March 2002 Archives
PrayStation . Year Zero
"For those who don't know. Every year for the past 4 years April fools day has always been when I tear down my current website - and replace it with praystation year 0 - my very first posting to the domain. Enjoy it or hate it."
Don't miss this link. It's only up for one day only.
You've got Blogs! AOL buys into homegrown media.
April Fools Day starts with a bang in the UK. Determined to get linked by many a weblog, they put out a story about AOL purchasing popular weblogs. In related news, MetaFilter was said to be signing a merger agreement with Kuro5hin to pool content between the two sites.
Really Good Haiku (in English!)
Yes, some complain about the abundance of humerous haiku on the internet and otherwise (wherever that is), but the fact remains: we all love it, perhaps because it is so easy to do, but probably because it enriches our lives, like a really well made stone wall, or Sam Cooke. I have found some haiku which were actually written in english
, about the sorts of things which we all like to laugh at. Enjoy them now!
. Now Ruz
. The Hindu Festival of Colors
. The Persian New Year
. Easter and Passover are not the only religious holidays associated with the first full moon of spring. Both appeal to me—in Holi people go about splashing each other with colors, powder and paint, and in Now Ruz I see Halloween--Last Tuesday night in March before Ruz is Chahar-Shanbe-Soorey in Iran... Children wear masks, and go door to door to get candy. People jump over bon fires while wishing for good health
--surely the greatest religious festival we celebrate. And, ancillary topic, polytheism fascinates me: so, let me get way way pre-medieval on your collective ass and drop some James Hillman
on you via Marc Fonda
(you may have to scroll down to III. Polytheism as an Alternate Paradigm for Psychology
, author of Dream And The Underworld
and co-author of We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy And the World's Getting Worse
, among others, is, of course, a name no stranger to these pages.
Both Holi and Now Ruz seem to celebrate a victory of by a legendary king over demon sources, and both celebrate Spring. Both I know little about—so enlighten me, please. A belated happy Holi to all you real brahmins, Boston or otherwise, and a belatedly same happy Now Roz to all you Teherangelenos here on MetafFilter. And do play Virtual Holi
I’m probably really late to the boat for Epitonic
, but goodness, if you’re looking to sample mp3s, videos, sometimes entire
albums, for indie or otherwise unknown bands this here is it. Genres from punk to folk to various electronica-delectica all the way back out to hip hop, jazz and contemporary composers
. They’re all here: Styles of Beyond
, Blue Six
, Sporto Kantes
(Alle Auf Pause), Gonzales
, on and on. They must eat bandwidth like Jim Morrison and mescaline caps.
Why Doesn't the US Value Art? In Italy, school children have notebooks with grids. In America, you have notebooks with lines." In other words, we are taught to think in a linear manner, while they are taught to think spatially.
First, is it true that the US doesn't value art? Second, does ruled note paper, or any number of other seemingly minor details of life, really materially effect the way somebody generally approaches the world?
This morning, as Christians pray for peace in the Middle East, it's a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate the spirit of forgiveness and new life. Where on the web do you find inspiration, faith in human nature, and new beginnings?
The pinacle of automobile racing now provides technology for your feet. Pininfarina
designed Scuderia Ferrari replica shoe
based on their Formula One cars, made by Fila is here. "The 3 Action system provides superior cushioning and the Speed Tech shank offers maximum responsiveness, stability and torsion control. And, so that you may choose your path, the racing tire-inspired outsole provides maximum traction on every surface."
Aside from being a great movie with a great flash site, it's also appropriate for Easter (since the movie does have that freaky bunny in it 'n all).
George F. Will
, a professed conservative, has criticized President Bush, not once
(on steel tarrifs), not twice
(on policy towards Israel), but thrice
(on campaign finance reform) this month. Am I missing something, or is Bush not adequately protecting his right flank?
Granted, Will is a conservative of the tory
variety, but it's still a noticeable change in tenor since fawning over Bush's decision on stem-cell research
The Law of the Mental Mirror Image.
We write what we are not. It is not merely that we fail to live up to our best ideas but that our best ideas, and the tone that goes with them, tend to be the opposite of our natural temperament. --Adam Gopnik on Popper in The New Yorker
"Bio artist"/eccentric intellectual Eduardo Kac has made a bunny that -- literally -- glows in the dark.
Are You Ready For April Fool's Day?
Better read the Museum of Hoaxes's March Newsletter
to find out. Certain pranks
are already in progress, while other recent hoaxes
- of which at least one was seriously discussed here on MetaFilter - remain fresh in our minds. Real aficionados and sleuths, of course, will head straight for the hoax websites
pages, where some seem too good - or too awful - not
to be true. In Southern Europe, April Fool's Day is known as Liars' Day
and everyone is entitled - nay, compelled! - to invent at least one big whopper
. Any ideas?
Everquest kingdom richer than Bulgaria.
Norrath, the setting for the online game Everquest, has been found to be the 77th richest country in the world, sandwiched between Russia and Bulgaria. Research carried out in the United States shows that virtual internal markets, combined with illegal online trading on auction websites, mean that Norrath has a gross national product per capita of $2,266, bigger than China and India.
The Read_Me Festival 1.2
shortlist has been posted, and includes such projects as Carnivore
(not the government one, though that was part of the concept), and the DeskSwap
screensaver. While this is a "software art" exhibition, it's of particular note that patches or even just instructions
for making existing software do things not originally intended are allowable entries. I haven't been through all of them to see if any patches were entered, but it'd be interesting what the publishers might think of these, since it would basically constitute hacking and/or reverse engineering.
Griffin Dunne as Frank Zappa
in VH-1's movie "Parental Advisory". [Link won't tell you much about the movie but it was all I could find] The movie based on senate hearings regarding music censorship. Aside from Dana Carvey's Zappa imitation I don't recall any other actor playing him. Would Dunne have been your choice?
Happy Easter egg hunting
"Could be in computer software, movies, music, art, books, or even your watch. There are thousands of them, and they can be quite entertaining, if you know where to look." [Originally referenced in comment
in Nov 2000, but perhaps worth another swipe.]
NYT: CBS's JAG To Explore Terror Military Tribunal
The Pentagon is reportedly very happy with the show. The episode portraying the secret trial of a Saudi-born terrorist will air on April 30. In this week's episode, a character feels stung when his coworkers favor someone else to win a race in a betting pool. (1
''That's a handsome looking beef you've got there.'' (NYT)
Long and involved explication of something I've always wanted to do: raise a cow from birth to slaughter inside of an american factory farm. How does
a cow get from being a cute little cow to my dinner plate? Is it safe? Is it moral? Is it yummy?
Battle of the Blurbs.
The producers of the badly reviewed Broadway show "The Smell of the Kill" have pissed off Times critic Bruce Weber. Good strategy or Bad Karma? Well, at least they didn't make up their own critic.
Queen Mum is dead.
Gawd bless her. We all knew it was coming this year or next, now it has come.
. Accountholders are now subscribed to lots of newsletters plus junk mail and telemarketing. You can change your preferences
and send Yahoo some feedback
. You can't prevent them from subscribing you to new products without closing your account. Will going to an opt-out system help or hurt their bottom line? Will there be a backlash?
The New Patronage?
It used to be that citizens buddied up to their elected officials in exchange for money, jobs, or power. In Washington, DC, however, it gets you a three-digit license plate number.
Shark Attack Victim Describes Survival Fight.
The attack happened at Brennecke Beach
in Hawii. There are presently around 70-80 Shark attacks
each year. Over time there have been some notable survivers: Rodney Fox
- who was almost bitten in half by a Great White, then went on to advise on the making of Jaws, and some Alabama guys
who escaped after one of them hit the shark in the nose - to name a couple. However, there can't be many who have match this Hawaiin guys efforts. His fight technique was simply outstanding.
The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
It's all here: Enron, Arthur Andersen, Burger King, Mickey D's, CNN, FOX, and the all time favorite, Microsoft. They had to limit it to 101 moments due to size constraints...
Congress is now calling for public comments
on the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). EFF
has a new action alert
about it and a sample letter. Everyone should write, even if you have already.
Run faster, jump higher.
What happens when you cross stilts and pogo sticks? The next 'extreme sport' on the verge of the big time, or a new and fun way to really injure yourself?
Pacific Island States To Sue Western Countries Over Rising Sea Levels
At the meeting of Pacific Conference of Leaders' Standing Committee at the East West Center in Honolulu, members discussed the use of lawsuits to draw attention to the risks which climate change pose their countries, and to pressure the US and Australia to sign Kyoto. (1
The conference nearly coincided with a report by the AU National Tidal facility which reported sinking sea levels in Tuvalu. (1
) This story is particularly interesting (1
) on human impact on Tuvalu.
Heading into another major El Nino year, there is no doubt that Pacific states are vulnerable, but how should they argue for recognition of climatic inequalities?
Here at Metafilter
- as in many other places on the web
we spend a lot of time talking about (and in) Haiku. For some reason the web-enabled generation
has come to think of Haiku as a hip, funny
somewhat ironic way to express ... anything. But lest we forget that Haiku is, first and
foremost, a beautiful, traditonal art form. How many of you out there know much about the history of Haiku
? Did you know
that Japan is full of monuments to Haiku
Have you heard of or read any of the great traditional haiku poets, like Masaoka Shiki
, the man
the International Haiku Award
If you enjoy reading traditional-style Haiku, you can read any number
devoted exclusively to Haiku
Many of us have not tried to write Haiku since Junior High - do you perhaps need some instructions
on how to write Haiku
If you really enjoy reading or writing Haiku, perhaps you might wish to join the Haiku Society of America
And, of course, if you wish to know more about Haiku, there are any number of other resources
Remember how a few days ago we talked about this whole worsticons
thing here? well. it didn't last too long
too bad, i thought it was an interesting sub-cultural experiment. that and it was funny.
The Bottom Feeders.
Are these truly the 5 worst movie critics in America? Personally, Ebert gives me migraines and Joel Siegel makes me want to claw out my eyes. Who's your most hated movie critic?
Jumping Jesus on a Pogo Stick!
A little program that's fun for about five minutes. Play it with your mouse, and make sure you turn the sound on
for the full effect.
This article in "The Nation"
bemoans the fact that the U.S is dissing its new best friend Russia, and that the recent entente cordiale is under threat.
at the the Institute for War and Peace Reporting suggests that the U.S could, perhaps, be a little more selective in choosing its friends.
I have often wondered if the west would have stood for Russia or the U.S.S.R using force on a scale to that which we have recently witnessed in Afghanistan or Chechnya. It looks like they have become our sons of bitches.
The Philadelphia Daily News has recently covered
a series of articles
on "Malternatives," those hard liquor laced beverages like hard lemonades and vodka based alterna-beers that have sprung up in the last year. Even though they contain 100% distilled alcohol, they are taxed as beer
, saving Smirnoff over $80 million in taxes last year alone. Among their other advantages for manufacturers, they get to advertise on TV and be placed for sale next to milder forms of alcohol, dodging laws against hard liquor. Is this a boon for the industry or deceptive practices?
The Animated William Blake
"embraces both the freak and the genius, illuminating the artist's visionary poetry with juggling and physical theater." Earthly delights include t-shirts and fortune cookies.
I remember as if it were today when I first listened to Marvin Gaye's "Whats Going On" when it first came out. This album has never tired. "What's Going On was the first album out of Motown to include the printed lyrics of the songs in the album liner. Marvin Gaye had something to say and he wanted to make sure people got the message. Thirty-one years later, we're still getting it." Always bewildering why an album becomes immortal.
Anti-immigrant parties gain support in Europe
as they tap long-standing fears about security and the dilution of national identity. The deep running concern, as in Israel, is that their countries are involuntarily becoming multicultural as guest workers and refugees, mostly Muslim, establish themselves in residence. There are about 15 million Muslims in Europe, making Islam the the continent's largest non-Christian religion.
How important is national identity? What would become of democratic values in a Europeann country with Muslim population explosion? How would it affect their economy, as the immigrants are largely unskilled, heavily relying on the welfare system?
About Sydney Poitier
Something one of my professor's brought up. He said, "I'm tired of everyone being politically correct in Hollywood. They say African-American because they are afraid to say Black." His point being that Mr. Poitier is from the Bahamas and not Africa. What do you think?
Death threats from Quale?
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand claims that during his term in the mid to late 80's, then vice-president Dan Quale threatened to have him "liquidated". Apparently it was due to NZ's anti-nuke policy and it happened during a meeting with the Australian cabinet. I don't know if this is funny or sad.
Phyllis Chesler calls it as she sees it in her latest feminist manifesto.
This is not what you think folks - Chesler toes the line at anti-feminism according to most modern day feminist. I well remember reading Chesler's Letters to a Young Feminist
eight years ago and patting down misogynistic tendencies in the hopes of bettering the lives of women everywhere. She calls for sisterhood to further opportunity and does not condone manhating and oppression from the masses which makes her arguments logical
as opposed to seething, vituperative vitriol. We all seemed to be begging for a discussion on feminism and issues between the sexes yesterday in this
particular post and after reading salon today, felt I would provide one...
Despite what you may have heard, nationally syndicated dee-jay Don Geronimo, half of the team Don and Mike
, is not dead
. Two weeks after falsely reporting that the radio personality had a "grape sized tumor", the "fan" site DonaAndMikeFans.com
(now understandably defunct), reported Geronimo's "death" from said tumor, complete with a perfectly mocked up Washington Post story (sadly now gone from Google's cache). Needless to say, Geronimo was not amused. Between, Westwood One, The Washington Post, and Geronimo himself considering legal action, I'd say that webmaster is screwed. A joke taken too far, or a case of Shock Jocks not being about take what they dish out?
Double Feature: An American History Test & "The Paula Principle"
Larry David's experiment in web animation may be somewhat disappointing, coming from Seinfeld
's funniest writer, but the Voting Booth Test
that precedes it, about American presidential antics, is funny, informative, brilliantly presented and...damn difficult
! At least for us poor foreigners...[Needs Shockwave or Flash or something. Just click on Play to get to the voting booth.
was spared by the mob in lieu of Jesus on Good Friday. Pär Lagerkvist
, a Swedish novelist, explored this incredible character in his 1950 novel:
The novel BARABBAS (1950) was immediately hailed as a masterwork...Barabbas, the criminal in the New Testament, is pardoned instead of Christ, and is sentenced to the silver mines. His is incapable of loving, but becomes gradually aware of greater forces guiding his life.
Now I am myself atheist/agnostic, but I think this is cool. It reminds me of Vonnegut's description of Kilgore Trout as a badly aging Christ, whose sentence of crucifixion had been commuted to life imprisonment.
Among the 'American Taliban' in Smalltown, USA.
"I discovered that Taliban-style attitudes are not restricted to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They exist tenaciously in American towns like this one. Sometimes tolerance prevails in small towns; other times the dark fears and hatreds of the "American Taliban" -- vicious fundamentalists -- are resurgent."
Israel Surrounds Arafat HQ
-- Israelis seem very serious this time. So which side are you on?
a) DAMN ISRAELIS or b) DAMN PALESTINIANS
I pick b.
You may have heard of the Dark Side of the Rainbow
, the synching of Pink Floyd
's The Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. But this isn't the only mystery that surrounds the band. The Publius Enigma
is the story of an anonymous Usenet poster
connected to the band in some way that claimed that The Division Bell album held a very tangible and real prize. Was it a cosmic mystery of an esoteric nature or just a gimmick to sell records?
Interview with an Ol Dirty Bastard.
This is the first interview with ODB I have seen since he was thrown in the slammer. ODB's first two releases were crazy brilliant and full of life. Now he sits in one of the worst prisons around, depressed and unmedicated, for parole violation. Reading this, do you think the court succeeded in breaking his spirit? Is he doomed to flame out when he gets out? Is it wrong that his new cd seems made without his input, and is weak compared to his amazing first two? Would you want to get out of prison and find someone made a book out of your throw off writings? Finally, do you like ODB?
Get your unique 32x32 piece of net art at Image::copy
. Give your e-mail address, select which part of any of three images you want, and get it within a few minutes. The section you receive is then blacked out in the original file.
The rental cars that the 9/11 hijackers used
are available for auction. The rental company wanted to get rid of it because customers had negative feelings about the cars. At the time this article was posted, there haven't been any bids for the cars. I can't seem to find the cars on the website
, though. Would you
buy one of these cars?
Hollywood loses another giant.
Billy Wilder passes on at 95. Just the quick list of movies at the top of the article gives me pause..Stalag 17, Some Like it Hot, The Seven-Year Itch
. Damn, this is definitely a sad week in the entertainment business.
Rukeyser Out at Wall Street Week In Advance of 'Young' Format
The long-time host ever in search of 'value in today's markets' quit rather than accept a diminished role in a revamp of the show's format. Guest hosts will replace him next season until a permanent host is found.
is quietly removing references to elves from the W$W website. The new show will be a co-production with Fortune Magazine. (Ick.) Guess its Paul Kangas
Boeing 307 Stratoliner lands in Puget Sound
If you're in downtown Seattle, take a look across the Sound towards Alki - somebody's restored Boeing Stratoliner is semi-submerged near shore. Hope everybody's okay. Anybody know who's plane this is?
beware...because this is fun to play with.
(I haven't seen this link before, but if it's a double-post, my apologies. I live in fear of making a double-post)
The "Sum Of All Fears"
trailer recently went online, and is already causing some heated discussion
over major changes from the book. In the wake of 9/11, it seems that terrorists in the film have been changed from Muslim to Neo-Nazi (who then go on to detonate a bomb within the United States). Hollywood knee-jerk reaction or a good call given the timing of things? Discuss...
reportedly told the US ambassador in Islamabad that he would rather "hang himself" than extradite Sheikh Omar Sayeed.
I had made an earlier front page post on the issue of extradition, Omar's in particular, and most opinion then seemed to feel that he would be extradited. I am interested in your opinion on whether it's Musharraf who is playing games with the US, only to sustain power, all the while allowing the US to feel that they are playing him.
The last living member of the Heaven's Gate cult is auctioning off
the leader's van on Ebay.
Who owns the products of slave labour?
Or, more broadly, how do we remember the Holocaust? A unique dispute over ownership rights to artwork in the case of the Auschwitz Memorial Museum vs. former camp prisoner Dinah Gottliebova Babbitt illuminates underlying moral questions about the Holocaust and post-Holocaust culture. Babbitt, now living in southern California, is a university-trained Czechoslovak artist who has been fighting to reclaim her art from the Auschwitz Museum since 1973... [She] was a Jewish prisoner there in 1944 when Josef Mengele learned of her artistic skills and forced her to make watercolor portraits of dying Gypsies in order to get the kind of documentation he wanted on exact skin color and ear shapes. Gottliebova Babbitt made a dozen such portraits, seven of which are now tucked away in Room No. 11 of the Auschwitz Museum. [...] "Mengele ordered me to do it as slave labor. But it was my work, my paintings."
is a PDA/digital camera/mp3 player with a swivel 320x480 color display that runs Palm OS 4.1. it comes with a built-in keyboard, can be used as a remote control for your TV/VCR/DVD player, uses memory sticks, and has a "jog dial" somewhat similar to the iPod
Globe software just released globeProductive for Windows
for an introductory price of $75. The software offers a basic office suite with a single file format. In addition, Sun has announced plans to aggressively market StarOffice 6
for $100 and reach out to foreign government agencies.
