Current TV --Al Gore's new news channel, just launched. What began as an effort to challenge Rupert Murdoch and the right-wing domination of the corporate media has transformed into a business proposition to lure a youth audience with lofty rhetoric, new technology and pop-culture content, says The Nation. So, CNN for MTV viewers? or a real alternative voice? the status bar onscreen is just ridiculous, i already find. posted by amberglow at 9:52 PM PST - 41 comments
The opening sequence of an X-files episode, or real life? There is a lot of Strange News on the internet, but I particularly like ones that could be the beginning of an X-files episode, potentially only the tip of an even stranger iceberg, yet are reliable and well documented, with photographs of the mysterious blob, or x-rays of strange events that the person in question can't shed light on. As a kid I once played in snow that, much like this, soon turned out to be silk, and similarly read urban-legend-like news articles of a home suddenly plagued by thousands of large poisonous spiders, coming up from underneath it, stumping experts as well for the species was never known to be anything but solitary. I assume that frequently, the explanation is found but never makes the news, leaving the mystery unresolved to the rest of us. Many, like Monkey-man attackers, baby zombies and strange killer grasshoppers have a death toll or leave scars, directly or indirectly.
There are plenty of people trying to present themselves as real life x-files, but I'm more interested in well documented events which stand out as bizarre and creepy, without having any of that pushed upon them, and (with a bit of reckless imagination) hint at something bigger - preferably with photo goodness. You no doubt have links of your own. Why not share the better ones. (Or even make up a brief x-file-like mystery around a weird link, then post the link as if to show the story really happened :-) posted by -harlequin- at 9:41 PM PST - 14 comments
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, was a wet day for the city of Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay), to say the least. Within 12 hours, it rained more than half the average annual rainfall. Upwards of 400 people are believed to have died, with more in adjacent regions. In many regions, the water rose as high as five feet. All transportation links to the rest of India were severed. Within the city, many commuters who left work, for home, on Tuesday evening, didn't reach home till Wednesday night. There have been substantial financial and ecological damages. The state apparatus was caught offguard and proven unprepared; the police were nowhere to be found, and the meteorological department found wanting with their warnings. The rumour-mongering of an incoming tsunami or cyclone also didn't help, as 24 people died in the resulting stampede. Alas, just as one is relieved that the ordeal is over, it appears there's yet more to come. posted by Gyan at 5:57 PM PST - 16 comments
Guantanamo trials are rigged. So claims the Australian ABC (the Aussie version of the BBC) on its webpage this morning, basing its story on two e-mails leaked to it which express the concerns of two U.S. military lawyers who were involved in the preparations for these trials. While this revelation should worry anyone who believes in a concept of justice, the presumption of innocence and of course, the rule of law, this is of particular interest to Australians, given that our own David Hicks is due to face one of these 'commissions' within weeks. posted by Effigy2000 at 3:59 PM PST - 31 comments
Terry Pratchett isn't a happy muggle! In a letter to the Sunday Times, Pratchett's had a go at the media for 'the continued elevation of JK Rowling at the expense of other writers'. The letter appears to be in response to a Sunday Times article from last week (sorry, archived) and possibly this article in Time magazine.
I agree that JK has had significantly more press in the last few years than any other author. I'm a Pratchett fan, however, I suspect her success is down to a mix of good marketing and the simple truth that Harry Potter is (and don't shout at me), slightly less geeky and more accessible than the Discworld series. Although I wouldn't be too surprised if, eventually, the streets of Ankh Morpork are alive with “knights and ladies morris-dancing to Greensleeves"... posted by Nugget at 4:29 AM PST - 101 comments
Ganji, an Iranian journalist and writer, was arrested on April 22, 2000 following his participation in an academic and cultural conference held at the Heinrich Böll Institute in Berlin on April 7-9 entitled "Iran after the elections," at which political and social reform in Iran were publicly debated. He was sentenced on January 13, 2001 to 10 years imprisonment plus five years internal exile.
He is now on 50th day of hunger-strike, weighs 52kg, is unconscious much of the day, and may die soon.
[more inside] posted by lenny70 at 2:15 AM PST - 12 comments
Occasionally the folks at Snopes get asked to debunk some very unusual potential urban legends; questions so ridiculous you can only marvel at the motivation behind the asker's particular situation. Fortunately, they have collected and published the best of these questions online. found via posted by jonson at 11:28 PM PST - 39 comments
Atoning for World War II, 60 years later (and Japan should continue to do so) It's no news regarding Japan's role during WWII. However, unlike Germany, Japan has yet to fully apologize and repair strained relations in Asia.
However, it is complete crap that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer thinks that people should glaze over the atrocities in light of Japan's monetary donation. Let's not forget that the US benefitted from the medical experiments that were conducted by the Japanese and that in the fight against communism was willing to quickly establish an outpost and let bygones be bygones. posted by dkhong at 10:56 PM PST - 40 comments
"The explosion of suggestive images [in Chinese media and art] is partly a reflection of changes in Chinese society -- many sociologists say China is in the midst of a sweeping sexualrevolution -- and partly due to market reforms...The government has not given the press free rein to publish material with sexual themes, but the way censorship is carried out means that some media outlets can get away with quite a lot. Rather than issue top-down decrees, Beijing's censors primarily react to existing material, so websites, whose content is easily removable, and publications far from Beijing, which are less likely to attract censors' attention, can take more chances. Still, articles on topics such as 'China's Janet Jackson,' a TV star who has twice revealed a breast in public, and the incidence of erectile dysfunction among China's urban men are now common in the national media." posted by JPowers at 10:09 PM PST - 14 comments
Hour 25 Online is a science fiction radio station that's been broadcasting since 1972. They're available online now and have a very nice archive of interviews with science fiction authors and other luminaries. posted by substrate at 6:39 PM PST - 5 comments
A new planet has been found. The new planet, named 2003 UB313 is the farthest known object in the solar system, larger than pluto and a lousy tourist destination. Slacker Astronomy has an interview with co-discoverer Dr. Chad Trujillo. posted by mosch at 6:31 PM PST - 39 comments
Walter Miller's homepage Picked up recently via kottke.org, this is a years-old webpage (not updated recently) detailing the miserable details of poor Walter's white trash existence. It deserves to be read by a whole new generation. The art of misspelling is taken to new heights. posted by Holly at 2:37 PM PST - 11 comments
Coke. Guns. Booty. Beats.In the slums of Rio De Janeiro, drug lords armed with submachine guns have joined forces with DJs armed with massive sound systems and rude, raunchy singles. Welcome to the most exciting—and dangerous—underground club scene in the world. posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:18 PM PST - 23 comments
Coso Rock Art: "The Coso Rock Art District, a National Historic Landmark deep in the U.S. Navy's testing station at China Lake, contains one of America's most impressive petroglyphic and archeological complexes . . . . Coso rock art has become famous for its stylized representational symbolic system, a system that has intrigued—and baffled—archeologists and lay observers for decades." A guide to the rock art types here. See also A Guided Tour of Coso Rock Art and the Coso Gallery. posted by LarryC at 7:26 AM PST - 8 comments
The Sky At Night Every episode of the BBC science series made since the end of 2001 viewable online. Anything I know about the universe I learnt from Patrick Moore. posted by feelinglistless at 5:25 AM PST - 17 comments
British Adidas commercial (warning QT direct link) featuring soccer players on a field made only of the chalk outlines, floating in a void. I'm guessing this won't get shown in the U.S. due to the relative low profile soccer has here, but it's a great spot. More on the "making of" here. posted by jonson at 11:14 PM PST - 57 comments
Flaubert on Structural Unity. "I’ve just read 'Pickwick' by Dickens. Do you know it? Some bits are magnificent; but what a defective structure! All English writers are like that. Walter Scott apart, they lack composition. This is intolerable for us Latins". Extracts from the letters of Flaubert (via the very awesome book coolie) posted by matteo at 7:56 PM PST - 12 comments
"A generation ago, adult children visiting their parents' homes might have left with a Tupperware container of lasagna. Today, many of them stealthily make off with toiletries, groceries, sometimes clothing and even furniture. It is an apparently widespread practice, born of a sense of entitlement among young adults - and usually amusedly tolerated by parents - that gives new meaning to the phrase 'home shopping.'" Guilty as charged. posted by JPowers at 4:08 PM PST - 55 comments
Big Brother Nixes Happy HourNational Labor Relations Board Green Lights Ban on Off-Duty Fraternizing Among Co-Workers
It is a regular pastime for co-workers to chat during a coffee break, at a union hall, or over a beer about workplace issues, good grilling recipes, and celebrity gossip. Yet a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allows employers to ban off-duty fraternizing among co-workers, severely weakening the rights of free association and speech, and violating basic standards of privacy for America's workers. posted by jackspace at 3:34 PM PST - 50 comments
The American Islamic Leaders' "Fatwa" is Bogus "This morning a group of American Islamic leaders held a press conference to announce a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against “terrorism and extremism.” An organization called the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) issued the fatwa, and the Council on American - Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized the press conference, stating that several major U.S. Muslim groups endorsed the fatwa.
In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism.... " posted by Postroad at 3:28 PM PST - 57 comments
Hope and Memory, 1801 - 2004. "This is an archive of 163 US interventions, a multi-faceted catalogue of coups, humanitarian incursions, covert actions, proxy armies, freedom fighters/terrorists and multilateral offensives. Out of this legacy, a complex picture emerges." [Via wood s lot.] posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM PST - 18 comments
On Saturday, the legendary National Liquor Bar in Milwaukee will close.... And they want to tear it down so we get another Walgreens? What do we need another Walgreens for?"
This spoken on a recent afternoon over a $1.75 can of Beck's by Ken Labonty, who works at a tire shop on the north side. At 47, he said he has been coming to the tavern since 1976, "Except from September 1977 to 1983, when I was in prison," and the eight or so times he's been banished posted by Durwood at 5:48 AM PST - 32 comments
Electronic Paper looks pretty neat, although I'm skeptical they could produce it for less than traditional paper anytime soon. Such inventions could even be better for our environment in the long run, although it appears to boil down to personal preference when it comes to Paper vs. Plastic. posted by Guerilla at 5:01 PM PST - 16 comments
The Washington Nationals were one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the 2005 baseball season. On July 3, the team formerly known as the Expos had a 50-31 record.
