Former N. Korean Nuclear Contractors are"pretty sure that at some point Don was involved," since it was not unusual to seek help from board members "when we needed contacts with the U.S. government." An article in yesterday's Fortune mentions and quotes a number of former employees/contractors for a Swiss engineering firm -- headed by Donald Rumsfeld at the time that Pyongyang began getting its nuke on. Nevertheless,
Today Rumsfeld, riding high after the Iraq war, is reportedly discussing a plan for "regime change" in North Korea. But his silence about the nuclear reactors raises questions about what he did--or didn't do--as an ABB director. unsurprisingly,
the media is not exactly all over this. posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:40 PM PST - 25 comments
The return of the dangerous classes: crime control in the 21st century. "The language of crime control seems to be today on the verge of eclipsing all others - in particular that of social rights – and becoming the single, all encompassing goal of social policy."
Sounds topical? John Lea's work on the changes postfordism has brought to crime control are even more relevant now than they were when he wrote them back in the nineties. [more] posted by slipperywhenwet at 8:22 PM PST - 3 comments
Vote the Experimental Party! America's latest political party. "We must work to incorporate the avant-garde and the spirit of experimentalism into the fabric of our nation. The history of our next hundred years must emerge from the rich mosaic of alternative culture, from the lofts of San Francisco to the barrios of New York City." One mad artist with unfortunate facial hair and a Tom Paine fetish. God love ALL the kooks. posted by theplayethic at 3:34 PM PST - 6 comments
Is there no spoon? The Warner Bros Matrix site is home to a series of scholarly essays inspired by the film (last updated 3/20/03). I mean, sure, the film offers some "whoa dude" moments regarding technology, perception, and vinyl pants, but I was surprised to find it an interesting launching point for discussions about freedom, heaven, and Plato's Cave as well. Being a philosophy layman, I can't vouch for their quality with any authority, but if you know the movies inside and out, as I apparently do (god help me) you might find the essays interesting.* *for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway posted by scarabic at 3:16 PM PST - 36 comments
MeTaFiLTeR = 318514 The Phonetic Numerals system provides a convenient way to remember long strings of numbers. It's really simple: the system replaces the numbers 0-9 with the symbols S, T, N, M, R, L, J, K, F and P (the strikethoughs indicate the difference between the symbol and the letter that it takes the place of). Take a long number (3.1415926, for example), convert it into Phonetic Numerals (MTRTLPNJ), then come up with a phrase using those letters (MoTheRToiLed a PaNJob.) See? Easy! posted by me3dia at 1:07 PM PST - 21 comments
Frontier Psychology - Does Frontier Psychology drive America in a direction that the rest of the world cannot comprehend? Roughly defined as "the effort on the part of Americans to come to grips with untamed elements of nature and, by taming them, to reorganize their society" We see it everywhere, even in Buffy. Europe appears to value stability over mobility and change, in opposition to America. Prof. Richard Slotkin has written extensively about these concepts. An interiew with audio clips is here. (Real)
Are America's recent domestic and international policy decisions attempts to tame "untamed elements" around it? posted by Argyle at 10:45 AM PST - 23 comments
Custom paperback editions of classic novels starring YOU! Now also available in a "happy ending" edition! Didn't like that Romeo and Juliet die at the end? Choose the Happy Ending Version a new scene is added with a twist — the lovers live happily ever after! A short scene is added after Act V Scene III. It turns out the apothecary's poison didn't work and Romeo survives, and Juliet's stabbing of herself merely made her pass out. The problem with public domain is that the integrity of the original is lost once it's Disneyfied. posted by riffola at 10:13 AM PST - 20 comments
Ever felt alone? No, I mean really alone, as in "13 year old girl has forgotten the lyrics to the national anthem in front of 20,000 restless fans on national TV" alone? Natalie Gilbert has, but suddenly someone was there, and she wasn't alone(3.8MB .asf video).(via PLA) posted by dglynn at 9:55 AM PST - 49 comments
A Profile of Adolf Wolfli : "Adolf Wolfli, a Swiss madman, born in 1864, who spent the last thirty-five of his sixty-six years in a psychiatric hospital, is among the greatest of outsider artists. Indeed, he could serve as Exhibit A in a study of the outsider phenomenon: cases of wild, solipsistic genius that challenge the values of formal training and cultural initiation, not to mention sanity, in significant art. ... [His]large, incredibly dense drawings combine religion, sex, language, music, geography, economics, and other aspects of the artist’s fantasy empire, which, for him, was more or less the universe. ... Especially in his earliest surviving pictures -- from 1904 to 1907, after the staff at the Waldau Mental Asylum stopped regarding his work as 'stupid stuff' -- he emerges as, among other things, a master of graphic design with an exceptional talent for tonality."
You can see reproductions of sixteen of his works here. I looked around for more examples of his work online, but found little beyond this diminutive Artcyclopedia entry. (Thanks to Robot Wisdom for the first two links.) posted by eyebeam at 8:40 AM PST - 30 comments
Who's the only man who can take on President George W. Bush in a debate? Why, it's Texas Governor of the past, George W. Bush! BUSH v. BUSH! How surreal...(realplayer req) posted by jearbear at 8:39 AM PST - 28 comments
Dutroux to face jury trial This one's a shocker. Marc Dutroux has been held in custody in Belgium since 1996, having been arrested for the kidnap and killing of several young girls.
There's 2 theories why the Belgian legal system has been unable to bring this guy to trial - either gross incompetence, or a conspiracy to protect those more important than himself, going all the way up to the government. [ more inside ] posted by derbs at 7:58 AM PST - 8 comments
German Objectivist photographer Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) once said "the best constructions for industrial design have already been anticipated in nature." Do your eyes a favor and look here. posted by taz at 12:47 AM PST - 9 comments
WHO lifts Toronto travel ban.
And Health Canada Recommendations: Health Canada continues to strongly endorse travel into and throughout the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] as safe and encourages travellers to maintain their business and/or personal travel plans to the GTA. That's just great. What, a week after banning all travel to Toronto because of SARS, it's on again?
That's bloody irresponsible, considering the damage it has done and will continue to do so to travel to Canada no less Toronto. [s'more inside] posted by alicesshoe at 4:23 PM PST - 15 comments
No Respect I Tell Ya, No Respect Former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf is attempting to surrender to US forces, according to a London-based Arabic newspaper.
But Al-Sharq al-Awsat says the Americans have refused to arrest Mr Sahhaf - who became a familiar face during the war with his upbeat assessments of Iraqi military "successes" - because he does not appear on their "most wanted" list of 55 former regime officials posted by turbanhead at 2:31 PM PST - 20 comments
Free Speech Button Police -- Chicago-area schools debate ban on teachers wearing "No War" buttons vs. the ubiquitous flag lapel pins. What are the limits to teachers' political fashion statements -- are students a captive audience? More inside. posted by serafinapekkala at 1:35 PM PST - 49 comments
Deaf Gamers is a terrific resource containing electronic game reviews with the hearing-impaired in mind. Digging a little deeper, I found a still-in-work but promising Gamers With Disabilites FAQ hosted by Gone Gold. We all love to play games and the resources contained herein will hopefully help us all play better. Any other resources out there that you'd like to share? posted by WolfDaddy at 1:33 PM PST - 6 comments
'Virgin birth' method promises ethical stem cells. The technique, parthenogenesis, manipulates unfertilized eggs to produce short-lived embryos from which stem cells can be obtained. As the article states: "it produces embryos that could never become human beings. So destroying these embryos to obtain stem cells would avoid the ethical concerns that have led to restrictions or bans on embryonic stem cell research in many countries." posted by jsonic at 7:47 AM PST - 19 comments
Walking Together What Remains: A beautiful, old Flash poem by Chris Green about looking where you're going. Isn't beauty, like the distant objects in car mirrors, always nearer than we think? It's in the eye of the beholder, sure, but only if she or he actually stops to behold... posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:16 AM PST - 10 comments
Mike Hawash Charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Heavy. 5 days ago, a now near-famous letter was removed from a website that had recently been trumpeting his cause. Today, the Feds allege terrorism.
Of note: the frequent allusion to "secrecy" and "secret warrants". Is this ammo for the pro-PATRIOT crowd? Any changing opinions on Mefi? posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:29 PM PST - 62 comments
A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token "Officially, the crime is classified as theft of Transit Authority property. But among transit police officers it is more accurately and less delicately known as token sucking. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it is exactly what it sounds like." (Originally from NYT. More here.) posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:01 PM PST - 18 comments
It's official - Apple today launched its' music service So now that it's 'beyond hype', the rumors of Apple's buyout of Universal Music unfounded (instead, sealing deals with each of the big five music firms), what does everyone think of this rather slick, easy to use and somewhat inexpensive alternative to illegal music swapping? $.99 per song seems pretty fair to me, not to mention the very generous licensing terms provided. posted by tgrundke at 11:06 AM PST - 164 comments
NUTS! While we should all strive to appreciate diversity of opinion, this (via NandoTimes) just goes to prove that idiocy knows no bounds. Comments are probably superfluous... posted by Pressed Rat at 8:50 AM PST - 32 comments
Meet Granny D. She's walked, talked and cross country skied across America for campaign finance reform, sucessfully derailed a plan to open-air test the H bomb in Alaska, and she used her 93rd birthday party as a venue to protst the war. This week she's on the road again with Jim Hightower, Eric Alterman and others for the Rolling Thunder Democracy Tour. Arrest won't stop her... nothing will. "Fight like hell for your values and our common dream of brotherhood and sisterhood on this, our garden Earth." posted by moonbird at 6:26 PM PST - 5 comments
One of the left's strongest allies in the war against media conglomeration is... Barry Diller! Weeks after telling the National Association of Broadcasters that their industry needs "more regulation, not less," Diller speaks to Bill Moyers. posted by PrinceValium at 3:45 PM PST - 2 comments
Osama Bin Laden Link To Iraq found by a Toronto Star reporter, Mitch Potter. "The documents, discovered yesterday in the bombed-out headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's most feared intelligence service, amount to the first hard evidence of a link long suspected by the United States but dismissed as fiction by many Western leaders." [more] posted by alicesshoe at 3:37 PM PST - 72 comments
Truffle Hunters "The pig is not content to wag his tail and point when he has discovered a truffle," says Peter Mayle, author of 'A Year In Provence'. "He wants to eat it. In fact, he is desperate to eat it. And you cannot reason with a pig on the brink of gastronomic ecstasy. He is not easily distracted, nor is he of a size you can fend off with one hand while you rescue the truffle. There he is, as big as a small tractor, rigid with porcine determination and refusing to be budged." Which is why Hungarians are teaching dogs to do the work -- but should they be asking a canine to do a sow's job? posted by feelinglistless at 9:55 AM PST - 6 comments
Compliance or ConsequencesCompliance with the USA PATRIOT Act has never been easier, thanks to Sybase's PATRIOTcompliance Solution. It integrates your existing customer and transaction information systems into a consolidated compliance system that detects unusual activity and automates its investigation and resolution in a timely manner.
You Are Cordially Invited To A Night Of Fados. It's Saturday night; you're hidden deep down in one of Lisbon's fado houses; so pour yourself another glass of thick, blood-red wine; cast your mind back to loves lost and the memory of joys that will never return; take out your most tear-absorbent handkerchief and prepare to indulge in the most melancholy, poetical and maudlin of all urban songs: Lisbon's Fado... [More inside.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:38 PM PST - 32 comments
"If what AARON is making is not art, what is it exactly, and in what ways, other than its origin, does it differ from the "real thing?" If it is not thinking, what exactly is it doing?" Asks Harold Cohen, the inventor of AARON, the computer artist. Now, if you own a PC, you can download an Aaron Screensaver (9Mb, asks for details but worth it) and have it produce original works of art on your desktop. posted by jamespake at 1:40 PM PST - 49 comments
If you think about it, the book is a pretty wierd (but efficient) way of storing information. Instead of being laid out in a continuous linear fashion, information is broken into roughly equal sized chunks. Then 50-70 of these chunks are printed onto these moveable flaps which all pile on top of one another. Xeric grant winner Jason Shiga makes amazing, hilarious comics. You can get them in print or read many of them online. posted by sonofsamiam at 1:27 PM PST - 2 comments
[ Tenzin Gyatso ] "The calamity of 9/11 demonstrated that modern technology and human intelligence guided by hatred can lead to immense destruction. Such terrible acts are a violent symptom of an afflicted mental state. To respond wisely and effectively, we need to be guided by more healthy states of mind, not just to avoid feeding the flames of hatred, but to respond skillfully. We would do well to remember that the war against hatred and terror can be waged on this, the internal front, too.".....I once was host to Tenzin Gyatso's brother and several other Tibetan monks for a few weeks - and was never again quite the same. So, when Tenzin Gyatso speaks, I listen. posted by troutfishing at 9:33 PM PST - 22 comments
We Have Cameras Magazines: Why is Maxim offering a free, no-catches 2 years subscription to anyone who can be bothered to give them one of their spamsucker e-mail addresses? Hey, I hate Maxim but I'd take one if I lived in the U.S, if only to keep the postal service busy and ingratiate myself with my nephews. Will all magazines - at least the shittiest ones - be free in the future? Subscription rates, sales and advertising revenues keep falling and it seems the only bargaining chip magazines have left (to solicit advertisements) is circulation. And still new mags, like Radar, keep popping up. Good thing? Bad thing? You tell me. posted by Carlos Quevedo at 8:08 PM PST - 25 comments
SARS much more deadly than first estimated. Analysis of the latest statistics on the global SARS epidemic reveals that at least 10 per cent of people who contract the new virus will die of the disease. The low death rates of about four per cent cited until now by the World Health Organizatio n and others are the result of a statistical difficulty, well known to epidemiologists, that hampers the early analysis of new disease outbreaks. [...] A better current estimate of the deadliness of SARS may be the number of deaths as a proportion of resolved cases. Those numbers for Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore are 15.8, 18.3 and 13.7 per cent. posted by Bletch at 5:39 PM PST - 68 comments
Sometimes a mother gives birth only to discover—sometimes immediately, sometimes much later—that she has made a mistake. A post-natal abortion is simply the clean, efficient disposal of that "mistake". We at the Sweetwater Post-Natal Abortion Clinic believe this is a deeply personal choice that every mother has the right to make. posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:22 PM PST - 101 comments
The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). The "engine" of the DMSS is a continuously growing relational database of up-to-date and historical data related to medical events, personal characteristics, and military experiences of all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine service members over their entire military careers. [It] is available to all military and civilian researchers, policy makers and others with a need to evaluate the health of active duty service members. posted by the fire you left me at 3:16 PM PST - 1 comments
WebCollage: Exterminate All Rational Thought --Neato (and sometimes beautiful) page refreshed every minute or so. Every image is clickable, too. It finds the images by feeding random words into various search engines, and pulling images (or sections of images) out of the pages returned. A very cool surfing tool for when you're bored of your usual web haunts (mefi excluded, of course) posted by amberglow at 2:51 PM PST - 19 comments
better luck tomorrow goes into wide release today. an unknown filmmaker funds his project on ten maxed out credits cards. then, it is chosen out of over 1,000 films to be featured at sundance. then, without an agent, it becomes the first *acquisition* ever for mtv films in conjunction with paramount. and it has an entirely asian-american cast who weren't cast into stereotypical roles. today, it goes into wide release. i'm excited to see how this film does. posted by notoriousbhc at 2:16 PM PST - 31 comments
Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with? Remember when we discussed this before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link.
