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February 13, 2003
The Unrepentant Necrophile
Having a hard time with Valentine's Day? Things could be worse. (warning: not for the weak of stomach.)
posted by alms at 11:20 PM PST - 35 comments

unfinished business even as we're all fired up about starting trouble in other places
"The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget."

So much for rebuilding Afghanistan.
posted by artifex at 10:14 PM PST - 52 comments

Chocolate and child labor
Bittersweet chocolate. "Of the $1.1 billion in boxed chocolates that Americans are expected to buy on Valentine's Day, very little will be untainted by the scourge of child labor. Although some who buy those bonbons will do so without knowing the sinister history of their purchases, others, like the chocolate makers, will have known for at least two years, if not longer, that cocoa beans imported from the Ivory Coast -- used to make nearly half the chocolate consumed in this country -- are harvested in large part by children, some as young as 9, and many of whom are considered slaves, trafficked from desperately poor countries like Mali and Burkina Faso."
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM PST - 36 comments

The government's solution for ruling Iraq? Let the military do it.
The government's solution for ruling Iraq? Let the military do it. Looks like Iraq will be under the military rule of General Tommy Franks for at least two years. (This explains how members of the administration can threaten to cut other countries out of Iraqi oil deals in a future Iraq.) But how will the rest of the Islamic world react to a prolonged US military occupation of in excess of 50,000 troops, where the US would have to feed, supply, and rebuild an entire country?
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:16 PM PST - 46 comments

Be mine Ayatollah!
Something tells me that Iran's rulers don't like Valentine's Day It could be their ban of cards in Tehran. Their distake for western culture. Or the fact that Khomeini put the 'fatwa' on Rushdie on Valentine's Day 1989. All rational indications say that the current Ayatollah has no love for this holiday

Can a government that has to restrict their people from buying Valentine's Day cards last long before the people rise up to try to remove another oppressor?
posted by RobbieFal at 8:06 PM PST - 18 comments

Short Track Speed Skating World Cup # 5
Remember the 2002 Winter Olympics? This time last year, Apolo Ohno was making his Olympic debut as the wunderkind of short track speed skating. A year later, Apolo and the U.S. team were back in Salt Lake City, February 7-9, 2003 for ISU World Cup # 5. Here's an account from a hardcore short track fan who attended, which expresses the excitement of experiencing World Cup competition live. You can watch the competition this Saturday, February 15 on NBC at 2 p.m. EST.
posted by eclectica at 7:32 PM PST - 4 comments

Surviving chemical, biological and nuclear attacks
"Your defense is as always to not panic." I have no way to evaluate this guy's credentials or the validity of his advice--the host site seems a bit wonky, to put it mildly--but he provides a pithy, duct-tape-free, and oddly comforting counterpoint to some of the official recommendations on surviving chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:13 PM PST - 27 comments

here fishy fishy fish. Where is my fishy fishy fish?
Ever wonder where that salmon steak on your plate came from? It turns out that it was either farmed or caught in the wild, and like everything else these days, the origins of salmon can spark a political debate. On one side are those how believe there are great costs in the farming of salmon, while others feel farming salmon is good for industry and the environment. "If you are what you eat, but don't know what you're eating, do you know who you are?" I cannot for the death of me remember where I heard this quote
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:48 PM PST - 32 comments

Neverland
Neverland : The testimony that Michael Jackson paid between $15 and $40 million to suppress.
posted by lagado at 3:03 PM PST - 27 comments

Former Inner-City Teacher Speaks Out
I have a great deal of respect for everyone I know who's joined Teach for America and similar programs. Pretty much without exception, they're relatively well-off, upwardly mobile, Ivy League-educated young professionals who eschew a variety of far more lucrative and prestigious options to give something back, knowing that their choice will probably be endlessly trying and unrewarding. By and large, these folks leave college dedicated to the expectation that they can make a genuine difference somewhere. So when this idealism is crushed, who do we blame? (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by grrarrgh00 at 2:33 PM PST - 35 comments

There goes the neighborhood:
AOL to offer blogging services. Ninety-nine per cent of bloggers won't make money," says Copeland."But when we've got 10 million bloggers a couple years from now, I'm confident that 100,000 of them will be uniquely valuable to advertisers."
posted by sixdifferentways at 2:02 PM PST - 30 comments