Everybody in DC was feeling good, especially the Republicans. Not only did Washington have a baseball team for the first time in decades, but that surprisingly good baseball team also featured a home uniform that had a red cap with a "w" on the front. As a result, some Republicans eagerly adopted the cap as a symbol of their party and their president.
The second half of the Nationals' season has mirrored Bush's second term, however. Just like Bush has made missteps on Social Security and lost the battle to make his judicial nominees filibuster-proof, the second half of the Nationals season has been filled with miscues, too. After this afternoon's loss to the Braves, the Nationals have a 5-16 record over the past three weeks. Does this spell bad news for John Roberts? posted by hellx at 3:09 PM PST - 47 comments
What if we can't afford to save the world? An interesting debate between Sierra Club’s Carl Pope and the outspoken Bjørn Lomborg. (The “saving the world” bit might seem like hyperbole, but the really interesting question this debate sparks for me is this: Hypothetically, if it really came down to it, would anyone be willing to save the world for free? And if not, what does that imply about our values system and personal priorities? What does it say about the practical utility and limitations of monetary-based economic systems? posted by all-seeing eye dog at 11:14 AM PST - 55 comments
How not to clean a tank car. Apparently someone steam cleaned a railroad tank car and then having finished the job closed all the valves and hatches tightly. Physics then took over. posted by caddis at 8:53 AM PST - 93 comments
Show me DQ issue 3. I found this magazine just laying there on the web. You can flick through it at your own pace and look at the pretty bic-style illustrations. posted by dabitch at 8:04 AM PST - 33 comments
BBC Radio 2 -- Sold On Song The website for this show on BBC Radio 2 is pretty awesome; it's got a list of pages on various classic songs in their library (also sortable by artist), which includes song clips and (where available) clips from covers of the songs, taken from the same place -- check out the various It Must Be Loves (originally by Madness Labi Siffre) -- my favorite will always be the Madness one, but the Lyn Paul version is actually pretty cool. There's also some weird and awful covers available for the picking. I've just been spending about an hour or two picking through random songs and noting on which ones are as good as the original or ones that just fall soveryshort. (They've also got lots of other content, like the songwriting guide, but the real fun is in the song pages, reading about these great songs and listening to other people do their own cuts on them. [All links go to text; all sound files are in RealAudio.] posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 12:44 AM PST - 6 comments
The war in Iraq is now joining the South African War (1899-1902) and the Suez crisis in 1956 as ill-considered ventures that have done Britain more harm than good. It has demonstrably strengthened al-Qaeda by providing it with a large pool of activists and sympathisers across the Muslim world it did not possess before the invasion of 2003. The war that started out as a demonstration of US strength as the world's only superpower has turned into a demonstration of weakness. Its 135 000-strong army does not control much of Iraq. The suicide bombing campaign in Iraq is unique. Never before have so many fanatical young Muslims been willing to kill themselves trying to destroy those they see as their enemies. On a single day in Baghdad this month 12 bombers blew themselves up. There have been more than 500 suicide attacks in Iraq during the past year. It is this campaign that has now spread to Britain and Egypt... Iraq has descended into chaos way beyond West's worst-case scenario posted by y2karl at 11:36 PM PST - 61 comments
Places and spaces is an exhibit which aims to compare and contrast the first maps of our entire planet with the first maps of all of science as we know it. posted by dhruva at 10:21 PM PST - 5 comments
Upon the death of a possible BSE cow, "the unidentified doctor preserved the brain stem sample in formalin... but then 'simply forgot' about it until mid-July." That's the reason why we're only hearing about it now. Any questions? posted by soyjoy at 7:45 PM PST - 50 comments
"For every Deep Roy, there are a hundred and fifty of us who are forced to do wacked-out shit on 'The Man Show.' I'd like Tim Burton to tell me to my face what is the benefit of hiring one dwarf actor and computer-generating him when he could hire seven. We're standing at the gate and we're raising our hands and saying, 'Pick me!' And then Tim Burton comes out and says, 'I'm sorry, guys, go on home. We've got this machine that can do all your jobs.'" posted by JPowers at 7:26 PM PST - 43 comments
NSFW- Model vs. Photographer "First, I really thought that the shots would be funny. Second, it was about the only truly creative idea I had ever had. While I've often seen photographers do nude self portraits, I had never seen a male photographer try to adopt the same poses as his female models. Third, what better way to blunt the criticism that most nude art degrades women? I'm saying that I'm perfectly willing to do anything that I ask my models to do. And I really think that the more feminine the pose, the funnier the shots become." posted by nadawi at 7:14 PM PST - 73 comments
The Wapo first reported that a security researcher Michael Lynn of ISS had discovered a critical hole in Cisco routers, was ready to present his findings at Blackhat, and then suddenly bowed out. Some began to cry "cover-up", and Cisco denied the vulnerability. Then, dramatically, Lynn resigned from ISS and gave his presentation, saying "I'm probably about to be sued to oblivion. (But) the worst thing is to keep this stuff secret." posted by sohcahtoa at 6:05 PM PST - 12 comments
..I would like to convey the message that our system works.We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ...--U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing "Millennium Bomber", Ahmed Ressam.
With 60 Terror Plots foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked-- Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough? (a little more inside) posted by amberglow at 5:20 PM PST - 38 comments
Bizarre child support battle in Brooklyn A Brooklyn, New York man who stopped paying storage fees for his frozen sperm after divorcing his wife has filed suit against the sperm bank, his ex, and a notary public after learning she picked up the payments and used the sperm to get pregnant. Deon Francois, who now must pay child support, says he didn't want a child and never gave consent for the use of his sperm. posted by halekon at 9:55 AM PST - 110 comments
Walmart vs the free press again... other examples: the book mentioned in this thread is no longer available. This and that and the other thread too. Another point in a pattern of steadily increasing restriction of the press by this taxpayer funded mega -corp? Or simply a case of private enterprise making decisions in its own interest - nothing to see here, move along... posted by dorcas at 7:47 AM PST - 118 comments
Meet the Robocoaster - The Robocoaster is a variation on the robot arms which are used in factories to build cars. By adding seats, designers have turned a functional machine into the fastest, most unpredictable ride you'll ever take. It can be self programmed to travel in millions of movement combinations. No ride will ever be the same. Video (Flash) 1, 2 and 3. Via Beyond Tomorrow. posted by sjvilla79 at 5:26 AM PST - 36 comments
Catholic rebels with a cause Two days ago, on a boat on the St. Lawrence River, nine Catholic rebels did something in direct defiance of the Vatican and now face the real prospect of excommunication by the Inquisitor Cardinal Formerly Known as Ratzinger. What crime did they commit, you might ask? Were they participant in something blackhearted, vile and fully deserving of society's wrath, like, saychild abuse or pedophilia? Heck no. The white-haired guys at HQ in Rome will look the other way on that business. They might even reward duplicitous attempts to cover up that sort of thing. These malcontents did something much, much worse in the eyes of the Holy See, among others.
These are Catholic women, you see. And they had themselves ordained, some as priests and some as deacons.
If you've followed Ratzinger's career, you'll recall his response the last time this issue surfaced, so the conclusion to this saga is all-but-foregone.
In science's longstanding tradition of stating the obvious, Dartmouth has just released a study on drinking culture that confirms everything you already knew. I'm so keeping a copy of this and giving it to my brother when he goes to college so he can show the RA. WOOOOO! posted by saysthis at 8:21 PM PST - 20 comments
...One of the reasons truth seems so difficult to describe is that we have conflicting beliefs about it: we sometimes think it is discovered, sometimes created, sometimes knowable, sometimes mysterious. When we use the idea in ordinary life-as we do when we agree or disagree with what someone has said-it seems a simple matter. Yet the more we stop to think about it, the more complicated it becomes. It would be nice if we could sort out, once and for all, everything we thought about truth-to find out the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the truth, as it were. Nice, but practically impossible. The thesis of this book is much simpler. Of the many things you could believe about truth, there is at least one that you should believe: truth matters. Truth, I shall try to convince you, is of urgent importance in both your personal and political life.. 'True to Life' and 'Who Cares About the Truth?' are two excerpts from the first chapter of True To Life: Why Truth Matters by Michael P. Lynch, about whose philosophical thought was written Lynch's Metaphysical Pluralism and about whose book was just written The Truth Wars, believe it or not. posted by y2karl at 7:24 PM PST - 7 comments
BigStar, named after a Memphis grocery chain and arguably the most influential cult band in the pop pantheon (not to mention composers of "That '70s Show" theme song, as rendered by Cheap Trick), releases a new studio album on Rykodisc on Sept. 27. Fronted by the legendary Alex Chilton (yes, the same one) and Chris Bell (Jody Stephens and Andy Hummell rounded out the original lineup), Big Star reformed in 1993 with the Posies' Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, and have played live off and on since -- but this is the band's first release of new material since the dark, brooding Third/Sister Lovers in 1978. O my soul! Power pop fans rejoice! posted by scody at 6:25 PM PST - 40 comments
Meet: The Slingbox, "a compact and elegantly designed, state-of-the-art electronic device that connects to the back of your TV...[and] redirects, or 'placeshifts,' the TV signal from your cable box, satellite receiver, or digital video recorder...to your computer or laptop of choice, no matter your location." posted by JPowers at 5:46 PM PST - 28 comments
The best American hamburgers? The American Hamburger is one of those things that I truly miss about the US and one of those things that we Brits try to copy but, for some reason, just never seem to get right.
