Thursday, March 31, 2005
- Just think...around 70 years ago, people were just being introduced to an amazing new technology: dial phones As opposed to the cans-on-a-stick where you had to yell, "Operator! Operator! Get me PEnnsylvania-6500!" Even those must have seemed like science fiction compared to crank telephones. On the Internet Movie Archive, you can watch a short 1927 movie that explained how to use them, e.g., "Pull the dial around until finger touches stop." And to think that someday, even wardriving will seem as painfully quaint. [via Boing Boing]
- Something for us old geeks: Virtual Apple has an entire library of old Apple 2 disks online, accessible through the ActiveGS Apple emulator that uses your browsers' ActiveX functionality. Lode Runner! Zaxxon! The original Castle Wolfenstein!
- Chicago may rank third in population, but it's still the "Second City" when it comes to long commutes. Chicagoans commute an average of 33 minutes each way. [via Chicagoist]
- Food for Thought from feministe, reportedly heard on NPR: "The 44 Democrat senators represent about 3.5 million more people than the 55 Republican senators do." Eh?
- Neil Gaiman has an interesting post on Alan Moore, Margaret Thatcher and UK's Clause 28, a 1988 edict (just recently repealed in 2003) that essentially declared thou shalt not speak of homosexuality in a positive light in any institution of learning...and comic censorship. By the way, I will once again not get a chance to hear Neil Gaiman speak, for the fifth time in a decade. He's coming to the University of Chicago for a brief fellowship stint and will give a talk/book signing on April 19th. Tickets for the event went on sale March 28th - Monday - and by the afternoon, when I finally had a chance to try and get some, they were sold out. I mean, seriously...I work two blocks away from the Reynolds Club ticket office and venue, and I still can't get tickets? Bah!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005Never mind the Grokster SCOTUS decision (although if the Supremes side with the entertainment industry on this one, I dare say it'll have a far-reaching chill) - the truly scary invention these days is DRM, or Digital Rights Management (see DRM Watch blog for good info).
Now, I can certainly understand why the ability to control content - who uses your material, when they use it, and where and how long they can use it - appeals to business interests, but I don't think a world where printer toner cartridges "die" on a given date, whether you've used up the ink or not, is a better world. DRM may be good for dairy products; not so good for innovation, consumers' rights, and future of our economy.
The "killer cartridge" is just one example of DRM: so are (after a fashion) Monsanto's "terminator seeds" designed to grow only non-reproductive plants. The concept of DRM isn't new, or unique to information technology. Blade Runner's replicants were DRM'ed, designed to expire after four years of service. For that matter, we could even consider our built-in lifespan limits of about 120 years as a form of "DRM" in the genes. The 1976 sci-fi feature Logan's Run took place in a future society where all people were required to commit suicide at the age of 30 - or be "recycled" by bounty-hunting "sandmen."
More on the "Logan's Run" printer cartridges from InfoWorld's Ed Foster:
I’ve heard from several other readers about similar problems they’ve had due to the chips in the ink supply cartridges for HP’s business-oriented printer models, so I pretty much knew what I’d hear when I asked HP about it. “In some of our printer models with separate print heads and ink cartridges, the ink cartridges expire after a certain period of time to prevent degradation of the printer components and print quality due to changes in ink properties, cartridge properties, and interactions between the ink and the cartridge,” an HP spokesman said. “For quality assurance reasons, we have set a maximum lifetime for the ink supply. The time allowed is adequate for product distribution and in-printer life for even our low-volume users.”As if you couldn't tell, there's a post in the works on the topic...just thought I'd give you a taste of the little graphic I cooked up first. Maybe I'll have it printed on a coffee mug. Every time I think about DRM (Digital Rights Management), an image of those Mission Impossible self-destructing tape reels pops into my head.
The readers who have suffered various difficulties with expiring cartridges suspect the chips are there not so much to protect them against degraded ink as to protect HP from red ink. Why, they wonder, does HP only do this in business printer models? If consumers can decide for themselves when ink is becoming too degraded, shouldn’t business users also get to do so? The lack of a patentable print head to block producers of generic cartridges may have been HP’s real motivation for inserting a chip. Then, by giving the chip a time bomb function, it also effectively prevents reuse of the cartridges for refilling or remanufacturing. [read full article]
- Yes, Wisconsin is a strange, strange state. Case in point:
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) Three children are safe with their mom in Illinois after their father was shot and killed during a confrontation with police in Wisconsin. Sergeant Ron Bartholomew said officers yesterday shot 31-year- old Bobby Sherrod, who was naked on a street in Kenosha. Sherrod had his three children naked with him. Officials saw him twist his five-year-old son's neck and when he tried to grab his other children officers shot him. His other children are three years and 14 months old.