Thank god for the ACLU. posted by aacheson at 11:41 AM PST - 46 comments
"Legislator to alter plan for anti-abortion statue" I'm pleased to see the bill's sponsor realized a statue of a fetus is a bit over the top....but why do it at all? (Especially in light of some budgetary problems we've had with education and other areas.)
South Carolina: It's Not The Heat; It's The Stupidity. (more inside) posted by alumshubby at 11:06 AM PST - 27 comments
Throwing Muses are among the most sadly unsung bands of the alt.rock era. Though beloved by critics (particularly the British press) and adored by a small army of devoted fans, they disbanded in 1997 for financial reasons. After releasing a killer new album, the band (featuring prodigal Muse and Belly founder Tanya Donnelly) are back for what may be the last time. (more inside) posted by pxe2000 at 8:55 AM PST - 32 comments
It's Free Comic Book Day again on May 3rd, 2003. As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world are giving away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. posted by blue_beetle at 7:14 AM PST - 26 comments
How To Bow - learn Japanese etiquette for business and social situations in this quirky flash animation that offers practical tips on how to behave as a guest, how to avoid embarrassing dining gaffes, how to conduct a successful business meeting and what to expect in a public bathroom. Don't "drop a brick" - learn to avoid common mistakes! posted by madamjujujive at 6:29 AM PST - 28 comments
blur are back. My favourite band since seeing them play in a pub in Leicester, blur release their 7thalbum next month.
They "invented" Britpop, then reinvented themselves when the backlash began, and it's lovely to still have them around. Something I've grown with and recognise as I stare at another edition of Top of the Pops, understanding nothing of the karaoke-cover-pap in the charts today.
If you're going to see them in London next month, I'll be the one at the back with a pint in my hand and a contented smile on my face (too old for this jumping around at the front lark)... posted by jontyjago at 4:21 AM PST - 35 comments
Jeff Webster threw water on women who were silently and legally protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq in my hometown of Soldotna, Alaska. He has been charged with harassment, a misdemeanor. The Anchorage Daily news reports with photos of both parties involved. Video of the incident here (window media format). Aside from the support for and against Webster's actions, does throwing water on people constitute a right of free speech? posted by ericrolph at 3:10 AM PST - 50 comments
Arriving in America with only $40 for a short visit, a young Dane, Jacob Holdt ended up staying over five years, hitchhiking more than 100,000 miles throughout the USA.
He sold blood plasma twice weekly to be able to buy film. He lived in more than 400 homes - from the poorest migrant workers to America's wealthiest families such as the Rockefellers.
He joined the Indian rebellion in Wounded Knee, followed criminals in the ghettos during muggings, sneaked inside to work in Southern slave camps and infiltrated secret Ku Klux Klan meetings as well as Republican presidential campaign headquarters.
See his work ! posted by bureaustyle at 11:50 PM PST - 22 comments
Gawker Stalker and The Elevator Chronicles: I'm a sucker for genuine celebrity sightings (in my experience, they're true if they're thoroughly disappointing and boring) and Gawker has been having a whale of a time with them. The unfolding Elevator Saga (starring Anna Wintour, the editor of Yank Vogue) and Gawker Stalker are great fun, even for profound thinkers such as myself. [My paltry celebrity sighting inside.] posted by Carlos Quevedo at 7:05 PM PST - 47 comments
Doing Their Own Thing, Making Art Together is a NYT piece (mirrored, no registration needed) about modern American art collectives. Some are physical, in a real communal sense, while others are entirely virtual. Does anyone have direct experience with those mentioned in the article or listed here (half-way down). Others? posted by maniactown at 6:48 PM PST - 2 comments
Technology comes to the rescue via the Department of Homeland Security. Now we will never have to fear terrorists, or criminals again. This post is 23 days late, but remains ever so relevant. posted by caddis at 2:10 PM PST - 9 comments
I thought this had to be a joke from the Onion. Madonna is quoted as saying that "We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous." She also states that "the only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another." Ridiculing celebrities just doesn't get any better than this!!! posted by Durwood at 1:05 PM PST - 44 comments
Student kills principal, self at school. "A heavily armed 14-year-old boy shot and killed his school principal inside a crowded junior high cafeteria Thursday morning, then killed himself, authorities said. " I'm finding nothing else about this other than the AP story. I'm curious what they mean by "heavily armed." posted by archimago at 1:02 PM PST - 42 comments
MovableType, , the blogging software of choice (well, for a lot of us), have launched a new user-friendly service on their own servers, called TypePad (here's the press release). Is this a first direct hit at Blogger, a service they have denied gunning for, in light of Google's move? Will it work? My vote: Hell yes. MovableType have not put a foot wrong yet, and now they've got Anil Dash on board, the lucky tyke... posted by wibbler at 12:34 PM PST - 29 comments
Way Lay is the homepage of cartoonist Carol Lay, creator of the strip Story Minute. In addition to being one of the few places one can view the strip without going through Salon's obnoxious free pass system. The site has the best autobiography I've seen for an artist site and images of earlier bizarre parodies of Salvador Dali and the Shroud of Turin. posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:45 AM PST - 7 comments
"I begin to feel like I was in the last generation of Americans who took a civics class. I begin to feel like most Americans don't understand the First Amendment, don't understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don't understand that it's the responsibility of the citizen to speak out....When I write a political column for the Chicago Sun-Times, when liberals disagree with me, they send in long, logical e-mails explaining all my errors. I hardly ever get well-reasoned articles from the right. People just tell me to shut up. That's the message: 'Shut up. Don't write anymore about this. Who do you think you are?'" Roger Ebert chats about dissent, celebrities, the power of film to effect change, and Moore. posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:22 AM PST - 114 comments
Library of Congress celebrates its 202nd birthday . Today, the Library of Congress celebrates its 202nd birthday. On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of "such books as may be necessary for the use of congress."
The books, the first purchased for the Library of Congress, were ordered from London and arrived in 1801. The collection of 740 volumes and three maps was stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library's first home. President Thomas Jefferson approved the first legislation defining the role and functions of the new institution on January 26, 1802.
Check out, Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress and a Concordance of Images for more. posted by Blake at 6:16 AM PST - 12 comments
Yesterday the World Health Organization launched a report on diet and nutrition, saying that sugar should be restricted to 10% of caloric intake. Predictably, the sugar industry (press releases) threw fits and called on their cronies in Congress to cut off WHO funding. Apparently they're fighting and clawing even more than the tobacco industry in similar circusmtances, and WHO fears that lobbyists have more power with the Bush administration. The SA believes that inactivity, not our increased sugar consumption, is the primary cause of the obesity epidemic. Are we in for another few years of declarations of junk science and endless gov't investigations into what seems obvious, a la most environmental and health concerns? posted by fotzepolitic at 4:03 AM PST - 35 comments
Statistics are great! According to Statistics New Zealand, the population of my small island-nation home reached 4 million today! At 5:35pm (NZST) in fact. Not a big number really but a nice milestone. I think I am number 3,184,236 but I am open to correction. posted by sycophant at 4:00 AM PST - 11 comments
Habla Usted Clear Channel? So Clear Channel wants to dominate Spanish-language radio? Nothing new. From the first link, the final piece in a Salon series on media consolidation:
The deal is big and contentious, and involves politics, music and media -- and, to make matters even more interesting, Clear Channel, the U.S. radio station conglomerate, has a starring role. Clear Channel is HBC's largest shareholder, and the company has been accused by opponents of the deal of maneuvering illegally behind the scenes to exert control over HBC, as well as spreading rumors of drug use about the CEO of HBC's chief competitor. posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:38 PM PST - 2 comments
Is It Fiction If It Says "Fiction" On The Cover?Jorge Luis Borges brilliantly obscured fact and fiction presenting fiction as fact. Things seem to have swung round 180º and fact is now increasingly being sold as fiction. This certainly seems to be the case with Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved. She's Paul Auster's second wife and... Well... now even critics, like The New York Observer's Joe Hagan have joined the fun, as Slate's Katie Roipheduly noted. Fact is now presented as fiction, without the traditional disguise of the roman à clef. I think it's sad. In fact, it's an attempt on the life of imagination itself. Perhaps these authors who write memoirs masquerading as novels could be sued under the Trade Description Act? [With thanks to the always excellent Literary Salon weblog. Thanks to ColdChef for pointing it out to me.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:14 PM PST - 28 comments
What if oil was traded in euros? "Even more alarming, and completely unreported in the U.S. media, are significant monetary shifts in the reserve funds of foreign governments away from the dollar with movements towards the euro. It appears that the world community ... seems poised to respond with economic retribution if the U.S. government is regarded as an uncontrollable and dangerous superpower." An analysis of the previous link. Apologies to those I posted by Birichini at 2:14 PM PST - 25 comments
Where Iraq's desaparecidos wound up. This is about Iraq, but it's not about the war. It's about a graveyard, its manager, and his "awful green book." The reporter is an Arab, which makes a difference, as you can see in the striking last sentence of this paragraph:
All of the dissidents buried at the Kirkh Islamic Cemetery were once held at Abu Ghreib prison, the country's largest and most notorious jail, from which Hussein released nearly 10,000 inmates last October. When word of their release came, the prisoners—from petty thieves to political dissidents, and all kept in horrendous conditions—overran the guards and stampeded the iron gates. Abu Ghreib is also the name given to Iraqi fathers who no longer have children.
Jules is a thief. The fact that "all the embedded reporters were doing it" does not make it right. Presumably the US soldiers who were overseeing the embedded reporters knew of this kind of cultural theft -- more than likely, many were a party to it themselves.
I'm sending him an email to remind him of that fact, and I will also contact his bosses, urging disciplinary action. posted by insomnia_lj at 11:56 AM PST - 42 comments
Penny Arcade, everyone's favorite gamegeek comic strip(well, not everyone's, but mine) is facing legal action over a recent strip they did, parodying Strawberry Shortcake. It seems American Greetings owner of such 80s icons as Popples and the aforementioned Shortcake, don't take too kindly to folks using their precious nostalgia.
Here's the offending cartoon. posted by hughbot at 11:22 AM PST - 30 comments
The World as Blog : A flash visualization locating recent blog updates on a world map, combining RSS, Weblogs.com, and GeoURL. Gadgety. Neat. Via MingTV, whom I located through another awesome new social-networking gewgaw, Blog Matcher. posted by hairyeyeball at 11:08 AM PST - 4 comments
Is Grub out of control?Barely more than a week old, the distributed search engine is already causing headaches. It does not properly follow the Robot Exclusion Standard and thus spiders sites against their owners' wishes. Because it is a distributed client run by thousands of volunteers (and therefore connects from many different IP addresses), it is non-trivial to block. The Wikipedia project, for example, is experiencing slowdowns because of it. Let's hope they can solve these problems, as the idea seems to be quite cool. posted by Eloquence at 10:32 AM PST - 7 comments
WhatSpeak? Republican pollster Frank Luntz realized he had a problem. Many of his GOP clients had a consistently bad rap on the environment. Word on the street was they took in millions in contributions from polluting industries, and either sat idly by while environmental safeguards were weakened or, worse, led the charge to undermine decades of protections.
What to do? Instead of counseling his clients to take a principled stand against these polluting policies, Frank simply wrote a memo and invented LuntzSpeak - an exciting new way to put a positive spin on an abysmal environmental record.
Of course, this memo was supposed to be confidential. But lucky for us, Jennifer 8. Lee at the New York Times was given a copy by the Environmental Working Group. Now all of us can learn how to decode and use LuntzSpeak for ourselves!
Submitted in belated recognition of Earth Day. Hope you enjoy. posted by nofundy at 7:27 AM PST - 10 comments
Oh, God! Under the Bush administration there were a lot of things we had to forget, things like how democratic presidents get elected, how to sell democracy to undemocratic peoples, how to be free, patriotic, etc. Now, it seems, is the time to forget all about this menace to mankind: SCIENCE. posted by acrobat at 7:18 AM PST - 35 comments
Graphing Google Neat little Java applet which will create pretty graphs of inter-site relationships based on Google's 'Related Sites' feature. Check out MetaFilter,BBC News and Slashdot for good examples of how deep the inter linking can go. Try graphing your own site! Neat. (Requires Java) posted by metaxa at 3:00 AM PST - 8 comments
Gods of Japan. A photo-dictionary. 'This photo library and dictionary is a labor of love. After moving to
Kamakura in 1993, I became intrigued by the many deities and faces of Buddhism and Shintoism.
