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After the lunch hour, we'll help you relax a bit

After the lunch hour, we'll help you relax a bit. Mood lit, time of day sensitive programming comes to your favorite local newspaper web portal. Will something like this fly? Has it been done before? Is this being done elsewhere now?
posted by crasspastor on Jan 26, 2004 - 16 comments

As the wind blows, we see the anus of a chicken.

Hollywood? Old. Bollywood? That's soooo 2003. Make room for Nollywood, Nigeria's own film industry which is growing by leaps and bounds every year, and is currently worth about $45 million dollars. About 400 Nollywood films are produced every year many on a budget of around $15000 and are distributed almost entirely by VHS and VCD. The stories are very much simplistic and pulpy (check out 419 Stalk Exchange. Yes, 419 as in the email scam) but are much preferred by local residents and emigre's than the usual arthouse fair one often thinks of when talking about African cinema. Now if you'll excuse me there's a bucket of popcorn and a copy of GSM Connection waiting for me in the living room.
posted by PenDevil on Jan 19, 2004 - 13 comments

The phrase ''Banana Republican'' comes to mind

I.M.F. Report Says U.S. Deficits Threaten World Economy
With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund. Prepared by a team of I.M.F. economists, the report sounded a loud alarm about the shaky fiscal foundation of the United States, questioning the wisdom of the Bush administration's tax cuts and warning that large budget deficits pose "significant risks" not just for the United States but for the rest of the world. The report warns that the United States' net financial obligations to the rest of the world could be equal to 40 percent of its total economy within a few years--"an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country," according to the fund, that could play havoc with the value of the dollar and international exchange rates.
From The Brookings Institute: Sustained Budget Deficits: Longer-Run U.S. Economic Performance and the Risk of Financial and Fiscal Disarray (Full Report PDF)
posted by y2karl on Jan 8, 2004 - 60 comments

Rich on Reagan

Terrific Frank Rich piece (NYT link) on Angels, Reagan, and AIDS in America.
posted by adrober on Nov 16, 2003 - 35 comments

State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

Beginning in April 2002, the State Department project assembled more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts... to study topics ranging from creating a new justice system to reorganizing the military to revamping the economy. Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems... warned... many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society. Several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials until recently... The work is now being relied on heavily as occupation forces struggle to impose stability in Iraq.
posted by y2karl on Oct 20, 2003 - 9 comments

Soldadito de Bolivia, soldadito boliviano ...

Coca culture (NYT) I am a cocalera. I owe my life to coca. My father died when I was 2 and my mother raised six children by growing coca. I was a farmer myself, growing coca for traditional purposes. But the United States says it is better for us to just forget about coca. In the early 1990's, Bolivian officials distributed American money — $300 to $2,500 per farm — and told us to try yucca and pineapples. But 60 pineapples earn us only about eight bolivianos (about $1). And unlike coca, yucca and pineapples are difficult to carry to the cities to sell, and they spoil. So many farmers returned to growing coca.
posted by magullo on Oct 16, 2003 - 34 comments

Amaizing waistlines

You are fat because there is too much corn. [NYT, forfeit of first-born son required] I love good old-fashioned materialism, and Michael Pollan (author of The Botany of Desire) scores one for the team with this article on the economics of corn production. Are we fat because New Deal agricultural policy was overturned in the 70s by Rusty Butz? Now there's a trailing question we can all enjoy.
posted by condour75 on Oct 11, 2003 - 31 comments

How bad is it really in Iraq?

How bad is it really in Iraq? The majority of the media stories have covered the attacks on American troops and the unrest among Iraqi citizens. But is that the full story? An Iraqi Catholic bishop thinks the media is lying about the postwar state of the country. An Iraqi journalist writes that Basrah is moving towards religious stability. There are other stories of the renewed economic opportunities in Iraq. An American federal judge visited the country and found overwhelming support for Americans. Even a Democratic Congressman thinks the negative media coverage is dangerous. More coverage from in-country and polls (NY Times) that show Iraqi optimism.
posted by marcusb on Sep 28, 2003 - 73 comments

living and renewal

An Audit for the Soul As we enter the Jewish High Holy Days--the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the new year) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement)--some examinations on how personal reflection and renewal is essential to a healthy life, whether continual, periodical, or annual.
posted by amberglow on Sep 27, 2003 - 6 comments

'Faith Manages'

Meet Adrian Lamo, the so-called Homeless Hacker. He surrendered to the FBI Tuesday after breaking into the NYTimes intranet, and now he's speaking out to anyone who'll listen.
posted by Yelling At Nothing on Sep 18, 2003 - 17 comments

Osama, wild and free, is pleased...

