February 4, 2003

Class Action Clearinghouse

Consumer Power! Not only can you register to join dozens of pending or proposed class action lawsuits, but you can try to convince an attorney to start a new one just for you. A welcome alternative to the Better Business Bureau or a sign of the approaching demise of Western civilization?
posted by boltman at 11:09 PM PST - 1 comments

Drug War Roundup V

Drug War Roundup V. "It's the most horrible mistake I've ever made," says a juror who helped convict Ed "Guru of Ganja" Rosenthal of marijuana production. The judge in Ed's case didn't consider him a flight risk, but may have after reading "The Drug War Refugees" (reg. req.), about Americans fleeing to Canada. The entire drug trade is approximately "the size of the Spanish economy and about 8 percent of world trade." And, of course, is responsible for hippo migration to Columbia.
posted by raaka at 10:19 PM PST - 22 comments


The IBM 1403 Printer (1964) playing music. This may change your life.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:19 PM PST - 23 comments

The hatchback makes a comeback?

Admired from a distance, the almost mythical Audi A3 may come stateside Toyota and Hyundai have had great success as of late with the much maligned hatchback auto design here in the United States. Even Volkswagen's international best-selling Golf saw a double-digit sales spurt in 2002 in a country that looks down on hatchbacks. Now it appears that Audi North America is looking to bring over the wonderful next generation A3 to our side of the pond. Why has the hatch been so scorned (Chevette?) and would you be interested in one - or, why not?
posted by tgrundke at 6:09 PM PST - 56 comments

Rotten Boroughs?

"If you want to win the election," he finally said, "just control the machines." "Nebraska has a just-passed law that prohibits government-employee election workers from looking at the ballots, even in a recount. The only machines permitted to count votes in Nebraska, he said, are those made and programmed by the corporation formerly run by Hagel.... When Bev Harris and The Hill's Alexander Bolton pressed the Chief Counsel and Director of the Senate Ethics Committee, the man responsible for ensuring that FEC disclosures are complete, asking him why he'd not questioned [Nebraska Republican Chuck] Hagel's 1995, 1996, and 2001 failures to disclose the details of his ownership in the company that owned the voting machine company when he ran for the Senate, the Director reportedly met with Hagel's office on Friday, January 25, 2003 and Monday, January 27, 2003. After the second meeting, on the afternoon of January 27th, the Director of the Senate Ethics Committee resigned his job. "
The facts, ma'am. Just the facts.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 PM PST - 23 comments

Media Scumbags

CNN Wins Ratings for Shuttle Coverage Despite the absence of chief anchor Aaron Brown, CNN scored a significant ratings victory over rival Fox News Channel on Saturday when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated Reading that immediately reminds me of what I hate about the news media. One can only imagine how they are salivating over the pending Iraq situation.
posted by a3matrix at 4:42 PM PST - 17 comments

Foxing Up Saddam

Is Fox News Giving "Aid & Comfort" to Saddam? Contributing money to the regime they hate so much - without disclosing it - seems to go against the grain of the flag-waving network. I don't think Barbara Streisand ever contributed any money to Baghdad... (via Electrolite)
posted by owillis at 4:00 PM PST - 42 comments

1) Leprechauns 2) Catholicism 3) Smoke-Filled Pubs

Ireland to ban smoking in pubs. The room ... spinning ... reality ... falling away....
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:43 PM PST - 90 comments

Not just a-holes, but warmongers too

Not just selfcentered, but warmongers too. SUV owners are more likely the the general populous to support the war in Iraq (60%). When small SUVs are eliminated, the figure jumps to (80%). Probably not a causal relationship, but interesting none the less.
posted by delmoi at 1:15 PM PST - 36 comments

Are Teachers Overpaid?

Are Teachers Overpaid? Tamim Ansary poses and attempts to answer this question in a thoughtful column, full of interesting links to delve deeper into the issue. Bottom line, teachers are overpaid...that is, if you want lower taxes, school funding will be cut and teacher salaries will go down. How does that bumper sticker go again, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" ?
posted by msacheson at 12:59 PM PST - 46 comments

Saddam's bodyguard flees Iraq

What if Saddam does have these weapons of mass-destruction? Hussein's senior bodyguard has fled to Israel with details of Iraq's secret arsenal. His revelations have supported US President George W. Bush's claim there is enough evidence from UN inspectors to justify going to war.
posted by Macboy at 11:45 AM PST - 49 comments

Carson Daly comin' at ya live!

DJ Borg Carson Daly (nyt link, registration required) hosts a weekly nationwide Clear Channel radio show called "Carson Daly Most Requested". Tastes differ in different markets so the show is tailored to local markets by counting down the top ten most requested songs in each market. How then does Clear Channel then simultaneously broadcast different lists with different between song patter but with the same host? Easy. They've created a Carson Daly voice database and their technicians construct his intros and background by assembling voice snippets. (via ArsTechnica)
posted by TimeFactor at 11:34 AM PST - 22 comments

2 WTC Finalists shortlisted

The two finalists for the WTC site have reportedly been chosen. The Think design and the Daniel Libeskind submission. I just hope its the 'high funded' Think version. (Although I'm also sruprised (in a good way) that it actually made it through ... considering it doesn't replace the missing office space)
posted by MintSauce at 11:22 AM PST - 21 comments

pop music, 30 years ago

Yesterday's post about Buddy Holly, spurred me to look deeper into the pop charts back when American Pie was in the top 40. I was fairly amazed at the list of songs charting that week. We've got Horse With No Name, Heart of Gold, Mother and Child Reunion with artists like Harry Chapin, Roberta Flack and Nilsson. Sure, there's some pop pabulum, but I was blown away at the litany of performers whose very personal songs, and not very pop themes, were all be charting together. When compared to today's chart, it makes you wonder - what happened to the pop performer as an artist? Is there room for a unique artistic voice in today's pop?
posted by pejamo at 10:52 AM PST - 36 comments