There are over 650 photos in this library ... '
Related :- Quirky Japan. This site is
just fabulous. 'Are you tired of shrines and temples, reconstructed ferro-concrete castles
and tea ceremonies? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Would you like to meet
Japanese people who do not meet the conformist stereotype? Japan, behind the conservative
grey suits and formal bows, is a country quirkier than you can ever imagine. The Quirky
Japan Homepage provides information about oddities such as the The Meguro Parasitalogical
Museum, the Thousand Person Bathtub, Love Hotels, temple lodging, and the Yakiimo man (the
ice cream man's evil twin). '
Related interest :- Lost
Japan. Here's an interesting
interview with the author, Alex Kerr; and here's a piece about his wonderful house. posted by plep at 2:49 AM PST - 14 comments
The germ of fascism is
endemic in capitalism; a crisis can raise it to epidemic proportions
unless drastic countermeasures are applied.
and from elsewhere:
In order that the social crisis may bring about the proletarian
revolution, it is necessary that, besides other conditions, a decisive
shift of the petty bourgeois classes occurs in the direction of the
proletariat. This gives the proletariat a chance to put itself at the
head of the nation as its leader.
Oh MAN. I'm more fearful than normal about where the US is headed. And to throw some water on the flames, yes, I know that there isn't any systemic violence against the masses, but think of how the fear that's created by the administration takes the place of violence in cowing the populace. posted by taumeson at 8:09 PM PST - 43 comments
For 2004, Bush's Aides Plan Late Sprint for Re-election. Interesting piece on the Bush administration's re-election strategy. The GOP convention marking the formal launch of Bush's campaign will be Sept. 2 — the latest nominating convention in the party's history — in New York. "Mr. Bush's advisers said they chose the date so the event would flow into the commemorations of the third anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The back-to-back events would complete the framework for a general election campaign that is being built around national security and Mr. Bush's role in combatting terrorism..." [more inside] posted by Dirjy at 12:59 PM PST - 74 comments
Clutter: A wondrous little application, Clutter grabs album info from a currently playing MP3 track, sends it off to Amazon, and comes back with an image of the CD cover. Once done, these images can be moved about the desktop at will; a double click plays the record in its entirety. And it's free. God bless the independent developer! [OS X and iTunes compatible only, unfortunately.] posted by aladfar at 12:52 PM PST - 13 comments
Boohbah! According to this thread it's TV turn-off week, but just imagine some aliens kidnapped a Teletubby, pumped it full of ecstasy, acid and marijuana, forced it to play Rez for eight hours straight and then sent it to bed and somehow watched its dreams. I can personally assure you the result would be absolutely nowhere near as demented as Boohbah, a new children's TV show from Anne Wood, creator of the afforementioned Teletubbies. Boohbah's quite possibly the most surreal thing I've ever seen, which had me in turns laughing out loud and almost in tears at the sheer beauty of the whole thing. It'll probably be crossing the Atlantic soon, and I'm beginning to suspect that kids' TV is a hell of a lot better than the stuff made for adults. posted by hnnrs at 12:20 PM PST - 35 comments
I heard it through the grapevine that Will Vinton has been "let go" from Will Vinton Studios.
Best known for the California Grapes commercials, the creator of Claymation™ has been rather unceremoniously kicked out of the animation studio he started.
Isn't this like kicking out Walt Disney or Jim Henson (when they were both alive, obviously)?
What's the value of a studio without the talent it was named after? posted by jpburns at 11:17 AM PST - 12 comments
I like it when Chinese pigs say "hu-lu hu-lu," it's so exotic. Stupid American pigs just say oink. Also, horses in Thailand say "hee hee (with high tone)"!! How cool is it that, first, they even HAVE horses in Thailand, and second, that they sound like Betty Boop? posted by luser at 11:13 AM PST - 5 comments
Snoring causes headaches..... according to recent research. I post this as I recall from a previous thread that some interest was generated from a post on migraine. I drove my GP mental then, trying to tell her how to do her job based on some contributions to mefi. Now I will be starting all over again. posted by Fat Buddha at 10:47 AM PST - 8 comments
Happy Earth Day. We probably need an all-encompassing post. So post your links here. Find local events here and here (hint: they're not all taking place today, many are this upcoming weekend). Do something for the future generations. posted by Ufez Jones at 7:52 AM PST - 18 comments
Battle of the "Gypsy"s. There was Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bette Midler. There was even the possibility of Barbra Streisand as Madonna's mother. And now comes Bernadette Peters in the Sam Mendes production of the show theater guru Frank Rich called his favorite musical. This surely begs the question: who's the swellest, greatest, world-on-a-platiest Mama Rose ever? And who are your top five desert island Mama Roses? (Note: participation weighs significantly on your sexuality...contribute at your own risk.) posted by adrober at 12:27 AM PST - 17 comments
Anita Mk VII the "A New Inspiration To Accounting" OR "A New Inspiration To Arithmetic" was the world's first electronic desktop calculator. Launched in 1961, the Mk VII and Mk VIII were the only commercial calculators available for a period of two years. posted by riffola at 11:10 PM PST - 9 comments
Excessive Democracy? Faree Zakaria, editor of Newseek International, has written a new book challenging perceptions of the relationship between democracy and constitutional liberalism. This lesson is meant to be applied at home as well as abroad. He has been a hot topic of late.
Beyond the narrower scope of Iraq, is there anything to his underlying idea that : (more inside) posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:27 PM PST - 23 comments
I've written before about the myth of the heartland--roughly speaking, the "red states," which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the "blue states," which voted for Al Gore. The nation's interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.
Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right?
Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form: under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.
Invoice Past Due "Obviously, a book about a corporatized future names a lot of names. Since I didn't want to give companies free advertising, I invoiced them for product placement." The follow-up letters and responses are amusing. [via a reader comment at kottke.org] posted by kirkaracha at 3:55 PM PST - 6 comments
Baker Botts is the lawfirm representing the Saudis. I find it interesting that this lawfirm boasts former secretary of State JamesBaker as one of its senior partners. Its recent alumni included Robert Jordan(Jordan, a corporate lawyer in the Dallas office of Houston-based Baker Botts, defended Bush in a probe of insider trading allegations in 1990. Bush was cleared of wrongdoing), the former personal lawyer for President Bush who is now U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia. posted by bureaustyle at 2:58 PM PST - 10 comments
A Special Kind of Poverty This great article appeared in yesterday's Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Its subject: the trials and tribulations of the poor seeking treatment for their infertility. I don't think I have to list the whole raft of issues this subject raises. As touching as it is thought-provoking. posted by tommyspoon at 10:50 AM PST - 77 comments
What's a company to do? Imagine this. You are the mighty Gillette corporation. You wish to promote your Mach 3 Turbo razor. You send free razors in the mail on an unsolicited basis. Guess what? There is another company out there that is giving away YOUR razors for free. It turns out that they are pretty aggressive- they ask consumers for their credit card number when they sign up. Those who sign up get eight replacement blades every two months. [You can sign up five friends and not pay for life, by the way.] You know what? There is nothing you[i.e., Gillette] can do about it. Oh, what's a company to do? You start calling them
renegade and urge consumers to complain to state authorities. Will consumers care enough to complain? posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 7:40 AM PST - 26 comments
Grub: The seti@home of search engines? According to the New Scientist:
"A distributed computing project called Grub, which harnesses individual users' spare computing power and internet bandwidth, began cataloguing millions of web pages this week."
Grub has thus launched before HyperBee, a similar distributed search project.
This link was previously posted on MeFi when it was still in the conceptual stage.
The project is being run by LookSmart (along with its own open directory project called zeal) but as the New Scientist article notes: "Website information collected by Grub is already being fed into one of LookSmart's search services, called WiseNut. But the collected data are also freely accessible to the public, so they can be incorporated into any web site or desktop application."
Possible Google competition or doomed from the start? posted by talos at 5:44 AM PST - 10 comments
Why Isn't Evelyn Waugh The Most Popular Great Writer On Earth? It's his centenary this year and it's time to ask why such an irrefutably superb prose stylist - after Samuel Beckett, I rate him last century's funniest and most perceptive tragicomic writer, the best since Dr. Johnson - is still not as widely known and loved as his work deserves? Is it because he was so utterly reactionary and misanthropic, as brought out by this adorable BBC interview? After all, other far more reactionary writers, such as Ezra Pound, Fernando Pessoa, Gottfried Benn, Georg Trakl, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Allan Tate or Philip Larkin are, arguably, more widely read today than Waugh is. Which brings me to my question: are poets forgiven their ideological trespasses far more than is the case with novelists and essayists? Why? Isn't this one of the most unfortunate - and unfair! - consequences of today's outrageously politically correct culture? I fear so. And hate so, too! [A little more on Evelyn Waugh inside... ] posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:07 PM PST - 40 comments
A crackdown in Texas. America - land of the free. And to guarantee that freedom, everyone has to be constantly watchful. Like the photo store clerk from Eckerd who dutifully reported a Peruvian-born couple's lewd shots of their infants to the Richardson (Dallas/Texas suburbs) police. The photos showed the parents' two infants bathing naked, lying together in bed with their mother (again naked) and the 1-year-old Rodrigo suckling his mother's (naked) breast. So the couple was arrested -- the maximum prison sentence for the crime in question being 20 years -- and the children taken away. (verbatim k5) posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:28 PM PST - 77 comments
Review on SF Site Here’s a question: what if the Wachowski brothers’ 1999 film The Matrix was not just an entertaining piece of sf-action-adventure hokum. What if, instead, it is all true? Imagine it as a message sent via the medium of the Matrix itself (Hollywood cinema) from someplace outside the Matrix, to wake us up to our human condition, to alert us all to the fact ‘that we are slaves’. If so, then we are not living the lives we thought we were living; we are instead inhabiting a virtual reality composed by oppressive machine-intelligences. What if this were literally true? How would it appear to us? Well, clearly, it would appear exactly as our lives presently appear to us. Unless we get ‘unplugged’, unless we become enlightened, we cannot see past the illusion that has been created for us.
What should we do in this circumstance? Should we collaborate with the machines and not rock the boat? Or should we fight, free ourselves and eventually free everybody else? Clearly, says The Matrix Warrior, this latter. This is a book that proceeds from the assumption that the situation described in The Matrix is real, and tells you where to go from there. posted by metameme at 5:32 PM PST - 54 comments
June 8: The forgotten holiday of Pinkster. At first celebrated among the Dutch communities of New York and New Jersey, by the 19th century the holiday of Pinkster was heavily African-American, and cross-culturally infused. In Albany, the week-long observance began the seventh Sunday after Easter at Pentecost, corresponding with the Episcopal Whitsunday, by raising a large camp of temporary shelters at "Pinkster Hill." Crowds of blacks and whites would mass, waiting for the appearance of King Charles, "the chief character in a ceremony on a Dutch Holiday in America[...,] an African-born black wearing a British brigadier's jacket of scarlet, a tricornered cocked hat, and yellow buckskins." Successive nights included food, drink, sports and Toto, the Guinea dance, which included the "most lewd and indecent gesticulation, at the crisis of which the parties meet and embrace in a kind of amorous Indian hug, terminating in a sort of masquerade capture, which must cover even a harlot with blushes to describe." posted by Mo Nickels at 1:31 PM PST - 4 comments
Iranian blogger arrested Sina Motallebi, well-known blogger and journalist was arrested this morning. He is accused of threatening the national security by giving interviews to Persian language radios outside Iran, wrtiting articles both in newspapers and his weblog. His weblog, WebGard (i.e. web surfer), was among the top 5 Persian most popular weblogs while his wife, Farnaz, has her own weblog, mostly writing about their newly-born baby boy, Mani. [via jj] posted by dagny at 12:34 PM PST - 12 comments
PopSculptures.com is a site offering "a new type of news media: 3D News." Their mission is "to provide a 3D portal to the latest Pop Culture events. Our sculptures provide a new visually stimulating way of remembering current and past world events." Ethically, their most recent sculptures range from the sick, to the really sick. Anyone wager a guess that Jeff Koons is somehow behind this?
The Camelot Project A wonderful collection of Arthurian images, e-texts, and bibliographies, comprising everything from the Alliterative Morte Arthure to the eccentric Robert Stephen Hawker's "The Quest for the Sangraal." See also this extensive two-part list of on-line Arthurian resources, courtesy of Kathleen L. Nichols (Pittsburg State University). posted by thomas j wise at 10:10 AM PST - 2 comments
Is Tivo a Cult? - The New York Times discusses Tivo owners and their propensity to evangelize. What is it about Tivo that turns us into volunteer salesmen? I feel the devotion myself, you'll take away my Tivo when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers... posted by Argyle at 7:36 AM PST - 35 comments
Sure, sex and drugs have been associated with rock & roll from its very beginnings. But what about finely granulated sugar? See defining moments in the history of rock and roll, as re-enacted by marshmallow peeps. swiped from large hearted boy posted by iconomy at 11:37 AM PST - 6 comments
Where is Raed Salam Pax? Writing under the pseudonym 'Salam Pax' (words meaning 'peace', in both Arabic and Latin), a Baghdad resident provided a personal point of view on what was going on. However, the blog hasn't been updated since March 24th. Has the worst happened? posted by robzster1977 at 6:28 AM PST - 29 comments
Young-hae Chang's latest,Operation Nukorea, is shattering, unflinching, and beautifully executed. It's a little tale about consequences, and what happens downstream from decisions not sufficiently considered.