Terrorist playground: How America created a terrorist haven in Iraq Jessica Stern, a lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and author of "Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill" argues, in a New York Times op ed piece, that U.S. negligence has allowed Iraq to metastasize into a terrorist training camp to which Islamic militants from all over the Middle East are now flocking for a chance to attack American troops, and in which the Iraq/Al-Qaeda links alleged by the Bush Administration are becoming a reality. Listen to Jessica Stern on "On Point" tonight (a WBUR production and will be archived if you miss it).
posted by troutfishing on Aug 22, 2003 - 24 comments

The Danger of American Fascism

«A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.» Henry A. Wallace’s article, titled «The Danger of American Fascism», ran in the New York Times in 1944. Veeery interesting reading.
posted by acrobat on Aug 22, 2003 - 11 comments

Top 10 ways to cope with power outages

Top 10 ways to cope with power outages
From the Iraqis, who've had plenty of exeprience with this recently. (via Tapped)
posted by Gilbert on Aug 15, 2003 - 19 comments

Notorious CRIPS founding member speaks out

Can the man who started the CRIPS really be reformed? A great article from the NY Times. Stanley "Tookie" Williams, one of the two founders of the LA gang, the Crips, has written numerous books and now does "public" speaking to young men to warn them away from the gang life. Is he serious? Is he reformed? Or is he just trying to make himself look good to get off death row? Does this "Scared Straight" stuff really work?
posted by aacheson on Aug 14, 2003 - 4 comments

100 Years of New York City

100 Years of New York City. A New York Times special, originally published in 1998. 'The following articles offer a glimpse into the past 100 years of New York City -- a decade at a time. Each decade includes a full time line prepared by the staff at The New York Times, photos from The Times archives, headline clippings from archive copies of The Times, and essays by noted authors and Times staff writers. '
The new born city, seen from above - a panorama from 1902.
posted by plep on Jul 28, 2003 - 7 comments

From garbage bag to garbage bag ...

From the NYT (reg req.'d) This is the saddest story I can imagine. "It was only a week ago that the tiny body of Stephanie Ramos was found in a plastic bag in a garbage truck in the Bronx, discarded by a foster mother who told the police that she panicked when the severely disabled girl died. It was an ugly ending by any measure, but particularly cruel in this case because the little girl's life began the same way: wrapped in a plastic bag and discarded on a New York City byway." Has anyone ever been a foster parent? A foster child? Are things often this bad - and this good? (That'll make sense when you read the story.)
posted by Jos Bleau on Jul 18, 2003 - 9 comments

Judg(ing) Billy

Meet Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, whose nomination to a federal appeals court may be running into trouble.
posted by stonerose on Jul 17, 2003 - 12 comments

Lite Bright

Does atheism sound too gloomy? Has the word 'freethinker' been co-opted by too many organizations? Some think so and now the world has a new social group: the "Brights." Also of interest is Daniel Dennett's "The Bright Stuff." The official brights website is here.
posted by skallas on Jul 14, 2003 - 109 comments

Savant for a Day

Savant for a Day! NYTimes journalist Lawrence Osbourne becomes a guinea pig for a University of Sydney's professor's mind-enhancing device based on the theories of autistic "Rainman" cognition with interesting results.
posted by skallas on Jun 20, 2003 - 27 comments

Michiko's Gone Maaaaaaaaaaad!

