Is Gavin Menzies
the Stephen Wolfram of history? That's the question today's New York Times
, pw: mabuse
) suggests in a Menzies profile. Menzies has a new book out, 1421
, which claims that the Chinese discovered America seven decades before Columbus did. Some people
have made similarly precise claims about this planet's developments. Others
have seen their amateur claims initially mocked and later proven to be correct. Is Menzies onto something or is he a crank? And how do we place the passionate amateur within the realm of scholarly pursuits?
posted by ed
on Jan 5, 2003 -
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 -
Is the Washington Times perpetuating a fraud?
the Palestine Media Watch is reporting on a rumour that has been floating around for a while, that the Washington Times' "Sayed Anwar" is actually Paul Martin, a correspondent out of their London office. Now while this Times doesn't boast the circulation of the NYTimes or even the LA Times, it still lands on the doorstep of the President of the US every day. How's this for journalistic integrity?
posted by djspicerack
on Dec 27, 2002 -
Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79
Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era?
posted by ahimsakid
on Dec 7, 2002 -
Can Poetry Matter - Part 2
(nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..."
posted by Voyageman
on Nov 30, 2002 -
Yesterday's NYT magazine section (reg req'd) featured a profile of Jack Osbourne
---whose family's show
premieres its second season tomorrow---and discussed the unpleasant repercussions of his new fame: a prescription to Zoloft, a discontinued high school education and severe threats that warrant his own eye-patched bodyguard. Is this kind of exposure (especially in a reality TV context) too much for a 17 year old kid to handle?
posted by adrober
on Nov 25, 2002 -
Inside the JFK medical files.
Very interesting article from Sunday's NY Times (reg. req'd) about the long-term health of John F. Kennedy, from World War II to his death. Corresponding Yahoo News item here
also. [more inside...]
posted by PeteyStock
on Nov 19, 2002 -
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans
And this is justified because of National Security. We will lose much that is personal, private, but in turn we will be protefted against the bad guys. Or will we? When NASA and CIA claim they need to spy domestically, and computers gather all data on Americans, what is left that is not what Orwell had suggested might our future be like?Or, as Morth Sahl once labelled a comic record: TheFuture Lies Ahead."
posted by Postroad
on Nov 9, 2002 -
(.swf file) Via the NYT Review of Books. Felix Jung hijacks your cursor (briefly) for a poetry break.
posted by Skot
on Oct 14, 2002 -
Use P2P? You might be unknowingly stealing money from one of your favorite websites. Add-on software that come with the programs divert commission money from affiliate sales
on popular websites like Amazon.com to the creators of the file sharing programs. Follow the link for instructions on how to uninstall the software. Yet another reason I use KaZaa Lite
. I've got to get those MST3K episodes
posted by Pinwiz
on Sep 28, 2002 -
It seems that Pakistan is back in business
"Officials from three Pakistani militant groups said in interviews this week that the government of Pakistan has allowed Islamic guerrillas to resume small-scale infiltrations into Indian-controlled Kashmir. " (NYTimes - regd' required)
posted by nish01
on Sep 21, 2002 -
George Bush's Article in NYTIMES.
I was surprised to see an article by the prez on nytimes.com. We are used to presidents communicating through TV- but there the speech is picked up by all major channels in that case. It seems odd to see a sitting president use one
newspaper to put forward a viewpoint. Perhaps, Al Gore's articles in the same space spurred dubya. Oh, by the way, what did you think of the story? Is this the work of a speechwriter or do you think it is genuine? Did everyone notice the absence of the word Iraq in this article?
(The customary apology for the nytimes post applies. I believe you can still register as metafilter, metafilter.)
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Sep 11, 2002 -
What is going on at the New York Times?
More than 100 years ago, the New York Times, under owner Adolph Ochs, adopted the slogan: "All the news that's fit to print". But, critics are now asking if the New York Times only prints news it considers ideologically fit.
What has been happening at the Times is far more ominous than just veering to the support of one party or one ideology. There is a type of liberalism, pioneered in America, which tries to be fairer than fair. But trying to be better than fair is like trying to bend over backwards to be straighter than vertical or defining "objective" as being neutral between good and evil. That path leads straight to moral equivalence.
Perhaps the slogan should be re-written: "All the Newspeak fit to print".
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Aug 26, 2002 -
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
Have we actually ever heard worse from this month's news-darling Ann Coulter? I don't think so, maybe other do. If this was from an Islamic Jihadist, we'd be at war with whatever country he came from (if Saudi Arabia, then we'd blame Iraq somehow.) How come the Bill Maher "we're the cowards" quotes get people fired, while something like this- and trust me, there's much more fun from Ann in this interview- makes Coulter a best-selling author?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 22, 2002 -
The Axis of Medieval.
Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad.
Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy
on Aug 16, 2002 -
Another smoking gun.
Tobacco companies fought the marketing of anti-smoking products in the 1980s and '90s, by exerting financial pressure on companies that make nicotine gum and patches--like Dow Chemical. (NYT, reg req'd - CBS News version here
posted by gottabefunky
on Aug 14, 2002 -
"It is not an overstatement to describe the arrests in Tulia as an atrocity
. The entire operation was the work of a single police officer who claimed to have conducted an 18-month undercover operation. The arrests were made solely on the word of this officer, Tom Coleman, a white man with a wretched work history, who routinely referred to black people as "niggers" and who frequently found himself in trouble with the law."
posted by artifex
on Jul 29, 2002 -
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
I've been waiting for months to post about this. Since I don't remember anyone posting the NYT article about this and Toby Young amuses me to no end, I thought this article is an ideal introduction. (more inside)
posted by rodz
on Jul 17, 2002 -
gives divinity school students a peek at what his activism is really about. I can't say it any better than he does so I'll quote: "The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible."
