Google on the Moon: "This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen." Google hits outer space to conduct "high-density high-delivery hosting (HiDeHiDeHo)" and "de-oxygenated cubicle dwelling." Better than April Fool's at Fark? Via Monkeyfilter. posted by onlyconnect at 11:19 PM PST - 11 comments
So, when did Canada become the globe's official Progressive Society Laboratory? They've got the health care, they've got the gay marriage, and now, they've got 100% legal file-sharing -- a judge has ruled that not only is downloading copyrighted material legal, but sharing it is as well. Um, whoa? How long can this stand on appeal? Is anyone here a Canadian legal expert who can tell us about how Canadian copyright law differs from our own? (Tall order, I know...) posted by logovisual at 7:43 PM PST - 28 comments
Preserving Life and Liberty - The Department of Justice’s first priority is to prevent future terrorist attacks. Since its passage following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Patriot Act has played a key part - and often the leading role - in a number of successful operations to protect innocent Americans from the deadly plans of terrorists dedicated to destroying America and our way of life. Is this a legitimate way for the government to keep citizens informed, or merely a propaganda tool? posted by RylandDotNet at 5:48 PM PST - 13 comments
Gmail: Google's newest service. They're claiming 1Gb of free email, killer spam filters, and a great new webmail interface. They'll likely have Google ads attached to your messages, but I can't wait to see it tomorrow (hopefully it's not just an April Fools prank). posted by mathowie at 5:41 PM PST - 108 comments
8% of Iraqi academics have Fled, 1000 Professionals Assassinated in past Year-''
In recent months assassinations have targeted engineers, pharmacologists, officers, and lawyers. More than 1000 leading Iraqi professionals and intellectuals have been assassinated since last April, among them such prominent figures as Dr Muhammad al-Rawi, the president of Baghdad University. The identity of the assailants remains a mystery and none have been caught. But families and colleagues of victims believe that Iraqi parties with foreign affiliations have an interest in wiping out Iraq's intellectual elite...'' From Juan Cole, who notes, in relation to Chalabi's control of de-Baathification, ''It can't be good for the future of Iraq to lose nearly 10% of its academics. Some of those may have been involved in Baath Party dirty tricks, but were all? And, the campaign of assassination makes a mockery of the rhetoric about democratization." posted by y2karl at 4:12 PM PST - 24 comments
What happens when you mix Star Trek fan with webblogging yachtsman? You get Starship Enterprise: sailing stories blogged as Star Trek adventures. I sure like the cut of his jib. Engage. posted by brownpau at 3:02 PM PST - 3 comments
The file-sharing fight continues. Recording industry associations in Denmark, Germany, Italy and Canada have filed lawsuits or taken other legal action, aiming mainly at heavy users accused of offering a large number of songs online.
In other news, A study of file-sharing's effects on music sales says online music trading appears to have had little part in the recent slide in CD sales. posted by ashbury at 12:58 PM PST - 9 comments
Washington cuts Serbia Aid, due to Serbian intransigence in cooperating with the Hague war crimes tribunal to extradite key war crimes suspects. Recently, the Serbian Parliament passed a controversial bill which gives taxpayers money to war crimes suspects for "legal and other expenses".
In December Serbia elected a new parliament with nationalist sympathies.
Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has said extraditing war crimes suspects to The Hague is not one of his government's priorities. Is this the kind of democracy the US wanted? posted by knapah at 12:57 PM PST - 4 comments
The Dave Sim Misogyny Page - and a recent Onion interview.
I find Dave Sim (comic book artist, notable for long-running, multiplevolume Cerebus) to have deeply troubling, almost poisoned ideas about women.(despite his efforts, these bitter screeds are almost unexplainable,unless someone here can explain them, that is - please!)Beware if you've never read them. And laugh with me, an apparentlyweak male-feminist (and lovin it!) if you have. Viva la Void. posted by Peter H at 12:14 PM PST - 53 comments
Car Surfing! A sort of X-Games for cars, drifting is a steadily growing japanese sport that is just now making its way stateside, first via Hawaii and California, and now all the way to the east coast through grassroots groups like the NJ-based DGTrials. "Drifting, in the simplest sense, is the use of an intentional controlled slide to navigate around a turn. ...it can ultimately lead to complex strings of multi-directional slides that use a variety of techniques to maintain extreme oversteer. The pure essence of drifting is to never appear to have control of the vehicle, while always having complete control over the vehicle!" Contestants favor lightweight rear-drive cars that are often the polaropposite of the traditional bling-bling import showcar aesthetic. Lap times are unimportant - competition is style based, much like actual surfing or snowboarding competitions. Though the attitude tends to be somewhat goofy, the results can be dramatic [WMV]. posted by tirade at 10:27 AM PST - 22 comments
Furthermore, we have now received assurances from the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate that, in their view, Dr. Rice's public testimony in connection with the extraordinary events of September 11, 2001, does not set, and should not be cited as, a precedent for future requests for a national security adviser or any other White House official to testify before a legislative body.
Separation of powers question: If the institution of the separation of powers is a set of informal arrangements between the branches, which continually look to previous practice, how can this not be a precendent? Various blawgs weigh in. posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:25 AM PST - 48 comments
"The "Brief Safe" is an innovative new diversion safe that can secure your cash, documents, and other small valuables from inquisitive eyes and thieving hands, both at home and when you're traveling. Items can be hidden right under their noses..." [via Aces] posted by bluno at 7:25 AM PST - 10 comments
Women Lose When Feminists Bash "Men generally don't like to complain. A man will endure ridicule and abuse, and then move on with his life. But abuse him once too often, and he will vote with his feet.
And one day, men woke up to the fact that marriage was a losing proposition. The math was hard to refute: Half of all marriages wind up in divorce. In 85% of cases, mothers gained custody of the children. And sometimes, bitter ex-wives would try to turn the children against their father, what psychologists call Parental Alienation Syndrome.
In the face of such dismal odds, men decided to go on a Marriage Strike. " posted by SpaceCadet at 5:13 PM PST - 72 comments
A few years ago a life simulation game called Creatures was released. I recently discovered that there was also a free version called Docking Station which is still available in PC and Linux versions and includes an optional on-line component which allows you to chat, send messages and share creatures with other players. And if the goodies and breeds of creatures that come with the free version aren't enough for you, there are oodles of websites still offeringfreedownloads to expand on the game. Or if you gain some joy from hexidecimal programming, you can even play around with their genetic coding or learn to create your own goodies. posted by Orb at 2:14 PM PST - 3 comments
NewsFilter. I'm a sucker for treemapapplications. This one is pretty neat - it gives you a good visual overview of the days' news, with a handful of filtering options, and live updating. I've had this running full-screen on a second monitor all day, and I'm digging it. (First link requires Flash.) posted by majcher at 2:13 PM PST - 12 comments
Canadian expansionism: there's a plan afoot for Canada to annex the beautifully sunny Turks and Caicos islands. Why? "Turks and Caicos would give Canada a warm, friendly 11th province - a southern destination where the Loonie could land without breaking a wing." posted by moonbird at 1:42 PM PST - 20 comments
Declaring the Era of the Peace Kingdom "They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent. This resolution has been announced on every corner of the globe. Respected guests, it is now only a matter of time. Look at the world. Do you see anything that gives you real hope for the future? Sooner or later, we have to give what we have to our descendants and leave this world. What gift could be more precious than that of completing the family ideal in your family, so as to guarantee eternal peace and happiness for your children? Surely no one who has such an opportunity should hesitate to take up the task of building the peace kingdom on earth, for which God has waited thousands of years."
--Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Address to the United States Congress, March 23, 2004
via Atrios posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:31 PM PST - 12 comments
The Republican National Committee is demanding that the Federal Election Commission issue new rules that would shut down groups that are in any way critical of President Bush or members of Congress. Under the proposed rules, nonprofit organizations that advocate for cancer research, gun and abortion restrictions or rights, fiscal discipline, tax reform, poverty issues, immigration reform, the environment, or civil rights or liberties - all these organizations could be transformed into political committees if they criticize or commend members of Congress or the President based on their official actions or policy positions. posted by dejah420 at 1:14 PM PST - 20 comments
Technomorality: Are there more examples of this, or are the Japanese just better than us? As the potential of technology increases, isn't it just possible that the world really could become a better place? posted by ewkpates at 12:26 PM PST - 27 comments
March For Women - because America is not a great place to be a woman. The time is right for a public demonstration of historic size in support of reproductive freedom and justice for all women. Threats to these rights have never been so systematic and coordinated, and the lives and health of women have never faced such peril.
See ya there! I will be the woman in the embroidered denim jacket - the one my mom wore when she marched for the exact same rights, 40-odd years ago. sigh. posted by kristin at 11:51 AM PST - 123 comments
Those towering Dutchmen The height of the average American is roughly the same as it was during the Revolutionary war. The heights of many northwestern Europeans continue to shoot up. Is this simply genetics at work, or could Bush and the Republicans possibly be at fault here? posted by rks404 at 11:14 AM PST - 38 comments
Chuck Palahniuk (the author of such brawny reads as Choke and Fight Club) has an online writers' workshop that has monthly assignments subject to peer review, essays on writing by Chucky P., and a real smoove interface. I'm not a big fan of the guy or his work, but his "distinction essays", which are only posted to the site for a limited time, do contain the kind of solid instruction you'd hafta pay money for at a real writers workshop. The quality of the submissions varies, but seems to me to be a bit better than most online freebie writers-circle-jerk sites. Just don't choke on the ego. posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:10 AM PST - 6 comments
CarpoolCheats.orgIf you don't want your picture taken while you're doing something illegal, don't do it in public!. I'm not sure about the ethics (or legality) of putting pictures of license plates online, but the thrust of the site is pretty cool. posted by Ufez Jones at 9:43 AM PST - 61 comments
Google redesigns. Got rid of their colored tabs, added Froogle and lost DMOZ on the front page, and tweaked the search result pages with a new layout (sans colored boxes) for Google's AdWords. Still using font tags and with minimal use of internal CSS.
The Untitled Projectis a series of photographs of urban settings accompanied by a graphical text layout. The photographs have been digitally stripped of all traces of textual information. The text pieces show the removed text in the approximate location and font as it was found in the photograph. posted by Ljubljana at 6:45 AM PST - 28 comments
The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival The temperature in Harbin, China reaches forty below zero, both Fahrenheit and centigrade, and stays below freezing nearly half the year. The city is actually further north than notoriously cold Vladivostok, Russia, just 300 miles away. Rather than suffer the cold, the residents of Harbin celebrate it, with an annual festival of snow and ice sculptures and competitions. The main link actually shows the 2003 sculptures; here are some from this year. posted by orange swan at 6:11 AM PST - 5 comments
Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's heartthrob and the State Department's and CIA's heartbreak, has taken the lead in a yearlong political marathon. Temporary constitutional arrangements are structured to give the future prime minister more power than the president... Chalabi holds the ultimate weapons -- several dozen tons of documents and individual files seized by his Iraqi National Congress from Saddam Hussein's secret security apparatus. Coupled with his position as head of the de-Baathification commission, Chalabi, barely a year since he returned to his homeland after 45 years of exile, has emerged as the power behind a vacant throne... All the bases are loaded for a home run by MVP Chalabi. If successful, it will be an additional campaign issue president Bush could have done without. Saddam was good riddance. But was Chalabi a worthy democratic trade? posted by y2karl at 10:53 PM PST - 18 comments
The Alexandria Declaration. Between March 14 and 17, 2004, intellectuals, scholars, economists and activists from around the Arab world met at the new Alexandria Library in Egypt for the Arab Reform Conference. Among the recommendations of the conference was that all Arab governments should ratify "all international conventions on the rights of women providing for the abolition of all forms of discrimination against them." posted by Ty Webb at 9:55 PM PST - 5 comments
The Work Less Party of Vancouver seeks to regain a little sanity for the North American employee. A 32-hour work week is not a very realistic fantasy for the information age. But at least someone is standing up for the right to go home earlier. posted by PrinceValium at 7:45 PM PST - 47 comments
Camera Obscura trolls the attics and abandoned dressers of the world, finding the great lost portraits of the past, then burying them and posting these laughable ones instead. Develop Dutchophobia and learn to fear the Irma! posted by snarkout at 5:56 PM PST - 9 comments
Looking OffshoreHow one offshore worker sent tremor through medical system
In an ongoing Chronicle series on the ramifications of shifting U.S. jobs and services overseas, this installment focuses on the threat to individual privacy when companies send sensitive financial and personal data offshore. posted by Postroad at 12:47 PM PST - 10 comments
The peace process in the Ivory Coast has collapsed (again). I haven't seen it reported yet but have it first hand from an official stationed there that the UN is evacuating all personnel. The evacuations in 2002 were limited compared to this. How could the Ivory Coast have come to this point? What does this mean for the rest of the region? sigh posted by Grod at 12:20 PM PST - 3 comments
Time to replace your old Periodic Table....a joint American-Russian team has found two new elements—numbers 113 and 115 on the periodic table—hinting at an impending breakthrough in creating novel forms of matter that will test our understanding of atomic behavior. posted by mcgraw at 11:12 AM PST - 15 comments
George Lakoff writes in his book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think that the book began with a conversation about a single question that might be used to tell liberals from conservatives. His friend offered the question: "If your baby cries at night, do you pick him up?"
