. The 117th Saint Paul Winter Carnival is under way -- it's day 11 of the medallion hunt and it hasn't been found yet! The modern medallion is made of translucent blue lucite and is approximately two inches in diameter and one-half inch thick. It's hidden somewhere (on public land) in Ramsey County, which covers over 140 square miles. Here are this year's clues. Who says Minnesota isn't fun in January? Past medallion locations!
posted by loopy at 10:11 AM PST - 5 comments

Gay porn legend Jeff Stryker releases a country album. It's true! The site provides links to several mp3 samples, but don't miss the brilliant "Pop You In The Pooper!".
posted by adrober at 9:15 AM PST - 22 comments

Celebrity Nudity Database [via Anil] I'm not usually one to accredit websites to the whim of the Almighty, but in this case, one has to wonder. The site bills itself as "the most comprehensive reference for celebrity nudity on the Internet" with "reviews of over 12,000 nude scenes -- updated daily". This is work-safe; it's not porn.
posted by jdroth at 8:58 AM PST - 11 comments

Print life! Forget this photo-realism nonsense. Scientists have modified ink-jet printers to print living cells. Like many innovations in sci-tech, I find this scary and fascinating at the same time.
posted by pinto at 8:57 AM PST - 9 comments

Hobbyist records video from the POV of a model rocket via microwave downlink. The videos may be getting slammed with traffic right now, but the essential geeky construction photos are here. via macintouch
posted by machaus at 8:49 AM PST - 11 comments

"GoogleSynth uses the Google Image Search thingy to randomly grab two images as the 'input' and 'target' images for the algorithm. Once it has two images it applies the algorithm with the parameters set by the user and produces a new image based on them. The results vary wildly, often the output is a total mess, but it creates some cool looking stuff now and then (depending on your definition of 'cool')." (For Windows and Mac OSX.)
posted by Dean King at 8:40 AM PST - 5 comments

'The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis is one of the most significant and controversial representations of traditional American Indian culture ever produced. Issued in a limited edition from 1907-1930, the publication continues to exert a major influence on the image of Indians in popular culture ... Featured here are all of the published photogravure images including over 1500 illustrations bound in the text volumes, along with over 700 portfolio plates. ' All that and a great links page too.
The Curtis Collection is also worth a look.
posted by plep at 8:21 AM PST - 26 comments

God did it? I'm not usually one to accredit daily occurrences to the whim of the Almighty, but in this case, one has to wonder. A young man is thrown from his vehicle in a rollover crash, ejected, and saves himself from impact by catching the telephone lines 25 feet overhead.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:20 AM PST - 101 comments

Doctor brands woman's uterus with his alma mater's initials during surgery. And if doubt the claim, you can watch a video of the operation.
posted by Pinwheel at 7:43 AM PST - 63 comments

At the Wallow of the Military Order of the Carabao, our nation's military leaders smoke Cuban cigars, sing racist songs about Filipinos, and suck up to the defense industry.
posted by xowie at 6:49 AM PST - 13 comments

"Leave a message, or accompany this bassline." Concerto for Voicemail #1.
posted by staggernation at 5:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Japanese Emoticons (*^_^*)
posted by hama7 at 4:48 AM PST - 28 comments

Marek Walczak and Martin Wattenberg are full of bright ideas: see, for example the telematic table, apartment ('a virtual city of memory palaces, an online experiment in do-it-yourself concrete poetry'), bewitched.com, and the WonderWalker - a would-be on-line, global wunderkammer...
posted by misteraitch at 1:51 AM PST - 3 comments

The, er, Spanish protest song comes of age, sort of: When bad oil spills happen to evil but otoparasitical Spanish pop songs in a crap video, but in a nice way, I say Hey Hah! Or rather: Aserejé! [Flash for the first link; Real for the third; both in Spanish. FRIENDLY WARNING: Do not click on the third link if you're not yet addicted to Las Ketchup.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 1:45 AM PST - 2 comments

January 28

It's like Cliff's Notes for Hamlet, but in song form: here's John Wesley Harding's take on the Shakespeare classic. A sure help to any struggling college literature student. (mp3 download)
posted by UKnowForKids at 11:07 PM PST - 13 comments

Ever wondered how the smart people create those weird ♥ √ ⊄ ⊗ characters on MeFi and in other places? Wonder no more. Brought to you via MeFi's own riffola, who has a simplified version of his own.
posted by dg at 9:10 PM PST - 62 comments

The Kerguelen Islands, you say? This guy wanted to go there. This guy went. Him too. And this poor fellow just wants to be a part of it all. What's the attraction? Though not much may have happened there, there are some stunning views. But I think it's the cabbage.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:49 PM PST - 10 comments

Shop. Destroy. Rule. "We sell. You conquer."
posted by quonsar at 8:40 PM PST - 29 comments

The State of the Union address. "Yet there is power -- wonder-working power"
posted by four panels at 7:10 PM PST - 176 comments

Dobby the House Elf and Russian President Vladimir Putin -- Separated At Birth?
posted by Vidiot at 3:28 PM PST - 10 comments

Justice for Consumers "The owners of the KaZaA file-sharing network are suing the movie and recording industries, claiming that they don't understand the digital age and are monopolizing entertainment." Quote from article by Associated Press. I don't about you but I'm sick and tired of big businesses writing all the new laws in this country. Now maybe the people can get some justice for a change.
posted by tljenson at 3:13 PM PST - 21 comments

The State of the Energy: Ahead of rumors Bush is set to propose a hydrogen fuel plan, fuel cell producer stocks jump. In the event of an Iraqi war, the oil fields there will be siezed to prevent their drestruction and Colin Powell says the US will hold them "in trust".
posted by raaka at 2:06 PM PST - 41 comments

I'm mo' "meta" than you! This USA Today puff piece is claiming that "meta" is the new "cool." What are your thoughts on this? Do any of you use "meta" in conversation or writing without a noun following it? (when you're not referring to the abbreviation for MetaTalk, obviously...)
posted by popvulture at 2:00 PM PST - 64 comments

Obesity may not be unhealthy after all A careful survey of medical literature reveals that the conventional wisdom about the health risks of fat is a grotesque distortion of a far more complicated story. Indeed, subject to exceptions for the most extreme cases, it's not at all clear that being overweight is an independent health risk of any kind, let alone something that kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. [The New Republic online, free reg. required]
posted by tippiedog at 1:21 PM PST - 24 comments

Torture by Art. 'Bauhaus artists such as Kandinsky, Klee and Itten, as well as the surrealist film-maker Luis Bunuel and his friend Salvador Dali, were said to be the inspiration behind a series of secret cells and torture centres built in Barcelona and elsewhere '. Maybe there is a future for those Turner Prize winners after all.
posted by rolo at 12:54 PM PST - 26 comments

Syphilis, a Killer Who We Are Still Trying to Solve Did Columbus import or export Syphilis in the New World? Do we really know whom to blame for syphilis? An interesting thought on this, The Columbus & Evolution theories of syphilis. The evolution theory is that it is related to Yaws, a nonvenereal tropical disease of the skin, is the most primitive of all diseases. Please start at the bottom of page 4.
Knowledge of the past may prepare us for our future.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:40 PM PST - 9 comments

Open Content Network "The Open Content Network is a collaborative effort to help deliver large, freely-downloadable content using peer-to-peer technology. The network is essentially a huge "virtual web server" that links together thousands of computers for the purpose of helping out over-burdoned web sites. Using various web browser plug-ins, users can download open source and public domain software, movies, and music at incredibly fast speeds from this global, distributed network." (via boing boing)
posted by owillis at 12:27 PM PST - 6 comments

BE IT RESOLVED, That the citizens of the State of Washington do hereby proclaim that Tim Eyman is a Horse's Ass. Tim Eyman, previously discussed on MeFi, is now the subject of Washington State Initiative 831. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is democracy in action.
posted by josephtate at 12:18 PM PST - 20 comments

Inattention blindness has been documented in a study of drivers using cell phones. Back when the driving-while-yakking phenomenon first started growing, I told friends I could always tell if the driver of the car ahead of me was on a cell phone: They had a certain style of stupid driving that I couldn't quite describe but I always knew it when I saw it. Now a team of researchers has pinpointed it; they also effectively debunk "you're just as distracted talking to someone in the car"-type analogies. The question remains, now that we know what's wrong with this practice, what do we do about it?
posted by soyjoy at 11:45 AM PST - 82 comments

Freedomads.org is sponsoring a contest that challenges visitors to create video, print, or audio ads that "inspire people with an advertisement for freedom." How would you sell freedom?
posted by pjdoland at 11:39 AM PST - 22 comments

plain talk about small pox
tired of scare stories being spread by some about - WMDs - ?? an excellent article here.
posted by specialk420 at 11:32 AM PST - 1 comments

A Doomed planet orbiting a distant star has been located. No, not Krypton. The planet is going to be consumed by the star soon, but astronomers are not going to wait up for it.
posted by kaemaril at 10:28 AM PST - 7 comments

CSS on Demand allows users to set several preferences for how they want to see your site, rather than just using one of your themes via a switcher. Kind of like Matt lets you do here.
Perl. Free. Try it out.
posted by Su at 9:17 AM PST - 15 comments

17 years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven aboard. I share this primarily as I recall this being the first where-were-you-when of my childhood. So where were you?
posted by xmutex at 9:01 AM PST - 161 comments

The First State of the Union Address - Here is President George Washington's State of the Union Address from January 8, 1790. Have things really changed that much in 213 years?
posted by Argyle at 8:34 AM PST - 15 comments

Steven Harris is a freelance photographer based in Beijing, China, and on occasion in his hometown, Boston. Steven looks for the essence of a place, the spirit of a people, and the heart of a complex story. Incredible pictures from China, Mongolia, Gaudi and elsewhere. Enjoy...
posted by Shike at 8:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Arundhati Roy on the war. This is the text of a speech Arundhati gave at Santa Fe last September. I have not seen it on MeFi before. Hence, I thought it would still be of interest. TWe have talked about her before here- 1, 2, 3. It is a long speech! So, read it when you have the time.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 7:37 AM PST - 11 comments

As American As Apple Pie What Exactly? What food is truly American? Professor Louis Grivetti, of the University of California at Davis, provides a set of excellent, discussion-settling answers, packed with reliable and curious facts. (Be sure to click on the fascinating "Did You Know?" links at the bottom of each of the 10 classic American food groups.) How many Europeans know, for instance, that tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peppers, artichokes and lima beans all came from America? Not much supposedly ancestral Mediterranean cooking could get by without tomatoes, potatoes and peppers...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:31 AM PST - 44 comments

January 27

"When you're holding the moon for ransom, you value the stability of an application..." - The marketing genius of the Apple Switch campaign combined with the religious zealotry of the Linux overlords. My understanding was that this was originally slated to run during the superbowl, but was pulled at the last second due to the racy references to fembots.
posted by jdaura at 11:13 PM PST - 26 comments

Ah, the world cries out for an updated Jonathan website. The Abominable Lesbian Vampire Cappuccino Bar in Cyberspace has withered on the vine, links almost all dead--damn, I should've copied that tab!--but some of the music's not firing blanks. The Jonathan Richman Project only posted one issue of their xerox zine--jeez, remember zines? Mail art? Man, those were the days--but they're nice enough to print Lester Bangs 1976 Creem diss of the Twerp King At The Summit. God, I remember reading that Bangs piece new and running out and buying The Modern Lovers, trusting as I did in his taste or maybe just his gonzo stylings? Little did I know...(inside)
posted by y2karl at 11:04 PM PST - 32 comments

"I did not escape from you but I did what I was supposed to do and you should be very proud of me." The love life of 9/11 hijacker Ziad Jarrah.
posted by shoos at 10:39 PM PST - 10 comments

HUD money for poor now earmarked for religious buildings. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, says "The 'faith-based initiative' was bad enough, but now Bush wants taxpayers to foot the bill for church expansion projects. This policy is outrageous as well as patently unconstitutional; it is bound to spark litigation." [ACLU article here]
posted by skallas at 10:24 PM PST - 26 comments

He humps things. He humps lots of things. And other people hump things too. (via Memepool)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:32 PM PST - 21 comments

Found Magazine is worth a look. It documents the detrital scraps of our modern lives, found in gutters, break-room bulletin boards and under car windshields. All pieces are reader submitted, and some are of suspect authenticity. Sublime, simply sublime... PS. Page me later
posted by cadastral at 9:29 PM PST - 11 comments

There is Naked Flute Girl, Add Four Inches to Your Penis Now. 21st-century cultural-commentary bebop? Mark Morford of the SF Gate writes an entire column composed of nothing but copy from e-mail spam ads culled from his own inbox. Ignoring the depression that I recognize half of it, reading it out loud is virtually art-house hypnotic.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:58 PM PST - 29 comments

The number of health-related deaths in the United States in 2000 was over 1 million. The United States spends $13.6BN per year on ALL medical research. For $100BN-$200BN could we save 110,000 more people each year from health-related deaths? High end estimates of homelessness put the number around 3.5 million in the United States. For $30,000 each (100B/3.5M) we could house, feed and provide vocational training for every homeless person. Alternatively, we could provide $2,500 per year for insurance to each person without health care.
posted by PigAlien at 8:39 PM PST - 38 comments

Who Is Frank Chu? A Craigslister put up an interview with various SF residents, and Frank Chu himself. For people not from the Bay Area, Frank Chu has been a downtown fixture for some time -- notable for his silent protest of bizarre space-crimes committed by ex-presidents.
posted by hammurderer at 5:43 PM PST - 13 comments

An interactive food storage calculator comes in pretty handy when you'd rather have a little in the basement for a rainy day-but you have no idea how to get started. [More Inside]
posted by silusGROK at 4:45 PM PST - 23 comments

Ed Rosenthal - medical marijuana activist and one of the world's leading experts in cannabis cultivation - is currently facing a mandatory 20 year-to-life sentence in California court for operating a city grow-op. Not only was he obeying state law, but the City of Oakland requested his help. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has already thrown out all possible defenses of this kind and is currently pursuing a gag order to stifle media and public outrage.
Forget, for a moment, that 3 out of 4 Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes. What is the purpose of voter initiatives and statewide legislation if the federal government and judicial system are willing to completely ignore the decisions of state and local government?
posted by BirdD0g at 4:17 PM PST - 33 comments

Dodge Magazine #1; "Dodge is devoted to anyone with a passion for graphic design, and an open minded approach to new forms of visual communication."
Dodge Magazine #2; "The assignment for this issue was simple. Create a piece based on, or motivated by the theme of 'lost and found'".
posted by hama7 at 4:00 PM PST - 11 comments

The future of music retail... will be nothing like this. Echo Networks, a Los Angeles based "digital venture", in partnership with Best Buy, Tower, Wherehouse, Virgin & FYE, has launched an instore downloadable purchase initiative whose chances of failure are only exceeded by the extreme vagueness surrounding the announcement. For more, read the news article at CNET.
posted by jonson at 3:06 PM PST - 14 comments

"Shock and Awe" is the concept behind the Pentagon's planned, "Hiroshima like" attack on Baghdad. "Carpet bombing" was the concept's name in the old days, and was responsible for 125,000 civilian deaths in Dresden. Precision carpet bombing - condonable strategy?
posted by RichLyon at 2:45 PM PST - 100 comments

Puzzle that makes you weep softly and twitch. Cryptic crosswords are mostly unappreciated on US shores, but those who have learned to seek them out have struck upon perhaps the best wordplay puzzles ever. Instead of rewarding a solver's grasp of trivia, cryptics are truly a battle of wits in which each clue is a riddle that plays by a few simple rules. Part of the riddle is a straight definition of the final word; the rest is subtly disguised wordplay. It's hard to know just why these haven't caught on — it may be that the most readily available ones, such as those in Harper's or The Atlantic, are extra-tricky affairs that cater toward expert solvers. But online, there are plenty of puzzles suitable for those interested in giving cryptics a whirl, including this gem, written for a 12-year-old audience.
posted by blueshammer at 2:18 PM PST - 37 comments

In response to the Tardblog, Dave Barry starts his own. Ha ha! Kidding. I love Dave, really. However I'm not sure if its actually him. I think its actually Harry Anderson of Night Court fame. via fark
posted by Stan Chin at 2:08 PM PST - 12 comments

Not really a game, but is scary/funny: This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf. I used sophisticated temporal algorithms and historical semiotic analysis to achieve an accuracy rating of 99.999%. It's the mother of all Flash games.
posted by samelborp at 11:07 AM PST - 31 comments

go raiders just dont move to my city!
posted by specialk420 at 10:54 AM PST - 72 comments

The Home for Life Project, designed by Roger Dean, will appeal to anyone who dreams of living in Hobbiton. The earth sheltered homes are made of gunnite and are simple to construct, and the curvilinear architecture of the interiors is based on Dean's research into the psychological responses to spaces of children. I really want to check one of these out someday. (Previously mentioned here.)
posted by homunculus at 10:08 AM PST - 32 comments

State of the Union Drinking Game! With this handy little game I might actually sit through the entire State of the Union speech. Take one drink every time the camera pans to a Democratic presidential hopeful. Take three drinks for every Supreme Court Justice that's asleep. via Instapundit
posted by vito90 at 8:50 AM PST - 4 comments

Why were the Super Bowl ads so dull? Was it lack of money, lack of creativity, or something else?
posted by fred_ashmore at 8:31 AM PST - 80 comments

Tax credits for buying an SUV? Who would have thought that you could write off that new Hummer H2?
posted by djseafood at 8:19 AM PST - 29 comments

US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis Buy now. Own later. Is this odd or what?
posted by Postroad at 7:43 AM PST - 14 comments

Whither Sarsi? How come it's so dang hard to find Web sites on my favorite soft drink from the Phillipines, the "sarsaparilla from Manila"? Why does the bottling concern say so very, very little about the delectable syrup with the "distinctive Filipino taste."? It has its partisans (none so fervent as this fellow) and its detractors, but nary an official site. What gives?
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:03 AM PST - 18 comments

January 26

Kaliningrad is the name of the little dot between Poland and Lithuania which lights up when you select "Russia" in the Axis Applet. It turns out to be a Special Economic Zone entirely surrounded by newly-minted EU members.

But before it was gobbled up by Russia in the wake of World War II, it was named Konigsberg. Founded in 1255 by Ottocar II (Not related to the Ottokars of Syldavia) of Bohemia, Konigsberg was the inspiration for the problem of the 7 Bridges and the name of two famous warships.
posted by hob at 10:33 PM PST - 24 comments

"Exploring The Waste Land" is one of those sites that defines for me what the Internet should be. It utilizes the medium of the webpage to produce a result - an incredibly useful annotation of T. S. Eliot's masterpiece The Waste Land - that wouldn't work well at all on the printed page. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids at 6:56 PM PST - 35 comments

China is drying up and blowing to California. Right now, tonight. Sorry, no 2008 Beijing Olympics, east Asia n'exist plus. Here's satellite pix of some of the 20 Chinese megastorms that have already occurred this baby century from NASA and NOAA and NASA again and a Google search returning zillions of other links, for fellow regressives who wouldn't ordinarily hang out at CommonDreams.org. (initial link from robotwisdom)
posted by jfuller at 3:53 PM PST - 21 comments

From one of the most underrated performers on the 1960's came one of the most mysterious records of all time, which inspired not only a movie but an answer record from none other than Bob Dylan. Greil Marcus devotes a chunk of a book(ostensibly about Dylan) to "Ode," where he makes connections between it and Bonnie & Clyde, released around the same time. Someone once said that "Ode To Billy Joe" sounded ancient the day it came out and that may be some part of it's appeal. I remeber hearing the song on oldies stations as a kid and even then being drawn into the mystery of it. I listened to it as I typed this post and I'm still plumbing it's depths today.
posted by jonmc at 3:46 PM PST - 38 comments

The Battle of Blair Mountain. Do you know the origin of the phrase "Redneck? In 1921, in West Virginia, after brutally corrupt regional law had employed thug tactics including false imprisonment, seizure of property, and murder (or simply "disappearance") upon the local mine workers to discourage labour Unions from forming, an army of nearly 13,000 workers took to the streets, meeting up with the forces of the murderous sherrif at an area known as Blair Mountain. [More Inside]
posted by jonson at 2:49 PM PST - 19 comments

Schroedinger's Lunchbox Quantom physics on an empty stomach is probably a mistake.
posted by konolia at 1:41 PM PST - 16 comments

A 32,000 year old etching on an ivory mammoth tusk is linked to the constellation Orion which may have been used as a primitive "pregnancy calendar" designed to estimate when a pregnant woman will give birth. The oldest known drawing of a star pattern, it was created by the mysterious Aurignacian people about whom we know next to nothing save that they moved into Europe from the east supplanting the indigenous Neanderthals.
posted by stbalbach at 11:09 AM PST - 17 comments

Today's Big Championship -- Oh...was there some game or something in San Diego.
posted by fpatrick at 10:19 AM PST - 17 comments

Why we are all Venetians now Witold Rybczynski talks about the changing functions of cities, urban planning and reuse, and the tourism industry where "the urban experience has become a new product of cities."
posted by kliuless at 9:28 AM PST - 12 comments

Some of them look like the spawn of Devil; others, however, resemble fruit-shaped fridge magnets or a beautiful jewel from Ancient Egypt, and some are so bizarre they simply defy any description. You can also think of them as natural Rorschach inkblots (consider this, this, this and this) or even Moore/Gibbons' Rorschach (compare). Those are some of Poul Beckmann's 128 hi-res, magnified, close-up studio pics of beetles, complete with binomial nomenclature and the critters' origins. via Clifford Pickover's weirdlog, RealityCarnival
posted by 111 at 12:43 AM PST - 24 comments

Museum-Security is a community site for museum professionals I recently stumbled across. I post because museums always struck me as pristine temples, and the site's matter of fact discussions and lists of property theft presented a dose of fascinating reality to an underbelly I'd never considered.
posted by rudyfink at 12:29 AM PST - 11 comments

January 25

Mickey Mouse attempts suicide and fights the Nazis. Minnie Mouse goes wild at National Lampoon, while Donald Duck has a drug problem. Read about a 1970s porn film, a series of underground comics, the missing black centaur in Fantasia, and all the other cultural history that Disney doesn't want you to see.
posted by jonp72 at 11:12 PM PST - 26 comments

"Documenting the orgasm": An interview with Annie Sprinkle : "I have a vision for the future where all the necessary sex education will be available for everyone; there will be no more need for abortion, no more sexually transmitted diseases. No one will ever go hungry for sex because there will be sex kitchens all over town serving sex instead of soup."
posted by troutfishing at 10:42 PM PST - 30 comments

The Sun is Shining in the Sky. Music video as advertising, to great effect.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:50 PM PST - 41 comments

The Hollywood Walk of Fame gives Suzanne Somers (of "Three's Company" and ThighMaster fame) her own star. Did you know that there's a fee to get a star? $15,000 is the going price of being having a star, evidently.
posted by msacheson at 6:08 PM PST - 14 comments

I knew it! Norway, Cameroon and Laos are in sinister cahoots! [Java, more from the creator]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Nike Shox NZ: "And he's off like a bull with gas." [Quick Time video]
posted by hama7 at 3:33 PM PST - 35 comments

Back in the good old days, before The Privacy - Nightmare,
before the deep thinkers went missing in action, before The Permissions Crisis, before the Team Leaders took over with their earth-gobbling death machines and our consciences were drugged into submission, Nigerian security chiefs offered their German counterparts sage advice on combating black magic. And nobody ever spied on the birds!