Of course we knew Scalia detested democracy on 12/12/2000 with his decision that infamous day but now he admits favoritism to theocracy.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 10, 2002 -
Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT)
The rich princess pushed her maid down a flight of stairs, but will be allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery without having to appear in court, pay a $1,000 fine and give a judge a letter of regret about injuries to her Indonesian maid in the incident.
All this because the maid cannot be in court. After she went home to Jakarta in May for her mother's funeral, the United States Embassy there denied her a visa to return to Florida and testify on the grounds that she might try to stay in this country illegally. The maid is also the primary witness in a federal investigation of the princess for possibly employing Ms. Soryono under conditions of involuntary servitude, the Justice Department said. After the court hearing in Orlando, this federal investigation appears likely to end without charges.
posted by semmi
on Jul 2, 2002 -
Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.
"Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley
on Jun 30, 2002 -
Special Agent Crowley Speaks Up
(NYTimes link , normal rules apply)
Ladies like this are the real heroes in our country and she has something to say before Congress about the new Bush agency. Ms. Dowd agrees and said, "The shape of the government is not as important as the policy of the government."
posted by nofundy
on Jun 11, 2002 -
(NYT/reg. req) gets my vote for Stupidest Theory of the Day. Basically, he says that movies are more memorable and stay with us longer than TV shows. Huh?! He's kidding, right? (more inside).
posted by sassone
on Jun 3, 2002 -
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.
(NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today.
Here's the Wash. Post's
take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb
on May 30, 2002 -
At large in the blogosphere
And yet another analysis of the world of blogging. Does this one, by a decent literary and cultural critic, present blogs and blogging in a better light than many earlier ones? note: NY Times free reg reqd.
posted by Postroad
on May 5, 2002 -
From a NYT piece
on the horrifying incompetence of NY mental homes:
On a Thursday in June 2000, Mr. Ridges returned from his job and went to his room. He encountered Mr. Chapman and the two apparently argued over rap music, the police said. Mr. Chapman pulled out a brown and gold folding knife. He lunged, stabbing Mr. Ridges more than 20 times in the neck, sternum and arm.
"Me and Greg Ridges didn't get along," Mr. Chapman told the detectives who arrested him.
When Mrs. Ridges did not receive her customary phone call from her son that day, she called the home. An employee told her everything was fine. Wary, Mrs. Ridges went to the home that night, and no one would let her in. Several hours later, police officers showed up at her apartment and told her what had happened.
I get sick of all the NYT pieces on here too, but, damn it, this is just haunting, a long visit in a demented underworld of society that most of us try to ignore. Well worth reading in its (extensive) entirety.
posted by gsteff
on Apr 30, 2002 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
On flight simulators, Tetris, and the CIA
The Sunday Times Mag has a feature on Gilman Louie, popularizer of Tetris who was recruited by the CIA in 1998. " Louie's marching orders were to provide venture capital for data-mining technologies that would allow the C.I.A. to monitor and profile potential terrorists as closely and carefully as Amazon monitors and profiles potential customers."
posted by brookish
on Apr 12, 2002 -
2 Hollywood Titans Brawl Over A Gang Epic
-- (NYTimes link, I apologize but am unsure of the etiquette on that issue). Martin Scorcese's project Gangs Of New York
(about pre-Civil War NYC immigrant gangs) is quickly turning into something akin to Titanic
, and not just 'cuz it's got Leo in it. The budget's out of control (maybe someone cheaper than U2 should do the score), the release date's on a backwards spiral (yes, it was supposed to come out last Christmas), some of the content rankles after 9/11, and now Harvey Weinstein wants a new ending. The cherry on top? Its current release date has it pitted against Tom Hanks and Sam "American Beauty" Mendes' The Road To Perdition
, another gangster piece. For a relatively complete diary of the film's woes, try the film's page
at the always-useful Corona
. Think Miramax has its most spectacular dud on the way, or do you trust Scorcese to pull it off?
posted by logovisual
on Apr 6, 2002 -
Suicidal lies (NYT)
"The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. All they can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build. Have you ever heard Mr. Arafat talk about what sort of education system or economy he would prefer, what sort of constitution he wants? No, because Mr. Arafat is not interested in the content of a Palestinian state, only the contours." (more inside)
posted by semmi
on Apr 1, 2002 -
A Grand Narrative
"When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness
and social psychology
play in the Middle East? (via blogdex
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2002 -
Lord of the Hackers?
Sherri Turkle writes in the NYT:
Adolescents are wise in the psychology of computer games and Middle Earth. They live in a world they can't control, in a body that seems increasingly alien. To them the computer world is soothing, offering reassurance through mastery. Just as each episode of "The Lord of the Rings" presents a danger and each has its resolution, so many adolescent boys move from one block of intransigent code to another, from one screen to the next, declaring victory as they go.
But this distinction is about more than gender; it is about ways of looking at the world — real, imagined or computer-generated. Some pioneers of computing had a style of working that rewarded risk. They spoke of programming itself as though it were a dangerous quest. At M.I.T. computer hackers even had a name for it: "sport death." To pull back from the impending doom of a system crash required near magic, an almost empathetic knowledge of the intricacies of code. For this community, a certain bravado came to be seen as valuable, even necessary, beyond the world of programming.
Any programmer-hobbits care to comment on this? This doesn't exactly
describe my feelings when unsnarling html.
posted by mecran01
on Mar 8, 2002 -
The New York Times finally justified asking for my email address: you can specify a list of words and phrases and have the Times email you
whenever an article containing one of them appears. (My list: 'aphex, autechre, squarepusher, "warp records"')
posted by lbergstr
on Mar 7, 2002 -