Bartholomew says the five-year-old told officers his dad had an argument with his girlfriend, smoked marijuana, drank shampoo and poured water over his children before taking all three naked into the street. [CBS2 News Chicago]
- When life hands you SPAM™ and mushrooms, make stroganoff. This morning on Chicagoist:
"...[A] truck, which was carrying Spam and mushrooms (no, we're not making this up), toppled while negotiating a ramp from the inbound Stevenson to the inbound Dan Ryan Expressways. The wreckage initially blocked the ramp, but crews have cleared the truck and its delicious cargo enough for traffic to inch through.
Meanwhile, Chicagoist would like to suggest that cleanup crews consider this recipe for "Spam Stroganoff," from the recipe search function of the Spam Web site, which features both Hormel's favorite spiced ham product and mushrooms. However, we don't even want to think about the delights that could spring from the combination of Spam, mushrooms and the waste of that milk truck accident we told you about earlier this month.
Monday, March 28, 2005
- LDMA (aks Louis Minson) has moved from the Wor Zone to Songkhla South, his new "whatever linky-link blog" from the South of Thailand. Latest posts include Crazy Uses For Coca-Cola, and a countdown of the Top 10 Worst Dictators of 2005.
- What's your Popstrology sign? I was born in the Fourth Year of the Beatles, for what it's worth:
Look down a list of the historic figures and world events of 1968 and it's like looking at the lyrics of a Billy Joel song: Tet Offensive, MLK/RFK and LBJ/Yippies, Hippies, DNC/Prague Spring and French May. If you had a nickel for every time you've watched a video montage of images from 1968 set to the music of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth, you'd have an awful lot of nickels, but Buffalo Springfield never made it to #1, and the popstrological firmament in the year of your birth was nowhere near as tumultuous as the temporal world into which you came. And while it's probable that this fact made the fourth and final Beatles generation a bit more detached from reality than the average popstrological class, it probably also made the children of 1968 capable of weathering life's storms with an inner calm that can only come from not noticing the storms in the first place.[via Begging to Differ]
- The sociolinguistics of men's underwear, or the sordid tale of tighty-whities [Language Log]
(CNN) -- An earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off the coast of Indonesia Monday -- on the same fault line that originated a December 26 earthquake that launched a deadly tsunami. The director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said scientists there feared another tsunami might hit the area. Charles McCreary said he could not be certain that the quake, which was 30 km deep and 203 kilometer (126 miles) from Sibolga on Sumatra Island, would cause a tsunami. "There is a potential for some wave activity," said Julie Martinez, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center, in Golden, Colo.MORE: NOAA
The quake occurred at 1109 ET (1609 GMT), and is considered a "great" earthquake, the largest of seven grades. The grades are very minor, minor, light, moderate, strong, major and great.
Latest on "Sumatra Quake" on Google News
Friday, March 25, 2005
- "Ahh...The Name is Banksy, Baby...": Guerrilla painter Banksy talks to NPR's Michele Norris:
A self-described "career graffiti writer" and "painter-decorator," Banksy tells Michele Norris that he consulted biographies of Harry Houdini to get ideas about how to sneak into the museums with his artworks, some of which are not small at all.
Asked why he carried out the pranks, Banksy says, simply: "I thought some of [the paintings] were quite good. That's why I thought, you know, put them in a gallery. Otherwise, they would just sit at home and no one would see them."
- Random observation #1: there are few things in life grosser than an unexpectedly slimy doorknob.
- Random observation #2: with a few minor exceptions*, avoid all movies named after popular song titles unless the movie actually has some logical connection to the song it's named for, such as there being an exclusive, eponymous song on the soundtrack that became a hit after the film's release, e.g., Footloose. This "let's name the movie after a hit song we had nothing to do with!" trend seemed to originate in the early 1980's - but after the first few uses the gimmick stopped being cute, funny, or even memorable. That is all.
* Pretty Woman comes to mind.