Celestia: A free real time space simulation

Celestia is the most beautiful toy. It's a free (open source) simulator of the universe, including breathtaking models of known planets. Watch Jupiter rise over Io or follow the course of a solar eclipse. [more inside]
posted by grahamwell at 10:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Baked Apple

Baked Apple. "PowerBook G4 cooked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The machine still booted, video and all..." [details at MacFixIt; no permalink]
posted by kirkaracha at 9:45 AM PST - 22 comments

Cushy Love Making

Cushy Sex! Give the kitchen table, the work-out bench and your exhausted sofa pillows a rest: invest in some plush, velveteen adult Lego(ver). Forget rock/scissors/paper; go wedge/ramp/cube/stage! Yeah! Forego childish things; dust off the old Kama Sutra! For how often can you improve your sex life without risking your neck? Or at least throwing your back? [Not safe for work but seems very safe indeed for aprés-work. Colours admittedly awful. Movies instructive yet hilarious (the guy specially). Via Bifurcated Rivets.]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:16 AM PST - 16 comments

The Gun Industry Exposed

The Gun Industry Sins Exposed? (nyt - registration required)

But Mr. Ricker, who has been working for more than two decades in the gun industry, including a stint as a lawyer for the N.R.A., said the gun makers had long known that "the diversion of firearms from legal channels of commerce to the black market" takes place "principally at the distributor/dealer level."
(print friendly version)

posted by lilboo at 8:47 AM PST - 19 comments

Space Rescue

Space Rescue. Since the 1960's engineers have been thinking about bail-outs and rescue of stranded space crews. From Project MOOSE and the Paracone of the 1960's, the 'Rescue Ball' of the early shuttle flights to the recently canceled (and perhaps soon to be revived) X-38 and even the Alpha Lifeboat based on left over Soviet space hardware.
posted by Jos Bleau at 8:39 AM PST - 1 comments

Even the groundhog has sold out.

ARGH! Even Punxsutawney Phil is not immune to effing product placements! "Phil may be as cute as a Beanie Baby but when he predicts in his Groundhogese there is no maybe." And, shocker, lookit the banner on the top of the page.
posted by crunchland at 7:35 AM PST - 12 comments

Fascist Websites For Children!

Fascist Websites for Children! Concerned that your children might not be getting the guidance that they need in their quest to grow up to be healthy and productive citizens of the Homeland? Worry no more! Hint, it's funny! (via sixdifferentways).
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:18 AM PST - 13 comments

A Heartbreaking National Tragedy

A Heartbreaking National Tragedy
It happened one morning, on your drive to work, or while channel surfing on your 400-channel cable-satellite or whatever-mind-numbing-media outlet you feed the desires lurking in your mental cage. The Heartbreaking National Tragedy.
So sudden. So devastating. No one saw it coming. And who could believe it happened? "Honey, did you hear? It's devastating!" Even the Dr. Pill show is interrupted. Little Cousin (the incestuous child of Big Brother) comes on with pancake-makeup face and shellacked hair carefully arranged to hide his receding hairline....
posted by Mwongozi at 6:09 AM PST - 44 comments

Stay off my power lines!

It's a bird, it's a plane, It's....Major Power! Celina Utilities has come up with a comic book superhero whose job it is to keep the power flowing. His arch enemy? Squirrels. Those little tree rats are jumping on his power lines and making life generally difficult for the rest of us. And he's not happy. There are some little comic strips on this page, and a link to the artist, Dan Davis, who has a decent resume himself. Via the Wall Street Journal
posted by djspicerack at 5:10 AM PST - 7 comments

Volkswagon Successfully Tests Its First Hydrogen Fuel Car.

Volkswagon Successfully Tests Its First Hydrogen Fuel Car. "The Volkswagen Bora HY.POWER prototype, which does not use a reformer, obtains its energy from on-board hydrogen to create a hydrogen fuel cell-fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Fuel cells that use hydrogen offer zero emissions and fuel cells that use gas with reformers offer near-zero emissions" Is this the future we were promised? Either way, Drivers Wanted.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:41 AM PST - 20 comments

A Hobbit Conspiracy?

There is a conspiracy theory that has been making the rounds on the net for quite some time now. In it, the actor Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry) are a gay couple that have been together since the filming of The Lord of the Rings. And they want to come out...but contracts and a whole lot of money at stake are keeping them in. So what do they do? Start testing the waters by infiltrating a gay gossip site called Data Lounge. Test the waters. Get media attention brought to them so they can out themselves as smoothly as possible and not get in trouble. Going on for some time now, the saga is up to thread 14 and shows no sign of slowing down. There are cryptic posts, shoutouts through clothing, PR beardings, interviews, sheep, photographs, insiders and trolls. And the strangest thing of all is that some of the proof is strangely compelling. Examples of all this and the "proofs" can be found here.

So after looking at many of the "facts", do you think it possible that two young actors might be trying to test the waters to come out in a novel fashion? And more importantly this all raises the question; do you think mainstream America (and the world in general) is ready to accept young openly gay men in cinema as leading men? Or is it career suicide?
posted by Windigo at 12:15 AM PST - 54 comments

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