Except for the Conservative Midwest, where people had other interests, Americans spent their spare time happily perusing ECHO - The EPA's Enforcement and Compliance History Online, freely offering their comments on federal regulations at Regulations.gov, and reading stimulating independent content like The Talking Blogroll Blues, ... [more inside]
posted by sheauga at 2:43 PM PST - 8 comments

Everybody Loves Potato Chips! But not everyone is a fan of your nationally available tripe; for the true connoisseur, regional "estate" chips are where it's at. From the delicious, slightly vinegary "Utz Carolina Style Barbecue", to the St. Louis hot sauce flavored "Old Vienna Red Hot Riplets"; from the straightforward pleasures of Tim's Cascade Style Cracked Peppercorn to the more exotic temptations of Route 11's Mama Zuma's Revenge, these "micro-fryeries" will never threaten Frito Lay for America's spare change, but for those lucky enough to travel the U.S., they are a welcome taste of local flavor. The truly tempted can scratch that itch via the miracle of e-commerce, but don't expect them to get to your house in time for the Superbowl. Any other favorites out there to keep an eye out for?
posted by jonson at 1:49 PM PST - 37 comments

Love or fight is a little animation by Boris Hoppek, and while visiting, don't miss his bimbo sculptures. Then, take a quick spin over to Noodle Town to meet the residents. And if you haven't yet overdosed on cute, visit the 10 second flash animations at itching hands...these quirky little primitives and stick figures seem to be quite the rage among illustrators.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:47 PM PST - 5 comments

Were from the UN and we're here to help! Question: If you're a UN Weapons Inspector and a man jumps into your vehicle screaming "Save me! Save me!" clutching notebooks to his chest what do you do? The answer is simple, you turn him over to the Iraqi authorities who now claim to have "no information on the incident." This ought to foster more cooperation from Iraqi scientists...good work Blix and Co.
posted by RevGreg at 12:54 PM PST - 54 comments

Microsoft = Megatarget. A new worm is rapidly spreading across the Internet, functioning like a massive DDOS attack and crippling ISPs in South Korea. It's host? Microsoft SQL server. (Get yor fix on, then reboot!) What impact will it have over here, I wonder...
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:42 AM PST - 63 comments

O wad some Power the giftie gie us -To see oursels as ithers see us! Put on your Sporrans and join me for a wee dram and a bite of Haggis, as Scotland celebrates its national bard ,William Mcgonagal. Oops , i mean Robert Burns.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:34 AM PST - 16 comments

"My daughter can't be bulimic. I don't diet. We don't talk about calories or fat or weight loss. Much of our family life centres around food. Look at my job as a restaurant critic!" Joanne Kates is the restaurant critic for the Globe and Mail; her daughter suffered from anorexia. Today, the Globe published their story in their own words.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:10 AM PST - 8 comments

Online SF Short Fiction. It's good and it's free. Sci-Fiction is the biggest name in the online field, publishing many big name authors (This week's story is by Octavia E. Butler for instance) and winning several awards. (Also check out Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction while you're there). But there are more sources for good online SF: The Infinite Matrix, Strange Horizons and Infinity Plus (reprints) for instance. And let's not forget that all the print magazines have put their Nebula nominees online (though Analog's stories are coming up as 404s). Let the reading commence!
posted by rainking at 11:06 AM PST - 7 comments

Thanks to global warming we are in deep shit. Biologist Gerry Kuzyk was hiking with his wife in the remote reaches of the Yukon when he caught the putrid scent of caribou dung wafting through the chill air. Then he saw it -- the biggest pile of animal droppings he had ever seen, 8 feet high and stretching over a half-mile of mountainside.
posted by srboisvert at 10:58 AM PST - 13 comments

January 24

Meaningless and funny. I think the web is totally lacking in good writing that is totally irrelevant, funny, and doesn't try to preach. Why does everyone have to take a stance in order to be popular? Irritus is completely immaterial and cracks me up. It's perfect friday material.
posted by Denial of Service at 8:04 PM PST - 5 comments

"Nothing like this will be built again" is the summary, by sf author Charles Stross, of his tour of the Torness nuclear power station in East Scotland.
His enthusiastic descriptions of the extreme coolness of the technology, the combination of near Victorian style brass plumbing and advanced nuclear engineering, go some way to demystify and humanise what I always regarded as one of the more terrifying pieces of architecture I had ever seen when I lived in the area.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:17 PM PST - 15 comments

Ever Wonder What Happened to Little Tibia and the Fibulas? You can find out here at the Rocklopedia Fakebandica, a classic compendium of bands that only existed on TV or in the movies. [More inside]
posted by jonp72 at 6:34 PM PST - 4 comments

Life imitates an old joke... sort of. National Geographic's Swimsuit Issue.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:37 PM PST - 20 comments

What a bunch of little nazis. A scout leader in Denmark has been reprimanded for leading the kids (ages 11-14) in a theme based game of tag, with the theme being Nazi's vs. Jews. This included dressing the Jews in yellow Star of David outfits and a sign with the words "Arbeit macht frei". Danish Metafilter members, explain yourselves!!
posted by jonson at 1:47 PM PST - 64 comments

Poppoo, Why Am I So Weird? is heap big Friday Fun. You'll find cute graphics reminiscent of Sanrio's Hello Kitty and a surprisingly addictive and twisted series of online games including Drunk Driving Golf, Exploding Sheep, Astro Poop. Master Poop and You're Fired. Let the games begin.
posted by VelvetHellvis at 1:44 PM PST - 7 comments

Saying they feared government snooping against ordinary Americans, U.S. senators voted Thursday to block funding for a Pentagon computer project that would scour databases for terrorist threats. By a voice vote, the Senate voted to ban funding for the Total Information Awareness program, under former national security adviser John Poindexter, until the Pentagon explains the program and assesses its impact on civil liberties.from wired news.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:37 PM PST - 12 comments

The long wait is nearly over; tonight, all will be revealed. Who will be Miss Gothic Massachusetts 2003? Come watch as they fasten their fingers to their foreheads with a piece of Victorian silk so as not to strain the gossamer skin on their delicate digits of doom. The Living Need Not Apply.
posted by yhbc at 12:28 PM PST - 15 comments

Monday is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, and the folks that first made it are leading the celebrations by giving away free samples.
posted by ewagoner at 12:14 PM PST - 13 comments

Global newsstand: The Newseum has added a way to scan 169 newspaper front pages from around the world, same day as published, in full color PDF format. A good way to see how the same stories are treated in different parts of the world.
posted by beagle at 11:00 AM PST - 19 comments

"We often do this, changing the subject or saying something really obnoxious, to take the wind out of trolls' sails." Apparently, some people get paid to report on the contents of web discussion boards. What a sweet gig. Especially for a "journalist" who has no ear for irony, and doesn't know what "trolling" is. Quoting an Epinions reviewer as supporting material is a new low point in "news" reporting. (more inside)
posted by scarabic at 10:30 AM PST - 22 comments

An imaginative solution to California's school budget crisis.
posted by semmi at 10:09 AM PST - 24 comments

Possible Films A spot of Friday Flash fun made functional with the official website for filmmaker Hal Hartley's production company. I liked the non-intrusive style that gets its point across stylishly without crashing my browser, though its highly informative content that relies little on promotional bilge is also welcome. What are some of your favourite underrated websites about film?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:46 AM PST - 5 comments

Solemates: The Century in Shoes is the most ridiculously well developed site on shoes I have ever seen. Journey through the decades with advertisements, movie clips, well-researched history, and most importantly -- 360 degree Quicktime views of shoes. How many shoes have you collected over the years? Do you still wear them? Why do women have to buy so many anyway? Are you more concerned with comfort or style now? Of course, I'm still saving up to buy some of those Fish Tank platform shoes from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:36 AM PST - 12 comments

Give a group of Amsterdamers a GPS tracking device for a couple of months, plot their movements over a black background, and the resulting traces map the city through the movements of its inhabitants. Alternately, make your own GPS art, or play GPS Hide and Seek.
posted by gravelshoes at 9:13 AM PST - 5 comments

Is Something afoot at the DC Metro's Crystal City station? First its the mysterious derailment on Tuesday, still unexplained. Now a strange man is spotted with vials of a unknown liquid in the station before the system is even open! What's up at Crystal City? [more inside]
posted by Pollomacho at 8:30 AM PST - 20 comments

The National Park Service and US Coast Guard are dumping Lighthouses for free. The catch is you need to maintain it. What would you do with a Lighthouse?
posted by stbalbach at 7:44 AM PST - 26 comments

Constance Adams, Space Architect She designed the International Space Station's TransHab module (a prototype for manned Mars missions), and says cool things about what the role of architecture is: "Architecture involves forming harmony around the human system, balancing culture, biology, planetary knowledge and technology in counterpoint to the unknowable." (via boingboing)
posted by vraxoin at 7:40 AM PST - 3 comments

Andrew Sullivan rips apart a Rolling Stone Story that claims that 1/4 of new HIV infections among gay men are sought out by people both looking to infect others and looking to become infected. "Bug chasing" may have been around for a while, but according to Sullivan and this Newsweek article also debunking the shoddy Rolling Stone piece, it's nowhere near the numbers being exaggerated. This brings up so many issues: the speed with which false information is spread over the Internet; the decreasing responsibility of the media to actually report facts; how trustworthy are our news sources?; will Drudge, who also reported the RS story without any hint of its falsehood, ever be revealed as the sensationalistic closet case he is? (Okay, that last bit was a wee troll, so ignore!).
posted by archimago at 7:21 AM PST - 20 comments

Warren Zevon, one of the best damned songwriters I've ever heard, patron saint of many famous curmudgeons, and a real cool SOB in his own right, turns 56 today.

Last September, he was told he had inoperable lung cancer, and so he's living out his remaining years in the studio, recording as much as he can. I for one am glad he's got at least one more album in him. Is there a moral to this tale? Enjoy every sandwich.
posted by chicobangs at 7:10 AM PST - 16 comments

Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad at 6:34 AM PST - 49 comments

Stop-Motion Studies In these photographs, the body language of the subjects becomes the basic syntax for a series of Web-based animations. Many sequences document a person's reaction to being photographed by a stranger. Some smile, others snarl, still others perform.
posted by dydecker at 5:06 AM PST - 23 comments

"Please accept these as a Christmas gift, for I too am a Christian!" Then you added apologetically "But please don't mention this outside my shop, I could lose all if my neighbors found out."
Coptic Christians in Saudi Arabia, and The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt, and why the Embattled Coptic Christians Are Fleeing Egypt.
posted by hama7 at 4:58 AM PST - 13 comments

Friday Flash Fun in the form of online Pictionary...

It's was first posted to MeFi back in 2000. It returned almost exactly one year later, but since it got such a good reception on repost I thought it might be worth posting again... The fact I'm an addict has nothing to do with it. Honest.
posted by twine42 at 3:56 AM PST - 8 comments

W.G. Grace Kong [Flash]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:23 AM PST - 6 comments

January 23

Stresmin: the solution to family quarrels, political debates, and difficult security council meetings.
posted by alms at 10:00 PM PST - 16 comments

Textfiles.com: Before the Web, before Google, we scoured Fidonet, absorbing the forbidden fruits of anarchy, occult and a lot of bad fiction. For better or worse, TEXTFILES are relics of that age.
posted by magnificentsven at 9:42 PM PST - 12 comments

When Kyle's teachers got too liberal, Kyle's mom launched this Web site
I laughed, I cried upon reading the Union-Trib article on student discontent with TAs at UCSD and around the country. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I heard, "Yes, I know that you think capitalism is evil, but will this be on the test?" Next time I'll jump in the box! (more)
posted by rschram at 8:32 PM PST - 77 comments

Tired of listening to the music that The Man thinks you should be hearing? Think that kids should wear what they want to wear, even if certain ballet-dancing-snobs disagree? Sick of being forced to spell the words "skater" and "boy" like your teachers told you to in high school? Then the Avrilution is for you. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Tickling the ivories - uh-oh, bad girl post! This mpg video clip is just too darn fun not to share, but it is definitely nsfw, which is why I am posting it pre-Friday. But hear me, you will get fired if you open this at work! I mean it! just doing my bit to dispel the boyzone myth
posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 PM PST - 65 comments

Anyone with access to a lock and key can easily create a master key. An AT&T Labs researcher has discovered that most master-key lock systems are vulnerable. NY Times (reg. req'd) reports that the technique is known, but not widely known. For instance, it does not appear in the ubiquitous document formerly known as the MIT Guide to Lockpicking. The AT&T Labs-Research paper is troubling some security experts, one of whom said that the "technique could open doors worldwide for criminals and terrorists." Because publishing the paper "could lead to an increase in thefts and other crimes, it presented an ethical quandary" for the researcher (Matt Blaze) and AT&T Labs-Research.
posted by found missing at 5:44 PM PST - 27 comments

Posters for Peace Clever and ready-to-print in handy PDF format.
posted by sparky at 2:30 PM PST - 32 comments

The sixth annual National Homelessness Marathon takes place on February 5-6. The 14-hour public-radio broadcast, which will originate this year from Portland, Maine, takes place overnight, outside, in the freezing cold. This year it will be joined by the first annual Canadian National Homelessness Marathon. The event is meant to raise awareness, not money, though the recent decision in Key West to ban panhandling in the downtown district for the good of tourism, and fine panhanders $500 for their crime, indicates that there's still a long way to go in raising awareness about this issue. Particularly troubling are comments like the one made by Key West Commissioner Tom Oosterhoudt, who explains, "We have to send the message that we don't want these people to come to our city and control our streets. We control our streets."
posted by damn yankee at 2:06 PM PST - 22 comments

Beat the Pros - From Behind Bars A group of New Jersey prison inmates recently participated in a statewide contest, where they placed first against other prison teams, and third overall, beating investment clubs, students, and UBS Paine Webber employees. I've often wondered what one does behind bars, because HBO's Oz just isn't giving me the whole story, methinks. Now I know.
posted by djspicerack at 1:52 PM PST - 5 comments

The English have landed! In the spirit of international confederation, Nerve.com offers this all too brief list of common curses, epithets, and scandalous phrases, along with their French counterpart, and more interestingly, a transliteration of the French so one can better understand the Idiom.
posted by jonson at 1:36 PM PST - 15 comments

"Highway Deaths Spike After Super Bowl" says a study in today's New England Journal of Medicine. The Super Bowl has also been blamed for a spike in domestic violence and increased usage of water systems. Some articles try to set the record straight, while others try to debunk the debunkers. I prefer to concentrate on the real meaning of the Super Bowl, the commercials.
posted by Frank Grimes at 1:26 PM PST - 4 comments

From "Elle" to "Infinite Jest", the world acknowledges their greatness. They're about to meet in their fourth consecutive Grand Slam final. Are these sisters invincible?
posted by 111 at 1:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Hating Hilary. We've certainly heard a bit from Hilary Rosen, CEO of the RIAA. Love her, hate her or hate her more, this particular interview reveals (to me at least) a very different Hilary, a woman who is perhaps not the beast that her bosses expect her to be and the immovable technophobic distribution system and business model she represents forces her to be.

In fact, Rosen tried to steer the labels toward the online future long before they saw it coming. In the mid-'90s, Rosen brought [Esther] Dyson to a conference of music executives to brief them on how technology would transform their business. Dyson described for them the inevitability of digital delivery, an eventuality Rosen says she had begun to understand but wanted her bosses to hear from an outsider. But as Dyson spoke, the label executives became defensive, then furious. By all accounts, the meeting devolved into a shouting match.

the picture of her with an iPod says it all

"I finally convince the idiot record companies that they have to offer a product to compete with pirates, and now the publishers won't make a deal," she said, throwing up her hands. priceless.
posted by 11235813 at 10:25 AM PST - 39 comments

Vancouver Police turn to internet for help with Guns N' Roses riot. "Police have had little luck busting any of the riot ringleaders, so yesterday they unveiled an online picture gallery in the hope that someone will identify people photographed at the scene."
posted by monkeymike at 10:24 AM PST - 19 comments

Among the most confusing dilemmas facing today's consumer is the question of which cell phone carrier is right for you. Even though Consumer Reports just published an article rating different carriers, the results are far from conclusive. I've been searching for web resources to cut through all the crap, and I thought I'd share a couple with the MeFi community, since typing "compare cell phone plans" into Google brings up a load of pop-up laden vendors thinly disguised as dispensers of advice.
  • PhoneScoop.com offers the most comprehensive lists of cell phone features I've seen, a handy comparison tool, and a good number of intelligent user reviews.
  • LetsTalk.com suffers from a bit of that thinly-disguised-vendor syndrome, but it is useful for comparing different services and getting clearly presented, itemized lists of each service's features. Be wary of the service comparison tool, because it's rather incomplete, but it's a good starting point to compare plans.

posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:00 AM PST - 16 comments

Ton Mondrian Is Even Worse Than Mon Mondrian: Use the machine to see how you square up to the Master. [Shockwave required; first link via Bifurcated Rivets.]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:56 AM PST - 18 comments

"In the game, the player plays the role of a character called The Postal Dude. He lives in a town where there are all kinds of people, white, black, skinny, fat, straight and gay. You can play the game in a passive role without killing anyone," Desi said.

