MetaFilter posts by jenleigh.
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Mana "China" Nishiura, drummer for Shonen Knife & DMBQ, died on Friday afternoon. "It is with a deep sadness in my heart, that I must announce the passing of Mana "China" Nishiura. She was tragically killed in a three-vehicle accident near the Delaware Memorial Bridge yesterday (November 4) shortly before 1 p.m., after the Econoline van carrying her band, DMBQ, had crossed the bridge from New Jersey near Carneys Point in Salem County. A Mitsubishi Eclipse clipped the van's left rear fender. The van spun out of control, and careened over a barrier on the ramp to Route 40. Mana was ejected from the van and she died at the scene." A bit more about Shonen Knife.
posted on Nov-6-05 at 1:46 PM

Michael Totten visits the 'ghost city' of Cyprus | "In 1974 the Turkish military invaded and carved up the island. Greek Cypriots in the north were forced to move south side of the line. Turkish Cypriots from the south were forced to move north. Greek Cypriot citizens in Varosha fled the Turkish invasion in terror. They expected to return to their homes within days. Instead, the Turks seized the empty city and wrapped it in fencing and wire. They forbid anyone from entering it to this day."
posted on Nov-3-05 at 12:58 PM

Jesus has inspired more bad music than anyone else in history [Windows Media File | Mirror #1 | Mirror #2] Mark Fox, the man who swallowed Lil' Markie, live in Miami.
WFMU's "Beware of the Blog" compiles more of the Lil' Markie oeuvre, curated by Otis Fodder.
posted on Oct-17-05 at 7:02 AM

A new television series ["Beautiful Maidens"] being broadcast around the Middle East tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven - 72 beautiful virgins. One of the show's writers, Abdullah Bjad, is a Saudi and self-described former militant who was consulted on religious aspects of the script. He said that just before one of the 2003 attacks on a residential compound in Saudi Arabia, an attacker who was in contact with his superiors was "heard on the mobile phone counting down the seconds to the 'beautiful maidens.' His last words were: 'One second to the 'beautiful maidens.' He then blew himself up."
New Syrian TV show angers some Arabs • But what will a woman have when she enters paradise?
posted on Oct-12-05 at 6:14 AM

Selected images from Saturday's anti-war rally in San Francisco. More from Zombietime. Warning: contains snarky captions.
posted on Sep-28-05 at 7:20 AM

Chrenkoff compiles the most egregious "hurricane exploitation" quotes to come out of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. See also: the tsunami quotes.
posted on Sep-3-05 at 7:42 AM

"Hold Me": a scan of the classic Gaiman/McKean Hellblazer #27 issue.
posted on Aug-22-05 at 10:24 AM

Francis Fukuyama: The acceptable face of the neo-cons?
"Francis Fukuyama famously announced that we had reached the end of history....For a man whose reputation was made not on extolling the virtues of Western liberal democracy but on proclaiming its complete triumph, now and forever, a degree of equivocation appears to have crept into Fukuyama's commentary. Not, though, that he ever believed the end of history meant nothing would happen. It merely meant that nothing quite as momentous would happen anew, and if history were to begin again, it could only be a repeat."
posted on Aug-16-05 at 8:34 AM

Sheikh Khalid Yasin grew up as a Christian in the United States but converted to Islam under the influence of Malcolm X. Last week he was interviewed (Video) by Australia's 60 Minutes. Yasin's claims—Muslims should not attend university because it's a "gateway for deviation", homosexuality is punishable by death, and Muslims cannot truly befriend non-Muslims—have caused controversy among LGBT groups & moderate Muslims, yet despite his naysayers, Yasin does not lack for a following in Australia, and is frequently honored as a guest speaker & VIP around the world. The LA Times has more on US-born extremists.
posted on Aug-2-05 at 8:20 AM

The Pixies: rare video & interviews, plus images & video from the 2004 reunion tour
posted on Jul-30-05 at 12:56 PM

"400 Days and Out: A Strategy for Resolving the Iraq Impasse" is a proposal for US troop withdrawal by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives think-tank. "The key to enabling total US troop withdrawal from Iraq within 400 days is achieving a political accord with Sunni leaders at all levels and with Iraq's neighbors - especially Syria and Iran. The proximal aim would be to immediately lower the level of conflict inside Iraq by constricting both active and passive support for the insurgency, inside and outside the country." It follows up on another briefing authored by Conetta in May entitled "Vicious Circle" discussed previously.
posted on Jul-18-05 at 9:12 AM