Royalties? don't they get those from the casinos?...
US Bureau of Indian Affairs 'misplaces' about $137 billion "...hundreds of thousands of Indians in the largest-ever class-action lawsuit against the government have put the cumulative total at $137.2 billion owed [royalties due from BIA leasing of Indian land for lucrative mineral, oil, logging, cattle grazing, and other concessions]....Sometimes the checks might arrive for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and sometimes those checks might only amount to pennies on the dollar. On Indian reservations, the problem has reached crisis levels; a check written out for a smaller amount than expected—or no check at all—can mean the difference between housing and homelessness. " ....but we don't have the money, I told you: it must have fallen out through that hole in my pants' pocket... Treaty, what treaty? Oh, that treaty....
posted by troutfishing at 12:35 PM PST - 9 comments

Cartooning for peace... and some level-headedness
Peter Bagge produced a four page comic about his observations at various anti-war protests and how it only takes a few nuts to ruin an entire movement, or at least take the wind out of a rational person's sails.
posted by mathowie at 12:02 PM PST - 103 comments

Always a Catch
Freedom of Information The Department of Defense has released a training video for teaching its staff how to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. Oddly enough, we can't get a look at it because its classified. "It seems ironic, very ironic," says Mike Ravnitzky, a writer for American Lawyer magazine. Ravnitzky's request for the video was turned down twice, with the Defense Department citing the Freedom of Information Act's trade secret exemption. These government people are a laff riot.
posted by The Raven at 12:02 PM PST - 7 comments

Could he be right yet again?
Could he be right yet again? : Interview with Bob Prechter (and another one) If he is, we're all in for a world of hurt. In this three part interview, Elliott Wave International president Robert Prechter discusses his new book, “Conquer The Crash: How To Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression.” During the 1980s, Bob Prechter won numerous awards for market timing as well as the United States Trading Championship, culminating in Financial News Network (now CNBC) granting him the title, "Guru of the Decade." In 1990-1991, he was elected and served as president of the nation-al Market Technicians Association in its 21st year. He has also published a seminal book on Elliott wave analysis titled, “Elliott Wave Principle – Key To Market Behavior,” three books on the major practitioners of wave analysis, and books on his own views in Prechter's Perspective and At the Crest of the Tidal Wave.
posted by muppetboy at 11:47 AM PST - 47 comments

visomat teletext
Groovy German digital-retro. Not Friday, I know, but for website style-watchers a cool re-visting of teletext aesthetic and navigation.
posted by marvin at 10:35 AM PST - 5 comments

Who Pays? Distributional Analysis of State Tax Systems
Most state tax systems are regressive. That's the thesis of "Who Pays: A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems In All 50 States" published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The writers argue that states actually augment the effects of the Bush tax plan by replacing income taxes with sales and property taxes, a move that disproportionately hurts the poor and middle classes. Scroll down to the charts to see how your state matches up. (Link is PDF 653 KB, and is summarized at TomPaine.com. Via Talking Points Memo.)
posted by PrinceValium at 10:20 AM PST - 19 comments

Butt kicking
There's been a lot of smack-talking in here lately. The Onion AV Club runs with that concept and asks various celebrities, "Who could you take in a fight?". So who could you take in a fight?
posted by patrickje at 10:19 AM PST - 56 comments

Soda. Pop. Whatever - just don't call it Coke.
The Best Soda You Never Had: Inspired by Miguel's thread, I went in search of some links about exotic beverages - specifically, the carbonated ones - and many of my leads ended up back at this one place. Cel-ray, Jones' Bubble Gum, Stewarts' Orange Cream - all there, and plenty more... It always seemed to me that Mexican sodas tended to be far far more diverse than the standard cola / diet cola / lemon-lime / orange / root-beer selection you typically see anywhere in America. Unfortunately, they fail to mention my absolute favorite, which is Cuban, and is called Materva (scroll down about a third of the way).
posted by wanderingmind at 10:14 AM PST - 55 comments

