February 10, 2003
RIP Mr Perfect Former WWE star "Mr Perfect" Curt Hennig was found dead yesterday at the age of 44, joining a long list of professional wrestlers to die at an unnaturally young age. It's no secret to participants and fans of the pro-wrestling industry that its performers live unusually stressful lives. With working schedules commonly encompassing upwards of 300 shows a year, their bodies take a constant beating that often leads to alcohol and painkiller dependency. Furthermore, despite the high-profile scandal of the mid-90s that eventually saw Vince McMahon acquitted of trafficking steroids to his employees, the abuse of performance-enhancing chemicals continues to be the rule rather than exception, driven by the endless quest for bigger and freakier physical size and proportions to wow audiences.
As its old home lies dormant, John Sakamoto'sAnti-Hit List continues on in the pages of Toronto's Eye Weekly. Where else could you hear about The Flaming Lips covering Kylie, Ween singing
for about Pizza Hut or quite possibly the best song title in ages.
Huge surprise: The Doors suck without Jim Morrison. "Whatever you might think of Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek, just don't call them "The Doors." link and title via jasonbuckley.com
Calling the Mefi decoding police: What the hell is this all about? [may be NSFW]
Damn the torpedoes! The Australian Battle Group is a R/C model warship combat club, with emphasis on combat. Great care and devotion is given to design and historical accuracy, and then they shoot holes in each other with working cannon.
Just how plausable is time travel? Could you go back in time and kill your own grandfather?. Would you want to? Time travel is a popular subject for films, but do the writers work out exactly what is happening? Current opinion seems to be that time travel is only possible to the future, and is only one way, by travelling at near light speed. However despite this, time machines seem to already be on sale.
An enduring fad in Finland. For a few years now, musicians in Finland have coopted Humppa, traditional polka-style music, and given it a punk sensibility. Eläkeläiset, the focus of the above link, are the most popular Humppa band. The most fun for folks who don't speak Finnish (like me) are covers of songs with which we're familiar like "Viva Las Vegas" ("Humppaleka") and "London Calling" ("Vanhamiljonäärihumppa"). Even after the novelty wears off, Finnish is oddly beautiful even when it's shouted over an accordion. There are plenty of samples for download on the site.
Early Happy Valentine's wishes from the Bush Administration; warm wishes in these troubled times.
Another way around sneaky agreements: A Californian is suing (PDF) Microsoft and Symantec over shrink-wrapped agreements and EULAs that are only readable when you first install the software, making a return or refund absolutely impossible. Many courts have upheld shrinkwrap licenses. Conversely, reverse engineering has been determined to constitute fair use. If this case sets a precedent, could we see abridged legalese on the side of future boxes or a rethinking of software licensing trends? Or will the cluttered tower of consumer rights, protection for software companies and code evolution and innovation topple over?
Palestine as metaphor. Is "linkage" of the Palestine/Israel situation to a wider peace in the Middle East valid? Some say yes, some say no. But it seems clear that most (except the Palestinians and Israelis themselves) view the situation more as a metaphor for wider Arab/Western relations rather than as a conflict between two peoples. I approach this post with fear and trembling.
Seats...On the Green Monster? It seems that the Boston Red Sox have finalized the plan to make changes to one of Major League Baseball's most famous curiosities, the Green Monster - if not *the* most famous, as this article suggests. The stadium has the lowest amount of available seating, and is definitely, in the realm of the other stadiums in major markets, out of date. But it has a classic sort of feel to it. Here are some of the proposed plans for this and other changes to the stadium. I can't wait to see if someone falls off the back of the 'Monster trying to catch a homerun ball.
Brainwashed? Moi? Does this make you uncomfortable too? Imagine it was The Wall Street Journal's or The Daily Telegraph's logo stamped on your forehead instead of The Guardian's. Or all three. We are what we read, but perhaps wide reading is a thing of the past. Beneath the po-mo jokiness, crude branding seems to have reached the normally label-resistant Left. This is particularly true in the case of The Guardian, the indispensable journal of reference for British students and teachers. How many of us nowadays make a point of reading at least two politically divergent newspapers?
Dude, You're Under Arrest Ben "Dell Dude" Curtis, was arrested in New York last night on charges of criminal possession of marijuana. Thanks to The Smoking Gun we now have something to make us laugh on a Monday.
Celebrity Caricature in America. The website of a 1998 exhibition at the (US) National Portrait Gallery. Via the National Portrait Gallery's online exhibitions, where there are even more fine things.
Oklahoma's state senator has made a prolific move for all of humanity He wants to require Oklahoma barbacue restaurants to offer napkins. Yes, seriously.
No confirmation if he was paid off by the napkin lobby.
No confirmation if he was paid off by the napkin lobby.
The King of Stonehenge found in a 4,000-year-old grave near Stonehenge may have been from Switzerland and involved in its construction. It is the richest Bronze Age burial found in Britain "off the scale". ...it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad – probably modern day Switzerland – could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain’s most famous archaeological site.”
The Cricket World Cup is turning into a political mess as England boycott Zimbabwe and New Zealand's players refuse to play in Kenya. Meanwhile, Cricket legend, and Pakistani politician, Imran Khan wonders if UK involvement in a war on Iraq should lead to a sporting boycott of England. We've had sporting sanctions on South Africa, Olympic boycotts in 1980 and 1984 - should we ever mix politics and sport?
Digital Needle is a virtual gramophone open source program that converts scanned--yes, scanned--vinyl records into audio.