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July 21, 2003
j'ai besoin d'une title amusant
Mont St. Michel on the Normandy coast of France is a 12th century gothic abbey purched at the top of a tiny fortified village built around a small mountain; what's most unique about the location is that due to the very gentle incline of the coast, the mountain is located on salt marsh flats at low tide, but becomes an isolated island in the sea at high tide, accessible only by a raised road (added in the 1950s). It's also one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. While there are no shortage of photos of it online, this gallery had some of the most beautiful ones I'd ever seen. For those who can't make it to France, here's a quick guide to recreating the experience in miniature. warning - last link is from geocities, good for first six visitors only
posted by jonson at 9:56 PM PST - 28 comments

Should California Secede?
Dude. To hell with moving to Canada. I'm not giving up that easily. This may not be the best time to be a liberal, but why concede? Secede! With the 5th largest economy in the world, prodigious industry, a diverse population, rich natural resources, and a growing rift with the federal government, why is California sharing a budget with the unbeautiful when we could be enjoying our very own Republic? Is it for lack of leadership? Or lack of a clue?
posted by scarabic at 5:24 PM PST - 82 comments

the homeless and their stories
Gary F. Clark photographs the homeless and tells you their story in his Fotolog.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:54 PM PST - 13 comments

The HRE was neither holy nor roman, talk amongst yourselves (about GMOs)
Today the British government released a major report on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others disagree.
posted by turbodog at 2:10 PM PST - 58 comments

Older drivers and accidents: Don't discriminate based on age.
Lock 'im up. For a long time. That's what I say you do with anyone who commits multiple counts of vehicular manslaughter (in this case, ten). But will this driver even be charged, or will we just let him be? After all, he's 86. We, as a society, can't make this nice old man spend the rest of his days in prison, if convicted? Sure, the public discussion regarding his age in this horrible tragedy centers around the right of older people to continue driving without testing their ability and senses, but I want to focus on this: What's the unwritten age limit on convicting and sentencing someone like Russell Weller?
posted by msacheson at 1:47 PM PST - 102 comments

I was just asking Lord Sandwich, Where the devil are those Douchebags?
Fancy a lordship? The Barony of Pencelli Castle is up for sale, as is Timberhonger, Wimple, and Bradfield St Clare. Just make sure they’re not fake.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:13 PM PST - 2 comments

You owe it to yourself to see NORTHFORK
If this summer's unending parade of spiritless sequels has you down on that whole film-can-be-art thing, I strongly recommend you rejuvenate your sense of wonder by taking a journey with the Polish Brothers to the Heartland of their America, Northfork, Montana. It's the third installment of a cinematic trilogy that has taken them to Twin Falls Idaho and Jackpot, Nevada. You will either love Northfork (Ebert: "There has never been a movie quite like "Northfork"") or you'll hate it (McDonagh: "meticulously crafted but frustratingly meaningless"); there seems to be very little in between. Some background won't hurt, if you're the literal type; hearing from the filmmakers in their own words provides some additional perspective. But in the end, all that matters is what you see... Please. Just go - it's not very likely you've ever seen much else like it... (Flash-enabled pages at those official film sites, sorry...)
posted by JollyWanker at 1:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Remembering the Dragon
Remembering the Dragon On July 20th, 1973, Bruce Lee died, a month before the premiere of the film that would affirm his star power to Hollywood. As of 2003, an exhibition, a DVD boxset, a documentary and global fan worship continue to mark his rise to immortality. As far as a younger I was concerned, he'd already achieved it in his lifetime (viewing note...cable channel AMC will be airing the above-mentioned movies and documentary as part of a tribute this coming weekend).
posted by LinusMines at 12:12 PM PST - 8 comments

takes the edge off, uh, water.
Alcoholic Spring Water. For those who don't like caffeine, fluoride, "fitness", or extra oxygen in their water....or caffeine , "energy", or extra water in their beer, i guess.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:01 PM PST - 32 comments

juggle
Luke Burrage is a juggler.
posted by crunchland at 11:12 AM PST - 5 comments

The Right to Flash Petition
The Right to Flash is an online petition for Macromedia to properly support Arabic and Hebrew languages which read from right-to-left.
posted by hobbes at 9:52 AM PST - 24 comments

Tools for boycotting the RIAA
Sure, we'd like to boycott the RIAA, but how do we go about it? With the RIAA Radar, that's how. The Radar can tell you whether a particular album was released by a member of the RIAA. Not only that, it will show you the RIAA membership of the top 100 albums as well as the the top 100 non-RIAA albums on Amazon. There's even a bookmarklet. [via magnetbox]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:34 AM PST - 43 comments

iraq media blackout?
deadly weekend in iraq this weekend was a particularly bad one in iraq, with numerous american deaths and casualties ... yet there is barely a mention of the death toll in the media (check washington post, ny times, drudge, etc. etc.) this morning. is something going on here? or are editors and the american public bored with the story? - i had to dig for the links in this post.
posted by specialk420 at 8:31 AM PST - 118 comments

4
The answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is 42. Just kidding. In fact scientists say the answer is 4.
posted by stbalbach at 7:16 AM PST - 43 comments

58th Anniversary of Atomic Age
This is the 58th Anniversary of the Atomic Age. The successful Trinity nuclear test was made July 16, 1945, in which a six-kilogram sphere of plutonium, compressed to supercriticality by explosive lenses, exploded over the New Mexico desert with a force equal to approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The Stafford Memo (original in PDF), dated 58 years ago today, is the declassified official report. Outside the use of the weapon in warfare, the risks to humans were uncertain.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:45 AM PST - 11 comments

Happy Birthday Nintendo
The Nintendo Famicom is 20 years old ..... and I (along with may others here I suspect) have owned every single last version. It's oulasted many bizzare offerings from it's now defunct arch rival. There's even a booming market it both retro consoles. It all makes me feel older than I thought I was though.
posted by MintSauce at 6:25 AM PST - 47 comments

The Abilene Paradox
The Abilene Paradox: A sunny afternoon, a family playing cards on a terrace. One of them thinks they should move - not that he cares, on the contrary, but he thinks the others want to - so he proposes a trip to Abilene. No fun, hot, bad food. Back home one of them admits that he had preferred to stay home. Everybody would have liked that, only they did not admit to it when it was still time to enjoy the afternoon.
Everyone talks about free speech, but it's surprising how few people (even its most vociferous defenders!) realize why it's so important. The Abilene Paradox -- which describes in familiar terms how entire groups can be motivated to act contrary to their own wishes -- can only occur when communication breaks down...or is broken down. Just a bit of pragmatism to start your day.
posted by effugas at 3:15 AM PST - 8 comments

Chinese Pop Posters
Chinese Pop Posters. More :- Guangzhou's racing track, patrolling despair, Cuba, under New York, Bombay bazaar, and Chinese rural architecture. All from the excellent Atlas magazine - more here.
posted by plep at 12:54 AM PST - 10 comments