Buy your own fully functional Bipedal Exo-Skeletal Semi-Robotic Vehicle—or Mech—courtesy of Neogentronyx.
posted on Jul-15-05 at 12:24 PM

In November 2003, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes published a report alleging collusion between terrorist agents and Saddam Hussein which received little attention in the press. In June of '04, Hayes published another article called "The Connection" excerpted from his book of the same title. His newest follow-up, with economist Thomas Joscelyn, entitled "The Mother of All Connections" goes one step further to illustrate the alleged connections, contradicting what the 9/11 Commission & Bush himself have claimed.
posted on Jul-13-05 at 7:57 AM

Blaming Everyone But the Terrorists | Portland journalist Michael Totten vents on the Portland Indymedia crew who blamed Bush for attacks on London. On Friday, Kos banned a handful of his more conspiracy-minded followers for the same reasons: "I have a high tolerance level for material I deem appropriate for this site, but one thing I REFUSE to allow is bullshit conspiracy theories. I can't imagine what fucking world these people live in, but it sure ain't the Reality Based Community." This Seattle Times article indicates even some young British Muslims agree: "Obviously the media is saying that Muslims did it, but I think it was a conspiracy by Tony Blair and George Bush," said Olle Rahaman, 32, a husband and father who, like the other men, was born in London of Bangladeshi parents. "An excuse to say, 'Let's go kick some ass.' " William Bowles of talks about the use of agent provocateurs and the 'suspicious nature' of the bombings.
posted on Jul-10-05 at 5:56 PM

Stations Of The Cross, a piece on "faith-based" news outlets from the May/June Columbia Journalism Review: "In recent months, evangelical broadcasters have dedicated program after program to bemoaning 'judicial tyranny,' and urging audiences to agitate for the 'nuclear option' — changing Senate rules so Democrats can no longer filibuster and thereby block nominees they oppose....All the while, the dizzying blend of God, news, and politics that he [Pat Robertson] has crafted and honed was bouncing off satellites, winding through thousands of cable systems, rippling over the airwaves, and glowing on television screens across America." [Via HighSignal]
posted on Jun-21-05 at 6:05 AM

What Dads Don't Need for Father's Day: "A team of psychologists headed by Dr. Toni Zimmerman from Colorado State University analyzed the top-selling parenting books. Using a feminist perspective, they trawled the books for hidden gender messages. In findings published earlier this year, they concluded that the two mega-best sellers, John Gray's Children Are from Heaven and Laura Schlessinger's Parenthood by Proxy: Don't Have Them If You Won't Raise Them are filled with stereotypes, formulaic advice and information that does not conform to research findings." Both books scored low in a feminist analysis of best-selling parental advice books. Kathleen Trigiani also wrote a series of essays on John Gray entitled "Out of the Cave: Exploring Gray's Anatomy".
posted on Jun-19-05 at 11:15 AM

The Dutch-Muslim Culture War
The backlash against Hirsi Ali has astonished and disappointed many Dutch feminists, who continue to count themselves among her biggest fans. Margreet Fogteloo, editor of the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, said flatly that [historian Geert] Mak is crazy. "People like him feel guilty because they were closing their eyes for such a long time to what was going on," she said. In what appears to be a Europe-wide pattern, some feminists are aligning themselves with the anti-immigrant right against their former multiculturalist allies on the left. Joining them in this exodus to the right are gay activists, who blame Muslim immigrants for the rising number of attacks on gay couples. (Via
posted on Jun-15-05 at 5:43 AM

Ragtime West: Nickelodeons, Calliopes & Player Pianos, including a beauty owned by Peter Jackson: "the first Ragtime Automated Band in New Zealand".
posted on Jun-8-05 at 12:05 PM

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans says soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are beginning to request help from service providers. Stars & Stripes: "Advocates for the homeless already are seeing veterans from the war on terror living on the street, and say the government must do more to ease their transition from military to civilian life. Boone said the reasons behind the veterans' housing problems are varied: Some have emotional and mental issues from their combat experience, some have trouble finding work after leaving the military, some have health care bills which result in financial distress." has more (Reg Req, or view here) on a recently homeless vet from Philadelphia.
posted on Jun-6-05 at 7:24 AM

The Hidden History of the United Nations: "The history told about the defeat of Nazism and the founding of the United Nations in the 1940s has become distorted. A false view of the past is being used today to shape how we think about our future. The military power of the victorious wartime allies is offered as a model for running the world, while the UN’s supposed utopianism is seen as ineffective and irrelevant. This is a travesty of the facts."
posted on Jun-4-05 at 11:16 AM