Is there a basic belief that underlies all conservative and liberal positions? Lakoff's answer, that our politics are connected to how we view family, is summarized in this interview. Is he right? What about you, what makes you a conservative or a liberal? posted by yoz420 at 8:32 AM PST - 67 comments
The Kaceesque story of a woman in prison for faking her daughter's leukemia to gain thousands of dollars in donations, now says she concocted the scheme to keep her husband from leaving. Teresa Milbrandt said she regrets what she did, which included shaving her daughter Hannah's head and giving her sleeping pills to make it look like she was undergoing chemotherapy. The husband went to Prison As Well. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is a parenting disorder where parents, usually the mother, fabricate symptoms in their children, thus subjecting the child to unnecessary medical tests and/or surgical procedures, though It is a highly controversial condition, which some doubt even exists. posted by Blake at 7:57 AM PST - 4 comments
Are we witnessing the end of the 4th Ammendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure? The United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled (parts 1 and 2) that police in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business. posted by Irontom at 6:54 AM PST - 31 comments
Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how... posted by y2karl at 10:38 PM PST - 25 comments
California's Tsunami Risk. " In the open ocean, tsunami waves travel at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour... As the waves enter shallow water, they may rise rapidly. Typical peak wave heights from large tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean over the last 80 years have been between 21 and 45 feet at the shoreline... If a large earthquake displaces the sea floor near the coast, the first waves may reach the shore minutes after the ground stops shaking. There is no time for authorities to issue a warning."
40 years ago this weekend the Alaskan Prince William Sound earthquake and its ensuing tsunami killed over 120 people -- 12 as far South as California. Nothing compared to the thousands hit in the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami disaster, but still it's worth keeping an eye on California's tsunami risks. Or the entire West Coast's activity. posted by namespan at 10:10 PM PST - 20 comments
The Song Is You: and, as if that weren't enough, the melody lingers on! The Songwriters' Hall of Fame is a magnificent resource (look for the almost-complete song lists) and a reminder of how one single country (The U.S.A.) produced a hugely disproportionate quantity of the great popular songwriters. It could arguably be said: almost all of them. How many of the "Rock Era" composers, though, have written standards that will still be as widely sung worldwide, in every conceivable dive or circumstance, in 50 years' time as the songs of Arlen, Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Kern, Rodgers, Carmichael, Youmans, Warren, Ellington, Loesser, Loewe, Coleman and so many others still are today? posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:28 PM PST - 16 comments
100 Movies That Deserve More Love "we've rolled up our sleeves to retrieve some unloved and under-appreciated gems from the dustbin of history...You'll find great movies that you were sure only you knew about, and you'll find movies that you've never heard of." posted by kirkaracha at 9:08 AM PST - 74 comments
Kerry Calls on Rice to Testify "John Kerry said Saturday the White House is committing character assassination with its treatment of former counterterror chief Richard Clarke to avoid responding to questions about national security. Kerry also said Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, should testify in public before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"If Condoleezza Rice can find time to do '60 Minutes' on television before the American people, she ought to find 60 minutes to speak to the commission under oath," Kerry told reporters. "We're talking about the security of our country."... posted by Postroad at 8:05 AM PST - 26 comments
A dose of denial. Cold remedies with PPA caused strokes; drug companies kept them on store shelves for years. Similar to Lariam, which may be causing the suicide of many U.S. troops in Iraq. posted by xowie at 7:42 AM PST - 8 comments
YouSendIt.com With Google-like simplicity, the free service allows you to email up to 1 GB to anyone without flooding their mailbox. 1 GB... that's a whole lotta pr0n. posted by freakystyley at 12:24 PM PST - 44 comments
10:15 P.M. The WOR news and weather are out of the way. A bugle sounds, and a sprightly theme song comes trotting on the air. The theme has a double meaning: it is the one that calls the horses to the gate at Aqueduct, and it is the Bahnfrei Overture, composed for an operetta by Eduard Strauss, the only member of the Strauss family who did not make good. Presently, Shepherd's clear, rowdy voice intrudes. "Okay, gang are you ready to play radio? Are you ready to shuffle off the mortal coil of mediocrity? I am if you are." There is a noise like a mechanized Bronx cheer (Brrapp!)- it is Shepherd blowing his kazoo. At other times he twangs his Jew's-harp (Brroing!). "Yes, you fatheads out there in the darkness, you losers in the Sargasso Sea of existence, take heart, because WOR, in its never ending crusade of public service, is once again proud to bring you--(Erocia Symphony Up)-- The Jean Shepherd Program!"
A man no longer known for much besides A Christmas Story, Jean Sheperd was the greatest radio raconteur ever. Here is the greatest Jean Sheperd fansite so far--Flick Lives and, treasure of treasures, here are The Shep Archives--oh, you'll have to spend a minute or two to register to hear them but what the hey?--with hundreds of Sheperd broadcasts and records in streaming mp3s. But Wait! There's More! posted by y2karl at 10:10 AM PST - 14 comments
X-43A Flight. "The unpiloted 12-foot-long X-43A vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 aircraft, lofted to nearly 100,000 feet by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound." Watch (RealPlayer) it live. posted by cedar at 9:23 AM PST - 34 comments
Still looking for Rosebud. Nine Years after sending a copy of a radio programme he made to Stanley Kubrick, Jon Ronson, is invited to the late Kubrick's "secret lair". You drive through rural Hertfordshire, passing ordinary-sized postwar houses and opticians and vets. Then you turn right at an electric gate with a "Do Not Trespass" sign. Drive through that, and through some woods, and past a long, white fence with the paint peeling off, and then another electric gate, and then another electric gate, and then another electric gate, and you're in the middle of an estate full of boxes. [...] Tony takes me into a large room painted blue and filled with books. "This used to be the cinema," he says. "Is it the library now?" I ask. "Look closer at the books," says Tony. I do. "Bloody hell," I say. posted by Blue Stone at 8:28 AM PST - 35 comments
The Panda's Thumb is a multi-authored blog "dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world." [Via The Loom.] posted by homunculus at 2:07 AM PST - 6 comments
Ralph Nader: The Unchallenged Hero of Muslims Before you jump to note that the magazine this appears in is Right of Center, what you need to ask is how well documented is the case being made. For me, what is of interest is that if Nader is in fact liked by Muslims, as this suggests, then Muslims may vote for him and take votes away from Bush or would they take votes from Democrats?
[...]Nader must have made quite an impression, because the next year, ICNA's former president invited him to headline an Islamic conference in Florida with none other than Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais, a top Saudi cleric who has called on Allah to "terminate" Jews -- "the scum of humanity" and "grandsons of monkeys and pigs" -- while urging Muslims to shun peace with Israel.[...] posted by Postroad at 4:18 PM PST - 31 comments
Digging for Nasal Gold with a Doc's Blessing
An Austrian doctor is proposing that children be encouraged to pick their nose and to eat their boogers. "Dr Bischinger said: 'With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner.'"
And ".....people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free."
Who knew that the dirty kid in your grade school class who picked his nose all the time and ate it would have a stronger immune system?
Do kids really need to be encouraged to go mining in their faces at every opportunity? posted by fenriq at 11:32 AM PST - 33 comments
Babes Against Bush "It's no secret that a lot of Americans, and particularly American men, don't pay much attention to politics, and don't seem to notice when their leaders are ruining the country they live in. We wanted to find an interesting and attention-getting way to spur at least some people to sit up and take notice of a some basic facts.....
Bush got into office by virtue of a complacent supreme court-and only 537 votes in the state of Florida.
We think we can convince 538 people to vote against him." And if not, they can at least have make some money for some good causes with their calendar and have a good laugh at some of their hate mail. posted by orange swan at 9:18 AM PST - 21 comments
Jesse Friedman's Web Site from the incredibly powerful and amazing documentary Capturing the Friedmans. A "documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes." When watching the film from start to finish I went back and forth on their guilt or innocence and when the film was over I'm still not sure. In the time of the mass media hysteria and questionable police tactics what would you have done? posted by suprfli at 8:59 AM PST - 3 comments
War Rationale: Version 10.0 In the year since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has repeatedly shifted its justification for going to war and constantly changed its story on intelligence, the United Nations, reconstruction, political transition and the cost to the American taxpayer. We all know (almost) everything about it by now, but this account is hilarious. posted by acrobat at 8:22 AM PST - 6 comments
Burn some time. But first, you'll have to find the flint, the rock, and the tinder, then combine the three. Think like a caveman. And watch out for the sabretooth tiger. (Friday Flash Shockwave Fun) posted by leapfrog at 7:24 AM PST - 5 comments
Friday Flash Shockwave Spy Bot. "You work by fighting DataBattles, in which you deploy and maneuver programs to defeat opposing software on the memory grid." Good wholesome fun, and highly addictive. posted by vraxoin at 7:11 AM PST - 3 comments
Some Of Our Best Poets Are Fascists: An interesting article by Guy Davenport. My own theory is that an inordinate percentage of great (and minor) Modernist writers were, politically speaking, bonkers. Ezra Pound, Fernando Pessoa and T.S.Eliot were all distastefully authoritarian, anti-semitic and, in general, rancorous old farts. Why is this, if anyone still cares? [Via Arts and Letters Daily.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:17 AM PST - 22 comments
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
Fun for lunatics: It shows the phases of the Moon [scroll down] for each day of a selected month.You can set the calendar to any date from 3999 BC to 3999 AD. Clicking any day cell on the calendar will take you to a screen presenting a more detailed view of the moon on that day... Current Moon:
38.5% of Full
Thu 25 Mar, 2004
These "Virtual Reality Moon Phases" were created by R. Schmidt from ray-traced images of the Moon. A Clementine spacecraft mosaic of the lunar surface was mapped onto a sphere, and scenes were rendered as a virtual Sun "orbited" the Moon. In addition to the Earth, you can also view the Moon from the Earth, Sun, night side, above named formations on the lunar surface, or as a map showing day and night. You can also make images of the Moon.
Or just check out some photos of the moon taken from the spaceships that have been there. posted by Shane at 5:20 PM PST - 5 comments
I want my LTV, brothuh! Interesting research in the field of trapping lobsters from the University of New Hampshire. Like so many people, I learned about lobsters on the street, so it's nice to see some hard science. posted by Mayor Curley at 2:17 PM PST - 9 comments
Turning the Tide If Kerry and his friends are not far enough from the political center, you might try this, Noam Chomsky's new blog. I would call it "No lefty left behind" But, hey, whatever packs your suitcase. posted by Postroad at 1:00 PM PST - 38 comments
There is no room for a left-wing Rush Limbaugh on the radio. "Do you think Karl Rove might have made a phone call to little General Powell, little Michael and said, 'Let's get this over with. Let's give him the fine and get this done with before Stern gets us all voted out of office,'" the National Enquirer’s Mike Walker asked Stern.