- Boston University Journalism School takes a stand on "video news releases,"
of the Boston University Journalism Faculty
Condemning Fraudulent Use of Video News Releases
March 22, 2005
As educators of the next generation of American journalists, we the journalism faculty at the College of Communication, Boston University:
Recognize the need of citizens in a democracy for information that is accurate, unbiased and independently gathered and presented;
Recognize the vital need of government to communicate with its citizens and the useful role print and video news releases (VNRs) can play in this process;
Recognize the obligation of news organizations to identify clearly the origin of any editorial material provided by government, business, interest group or any source other than their own news gathering or that of affiliated news organizations; [continue reading on PressThink]
- NYC education officals withdraw school math prep guides after finding an abundance of errors....and the publisher misspelled "Fourth" on the cover of the 4th grade book. [New York Times]
- The Friday Random Ten:
- Low - Monkey
- Pete Townshend - Uniforms (Corps d'Esprit)
- Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday - Stardust
- Skaos - Too Late
- Aix Em Klemm - Sophteonal
- Marcos Valle - Mustang Cor de Sangue
- Vegas - Wise Guy
- David Bowie with Queen - Under Pressure
- Isaac Hayes - Breakthrough
- The Black Heart Procession - Waterfront
- BookBlog on the death of the "scoop" [via Grits for Breakfast]
- The Guardian UK on the Myth of Dying:
[Today, Good Friday] happens to be a good day for contemplating how we die and watch others die as the US courts finally let Terri Schiavo go. She has been 15 years a-dying in a persistent vegetative state, probably beyond pain, though not beyond reflex responses. But if there is still suffering to be had, now in her seventh slow day without water or food, the law inflicts death by slow dehydration in the name of "ethics". It's a shocking spectacle that could be stopped with one merciful injection. But here in our own dying rooms similar terrible ethical deaths are inflicted on British citizens every day by kindly nurses and doctors. There is a conspiracy of silence about the actual processes of death. [continue reading][via Brutal Women]
Thursday, March 24, 2005
- It's Easter and Passover season (or Spring Equinox, if that's more your persuasion), and this joke from the Rabbi Adam's Jooz Nooz weekly newsletter just cracked me up:
Catholic kid brags to his Jewish friend, 'Ha, ha! My priest knows more than your Rabbi!' Responds the Jewish kid, 'Of course - because you tell him EVERYTHING!'For something completely different, why not...
the Slavic pagan holiday of Maslenica (Mah-sleh-NEET-sa) "Butter woman" from the word Maslo which means butter. Originally it was practiced at the Vernal Equinox but later was celebrated the week before lent. Masłenica (mah-sweh-NEET-sa), sometimes called Shrovetide, was a celebration of the returning light, a time of games and contests, especially horse racing, fist fights, sliding and mock battles. It was a time for protection and purification rituals and a time of gluttony, obscenity and dissolution.Also on the Slavic Pagan Holidays site,
New Year's Day - originally on the Winter Solstice, New years was considered the most powerful time for divination. A traditional New Year's divination was called podbljunaja (powd-blyew-NIE-ya) or "under the plate". Details of this divinatory system may be found on the Slavic Magick page. Pork was traditionally eaten at this time.Okay, but tell me - when is pork not eaten on the Slavic calendar?
- The Apple™ Victrola [via Gizmodo]
- BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin blogs on oddly flavored condoms in Shanghai (Green Tea? "Ordinary"?)
- Was Doogie Howser, MD the first "blogger"?
- I thought I was imagining things, but I could have sworn I once heard a French-laguage version of Don Henley's "Johnny Can't Read" on Montreal's CHOM-FM...way. back. when.
- Yes, Virginia, Thai elephants not only paint, but they play symphonies, too. Listen to "Ganesha Triumphant" and "Little Elephant Saddle," samples from the Thai Elephant Orchestra.
- A legend in my 'hood: the Green Mill Lounge, understated celebrity hangout/home of jazz greats, and the Gene Siskel Fim Center off Randolph and State hosts a tribute to Michael Mann [via Chicagoist]
- Slant magazine's list of the top 50 vital pop albums
- Microsoft's "Parent's Guide to l33tspeak" (or geek-wannabe's)
- Polish computing information
- "Toilet Trouble," on JapanNewbie.com: can you figure out how to flush this remote-controlled toilet? If you don't read Japanese, the symbols (which appear to tactfully symbolize types and quantities of bodily wastes, e.g., "#1," "#2-large" and "#2-small," "ladies' (?)") aren't much help - one appears to be a stylized blue pair of buttocks, with a pyramid of blue dots representing a flush. If you don't believe me, have a peek at the photo and tell me what you think it means. ;)
Wednesday, March 23, 2005No, I haven't weighed in recently (at least not since 2003) on the hot topic-of-the-moment, the Terry Schiavo affair; but there is an article worth reading on Slate by Dahlia Lithwick that an interesting twist on the usual left-right debate:
Of all the ironies at the heart of the Terri Schiavo case—alleged federalists who scoff at federalism; the fact that Schiavo, who's in a persistent vegetative state, has lived off the winnings in the same kind of medical malpractice suit that Republicans in Congress seek to limit—the most astonishing is this: Congressional Republicans who have staked their careers and the last election on the "sanctity of marriage" have turned this case into a mockery of that very institution.
There was and is one principal issue to be decided in this case and that is, what would Terri Schiavo have wanted for herself had she foreseen an irreversible 15-year vegetative condition in her future? Courts have been deciding these issues for decades now, and they have done so by triangulating back not from the federal Constitution but from the implicit respect we have always had for the compact between people who marry.