Michiko Kukatani goes whacky! (NYT Reg Required) Maybe all the craziness at the NYT is taking its toll, but everyone's favorite high-brow book bully reviews Candace Bushnell's (Sex and The City chick's) new book as a letter from...Elle Woods?!
posted by adrober on Jun 19, 2003 - 13 comments

Remembering Dad

The Key to My Father Author (and high school pal) Harlan Coben writes a terrific remembrance (NYTRR) of his late father. Hat tip to all the good paters out there! [More inside]
posted by billsaysthis on Jun 15, 2003 - 4 comments

so what's in that 0.1%?

DNA used to ascertain race of unidentified serial killer. Florida company DNAPrint Genomics claims their test can identify the race (ie, African, Caucasian, East Asian or American Indian) of a person from their DNA. CEO Tony Frudakis says that "of over 2,200 blind samples tested, the test is yet to get one wrong."
posted by shoos on Jun 5, 2003 - 12 comments

Khaki and Camo

Paul Krugman writes that the Bush administration will fight a "khaki election" next year, taking advantage of the general good feeling after the Iraq war. The original khaki election was the British election of 1900, contested during the Boer War. Our armed forces don't really wear khaki so much anymore and I think we need a new term. I suggest calling 2004 the "Camo Election." Any better suggestions?
posted by Mekon on Jun 3, 2003 - 26 comments

Jayson Blair doesn't know when to shut up.

Jayson Blair doesn't know when to shut up. The first interview with the disgraced New York Times reporter indicates that if he's feeling bad about what he did, he's not exactly showing it. Oh, and he has "a book full of anecdotes." Very subtle, Jayson.
posted by solistrato on May 22, 2003 - 36 comments

tick, tick, tick ...

They're ugly. I mean small and really ugly! And they don't do us any favors at all. We can hold each other's hands, and share support. Our fight against them may lead to knowledge in other battles, but I think its time to go on the offensive. Its time to defang the beastie. (Maybe I should have posted this at Warfilter instead?)
posted by Wulfgar! on May 20, 2003 - 20 comments

The Shallowing of American Taste

The Shallowing of American Taste First tastebuds and palates fall to McDonalds, now the eyes, ears, and minds fall to Wal-Mart, according to this NY Times article (free registration required)...
"The growing clout of Wal-Mart and the other big discount chains ? they now often account for more than 50 percent of the sales of a best-selling album, more than 40 percent for a best-selling book, and more than 60 percent for a best-selling DVD -- has bent American popular culture toward the tastes of their relatively traditionalist customers...But with the chains' power has come criticism from authors, musicians and civil liberties groups who argue that the stores are in effect censoring and homogenizing popular culture. The discounters and price clubs typically carry an assortment of fewer than a thousand books, videos and albums, and they are far more ruthless than specialized stores about returning goods if they fail to meet a minimum threshold of weekly sales."
Add in Clear Channel Radio and sanitized text books, and all I can say is that the internet has come along at the time it's needed. With the fingers of big commerce all over our culture, the web can serve to reverse an old mega-trend to "high-touch, high-tech." With Wal-Mart, et al, touching our minds, we need to resort to tech to add some depth and breath to their narrow and shallow offerings.
posted by fpatrick on May 17, 2003 - 45 comments

Suckers!TM

Jeb Bush has asked a court to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a developmentally disabled rape victim. (reg: mefi, mefi) Never mind that in a 1989 case, the Florida Supreme Court declared that it was "clearly improper" to appoint a guardian for a fetus.

The 22-year-old woman is so disabled that her pregnancy is considered a product of rape, is incapable of consenting to a DNA test and cannot otherwise help the police find the father; but I'm sure she'll make a great mom!
posted by magullo on May 16, 2003 - 45 comments

Evil empire versus Linux

Latest dispatch from the inner sanctums of the evil empire: (NY Times article. All the usual warnings apply: Registration required. May not be factual. etc. etc.) Last summer, Orlando Ayala, then in charge of worldwide sales at Microsoft, sent an e-mail message titled Microsoft Confidential to senior managers laying out a company strategy to dissuade governments across the globe from choosing cheaper alternatives to the ubiquitous Windows computer software systems. Mr. Ayala's message told executives that if a deal involving governments or large institutions looked doomed, they were authorized to draw from a special fund to offer the software at a steep discount or even free if necessary. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, was sent a copy of the e-mail message. The memo on protecting sales of Windows and other desktop software mentioned Linux, a still small but emerging software competitor that is not owned by any specific company. ‘Under NO circumstances lose against Linux,’ Mr. Ayala wrote.
Legitimate competitive tactics?
posted by found missing on May 15, 2003 - 22 comments