It probably would have brought tears to my eyes even if I did not have family in Seoul. Watch it through to the end. posted by adamgreenfield at 11:39 PM PST - 56 comments
BBC News reporters' weblog on the war is closed. It was a great example of how the idea of weblog can be used in mainstream media. (Although it lacked hyper-links) In it's last instalment, reporters record some final impressions and look back at what it was like reporting the war. The daily archives are available on the right column of the page. posted by hoder at 9:01 PM PST - 3 comments
How Important Is Religious Belief In The Definition Of Our Personality? I would say not at all, but Bernard Lewis's essay gave me pause. Bringing it all back home and wondering about MetaFilter's religious breakdown, does the fact that there are far more atheists, Jews (like me) and Mormons here than in the Western population at large, make any difference? Christians get a hard time here, in my opinion. Is it because, as Lewis says: "Tolerance was a much more difficult question for Christians"? Atheists, Jews and Buddhists seem to have a disproportionately large influence. Whereas Muslims, sadly, hardly get a look-in. What does this mean? That is, if it means anything? posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:44 PM PST - 62 comments
Beautiful Girl is an upcoming print magazine for teenage girls interested in fashion, boys, and beauty. Nothing new, except it's from a Christian perspective. Discover God's makeup tips and learn about his "romantical" side (yes, he's got a crush on you). What do you imagine girls will think about this magazine? posted by acornface at 7:24 PM PST - 32 comments
AIBO Disco Scroll down to the bottom and check out videos of what some creative folks have programmed their AIBOs to do. The AIBO Disco dances are particularly cool. :) posted by y at 6:38 PM PST - 6 comments
It seems that before, the organic pesticide used, was effective because it was only sprayed occasionally (once or twice a year) and the pests didn't have time to develop resistance.
With the pesticide being accessible throughout the whole crop-cycle, the pests have adapted, and now thrive on the poison, which they now regard as a food source, growing even larger than normal, and rendering a weapon in the arsenal against pests, entirely ineffective. posted by Blue Stone at 5:54 PM PST - 15 comments
Required Reading from the President's Council on Bioethics. Each of the readings that follow - which include poetry, short stories and more - is accompanied by a brief introduction and questions about the bioethical implications of the work. The new booklist includes James Watson, Tolstoy, Shakespeare and Ovid. Via the WSJ. posted by turbodog at 3:58 PM PST - 2 comments
Easter Fun. A mindless diversion for Easter. This reminds me of the 'pusher' games they have in amusement arcades the length and breadth of England. I am no good at those either. posted by essexjan at 3:12 PM PST - 4 comments
The World History of Male Love website is a fairly good collection of homoerotic representations, covering a wide variety of ancient cultures. Certainly not comprehensive, but a good stop for quick reference. Of note is their library. Learn, and enjoy, and then kiss me you fool, unless you're at work where some of the artistic representations may not be safe. But call me later! posted by WolfDaddy at 1:26 PM PST - 8 comments
Shiseido Women. 'In Japan, womens fashion, like makeup, continues to
evolve, reflecting the moods and mores of the times.
The following photographs of women provide tantalizing
glimpses into some of the radical changes that have
marked the past century. '
Related interest :- An American Visit to Japan, 1923. posted by plep at 11:44 AM PST - 7 comments
Jerry Springer: The Opera? You know, whenever I happened to have this misfortune to watch Springer, I too thought "It's got tragedy. It's got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can't understand what they're saying." but I didn't quite make the leap that "It's perfect for opera."
Revoke the Oscar. Should "Bowling For Columbine" be considered non-fiction if it manipulated scenes and knowingly left out key information? Would a new category be better, like say adjusted documentary or propaganda? Or is it impossible to make a documentary without some point of view? posted by destro at 11:04 AM PST - 53 comments
Tips on Finding Easter Eggs, containing many tactics reminiscent of the Taoist wisdom of Sun Tzu. My favorite: "Wait til' your brothers and sisters find them first, then steal them for yourself." posted by Shane at 9:05 AM PST - 10 comments
An Insider's Look at the Southern Baptist wing of the Republican party. How religion and politics became so entwined and how fundamentalists took control of a major American denomination.
The Southern Baptist fundamentalists conquered their denomination; they have every reason to hope the Bush administration will make over the world in their image. ... The separation of church and state, long central to Baptists, is of little interest to the fundamentalists: In 1998, Richard Land, at a strategy meeting with Republicans and members of the religious right, told the Republicans, "No more engagement. We want a wedding ring, we want a ceremony, we want a consummation of the marriage." posted by nofundy at 5:31 AM PST - 47 comments
The Gumball Rally 3000 is almost upon us. San Francisco to Miami in five days all in the spirit of the classic movie.
With an entrance fee of $20k and A List celebs like Johnny Knoxville and Jason Priestly participating... Not to mention the Bikini Bandits it's sure to be a wonder to behold. Starts at the Fairmont today at 9. Be sure to say hi to the Hustler Honeys in their twin turbocharged Lamborghini.... posted by zeoslap at 10:55 AM PST - 22 comments
HBO has decided to "shelf" Oliver Stone's documentary on Fidel Castro on the basis that the documentary depicts Castro without judgement. Should documentary filmmaking be a "true journalistic endeavor" as the article suggests? posted by ericrolph at 10:13 AM PST - 26 comments
So, I'm trying to look up the site for the new movie A Mighty Wind. I wanna see it and trying to figure out when it'll make it's way here. (Answer: It won't!)
Anyway, you'd think "amightywind.com" would be it wouldn't you?
Sometimes there's no amount of money too steep to buy a domain back. And somehow REALLY religious people and web design don't mix. I wish they would.
(Site info: hit enter waaaaaaaaaaaay at the bottom of the homepage, "meet the ministers", and be sure to click for the "nav bar, and listen to the Midi Juke box) posted by Dome-O-Rama at 9:04 AM PST - 32 comments
Which Country Has The Most Beautiful Women? The best quality of life? The most divorces? The most mobile phones? The highest cost of living? Which one is the most visited? Rank the bastards! After browsing through this website, I'm sure the conclusion that we're all living in the wrong one is inescapable. The statistics and sources may be questionable, but there sure are a lot of interesting lists here! Meanwhile my own country, Portugal, has just been denounced as the the laziest in Europe and the booziest in the world. They lie! They lie! [Actually, it's a fair cop, guv. And it was nice to drag down the Brits with us.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:29 AM PST - 53 comments
Roy Orbison in cling film. "Hello, and welcome to my homepage. My name is Ulrich Haarbürste and I
like to write stories about Roy Orbison being wrapped up in
cling-film." You think you've seen everything and then... posted by Spoon at 4:24 AM PST - 41 comments
How male or female is your brain? Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen argues in today's Guardian that the male and female brains tend to be hard-wired for different kinds of thinking - empathising (more common in females) or systemising (more common in males). Take the test. posted by jamespake at 3:22 AM PST - 86 comments
The Ambient Orb No, not a prog-rock-house fusion band... But a little wireless egg, that sits on your desk, talks to your dataflows, and glows appropriately. Stocks up? Glows green. Lover online? Glows red. You calibrate the frosted glass through "thousands of colours". These design jockeys think it could be cooler though. Already, though, the idea is really mellowing me out. "The Lava Lamp of the 21st Century"... posted by theplayethic at 2:29 AM PST - 13 comments
Maledicta Press Online May your balls be skewered neatly
On Poseidon's triple spear! (it's all text, but NSFW warning if someone's reading over your shoulder. Found because both MeFi and this site were listed together on this page.) posted by WolfDaddy at 12:03 AM PST - 9 comments
The name "Firebird" was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision. posted by TreeHugger at 3:06 PM PST - 18 comments
If this technology works as advertised, supported by Warren Buffet, ConAgra, CIA and the US Govt, our foreign oil dependency may be over in our lifetime. In fact, scarcity of oil may be a thing of the past as everything from municipal trash to human waste to grass clippings to old computers to ButterBall Turkeys can be reduced to only fuel-grade oil, fuel-grade gas, fertilizer minerals, pure carbon dust and clean water with no waste product or pollution. It will Change The World. posted by stbalbach at 11:12 AM PST - 47 comments
LSD turns 60! 60 years ago today, Albert Hofmann accidently mixed up a batch of lysergic acid diethylamide-25 and took a "beautiful and pleasant" bike trip home from his Sandoz AG lab. His book "LSD: My Problem Child, Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism, and Science" can be found on Amazon or for free at http://www.flashback.se/archive/my_problem_child/Even though Hofmann isn't really for the use of LSD outside of the medical community, some zealots started a foundation in his honor. (Hofmann thinks people might hurt themselves while under the influence.) Regardless, the 97 year old Hofmann is still alive and is one of the major influences in modern popular culture history. Who were the Grateful Dead without LSD? posted by meanie at 10:52 AM PST - 32 comments
Penisblog Ben Brown did it ages ago, staking out the avant-garde as usual. Now the meme gets its own site. Can you match the member to the bloggeur?
(Extra credit for spinning the project into a discursion on openness and self-revelation online.)
Not, as they say, work-safe. posted by joeclark at 8:17 AM PST - 64 comments
How to kill terrorists without anyone knowing. An enquiry into collusion between the British army and both loyalist and republican paramilitaries in Northern Ireland has revealed that undercover agents may have been responsible for several assassinations, including lawyer Pat Finucane. By creating army units immune from the usual checks and balances, the government kept its hands clean. This is an account from someone who was involved. posted by Summer at 3:49 AM PST - 17 comments
Salvia Divinorum is a plant which is (currently) legal to grow, own, or smoke in the U.S.
The effects of this plant, when smoked or eaten, take place over the course of only a few minutes, but supposedly are very similar to those of certain illegal chemicals, such as the late Terrence Mckenna's well-documented fave; DMT. The user briefly finds themself to be in a world where the laws of physics, and logic have been subtly or grossly changed - an experience as jarring as the witnessing of the non-euclidean angles described by Lovecraft... and then the real world reasserts itself.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who is curious about this question - are the results of the ingestion of halluciniogens a self-fulfilling prophecy - the user 'seeing' something beyond the pale that they expected or wanted to see - or is there something more meaningful to the experience? posted by GriffX at 11:10 PM PST - 70 comments
"Modern scientists have known about synesthesia since 1880, when Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, published a paper in Nature on the phenomenon. But most have brushed it aside as fakery, an artifact of drug use (LSD and mescaline can produce similar effects) or a mere curiosity. About four years ago, however, we and others began to uncover brain processes that could account for synesthesia. " This article from Scientific American seems to be turning heads around the Psychology Department at U of M [Michigan]. It's got me going too.
I've seen real connections between color and sound before, stone sober. Could there be something to all this? posted by phylum sinter at 9:13 PM PST - 23 comments
SecurityFocus is talking about Niels Provos, a graduate student well known for his work in steganography and for creating the honeyd program, having to move his research for his PhD from his U of Michigan homepage to a server in the Netherlands and keep U.S. citizens from viewing the information. Why? Because the state of Michigan passed their version of DMCA.
I can see the routers and firewall software piling up in the trash. posted by memnock at 7:38 PM PST - 10 comments
Guy Bourdin, Photographer Extraordinaire, 1928-1991 He was the most controversial of the not-really-fashion fashion photographers. "Too sexy, too necro, too sado, too gratuitously violent, too misogynist", they said. Now he's on the verge of a big retrospective, opening Saturday at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; being exhibited at leading galleries; lauded in the NYT and the object of a website as excellent as the one in my main link. [ These last 3 links go directly to the portfolios.] I just hope - being old enough to remember being severely scolded by my parents for collecting the photographs he published in my generation's vademecum, the since-degraded French magazine Photo - that these far more politically correct times (specially in increasingly intolerant, hygienist and puritanical America) won't prove to be even less welcoming of his work than his own times were.[ *sigh* Probably still NSFW, though most of his work was flipped through by our mothers in Vogue magazine more than 20 years ago...] posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:28 PM PST - 3 comments
Ut pictura poesis (that is, "as is painting, so is poetry"). The Web has helped solve at least one scholarly conundrum: what's the best way to present the work of those artists who took the theory of "the sister arts" to its logical conclusion? Try, for example, The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, hosted by the University of Virginia. Or, if Pre-Raphaelites are not quite your thing, there's the William Blake Archive, which offers multiple versions of the illuminated books. And don't forget the man behind the wallpaper, William Morris. While William Makepeace Thackeray was a rather less successful artist--his ambitions in that line didn't quite pan out--nevertheless his illustrations to Vanity Fair (scroll down) are crucial to the novel (which doesn't stop many publishers from leaving them out...). posted by thomas j wise at 7:09 PM PST - 8 comments
"Once Upon A Classic." A Boston Globe article by Ty Burr (reprinted on the PT Anderson website) that lists the new "classic" film canon for the post-MTV generation. Here's the top five: 1. Pulp Fiction, 2. The Godfather, 3. Fight Club, 4. Run Lola Run 5. Amelie. Discuss! posted by adrober at 6:34 PM PST - 109 comments
This is great news for India, but what exactly will the current call-center workers, programmers and other white collar workers in US do if their jobs will be gone to India ? Are you worried that your position will one day be replaced by someone on the other side of the world working for 1/3 of your salary ? posted by bureaustyle at 6:09 PM PST - 43 comments
April 10, 2002 was the day Project Gutenberg reached 5,000 eBooks. By Moore's Law, October 10, 2003 could be the day for number 10,000. We are just over half way — 7,661 as I write this — 2,339 to go! That will take over 300 eBooks per month; we need you to help us push our average up from 268 per month to get to 10,000 by December, 31st.
God help us if the entire universe fails to obey Moore's Law: the IPO of the singularity could be delayed. So pitch in. posted by hairyeyeball at 2:35 PM PST - 10 comments
Hyperweb was, and is, an "an experimental hypertext site using HTML" — from 1996. The experiment itself, an interactive essay of sorts, starts here; you can click around, or watch it cycle through by itself. posted by mattpfeff at 12:56 PM PST - 4 comments
Survivor Sucks A nice little site which rips every reality show apart quite nicely, but my favorite is the "Off Topic" section where threads on any subject offer up some of the best trolling/flamebait and some very funny comments. More inside... posted by Mack Twain at 11:48 AM PST - 9 comments
A court in the Netherlands has awarded damages to a severely disabled girl for having been born -- a so-called "wrongful life" judgment. While we discussed French suits like this a while back (1 2), this decision seems noteworthy because it allows the child herself to receive damages, not just the parents who must pay for her care. In my mind, that opens up a whole new can of worms, both in terms of the message it sends and the incentives for doctors that it creates. posted by boltman at 11:18 AM PST - 12 comments
Avadim Chayeinu: A BDSM Haggadah In some way or another, all who celebrate Passover, end up writing their own Haggadahs. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different ones to choose from. Tradition says: never forget that YOU were freed from the land of Egypt. The desire to tell one's own tale of liberation and free one's own voice has led to holocaust haggadahs, gay and lesbian hagaddahs, zionist hagaddahs, feminist haggadahs, secular humanist haggadahs and now, a haggadah for those to whom the term "slave" has an altogether different meaning. (via boingboing.) posted by jann at 9:16 AM PST - 6 comments
IM just for Wifi - Trepia has developed a new method for wifi users to connect to each other. Imagine turning on your laptop and seeing the other wifi users near your physical location and being able to chat with them.