"We are not political," he added.
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:55 AM PST - 17 comments

Toxic Chemical Dump report by ZIP code. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has organized information from the EPA on toxic chemical releases. You can get maps of different types of chemicals (carcinogens, reproductive toxins, dioxins, etc.) released by state, download Excel spreadsheets by state organized by ZIP code, or download their complete report. I think this is just for the 2000 calendar year. (via The Wall Street Journal)
posted by meep at 8:52 AM PST - 12 comments

From a European Perspective

"President Bush recently declared that the U.S. was "the single surviving model of human progress." Maybe some Americans think this self-evident, but the rest of us see it as a clumsy arrogance born of ignorance. "

Is this something many Americans need to hear but don't want to listen? Personally I appreciated Mr. Eno's honest and candid observations. And no, I don't think he hates America.
posted by nofundy at 8:47 AM PST - 98 comments

Intern : I was told to mislead the FBI. Yet another good looking young woman finds her beauty has landed her in a tough spot. How many young people working as interns will be forced to suffer embarrassment as a result of the misconduct of their employers?
posted by sheauga at 8:19 AM PST - 32 comments

You've probably seen those photo mosaics where a large image is made up of many smaller images acting as pixels. Kelly Houle has taken the idea a mile further by creating a photo collage that is also anamorphic -- a collage of illustrations and related material from Alice in Wonderland that, when a curved mirror is placed in the correct position, forms a portrait of Lewis Carroll. Absolutely amazing stuff.
posted by ewagoner at 8:10 AM PST - 19 comments

Bush appoints anti-gay member to AIDS panel. Jerry Thacker runs the Scepter Institute, a Christian Ministry. Their website states that "Both Jerry and his wife, Sue, [are] HIV-positive. How could it be? Jerry and Sue were committed Christians." The L.A. Times notes that Thacker has described homosexuality as a "deathstyle," and describes significant revisions that have been made to the Scepter Institute's website. I wonder if Thacker will be applying for some funds to renovate Scepter's offices, now that he is providing such a valuable social service?
posted by stonerose at 7:44 AM PST - 87 comments

Confessions of a Serial Dater... the absolutely positively true adventures of Dorelvis."Then he reneges on the wedding...I have already bought shoes."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM PST - 5 comments

A military honor guardsman has been fired for saying God bless you, while he presented a folded American flag to the family of a deceased veteran, during the burial service. By way of obscurestore.
posted by Beholder at 5:38 AM PST - 38 comments

Robert McNamara and Fidel Castro met in Cuba last October at a conference on the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Interesting article about this meeting and the professor who arranged it.
posted by staggernation at 5:31 AM PST - 7 comments

January 22

Bigotry of a Teachers Union The New Jersey Education Association, a Teachers Union, has a website that contains brochures called "Getting Involved in Your Child's School." It comes in three versions: English, Spanish, and African-American. [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:49 PM PST - 58 comments

Cartoonist Bill Mauldin Dead at 81. Mauldin was the creator of the every-GIs Willie and Joe during WWII and twice won the Pulitzer Prize.
posted by turbodog at 11:23 PM PST - 11 comments

The tardblog is both funny, witty and entertaining but at the same time makes you feel dirty for reading it. Equally loved and hated by her readers, "Riti Sped" and her adventures as a special needs teacher are fascinating.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 8:50 PM PST - 53 comments

Van Gogh's Letters unabridged & annotated. Searchable by topic or keyword.
posted by jragon at 7:59 PM PST - 12 comments

Judge rules: X-Men are not human. Prof. Xavier could not be reached for comment.
posted by Tlogmer at 7:29 PM PST - 19 comments

Project 112 was a secret, cold-war era project to determine vulnerabilities of US warships to various chemical and biological attacks. While lots is known about what happened, there's still a lot of information that hasn't been released yet. In the early 1950s, the US Army sprayed the bacteria Serratia Marcesens over San Francisco. While the government thought that it was safe, many people ended up checking into the hospital. One elderly man even died as a result of the US testing chemical and biological agents against it's own citizens.
posted by manero at 6:41 PM PST - 4 comments

On Saturday owners of .org domains will have a new registry, the Public Interest Registry. After winning the .org registry away from Verisign, PIR (a creation of the Internet Society (ISOC)) promises to be more responsive to the non-commercial needs of Internet users, which is ostensibly what the .org is all about. Info from ISOC on the bid and other related items here, some grumbling about ISOC's methods by the losing bidders here. Will .org return to its roots with this change, or business as usual?
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:47 PM PST - 16 comments

Back in the time of which I am speaking, due to our Coordinators had mandated us, we had all seen that educational video of "It's Yours to Do With What You Like!" in which teens like ourselfs speak on the healthy benefits of getting off by oneself and doing what one feels like in terms of self-touching, which what we learned from that video was, there is nothing wrong with self-touching, because love is a mystery but the mechanics of love need not be, so go off alone, see what is up, with you and your relation to your own gonads, and the main thing is, just have fun, feeling no shame!"
posted by semmi at 5:11 PM PST - 21 comments

The most incredible use of Flash I've seen...so far. This site explains 2001: A Space Odyssey in a way that wouldn't have been possible before the Internet. I highly recommend broadband for full enjoyment, however. Sighted by the Presurfer.
posted by Lynsey at 5:08 PM PST - 42 comments

Virtual Journalist, experience the challenges of working in the liberal media. Fun but the politics are a bit heavy handed. [flash required]
posted by bobo123 at 5:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Is there Life on Mars? As NASA announce a nuclear-powered Mars and beyond project, British scientists are looking forward to the launch of the Beagle 2 which will search for signs of life on the Red Planet. Is this the return of the Space Race in a new form? And will they find any sign of life?
posted by anyanka at 4:36 PM PST - 3 comments

Easy Money. "My basic theory can be summed up in the following few words: "In that part of this world that we are unable to experience, 'True Suction' does exist." "I will pay two thousand dollars to the first person that proves the basis of this (my theory) is wrong... Also, to show how certain I am that this is right, I will pay one thousand dollars to the first person that can prove any one, or more, of the fifteen following statements is false. If you earn the reward I will pay it". I like #15: ""Every person living on this planet has been alive, at the very least, for several million years". Get some.
posted by Mack Twain at 4:17 PM PST - 35 comments

Snooker legend dies A very sad day for snooker lovers. Bill Werbeniuk, the only man to split his trousers on live television during a professional snooker match, has died. And he liked a pint or thirty.
posted by skellum at 3:49 PM PST - 22 comments

Bye Bye Ms. Rosen. Hilary Rosen announces a decision to depart the RIAA. Is it REALLY about her children or does the RIAA want to soften it's image. Rosen's tendency to polarize the situation with hard-hitting threats like this may have finally broken the camels back. As a friend said - "Things for RIAAare just going to get worse as music sales decrease, piracy increases, and responses to it alienate listeners of all stripes, who just want to hear some tunes, man."
posted by bkdelong at 3:16 PM PST - 26 comments

"Today I'm Having Lunch With My Friend." A game anyone can play, centered around eating lunch with a total stranger. A minimum of rules... an ambiguous and open ended "goal." (more inside)
posted by cadastral at 2:42 PM PST - 18 comments

We can be summed up in one word Absolutely the most amazing movie I have ever seen, beyond my expectations (WARNING this is a movie link .mov file with sound, size 6.91MB but it's worth it) Whoever did this, did an excellent job ! Bravo !
posted by bureaustyle at 2:03 PM PST - 29 comments

Place your vote for the ten most popular albums of all time . You can choose up to 10 albums placing a vote for your most favorite to your least favorite. Right now "Disintegration" by The Cure is number one.
posted by oh posey at 1:33 PM PST - 28 comments

The bombing of Switzerland. This morning, CBC Radio 1's "The Current" covered the last year's friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. In the course of the programme one of the interviewees mentioned a part of the history of WW2 that I'd never heard of before - the repeated bombing of Swiss towns and cities by the USAF, which escalated to the point where the Swiss shot down a US bomber and forced down more. Will the USAF ever be able to eliminate the problem of friendly fire, and is it a uniquely American one?
posted by pascal at 1:20 PM PST - 19 comments

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's MDMA Police uncover ecstasy ring in UK targeting children by stamping the image of Harry Potter on the pills. Wonder if Rowling will work X into the next story line? Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
posted by xmutex at 11:42 AM PST - 25 comments

50 years ago last month, a dark cloud settled in over London. And stayed for four days. This fog, which was brought on by a lethal combination of high pressure, near freezing temperatures and London's pervasive coal burning, starting killing things. At first, the animals at a cattle show, then the elderly, or those prone to resperatory disease. By the end, over 4,000 people had died. Strangely, to this day the disaster retains a low profile, unlike more glamorous disasters such as the Titanic, or Bhopal. Stranger still, is that unlike those others, while the fog was at its most deadly, few realized there was even an epidemic occurring, with most viewing it as, at worst, a mild nuisance.
posted by jonson at 11:38 AM PST - 22 comments

Obesity Suit Against McDonald's Dismissed... well there goes my plans for a new house.
posted by darian at 11:24 AM PST - 39 comments

The Pill changes women's taste in men. Women on the pill prefer masculine men for marriage and sensitive guys for flings. Women not on the pill prefer the opposite, according to a recent British study. Researchers don't know why but "Where a woman chooses her partner while she is on the pill, and then comes off it to have a child, she may find she is married to the wrong man."
posted by stbalbach at 10:22 AM PST - 47 comments

Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia... BBC Radio1 clowns/idiots Mark and Lard have an ongoing quest to find the worst band name ever. Personally I think some of the bands in the poll have the best names. What makes a crap band name? Something unimaginative like The Michael Schenker Group? Something crass like Speculum Fight or Alien Porno Midgets? What, for that matter, makes a good name? Do tell.
posted by nylon at 9:52 AM PST - 84 comments

ODD. Indeed.
posted by magullo at 9:22 AM PST - 55 comments

Michelin plans to embed trackable microchips in tires. The US tire manufacturer has begun testing electronic transponders that are "strictly for identification and tracking. " Congress passed the TREAD Act (Transportation, Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) in response to the massive recall of Firestone tires on Ford Explorers and requires tire makers to more closely track their tires. Is this a legitimate use of technology, or does it present another opportunity to erode privacy? [Via /.]
posted by maniactown at 9:13 AM PST - 24 comments

Genomic Art. This lies somewhere on an interface between science and art that most never suspected existed. Check out the gallery.
Oh, and don't forget to visit the Randolph Y. Teasely Hospital - Dwayne Medical Center and it's current projects: male pregnancy, designer babies and Clyven, the world's first talking transgenic mouse.
posted by talos at 8:38 AM PST - 3 comments

Who Would you Kill? The current show in danger of losing a character is Sex and The City Gosh, where would you start? Who on your favorite TV shows would you kill off?
posted by answergrape at 8:29 AM PST - 47 comments

Thanks Again, Frauhofer! "Software developed by Germany's Fraunhofer Institut, the creators of the MP3 ... called "Query by Humming," -- a type of melody recognition software program that identifies a song by title and composer based on a person humming a few bars into a microphone." Sure, it'll put quaint sites like this out of business, but think of the fun you'll have walking by your co-workers cubicle only to hear them furtively humming into their PC so that it can search for that pesky tune they can't get out of their head. (This technology sounds familiar, so advanced apologies for a double post. I did a search, really.)
posted by chandy72 at 8:08 AM PST - 4 comments

You've probably heard of the WWII Navajo "code talkers" who managed to baffle crack Japanese cryptanalysts and were credited with enabling US success at Iwo Jima. Civil engineer, journalist and photographer Philip Johnston was the determined mind behind the "windtalkers". The son of missionaries, Johnston grew up on a Navajo reservation and was one of only a handful of outsiders fluent in the Navajo language. A bit of his background is included this article, and you can read a complete history of his plan, view an archive of photos by Johnston, and see copies of his enlistment application letter to the Marine Corps commandant, as well as a recommendation letter from the Commanding General. (more inside...)
posted by taz at 6:54 AM PST - 13 comments

1st Annual Alties - AlterNet, the champion of indie journalism, has entered the movie award business. This "celebration of film and film culture" is accepting nominations in 15 different categories (including "Reinvention of the Chick Flick," "The Doobie Award" and "Best "Feel Bad" Movie of the Year") until February 10 and voting begins on February 14. Could this really be "your chance to think about and discuss your favorite movies and what they really mean" or will Chicago end up snagging "Best Soundscape"?
posted by boost ventilator at 6:46 AM PST - 2 comments

Gaudi's Grand Hotel During his life, Barcelona’s “bauharoque” architect Antonin Gaudí pioneered imaginative structures with Moorish spires and whimsy likened to Dr Seuss. (Counter to popular myth, however, the word “gaudy” is not among his legacy.) Several of his works broke his patrons’ budgets and remain unfinished. Now, Boston artist-architect Paul Laffoley is attempting to revive Gaudi’s dramatic 1908 New York City concept and give it a second chance—at the WTC site for which it may originally have been commissioned. His thesis is both an intriguing history walk and a cloying, self-ingratiating, told-you-so piece.
posted by skyboy at 6:28 AM PST - 14 comments

Email as the new foreplay E-mail conversations between men and women have a way of turning flirtatious far more rapidly than do their telephonic equivalents. People are less inhibited in e-mail: It's why flameouts happen so quickly. One cannot temper anger or dismay with tone and body language (and those awful emoticons don't come close to substituting for the human face). It's easier to be brave when talking to a screen. Not that we MeFiers would know anything about flameouts.
posted by orange swan at 6:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Conversational Terrorism Protect yourself from responding to or using these rhetorical cheats. (via the lovely boingboing)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:13 AM PST - 31 comments

America removes offending cancer stick from Sir Paul's hand. Smoking is bad, bad, bad! Cigarette photoshopped out of cover of Abbey Road (original) . Open speculation on what's next, but meanwhile if this leaves you jonesing for the real thing, check out this page of Beatles' bootleg covers, including behind the scenes Abbey Road. (Features not one but *two* Beatles smoking, imagine that)
posted by jeremias at 5:28 AM PST - 29 comments

Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
posted by dagny at 4:34 AM PST - 48 comments

The Growth of the United States: a ten-minute, animated atlas (via The Noodle Incident).
posted by timeistight at 2:15 AM PST - 18 comments

Want war without remorse? Take only as directed.
posted by LouReedsSon at 1:26 AM PST - 24 comments

January 21

Overdose live on IRC? Brandon Carl Vedas, 21, takes a mix of drugs (methadone, klonopin, etc) while in front of his webcam and chatting on IRC. He overdoses, and dies with the webcam still on. IRC log of the coversation, a log of the channel after he died, and an an obituary listing. (via #mefi)
posted by malphigian at 11:20 PM PST - 90 comments

Perpetual-motion machine being sold on eBay. It's essentially six automotive alternators connected (via motorcycle chain) to an electric motor. One of the alternators supposedly powers the motor, leaving the remaining five to provide 700W of free energy. Sigh...people actually believe this crapola?
posted by Vidiot at 10:17 PM PST - 25 comments

The Unseen Gulf War is a photo exhibit from the Gulf War that shows an aspect that I doubt many people have had a chance to see, the "human consequences". Why because the US government after Vietnam fears a media that is not corralled. Besides the fact that this is undemocratic, this view that the media really turned the tide of public opinion in Vietnam seems to be debated by many as this article explains. I must warn that many of the images can be highly disturbing
posted by GreenDragon at 10:15 PM PST - 44 comments

Rumsfeld's comment about the draft has caused a stir. The Hispanic Caucus is upset and they're the new major minority (an oxymoron?). It has also riled the feathers of the Vietnam Veterans of America. If you Google "Rumsfeld draft" there are the two links above but the only article in a major newspaper is The Moscow Times. Rumsfeld called his statement at a Pentagon press conference "not eloquently spoken". Is this a big story? Talk amongst yourselves.
posted by whatever at 10:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Vector Tobacco. A company that "develops and markets smoking products with science-based reductions in certain harmful elements."
posted by chemgirl at 7:01 PM PST - 35 comments

A scientist discovers that scorpions make two types of venoms. Cool. But he made the discovery while attempting to find a toxin that he wants to put into a common cold virus, in order to kill insects that catch the cold? Shouldn't we be worried about this?
posted by titboy at 6:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song Swapper In a recent discussion of the Supreme Court's decision to protect the rights of the individual from the greed and sloth of the many I warned that the RIAA and MPAA, comically inept though the media paints them, would soon have things their way. This link is to a news report about an important step in their fight for individual rights.
posted by BGM at 5:18 PM PST - 23 comments

Cloned Cat Doesn't look and behave like the original cat.Public perception of cloning is clone=original, but we have the proof it isn't always true. Isn't that the proof complex systems doesn't always work like we want, so it'd better to slow down the marketing of genetic engineered food ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:12 PM PST - 48 comments

When I was in sixth grade, all the boys and girls carried around bits of yarn, and at recess we all demonstrated our l33t skillz at making string figures, such as the Jacob's Ladder, or the Banana Tree. This site teaches you how to make these two, and many more. Yarn sales will spike as a result of this post, I'm sure.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Mitnick Free! Kevin Mitnick, a hacker who went without trial in the US for years, has finally been freed from his computer-free probation today. Buy his stuff on ebay, or buy his book. Or don't, it's really up to you.
posted by shepd at 4:48 PM PST - 5 comments

Rock show sabotage! - 35 surefire ways to ruin a show for the suckers who actually paid to get in. I have to remember #7 - "Fake a fight with a friend during a ballad." next time I'm at a bad emo concert.
posted by deftone at 3:56 PM PST - 14 comments

What the Administration knew about Pakistan and the North Korean nuclear program. An excellent article by Seymour Hersh on how the current situation came to be.
posted by homunculus at 3:31 PM PST - 8 comments

is crayola doomed?
posted by donkeysuck at 3:15 PM PST - 26 comments

The tide is turning. A new poll from the Pew Research Center indicates that the Bush Administration is losing support for a war against Iraq, with only 29% favoring war if U.N. inspectors fail to find weapons of mass destruction. Polls are looking considerably worse in Great Britain, where 47% of the public disapprove of an attack on Iraq, compared to just 30% in favor of such an attack. Blair is certain that he can get the British public to support war, however, even if Britain goes to war without U.N. support. "When and if that time came, people would find the reasons acceptable and satisfactory because there is no other route available to us."
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:14 PM PST - 55 comments

"A gay Democrat firing a 9 mm pistol is not something you see every day in Utah County."
The Pink Pistols of Utah are ready for trouble. Members say they have joined the group because they want the ability to fight back if they become targets. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals ranked fourth in the FBI hierarchy of hate-crimes victims, according to 2001 statistics*.
*FBI report available here, PDF, 14.3MB
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:07 PM PST - 35 comments

Did Noman find it? Scientists on the Greek isle of Crete have found what could prove to be a "cyclops". Truly, it is a creature whose skeleton has been found in pieces, and there is a significant hole in the skull for the opening to the trunk, which people many, many years ago might have "invented" the stories of what this creature was when they found its remains. That is, if you don't believe that the stories brought to us through spoken word and attributed to the blind man, Homer...
posted by djspicerack at 12:30 PM PST - 10 comments

Why Gen X doesn't care that Gen X doesn't care about the war - in which an irreverent, arrogant, crass young essayist hits a nerve. What RAND has to say about the impact of Iraqi oil on the world economy. Who's organizing large demonstrations against war on Iraq, and who's upset about this. Spend an hour with the real experts on Iraq, real Iraqis, and real people who can't make the case for war. (RealPlayer) This in-depth broadcast interview features some truly key players, the real arguments on both sides, and you probably never heard it, making the case for Internet Radio.
posted by sheauga at 12:12 PM PST - 37 comments

Ghost Ship? After being grounded off the west coast of Fuerteventura in January of 1994, the SS American Star has slowly deteriorated over time creating quite a surreal landmark. [More info here! and here!]
posted by bhell13 at 11:52 AM PST - 21 comments

Children of the bean sing a catchy little ditty and have a theme park adventure. Something strange is going on at Edleston Primary School and I like it. Prepare for blastoff. (some links contain flash)
posted by snez at 11:35 AM PST - 9 comments

There Ultimate Standings. ESPN has done a ranking of the relative value of each major U.S. sports franchise not in terms of mere victories, or championships, or even felony convictions, but in terms of how much value (as calculated here) each franchise is providing its fans. Stunned to see perrennial winners such as the Yankees & Lakers pushed down to the 20s, while small market teams like Green Bay, San Antonio & Sacramento dominate. Clearly life IS better in the small towns, at least for sports fans. Here's a more in depth explanation of what it all means.
posted by jonson at 11:35 AM PST - 39 comments

"Buying an SUV is partly an act of fantasy." In the interest of throwing gasoline on the fire, I present David Brooks, SUV apologist, in the Wall Street Journal.
posted by serafinapekkala at 10:54 AM PST - 50 comments

76-year old Wisconsin man carded while buying non-alcoholic beer. Wish the article had more information, like whether or not the clerk refused to sell the goods to a senior citizen, or just asked to see some ID, but still. Shouldn't a little common sense come into play here? Do you blame the "old man" for getting upset in the first place, or the clerk for not bending "the rules," or the owner for the policy, or the lawyers for the law suits that engendered the policy, or prohibition for getting this country so worked about about alcohol and appropriate drinking ages in the first place? Me? I blame society.