The New York Times 2003 Librarian Awards

Help celebrate National Underappreciated Librarian Month Nominate your favorite librarian for The New York Times 2003 Librarian Awards. "The New York Times has long been committed to fostering literacy and building awareness of issues important to society. We are proud to support and honor public librarians across the nation, who do so much to nurture a better-informed society.
The awards honor those librarian[s] who consistently demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism, knowledge and public service in the execution of their duties.
"
Read the Eligibility and Rules download the Nomination Form and nominate Someone today!
posted by Blake on May 14, 2003 - 7 comments

The Grey Lady Falters

Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception The New York Times runs a long article detailing its preliminary findings in the matter of Jayson Blair, The Times' young staff reporter who made up sources, facts, and anecdotes in potentially hundreds of stories. Does this investigation help the Times avoid permanent disgrace? Or does this just confirm what you've always thought about the Times? Slate magazine is attributing part of the problem to affirmative action (Blair is black). Is AA relevant here?
posted by hhc5 on May 10, 2003 - 39 comments

Semi-Legal Music Piracy Defenses

The NY Times reports that music companies are considering some new anti-piracy measures of questionable legality. The ideas include a program to lock up user's computers, another to find and delete illegally downloaded files, and what amounts to a DoS attack on user's computers. There are some supporters of these possibly extralegal measures. Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced a bill last year to provide the music industry with a "safe harbor from liability" when pursuing P2P traders. Should media companies be allowed to operate outside the law in their efforts to stop illegal downloads of their music?
posted by punishinglemur on May 3, 2003 - 23 comments

Group Art

Doing Their Own Thing, Making Art Together is a NYT piece (mirrored, no registration needed) about modern American art collectives. Some are physical, in a real communal sense, while others are entirely virtual. Does anyone have direct experience with those mentioned in the article or listed here (half-way down). Others?
posted by maniactown on Apr 24, 2003 - 2 comments

Is Tivo a Cult?

Is Tivo a Cult? - The New York Times discusses Tivo owners and their propensity to evangelize. What is it about Tivo that turns us into volunteer salesmen? I feel the devotion myself, you'll take away my Tivo when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers...
posted by Argyle on Apr 20, 2003 - 35 comments

Click, Pop and Whistle

Khoisan languages of southern Africa [NY Times link]
Do some of today's languages still hold a whisper of an ancient ancestral tongue spoken by the first modern humans? [more inside]
posted by Irontom on Mar 24, 2003 - 11 comments

Inducing stuttering

Stuttering In 1937, Professor Wendell Johnson, a stutterer, designed an experiment to induce stuttering in a group of normal youngsters. Things didn't quite work out as planned. An interesting longish read from the NY Times magazine.
posted by dydecker on Mar 15, 2003 - 15 comments

Doughnutty Universe

MMmmm, doughnut. (NYT link, reg. req'd) Lots of great philosophical answers to the old universe question, like our galaxy is in some giant's fingernail, and others. How about this one? Our universe is the shape of a doughnut! (more inside)
posted by msacheson on Mar 10, 2003 - 14 comments

Coming to America!

Coming to America! Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.
posted by Plunge on Mar 10, 2003 - 43 comments

Do Americans want more God in government?

Governing by The Book? While reading this column from Nicholas Kristof (NY Times, reg. required), I was struck by the following quote: "President Bush has said that he doesn't believe in evolution (he thinks the jury is still out). President Ronald Reagan felt the same way, and such views are typically American." Lots more info here, including stats that 46% of Americans consider themselves "Evangelical" or "Born Again" Christians, and that more than twice as many Americans believe in a red guy with a pitchfork than natural selection. I have no doubt that me-fites will have much to gripe about here, but my question is this: Do a majority of Americans want a Christian government? How far away are they from getting it?
posted by Gilbert on Mar 4, 2003 - 54 comments

With Friends Like This....