This is not a matter of national policy, and the legislation passed on Monday doesn't even attempt to craft new federal right-to-die policies. This case is about a reluctant state court making its best effort to unearth an individual's most private wishes and using the intimate relationship with her spouse in order to do so. Yet Schiavo's family—the Schindlers—her governor, and Congress have totally disregarded these presumptions about the sanctity of marriage. To them, the marriage is immaterial.
Why? Because they don't like her husband? Because they don't like that he has a girlfriend? Or because they don't like the decision he made? "I don't know what transpired between Terri and her husband. All I know is Terri is alive. ... Unless she has specifically written instructions in her hand, with her signature, I don't care what her husband says," snarled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay the other day. Can this be true? In DeLay's worldview, is my grocery list more binding than promises made to and by my husband about our deepest wishes? Can Bill Frist and Tom DeLay and George W. Bush really be attempting to shred up the very institution they most want to protect? [continue reading]
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
- Nicholas Negroponte's sub-$100 laptop could bring personal computing into the hands of millions of schoolchildren in developing countries
- Chicago Northside landmark Thillens Stadium closes [Chicagoist]
- Voodoo knife block designed by Raffaele Iannolo
- Frightening, but cool: baby's first iPod [Gizmodo]
- M. C. Esher done in LEGOs® [via Brutal Women]
- Japanese knitted food [via Rebecca's Pocket]
- To the long list of bloggers-turned-new-home-owners, add my friend Cindy at EclecticEveryday - someone who I know will put her new place to mighty fine, homesteady use. Congratulations, Cindy and Tim!
Thursday, March 17, 2005
- Nanobacteria? Really? [via Rebecca's Pocket]
- Listening to:
- Kelis' "Trick Me," a phenomenal funk-you earworm, and an conceptual negative/analogous inverse to Blondie's "The Tide Is High" - although I suspect the two would sound great as a mashup..."The Trick is High" perhaps?
- Just when I complain to the Ultravox forum about the lack of a latter-day remix of the classic track "Hymn," I discover that Psychophaze, a 22-year-old mixmeister from Poland has done just that: this new Euro recast sets a pitched-up vocal of the song's chorus against morphing drum-n-bass and dub beats. You can download or stream it (and hundreds of other unusual .mp3's that might make you the hit of the club) at Wirtualna Polksa More: Masonic imagery on the "Hymn" record cover
- Buckminster Fuller shares "Everything I Know" - and that's a lot - in 42 mind-boggling audiovisual lessons [via Wither In The Light]
- WorldChanging's Alex and Bruce SXSW keynote:
...do we get the future we want, the cooler future that works better, or do we get the default future?The non-default future might include universal object monitoring, biomimetics and neobiology, and new paradigms of sustainability. Oh, goody.
We're on a continuum, heading for a world that's either unimaginable or one that's unthinkable. On the continnuum between these two points, we need to aggressively promote the vision of a future as close to unimaginable and far from unthinkable as possible. We need to define our victory condition: an unimaginably positive outcome. A time in which the world's most creative people can get up every morning, apply their highest talents to the world's most pressing problems, and their prize the next morning will be a better set of problems to work on.
- Have you experienced the incomparable Mrs. Miller? No? Welcome to her World!
- Chris Waigl has taken up the daunting task of setting up the Eggcorn Database; eggcorns are folk-misspellings, corruptions, malapropisms, or "linguistic mutations" that become perpetuated by repetition, e.g., "eggcorn" is a mutated version of "acorn." [via Language Log]
- Kateigaho International online interviews J-Horror luminaries Hideo Nakata, Roy Lee and Koji Suzuki about the new worldwide popularity of Asian horror films like Ringu, Ju-on ("The Grudge"), and more. [via mp3 Blogs]
- CBC Radio's Jian Gomeshi counts down 50 Tracks - the 50 essential Canadian popular songs from the 1900's (!) through today, and you can hear one-minute samples. I ♥ Canadian music of the 1980's, because that's when I lived near the border and the only decent radio stations were from the Great White North - I hold with the opinion of one anonymous poster, who commented "the best 80's bands were all Canadian." Platinum Blonde? Rough Trade? Martha and the Muffins (probably the worst name ever for a great band)? Gary O'? Missing from Ghomeshi's 50 Tracks, but essential nonetheless.
- Siemens Corp. has developed a Bluetooth-enabled voice-recognition lapel communicator device, like the combadges you used to see on ST:TNG. Gizmodo gives it
"no more than 10 years before this sort of technology trickles down into the middle class, but I hope to see it sooner than that. Now, if only the system would give feedback in Majel Roddenberry’s voice..."Few things in the tech world surprise me anymore - although they rarely cease to delight - simply because we seem to be reaching the point that if we can dream it, we can eventually make it. Now, medicine's another story...