Forget the golden-arches, we need some proper hamburger joints serving up half-pound burgers, real milkshakes and endless refills... posted by Nugget at 1:59 PM PST - 119 comments
Droit de suite"Whenever I have met a dealer or a collector, they always seem wealthy; and whenever I have met an artist, they seem poor." -Chris Bryant, a British MP, during the discussion of a new law by which a living artists or their heirs for 70 years after their death will receive a cut of about 3 per cent whenever a piece is sold. Also here . posted by R. Mutt at 12:09 PM PST - 31 comments
Music Hurts is a new online music magazine that looks to examine the impact of music on society and culture. The articles cover topics such as band logos, female drummers, baile funk, Old Dirty Bastard (RIP!), Heavy Metal and Rap around the globe, and Iggy Pop. Lots of great stuff here, that is if you can get past the arty flash layout. Via OneLouder. posted by Quartermass at 10:51 PM PST - 7 comments
Real Ads of Genius. Horrible "beer", great commercials. Here they are, all the Bud Light Real Men of Genius and Real American Heroes radio spots on one site ready to laugh with on mp3. posted by tsarfan at 9:36 PM PST - 18 comments
A news release by the american institute of physics details the "unprecedented" bullying by republican senators of scientists studying climate change. The committee's letter asks for private and public sources of Mann's research funding, location of his data, computer codes, and his response to critical reviews of his work, including "Did you calculate the R2 statistic for the temperature reconstruction, particularly for the 15th Century proxy record calculations and what were the results?" The House web site has a collection of related materials and news articles. posted by about_time at 7:06 PM PST - 46 comments
"The biggest downside to the war in Iraq is what you could do with the money," he said. "What does the war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change... Polls say people are much more afraid of cancer than of a plane flying into their house or a bomb or any other form of terrorism. It is a priority for the American people." Does this sound like the next governor of Texas to you? posted by docgonzo at 1:01 PM PST - 108 comments
EMBO's report on Time and Aging (free access) contains an essay wherein the author, Karin Knorr Cetina, from the University of Konstanz, Germany, argues that death and aging used to be major issues that defined what it means to be human and helped us find our place in society by showing us the limits of what is possible to achieve as a human. With the advances in science, particularly biological advances in slowing aging and technological advances in extending human function, we no longer accept our fate. Instead of accepting that we all grow old and die so we should take our place in society, with the expectation that if we contribute, society will take care of us, too, we now have promises being made by science that death and aging are no longer inevitable. Where are we headed, then? If we can no longer find our place by finding the limits of achievement and accepting our place within them, how do we work as a collective? posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:42 AM PST - 15 comments
Originally rejecting a ghetto-tag of 'gay writer', John Rechy's early work describes aspects of US gay subculture, pre-Stonewall, and pre-HIV, that was necessarily a closed book to outsiders at that point in time
The Suicide Bridge.Sitting in the sun, waiting for her ride, Babcock recounts the story of one Thanksgiving. As she placed the turkey on the dinner table, she heard the sirens. Before she could stop him, her teenage son, Larry, ran outside to find the body. When he returned, he refused to eat. "The guy's head was splattered all over the place," she says. "It was a younger fella that had jumped off the bridge. It shook us all up -- someone that young. He was only 20 or 21." The All America Bridge in Akron, Ohio is built over a lower-class neighborhood; unfortunately, it's also a popular suicide spot. Often times bodies will land in people's yards, in business' parking-lots, and even through the roof of a building. A sad, disturbing article about people who have grown used to the sight of people dying on their property. posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:54 PM PST - 29 comments
Are your co-workers single? Are you bored? How about surprising them a billboard and a website? Thats what happened to Lance. But is this really so altruistic? Or just a clever way of getting publicity for a company that needs employees?
Morgan Lynch, co-worker and CEO of LogoWorks:
I knew the first time I met with Lance that I wanted to hire him, but that he'd be the only person on our marketing team without a significant other. I thought, What can I do to help Lance find true love? Out of our concern grew DateLance.com. We hope it helps him out. If you think Lance sounds cool, but you rather work with him than date him, click here to see what positions we've got available. Maybe you'll get your own billboard someday.
Noelle Bates, co-worker and Director of Corporate Communicatons, LogoWorks:
I didn't meet my husband until I was 30, so I know how hard it is to walk in Lance's shoes. I also know that when we conceptualized DateLance as a team, I was so glad I was married. Lance is the greatest guy and deserves to end up with someone as stellar as he is. He's the kind of guy that you'd want to set up with your sister, and the kind of guy who won't kill you when he sees a billboard like this for the first time. posted by zia at 9:48 PM PST - 21 comments
Forget love letters, it's love texts that are all the rage now! "I turned off the phone, dumbfounded. How had we managed to speed through all the stages of an actual relationship almost solely via text message? I'd gone from butterflies to doubt to anger at his name on the screen, before we even knew each other. That was it, I decided: no more text-message flirtations for me. From now on I'd stick to more old-fashioned ways of getting to know a guy. Like e-mail." posted by JPowers at 3:21 PM PST - 23 comments
Does concert music have a place in our digital future? These musicians are making a strong case in the affirmative-- Aphex Twin at Lincoln Center? Listen to samples here (I particularly like this one), and a whole track here.
Concert music (live music, composed mostly in advance, played mainly on acoustic instruments) has had a hard time this past century, adjusting to all of the paradigm shifts that technology has brought, from player pianos all the way to iPods. Classically trained musicians are branching out in some divergent, clever ways….A few interesting examples can be heard here, and here (from this album), and here (I especially like this one). posted by LooseFilter at 2:04 PM PST - 22 comments
BloglashBlogger: Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives. Possibly the most annoying thing about bloggers is the sense of self-importance they get after even the most modest of publicity..." and so it goes. Might bruise a few egos, but it is a very funny bit of ranting - with a few home truths. posted by rhymer at 12:21 PM PST - 60 comments
Virtual Earth from MSN While I'm familiar with Google Maps it was fun again to play around with Microsoft's response that was just released. In summary, allows you to pan/zoom around the US, and with a click of a button, see aerial/satellite imagery. This stuff is just soooo cool! ;-) posted by RonZ at 11:11 PM PST - 46 comments
Faulkneresque White House.Down the hall, under the chandelier, I could see them talking. They were walking toward me and Dick s face was white, and he stopped and gave a piece of paper to Rummy, and Rummy looked at the piece of paper and shook his head. He gave the paper back to Dick and Dick shook his head. They disappeared and then they were standing right next to me. Hemispheres Magazine's Faulkner Parody Contest (Hemingway too) via RobotWisdom posted by publius at 5:48 PM PST - 5 comments
The new game is exactly like the old game, if a little easier in that there's only eight things to place instead of twelve. But there's a weird RPG sequence afterwards, beyond your control, where the fate of a little demon-slaying dude is influenced by your planet's configuration. posted by JHarris at 3:00 PM PST - 31 comments
"Israeli technology firm Blue Security has set up a scheme to batter spam websites with thousands of complaints. The plan is to fill order forms...offering pills, porn and penile health tonics with complaints about the products advertised for sale in junk messages." I signed up. posted by JPowers at 12:01 PM PST - 27 comments
Yahoo provided "evidence" to prosecute Shi Tao QUOTE
(June 30, 2005)In the court statement againt Shi Tao on June 2nd, the second evidence was provided by Yahoo.
The Statement said:
User information provided by Yahoo(HK) shows that the IP 18.104.22.168 (active at 23:32:17 on April 20, 2004) is used by: Tel.:0731-4376362, user's company is....., user's address is.... (boxun.com)
This is the first case that shows publicly that Yahoo helps China government to prosecute an Internet user - journalist.
END QUOTE posted by hank at 11:14 AM PST - 25 comments
Testimony of former CIA case officer James Marcinkowski on the Plame Affair, via David Corn. Now that the US government has exposed a CIA case officer and endangered her contacts, it will be much more difficult for CIA officers to recruit informants in the future. Any undercover officer, whether in the police department or the CIA, will tell you that the major concern of their informant or agent is their personal safety and that of their family. Cover is safety. If you cannot guarantee that safety in some form or other, the person will not work for you and the source of important information will be lost. ... What has suffered perhaps irreversible damage is the credibility of our case officers when they try to convince our overseas contact that their safety is of primary importance to us. posted by russilwvong at 7:20 PM PST - 79 comments
To witness the decline of the Enlightenment in American culture, one could do worse than to begin by examining the case of Jane C. Rider, the "Springfield Somnambulist."
With the decline of the Enlightenment rose the pseudo-science of mesmerism, both as a way to cure the mentally ill and as a stage attraction. Given the submissive nature of mesmerism, it occasionally led to abuses, both real and imagined. [more inside] posted by strikhedonia at 6:02 PM PST - 4 comments
Today was the day the government was supposed to process and redact photographs and videos relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners held abroad. Raising new arguments on the eve of its deadline, the United States government refused to release the materials to the public.
Steuard Jensen for Prom King! Three nerds get the resident high school science geek on the ballot for Prom King, and...well, you'll have to read the story to get the answer. Like in fiction, sometimes in real life the protagonist/hero comes from the most unexpected position. posted by Kickstart70 at 4:15 PM PST - 14 comments
"New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico" This isn't the first time that Urban Outfitters has crossed the line of good taste. Two years ago, [Urban Outfitters] stopped selling a game called "Ghettopoly" after protests by black civil rights leaders. Last year, it halted sales of a T-shirt that read "Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl," surrounded by dollar signs, after the Anti-Defamation League objected.