And yes, yes, I know "newsfilter this" and "newsfilter that." But c'mon. It's Wisconsin. Appreciate the irony.
posted by RKB at 9:39 AM PST - 60 comments

Evil SBC acts like bully going after small sites with an absurd patent. If you've ever designed a web site with "selectors or tabs that... seem to reside in their own frame or part of the user interface" such as Metafilter's header or Amazon's tabs or c|net's yellow side bar, then your design is in violation of SBC Communication's patent number 5,933,841. Here's the abstract:
A structured document browser includes a constant user interface for displaying and viewing sections of a document that is organized according to a pre-defined structure. The structured document browser displays documents that have been marked with embedded codes that specify the structure of the document. The tags are mapped to correspond to a set of icons. When the icon is selected while browsing a document, the browser will display the section of the structure corresponding to the icon selected, while preserving the constant user interface.
Armed with this patent SBC is going after web sites with a licensing fee of $100,000 to $16,000,000. Will this insanity ever stop?
via Jarle's Cyberspace
posted by DragonBoy at 6:37 AM PST - 47 comments

What did John F. Kennedy, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Samuel Johnson, and Confucius all have in common? They were masters of chiasmus. If you've ever been amused by the simple but elegant word play in sentences like "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy, or "It's not the men in my life, it's the life in my men", then you appreciate a good chiasmus when you hear one. via the always interesting bragadocchio
posted by iconomy at 4:59 AM PST - 48 comments

"I'm not alive. I'm not myself. I'm tired of playing the role of somebody else. I want to be myself".
Kamagasaki, Japan in the 1950s: photographs by Inoue Seiryu, and Kamagasaki now: Photos and text by Shannon Higgins, with first-hand accounts and translations.[more]
posted by hama7 at 3:57 AM PST - 14 comments

Vibrating cellphones of love! "Within a year you could be able to "touch" someone over your mobile phone", says the BBC. Some people have been waiting for this for quite a while - and dreaming up VERY specific applications.
posted by theplayethic at 3:27 AM PST - 8 comments

What does the Miller Lite "Catfight" commercial (Bigger clip and boobs Real Audio here), Star Trek, and Stanley Kubrick have in common? A man named Gerald Fried. After studying the controversial beer ad over and over again, I noticed that the background music is inspired by the legendary Kirk vs Spock fight theme Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroyka (shorter mp3 here) in "Amok Time" (be sure to view the trailer). Gerald Fried composed the music for this classic episode that features a love-crazed Spock defeating Kirk (and also ripping his shirt in the process). How did a lowly oboe major from Julliard get into soundtracks? He was a high school buddy of Stanley Kubrick, and composed Kubrick's first film, Day of the Fight. He went on to compose themes for Roots and The Man from UNCLE. Isn't it great what you can learn from a mindless lesbian catfight scene? More proof: during the Amok Time battle, Spock may have said to the shirtless Kirk, "Let's Make Out!!!"
posted by Stan Chin at 12:10 AM PST - 25 comments

Civil rights, local style. Take a look at Mollie Huston Lee's great collection of as-it-happened coverage of the Feb 1960 lunch counter sit-ins in Raleigh, NC. Plenty of clippings about other heated local events, too. The details make the era come alive - boycott flyers, harumphing white editors, speculation that protests might "fizzle out, panty-raid style," armed Native Americans threatening to "wipe out" the local KKK, the program from the conference that birthed SNCC [pdf], early reactions to desegregation and much more. Gotta love those revealing little details.
posted by mediareport at 12:03 AM PST - 4 comments

January 20

H. Sarbakhshian is perhaps the only photo-blogger now in Iraqi kurdistan. He is one of the latest well-known Iranian journalists who has turned to blogging. (In Persian)
posted by hoder at 11:02 PM PST - 9 comments

The 2003 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is coming March 14-16. You can either participate in person by going to Stamford, Connecticut for the weekend, or play at home on your own time. If you're a confirmed or aspiring cruciverbalist, you should check this out -- the puzzles are great and the competition is light-hearted. (Will Shortz (right), director of the tournament and editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes.)
posted by precipice at 10:56 PM PST - 4 comments

Dev Articles is the latest in a line of thieves who steal from free publications such as A List Apart, Digital-Web and Boxes and Arrows to pilfer content and make a buck off of other folks' generous efforts. What is wrong with these folks? Dev Articles at least credits the authors (without letting them know... even that their stolen photo is up) but not the publication that provided the edits, formatting and forum to make the article real. And they make the advertising buck. This month alone Nick Finck has had to stop Morpheous from their theft of 7 of his articles (and they claimed authorship!) What is wrong with people?
posted by christina at 8:56 PM PST - 43 comments


Richard Rorty was written a longish, but accessible essay detailing the progression of the Western idea of "truth". He states that truth, in the redemptive sense, was first interpreted through religion, then philosophy and now literature. The intellectuals are no longer asking what is true, but seeking new ways of understanding the world around us and our place in it. To question truth, one employs logic and belief, but to find new modes of understanding one uses the imagination. "The great virtue of our new-found literary culture is that it tells young intellectuals that the only source of redemption is the human imagination, and that this fact should occasion pride rather than despair."
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Feral children have fascinated linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, and filmmakers for over a century. Read about the Wild Boy of Aveyron, Kamala and Amala (raised by wolves), and Genie (chained and locked in a closet until she was 13) and you'll discover how fragile humanity can be when "nature" overruns "nurture."
posted by jonp72 at 3:46 PM PST - 18 comments

Words of the Year 2002 Awards American Dialect Society Word of the Year : "WMD - weapons of mass destruction". Most Unnecessary: "wombanization" . Most Outrageous: "neuticles" . Most Useful (by unanimous decision): "google".....1991 Word of the Year: "mother of all."
posted by Voyageman at 1:55 PM PST - 33 comments

Last Civil War Widows Do Lunch. Gertrude Janeway, the Union War widow, passed away Friday at 93. Live tonight on ABC, Alberta Martin will receive the grand prize -- one million confederate dollars and a 2003 Dodge Durango. [Just kidding.]
posted by britain at 1:26 PM PST - 12 comments

Kill this side and then the others. Like its cousin the estimable Engrish.com, FlubTitles.com catalogs the horrible abuses of language that show up in English subtitles for Asian movies. Created by Asian film review site CityOnFire and movie seller HKFlix, it's all a plot to sell more DVDs, but there're some real gems hidden in the captions..."All fanciness are posted outside."
posted by me3dia at 1:15 PM PST - 11 comments

Al Hirschfeld passed away today at 99. He was probably one of, if not the, most famous caricaturists in history, drawing an enormous range of stars, from Chaplin and Bergen to Seinfeld and Benny. The Line King was a '96 documentary about his work and the stars he drew in an 70+ year career as an illustrator. Very sad to think that the popular pasttime of counting the Ninas in the drawings has ended.
posted by PeteyStock at 12:29 PM PST - 13 comments

Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing at 11:49 AM PST - 105 comments



In his own words ... On this holiday celebrating the achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his words continue to have meaning for both blacks and whites, conservatives and liberals. Most people are familiar with his I Have a Dream Speech but also noteworthy are The Purpose of Education, The Negro and the Constitution, his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, his Letter from Birmingham Jail -- which some have argued should be added to the canon of Scripture -- and his final I See the Promised Land remarks delivered the day before his death.
posted by marcusb at 7:54 AM PST - 3 comments

closet confederate?
george bush junior revives tradition, abandoned by bush senior, honoring confederate leader. anyone suprised about this one? via talkingpointsmemo
posted by specialk420 at 7:44 AM PST - 90 comments

The "Blind Watchmaker" ain't so blind after all. An article in this week's Journal of Theoretical Biology claims that simple chemistry makes the evolution of complex organisms with nervous systems inevitable. Is random Darwinism being replaced by a more sophisticated notion of "directed evolution"? Could this confirm the "intelligent design" theory of Creation? This may have profound consequences for our understanding of how life has come to be on this planet (and others).
posted by Bletch at 7:32 AM PST - 40 comments

Two segregated film crews, one black and one white, used the perspective of race to create a documentary centered on the dragging death of a black man by three whites five years ago in Jasper, Texas. The New York filmmakers behind the "Two Towns of Jasper" found the differences in perspective before filming began and the divide only grew more distinct during the two-year project. Premieres January 22nd on PBS and has already won multiple film awards.
posted by suprfli at 5:00 AM PST - 13 comments

1932, Wyoming: Douglas Herrick and his brother Ralph go hunting and discover the Jackalope. The legend spreads across the globe. 2003, Wyoming: Douglas Herrick dies. Jackalopes all over the world mourn. (last link NYT, and courtesy of Tom Tomorrow)
posted by Katemonkey at 3:59 AM PST - 13 comments

January 19

Channel your inner Ansel Adams. Going off of the theory that everyone has at least one great photo in them (as opposed to professional photographers, who should have hundreds), missiouri webizen & amateur photographer Troy DeArmitt has hosted (for the past two years) an annual web based photo contest open to other amateurs only, sponsored out of his own wallet. If the results of this year's contest are any indication, he's right, there are some beautiful photos here.
posted by jonson at 11:18 PM PST - 16 comments

Am I Enlightened or Not? Looking for a Guru to guide towards your true path? Sarlo's Guru ratings can help you find that special spiritual master. Once you've found that special someone, compare his rating with Gurus and Masters throughout history. I'm a bit disapointed that Confucius is only a Two Star guru, while William Shakespeare comes in at Three Stars, just like Jesus.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:08 PM PST - 17 comments

Everyday millions of pancakes are led to their violent deaths in the slaughter houses of IHOP. It's about time we raised our collective voices and put a stop to this massacre. Thank you, petition online for raising the bar for humanity.
posted by hidely at 11:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Hookup vs. Dating Seems that the 'hook up' is gaining popularity with girls (it's always been popular with boys) in high school and college these days. More and more women are looking to expend their sexual energy in a manner that they perceive to be safe and committment-free. Why didn't this happen when I was in high school?
posted by cpfeifer at 5:13 PM PST - 159 comments

Friends Reunited Oh how lovely to link up with old buddies again, and let them know how well things are going these days! To tell them of the sports cars you're driving, and how it was all made possible through your occupation of selling 'charlie'. Surely no-one will ever find out?
posted by apocalypse miaow at 11:17 AM PST - 15 comments

Autographica The European convention for celebrity signature collectors happened recently. I was once an extra on a film and got people like Robert Carlisle to sign the advert, so I can see why it might become an obsession, what with y'know meeting famous people and all. But what happenes when the hobby become your business?
posted by feelinglistless at 2:46 AM PST - 12 comments

January 18

The Sex Film Project. Fans of John Cameron Mitchell and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" can now audition via videotape for his next film: "The Sex Film Project." The catch? You must be willing to have full hardcore sex on film. Oh, and warning: once you click "Accept" prepare for a background pic featuring an act of autoeroticism. Enjoy!
posted by adrober at 11:13 PM PST - 43 comments

Urinal Interface Design. Our aim is to keep this place clean. Your aim will help. [via guuui]
posted by kirkaracha at 11:05 PM PST - 33 comments

5GB on a Credit Card. The ever shrinking world of data storage just got smaller, as a company called StorCard has apparently invented a way to write up to 5GB worth of data on to media the size & shape of a credit card. Along with the media you have to buy a USB adaptor to read, but it's a quantum leap in data storage either way. Where will this madness end? Five GB on the head of a pin???
posted by jonson at 10:56 PM PST - 30 comments

Sprite Is Good Food "We have obtained a rare Sprite commercial rejected by the big wigs at the Coca-Cola Company. I believe it captures just what the Sprite consumer wants to see, epecially in the targeted demographic of 5-80 year olds...it's just too bad we had to delete the scenes with the hyenas on the salad bar." Well, it certainly made me thirsty. (Requires RealPlayer!)
posted by mcsweetie at 6:42 PM PST - 24 comments

After the whole Napster deal, I turned to DALnet for my music needs...but, for the past few weeks, DALnet has been under DDoS attacks preventing me, and countless other from accessing the servers. I find this interesting because while DDoS attacks on RIAA make the news and stop after a few days, but I have yet to see DALnet's problems publicized at all. Anyone else at all find this weird that the hated RIAA his limited DDoS attacks, while smaller and more venerated org like DALnet has attacks lasting more than a week?
posted by jmd82 at 12:30 PM PST - 39 comments

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune Some twin cities churches are holding services in novel places. Like Champps sports bar.

Lisa Walker attends Wooddale and likes the idea of Champps. "It's something new and fun," she said as she sat at a table with a friend before services Sunday. They said they were planning to stay for brunch. "It's friends, food, fun and faith, all in one," Walker, of Richfield, said. Her friend, who does not normally attend church and was hesitant to give her name, said she would attend Wooddale but liked the informal setting.

Don't forget alcohol and heavy food, Ms. Walker.
posted by 4midori at 9:57 AM PST - 27 comments

Broken Poem Generator.
the pencil strokes-
ones they were
to open half
place in space

posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:40 AM PST - 12 comments

When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. If you don't believe me, ask Kyle Klink, Scott Herrin, Michael Snyder, John Pinckney, or countless others. But not Paul Boutin.
posted by rcade at 8:24 AM PST - 38 comments

New Johnny Cash video This gorgeous rendition of the song, "Hurt" (actually a Nine Inch Nails cover), makes my heart ache. As a longtime Cash fan, I sure hope he knows how much he is loved. I was moved to mail him a card and got the address from his fan site: House of Cash, 700 Johnny Cash Parkway, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Send the Man in Black some love.
posted by sparky at 6:21 AM PST - 60 comments

Mouse miles tracker (like a pedometer for your mouse), bandwidth generator (crank it up), H2O-powered internet (take the concept of streaming to a whole new level), or live tv delivered over the net via a vintage television set. Just a few of the experiments and projects at Coin-Operated. via b3ta - they love the web
posted by iconomy at 6:17 AM PST - 3 comments

Funky Radical World was created by Japanese illustrator Radical Suzuki - don't miss the delightful fashion show. One of my favorite works is Real Tokyo Girls, a flash animation about the rather fascinating Ganguro girl fad. This gallery includes a few more samples of his work. warning - some cartoon nudity may be involved!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:13 AM PST - 15 comments

Something to do if you've got nothing better to do with the rest of your life.
posted by crunchland at 1:45 AM PST - 12 comments

Dancing with Systems: What to do when systems resist change. Is an excerpt from the late Systems Theorist and Enviromentalist Donella Meadow's unfinished last book. There is beautiful information here. If you are confused and wondering about some of the ideas that has infused the world-wide peace, enviromental, social justice and anti-globalization movements (That is of course Globalization as defined by the Washington Consensus policies) you would be very hard pressed to find a better place to start. Here are points in the essay. Listen to the wisdom of the system. Expose your mental models to the open air. Stay humble. Stay a learner. Honor and protect information. Locate responsibility in the system. Make feedback policies for feedback systems. Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable. Go for the good of the whole. Expand time horizons. Expand thought horizons. Expand the boundary of caring. Celebrate complexity. Hold fast to the goal of goodness.
posted by thedailygrowl at 12:21 AM PST - 9 comments

January 17

Ursula Plaichinger, a 27 year-old viola player, is the first woman to be (partially) admitted into the Vienna Philharmonic since the orchestra's creation 161 years ago. Except for hiring temporary, underpaid, unmentioned and unseen harpists ("Cameramen were instructed to show only her hands, never her face or figure"), the Viennese Phil not only tried to ignore several pleads for gender equality but took seven years to comply to the Austrian government's injunctions. Does this kind of resistance reflect a general trend? Is Ursula's case merely an example of "Rent-a-Frau" ? On the other hand, since the Viennese orchestra is a private association, could this be just a modified version of the Battle of Augusta?
posted by 111 at 9:07 PM PST - 12 comments

Display of Mickey Mouse as act of subversion? Who'd've thunk it? On April 15, 2003, Mickey Mouse would've been public domain, if it weren't for Sonny Bono. And so on that day, the linked site proposes that all websites display the mouse as an act of deliberate civil disobedience. No one ever said the 21st century would make sense.
posted by condour75 at 9:02 PM PST - 31 comments

Swappingtons! Howdy fair sailor, "Swappingtons is a great way to get rid of any books, CDs or DVDs that you don't want anymore, and get other items in return for them. The great part too is, once you're done with the items you get, you can just turn around and list them again so someone else will take them and you can get something else." Andrew (of DiaryLand, Pitas and various other web enterprises) has set up a barter club for your mutual benefit! (kinda like a LETS) Be sure to check out the short instructional dramatization :D
posted by kliuless at 7:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Guilty until proven innocent? Mark Lawson discusses the perils being caught up in a nudge-nudge culture.
posted by tommyc at 6:17 PM PST - 9 comments

The Open Directory Project bans TNL.net Tristan Louis's web site can no longer be used to access the Open Directory. Why? apparently they can't handle the traffic, so they banned links coming from his pages in the early afternoon.
posted by clevershark at 6:08 PM PST - 25 comments

The Artists Rights Coalition has decided that it is their mission to enforce copyright law. It doesn't matter whether or not it's their copyright -- they're gonna enforce it anyway. An example of the community policing itself or of online vigilantism?
posted by cedar at 5:11 PM PST - 4 comments


Simcity 4 and memories of misspent youth You don't need to be a geek to enjoy creating (and destroying) cities in the funky llama-loving world of Simcity. Simcity 4 has just been released, for good or bad. A lot of people seem to have "that game" that sticks with them. Maybe an old console or PC simulator such as Simcity still pops up in your mind once-in-awhile. Do you ever get hungry and say to yourself "Must build more farms."?
posted by Tystnaden at 2:08 PM PST - 62 comments

they've got god... world's first completely artificial lifeform created. ethical, spiritual, and social implications a-go-go, via blogdex.
posted by moonbird at 12:39 PM PST - 37 comments

A call to rally to protect our digital rights Legislation introduced in Congress to allow continued fair use of digital media. Other links at story site.
posted by stevefromsparks at 9:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Good Memory. From Argentina, a 1967 school photograph with a story. From the introduction :- 'decided to hold a 25th reunion of my classmates from the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires so that we could see each other again. I invited those I was able to find to my house, and proposed doing a portrait of each of them ... Later, a ceremony was organized, in memory of the students of the school who had disappeared or were murdered by state terrorism in the black years of the dictatorship. After twenty years, the school authorities accepted, for the flrst time, that the missing be officially recognized in the school's main hall. It was a historic occasion ... '
posted by plep at 9:17 AM PST - 8 comments

bogeyman?
(nytimes link) ``We face a hate-filled, remorseless enemy that takes many forms, has many places to hide and is often invisible,''
posted by specialk420 at 8:42 AM PST - 11 comments

"I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA" , a whistleblower from the IFPI (the global version of the RIAA) has said. Someone else actually claimed this a few days ago but it was admitted to be a hoax. Now, a fellow by the name of Matt Warne comes forward with a new claim.

While I'm sure many MeFi'ers disagree about the ethics of music piracy (which it is, whether or not you think it should be okay) - I think we can all agree that two wrongs don't make a right, can we not? Can the RIAA be sued for this, or will it be an invincible body, impervious to injury just like a certain other huge body that has problems getting hacked all the time, and simply has to repeatedly settle in court rather than admitting true wrongdoing?
posted by twiggy at 8:40 AM PST - 57 comments

I should have expected a country that largely dismisses cycling as a viable mode of transportation would fail to understand the subtlety of riding skills that ultimately led to their plonking a man on the moon.
You don't need to be a cyclist to enjoy the intelligent and generous breadth of content at BikeReader - A Rider's Digest.
posted by normy at 7:39 AM PST - 8 comments


Have you ever pondered just how annoying Mick Hucknall is? and who you might consider to be more annoying than the Simply Red Frontman? Here's a chance to let off some steam with some bar room style rants about the most irritating celebs doing the circuit. There are some fairly obvious one's here and here and some threads that don't do much for Anglo-American relations here. A nice way to waste a Friday afternoon - provided you're not offended by the language
posted by qwerty155 at 7:09 AM PST - 9 comments

Confessions of an Internet Loser. Sure, Michelle is not your average camgirl, but she can write brilliantly and humorously about her own struggle to be popular.
posted by samelborp at 6:55 AM PST - 41 comments

Two score years ago, a great American, whose birthday we celebrate every year with a three-day weekend, stood in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial and uttered those famous words, "I Have A Dream." Five years later, older and weary, saddened and yet emboldened for a new task, that man was assassinated in Memphis. He has rightly become an American icon, a symbol of all that we consider great about our nation. And yet is is the very fact of his apotheosis that has done his dream the most damage. Safely iconized and sanitized, MLK has been used cynically by his most bitter opponents, to ends he very clearly opposed during his life. The man who considered himself a democratic socialist, and who supported both reparations and affirmative action is used by conservatives to stymie the efforts of his philosophical and activist heirs. Some of them, like U2's Bono, want to save Africans from AIDS. Others, like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, suggest a 10-year moratorium on the famous speech, so that we can pay attention to other, more important statements. King's last great effort was not a march to combat racism but rather a new initiative to end poverty, the Poor People’s Campaign. Thirty-five years later, the gap between rich and poor is larger than ever in this country, and our president, who claims to follow the same religion that underwrote all King said, did and thought, is conducting a war not on poverty, but on the poor. How many of us who, like G.W. Bush, pay lip service to the ideas of King and of Christ will stop stalling and stand up for justice?
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:51 AM PST - 47 comments

The 2003 Sundance Film Festival kicked off last night in Park City, Utah, surrounded by alt-fests and alt-alt-fests as indie film steps center stage. But you don't have to be there to feel like you are, you can gourge on indie coverage or biz news from the trades, aggregated news from major portals or speciality broadcasters ... or just browse through all the pretty pictures.
posted by bclark at 5:39 AM PST - 6 comments

What's that flag? Flags of the World is an awesome website full of all sorts of vexillological info. If you don't know your canton from your burgee, are trying to ID a strange flag, or learn the difference between the Stars and Bars (not the battle flag) and the Star-Spangled Banner, this is the site for you.
posted by Vidiot at 12:24 AM PST - 17 comments

Angry at something? Have Calvin pee on it. (gallery here) Perhaps the most popular form of American expression in the last decade (Aside from Jesus Fish Vs. Darwin Fish), I've personally seen Calvin pee on at least 5 NASCAR drivers, prayed to 2 religions, and given me the finger twice. What does Bill Watterson think about this? Wait... no, I'm sorry, this is what he really thinks about licensing. I think if you've proliferated the rape of my favorite comic strip you should spend an eternity with Jeff Gordon peeing on your head.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:03 AM PST - 66 comments

January 16

Streets of London photoguide. Explore them from the comfort of your chair. Find that particular restaurant or bar online before you meet up for MeFiLondon. Not only that, they answer some really neat trivial questions.
posted by riffola at 11:03 PM PST - 11 comments

