January 8, 2003

the wonderful wizard of mars

The System Administrator's Guild demonstrates true geek wisdom in governence. Like the scientist-intellectual class in Kim Stanley Robinson's epic Mars Trilogy, the members of this Guild elect volunteer leaders to fulfill the group's administrative functions. Robinson's democratic fantasy land--where there are no real politicians--is often overshadowed by the sheer scientific whiz-bang wonderment of his novels. The trilogy is great not for its descriptions of space elevators and artificial gravity but rather because it is a fine example of Feministische phantastische-utopische Literatur and represents insightful social commentary. It even has its own little world-wide subculture, whose members most hopefully sit around and fantasize about how a newly-habitable world--made possible by the genius of the human mind and the skill of human hands--is politically, socially, economically, spiritually and environmentally shaped by the powerful and influential "First Hundred". Although the Sysadmin Guild's most recent executive board election showed a relatively poor voter turnout--touted on the site to be a "very high" 28.5%--I can't help but think they may be on to something. Perhaps a healthy disinterest in ruling and wielding power would be good back here on Earth [NYT].
posted by Hammerikaner at 9:27 PM PST - 4 comments

There.com has arrived

Can't wait for The Sims Online? Try There.com. An online, avatar based metaverse game, not involving orcs, elves, or, for that matter, much out of the ordinary of our suburban lives. Is this the future of online gaming, or the flavor of the month?
posted by jonson at 8:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Vintage Vehicles - Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers were all the rage from the '30s to the '50s, and in vogue today with vintage aficionados. Some are woodies, some are made for motorcycles and most have lots of personality crammed into truly small space. The build-it-yourself bug spread with this 1947 Mechanix Illustrated article (pdf file alert) complete with plans. Follow one man's contemporary build-from-scratch adventure detailed in a photos essay, or get plans to build your own.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:03 PM PST - 9 comments

The pain! The Pain!

These links are probably best viewed only by the blind.
posted by crunchland at 6:04 PM PST - 32 comments

conspiracy 911 oil afganistan

Top 10 conspiracy stories of 2002 according to the website popMatters.
posted by thedailygrowl at 5:45 PM PST - 16 comments

cockpit voice recordings and tower transcripts

"Tower, we're going down, this is PSA." These are the best sites I've found for cockpit voice recordings and air traffic control transcripts for airplane accidents." Feel that mother go"..the second link also has the transcript of the Challenger crew.
posted by JohnR at 5:36 PM PST - 16 comments

some action on global warming in the US

some action on global warming in the US senate
mccain and lieberman introduce some long overdue legislation to curb global warming in the US. where's the major media coverage of this? it was nearly 60 degrees here in minnesota today - in january. global warming? nah.
posted by specialk420 at 3:39 PM PST - 32 comments

The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Angie was a marked woman, paying her own ransom with a body none could resist.
Someone has spent an incredible amount of time and energy scanning in lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 50's and 60's. An interesting look into what was considered titillating 40 years ago.
posted by patrickje at 3:26 PM PST - 21 comments

All I want for Christmas is my two... new breasts?

Michele's breasts are in your hands! Southern Cali college girl Michele bemoans her "itty-bitty boobies" and asks the world to decide whether she should surgically acquire a set of bodacious ta-tas by donating to her online implant fund. So far the fund has swelled to only $19.36, hardly the push-up Michele was hoping for and pretty far from the $4500 she needs to get [more inside] her Wonderbra. But perhaps Mefites have a silicone dollop of charity left after the holiday season. Then again, maybe this isn't the breast best way to spend your charity dollar. [via El Reg]
posted by rusty at 1:55 PM PST - 94 comments

My roof, my rules!

Do you dread bringing your S.O. home for the holidays? Maybe next year I'll host the festivities and make mom and dad sleep in separate rooms. Nah, they don't have sex anyway.
posted by vito90 at 1:08 PM PST - 21 comments

Death By Drug Campaign

Family of 7 killed in Arson - Is an Anti-Drug Campaign Responsible? a lawyer from Johnnie Cochran's high-profile firm says so. He claims that the "Baltimore Believe" program got the victims to speak out against drug dealers and report a few of them - resulting in their untimely deaths last October 16th.

