Why Does Dan Savage Owe Katie a Hitachi Magic Wand? It all started when Dan Savage informed his readers that he liked to fantasize about Brad Pitt coming on Ashton Kutcher's face. He was later inspired to have a contest in which readers sent in their sexual fantasies. He said that readers whose sexual fantasies were selected for publication would receive five dollars. I sent in a fanstasy I had when I was six years old (you'll read about it later). In a subsequent column, he canceled the contest, saying that all the fantasies he had received were boring. I shrugged it off, until... posted by grumblebee at 4:01 PM PST - 42 comments
The Self-Healing Minefield From the current Village Voice: "Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf computer chips and 'healing' software, the networked minefield detects rude attempts to clear it, deduces which parts of itself have been removed, and signals its remaining munitions to close the hole using best-fit mathematics."
Bonus ubertasteless Flash animation courtesy of DARPA here. Color me fascinated and repulsed in equal measure. posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:33 PM PST - 40 comments
If the Vaccine makers are scared about huge rewards for families harmed by their products, they should have made sure their vaccines didn't cause children to develop autism posted by RobbieFal at 2:28 PM PST - 43 comments
Slimeball!!!!! Quadruple post, I know, but it is the day before Thanksgiving, and if your boss is making you be in the office this afternoon you should at least make the best of it. posted by trigfunctions at 12:46 PM PST - 16 comments
How familiar do these words sound today?
* This year, however, we are wallowing in the sordid aftermath of the revelations of the misguided administration policy that brought about that war. We have been treated to details of how the administration bent over backwards in its misguided effort to support the regime of Saddam Hussein on the very eve of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. ......`Public disclosure of classified information harms the national security,' Attorney General William Barr instructed the House Banking Committee last week. `. . . in light of your recent disclosures, the executive branch will not provide any more classified information'--unless the wrongdoing is kept secret.
`Your threat to withhold documents,' responded Chairman Gonzalez, `has all the earmarks of a classic effort to obstruct a proper and legitimate investigation . . . none of the documents compromise, in any fashion whatsoever, the national security or intelligence sources and methods.' .....Policy blunders are not crimes. But perverting the purpose of appropriated funds is a crime; lying to Congress compounds that crime; and obstructing justice to cover up the original crime is a criminal conspiracy
Will we, as a country, learn from our recent history or are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? posted by nofundy at 12:07 PM PST - 49 comments
Are Online Depression Quizzes Depressingly Useless? Or is there something to them? There are certainly a lot of them about, posted by respectable institutions. And they don't seem far removed or less complete than the set of questions doctors will ask you to help them decide whether you're depressed or not. In other words, if I were to take all four quizzes and divided my results by four or something, would I be any wiser? Is the fact that they're very private an advantage? So many questions! [First link, for which I assume you don't need to have had a baby this month in order to answer, via Bifurcated Rivets.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:49 AM PST - 18 comments
Strange Bedfellows fight tyranny? - Bob Barr, Dick Armey to join ACLU Quoth James Madison: (Federalist Papers #47) - "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." and Benjamin Franklin:"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
William Safire Slammed the Bush Adminstration (Nov 15) over John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program. NOW: Bob Barr, a gun-rights anti-gay firebrand conservative to join the ACLU? Dick Armey's joining as a consultant? Say that again?
And Nat Hentoff reports that the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana ran a broadside called (sept. 8) "Attacks on Liberty" - "In the name of national security, President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and even Congress have pulled strand after strand out of the constitutional fabric that distinguishes the United States from other nations. . . . Actions taken over the past year are eerily reminiscent of tyranny portrayed in the most nightmarish works of fiction" MEANWHILE...an email of an editorial by right wing radio personality Chuck Baldwin, "Bush Government 'Out of Control' ("The Bush administration seems determined to turn our country into the most elaborate and sophisticated police state ever devised") first published in an online Christian Fundamentalist antiabortion newpaper is making the (right wing) rounds. It asks: "Does that mean one must leave the Republican Party in order to fight for liberty?" [antitroll protection dislaimer: most Democrats signed the Patriot Act, the principle cause of concern behind the statements and editorials linked to on this post]
posted by troutfishing at 10:53 AM PST - 25 comments
A warning shot in the dark: For connoisseurs of clever turns of phrase: The phrase "a warning shot in the dark" popped out at me from a Google News preview panel as being a mixed metaphor. Indeed, a Google search reveals that the phrase has never before been used on the entire Web, which is rather amazing. Delving into the story, it appears by paragraph three that the mixed metaphors are appropriate, in this case. posted by beagle at 9:41 AM PST - 35 comments
Return of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Al Gore is quoted in the New York Observer: "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole."
Has Al Gore lost his mind? posted by Durwood at 9:19 AM PST - 114 comments
Should advertising be allowed to contain caricatures and satire of major figures without their permission? My opinion is yes they bloody well should. Good luck to the producers with hunting down Osama. posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:40 AM PST - 15 comments
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments every day. posted by arco at 8:18 AM PST - 9 comments
General Pervez Musharraf VS. Zombies. Does the Pakistani leader really have any business being in a pub in England drinking and attacking the undead? Let's hear it for quiet, non-stereotypical uses of turbanized humans. (I wish Boutros-Boutros Ghali would make an appearance in Spongebob Squarepants) posted by clango at 7:27 AM PST - 8 comments
Face transplant surgery appears to be nearing reality. A conference taking place this week will discuss the issue, which is not without controversy. How would you feel about a loved one who had been severely disfigured getting a new and different face? Would you be willing to donate your face after you had died? posted by CoolHandPuke at 7:13 AM PST - 32 comments
Rock n Roll! We know that Sex and Drugs ain't good for us, but researchers at McGill University are using very fancy devices to learn how our brains react to music. (Probably not much to discuss, but it's an interesting article) posted by adamms222 at 5:34 AM PST - 6 comments
Bush is soft on tobacco Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines. posted by Postroad at 4:57 AM PST - 15 comments