As could be expected, not everone finds this stuff funny. posted by billysumday at 4:09 PM PST - 46 comments
IRAQ DRAFT BILL OF RIGHTS LEAKED IN ENGLISH The al-Mada newspaper on June 30 published what is apparently a draft version of the equivalent to the Bill Of Rights that is being worked on by a subcommittee in the Iraqi legislature. Omar from Iraq The Model first reported this on that day and provided his commentary on the document, but ultimately it was too large to translate. Nathan J. Brown of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provides a valuable public service by translating the entire document, so a big hat tip to him. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features of this bill, as it is very promising although there are some provisions that need much deeper looking into (and others not so much). Nathan also makes thorough observations. You can read it in full here. posted by Postroad at 3:59 PM PST - 14 comments
He was the patriarch of the British Invasion. In 1962, he released Britain's first blues album. Before they hit it big, the Rolling Stones opened for him. He was on the Beatles first television special. Later, he was in the memorably-named band The Hoochie Coochie Men with Rod Stewart on lead vocals. His next band, Bluesology, featured one Reginald Dwight, who later changed his name to honour his mentor. Moving to Canada in the 1970s he eventually settled in Vancouver, where he died today after suffering from a chest infection. Ladies and gentlemen: "Long John" Baldry has passed. posted by docgonzo at 3:21 PM PST - 9 comments
Mei Wah: Eating in ChineseSo I started to learn some Chinese. I never did learn much. I still can't read a newspaper in Chinese, nor a non-food-related sign, nor hold a conversation in it. But I can read a menu in Chinese. And here I'm going to attempt to show you how to do it too. [via LII More New This Week] posted by mlis at 3:11 PM PST - 18 comments
Oh great merciful heavens! Who, oh who, will protect the dear children from the rampant sexual content that lies buried in... The Sims 2? According to Miami attorney Jack Thompson, it's worse than the now-infamous Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that Hillary Clinton has made such a fuss about.
His claim is that behind the pixellated screen placed by the game in front of nude characters is full, anatomically-correct, genital detail, and a cheat code can remove that easily. Electronic Arts maintains that behind the screen is only Ken-And-Barbie smoothness. (Should be easy enough to check out, anyone?) posted by JHarris at 2:18 PM PST - 77 comments
There are a very few stories here and there online, but nothing in the American press about this development. You have to know the story exists to find out anything about it. Which is more disturbing, that the US military is on the verge of establishing a new foothold in another sovereign nation or that the US media is not reporting it at all?
I really can't decide what I think about this. posted by elgoose at 1:21 PM PST - 3 comments
What turns you on?On September 1, a new [Texas] law will go into effect that aims to better label the most dangerous sex offenders, and the method is unconventional, to say the least... (Link goes to a news article; it's SFW) posted by tippiedog at 1:09 PM PST - 72 comments
The Very Best Kind of Coupon (Ananova) A brothel took a full page ad out in a German magazine with a coupon offering a half hour of free sex with a lady of the bearer's choice. Not surprisingly, the issue of the mag sold out in a single day. posted by fenriq at 11:47 AM PST - 18 comments
The Sound of a Distant Rumble: Using monitoring devices originally intended to pick up the sound of nuke launches, researchers track the underwater noise generated by the December 26 (tsunami) earthquake.
Eerie audio file of the slowly-building roar is included on the page. (More info here as well) posted by numlok at 10:07 AM PST - 9 comments
Man shot 5 times in London. Around 10am, suspected suicide bomber runs into a tube station and is shot and killed at close range by plain-clothes police officers. News still developing, high risk of further incidents. posted by Acey at 3:45 AM PST - 247 comments
Iran executes two teenagers. Their crime? Making love. Homosexuality is a crime under Sharia law. Meanwhile, newly "liberated" Iraq moves closer to embedding traditional Islamic laws in its new constitution, reducing rights for women. Will Iraqi gays be the next to suffer the wrath of "Allah's law" after years of secular oppression under Saddam Hussein? posted by digaman at 12:34 PM PST - 109 comments
China ends (sort of) Yuan dollar peg. The People's Bank of China announced that it has formally ended its peg of the Yuan against the US dollar. Instead, it will be fixed within a narrow band against a basket of currencies
(PBC statement here). Interestingly, the PBC declined to provide details of this new scheme, including which currencies are in the new basket. A slow move away from being tied to the pathological US economy? What are the implications for the US's ability to maintain enormous trade and budget deficits? Already, this has relaxed the pressure on other Asian economies to keep their currencies low (by buying US dollars and securities). Congressmen may have been raging against "unfair Chinese trading practices", but we may yet get nostalgic for the days when the world financed the US's prolifigate ways. posted by bumpkin at 6:37 AM PST - 64 comments
Strange Curiosity The island seems to be Mexico's largest. Shows up on Google satellite but not on the map. Google Earth yields a few placenames, leading to finding the true name of the island: "Isla Tiburon" presently an ecological reserve with the nickname "Shark Island". Aside from surrounding shark tours and an occasional visit by kayak, it seems this place is lonely and untouched. posted by thisisdrew at 8:11 PM PST - 19 comments
Lucky Baby (CNN): Not only did this baby survive a collapsed building because her Mountain Buggy stroller protected her, but it was the same type of stroller that was recalled by the CPSC on the same day. Coincidence? posted by CG at 6:40 PM PST - 30 comments
Joel Osteen's new Lakewood Church in Texas recently became the first in the U.S. to average more than 30K worshippers a week. This is the kind of news that gives many lefties with a fear the god-fearing the heebie-jeebies. But then, on closer inspection, the brand of Christianity Osteen is offering, if shallow, also seems rather mild: a kind of dim-witted boosterism simply designed to get you through the week. He has been called "prosperity gospel's coverboy," and been viciously attacked for it on Larry King. What to make of this new capitalist mutatation in Christianity? posted by Hobbacocka at 5:30 PM PST - 40 comments
"In my meetings with Judge Roberts, I have been deeply impressed. He's a man of extraordinary accomplishment and ability. He has a good heart. He has the qualities Americans expect in a judge: experience, wisdom, fairness, and civility. He has profound respect for the rule of law and for the liberties guaranteed to every citizen. He will strictly apply the Constitution and laws, not legislate from the bench....He's also a man of character who loves his country and his family."
What it meant to conservative fundamentalist Christians (in comments): posted by rzklkng at 11:55 AM PST - 72 comments
Oh my (nasty and bizarre but not graphic or pornagraphic, in that it isn't intended to stimulate... or isit?)
A male dolphin could snap your neck in an accidental thrust, and that would be the end of that relationship. posted by Phantast at 11:12 AM PST - 63 comments
The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf' On the day after a survey finds upwards of 25,000 civilian deaths in the Iraq War; and days after the War on Terror arrived on British shores, amidst the inevitable "how did we get here?" navel-gazing, Manic of the Bloggerheads weblog re-writes a popularfable. The continued invocation of the spectres of terrorism and the ghost of 9/11, he argues, slowly erodes the liberties and freedoms of hundreds of years, while fighting a war against an unconventional enemy beyond our borders does not necessarily guarantee security. posted by scaryduck at 6:30 AM PST - 11 comments
In this graduate seminar we will investigate the world -- the "Jossverse" or "Whedonverse" -- of Joss Whedon (1964- ), third generation television writer (both his father and grandfather wrote for the medium), creator of three television series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly), script doctor for a variety of films (including Speed, Toy Story, Alien Resurrection), and comic book author (Fray, Astounding X-Men). posted by BackwardsCity at 10:58 PM PST - 26 comments
Estimated civilian casualties in Iraq: 25,000. A new study by the Oxford Research Group and Iraq Body Count estimates that 1 in 1000 Iraqis have been killed since the US invasion began. They further estimate that 37 percent of these deaths were caused by coalition forces, and 9 percent were killed by the insurgents. Estimated civilian wounded: 42,500. Over 1700 US troops have also died, and over 18,000 have been injured. posted by digaman at 7:28 PM PST - 39 comments
The Air Car. A car that runs on compressed air. While not a new idea, or unique, the MDI car can reach a speed of 68 mph and has a claimed range of roughly 124 miles. To recharge the tank, the car reportedly needs to be plugged into the grid for 3 to 4 hours or attached to an air pump in a gas station for only 2 minutes.
Is the wind of the future about to break? Will this technology pass gas as our urban fuel of choice? posted by Floydd at 3:25 PM PST - 46 comments
"Square America is a site dedicated to preserving and displaying vintage snapshots from the first 3/4s of the 20th Century. Not only do these photographs contain a wealth of primary source information on how life was lived they also constitute a shadow history of photography, one too often ignored by museums and art galleries." via posted by peacay at 2:21 PM PST - 21 comments
So help me Allah The Koran is not Holy Scripture, according to a North Carolina judge, who says a Muslim can't swear to tell the truth on it, citing a 1777 law. posted by teaperson at 1:19 PM PST - 88 comments
There are two central problems in today's Iraq: the first is the insurgency and the second is an Iranian takeover. The insurgency, for all its violence, is a finite problem. The insurgents may not be defeated but they cannot win. This, of course, raises a question about what a prolonged US military presence in Iraq can accomplish, since there is no military solution to the problem of Sunni Arab rejection of Shiite rule, which is now integral to the insurgency. Iraq's Shiites endured decades of brutal repression, to which the United States was mostly indifferent. Iran, by contrast, was a good friend and committed supporter of the Shiites. By bringing freedom to Iraq, the Bush administration has allowed Iraq's Shiites to vote for pro-Iranian religious parties that seek to create--and are creating--an Islamic state. This is not ideal but it is the result of a democratic process. Iraq: Bush's Islamic Republic posted by y2karl at 9:24 AM PST - 46 comments
US Army re-enlistments are exceeding goals. Amid earlier stories of how the Army (and the Marine Corps) are struggling to enlist enough new troops, here's a surprise -- thanks largely to bonuses, a lot people who are in are electing to stay in. (Found via the blog of an editor of my hometown paper.) posted by alumshubby at 6:07 AM PST - 43 comments
ALL historical evils stem from the failure to accept and be governed by the law of electro-temporal-time compensation.
They altered the Sphinx to conceal the truth about the law of electro-temporal-time compensation. the Club of Rome and their accomplices, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, are systematically suppressing knowledge of the SECRET of Nature’s law of electro-atomic inequality.
the UNIVERSAL HARMONIC CONSTANT is 7.2304852305381. only from this value can one calculate the TRUE ORBITS OF THE PLANETS.
End wars, sexual frustration, etc. — adopt Holy Spirit field science now!