There's only a Windows client at this time. I asked where the Mac & linux clients were and the CEO told me they were coming in the future once the Windows version takes off. I'm betting that if enough people ask, they'll accelerate their plans. posted by Argyle at 9:11 AM PST - 14 comments
Behold the dark brilliance of modern media-management during wartime.Everybody here was having the same perfectly Groundhog Day experience: You woke up only to repeat the day before, and no matter what you did or said or thought, you were helpless to effect a change in the next day. So every day, everybody asked the same questions about Basra and the supply lines and the whereabouts of the WMDs and Saddam, and got the same answers. posted by BentPenguin at 6:21 AM PST - 27 comments
We've been one-upped. "I won support from voters with this face, and to take it off would be breaking promises." We can't let this stand. If we don't do anything wackier next election year I'm moving. posted by wobh at 5:57 AM PST - 6 comments
Buddyzoo is an interesting new site that lets you see which buddies on your AIM buddy list your buddies share with you. Sort of like a six degrees of seperation kind of thing. Very neat. Go check it out and sign up! And tell your friends! posted by aznblader at 3:25 AM PST - 13 comments
The city of Peoria, Arizona has a problem with a car dealership flying too many American flags. They have threatened thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time if the flags aren't removed. The perpetrator pleads guilty of patriotism. posted by MrAnonymous at 10:49 PM PST - 42 comments
Automaton \Au*tom"a*ton\, n.; pl. L. Automata, E. Automatons. [L. fr. Gr. ?, neut. of ? self-moving; ? self + a root ma, man, to strive, think, cf. ? to strive.] 1. Any thing or being regarded as having the power of spontaneous motion or action. posted by crunchland at 10:28 PM PST - 13 comments
No war in Syria? It appears not, as the US president has blocked the Pentagon from making preparations for an invasion. Is this for real, or is it merely a ploy to sway international opinion? posted by fnord_prefect at 7:34 PM PST - 36 comments
The Funniest Writer Not Writing Today ...or yesterday, or last year, or even for ages, has to be Fran Lebowitz. So it was quite refreshing to find this little website devoted to her scant and miserly online presence. The latest publication featuring her name is, in fact, the menu of the newly-opened Café Lebowitz in Manhattan's Nolita. Well, the author of the two masterpieces of wit, Social Studies and Metropolitan Life, recently anthologized in The Fran Lebowitz Reader, always warned us she was pathologically lazy... But the old, occasional, lazy (but always witty) interview or odd, random quotation is no compensation. I think she's up there with S. J. Perelman. Robert Benchley or Dorothy Parker. If only she'd actually do some work! Are there any other wilfully and chronically unproductive writer you miss terribly and would force out of retirement if you could? posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:42 PM PST - 16 comments
Was Saddam a gay porn star? The answer is a resounding "maybe"! It all depends on how much you want to rely on Yahoo! Entertainment news to bring you the most accurate news, but there it is nonetheless. True or false, this has to one of the more "interesting" pieces to come out of Operation Iraqi Freedom so far. posted by Hackworth at 4:57 PM PST - 26 comments
If you're of a certain age, you will easily recognize the sign. Warhol made art out of them. Many families whiled away lazy rainy days licking them. Despite being one of the most dominant forces in cosumer's lives during the middle of the 20th century, the 80s saw them fade away, and eventually disappeared entirely just this year. Since 1999, though, they've been back, albeit in virtual form. You might even still be able to redeem your old stamps! Let's fondly remember the most successful implementation of the granddaddy of all today's shopping 'reward' programs...S&H Green Stamps! posted by WolfDaddy at 4:05 PM PST - 7 comments
Another great French prison escape. Two members of an international drug smuggling ring hijack a helicopter, abseil into the prison exercise yard, and resuce a third man. Also, “last month, a commando-style gang used plastic explosives and a rocket launcher to blow its way into a prison near Paris and free a convict serving a sentence for organized crime. In a separate attack, men brandishing what turned out to be a fake rocket launcher freed another crime kingpin from a prison in Borgo on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.” In August, a man secretly replaced his brother, a Basque separatist leader, in prison. posted by Mo Nickels at 4:05 PM PST - 7 comments
"Now What a Time": Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 Approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia. The documentation was created by John Wesley Work III in 1941 and by Lewis Jones and Willis Laurence James in March, June, and July 1943. Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama by John Work between September 1938 and 1941. Audio Title Index
California Gold: Northern California Folk Music From the Thirties Materials from the WPA California Folk Music Project Collection, including sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians. Audio Title Index (As Always, More Inside) posted by y2karl at 12:43 PM PST - 12 comments
Colin Thompson writes and draws children's picture books. These books are a sheer joy to read, both for adults and children, as they feature an interesting storyline and fantastically detailed pictures. You can buy his prints from his site or you could take the plunge and buy this one for U$4800. posted by ashbury at 9:23 AM PST - 6 comments
It's in the mail. Dylon Whyte's Art of Chainmail site features beautiful, clear renderings showing, step-by-step, how to join chain links to form different mail patterns, including European, Japanese, and (probably-not-)Persian designs. This is actually fascinating stuff even if you're not a medievalist or a Renaissance-faire type. Also, from the same source, a brief history of armour and the the secret behind the chain bra! posted by taz at 8:55 AM PST - 13 comments
Yessir, you're my baby!Eeeeewwwwww.... Is this the end of masculinity as we know it? In a word: yes. And I don't mean maybe. Not that this would ever happen in a hot-blooded Latin country, mind you. Not safe for you workers - get back to work! [Via Linkfilter.] posted by Carlos Quevedo at 8:26 AM PST - 9 comments
Nationalise Google? "Perhaps the time has come to recognise this dominant search engine for what it is - a public utility that must be regulated in the public interest." Bill Thompson from the BBC tells me that Google puts a cookie on my computer that can't be deleted till 2038: "This means that Google builds up a detailed profile of your search terms over many years. Google probably knew when you last thought you were pregnant, what diseases your children have had, and who your divorce lawyer is. It refuses to say why it wants this information or to admit whether it makes it available to the US Government for tracking purposes." Are they "a secretive, hyper-competitive company with no respect for the personal privacy of its users"? Are other search engines better behaved? And is this the beginning of search ethics? posted by theplayethic at 2:19 AM PST - 60 comments
The winners of the annual Muzzle Awards have been announced by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression; these are given out to "those who have forgotten Mr. Jefferson's warning that freedom of expression cannot be limited without being lost." The lucky winners this year include (among others) include John Ashcroft, for the DOJ's secretive expanded powers; the 107th U.S. Congress for USA PATRIOT; National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman for covering up mysterious deaths of zoo animals; and the NC House of Representatives for trying to shut down a college assignment involving the Koran. Are there any other outrageous cases of censorship this year that the Muzzles should have included? Are all of the winners worthy of ridicule? posted by waldo at 2:00 PM PST - 19 comments
A bunch of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces." posted by stbalbach at 11:48 AM PST - 5 comments
Mathew Branton, an established author is giving away his latest novel "The Tie and The Crest", for free on the internet, here he explains why. It's all very noble and I applaud it.
While we are on the subject, has anyone mentioned the Big Read yet? posted by Fat Buddha at 6:07 AM PST - 11 comments
'Barefoot Gen is a vivid autobiographical story. Artist Keiji Nakazawa was only seven years old when the Atomic Bomb destroyed his beautiful home city of Hiroshima. The Artist's "Gen" manga (visual novel), tells the tale of one family's struggle to survive in the dreadful shadow of war ... ' "I named my main character Gen in the hope that he would become a root or source of strength for a new generation, one that can tread the charred soil of Hiroshima barefoot, feel the earth beneath its feet, and have the strength to say "NO" to nuclear weapons.... " More survivors' stories :- Nagasaki Nightmare, the art of the hibakusha, or A-bomb survivors. Voice of
Hibakusha includes eye-witness accounts of the atom bombing of Hiroshima. Here are more testimonies of survivors. (Via the A-Bomb WWW Museum). A
personal record of Hiroshima A-bomb survival, posted
to a message board, with responses from readers. Remembering Nagasaki, a slide-show of Nagasaki after the A-bomb. The story of Sadako, an A-bomb victim, and the Thousand Paper Cranes project she inspired. posted by plep at 3:39 AM PST - 15 comments
Love Philtre and SundayFilter Dare To Board The Love Boat... and almost drown in it! Let your wildest notions and your most secret pairings go wild and [cue awful Berlin song you thought you'd never hear again] get the Love Calculator to take your breath away. To start you off, here are the Matt vs. MetaFilter match results: "Dr. Love thinks that a relationship between mathowie and MetaFilter has a very good chance of being successful, but this doesn't mean that [Matt] do[es]n't have to work on the relationship. Remember that every relationship needs spending time together, talking with each other etc." posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:02 AM PST - 24 comments
Dive bars. Every town must have one. This is an interesting story about the bar that I imbibe at most often. I'm sure there are more like this. Please share. posted by TurkishGolds at 11:14 PM PST - 42 comments
Coffee, our nan? Is this "Would you like some more coffee, Grandmother?" or Kofi Annan? Oh and mathowie - are you sure the Irish Haughey is pronounced Howie? [Check out Charles Haughey for the proper way.] Thank you, Voice of America, for teaching us how to pronounce those pesky foreigners' names. And shame on you, BBC Pronouncing Unit, for not being online! [This last link requires Real Audio but is really worth listening to if you have anything against stuck-up English twits.] posted by Carlos Quevedo at 6:44 PM PST - 16 comments
A dissappearing history. The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters. posted by the fire you left me at 5:26 PM PST - 58 comments
The Anglosphere: This has been floating vaguely in the memesphere for a year or so, and is ready to pop. Seems we Anglophones are not nations separated by a common language anymore, but "a distinct civilization in [our] own right."
Western in origin but no longer entirely Western in composition and nature, this civilization is marked by a particularly strong civil society, which is the source of its long record of successful constitutional government and economic prosperity. ... [its] continuous leadership of the Scientific-Technological Revolution from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first century stems from these characteristics and is thus likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
It is not, however, a return of " the racialist Anglo-Saxonism dating from the era around 1900" ... he says. The author was profiled in Industry Standard in August 2001. His company provides "sovereignty services" — i.e., moving wealth offshore. posted by hairyeyeball at 4:58 PM PST - 9 comments
The Feudal States of America? Timely article from Thom Hartmann called
The Real War - On American Democracy.
"Those of us who still believe in republican democracy would have "We, The People" make the decisions through representatives we've elected without the feudal influence of corporate money. We realize that "big government" is, indeed, a menace when it's no longer responsive to its own people, as happened in Germany and Russia in the last century - and is happening today in America under the neoconservatives." posted by thedailygrowl at 1:26 PM PST - 32 comments
SADDAM AIDE SURRENDERS Saddam Hussein's chief weapons adviser has surrendered to the US military.
US officials had described Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi as the person they most wanted to speak to about Iraq's weapons programmes.
Now we will know about WMD or the integrity and effectiveness of the give-inspections-a -chance folks.
Any bets to be placed? posted by Postroad at 10:21 AM PST - 42 comments
The Parlor is worth watching again once you figure out what is going on [Some language nsfw]. From the 2002 Chrysler Film Fest, reg. required for the full versions of the 2003 films but you can see clips here. posted by dogwalker at 8:58 AM PST - 6 comments
The Ethnographic Lens: Images from the Realm of a Rain Queen. Between 1936 and 1938 social anthropologists Eileen and Jack Krige undertook intensive fieldwork in the north-eastern regions of South Africa among the Lobedu people whose chief Modjadji was widely acclaimed as a rainmaker.'
'In 1943 their book 'The Realm of a Rain Queen' was published and has remained in print ever since. Some of the photographs taken by the Kriges were used as illustrations in the book but many remained unpublished and little known ...' Via
collection of archaeological and anthropological resources from the
South African Museum.
Princess Makobo Modjadji of the Bolobedu has just been crowned as the new
Rain Queen, Modjadji VI.
drizzle greeted the inauguration, which may be
a good sign.
The Rain Queen was the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'.
More on the world of the Rain Queen - including biographical details on the last Rain Queen, and her relationships with politicians such as Nelson Mandela in a changine South Africa -
here. posted by plep at 3:36 AM PST - 5 comments
Blix: US was bent on war. In a scathing attack on Britain and the US, Mr Blix accused them of planning the war "well in advance" and of "fabricating" evidence against Iraq to justify their campaign. posted by skallas at 2:26 AM PST - 51 comments
A walk in the park? How about 250 km (150 miles) over Sahara sand dunes in temperatures reaching 44°C (111°F) carrying all your food and gear. Stage 4 was a 52 mile double marathon. Today it was just a simple 26 miler.
4800 masochists have done it since 1986, ranging in age from 17 to 78.
The Ahansal brothers took 7 hours 33 minutes to finish the 84 km leg. Slower than last year because of the strong winds and blowing sand.
Luke Cunliffe has been blogging his experience at the end of each day.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I guess.
Shall we form a MeFi team for next year? posted by Geo at 11:17 PM PST - 5 comments
Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Yo-Yo. Health officials in New York are concerned about "water yo-yos", a hot new toy imported from Asia filled with a "foul-smelling liquid" that has made some kids ill. So far, they haven't been able to figure out what the liquid is, who manufactures the toys, or who brings them into the United States. posted by jjg at 9:06 PM PST - 30 comments
Last week some friends of mine launched terroristidkit.com to, as they put it, "[poke] fun at the racial profiling, loss of civil
liberties and terrorist paranoia that is sweeping the US." Five days later Register.com seized their domain and refuses to explain why, despite the fact that they complied with two requests for identity verification and even called Register.com to talk about it; after putting them on hold for twenty minutes, Register.com put the phone down. Today the domain is now owned by Register.com. What the hell is going on? posted by lia at 6:28 PM PST - 52 comments
Dealing With Saddam What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command?