With Friends Like This.... Hate tv like I do? Do you rail at the idea of "must see tv"? OK....NYTimes link. But it is not NewsFilter! - more inside
posted by lampshade on Mar 3, 2003 - 20 comments

Jury Duty is something many of us face.

We all must do our civic duty. But how many of us can fill in President of the United States on the questionnaire when it asks for former jobs held? A bit of mirth for today. NY Times req. required.
posted by Plunge on Mar 1, 2003 - 20 comments

Way Out Of Line Online Ethics

Ethics, Shmethics! You Stole Someone's Umbrella, You Pompously Rationalizing Fink! Has anyone else taken Randy Cohen's ethics quiz and violently disagreed with his sneaky, say-nothing, keep-quiet approach? Silence (and therefore lying by omission) is a touchy subject, rabinically debated since records began... but still! [So I flunked 5... But they were all ethically unimpeachable, unimpeachable, you hear?! But, yeah, for now I'll sneakily keep quiet and say nothing about those I took exception to, the better to gauge anyone else's outrages...]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 18, 2003 - 71 comments

Liberal Radio

A group of rich Democrats plans a full daily slate of liberal-oriented radio programming. The first major figure they're courting to do a show: Al Franken, who wrote a satirical book about a certain right-wing radio host a few years ago. Want to hear smart, funny, liberal radio right now? Tune into Harry Shearer's Le Show, available royalty-free to any station that will broadcast it, or online via RealAudio.
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Feb 16, 2003 - 52 comments

Smithsonian Folkways uses CD-Rs to fulfill orders for obscure recordings

Smithsonian Folkways shows the way? (NYT link, blah blah) "The major music companies may fret over falling revenue, but one label saw its business jump 33 percent last year — thanks in part to the recordable compact discs that the industry says are hurting its sales." Smithsonian Folkways has been burning CD-Rs for customers ordering some of its obscure titles. Would this work on a larger scale? Why should any recording ever go out of print again?
posted by pmurray63 on Feb 16, 2003 - 5 comments

Which one is it?

The New York Times published on Sunday a very favorable report on Ken Lay. In it, they argue that he was, at least in part, wrongly chastised for his role in the Enron affair. Apparently, we are to believe that the CEO didn't know what was going on inside the company he ran. After news of the report appeared in numerous U.S. media earlier this week, the BBC today counterattacks brutally (although perhaps not intentionally), describing some of the most ruthless Enron practices - like placing the combined total salary of the top 200 executives salary at one and a half times the company's total earnings (Lay's went from 15m to 164 mil in that period). My question is simple: just what is going on here?
posted by magullo on Feb 14, 2003 - 9 comments

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, Princeton prof and NYTimes columnist is the subject of a Google Question. Some one wants to know "What kind of house does he live in? What kind of car does he drive? Is anything known about his personal life (hobbies, sports, sexual orientation, etc)? ". Krugman himself answers with panache and asks for the money!
posted by tboz on Jan 12, 2003 - 17 comments

You fill up or you live unmolested, one or the other.

DRIVING A SUV HELPS TEH TERRORISTS! NYT Reg. required. (-3 Troll) o<
posted by KettleBlack on Jan 8, 2003 - 187 comments

Missile Defense and Theodore Postol

It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!

Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy on Jan 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Pentagon Memorial Design Competition

The six finalists in the Pentagon Memorial design competition. The contest (official site) has "emerged as a kind of dress rehearsal" [NYT] for the upcoming World Trade Center competition. The Post reviewed the proposals, which will be narrowed to a winner on Feb. 21.
posted by mediareport on Jan 1, 2003 - 8 comments

Decasia: a symphony in decay

Decasia: A symphony in decay. Via a NYT article, via /. The decasia site is Flash, the NYT article is words. The images are arresting.
posted by dchase on Dec 31, 2002 - 7 comments

802.11b wireless and the Department of Defense

The ever popular WiFi systems are the latest threat to National Security according to this story.
posted by thedailygrowl on Dec 17, 2002 - 5 comments

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