Fun with randomosity, via Del.icio.us/popular. posted by Edible Energy at 7:43 PM PST - 15 comments
Bassline Bassline. Rock has its electric guitar, hip-hop has its turntable/mic, and electronic music has its Roland TB-303. One of the few single instruments that can claim to define the entire genre, its history is an interesting one: "Bassline Baseline is a video essay that investigates the invention, failure and subsequent resurrection of the mythic Roland TB-303 Bass Line music machine in the last two decades of the 20th century." posted by afx114 at 5:04 PM PST - 24 comments
When keyboard warriors collide. "The gallantry with which you both seem willing to place your bodies at the disposal of each other over your differences of opinion is a rare occurrence these days. It seems to me that you are in need of a disinterested third party to mediate the discrepancies in your expectations."
Evil Empire Buys Benign Annoyance Rupert Murdoch's Intermix Media is buying MySpace for half a billion dollars. I can barely conceal my excitement. Did I tell you Eliot Spitzer has already fined them for secretly installing spyware? Thanks, Tom. posted by trinarian at 2:37 PM PST - 50 comments
The Watchful Investor "Bringing you the underreported, the underappreciated, and the overlooked news from the markets."
Jim Waddell created this frequently updated journal providing economic news and commentary, as well as a newsletter which gives more detailed coverage of specific market events and issues. Accessible and interesting, yet not dumbed down. posted by knave at 1:50 PM PST - 9 comments
Pillion passenger to the United States. London based think tank Chatham House and the Economic & Social Research Council have issued a report concluding that there is "no doubt" that the invasion of Iraq has imposed difficulties for the UK and that that the UK is at "particular risk" because it is the closest ally of the US and has closely supported the deployment of British troops in the U.S. led military campaigns. A key problem for the UK in preventing terrorism in Britain is the government’s position as "pillion passenger" to the United States' war on terror. Formulating counter-terrorism policy in this way has left the "ally in the driving seat" to do the steering. Senior UK cabinet ministers are in denial. posted by three blind mice at 9:23 AM PST - 73 comments
"400 Days and Out: A Strategy for Resolving the Iraq Impasse" is a proposal for US troop withdrawal by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives think-tank. "The key to enabling total US troop withdrawal from Iraq within 400 days is achieving a political accord with Sunni leaders at all levels and with Iraq's neighbors - especially Syria and Iran. The proximal aim would be to immediately lower the level of conflict inside Iraq by constricting both active and passive support for the insurgency, inside and outside the country." It follows up on another briefing authored by Conetta in May entitled "Vicious Circle" discussed previously. posted by jenleigh at 9:12 AM PST - 26 comments
Broadly speaking, the brief includes the claims that in prizing persons, we prize a complement of emotion; that in prizing moral perception, we prize the emotional dispositions that make it possible; that in cultivating character, we cultivate virtues but also emotional sensibilities. Wisdom in Love aims to show that passions, love and concern, in particular, ground the substance of a worthy life and, perforce, a life of wisdom. A loving attachment, appropriately fixed and cultivated, underlies felt-significance. This makes the goods that animate a life matter. Conversely, a love that's misaligned or stunted brings on personal deterioration and despair. Right action and reasonable belief presuppose apt emotional attunement to the world and others, as well as appropriately responsive character that is rooted in emotional dispositions and operative in moral perception. This gives a philosophical frame equipped to separate false, sentimental, inept, or frozen emotions from more worthy ones, tied deep into worthy roots. Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity reviewed. On a related topic, Peter D. Kramer, author of Against Depression ponders "So, Dr. Kramer, what would have happened if Kierkegaard had taken Prozac?" See also Philosophy And Depression by Tim Ruggiero Also by Richard Anthony Furtak, a translation of a poem by Rainier Maria Rilke--Sonnets to Orpheus, 1.2 mostly via Online Papers In Philosophy posted by y2karl at 9:12 AM PST - 38 comments
Google buys Zazzle "Google, the online search giant, have invested $16 million in Menlo Park, California based, online marketplace company called Zazzle. Just two years old, the web based, Amazon/Dell-type store is where people buy and sell customized T-shirts, stamps, posters prints and other gifts and artwork." posted by webmeta at 9:11 AM PST - 24 comments
The Straight Dope. The indispensable resource for almost any question, and despite resolving arguments in many threads, it has never been featured in the Blue on its own. So, some of the best from the last 30-odd years: Can hair turn white from fright? How do airplanes really fly? What was Barney Rubble's job in the Flintstones? If spaghetti is Italian, why is it sold by Franco-American? After the zombies take over how long until the electricity fails (A personal favorite)? What is the origin of the tooth fairy? And, of course, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck? And ever so many more. posted by blahblahblah at 8:32 AM PST - 32 comments
Blogger gets fired. An NYC nanny was fired because of her blog. The twist? she worked for an Helaine Olen, an NY times style-section writer who wrote an article that started like this "OUR former nanny, ... liked to touch her breasts while reading The New Yorker ... She took sleeping pills, joked about offbeat erotic fantasies involving Tucker Carlson and determined she'd had more female sexual partners than her boyfriend."
The nanny, saving money to get a PhD in english, chose to respond posted by delmoi at 3:28 PM PST - 210 comments
The Omkara Project "..the word Omkara meaning - ' the vehicle to cross the ocean of life ' Crossing this ocean is the journey that the mortal being must undertake in a lifetime and henceforth encounter the three basic elements of mortality - creation, preservation and destruction." posted by dhruva at 4:23 AM PST - 8 comments
"At this moment, I am proud to be a citizen of a country that has done more than most to help the US get rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. And I think that it would do other Europeans some good to think again about what their countries have achieved, if anything, to try to stem the tide of dictatorships and terrorism around the world. They should wonder whether they are really asking themselves the hard questions. Or whether they are shrugging their shoulders and blaming America because that is what they have been brought up to do." A thoughtful & conflicted post from the anti-war Englishman in New York reflecting on the London bombings. posted by dhoyt at 4:31 PM PST - 119 comments
False Terrorist Organizations. Berkeley law prof. John Yoo has championed the War on Terrorism before in the now famous Yoo/Delahunty/Philbin Memos to the White House on the Geneva Convention. But the recent attacks in London, and the ever growing death toll in Iraq, are driving Yoo to push the envelope even further in search for a solution. He is now proposing that the US create a false terrorist organization. "It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes..."-- But is it wise to compete with terrorists? What if they are more competitive than we are? posted by derangedlarid at 3:13 PM PST - 31 comments
Coming Apocalypse? In a forthcoming book by Paul L. Williams, Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime, And the Coming Apocalypse, Williams alleges that al Qaeda has managed to obtain nuclear weapons from Russia and has already smuggled the WMDs across the Mexican border and into the U.S. posted by j-urb at 11:30 AM PST - 85 comments
Curios Things---Un blog comic in inglese e l'italiano per gli amanti di tutto il goonish di cose, sconosciuto, dispari, bizzarro e più perculier.
WarpArt---The Collage Art of Peter Lewis. posted by onkelchrispy at 10:52 AM PST - 3 comments
Since the US is the systemic centre of the global capitalist system, the shift to militarism is having global effects, some obvious, some insidious... While the US is the leading state in the international system, it is ensnared in webs of dependence of its own making: US patterns of consumption and living standards, while helping to maintain Asian economic activity, require the absorption of ever larger volumes of world savings, currently 80%. Over time this will prove unsustainable... Since there is no transnational political authority to halt or reverse the disintegrative trend, we are sliding towards disorder. United States: the slide to disorder Also by Philip S. Golub: United States: inventing demons & My country, ’tis of thee posted by y2karl at 8:15 PM PST - 28 comments
She went on: The evidence collated in this tribunal should [...] be used by the International Criminal Court (whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize) to try as war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvio Berlusconi, and all those government officials, army generals, and corporate CEOs who participated in this war and now profit from it. posted by UbuRoivas at 5:53 PM PST - 61 comments
H2O Playlist: a series of links to books, articles, and other materials that collectively explore an idea or set the stage for a course, discussion, or current event. With tags, rss and other good stuff. And this time the color scheme is quite nice. posted by signal at 2:44 PM PST - 6 comments
- Sr. Developer: Developed a program [for Goddard Technologies] that uses the "No-Fly List" Excel spreadsheet, provided by the FAA and the database of badged employees to permute the name combinations. It takes into consideration multiple first and middle names, with Soundex and the various "initial" combinations. This program reduced the time for comparison from 3 days to 10 minutes.
D.C. Circuit: Military Tribunals Just Fine, Thanks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously rejected an appeal by an Afghan who is being detained by the military to the tribunals established by the President's Court order in 2001. The decision reversed a federal trial court ruling that the tribunals violated the Geneva Convention. posted by esquire at 11:19 AM PST - 67 comments
Borf is dead. The masked mystery whose ubiquitious graffiti hasconfused Washington for months is revealed to be an 18-year-old anarchist. He had a good run, though, getting his work on dozens of locations in D.C., then going on tour through Raleigh, New York and San Francisco, inspiring an internet following in the process. And while his work wasn't brilliant enough to match the romantic counterculture image he tried to create, there's a truly sad story behind his pseudonym and icon: both belong to a friend who committed suicide two years ago. Of course, that's unlikely to arouse the sympathy of the various city officials spending (I would assume) hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove his work. posted by gsteff at 1:14 AM PST - 62 comments
Not torture.U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and regularly subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into
FBI accounts of abuse of Guantanamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded that the man was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment" due to "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations." The techniques used were authorized by the
Pentagon, he said.
"As the bottom line, though, we found no torture. Detention and interrogation operations were safe, secure and humane," Schmidt said.
. . .
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, himself abused by the North Vietnamese as a Vietnam War POW, noted, "Humane treatment might be in the eye of the beholder."The report. posted by caddis at 6:08 PM PST - 89 comments
'It is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm" of the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
In a brief interview with the Boston Globe on Tuesday, Santorum reiterated his view that the 'basic liberal attitude" in Boston fostered an environment where sexual abuse of children could occur. Many slammed him for politicizing a scandal that has touched many across the country - way beyond the borders of Massachusetts.
