The Mohair Council of America wins the prize for our country's most unique lobbying group. (I mean, really - it's mohair!) The MCA exists largely to protect the mohair subsidies, which are leftover from a time when the military used the material for uniforms. The subsidies were phased out in the mid 90s, but the MCA lobbied hard enough to bring them back in 1999. It just goes to show that with a well-placed lobbying arm, even the most useless, obscure interest group can get a piece of the government pie.
(Runner up: The Flexible Packaging Association) posted by risenc at 5:31 PM PST - 6 comments
Remember the July Metafilter threadsdiscussingoffbeatmusic (and I use the term "music" loosely)? Here's a site that plans to introduce us to a whole slew of strange new stuff this year. Thanks, Otis!
posted by jdroth at 5:11 PM PST - 9 comments
The Year In Pizza is a review of the happenings in one of the worst years ever for the pizza industry; what's touching, and quirky about this corporate industry wrap up is the inclusion of brief memorials for pizza murder victims, those workers slain by hungry robbers for whatever little cash they had on them. It's hard to imagine a "year in printing & bindery" review listing all the victims of industrial press manglings. posted by jonson at 4:45 PM PST - 34 comments
The Tyranny of the Tidy: In college, after months of being chided by my roommate for an exceedingly messy room, I finally silenced her by repeatedly demonstrating my ability to quickly and easily retrieve any desired implement from the clutter without leaving my desk. Trying to be tidy always served only to make me inefficient. I understand that for others it may not be so, but is cleanliness really always a virtue? posted by grrarrgh00 at 4:34 PM PST - 49 comments
Is the BBCi website far too big and monopolistic? Editorial from 'The Guardian' discussing whether the BBC's website, funded by the British license fee is taking the thunder away from commercial websites worldwide trying to achieve the same results in advertising run market place. There is some logic to the argument -- when e-marketing revenues are dwingling how can some sites compete with this bohemoth? On the other hand, if they were achieving the same results people would be going to them instead, and the BBC's website is very, very good in some places, indispensible in others. posted by feelinglistless at 1:50 PM PST - 23 comments
GM announces plans to roll out gas/electric hybrid cars for consumers in the next four years -- including pickup trucks and SUVs. Plus a brief discussion of ways to get the general populace to buy hybrid... apparently tax breaks are being mooted? Interesting. The cost increase / gas savings breakdown still isn't as impressive as one might like it to be, though... would you give one a try? posted by logovisual at 10:28 AM PST - 24 comments
White House Silent on Racial Controversy. Bill Back, the California Republican party's vice chairman running for the top job, sent out an e-mail newsletter in 1999 that reproduced an essay that said "history might have taken a better turn" if the South had won the Civil War and that "the real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won." posted by four panels at 7:57 AM PST - 48 comments
edge.org publishes its annual question posed to its members. edge.org is an online sort of a digital roundtable for really smart & famous types; a flameless metafilter for the intellectually arrived.
Once each year, a global question is posed to its noteworthy members. This year's ?? is: Suppose GWB has appointed you National Science Advisor and then asks you "What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?"
Their's a boatload of interesting, insightful, sometimes humorous pieces written by a bunch of people. F'rinstance: Kurzweil on cloned tissue spare parts, Clifford Pickover on quantum dots, but among the most insightful is Alan Alda (who knew?!) posted by Fupped Duck at 7:17 AM PST - 29 comments
The Boneyard (actually the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, AMARC) in the Arizona desert near Tucson, is the Air Force's storage yard for decommissioned aircraft. Nearly 4,400 airplanes and helicopters await recommissioning, recycling, resale, or refurbishment for museums. The aerial photos are impressive. If you want to see it in person, the
Pima Air & Space Museum
tours. posted by SealWyf at 7:02 AM PST - 29 comments
Top 10 Challenges for Microsoft. This is from a company called "Directions on Microsoft" in Kirkland, WA. All they do is analyze Microsoft. One of the challenges is to "keep a lid on LINUX"! My favorite part-"Hopes that the Linux community would fragment are not being realized, at least in 2003". Will these challenges hold MSFT in check? What do you think? posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 5:07 AM PST - 24 comments
"Theriantropic harridan, what elephantine denticles permeate your oral orifice!" Minikin Incarnadine Cowl-Titivated Gamine adduced. From Fairy Tales for the Erudite, for those of you who enjoy a good story where the twain exist evermore in felicity and Elysium. posted by iconomy at 4:54 AM PST - 12 comments