Sun donated their product to the Chinese Ministry of Education for deployment in schools with the obvious benefits of growing your own loyal market by the millions. Neither of these packages includes an e-mail client at this time, but there is always Mulberry
The male, heterosexual victims of spousal abuse. "Blood streamed down my face. Internal injuries dislocated my ribs. Lacerations and multiple abrasions marked my back and groin. My attacker had no injuries. I told the officer that I wanted the crime report to note my injuries and the names of witnesses. He responded, 'We ain't takin' a report from you, buddy.'" The officer refused to take Stanley seriously because he was a man who had been beaten by his wife.
This is why
Yasser Arafat's, and the Palestinian Authority(sic)'s days are severely numbered: the sham capture and release last year of the guy responsible for yesterday's massacre. My prediction: Israel will completely reoccupy the territories in the next three months to clean out the place.
More disturbing mismanagement in Kansas City
This time at the VA hospital:
A recent report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine said that the hospital in Kansas City was overrun with flies and mice in mid-1998. Nurses even found maggots growing in the noses of two comatose patients. Both patients, astoundingly, were in the intensive-care unit.
Profile of Henderson County, TX.
Seems that everyone is smoking dope and beating their families. If you have run into trouble with the law in Cattarragus County, NY
you may be on this list. Or it could be that you know a current resident of this facility
. If your picture is shown here
then you probably better steer clear of Illinois.
Spinning Egg mystery solved
Still recovering from the cold fusion 'breakthrough', the scientific world has finally cracked another mystery: why does a spinning egg flip to a vertical positon ? A few days before Easter, what a coincidence!
After an extensive search of my personal archives (box of stuff stored at my parent's), I stumbled upon the true inspiration for the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Seven years prior, video game manufactuer Koei Games
released Aerobiz, an airline management simulator. Its boxart features this chilling image
of the New York City skyline. I am not a New Yorker so please, correct me if I am wrong, but the positioning of the Empire State building and the Chrysler building would seem to place the office inside one of the World Trade Center towers.
"Even though the challenges to bring the space elevator
to reality are substantial, there are no physical or economic reasons why it can't be built in our lifetime."
Once just a cool sci-fi idea dreampt up by Arthur Clarke
, Space.com reports that a 62,000 mile ride is not only possible, but probable. And cheap at only a couple hundred bucks per pound.
Nuts About Nuts! Where Would Drinks Be Without Them? The Nut Factory
is one of the world's greatest sources for nuts, of all kinds and descriptions, handled, roasted and presented in every possible way. Herman Swartz founded the company in 1952. If you've ever enjoyed a few nuts in your life, a good proportion
was probably prepared in their headquarters in Spokane,Washington. Their site happens to be the most informative and passionate
about nuts on the whole Web. Wherever you click; you learn and drool. Connoisseurs will welcome the chance to match nuts with their favorite drinks. Mmmm...
[Mine would be Irish whiskey and club soda with roasted, salted almonds!]
Has the web become boring?
(NYT link, registration required) With the demise of the Cool Site of the Day
and the transition of MetaFilter to NewsFilter, the question is posed: Where have all the interesting sites gone? Is this the end of the Web as we know it? (...And do you feel fine?)
Earthlink founding investor Reed Slatkin to plead guilty
of defrauding over 800 people out of $254 million in a Ponzi scheme. Several of the victims were members of the Church of Scientology, where he was a minister. Oh, and he filed for bankruptcy too so there's no chance for reparations... I don't know how to feel!
Middle East war predictions
"..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
This New Yorker article
is a must read. Long and exhaustive (but well worth the trip), I believe it could have the power to change many minds about what should be done, and when, about Iraq and its dictator. The essential story is about the horrible and terrifying effects of Saddam Hussein's gassing of Kurdish villages, but as the story reminds us at the end "Please understand, the Kurds were for practice"
Our future lies . . . with eugenics???
"The useful and intelligent classes should be allowed, indeed encouraged, to breed, and the murderous morons, who are never going to contribute anything except misery to themselves and others should be discouraged. No one need be killed
." If this wasn't published in the London Telegraph
, I'd think it was from the lunatic fringe. Is A. N. Wilson attempting satire or auditioning for the lead in Springtime for Hitler
Google seems to be recruiting.
From the Google front page. It would be really fun to work for a company that seems to innately and intuitively do the right thing, the right way.
I was watching Charlie Rose this afternoon and to my delight, he was interviewing my old favorite James Garner
. Since I was young, I've considered Mr. garner to be the walking epitome of cool. He's been Bret Maverick
(twice!), Jim Rockford
. I always conside Burt Reynolds to be an pale imitation of Garner. Don't tell me I'm the only Garnerite in MeFi land.
The Next World Order.
A fascinating article suggesting that the new guiding principle of American foreign policy, originally formulated by Cheney and Wolfowitz during the first Bush administration, is the prevention of the rise of any other great power which could rival the U.S.
The Solar System Simulator
to simulate - as realistically as possible - what one would actually see from any point in the Solar System. The software looks up the positions of the Sun, planets and satellites from ephemeris files developed here at JPL, as well as star positions and colors from a variety of stellar databasees, and uses special-purpose renderers to draw a color scene. Texture maps for each of the planets and physical models for planetary rings have been derived (in most cases) from scientific data collected by various JPL spacecraft.' Far too complicated for me to even begin to understand, still I've always wondered what Saturn looks like
The terrorists have already won.
The Lions Club has cancelled their annual Boston Marathon pancake breakfast, due to "fears growing from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks". No, really.
"With pop culture so willingly providing countless numbers of prepackaged lifestyles, people no longer feel a need to truly think for themselves and do not bother to take the time to question the true origin of their own ideals and desires. Nothing can be taken for face value. Everything that portrays itself as one thing, turns out to be something else. Enter Slumber Inc."
An Atlanta-based culture-meme, more akin to Obey
. But really, aside from drawing the occasional amused or confused glance from passersby, can pasting a poster actually accomplish anything revolutionary?
"a huge victory for breathers"
of course industry "experts" beg to differ: "EPA tends to overstate health concerns," said Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute.
Michael Eisner realigns our moral compass (free mickey)
concerning intellectual property and copyright laws, with the help of his "internet guru", Abe Lincoln (free mickey)
. He champions the implementation of tech standards for copyright protection, among other things. "Most important," he explains, "what is needed is a common conviction that theft of all things is wrong." Tell that to the brothers Grimm, Mike (free mickey)
Values Fall Prey to Hypocrisy
For a long time now, we secular humanists and other skeptics have been denigrated as the apostles of decadence and social decay.
A nice article on a recurring theme.
Would you fly with them?
Having the information, whatever you think it proves, would you get on the plane to find out what's behind it?
Google rejects AdWords critical of Scientology.
I hate this topic but I can't leave it alone. Google is being accused of being overly cautious in all its dealings with Scientology. A Google rep is quoted to say that they are under no pressure from Scientology to reject the ads. (more inside)
Overnight mutation or lousy science?
Or maybe an early April Fool's joke. The Gameboy generation's thumbs are as developed and agile as the rest of their digits. "...the younger generation has taken to using thumbs in a completely different way and are instinctively using it where the rest of us use our index fingers is particularly interesting.' " An interesting social phenomenon, certainly, but biology...?
Oh boy! I strongly recommend McKinsey and Ericsson ("Network Intelligence - You And Me!").
oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched.
(flash) the phones (called "instruments" in vertu-speak) are okay, but the real meat seems to be the one-touch vertu concierge: allows one to find theatre tickets, make reservations, or (assumably) order KFC. and, as promised, they are indeed clutch-the-pearls expensive: €6000 to €24000. golly.
The Onion's lead story
this week is about as succinct an indictment of the drug war as you can get. "If you are paying taxes and keeping your yard tidy, we're not going to hassle you if you come home from a hard day of work and want to enjoy a little pot or blow. But if, on the other hand, you're one of these lazy, shiftless types hanging out on the street all day looking for your next high, we're coming after you."
(via Yahoo news) just can't seem to get enough of itself. I'm all for creativity in presenting light-news pieces, but one line in this piece strikes me as over the top:
"The feds launched their, um, probe into the matter after fielding dozens of viewer complaints about the salacious commercial cum fall-sweeps stunt."
Did a major news organization just use a pun on the word "c*m" in one of their stories? Is this what our media has sunk to?
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--In 28 years, commercial airline passengers will routinely fly in pilotless airplanes. Sound ludicrous?
Not to Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Craig Mundie, who recently bet Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt $2,000 that the prediction will come true.
This site is all about, well long bets. Oh, and it's all for charity.
It's the Shperiks!
Those wacky mascots for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan!
I can't tell what the heck is going on here, and if it weren't for the upbeat BGM, I'd probably be scared to visit this site again. But it was an interesting little adventure...
Reparations Sought From U.S. Firms for Slavery.
Big U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery. Is this really sensible?
"Drugs and the Internet: An Overview of the Threat to America’s Youth"
It should probably come as no surprise that the government is interested in finding out what kind of drug-related information exists on the internet. What might
surprise you is the Department of Justice’s self-described methodology and intent in pursuing that objective, with little apparent concern for such trivialities as oh, say, the First Amendment. For example, take a look at what the DOJ thinks constitutes "offending websites
." Or how about this "threat": "Drug-culture advocates are chiefly interested in expanding the size of the community to both legitimize their activity and increase pressure on lawmakers to change or abolish drug control laws."
(pressure on lawmakers to change or abolish laws? How un-American!) Needless to say, official statements like this scare some people
, including rave fans, who appear to be a particular focus of the government’s efforts
. (via overlawyered.com
Beauty and the Labor Market
"Plastic surgery has become one of those things--like reading the tabloids and watching The Home Shopping Network--that Americans like doing and love ridiculing others for doing. Depending on whose numbers you believe, more than seven million of us went under the knife last year
"...I had no idea... "In cold, hard economic terms, being attractive helps you get ahead
." ...Now I get it, now I understand.
Robot Guard Dogs
- two new types of robo-dog on their way to market (in Japan) next year from Sanyo (the T7S Type 1
and Type 2
) About 3 feet long, 80 pounds of Aibo-style security for $750. Cool factor - their onboard CCD cameras and cell phones can watch for intruders and beam images to your own 3G phone.
Writing about child porn/abuse is artistic.
Robin Sharpe has successfully defended himself against child porn acusations; case went all the way to the SC in Canada.
In unrelated news (except that both stories are from the front page of the Toronto Star) a Taiwan scientist has created
a bubble (soap) that you literally can't burst, no matter how hard you try, for days.
Clean air? We don't need no stink'n clean air.
"The White House firmly defended Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Tuesday as newly released documents showed he held at least eight private meetings with industry leaders -- but none with environmentalists -- while the administration crafted its energy plan." Is this really a surprise?
Swissair reborn: "SWISS Air Lines"...
"Our 'Swissness' subtly informs the way we look, operate and care for our passengers.
From colour palettes that reflect our natural environment to the cleanliness of our fleet and freshness of our food, our Swiss origins inspire us in all areas of our business."
Can the new airline be rebuilt around a new set of "design" principals, spearheaded by Tyler Brûlé of Wallpaper
Food Drops Found To Do Little Good
"The Bush administration's much publicized food ration airdrop in northern Afghanistan - hailed by the Pentagon as a way to feed starving residents while winning their loyalty - achieved neither goal in many targeted areas, military experts, aid workers, and a report by retired US special forces officers now conclude." Problems included spoiled food, greedy Afghanis and poor planning. US military claims success. Maybe we should just stick with the guns and skip the butter.
Mathematical beauty in science (NYTimes)
Though I can't say I've seen a moment of God's glory in finding a balanced checkbook (on the first go), I have been in academia in physics and math enough to know the almost mystical pleasure its practitioners get from the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics", and the simplicity and elegance of the equations at its core. I was wondering -- are there other fields where this occurs, where people get the feeling they've tapped into some bare beauty of nature? Philosophy? Art? Architecture?
A judge has ordered a smoker to stop lighting up
at home or in her car if she wants continued visitation rights with her 13-year-old son who has complained about her pack-a-day habit. "Where the child's health is involved," the judge said, "the court would intervene, even if it meant overriding the parents' religious beliefs." Is this in the best interest of the child or an intrusive ruling?
Space, Here We Come!
The Chinese make significant progress in their quest for the stars. A good bit of background from Wired
explains that they're leveraging off of Russian tech but China still considered the program their #1 sci-tech advance last year
. As an aside, some nice spy pictures
are available of the Jiuquan Space Facility although I imagine it's been a developed a bit since then.
So, will getting a man into space signficantly change the world's opinion of China as it slowly evolves in a major world player? For Americans, will it be 1957
all over again
except the little beep beep
is replaced by a Chinese man waving back at them?
"In a park in Bali
, they found a monkey, a pig-tailed macaque, kept in a cage so small it could not lie down properly, and with one leg chained to the bars.
Speedy Gonzales Censored? Cartoon Network officials have banished Speedy Gonzales from their day and prime time lineups for fear of offending Mexican Americans, but fans of the Mexican mouse hero are fighting back.
A gumby post
for those sick of hopeless conflict posts and the like, inspired by the news that Rhino Video is about to release SEVEN DVDs containing the entire works of Gumby (it's not up on their site yet, so no link). More importantly, am I the only one who, as a kid, Gumby the scariest thing on television? Or perhaps Mefi's member base is too young to know about Gumby at all?
Saddam stokes war with suicide bomber cash.
"The hall was packed and the intake of breath was audible as a special announcement was made to the war widows of the West Bank - Saddam Hussein would pay $US25,000 ($47,000) to the family of each suicide bomber as an enticement for others to volunteer for martyrdom in the name of the Palestinian people."
A savior for my generation, finally (?)
ANDREW W K = grunge - whining + innocence + rocking out something frightening + lust for life + humour + lots and lots of energy. Also keep in mind that I hate popular music. I think he's incredibly cool, and by incredibly cool I mean totally sweet. Anyway, my take is insignificant - what do you
people think of this kid?? The cure for the Linkin' Park disease? The aural Creed ointment??
Sneak peek at the new look for the Wall Street Journal
"Print buyers were presented with non-disclosure agreements when shown the pages...No media buyer was shown the front page, redesigned for the first time since the 1944." Pretty esoteric subject, but still remarkable how much influence the "look and feel " of a newspaper can have on its reader. Hard to imagine the WSJ looking different. It must be a very tough endeavor
to get right. (IMHO the recently revamped Int Herald Tribune looks way messier and more confusing than before.)
The Flo Control Project
is a test project for image recognition algorithms developed by Quantum Picture
. Basically, they rigged a home computer to control their cat door using image recognition software so that it would only allow cats to enter the house (and not skunks or raccoons), and then only if the cat wasn't carrying prey items (to play with in the comfort of the living room). The newest version of the experiment can differentiate between the two cats currently living in the house. Interesting stuff, not least because many people
couldn't tell two cats apart simply by looking at their profiles. I suspect there are some wide-ranging non-feline applications as well.
The Plastic People of the Universe
are a reminder of how powerful and important a force rock and roll can be for positive change. Many American and British acts spoke of revolution, but they usually only meant it in the cultural sense, for these guys living in Iron Curtain-era Czechoslovakia, they were talking about the real life-or-death McCoy. Inspired by the Beatles, Frank Zappa, and future Czech president (and sometime collaborator) Vaclav Havel
,the Plastics created some amazing
music and were often surveilled or imprisoned as "enemies of the state" for their trouble. Thankfully, they lived to see a free Czech republic, although founder Milan Hlavsa passed away in early 2001. Special props to my main man rodii, for jogging my memory about the Plastics in this comment
recently completed a survey of Gulf countries. Much of the content is 'premium access only' or available in the print version. This article, subtitled "The Gulf states have come a long way, fast. Now they need to think about where they are going" is online and examines the swift changes in economy, institutions, and population trends in this in-the-spotlight region. Some fascinating stuff.
Depressed? Cheer up, it's not the end of the world
. You know, it seems that The more things change, the more they stay the same
. Undecided? When in doubt, consult your inner child
. Sure it hurts, but No pain, no gain
.Many believe There is truth in every cliché
, while others say you should Avoid cliches like the plague
. What's your most hated or loved cliche? The Book of Clichés
Dumbing Down The SAT
I was reading this article and several recent news stories came to mind (sorry, can't find links). One was regarding the resistance of teacher's unions to adopt teaching techniques that have proven successful in private schools (phonics would be an example) and the other was a radio news story about a teacher's union defending three schools that had failed to meet state requirements as to quality of education being provided. So, my question is, are teacher's unions interested in educating children or simply fighting to lower the standards?
New study claims cold fusion is possible
'A paper by a team of researchers at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory who say they have discovered evidence of what looks like nuclear fusion taking place in a relatively inexpensive tabletop device.' You have to go back to 1989 for the last claim
of this kind. Cheap energy - the answer to America's dreams, or Bush's biggest nightmare? (Via Techdirt
Are you a knowledgable negotiator?
Another web test, this time courtesy the Consensus Building Institute, Inc. I got a 5 because I'm a sucker. How good are you at the wheelin and the dealin?
Hey guys, want to play with some manly paper dolls...er, I mean manly paper action figures
? You do? Rev up your printers and sharpen your scissors, then. You can download and play with your very own Elvis
or Ziggy Stardust
, or maybe Billy Ray Cyrus
, The Dead Milkmen's PunkRockEr
, Bob Dylan
, Brad Pitt
, Leonardo DiCaprio
from Green Acres, Professor Henry Higgins
, Bedknobs and Broomsticks' Mr. Brown
, the fetching dual poses of Mr. Humphries
from "Are You Being Served?", Brave Colonists From Mars
, Luke Skywalker
and his tons of cool duds
, Dylan Hunt
from Andromeda, Tom Sawyer
, Hercule Poirot
, F. Scott Fitzgerald
, Neil Gaiman's Morpheus
, Monet's Young John
, or Diego Rivera
. (more inside >>>)
Berry, Denzel Make Oscars History
Denzel Washington is only the second African American male to win an Best Actor Oscar since Sidney Poitier's win for Lilies of the Field
in 1963. Halle Berry is the first African American female to win Best Actress ever. Berry's speech
was quite good (albeit long) but it leaves me wondering how all those "women who stand behind her[sic], Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox and it's for every nameless faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened" feel about being named inferior. And why didn't the camera flash onto Jada Pinkett-Smith when Berry said that? Now, that would have been a true Oscar moment.