According to Reuters AlertNet "The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured."
Checking the deck quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape as a weapon of torture, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts.
An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.
Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!" posted by Dunvegan at 5:53 PM PST - 27 comments
The (Re)making Project: "There is no such thing as an original play," says playwright Charles Mee. His site offers full-length transcriptions of his own hilarious, profound works and encourages users to plunder them: "Please feel free to take the plays from this website and use them as a resource for your own work: cut them up, rearrange them, rewrite them, throw things out, put things in, do whatever you like with them.." Mee's generous, Classicist approach to his work contrasts sharply with, say, Lars Ulrich.
In helping live theater overcome its marginalization in the U.S., Mee's accessible, re-mixed adaptations of Greek tragedies seem like a positive contribution. But why does live entertainment like sports and music draw Friday-night crowds while theater plays to a tiny national audience? posted by dhoyt at 3:09 PM PST - 21 comments
"Is it a boy or a girl?" This simple, common question can be traumatic for some parents. Approximately one out of every 2,000 babies is born with ambiguous genitals, meaning that it is not clear whether the baby is a boy or girl. What to do in such a case? A new study indicates that "gender-assigning surgery," to give the child more "normal" genitals, may increase sexual difficulties later. [more inside] posted by soyjoy at 1:08 PM PST - 45 comments
[ Gene Study Finds Cannibal Pattern ] - "Deep in the recesses of the human heart, lurking guiltily beneath the threshold of consciousness, there may lie a depraved craving — for the forbidden taste of human flesh. The basis for this morbid accusation, made by a team of researchers in London, is a genetic signature, found almost worldwide, that points to a long history of cannibalism" (NYT) posted by troutfishing at 11:10 AM PST - 45 comments
Gifted Students Despite her boarding-school education and a personal tutor, Maude Bunn's SAT scores weren't high enough for a typical student to earn admission to Duke University.
But Ms. Bunn had something else going for her -- coffeemakers. Her Bunn forebears built a fortune on them and, with Duke hoping to woo her wealthy parents as donors, she was admitted.
Afterward, her parents promptly became co-chairmen of a Duke fund-raising effort aimed at other Duke parents. "My child was given a gift, she got in, and now I'm giving back," says Maude's mother, Cissy Bunn, who declines to say how much the family has contributed to the university. posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM PST - 59 comments
The Dictators Contest "Back by popular demand is the Original Dictators Contest. 16 of the last century's most fearsome autocrats have been selected and pitted randomly against one another to compete for the title Dictator of Dictators". If you don't see your favorite Dictator, try The Second Dictators Contest. Agree with their results? Did they forget anyone? posted by Mack Twain at 10:15 AM PST - 5 comments
Soaking the Rich This post probably won't be very well received in this forum which is mostly consisted of lefties, but can you really justify stealing such a disproportionate amount from the rich?
Conventional wisdom holds, correctly, that income inequality has been increasing in recent years, though it still isn't as great now as in some past periods. But while incomes are distributed unequally, the federal tax burden is distributed far more unequally. posted by VeGiTo at 9:35 AM PST - 108 comments
Peeps! All about peeps! So sweet and chewy and cute all over. Apparently, they're not just for Easter anymore. They've come a long way since I got the little yellow guys in my Easter basket as a kid, apparently. I had no idea this company had gotten so far flung in its enterprise. posted by psmealey at 5:38 AM PST - 12 comments
I've always wanted to make light something that you treasure. Not just light reflected in glass, or in a scrim, or on the surface of some object. But light objectified. We generally use it to illuminate other things. But I wanted to force people to pay attention to the thingness and revelation of light. This is a place that will do that. JamesTurrell [more inside] posted by y2karl at 11:53 PM PST - 14 comments
The Kids Are Alright, A Documentary (Warning ~60 MB Quicktime download. Worth it.) A bit of strange luck led me to this documentary, in which several teenagers discuss frankly and openly what it's like to be a queer kid in North Carolina. Contrast and compare their experiences with that of 14 year old Thomas McLaughlin in Arkansas. I wonder what Aaron Fricke would think about the last 20-odd years. posted by WolfDaddy at 11:43 PM PST - 2 comments
Songkran or in other words, Thai New Year. It is celebrated in style with a nationwide, week-long waterfight, amongst other things. The main event is on the 13th, but it seems to have started in earnest about 3 days ago. posted by johnny novak at 11:17 PM PST - 3 comments
The culture of a society, is largely invisable to it's inhabitants. While the bigger things in our own cultures are easily identifiable, such as food, customs and religion. More unique things like hitting a statue or a picture of Saddam with a shoe, are not.
Symbolism is usually subtle and can easily be missed or misinterpreted by people from other cultures. This is a great article from BBC WORLD NEWS which explains some of the symbolism we're seeing in the Iraqi gatherings. posted by Civa at 9:10 PM PST - 2 comments
Axing Foreign Acts — Now that immigration control falls under the rubric of Homeland Security [+ | +], ticket sales should pick up for Broadway shows: foreign culture exchange is on the wane down the drain, says the Voice's Don Mattingly this week. Students, too. Bureacratic transition pains or police-state policy? More info? Paranoid surmises? posted by hairyeyeball at 12:39 PM PST - 6 comments
Hymen and the back seat of your father's car not included It’s requirement for ladies who looses their virginity (virgin size) usually after delivery and some cases before also and slowly both partner looses interest in each other without knowing the cause, this Virgin cream gives you complete youthfulness and bring back virginity (virgin size) to its original shape. Your partner starts taking interest in you, which you might have not experienced before. posted by orange swan at 10:24 AM PST - 53 comments
Multi Genre Star Ship Comparison? "This site is intended to allow science fiction fans to get an impression of the true scale of their favorite science fiction spacecraft by being able to campare ships accross genres, as well as being able to compare them with contemporary objects with which they are probably familiar." Someone has spare time... posted by Spoon at 9:21 AM PST - 25 comments
Spoils of War This op-ed piece in The New York Times (free reg req'd) follows the path of money into who is getting what now that the reconstruction phase is about to begin. Might have called this piece: More than Oil. posted by Postroad at 7:56 AM PST - 20 comments
At 2:26 p.m. yesterday, the US House of Representatives was considering a gun control bill. In the process of complaining about "a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people undergoing drug treatment," Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming) let slip this telling inquiry:
"So does that mean that if you go into a black community, you can't sell any guns to any black person?" posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:22 PM PST - 61 comments
I drink my tea with chopsticks. At least, I would if I lived in outer space. Cool movie (achtung: Quicktime) from the international space station showing the effects of surface tension in the absence of gravity. I wonder if any of us will ever live long enough to experience this in person? posted by jonson at 4:59 PM PST - 13 comments
Best. Festival. Ever. The Field Day Festival is taking place on June 7th and 8th in Riverhead, NY and the lineup is amazing. Yesterday, there was an image of the band lineup, but it has been removed. There will be an official announcement on Monday. In the meantime, here is a partial list of bands to whet your appetite: Radiohead, Belle & Sebastian, Spiritualized, Beth Orton, The Streets, Sleater-Kinney, N.E.R.D., Beastie Boys, The Strokes, Sigur Ros, Blur, Flaming Lips, Interpol, The Rapture and Tortoise. posted by capndesign at 11:01 AM PST - 35 comments
MultiMegaCorp is a new game from the makers of Pyroto Mountain (previously discussed here). They say "Our research has indicated that there is a niche for a game that is similar to Pyroto Mountain, but less esoteric -- a game whose concept can be explained in one sentence." If you tried Pyroto but couldn't get into it, maybe this game is for you.
I just signed up, but so far it appears to be much like Pyroto but using different terminology. I'm not sure why anyone would want to imagine themselves in a messive corporation instead of a land of mountains and magic, but the corporate metaphor does make the game's concepts easier to understand initially. Instead of being a Wizard, you are an Employee. The Spirit of The Land becomes the CEO, Manna becomes Influence Points, Robes become Authority, Ethers become the Grapevine, you're climbing the corporate ladder instead of a mountain, and as you get higher, you can do perform more Actions.
I wonder how many games you could turn into something that initally seems so different just by changing the words it uses? What else could Pyroto become? posted by Emanuel at 10:55 AM PST - 3 comments
Since 1996, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network has sponsored an annual national Day of Silence event to help create safer schools for all students, "regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression". Today is the 7th time such an event has been held across the country. Are you participating? What is school like for you in this context? posted by WolfDaddy at 10:45 AM PST - 22 comments
Industrious caddisfly larvae live within odd protective cases that they painstakingly craft from bits of twigs, stones, gravel, sand, and leaf fragments. They drag the case around, much like a snail or a hermit crab carries their shell. Artist Hubert Duprat, being well aware of the caddisfly larvae's reputation for resourcefulness and adaptablity, decided to see what would happen if he replaced the usual case building materials with precious gems, gold, turquoise, pearls, lapis lazuli and coral. posted by iconomy at 10:02 AM PST - 21 comments
Hong Kong will take your breath away.
With the burgeoning Sars epidemic spreading fear among travellers worldwide, the Hong Kong tourist board must be ruing the day it commissioned a series of magazine ads telling readers a visit to the city will "take your breath away". posted by MintSauce at 5:27 AM PST - 23 comments
Dictators and their demises: a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq.
To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage? [more inside] posted by dhartung at 4:41 AM PST - 19 comments
Afghanistan 1969-1974. Many photographs of the landscapes and people of Afghanistan as was. 'Searching the internet at the beginning of the year 2001 for "Kabul & museum" or for
"Bamiyan" displays alarming news. This is why I'd like to put my old photographs of Afghanistan of the years 1969, 1970, and 1974 into the WWW to preserve a vivid memory
of the treasures collected in the museum in Darulaman and of an Afghanistan as it used to be years ago ... ' (Also in German).
Related :- Lost
and Stolen Images: Afghanistan, including a section on the Bamiyan Buddhas and some images from the
Kabul Museum (via the Huntingdon Archive of Buddhist and related art). posted by plep at 12:21 AM PST - 7 comments
"This war's musical outcry is no different from those of the past, with one gleaming caveat. Whatever your feelings on folk music, most of the new protest songs concerning the war in Iraq -- how to put this maturely -- suck fetid donkey biscuits. This is the worst dreck ever to to be digitized 'n' downloaded." posted by kirkaracha at 3:21 PM PST - 36 comments
The (not so) Secret Weblog of Laura Palmer brings back many memories of trying to work out who the real murderer was, and being deeply infuriated with how the story ended. As Agent Cooper puts it: "I know that good is stronger than evil and yet sometimes it's difficult to see it. Even in a place like Twin Peaks." [via Caro] posted by feelinglistless at 2:56 PM PST - 17 comments
The CRACK Program (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity)The organization's premise is radical, if dizzyingly simple: CRACK gives addicts $200 (they'll throw in an extra $50 if a participant recommends a friend) and sets up the medical procedures at a public hospital or clinic. All Nicole had to do was sign a release form, and two weeks later she had her tubes tied at a local hospital. She received a check the following month. posted by Espoo2 at 1:37 PM PST - 78 comments
Blockbuster late fee. I recently returned a movie a few hours late at Blockbuster. I was surprised to learn that the late fee was equal to what I paid for the movie- $3.25. The company line now is- "We don't have late fees. We just bill you for another seven days." This can be as high as $5.44, apparently. There seems to be no mention of this in the usual places. Shouldn't there be a legal limit to how high late fees can be? [The store clerk told me that late fees represented 40% of his store's earnings- I am not sure if this is true across the board.] I am ready for Netflix. Are you? posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 8:08 AM PST - 156 comments
U.S. Kills Journalists. Three journalists in the Palestine Hotel -- which is known as many reporters' base in Baghdad -- have died after the building was bombed by U.S. forces. Simultaneously, U.S. forces hit Al-Jazeera's Abu Dhabi offices with a missle. Officials claim that they were responding to sniper fire, but journalists dispute the claim. Some journalists believe that this was a deliberate attack. Is the U.S. making good on their threat to "target down" journalists? posted by waldo at 7:25 AM PST - 79 comments
Mabel Stark was one of the greatest tiger trainers of the 1910's and 1920's. Her life is now the subject of a novel,
The Final Confession of Mabel Stark
by Robert Hough. The book has created a lot of controversy because it describes the sexual nature of Mabel's relationship with her big cats. Film rights have already been sold;
Kate Winslet will play the lead. Writer Rip Sense
recalls seeing Mabel as an old woman,
still handling big cats in Jungleland, California. Want to raise big cats in your home? See this handy guide to matters such as litter-box training, feeding, and keeping the tigers from destroying the furniture. posted by SealWyf at 6:36 AM PST - 6 comments
Staggeringly weird MP3 collection over at April Winchell's blog. Everything from Hindi ABBA covers to hideous celebrity sing alongs from the likes of Hulk Hogan and Catherine "Daisy Duke" Bach. My favorite so far is the german cover of the theme music from Bonanza.fromCKB's blog. posted by jonson at 10:30 PM PST - 25 comments
Take enough electricity to power 100 houses for two minutes and use it to generate enough elecrticity to power one 40-watt lightbulb for one ten-thousandth of a second. What do you have? Nuclear Fusion. posted by alms at 7:21 PM PST - 17 comments
Ever played Dominos as a kid? Honda's new TV ad (56K/100K) in the UK takes the concept to extremes, using parts from a car.