"First of all, I know that for a fact," Stern answered. "I can't even tell you how, just like you can't reveal your sources. I have two sources inside the FCC. They know exactly what is going on. They had a meeting two weeks ago, freaking out. I seem to be making enough noise that people are realizing we could hurt George W. Bush in the elections. So they are trying to figure out at what point do they fine me. So, you are absolutely right." posted by skallas at 10:46 AM PST - 42 comments
K5 membership willl now require new users to be sponsered by current users. Rusty's implementing this system as a way to deal with trolls and crap flooders who have taken over K5 in recent months. posted by tiamat at 10:27 AM PST - 80 comments
Mascots and other characters, many of which are as famous as this guy. (Flash on intro page. Previous discussion here. Please disinfect and air-dry after use.) posted by LinusMines at 9:02 AM PST - 4 comments
How Rich am I? Heard a talk today from the founder of Gapminder, a non-profit company that creates Flash and shockwave pieces that are somewhere between information visualization, socially motivated art, and interactive educational pieces. Be sure to check out the Human Development Trends, and the Dollar Street (photos of real homes of real people who live on $1-2 per day, $2-5 per day, to $100 per day). See also: Understanding USA for more nice pictures of statistics. posted by zpousman at 8:41 AM PST - 6 comments
Thou shalt not make scientific progress. "Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way." posted by homunculus at 9:17 PM PST - 45 comments
The dulcet tones of Tulsa Drone were a growing presence on the Richmond scene when I lived there...their new album is fantastic. They've been described as cinematic and noir-ish by everyone that's heard them. Make your own decisions, but I'll be listening to them on my iPod when I dump bodies in the lake under cover of midmorning fog from now on. posted by chinese_fashion at 6:11 PM PST - 10 comments
DOJ Asked FBI Translator To Change Pre 9-11 Intercepts --- FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, was offered a substantial raise and a full time job in order to not go public that she had been asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retranslate and adjust the translations of [terrorist] subject intercepts that had been received before September 11, 2001 by the FBI and CIA.
"My translations of the pre 9-11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date specific information enough to alert the American people, and other issues dating back to 1999 which I won't go into right now."
Incredibly, Edmonds said "The senate Judiciary Committee, and the 911 Commission have heard me testify for lengthy periods of time time (3 hours) about very specific plots, dates, airplanes used as weopons, and specific idividuals and activities."
Is this true? and OMFG posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM PST - 41 comments
The newly amended bill, if passed by the Georgia Senate, will make female genital piercing as much of a crime as the far more heinous mutilations in the original bill. posted by grabbingsand at 2:08 PM PST - 46 comments
Kris Holm: Evolution of Balance
Certainly one of the most talented (and well travelled) unicyclists of all time. Kris rides stuff on his one wheel that I wouldn't touch on either of my bikes. posted by fenriq at 11:43 AM PST - 5 comments
danah boyd hosted a party at SXSW in Austin two weeks ago. Six thieves crashed the party and made off with her phone, id and credit cards. Fortunately, she has pictures of the perps. Can the MeFi folks catch a(nother) thief? posted by paulschreiber at 10:08 AM PST - 99 comments
Do not install software from "GAIN" - and never ask me again Microsoft's Internet Explorer team is actually churning out some improvements - the authenticode dialog "Do you want to install this?" in their latest SP Preview Release now functions like it should have from the start, a more usable (understandable) set of choices, and the option to say "No, never ask again". Also, pop-up-blocker apparently quite functional, is set to 'on' by default. Glad to see at least a little progress being made (still no word on PNG or CSS support changes, nor plans for a 7.x version, afaik). posted by kokogiak at 9:51 AM PST - 19 comments
major ongoing scandals - a list"there have been an amazing number of investigations of Republicans since Bush took office, some of which directly involve the White House." Is this, in fact, an unusually long roster of scandals as compared to the scandal tallies of past presidential administrations? posted by troutfishing at 10:43 PM PST - 25 comments
Another voucher for Clarke [...]And like Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, and myself, Mr. Kaplan thinks the allegations are true because the White House has focused its counter-battery fire on Mr. Clarke's credibility -- not the substance of his assertions[...] posted by Postroad at 6:01 PM PST - 54 comments
ChatNannies: the first real AI bot, or a hoax? Cameron Marlow's private interview with the ChatNannie bot (which was recently reported by New Scientist) reveals that it has perhaps one of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence engines ever devised. So far neither New Scientist nor anyoftheother media outlets that posted the story have shown the slightest hint of skepticism about its authenticity. Andy Baio's additional research digs up some information that further places ChatNannie's existence in doubt, but how does one conclusively prove that Jim Wightman's bot isn't for real? If it is for real, the New Scientist probably has a much bigger story to report--AI has been solved! posted by mockerybird at 3:40 PM PST - 12 comments
Bob Edwards gets the boot! The host of National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" since its inception in 1979 has been forced out of that job. What's next to go? Susan Stamberg's cranberry relish? posted by Durwood at 2:59 PM PST - 72 comments
'The Passion of the Heist'. This short spoof on Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' was shot in 30 minutes and cost 20 dollars to make. Bret Carr, the young film maker - who has won previous awards - is now getting calls from Hollywood bigwigs because of it. 'The Passion of the Heist' took an hour to shoot and put on the web - however, it took five years to make Carr's previous film 'LOU', a feature film from the writer of 'The Deer Hunter'. posted by tapeguy at 10:46 AM PST - 30 comments
The fojbas are basins near Trieste and the Adriatic Sea, which served as mass graves during the massacres that followed World War 2. Those accused of collaborating with the fascists, or of opposing the communists, or who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, were killed and then deposed there.In 2000, the Slovenian magazine Mladina, known for its irreverence, put a Tetris-style game called Fojba 2000(flash req'd) on its site. In the game, you drop the bodies of either partizani (partisans) or domobranci (fascist Slovenes) into a pit, while jolly oompah music plays in the background. (More Inside) (Shamelessly ripped verbatim from The Glory of Carniola) posted by Ufez Jones at 10:30 AM PST - 5 comments
The New Science Wars. When a leading psychologist like Harvard's Howard Gardner calls the president's science adviser a "prostitute," it's a safe bet that all is not well in the realm of government science policy. Indeed, in the past month, the United States has been engulfed by a kind of "science war," one pitting much of the nation's scientific community against the current administration. Led by twenty Nobel laureates, the scientists say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives. posted by skallas at 2:13 AM PST - 23 comments
Are You Ready To Be Heart-Broken? Sounding like the sprightly spawn of Radiohead, Coldplay and (yes) Queen, Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" is, imho, an enchantingly romantic song, lovely and over-ambitious in the tradition of, say, very early Aztec Camera, Ash or Travis. Thing is: their first album, "Fears and Hopes" (so appropriately named for those inured to pre-first-album-jitters) will be released in May and already I dread the disappointment I just know awaits me. Early promises in Pop music have so often been cruelly broken by follow-ups, "sloppy seconds", maturity, whatever, that I put to you that musical competence, technique and general "production savvy" are inimicable to good, dirty teenage songs such as Keane's. [Be sure to listen to the other three songs on the web site, although only the gist of the wonderful "Somewhere Only We Know" is offered. They're quite good!] posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:06 PM PST - 31 comments
Known by the ladies as The Kingpin. Thorne Peters is a Prophet, Author, Publisher, Composer, Troubadour, Producer, Provocateur, Pontificator, Raconteur, Hedonist. He is the Poet Laureate of Planet Earth. He truly lives a life to be envied (galleries showing his hedonism are NSFW). posted by sciatica at 9:05 PM PST - 16 comments
How We Got Homeland Security Wrong -- If all the federal homeland-security grants from last year are added together, Wyoming received $61 a person while California got just $14, according to data gathered at TIME's request by the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent, nonprofit research organization. Alaska received an impressive $58 a resident, while New York got less than $25. On and on goes the upside-down math of the new homeland-security funding. The TIME article uses AIR Worldwide Corp.'s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model. posted by amberglow at 5:25 PM PST - 20 comments
Buy His Future $59,965.90 owed, $245.75 donated. "In exchange for your donation, I will from time to time write to you about what I've done with the life you've made possible.
Make a gift, and free me to do good things with my life for this world."
It struck me as funny: have we come to a point in society where a man's future is worth the amount of his student loans? posted by cjoh at 2:26 PM PST - 42 comments
Donors Choose "Public school teachers use Donors Choose to propose resources for their students. Concerned individuals like you can then select a proposal to fund." posted by FunkyHelix at 7:57 AM PST - 14 comments
Anonymous midlist author tells horror story (Salon: viewing of annoying ad required, but it's well worth it) "In the 10 years since I signed my first book contract, the publishing industry has changed in ways that are devastating [...] to midlist authors like me. [...] What once was about literature is now about return on investment. What once was hand-sold one by one by well-read, book-loving booksellers now moves by the pallet-load at Wal-Mart and Borders -- or doesn't move at all." (more inside) posted by Prospero at 6:45 AM PST - 117 comments
Play Zork directly in IM. Send an instant message to InfoComBot and choose from a list of available text-based games. You can even save games and return to them later. One thing's for sure: I'm not getting any work done this week. posted by mathowie at 8:04 PM PST - 18 comments
More Foreign (Terrorist) Leaders Want Bush Reelected A statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat by the terrorist group Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom." posted by dogmatic at 11:40 AM PST - 19 comments
Cinema Redux creates a single, complete image of a film, second by second, minute for minute, producing a "fingerprint" or a "sort of movie DNA showing the colour hues as well as the rhythm of the editing process." posted by steef at 8:12 AM PST - 14 comments
Odds are, God exists. So says Dr. Stephen Unwin, a risk assessor in Ohio who applied Bayes' Theory to the question and determined there's a 67% likelihood of ... you-have-to-buy-the-book-to-find-out. Ah, the Devil is in the retail -- er, I mean, the details.
As a scientist and a Christian, I'm embarrassed by this junk. His book "includes a spreadsheet of the data used so that anyone can make the calculation themselves should they doubt its validity."
I can hardly wait. posted by tbc at 9:33 PM PST - 46 comments
The Internet's Little Black Book. HowWasShe.com "[provides] a fun way for you to get information about the sexual tendencies of your potential partners, comment on your own experiences, and other future services rendered." Areas of rating include hotness, easiness, and quality of blowjobs. (Probably NSFW) posted by ferociouskitty at 10:20 AM PST - 36 comments
China's Building Blitz. In scale and pace, the building boom currently sweeping over China has no precedent in human history. China is spending about $375 billion each year on construction, nearly 16 percent its gross domestic product. In the process, it is using 54.7 percent of the world's production of concrete, 36.1 percent of the world's steel, and 30.4 percent of the world's coal. posted by four panels at 8:27 AM PST - 16 comments
SBaGen is software (Windows, Mac and Linux) that generates binaural beats - interactions between sound waves that mess with your brain, to induce sleep, relaxation, activity, and allegedly even hallucinogenic states. SBaGen relies on text-file presets (although it comes with dozens of files to experiment with) but if you want a "quick start", there's also the Windows-based Brain Wave Generator. posted by Jimbob at 5:53 AM PST - 15 comments
Following the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent description of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy as 'a near-miraculous triumph', it's hardly surprising that a conversation between the two at the National Theatre was more of a love-in rather than a debate. The transcript is still a great read though, and contains gems like:
PP: Which leads us to Mel Gibson. Have you seen that film?
RW: I haven't seen it.
PP: Nor have I, so we can talk about it! That's all right.
RW: We're allowed opinions without the constraints of reality! posted by adrianhon at 4:00 AM PST - 26 comments
The Kodak vs. the King . Images of the the Belgian Congo (aka the Congo Free State) from it's heyday under the personal rule of the very evil King Leopold. The contrast between the photographs used by Leopolds apologists and those used by his enemies (lead by the remorseless E.D. Morel) is probably unsurprising but interesting as evidence of perhaps the first propaganda war to be dominated by photography. Also, the first genocidal atrocity to be, very partially, documented photographically.
The kodak has been a sore calamity to us. The most powerful enemy that has confronted us, indeed.... Every Yankee missionary and every interrupted trader sent home and got one; and now -- oh, well, the pictures get sneaked around everywhere, in spite of all we can do to ferret them out and suppress them.
(most links go to the excellent boondocksnet site which takes as its starting point Mark Twain and his anti-imperialist campaigns and branches out most impressively from there) posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:55 AM PST - 6 comments
Spark is a new magazine about the good things that are going on all over the world, and the people working to create a brighter future for us all. (via WorldChanging) posted by stbalbach at 7:10 PM PST - 6 comments
FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE KNOWING AL QAEDA WAS TO BLAME Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke tells Lesley Stahl that on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke's exclusive interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday March 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke posted by Postroad at 4:21 PM PST - 102 comments
Britney Says... Pop Superstar Discusses Her High-Brow Faves Britney writes about her exposure to high art and literature. The gallery is meant to help her grow as an artist, and expose her to new audiences. She doesn't want to perform for teenagers all her life, she's getting older after all. Features pictures of Britney reciting lyrics and poems. She wants to be taken seriously as a PERSON. posted by rschram at 3:39 PM PST - 18 comments
At the tone, please leave your snark... This is a pretty cool application of technology. We all have heard of the slow rise of the audioblog (indeed, it was discussed here!): people posting to their blogs or journals or whatever via their phone. Eric Rice of Slack Street (previously discussed here) has taken things one step further, and added the ability to call a toll-free number and have your audio comments strung together with others, and put on his audioblog site. Still kind of wonky (gotta listen to every recorded item, instead of being able to cue between tracks, looks like comments have to be approved first using some interface, etc.), but neat! Now, instead of bitching about people's poor grammar and spelling, we can rant about crappy pronunciations and accents! And for IraqFilter fans, his newest entry is actually begging people to leave him messages on the one year anniversary. Obviously he has no idea what he's getting into. Hurrah for tech-nol-o-gee! posted by tittergrrl at 12:51 PM PST - 6 comments
Consider this article from Media Transparency regarding how "hundreds of tax-exempt organizations of the far right have been exploiting the twilight zone of campaign and IRS regulations for three decades -- receiving billions of dollars in grants and contributions to wage ideo-political warfare for far-right ideas, causes, and Republican candidates."