Ummm...WTF? It appears to be real, even if all the news outlets seem to have cookie-cutter stories. (Although wiccan sites appear to be tracking it too.) I'm well aware that there are practicing witches all over the world, but vampires are usually just an item of historical lore or science-fiction/fantasy. How often do stories like this really happen? (via) posted by mystyk at 1:56 PM PST - 18 comments
Loch Ness Tooth • "In March (2005) my roommate and I went to the U.K and spent our last two days at Loch Ness. The boat rental season hadn’t started so we hired a local who took us on a private boat tour. After a few hours we came across the remains of a dead deer. The animal had literally been ripped in half - hind quarters gone, its spine was broken and severed. There were huge bloody gashes, teeth marks and a bizarre bony protrusion sticking out of an exposed rib. It was a tooth - about 4 inches long, barbed and very sharp!" posted by dhoyt at 11:33 AM PST - 50 comments
Debating A Neocon, etc. "Editors’ note: The following exchange is significant for its discussion of how the world order functions today. Particularly interesting is the debate over the significance of neoconservative ideology within the ruling class and whether such a thing as 'Islamic fascism' exists." posted by davy at 2:04 PM PST - 23 comments
Free Beer! ...but free as in "Open Source Beer", mind you. Students from Copenhagen's IT-University have produced and released a powerful beer recipe under a Creative Commons license. Microbrewers, start your machines... posted by betobeto at 10:21 PM PST - 31 comments
'The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign—over 95 percent of all the incidents—has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.' The Logic of Suicide Terrorism The American Conservative interviews Robert Pape, author of Dying To Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism: posted by y2karl at 12:14 PM PST - 134 comments
Blackhat Search Engine Optimization Techniques. Through the use of a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint, you can have competing web sites thrown out of Yahoo's search index. If you file a DMCA report against a site, Yahoo will quickly remove the "offending" site, leaving no trace of the site in its index. This has led to a rise in so-called "Blackhat SEO," wherein one seeks to become the leading search result not by improving one's own site, but by having competing sites removed through the DMCA. posted by nlindstrom at 11:54 AM PST - 15 comments
Che Guevara: The Killing Machine Che's lust for power had other ways of expressing itself besides murder. The contradiction between his passion for travel--a protest of sorts against the of the nation-state--and his impulse to become himself an enslaving state over others is poignant. In writing about Pedro Valdivia, the conquistador of Chile, Guevara reflected: "He belonged to that special class of men the species produces every so often, in whom a craving for limitless power is so extreme that any suffering to achieve it seems natural." He might have been describing himself. posted by highsignal at 10:52 AM PST - 82 comments
"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?"Tokyo Rose was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.
Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies and documentaries, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts online and apparently even email her. posted by gottabefunky at 10:07 AM PST - 10 comments
You thought the US had all the frivolous lawsuits? You thought that Russian astrologer had the "stupidest lawsuit ever" award all sewn up? Think again. French bus service Transports Schiocchet Excursions is suing a group of ten women who carpool to work every day, alleging unfair competition with their bus line. Among TSE's demands: confiscation of the defendants' cars. Groklaw has more, including excerpts from an interview in French which tosses around the delicious term "covoiturage". posted by ubernostrum at 7:54 AM PST - 41 comments
It sounds a lot like science fiction. It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons are not yet being deployed. posted by dsquid at 5:25 AM PST - 38 comments
El Indio in Hispanic proverbial speech "The proverbial speech of Hispanic America preserves, even today, numerous traces of the interaction between explorers, conquerors, or settlers and the native populations they found in the various regions of the so-called New World" posted by dhruva at 9:21 PM PST - 6 comments
MulattoesChild-bearing amongst slaves started around the age of thirteen, and by twenty the women would be expected to have four or five children. To encourage child-bearing some population owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had produced fifteen children.
The folks who told these stories had reasons to cry out in anger that most of us (on the blue) probably don't. posted by snsranch at 7:24 PM PST - 37 comments
The Latest Addition to the iPod Family: the iPod Harper's Special Edition. "Each unit comes preloaded with high-resolution photos of every writer whose work has appeared in the magazine during (Harper's editor Lewis H. Lapham's) long tenure..."
Is it me, or is this just super lame? posted by JPowers at 2:02 PM PST - 40 comments
Have you got ICE in your mobile?"Following the disaster in London . . .
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston.
The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency". LINK. posted by azul at 11:40 AM PST - 30 comments
The Unheard Beethoven - This website endeavors to make all of Beethoven's unrecorded music readily accessible to the public. These never-before-heard works are now available to anyone with a computer, a modem and a soundcard, in the form of MIDI files. At present, over twelve hours of Beethoven's music is available on this website and in no other listenable format. posted by Wolfdog at 11:05 AM PST - 16 comments
FT changes headline on Blair's statement. This morning, I picked up the paper copy of the Financial Times, scanned the headline, and harrumphed, remarking that "I had seen something like this before". Yesterday, the FT website had the same title - "Blair rejects calls for probe into bombings." Today, however, the headline has been changed to "Blair promises to hunt down bombers". (BTW, it's UK conservatives calling for a probe). Not only that, but the text in question is purged:
Tony Blair will on Monday reject Conservative demands for a government inquiry into last week's London bomb attacks, insisting such a move would distract from the task of catching the perpetrators.
Brainfreeze! Since today is 7/11, 7-Eleven is celebrating with free Slurpees. (Naturally, in 7.11 ounce cups.) Since its introduction in 1965, over 6 billion Slurpees have been sold--one for every person on earth. posted by sdrawkcab at 5:04 AM PST - 58 comments
Israel's Cabinet has approved final details of a barrier to surround Jerusalem "redrawing the disputed city's boundary and shifting its demographic balance in favor of Jews." The Jerusalem Post declares this to be "most dramatic change [in Jerusalem's borders] since 1967." The decision means Israel is taking lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, including traditionally Arab east Jerusalem, the intended Palestinian capital. In addition, the UNRWA (pdf) reported that other negative impacts on the Palestinain population include "logistical problems of access, proximity of schools" for Palestinians and that "access of refugees to secondary and tertiary care in Jerusalem hospitals will be severely hampered." Dr. Gerson Baskin of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information wrote in 2003 "It is time for honesty – the security barrier may have started in its conceptual phase as a security barrier, but in its translation into reality it has been manipulated to be a political border." Is this another nail in the coffin of the peace process, a necessary and constructive step towards a solution, or an encouraging development in the ultimate conversion of Jews to Christianity and the second coming of Christ? posted by three blind mice at 4:35 AM PST - 65 comments
Noctisis a free space simulation program/game written mostly in assembly by Alessandro Ghignola, an Italian programmer. It is downloadable for Windows and MS-DOS, but be warned there is quite a learning curve. It features a planet lander, onboard ship computer, a Fido Net style method of communicating newly named and discovered stars and systems with other users, and a haunting sense of being alone in an immense universe. Fan fiction. Screenshots reveal the outdated resolution of the program. posted by nervousfritz at 9:53 PM PST - 19 comments
Can't Find On Google . Com While many people seem to think that Google can find anything (and knows everything), experienced web surfers know the results are often a bit lacking. So this site allows you to post what you are really looking for and what you punched in to the "Big G" to try to find it. The owner claims to know someone who works at Google that is "always interested in what people can't find on Google" - doubtful IMHO if they will really change anything based on this site. But semi-interesting stuff that highlights the inadaquacy of search engine technology. posted by RonZ at 8:46 PM PST - 36 comments
Three days and Counting Breathe deep, mine eyes, the frosty saga of eternal suns.
From unseen depths and dreams undreamt,
I sing the gleaming cantos of unvanquished space.
By thought I embrace the universal,
With wings of mind I sail the infinitude.
Glory! 'tis the stars which beckon man's spirit and set our souls adrift! posted by blue_beetle at 8:13 PM PST - 14 comments
Blaming Everyone But the Terrorists | Portland journalist Michael Totten vents on the Portland Indymedia crew who blamed Bush for attacks on London. On Friday, Kos banned a handful of his more conspiracy-minded followers for the same reasons: "I have a high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate for this site, but one thing I REFUSE to allow is bullshit conspiracy theories. I can't imagine what fucking world these people live in, but it sure ain't the Reality Based Community." This Seattle Times article indicates even some young British Muslims agree: "Obviously the media is saying that Muslims did it, but I think it was a conspiracy by Tony Blair and George Bush," said Olle Rahaman, 32, a husband and father who, like the other men, was born in London of Bangladeshi parents. "An excuse to say, 'Let's go kick some ass.' " William Bowles of GlobalResearch.ca talks about the use of agent provocateurs and the 'suspicious nature' of the bombings. posted by jenleigh at 5:56 PM PST - 121 comments
The culture of peace is advancing according to accounts from all regions of the world. This is the conclusion from information submitted by almost 700 organisations and summarised in a report which has been formally submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General by the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the UN, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.
This report provides the first comprehensive view of the progress of the global movement for a culture of peace, since it was called for in 1999 by United Nations Resolution A/53/243.
The advance of the culture of peace comes despite almost total neglect from the mass media, according to most accounts from all regions. posted by UbuRoivas at 5:40 PM PST - 21 comments
Great Leap Forward With the Chinese minister of extreme sports in attendance, American skateboarder Danny Way cleared a 61-foot gap at nearly 50 mph, crossing the Great Wall of China. "I'm not a fan of heights," said Way, 31, who made five successive jumps. "The sooner I can get down from the top in one piece, the better." Daredevil sports have taken off in China, where Flying Over the Wall events began 10 years ago, but this was the first skateboarder to make an attempt. In 2002, a Chinese bicyclist died attempting to jump the wall when he landed outside the safety area. posted by rcade at 7:05 AM PST - 21 comments
London Underground Bombing 'Exercises' Took Place at Same Time as Real Attack According to a BBC Radio 5 interview (aired on the evening of July 7th) with Peter Power, Managing Director of a consultancy agency with government and police connections, Mr. Power said his firm was actively running an exercise for an unnamed company that revolved around the London Underground being bombed at the same times and locations as happened in real life on the morning of July 7th.