Ability vs. Guile. If you've seen the latest Gatorade commercial where 39 year old Michael Jordan plays against himself circa his 85 - 86 Bulls era and wondered "how'd they do that?", here's a very cool description of one of the neatest tricks I've seen recently.
posted by jonson at 10:41 PM PST - 7 comments

Feeling a little stressed? Maybe all you need are some Nuts In Your Mouth. Not quite as embarrassing as unprovoked Sweatpant Boners (they know what's up). For more information on crotch-themed rock, perhaps Dick Delicious and the Tasty Testicles can help. OK, how about Destruct-A-Thon? Oh, and before I forget to mention it, Gardy-Loo! (If you know what that means, you will.)
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:05 PM PST - 5 comments

The Tsavo lions were made famous by the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness. The stuffed trophies were donated to the Chicago Field Museum, where you can still see them today, in all their maneless glory. Facinated by stranger-than-fiction stories out of Africa, like the lost tusks of Malima Temboz, the Mountain that Walks.
posted by steef at 6:58 PM PST - 4 comments

Joint ventures, terrorist networks, and other joys of social network analysis.
posted by oissubke at 3:37 PM PST - 8 comments

Clear the air, not the room.
"You no longer have to be embarrassed by the untimely passing of intestinal gas among your friends or family." The GasBGon Flatulence Filter Seat Cushion "...has been designed and tested to absorb the odor and sound of flatulence." Buy one today for yourself, a loved one or a friend.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:03 PM PST - 17 comments

99% of you men have visited this website... and the other 1% of you will lie about it. (NSFW warning: some graphic, but tasteful, illustrations are contained within the site, but not on the front page. Also, sadly, information for females is no longer maintained on the site itself.)
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:55 PM PST - 60 comments

American Peace Homepage. "While most people, including most Americans, tend to believe that the United States has largely been a peaceful country until recently, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the United States has been engaged in military operations for most of this country's history. Of all the things the United States can claim, it certainly has no claim to being a 'peace loving' country. [Visit this site to see] a table containing every year, from 1776 to the present - all of US history. Just click on the year to see who US troops were killing, or threatening to kill, in that year."
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:26 PM PST - 38 comments

Who wrote Lord of the Rings, again? Those wacky, wacky teeming million followers of Cecil Adams are at it again, this time figuring out how Lord of the Rings might have read were it written by other hands. The best, in my opinion, is John Cage's rendition.
posted by thanotopsis at 12:53 PM PST - 24 comments

Son of Spam. MRE (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) and other military food rations have come a long way since the 60's.
posted by tboz at 12:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Playground law - a comprehensive (warning: pun) list of school yard insults. Beware - it sucks you in, I've been reading for an hour and I'm only on 'c'.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:11 PM PST - 9 comments

From UPI: Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International. I am so NOT trolling. I am simply curious to see what MeFi users have to say about this interesting news item.
posted by pejamo at 11:49 AM PST - 36 comments

The Twisted Path of Stick Insect Evolution Challenges the Theory of Evolution
Sort of... In an article on the cover of today's Nature, research on the evolution of stick insects is announced. But depending on the news source, this is either a strong challenge to the theory of evolution, or a mild revision. So who's right?
posted by rschram at 11:47 AM PST - 48 comments

Muscle gals The gym culture, protein diets, and Xena have made way for a new fetish.
posted by Dukebloo at 11:04 AM PST - 38 comments

Doctor, I've got a clamp... I mean, a cramp... Surgical teams accidentally leave clamps, sponges and other tools inside about 1,500 patients nationwide each year, according to the biggest study of the problem yet. (yummy Xray here).
posted by sparky at 10:44 AM PST - 11 comments

Moleskine notebooks I picked up my first Moleskine a few months ago and have been carrying it around everywhere, jotting down notes to myself, more stream of conscious than a journal. The pocket notebooks come in a variety of styles, including a Japanese Pocket Album that is one 60 page long continuous fold out sheet for making timelines, long drawings or photo albums. Even my plain notebook has a small pocket in the back cover to stick keepsakes (ticket stubs maybe?) as well as a built in bookmark and elastic strap to keep the book closed. Other bloggers also love their Moleskines. Not to be a product ad, but the combination of design simplicity and utility really make these notebooks a functional piece of art. It also helps to have a nice, small pen to carry with the journal.
posted by jonah at 9:36 AM PST - 79 comments

Bush Wants $60B for 2004 Fed IT Budget. It's the only area aside from defense that is going to have an increase in spending when Bush releases his budget on 2/3. Mitchell E. Daniels said federal IT projects contain "tons of overlap and redundancies" and "far too many plans for which we do not have good business cases." And here I thought that was just the proper definition of our government.
posted by archimago at 9:34 AM PST - 109 comments

released 35 years ago, "yummy yummy yummy i got love in my tummy", unarguably the most important pop song since "itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini", roared to the top of the charts and its supporous and encrustulated bubblegum effluviance can still be heard in today's poppiest artistes. simple simon says: are YOU down with fruitilicious?
posted by quonsar at 7:31 AM PST - 23 comments

HIT!!! SQUISH!!! MASH!!! or BASH!!! your Buddy whenever the feelings of Road Rage come over you.

Please take a moment to let us know what you would like to see in the next buddy: Cow girl, Business Women, Old Geezer, Racial/Ethnic Taxi Cab Driver, Grandma, Black Businesswomen and man, Asian women, Valley Girl, Cop, Bus driver.
posted by machaus at 7:28 AM PST - 25 comments

January 15

Going bananas. The only fruit to ever appear on a Velvet Underground album cover (not to mention the title of a J. D. Salinger short story) may be on its way to extinction. Facts: I) total disappearance could occur within a decade; II) bananas are the staple diet for half a billion people and III) current genetic tampering mean that, even if the fruit doesn't quite disappear, it will taste and look different (Guardian article here). Feeling nostalgic already? Visit the stylish Banana Museum or give someone you love the Enchanted Banana of Happiness (not what you're thinking). first link via Fark
posted by 111 at 11:03 PM PST - 53 comments

The catacombs of Paris are an immense maze of tunnels dug under the city. In 1786, all the bodies from Cimetiere des Innocents were exhumed and moved into the tunnels. A sign above the door reads: Stop! Here is the empire of the dead... For a significantly less creepy (and infinitely cool) city under the city experience, check out the Seattle Underground tour.
posted by jonson at 10:34 PM PST - 18 comments

"Madelyn Murray O’Hair In Hell" is difficult to describe... Danté meets Seinfeld? I dunno... but it's damn funny—and just a little thought provoking. I can't wait for the next installment! Brought to you by the good folks over at The Morning News.
posted by silusGROK at 2:58 PM PST - 18 comments

Hot seat. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, when the staff at this radio station had one of those dynamic, 'brainstorming' sessions, to dream up 'wacky' new competitions for their listeners... Now they're going to have their asses sued.
posted by apocalypse miaow at 2:29 PM PST - 52 comments

Losing the memories of a life. A staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine tells what it's like to watch his mother slip away to the unknown world of Alzheimer's disease. There's a little bit about possible causes and the science of the disease, but mostly it's a very personal story, and it's stayed with me since I read it. Excerpt: "He changed the subject before the fury came. When she became angry or terribly disoriented, she sometimes told him he needed to go home; that her husband would be arriving soon, and that he better be gone. I am your husband, he would say, smiling. She would yell: Go. Go home."
posted by GaelFC at 1:54 PM PST - 19 comments

The end of Vinyl II? Stanton ships Final Scratch, which enables a DJ to manipulate (mix, scratch, cut...) any music on their PC with their turntables. Besides not needing to carry all the weight and bulk of crates of records around, DJs can now skip the expensive and complicated step of cutting their own records in order to play original tracks. Is vinyl going to die for real this time?
posted by badstone at 1:12 PM PST - 35 comments

The most mysterious manuscript in the world. The Voynich Manuscript is 235 page manuscript written in a cipher that has yet to be decoded. The manuscript includes many images. Almost all pages of the manuscript are available online. There have also been several books (1,2)written claiming to solve the manuscript. You can also follow the modern day progress of deciphering the Voynich manuscript.
posted by patrickje at 1:08 PM PST - 35 comments

William Shatner's SpplatAttack was one of the biggest paintball events in 2002. There were a couple of other mefi threads on it earlier last year [here and here]. In December Shatner released a DVD of the event. Maurice Gibb, who died just the other day, owned a paintball shop and other celebs like Tommy Lee are rumored to be huge paintball fans. Is this the next extreme sport? How many mefi'ers play?
posted by billman at 12:04 PM PST - 38 comments

US income distribution moves towards 3rd world profile? - US Census Bureau data on growing family income inequality, 1947 to 2001. Also see: The "L Curve" (for a graphic depiction of current US wealth distribution). "The most egalitarian countries have a Gini index in the 20s. European countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Norway, and Sweden all fall in that range, according to World Bank figures. Canada and Australia are just over 30. The United States is around 40...Once inequality reaches 50 percent, disparities become glaringly obvious, to the point where they undermine a society's sense of unity and common purpose....Sierra Leone takes the prize. At 63 percent, it offers the world's most extreme example of inequality." By multiple measures, income inequality in the US is rapidly increasing, and a substantial percentage of middle class Americans may be gradually sliding into poverty..
posted by troutfishing at 10:42 AM PST - 137 comments

Best ad campaigns of the last 20 years Adweek posts its list of the 20 best ad campaigns over the last 20 years. Of the 20, two were single commercials rather than entire campaigns. One was Apple's "1984" ad; I won't spoil the other one for you.
posted by joaquim at 10:40 AM PST - 14 comments

Space Cab takes Lander-style Flash games to their logical conclusion.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:23 AM PST - 13 comments

"The world wide web was supposed to be pistachio". Say that three time fast, then visit the internet database of tongue twisters, shibboleths, and battologisms; over 2,000 frustrating, word-mangling, syntax-slaughtering entries in 90 languages, with translations. Also worth a look: the short list of devious one-liners.
posted by iconomy at 9:37 AM PST - 21 comments

An Exciting Game Your Whole Family Will Enjoy for Years to Come! In wishing warmer weather wasn't a few months away, and a search for odd or unique sports, washer pitching came up. But wait, the game quoits may be the predecessor to horseshoes and washer pitching. Both these games have a regional following. What are some other games people play that have a local or regional appeal?
posted by grefo at 8:31 AM PST - 10 comments

Outspoken Vidal makes dire accusations I have always liked Vidal for his skills as a writer and his wit and his literary criticism...he seemed, though to be getting odd when he shifted from light humor about the Amreican political game to his mpore recent serious charges against American "imperialism." Is he to be quicly dismissed as getting senile or is he perhaps on to something, since he usually supports with examples those things he attacks.
posted by Postroad at 8:17 AM PST - 65 comments

The Supreme Court has ruled, seven to two, that the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 is not unconstitutional. The act automatically extended copyright by an additional 20 years, delaying by those two decades the entry of works into the public domain. Lawrence Lessig and others have argued that the Act places unreasonable and unnecessary bounds on the potential of the Internet, as well as effectively rendering unobtainable many works from the early decades of the twentieth century.
posted by Songdog at 8:05 AM PST - 126 comments

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham at 4:46 AM PST - 31 comments

The Jivaro are primarily known for their shrunken heads, but when one woman told another about a childhood memory, the search for the shrunken men began. (from the Morbid Fact Du Jour)
posted by Katemonkey at 1:55 AM PST - 21 comments

January 14

Japan Punk Project is an adequate intro to the inscrutable world of Japanese garage punk. Witness if you will The 5.6.7.8's, a bizarre surf guitar-playing all-girl band which is like a funhouse mirror version of The Supremes. My personal favorite, Guitar Wolf, has live concert videos online here. Their 2000 "Rock 'n' Roll JET-movie" Wild Zero is not to be missed. Links may be NSFW, but just tell your boss, "Love has no borders, nationality, or gender! Rock 'n' Roll!!!"
posted by son_of_minya at 9:47 PM PST - 21 comments

A fine idea, horribly executed... Want a portable, light, wireless PC as a second home computer but don't want to spend a fortune on a tablet PC? No problem. Viewsonic is coming out with Smart Displays, portable monitors (no computer included) that sync wirelessly with your primary PC, so you can carry them from room to room. However, they apparently missed the boat on the pricing, starting at over $1,000 when you include tax.
posted by jonson at 8:33 PM PST - 29 comments

Stanley Milgram invented the term "six degrees of separation" after discovering in an experiment how closely interconnected social networks can be. The "six degrees" concept also inspired a play, a film, and a party game. The original study has recently attracted criticism, but now sociologists at Columbia University are planning to re-do the study over the Internet, using e-mail forwarding. Volunteers can sign up here.
posted by jonp72 at 8:03 PM PST - 25 comments

Ami Vitale, a photojournalist takes some incredible pictures of Africa, Europe and India. Her still images convey so much raw emotion and context. Case in point, a picture from the Gujrat communal violence shows undiluted fear in the eyes of the man being dragged away by the police.
posted by tboz at 7:57 PM PST - 9 comments

Nice weather for ducks is pleasant, trippy quicktime animation by oblong, produced as a promo for Lemon Jelly. Oblong also produced the very cool 3-d animation First Man in Space for London band The All Seeing I. gracias, oink
posted by madamjujujive at 7:30 PM PST - 12 comments

Giant lava lamp to save town. Theme structures built for cities throughout the world are constructed to draw attention and tourists. As someone said, “never underestimate the power of awe.” Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Seattle has the Space Needle and Soap Lake has the worlds largest Lava Lamp! Give them credit for dreaming...
posted by Coop at 2:47 PM PST - 27 comments

Collective* is the BBC's attempt to build an online community (or have a go at a simpler version of h2g2). Actually seems like an online version of The Guardian's 'The Guide' (mini what's on section which appears every Saturday). Overall it does feel a bit too processed. Should these things be so structured, or is it better that they develop naturally?
posted by feelinglistless at 2:34 PM PST - 4 comments

Chris Coutts returns with (sort of) Shakespeare's Hamlet. (Flash) You may remember him for his l33t sp34k version of Romeo and Juliet. Coutts tackles another of the Bard's masterpieces and does him proud.
posted by xmutex at 2:33 PM PST - 10 comments

Quick returns dilute tax credit.
Many lower income people, families fall prey to these businesses. Another example are the Payday Loans, courtesy your friend, Mr. Cash.
posted by four panels at 2:08 PM PST - 24 comments

January 13

These are the voyages of the Starship Exeter, its seven year production mission: to authenticate 1960s Star Trek, to build their own props and sets, and to boldly go where no fan flick has gone before. "We were sitting around my dad's office, and I said, 'We should try to make our own episode,' " Jimm Johnson recalls. "My brother said, 'Yeah, and we should have an Andorian in it.' "
posted by Stan Chin at 10:51 PM PST - 27 comments

The Rosetta Project In Spaaaace. Agh, it's a great concept... I just wish they'd made the text something a little more secular. The aliens will probably take it all too literally.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:31 PM PST - 6 comments

AntsMarching.org, a Dave Matthews Band fan site, posted almost 500 high-quality audio files of live recordings of the band's concerts to their website after Christmas. When previously only those who were of technical-mind and knew where to look could download shows, AM dumped every fan with the ability to click a hyperlink into the mix. Today, the band updated their tape trading policy, saying that any trading actions that don't promote fan interaction, specifically posting audio and video files on websites, are strictly forbidden. While it is my assumption that AM.org is the major player in provoking this move, my question is this: Is it wise for bands who credit their success to tape trading and word of mouth, and encourage fans to record and trade shows, to essentially ban the practice from the internet? Is it fair that you either trade through the mail or don't get to have live recordings when the internet has so much potential? Is it impossible for digital music trading to foster community?
posted by tomorama at 9:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Buy some dish soap, save wildlife! Dawn dish soap's new campaign shows images of a duck (simulated?) covered in oil like something out of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, followed by images of workers washing the duck's feathers with Dawn soap, and testifying how they only use Dawn for this process. Interesting thought process, but is it too far from the point for the average shopper? (saveaduck.com is the original URL)
posted by djspicerack at 8:56 PM PST - 18 comments

attention georgia citizens. you will be pleased to know that you are now free to fornicate at will. that's right! for the first time in 120 years, it is no longer illegal in the great peach state to get to know your neighbor in that special way.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:58 PM PST - 16 comments

Walmart started a "War on Workers" ? Apparently so according to a new video released by the owners of the linked website. A Walmart workers' Union incoming ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:45 PM PST - 10 comments

I stumbled across a fairly controversial opinion piece concerning racial integration, but it's fairly mild compared to some of the writers other opinions. Never the less, his observations on this subject seem to hold up under scrutiny. With few exceptions, whites and blacks seem to prefer their own company, and as evidenced by these pictures, even young urban professionals seem happiest among their own race.
posted by Beholder at 5:54 PM PST - 114 comments

Verner Panton, a fantastic Danish architect and designer known for his wild interiors and furniture. “Most people spend their lives housing in dreary, grey-beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colours.” He definitely was not afraid. Tak skal du have, Verner!
posted by snez at 3:44 PM PST - 10 comments

Memeufacture is a url aggregating service, such as Blogdex, but with human intelligence applied to the collection & categorization, such that links aren't merely ranked by popularity, but divided into categories such as Law, Politics (broken out by left & right), Design etc. There's no Religion (unless you count Apple), nor is the burgeoning world of sex blogs taken into account, but still, intriguing.
posted by jonson at 3:38 PM PST - 3 comments

These belly buttons pictures were all taken on the streets of Brussels, with a small digital camera.
posted by hama7 at 3:17 PM PST - 22 comments

Internet advertising to be second only to TV ads in the near future? A Slate dialogist predicts that within 1,000 days (a little under 3 years) the aggregate Internet advertising spend will exceed that for each of the other media (except for television). More than radio, more than newspapers, more than magazines. Believe it?
posted by MattD at 2:32 PM PST - 7 comments

Beyond Benetton and Betty Crocker: This Boston Globe article suggests a new age of multicultural marketing is upon us, with ethnically cagey Vin Diesel at the forefront. Instead of "United Nations"-style ads in which each actor is selected to represent a different group, the new style is towards ambiguity, as in the nonspecifically "ethnic" Barbies, or more casual, offhanded reference to race, as in the "Whassup?" Budweiser ads. Does this new "color-blindness" say anything about real social change, or is it just trendy hucksterism? Meanwhile, some very tired sexist chestnuts continue to appear in ads: despite her full time job and gleaming SUV, Mom still relies on classic brands to keep house and make dinner, still solely her responsibilities in TV-land. What gives?
posted by serafinapekkala at 1:14 PM PST - 30 comments

An article at robgalbraith.com , a digital photography site, has sparked a fascinating discussion of the merits of Macs vs. those of PC's, as they apply to digital photography. Actually, the article and discussion aren't terribly interesting, but the fact that the discussion is a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and opinions and not a take-no-prisoners flamewar, is.
posted by Mr_Spook at 1:08 PM PST - 9 comments

Oxford's guide to collective terms for animals is a useful and fascinating although all-too-brief resource. Collective terms for birds are some of my favourites: an unkindness of ravens; a murmuration of starlings; a richness of martens. Bees and sheep seem to have a lot of collective terms. I can't imagine why. Altogether, though, I found one of the terms for for ferrets to be the pick of the bunch.
posted by nthdegx at 1:07 PM PST - 34 comments

Our drunk-driving premier has refused to resign because it "was on personal time." What kind of standards does your state or province demand of its leaders? Do your politicians get to sleep around, drunk drive, snort coke, cheat on their taxes, and so on? (Or, rather more to the point, are they allowed to continue in office once caught?)
posted by five fresh fish at 1:04 PM PST - 48 comments

Sure, most of us have a collection of objects that contain the word "chum" gathering dust in the basement, but who has the time to put it online? Love Ablan, Multimedia Artist, that's who.
posted by staggernation at 12:54 PM PST - 5 comments

Ambient Information (NYT reg. required) Ambient information can be defined as material objects, such as computers, watches or furniture, which interact with digital information and react in certain ways such as sound, color, or light. Apple has filed an intriguing patent for a computer that could change color when you get an e-mail, for example. So, is this concept the next “new thing” or the next pet rock?
posted by jeremias at 12:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Canada's forgotten weapons of mass destruction. Shortly after the end of World War II, the Canadian navy began to dispose of its surplus chemical weapons by dumping them off the shore of Atlantic Canada. Large quantities of chemical agents, including mustard gas, were loaded onto barges and scuttled at undisclosed locations. Over 50 years later, some of these military dumpsites have become lost due to poor record keeping. With increasing offshore oil exploration and a commercially successful shellfish industry, there's a possibility that these forgotten chemical agents could return to the coasts of "Canada's Ocean Playground".
posted by Caffine_Fiend at 10:47 AM PST - 14 comments

Less advertising, more national and international news. Star Tribune editor Anders Gyllenhaal writes, "How can we improve coverage in big and small ways?"
posted by zedzebedia at 9:46 AM PST - 10 comments

