February 6, 2003

Poetic Japanese Mistranslation

The Powell is sent in order to carry the water: I find Japanese "Engrish" websites unfunny and stupidly patronizing but this blog is potential poetry - Surrealist poetry. Whether it was machine-translated or drafted using Breton's, Ionesco's or Burroughs' techniques, it's splendidly memorable: Rather than "I am sad" we need "mush truth". All it needs is some artful, e.e.cummings-like arranging on the page to be transformed into art. [Via Linkfilter].
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:55 PM PST - 25 comments

N.C. Congressman OK with the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII

N.C. Congressman OK with the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII What is even scarier is this man is the head of a Homeland Security subcommittee. This is without question as repelling, hurtful and unfit to come out of US leader as Trent Lott's comments but somehow I do not believe this will get as much press nor condemnation. It is really chilling to wonder how many others on the committees and the Bush administration hold this or similar attitudes. It makes you wonder how far would they go in the name of Homeland Security if they thought they could get away with it.
posted by GreenDragon at 9:58 PM PST - 28 comments

Red wire first? Or Blue?

Handy tips for those new to the bomb threat call in line. This "FAQ" from the LAPD's website is actually a checklist of things novice police phone operators are instructed to ask anyone calling in to leave a bomb threat. Useful information being collected includes tone of caller's voice (raspy? pleasant?), background noise (party atmosphere?) and important personal data about the soon to be bomber (what is your name? what is your address?). Sleep soundly, Los Angeles, your days of random explosions are a thing of the past.
posted by jonson at 9:35 PM PST - 11 comments

Tiny Books for Lonely, Nervous Men.

Armed Services Editions. Printed in the millions, publishing incredibly diverse authors and subjects, now semivaluable. What (besides this tiny project) are our servicemen reading today? This is the closest thing I can find, and it’s linkless and referenceless.
posted by interrobang at 9:30 PM PST - 6 comments

Albumen Photography

Albumen photographs: history, science, preservation and gallery.
posted by hama7 at 9:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Iraq - Its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation. Or not.

Iraq - Its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation (pdf) is Downing Street's recently released intelligence dossier regarding Iraq, mentioned during Colin Powell's UN speech. Fair enough maybe, but they copied it pretty much wholesale from here (authored by a postgraduate student from California), without even as much as a thank you. More info here (channel4.com) and here (bbc.co.uk).
posted by toby\flat2 at 8:56 PM PST - 17 comments

America and Albania, alliteration buddies

Our stalwart ally ... Albania? When there is much to be concerned about with America's relations with other nations, it's a relief to see that America and Albania can work together militarily after they spent 45 years aligned against the US. What a difference a few decades could make in foreign relations.
posted by RobbieFal at 8:34 PM PST - 7 comments

No snark for this foreboding...

A short, creepy yarn, and easily dismissed... "The loss of the Columbia space shuttle is suffused with symbols begging for attention. Columbia is named, in part, after Christopher Columbus and symbolically points to the very discovery of the American nation. Strangely, on the threshold of America's preemptive invasion of Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, the shuttle's hold contained the first Israeli astronaut who in 1981 himself participated in a preemptive attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor to eliminate its capacity for developing weapons of mass destruction. An uncanny echo, but certainly not the only one...As we are on the precipice of a war with Iraq, the whole Arab world screams that it is not Iraq but America's relationship with Israel and the Palestinian crisis that is the root cause of all Arab anti-American sentiment and certainly all terrorism. Suddenly the Columbia crashes with an Israeli astronaut over George Bush's home state as debris rains down on "Palestine, Texas."
posted by troutfishing at 7:48 PM PST - 50 comments

Yellowtail - gestural animation

Strangely compelling. YELLOWTAIL is an interactive software system for the gestural creation and performance of real-time abstract animation. Yellowtail repeats a user's strokes end-over-end, enabling simultaneous specification of a line's shape and quality of movement. Each line repeats according to its own period, producing an ever-changing and responsive display of lively, worm-like textures. If you like the Java version, you can download the full screen version with sound.
posted by Wet Spot at 7:12 PM PST - 11 comments

I'm a celebrity dammit, why wont you pay attention to what I'm telling you!