2002 Worst Manual Contest
- as selected by Technical Standards, Inc (a documentation company). Some pretty good examples of confusing or confounding manual design (also check the 2000 - 2001 winners
), with everything ranging from poor translation ("Operate it on the loosen condition of the levers without comfirmation can cause the handle pole bent and cause Incident") to perplexing images to just poor or absent proof-reading. PDF-intensive. (Heard about this on NPR's "On The Media")
Mel Lyman 1938-1978. Mel Lyman was controversial. He was the brilliant folk musician who soothed the Dylan-ruffled crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the Fort Hill guru whose prose in the undergound newspaper Avatar shocked conservative Bostonians of the late 60s... Many years of collecting, and help from numerous people has resulted in the large collection of articles reproduced here. Some say Lyman was God... others that he was a devil... but most of these articles show him as a charismatic individual somewhere between those two extremes.
An exhaustively authoritative page about a very interesting harmonica player who became God.
And, man, does this bring back the 60s...(Details within)
74th Annual Academy Awards
aka The Oscars are on. History was made tonight? or just the same old, same old? Please note the discussion may give away the winners, as does the linked page.
, a short film about a Pinocchio/Frankenstein-esque robot child almost a year in the making thus far, has up until recently been illustrator Brian Taylor's personal side project. He's been keeping a diary of the process on his site and posting movie clips, storyboard sketches, and descriptions of how he achieves various effects the whole time. Followers of the site recently got the good news that Taylor has received funding to work on Rustboy full-time beginning in April. I've bookmarked it so I can check in every so often and say, "MAN, I wish I could do that!"
is the one amazing Flash app. Crank up your speakers and make weird electronic music by making colored tiles fly around your browser window! (Sort of). It is just impossible to describe, and totally amazing.
All right, so maybe everyone's seen this -- I have no sense of just how much of a meme it's become -- but a Mefi search didn't turn up any previous links, so hey. This, ladies and gentlemen, is The Official Ninja Homepage
, with the divine URL of "realultimatepower.net." And, err, yes, I do think there's irony involved.
Hi, this site is all about ninjas, REAL NINJAS. This site is awesome. My name is Robert and I can't stop thinking about ninjas. These guys are cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.
The "Big Pimpin" MIDI gives it a nice touch, I think. (I also recommend the Scripts. They're like Hemingway.)
Personally speaking, I'm officially done with the internet now. Nobody's ever going to make a better website.
Where were you during Vietnam?
Emi's Online Anti-War Anthology
"The only way to uncover the real truth about the antiwar movement is for hundreds (or thousands) of people to come forward and contribute their recollections. That is why history needs your stories. Please submit them. I don't care how insignificant you think your story may be. Everybody's story is important. All relevant stories will be accepted. I will be happy to work with anyone who wants to prepare one."
Study: Mobile Phone Users Worse Than Drunk Drivers
It took mobile users half-a-second longer to react than normal, and one-third of a second longer than when they had been drinking.
They were also less able to maintain a constant speed and found it harder to keep a safe distance from the car in front. Participants in the study stated that they found it easier to drive drunk than when using a cell phone.
Here's the fun quote:"Eventually," said Dominic Burch, road safety campaign manager at Direct Line, "we would like to see the use of mobile phones when driving, both hand-held and hands-free, become as socially unacceptable as drink driving."
Nice graphic Here
that explains the time/distance it takes to stop. That fraction of a second = +46 feet stopping time over normal, and +33 over being drunk. More Here
and The Full Report
I mourned Sassy, too! "Darren E. Burrows is to Keanu, as Samantha Mathis is to Winona Ryder, as Joan Collins is to Elizabeth Taylor, as Jason Priestley is to johnny Depp, as Luke Perry is to James Dean, as Caludia Schiffer is to Brigette Bardot, as Bill Clinton is to JFK, as YM is to Sassy."
--Christina Kelly,in her "What Now" column, Sassy, May 1992. And wouldn't you know it, she's
now the editor-in-chief of YM. (Yes, I know this post won't make sense to anyone who wasn't a teenage girl in the early '90s.)
Who needs a US disinformation campaign when the Brits will do it for them?
(maybe, because we're not very good at it?)
"Tony Blair's senior foreign policy adviser, David Manning, planted story of terror lab find in cave in Afghanistan to justify the deployment of 1,700 Royal Marines" - a White House spokesman said "we have received no specific intelligence on a chemical or biological weapons facility".
I'm tired of being taken like this - as a dumb schmuck who'll consume the lies which hack politicos generate for their own murderous ends, and not protest.
Empire burlesque: Iraq invasion through the looking glass -
"MECCA, March 22, 2005
-- President Osama B. Laden today called for a 'regime change' in the United States, saying the military dictatorship led by unelected strongman George Walker Bush 'is an ever-present threat to world peace.'" Spot on or way off, I found it amusing, in a whistling-past-the-graveyard way, at least. (piece originally appeared in The Moscow Times)
Stand and say it loud.
Soapboxgirls is a monthly webzine focused on and relating pop-culture from the perspective of contributing female writers. The issues are extensive; the archives stretch back to 2000. The march issue: porn. If the essays aren't enough, you might consider the media reviews, the fiction and the poetry. Those of you for whom a monthly fix is not enough, well -- they understand
From windmills to whirligigs...
Please step lightly. It's an old site and I'd hate to see it overwhelmed. I love it and I thought you might like it too. Gently, please, gently.
is given health all clear in UK
Anonymously rat out your thieving neighbors.
Cable companies are mounting a television commercial campaign advertising cabletheft.com, where you can rat out anyone you might suspect stealing cable. Tagline of the commercial: "Sooner or later, you're going to pay."
Living with a Redneck Neighbor.
What happens when a Vietnamese redneck moves in next door? You log all of his quirks and disasters (including setting the entire garden on fire) and put it all up on your Web site, of course! Complete with pictures.
What happened to the Hippies? Oregons' Takilma Commune
find themselves part of the mainstream in the Illinois Valley. And Wavy Gravy
is still out there doing good. Hippies on the Web
is a good source for the music and culture and how the movement has aged. Peace, love, flowers, and Hippies.
i kick you so hard
and steal all your ice cold beer
and then run away
Science doesn't always take place in labs, and scientists aren't always the right folks to turn to for answers. Sometimes you just have to ask a lobsterman
. [more inside]
The state of college discussion
has been on the down-turn. I thought it might just be at my small college in the Midwest where people don't really have much to say. Everyone's liberal, everyone believes in equality, everyone believes that the government should help the poor (and I do too), but no one seems to be able to argue these points or give any reasoning for their own beliefs. Here at MeFi we engage in debate on many subject matters, but recently debate has gotten a bad name. This generation, for the most part, seems not to want to engage in it because it is somehow seen as pointless or destructive. I say bring it on... what is the college experience if not a contentious, interesting one? What would our parents think of us?
DEA leaked report on Israeli spy ring
Leaked report with blacked out names and no title etc? Note that the spies, if such they are, were gathering info dealing with drug enforcement and not with American military. Is this good? No Bad? yes. But seemingly not bad enough to anything other than shipping them out. Israeli mb big on Ecstasy and DEA well aware of this (If I am, why wouldn't they?). pdf file
John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar.
I got an e-mail from a listener about a John Fahey song I played on my show today and it prompted me to revisit his website. I've been listening to him ever since '67 or so. He died last year due to complications during a coronary bypass operation--I realized again today how I miss him. (more inside)
If you grew up in or around New England you're probably familiar with a carbonated concoction called Moxie
. Tastewise, it's kind of a love or hate deal and I fall squarely in the love camp. And I'm not alone apparently
. The history of the product is actually pretty interesting. For those whose thirst has been stoked, here's a list
places to get it.
NYT is realizing
that computer games can be relevent, and not just a silly fad that only kids and the uneducated can enjoy. In this review (albeit very
belated), Thursday's 'Circuits' section reviews both Operation Flashpoint
, the widely acclaimed, disturbingly realistic combat simulation, and Halo, the shooter du jour on the XBox.
Microsoft Windows + NSA = loopholes in security:
"A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into [almost all versions of] Windows." an interesting article that really shouldnt be surprising, and all the more reason to buy a mac.
Come Under Fire.
Watchdog Group Issues Rebuke on Poll on Islamic Countries. Meanwhile, those bogus aggregates continue to circulate freely in this country and around the world.
You thought the Webbys were dumb? The International Web Page Awards
: US$125 to enter, judges self-selected ("Check here if you would like to be a Judge") and the best part: IWPA site created and designed by Matt Wolf
(fast cars, hot babes and screaming guitars) who also happens to win something each year.
Gay? Afghan? Love Travel?
Then GayTravel.com has a job for you! Help this gay travel guide populate its listings for food, fun
, and more in and around Kabul and the surrounding countryside!
Bush's feminine side?
This may or may not be funny, but it certainly is bizarre. (large flash movie with Cindy Lauper music).
Like Benny Hill
, Monty Python
, Mr Bean
, Eddy Izzard, et al
, before him, looks like Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Ali G
. is finally heading this way. Although the London Times
denounces him, while "frighteningly" proclaiming his latest movie will be a massive hit, and the BBC
is royally pissed off, there's no holding him back. Next stop is America
and he wants to be massive
in da States. Some prior discussions going back all the way to May 2000 here
, PS You can catch a glimpse of him the next time Shaggy's Me Julie video plays.
The Art of Espionage.
The ongoing tale of the massive spy ring that the U.S. media won't talk about. "The basis of the spy allegations is a 60-page document -- a compilation of field reports by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
This week marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Robert Falcon Scott
and four companions on their return trip from the South Pole. Most of the blame for the failure of the polar expedition has been placed on critical blunders
Scott made in his trek to the pole but Antarctic meterologist Susan Sontag says that although Scott cut his safety margins too close, unusually cold weather
provided the killing blow. On a related subject, next month A&E premires a movie starring Kenneth Branagh as Shackleton
(flash site) who saved his crew
after their ship shattered in Antartic pack ice.
The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act
is being spearheaded by Sen. Fritz Hollings of South Carolina. He wants to prohibit the sale of any device that can play, copy or electronically transmit one or more categories of media unless special protection technologies are incorporated. Anyone intentionally violating the CBDTPA would be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including prison terms. Welcome to the 21st century.
"Put your hand in the box."
A fun loving duo from Germany has created a version of the classic arcade game Pong that lets you punish your opponent's hand with sensations such as heat, punches and electroshocks of varying duration delivered through a "Pain Execution Unit". Remember: Fear is the mind-killer. (from Wired
The Ironminds weblog is back!
I for one have really missed the excellent writing that Ironminds used to provide, and I'm glad to see at least a little of it is returning.
Reverse discrimination? Kathleen Carter, who is white, says that when she became chairman of the education department at historically black Delaware State University in 1995, she was told that she was usurping blacks' right to govern themselves and that whites in the department were trying to make blacks look bad.
"I hate your politics.
Listening to any of you yammer on about the geopolitical situation is enough to make one want to melt down one's dental fillings with a beeswax candle and then jam an ice pick into the freshly-exposed nerve, just to have something else to think about. "
has just been released...If you're not excited then, well, sucks to you.
this also recently happened to our friends at k10k.com along with numerous other legitimate domains in the recent past... an outrage. the blood trail does not lead very far:
heres what stinks my friends....
go to: www.k10k.com .... then click on merchant accounts... and take a look at who the number 2 listing is.... oh, i bet verisign comes up a few other places as well .... thoughts? - i suggest a boycott of netsol and versign until appropriate action is taken or at least their support for this organization ceases.
The New York City I first saw in 1985 has partially disappeared, and vanishes more everyday. The New York of 50 years ago, the veneer of daily life in the city, is but a memory. The city of 100 years ago is a shadow, remembered by no one. But the past remains
, if not in direct human memory, in "lampposts, advertisements, bridges, buildings, signs, and things you pass every day in the street that bear silent witness to the NYC that once was.
" What lies forgotten below the streets
? The decaying splendor of an bygone age
, as well as the deep roots
that have sprouted and nourished the present, living city...
bits & pieces
a sonic installation for the web! my friend sez, "it's not random. it's complexity" :)
"The Alphabet Synthesis Machine is an interactive online artwork which allows one to create and evolve the possible writing systems of one's own imaginary civilizations."
Professor becomes world's first cyborg
Surgeons have carried out a ground-breaking operation on a cybernetics professor so that his nervous system can be wired up to a computer.
It is hoped that the procedure could lead to a medical breakthrough for people paralysed by spinal cord damage, like Superman actor Christopher Reeve.
Prof Warwick believes it also opens up the possibility of a sci-fi world of cyborgs, where the human brain can one day be upgraded with implants for extra memory, intelligence or X-ray vision.
The medical possibilities with this are amazing, so why does it make me feel so uneasy?
"In the end, we will need to give up any lingering fantasies of a color-blind Web and focus on building a space where we recognize, discuss and celebrate racial and cultural diversity. To achieve that goal, all of us -- white folks and people of color -- will have to shed the defensiveness that surrounds the topic of race." So says Henry Jenkins in a Technology Review article on Cyberspace and Race
. On the Internet, nobody knows you're oppressed?
Interior department opens talks with Klamath Tribes
that could lead to the return of 690,000 acres. Once the richest and most self sufficient tribe with land holdings of over 22 million acres, the Tribes fell victim to various land grabs over the years, the last being in 1954 when tribal status was terminated and they were (eventually) paid $220 million for 1.2 million acres
of timber. By 1963, 28 percent of the tribe had died by age 25, 52 percent by age 40. Of those deaths, 40 percent were alcohol related. This is also about timber and water, but mostly it's an opportunity to do the right thing. Can the Bush administration and Congress do the right thing?
Google restores Xenu.net's webpages back into its index.
It looks like this was all started by Scientologists armed with the DMCA which makes an ISP liable for not only its content (cache) but also to where it links! Considering xenu.net is overseas and not subject to US law, this looked like a very easy way for the CoS to silence its critics. In the meantime anti-CoS geeks are buying up adwords on google to celebrate. [google search using just the word Scientology
] Refresh a couple time to see the ads.
Why Would Celibacy Cause Pedophilia?
I been puzzled by the folks who are blaming the celibacy rule in the Catholic church for the pedophilic priests. Maybe I'm missing something, but the argument sounds counter intuitive to me.
Remember that Florida Mayor who banned Satan from town?
Well, after she got done talking to mass-media syncophants like Dan Rather, her utterly misguided publicist apparently let her talk to the keen and incisive sleuths from Satanosphere
, who, as usual, got down to the really important stuff. Like:
matt: ...The one question everybody has for you is this: Are you planning on banning any other major deities or demons? Like Skeletor?
So, will Skeletor
be banned forever from Inglis, Florida? Will the ACLU extend Skeletor
the same legal protection as it graciously offered Satan? And perhaps most important of all, what about Wil Wheaton
JOSEPH SABIA RESPONDS!!!
"Nearly 30,000 individuals have visited Cornell Review Online to read my March 4th article, College Girls: Unpaid Whores [editor's note: that number is now approaching 60,000]..."
Tooling around today, I happened upon small but burgeoning subculture-gay Heavy Metal
fans. Headbanging and Rainbow Pride stickers may seem like an odd combo until you think of the number of openly gay performers in Hard Rock (Roddy Bottum of Faith No More
, Doug Pinnick of King's X
-a gay Christian
metalhead, and of course the great Rob Halford formerly of the legendary Judas Preist
. I dunno whether this is a large trend or merely people coming out of yet another closet, but it's nice to see metal shaking off it's homophobic image.
Hello, my name
is 'Godless Goddess Girl // roasting marshmallows // in the holy fires.' How creative can you get on a name tag
"IU WINS! IU WINS!
For the first time in years, IU is proceeding to the Elite 8, knocking down the number one team in the country. The last time Indiana beat Duke in the tournament in 1987, they went all the way. Could it happen again?"
[thanks to SportsFilter
for this one. Aw yeah. Ol' Dickie Vitale must be rollin' over in his grave right about now. Oh, wait. He's not dead yet. Or is that just a matter of opinion...baby?]
Michael Moore San Diego Near Arrest Blown Out of Proportion
: Despite Moore's implications
that his appearance was somehow a courageous act of dissent, it turns out that the whole thing was a harmless followthrough with a permit: a trivial book signing session, not a rally storming the gates. Is Michael Moore a legend in his own mind? And with self-designated spokesmen of this egotistical caliber, how can the Left as a whole expect to be taken seriously?
NBC is pulling out of air hard liquor ads.
Citing congressional pressure and public outcry, NBC announced today it has reversed its alcohol advertising policy. The decision comes the same day MADD proposed new stricter rules
on TV ads for all
alcohol, including beer and wine, that are based on the NBC's now-scuttled "time, place and manner restrictions" set for the hard-liquor ads. (See also this AdAge story
on MADD's proposal) A spokesperson for the Distilled Spirits Council called NBC's decision decision "unfortunate" and a "disservice to the American public."
For those of us holding out on the iPod, waiting for more storage space, the time to buy is finally here. One caveat: instead of dropping the price of the 5gb iPod to $299 and debuting the 10gb model at $399, they've kept the same price for the five gig and raised it a hundred bucks for the ten! Not quite what I was expecting...
Astrology Takes the Semiotic Turn: CURA Promotes New Theories of the Fates
Almost a year ago, we discussed the case of Sorbonne PhD and famous French astrologer, Elisabeth Teissier (1
). She caused a stir with her argument that astrology was a "human" science on par with anthropology and philosophy.
It seems her case bolstered the hand of other practicioners. CURA (Centre Universitaire du Recherche Astrologique) has an extensive collection of writings on astrology both ancient and modern. More recent papers examine astrological patterns as sign systems, a conceptual heuristic made popular by anthropology and later studies of popular culture. There's also some use of statistical methods, and concepts from cognitive psychology. It seems there's some movement in both directions; Semiotica
recently published a paper that's very popular among the astrosociologues (1
The Sans Halen Tour?
Former Van Halen frontmen David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are reportedly discussing a possible summer tour together. They met for the first time recently and are now in talks to team up. Hagar broke the news this week on his official website
, saying, "Believe it or not, Sammy and David Lee Roth are talking about touring this summer. Sammy was blown away at how well they got along together." A spokesman for Diamond Dave confirmed only that the two exes "have met for the first time." But Hits magazine is reporting that superstar manager Irving Azoff has signed on for "The Sam and Dave Show."
No matter how bad this tour might be, it's still gonna be better than seeing Van Halen with Gary Cherone. Heck...watching squirrels defacate is more interesting than Van Halen with Gary Cherone. These boys need to realize that Dave sucks without Eddie, Eddie sucks without Dave, and Sammy and Gary suck no matter who they're teamed with.
A new temple for new technology
(NY Times). The digital arts organization Eyebeam
have chosen a design by the web-savvy
firm of Diller+Scofidio to build their new Museum of Art and Technology, from a shortlist
of thirteen. Any thoughts on architecture for new media? And iMac-colored buildings?
Cute hyper-referenced spiel whose tech issues are more seriously discussed elsewhere - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/616339/posts?page=1 (which is itself probably a plagiarism)
corpse exhibit, Körperwelten
(Body Worlds), is set to display human corpses in London, UK in two days. UK health department concluded that the exhibit did not breach the 1984 Anatomy Act as the law did not cover the preservation of corpses by means of plastination, a technique invented by Professor Gunther von Hagens
, the creator of the exhibit.