Yes, it's an ad, but it's very, very amusing. posted by Mwongozi at 3:34 PM PST - 26 comments
With reconstruction at a staggeringly low pace, resources dwindling, and the Red Cross suspending operations, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar, is worried about a small but strong group slowly grabbing onto power in regions of his country. They call themselves the Taliban. Although the limited funding has done some good for Afghanistan, Karzai fears it's nowhere near enough to fix the major problems of the country, and combined with sentiments raised by the war on Iraq, there are strong signs that the Taliban is significantly restructuring. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:36 AM PST - 41 comments
All your face are belong to us. 16-yr-old Irish girl looks set to receive the world's first face transplant, it has been reported. Right now it's a medical procedure, but do you think we ever see a day where people grow face replacements for cosmetic purposes? posted by piskycritter at 10:02 AM PST - 22 comments
Pessimism bad - With the recent kabal surrounding the "dishonesty without intent" (whatever that means) Bjorn Lomborg committed in his book "The Skeptical Environmentalist", Matt Ridley speaks out for more "technological fixes" and against the technological pessimism that pervades the public debate about technology, and which can have perverse side effects, according to him. "In the 1990s Ingo Potrykus genetically engineered some strains of rice to contain a natural vitamin A precursor precisely because he was affronted by the fact that half a million children go blind every year in the third world for lack of vitamin A. He gave up his intellectual property rights, and persuaded Syngenta and other companies to waive their patents so that he could give the rice away for free in poor countries. Yet the crop remains tied up for years to come awaiting regulatory approval as a "drug" because of precautionary regulations urged on third world countries by environmental groups. " Future's so bright, I gotta get an eye upgrade! posted by NekulturnY at 9:53 AM PST - 13 comments
How BADLY do you want to be a millionaire? Badly enough to cheat on a TV game show? An ex-Army Major, his wife and another man have been convicted of 'procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception' - in other words, getting someone to sign a cheque for a million pounds which was won by cheating.
The scam involved a series of coughs at strategic points in the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" game show, guiding the Major to the right answers.
The show was never aired after suspicions were raised but I would be interested to see if it'll now be released so I can make up my own mind about the suspicious, ahem, coughs. posted by essexjan at 9:48 AM PST - 22 comments
A "Disappearance" In America - Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance. In other countries, this would be a "disappearance". Here in America, it's just the Patriot Act at work. Read the story of Mike Hawash, and ponder where this country is headed. posted by laz-e-boy at 1:36 AM PST - 44 comments
How to do things with four-letter words. Why do we swear? Or, more importantly, why are swear words "bad" and other words are fine? Angus Kidman's thesus on the semantics of swearing in Australia - and most other English speaking places as well - tries to shed some light.
Possibly NSFW. posted by Fat Elvis at 3:56 PM PST - 21 comments
The Freedom Ship is a testament to what human beings can accomplish if they put their minds to it. How Stuff Works gives us a good description on all the details. The ship will feature a $200 million hospital, a 3,800-foot (1,158-m) landing strip, which will serve private planes and some small commercial aircraft that carry no more than 40 passengers, hangars for private aircraft, a marina for residents' yachts, a large shopping mall, a school system offering K-12 and college education, a golf driving range, bicycle paths, and 200 open acres for recreation. posted by ashbury at 2:12 PM PST - 36 comments
Democrats finally speaking out?"Today the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives announced that -- and I quote -- 'Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes.' Let me make this clear: Never in its history has the United States passed a big tax cut in a time of war. We have always believed in shared sacrifice. " Sen. John Kerry's speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner April 3 in Georgia.
(Salon article, click the free day pass to view) posted by Espoo2 at 1:26 PM PST - 29 comments
So, what does one have do to trigger a security alert? A suburban Philadelphia lady finds her credit card has been fraudulently charged for a flight to Philadelphia, with a passenger name that sounds Middle Eastern, during the time that President Bush and DHS Secretary Tom Ridge would be in the city. Worried, she tries to report this to various police and security officials. This is her story. posted by eriko at 12:05 PM PST - 19 comments
Film Mogul is an online RPG that's "a simulation of what it is like to be a power player in the movie industry today." Take on the role of studio head, agent, producer, critic, or journalist and make virtual movies every bit as crappy as the ones that the real Hollywood churns out! posted by MrBaliHai at 6:34 AM PST - 5 comments
The Century Project (not suitable for work) 'is a series of nude photographs
accompanied by highly personal and moving statements by women whose lives span 100 years. The words and pictures combine to form a powerful statement about body image, society's portrayal of women in the media, sexuality, pornography, and women's health issues. For some, this is pretty controversial stuff...yet the simple fact that women have invited me (a man) to exhibit and speak in Churches (3 times!) and on the campuses of Colleges and Universities, by itself speaks volumes about the way in which Century has been received, and what it's value has been ... '
'Life is at its fullest at 94.' - Mary. posted by plep at 12:07 AM PST - 23 comments
My bet is no-one will care, but I'm marrying my fiancee six months today. Who cares, you say. But think about this... Current UK law means you can either be married by an Anglican minister or by a Registrar. Due to ecumenical fun we're getting married in an Anglican Parish Church with a URC minister and have to get a registrar to stand in the church. Why the religious difference? Does it matter? posted by twine42 at 2:50 PM PST - 27 comments
Gracefull bipeds, miniature robot ballets.... Titled by the BBC as "Humanoid robots wow Japanese", The world's largest robot exhibit this weekend in Yokahama features Asimo by Honda ["Asimo can now recognise individual faces and can understand gestures as well as spoken commands. Meet him once and he never forgets, responding by approaching and calling your name on subsequent meetings."] as well as Sony's newest Aibo accesories and their stunning SDR-4X ll, a biped sporting "fluid walking motion and lifelike gestures." Epson Seiko caught my attention, though, with their dozen tiny Bluetooth controlled 12.5 gram Monsieur ll-P robot prototypes which executed a miniature choreographed ballet.
Pretty soon they'll be scuttling around on our walls like cockroaches, watching us...... posted by troutfishing at 9:26 AM PST - 11 comments
Today's Grand National Today 40 horses were forced around an arduous and often fatal 'race course'. This year, only one horse was killed. How can anyone think that this is a sport? posted by daveg at 8:07 AM PST - 31 comments
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.
Policeman to the World? Andrew Buncombe in Nasiriyah reports on this "liberated" city "where looters run wild and death stalks the streets.""While much of the Iraqi army and Fedayeen militia may have been destroyed or forced underground, the city has been given over to lawlessness and looting. Yesterday, the Saddam Hospital itself was pillaged by a gang of 20 armed looters, who made off with a haul of drugs. They even looted several of the hospital's ambulances.
What is clear is that Nasiriyah is neither safe nor secure. If this is an example of how the war will unfold in other cities throughout Iraq, it does not bode well. posted by Dunvegan at 10:59 PM PST - 12 comments
Yet another reason for me to be ashamed at times to identify with other "Christians." Apparently some Bible study website has purchased the domain blogpsot.com so that people misspelling the address of any blogspot blog will go to the site. That's just great. These people have stooped to the level of pornographers. Check it out for yourself, using these URL's of some blogspot blogs.
War as metaphor, again. The linguist George Lakoff writes a sequel to his seminal piece on the first Gulf war.
The Nation as Person, The Just War, War as Business (and Politics), War as Fairy Tale: will these ways of thinking ever be re-framed in the interests of peace and common humanity? Not if any dissent from the accepted line continues to be silenced. Source: Too Much News posted by cbrody at 6:30 PM PST - 4 comments
American Brandstand tracks mentions of consumer brands in songs in the Billboard Hot 100. It's interesting to see which products get mentioned the most; Mercedes is currently on top with 29 mentions so far in 2003. (This week, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Li'l Kim all give props to the Benz.) Burberry and Puma round out the top three. Question: is this typically admiration of the product, projecting an image, or productplacement? (Via Slate.) posted by Vidiot at 3:30 PM PST - 21 comments
Naikan: A Practice of Gratitude, Self-Reflection, and Attention. The "concept" of self-reflection is one which is endorsed by nearly everyone - religious leaders, therapists, politicians, scientists, etc... Most people would say that self- reflection is a "good idea" just as most people support the good ideas of "love", "peace", "justice" and "healthy living."
How do you actually reflect on yourself?
What is the method for examining one's life?
(from Utne.com) posted by ColdChef at 3:01 PM PST - 8 comments
In retrospect I have seen a glimpse of it before, in Baraka (scroll down
to images, in the middle of the second row). I had forgotten this. I had
read about it before too and smugly thought I knew about it then. When
I saw it live for the first time I realized I didn't know anything at
all about it. And now that I've seen it, now that it feels like I know
it, it still feels like I don't know anything about it.
Unfortunately there's only so much that can be said about anything. You
have to experience it, and even then it has to touch you or resonate
with you in some way before it really means anything to you. All I can
say is that I saw something last weekend that touched me and resonated
very strongly with me. And
that I or
you what that was,
give you what was given to me. posted by wobh at 2:24 PM PST - 10 comments
Along the same lines of sites designed to get kids to eat more red meat comes the Presidential Prayer Kids website, which instructs the young on how best to support our leader through prayer. This week's lesson instructs the Bush Youth to be faithful, compares them to dogs. "They are showing their faithfulness by obeying the commands they are given and by doing exactly the job they were trained for." posted by jonson at 10:54 AM PST - 42 comments
Friday Doublethink Fun. "An extraordinary communication from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"
But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think? posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:48 AM PST - 24 comments
Stones 'fail to rock' young Indians The Rolling Stones have failed to sell out their first concerts in India - amid reports that many young music fans are simply not interested in them.
[ the best part is the quote " Tell me how many college kids are into Rolling Stones? " by a guy called Brucelee Mani, Bangalore rock musician ] posted by turbanhead at 9:12 AM PST - 24 comments
Are American elections fixed? This article discusses the possibility, particularly due to the influx of computer touch-screen voting. While the tilt of the writer is obvious, many valid points are raised. Whatever your affiliation, how can one be comfortable with computer voting?
"It doesn't matter who casts the ballots. What matters is who counts the ballots." posted by eas98 at 8:31 AM PST - 28 comments
Take the Super Quiz and see if you can find images of Sandy Duncan cleverly concealed in paintings by Dutch Renaissance masters (requires Flash). But remember, there is absolutely no prize for beating the Super Quiz. From the wacky folks at Ultraville. posted by MrBaliHai at 8:14 AM PST - 6 comments
"Fighting the Left - Doing it Right" - protestwarrior.com is founded on the basis of letting the "pro-government" people who might be the "silent majority" protest in their own way. so while it's not just a pro-troops rally cry, in essence it's protesting for the war... or any war, for that manner. kind of a novel idea.. looks like they're viewing this as a starting point for people to have a retort against other protestors. posted by djspicerack at 6:51 AM PST - 27 comments
Nufonia Must Fall is a possibly unique silent film, shot in paperback with a soundtrack for piano and turntable instruments. For any web-enabled numerologists reading, it also has an interesting URL. Check out the flash intro ... posted by walrus at 6:16 AM PST - 10 comments
"At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud: 'Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?' 'Peace and civil rights don’t mix', they say. 'Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people', they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling." posted by riviera at 5:05 AM PST - 9 comments
Defending America. I really don't know what to say about this site. Except that I didn't even know a .mil domain extension existed until now. The link comes from a letter to the editor of my hometown, small-town Indiana newspaper (also see "Operation Dear Abby"), where people are generally in support of the war. A boy from my hometown was killed. He was a really good kid; I knew his family, who are just the kind of people you think of when you think of small town John Couger-style, pink-housed, middle class America. I am against this war in principle, but how can you say this really decent kid's life was wasted? All questions, no answers, probably a bad post. Apologies all around. posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:17 PM PST - 23 comments
US fighter shot down by Patriot missile The Patriot Missiles that are supposed to be the protector of American forces are living up to their reputation. So far, one just shot down an F-18, and previously took out a RAF Tornado, killing two people. Another one locked onto an F-16, but the quick-thinking pilot blew up the Patriot missile battery's radar dish with a HARM missile. These missiles didn't work in the last gulf war, and are continuing to follow that trend. The locking onto allied planes seems to indicate a bug in the IFF routines of the Patriots. Not very patriotic of it. posted by Xoc at 8:38 PM PST - 20 comments
UK rocket builder Steve Bennett is working on the worlds first private maned spaceship built by his company Starchaser with the Nova II announced Thursday. The new rocket will be shipped to the United States and dropped unmanned over the Red Lake Drop Zone in Arizona from 14,000 feet to test its landing systems. If successful, a manned test will take place before the summer, making it Britain's first ever manned rocket capsule. The tests will allow the team to move on to building their ultimate rocket, Thunderbird. Starchaser is confident that Thunderbird will blast off into the history books in 2005, netting the company $10 million from the X-Prize. Others say it's suicide. posted by stbalbach at 8:21 PM PST - 4 comments
Japanese Sound Effects and what they mean. Spotted on Gen Kanai's blog: this rather comprehensive list of sound-effect words from manga - the Japanese equivalent of BAM! WAP!, OOF! (and possibly even D'OH!), but covering a wider range of social and emotional terrain. Lest you surmise that these are more or less arbitrary, I "tested" ten or so on my fiancee and found that she knew every single one. Aaaa! posted by adamgreenfield at 7:44 PM PST - 12 comments
Dolphin minesweeper returns from being AWOL Tacoma, the dolphin whose disappearance generated so much discussion last week (I take that back, 20-odd comments hardly counts as "much" on MeFi), was found safe and sound near Umm Qasr. Are military dolphins subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice? This at least calls for an Article 15. posted by TheFarSeid at 7:02 PM PST - 9 comments
Follow the pollen trail...