Might it already be too late to stop this juggernaut? posted by mooncrow at 10:58 AM PST - 34 comments
Noiseways. Listen to New York City and Portland Oregon.
"The negative effects of noise—stress and the disruption of work, sleep, learning and other activities—are well established by scientific research. And of course it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of noise in New York City. The Noiseways Project intends to complement this knowledge by letting visitors to this Internet site experience the effects of noise through the use of pictures and sound recordings. Instead of presenting data, Noiseways engages the senses." posted by Tin Man at 10:14 AM PST - 12 comments
It was so cool, I always accepted that "Yeah, they're my moms," but they were actually getting married. I felt thick inside with happiness. Just thick. Gabriel Damast, 13
It is something I always wanted. I've always been around people saying, `Oh, my parents anniversary is this week.' It's always been the sight of two parents, married, with rings. And knowing I'd probably never experience it ever. The atmosphere was just springing with life, I just couldn't hold myself in. It was oh my god oh my god oh my god. I felt so happy I wanted to scream.
Alex Morris, 11
Earth WoesThe Earth may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history, suggests the strongest evidence yet.More here. posted by mcgraw at 9:09 AM PST - 24 comments
Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost
"Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly....
"Ms. Bjorklund had been pressing Mr. Foster for his numbers since June. When he refused, telling her he could be fired, she said, she confronted his boss, Thomas A. Scully, then the Medicare administrator. 'If Rick Foster gives that to you," Ms. Bjorklund remembered Mr. Scully telling her, "I'll fire him so fast his head will spin.'"
This company has released a device which claims to provide water "anytime, anywhere" (No Goodies jokes,please) - from the humidity in the air. With two other companies selling these machines in Australia and prices ranging from AUD1,000 to AUD2,300, is this a viable solution to the massive water shortages around the world, or just something else to talk about around the water cooler? posted by dg at 1:30 AM PST - 18 comments
Drawn in the style of a pre-school children's cartoon. But from the sick & twisted minds of the guys from Southpark.
Princess, A lap dog who observes the very adult world around her. The sexual content was so extreme shockwave.com halted development of the "webisodes" only after seeing the first 2 of 39 episodes that were contracted.
Now you can watch these shorts & judge for yourself. Thanks to the folks at Trio.
(username/password required... mefi/mefi) posted by Dreamghost at 7:34 PM PST - 21 comments
MIT's blog survey results are in.
Some highlights: 55% of respondents use their real names on their blog, 63% of respondents are male, 36% of respondents have gotten in trouble because of things they've written, and almost no one has a good idea of who's reading their blog. posted by Vidiot at 3:30 PM PST - 5 comments
Country Life: Wildlife Reports From Around The World. Here's a generous helping of trip reports from a group of dedicated naturalists who manage to be thorough and entertaining at the same time. It's part of a travel agency's web site, but not so as you'd notice it. Reading through them, one feels quietly (perhaps dangerously?) optimistic at the astonishing variety of all things bright and beautiful in this grossly over-exploited world of ours. (Well, there may be too many birds in the fauna/flora mix, if you're not a certified ornithologist. Oh - and not enough detail on the local gastronomical delights!) posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:53 PM PST - 5 comments
Headvertisement.I'm sure you're asking yourself, 'What kind of modification are we talking about?' Well, simply put, it is not a permanent change, but something that will get you individually noticed in any crowd. What we do is supply you a temporary tattoo, which will beplaced on your forehead, by our regional representatives. posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:36 PM PST - 18 comments
Religious right fights "Dress-up Jesus" refrigerator magnets"...Urban Outfitters is offering a refrigerator magnet set depicting Jesus on the cross. A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit. The sign above the cross reads, "Hang in there baby!"....A variety of clothes for "Jesus Dress Up" include a Satan mask and tights, ballerina, and dogcatcher outfit....and a Dr. Seuss hat." - So reads an Action Alert sent to the several million members of the Reverend Donald Wildmon's American Family Association which urges concerned christians to bombard Urban Outfitters with letters condemning the allegedly blasphemous magnets. But there is no need to even buy them when you can play "Dress up Jesus" online! - "Dress up Jesus by dragging the items to him with your mouse.", reads the offending website. From the AFA's suggested letter text : "While you may think it is "cute," your decision shows a great disrespect toward people of faith everywhere." - To say that I dislike the AFA would be to put it mildly, but are the refrigerator magnets indeed disrespectful ? posted by troutfishing at 12:48 PM PST - 134 comments
Third World Transition Program. It's not a relief effort for resettled refugees - it's Brown University's pre-orientation forum "primarily for students of color." Brown President Ruth Simmons will apparently order TWTP to desegregate, but the organization will continue to invite only "students of color" - apparently self-identified from application forms - to participate. According to one student, the admittance of whites to TWTP "would change the level of comfort that's established." Another argued that whites would "compromise the program's integrity and mission." "I can't help laughing when a white person tells me that they understand and experience racism," adds a Brown Daily Herald columnist. But many TWTP alumni are also its harshest critics. "We were given advice on how to 'deal' with a white roommate," writes one student. "It fostered an 'us vs. them' mentality with white students on campus and directly and indirectly encouraged minority students to seek out friendships with students of color before white students arrived on campus." Another reports that him TWTP peers shunned him when he began reaching out to other campus groups because he "found people who I had more in common with than an ethnic background." When TWTP was founded 30 years ago, it certainly served a valuable purpose in a tumultuous and changing social environment. But how do mainstream folks wrest the debate from both the far left and far right, convince the organization that its harm outweighs its good, and urge it to reform itself from within and help unify rather than segregate the student body? posted by PrinceValium at 12:06 PM PST - 20 comments
Fake news. How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics? posted by rich at 11:30 AM PST - 12 comments
Batten down the mosquito netting In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. " posted by Postroad at 11:19 AM PST - 9 comments
Sudden Oak Death is caused by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora ramorum and it has been discovered at Monrovia and other nurseries in California. Georgia officials have banned all sales of plants from California for the time being. SOD is frequently compared to Chestnut Blight, which killed 3.5 billion trees in about fifty years and almost wiped out the entire species. There is a different mating type of the microbe in Europe and it is believed that if the two were to come together this could potentially result in a much more devastating form of SOD. posted by bargle at 9:58 AM PST - 7 comments
Gay Princes defeat NC Parents. Parents object to library book about two gay princes, concerned because being gay "is not part of their beliefs." Presumably books which discuss other things not part of their beliefs could also be an issue. Is this a basic confusion about the purpose of a library, or is any temptation just too much temptation? posted by ewkpates at 9:29 AM PST - 87 comments
Are cell phones the next sexual revolution?The Nippit 3000 chip — although barely a micron in diameter — projects a high-intensity ultra-sonic electromagnetic "sound cone" that is inaudible to the human ear but fatal to any sperm cell within a range of six meters, or about 18 feet.
Can this be real? When can I get one? (via SND) posted by statisticalpurposes at 7:56 PM PST - 10 comments
Every gay and lesbian federal employee has just lost their protection from discrimination.Gay and lesbians in the entire federal workforce have had their job protections officially removed by the office of Special Counsel. The new Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered.
Bloch said that the while a gay employee would have no recourse for being fired or demoted for being gay, that same worker could not be fired for attending a gay Pride event. posted by amberglow at 7:25 PM PST - 21 comments
The Apology Line was an art project by Allan Bridge. For 15 years, anonymous confessions were collected by an answering machine. Covered by
This American Life, and an early Wired Magazine article, The Apology Line predated online confessionals like grouphug.us by over 20 years.
The resulting messages were compiled into tapes. The long out-of-print cassette The Apology Line: Uncut Gems From Year Zero (1980-1981) is available in mp3 form: Side A.Side B. Fascinating, funny, and disturbing, all at once.
posted by bluno at 11:48 AM PST - 10 comments
Rhea County, Tennessee commissioners have voted 8-0 to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee's criminal code so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. If Rhea County sounds familiar, it may be because it was the setting for the Scopes Monkey Trial. posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:06 AM PST - 49 comments
African AIDS Drug Plan Faces Collapse. The World Health Organization's Three by Five programme seeks to supply 3 million Africans with anti-HIV drugs by 2005. But it's in danger, due to lack of cash... and opposition from special interests who seem to be exerting influence over the U.S. government. According to Stephen Lewis, U.N. Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, 'If Three by Five fails, as it surely will without the dollars, then there are no excuses left, no rationalisations to hide behind. There will only be the mass graves of the betrayed.' posted by stonerose at 8:00 AM PST - 20 comments
Ted L. Nancy (or is it really Jerry Seinfeld?) has a lock on the "send a seemingly serious letter to someone and see if they write back" genre, but this ploy to get unwitting United States Senators to send in their favorite jokes is amusing too. Even Santorum chimed in. posted by emelenjr at 6:32 AM PST - 24 comments
Say goodbye to more jobs? This is an interesting research report from the Gartner Group on the future of banking, money and economic transition. One of the participants at a conference that Gartner cites is Bernard Leitaer, who is interviewed here. Leitaer is the author of the book The Future of Money. He argues " the malaise Japan has suffered since the early 1990s reflects an economic challenge the whole developed world has begun to face. Today, European and U.S. factories, too, suffer from overcapacity. The vaunted productivity growth spurred by the digital revolution has raised the economy’s stall speed. If the natural growth rate of the U.S. economy has risen to 4% annually, anything less than that rate will cause firms to trim capacity. A firm’s revenue growth often must come at the expense of competitors as well as its own profits because companies have trouble raising prices. In response, companies cut costs any way they can, usually by laying off employees and squeezing suppliers, which causes further layoffs. For developed countries, the safety valves that limited damage during contractions in manufacturing may not work. In past recessions, laid-off factory workers in the Great Lakes states, for example, could migrate to the growing Sun Belt to find new jobs. In the present transition, areas with job growth may lie overseas." The long heralded rise of the information economy, the death of distance and the rise of the
global knowledge workers is paradigm shift that our goverment leader's seem ill equiped to handle. posted by thedailygrowl at 11:38 PM PST - 36 comments
Tivo for Webcomics? Found by way of Comixpedia, this Sun-Times article finds shareware that rips comic files off the web to be something of a God-send. As a web-comic creator, I have no problem with my readers writing personal scripts that pull the .pngs from my front page. But when the rippers begin asking for money for their app that distributes someone else's content (without asking the creators' permission), it seems as though somewhere, there are some enormous balls just a'swingin' in the breeze. posted by wigu at 7:50 PM PST - 33 comments
Bob Zangas killed in ambush in Iraq. Bob was a Public Affairs officer with the CPA in Iraq and a pretty good blogger. After spending 6 months in Iraq as a Marine he returned as a civilian to do what he could to help the Iraqi people rebuild their nation. His blog posts were sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always told from the point of view of someone who wanted nothing more than to help. Link goes to the last post before his death. posted by billman at 2:55 PM PST - 30 comments
Iraq on the Record A full compilation of the Bush administration's misleading statements on Iraq was comissioned by rep. Henry Waxman. It is now available as a pdf report and as a database searchable by name of speaker or keyword. Did this sort of framework for accountability exist before the Web, and can it be effective now? posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:57 PM PST - 20 comments
[NY Times]. However, I was looking at Matt H's Social Software ideas and decided check out one that already exists - gas prices. GasPriceWatch.com is a site that hosts gasoline prices from around the country. But the problem is, despite it's request for "non-commercial" use of the data, it relies on users to enter that information.