Portrait of a Con-Artist:
Due to the efforts of the site StopAglaia!
(which was posted here earlier in the year), The New Jersey Star-Ledger printed this facinating story exposing a con woman of "Kaycee Nicole" proportions, and includes an interview with the woman in question. She's impersonated Denis Leary, Henry Rollins, and the manager for Bright Eyes, and she's conned both men an women out of thousands of dollars. Sadly, the printing of this article has caused StopAglaia!
to shut down, but their forum
is still up, so victims can trade info. [More Inside]
Genocide Alert for Zimbabwe
issued by Genocide Watch, a group founded by a former State Department official on Cambodia and Rwanda issues, Gregory Stanton, who in 1996 devised the Eight Stages of Genocide
: Classification, Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination,
GW contends that Zimbabwe has reached Stage 6, Preparation. With the arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
on treason charges, Robert Mugabe is proving himself impervious to international pressure
. Is Zimbabwe really on the brink? If so, what can, or should, we do? Our record isn't good
, but we didn't have Stanton's scale then, either.
Growing meat in a laboratory
may seem like a good idea. They evey suggest that it might stop us "having to slaughter animals for food." But, to do it, they have to soak the meat in the blood of unborn baby cows.... Somehow, that doesn't sound right.....
internet access (care of EarthLink), your own StarTrek.net email address with anti-spam service, and exclusive Star Trek content, as well as a few other "goodies", all for 21.95 USD a month. Destined to be huge, or will this fizzle and eventually disappear?
The Shy Girl's Guide to becoming a Whore
is an online tutorial for women considering becoming an escort by using the technologies of the Internet. The web has changed the nature of prostitution offering women more opportunities than the traditional street walker, escort. or brothel models. We now have the 21st century CyberWhore model, and this is an overview as to how it is done.
seems to be on the rise. Working in a hospital lab I've seen an increase in tests for HPV
It's enough to make one wonder if sex is worth the risk.
Well, ha ha ha, and yah, boo
said Christopher Hitchens to those who would oppose the war on November 14. At this time, of course it was assumed by Hitchens and his ilk that we had won, all that remained was to install "our sons of bitches", and rub the peacenicks faces in it.
Now it seems very far from over and Hitchens and others with similar views have articulated their thoughts in the Guardian. It makes interesting reading.
As does this article
on how it is possible to love the U.S but not George Bush.
America, Heal Thyself.
"Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites do, even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable, says a new report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. 'Disparities in the health care delivered to racial and ethnic minorities are real and are associated with worse outcomes in many cases, which is unacceptable. The real challenge lies not in debating whether disparities exist, because the evidence is overwhelming, but in developing and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them.'"
Book Magazine's 100 Best Characters
in Fiction since 1900 (Book Magazine via NPR
). Jay Gatsby is #1. Harry Potter is #85. No Gandalf, Bilbo or Frodo. And yet some claim LotR is the book of the century (First post for me)
The story of the former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center
is a tale of absurd and comic excess. "...he cajoled the Abbot's Council—a hand-picked body of senior priests that he employed to circumvent Zen Center's legally constituted Board of Directors—into granting him $25,000 for the purchase of a BMW... But why a BMW, and especially one in the pricey 700 series? A smaller car, Baker pleaded, wouldn't allow him to sit in zazen posture while driving." This must be what is meant by "Boomer Buddhism."
White House media advisor spins the war in London.
President Bush has sent "military advisors" to Yemen, Georgia and the Philippines to help with the war on terrorism. Did anyone know he sent his #2 media man, Tucker Eskew
, to London as a "media advisor" to Tony Blair's #1 media man, Alastair Campbell
, to help spin the war to the Brits?
Do you think a U.S. administration would ever agree to a foreign government rep "advising" them on how to talk to their citizens? Or do they already?
God Changes Everything
Let's say there was a school system or a chain of clinics on whose professional staff were a certain number of men who molested the children in their care and who, whenever this behavior came to the attention of their superiors, were shifted to another school or clinic, with parents and colleagues, not to mention the justice system, kept in the dark whenever possible...
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but name-calling hurts, too.
Remember in middle school, the awful things people would call one another? (It even happens around here once in a while ;-) Students at Brook Haven Middle School are taking steps to stamp out name-calling at their school and maybe start a nationwide movement while they're at it.
Be careful of what you say in your e-mails.
Very funny yet scary e-mails from a publisher to the editor of Writer's Weekly. Notice how this person goes from business-like to downright nasty. (Note: lots of bad words and racist remarks!)
CNN to start charging for web video.
Is this the beginning of the end for the "free" web, or will this just kill off all of the greedheads whilst letting the web develop at a more natural, evolutionary pace?
Fascinating stuff... Sights, sounds and stories; a photo-audio-essay, with excerpts from Scott Carrier's Harper's article and ambient recordings of the streets, songs and prayers of the Afghan people.
Combatting White Supremacy in the Anti-globalization Movement
The anti-globalization movement has been vibrant in communities and organizations of color in the US and around the world for hundreds of years, yet white supremacy was rampant in the movement against the WTO ministerial meetings in Seattle. In other words, racism is alive and well in social justice organizing, and the WTO was no exception.
Islamic Republic of Great Britain?
The heartland of violent Islamic extremism is now none of the official fronts of the war on terror. Its center is Western Europe -- mainly, but not exclusively, in Britain. "Al-Muhajiroun has one goal," Anjam Choudry, its U.K. chairman, told the Observer newspaper. "We would like to see the implementation of the sharia law in the U.K. Under our rule this country would be known as the Islamic Republic of Great Britain."
Pick Your Winners For The Oscars:
UK-based Blue Square
gives you the odds. So how would you
bet a virtual $100? And how much would you stand to win?(That is, if you could do the maths...
Send Them Packing!
That's right -- the uninformed opinions of well-known Hollywood actors have grated on you for years. They seem to love Cuba more than America. Well, with the click of a mouse, you can buy them a ticket! [more inside]
Sims Survivor -
8 contestants left alone in a house. When the food runs out, who do you think will win? Follow it day by day. Great idea!
HP shareholders vote to acquire Compaq... or not?
Stop me if you've heard this one before: One side has already declared victory while the other won't concede defeat until all the votes are counted. The margin appears to be less than one half of one percent, and a manual count is in the works.
actually throw any more responsibility onto ISPs? In PA they are now mandated to block child pornography. But only the kiddy porn the government already knows about. Which apparently anyone can get around
, anyway. Noble attempt at eradicating a social scourge or pointless burdensome do-nothing legislation?
has been creating some of the most arrestingly bent
) for 23 years now. On top of the strangeness of his music he's so reclusive
that he makes J.D. Salinger seem like a party animal. This brings out the
impulse in some folks, like this fan who went so far as to take
of his record company's PO Box, among other things. Someone else has has
created this fittingly inscrutable tribute
. Jandek's music is worth a listen, but be prepared to recalibrate your
understanding of the term "strange."
Check out the Weblogger CD Swap
Now this seems like a really fun idea to me: basically you put your name and address in a "hat" and get the names/addresses of 5 other bloggers and burn a CD of summer music for them. Your reward? Get CD's from 5 other bloggers... is that swanky or what?
via Ernie at Little Yellow Different
Giant world map stencil
- Teach kids that there's more to this wide world of ours than just their hometown with this giant pavement stencil. Learning geography has never been this much fun!
Bringing up Adultolescents
Newsweek has a fascinating article on adult children who're still living with their parents after graduating from college. It's hardly a new concept, but this is a good piece. (Especially noteworthy: The parents who spend away their own retirement savings providing for grown kids.) And if you've priced a supposed "starter" home recently, you know as well as I do that this trend isn't going away any time soon.
Most internet users have monitors that can display more colors than the 216 that are used in the traditional “browser-safe” palette. moreCrayons
is a bigger box of crayons; 4,096 colors for the web. A site by our own kirkaracha
. [Via Zeldman]
Marconi was a fascist anti-Semite
, says The Age. Evidence has emerged that the father of wireless communications blocked all Jews from becoming members of the science-oriented Academy of Italy at the behest of Mussolini, long before Il Duce's racist laws became known to the rest of the world.
College Girls: Unpaid Whores.
So you think you're a great troller. You think you know how to spin your words with absolute precision to force your opponents into a saliva-spewing frenzied rage. Well, guess what? You're a nobody, an amateur. It's time for you to bow down before the One True Master: Cornell University doctoral candidate Joseph J. Sabia
. I defy a single MeFite, of any ideology or political persuasion, to not find at least one statement in this article that doesn't completely infuriate them.
How serious a problem is anti-intellectualism?
Is it that the academy is out of touch and treacherous? Or are the public egged on to ignore and deprecate the wisdom of left-wing intellectuals by a cynical media, as this author alleges? [more inside]
Bye Bye, Tuvalu...
"In 1998, BAS predicted the demise of more ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula. Since then warming on the peninsula has continued and we watched as piece-by-piece Larsen B has retreated. We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering. Hard to believe that 500 billion tonnes of ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month."speccy piccy this
.(link via Ethel
AOL's UK tax break to end...next year?!!?
To those that hath, shall be given.
For some years now, the worlds largest online service
(now part of the worlds largest media co.) has been allowed a $30m./year
exemption from Value Added (sales & services) Tax - VAT. This has been blamed on European Union legislation by Customs & Excise
, who await the Brussels behemoths decision - as we all do - with baited breath.
Is it just a case of sour grapes by their rivals, especially Freeserve
, now owned by one of Europe's largest media companies - Wanadoo - or was there a real distinction between ISP
and Content Provider
Surely, there must be a defence for this - 'Devil's Advocate'
In a world of frustratingly cyclic bloodshed, peacemakers show the way
according to an article by William Pfaff at the IHT. AC Grayling at The Guardian says that true heroes are those brave enough to make peace
. With terrorism and counter terroism raising the temperature of rhetoric and war across the globe, will a new wisdom emerge where cooler heads prevail?
13-year-old girl dies after being hit by puck
at Blue Jackets' game: A 13-year-old girl died after being hit in the head by a puck that was shot over the glass and caromed off another fan at an NHL game. Brittanie Cecil died Monday night, two days after she was hurt at the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames, Children's Hospital said. It was believed to be the first death of a fan hit by a puck at an NHL game.
about the children on both sides of the Israeli occupation. check it out if you can.
But wouldn't this have made a big dent in the middle east peace process?
The Sybli's raving mouth, according to Heraclitus
, speaks without mirth or adornment or perfume: with the help of the god her voice continues for a thousand years
Plutarch - Why The Pythia No Longer Prophesies In Verse
So, what kinda gas was she huffin'? The Sybil on solvents--an archeological update on the Oracle of Delphi (NYT: you know the drill...)
Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto.
Both Honda and Sony have unveiled the newest versions of their humanoid robots. Honda favours a more practical design, while Sony's is geared for entertainment. Having just watched AI
the other night, I'm wondering when and if people would want to have one around the house.
Robbers escape with $3m (£2.1m) in cash after hijacking a van at Heathrow Airport, London, the second such raid there in recent weeks.
Nice to see that security has improved then, at the worlds busiest airport
Is Silicon Valley coming back?
Newsweek's cover story this week is the return of Silicon Valley after the Bust of 2000, start-ups and all. Does this new round of hype have any morsels of truth to it?
Are you seeing the world differently?
You may be suffering from synesthesia, a rare condition that allows an individual to perceive symbols in color. Someone who has synesthesia will read a newspaper in multitudinous colors, often perceiving a color change within particular syllables. In one case reported in this article, a man overhead a conversation in Korean, only to have his mind inundated with colors, despite being unable to understand the words. Rare condition or a state of sensory cognition to come?
Damned if you do, damned if you're dead. If families don't purchase an expensive urn for cremated remains, require them to purchase a $45 temporary container. But be sure to stamp it "Temporary Container" on all four sides, advises one industry newsletter.
The funeral industry may not be making any friends, but they're making a boatload of money. The Funeral Consumers Alliance
would like to help them make a little less.
Dali + Lichtenstein = Massurealism
? That's one ugly baby. Apparently a lot of the marketing and visual information we're presented with currently has roots in surrealism. But is it art?
Man dies before boarding an airplane?
Or did he die in midflight? "Authorities disagree on whether Walsh, who had a history of heart- and kidney-related health problems, died midflight or before he boarded the plane." What really gets me is: how could he get on the airplane if he was already dead? Wouldn't the people helping him onto the plane notice?
If you were a reader of Who's Who in Baseball
or The Sporting News
back in the late '70's and early '80's you probably recall seeing ads for the amazingly intricate APBA Sports
games, arguably the forerunner of Fantasy Baseball and the like.I was always fascinated by themyet I never ordered a set. I imagined that in the age of the GameCube, they had gone the way of many outdated amusements. I couldn't have been more wrong, apparently.Judging by the number of fan sites
and league sites
,(not to mention APBA shareware
)the hobby seems to be alive and well. Makes me wanna go buy a set and start a league.
Where are your limits?
Inspired in part by mikhail's earlier post
on the gelatin used in Guinness (and Bass), for those with voluntary diet restrictions (kosher, halal, vegetarian, etc.), what unexpected choices have you faced? Does it go beyond food? Toothpaste? Collagen injections
? Buying a car with leather seats? A used
car with leather seats?
Britain is now at War - US request the support of 1,700 Marines
"These troops are being deployed to Afghanistan to take part in warfighting operations. We will be asking them to risk their lives. Their mission will be conducted in unforgiving and hostile terrain against a dangerous enemy. They may suffer casualties." A lot of people, including the media, were stunned by this announcement. Speculation is starting to become rife as to why the US need our troops? SAS, fair enough, but why our Marines? This is the largest deployment of British troops since the Gulf War, and arguable in far more dangerous circumstances. Most thought we were just going to lend a hand, now it appear that we will be playing a very serious part. Has there been much comment on this over in the US? Specifically on why these troop have been requested?
Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies
discusses time travel concept discrepancies in popular movies, such as Back to the Future, 12 Monkeys, and Flight of the Navigator. Although they're really just movies, and time travel isn't real (as far as we know), author M. Joseph Young provides very logical arguments for why those things couldn't really happen.
More than one way to get your hands on nuclear material.
You probably know that Russia's ability to keep track of nuclear material is something that keeps a lot of people in the US military up at night....but is it possible that the problems are worse than we thought? (more inside...)
100 Dumbest Moments in dotcom land
a particular favourite being.. "Candice Carpenter tells Fast Company in Feb 98, 'There isn't an Internet company in the world that's going to fail because of mistakes -- Internet companies make thousands of mistakes every week" .... quite :) (via lesser-evil
(In)famous Last Words
We often look to the last words of our great thinkers to tell us something about that mysterious transition between life and death. So what are we supposed to make of Walt Whitman's last words: "Hold me up; I want to shit"
? And how about Dylan Thomas' dying declaration: "I've had eighteen straight whiskeys. I think that's the record"
? What last words would you
want recorded for posterity? (via a & l daily
Air Canada bans Salman Rushdie
because "the extra security required for him to fly could mean long delays for other passengers." Extra security? You mean it isn't at maximum already?
About to take the plunge into BlogWorld?
Help me out, here!
Assuming that I have enough 'interesting' thoughts on my 'interesting' life (ha ha), which of the many products and services out there has the best features for the novice, and which are for the veteran?
Talk to me of writing style and format, any early mistakes you made, and what are your proudest blogging moments?
F'gedabou' de 'A-List' - what do you
think - I wanna pick yer brains!
Best... Phone Message... Ever!
An audio clip from This American Life. Check out Act Four... Buddy Picture, the last maybe 20 minutes. Long but hilarious.
N.Y. taxpayers' welfare Viagra bill rises to $6M.
Conservative Party chairman Michael Long called the expense "an unconscionable waste of taxpayer money."
I would tend to agree. It doesn't seem right. The money could have gone to those who really need it, instead of a bunch of old folks who just want to get laid.
Moby on the cover of the NYTimes Mag,
talking about music. Actually, the whole issue is "Future of music" related, and considers what will be valuable when the music itself becomes free. Very interesting stories. It's an NYT story, so l:metafilter, p:metafilter.
All the News that's Fit to Blog
Blogs as alternative sources for news. But the writer does not focus on the many un-professional blogs that can be as tedious as the mainstream news. What think?
Remember the missing boeing?
Well, the man behind that revelation has now come out with a book that will blow all previous conspiracy theories out of the water. (and by conspiracy theories i don't mean 9/11 - but also who shot JFK, etc). Interesting way to get rich.
is not yet on the horizon, much to the comfort of a few people who think breathing can be too loud for neighborhood noise standards. Now, let's all chant together, but quietly, "where's my pony....."
A Good Summary,
albeit in the form of a NYPost Editorial, as to why Israel should ignore 95% of the criticism it gets regarding it's current policy towards negotiating withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza. President Bush: are you listening?
Naomi ('No Logo') Klein on Charlotte Beers' work to manage the US 'brand'. Sitting outside the US, a lot of what Klein says about external perception of the 'brand' (and of Beers' actions) seems quite believable to me, but I'd be interested in hearing an insider view.
Klein's assertion that "...America's problem is not with its brand-- which could scarcely be stronger--but with its product
" seems relatively solid, and if it is, it seems that Ms Beers' mission is all-but-impossible, or at the very least misdirected.
That said, the thrust of Klein's argument is the assertion that the US's values are basically incompatible with the whole idea of branding, and I'd suggest that the same could be said of many countries. I suppose the point here is that this specific exercise is rooted in the US's positioning of itself in the world at this point in time.
Brilliant Astronomy Pix
"This page is the gateway to a unique collection of wide-field astronomical photographs, mostly made with the telescopes of the Anglo-Australian Observatory by
David Malin.....These are some of the finest pictures made with professional telescopes anywhere and every effort has been made to capture the true colours of distant stars, galaxies and nebulae using innovative photographic techniques and CCD detectors".
Found via Scout Project - http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/report/sr/)
Humans evolving at the mercy of their environment. What other innatenesses do we allow to control our reactions?
The University of Iowa, of all unlikely places, maintains the International Dada Archive
. I suppose someone had to try, since almost no one understands it. There you can not only view images, but download PDFs—page by page, unfortunately—of many Dadaist publications
. Most of them are in various non-English languages, but still worth looking at just for the visual design.
And yes, the urinal is there, but you'll have to find it yourself.
The Essential Hinduvta Orgchart
by Suman Palit in his weblog the Kolkata Libertarian
. I'm not from Calcutta, and I'm not Libertarian, but I found the information design in this chart of the relationships between the Hindu nationalist party BJP and various other Hindu institutions fascinating. Note that not only each organization block, but most of the relationship lines, have individual links. What specialized knowledge do you have? What tools would help you share it with the world?
Globe of Blogs
lists weblogs by location (Portugal
, anyone?), title, authors's name, sex, age or birthday (why?). Problem is, the list is scanty at best. Sign yourself up.