I'm a celebrity dammit, why wont you pay attention to what I'm telling you! It's bad enough I have to pay $10 to watch your lousy movie and hear your crappy music, just don't tell me how to think.
posted by beatnik808 at 2:39 PM PST - 67 comments

Peter David, Writer of Stuff

Peter David, Writer of Stuff (bibliography) appears to have a blog. With a Buffy/Angel commentary as today's post, no less.
posted by Cyrano at 2:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Everybody Hates Us.

Everybody Hates Us. Michael Spencer notes that evangelical Christians are almost universally disliked. Are there good reasons? "We are loathed, caricatured, avoided and disliked because we often deserve it."
posted by aaronshaf at 2:16 PM PST - 112 comments

U.S. and Canadian WWII Concentration Camps

Striking, panoramic photo collages of the ruins of U.S. and Canadian concentration camps used to isolate Japanese-Americans during WWII. Masumi Hayashi's rich site also features documents, personal stories and Shockwave interview clips, a discussion board and data on each camp. And, yes, this post was inspired by U.S. Congressman Howard Coble's recent comment.
posted by mediareport at 1:43 PM PST - 34 comments

The Power of Art?

The Power of Art? This interesting article becomes extremely clever if you think about some of the basic history of "Guernica". Little-known artist Picasso (see '37 for initial ideas, '45 for completed painting) was commissioned to paint it after the horrific slaughters of the Spanish Civil War. “...Picasso's tour de force would become one of this century's most unsettling indictments of war.” (more inside)
posted by valval22 at 12:59 PM PST - 11 comments

interesting war on drugs sidestep

A frequent point of opposition to the war on drugs is that of taxation. The argument goes like this: If the prohibition on illegal drugs ended, the government would see a surplus like no other (and pay for treatment, enforcement, etc). The folks in Kansas have a strange hybrid option: keep them illegal, but ask that drug dealers report taxes on their profits. Their FAQ lists the details and the a rate sheet (pdf) is available. Drug dealers not following suit can be busted as tax evaders, in addition to selling drugs. Novel approach or silly idea?
posted by mathowie at 12:53 PM PST - 38 comments


Twiggy, Queen of Mod "As the first teenager to become a supermodel, her impact was instant and international.".
posted by konolia at 12:51 PM PST - 9 comments

Do you have the right to cigarettes in Jail?

Hard time gets harder. New York City has banned smoking in all workplaces, and apparently that includes jails. Do you have the right to smoke in jail? A prison full of convicts all having nicotine withdrawl at the same time can't be a good thing.
posted by quibx at 12:36 PM PST - 25 comments

dead head fan art just for you, sugar magnolia

"In the last 13 years I have kept everything you have sent in close to heart and in safe keeping. I now hope to open these files again and share more of the creations given to us by you, the Dead Heads". The keeper of the Dead Files has put online hundreds of emails and newsletters and exuberantly colored and illustrated envelopes and letters from the fans of the Grateful Dead. There are, as you'd expect, many drawings of skeletons and American Beauty roses, but you certainly don't have to be a fan to appreciate all the handiwork, personality, and creativity that went into these. I like the irregularity of the hand drawn lettering. {via coudal}.
posted by iconomy at 12:21 PM PST - 11 comments

A Good Woman is Hard to Find (and getting harder)

"Feminism" isn't the problem, it's Woman's Super Ego that's the problem. "...there comes a time in every relationship when a woman has to be tender and empathetic. If she can't or won't do that, it doesn't matter if she has the face of Helen of Troy with George Eliot's mind."
posted by vito90 at 10:21 AM PST - 55 comments

FBI updates reading list for spy catchers

Despite the FBI's best efforts, the spy only passed public domain information to North Korea In Graham Greene's hilarious "Our Man in Havana", a salesman-unlikely-turned-spy passes vacuum-cleaner blueprints as plans of a nuclear plant to his superiors at MI6. Turns an American of Korean origin has been doing pretty much the same with North Korea and thus cannot be charged with espionage. One can only hope that the current bullish attitude of North Korea is all based on the info passed by this guy (who, BTW, sold it for cash).
posted by magullo at 10:13 AM PST - 8 comments

U.S. suffocating reform in Iran?