Power told the host that at the exact same time that the London bombings were taking place, his company was running a 1,000 person strong exercise which drilled the London Underground being bombed at the exact same locations, at the exact same times, as it unfolded on that morning.
Power is a former Scotland Yard official and at one time was attached to the Anti Terrorist Branch.
More inside.... posted by Dunvegan at 3:07 AM PST - 78 comments
"If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?" A brief history of and exploration some myths and facts surrounding MSG, glutamate (its natural expression) and umami - 'the fifth taste'. "We now know that glutamate is present in almost every food stuff, and that the protein is so vital to our functioning that our own bodies produce 40 grams of it a day. Probably the most significant discovery in explaining human interest in umami is that human milk contains large amounts of glutamate (at about 10 times the levels present in cow's milk). [...] Which means mothers' milk and a packet of cheese'n'onion crisps have rather more in common than you'd think." posted by Blue Stone at 2:54 AM PST - 227 comments
Is Civilization Decaying? Will technological progress be accompanied by moral progress? Notes on a 1923 debate between J. B. S. Haldane (Daedalus) and Bertrand Russell (Icarus). "As John Brunner pointed out in an article in the New Scientist in 1993, these two books ... inspired two generations of science fiction writers." posted by painquale at 1:00 AM PST - 11 comments
Woman Jailed for Child Abuse - Witha Twist "The young girl and her mother are now trying to rebuild their lives after an 18-month campaign of harassment by Kathryn Skinner, the woman they thought was a trusted family friend. Skinner, now 40, spiked children's drinks at birthday parties and put razor blades in school bags and lockers so her friend's daughter would get the blame." posted by echolalia67 at 9:18 PM PST - 54 comments
Police evacuate Birmingham centre
West Midlands police have evacuated the second largest city in England tonight as a precautionary measure. Sky News are reporting that a series of controlled explosions (I heard on Sky News TV that one of these was on a bus, but this may be innacurate) have been carried out in the Broad Street area.
I hope that any and all UK MeFi-ites in Birmingham are keeping sane through out all this. posted by tomcosgrave at 3:07 PM PST - 61 comments
Is your child an angel with attitude? Time to win yourself some Angel Dollars. "Entries will be judged on facial beauty, expression & fashion, and overall appeal of photo. These should be professional pictures, but should not be extremely or overly retouched. (We are judging the child - not the retoucher!) Divisional Winners will receive 25.00 Angel Dollars, and 1 Overall Winner will receive 50.00 Angel Dollars." posted by sharksandwich at 2:54 PM PST - 66 comments
The French experience of counter-terrorism (PDF): from the "sanctuary doctrine" to active prevention, a detailed history of how France learned counter-terrorism the hard way. Since [the French revolution] France has been on the bleeding edge of terrorism, confronting terrorism in all its guises, from bomb-throwing anarchists to transnational networks. In the last 20 years, France suffered repeated waves of terrorism of both domestic and foreign origin, each which spawned a variety of reforms to an already complex system for combating terrorism. As a result, France has developed, largely by costly trial and error, a fairly effective, although controversial system for fighting terrorism at home. posted by elgilito at 7:22 AM PST - 54 comments
In some ways, Gary McKinnon is indeed a complete idiot. Well, he is a likable and intelligent geeky man who did many, many idiotic things. What he is not, his friends and supporters reckon, is someone who deserves extradition and 70 years in an American jail. posted by Grangousier at 3:22 AM PST - 59 comments
10 Years Gone - Today marks 10 years since the GratefulDead played their very last show at Solider Field.
While many folks blame Jerry for the decline in quality of performances in the later years, there were many other problems including the instrumentally and vocally challenged Vince Welnick who joined the band after BrentMydland died in 1990.
Fall 1990 throughthe middle of 1992 was easier to take when Bruce Hornsby was playing with the boys. But after Bruce split things seemed to decline for a number of different reasons.
There were still some shining moments, and one of them was the very beautiful "So Many Roads" Garica played at the last show. While this song exposes many of the flaws of the band in the later years, it also shows the degree to which Jerry had given his everything to the music, to this band, and to deadheads everywhere.
The end lines "Lord, I've been walking that road..." which aren't done in any other version of the song, as well as Garcia's reference (slip?) in his last tune "Black Muddy River" sung as "Last Muddy River" makes me wonder if Jerry didn't know that this was the end.
I still miss the boys very much. Some of the post Garcia ventures were fun, things have never been the same since. "You know our love will not fade away."
Chet Helms has been dead for a few days. He was not mentioned here and I somehow missed all this. He was a player in the music biz in his day and kinda looks like me if I stopped trimming my beard for a week or two. RIP. posted by arse_hat at 11:43 PM PST - 4 comments
"If you love someone, you want to give something of yourself to them... Go big or go home you know?" Show that special sweetie of yours that you care with the magic of mutual self-mutilation. Really, how often were you using that ring finger, anyways? posted by Simon! at 10:48 PM PST - 31 comments
'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.' The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology The Smash of Civilizations posted by y2karl at 10:09 PM PST - 11 comments
First person account of London Tube Bombing: "Fate is a strange thing. On this particular day a series of events transpired such that I ended up on a Tube train that was destroyed by terrorists. Fortunately it was only the carriage in front of me, but tragically it resulted in a serious amount of injuries. This is my story." (via Waxy) posted by Heminator at 7:24 PM PST - 17 comments
Bloggers Need Not Apply A pseudonymous faculty member, writing at the Chronicle of Higher Ed. website, says that when faculty search committees do their jobs--that is, when they look for new hires--they may well find candidates who blog automatically suspect. This is true even if the blogger/applicant has never mentioned any details about his or her workplace or fellow employees, employer or students online. It doesn't mean the candidate won't! It doesn't matter if the committee just found the blog via Google either. posted by raysmj at 5:15 PM PST - 36 comments
Unrestriced Warfare Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, two colonels in the People's Liberation Army of China published this back in 1999. It is a striking and trenchant attempt to describe the transformations that warfare has undergone since the first Gulf War, and suggests that the boundary between war and its opposite may be on the move. "We have no reason for optimism. This is because the reduction of the functions of warfare in a pure sense does not mean at all that war has ended. Even in the so-called post-modern, post-industrial age, warfare will not be totally dismantled. It has only re-invaded human society in a more complex, more extensive, more concealed, and more subtle manner. " Short interview posted by the Uyghur American Association, here. posted by derangedlarid at 3:48 PM PST - 4 comments
SMOKING MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER "Even heavy longterm use"- does not cause cancer of the lung, upper airwaves, or esophagus, Donald Tashkin reported at this year's meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society. Over the years, Tashkin's lab at UCLA has produced irrefutable evidence of the damage that marijuana smoke wreaks on bronchial tissue. It is Tashkin's research that the Drug Czar's office cites in ads linking marijuana to lung cancer. posted by well_balanced at 12:15 PM PST - 68 comments
Fat Man Walking. Steve Vaught chronicles his effort to shed most of his 400 pounds on the highway from San Diego to New York. An inspiring, if medically dangerous, tale of human willpower. (via today's Washington Post, registration required). posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:08 AM PST - 47 comments
Incredible -- but true coincidences are fascinating, and pleasing, to the psyche. I tend to agree with John Littlewood (a University of Cambridge mathematician) that "...in the course of any normal person's life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month." In other words, statistically speaking, unusual coincidences are to be expected in a world teeming with billions of humans. Still, I find such coincidences stangely inspiring. More can be found here. posted by ember at 7:37 PM PST - 97 comments
OK, the movie, The Wedding Crashers, doesn't look all that interesting to me, but I gotta say that the Crash the Trailer viral ad that they whipped up is Awesome! You upload pictures of yourself or whomever, and they superimpose the pictures onto the faces of the stars of the movie. Very clever, or at least kind of fun for a second. posted by willnot at 6:07 PM PST - 18 comments
A Chip and a Chair: The World Series of Poker's Main Event started today at the Rio in Las Vegas. That's a change from every other year, when Binion's Horseshoe hosted the event. With the rise of online poker and televised tournaments, it's no surprise this is the biggest year ever: 5,661 people registered for the $10,000 no-limit event. That's about $50 million in prize money, once the tournament and casino costs are taken care of. CardPlayer has up-to-the-minute updates on the tournament. Things at the WSOP can get pretty crazy, as you've got thousands of gamblers ready for any sort of action. For instance, poker celeb Phil Gordon put together a Roshambo tournament (paper rock scissors) together with a $10,000 first prize, just to kill time. The main event, by the way, is only one of 45 events, started back in 1970 by a group of hard-core gamblers. Despite the record turnout, however, there's still plenty of people who didn't make it to the main event, including former Harper's reporter James McManus, who placed 5th in the Main Event in 2000 and wrote a fascinating novel on the subject. posted by Happydaz at 5:12 PM PST - 22 comments
Joan Rivers on the subject of Boobs: "I think the stereotype that if you ah big breasts you can't be smart came from the fact that your breasts hid your schoolbooks. So it was a little harder to learn." A&E tackled the subject of cleavage in a special that aired first in 2002 and again last night. SFW unless you work for the Archdiocese. posted by kahboom at 1:39 PM PST - 54 comments
Alarming Article on Security Procedures What is alarming is not necessarily that there is a "no-fly" list, or that we have security measures in response to a percieved terrorist threat. What's alarming is that there seems to be no accountabity or due process demanded from public officials. Without accountability, what's to stop public officials from acting arbitrarily, or for some political endeavor? (See the Plame case.)