In the midst of your St. Patrick's Day celebrations, won't you please
take a moment to consider the struggle to save one of our most beloved Irish institutions...
CBT Cafe, for those who learn visually.
I was scouting around looking for Flash tutorials and stumbled on this site. The gimmick: they don't just teach you the code/effect/design, they actually walk you through it with a narrated Quicktime movie.
Currently serving Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Cleaner, Quicktime, EBay, and the MacOS.
Feast your eyes on these lovable but unintelligent-looking beasts. Who says the Web doesn't cater to all possible tastes? For the record, here's my
From David Remnick's analysis in The New Yorker.
Faisal Husseini, a decided moderate among Yasir Arafat's leadership ranks, gave an interview not long before he died in which he compared Oslo to a Trojan horse, an intermediate, tactical step leading to the elimination of Israel. He said, "If you are asking me as a Pan-Arab nationalist what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: 'From the river to the sea' "—that is, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
Rejection reduces IQ
"To live in society, people have to have an inner mechanism that regulates their behaviour. Rejection defeats the purpose of this, and people become impulsive and self-destructive. You have to use self-control to analyse a problem in an IQ test, for example - and instead, you behave impulsively"
Some of you may remember Gorilla
, well here's a modern refresher course, but with tanks
. Only a tiny shareware game yet very addictive, I'm even tempted to buy the full version
New York's hidden world of ethnic pharmacopoeia
[nyt reg req] Always cherished Witch Hazel, but these are true eye openers: " Dr. Chase Nerve and Blood Tonic
, with liver concentrate: for simple anemia and associated symptoms such as that tired feeling-nervousness-lack of appetite ; S.S.S. Tonic
, iron and 12 percent alcohol, and Canadian Healing Oil
, turpentine, oil of tar and creosote: universal liniment for strains and sprains; Safi the Blood Purifier
: for skin diseases such as acne vulgaris, boils, skin rashes, blemishes, urticaria, checks nose bleeding, cures constipation, corrects indigestion, improves complexion , and helps you stay slim and smart... [btw] This isn't the 19th century, this is New York, 2002. " One years supply of Safi now on its way.
An old Mac gets overhauled as an iBong, and sparks some interesting hypothesis about where does Apple's creativity spirit really comes from.
I'd like to wish a happy St. Patricks Day
to Irish readers, Irish-Americans, Irish-Britons, Irish-Australians, Irish-New Zealanders, and whoever is of Irish descent. And if you don't have Irish blood, go to the pub, drink some Guinness and you soon will!
Six months that changed a year
-- Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci take on 9/11 with predictably dark and comic results... '9/11: The planes strike - as Martin Amis memorably describes them - 'sleeking in like harsh metal ducklings'. Tony Blair publicly drains every drop of blood from his wife to help the injured of New York. Taking his time, George W. Bush formulates a measured response - which turns out to be the most expensive bollocking ever unleashed against shepherds.'
Save internet radio
The [American] Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP") is proposing to lawmakers that internet radio stations aught to pay royalties retroactive to 1998; royalties of .14¢ per song per listener for Internet-only webcasters, .07¢ per song per listener for broadcast radio simulcasts, and .02¢ per song per listener for non-commercial radio simulcasts.
Most stations are operating on zero financing. Do the math; .02¢ x 12 songs per hour and 100 listeners..
Don't let this spell the end of internet radio. Please, go to the site and click
The Global Positioning System
is now commonly used for navigation in hundreds of ways worldwide. Some very innovative things
are now being done with the system beyond simply finding out where you are. However, according to this BBC story
, "emerging applications are being hampered by concerns that information from the global satellite network, which is run by the United States, could be switched off or restricted in the event of a security threat." Am I the only one worried about what will happen to all the hikers, rescue services, ships, small planes and geeks that would suffer if the network is switched off?
"There should be a law about these people
with web diaries or they should all wear identifying clothing or something, so that innocent bystanders who don't need some perverse kind of public fame can know to steer clear." Or, using Google to flush out potential dating disasters.
ActiveBuddy has added five new AIM bots, of various levels of usefulness.
ELLEgirlBuddy for teen girl stuff; TattleTeller for Oscar®-related news and gossip; AgentReuters for news and stock quotes; NoBoundariesTV as a tie-in to the useless WB "reality" show that seems to focus around Ford trucks; and My eBay Buddy for, well, make a guess. Fair warning: They're all beta.
George Burdi, formerly a major figure in the White Power movement publicly denounces racism.
Burdi was a member of the skinhead band Rahowa(RAcial HOly WAr) and considered by many to be the next major ambassador of hate to the mainstream. Some time in jail, among other things seems to have turned him around. This interview offers some interesting insights on what makes young people vulnerable to recruitment by hate groups and perhaps, what we can do to prevent them from taking hold.
"Britney Underground takes you on a tour of poignant urban artistry in a time of crisis." it's a nice collection
of graffti from britney spears posters in new york, pretty funny. the negative emails
are possibly the highlight.
Neo-Nazi movie reviews,
because neo-Nazis need culture, too. It's not all slurs against Jewish and black people (although there is a lot of that); there's also deep cultural insight, like:
- "Having odd sex or sex with odd things or odd people is very, very likely to make you not-ordinary" (American Beauty review)
- "Rage Against the Machine, which, if you're unfamiliar, is screechy Mexican supremacist noise." (American History X review)
- Kids are "quart-sized creeps: greedy, selfish, stupid all-consuming egomanaical tyrants who will drive adults crazy if they they let them" (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory review)
- Lord of the Rings is "a glimpse, here and now, of the kind of White culture we are working to create in the future"
[Via the April 2002 Esquire
, not online]
Yo La Tengo take your requests
right now live on WFMU (various streams are here
). Best pledge drive gimmick going: right now they're doing some T-Rex. A $60 pledge gets the band to play your selection.
Saudi Arabia's religious police caused the deaths of 15 schoolgirls
by preventing them from escaping from a burning building. The children were not allowed to escape because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. When something like this happened under the Taliban it was taken as proof of Evil, but when it happens under our friends in Saudi Arabia it seems to just be ignored by the American government and the American media alike (or at least I haven't been able to find any reference to it in the American media.)
Amnesty International, unsurprisingly, has grave concerns for the welfare of Mugabe's opponents, particularly as few international observers remain. It suggests you send a fax or an e.mail asking that he considers the human rights issue and provides an address and number. Very probably a meaningless gesture but hey, you never know.
Maria Bartiromo's hair
is a predictable market indicator. She can talk for hours
. Joey Ramone wrote
about her [realaudio]. I hope she likes all those letters I sent her.
A feminist critique of "post-feminist" fetish.
"It was bad enough when so many feminists supported Bill Clinton...'Sex positive' feminism, at its root, is really just another manifestation of patriarchy, because it fully supports men's 'rights' to seek pleasure wherever and however they wish."
(Clean site, but includes subject matter and links that may not be safe for work.)
Speaking of religion causing nightmares,
these just don't feel 'right'. Maybe it's the idea of 'reinforcing' the idea that Jesus is your friend, in all activities. Last i checked, forced friendships don't work well. And sandals aren't conductive to track and field.
A family of six
was found dead in a case of murder-suicide, authorities in Oregon said Friday. Bryant, the father, became estranged from several branches of his family, including his parents, three brothers and a sister. The other family members were Jehovah's Witnesses and the split appeared to involve differences over religious beliefs.
In other news, An angry, mysterious preacher
told Andrea Yates that she was evil, that her children were damned, and that only death could save her. Mr. Yates testified that the preacher had taught him and his wife that children are lost forever to God, and therefore damned to eternal hellfire, if they are not "saved" by the time they are 13 or 14.
Are we regressing to the religions produced nightmares of the Middle Ages?
I knew amazon sold bollox,
but this IS cool. You must be over 10 to play Bollox though. I wonder if you can shout "Bollox" if you win instead of if you loose.
The Kansas State Legislature has reversed the decision
that the state's supreme court made last week about a different kind of reversal. They've let evolution back in the schools, but they aren't quite ready for transexual marriages -- at least not when the widow(er?) would walk away with millions.
Google continues march towards world domination with Google News.
"Google's News Search (BETA) service presents information culled from many of the world's news sources collected over the previous week. With continuous updates throughout the day, you'll keep up to date with what's happening now and learn about the stories that led to the most recent developments." Now there's no excuse for posting a CNN link.
Kinda makes you forget about pong
The Case for Profiling
'As it happens, the suicide bombers who attacked us on Sept. 11 were young, Islamic, Arab and male. That is not a stereotype. That is a fact. And there is no hiding from it, as there is no hiding from the next al-Qaeda suicide bomber. He has to be found and stopped." From what can be read here
, and in another Time article here
, it would appear that profiling is a touch harder to do than this lightweight rant suggests. Whether one agrees with profiling or not, there seems little point in Time Magazine cheerleading it with an article that can only add to the high level of ignorance already surrounding this subject.
Boston's Catholic Archdiocese questions link of celibacy to pedophilia.
The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper, questions if celibacy causes sexual abuse by priests. Also questions if the priesthood attracts a disproportionate number of homosexual men. (Also on cnn.com
What do you think?
On a side note, the editorial also says that "We know that our sexual orientation is neither morally good nor evil." Since when was that a Catholic belief?
Doctor of love
anthropologist Helen Fisher argues that romance, marriage and divorce follow predictable patterns as old as the species. The evidence is as near as your local bar. Objective observations about Love and what it means when her toes curl.
Gender stereotypes are not the primary cause of a girl's developmental issues
according to therapist and author Michael Gurian, who is interviewed for this thought-provoking piece on his recent work "The Wonder of Girls." He argues for more recognition of the role of physiological influences in behavioral variations, and the article cites some intriguing variations in the anatomy and chemistry of male and female brains.
ATHEIST tag wins!
The State of Florida has ruled that Steven Miles will be allowed to keep his vanity plates. Says Miles, "Actually, we didn't have to fight very hard." Well, you get the ACLU
into something, and people start to listen...
Life, not Death
for Ms. Yates. And, Texas doesn't have a no-parole sentence, so she'll be eligible for release. Where does she go from there?
U.S. Spy agencies say Gulf War pilot likely seized. A U.S. intelligence report on the case of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher provides the most complete explanation by the U.S. government on why the pilot probably was captured alive by Iraqis after ejecting from his F-18 in 1991.
Interesting that this story comes out just as the U.S. is preparing to war on Iraq.
I have had a bizzare 15 minutes contemplating and ranting about this very thing (reading news twice at two different sites) at this mefi link
. I better get to work. I'm hooked. A bloggolidator?
A Bush amnesty for a Mexican army.
Perhaps hell has frozen over, but I find myself in agreement with Pat Buchanan. "With this vote to grant mass amnesty to hundreds of thousands from Mexico, the House and the president abdicated their duty to defend the American Southwest from foreign invasion [...] Congress was inundated with phone calls and faxes pleading, "Don't do this!" But well after dark, Speaker Hastert, under a suspension of rules, did his business and ran it through, by one vote. White House lobbyists had greased the skids."
I heard about this on TV last night, but this is the only story I've yet run across which really goes to the meat of the issue, even if I still think Buchanan is a meathead and even if it isn't exactly an unbiased news source. In time of "war," does this really serve the interests of homeland security
Turn any flat surface into a speaker.
"The Soundbug can be plugged into the headphone socket of, for example, an MP3 player or a Walkman and then fixed by suction to the flat surface — effectively turning a desk or window into a speaker."
125 Car Pile-up on Georgia Interstate 75.
This is the second time my neck of the woods (literally the neck of the woods!) has been in the news.
With 125 vehicles involved, I think this might be the largest wreck in US history. Thankfully, only 4 people were killed, considering it happened during the morning rush to get everyone's kids to school.
My friend Duncan
is comatose in a hospital clear across the country after a horrible car accident
last weekend, and there is little I can do. His brother is keeping us all updated as to his progress, but the prognosis
[shockwave: diffuse axonal injury] is not good. Yesterday, he suffered a mild heart attack, and they can't give him so much as an aspirin, because of his recent cranial bleeding. There's no time for establishing a formal open source project, but if anyone's got a few spare cycles to ping him (as his sister said, one of those wires plugged into him has to be a T3) and let him know we miss him, it'd mean a lot to us.
"Everything it takes to stage a guerrilla drive-in
fits neatly into the back of a Honda Civic: a VCR, a video projector, an FM receiver and a generator. The only other things you need are a film and a wall."
America's greatest quadrapelegic, recovering alcoholic cartoonist has a home online
. John Callahan may be the most hilariously truthful people alive. This page
contains animated versions of some of his best. The collection of hate mail
he's recieved is a hoot as well, if you enjoy laughing at the sanctimonious. This
is one of his best and also the title of his excellent autobiography.
Either Proud To Be A Racist Or Sorry To Be A Racist; But A Racist All The Same...
No, it's not
easy being white. Here's an excellent article by Robert Jensen in Mighty Organ
which identifies racism in its most well-meaning form: "Unlike Joe, who was hiding his weaknesses, I think Jim was hiding his strengths. Just as Joe needs to be accountable for his actions, so does Jim. Instead of saying "I am still a racist," it would be far more honest, and more courageous, for him to say, "I have worked hard to overcome much of the racism that this culture handed me. I think I have done a pretty good job. But precisely because of that fact, I have even more of a stake in having other folks - non-white and white - keep an eye on my behavior and hold me accountable
. Racism isn't all the same - but can one admit one's racism and not want to be a racist at the same time? Isn't this paternalism under a liberal guise? So, what is the balance between condescension, white guilt, political correctness and conscious racial prejudice?
As someone with a shy bladder
, I've always wanted one of these
. Thanks for listening, it means a lot.
is a music blog, focused on bootlegs. Not old Grateful Dead concerts, but DIY remixes and combinations, with tracks that pit Eminem against Britney, or Grandmaster Flash against Boards of Canada. Crazy stuff. bsx
is a helpful filter that whittles it all down to must-listen boots and mixes.
North Koreans would rather drink poison than return
Refugees seek asylum at the Spanish embassy in China.
"We are now at the point of such desperation and live in such fear of persecution within North Korea that we have come to the decision to risk our lives for freedom rather than passively await our doom," the group's statement said.
"Some of us carry poison on our person to commit suicide if the Chinese authorities should choose once again to send us back to North Korea," the statement said.
This and other pro-small billboards are popping up in downtown Atlanta. No doubt they have cousins (little ones, I'm sure) springing up in your cities. I couldn't believe my eyes, because the billboards seemed to be promoting the ever-so-British Mini Cooper
The Mini is... well... just like it says, the veritable opposite of the stereotypical American SUV. Yes, it is the type of car Mr Bean
would drive. But when you see them in their natural Anglo habitat, you can't help but notice they're just perfectly suited to zipping to and from wherever. The site lets you find a dealer, build your own Mini and save it for future reference. The catch is that you have to fill out an opt-in form, but with lines like this as part of your agreement, how could you resist?"- I agree to chase squirrels around the park now and then and giggle like a madman while doing it."
Yeah. I want one. But will the American public?
SFMOMA appoints Neal Benezra as new director.
Benezra was formerly the deputy director and curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and replaces David Ross, who left the museum in a hurry last August to become chairman of the board of Eyestorm
. During his tenure, Ross spent $140 million on acquisitions for the museum; Elaine McKeon, chairwoman of the Museum's board told the NYTimes that "We will still continue purchasing works of art, but we are going to move more slowly." Benezra has ties to Hunk and Moo Anderson, and wrote the catalog essay for the 2000 show of the Anderson collection. Could this mean that the Anderson collection will eventually be gifted to SFMOMA? (sfgate story
, nytimes story
is for those who love books but chafe at purchasing an unknown quantity and dislike the public library’s pesky practice of due dates and fines. MetaFilistine MarkAnd
not only allows you to peruse his personal library, but will ship you the tome of your choice gratis
and even sends a postage-paid envelope for you to return the book at your leisure. The NY Times jokingly refers to it as a "quixotic effort
", but Mark’s library is bereft of Don Quixote
. Perhaps you could donate this book, or others, to his library.
is trying to get Congress to pass a six-point Consumer Technology Bill of Rights to protect the legitimate rights of honest consumers who buy copyrighted content legally. You can read about the issue and the group in Walt Mossberg's WSJ column
Too many neighbors?
Bioweapons can help solve that problem. Recently declassified documents say that one of Australia's leading scientists suggested just that in 1947.
Let him stay. Spend just one hour with the Loftons to understand why Florida's ban on gay adoption is wrong.
This couple has taken in several HIV positive kids, but now that 14-year-old Bert, whom they have raised since infancy, tests HIV negative, the state of Florida considers him "adoptable" and is trying to find him a "suitable" (read heterosexual
) adoptive family. Interested parties can send a letter
to Florida officials in protest.
Made for the Medium
MSNBC's Brian Storm makes a case for a combination of news storytelling via photojournalism and audio that he feels is particularly well suited to the web. (via e-media tidbits
Oil makes the world go round.
The Senate yesterday defeated an effort to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks by 50 percent over 13 years, voting instead for a measure backed by the auto industry.
is just plain cool. I mean... now I can see if a text string appears anywhere
in a domain, and the results are clickable (note to the folks who do those awful WHOIS searches: I don't care who registered it, I care whether it's up-and-running!). Anyway, the link is via Rion.nu
who, BTW, has some wonderful photographs of the Tribute of Light
And the link to the photographs came via David Gallagher... another fine photographer, not to be confused with that ijit from Oasis.
" is the State Department legal term for when they ship
(its a lot like extradition minus due process ) Al Qaida/Taliban POWs to a friendly 3rd country such as Egypt or Jordan for questioning.
"Why not just question them in Guantanamo" you ask? Thats because in some countries, interrogation is less regulated than it is on US soil. Neat, huh?
"They were weakening our morale, it was better for them to go."
Thus spake one of our new allies, Afghan Commander Allah Mohammed, about U.S. soldiers in yesterday's Times article entitled "'Inadequate' U.S. troops pulled out of battleground". No doubt many will just call Commander Allah a low-down fluoridator and leave it at that. Sheesh, I mean, it's U.S. troops doing the fierce ground infighting over there, right? Er...well...but anyway...strangely, at least some U.S. troops "tactically reappraised" out the battle (as the U.S. military so aptly phrase-coined it) echo his judgment:
"It was nothing like training at all," said Sgt. Michael Dickson, 21. "They were real bullets, and they were intended to hit you. It was scary at all times."
Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard?
Our young...Afghan young...always the young, learning about the reality of bullets, in our name.
Are people demonizing Islam to gain publicity?
In an op-ed article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, Asma Hasan
wrote that post 9/11, 'hating' Islam is getting 'intellectualized'. She wrote that those who are framing the debate in 'clash of civilization' terms are doing it mainly to gain publicity (or because they dont know better). Her ire was directed more towards Sullivan and Rushdie whose voices as she rightly pointed out carry greater weight than that of people like Buchanan or Graham.