I'm about to have my first child so I've been looking at ways to save money -I figured finding the cheapest place to get gas would be a great way to start but quickly found that my price entries were the only ones within a 10 mile radius of my house. Spread the word. posted by bkdelong at 11:51 AM PST - 30 comments
Originally, Greenspan was in favor of cutting future Social Security benefits to help ease the current budget deficit. Now, he suggests: that household balance sheets are "in good shape," and perhaps stronger than ever, because the value of people's homes and stock portfolios have risen faster than their debts. posted by BlueTrain at 10:09 AM PST - 14 comments
Is this shite?Another [Estrogen] risk factor appears to be something that researchers call overthinking, a tendency to dwell on petty slights, to mentally replay testy encounters and to wallow in sad feelings. Studies show that this type of negative thinking is far more common in women than in men, and that it can be a harbinger of clinical depression.NYTimes article (registration req'd) about depression called "New Clues to Women Veiled in Black". posted by mcgraw at 9:39 AM PST - 14 comments
The A-Train For Armchair Travellers The Man in Seat 61, a train-mad Brit called Mark Smith, provides a wonderful guide, with lots of useful information, to train travel in Europe - though obviously catering mostly to British passengers. Choo Choo! posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:49 AM PST - 7 comments
Chinese Communism comes to a (seemingly) screeching halt. Lost in the brouha over Spain was the report that the Chinese National People's Congress voted yesterday to protect private property rights. Some regard this as more symbolic than actually guaranteeing any concrete rights while others believe it is indicative of the growing importance of private business currently fueling the Chinese economy. The words 'Human Rights' were also put into the constitution for the first time. posted by PenDevil at 11:35 PM PST - 9 comments
Paris is not actually in Paris according to French archaeologists last month. It appears that the ancient capital of Gaul, named after the Celtic tribe Parissi, is not buried under modern-day Paris but under its unremarkable neighbor Nanterre. "It's an unprecedented attack on the French national identity and the greater glory of Paris by a group of dirty-fingernailed parvenus." Spare the dirty archaeologists and blame it on Julius Caesar who gave inaccurate descriptions of the location, returning from the grave causing fresh Parisian identity consternations. posted by stbalbach at 8:27 PM PST - 13 comments
After about 8.30am, we decided to try to make our way back to the shrine of Imam Al-Hussain (S) so that we could hear the Maqtal (story of his death) being read out. On our way there, as we were opposite the shrine of Al-Abbas (S) coming from the Baghdad Road, a loud explosion went off. It came from the direction of the Imam Al-Hussain (S) shrine. Suddenly the crowd of people started running and were coming towards us. We had no option but to turn back with them, or be trampled on. After about 2 minutes, another explosion went off, it seemed closer. We had stopped by now to see what was happening and after about 3 minutes, we started moving forward again. A few seconds later another bomb went off, this was the closest yet. We walked into one of the hotel lobbies, fearing anything could go off next to us. It was like an air raid, you thought bombs were being dropped. There was smoking rising above both shrines and there was a lot of shouting and screaming. People were running in all directions, desperately clinging on to each other. We stepped out to see what had happended but then another bomb went off. This was the biggest one and it shook us. Glass from the nearby buildings started raining down and we ran for cover. A lot of smoke and dust clouded over the area and we done a head count to make sure we were all together. Shiite Account of Visitation ('pilgrimage') to Holy Shrines of Iraq is how Juan Cole titled this first person account. posted by y2karl at 5:14 PM PST - 7 comments
Bush directing Homeland Security to Stage Photo-Ops? This article from next week's Time is in itself a well-detailed examination of the campaign strategies for both sides in the 2004 race, but some bloggers have caught a disturbing paragraph in the middle of the article: "As the Bush team sorts out its internal mechanics, it will press the advantage of incumbency. Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month. " posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:37 PM PST - 46 comments
Jay-Z + Weezer = Jay-Zeezer. I then read a New York Times article about a web site called "The Jay-Z Construction Set" which compiled all of the materials you needed to remix your own version of Jay-Z. It had the acappella version of the Black album, Dangermouse's Grey Album, sample beats, and various remixes that other DJ's had already made. I fired up Shareaza, my file-sharing weapon of choice, and dreamed of internet stardom. [via mymarkup.net - webblogg] [more inside] posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:32 PM PST - 21 comments
The Man Who Loves Spam "[Orlando] Soto routinely comes home to some 150 e-mail pitches, and he loves getting them all. The 45-year-old grandfather opens most of them. He answers spam questionnaires. And he buys stuff pitched in spam e-mail -- again and again." Ugh. Thanks a lot, Mr. Soto. You're keeping this industry alive. (WSJ link, via Obscure Store.) posted by GaelFC at 12:57 PM PST - 25 comments
Dramatic Climate Change. The director who brought us aliens blowing up the White House has now turned his sights on climate change. In a very dramatic way. Will this highly sensationalized and unrealistic presentation of global warming have any impact on public attitudes? Are we looking at a possible a tipping point, or is director Roland Emmerich jumping the shark? posted by alms at 8:03 AM PST - 33 comments
Proposal to have companies rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police "A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police. The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development." Read more about the FBI's proposal at Cnet.com.
or MSNBC. But where is the actual proposal? posted by fluffycreature at 6:59 AM PST - 8 comments
Riots in Iran have started, apparently over the recent elections. The revolution, it seems, will be blogged (with pictures). But not televised? Has anyone seen anything on CBSNBCBBCABCFOXESPN about this? If the riots are over the election, why are we hearing from the BBC (and others, presumably) that the election went smoothly? Does anyone have more information about what's happening with these pro-democracy riots? (Via Roger L. Simon). posted by swerdloff at 5:53 PM PST - 16 comments
Now Toyota enters the robot race. Honda's humanoid robot, ASIMO, is such a splash, Toyota is entering the race, making robots designed to assist the elderly and incapacitated, and play trumpet with artificial lips.
Shouldn't the US be making humanoid robots too?
What do you really want your robot to do? posted by kablam at 5:01 PM PST - 21 comments
Al-Qaeda behind Madrid massacre? One piece of evidence I've only seen mentioned in Norway is a document a terrorist research group at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment found on an Islamist website. The document surveys strategies for forcing the coalition out of Iraq. It mentions Spain as a convenient target, and the election this week as a convenient time to carry it out posted by Postroad at 1:31 PM PST - 12 comments
opposition party wins spanish elections. democracy can be somewhat irritating when decisions made against the will of the majority come back to haunt you. especially when trying to fool your people with baseless arguments, such as moral convictions that eta were behind the attacks. ever more curious about those wmd, or imminent threats, or, er, the intent of developing nuclear capabilities, in november. posted by coyroy at 12:35 PM PST - 192 comments
Do you have special skills? If so, Uncle Sam may want to speak with you. "The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages." Nobody sees a need for a large scale draft like Vietnam, "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft." The folks at SSS stress that this possibility is likely far off. It could take about two years to "to have all the kinks worked out." Is the draft in our future? posted by madamjujujive at 10:45 AM PST - 31 comments
Christian Slave,Muslim Master: A new book claims over 1 million white Europeans where enslaved by North Africans between 1500 and 1800. Entire villages de-populated and pressed into slavery from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Britain, Ireland and Iceland. While the numbers are smaller than the 10 to 12 million Africans sent to North America it is a little known tragic story of Africans subjugating Europeans. posted by stbalbach at 9:02 AM PST - 15 comments
Black ships and samurai In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.) posted by carter at 7:30 AM PST - 18 comments
The Story of a Czech SuperStar Contestant.The Czech version of Pop Idol (or American Idol, if you prefer) is finally starting to get good. But it may not be for the reasons the show's creators wanted. Anna, known also by her SuperStar number 3469 or better yet as "Dajdou," has become the most famous of all the contestants so far, precisely because she is what the Czechs refer to as an "antitalent." (via Living in Europe) posted by Ljubljana at 4:42 AM PST - 9 comments
Betrayed by Europe: An Expatriate’s Lament Journalist, novelist, and translator Nidra Poller, an American ex-pat who has been living in Paris with her family since 1972, writes in the latest issue of Commentary about her painful decision to leave her adopted homeland for the US. The main reason? Poller and her family are Jewish and scared for their lives. Her poignant essay is not just another report on the disturbinglevelsofanti-semitisminFrance or yet another French Jew abandoning the country for safer turf, but an examination of the power of hope (and inertia) in our lives, even when intellectually one sees no reason for hope: I'm being treated to a poignant lesson in European and Jewish history. The 30's: why did they stay? Why didn’t they run for their lives? Couldn’t they see what was happening? I see before me a vivid demonstration of the deep roots we dig to make our lives bloom, the intricate biology of a human life, irrigated with the lifeblood of a community, inextricably connected to a society, born of life to give life to keep life alive. Leaving is not packing up and tipping your hat goodbye. It is tearing live flesh out of a living matrix. A powerful and disturbing testimony. posted by Asparagirl at 1:33 AM PST - 74 comments
Twilight at Easter by Jared Diamond, offers us a clear summary of "Easter's settlement and subsequent history, its statues, the frightening collapse of its society, and its broader significance in our world beset with similar environmental problems." [via JBD's SDJ] posted by kliuless at 10:15 PM PST - 14 comments
I Have Seen The Future And It's American Straight Whiskey: How many things do you know that get not only better but more numerous with every passing year? You could call it Bourbon, of course, it you wished to exclude the superb Tennessee products of Jack Daniel's and George Dickel (just because they charcoal-filter their otherwise equally impeccable straight whiskey), but you should know that this is only the result of a strictly commercial rivalry between the two main producers: Brown-Forman (who own Jack Daniel's in Tennessee) and Jim Beam (who make only Kentucky straight whiskies, i.e. Bourbons). Call it American straight whiskey and be proud! [More inside.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:19 PM PST - 31 comments
Democrat Kerry Challenges Bush to Monthly Debates Kerry, already engaged in a running exchange of negative ads with Bush eight months before the November election, planned to deliver the challenge at the site of the historic Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates in Quincy, Illinois.
A frontrunner, way ahead, would naturally turn down this "invitation," but at this point, Bush is not way ahead, and to turn down debates would give Kerry a fine focus to play over and over in ads and speeches. How will Bush (ie Rove) react to this challenge? (go on tour of duty with National Guard perhaps.) posted by Postroad at 12:58 PM PST - 61 comments
Endurance - "During the performance of Endurance, 26 participants took a one our turn standing motionless on the same square foot of sidewalk. Challenging Seattles' vagrancy laws, which prohibit loitering, each participant dedicated their stand to the memory of a friend whose death resulted from a life lived on the streets." (flash) posted by atom128 at 12:22 PM PST - 9 comments
spokesman of spanish police announces muslim men of moroccan, indian and spanish nationality were arrested this evening. goodbye and thank you, jose maria aznar. posted by coyroy at 11:22 AM PST - 44 comments
The Gospel of Debbie. Paul Rudnick in The New Yorker: "Recent works like “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Da Vinci Code” seek to illuminate the life of Jesus. Not long ago, an additional text was discovered in an ancient linen backpack found in a cave outside Jerusalem, surrounded by what appeared to be early Roman candy wrappers and covered with stickers reading “I [heart] All Faiths” and “Ask Me About Hell.” A parchment diary found inside the backpack appears to contain the musings of one Debbie of Galilee." posted by adrober at 9:14 AM PST - 17 comments
Crap - now they FCC Thought Police are going after Pink Floyd. Is nothing sacred?! WNCX, a local Cleveland "Classic rock" station (who just happens to be the same station that airs The Howard Stern Show in the area) is unable to play Pink Floyd's "Money" because of the use of the word "bullshit" within the song. To be honest, until this was brought to my attention, I had completely overlooked that lyric in the song. But thanks to the FCC War Against Indency, I'm now fully aware of it! What other cases of 'indecency' would you have overlooked had the authorities not brought it to your attention? posted by tgrundke at 7:01 AM PST - 63 comments
Howard Stern's new found liberalism. "The potential impact is huge," says Charles Goyette, talk-show host at KFYI in Phoenix. "And it's not just with the 8 million people who tune it, it's that he breaks the spell. Everybody's been enchanted by Bush, that he's a great wartime leader and to criticize him is unpatriotic. Now Stern pounds him every day and it shatters that illusion that the man is invincible and he shouldn't be criticized." posted by skallas at 10:00 PM PST - 50 comments
Private kibbutzim? The kibbutz, unique and successful socialist experiments in communal living, helped build a country. Has their time passed? Different wages for different jobs, deeding property to individual members, and privatization of production are being instituted at 100 of them, out of an estimated 270 total. In a world where selfishness and capitalism seem to rule, is there hope for communal living? posted by amberglow at 9:24 PM PST - 7 comments
A precious, limited resource. 10 African countries want more water from the Nile. The Nile just doesn't have enough to satisfy their wants and needs. Can there be a solution to this problem short of war? posted by kablam at 5:59 PM PST - 24 comments
When is violence justified? I am now the proud owner of one of 3,500 copies of William T. Vollmann's 3,299-page study of violence, Rising Up and Rising Down, published by McSweeney's. The book (if you can call something that's seven volumes a "book") has gotten mixed reviews that lean toward positive: Scott McLemee, writing in the New York Times Book Review (reg. req.), called it a "flood of logorrhea," while Steven Moore (a literary critic notable for his work on another long-winded writer, William Gaddis) wrote in the Washington Post that it is an "achievement beyond the realm of mere mortals," comparing it to Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough.