"Donald looked upon violence as an artist might look on paint..." Director Donald Cammell committed suicide at home on April 24, 1996. Because of the location of the gunshot wound he inflicted on himself, he stayed alive and conscious for 45 minutes. He asked for a mirror to observe his own death. Foreshadowing this, in Cammell's underrated 1987 film White of the Eye, serial killer David Keith holds a mirror up to a victim's face as she dies. Filmmaker and author Kenneth Anger said "I predicted Donald Cammell's suicide. He was in love with death." He wrote seven films and directed six, ranging from the controversial end-of-the-psychedelic-sixties counterculture gangster film Performance (starring Mick Jagger),to the schlocky Demon Seed (based on a Dean Koontz novel), in which Julie Christie is raped by a computer, to a documentary about U2. A man of unusual talent, Cammell was an enigma even to those closest to him. "Cammell knew that nothing was as ever as it looked, that there was no single, simple truth." His body of work, as diverse as it is sparse, reflects this. Three different biographers are working on Cammell projects, and a fascinating biodocumentary Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance was released in 1998. His films are well worth seeking out, taken as a whole, they present an interesting psychological picture of their creator, and taken separately, they're thoughtful and interesting examinations of perception, reality, violence, and the nature of power.
posted by biscotti at 9:07 AM PST - 25 comments

Online people die too. It would surely be a surprise if they didn't. Alas, how do we deal with real scenarios in virtual spaces? Dana J. Robinson is exploring death as it relates to this digital space.
posted by pedantic at 8:27 AM PST - 23 comments

Kids shamed on the internet! A father of two, seeing his kids getting into endless trouble, decided to try a different kind of tough love and post about them on his local town's message board (turn the speakers down on this link).
posted by jasonspaceman at 7:23 AM PST - 8 comments

I'd like to report some suspicious behaviour ...a series of recent television commercials running on Australian TV promoting a toll free phone number to call if the viewer happens to see anything suspicious. Suspicious, you say? Don't be alarmed, it's all part of the Let's Look Out For Australia Campaign, whose motto is: 'Be alert, but not alarmed'. Then it says: 'Australians are friendly, decent, democratic people, and we're going to stay that way.' I feel alarmed, but not for the same reason. I'm alarmed that everything I once valued about my country, a humane welfare system that provided free healthcare and free education (including free university study) and an admirable and enlightened approach to multiculturalism, have been substantially compromised over the past decade. I feel so betrayed that I can no longer say with confidence that I love my country. Things have reached the point where I want to move somewhere else: anyone have any suggestions?
posted by chrisgregory at 3:20 AM PST - 39 comments

January 12

The Disruptive Web is an InfoWorld article about the "disruptive" power of weblogs. Combining the aggregated reading habits of the blog community collected by All Consuming with bookmarklets and an RSS feed, the author conducted an experiment to search for the availability of blog-popular books at local libraries. "By the end of the day, the technique was verified to work with many libraries in the United States. What's more, it had mutated. Reports came in from around the world about adaptations that worked with library systems from other vendors." link via post atomic
posted by madamjujujive at 10:03 PM PST - 196 comments

Paul Krugman, Princeton prof and NYTimes columnist is the subject of a Google Question. Some one wants to know "What kind of house does he live in? What kind of car does he drive? Is anything known about his personal life (hobbies, sports, sexual orientation, etc)? ". Krugman himself answers with panache and asks for the money!
posted by tboz at 9:01 PM PST - 17 comments

I present to you, Richard Cheese. Perhaps the world's greatest twisted musical genius. Take 1 part Weird Al, add some Frank Sinatra, top with a talented musical ensemble, and bake on low — current recipe makes two albums. Seriously now, anyone with a love of music should really check out Mr. Cheese. His cover songs are solid gold. Notable mentions: "Chop Suey!" (System of a Down), "Crazy" (Britney Spears), and "I Used To Love Her" (Guns 'N Roses). And remember, folks, keep on lounging against the machine.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:20 PM PST - 38 comments

Southern public schools are becoming segregated again, but not through governmental regulation this time, but through the free will of white teachers who are fleeing all black schools, and relaxed bussing laws that are no longer forcing mixed race students to intermingle. A disturbing step backwards, and one that doesn't trend better in the foreseeable future.
posted by jonson at 10:16 AM PST - 41 comments

Mitnick and Me. Kevin Mitnick's girlfriend, TechTV producer Darci Wood, blogs their lives and defends his activities in anticipation of Kevin's return to the Internet later this month. Mitnick anticipates the end of his probation in today's NY Times.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:34 AM PST - 9 comments

January 11

Democrats need to Hail Mary into the business ethic of the NFL in order to win. I just might have to watch the NFL playoffs this year.
posted by crasspastor at 9:42 PM PST - 5 comments

Does the state have the right to kidnap your child, if it doesn't approve of the manner in which you became pregnant? Maybe Clonaid ran a huge hoax, maybe they actually produced a clone -- but their refusal to provide the proof is proving more and more legitimate. Florida Attorney Bernard Siegel is pressing the case that if the child is indeed really a clone, then the state is much more qualified to raise it. Now, reasonable people can disagree on the creepiness of cloning, but isn't the image of jack-booted thugs tearing a child from the arms of her loving mother into the hands of government doctors a whole different level of horror?
posted by effugas at 9:12 PM PST - 41 comments

Bunches and bunches of lost/stolen Beatles tapes recovered by cops. The fab 4 were My Era but I'm no particular fan of 'em, prefering the Byrds for hippie-dippie flashback, the Beach Boys for that let's-fire-up-the-Lincoln-SUV-and-burn-rubber mood, the post-Brian-fries-his-brain Beach Boys again for acid nostalgia and (fuller tips hat to the Dark Side) little Frankie Zappa, of whom I bought Freak Out as a $1.98 loss leader in 1966 and everything since, up through and including Läther . Nevertheless, this looks like it might be fun.
posted by jfuller at 6:52 PM PST - 28 comments

Meet Joe Eigo and his Multi Level Moves. Inpired by Bruce Lee, Eigo is a gymnast and stuntman extraodinaire - don't miss the amazing demo tape .asf file he made for Jackie Chan (and his other video clips ain't half bad, either!) via diminished responsibility.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:03 PM PST - 17 comments

Pete Townshend is denying any link to paedophilia, but some may find themselves looking at those Tommy lyrics with narrowed eyes...
posted by apocalypse miaow at 4:50 PM PST - 57 comments

This is SunGodsUniverse. "...this is not an ‘ego’ site... This place is for others like myself, or simply anyone who appreciates something unique... Love me of hate me, they will never forget me." Damn straight, rock on. Be sure to visit the Crystal gallery and check out his pics. (this site deserves a better post than this, sorry).
posted by tomplus2 at 4:15 PM PST - 26 comments

An interesting read This guy seems to make some sense when lately nobody has been making sense at all... think we could get him to run in 2004? ;)

When religious institutions fail to provide moral leadership, when governmental institutions become dangerous to the nation they are tasked to serve, when politicians do not work for the people, or when they tremble at the possibility that standing alone in righteousness might cost them votes, when journalism becomes one long commercial, when votes are brokered against the party affiliation of a majority of powerful judges, it becomes necessary for the singular multitude that is the American people to stand and be counted.
posted by sparky at 1:23 PM PST - 21 comments

The Mysterious Norman Raeben, the son of Shalom Aleichem, the man behind Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks.

Norman Raeben was one of the most influential people in Bob Dylan’s life. It was Norman Raeben, Dylan said, who, in the mid ‘70s, renewed his ability to compose songs. Dylan also suggested that Norman’s teaching and influence so altered his outlook upon life that Sara, his wife, could no longer understand him, and this was a contributory factor in the breakdown of the Dylans’ marriage. (More inside)
posted by y2karl at 11:56 AM PST - 16 comments

"Dear Heidegger: What came first, the chicken or the egg?" "Dear Hobbes: What causes women to wear white pumps?" Answers and advice from these and other great philosophers, from h2so4.
posted by homunculus at 11:47 AM PST - 5 comments

republican governor commutes death row sentences
im sure this will upset the spiteful old bat from illinois whom i was forced to share a table with at a wedding recently - when asked about this issue and innocent men ending up on death row, she responded: "this is war, and sometimes innocents are killed in war"
posted by specialk420 at 11:21 AM PST - 119 comments

Centralia, PA is a small town on top of rich, seemingly inexhaustible coal reserves in rural Pennsylvania. In May of 1962, an above ground fire ignited these underground coal mines, and the fires have burned ever since, for forty years straight. The towns population (and landscape) have been decimated. More info here.
posted by jonson at 10:10 AM PST - 11 comments

I Wish, You Wish Nifty site that scours wishlists (Amazon and others) of bloggers and puts them all in one convenient place, sorted by either birthday or alphabetically.
posted by davidmsc at 6:40 AM PST - 14 comments

January 10

"Rhy Helro Miss GoRightwry!" A gallery of Yellowface and Blackfaces in Hollywood at the Makeup Gallery. (via Sharpeworld) Despite efforts of the MANAA to reduce Asian stereotypes in media, there is a long history of white actors portraying asian roles (warning: really bitter commentary). When will there be enough outcry (or demand) for movies with asian roles that don't know kung-fu or are exotic hookers? Or are we satisfied with Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu, and Mr. Wong?
posted by Stan Chin at 9:24 PM PST - 23 comments

An undeclared war on latex is apparently being waged by the Bush administration, which is taking all sorts of steps to avoid condoning their use. This is a patently ridiculous stance to take in the face of a global AIDS epidemic, but this interesting essay also raised my eyebrows:

According to figures in a report on condoms by Population Action International, the average man in Botswana gets less than one condom per year from international donors.

Uhhh...doesn't the idea of condoms as a staple of international relief seem a bit strange? Haven't governments around the world devoted any resources to their own public health? Surely donor-nations can't keep everyon else's penises safely sheathed forever.
posted by subpixel at 9:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Unofficial competition to redesign w3c.org. In early December last year the w3c.org homepage released a redesign using XHTML and CSS. While everyone appreciated the cleaner use of markup the response was wholly underwhelming and most felt the design did a disservice to CSS.   ...hence the competition, duh.
posted by holloway at 8:20 PM PST - 4 comments

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible includes the entire text of the King James Version of the Bible, but without the pro-Bible propaganda. Instead, passages are highlighted that are an embarrassment to the Bible-believer, and the parts of the Bible that are never read in any Church, Bible study group, or Sunday School class are emphasized. For it is these passages that test the claims of the Bible-believer. The contradictions and false prophesies show that the Bible is not inerrant; the cruelties, injustices, and insults to women, that it is neither good nor just.
posted by oliver_crunk at 8:09 PM PST - 94 comments

Ireland rated the most globalized country in the world. After calculating a globalization index that measures foreign travel, foreign investment, international political engagement, and Internet usage, Foreign Policy magazine declared Ireland the most global nation in the world, primarily due to the developing software industry in that country. The findings also show that Saudi Arabia had the greatest decrease in the 2002-2003 globalization rankings than any other country on the index. If Saudi Arabia is as closed off from the rest of the world as this index suggests, what does this suggest about the current "war on terrorism"?
posted by jonp72 at 7:47 PM PST - 6 comments

The Future of Transportation: No automobiles polluting the environment... No need to seal the Earth in concrete... Just the joy of flight in your own jetpack! Okay, maybe I'm dreaming (a nightmare, actually, for the auto and oil industries...) But your own Personal Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle: Solo Trek XFV can now be had for a paltry $1M. Isn't this what we dreamed of as kids? (Like everything, the price is bound to drop as the technology gets cheaper. Mass production, etc... Wouldn't it be nice? *sigh*)
posted by Shane at 6:34 PM PST - 16 comments

Cory Doctorow's first novel, "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" has been published. Although a first novel by a science-fiction writer coming out is always cool, this one is not only published in dead-tree format by a major publisher, it's available for free online under the Creative Commons license. Much whuffie to Cory.
posted by GriffX at 5:52 PM PST - 10 comments

mcwane incorporated
"It is said that only the desperate seek work at Tyler Pipe..."
the new york times has a 3 part (part 1, 2 and 3 u:dolface1/pwd:dolface1) special report on mcwane inc., a private company that is one of the largest manufacturers of cast iron sewer and water pipes in the world. it's a horror story right out of the early days of the industrial revolution; amputations, burns, death by crushing, disregard for the law and sheer indifference for human life that upset me more than anything i've read in quite a while.
osha seems unable to do much, what other options are available to workers when their companies won't protect them?
(warning: it's a long and sometimes unpleasant read)
posted by dolface at 5:14 PM PST - 9 comments

The story of 'Wimoweh' 'Mbube' or more popularly 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. In which a Zulu migrante creates one of the most recorded songs of the twentieth century, but because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, failed to get any royalties and died a pauper. A contribution to the music copyright debate.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Flying Snake movies [quicktime] Love the top view of a flying snake making a dramatic mid-air turn. Or two. Here's a CNN story about the guy who filmed them. [via New World Disorder]
posted by mediareport at 3:07 PM PST - 7 comments

January 9

The Mystery Pit of Oak Island. In 1795, two boys found a treasure map on Oak Island, on the coast of Nova Scotia; two hundred years, tens of millions of dollars and six lives later, the island is nearly obliterated with holes and excavations, and no one is any richer... The story of Oak Island makes a fine allegory for pursuing phantom riches at the expense of all else, in addition to just making a damn fine story.
posted by jonson at 10:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Microsoft altering its ".NET" strategy Microsoft has announced that it's changing its overall use of .NET on its products, as it seems they've figured out that it's confusing to most users or potential customers, and flat out that "many people were unable to figure out just what it was." says the AP Wire. Now they're coming up with a nifty new logo to go with it, and perhaps they'll end up actually competing with IBM in the backend business. For some background on what .NET does, check here.
posted by djspicerack at 6:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Mark Fiore is a Californian political cartoonist, whose work may be familiar to those of you in the States, but who is new to me. His animations are topical as well as funny.
posted by essexjan at 4:11 PM PST - 2 comments

I saw the meter reader riding a Segway today. Apparently Seattle has been using them in trials for city employees. While San Francisco has been working to try to ban Segways from the sidewalks, other legislation has already been passed that may affect your ability to make use of America's favorite alternative to walking. Probably a good thing to know before you plunk down some serious dough for one.
posted by jessamyn at 3:54 PM PST - 35 comments

Benedict.com has a bunch of useful articles about copyright, including film, music, and software. Undoubtedly useful to those interested in copyrighting works, but also highly entertaining to the rest of us.
posted by SilentSalamander at 3:22 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The latest fad. You know you're really famous when there is a virus named after you. Avril lavigne gets digital punk.
posted by mary8nne at 3:10 PM PST - 35 comments

As our own Royal Family slams them, can we be certain of anything reported in the British press? Celebrity gossip is king: if an unpopular public figure isn't ruined, then they're dragged through the gutter by an amoral PR guru. Celebrities mysteriously go out with other celebrities, until their single reaches number one (usually they're with the same PR company). It happens all the time. And models have sex videos 'stolen', only for one newpaper to 'find' out and charge people to look (and trailers suddenly appear on Kazaa). Is nothing real?
posted by wibbler at 3:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Why We Watch TV Revisited Sure cable is great, but what should we watch? Given the proliferation of "dumb" mass-market network TV shows (Joe Millionaire being the latest abomination), it's a relief to still find interesting/entertaining niche programming, albeit relegated to hinterland TV channels/time slots. Here are 4 Indie TV Programs worth considering (if you are lucky to have a cable company that airs them): C-Span Booknotes ; History International World Conflict ; NYMetro Strictly Personal ; WNET Theater Talk - Other suggestions ?
posted by Voyageman at 1:29 PM PST - 44 comments

The greatest pictures ever. According to the refined aesthetes from SomethingAwful, that is. Surprisingly, it isn't altogether unsafe for work, illegal or ultra-offensive as long as you stay on the path.
posted by 111 at 11:38 AM PST - 22 comments

Dow and Their PR Agency got more than a pie in the face, more like egg all over 'em. Two different activist parody productions exposed their continuing despicable behaviour toward the Union Carbide release in India back in '84 when thousands died and many more continue with serious health problems. Dow and said PR firm tried to get the sites shut down, which just generated a WHOLE BUNCH more negative publicity. The sites were moved, but remain for you viewing pleasure.
posted by acutetype at 10:49 AM PST - 3 comments

Another reason why we can't win. If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse. The only winning move is not to play. I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.
posted by mrmanley at 10:18 AM PST - 32 comments

Is Bill Gates behind the times? (NYT link - reg req'd) Microsoft today introduced designs for "a new class of watch" which can "provide weather information, text messages and other data." The simplest versions "will cost less than $150," the story says.

But Timex currently offers its own, cheaper version: the Internet Messenger Watch for only US$50, and a year's free service, for almost the same features.

Is Microsoft actually behind the times with their 'innovation'? Is this embarrassing for the software giant?
posted by busbyism at 10:03 AM PST - 33 comments

Join the mission to rig this poll by voting for the red bar. (You can vote a second time by deleting your GuardianUnlimited cookies.)
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:22 AM PST - 36 comments

Is there a Moore's Law for roller coasters? Ohio's own Cedar Point has announced it's newest record-breaking roller coaster - the Top Thrill Dragster. Here are the high points (pun intended):
  • a 420-foot tower - the first coaster ever to top 400 feet
  • top speed of 120mph - in 4 seconds
  • a 90-degree turn at the top of the tower and an almost vertical drop back down
Downside - the whole thing lasts a mere 30 seconds. But I bet it's a fun 30 seconds. Can't wait to go.
posted by starvingartist at 8:22 AM PST - 58 comments

Federal appeals court rules that the US can hold citizens as enemies, without the protection of constitutional rights, 'at need' in time of war.
So much for the "home of the free and the brave".
posted by SpecialK at 7:47 AM PST - 35 comments

A Party of Non-Belief? In the most religious country in the developed world, it would be difficult for any political party to grow strong without a large part of its constituency keepin' the faith. Yet the story of America's Culture Wars is not complete without an understanding of the Secularists fealty to the Democratic Party, and the role of Christian Fundamentalists in ensuring they'll stay there. (Sorry, your gonna have to scroll down and click on the article titled: Our Secularist Democratic Party)
posted by dgaicun at 7:11 AM PST - 33 comments

Rhymer Rigby The most clever site I've seen in a long time -- Rhymer is a British journalist who is traveling the world with his girlfriend, Jane Treasure. Full of photos and hilarious captions to match. Definitely worth a stroll.
posted by sparky at 6:58 AM PST - 10 comments

Boston thanks the rest of the USA for their $14 billion roadway system of about 8 miles. The new extension of I-90 opens at the end of the month making the longest Interstate highway a few miles longer. The I-90 section alone cost $6.5 Billion. The entire USA is paying for this project because it is federally funded. Are projects like these necessary urban construction of the future? or is it just a black hole of $? Traffic in Boston will improve, but many think the cost was too high.
posted by LinemanBear at 6:28 AM PST - 64 comments

Tokuya coughing.
posted by hama7 at 6:14 AM PST - 8 comments

William Gibson's weblog
Gibson, the man who popularized cyberpunk and who, through his invention of the word "cyberspace," may have been the first to assign the sense of space to network interactions (but who also gained a measure of early net.notoriety by shunning even email for years), began publishing a weblog a few days ago. Early topics include his thinking on "piracy," the physical perfection of form found in books, inspirations for his work, and the relationship of one well-regarded writer to grammar nazis.
posted by NortonDC at 5:24 AM PST - 21 comments

Emmett just barely got on that train to Mississippi. We could hear the whistle blowing. As he was running up the steps, I said, 'Bo,'--that's what I called him--'you didn't kiss me. How do I know I'll ever see you again?' He turned around and said, 'Oh, Mama.' Gently scolding me. He ran down those steps and gave me a kiss. As he turned to go up the steps again, he pulled his watch off and said, 'Take this, I won't need it.' I said, 'What about your ring?' He was wearing his father's ring for the first time. He said, 'I'm going to show this to my friends.' That's how we were able to identify him, by that ring. I think it was a Mason's ring.

Mamie Till-Mobley, 81, who wanted the world to see her teenage son's disfigured face after his slaying in Mississippi in 1955 and who became a figure in the civil rights movement, died of a heart ailment Jan. 6 at a hospital in Chicago. She had kidney failure.