I do see a lot more stuff on the the 'clash of civilization' theme now than I have seen before sept 11. Is it because people think and speak a lot more on this subject now and this is what they actually believe or has the subject been getting sensationalized over the last few months?
Just who is Dean Stark?
A legend of usenet? Some kind of monster? Or perhaps the victim of a huge conspiracy? The answer may shock you...
Yes I know these are usually reserved for friday...But I couldn't resist sharing! Warning: a small windows download (an applet is available too).
Would you eat meat if you were confronted by images like this every time you ate it?
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously
the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful
distance of miles, there is complicity."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870
Warning: graphic pictures.
, the Belgian hepcats have just completed their latest album. It appears it became something of an albatross. Very good link here
detailing some of their trials and tribulations, also provides a little bit of an insight into the workings of the record industry (Is it still called the record
industry?). I found it fascinating, not least because of their eclectic tastes.
The Minstrel Show The Minstrel Show presents us with a strange, fascinating and awful phenomenon. Minstrel shows emerged from preindustrial European traditions of masking and carnival. But in the US they began in the 1830s, with working class white men dressing up as plantation slaves. These men imitated black musical and dance forms, combining savage parody of black Americans with genuine fondness for African American cultural forms. By the Civil War the minstrel show had become world famous and respectable. Late in his life Mark Twain fondly remembered the "old time nigger show" with its colorful comic darkies and its rousing songs and dances. By the 1840s, the minstrel show had become one of the central events in the culture of the Democratic party..
The image of white men in blackface, miming black song, dance and speech is considered the last word in racist bigotry for some. And yet, standing at the crossroads of race, class and high and low culture, blackface minstrelsy is one fascinating topic in academic circles. It’s history is intertwined with the rise of abolitionism, the works of Mark Twain and the histories of vaudeville
, American vernacular music, radio, television
, in fact all of what is called popular culture. Details within.
US Airways announces that for just 10 million frequent flyer miles, you can get a free trip to space! "There's just one catch: The rocket and the launch pad don't exist. So don't ask for time off quite yet."
Is your date of birth in pi?
Of course it is, eventually. But are you one of the lucky 63% whose special day falls within the first 100,000,000 digits? How about your Social Security Number? That club is even more exclusive
. A good tool for the pi-curious.
Text Based Pong: The game doesn't keep score yet, if you want to see who's winning, write it down on a piece of paper.
A word is worth 1/1000th of a picture. And yet, somehow I find this a compelling bit o' minimalism.
INS grants visas to deceased hijackers
- on Monday, the folks at Immigration and Naturalization services finally got around to issuing student visas to Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi (who were aboard the two flights that struck the WTC).
Legally, is a computer more like a TV, a pen, a radio, a CD player or a shortwave radio (or a hat, a brooch or a pterodactyl)? "Last month the top executives of two of the most powerful media companies in the world traveled to Washington to testify before Congress about the most dangerous threat they face: the American consumer."
As in most computer piracy discussions, this NYTimes
article (reg. req'd) analogizes computers to existing technologies: "airplanes, telephones, watches and televisions."
Isn't the problem that no existing precedent really fits? To me, a computer is at once a communications tool, an entertainment (audio and video) device, a content creator, a copier, and much, much more. The laws regulating each of those things vary significantly, and in some cases approach mutual exclusivity, and for good reason. How can one device satisfy all of them? (oh, and via blogdex)
Are Jesus & Mary buried in Pakistan & Kashmir?
Hmm. Suzanne Marie Olsson, a New York-based researcher, claims that the earthly remains of Jesus lie under a Muslim saint's tomb in Kashmir. She is using DNA testing on remains from the Pakistani town of Murree that she believes to be those of Mary. Olsson also believes Moses is buried in Bandipore in north Kashmir and Solomon at Takht-i-Suliaman in Srinagar. "You have more Christian holy sites than even Egypt or Israel," she said in an appeal for help from Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah. (Via alt.muslim
Play "police sketch artist"
with this Flash project. You can select from dozens of different noses, jawlines, eyes, hair, and so on to create an image of your friends or foes. It's harder to recreate someone than you'd think.
Cairo on the horizon (again).
Balmer talks of Microsoft's intention to integrate MSDE (i.e. SQL Server) technologies into the Windows filesystem. This long sought-after utopia of unified, object-oriented storage where files and directories become irrelavant has been talked about since 1994. It may, soon, be upon us.
Buying & Selling Babies?
"The practice, which is widespread among private adoption facilitators, of charging prospective parents different fees depending on the race or ethnicity of the child they adopt is one that Hutcherson is fighting to change from his Redmond, Wash., church. The Antioch Bible Church has established its own adoption agency, and is lobbying state legislators to change Washington's laws. He said that besides putting a price on children, the practice discriminates against white babies and people who seek to adopt them — an issue he said has been overlooked because white people, particularly those who can afford the high adoption fees charged, are not used to considering themselves victims of discrimination."
The Ramones and the Talking heads to get rock and roll rocking chairs in Cleveland
The sparring, though, is as much a part of the Ramones' history as their baseball-bat-clutching American eagle logo. "They'd play for 40 minutes," recalls CBGB proprietor Hilly Kristal. "And 20 of them would just be the band yelling at each other." Danny Fields says that early on, they'd also come to blows after their sets. "Johnny would be strangling Dee Dee, and there'd be press or fans waiting to see them," he says. "I'd tell folks they were just toweling off, give them a couple of minutes, and by the time people saw them, they'd be sipping a beer."
The inevitable seems imminent.
Despite widespread condemnation of the election process, Robert Mugabe seems destined to win the Zimbabwe Presidency 'legitimately'*.
This is terrible, terrible news.
*please read posts here for explanation of ghost quotes.
Scientists will tell you that Hydrogen is the most common element in all of nature.
Me, I think the scientists have it all wrong. I think the universe is really made out of irony
Information Activism - Spring Clean the Internet Week. "We aren't here to censor or judge information. We say publish what you want, useful or frivolous, but take care of it once you've created it. Keep it up to date, make sure it's still doing what you wanted it to do. And if it's not, get rid of it. It's that simple."
Andrea Yates convicted of capital murder.
"I'm not critiquing or criticizing the verdict," defense lawyer George Parnham said. "But it seems to me we are still back in the days of the Salem witch trials." -- Que?
Winona Ryder Tape exonerates her?
Apparently the tape shows nothing about Winona Ryder removing security tags, contrary to what police said about it. Also, her attourney makes a really cheesy Girl Interrupted
The little Afghani girl whose eyes captivated a nation back in 1985 (when her portrait graced the cover of a National Geographic magazine) has been located (alive!).
Getting the Picture
at the Smithsonian Archives. Sometimes a bit of doodling can make that note a little more special than the latest syrupy Hallmark design.
Business magazine editor sleeps with interviewee.
Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Wetlaufer interviews retired GE CEO Jack Welch for HBR. They begin a torrid romance (Welch is, of course, still married to his second wife.) Other editors find out about the romance and Wetlaufer cancels her story. Other HBR editors call for her resignation and the managing editor merely reassigns her. 2 other HBR editors quit in disgust. You can't make this stuff up!
Additional coverage via Financial Times
; Boston Globe
Let's hear it for the Fighting Whities!
Solomon Little Owl, director of Native American Student Services at the University of Northern Colorado, is a member of an intramural basketball team that has adopted the name "The Fighting Whities."
Team members say they want to raise awareness of the issue of painful cultural stereotypes. The team, made up of American Indian, Anglo and Hispanic players, is protesting nearby Eaton's use of the team name "Fightin' Reds" and an Indian caricature as a mascot. Little Owl said, "The Fighting Whities" issue is "to make people understand what it's like to be on the other side of the fence. If people get offended by it, then they know how I feel, and we've made our point." Curiously, I'm not offended. Are any of you?
link via yil daily net buzz
The CBC gives the Web/TV interface another go with Zed
. Instead of collateral materials from a TV show posted on the Web (a begrudging old-media conceit), you post on the Web and it’s all voted onto a TV show. Details skimpy at present, but quite possibly viable.
Police officers and FBI agents find cyanide in a Chicago subway.
A Wisconsin computer worker who dubbed himself Dr. Chaos was charged Monday with possessing a chemical weapon.
The suspect was wanted on several warrants from Wisconsin for allegedly staging attacks on a television station transmitter, electric power substations and natural gas pipelines.
When police shut down the subway tunnels for three hours Saturday night, they publicly said they were searching for the possessions of a homeless man who had been living in the tunnel.
Good news on the pollution front.
Town in Northern California finds a way to turn its sewage into non-polluting water and make a wildlife refuge. If you live in Arcata, you can flush your toilet with pride! Quick overview here
or the full flush.
Should creation of intellectual property
be taxable? The City of Seattle wants to tax the development of software, not the sale, the development. Across the country
state and local governments are starting to consider taxing this. The question is, is software development taxable? If so, is writing a book taxable, painting a picture? People pay sales tax on the software, and businesses pay income, use, and B&O taxes already. Why is this different?
In the not too distant future, somewhere in time and space...
Many alumni performers (sans the 'bots) from the star-crossed tv series Mystery Science Theater 3000 have briefly reunited. Though MST3K is slowly fading away into rerun limbo hell and obscurity, the brains
that once made the 'bots possible are still managing to find work. [more]
All your favorite news
can be found at Stereotypography -- or, at least, the news from 18 distinct weblogs. Condensed into three frames, you can read the news from three of those sites and switch between them with drop-down boxes. Resize the font or refresh the news feeds at will. (found via alt.sense
Obesity Harder on Health Than Smoking
according to a RAND study of 10,000 adults released today. "The study found that obesity -- linked to health complications including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and certain cancers -- raises a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent. [...] In terms of dollar amounts, the study found that obesity raised healthcare costs by an average of $395 a year, while smoking increased costs by $230 and heavy drinking is associated with a $150 annual increase."
White house announces more silly and vague schema
for defining terrorist threat. Ok, so how does going from the total unclear status of "everybody lookout, it's coming" to Yellow Alert which means "a significant risk of terrorist attacks" make things more clear? For that matter what's the point of Red Alert anyhow? Is that for when the Pentagon is already on fire?
Not a hoax!?
'We are in Mrs. Lentz's Computer Class at Clara Bolen
Elementary in Tawa City, MI. We are doing an experiment for the art and science fair to be held in April at our school. We are trying to see where our email can travel in the space of one month.'
Kurzweil teleports to nanotech conference
. Well, nearly... it looks like an oversized teleprompter - but according to those who were there, a lifesized 3D image of ace tech-visionary Ray Kurzweil
did indeed appear at a conference in Richardson, Texas, March 7, 2002.
"I thought it worked really well," said Steve T. Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "I thought it was at least 95% of the real thing. In fact, the person that followed strangely enough seemed pale and flat. In comparison Ray almost was more realistic and three-dimensional." But will it share a Bud in the after-meet schmooze? In any case, we always knew that, in terms of the tech-spec, The Force Was With Us.
If you would, please, I'd like to politely invite you to consider The Decay Of Manners
: "We rush through life in such a hurry these days, that there is little or no time or thought for the refinements and courtesies that in the good old days of our grandparents were considered necessary to good manners.
Minnetonka Record, November 21, 1902
. Thank you very much for your time.
Here’s a nice addition
to your movie memorabilia collection. Would that I had the spare £15,000 lying around. If you could owe one little piece of a favorite cult film, what would it be?
Don’t call them terrorist
– call them "Koran Preservationist." Bob Jones III, writing on BJU’s website
, says that his university & Christians in general should move away from the word "fundamentalist" because of it’s negative connotations since the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"Bob Jones University is unashamedly Fundamentalist, but the term is beginning to carry an onerous connotation with the world at large because of the media's penchant for lumping Christian Fundamentalists in the same heap as Islamic Fundamentalists. Instead of "Fundamentalism" defining us as steadfast Bible believers, the term now carries overtones of radicalism and terrorism. "Fundamentalist" evokes fear, suspicion, and other repulsive connotations in its current usage."
Is Bob Jones III right to lay blame solely on the media? Or is the public at large simply fed up with religious zealots
, young earthers
, anti-abortion bombers
Mostly for math/science/engineering people, this is a web based free Mathematica
integrator. It can do indefinite integration on every integrable function (over one variable). It is a blessing for students and a great web resource. Anyone seen anything as scientifically handy on the web recently?
Does extradition serve any purpose?
A few weeks ago there was some talk of extraditing Omar in the US press, but since then the story seems to have died down, or rather lost momentum. I wonder why there hasn't been a louder clamoring for his extradition? I am sure his wife cares about the outcome of this case.
50 Cents, Please.
Remember When A Call Cost a Dime? Soon: the 50 cent NYC local phone call. The poor state of payphones in NYC has long fascinated me. Supposedly, most don't work because of vandalism (often, the dial tone works, but the you lose your coins), but I suspect Verizon just wants to maximize cell phone sales. And I suspect the payphone is an endangered species for health reasons.
What's the state of the pay phone in your city?
Art Fights Back
— an exhibit of poster art at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa — displays images dedicated to the memory of September 11 and support of the Unites States and its troops. Seems like a typical thing to do around war time, right?
Take a close look at the actual poster design
. Don't they seem rather non-American
in their artistic style? In fact, they recall an era of poster design for a dramatically different context
than what was typically thought of as U.S. patriotism.
Star Trek Goes All Right Wing On Us
This week's The Nation
brings us a treatise on how all the post-Kirk Treks were really progressive and groovy, and how the new Enterprise
is racist, misogynistic, and perhaps even crypto-anti-semitic. Quote: "interplanetary politics seem to have been framed by Pat Buchanan" and "The women were like insects themselves...and in the time we spent mentally fondling their bouncy, soulless bodies, I felt, for the first time, that Star Trek
didn't consider me a person." Oy veh.
The BBC launch a new radio station.
For too long, an entire demographic has been excluded from British radio. That is, contemporary and classic rock music that isn't exclusively chart oriented. It's only available on digital radio and streaming over the internet. So far it looks very promising. As a public sector broadcaster, this is exactly the sort of thing the Beeb should be doing - filling in the gaps left by commercial stations. Enjoy.
Dig him up!
Dig up that corpse! If you really love Jesus Christ, you'll haul his bones out of the ground to prove my daughter wrong! Dig up his grave! Pull out his tongue!
They call them"echphenomena"
.It's interesting to discover years later that there's a formal name for something you experienced. Around age 7 to 8, I went through a period where I would repeat everything
a second time just under my breath(I could also not hear my self doing so). It eventually went away on it's own, but for a while I was freaking people out. In my twenties I met two other people who underwent similar experiences. Most often, these behaviors seem to be associated with Tourrete's Syndrome
or Parkinson's, although I suffer from neither. It is
a fascinating phenomena, though. Have any other MeFite's been acquainted with this phenomena?
Ginger... iMac... Yahoo?
It looks like Yahoo! is taking a page from Steve Jobs's book
, promising something that's 'so big there's never been anything like it on the Internet, or anywhere else.' Liftoff is 1 PM Pacific Time on Wednesday which, incidentally, is just after trading closes at NASDAQ.
Thoughts on the 9/11 documentary.
We've already talked about would you watch
. Now that it's aired, did
you watch? Was it what you expected? Did it trivialize by turning horrible tragedy into heartwarming fare, or did it bring the harsh reality of 9/11 home to those who weren't there?
Survivors Healed, but Not Whole
"But hearing the story of how Patty crawled out of that room, dutifully dragging her behemoth purse (it weighed a ton, it seemed, with enough odds and ends to supply an army), and this as her colleagues were stripping off their clothes and lapping up water off the floor in a desperate struggle to escape the terrible heat and stay alive -- that was funny.
A half-year after the attack, the reconstruction of the Pentagon is racing along, with crews repairing the broken facade and ready to start roof work today, the six-month anniversary. Harder to mend are the souls of those who were there Sept. 11."
No Profiling, No Saftey? ...to placate special interest groups that fear profiling will result in widespread racial or religious discrimination, authorities are imposing screening quotas that are unlikely to thwart a future terrorist attack. They should be doing the very opposite by creating more sophisticated profiling systems that catch real criminals.
Is it really "damned if they do, damned if they don't" or is there a better way?
was once the darling of the online world to every-man wanted to post his own web site. Free space for all, and all were happy. Then Yahoo! bought it, and the dot-com collapse occurred. Now, GeoCities offers new premium packages
, offering more features. But at $19.95 before you can even having scripting, traditional web hosts greatly undercut Yahoo!'s offering, and offer more in terms of features still.
Perhaps AOL isn't that bad.
I've never liked AOL
, but this recent article
makes me want to give the company a big hug. Finally, people are stepping up to the Microsoft
juggernaut and deciding to use other means to deliever content and run their own machines. AOL is trying to cut costs by migrating from UNIX and Windows to a Linux
environment on the server-side. On the client side, they will apparently be pushing the use of Mozilla
instead of their previous default browser, Internet Explorer. This has the potential to impact the web enormously, as AOL's 30 million subscribers will soon be using Mozilla as their browser. Web designers will have to start sticking to w3c specs
instead of using MSIE-specific coding, which will hopefully force Microsoft to follow the specs more closely. Begun this browser war has. (via /.
Hackers target Cell Phones
With the connectivity of cell phones to the internet, hackers have begun to target cell phones, programming prank calls, placing calls to wherever and erasing the software in the phone.
Canada proposes $21/gig levy on portable MP3 players (PDF link)
Canada's Copyright Board wants a levy on music devices with nonremovable hard drives, such as the iPod. We already have a levy on blank CDs and tapes, which will also rise. In Canada, it's legal to copy music you don't own
, so these levies are used to compensate artists for lost revenue. A per-gig levy seems ill-conceived to me. The Archos Jukebox already goes up to 20 gigs ($400 tax on a $550 product!) and these devices won't be getting any smaller.
Report from Ground Zero
Brenda Berkman, highest-ranking female FDNY firefighter (25 women, 11,475 men): “[O]ne good thing that has come out of it is that I didn’t have to die to find out how many people care about me. It has really been overwhelming, the love and concern that has been directed to me from women and men from all over the country.” No female firefighters died
in the bombing: “We have fathers and sons on that list, brothers on that list.... But no women firefighters, which was an absolute miracle because a huge percentage of us are in the companies that were hit the hardest.”
How engines work.
This isn't new but it's a great resource for the mechanically minded and the mechanically challanged as well. It includes animations and step by step descriptions of how most existing engines work, from Steam Locomotive
to Jet Propulsion
. Simple yet informative.
Police offers will soon have to disclose why they have stopped someone
- I thought this sounded like a reasonably good idea... especially since on more than one occasion I've been pulled over just so they can "check my car over"... until I read this: "Forces will be told to set up panels of community representatives to scrutinise stop and search records and check that ethnic minorities are not being targeted disproportionately."
. Can anyone else see where this is going? "Oh, I'm afraid we can't arrest Mr. X, because we've arrested too many [insert random racial group here] this month".
Learn Irish Slang In Under 20 Seconds Jaysus - an expression of disbelief or despair: "Jaysus! Didya see that?" "Jaysus woman! Will ya leave me be?"
discuss amongst the fecking banjaxed gobshites in your midst.