This oral history tells the story behind how the book came to be published at McSweeney's, and is an interesting look at what needs to happen for a difficult-to-market work to make its way from its author to the general reading public, in a publishing industry that's unfriendly to this kind of thing, to say the least. posted by Prospero at 3:31 PM PST - 16 comments
"As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know."
[Department of Defense news briefing
Feb. 12, 2002] : Now, imagine it set to music and sung aloud by a classically trained female singer with a beautiful voice. [ Mp3 clips available at main link ] Some conservatives consider it a homage, while I find it beautiful, compelling, and disorienting. posted by troutfishing at 1:07 PM PST - 27 comments
"The problem with this book is not that Jayson Blair told lies at the Times, but that his lies continue in this book. The book is a collection of patently ridiculous made-up fakery, with sexual escapades and other stuff that smacks of total fabrication. They are as absurd as the bogus positive reviews that Jayson slapped on a couple of days ago," an Amazon reviewer writes. After a grotesque publicity tour, with fawning interviews by Katie, Larry, Bill and Chris, war breaks out among average readers. Meanwhile, a new plagiarism charge, about the book itself. posted by Slagman at 12:50 PM PST - 17 comments
Senator Edward Kennedy gave two magnificent speeches last week, but only one received the attention it deserved. While his blistering attack on the Bush Administration for manipulating and distorting intelligence to justify attacking Iraq was noted in the Washington Post and other papers, the Senator's fiery progressive manifesto--delivered at a New York conference called Re-Imagining the Welfare State--went virtually unreported. "For them the law of the jungle is the best economic policy for America--not equal opportunity, not fairness, not the American dream. Their ideas will inevitably result in a lesser America, and have already meant a growing gulf between rich and poor." (From The Nation) posted by n9 at 12:06 PM PST - 45 comments
Flickr! First launched during the week of no-metafilter, Flickr is a new kind of social software application (in the tradition of Friendster or Orkut) - but, after making friends and forming groups, it actually gives you something to do! Created by a team led by Mefi's own sylloge, Flickr is also a collaboration focused Flash-based application that allows you to share picture files with friends, comment on them and post them directly to yourweblog. An exposed set of services is also leading to a host of interesting ideas. posted by vacapinta at 9:47 AM PST - 16 comments
The UK's Channel 4 is to court controversy with a provocative advert littered with swear words in which the word "c**t" is heard nine times in the space of just 90 seconds. Watch it here (NSFW with speakers on!) posted by MintSauce at 3:00 AM PST - 41 comments
Meanwhile, on Mars, The Spirit rover has reached Bonneville Crater, a primary mission objective, and snapped photos of the far side of the crater rim with its navcam. But what is that glint to the left side? (more within) posted by brownpau at 3:05 PM PST - 40 comments
TV Tropes Catalogued: like the As You Know, "Character A explains to Character B something that they both know, but the audience doesn't. "As you know, Simon, Jennifer has never been the same since the tragic codfish incident." "As you know, Jennifer, my Death Ray depends on codfish balls."
Boing-Boing Filter posted by turbodog at 2:57 PM PST - 17 comments
The Bopst Show is a local independent radio broadcast featuring everything from local salsa to Swedish heavy metal to "exceedingly anomalous music from Laos." Instead of just complaining about the sad state of radio today, host Chris Bopst has created a show admired by both music lovers and casual radio listeners. Available online from 6pm to 9pm EST Thurs & Fri. posted by junkbox at 2:46 PM PST - 6 comments
Here's a dainty can of pastel worms: The Democracy Now! show on Pacifica Radio is asking this question: "Was Martha Stewart Targeted Because She is a Major Democratic Contributor and a Woman? Where is Ken Lay?"
Article here, or watch the stream for low or high bandwidth.
Tom Friedman, well meaning NYT columnnist lunkhead, gets job outsourced In a stunning development, Tom Friedman - until recently the famous NYT op-ed columnist who has downplayed the outsourcing of American jobs, finds his job has been outsourced due to an egregious factual error concerning T-shirts. "[ BANGALORE, India ] I am delighted to write to you today as the new foreign-affairs columnist for the New York Times . My name is Tam Veeraraghavan. Ah, you say, you've never heard of Tam Veeraraghavan, but the name sounds vaguely Indian. Well, I am an Indian. I live in Bangalore. And I'm now the pundit you read in this newspaper. Now some of you might think that I'm an example of how outsourcing is hurting American workers. Well let me introduce you to Yamini Narayanan, an Indian-born 35-year-old with a Ph.D. in economics....." posted by troutfishing at 12:24 PM PST - 41 comments
US Military Develops Robotic Exoskeleton. The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton, or Bleex, is powered by an internal combustion engine, and can allow soldiers or rescue workers to carry heavy loads over long distances. Article is a follow-up to this story. Perhaps this is the first step towards robotic assistance for the physically impaired. (Aside: a thank you to Soyjoy, who is a good man indeed!) posted by mcgraw at 10:55 AM PST - 37 comments
The Guardian has a nice interview with Ursula
K. Le Guin about utopian science fiction, anthropology, ethnicity in Earthsea and the
differences between her two Earthsea trilogies. She also comments on the upcoming miniseries.
The Lathe of Heaven is a taoist novel, not a utopian or
dystopian one.... There
is an old American saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The novel
extends that a bit - "Even if it's broke, if you don't know how to fix
Political life in the Western world has become so infantilised that even eight-year-olds can share its brilliant insights... It appears that how you feel, rather than what you believe in, has become the defining feature of political protest. Via Arts&Letters Daily. posted by gd779 at 9:25 AM PST - 27 comments
Docusearch settles claim for 75K with family whose daughter was killed by a stalker who purchased her personal information from them -- a killer whose intentions were described on a Googleable website. The NH Supreme Court determined last year that Docusearch, the company who sold Amy Boyer's work address and SSN to her killer could be held liable for her death, even though some of that information was publicly available. An "Amy Boyer's Law" intended to increase privacy by restricting the display, sale or use of SSNs received negativereviews by privacy organizations and ultimately was removed from an appropriations bill. In a statement, Amy's parents encourage others to use the Internet to keep track of who may be keeping track of their kids. "If only we had typed our daughter's name into any search engine, the Amy Boyer Web site that was posted by her killer would have come up, and we could have called the police...This may never have happened." posted by jessamyn at 8:55 AM PST - 6 comments
The great escape - Immediately after 9/11, dozens of Saudi royals and members of the bin Laden family fled the U.S. in a secret airlift authorized by the Bush White House. One passenger was an alleged al-Qaida go-between, who may have known about the terror attacks in advance. Salon's first excerpt from Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud. You'll watch an ad for Schindler's List on DVD and then... posted by y2karl at 7:51 AM PST - 47 comments
Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. (reg. req. for full story, sorry) Consider this just a bit of levity in the whole gay marriage debate. No, this isn't the next step on the slippery slope, it's just what happens when a lunatic looks for publicity. This actually made the front page of my local paper, which makes me question the sanity of their editors. [more inside] posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:12 AM PST - 19 comments
Garfield: The Movie: The Novelization Experience the pending awfulness first hand, then the relief of knowing you didn't have to write it. So far, this forthcoming movie is to be considered the Worst Film of 2004, until an upstart comes along. posted by Down10 at 1:42 AM PST - 50 comments
Nice Whisk(e)y: Shame About The Size! Behold a wonderful, almost infinitely explorable repository of miniature bottles of whisk(e)y; a Japanese one-guy Smithsonian that's quite probably the only resort for those looking for labels of ancient and/or abandoned delights. American straight whiskey fanatics (like me) will be specially surprised. Worth exploring, though exploration isn't easy: it's full of unexpected riches, but never easily had. [Previously offered in the course of a classic languagehat post.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:32 PM PST - 9 comments
Poppin' Fresh from the newly launched QueerMeta community weblog: We'Wha: The Zuni Man-Woman. How could a six-foot tall Indian man be mistaken for a "maiden" and a "princess"?
This was no Pocahontas! Even more intriguing is the relationship
between Stevenson and We'wha. According to one gossip, "she" regularly
entered the ladies rooms and boudoirs of Washington. How could
Stevenson not know that her intelligent Zuni informant was really, in
the words of one gossip, a "bold, bad man"? More about the 'berdaches' of the Zuni [ 1, 2, 3]. Google cache of last (Geocities) link here. posted by taz at 3:36 PM PST - 8 comments
German Shower Radio w/Soap Dispenser (maybe NSFW)
I know, what's the big deal about a shower radio with a soap dispenser built in? Check it out. Or check out the Google Translation, I'm still wondering what an insertable antenna is? And where does the soap come out?
Any chance this could be marketed in the States? Or would the Sex-is-Baaaaaaad people have conniptions? Wouldn't it be worth it to watch? posted by fenriq at 3:31 PM PST - 18 comments
Recharge Your Ovaries? Would it be better to have babies in our 60's? What if we could eliminate menopause? Is this just another instance of the dawn of agelessness? posted by ewkpates at 10:27 AM PST - 7 comments
House Gymnastics. "The greater the height or danger, the better the move. Maneuvers must be held in position for 3 seconds to be valid." In the words of one critic: "Empowering banality with new meaning... " posted by limitedpie at 8:11 AM PST - 9 comments
American Taliban plans theocracy - soon Theocracy Watch reports on the religious right's takeover of the Republican Party. The Bush Administration's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment is but one ploy of the new American Taliban : "with one amendment the religious right could wipe out access to birth control, abortion, and even non-procreative sex" ["...behind this amendment: Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer, Robert Bork, Rick Santorum" - via Andrew Sullivan]. Maureen Farrell chronicles the power centers of the newly powerful religious right. Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, has the President's ear and this concerns more than jamming Creationism into your school's curriculum.
On the agenda - "The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions, and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments." Writes Farrell - "How did this happen? - Voter apathy is the key to the phenomenal ascent of the Religious Right in the U.S. government." Pat Robertson, 1990 : "With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree." posted by troutfishing at 7:32 AM PST - 142 comments
The writers at The Onion A.V. Club recently emptied their coin purses and embarked on a quest for budget-friendly snacks. Would you eat something called Treet? Let the buyer beware. posted by archimago at 6:01 AM PST - 14 comments
Texas Dept. of Transportation is running one of the most graphic commercials (3mb mpeg) I have ever seen, relating to drunk driving or anything else. The general campaign page has more information about the girl. I don't know how to feel about this. posted by rhyax at 12:00 AM PST - 20 comments
How the Left views the Right, as viewed by the Southern Baptist Press. “I don't get it,” said the movie critic, “the people aren't listening to us... don't all those unwashed cretins out there in flyover country understand that we're the ones who tell them what they can watch?” posted by 4easypayments at 3:51 PM PST - 60 comments
A useful service has been provided for those annoying registration websites (ie NyTimes). I'm sure many of you will appreciate it. (my first post, dont hurt me) posted by spidre at 1:32 PM PST - 20 comments
News 14 in North Carolina had an online system where people could post school closings, etc that would scroll on the screen. The postings all got reviewed before they went live, but after they’d been reviewed/approved, the system was open for the original poster to go back and change the copy, so you could essentially submit something benign, then go back and monkey with it. Screen shots of the results. posted by jonson at 9:29 AM PST - 44 comments
Bug Portraits by Frank Phillips. ". . .I always keep in mind the goal of capturing the bug from an angle that we humans don't normally see...and I believe that it shows in my work." posted by Feisty at 9:24 AM PST - 15 comments
Dish Network drops Viacom. Dish Network dropped Viacom-distributed channels last night, and CBS channels in 16 metropolitan areas. I can't see how alienating 1.6 million subscribers is going to be good for business, no matter what it does to their bottom line. posted by pizzasub at 9:20 AM PST - 43 comments
"Just considerwhat you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life...If you step off this cliff, gravity never goes up, it goes down." Those were the words of, Larry Telford, of the National Republican Congressional Committee threatening a Texas citizen who dared to run in the Republican primary for the US House of Representatives. posted by EmoChild at 8:26 AM PST - 23 comments
The Republican National Committee is warning television stations across the country not to run ads from the MoveOn.org Voter Fund that criticize President Bush, charging that the left-leaning political group is paying for them with money raised in violation of the new campaign-finance law. posted by jasenlee at 10:34 PM PST - 74 comments
President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter. Also: A transcript subpoenaed in the CIA leak probe reveals the White House press operation began efforts to personally discredit former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV days before a columnist blew the cover of his CIA-officer wife. From TPM posted by y2karl at 4:14 PM PST - 23 comments
Save Overtime Pay Warning: AFL-CIOfilter
From the site: "Under a proposal by President Bush, more than 8 million workers might not be paid extra for the overtime hours they work."