Sy Hersh's Loose Relationship with the Literal Truth | Interesting article from NY Metro which seems to condem Hersh's squirrely handling of facts while admiring his accomplishments & tenacity: "In bending the truth, Hersh is, paradoxically enough, remarkably candid. When he supplies unconfirmed accounts of military assaults on Iraqi civilians, or changes certain important details from an episode inside Abu Ghraib (thus rendering the story unverifiable), Hersh argues that he’s protecting the identities of sources who could face grave repercussions for talking. 'I defend that totally,' Hersh says of the factual fudges he serves up in speeches and lectures."
posted on Jun-2-05 at 6:54 PM

The "I" Word: Ralph Nader calls for impeachment. In addition to Nader, various groups—including veterans—have announced a campaign to seek congressional help to investigate whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. Let's hope Nader and the others don't get tagged with the "T" Word (Treason). Again and again and again and again and again and again, strange things seem to happen to those who criticize the Bush admin's policies: What cost [Ret. Maj. Gen.] Riggs his star? Riggs was blunt and outspoken on a number of issues and publicly contradicted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by arguing that the Army was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan and needed more troops.
posted on May-31-05 at 8:04 PM

Irshad Manji, self-described "Muslim Refusenik", urges moderation after the Newsweek-Quran scandal. Earlier this month, Manji launched a public campaign for Ijtihad ("independent thinking") with a claim for Islamic pluralism and "the aim of setting up a foundation for young, reform-minded Muslims to explore and challenge their faith."
posted on May-24-05 at 7:47 AM

The Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest
posted on May-22-05 at 4:14 PM

Two new pieces from the San Diego Union-Tribune chronicle the dire conditions in North Korea, the last worst place on Earth: "The suffering of the North Korean people does not benefit from the drama that attends well-publicized human rights crises such as Iraq and Darfur. Even when hunger and starvation killed as many as 2 million North Koreans in the mid-1990s, the world took little notice. And the greater toll is the continuing long-term day-to-day grinding down of the hearts, minds and souls of all North Korean people."
posted on May-18-05 at 2:15 PM

"You know those guitars, that are, like...double guitars?" (Quicktime)
posted on May-11-05 at 10:22 AM

MenuVista (Quicktime req), the thesis project of ITP (NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program) student Chia-wei Chang, gives restaurant customers a preview of their orders by projecting photos of the meal on their empty plates. The system also allows them to modify their orders by using a projected menu with a touch sensor interface which includes menu text and food images. More ITP thesis presentations from last week »
posted on May-9-05 at 1:59 PM

Wilderness Survival Lesson: How to make fire from a can of Coke and a chocolate bar. If, for some reason, you'd ever need to...
posted on Apr-30-05 at 9:38 AM

A week after Saudi Arabia banned the practise of forced marriage, Hamid Karzai followed suit, announcing he would seek the same freedoms for young women in Afghanistan. In the UK, a special unit within the Foreign Office has handled almost 1000 cases of forced marriage since it was set up in 2000, and this year a special joint Forced Marriage Unit was launched by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for outreach & awareness purposes. While a law barring forced marriage is expected to publish in the UK later this year, some take umbrage at the often-misleading "forced marriage" terminology and are worried that its criminal-offence status could actually deter women from speaking out against it.
posted on Apr-28-05 at 12:09 PM

"European governments are allowing Islamic fundamentalists to trample on the rights of Muslim women under the guise of respecting different cultures, campaigners said Monday, citing instances of forced marriage, domestic violence and genital mutilation. The activists, including outspoken Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, called on European countries to do more to combat human-rights abuses in Muslim immigrant communities, particularly those directed against women." [+]
posted on Apr-21-05 at 8:53 AM

More mass graves unearthed in Iraq | Investigators have discovered several mass graves in southern Iraq that are believed to contain the bodies of people killed by Saddam Hussein's government, including one estimated to hold 5,000 bodies, Iraqi officials say. If the estimated body counts prove correct, the new graves would be among the largest in the grim tally of mass killings that have gradually come to light since the fall of Saddam's government two years ago. At least 290 grave sites containing the remains of 300,000 people have been found since the U.S. invasion two years ago, Iraqi officials say. In the aftermath of Saddam's fall, thousands of Iraqis overran mass-grave sites, digging for their relatives' remains with backhoes, shovels, even their bare hands. More evidence of genocide was discovered in Spring 2003, and though the numbers were disputed, the number of buried bodies discovered has continued to rise.
posted on Apr-18-05 at 9:05 AM