Isaac Asimov died of AIDS.
His widow, Janet Jeppson Asimov, reveals that Asimov acquired AIDS from a blood transfusion during bypass surgery in 1983 in a condensed version of his biography just published this month ("It's Been a Good Life"). Apparently his doctor advised that they not disclose his AIDS infection.
suck. Long live Scholz & Volkmer's 60/90/60
! The whole site is in German, unfortunately, but it's not that hard to figure out. If you want to skip directly to creating your own figure, click "Selbermachen." Otherwise, click "Loben" to view and vote on other people's. Too bad you can't download and post these
to your site...
Yeah, we all know that PETA
is pretty loopy. Well ok, that's unfair. I meant to say we, the thinking, know that PETA....
Seriously tho, even tho I'm not into PETA, and I don't agree with a lot of what they do, I think one of their latest ideas, the concept of taxing meat
is such a good idea. I mean why not? Meat's about as healthy as cigarettes, coffee, and beer, and those products are taxed. Mostly, I'd like to see some money come in to balance out the money spent to fix the damage created by the Meat Industry. [digitalbutterfly.net
is a spiffy flash-animated music video thingamabob, if you're into that kinda thing. Very clickable.
"This is like someone handing you a camera before the first-ever picture was taken.
You have no idea what the light will do and it's the same light that Moses read the Ten Commandments by." Farrell Eaves was heartbroken when his digital Nikon Coolpix fell into a New Mexico pond. Now he's grateful. He fished it out and dried it as best he could, and now it's a magical camera. Read more about the metamorphosis here
(frames ahoy - click on "NEW !! Mr Eaves and his Magic Camera" in the upper left). I'm just this close
to dunking mine in the tub.
"To this day, the illustrations march right off the page"
describes a rare book published in 1493 found in a Maine farmhouse. The book is illustrated with more than 1,800 exquisite pictures made from woodcuts. Where will they find my rare digital photo in 500 years and will they say "it marches off the CD-ROM" or "data-error.. should have used wood block"
Is it time for a United Ireland?
David Trimble, Protestant Leader, thinks a vote would decide the issue once and for all. Will Northern Ireland vote to leave the U.K.? Or will they even vote at all?
Now here's some useful information for the frequent traveler!
It was only a matter of time. The Ultimate Strip Club List is basically MeFi for the Jiggle Room set. The reviews are all user submitted, and considering the subject matter, somewhat thoughtful and informative. It includes a lengthy MeFi style debate about the merits of my local favorite
. I imagine you hometown joinys are here as well.(Not Safe For Work
Think your life sucks? Take a trip through a day in the life of a Canadian McDonald's employee with this great simulator.There's more to it than that first animated gif, click the 'simulator' button below...
Netscape Phones Home
Yet another major software vendor snoops on users. Netscape, the former darling of the anti-Microsoft movement, captures search terms that users enter on third party sites if users have set the search tab in the sidebar to load a site other than Netscape's own search engine and sends information back to Netscape. Can you trust your own system anymore?
The Time Machine opened in wide release this weekend but according to multiple reviews (
including this one
) it looks like great-grandson Simon managed to transform a
socialist metaphor for the dangers of industrialization
into yet another special effects-loaded romantic movie. This seems to be an overall trend in Hollywood to remove the socio-political content from adaptations following The Count of Monte Cristo and Planet of the Apes. Perhaps we should just stick to the book on tape
Bush prepares nuclear weapons for use.
A classified Pentagon report directs the Defense Department to prepare "smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations," such as "targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack." Potential targets listed include China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. Is the U.S. merely bluffing, or should we begin stocking our fallout shelters?
U.S. Works Up Plan for Using Nuclear Arms
-- "The Bush administration has directed the military to prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries and to build smaller nuclear weapons for use in certain battlefield situations... The secret report... says the Pentagon needs to be prepared to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria."
Family of Man Part 2
Many will remember Edward Steichen's
(the first photo curator of the New York Museum of Modern Art besides being one of photography's greats) epic 1955 Family of Man
exhibition for the MOMA and the ubiquitous book
memorializing it. This is a worthy attempt at keeping that 50's spirit alive. PS all photos taken with Leica cameras, and for any Leica fanatics, take a peek at the just unveiled Leica M7
while you are at it.
The mention of Benedict Arnold was inadvertent.
Just caught a fun piece on NPR about 'Kill Duck Before Serving
', a collection of notable corrections printed in The New York Times. Miscaptioned photos, famously bad journalist math (how
many bras?), and transcription gaffes ('veteran,' not 'Bedouin'). Great stuff, whether you love or hate the 'paper of record.' One gem: "A caption in Business Day with an article about the National Bank of Kuwait mistranslated the Arabic script of the bank symbol. It says, 'National Bank of Kuwait' [not 'There is no god but Allah']." The Times regrets the error.
Now that we have your att... hello? 'Boring sex': latest 'global problem', or the cry of a world full of jaded misogynists?
probably the finest literary chronicler of America's National Pastime is also a master at the delicate art of being sentimental without being saccharine. The Band
created some the greatest musical portraits of America ever committed to wax. Both of these artists tackle very "American" themes, yet both(excepting Band drummer Levon Helm) are Canadian. Canada is often ignored or glossed over culturally speaking, but these two examples make me think that perhaps Canadians have a unique perspective on America that helps them create such amazing portraits of the US.
at the landfill. There are plenty of "found object" artists out there, but in this particularly enlightened recycling program, the Sanitary Fill Company pitches in to the process in a big way.
What We're Fighting For
: a group of 60 diverse academics lay out the basic principles shared by Americans and the West in the war against terrorism:
We affirm five fundamental truths that pertain to all people without distinction:
1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
2. The basic subject of society is the human person, and the legitimate role of government is to protect and help to foster the conditions for human flourishing.
3. Human beings naturally desire to seek the truth about life's purpose and ultimate ends.
4. Freedom of conscience and religious freedom are inviolable rights of the human person.
5. Killing in the name of God is contrary to faith in God and is the greatest betrayal of the universality of religious faith.
We fight to defend ourselves and to defend these universal principles.
Super Exciting Moving Sale
"Do you own clothes? Do you love the Justice League of America? If you answered yes to either of the preceeding questions, then you are a prime candidate to be the proud new owner of the Batman Dresser. A picture of Al Pacino as Tony Montana will appear next to all sold merchandise."
A Grand Narrative
"When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness
and social psychology
play in the Middle East? (via blogdex
"The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)"
is the Trade Association for "America's favorite brands of distilled spirits." They try to promote pro-liquor causes such as reducing tariffs
on alcohol and increasing the number of states selling it Sunday
. Here is where it gets interesting: their site is at: www.discus.health.org/
which is (obviously) a subdomain of health.org
. If you go to health.org there is no mention of DISCUS involvement. The health.org 'about
' page implies that the site is jointly run by several Federal Agencies
. Health.org itself seems devoted to stopping drugs in their seedy illegal tracks. Take a look at: "Marijuana: Weeding out the hype"
or this "Prevention Alert"
which suggests "Skewed articles can be used in the classroom to provide 'teachable moments' in seeking the facts about... ecstasy." Is it troubling that "the trade association for... America's favorite brands of distilled spirits" is operating behind the scenes of the 'government sponsored' anti-drug site with no disclosure? Would it be too jaded to conclude that when health.org commands teens: "If you're smoking marijuana--stop!"
that the puppet master is more worried about the fierce competition presented by non-alcoholic drugs than they are genuinely concerned about the health.org of young people?
James Jimmy Bond.
Last Saturday ABC television aired "Diamonds Are Forever"
and digitally altered
the color of character Plenty O’Toole’s panties, as well as adding a black brassiere.
What possesses a network experiencing serious viewership erosion to cause them to spend time and money is such ridiculous censorship? What are the issues regarding copyright and intellectual property?
More importantly, what are they smoking over there at ABC?
Lord of the Hackers?
Sherri Turkle writes in the NYT:
Adolescents are wise in the psychology of computer games and Middle Earth. They live in a world they can't control, in a body that seems increasingly alien. To them the computer world is soothing, offering reassurance through mastery. Just as each episode of "The Lord of the Rings" presents a danger and each has its resolution, so many adolescent boys move from one block of intransigent code to another, from one screen to the next, declaring victory as they go.
But this distinction is about more than gender; it is about ways of looking at the world — real, imagined or computer-generated. Some pioneers of computing had a style of working that rewarded risk. They spoke of programming itself as though it were a dangerous quest. At M.I.T. computer hackers even had a name for it: "sport death." To pull back from the impending doom of a system crash required near magic, an almost empathetic knowledge of the intricacies of code. For this community, a certain bravado came to be seen as valuable, even necessary, beyond the world of programming.
Any programmer-hobbits care to comment on this? This doesn't exactly
describe my feelings when unsnarling html.
What if...? Uchronia: The Alternate History List is an annotated bibliography of novels, stories, essays and other material involving the "what ifs" of history. Such texts may also be called as alternate histories, alternative histories, allohistories, uchronia, counterfeit worlds, counterfactuals, negative histories, etc.
Alternative history is big on the web
. See this alternative Russian Revolution
example. For an exaustive AH list check out Uchronia's links pages
. Are there any other favourite alternative history sites / books you have enjoyed?
Photos Show Plane Hitting Pentagon
A sequence of five government photos shows the moment the hijacked American Airlines plane slammed into the Pentagon last Sept. 11.
Enough proof for you?
Why does it take so long to mend an escalator?
Incisive article which seems to be metaphorically demonstrating the difficulties in repairing society's ills through the voices of mechanical engineering. "The chinks in an escalator's armour are the spaces between step and step, step and wall, and comb plate and step. That is where a shoelace, a scarf, a child's finger or a foot can get caught - which is bad for travellers - and where small hard objects, dragged along and forced between cleats and comb plate, can chew up the aluminium steps, which is punishing for the machine."
Charting the unchurched in America
"Americans almost all say religion matters, yet more people than ever are opting out. "
I thought the trend was in the other direction What's Up
A roomful of nothing. Except bungee babies, eating tapeworms and foreign tears. "Too much thoughts for such a small head. Which way should I go?" (via artkrush
"Beige. I think I'll paint the universe beige."
Remember those arguments
we had about the exact shade of turquoise the universe was supposed to be? Umm, computer glitch, sorry. "Fairchild realized the software Glazebrook was using actually took a slightly pinky looking colour as white. 'There was a huge green shift due to the erroneous white point,' he says."
Puzzling X-rays from Jupiter
"We weren't surprised to find x-rays coming from Jupiter." Other observatories had done that years ago. The surprise is what Chandra has revealed for the very first time: the location of the beacon -- surprisingly close the planet's pole -- and the regular way it pulses. (Via Fark.)
I haven't seen any of these quarters yet, despite their apparent circulation of over two months, but I can't believe that they couldn't do enough QA to realize that they were making one obvious error and another one that most might not pick up on, but is incorrect nonetheless.
so which "officials" do we believe?
is this a final salvo from the "now disbanded" office of military misinformation?
i don't know which is spookier the thought of the threat, or the folks in charge getting their "credible" info from some clown in las vegas??
of information on Folklife in Florida between 1937-1942. Audio files are stunning. They were originally recorded (with a portable acetate cutter!) by Zora Neal Hurston and Stetson Kennedy, working for the WPA. Does anyone else have other favorite Library of Congress sites?
first heard about on npr
Carry Nation: Extreme Temperance Advocate
"A female figure dressed in black appeared on Topeka's streets on January 26, 1901. A dark veil shrouded the woman's face but couldn't disguise her from the city's populace, who immediately recognized her as one of the country's foremost temperance advocates. Carry Nation had arrived in Topeka.
For the next three weeks she and her followers smashed saloons in an effort to close all the city's illegal "joints." She was threatened by howling mobs, beaten by wives of saloon owners, and repeatedly arrested and jailed. The violence she initiated quickly spread all over the state, and had a lasting effect that endured for many years."
The New York Times finally justified asking for my email address: you can specify a list of words and phrases and have the Times email you
whenever an article containing one of them appears. (My list: 'aphex, autechre, squarepusher, "warp records"')
The Internet Classics Archive.
Along with the Perseus Project
, part of an expanding effort to put all the wisdom of ages gone by online. After all, it's all in the public domain, right? There are so many translations of the ancient texts, so many onlne analyses by lunatics...when you search online for that quote from the Iliad, how much discretion do you use in determining how good the translation and commentary is? What are the most legitimate online sources for accessing apocryphal knowledge?
Designer Drugs and Raves - Second Edition (PDF)
. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police document designed to educate and inform police officers and social workers alike, complete with helpful photos of "The Candy Raver".
The result of a three-year 'intelligence probe' into the rave scene, it's an interesting read, and a fairly good indication of the Canadian government's attitude towards increasing drug use at raves and nightclubs.
Myths Over Miami.
Captured on South Beach, Satan later escaped. His demons and the horrible Bloody Mary are now killing people. God has fled. Avenging angels hide out in the Everglades. And other tales from children in Dade's homeless shelters.
Hit-and-run victim left for dead -
Not your typical hit and run either... this might be the most messed up thing i've heard in awhile. "Maybe we've just redefined inhumanity here."
Environmental Hypocrites? Jennifer Lopez: black Lincoln Navigator. Meg Ryan: black Ford Explorer. Dustin Hoffman: dark green Land Rover Range Rover…I don't begrudge these individuals their choice in automotive transportation…I just can't stomach so-called "environmentalists" who are about as green as Clifford the Big Red Dog."
Syria on Brink of Conflict Over Lebanon
For reasons unkown to me, the Liberals (the Znetters) fail to mention this 30 thousand man troop occupation of Lebanon and focus on Israeli occupation of land taken in war; conservatives never mention this occupation. American political figures ignore or push this aside; and Arabs, about to meet in Beirut for their summit brush this aside, but for the Lebanese, a sore issue.
So in the spirit of this New Yorker Talk of the Town piece
on different city's choosing books for everyone to read, what book would you like to make everyone in YOUR city read? And, what city would that be?
Pinocchio Fetish? Ok, now what's the attraction with women who look like they've told too many fibs? Well… that's hard to say. It's just sexy...
"If every girl who had a Barbie doll had a vulva puppet she'd have a very different view of her body," says Dorrie Lane, the Oakland artist and sex educator who made the 300-pound vulva.
helpfully split into 2 sections: "The Good News" and "The Bad News."
THE SIRIUS PAPERS
— "The first of a series of books the contents of which, over 450 items, were dictated directly to a group of mediums in answer to questions highly important to humanity, by what are termed 'Aliens', ...in fact, THEY are NOT 'Aliens' - THEY were HERE before WE were..!"
An editorial cartoon that ridicules widows of World Trade Center victims as greedy and shallow publicity hounds drew instant outrage last night from the grieving survivors. One widow was shown with a pile of cash in her lap and telling a reporter, 'I keep waiting for Kevin to come home, but I know he never will. Fortunately, the $3.2 million I collected from the Red Cross keeps me warm at night.'
The NYTimes pulled the strip from its Website.
The emotion Buddhists call samvega
is hard to translate because it covers three clusters of feelings at once: "the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle." Not being a Buddhist, I can't say I have any more faith in pasada than in prozac. But I and many people I've known have experienced a complex emotion like this one, so it's interesting to know that this concept has been around for so long.
"Netochka threatens lawsuits, she revokes software licenses, she cries Nazi!
So much as criticize her software publicly, and she might announce that you have been banned from using it. It doesn't necessarily sound like the most prudent business strategy. But Netochka's defenders see her whole online persona as her genius. The irritation and hand-wringing -- that's all part of the point. She speaks in her own cryptic lexicon and syntax and then stands back to see just how disruptive this can be to an online community."
Bush wanted to be the Education President,
not the Terrorism President. An older piece from The Nation
on Bush's high stakes standardized testing from No Child Left Behind. It's not just oil companies that have the ear of the Chief, but the textbook industry, too.
Fifteen tons of popcorn
is not a murder weapon. It's just evidence in a completely seperate crime. But, one has to wonder.... did he need fibre in his diet that badly?
Here's an amusing little time-waster from Shockwave.com
Apparently, the US government was informed in 1995 by Filipino authorities that there were terrorist agents in the US training to crash planes into buildings. I head a blurb about this on the radio and had to dig to find the article... is this something else that is just going to be swept under the rug?
John Darnielle has written a song by song defense of Radiohead's amnesiac (1
), among other
overly wordy and passionate music reviews, including many pleas for us all to learn to love doom/death metal
. John is a prolific songwriter
himself, under the name The Mountain Goats. All the TMG's music, including their newest
, is recorded on the Panasonic RX-FT500
, a cheap boom box with the gears audibly churning in the background as extra musician.
darwin's famous apostle
an interesting interview with richard dawkins pondering darwinism as it is perceived today. Life the universe and everything.
Arundhati Roy Fined, Sent to Jail for a Day.
The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday sentenced Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy to a day's imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 2,000 for contempt of court. If she doesn't pay the fine, she will be jailed for three months.
Rock Stars who Sell Out. The days when musicians made headlines by wrecking hotel rooms, raging against the establishment and disparaging corporate America seem long gone.
Noah's Ark is being rebuilt,
but I don't think it will float
. I can't help but think that it would make a wicked skateboard halfpipe. The project broke ground in 1976, but seems to be moving slowly. More info here
. Any Maryland MeFi'ers know the current status of this thing? more inside:
Belushi. Even before he died, John could drift off into space and become an angel, a tribal God of comedy, and I worshipped him. 20 years later, I still do. Bye-bye John.
Bush imposes import tariffs on steel, something I didn't really expect coming from the administration. Dangerous precedent or useful bulwark against laissez-faire globalization?
Guantanamo Bay: 'The American Auschwitz'
"...We always see how human beings prey upon each other, how values are trampled, and how tragedies recur. This is exactly what happened, and is still happening, at the 'American Auschwitz' detention camp...excuse me, I meant the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay!! " more follows: any truth to what he is saying or is this total madness?
"I was always cool,"
Mr. Manilow said with a laugh. "Everyone else is just catching up now." [NYT link]
is more entertaining than That 80s Show
. And this
is just plain sexy.
9/11 - the CBS documentary.
Okay, so we've heard of, and discussed
the footage of the attacks before, and many of us know that this will be airing on CBS (in the U.S.) this Sunday (interestingly from 9-11 pm). I wonder if anyone (or everyone) will watch? Some people have tried to halt or delay the showing
, but CBS is going ahead, and promising not to show 'graphic footage'. I'm really torn between curiosity and a fear of "too much too soon", and really don't know whether I'm going to watch or not.
Even if you hate
San Francisco and think it is filthy, there are some good things there. Unfortunately, there may soon be one less good thing
if the National Park Service doesn't make plans to accommodate this historical treasure trove. They want to rebuild the Cliffhouse and have no current space allotted for the Musee Mechanique
. As many people
, it's a wonderful place for children and adults alike. You can sign the petition
if you care or think it will help.