Yeah, I saw the "might" in there too.
They do have a summary page of Bush's proposal and hey, here's a little cartoon to help explain things.
And this article in today's Miami Herald helps explain the issue a little better than this one from the National Center for Public Policy Research which quotes The Heritage Foundation and Secretary of Labor Elaine Choe.
As I understand it, they want to move the level of mandatory overtime pay from about $8000 a year to $22K but there's so much double speak and rhetoric that my head's only just stopped spinning. posted by fenriq at 3:46 PM PST - 27 comments
"Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process," Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. "Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go." The liberation of Afghanistan's women continues. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:29 PM PST - 5 comments
Whoah. I accidentally typed our favorite blog's URL minus a period, and stumbled upon this educational reference site. Those devious hippies have gone too far.... posted by adamms222 at 1:00 PM PST - 23 comments
"People had to leave everything, from photos of their grandparents to cars." One brave (or foolish, depending on your view) girl, and her Kawasaki motorcycle take a tour through the Chernobyl "dead zone". An astounding an eyewitness photo-essay of chernobyl today. (Note that the first link is a google cache, but subsequent pages are available from the site when you click the "next page" link...Angelfire, go figure.) posted by dejah420 at 12:50 PM PST - 15 comments
Pricenoia compares prices at every Amazon store available, adding shipping costs to your country..
It's not just the usefulness of the tool (specially for those that live somewhere different than the US and are used to check every price at least at a couple of Amazon stores), but what it means for the global commerce and how the net helps to raise worldwide prices..
Do you buy at your local amazon? Or do you check prices everywhere? Amazon offers confidence to its users, once you buy there you don't try any other online bookseller, anywhere.. Is it going to be the bigger global bookstore, online or offline? Sure.. It's the beginning of the dot.com takeover!!! posted by 12345 at 9:48 AM PST - 23 comments
Bellevue school bans hats, hoods... In order to curtail unproven gang activity, Interlake High School has banned baseball caps, and the wearing of hoods, stemming from alleged gang involvement on the part of a few students. The faculty "believes" there to be gang actvity, and we all know that gangs require hooded-sweatshirt / ballcap uniforms, or you're out... Gang members can usually be singled out due to their poor fashion taste, but it has nothing to do with how they joined. This must be more of that freedom we North Americans seems to endorse so much... posted by Dark Messiah at 7:21 AM PST - 63 comments
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. A company named AdNoodle is letting you waive your rights under the Do Not Call list in exchange for cold hard cash. You decide how much it's worth to you - 50 cents, $1, $2 per minute - to have a friendly chat with your local telemarketing concern and answer a "listening comprehension" quiz afterwards. What's your conventional wisdom on this one: Are we bargaining ourselves into a win-win situation? Or are we becoming low-priced callgirls for the bottom-feeders of corporate America? We report, you decide. (via Fark) posted by PrinceValium at 3:41 AM PST - 5 comments
Streaming video documentary films about American traditional music. Great American roots music films for free! Click and watch full length documentaries about the Popovich Brothers Tamburitza band of South Bend Indiana, Louisiana creole fiddler Canray Fontenot, the last Black medicine-show performer, sacred harp singing and much more. An amazing collaboration between folklorists and indie film makers. posted by zaelic at 2:35 AM PST - 2 comments
Are You Bipolar?Mild bipolar disorder may be to this decade what depression was to the nineties, thanks to a new drug and an expanding definition. But when do ordinary peaks and valleys become pathological? posted by konolia at 2:07 PM PST - 59 comments
Grand Old Punks The Sunday Times reported on Johnny Ramone's conservative beliefs today As he grew up he realised that for all his guitar thrashing, he was a conservative at heart. He opposes abortion and gay marriage and thinks welfare benefits are too generous. “Everyone in America can succeed to at least the middle-class level if they work hard enough,” he said.
Do these people have a point or do they just not get it? posted by maggie at 1:35 PM PST - 51 comments
The Jihadi Who Kept Asking Why - An unlikely group of onetime religious jihadists have recently stepped into the midst of the debate on Saudi Arabia's future. They belong to a larger circle of liberals, intellectuals, professors, former Wahhabi scholars, judges and even women who are discussing subjects in the media that were taboo before 9/11 -- questions about terrorism, about Wahhabi discrimination toward Muslims of the Shiite and Sufi sects (whom they consider apostates), about alcohol, about AIDS, about the rights of women to drive and work. The ex-jihadists are fluent in Islam and, more important, in the lingo of the underground terrorists, and they've surfaced from the extremist subculture with a message for the Wahhabi official clerics, the royal family and even their complicit American allies: Wake up. It's you who created us. We are not an aberration. From The Agonist--where the editorial comment this is an absolutely excellent article and a must read is quite indisputable. From entering Salafiyya in Google comes the fascinating polemic The Salafi Cult. better known as the Khawarij. posted by y2karl at 1:15 PM PST - 19 comments
Physicist Robert Wood is reviving a 120 year old theory that the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was started by cometary debris from Beila's comet that had previously been observed to fragment after a close encounter with Jupiter. Wood's orbital analysis puts a fragment of Beila near Earth at the time of the fires. The theory would explain a number of previously unexplained events like multiple eyewitness accounts of fire falling from the sky, and how a single-source blaze from a barn spread to include a large portion of the city. Perhaps most importantly, the Great Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin that killed 1,200 people ignighted on the some night. However the comet theory has been discarded by Peshtigoand Chicago Fire historians who note that the upper midwest was dry with a multitude of smaller fires in the same season. The truth may never be known but the speculation is interesting. posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:21 AM PST - 2 comments
Pole dancing? It's the new Yoga. Just ask the people behind PoleTricks 101: "Women all around the country are finding out that pole dancing is a sexy way to entertain your man (or men!) Not only that, it's good exercise and just plain fun. PoleTricks 101 is dedicated to bring you the training, the equipment, and the satisfaction of dancing with the sexiest of all props... the pole!" Just $549.00... [via linkdump] posted by feelinglistless at 8:11 AM PST - 14 comments
Mel Gibson wanted Frank Rich's bloody entrails on a stick, wanted to kill Rich's dog. But now... In the buildup to his new film, Mel Gibson said, about Frank Rich, "I want to kill him. I want his entrails on a stick I want to kill his dog" (The New Yorker, September 15) . Any american non-celebrity teenager who uttered such threats would have been immediately arrested, interrogated, and forced to submit to lengthy counseling. Yet to right wing US press media, it seems, the "entrails" threat was immaterial. Indeed, chirps WorldNet's Barbara Simpson, "Gibson is the bravest man in Hollywood. Perhaps, he's the bravest in the country....Gibson's hell has been very public. " Now, on Leno, Mel has granted Rich forgiveness and absolution for Rich's sin of criticizing "The Passion" : "You try to perform an act of love even for those who persecute you", said Gibson to Leno. posted by troutfishing at 6:02 AM PST - 39 comments
Chris-calls! What if you received Chris Rock's old cell phone number and his celebrity friends kept on calling you? "amazing entertainment" :D [via Gulfstream] posted by kliuless at 8:33 PM PST - 72 comments
Description: "The Valley of the Shadow is a digital archive of primary sources that document the lives of people in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, during the era of the American Civil War...
...The Valley of the Shadow is different than many other history websites. It is more like a library than a single book. There is no "one" story in the Valley Project. Rather, what you'll find are thousands of letters and diaries, census and government records, newspapers and speeches, all of which record different aspects of daily life in these two counties at the time of the Civil War. As you explore the extensive archive and you'll find that you can flip through a Valley resident's Civil War diary, read what the county newspapers reported about the battle of Gettysburg, or even search the census records to see how much the average citizen owned in 1860 or 1870..."
A very interesting way of presenting history and an impressive testament to the web's potential as an educational tool. posted by talos at 7:45 AM PST - 3 comments
Where is my gay apocalypse? I have been waiting patiently.
I have been staring with great anticipation out the window of my flat here in the heart of San Francisco, sighing heavily, waiting for the riots and the plagues and the screaming monkeys and the blistering rain of inescapable hellfire. I have my camera all ready and everything. posted by badstone at 11:41 AM PST - 166 comments
Bill Gates proposes an end to free email If the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail for free, our mailboxes would surely runneth over with more credit-card offers, sweepstakes entries, and supermarket fliers. That's why we get so much junk e-mail: It's essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying "stamps" for e-mail. posted by wsg at 11:32 AM PST - 46 comments
Nootropics ("smart" drugs) - all wish to be smarter, correct ? And - while exercise, nutrition, learning, travel, and social interaction (the last 3 via release of neurotrophins) effectively do this, Nootropic drugs have been researched since the 1950's and have been shown to cause at least short term cognitive function enhancement. Piracetam, the first of this drugs, shows promise in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Attention deficit Disorder. Alas, as with poor little Algernon, the effect seems temporary. Nootropics can be a little difficult to acquire in the US. Beer is not a nootropic, but sex on the other hand..... posted by troutfishing at 10:11 AM PST - 20 comments
A good amount of bloggers are outright thieves. Researchers at Hewlett-Packard Labs found that a vast amount of popular bloggers stole ideas, topics, and content from lesser-known weblogs without any sort of attribution or crediting. The researchers created a new ranking algorithm called iRank to track the source of new ideas and topics, which you can play around with here. posted by Darke at 9:55 AM PST - 30 comments
Survey of design salaries 2003 - how do you compare? The American Institute of Graphic Arts and Communication Arts team up to offer a white paper summary of national and regional salaries and benefits for web designers and developers, copywriters, art directors, print production managers, freelancers, and related positions. The survey is based on responses from 3,184 people in 17 job categories. (28 page PDF) posted by madamjujujive at 3:53 AM PST - 19 comments
This is Radio Vox Populi "We are entering an age where every citizen will have the means to speak her mind in a public venue. Weblogs are the voice of the people, connecting millions of individuals to their own audience on a daily basis. But what does this communication sound like?" posted by thedailygrowl at 11:33 PM PST - 18 comments
The Disposable Phone. With 60 minutes of calling time and a hands free attachment, it's the thickness of three credit cards and made from recycled paper products. Bizarre. posted by bluedaniel at 10:53 PM PST - 20 comments
Have a spare $199 lying around? Steel Battalion Central is your one-stop Steel Battalion source. For those of you not in the know, SB is the $199 Xbox game with it's own custom 40-Button controller. It's also one of the most intense hardcore Video Game experiances of the last few years. posted by hughbot at 9:20 PM PST - 15 comments
"A single test can now reveal the presence of meat from any of 32 different species in food samples, enabling a wide range of important questions to be answered. These include whether chicken has been bulked up with beef or pork extracts; whether expensive albacore tuna is really cheap skipjack tuna; whether rats, mice or even bits of people fell into the mincer when your burger was being made..." posted by taragl at 6:13 PM PST - 15 comments
New Nickels On The Way! My metafilter loving friend Jeff says, "Why bother." I'm excited about it though. I've got lots of change from everywhere. Am I barely qualified to do laundry around the world, or is it pretty neat that foreign money looks fake? Is Jeff right? Is small change a waste of time? Can you judge a state by its quarter? posted by ewkpates at 12:02 PM PST - 46 comments
Go to school and do nothing. The Sudbury approach to learning is one in which the kids can do whatever they want. Literally. Want to play games all day? Fine. Want to read comics all day? Fine. Want to watch movies? Fine.
From the FAQ:
What happens if a student doesn't do anything?
It is actually impossible to do nothing. I think what most people are concerned about is students doing what looks like nothing; for example playing video games, playing magic cards, reading all day, etc. The truth is that everything the students do has value. Take video games for example; this "teaches" reading skills, social skills, the ability to concentrate and focus, and, depending on the game, history, strategy, math or science.