Wednesday, March 16, 2005It's a blender. It's sensitive and intelligent. It's a psychotherapist. It's MIT researcher Kelly Dobson's Blendie!
Blendie is an interactive, sensitive, intelligent, voice controlled blender with a mind of its own. Materials are a 1950’s Osterizer blender altered with custom made hardware and software for sound analysis and motor control.Some of Dobson's other inventions include Machine Therapy, and the Screambody, a "wearable body organ" that lets you scream into it at will, without incurring odd stares from passersby or risking a trip to the padded room:
People induce the blender to spin by sounding the sounds of its motor in action. A person may growl low pitch blender-like sounds to get it to spin slow (Blendie 2000 pitch and power matches the person) and the person can growl blender-style at higher pitches to speed up Blendie 2000. The experience for the participant is to speak the language of the machine and thus to more deeply understand and connect with the machine. The action may also bring about personal revelations in the participant, because in sounding with the blender one is likely to perform gesture and sound expressions not previously accessed which may open up hidden emotions or thoughts or feelings. The participant empathizes with Blendie 2000 and in this new approach to a domestic appliance fosters a more conscious and personally meaningful and responsible relationship with machines. And it is fun.
Machines influence self-conception, expression, social perception, and perception of responsibility or action. By accessing and vitalizing the interplay of people and machines through custom interaction design and psychotherapeutic techniques, a social awareness is brought out and individuals are invited to reinvent their own existence.
ScreamBody is the first of the series of Wearable Body Organs. ScreamBody is a portable space for screaming. When a user needs to scream but is in anynumber of situations where it is just not permitted, ScreamBody silences the user’s screams so they may feel free to vocalize without fear of environmental retaliation, and at the same time records the scream for later release where, when, and how the user chooses.I find all three creations quite amusing, because I myself used to hum along with the vacuum cleaner and washing machines when I was a kid...and see how I turned out. [via my friend James!]
The Blendie schematic diagram
A Blendie QuickTime movie
- Much hilarious and useful train gossip to be had at The CTA Tattler
- Poem of the Day: Nightmare with Angels, by Stephen Vincent Benét
"...You will not be saved by General Motors or the pre-fabricated house.100 farkleberry points to anyone who can tell me which classic horror flick contained a scene inspired by those lines.
You will not be saved by dialectic materialism or the Lambeth Conference.
You will not be saved by Vitamin D or the expanding universe.
In fact, you will not be saved..."
- Today's lesson #1: never try to scrape off the label side of a
coasterCD-ROM with a sharp object - like a pair of scissors. You will be richly rewarded with a shower of sparkling rainbowy glitter-flakes that cling to your fingers, face, keyboard and sandwiches for hours.
- Today's lesson #2: why do cans of WD-40® lubricant come with such an easily-misplaced red plastic spray tube? The tubes are shipped attached to the cans with a piece of adhesive tape, but if any WD-40® drips down the side of the can, the tape often detaches from the can. If you're lucky enough to find the red tube, reattaching it with a rubber band is only a temporary solution; because again, the petrochemicals in WD-40® deteriorate rubber (a.k.a. the "no vaseline on condoms" effect) and cause it to snap. Why can't the company make a plastic retainer ring or snap-on holder for the tube? Is it because they want you to purchase a new can of WD-40® every time you lose the red tube? UPDATE: It just occurred to me that I should mention WD-40 is an INDUSTRIAL lubricant, for the silly geese amongst our readers. MORE: 2000 Uses for WD-40®
- Last night's lesson: I suspect that some CTA trains have unmarked hidden cameras, like the ones NYC and recently NJ transit adopted (some CTA buses already have them). Why? Last night, I was riding the usual rear car on the red line, when a woman with a young toddler and baby carriage got stuck in the train doors. See, while Mama and baby-in-carriage were attempting to exit, the toddler wanted to stay on the train and loudly squalled her preference ("You're trying to get the table out the door? I thought you were pushing it in!"). Seeing that the train doors were fitfully opening and closing at the operator's command, two other women sitting near the door helped pull it open (from the inside) and let the frantic family off the train. Seconds later, the operator spoke over the PA system: "thank you, ladies." Now I ask, if the train operator didn't have a way of seeing inside the train car, how would he know to say "thank you"? He couldn't easily look out the operator window to see what's going on six or more train cars back.