Not for this audiophile
How many CDs do you have to sell to afford that BMW?Find out how much money musicians don't make with the Royalty Caculator
What if they threw an All-Star game and nobody came?
In one of the most devistating blows to Commisioner Bud Selig's controversial reign, the MLB players are threatening not to attend this year's game in Milwaukee.
Selig owned the Milwaukee Brewers before handing it over to his daughter in order to be Commissioner, and in this battle over revenue-sharing, it would be almost too easy not to boycott the game due to Bud's connection with the host city. Conflict of interest around Selig's quasi-ownership and quasi-commissionership make him the ideal target for this fascinating threat, and probably the most exciting thing to happen to Milwaukee since "Laverne & Shirley."
"Let us pray that our country will stop this war."
From a recent speech by U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio: "We did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases. We did not authorize war without end. We did not authorize a permanent war economy. We did not authorize an eye for an eye. Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on Sept. 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in
"Cadillac's brand manager says, "Cadillac research showed that there was a real need for the EXT."
A real need for a Cadillac pickup? Really? If so, then here are a few things that I really need: An air-conditioned front yard. Iguana-skin patio furniture. Stigmata. Mint-flavored Drano. Gold-plated roof gutters. A 190-hp MerCruiser SaladShooter. A dog with a collapsible tail. An office desk that converts into a Hovercraft. Chrome slacks. A lifetime subscription to Extreme Fidgeting. A third arm. A fourth wife. A smokeless Cuban Robusto. Reusable Kleenex."
Is this Car and Driver
review SUV-bashing? Sure. Is it funny? Definitely.
"Towers of Light" given ok by Bloomberg
"There's nothing we can do to bring back those we lost, but we have to make sure we have a way to remember". Towers of Light
and a now-damaged sculpture called "The Sphere," which stood in the fountain of the trade center plaza, will form two temporary memorials.
Like tarot or astrology
in that it's a tool for introspection, only without the occult trappings. Kinda fun to play with, though. Or maybe not. (Warning: annoying The Weakest Link
The coming breed of couch potato jocks? "Discoveries made at the University of Dundee are helping in the development of drugs that fool your body into thinking that your are actively exercising even when you are not, and may help in the fight against the current increase in the incidence of obesity and Type 2 diabetes."
It might seem
that I'm just sitting in front of a computer screen all day, but in reality I'm training for the Olympics.
Story coverage from the BBC
You tell'm Ted! (nyt link)
Koppel is first to publically denounce accusations that Nightline
is irrelevant or lacks a competitive edge in the late night wars. David Letterman is still strangely silent about rumors that ABC is trying to steal him from CBS to replace Ted Koppel's long-running news program. Perhaps after publically ribbing Oprah Winfrey & getting the cold shoulder, Letterman has learned when not
to open his mouth? ..nah!
Bravenet Hacked - Damned hackers
I think I found why my page wasn't loading right. They even have a question about it making pages load wrong. Mine was loading like molasses.
Sigh. I need to go find a new counter.
Remember Hanging Out And The World Out There?
This invigorating article by Jay Walljasper in the current Utne Reader
, lists 60 favourite gathering places
in the U.S. I half-expected MetaFilter to figure prominently. But then, all of a sudden, it hit me. And I felt guilty about forgetting the real outdoor, face-to-face meaning of the lost art of hanging out
. Well, I plan to make amends this weekend. I'll be hanging out at my favourite café in Lisbon - the beautiful eighteenth-century Nicola
- where table-to-table political discussions, flirting, studying, hot buttered toast and almost illegally caffeinated espressos are de rigueur
. So what's your
favourite hang-out? If and when you can tear yourself away from your computer, that is...
Hunt the Boeing!
Yes, it's a conspiracy theory site, but I sure don't see any evidence of a plane in these photographs.
Huge ice field found on Mars
The Mars Odyssey orbiter has found a vast field of water ice stretching from the Martian south pole to 60 degrees south.
Did China circumnavigate the globe before Magellan?
"When explorer Christopher Columbus landed in America in 1492, he was 72 years behind a Chinese expeditionary force, which had already made its way to the area.
And although Captain James Cook was credited with discovering Australia for the British Empire in 1770, the Chinese had mapped the island continent 337 years earlier."
All this was accomplished by a castrated eunuch named Zheng He.
What do you think?
What sleeping postures reveal
Curiuously accurate. "People say we gotta watch while he sleeps, for it is the only time that body is not under suppression, but never judge Mr. Nice Guy from one posture" They claim it applies to women too.
What constitutes a catchy flag design?
This site has assigned a letter grade to the flags of the world, with points taken off for bad color combos, trite slogans, and other flag faux pas. Which flags do you find eye-catching, and which are more appropriate as tea towels?
In Canada, the creation of new stem cell lines
from discarded embryos is now eligible for federal funding. And in the UK the first licenses to create new stem cell lines
have been granted, as has governement approval to pursue therapeutic cloning
. The chief executive of the UK's Medical Research Council predicts a "reverse brain drain" of stem cell scientists to the UK. If the US Senate votes to ban all human cloning this spring, even for research purposes, I suspect that America will lose a lot of great minds.
exposing herself to win votes?
this university of alberta sophomore thinks she's got what it takes to wow the voting pool. she say's "I never thought 'I'm going to get naked to get people to vote.' Maybe people need a bit of a slap in the face to take notice. You have to do something to get people to vote."
is this starting a new trend in campaign policy? i can only hope that this isn't taken too far. (pictures current administration attempting to do something to this effect.) <shudder>
Although the physical reality of this "museum" seems a bit sketchy, you simply have to love lush color photos of carniverous plants. I mean c'mon!
Audrey II would be proud.
Slim Shady sees the light!
"Eminem has given up alcohol and purple pills...He is 'trading in his hardcore hip-hop MO and going the gospel rap route.'" Furthermore, he's opening a church. Is this all a marketing scam? Something seems shady.
Microsoft plans "doomsday defense". Microsoft Corp. plans to argue in court hearings next week that if antitrust sanctions sought by state prosecutors are granted, the company would be forced to pull its latest Windows computer operating systems off the market and be unable to develop new systems.
Shades of Gray.
"Environmental groups sent out a worldwide call to save the gray whale from a Mexican salt plant. They got millions of dollars and thousands of new members. But scientists found no threat to the whales." From part six of a series that explores the ecology of the gray whale, as well as the many different ways it touches various cultures, and some of the moral dilemnas that have emerged as a result.
AIDS Programs: An Epidemic of Waste.
Interesting article about AIDS funding in the USA... and these people want more taxpayer money! Heres a quote:
The Stop AIDS Project of San Francisco, which received $698,000 (39 percent of its budget) in CDC grants in fiscal 200139, has sponsored several "prevention" events, including a gay prom in April. Last August it held "Booty Call," a seminar about dildos, plugs, fisting, and rimming. The advertisement read, "After a little basic science, share tales of intercourse and orgasm. Find out why so many of us find ass play a major turn on."
Finally,a home for the Turner bequest :
In 1856, nearly five years after Turner's death, his estate was settled by a decree in which the works found in his studio that were considered to be by his own hand were accepted by the nation as the 'Turner Bequest'. This comprises nearly 300 oil paintings and around 30,000 sketches and watercolours (including 300 sketchbooks).
All of this work is now available to view online at the Tate.
If nothing else you can get some beautiful wallpaper for your desktop.
'Alternative' media can be corrupted too.
Narco News publisher Al Giordano is pulling out of Alternet
, which he said has a near monopoly in the market of "alternative" news syndication. He outlines a number of problems with Alternet's operation and its director: in addition to taking half
the fee paid for content, he says Alternet also stole content and blacklisted writers. He also touches on the sometimes rivalry with "alternative" news groups, including FAIR
, Project Censored
, and IndyMedia
, and expresses hopes for looming competition
. In the fight to legitimize "alternative" media, are the evils of the mainstream unavoidable? [More inside]
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
was in the news 3 and a half years ago when the Senate failed
to ratify a treaty we created. Although there have been no formal talks of ratification since, with all that has been happening these days
, one can't help but wonder if now is the time to act. Bush mentioned earlier of reducing
our nuclear arsenal, but wouldn't ratification be our best solution to control major threats, such as North Korea, Iraq, and Iran?
Not to complain about the ever-expanding war on terror, but...
Afganistan just might become a little stickier than our leaders had hoped. A recent raid on regrouping troops went not too well, with a combined force of Afgan and U.S. troops beating a quick retreat. Is the U.S. miring itself in not one but several Vietnam's?
System Of A Down's Chop Suey video
outdone by two guys
with two PCs and one webcam. To sing along here are the lyrics
. [Requires Windows Media Player]
What Linux Really Needs:
Non profit, public service announcements by a foundation formed expressly for that purpose. Whether you keep up with the OS fray or not, what a neat idea really. Trolls: Slashdot is burning! You're needed over there.
Everyone's favorite foul-mouthed, philosophical shopclerks are back.
For those of you who missed it's premiere on the Tonight Show
a coupla days ago, the inimitable Kevin Smith has new short up on his site(Quicktime and RealMedia). Dante and Randal are back talking all about mad German Scientists, The Jetsons
and the decline of American ingenuity. Terrific, as always, Kev.
Mom kills, dad kills: Two takes on tragedy
This article looks at the differences between the Andrea Yates case and that of Adair Garcia, a Los Angeles man accused of murdering his children. The article discusses gender differences, but I wonder if ethnicity plays a role as well. (Here's
another link, since the URL field on the "post a link" page seems to be cutting it off).
60's British Pop Culture
Shirley Bassey. Tom Jones. Sandie Shaw. Cliff Richard. Petula Clark. Gordon Banks. Jane Brikin. Charlotte Rampling. Twiggy. Julie Christie. Patrick McGoohan. Peter O' Toole. Terence Stamp. What a decade. Oozing coolness.
Who Lost China's Internet?
Here's a problem for your American company. You want access to the lucrative and growing Chinese information technology market but the Chinese government is demanding some questionable things from you. If you're Cisco you bend over backwards to make your routers filter subversive content. If you're Network Solutions you donate 300 viruses to study. If you're Yahoo! then you censor chat rooms, filter searches, and underreport your traffic. But if you're Microsoft you refuse to cough up your source code and call their bluff. Strangely, that puts Microsoft, The Voice of America, and the Cult of the Dead Cow on the same side. (via Peek-a-Booty
More on the bad ads
that seem to be going around the web. This time, I went to see what was on tv, and a Six Feet Under ad took over the entire screen. Talk about not being able to use the website.
"linked to President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction"
-- i keep hearing this in regards to recent acts, like a mantra mentioned as an aside. the steady way in which arafat's name is insinuated without any explanation makes me extremeley suspicious. i wonder if stories i haven't found make a stronger case for arafat's involvement (or refute such statements).
If you're an old geek like me, you'll enjoy a nostalgic browse through the collection at OLD-COMPUTERS.COM
. If you're a young geek, you can laugh at all the boxen that we used to think were cutting edge
20 years ago. What system currently in use today will be the Intertec Superbrain
Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000
On the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book, thousands of people, of all ages were asked to take part in a project to create a digital version. The result was a couple of laserdiscs which could be read on a specially modified BBC Micro. It was quite a success and again there was record of what the world was like in the mid-Eighties. But in the intervening years, technology has moved on and now the discs have become inaccessible without that obsolete technology. So ironically, the original millenium old manuscripts have more usability. In the rush to digitise everything, isn't there a danger that we're going to repeat this mistake over and over again?
may be one of the best novelists working today, yet not that many folks know his name. His books
and short stories
portray prosaic suburbia accurately and without condescension, and he has uncanny insight into the mind of the terminally adolescent. Not to mention an uproarious sense of humor. If the films of Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, the music of Weezer, or Pete Bagge's
comics resonate with you, you may want to check out their literary equivalent. As an added treat, here's an audio
link of Perrota reading his work. For my money, this guy is one of our best American writers right now, although you wouldn't know it.
Is there any suprise
about todays attack in Jerusalem after yesterdays
assault on the refugee camps which appear to have been particularly brutal. I'm suprised there has not been a post about this weekends suprisingly swift and depressing tit-for-tat.
They just wont let it lie.
What posses these people to keep fighting against overwhelming odds.I can see what they are against but for the life of me I cannot see what they are for.Couple of points near the bottom of the piece are interesting.IHave I been asleep or has the killing of innocents on 23 January been underreported.Does the fact that small raids have led to arrest interrogation and subsequent release
answer my own question?
I am perplexed,are there any good guys?
Much Ado About Something.
Fascinating Salon review of a new documentary
investigating whether Shakespeare was really just a front-man for Christopher Marlowe, the true author of all the Bard's work. At first it sounds like just so much literary conspiracy theory, except unlike most conspiracy theories this one seems to gain more credibility the further you delve into it. The film just wrapped up a two- week opening run in New York City, and should be arriving soon at theaters in your area.
Witness the scalability of Gnutella in realtime.
We've all read the technical papers and masters thesises (thesi?) about the theoretical growth of the Gnutella network and if/how it will work. Today with the release of Morpheus Preview Edition, now connected to the Gnutella network, you can witness its 345 trillion users put the Gnutella network to the test. In a little over a couple hours it has grown to roughly 3 times the size it was last week, and still going strong.. how much bigger can it get?
The work of Cambodia's Army of Peace
is known throughout the world, and a Southeast Asian Peace Army or Shanti Sena
is in the works for 2002.
Gandhi called for a Shanti Sena for national defense in 1942. Because the Japanese did not invade, India has used a "Shanti Sena" for combatting riots rather than homelands defense. (The Rainbow Gathering also calls its security people "Shanti Sena, or the Peace Army."
A short history of grassroots initiatives in unarmed peacekeeping from 1932 to the Present"
shows that many of the Peace Army initiatives preceded Gandhi. Narayan Desai
is one of Gandhi's successors. Californian Sanderson Beck
offers comprehensive links to religion, non-violence, and peace movements.
Peace Brigades International
is known for its work in the Balkans, Colombia, Indonesia and the Middle East. Working directly on terrorism, as well as war, is the Sarovodaya Movement of Sri Lanka.
Prize for the most highly focused "Peace Army" goes to the North Koreans. Governments always come up with money for soldiers, but they don't hire unarmed, non-violent peacekeepers. Howcome?
Geocities for Scientologists
Take a look at the uniformity of the personal pages on this site. It's enough to make one wonder if these people even know they have webpages.
An Israeli pharmaceutical company is working on a drug mimicking cannabis' chemical constituents -- cannabinoids -- to offer marijuana's therapeutic benefits without the buzz.
The racial background of rumors/urban legends
(part 2 here
) "When the target is a supposed corporate conspiracy, the white version tends to address alleged behavior that isn’t race-related. Meanwhile, "black rumors play on the belief in racial animus by the elites." The Snapple-funds-anti-abortionists story was spread mostly among whites; the Snapple-KKK rumor spread mostly among blacks."
Dig through the Glass Engine.
A truly cool little app that indexes Mp3 samples of over 60 compositions by Philip Glass. Play with the buttons or drag the blue bar at the top of the screen to browse by year (with or without a filter thrown on to get just film scores, opera, etc.). Drag the second series of blue bars to get presented with other selections with more or less joy, sorrow, intensity, density and velocity. Even if you don't care for Glass, think how you could use something like this elsewhere. (via Jerry Kindall
New scholarship on the origins of the Koran
claims that the Koran has been misread and mistranslated for centuries. For example, Islamic martyrs are not rewarded in paradise with "virgins," that's a mistranslation. Oops. (NYT member: metafi, password: metafi)
"Bringing serenity to your busy workday".
Bored with the view from your office? Kloudscape offers ten high-resolution images of clouds taken from 40,000 feet by photographer John Wang. These images are available in a variety of resolutions for use as desktop wallpaper.
Imagine losing almost $6 billion of your own personal fortune in a year and still
being the richest damn human in the known universe, hands down, with no one even close. (If i must, here's a link to the new Forbes list
.) What I want to know is, how come out of the approximately 500 billionaires on the list, only 35 are women, and of those, only ONE made it herself. All the other super rich dames on the globe
either married bucks, or got 'em from daddy.
A print journalist admits her fear of blogs "What the blog threatens to do is dislodge the traditional news media's corner on the "scoop" market. With their unorthodox reporting strategies and lightning-fast publishing schedules, blogs are making it clear that you don't need to have some big, fancy newspaper job to break stories. In fact, you don't even need to write stories; you can just throw a couple of sentences up on your site with some telling links. And you can quote that naked boy in your bed who knows how to hack protocols. Whatever."
These are two of the most entertaining and cool uses of Flash I've seen all day - 1
Take the Wonderlic test.
The Wonderlic is a 50-question IQ test administered by the National Football League
to all prospective draft picks. Teams use the test results to varying degree, in part to determine the ability of athletes to learn systems and grow as a player. Interestingly, offensive tackles and centers have the highest average NFL Wonderlic scores. (The test here is a fast 15-question sample; you'll need a piece of paper to jot down your answers.)
After 6 years hiding in the hills, Illija Panincic
discovers that the war in Bosnia is over
today he told how he fought his next door neighbour,
a bear, for the rights to the pear tree. I wonder how
long they will be hiding in the hills in Afghanistan.
"Children Drink 25% of Alcohol Consumed in the U.S."
At least according to the attention-grabbing headline of a press release recently issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The only problem is that it wasn't true
. The organization had miscalculated the data, and the figure was actually closer to 11%. It was also misleading
, since the word "children" included 18, 19, and 20 year-olds (who presumably do most of the drinking). Aside from yet another lesson in the inherent malleability of statistics, what conclusions should we draw from this study? Should we accept that teenagers are going to drink, and teach moderation? Or is stricter enforcement of the 21 age-limit the way to go? I'm also interested in the views of those living in (more enlightened?) countries with a lower drinking age.
The worst Internet ad ever.
Hopefully I won't be the only one to see it; it's not clear how long it will be there. They actually obliterate your ability to see the content for a few seconds. Makes me want to strangle Next Day Blinds. Anyone else have examples of horrible (or good) new Internet ads?
Hello my future girlfriend.
I can only listen to this once all the way through before I get embarrased. This may be a little bit light for a front-page post, but hey, it's Friday.
no really i can handle it....
Tomorrow, March 2, is the 98th birthday of Dr. Suess,
and Kristian (the author of the link) suggested to me that we through him a party on the web. If you have a website or blog please dedicate your posts today or tomorrow to honor this most remarkable man, his legacy of stories and what impact they have had on your life. Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!
More from the "Watch What You Say Online" Department
This Wired story mentions a fellow who badmouthed a thin-skinned company on an online forum and found himself hit with a $450,000 default judgment against him because he didn't show up in court to defend himself (he claims he had no idea he had been sued). Even those among us who might not be guilty of stealing have probably said something bad about various companies here and elsewhere. Should we all go hire a lawyer RIGHT NOW
There is no Cabal.
For those of us worried about Big Dick's health, fear not. He's been busy installing a shadow government of his closest friends! Some people never get over high school rejection.