The impact of the Emmett Till case on black America was even greater than that of the Brown decision. On January 20, 2003, The American Experience will present, on PBS, The Murder of Emmett Till. (Continued Inside)
posted by y2karl at 1:18 AM PST - 51 comments

Secret Diaries from the Lord of the Rings.
posted by Ron at 12:00 AM PST - 22 comments

January 8

The System Administrator's Guild demonstrates true geek wisdom in governence. Like the scientist-intellectual class in Kim Stanley Robinson's epic Mars Trilogy, the members of this Guild elect volunteer leaders to fulfill the group's administrative functions. Robinson's democratic fantasy land--where there are no real politicians--is often overshadowed by the sheer scientific whiz-bang wonderment of his novels. The trilogy is great not for its descriptions of space elevators and artificial gravity but rather because it is a fine example of Feministische phantastische-utopische Literatur and represents insightful social commentary. It even has its own little world-wide subculture, whose members most hopefully sit around and fantasize about how a newly-habitable world--made possible by the genius of the human mind and the skill of human hands--is politically, socially, economically, spiritually and environmentally shaped by the powerful and influential "First Hundred". Although the Sysadmin Guild's most recent executive board election showed a relatively poor voter turnout--touted on the site to be a "very high" 28.5%--I can't help but think they may be on to something. Perhaps a healthy disinterest in ruling and wielding power would be good back here on Earth [NYT].
posted by Hammerikaner at 9:27 PM PST - 4 comments

Can't wait for The Sims Online? Try There.com. An online, avatar based metaverse game, not involving orcs, elves, or, for that matter, much out of the ordinary of our suburban lives. Is this the future of online gaming, or the flavor of the month?
posted by jonson at 8:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Teardrop trailers were all the rage from the '30s to the '50s, and in vogue today with vintage aficionados. Some are woodies, some are made for motorcycles and most have lots of personality crammed into truly small space. The build-it-yourself bug spread with this 1947 Mechanix Illustrated article (pdf file alert) complete with plans. Follow one man's contemporary build-from-scratch adventure detailed in a photos essay, or get plans to build your own.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:03 PM PST - 9 comments



"Tower, we're going down, this is PSA." These are the best sites I've found for cockpit voice recordings and air traffic control transcripts for airplane accidents." Feel that mother go"..the second link also has the transcript of the Challenger crew.
posted by JohnR at 5:36 PM PST - 16 comments

some action on global warming in the US senate
mccain and lieberman introduce some long overdue legislation to curb global warming in the US. where's the major media coverage of this? it was nearly 60 degrees here in minnesota today - in january. global warming? nah.
posted by specialk420 at 3:39 PM PST - 32 comments

Angie was a marked woman , paying her own ransom with a body none could resist.
Someone has spent an incredible amount of time and energy scanning in lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 50's and 60's. An interesting look into what was considered titillating 40 years ago.
posted by patrickje at 3:26 PM PST - 21 comments

Michele's breasts are in your hands! Southern Cali college girl Michele bemoans her "itty-bitty boobies" and asks the world to decide whether she should surgically acquire a set of bodacious ta-tas by donating to her online implant fund. So far the fund has swelled to only $19.36, hardly the push-up Michele was hoping for and pretty far from the $4500 she needs to get [more inside] her Wonderbra. But perhaps Mefites have a silicone dollop of charity left after the holiday season. Then again, maybe this isn't the breast best way to spend your charity dollar. [via El Reg]
posted by rusty at 1:55 PM PST - 94 comments

Do you dread bringing your S.O. home for the holidays? Maybe next year I'll host the festivities and make mom and dad sleep in separate rooms. Nah, they don't have sex anyway.
posted by vito90 at 1:08 PM PST - 21 comments

Family of 7 killed in Arson - Is an Anti-Drug Campaign Responsible? a lawyer from Johnnie Cochran's high-profile firm says so. He claims that the "Baltimore Believe" program got the victims to speak out against drug dealers and report a few of them - resulting in their untimely deaths last October 16th.

Their names are interestingly missing from the "list of believers" on the campaign's website. You can see the list here I'm guessing this isn't what Nancy Reagan had in mind, huh.
posted by djspicerack at 1:00 PM PST - 10 comments

Since it's Elvis Presley's 68th birthday today and Richard Nixon's 90th birthday tomorrow, it's only natural to herald the December 21, 1970 meeting that has inspired a novel, a Showtime made-for-cable movie, musical novelties, and a mini-memoir from a Nixon staffer. The National Archives has received so many requests for photos of Elvis shaking hands with Nixon that they posted this online exhibit.
posted by jonp72 at 11:27 AM PST - 8 comments

Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror. "During the war on terrorism, George W. Bush has shown a split personality on the promotion of democracy abroad. Bush the realist seeks warm ties with dictators who may help in the fight against al Qaeda, while Bush the neo-Reaganite proclaims that democracy is the only true solution to terror. How the administration resolves this tension will define the future of U.S. foreign policy."
posted by homunculus at 11:19 AM PST - 5 comments

Then the elderly man said, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." Piscine Molitor Patel is the hero of Yann Martel's prize-winning novel, "The Life of Pi". This interactive promo is unusual and beautiful and has made me want to read the book. The first chapter can be read here.
posted by essexjan at 10:59 AM PST - 14 comments

The Before and After Museum Based upon the number of makeover and home redecorating shows on television these days, it's pretty safe to assume that we humans have a serious fascination for the art of the transformation. Case in point? Consider the marketing wallop Subway's weight loss poster boy, Jared, packed--he's still making those commercials. Sharpeworld's compiled a list of before and after links from the bizarre Jocelyne "Cat Woman" Wildenstein to not-so-famous-but-still-amusing shaved dog on couch. What do you find most compelling about the before and after: the starting point, the final results or the process of transforming?
posted by VelvetHellvis at 10:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Data can be encoded and retrieved from DNA --even after multiple generations. Any bets on what the first message ever decoded from human DNA will read? My money's on "Hello World".
posted by costas at 9:03 AM PST - 53 comments

"Just do it. I don't care how." 'In a significant transformation...U.S. Special Operations Command...and its satellite units around the world, can now plan and execute their own hunt-and-destroy missions.' An "Open Order" is a very, very dangerous thing. A real life License to Kill, issued to thousands of men.
posted by kablam at 8:51 AM PST - 34 comments

Pinewood Dialogues Online from the American Museum of the Moving Image. In-depth conversations with movie actors and directors. Audio in RealAudio and Shockwave formats, with transcripts and a comprehensive index by topic. Sign-in required [more inside].
posted by staggernation at 8:29 AM PST - 1 comments

"and then beowulf, hero of the hairy peoples of upper-earth, cut the hand from the evil lord grendel... afterwards, they hung it above the mead hall door..."

okay. maybe not. but a "yellowed manuscript" containing a translation and analysis of the venerable beowulf has been found in an oxford library. the author? none other than the late j.r.r. tolkien. with all of the interest in anything even remotely hobbit-esque, this is quite a find.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:25 AM PST - 40 comments

Oolong, the rabbit well known for wearing items on his head, has died. Pour a 40oz of pancake syrup for respect.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:57 AM PST - 81 comments

DRIVING A SUV HELPS TEH TERRORISTS! NYT Reg. required. (-3 Troll) o<
posted by KettleBlack at 5:36 AM PST - 187 comments

In the 1920s, a bookmobile named William, driven by a female bookshop employee, set out across the Massachusetts countryside "to blow the horn for fine books for boys and girls", and thus The Horn Book was born. Seventy-nine years later The Horn is still going strong, with an online guide, and a fanfare list of children's lit for 2002. Their online Virtual History Exhibit contains recollections, articles, memorabilia, sights, sounds, and correspondence with The Horn from Beatrix Potter, Isaac Asimov, and Roald Dahl, among others, and also includes some radio interviews with transcripts and sound files.
posted by iconomy at 4:37 AM PST - 10 comments

Silva Rhetoricae: the Forest of Rhetoric. Don't know what an erotema is? Just why are you so stupid? Can't tell an apoplanesis from an aposiopesis? Then Gideon O. Burton's excellent guide to classical and renaissance rhetoric may be for you.
posted by misteraitch at 2:43 AM PST - 9 comments

Forget BlogChalking. Go by the globe. A (slightly) simpler cousin of the GeoTags search engine (which I could never get useful information from anyway), the GeoURL ICBM Address Server (by Joshua Schachter of Memepool) pegs sites to specific points on the planet via good old-fashioned coordinates and META tags. While the web supposedly has no borders, many sites - like blogs - have a place at their heart, a virtual (if not physical) home. Now you can see if your site has neighbors. [Via Blogdex - More Inside]
posted by pzarquon at 2:10 AM PST - 8 comments

January 7

The Bryce Forum Gallery has been a mainstay of my visits to the WWW since 1997. Featuring some amazing computer-generated imagery, the Gallery is the first 'virtual' art museum I happened across, and it's still my favorite. I hope you enjoy it as well.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:50 PM PST - 6 comments

Waiting In Line To Die is the title of this brilliant expose of the relentless homicide factory that is Disneyland, Anaheim's death camp, and siren lure of the unfortunate and unwary. To those who would visit the "happiest place on Earth" unawares, I encourage you to read this article first, and then head elsewhere. The life you save could be your own.
posted by jonson at 4:51 PM PST - 46 comments

A report commissioned by outgoing Maryland governor Parris Glendening has found interesting racial disparities in the death penalty: although it appears the race of the defendant is irrelevant individually in the application of capital punishment, such is is not the case when one weighs in the race of the victim of a crime, in which the killing of a white person by a black person nearly doubles the likelihood of the defendant receiving the death penalty, "primarily because they are substantially more likely to be charged by the state's attorney with a capital offense."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:27 PM PST - 33 comments

Clothing for the maturity challenged? Foreverakid.com is a Canadian site which offers "adult baby" clothing, for those "grown-ups" who still crave of feeling like toddlers or babies again (probably those former rebellious youngsters who finally realized adulthood sucks and want their childhood back). Everything from diapers to pajamas to sailor suits is all here. (Note: The site has a "18+" warning but there are only pics of adults in baby clothing - which still is weird enough to warrant a warning of some kind)
posted by betobeto at 4:05 PM PST - 23 comments

I couldn't find Kevin Bacon anywhere on this list. I guess this guy prescribes to the "idle hands are the devil's workshop" world view. This bloke has apparently gone to great pains to list everyone he has ever known on his website. What a massive undertaking, as well as a complete waste of time.
posted by psmealey at 3:54 PM PST - 22 comments

The movie Gattaca had a reoccurring theme of "the government and police have a right to your DNA." I thought it was silly sci-fi, decades ahead of reality. It appears I was wrong, as the Lafayette police go door to door taking DNA samples from 50-to-100 citizens in the hunt for a killer.
posted by mathowie at 3:32 PM PST - 62 comments

Evidence from Britain that the anti-war movement is having an effect. Perhaps the upcoming anti-war marches in Washington and San Francisco on January 18th will turn the tide in the USA.
posted by thedailygrowl at 3:30 PM PST - 25 comments

In an interesting test of the theory of relativity they found that gravity travels at the same speed as light. Put simply if the sun were to disappear from existence it would take some 8 minutes before the Earth's orbit would be affected by the loss. Sadly this also means that FTL travel is becoming less and less likely to be possible.
posted by aaronscool at 3:10 PM PST - 18 comments

German in court over 'ironic' message board comment. I think we should talk about this. Very... carefully...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:50 PM PST - 61 comments

Hopefully, the officials won't find a connection between the internet cafe and youthful violence. This smells of a problematic future.
posted by tatochip at 12:26 PM PST - 22 comments

Latest cyberbegging: Help 2 nice Boston lesbians make a baby "What we're saving up for is SPERM! That's right ... those little swimmers cost a bundle...the sperm itself, which heterosexual women get for free all the time, intentionally or otherwise, costs a bundle! Upwards of $250 for a single shot." It seems to me that there might be...cheaper methods, but I would sooner give the 2 nice girls $ than this guy: "I don't have love, don't have career, the only thing is to pay more debts. now, I got very bad fever, and I could feel this world is gray. "
posted by troutfishing at 12:14 PM PST - 51 comments

I don't know if you've been watching the keynote , but Steve Jobs has announced an array of new Apple products. Including updated iApps, a new browser (Safari) (which, by the way, is Open Source), Keynote (a presentation app), a 17-inch Powerbook and a 12-inch Powerbook.
posted by bshort at 11:21 AM PST - 84 comments

Independent Media: Null & Void? According to this NYT Editorial (Free Registration Required) the F.C.C. is quietly working to elimate restrictions on how many news media outlets one company could own, both nationally and in a single city. What's next?
posted by bkdelong at 11:12 AM PST - 18 comments

I made my claim. Have you? This Web site was established to provide information about a proposed Settlement of lawsuits brought by Attorneys General of 43 states, Commonwealths and Territories, and by counsel for the Plaintiff Settlement Class entitled In re: Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. You may be a member of the Settlement Group and your rights against Defendants may be affected if you are a person or entity that purchased these prerecorded Music Products from a retail store during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000.
posted by Witty at 10:16 AM PST - 12 comments

Metrocard Vending Machine UI critique. If you've been to New York City in the last few years, then you might be familiar with the MTA's big silver vending machines in the subways. For those living here it's almost second nature by now. The Windows NT based touch screen UI is really not too bad. Most tourists may opt for a One-day Fun Pass ($4), while the locals already know what to pick. MTA also places posters all over indicating changes to the vending machines, and initially even had posters explaining the various options.
posted by riffola at 7:41 AM PST - 32 comments

Fuck Hip Hop. Title of a block-rockin' essay by dj, filmmaker and cultural activist Pierre Bennu.

I think the time has come to bid a farewell to the last black arts movement. It’s had a good run but it no longer serves the community that spawned it. Innovation has been replaced with mediocrity and originality replaced with recycled nostalgia for the ghost of hip hop past, leaving nothing to look forward to. Honestly when was the last time you heard something (mainstream) that made you want to run around in circles and write down every word. When was the last time you didn’t feel guilty nodding your head to a song that had a ‘hot beat’ after realizing the lyrical content made you cringe.

Tough questions, Pierre. And the whole piece is even tougher. Here's a few responses from Nettime.
posted by theplayethic at 1:06 AM PST - 142 comments

January 6

historical use of medical marijuana for some reason im guessing certain souther baptists will disagree with the assertions of this particular article via newstoday
posted by specialk420 at 10:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Who the h*ll is Michael Musto talking about when he writes these columns? [And, furthermore, why do I read them?]
posted by adrober at 9:36 PM PST - 20 comments

The Dodge Tomahawk V-10 Motorcycle. It's a concept vehicle - a 500hp Viper V-10 engine strapped to two (fat) wheels. Certainly an eye-catcher. Press release here.
posted by kokogiak at 5:42 PM PST - 64 comments

The Mohair Council of America wins the prize for our country's most unique lobbying group. (I mean, really - it's mohair!) The MCA exists largely to protect the mohair subsidies, which are leftover from a time when the military used the material for uniforms. The subsidies were phased out in the mid 90s, but the MCA lobbied hard enough to bring them back in 1999. It just goes to show that with a well-placed lobbying arm, even the most useless, obscure interest group can get a piece of the government pie. (Runner up: The Flexible Packaging Association)
posted by risenc at 5:31 PM PST - 6 comments

Calling all fanboys! Somewhere in the world there is a "Return of the King" calendar with publicity stills from the yet to be released film. Check 'em out before they fall into shadow.
posted by pejamo at 5:17 PM PST - 38 comments

365 days of audio nuggets "For the entire year of 2003 this page will feature one mp3 a day to download. The content will focus on musical pieces, but will also include spoken word. Listeners of the incredibly strange and outsider realm take note, for this is the majority of material that will be made available." [via scrubbles by way of dollarshort]

Remember the July Metafilter threads discussing offbeat music (and I use the term "music" loosely)? Here's a site that plans to introduce us to a whole slew of strange new stuff this year. Thanks, Otis!
posted by jdroth at 5:11 PM PST - 9 comments

The Year In Pizza is a review of the happenings in one of the worst years ever for the pizza industry; what's touching, and quirky about this corporate industry wrap up is the inclusion of brief memorials for pizza murder victims, those workers slain by hungry robbers for whatever little cash they had on them. It's hard to imagine a "year in printing & bindery" review listing all the victims of industrial press manglings.
posted by jonson at 4:45 PM PST - 34 comments

The Tyranny of the Tidy: In college, after months of being chided by my roommate for an exceedingly messy room, I finally silenced her by repeatedly demonstrating my ability to quickly and easily retrieve any desired implement from the clutter without leaving my desk. Trying to be tidy always served only to make me inefficient. I understand that for others it may not be so, but is cleanliness really always a virtue?
posted by grrarrgh00 at 4:34 PM PST - 49 comments

Is the BBCi website far too big and monopolistic? Editorial from 'The Guardian' discussing whether the BBC's website, funded by the British license fee is taking the thunder away from commercial websites worldwide trying to achieve the same results in advertising run market place. There is some logic to the argument -- when e-marketing revenues are dwingling how can some sites compete with this bohemoth? On the other hand, if they were achieving the same results people would be going to them instead, and the BBC's website is very, very good in some places, indispensible in others.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:50 PM PST - 23 comments

SomaFM is back on the air after a hiatus, courtesy the DMCA and Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP).
posted by plexi at 11:29 AM PST - 13 comments

How Bush's economic stimulus proposal may affect you. An easy to understand explanation of what we might expect from Bush's tax cut proposal to be announced on Tuesday.
posted by Ron at 11:26 AM PST - 48 comments


A kilometre-high solar tower, to be built in the Australian outback by EnviroMission Ltd, will become the world's tallest structure when completed in 2006. Designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, the solar tower (or solar chimney) operates like a hydroelectric power plant, but uses hot air instead of water, and it could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes. Time calls it one of the best inventions of 2002, and I think it's one of the most ingenious ideas I've ever heard. Another solar chimney project was planned in Rajasthan, India, but I haven't found any information on its current status.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM PST - 52 comments

Vintage Dog Photos & Postcards From the strange to the enigmatic, ominous to amusing, this collection puts a smile on my face.
posted by snez at 10:32 AM PST - 10 comments

GM announces plans to roll out gas/electric hybrid cars for consumers in the next four years -- including pickup trucks and SUVs. Plus a brief discussion of ways to get the general populace to buy hybrid... apparently tax breaks are being mooted? Interesting. The cost increase / gas savings breakdown still isn't as impressive as one might like it to be, though... would you give one a try?
posted by logovisual at 10:28 AM PST - 24 comments

MeFiers have gotten into this before, in terms of forced sterilization. Although it has been around in California for some time, the idea of optional, paid sterilization or long-term birth control is presenting itself in New York City. (NYT reg.req) The founder of the organization that sponsors this paid sterilization/LT birth control has her experience with drug-addicted children, seeing as she adopted four. The FAQ is certainly interesting, but equally as compelling is the 'natural response' to this organization. This is a fact sheet presented by Communities Against Rape and Abuse (Acrobat), and more links here, here, here, and here.
posted by oflinkey at 10:19 AM PST - 17 comments

White House Silent on Racial Controversy. Bill Back, the California Republican party's vice chairman running for the top job, sent out an e-mail newsletter in 1999 that reproduced an essay that said "history might have taken a better turn" if the South had won the Civil War and that "the real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won."
posted by four panels at 7:57 AM PST - 48 comments

edge.org publishes its annual question posed to its members. edge.org is an online sort of a digital roundtable for really smart & famous types; a flameless metafilter for the intellectually arrived.
Once each year, a global question is posed to its noteworthy members. This year's ?? is: Suppose GWB has appointed you National Science Advisor and then asks you "What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?" Their's a boatload of interesting, insightful, sometimes humorous pieces written by a bunch of people. F'rinstance: Kurzweil on cloned tissue spare parts, Clifford Pickover on quantum dots, but among the most insightful is Alan Alda (who knew?!)
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:17 AM PST - 29 comments

The Boneyard (actually the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC) in the Arizona desert near Tucson, is the Air Force's storage yard for decommissioned aircraft. Nearly 4,400 airplanes and helicopters await recommissioning, recycling, resale, or refurbishment for museums. The aerial photos are impressive. If you want to see it in person, the Pima Air & Space Museum offers tours.
posted by SealWyf at 7:02 AM PST - 29 comments

Top 10 Challenges for Microsoft. This is from a company called "Directions on Microsoft" in Kirkland, WA. All they do is analyze Microsoft. One of the challenges is to "keep a lid on LINUX"! My favorite part-"Hopes that the Linux community would fragment are not being realized, at least in 2003". Will these challenges hold MSFT in check? What do you think?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 5:07 AM PST - 24 comments

Introducing the FPS Personal Backpack Audio System: With Sound This Fresh, Who Needs Headphones? A Japanese loudspeaker company specializing in flat panel technology has released a backpack that allows "music fans on the go ... to crank up the volume and express themselves in a whole new way." [more]
posted by Irontom at 4:56 AM PST - 30 comments

"Theriantropic harridan, what elephantine denticles permeate your oral orifice!" Minikin Incarnadine Cowl-Titivated Gamine adduced. From Fairy Tales for the Erudite, for those of you who enjoy a good story where the twain exist evermore in felicity and Elysium.
posted by iconomy at 4:54 AM PST - 12 comments

January 5

Shopping Bliss "Selected police officers were tasked to wear mascot costumes as they patrol the shopping malls in the capital to make their presence less obtrusive and more friendly." - welcome to mall security, LSD style.
posted by jdaura at 6:59 PM PST - 18 comments

Federal V.I.P. Penn Gillette almost gets his "crank grabbed." Not quite as concerning as the pregnant woman who got her breasts groped by security at the airport but it's an interesting read.
posted by suprfli at 5:18 PM PST - 36 comments

Messaging ogling Google lobby [clip] "At Google's headquarters off Highway 101 in Mountain View, visitors sit in the lobby, transfixed by the words scrolling by on the wall:" [/endclip] [clip] So anyway... I thought to actually *message* the viewers with - I hope you Google-ites get a good kick out of searches! - no quotes. [/endclip] Results? Do it, Me-Fi! The link is to the full post at Topica.
posted by Grand Wahzoo at 4:16 PM PST - 21 comments

