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February 16, 2003
Bloggers campaign for human rights
Campaign for Democracy and Human Rights in Iraq! Some hundred or so bloggers are sporting logos supporting democracy and human rights in Iraq, just twenty-four hours after a campaign was kicked-off by Dean's World blog publisher Dean Esmay. The campaign is supported by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an activist umbrella group of pro-Democracy Iraqi organizations inside and outside of Iraq. It's a groundswell that will hopefully counter the anti-democratic and anti-Iraqi spirit of recent ANSWER demonstrations, and notable here because it's at this point strictly a blogworld phenomenon, but one that might actually have an effect in the real world. We'll see. Cyber-activism up until now has mainly been ineffective, and the feeling of many activists (cf. Barlow) is that it's more a distraction from real-world activism than an aid. Pro-democracy bloggers are a different breed from many traditional, trend-driven activists, and this might be the difference.
posted by BubbaDude at 11:20 PM PST - 137 comments

Worlds Longest Hockey Game
The worlds longest hockey game came to an end this afternoon after 80 hours of ice time. 39 players (all with ties to cancer through loved ones lost or afflicted) participated to raise money for pediatric cancer research. What lengths would you go to for your cause?
posted by Starchile at 11:12 PM PST - 7 comments

Jewel Boxes of the Midwest
Louis Sullivan had been one of the most successful architects of the late nineteenth century, working at the forefront of early skyscraper design. But by the turn of the century, his distinctive style had fallen out of fashion, and his major commissions dried up. Sullivan took jobs where he could find them, and between 1908 and 1919 designed small banks in eight midwest towns. Tiny yet elegant, they are sometimes referred to as his "jewel boxes." See examples in Owatonna, Minnesota; Grinnell, Iowa; West Lafayette, Indiana; Sidney, Ohio; and Columbus, Wisconsin.
posted by Aaaugh! at 10:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Liberal Radio
A group of rich Democrats plans a full daily slate of liberal-oriented radio programming. The first major figure they're courting to do a show: Al Franken, who wrote a satirical book about a certain right-wing radio host a few years ago. Want to hear smart, funny, liberal radio right now? Tune into Harry Shearer's Le Show, available royalty-free to any station that will broadcast it, or online via RealAudio.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:15 PM PST - 52 comments

Smithsonian Folkways uses CD-Rs to fulfill orders for obscure recordings
Smithsonian Folkways shows the way? (NYT link, blah blah) "The major music companies may fret over falling revenue, but one label saw its business jump 33 percent last year — thanks in part to the recordable compact discs that the industry says are hurting its sales." Smithsonian Folkways has been burning CD-Rs for customers ordering some of its obscure titles. Would this work on a larger scale? Why should any recording ever go out of print again?
posted by pmurray63 at 10:05 PM PST - 5 comments

I got some Mutagen all over your Michaelangelo. Cowabunga indeed.
Porn Doodles Obviously Not Safe For Work, nor does it do anything to raise the bar of Metafilter in any way. But hell with it, I enjoyed the Piggy Bank. I'm also drunk. via M&C
posted by Stan Chin at 7:13 PM PST - 21 comments

The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture releases a document on the surging interest in New Age thought (e.g., Zen Buddhism). They advise that Harry Potter is okay but that Deepak Chopra might be someone to be wary of. Evidently the Age of Aquarius isn't coming so that peace will guide the planets. Bummer. That might be nice.
posted by treywhit at 7:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Space elevator one step closer.
Highlift Systems may have found a better location for their space elevator in Perth, Australia. Calm waters, few thunderstorms, not too far from the equator, international airport. (Slashdot discussion) I live in Perth, so I'm excited about the prospect, but our current premier may need a little prod.
posted by krisjohn at 5:04 PM PST - 8 comments

the frank & fritzy show
is the frank & fritzy show a fabulous work of fiction, or are these guys for real? a link to these apparent real life sopranos was posted way back in june 2001 but elicited just one comment & besides the number of episodes has since blooooomed. (requires real player or windows media player to listen in; or u can read the transcripts) ...so what do you make of these guys?
posted by n o i s e s at 4:30 PM PST - 2 comments

more fundamentalism in the middle east
in another thread someone asked "What maniac are we creating right now?", reading this article i this morning - i asked myself the same question. [nytimes]