Is the U.S. suffocating reform in Iran? "'Despite sporadic verbal concern with the condition of human rights in Iran, the U.S. is protecting and providing clandestine support to the right-wing conservatives in Iran,' says Sayed Ali Asghar Gharavi, a member of the banned but tolerated Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), the country’s leading opposition party. 'The U.S. government in no way favors the coming to power of the reformist groups in Iran and is secretly supporting the religious conservatives.' Government insiders in Iran allege that the deal, first proffered by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, is simple: If the hard-liners quietly support the United States in Iraq, Washington will quietly support them. U.S. State Department officials declined to comment." It seems unlikely that the Bush administration would side with the mullahs, but considering the U.S.'s troubled history with Iranian democracy, it's not inconceivable. Perhaps this is why Michael Ledeen's cries of alarm aren't being heeded.
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM PST - 25 comments

Journalist, Security

E-terrorism over-rated. Journalist Brian McWilliams exposes the media whoring of fellow "reporter" Dan Verton and "security intelligence" company mi2g. He shows just how easy it is to fake a "terrorist" organization online and finally gives some exposure to the amount of FUD that gets spread around by some reporters and a lot of comp. sec companies simply to make money. Though I don't think Verton gets it:
"Although the hoax this week taught me a valuable lesson about the nature of information on the Internet, it's less clear that McWilliams' scheme has done anything to advance the understanding of cyberterrorism."
Um...yeah Dan. He showed just how half-assed a job some people do in actually verifying sources and Internet-based information. Kudos to your anti-FUD efforts, Brian.
posted by bkdelong at 9:25 AM PST - 8 comments

Tales of two cities

"Architecture is the only art that moulds the world directly ... Nobody in the 20th century grasped this more firmly than Speer's patron and employer, Adolf Hitler." Albert Speer was the man Hitler picked to mould his future empire, starting with its capital, Berlin, that would have been rechristened Germania. In an ironic twist of fate, Albert Speer's son, also named Albert Speer and also an architect, is currently in the running to radically rebuilt Beijing.
posted by costas at 8:48 AM PST - 8 comments

God and Computers

In the autumn of 1999 Donald Knuth gave a series of lectures at MIT on God and Computers. You can watch[realplayer] and listen[mp3] to them here (Warning: this is over ten hours of material).
posted by wobh at 7:10 AM PST - 14 comments

We've got a new boss in the office

"Since Terry has been with us our productivity has gone up 46%" Here's hoping our company doesn't resort to recruiting Mr Tate - otherwise I'll have to remember to fill up the coffee jug. (Windows Media, requires sound)
posted by ralawrence at 6:40 AM PST - 29 comments

Fairly Odd Parents

In other news, the Washington Post is reporting that The Fairly Odd Parents on Nick is "the next SpongeBob." Film at 11 (no, I mean film at 9 pm on Fridays, 7:30 pm on Saturdays, Sat and Sun at 10 am, and Sundays at 3). I could have told you that.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:24 AM PST - 20 comments

Princess, Brain, Jock, Basket Case or Criminal?

Which Breakfast Club character are you? No, it's not another online quiz. It's an article on a project done by a social researcher, asking 900 high school sophomores to choose which Breakfast Club character they were most like. Following up 16 years later, their associations played out to a high degree as they grew older. So which were you, Jock, Princess, Brain, Basket Case or Criminal? Did your self-image in high school have lasting effects on your life?
posted by JParker at 12:09 AM PST - 45 comments

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