"Between 1915 and 1918 the Ottoman Empire, ruled by Muslim Turks, carried out a policy to eliminate its Christian Armenian minority. This genocide was preceded by a series of massacres in 1894-1896 and in 1909, and was followed by another series of massacres beginning in 1920. By 1922 Armenians had been eradicated from their historic homeland." Since the early 1920s, successive Turkish governments have maintained an ostentatious silence on the subject, broken only to issue denials that the genocide ever occurred, and denunciations of those who assert that it did. In 1990, for example, the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. dismissed the holocaust as resulting from "a tragic civil war initiated by Armenian nationalists."

This Sunday in NYC, thousands will gather to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the genocide and protest the Turkish denials.
posted on Apr-14-05 at 10:39 AM

Jeffords' Theory: "U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, the Vermont Independent, may face a clear field right now in a 2006 re-election bid, but his March 22 performance on Vermont Public Radio's Switchboard program raised a few eyebrows. I think it was all done to get oil, Jeffords said of invading Iraq. And the loss of life that we had, and the cost of it, was to me just a re-election move, and they're going to try to live off it. Probably start another war, wouldn't be surprised, next year. Probably in Iran, said Jeffords, echoing Seymour Hersch's words from January.
posted on Apr-11-05 at 11:46 AM

Meet Vernon | "I designed this blog to allow you to meet Vernon Lee Evans, the next person to be executed on Maryland’s death row. I will print out the emails and mail them to Vernon who is currently in a maximum security cell in Baltimore, Maryland. Vernon will mail me back his responses and I’ll post them here." TalkLeft enthuses: "Meet Vernon even has a blogroll, and TalkLeft is proud to be included on it. This is an experiment, but wouldn't it be great to see every death row inmate with a blog?" In 2003, imprisoned serial killer Jack Trawick taunted his victims from a website published with the help of an admirer. Other prison blogs here and here. [via BuzzMachine]
posted on Apr-9-05 at 9:41 AM

"From March 3—June 17, 2005, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents Sue de Beer: Black Sun. Black Sun, a new two-channel video installation viewed within a large-scale wooden house environment, furthers de Beer’s exploration of the construction of feminine desire and unfulfilled longing." + "Sue de Beer’s art is a mature reflection on the complex interior lives of disaffected suburban American teenagers. Her video installations, photographs, and sculptures are littered with references to the pop culture detritus central to our adolescent search for identity." + "By using the computer and constructing sets to contain the action, de Beer’s enigmatic images make any fiction appear as reality."
posted on Apr-6-05 at 6:13 AM

The Scotsman's contribution to April Fool's yesterday was a satirical bit on Political Correctness: "European bureaucrats will push forward legislation today to force the Scottish Executive to change place-names that offend or discriminate on the grounds of race and gender. The commissioners in Brussels have demanded 'race and gender-sensitive' names found for towns such as Motherwell, Blackburn, Helensburgh, Fort William, Campbeltown, Peterhead, Lewis and Fraserburgh be changed."
posted on Apr-2-05 at 9:52 AM

National Review's Heather McDonald responds to columnist Steven Levy's question: Does the blogosphere have a diversity problem? "Could it be that the premise of the 'diversity' crusade is wrong—that there are not in fact hordes of unknown, competitively talented non-white-male journalists held back by prejudice? Don’t even entertain the thought. Steven Levy certainly doesn’t. 'It appears that some clubbiness is involved'—that is, that white male bloggers only link to other white male bloggers." Do we need a race-based quota for web journalism? As racial identity is often anonymous, where would we start?
posted on Mar-30-05 at 11:04 PM

Conceived in 2003 and modeled after West Point, The National Military Academy of Afghanistan began its academic year last week, welcoming its first class of soldiers to pass basic training, after which they'll complete a four-year Academy degree and become commissioned officers. Back in February, a US officer passed on photos of the Academy's opening. "We had kids walk into the Academy with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and open sandals, (no socks). These are good cadets."
posted on Mar-28-05 at 9:13 AM