- Woman murders boyfriend over Uno™ and Monopoly™ games [NBC5 Chicago]
- The UK Shoe Dumping Mystery - solved? [via BoingBoing]
- Relocation: Amanda at Mousewords has moved to Pandagon
- This month's strangest farkleberries search strings:
half nude models
beanie weenie drugs
print your own Euro banknotes for free
jerky chew In Chicago
cow-shaped hot air balloon
psycho geometric shapes
unusual bizarre birthmarks
scientific proof tongue piercings cancer
hello kitty cellphone covers
sensible genital mutilation photos
CBS official reportedly secret co-owner of male whore house tied to Bush
chicago restaurant cooking with liquid nitrogen
Tuesday, March 15, 2005Now, here's a product with a purpose; one that should tickle both the animal lover and inner child in everyone - elephant dung paper. The Thai National Elephant Institute Forest Industry Organization's Thai Elephant Conservation Center funds elephant aid efforts in that nation through the sale of handcrafted paper items manufactured from the copious amounts of insoluble vegetable fiber found in pachyderm poo. From the Elephant Dung Paper website, a graphic showing the cycle of conservation (wouldn't that center logo make a great T-shirt?):
There, you can read about the eco-friendly [no chlorine used] process and products, as well as [no joking]...Hot Dung News! On the Hot Dung News! page, a photo of an elephant next to a large wheeled tub of...well, you know...is captioned, "Paper is served. Thank you Mr. Elephant!" In addition, you can learn some fascinating elephant dung facts:
If that wasn't astounding enough, these Thai elephants are also artistes: you can also purchase paintings made by elephants ["Each painting comes with a picture of the artist in action and is packed in an elephant dung tube"]. My favorite is one that looks rather different from the others in the collection, called "Half of Hearts," (Still available, at US $80) limned by a rather talented 8-year old elephant named Add.
- On average an elephant will eat 200-250kg of food a day….. from that we get 50kg of dung
- One elephant makes about 115 sheets of paper a day er... correction one elephant provides us enough dung to make 115 sheets of paper. Please let it be known to all :- our staff neither resemble elephants nor provide us with enough dung to make 115 sheets of paper... sorry ladies.
- Elephant dung does not smell that bad...honest please believe me. If it does smell that bad then maybe the elephant is ill.
- You can take the temperature of an elephant by its dung just minus 1 degree centigrade from a freshly fallen ball!!
- An elephant’s dung is just fiber. Elephants are poor digesters of their food over 50% of what they eat comes straight out the other end. The elephants are kindly doing the first stage of any paper making process – getting the fibers.
- Elephant Dung Paper does not smell at all.
MORE: Elephant painting school and gallery
MSNBC: "Recycling's next frontier: Poop as paper"
- Native American flutes and music blog
- You know what's really scary? This "Scary-ass fish found after the Tsunami" is only one of many truly scary-ass fish. [via The Tofu Hut]
- Cool blog: Rummage Through the Crevices, featuring posts like "Right Now, Someone In Europe Is Being Buried… To The Tune Of Highway To Hell."
- Yesterday was International Pi Day, and I didn't even bake one.
- The Goths are coming to Disneyland!
Bats Day in the Fun Park is an annual goth gathering in Disneyland where hundreds of goths descend on the park and ride rides, punctuated by gatherings -- a "Baby Bats" gathering for goths with infants, and a grand gathering at night-time before the Haunted Mansion for a group photo. The night before it starts there's a club night with DJs and live performance (including Bauhaus/Love and Rockets/Jazz Butcher alum David J).
- Speaking of music, one of the best online finds I've recently discovered is mp3 Blogs, an endless treasure trove of posts, downloads, and links that's broadened my musical tastes and horizons (and bloated my hard drives, but that's what CD-burners help fix). Its large international group of registered posters offer up sounds from every era and genre; it's like a combining a great indie college radio show and a thrift-store music bin, with the beauty of streaming-audio on demand. I prefer it in RSS flavor; but the actual site is refreshingly substance over style. Try: you'll like.
- At that price, it's literally pro Bono:
[Bono,] the self-described "big-mouth Irish rock star" and his wife, Ali Hewson, are entering the fashion universe with their collection, Edun, co-created with designer Rogan. Edun's earthy but chic duds, which are created from organic materials, are made in family-run factories in South America and Africa with fair-labor practices. "We're not preaching that we're going to save the planet. But we're doing our best," says designer Rogan, who goes to each factory and meets with workers.
What you get: the $168 jeans and $80 camisole you buy at Saks Fifth Avenue won't be sewn by kids in sweatshops. Edun (nude spelled backward) clothes have personalized details: The jeans, for example, have Rainer Maria Rilke's poems embroidered inside their pockets.
