November 5, 2002

Go cannabis!

Go cannabis! As discussed in an earlier Mefi thread, there are a handful of medical marijuana referendums in various states. Possibly the most interesting is Nevada's constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. It looks like this will become the law of the land (scroll all the way down). Arizona seems to have a few more NARCs (Proposition 203) than it does free-thinkers. In South Dakota, it looks like an industrial hemp initiative (bottom) has failed (Initiated Measure 1). How are the pot-legalization crusaders doing in your own home state?
posted by Hammerikaner at 10:15 PM PST - 40 comments

... and the doctor says, I can clearly see you're nuts.
A PRODIGY IN MANY FIELDS. Perhaps I rank historically among the 50 or 100 most intelligent and talented people in the most fields ever.
And so begins the best resume ever.
posted by patrickje at 5:32 PM PST - 59 comments

Demorats (sic) are showing strongly in the Senate...

Demorats (sic) are showing strongly in the Senate... Those damn Demorats are infesting the whole nation! They're now taking office around the country!!
posted by GernBlandston at 5:18 PM PST - 94 comments

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Terrifica!

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Terrifica! This supergirl herorine patrols the New York City single's scene bedecked in her scarlet outfit and gold cat-eye mask to help single women out of potentially dangerous situations.
posted by thedailygrowl at 3:37 PM PST - 36 comments

Voter News Service has abandoned its state and national exit polls.

Voter News Service has abandoned its state and national exit polls. VNS, a group formed by the major media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and Associated Press) to provide exit polls, rebuilt it's computer system after the 2000 media debacle, which VNS was blamed for. The computer system still did not work today. Rather than face embarrassment again, VNS has decided to not give any projections to the media.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:03 PM PST - 41 comments

Laogai.

Laogai. Welcome to China's labour camps.
posted by four panels at 2:22 PM PST - 4 comments

I have dreamed of Erebus.

I have dreamed of Erebus. mcwetboy took you to the Arctic today. Now read one man's fascinating diary of his trip to Antarctica in 2001, as well as this year's coming journey to the bottom of the world. Lots of words here, and some cool pictures. Not to mention margaritas and guacamole.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:20 PM PST - 9 comments

The CIA is back in the business of committing assasinations on foreign soil. Meanwhile, the administration still objects to Israel's policy of targeted killings because of its effect on the peace process.
posted by alms at 2:14 PM PST - 38 comments

Doodle of the Day

Doodle of the Day - Every weekday a brand new doodle. If you think you have what it takes, you can submit one of your own. Ahh, I love the internet.
posted by atom128 at 1:56 PM PST - 6 comments

Maybe you're travelling to Nunavut, maybe you've just seen Atanarjuat, but for whatever reason, you're keen to learn some Inuktitut. Where to begin? Take a course if one is available in your area. Listen to some words and phrases. But unless you're heading to a region (PDF map) where the Inuinnaqtun dialect is spoken (it uses the Roman alphabet), you're going to need to use Inuktitut's syllabics. Download some fonts (another source, and another) -- you'll need them for many sites, including this Inuktitut language reader. Or try out this handy converter. Finally, the Living Dictionary is the definitive reference to this language.
posted by mcwetboy at 1:31 PM PST - 9 comments

Are we using the worst voting procedure?

Are we using the worst voting procedure? "Voting theorists argue that plurality voting is one of the worst of all possible choices." Plurality voting, in which each voter selects one canidate, is vulnerable to a third party spoiler (Nader) or with many canidates can lead to the (near) election of a candidate most voters despise (le Pen). Some alternative voting systems include instant runoff where canidates are ranked by voters, a Borda count where voters assigns points to each canidate, or approval system where voters vote for as many canidates as they like. (via argmax.com)
posted by Quinn at 11:27 AM PST - 63 comments

Rez, a Japanese title for the Playstation 2 that was supposedly inspired by Kandinski's ideas on synaesthesia, comes packaged with a piece of hardware called a "trance vibrator."

Here's an entirely NOT SAFE FOR WORK guide to how one couple came to refer to the game as "Tron on Ecstasy."
posted by Pinwheel at 10:58 AM PST - 33 comments

Roadside memorials.

Roadside memorials. Every so often you'll catch one out of the corner of your eye--a makeshift cross on the side of a highway, or flowers tacked to a highway sign, marking a life that ended in that spot. Gives me chills--realistically, probably every single day we pass places where someone breathed their last, but we don't know it. Photographer Bill Sampson takes photographs of roadside memorials--called "descansos" from a Spanish word meaning rest--and collects them on his site. Loved ones are invited to submit memorials of their own. (Link via USA Today Web Guide.)
posted by GaelFC at 10:57 AM PST - 39 comments

Stop Wining Laddie - And Pass the Macallan!

Stop Wining Laddie - And Pass the Macallan! Why bother with sissy wines and beers when you can have whisky all through your meal? A new trend in dining is pairing spirits and cocktails with food. Russian aristocrats still refuse to drink vodka unaccompanied by comestibles while modern Italians and Americans cook with it. The Japanese love their straight Cognac and Chivas with everything bar sashimi and eccentric old Englishmen stick with Port from start to finish. I guess they're all on to something, no? In case they're not, here, by way of consolation, is a wonderful interactive food and wine matcher for the dullards and traditionalists among us. Cheers!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:57 AM PST - 15 comments

What DOESN'T this guy do?

