April 9, 2003

And just when we'd forgotten about Trent ...

At 2:26 p.m. yesterday, the US House of Representatives was considering a gun control bill. In the process of complaining about "a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people undergoing drug treatment," Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming) let slip this telling inquiry: "So does that mean that if you go into a black community, you can't sell any guns to any black person?"
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:22 PM PST - 61 comments

The sun never sets on the Republican empire

PATRIOT forever. Toppling one regime to build another, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a Republican coalition are pushing legislation to make the PATRIOT Act permanent. It's daylight forever.
posted by four panels at 7:30 PM PST - 47 comments

Want to pass an unpopular bill then attach it to a popular bill.

Want to pass an unpopular bill? Then attach it to a popular bill. While we're talking about "spreading democracy" around the world maybe its time we took a good look at our own. The almost universally hated RAVE Act is back and attached to an unrelated child abduction bill.
posted by skallas at 5:23 PM PST - 33 comments

Really High Tea

I drink my tea with chopsticks. At least, I would if I lived in outer space. Cool movie (achtung: Quicktime) from the international space station showing the effects of surface tension in the absence of gravity. I wonder if any of us will ever live long enough to experience this in person?
posted by jonson at 4:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Bankruptcy bonus at K-Mart

If you're still working for K-mart A bankruptcy bonus may be delivered to you soon. 1. Work for some company 2. ??? 3. Bankruptcy 4.PROFIT!
posted by elpapacito at 2:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Disco's dead but not forgotten.

Disco's dead but not forgotten. It's trying hard to stay alive at Disco-Disco, a tribute site to the clubs, DJs, artists and history of the leisure suit and mirror ball era. Slip on your boogie shoes and get your groove on with some disco trivia, pay tribute to revolutionary disco remixer Tom Moulton or learn the dance steps to the California Hustle (a.k.a. the Bus Stop).
posted by VelvetHellvis at 12:39 PM PST - 34 comments

I don't know, what's Xenu with you?

The non-serious voice of Scientology? Scientology apparently used to have a sense of humor. Make sure to check out the cover art! (via boing boing)
posted by padraigin at 12:05 PM PST - 15 comments

Euphoria in Baghdad

Euphoria in Baghdad • In scenes reminiscent of the Cold War's final days, citizens are filling the streets, throwing flowers, tearing down monuments of Saddam Hussein and any reminders of his long, brutal regime. As this is a moment of reckoning for many people, a lot of questions lie ahead: Was it a risk worth taking, despite the casualties? Could any amount of liberation and jubilation compensate for those casualties? Will this be a celebrated historical moment, or the staging ground for new aggressions? However one feels about the war, it sure is good to see all the smiling Iraqi faces.
posted by dhoyt at 11:39 AM PST - 310 comments

Best. Festival. Ever.

Best. Festival. Ever. The Field Day Festival is taking place on June 7th and 8th in Riverhead, NY and the lineup is amazing. Yesterday, there was an image of the band lineup, but it has been removed. There will be an official announcement on Monday. In the meantime, here is a partial list of bands to whet your appetite: Radiohead, Belle & Sebastian, Spiritualized, Beth Orton, The Streets, Sleater-Kinney, N.E.R.D., Beastie Boys, The Strokes, Sigur Ros, Blur, Flaming Lips, Interpol, The Rapture and Tortoise.
posted by capndesign at 11:01 AM PST - 35 comments


MultiMegaCorp is a new game from the makers of Pyroto Mountain (previously discussed here). They say "Our research has indicated that there is a niche for a game that is similar to Pyroto Mountain, but less esoteric -- a game whose concept can be explained in one sentence." If you tried Pyroto but couldn't get into it, maybe this game is for you. I just signed up, but so far it appears to be much like Pyroto but using different terminology. I'm not sure why anyone would want to imagine themselves in a messive corporation instead of a land of mountains and magic, but the corporate metaphor does make the game's concepts easier to understand initially. Instead of being a Wizard, you are an Employee. The Spirit of The Land becomes the CEO, Manna becomes Influence Points, Robes become Authority, Ethers become the Grapevine, you're climbing the corporate ladder instead of a mountain, and as you get higher, you can do perform more Actions. I wonder how many games you could turn into something that initally seems so different just by changing the words it uses? What else could Pyroto become?
posted by Emanuel at 10:55 AM PST - 3 comments


Since 1996, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network has sponsored an annual national Day of Silence event to help create safer schools for all students, "regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression". Today is the 7th time such an event has been held across the country. Are you participating? What is school like for you in this context?
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:45 AM PST - 22 comments

diamonds are a caddisfly's best friend

Industrious caddisfly larvae live within odd protective cases that they painstakingly craft from bits of twigs, stones, gravel, sand, and leaf fragments. They drag the case around, much like a snail or a hermit crab carries their shell. Artist Hubert Duprat, being well aware of the caddisfly larvae's reputation for resourcefulness and adaptablity, decided to see what would happen if he replaced the usual case building materials with precious gems, gold, turquoise, pearls, lapis lazuli and coral.
posted by iconomy at 10:02 AM PST - 21 comments

So you think you know your way around the planet, do you?

Geography Humiliation Central: Too many damned What a wonderful diversity of countries! A very annoying stringent set of tests, designed to expose showcase our ignorance knowledge of the political geography of the world we live in. Whether it's Africa, Asia or even Europe, South America or the United States, I seem to know only the really big ones them all. In fact, I've never been so ashamed proud in my life.
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 9:06 AM PST - 51 comments

Soviet Children's Books and more

Children's books of the Early Soviet Era [more]
posted by hama7 at 6:47 AM PST - 11 comments


Hong Kong will take your breath away. With the burgeoning Sars epidemic spreading fear among travellers worldwide, the Hong Kong tourist board must be ruing the day it commissioned a series of magazine ads telling readers a visit to the city will "take your breath away".
posted by MintSauce at 5:27 AM PST - 23 comments

Dictators and their demises

Dictators and their demises: a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq. To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage? [more inside]
posted by dhartung at 4:41 AM PST - 19 comments

Assassinating foreign leaders: Okay!

Is trying to assassinate a foreign leader illegal? Executive Order 12333, signed by President Reagan, says "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination," which confirmed and expanded the bans on assassination laid down by his two prior presidential predecessors. So why is the US government targeting Saddam Hussein and his sons? Has the executive order been secretly (and legitimately) revoked? Should it be? Does it even need to be revoked, even if just for appearance's sake? Has ignoring or revoking it been part of the plan all along? Does the Fourth Convention of the Hague really forbid assassination as well?
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:06 AM PST - 49 comments

Afghanistan 1969-1974

Afghanistan 1969-1974. Many photographs of the landscapes and people of Afghanistan as was. 'Searching the internet at the beginning of the year 2001 for "Kabul & museum" or for "Bamiyan" displays alarming news. This is why I'd like to put my old photographs of Afghanistan of the years 1969, 1970, and 1974 into the WWW to preserve a vivid memory of the treasures collected in the museum in Darulaman and of an Afghanistan as it used to be years ago ... ' (Also in German).
Related :- Lost and Stolen Images: Afghanistan, including a section on the Bamiyan Buddhas and some images from the Kabul Museum (via the Huntingdon Archive of Buddhist and related art).
posted by plep at 12:21 AM PST - 7 comments

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