"It's tiny footsteps, small choices," Bono says. "Where you shop, what you buy, the questions you ask. It's a different kind of label consciousness." Before you roll your eyes at yet another lecture from the politically minded musician, who just joined England's Prime Minister Tony Blair and Microsoft's Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to discuss the problems facing Africa, Bono feels your pain. "I'm sick of Bono - and I am Bono!" he says. "But this is our moment, and let's see what we can do. I'm just trying to get value out of my life." [USA Today.com, via mp3 Blogs]
Monday, March 14, 2005
Knitterscrocheters help solve a complex mathematical equation:
The crinkled edges of a lettuce leaf curve and expand in a shape that has perplexed mathematicians for centuries. Those curves - an example of a high-level geometry concept called the hyperbolic plane - were not even defined by geometry theorists until the 19th century. And in the almost 200 years following, mathematicians struggled to find a way to model the complex shape known as the geometric opposite of the sphere. Then mathematician Daina Taimina picked up her crochet needles and some synthetic yarn, and the problem was solved. In 1997, Taimina, of Cornell University, found a way to crochet her way into "hyperbolic space." Her woolen creations, which resemble crenulated flowers and hair scrunchies, became the first physical models of the hyperbolic plane. [read more on NPR.org]
- Estelle Schmidt's 2000 Kansas State Fair award-winning recipe for SPAM™ Cupcakes. More SPAM™ prize-winning recipes here.
- BBC News: researchers say tunes that get stuck in your head - "earworms" - are basically itches your brain needs to scratch
- UMKC School of Law professor Douglas Linder's site detailing 39 of the World's Most Famous Trials, from the trial of Socrates to O.J. Simpson. [via Senses Working Overtime]
Friday, March 11, 2005From Neil Gaiman.com:
I said I'd put up info about the University of Chicago "Evening With Neil Gaiman" talk when I got it. It's going to be on Tuesday the 19th of April 2005, at the Court Theatre, South Ellis Av University of Chicago, and tickets ($15 general, $5 for students) go on sale on March the 28th. All the info, including phone numbers and e-mail to get tickets with is up at http://arts.uchicago.edu/gaiman.html....and I have class that exact night, dammit, unless more people in my class sign up for a field trip to the Cook County juvenile correctional facility to hobnob with bangers. Gaiman and Gretchen Helfrich on the same stage. The universe seems to be conspiring to keep me from hearing Neil talk - I've missed no less than four chances over the past ten years or so, all because of scheduling conflicts or unexpected events. It's deucedly odd, I tell you.
I'll be interviewed by Gretchen Helfrich, host of Chicago Public Radio's Odyssey, and will probably do some readings as well...
On a lighter note, I just learned a dangerous new computer trick: how to properly record digital audio streams into Audacity, and save them as good-quality .mp3's. Ooo, ooo, ooo. (or is that 0001, 10010, 100?)
UPDATE: The article, "The Gobbler was one of a kind," appeared in today's Capital Times, and Duog Moe included a few paragraphs from our conversation:
"I had heard about it before I moved to the Chicago area," Reznicek told me when I reached her Thursday. "A friend of mine who appreciates anything offbeat told me about it. Then when I moved here I realized it was just a couple of hours away."Well, it turns out that the Gobbler Restaurant's latest planned re-incarnation was just too spicy for the town:
Reznicek drove up with friends in October 2001. Neither the restaurant nor the motel was operational by then, but she was able to take dozens of interior and exterior photos that are up on her site (and supplemented by promotional material from the Gobbler's heyday).
The timing of Reznicek's visit was important because when she came back again, in February 2002, she found to her dismay that the motel was gone, replaced by a bit of rubble and a hole in the ground. "The fire department torched it for a practice burn," Reznicek said. "I was glad I had taken those photos."
The most recent owners exhibited quite an imagination as well, when in September 2003 they went to the Johnson Creek Plan Commission with the idea of turning the restaurant into "The Gobbler A-Go-Go." According to a newspaper account at the time, the plan "would have the restaurant and bar feature go-go dancers wearing bikinis and dancing in cages, plus waitresses in Playboy bunny outfits."Thanks for the interview, Doug!
The Plan Commission voted it down 7-0.
For now, the Gobbler lives only on the Internet and in memory, ever pink, plush - and revolving.