What DOESN'T this guy do? He writes novels, screenplays, and old school radio dramas. In his spare time he records sci-fi inspired avant-garde electronica, trippy ambient stuff, and produces albums for other bands. He meshes spoken word and noise-pop , and with his old band, the unapologetic New Romantics Oo Oo Wa, produced an absolute wanker masterpiece, and ended up getting signed by the same guy who gave the Smashing Pumpkins their first record deal. Of late, he just turned up on Electric Lash: A Tribute to The Church. Creative genius, or too damned much Starbucks?
posted by timsteil at 10:41 AM PST - 8 comments

Are you using AOL IM at work?

Are you using AOL IM at work? Chatting with your buds or SO while you should probably be working? Well, in a desperate attempt to turn some kind of profit, AOL is willing to sell your boss the ability to be in on the conversation, too.
posted by crunchland at 9:29 AM PST - 21 comments

A New Constitutional Convention? Well, as we are all aware it's election days. Time to reshape our government as we see fit. And we have an remarkably robust blueprint for our government, one that has stood the test of time. But is it time to change? What would your suggestions be if you were present at a new creation? I know these links have a lefty feel, there what I could find. But I'm interested in reasoned perspectives from left and right. Is this process necessary or desirable? What Would You Do?
posted by pjgulliver at 8:35 AM PST - 39 comments

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud at 7:40 AM PST - 68 comments

Remember the Sokal Hoax? In the mid 1990s, NYU professor Alan Sokal got a deliberately ridiculous paper in the po-mo journal Social Text, which would have embarrassed the editors if the concept of shame weren't merely a social construct. Now it seems that turnabout is fair play. In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education, there's a fascinating article about two brothers -- they apparently got their physics PhDs by spouting nonsense, and even got their tripe published in peer-reviewed journals. (The article itself requires a subscription, but here is an account by one of the players in the drama. Even though every scientific field has bad journals and these papers are in French, which consigned them to less well-known journals, it's still a major embarrassment for physics.
posted by ptermit at 7:23 AM PST - 40 comments

Today, Georgia becomes the first state in the US to have standardized, state-wide electronic voting. Not wanting to be "the next Florida", Georgia spent nearly $60M to go from paper punch cards to touch screens. What's in store, fame or infamy? After using the computer myself and hearing raves from all the sweet old ladies, I'll bet on the former.
posted by ewagoner at 6:42 AM PST - 38 comments

Lots of news about war profits lately. Here's where much of it's coming from. Investigative journalism lives!
posted by jfc at 6:35 AM PST - 4 comments

Sea And Sky:

Sea And Sky:
Sea news, sky news, great photos, NASA Mission Insignia Patches (including Skylab), info about deep sea creatures, exploration timelines, and tonnes more.
posted by Fabulon7 at 6:22 AM PST - 5 comments

As the remake of Ringu opens in Japan, a rash of remakes of Asian horror movies seems to be winding its way through Hollywood. Not only has Hideo Nakata's latest movie, Honogurai mizu no soko kara (Dark Water), been optioned, the inevitable remake of Ringu 2 will occur, and the Hong Kong The Sixth Sense-esque The Eye has also been picked up for the Hollywood process. While it's nothing new to remake classic Japanese movies, this latest wave brings a lot of new questions. Is it near-impossible for the US to create horror movies that aren't increasingly self-referential? How long is it before we get remakes of Audition, Battle Royale, and Suicide Club? And will we eventually end up with a horror movie in the style of Fa talai jone, a Thailand Western influenced by Hollywood Westerns which were influenced by Japanese Samurai movies?
posted by Katemonkey at 5:19 AM PST - 26 comments

Ever heard of this kid?

Ever heard of this kid? Richard Sandrak is a 10 year old body builder! I cant help but wonder what health problems this kid will develop when he reaches puberty. freak or unique?
posted by JonnyX at 4:59 AM PST - 50 comments

African Ceremonies

African Ceremonies - Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have been recording African tribal rituals and customs in stunning photography for the last three decades. Beckwith, a U.S. native, is an expert on the Massai and also spent three years living among the fascinating desert nomads, the Wodaabe. Fisher, an Australian native, spent nearly a decade and a half studying and recording jewelry and body adornment. For at least the last decade, they've been collaborating with spectacular results.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:20 AM PST - 9 comments

What do you do with an eyesore built by a madman?

What do you do with an eyesore built by a madman? [Geocities site, caress lovingly before clicking] During WWII, Hitler built several Flakbunkers around the city of Hamburg, to act as self-contained civilian shelters and defensive posts. After the war, the British tried to blow them up. And failed, on two accounts. The buildings still stand today, squat and romanesque remnants of a horrible period in the city's history. So, in a show of Hanseatic League moxie, the citizens of Hamburg have converted one of them into a disco. [warning: Flash, and starts with music]. There are better pictures of the truly hideous exterior here and here. A timely reminder, this Tuesday morning, that poor decisions can have long-reaching and unintended consequences. What will your grandchildren have to turn into a disco?
posted by condour75 at 12:01 AM PST - 40 comments