Combined with the Right's seeming position that the president is above the law in prosecuting a war, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 03-1027 (Rumsfield v. Padilla) and Case No. 03-6696 (Hamdi v. Rumsfield), (see also the recent DOJ position papers), and for the 1st time I am becoming nervous that America might devolve into something like a police state. posted by JKevinKing at 10:53 AM PST - 36 comments
Context Free: A small language for design grammars. These grammars are sets of non-deterministic rules to produce images. The images are surprisingly beautiful, often from very simple grammars. And you can download and play on your own. posted by signal at 10:42 AM PST - 21 comments
The Chalet's video (Quicktime, direct link) for their song "Feel the Machine" is a great, playful interaction between computer interface tropes (icons, scroll bars, arrows) and a live performance. via posted by jonson at 10:46 AM PST - 7 comments
Iraq Casualties Map. US military casualties from the Iraq war. Each click of the (+) displays 30 more casualties, starting from the beginning of the war. Each soldier is shown in at their home town. posted by signal at 9:40 AM PST - 32 comments
Wanna make money playing games? In certain Asian countries, workers are paid just cents an hour to camp virtual spawn points to collect gold or items that will then get sold for real currency. Owners of these companies are making tens of thousands of dollars a month whereas their workers are barely earning over $100.
'Sell is a recent graduate from Nanjing University. At 24, he's a manager for Vpgamesell, a large SWG Chinese farming center that wholesales to popular resellers. He started off by selling gil in Final Fantasy XI, but his farming days are over. He's moved up to manager status, helping with marketing and delivery. His many farmers work 10-hour rotations and are paid $121 a month. Sell gets $180 a month and works closer to 14 hours a day because he lives at the office, which is a fairly common practice at farming centers - if you lose your job, you also lose your home.'
Obituaries of the Future An example: June 5, 2019. Bush – George W. (72), the 43rd president of the United States, was struck down “in action” early yesterday morning from injuries sustained during a failed one-man invasion of Mexico.Write your own! posted by jdroth at 5:51 AM PST - 19 comments
So yesterday I posted the story about how researchers had discovered that both sexes cared about appearance when selecting dates. Today Stanford (!!) releases the startling discovery that cars get hot when parked in the sun. Meanwhile K State learns that women feel better about their bodies when complemented, and the other shocker story is that problem gamblers share traits with substance abusers. And how about that New Scientist story about the fact we're entering a dark age? So what's up with science lately, particularly in America? posted by Fozzie at 5:56 PM PST - 108 comments
Bisexuals do not exist, at least according to a study reported in the New York Times. Or, if you look at the actual procedure as opposed to what the researchers claim, some unknown percentage of bisexual men are more aroused by one kind of porn movie than another. Of course, the senior author on the study, J. Michael Bailey, has stirred controversybeforewith his book The Man Who Would Be Queen, which has been tainted with charges scientifically unsoundness, academic misconduct, practicing without a license, fabricating data, and sex with a research subject. In it, he asserts the ... unique point of view that transsexuals are either effeminate gay men who undergo "sex changes" in order to have sex with lots of men, or sexual paraphilic males who "change sex" for bizarre autosexual reasons. And, is anyone else wondering why, when he writes about bisexuals or transsexuals, he seems to fail to notice that they aren’t exclusively men? posted by kyrademon at 3:36 PM PST - 101 comments
Turn Your Head is an online service that echoes the famous "two faces/chalice" optical illusion, but in the real world. You provide them with shots of your profile, and they carve a wooden sculpture of the image for only $149.95. Works best for those with uniquely pronounced features, not to mention those with $149.95 to waste on useless crap. posted by jonson at 10:29 AM PST - 21 comments
The Longhorn Browser and RSS Team. Long video warning (almost an hour; how far will you get?) - If you've ever worked with the Redmondites, this'll look pretty familiar. What a kick to read all of ya'lls comments...how 'bout it? posted by ValveAnnex at 2:46 PM PST - 55 comments
Bush sort of answers lots of serious questions This transcript of Trevor McDonald's interview with Bush is actually quite interesting. I find myself agreeing with his stance on Africa, which is probably a first for me with ANY of his stances on ANYTHING. His climate change and Iraq stances, on the other hand, I didn't quite agree with. posted by antifuse at 1:39 PM PST - 59 comments
To chip or not to chip? Fresh from the BBC - the first UK conviction for chipping a games console. Admittedly he was selling modified X-Boxes, but how will this affect those who chip for fun or for friends? posted by Nugget at 10:53 AM PST - 18 comments
Dreams of Liberty Who Are Americans to Think That Freedom Is Theirs to Spread? Op ed from Michael Ignatieff, Carr professor of human rights at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; an edited version of which appeared in Sunday Observer 03 July. Ignatieff previously mentioned here. posted by adamvasco at 10:40 AM PST - 10 comments
"Great is life . . and real and mystical . . wherever and whoever,
Great is death . . . . Sure as life holds all parts together, death holds all parts together;
Sure as the stars return again after they merge in the light, death is great as life."
Very few people will ever need to learn the value of pi beyond a handful of digits, but some people are more obsessed than others. They call themselves Piphilologists, and all the pi-memorization writings you could ever possibly want have been compiled into one massive Piphilogical text file. And today, Piphilologists the world over must surely bow in tribute to Akira Haraguchi, who has just recited pi from memory to 83,431 places. posted by Faint of Butt at 6:48 AM PST - 22 comments
Openly and unapologetically, the world's No. 1 oil company disputes the notion that fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. Exxon opposes the very idea of capping global-warming emissions - From the article Exxon Chief Makes A Cold Calculation On Global Warming. A interesting read, whatever your opinion on the oil industry is... posted by SharQ at 3:29 AM PST - 30 comments
[M]uch of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project... Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use 'pictorials' to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.
(Also a contributing factor -- Canada's national health service, which apparently drives down the overall cost of each individual worker.)
To be fair to the US South, the problem may be more apparent there because of the region's zealousness in competing for automobile factories. But the point remains -- Toyota is saying US workers are so poorly educated that it's not worth the effort to train them. Whom to blame? And how many more factory (and other) jobs will have to be lost to better-educated workforces in other countries before this pings on the national radar? posted by jscalzi at 6:22 PM PST - 87 comments
Driving down the street in my Panzer tank,
sittin’ drinkin’ Cris’ with my bitch Anne Frank.
And when I step into the club’s you know I’m steppin with style!
Raise my left hand, party people say “Heil!” posted by jcterminal at 6:05 PM PST - 24 comments
Carbon Planet - aims to reduce Climate Change by empowering individuals to erase their CO2 footprint by purchasing carbon credits. The site enables users to subscribe based on the greenhouse gas usage in their country, with the subscription buying carbon credits in a forestry scheme in Australia. Would you consider subscribing? posted by gusset at 2:23 AM PST - 26 comments
Greenlighters are an emerging underground movement of sexually promiscuous teenagers, including bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual members. Members of this movement wear a green polo shirt with the collar up, indicating that they are open to pretty much any sexual adventure. When someone comes up to them and puts the collar down, they are "collared" and will go with that person and do whatever sexual act they ask. Transfer of money is not usually involved. Some parent groups are starting to get involved - urging parents to go through their kids clothes and confiscate green shirts and polos. Supposedly this has been going on since mid-2004 and may be related to the "chavs" in Britain somehow. posted by Maxor at 7:56 PM PST - 116 comments
Some people are really passionate about things; in this guys case, he really fucking hates horses. "I am Hitler; horses are jews. Fire up the gas chambers." posted by dflemingdotorg at 3:26 PM PST - 35 comments
"Bobbing for pig feet, the mudpit belly-flop, the armpit serenade — they're all part of the Redneck Games, a series of good ole'ympic events for the ain't-so-athletic celebrating their 10th year in middle Georgia....The mudpit belly-flop judges contestants on their flabby form and sonic splat as they drop gut-first into muddy water, splattering nearby spectators.
The armpit serenade rates children on their musical skills pumping air through a damp hand beneath their underarm. The 12-year-old winner in 2000 squeezed out a recognizable rendition of 'Dixie.'
There's also hubcap hurling — think junkyard discus — and redneck horseshoes, played with toilet seats. The most competitive sport, however, is bobbing for pig feet, where contenders dunk their heads in tubs of water to see how fast they can remove raw pork shanks with their teeth."
Shasta Groene , missing since May, was found alive today at a Denny's restaurant. (Her brother is believed to be alive, unconfirmed as of yet.) Joseph Edward Duncan III, the man found with Shasta, is a Computer science major at North Dakota State, and a registered sex offender who blogged his travails as a regular guy being unfairly stereotyped and harassed after serving his time. posted by Oriole Adams at 11:44 AM PST - 51 comments
Who he? Kirchin began, aged 14, as a drummer in his father Ivor's jazz band. By the mid-1950s, he and his father were co-leading the most acclaimed jazz band in Britain. They backed Ruby Murray (whose name lives on as cockney rhyming slang for curry), and the great Sarah Vaughan wouldn't tour the UK without them; neither would Billy Eckstine. After disbanding the Kirchin band at the height of their fame, Basil set off around the world, a trip which ended disastrously, when Kirchin's tapes of his band's best moments (obsessively recorded, thanks to the fact that the Kirchin band was one of the first to travel with their own PA system) were accidentally dropped into Sydney Harbour. [more inside] posted by Len at 3:32 PM PST - 6 comments
This paper outlines the major thesis of the larger work... that US foreign policy during the Cold War was not primarily about keeping the USSR out of Western Europe, but rather about promoting the global capitalist system on a worldwide stage... Three themes—strategic, economic, ideological—are introduced in support of this argument, and applied to the 30 case studies. They lead to the conclusion that in many of these interventions the US opposed leftist Third World personalities by supporting more right-wing local clients rather than centrists who were often available. These decisions almost always proved disastrous for the local societies affected, and often even were unfortunate for longer-term American diplomatic interests. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Periphery: A 50-Year Retrospective. Related: With Our History, Spinning America's Image Isn't Enough posted by y2karl at 2:21 PM PST - 39 comments
The Road Rage Quiz Take this test to gauge your ability to create rage in yourself & others. How do you deal with ragers? Here's two sites which advocate carrying & displaying Signs. This site likes the "Sorry" sign, while this site offers cards of a different nature. posted by Mack Twain at 12:19 PM PST - 52 comments
Sodaraceis the online olympics pitting human creativity against machine learning in a competition to design robots that race over 2D terrains using the Sodaconstructor virtual construction kit. posted by srboisvert at 12:54 AM PST - 2 comments