Their names are interestingly missing from the "list of believers" on the campaign's website. You can see the list here I'm guessing this isn't what Nancy Reagan had in mind, huh.
posted by djspicerack at 1:00 PM PST - 10 comments

The King Meets Tricky Dick

Since it's Elvis Presley's 68th birthday today and Richard Nixon's 90th birthday tomorrow, it's only natural to herald the December 21, 1970 meeting that has inspired a novel, a Showtime made-for-cable movie, musical novelties, and a mini-memoir from a Nixon staffer. The National Archives has received so many requests for photos of Elvis shaking hands with Nixon that they posted this online exhibit.
posted by jonp72 at 11:27 AM PST - 8 comments

Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror

Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror. "During the war on terrorism, George W. Bush has shown a split personality on the promotion of democracy abroad. Bush the realist seeks warm ties with dictators who may help in the fight against al Qaeda, while Bush the neo-Reaganite proclaims that democracy is the only true solution to terror. How the administration resolves this tension will define the future of U.S. foreign policy."
posted by homunculus at 11:19 AM PST - 5 comments

The Life of Pi

Then the elderly man said, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." Piscine Molitor Patel is the hero of Yann Martel's prize-winning novel, "The Life of Pi". This interactive promo is unusual and beautiful and has made me want to read the book. The first chapter can be read here.
posted by essexjan at 10:59 AM PST - 14 comments

The Before and After Museum

The Before and After Museum Based upon the number of makeover and home redecorating shows on television these days, it's pretty safe to assume that we humans have a serious fascination for the art of the transformation. Case in point? Consider the marketing wallop Subway's weight loss poster boy, Jared, packed--he's still making those commercials. Sharpeworld's compiled a list of before and after links from the bizarre Jocelyne "Cat Woman" Wildenstein to not-so-famous-but-still-amusing shaved dog on couch. What do you find most compelling about the before and after: the starting point, the final results or the process of transforming?
posted by VelvetHellvis at 10:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Messages in a DNA bottle

Data can be encoded and retrieved from DNA --even after multiple generations. Any bets on what the first message ever decoded from human DNA will read? My money's on "Hello World".
posted by costas at 9:03 AM PST - 53 comments

Open Orders

"Just do it. I don't care how." 'In a significant transformation...U.S. Special Operations Command...and its satellite units around the world, can now plan and execute their own hunt-and-destroy missions.' An "Open Order" is a very, very dangerous thing. A real life License to Kill, issued to thousands of men.
posted by kablam at 8:51 AM PST - 34 comments

Pinewood Dialogues

Pinewood Dialogues Online from the American Museum of the Moving Image. In-depth conversations with movie actors and directors. Audio in RealAudio and Shockwave formats, with transcripts and a comprehensive index by topic. Sign-in required [more inside].
posted by staggernation at 8:29 AM PST - 1 comments

don't eat the yellowed manuscript

"and then beowulf, hero of the hairy peoples of upper-earth, cut the hand from the evil lord grendel... afterwards, they hung it above the mead hall door..."

okay. maybe not. but a "yellowed manuscript" containing a translation and analysis of the venerable beowulf has been found in an oxford library. the author? none other than the late j.r.r. tolkien. with all of the interest in anything even remotely hobbit-esque, this is quite a find.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:25 AM PST - 40 comments

No more pancakes for Oolong

Oolong, the rabbit well known for wearing items on his head, has died. Pour a 40oz of pancake syrup for respect.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:57 AM PST - 81 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 at 5:36 AM PST - 187 comments

toot toot

In the 1920s, a bookmobile named William, driven by a female bookshop employee, set out across the Massachusetts countryside "to blow the horn for fine books for boys and girls", and thus The Horn Book was born. Seventy-nine years later The Horn is still going strong, with an online guide, and a fanfare list of children's lit for 2002. Their online Virtual History Exhibit contains recollections, articles, memorabilia, sights, sounds, and correspondence with The Horn from Beatrix Potter, Isaac Asimov, and Roald Dahl, among others, and also includes some radio interviews with transcripts and sound files.
posted by iconomy at 4:37 AM PST - 10 comments

Silva Rhetoricae

Silva Rhetoricae: the Forest of Rhetoric. Don't know what an erotema is? Just why are you so stupid? Can't tell an apoplanesis from an aposiopesis? Then Gideon O. Burton's excellent guide to classical and renaissance rhetoric may be for you.
posted by misteraitch at 2:43 AM PST - 9 comments


Forget BlogChalking. Go by the globe. A (slightly) simpler cousin of the GeoTags search engine (which I could never get useful information from anyway), the GeoURL ICBM Address Server (by Joshua Schachter of Memepool) pegs sites to specific points on the planet via good old-fashioned coordinates and META tags. While the web supposedly has no borders, many sites - like blogs - have a place at their heart, a virtual (if not physical) home. Now you can see if your site has neighbors. [Via Blogdex - More Inside]
posted by pzarquon at 2:10 AM PST - 8 comments

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