February 23, 2003
Did you hear the one about the Harvard girls and the large snow phallus? Oh, and here's the response featuring the memorable line: "it means that we, as women, must be subject to erect penises whether we like it or not."
Synthetic Trees could purify the air - "It looks like a goal post with Venetian blinds," said the Columbia University physicist...synthetic trees could help clean up an atmosphere grown heavy with carbon dioxide..."You can be a thousand times better than a living tree...There are a number of engineering issues which need to be worked out," he said. (BBC) Hurry up, then - "Ice dams are blocking Latvian ports, winds and storms are battering Europe, Portugal is freezing, Vietnam has lost one-third its rice crop, and the cold has caused close to 2,000 deaths in usually temperate South Asia."
There's One In Every Family: You know that uncle whose name can't be mentioned at table, without loud swallowing, dark looks and deathly silence ensuing? The shady New Orleans grandmother whose photographs have been hastily removed from the family album, though the red stain from one of her garters remains? Call them black sheep or family skeletons, the Internet keeps making it easier and easier to dig them up and out. Outing your forebears and close family members has become an up and coming thing. In other words: I'll show you my black sheep if you show me yours.
Parts of Bible ruled hate speech in Canada. Frankly, I've always found it odd how easily the gay and lesbian community lives with what can best be described as thinly-veiled death threats like in this ad. "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
If you worship SpongeBob Squarepants as much as I do, then you know that superb voice talent is one of the things that makes this particular cartoon so wonderfully entertaining. But what you might not realize is just how much top-drawer showbiz talent the show's executive producer, Stephen Hillenburg, has assembled to bring his cast of wacky undersea characters to life: film actors like Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Ernest Borgnine (Mermaid Man), and John Rhys-Davies (The Evil Man Ray), along with teevee legends Tim Conway (Barnacle Boy) and Charles Nelson Reilly (The Dirty Bubble). Who knows, maybe they'll they cast Gary Oldman in the role of Plankton for the upcoming film?
Just Party like it's 2060 According to some researchers, this will be the year sir Issac Newton predicted the world will come to an end, based on his Biblical interpretations. Like we didn't have enough depressing news already.
LOST LABOR: Images of Vanished American Workers 1900-1980, a selection of 155 photographs by Raymon Elozua. Many of the images document factories and jobs that no longer exist. Whether it is a photograph of a laborer hauling a three foot block of ice at the York Ice Machinery Corporation, or one of a man carving a half hull model for the New York Shipbuilders Corporation, or others jiggering ceramic plates for the Mayer China Company, hand spraying a wicker baby carriage for the E.A. Whitney Carriage Company, or blocking a rim for the Knox Hat Company, all are examples of lost skill and crafts.
Buried within the $397 billion spending bill passed last night [Feb. 13] by Congress is a provision that would permit livestock producers to certify and label meat as "organic" even if the animals had been fed partly or entirely on conventional rather than organic grain. [from NYT] [more inside]
Anti-Bush T-shirt banned at Michigan school "DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) -- School officials ordered a 16-year-old student to either take off a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "International Terrorist" and a picture of President Bush and or go home, saying they worried it would inflame passions at the school where a majority of students are Arab-American. " That amazes me. Heard the same thing with a canadian teenager wearing this Tshirt of his favorite rock star, Matthew Good. "Freedom of fashion?"...
Did downsizing and inexperience lead to Columbia's destruction? In the rush to cut costs and 'downsize' NASA in the 1990s the agency outsourced most Space Transportation System (STS, or the Shuttle) functions to a private consortium called United Space Alliance. Now, senior engineers at Boeing (lead member of the USA) are beginning to talk about the lack of experience, 'brain drain', and negative effects of downsizing and privatization. This begs the issue of market imperatives, relative value of privatization and the question of how to better manage projects of this magnitude in a mixed private/public arrangement.
Make Love Not War - Again? The anti-war movement has all the best slogans. And quite rightly too. Which doesn't mean they're not still rehashed, unimaginative and lame. "Don't attack Iraq"? "Make tea, not war"? Don't make me laugh. What's the best you've come across, if at all? And why are the hawks so lacking in the most basic sense of humor?
The Republic of Cascadia. "The former American states of Oregon and Washington and the former Canadian province of British Columbia must join together as a sovereign nation. Only then can we have self-determination and take our rightful place in the Global Community."
"Badges? We Don't Need No Stinking Badges!" Your number one web destination for the timeless "badges" quote, including comic strips, video, and cartoons
Organ donation has become a hot topic on Me Fi lately. Unfortunately, this thread has not spawned the best discussion. But the ethics of organ tansplantation can become difficult. Do donors have the right to specify who gets their organs? If they do, what does that imply for living donors; in other words, are you really volunteering to donate that kidney to your brother? And should we have an opt-in or opt-out system? Most religions approve of organ donation; even Jehovah's Witnesses that do not accept blood transfusions. And of course, the US government is involved, for better or worse. Not everyone thinks organ donation is good. More links here and here.