Is this a good way to educate kids? posted by Atom12 at 11:50 AM PST - 71 comments
"And The 100 Best Ever Football Players Are..." The great Pele, himself one of Time's 100 List, has just presented his very own list, not entirely as diplomatic and Kofi Annan-like as FIFA would perhaps have wished, as it includes, imo, some quirky and interesting choices. It was announced today, so there's time to bitch about unacceptable omissions and incomprehensible inclusions before the print mob get their dirty little hands on it and tell us all what to think. posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:23 AM PST - 45 comments
"Dear Harry, I need to see you as soon as you have a few free moments. I want to tell you about some developments in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and at least part of what I say should come as welcome news." And with that handwritten memo from Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1992, Roe v. Wade was saved from the brink of extinction.
Five years after Harry A. Blackmun's death, the Supreme Court justice's papers have been made public. Although the LOC hasn't made images available on the Internet, the New York Times and NPR are publishing features and presentations over the next several days. They provide a fascinating view into the justices' deliberative and decisionmaking process, something that we rarely get to see. posted by PrinceValium at 10:03 AM PST - 9 comments
SounderCover Are you the type who likes to call in sick to work... from the beach? This might just be for you. Seems like phonecams aren't the only cellphone app that raises some issues. (via cacheop) posted by Stoatfarm at 9:53 AM PST - 5 comments
Ralph Nader's Dark Alliance - (LA Weekly) In search of support for his candidacy, "...Nader has now jumped into bed with the ultrasectarian cult-racket formerly known as the New Alliance Party and its guru, Fred Newman" who "recruits and controls his followers through a brainwashing scheme baptized "social therapy," designed to create blind allegiance to Newman", and who has "dipped his rhetoric in the poisonous blood-libel of anti-Semitism, denouncing Jews as "storm troopers of decadent capitalism."". More on this right wing cult ( via Orcinus) posted by troutfishing at 9:38 AM PST - 19 comments
"Every other media revolution that we've had from Gutenberg to the radio to recorded music and so on, ended up with an industry that's a thousand times larger, that makes a thousand times more money, and makes available a thousand times more work. That happens every single time! If you go back far enough, you will find the guild of clavichord makers decrying the advent of the lute." posted by moonbird at 4:56 AM PST - 10 comments
A result of three years of cooperation between I.B.M. and Egypt's government and major museums, the country's considerable museum collections were digitized and loaded onto www.eternalegypt.org - Thousands more artifacts are to be added over time. I.B.M. expects the concept and the scanning and database technologies developed for the project to be applied at other museums and cultural collections worldwide. posted by stbalbach at 8:29 PM PST - 6 comments
You may remember Eric Fensler from his audio overdubs of old G.I. Joe PSAs. Now he and Doug Lussenhop, hired by a band to shoot some DVD extras, apply the same approach to raw video footage of slackers hanging out backstage, cops breaking up a post-gig crowd, etc. posted by staggernation at 5:56 PM PST - 3 comments
The Workhouse 'is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.' posted by plep at 1:14 PM PST - 3 comments
The Charles "Pete" Conrad Astronomy Awards Act , passed by the House today, authorizes NASA to award $3,000 to amateur astronomers who locate asteroids that may possibly crash into the Earth and destroy life as we know it. Good to know that $3,000 is the going rate for saving the planet. posted by taragl at 12:31 PM PST - 14 comments
Portlandjoinsothercities in offering gay marriages. Multnomah County didn't consult the state Attorney General before they started issuing licenses, though, which is a bit unusual. Forgiveness easier than permission? There's also a Unitarian Church in downtown Portland that is performing same-sex marriage ceremonies, if you're interested in a church wedding. posted by SpecialK at 12:18 PM PST - 73 comments
You can start a Synergistic Stress-Reduction/Transformation group : "participants arrange their chairs in a circle once a week in a group setting to perform a self-assessment of their biosystemic stress and do a routine of nonaerobic exercise, stretching, breathing and mental conditioning. In addition, participants will do one-minute relaxing, refreshing stretches and mental exercises several times daily at their desks or work stations". posted by samelborp at 11:49 AM PST - 1 comments
Ping Pong Pang Pong ... (MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+] [+] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+] [+] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+]. The very excellent Shonen Knife used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23) posted by carter at 11:01 AM PST - 7 comments
Sorry, you've flunked. This gave me the best laugh I've had all week. I love the way you can tell the teacher marking the paper is getting more and more pissed off by the increasing ferocity of the red pen strokes. Heheheh. Give the kid an A. posted by essexjan at 8:49 AM PST - 31 comments
Harry Potter: RIP Private Harry Potter from the Worcestershire Regiment was killed in action at Hebron on 22/7/1939 aged 19 years, 10 months old.
This is a genuine photo of the grave of a British soldier that died during the time of the “Arab Rebellion” and is buried in the British military cemetery in Ramla Israel. posted by Postroad at 7:25 AM PST - 17 comments
How I Lost the Big One Lawrence Lessig on losing Eldred v. Ashcroft: "We had in our Constitution a commitment to free culture. In the case that I fathered, the Supreme Court effectively renounced that commitment. A better lawyer would have made them see differently." posted by ericost at 12:53 AM PST - 40 comments
The Calvin & Hobbes Extensive Strip Search (C.H.E.S.S.) is a wonderfully obsessive database of every Watterson strip indexed by keyword & description, with each strip scanned, as well as a book & page # listing of which collection the stip appears in (and original newspaper publication date). It's wildly in violation of copywrite, but it's also very cool. and the geek in me wonders how they do the cool right-mousebutton trick when you click on the strips posted by jonson at 8:31 PM PST - 36 comments
What do you get when you give university students 48 hours to complete a short film that must included a briefcase, the phrase "Where did I put that remote control" and has to be a musical? 'Detonate'. (Click the 'detonate' link in the features section, movie plays in a pop up) posted by Be'lal at 7:47 PM PST - 6 comments
Buyer's Remorse? Mickey Kaus of Slate raises questions about Kerry as president, though as it looks like the Mass. senator has the nomination locked up. CNN reports that Edwards is dropping out tomorrow. And the polls aren't even closed yet in most states. CNN says the two men had a good talk by phone. Is this the Dems dream ticket? Meanwhile, Vermont screams for Dean. posted by Slagman at 5:32 PM PST - 96 comments
Mining the Deep Web. Google indexes 4 billion pages, but there are hundreds of billions of documents out there in the Deep Web that are effectively unreachable by search engines because they are locked in databases or are unsearchable media. It looks like Yahoo is going to start giving us a peek by providing unified access to a wide variety of sites that are ordinarily only searchable by their own custom search engines. posted by badstone at 4:56 PM PST - 12 comments
(warning, the image in the link is graphic and disturbing and is from Yahoo News, sorry about the lameness of the source)
Ashoura Day is a Shiite Muslim holiday that commemorates the 7th century death of Saint Imam Hussein.
Its "celebrated" by cutting oneself or others with swords and knives and is primarily aimed at children though many adults get into it as well. I'm all for cultural tolerance but this strikes me as pretty blatant child abuse.
For an in depth examination of what the Ashoura commemoration means, check out The Connotations of Ashoura. posted by fenriq at 4:12 PM PST - 69 comments
Ocean Power Technologies is one of the leading Ocean Wave Power alternative energy companies. The technology is simple to understand, easy to deploy and costs about the same as fossil fuel power 3 to 4 cents. OPT just signed a deal for a 1M farm off the coast of Spain with a 100M farm by 2006, a major step forward for wave power generation. posted by stbalbach at 4:05 PM PST - 16 comments
Ever hear of a "tangible tax law"? Chances are, you haven't. Florida doesn't have an income tax, so it makes up for it by having something called a tangible tax. The state of Florida taxes businesses for property they ALREADY OWN that could be used to generate income...on top of a 5.5% corporate tax rate. Many Floridians own their own businesses, a percentage of which are sole proprietorships (like me doing freelance work) and so won't owe state or corporate income taxes, yet will have to pay because of this law. Many of you have experience with property taxes, which are the most common form of Ad Valorem tax, but if you own a business or do freelance work, I suggest you educateyourself. posted by taumeson at 12:53 PM PST - 10 comments
How bad was the bombing of Dresden? It seems there is a veritable industry dedicated to debunking the various and sundry historical accounts different groups hold sacred. I was raised by pacifists and was made very familiar with the stories of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden, in particular. According to this man's new book, the firebombing of Dresden wasn't quite as bad as it has been made out to be. In fact, much of the evidence for the numbers of dead come from an historian who has since been discredited as a holocaust denier. Others would argue that a war crime is a war crime is a war crime.
In the end, do the specific numbers really matter? How less evil is 25,000 dead than 135,000? posted by piedrasyluz at 12:41 PM PST - 21 comments
The New York Times reports: The entertainment industry's pursuit of tough new laws to protect copyrighted materials from online piracy is bad for business and for the economy, according to a report [pdf] being released today by the Committee for Economic Development, a Washington policy group that has its roots in the business world. Finally, some corporate and economic policy recognition that big media's antiquated distribution models cannot and should not be protected with government regulations or government-mandated DRM. Read a summary of the report and its recommendations here [pdf]. posted by ajr at 11:48 AM PST - 1 comments
Culture War a-brewin' ...git yer ammo here. As territory is staked out in this nascent national struggle, the Independent Gay Forum has a number of articles that provide a more-than-cursory glimpse of the manner in which one side hopes to frame the debate, and a likely response to the frames already in place. Especially notable is John Corvin's Homosexuality and Morality. It appears as if the newest round of the culture wars may be unique in that two sides will be fighting them. posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:38 AM PST - 34 comments
The mathematician Anatoly Fomenko is one of a number of Russian academics advancing revisionistchronologies which portray a greatly foreshortened view of European history. He argues that mediaeval and classical histories as we know them today were fabricated in Renaissance times. In his book 'History: Fiction or Science', he 'proves' that Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086, and that the Old Testament refers to mediaeval events... Fomenko's theories have been debunked, but his ideas have nevertheless gained some currency in Russia: among his supporters is the former chess champion Garry Kasparov. Of course, Fomenko is by no means the first mathematician to grapple with the subject of chronology: indeed, any history must be founded in part on a calculus of dates... Are there any parallels, I wonder, between the spread of theories like Fomenko's and the renewed prevalence of Biblical chronologies in the US, for example: is there some kind of psychological solace in perceiving history on a smaller scale than current academic orthodoxy allows? (more inside). posted by misteraitch at 1:25 AM PST - 50 comments
The Insectlopedia has proven to be a fun distraction from human-based work today. Not too many places keep so much info on bugs handy and updated. Mostly a page of links to off-site content, yet it keeps drawing me back for more. Everything from the Social Wasps of Siberia to Live Beecams can be found here. posted by salsamander at 3:23 PM PST - 3 comments
Aristide Says He Was Kidnapped From Democracy Now: Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. "He did not resign.... He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president. Will this revolution be televised? (Accounts in ogg and mp3) posted by ao4047 at 1:40 PM PST - 105 comments
'Cruelest Farmer' Jailed for Vet Attack
Roger Baker, dubbed Britain's "cruelest" farmer, has just gotten a two year sentence for attacking a vet and pushing her into "a mire of manure and cow urine." He then held her down in the nasty muck.
Given his history of violence and cruelty, doesn't two years seem a little light? posted by fenriq at 12:42 PM PST - 30 comments
Seeing the World Sideways: Prunella Clough. 'A private individual who chose to remain out of the limelight and yet was admired so highly by her peers, Prunella Clough, like Edward Burra, lived to paint. Her technique is masterly, her subject matter everyday in origin, her method idiosyncratic, the results atmospheric. She worked with her skill, not her ego, saying: "I like to
paint a small thing edgily." ' Online gallery here. posted by plep at 11:27 AM PST - 6 comments
Derailing The Friedmans. An interesting Slate piece on the neutrality of the Oscar-nominated documentary "Capturing The Friedmans." It starts: "When a documentary filmmaker uncovers overwhelming evidence that the subject of his film was wrongly convicted, shouldn't he take a stand on the man's innocence?" posted by adrober at 9:12 AM PST - 22 comments
If you have a gopher problem that rivals caddyshack, and you like to blow shit up, the rodenator is probably the tool you need. Check out the videos to see the cutting edge technology that rivals a 12 year old bully with too many firecrackers. I'd feign PETA-style shock and horror but it's almost comical how this tool does its job. posted by mathowie at 9:03 AM PST - 35 comments