Senators Charles Schumer and Susan Collins urge stronger action on Saudi Arabia | "Sen. Schumer said, It is a massive contradiction that a country we call an ally could be both so regressive in their own country and so brazen in its propagation of anti-American, anti-women, anti-Semitic books, publications, and practices. American security is undermined as the Saudi government exports these hateful commodities to millions beyond its borders, planting the seeds for new generations of terrorists and totalitarian Wahhabi leaders." In the recent past, Schumer has demanded answers on the Islamic Saudi Academy in Arlington, VA—where Omar Abu Ali graduated as 1999 valedictorian—and on the growing Wahhabi influence in the U.S.
posted on Mar-15-05 at 11:05 AM

Earlier this month, Condoleezza Rice discussed reforms and democracy with Egyptian foreign minister Abu al-Ghait, and joined the international voices urging the release of Ayman Nour. Nour's opposition party—al-Ghad ("Tommorrow")—supports open elections and limiting President Mubarak's terms in office, which has garnered unprecedented activist support in Cairo. When Rice canceled her trip to Cairo three days ago to protest Nour's imprisonment, President Hosni Mubarak did a surprising thing: he revised the Egyptian constitution to allow for multi-party presidential elections—the first since succeeding Anwar Sadat in 1981. (some links via BigPharaoh)
posted on Feb-27-05 at 2:28 PM

Tom Waits Bootlegs: Paris 2000, Warsaw 2000, Los Angeles 1998 & Oakland 1996 + full discography & lyrics sheet. Also: great audio interview from this week's Cool Ivories show at American Routes, via the Tom Waits News blog.
posted on Feb-22-05 at 9:54 AM

9/11: Debunking The Myths is a study from the March issue of Popular Mechanics in which the 16 most prevalent 9/11 conspiracy theories are scrutinized by aviation experts, engineers and military analysts. "In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense."
posted on Feb-16-05 at 6:09 AM

A followup on the Ward Churchill controversy by fellow CU professor Paul Campos alleges that in addition to research fraud and plagiarism, Churchill is guilty of "bullying his way into academia" by fabricating the story of his Cherokee heritage--an idea corroborated by AIM, who called him a "wannabee" Indian, and by, which also questions Churchill's qualifications for chairing the Ethnic Studies program at CU.

Churchill's prior education began at the now-defunct experimental Sangamon State University which solicited educators with ads in Rolling Stone. In his climb to tenure at CU, did Churchill's supposed Native American heritage & activism play a more important role than his academic record? Not long ago, CU was noted for its lopsided rules of dissent. Does the environment at CU embody Cass Sunstein’s "law of group polarization", ie, "when like-minded people deliberate as an organized group, the general opinion shifts toward extreme versions of their common beliefs"?
posted on Feb-9-05 at 2:18 PM

Iraqi Citizens Fight Back: "The residents of a small Iraqi village have killed five insurgents who had attacked them for voting in last weekend's national elections." ABC Journalist Mark Willacy: "It would appear that people are getting sick of the insurgency. But certainly many people here see the insurgency as the work of foreigners who want to turn their country into some sort of Islamic state, like Afghanistan under the Taliban." On Sunday, insurgents used a kidnapped boy with Down's syndrome as a human bomb. From IraqTheModel: "The poor victim was so scared when ordered to walk to the searching point and began to walk back to the terrorists. In response the criminals pressed the button and blew up the poor victim almost half way between their position and the voting center's entrance".
posted on Feb-4-05 at 7:18 AM

Coptic Christans comprise 15-18% of Egypt's population, and are the MidEast's largest Christian minority. Violence between Muslims and Coptics in Egypt has flared up before, but relations inside American borders have been civil, most say. This month, an emigrated Coptic family of four were murdered in New Jersey just months after the father received death threats for his remarks about Islam in a chatroom on which Christians are allegedly "monitored". Did Armanious Hossan's comments about Islam put his life in jeopardy, ala Salman Rushdie, or Theo Van Gogh, or Geert Wilders (login req), or Rachid Ben Ali?
posted on Feb-2-05 at 9:19 AM

"Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution!" • In the same comic deadpan spirit as his other video, Evan Maloney from consoles protesters on Inauguration Day with softball questions and Hero Builders toys.
posted on Jan-28-05 at 8:11 AM

While Abu Musab al-Zarqawi declares a "bitter war" against democracy, Josh Muravchik suggests that Realists—"those who are skeptical of injecting issues of freedom, democracy and human rights into the conduct of foreign policy"—have historically been less in-step than pro-democracy Idealists. Responding to Bush's Inauguration Day comments about confronting tyranny in the coming years, many Iranians cheered.
posted on Jan-26-05 at 5:11 PM