The Joy Was Great
Marcel Betrisey creates unique clocks and strange machine hybrids. Take, for example, his c.d. player integrated into an antique sewing machine, his rolling ball clock or his wonderfully silly amplifier that uses a tap for volume control. While I’m not exactly sure what some are for, I think what he says about his c.d. player with a rotary arm sums it up best: “I wanted simply to know if it were feasible, and the joy was great when it delivered the first note of Electric Ladyland.”
posted by snez at 9:48 AM PST - 5 comments

Ooo-la-la
Ooo-la-la A cheese-eating surrender monkey bites back.
posted by skellum at 9:42 AM PST - 42 comments

Court grants blacks special sentencing
Court Grants Blacks Special Sentencing Sentences for black offenders can be reduced or tailored to reflect the systemic racism that has historically plagued their community, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled. The 3-0 judgment came in a case involving Quinn Borde, a black gunman from Toronto's seedy Regent Park area. The 18-year-old admitted to firing a gun repeatedly into the air while being chased by a gang and pistol-whipping a rival later.
posted by orange swan at 9:05 AM PST - 15 comments

War and on and on
War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. General George S. Patton famously said, "Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God, I do love it so!" Though Patton was a notoriously single-minded general, it is nonetheless the case that war gives meaning to many lives, a fact with which we have become familiar now that America is once again engaged in a military conflict. War is an enticing elixir. It gives us purpose, resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. With this generational iteration, is peace ever attainable?
posted by the fire you left me at 8:21 AM PST - 23 comments

Hollywood? Huh huh, you said
Can I catch Gay if I watch the Oscars?
posted by vito90 at 8:10 AM PST - 25 comments

390,000 Jedi in Britain
390,000 Jedi in Britain In a recent census 390,000 U.K. residents declared their faith in the Star Wars religion following an e-mail campaign that claimed 10,000 declared Jedites would make Jedi a 'legal and official religion.' So what happens now? Who will build the first Jedi church? (I reckon this says more about British attitutudes to form filling than attitutudes to religion).
posted by rolo at 7:02 AM PST - 22 comments

Calling Captain Obvious
Latest musings from Laci Peterson's family: "He's just not around, he's not participating, he's not working together with us." Hmmm. Wonder why. That whole "Somebody hurt Laci. Scott's somebody. Therefore..." thing might have something to do with it. Even if you think he was involved, you've got to admit there's something creepy about accusing a guy of killing his wife and child simply because nobody else has shown up to take the blame.
posted by effugas at 6:30 AM PST - 30 comments

My Father, the Cyborg
The Soul of a New Machine is the title of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the recent proliferation of cyborgs in the humanities. Growing outside of science, and inspired by science fiction, cyborgs have invaded economics, anthropology, and even philosophy. Cyborgs are indeed taking over the academic world. NASA is interested, too. In fact, NASA's Cyborg Program was based on the research of Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline. More inside...
posted by chason at 5:18 AM PST - 14 comments

Clearchannel internal memo on the impending war
YOU CANNOT OVERKILL this story Everybody loves Clearchannel, it's true. Here's another reason, as an internal memo from some eager executive is leaked. He's just counting down the seconds until war begins and wants to make sure his affiliates are prepared. Here's a nice sample: "People who have never listened to our stations will be tuning in out of curiosity, desperation, panic and a hunger for information. RIGHT NOW, convert them to P-1's . . ."
posted by jeremias at 4:47 AM PST - 39 comments

Pancake jokes are very 'deck'.
So this is what is means to be hip. (NY TIMES link)
What ''The Preppie Handbook'' did for whale belts and synonyms for vomiting, ''The Hipster Handbook'' accomplishes for this generation's stylistic and linguistic signs and signifiers."
According to the book, "deck" means "cool", "tassel" is a girl, "bust a moby" means to dance, and a "frado" is an ugly guy who thinks he is good looking. Being a member of said generation myself, I can honestly say that I have never ever heard anyone speak this way. Maybe I'm just too "ishtar". Do you think the Hipster Handbook captures today's, um, deck kids accurately? What would your Hipster Handbook include?
posted by 4easypayments at 3:12 AM PST - 53 comments

Multiple shutter speeds are for wusses.
Some would say that Holga never really died... Welcome to the surreal world of plastic photography. The run away champion site is DigitalSucks, though great galleries and daring feats of technical innovation are scattered across the net. I'm already looking to get my first Holga.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:07 AM PST - 11 comments