December 29, 2002
Dow Chemical takes over a parody site Long time reader, first time poster... So what's the lesson learned here? If you make a parody, don't register your domain with a faked name?
Dave Barry's Year in Review is a hilarious month-by-month recap of 2002. Always funny, and sometimes rather poignant, for Dave. Also, a great UK Year-in-Review satire. Enjoy.
Should military service become mandatory? New York's Democratic representative Charles Rangel thinks so. Would this help curb the enthusiasm our elected leaders have in using our armed forces? Obviously, the details need to be explained and hashed out... but does this effort have any substantial support?
Plein Sud - 'A unique vision of the Americas on the Web.' If you enjoy travel documentaries, this is for you. Two French Canadians take on the Americas in this epic site cram packed with videos (for 56k and broadband), interviews, and travelogues. Originally produced for TV, you can now watch the full episodes from the site.
The republic of Kalmykia is a unique place. A member of the Russian Federation, it was settled in 1608 by Mongols from what is now the Chinese province of Xinjiang. It is the only state in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion, and probably the only state in the world whose president claims to have created an "extra-sensory field" around it. Kalmykia's spiritual leader, Telo Rinpoche, is an American from Philadelphia who was appointed by the Dalai Lama. There has been a long history of migrations between Europe and Asia. In one really intriguing case, 3000-year-old mummies with reddish-blond hair, Caucasian features and wearing tartans similar in design to Celtic ones, were discovered in the Takla Makan Desert in Xinjiang. If these ancient Caucasians were absorbed by the population of Xinjiang, then perhaps the Kalmyk migration might have unknowingly been a return to their ancestral lands. [First link via plep].
White House halts asbestos alert WASHINGTON (AP) - A warning from the Environmental Protection Agency, informing millions of Americans their homes might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation, has not been issued because of White House intervention, a newspaper reports. The EPA was expected to announce the warning in April, and declare a public health emergency concerning Zonolite insulation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in its Sunday editions.
The sky is a color of television, tuned to a dead channel, and there's a hole in the sky above Chile. The widening gash in the ozone layer is now over Punta Arenas, Chile, the southern most city in the world.
Cinergy Stadium Goes Down. The odds are that the Vet in Philadelphia is next. Watching these ball parks is destroyed is something else. Anyone witness it? Do you miss those places and what would you like to see fixed up? Is this the answer rather than Soldiers field or Lambeau fix it up? Some are worth keeping (Wrigley) but maybe Fenway and Yankee stadium need to go.
Alternate realities - as we approach a new year, you may want to measure some things differently - your age or your weight, for example. Some calculations may be flattering, others rather alarming. Even "wasting time" apparently can have some value. No matter what your age, there are some calculators that will help ensure longevity.
Industrialised society's fascination with useless invention: as a kid I used to love the work of Heath Robinson, inventor of (among others) a method of testing safety matches, the potato peeler, and an inoffensive method of weighing a lady friend. His American equivalent was the slightly more scientific Rube Goldberg. Occasional attempts of the patently useless to make the leap into the real world have been furthered considerably by the Japanese art of Chindogu, made popular by Kenji Kawakami, inventor of (among others) the Hay fever hat, the portable road crossing, and dusting shoes for cats. Maywa Denki seems to transcend earthy Chindogu with fish-based and musical (via sharpeworld) inventions.