"The founder of Maon Farm, Yehoshefat Tor, says he still thinks the bombing was a good idea. ''The Torah says we should kill all the Arabs,'' he told me. ''Not just Arabs who maybe help terrorists. Everybody.''"
posted by specialk420 at 3:45 PM PST - 14 comments

Every needs a little therapy now and then...
War as national therapy- revisiting the Gulf War: (scroll down 5 paragraphs to "Powell and the Persian Gulf War") Some 100,000 retreating Iraqi troops were incinerated, blown to bits, etc. (Schwarzkopf's estimate) with unexpectedly light US casualties (383 from all causes). “Even in Vietnam I didn’t see anything like this. It’s pathetic.“ said Major Bob Nugent, Army intelligence officer. But the stunning victory - and the ensuing US euphoria - were almost sabatoged by a Russian peace plan.... "The President's problem was how to say no to Gorbachev without appearing to throw away a chance for peace"(wrote Colin Powell in American Journey) “We have to have a war,” Bush told his inner circle of Secretary of State James Baker, national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Powell" (narrates Bob Woodward)...."Fear of a peace deal at the Bush White House [wrote columnists Evans and Novak] had less to do with oil, Israel or Iraqi expansionism than with the bitter legacy of a lost war. 'This is the chance to get rid of the Vietnam Syndrome,' one senior aide told us." Peace threatened, but Colin Powell had a plan......
posted by troutfishing at 2:26 PM PST - 31 comments

Mark Twain on War and Imperialism.
Mark Twain on War and Imperialism. A collection of Twain's satirical writings on imperialism and the Philippine-American War, including his famous "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" and "The War Prayer" (the later was previously discussed here.)
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM PST - 8 comments

Cooking for Losers
Don't know how to cook? You might find Cooking for Losers helpful, with new tips and recipes every day. Today:
Take one flour tortilla from the fridge and warm it slightly in the microwave. Spread a bit of cream cheese on it. Spread a bit of spicy sweet mustard on it. Top with a few slices of your favorite lunchmeat - pastrami, ham, turkey; this recipe does not work well with tofu products. Roll and consume. May be cut into multiple little rolly-things if more food is desired.
Share your own carefully hoarded recipes and be a guest loser.
posted by elgoose at 12:42 PM PST - 39 comments

The Beggar Removal Hotline
Vietnam employs the Beggar Removal Hotline. To promote a more healthy tourist experience, Denang is employing a reward system for citizens who report vagrants and beggars.

Once they have been reported to the special telephone hotline, the people are taken to the centre where they have health checks and are classified according to need...healthy people are sent back to their home provinces, while those who have physical or mental illnesses are treated at the city's expense.

I feel strange saying this but I think the U.S. should adopt this system. I love beggars as much as the next guy, but cleaning up the streets and helping out the beggars...it's a win/win situation.
posted by gwong at 8:43 AM PST - 22 comments

A Cool Frog Who Kicks Butt
The coolest Living Frenchman I can think of is Dominique de Villepin, the Ladies' man who swept the UN off its feet, Colin Powell's latest arch-nemesis (although they used to get along) who has, by speaking against the US war effort, seriously reduced the likelihood of a war against Iraq, and may have engineered great changes in the way that global problems are resolved. But the main link is to an interview that de Villepin conducted with the Times of India several months ago. And I'm asking: don't you wish that all politicians could speak so well, that all politicians had his intelligence, his education, his sensitivity, his understanding of global concerns, and just his ability to quote from an actual book and understand what it meant? And if they did, can you imagine the sort of world we could be living in now?
posted by chrisgregory at 5:49 AM PST - 75 comments

Radio-controlled robot snakes
Radio-controlled robot snakes Made by Adobe engineer Gavin Miller. Pages haven't been updated in a while, but movies are way cool. Robo-snake as ringbearer. Once I get my hands on enough of these, none shall escape my wrath. None! via Geisha Asobi Blog
posted by planetkyoto at 4:37 AM PST - 10 comments