The recent volatility on the stock market has nothing on the TulipMania that swept Holland in 1637. They went so gaga over over the colorful heralds of spring that one blossom obsessed fella, for example, sold a brewery to buy a single bulb. It's become an example of what happens when we become economically overconfident. Myself, I'd rather deal in flowers than money, anyway. posted by moonbird at 3:56 PM PST - 13 comments
Be happy MeFi has better standards than this. No, I have no interest in submitting works to these folks, and if I had, I wouldn't bother. And not in fear of rejection, but in embarrassment of simply reading their submission guidlines that only the Soup Nazi could appreciate. Have any MeFites ever come across guidelines such as this? posted by bluedaniel at 3:52 PM PST - 42 comments
Howard Dean: You know he's the blogging Presidential candidate but did you know that he's also the Meetup candidate? Over ten thousand people met yesterday in coffee houses across the country to discuss this candidate's election possibility. Are we witnessing the first true Internet candidate here? Grass roots/netroots, something interesting is happening with this candidate. He's tied with Kerry in New Hampshire. posted by cjoh at 3:09 PM PST - 16 comments
This 'news'... it vibrates? Yes, more than six months after it appeared here on MeFi, New Scientist has just found out about the vibrating broom. I can feel my confidence in them dripping away... posted by twine42 at 2:55 PM PST - 6 comments
Arafat on our side? Other than this story (Guardian), I haven't seen much coverage of Yasser Arafat's behind the scenes efforts to protect Western journalists in Iraq. Possibly not the act of the evil man that he's often portrayed as? posted by daveg at 1:35 PM PST - 37 comments
Bosnia. Here's a news story which has received precisely no attention over the last few days. We should all be joyful that international justice, still in its infancy, helped along by this man amongst others, has led Milosevic to trial. posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:35 PM PST - 12 comments
So whatever happened to Journeys with George? As mentioned in this previous thread, the documentary aired on HBO last November. Unfortunately I didn't have HBO last november, and never got to see it. If you're in the area, Harvard University is screening it this weekend.
But what about the rest of us? I can find lots of reviews on the web, but no one seems to be selling it. Don't be fooled by imitations.
Any of you mefites seen it? Anyone else want to see it, but can't? Please disclose any relevant business relationships if you review the film in the comments. posted by zekinskia at 11:48 AM PST - 9 comments
Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam: The dramatic rescue of GI Jessica brings up the issue [preemptive post justification]. This article has a nice historical overview of women's role in the military, in the form of a time-travel dialogue between today's soldier and a Vietnam era grunt. posted by hairyeyeball at 11:46 AM PST - 22 comments
Operation Info-Scrub In another example of the administration's predilection for secrecy, President Bush recently signed an executive order to "delay the release of millions of historical documents for more than three years and make it easier to reclassify information considered damaging to national security," the Associated Press reported. The 25-page executive order was signed three weeks prior to an April 17 deadline which would have lifted the veil off millions of documents 25 years old or older. posted by Niahmas at 11:43 AM PST - 4 comments
Victor, The Budgie Who Could Talk Ryan Reynolds built an online shrine to his friend and pet bird Victor, a precociously chatty budgerigar with an extensive 800-word vocabulary. There are audio and video clips of Victor talking and a history of the bird and even budgie training tips. You may need to replay the audio a few times to get the gist of what Victor's saying, it takes a minute to get into his little budgie accent, but you will be amazed at what you hear (hope this is all true and not a farce). Reynolds has included subtitles with each of the audio and video clips. Sadly, Victor suddenly became very ill and died on March 2, 2001. (Warning:Every link off the main page pops up in a new browser window. It's annoying, but the site is worth the mild inconvenience.) posted by VelvetHellvis at 10:37 AM PST - 4 comments
Section VIII Double Standards in International Field of Human Rights
In retaliation to the annual report by the US state department critical of China’s current human rights record, China slings back with a report of its own, this time critical of the US for its human rights record.
Is this the superpower propagandist equivalent of schoolyard name calling, or does the Chinese report make some salient points, ones better left unsaid in the conquest of InternationalPax Americana posted by jazzkat11 at 10:23 AM PST - 13 comments
42 days to a Googlewash. The Register comes out all guns firing at the blogging community's apparent "redefinition" of a term, calling it Orwellian doublespeak. Is it true that a small coterie of A-list bloggers is able to change the way we (for we: read Google users) define a phrase? Or is there really something bigger going on? posted by cbrody at 7:10 AM PST - 65 comments
They may not have staples in their stomachs, but these monthly pictorials might have you wishing that there were more than 12 months in a year. Meet January's lovely Absinthe: mysterious, intoxicating, barely legal, and February's naughty Anthrax, who can only be described as dangerous and intimidating. Or perhaps you prefer spicy Myrrh, December's offering - exotic, refined, desirable. safe for work posted by iconomy at 5:30 AM PST - 16 comments
Is this World War IV, and is it for a just cause? Former CIA director James Woolsey says the U.S. is engaged in World War IV, to democratize the Arab world. It's not propaganda, but a reasoned argument that the U.S.'s long-term objective should be to give the people of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt the right to self rule. Self-congratulatory or visionary? posted by darren at 5:29 AM PST - 39 comments
Be Careful Out There: Your Etiquette May Be My NyetiquetteOh behave! We've all made faux pas, gaffes and complete asses of ourselves when dealing with foreign cultures. Travelling abroad isn't even necessary - a simple sushi meal is fertile ground for a vast panoply of unintended rudeness. While not even the most experienced traveller can insulate himself or herself completely from ocasionally shocking, disgusting or insulting his or her hosts, here is a little something worth keeping in your laptop. Some cultures are more difficult than others but I'll bet we all have our own embarrassing etiquette bloopers, right? posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:11 AM PST - 40 comments
The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head. "With its mind enhanced by Internet connective tissue, and international law as a venue to work with others for progressive action, the Second Superpower is starting to demonstrate its potential." Starry-eyed Wired-era cyber-bull? Or are bloggers and texters (plus peace activists) the vanguard of the revolution? Douglas Ruskhoff concurs. posted by theplayethic at 4:11 AM PST - 12 comments
'A colossal squid has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :-
giant squid attacks boat.
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid,
a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... ' The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid. posted by plep at 12:52 AM PST - 23 comments
Spring Forward, Fall Back... Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner. This Sunday at 2am to be exact, for Americans. This is just a friendly reminder. In Europe it's already happened. Time's weird. Humanity's been trying to figure it out since Stonehenge and we still have to reset our clocks twice a year. You think by now we'd have gotten it right. Even MetricTime would require regular fixin'. Why can't we just stop the madness? Or would that be even worse? posted by ZachsMind at 11:28 PM PST - 34 comments
A solid sense of identity. A small but interesting essay that is ostensibly about blogging, but instead really about the core problem of personal identity.
"Maintaining a successful blog requires a solid sense of identity.
...A blog's stickiness, or that quality that turns us into its regular readers -- comes not so much from the blog's informative value in content or through the network of links it provides as it comes from the blogger's authority... Teen blogs are boring because what permeates them mostly is a heightened sense of anxiety about one's place in the scheme of things. Having lost that sense of invincibility that comes from being a young adult, the over-forty is thrown in that same breath-choking cold current of doubts that he or she navigated as a teen. That is why a middle-aged woman's blog description of getting a haircut sounds the same as a teenage girl's account of the same event." posted by namespan at 5:07 PM PST - 14 comments
Meet Judd Arthur and Kristen Claire, two attractive singles with eerily similar design sensibilities who just need a date. Maybe their sites are so similar because this past February, Judd and Kristen apparently contracted their mutual friend Chris to register domains for them(in his name, for some reason) and he farmed designing it out to someone he knows in the design group at his job. To get the word out about their datelessness, flyers are being posted on bulleting boards in public places. Have you seen Judd or Kristen, and where? I'm curious how much they get around. I'm in Chicago. posted by Su at 4:27 PM PST - 22 comments
Naked is a gallery of sixteen regular people in various stages of undress (using an innovate flash interface). It has extensive interviews with the participants, talking about how they feel about their bodies and being nude in general. It's about as far from being erotic as possible (and rightly so), instead aiming to get viewers thinking about how they confront their own body image issues and how they feel about nudity. posted by mathowie at 4:22 PM PST - 45 comments
Aphorisms Galore! For some reason I've never really known what an aphorism is. Actually reading this article at Frieze, I'm not sure anyone really knows. It's supposed to be a memorable, light hearted or philosphical quote which gets the point across very quickly. But glancing through the examples, it seems to be a catch all term for anything. But people like to find labels for things which don't need labels. posted by feelinglistless at 3:09 PM PST - 21 comments
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is an accomplished man. Not only is he guiding the war in Iraq, he has been a pilot, a congressman, an ambassador, a businessman, and a civil servant. But few Americans know that he is also a poet. posted by misterioso at 3:08 PM PST - 15 comments
New White House policy: Drugs no longer cause terrorism. Well, not really, but the White House is officially pulling the plug on the Ogilvy & Mather "drugs cause terrorism" spots that have been the focus of previous debate here. Also of not in the article, the White House is ceasing the funding of an $8 million annual study that found the ads to be ineffective. That'll show 'em! posted by jonson at 2:10 PM PST - 11 comments
Cartoons! A significant percentage of late 80s British childhood available for download. Dangermouse! Bananaman! Sharky & George! Don't say I never link you anything good. posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:09 PM PST - 27 comments
This lengthy Los Angeles Times photo correction addresses the manipulation of a front page photo and the subsequent firing of its photographer. Working from two source photos, Brian Walski combined them in Photoshop to create a more compelling image, but was caught when someone noticed that some people appeared twice in the background of the modified photo. (via Fimoculous and others) posted by waxpancake at 9:20 AM PST - 34 comments
Warner removes peace symbol from What A Girl Wants ad. Terrified of the "political" content of a young lady flashing the peace symbol, Warner has removed it from their new ads. The movie, incidentally, was hardly agitprop. It was only a teen movie featuring a young lady goofing off on the poster. If this isn't overly cautious, then just how paranoid will movie studios and marketers get? posted by ed at 9:16 AM PST - 28 comments
My name is Rod and I can't handle Money."You see, I never open my bank statements, ever. My only point of contact with my bank is through the ATM next door to the estate agents in Warminster. Even here, I never knowingly press that button which tells you what your balance is, and if I press it by mistake I screw shut my eyes." This is me. Is it you? What's wrong with us? Chrometophobes unite. posted by grahamwell at 2:21 AM PST - 74 comments
Trouble in Blogistan has begun as stratfor has accused the owner of the agonist of plagiarism of news blurbs. This thread is his response along with comments by his readers. While Sean Paul seems to have done his best at sourcing on the fly, I am curious how my fellow mefiers feel about it. Are short news reports copyright protected? Could legal action truly result? How will this affect future blog projects? posted by SweetIceT at 12:15 AM PST - 23 comments
How Affirmative Action Helped George W. Bush...
President might ask himself, "Wait a minute. How did I get into Yale?" It wasn't because of any academic achievement, It wasn't because of his life experience— prosperous family, fancy prep school — George W. Bush, in fact, may be the most spectacular affirmative-action success story of all time... posted by bureaustyle at 11:51 PM PST - 50 comments
Political Fratricide: The GOP is reportedly [+] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here. posted by hairyeyeball at 11:38 PM PST - 12 comments
Superseding the mainstream media, or "quirky parasites"? Less of interest here than the IraqFilter context itself - which amounts to the question "Is blogging to Gulf II what TV was to Vietnam and cable was to Gulf I?" - is an established medium caught in the act of visibly sizing up this comer, this new kid on the block, this parvenu we know as "blogging."
Is it a valid new medium of reportage, fit to take its place alongside print and broadcast? Or is it merely parasitic, interstitial, even marginal? Inquiring minds want to know. (Note O'Donnell's hedges and his final & bizarrely misplaced condescension: "Maybe Allbritton will start a trend - bloggers no longer dependent on the mainstream for their material." WTF?) posted by adamgreenfield at 8:50 PM PST - 12 comments
Leslie Cheung has died. I have no idea how to express my grief, but I feel that this should be discussed here. Yet his death seems to go unmentioned. What could drive someone to do this, and how could the media ignore such a tragic event? posted by son_of_minya at 6:40 PM PST - 30 comments
One in three French backs Saddam Seems to me that it is one thing to be against the war in Iraq--Many Americans are--but quite another thing to root for Saddam to win over America. I had known relations between the U.S. and France had deteriorated. But this is mind boggling. posted by Postroad at 6:04 PM PST - 72 comments
The Lukhang Temple, or "Temple of the Serpent Spirits", sits on an island behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. On the top floor is a formerly secret chamber (now open to the public) which the Dalai Lamas used to retreat to for periods of deep meditation. The walls of the chamber are covered by a series of stunning wall paintings (Flash) which depict the esoteric practices of Tibet's Tantric tradition, a visual representation of the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment. Although there has been some damage to the temple and paintings, they escaped relatively unscathed from the Cultural Revolution. The current Dalai Lama, who was forced to leave Tibet before he was initiated into the practices depicted in the temple, describes it as one of the hidden jewels of Tibetan civilization. It is also the subject of Ian Baker's book, "The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple". posted by homunculus at 3:25 PM PST - 10 comments
An auction of books, paintings, and sculpture from the estate of seminal surrealist Andre Breton began today at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris. Some estimates place the value of the collection at over US$30 million. At lot of art lovers from all over the world don't think this is a very good idea. posted by MrBaliHai at 3:04 PM PST - 4 comments
Don't like the US? Then Leave! Somebody posted this to a newsgroup I read from time to time. Evidently, if you sign an agreement to leave the US for a year, you'll get a portion of what has been donated to the website (currently $53). posted by synecdoche at 9:46 AM PST - 38 comments
Based on Honda's Asimo robot, Carmax and Honda have developed a new version specifically for use in Carmax showrooms. The new version is much larger however - standing at roughly 44 feet tall. Because of its size, it is far less mobile but much more imposing. According to Thomas Folliard, V.P. of store operations; "We're already seeing an effect from the new Asimo sales force -- many potential shoppers are almost, to borrow a phrase, shocked and awed into buying a car.
I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom, but this sounds kinda dangerous. posted by mecran01 at 9:30 AM PST - 15 comments
I'd invite you round my house but it's so tiny we have to throw the cat out to open the oven door. So lets go round MrWong's house instead. A nice little (!) collaborative project to build a towerblock. I can't help feeling we need some MeFi floors... posted by twine42 at 3:11 AM PST - 8 comments
"General Rumsfeld" “This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.” posted by skallas at 12:36 AM PST - 11 comments