Is Gavin Menzies the Stephen Wolfram of history? That's the question today's New York Times (login: dr_mabuse, pw: mabuse) suggests in a Menzies profile. Menzies has a new book out, 1421, which claims that the Chinese discovered America seven decades before Columbus did. Some people have made similarly precise claims about this planet's developments. Others have seen their amateur claims initially mocked and later proven to be correct. Is Menzies onto something or is he a crank? And how do we place the passionate amateur within the realm of scholarly pursuits?
posted by ed at 3:43 PM PST - 17 comments

The case of the five vanishing terrorists from Canada. "We don't know if they ever entered the U.S.," Mr. Cogswell said. "And in fact we've never linked these guys to terrorists. Most of what we have here is an unknown, and even with these individuals we don't know if they are true names with those photographs."
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:22 PM PST - 4 comments

It's thoughtful, not angry or insulting. It appears to make sense and it doesn't upset me. Is this really how they think of themselves? Required reading for the liberal opposition: A Republican's View of George Bush, Compassionate Conservative. (NYTimes, free registration required)
posted by alms at 12:51 PM PST - 30 comments

Sweetcode has some sweet code: learning language by watching movies; describing images for searching by doodles; automated haiku searching; etc. New entries are sometimes far apart so use the mailing list.
disclaimer: they listed something of mine a couple of months ago (not one of their best finds) and it has been mentioned here once as an attribution, so i considered posting just the sub-links. but why give you a fish?
posted by andrew cooke at 12:34 PM PST - 7 comments

StumbleUpon is a browser plugin-in that "uses member ratings to form collective human opinions on website quality." The plugin-in then uses these ratings to recommend websites, much like Amazon.com recommends books.
posted by theWoodpecker at 12:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Did You Catch That? Linguistics expert Deborah Tannen looks at perceptions and realities surrounding the speed at which we intercommunicate (washingtonpost.com).
posted by LinusMines at 9:15 AM PST - 23 comments

Forget about the US. Walmart is the real empire.
posted by Beholder at 7:23 AM PST - 52 comments

January 4

Commondreams.org story on a California court decision that Nike's PR blitz about its subcontractors' sweatshops violates a law against deliberate deception (via Blogdex). "Corporations are non-living, non-breathing, legal fictions. They feel no pain. They don't need clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, or healthy food to consume. They can live forever. They can't be put in prison. They can change their identity or appearance in a day, change their citizenship in an hour, rip off parts of themselves and create entirely new entities. Some have compared corporations with robots, in that they are human creations that can outlive individual humans, performing their assigned tasks forever." Reminds me of this: REESE (slow, but intense) Listen. Understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with...it doesn't feel pity of remorse or fear... and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.
posted by palancik at 6:25 PM PST - 33 comments

'Low-fi.org has aggregated some fresh new net.art projects, loosely curated with the premises that the works are good and interesting, and are in varying stages of completion.'
[via rhizome]
posted by hama7 at 5:57 PM PST - 5 comments

Shooting the messenger. "The Bush administration, under fire for its handling of the economy, has quietly killed off a Labor Department program that tracked mass layoffs by U.S. companies." (via madamjujujive)
posted by four panels at 4:41 PM PST - 38 comments

UN warns food aid to N Korea is drying up 7 million North Koreans face starvation. You are the American president. What do you suggest be done? (note: America was the biggest supplier of food till recently.) Do you tell them No food till you give up nukes or do you feed them what you can and try to negotiate? Or do you sit back and say: not my problem.
posted by Postroad at 3:44 PM PST - 24 comments

"This is getting ridiculous!" complained one veteran programmer on USENET a bit over two years ago... after being out of the workforce for a while, he was having trouble getting back in the door. While there's no way to put yourself in his prospective employers shoes and make a real judgement, it looks like he had the chops. Wonder how he's doing today...general conditions don't seem good, and I know several people with the same problem. The longer a period of unemployment goes, the worse your resume looks, and the harder it is to get a job. How do you break the cycle (from either a policy or a jobseeker standpoint)?
posted by namespan at 1:37 PM PST - 29 comments


The Burden. In a lengthy piece in tomorrow's NYT magazine (reg. req.), historian Michael Ignatieff explores the costs and benefits of America's shift from republic to empire.
posted by xowie at 12:24 PM PST - 16 comments

ill take some Xhoba with that shake "Hunters would cut a slice, munch it, and within minutes hunger and thirst would evaporate, leaving a feeling of strength and alertness. They could travel for days eating nothing else" guardian.co.uk i hope the kalahari do receive some compensation if this is effective as it sounds.
posted by specialk420 at 12:10 PM PST - 16 comments

Dee Dee Ramone and Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby passed away with 24 hours of eachother last spring. One death, obviously, got way more notice. This recent article by Chuck Klosterman (author of Fargo Rock City) looks into the reasons why and, entirely unironically, talks about why Crosby's death was significant. I don't 100% agree with Klosterman here, but he makes some points. Plus it's worth reading simply because it questions some of the underlying assumptions of most modern music writing.
posted by jonmc at 6:48 AM PST - 52 comments

Guide for Becoming a Modern Day Philosopher 12 essential techniques.
posted by Voyageman at 12:05 AM PST - 13 comments

January 3

Family photos of popular Iranian actress, Hedyeh Tehrani (filmography in Farsi), without Islamic Hijab, are so hot in Iran these days. Perhaps because they have always seen her wearing the official dress code for Iranian women, either on the screen or in the streets.
posted by hoder at 11:04 PM PST - 6 comments

Test your Hidden Bias. Tolerance.org has a set of Java-based tests designed to shed light on personal hidden biases w.r.t. race, gender, sexuality, and body image. Your results may surprise you. See also this New York Times article mentioning these tests and more rigorous studies.
posted by tss at 10:29 PM PST - 37 comments

O-H-I-O! I know Metafilter's not exactly a huge group of sports fans, but this was a great (and unexpected) victory! Go Bucks!
posted by valval22 at 9:42 PM PST - 26 comments

The Lost Boys of the Sudan are a group of nearly 17,000 orphans whose parents were murdered and whose homes were destroyed by a government miltary turned against them. They marched on foot, without food or water, under attack from hungry predators & occasional strafing miltary fire for several years until settling in a squalid refugee camp in Kenya; nearly a decade later, the U.S. began a humanitarian policy of importing them, a few at a time, and resettling the lucky few in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, and even Fargo, N.D. (NYTimes, reg req'd)
posted by jonson at 8:33 PM PST - 14 comments

Against Their Will: Forced Sterilization of the "Feeble-Minded." Rich, beautifully designed site from the Winston-Salem Journal about forced sterilization in North Carolina, which continued far later than most other states due to the influence of a small group of elitist businessmen and the complicity of newspapers, politicians and doctors. Heart-wrenching Flash interviews, an interactive timeline and original documents like poems, pamphlets and charts provide hours of fascinating reading. The state has been refusing access to these records for decades.
posted by mediareport at 3:06 PM PST - 84 comments

Padded Butt Brief. Too bad I prefer boxers.
posted by grumblebee at 3:01 PM PST - 26 comments

The cocky bastard has left the building... to be replaced with the life student. So, how are your online personaes lately?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:55 PM PST - 41 comments

Orion's Arm is "an interactive hard science space opera, a joint effort in science fiction worldbuilding and a forum for cutting edge science fiction ideas".
posted by signal at 11:51 AM PST - 17 comments

Do you know this scream? Originally labeled in studio reels in 1951 as Man Being Eaten by Alligator, the sound effect now known as the Wilhelm has turned up in dozens of films; sound designers have made a game out of sneaking it past the director's notice. This NPR feature (includes link to RealAudio file) tells much of the story of the Wilhelm Scream. Or you could just watch the best of Wilhelm, compliled in this (27MB) video compilation (read the making-of here). (By the way -- an orc in The Two Towers lets out a Wilhelm as he falls to his death.)
posted by argybarg at 11:24 AM PST - 45 comments

The Sushi Seal Family are simultaneously sushi and seals. Actually, judging by the sample movie and the episode guide, it seems more like "Barbapapa" meets Zen koans. But it's big in Japan, apparently. (Via Geegaw.)
posted by staggernation at 11:22 AM PST - 19 comments

Cultured Apes: According to a study published in today's issue of the journal Science, orangutans have been passing on a shared culture for generations (free registration required to view entire study). To what degree are animals intelligent? Are primates more intelligent than other animals? What about crows and ravens? (My favorite subject of animal intelligence studies is still Koko the gorilla.)
posted by jdroth at 10:53 AM PST - 29 comments

Inventing a new disease? Some experts are saying that the drug industry is trying lump women’s sexual problems under the term “female sexual dysfunction” to create a market for lucrative new Viagra-like drugs. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [abstract] found sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%), but the jury is still out.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:41 AM PST - 54 comments

Pin-hole photography is nothing new. 300 years before there was film people were using the idea of the Camera Obscura to project images onto nearby surfaces. Using the process to capture the images onto film was a simple progression. But camera cases break, and leak light exposing the film to early.

Enter Thomas Hudson Reeve who folds his own one time only cameras with the very photo-paper he presents as his finished work. Only a simple brass plate pinhole shutter is reused and developing is done in the camera by pouring the chemicals directly in.
Go check out PaperCams for more.
posted by KnitWit at 9:10 AM PST - 12 comments

Whose Side Are You On, Mr. President? The former Dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, asks the question. I didn't know there was any question about this matter.
posted by Postroad at 7:25 AM PST - 130 comments

Prosthetic Artist Robert Barron creates new noses, eyes, ears and hands for people who have lost them to disease or injury, or who never had them in the first place. His talent and craftsmanship are staggering. As an artist, the "outrageous", self-congratulatory flavor-of-the-month trends in the contemporary art world leave me completely cold. Where talent and craftsman ship are eschewed in favor of concept and impossibly complex jargon, I find myself drawing inspiration more and more from work like this: useful, socially relevant, beautiful.
posted by Scoo at 7:09 AM PST - 21 comments

Not old enough to drive a car? Get a minicar! It seems that Italy's teens have solved the problem of not having a license to drive until they are 18 years old, through the use of minicars. Supposedly, they have a governor that holds them to around 30mph (though kids say they get souped up), and they can't be over 772lbs... But the key is you can drive them if you can't see well enough for a license, have your license revoked, or are as young as 14, you can drive one off the lot right now! Some links to manufacturers are at the bottom of the Washington Post's article.
posted by djspicerack at 7:07 AM PST - 18 comments

Tolkien's Eleventy-first. Today would've been JRR Tolkien's 111th birthday. According to the Tolkien Society, the proper thing to do is to raise a glass at 9 pm and say "The Professor." Mary-Ann was not available for comment.
posted by condour75 at 6:53 AM PST - 13 comments

It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!

Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy at 6:44 AM PST - 9 comments

NationStates.net allows you to create your own country, decide how it starts out by answering a short questionary, and then it gives you issues to solve (one per day, though you can set it to two per day). How you answer those issues determines how your country fares, the type of country it is, and many other things. You can join the UN and elect a regional representative, create your own region that you and your friends can migrate to (all new nations start out in The Pacific, which is consequentially the largest region in NationStates, but you can move wherever you want).
posted by sailoreagle at 2:59 AM PST - 51 comments

Should we think goat when it comes to saving important data? As part of a modernisation campaign the UK Parliament may ditch vellum for computerised records. But what will last the longest?
posted by quarsan at 1:02 AM PST - 20 comments

January 2

UN head sees no reason for war with Iraq. The BBC is reporting that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that he sees no basis at present for the use of force against Iraq.

Fun's over, now put away your toys and go home.
posted by CrazyJub at 9:37 PM PST - 64 comments

The Coffee Science Information Centre. Bach once referred to coffee as "lovelier than a thousand kisses." The writers and researchers at the Coffee Science Information Centre would agree. This site takes a scientific look at coffee, especially in regard to caffeine and health. Coffee through history is also examined. ::credit::
posted by anastasiav at 9:18 PM PST - 17 comments


The Legacy Project .
Among other things contained there, the Video about The Legacy Project, The Art of Afterwards, The Legacy Events Index, Literary Sampler, Visual Art Library and Filmography.
posted by y2karl at 8:17 PM PST - 2 comments

Bored with ordinary pet clothes? Jaded with even the fancy stuff? Okay, then - go over the top and put your dog in a skin-tight lycra bodysuit. Not only does it make almost any dog look oddly aerodynamic, it has the added benefit of making them look really, really silly.
posted by yhbc at 7:47 PM PST - 24 comments

Shaqzilla dethroned. Shaquille O'Neal, who warned Chinese citizen & #1 draft pick Yao Ming to "Look Out, Shaqzilla is coming" (presumably unaware that Tokyo is not part of China), has been dethroned; currently in fan balloting, he is running a distant second to the rookie for starting center in the All Star game. Even though his numbers are effectively double those of Yao's, even though he's a three time NBA Finals MVP.
posted by jonson at 5:05 PM PST - 27 comments

Jackass sues Jackass! The jackass of the first part, who had his name legally changed to Jack Ass in order to raise awareness about drunken driving somehow, has sued Viacom, owners of MTV, proud presenters of Jackass, a show about grown men falling over things and drinking pee pee, for *ahem* defamation of character. Frivolous lawsuit at its finest, or should Mr. Ass check the dictionary?
posted by mikrophon at 2:24 PM PST - 18 comments

Coal + Diesel = Alternative Fuel? I didn't think it was this easy, but Marriott International shows us how to make alternative fuel and a handy windfall, all at the same time:

1. Buy a ton of coal (cost: $24)
2. Spray it with diesel
3. Sell it at a loss (40 cents on the dollar)
4. Hold your hand out for $26 per ton from the government in tax credits--for making an "alternative fuel." It made Marriott an estimated $120 million last year. So there's a late Christmas message for you: nothing's more valuable than the things you make yourself. Especially a fat profit.
posted by busbyism at 2:03 PM PST - 23 comments

Star Wars Origami.
It's exactly what it sounds like: square pieces of paper folded in elaborate ways to look like characters and vehicles from the Star Wars epics. Fandom at its quirkiest.
posted by me3dia at 1:35 PM PST - 10 comments

European music copyrights from the '50s due to expire this year, and to grossly oversimplify things, RIAA is on the warpath, saying that imports from there would be acts of piracy. Considering that there's a gold mine's worth of material begging to be shown the light again (the Maria Callas material mentioned in the article, for example), no doubt there will be some great releases...but will EMI's actions be more the exception than the rule? (NYT link, yadayada)
posted by PeteyStock at 12:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Lee Felsenstein, saving the world with wifi and a bike. This old school computer hacker built a human powered wireless internet station named as one of the best inventions of 2002. Now he needs to raise $25,000 to wire five villages of farmers to the web (to obtain weather info, pricing data) and to each other. This is another story that reminds me not all of this technology is for gadget geeks. It really can help improve peoples' lives, as shown by the varied projects coming out of the Tech Museum grant winners and groups like this.
posted by mathowie at 9:53 AM PST - 42 comments

Kick his ass and get the gas. Three anti-war activists[Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and Gilbert Achcar] discuss the current focus on war with Iraq on Turkish TV. Here is an alternative URL, just in case there are problems with OutlookIndia. P.S.: "Kick his ass and get the gas" was apparently a bumper sticker issued by the Republican party in California.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 9:18 AM PST - 20 comments

sick of rat beach? join al queda it does'nt get a lot better than this - is this guy the next john walker lindh ?
posted by specialk420 at 8:54 AM PST - 18 comments

The best week to listen to the radio this year. For six days, an alternative radio station plays the 2003 most requested songs in their 13-year history.
Listen* to an eclectic, no-repeat marathon of music from acts like:
They Might Be Giants, Radiohead, Pere Ubu, Elvis Costello, Bowie, U2, Bob Mould, Chris Whitley, The Dream Warriors, Guided by Voices, The Ass Ponies, Prince, Social D, Texas, PIL, Royal Crescent Mob, The Specials, Patti Smith, The Pixies, The Pogues,The Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, Frank Black, Pete Yorn, Scapegoat Wax, and Weezer.
*Windows Media Format. I've tried the stream on both Mac and Windows. The stream provider asks for email, age, gender, and zip code and plays 2 minutes of commercials at the beginning of the stream, but that's a small price for 150 hours of music.
posted by putzface_dickman at 8:20 AM PST - 45 comments

If you're already familiar with the work of Jack Chick, the creator of those amusingly offensive evangelist comic books, you probably know not to take him too seriously -- after all, the threat of being thrown into a giant lake of fire by an angel isn't particularly frightening. Still, when his new tract starts with an image of the smoldering twin towers, and ends with the words, "Bob, now I know that Allah doesn't really love me or even care about any Muslim. But Jesus, the Son of God, does," it's difficult not to worry that this time he's bitten off more than he can chew.
posted by tweebiscuit at 7:49 AM PST - 33 comments

Project: Shutterbug. Taking pictures of tourists taking pictures. It's a small collection right now, but maybe you can help it grow. From the Hungover Gourmet.
posted by staggernation at 7:06 AM PST - 13 comments

Visualizations for spiritual and prayer work. Begin your year with one of these intriguing "visualizations." You know: stuff like the supreme court, Mr. Cheney, and kids whacked out on drugs and the rock music. My first visualization is that these poor children escape the luxurious beard into which they've been vignetted.
posted by merlinmann at 12:56 AM PST - 23 comments

January 1

Man films himself eating dead baby and calls it "art" this calls to question many things. Such as cultural taboos and the importance of accepting the factor of "moral relativity". While I may find cannibalism to be sickening - some societies, such as the Anasazi apparently did not. Of course, even some in our culture can sympathize with the events that involved the Donner Party - but of course, eating a dead baby in the name of art is not a matter of survival, now is it? Can this be called art? Is doing something solely for the sake of shock value truly art?

At least there's always the humorous side of things [site appears down for now?], I suppose, even if some people don't get it.
posted by twiggy at 11:55 PM PST - 33 comments

Car Buffs Rejoice! Bid on the cars from the upcoming Fast and the Furious 2 (side note on this movie - how far has John Singleton sunk to agree to direct this sequel?). BTW, I got dibs on the Acrua NSX... are there still people out there that can't use a spell-checker?
posted by adamms222 at 11:20 PM PST - 9 comments

SWAT tactics being used to combat public drunkenness in Fairfax County, Virginia. Go to a bar or restaurant and risk being "escorted" outside by teams police in full riot gear, given a sobriety test, and arrested if you've had more than a drink or two in under an hour. Thank god our tax dollars are being used to keep us safe from the danger of slightly tipsy people celebrating the holidays in establishments that legally serve alcohol. Not like they have anything better to do.
posted by KiloHeavy at 11:04 PM PST - 30 comments

The Smoking Gun's top mug shots of 2002. It sounds dull, but these mug shots are truly inspired. Fashion photographers slave for years to get results like these, which police photographers can get in seconds! Proof that ordinary folk usually make more interesting subjects than celebrities. (Link found at Renee's weblog.)
posted by wackybrit at 10:13 PM PST - 16 comments

Ring in a New Year with good news from the web: Infamous Ugandan rebel ends years of reclusion to call for talks. Peace may be coming to Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Congo and Cyprus. Bill Gates, Sr. wants his kid to preserve the estate tax. Sudanese women launch sex strike to end civil war. Sentimental, choked-up politician says, "If at the end of my mandate all Brazilians have the possibility to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, I will have fulfilled the mission of my life" -- and is honest enough to admit this won't be easy.
posted by sheauga at 6:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Just another guy on the lost highway died 50 years ago today. Here's an interesting site with some newspaper clippings, and here are some video clips and tabs in case you feel like doing a little strummin'.
posted by transient at 5:03 PM PST - 5 comments

Ticketstubs goes live! Every ticket has a story, and there are already some superb posts. A round of applause for mathowie's latest endeavor. (The Empire Continues!)
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 4:50 PM PST - 28 comments

'Make no mistakes about it', Lake Superior State University issued its 28th annual 'extreme' List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, which the world needs 'now, more than ever'.
posted by LinusMines at 1:17 PM PST - 54 comments

The six finalists in the Pentagon Memorial design competition. The contest (official site) has "emerged as a kind of dress rehearsal" [NYT] for the upcoming World Trade Center competition. The Post reviewed the proposals, which will be narrowed to a winner on Feb. 21.
posted by mediareport at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US and global population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder at 7:39 AM PST - 31 comments

Proliferation 101: North Korea, included in the Bush Administration's "Axis of Evil" (and cited as a potential target for US attack), revives it's nuclear weapons program. And while the US has stated " 'We will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes and terrorists to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.'... there is no sign that this new unconditional doctrine will be directed against North Korea." (NYTimes)
posted by troutfishing at 7:16 AM PST - 98 comments

Referrer Risk. Got that 1st of January champagne hangover? Ease your pain, go for world domination by referring URL.
posted by prolific at 4:22 AM PST - 13 comments

Happy 20th Anniversary, Internet!

We ought not to let pass unnoticed the... 20th anniversary of the Internet. The most logical date of origin of the Internet is January 1, 1983, when the ARPANET officially switched from the NCP protocol to TCP/IP.

Where were you two decades ago on this date? And does anyone actually have a "I Survived the TCP/IP Transition" t-shirt?

Also being discussed on /.
posted by tenseone at 1:43 AM PST - 35 comments