[3/10/2005] A few minutes ago, I just got off the phone with Doug Moe, a reporter for the Madison, WI, Capital Times, who's doing a piece on the old Gobbler Motel and Restaurant. He said he'd been talking with a group of people the other day who had never heard of the Gobbler. Well, Mr. Moe happened to my website Requiem for the Gobbler Motel (which I haven't added freshend up in some time, as I haven't been back to Johnson Creek since 2003), and he mentioned that the site will be noted in his article tomorrow or over the weekend so I should "see a few more hits over the next few days." Looks like it's time for a site update and dusting-off. Nothing like having unexpected guests coming to the 'ol supper club - and yes, I admit it - I do the same thing at the house. I'll post the Cap Times article link here when it's published.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
- Chicago's "el" of the Future? Gapers Block's intriguing article on CTA service 2055
- Smile, Yoshi, you've got meds: Japanese psychiatric medication ads, 1956-2003 [via MeFi]
- Surprise, surprise. A database the government uses to spy on people has been hacked. [via Techdirt]
- Zapped: Police use Taser™ guns when a suspect refuses to pee into a cup [FL], and when confronting someone stealing from a Chuck E. Cheese salad bar [CO]. [NBC5.com]
- Every afternoon, when I take the Red Line home from the Lake stop, the same guitar-strumming busker is perpetually playing one of two songs, Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," or the Herman's Hermits tune, "Don't Know Much." Maybe he thinks he's always getting a fresh crowd who are delighted to hear his rendition for the first time ever, but when you walk down to the platform and hear the same song at the same time every day, you start to feel like an extra in Groundhog Day. Which is why I love this post from Exhibit 5a:
"Dear Subway Pan Flute Guy,
I would like that thank you, sir, for serenading us this morning with your music. As you know, on the rainy days the subway is always a bit more hectic and tempers are more frayed which is why your music is so important to all of us. Your exotic and easy-listening arrangements of 80s songs certainly do have an appeal to a certain type of people. These people are the ones who clearly didn’t wake up late for work and who didn’t just get elbowed in the face by that giant pear shaped man next to them. Yes, your music draws these easy going folk to stand in big circles around you in the bustling train stations, blocking entrances, passageways and in general all means of egress. [continue reading]"
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
- WIRED on spy blogs:
"...why not tap the brainpower of the blogosphere as well? The intelligence community does a terrible job of looking outside itself for information. From journalists to academics and even educated amateurs - there are thousands of people who would be interested and willing to help. Imagine how much traffic an official CIA Iraq blog would attract. If intelligence organizations built a collaborative environment through blogs, they could quickly identify credible sources, develop a deep backfield of contributing analysts, and engage the world as a whole. How cool would it be to gain "trusted user" status on a CIA blog?"
- Today's prescription from 3hive is RX's Dubya-meets-classic-tunes mashups; download 'em free now, and laugh all the way to the temp agency
- Working musical instruments [like a hammer dulcimer and harpsichord] made of LEGO®'s [via Swen's Blog], music played by earthworms [mp3's available, via Boing Boing], and glowing musical cubes [via Gizmodo] whose function I can't quite discern [UPDATE: I read the linked Stanford project page, and the cubes are a sort of "tangible user interface" for music processing] - perhaps some sort of "color organ," or synthetic synesthetic? [The journal Nature has a fascinating article on E.S., a musician who tastes note intervals]
- The 21st Century Color Organ
- Begging to Differ's Venkat talks chaat and comments on the increasing popularity of things Indian in America:
"...On a personal note, it's sort of maddening to see Indian culture become so popular. (It's probably a fad.) I paid a heavy heavy price in junior high school for my cultural heritage...[t]o them, I was just another Gandhi on the block."I can certainly relate; in the Cold War 70's I was always perceived as "the kid from behind the Iron Curtain" at school, although I felt more American than anything else. Thank goodness for cities like Chicago, the first place I've lived where people have no trouble pronouncing my name. ;)
- Grandma's barware and Chinese beef jerky are also hot in NYC [Village Voice]
- Chicago is one of the world's alpha cities, according to Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network [GaWC]
- Vintage farkleberries [from 2003] in the Internet Archive/Wayback Machine!
- Quote of the day: "That sort of naivette is monstrous."
- Unauthorized: make your own Apple™ products [via Sushiesque]
Tuesday, March 08, 2005Yesterday, I was haunted, challenged, and educated; and had my eyes opened to a genuinely new vision of the human physical body.
But first, let's step back about two years ago, to when I'd first read of Gunther von Hagens' Bodyworlds [also known as Körperwelten in its original incarnation in Germany] exhibition of human cadavers preserved by his revolutionary "plastination" process, which allows them to be displayed and posed in varying states of dissection. There was (and still is) considerable controversy surrounding this scientific and artistic exhibit; and I must admit that I once found myself thoroughly repulsed by the concept, on both visceral and ethical levels.
Somewhere in my primal deeply-held fears the idea of having people donate their bodies for the purpose of having their flayed, exposed, expanded, modified - not to mention creatively arranged - corpses seen by
As visitors caught their first up-close views of von Hagens' plastinates, many betrayed signs of the their instinctive reactions of disbelief, discomfort, bewilderment - but also wonder and delight. The crowd was strikingly diverse. Groups of African-American teens, bestudded college-age Goths, and elderly foreign couples rubbed shoulders with small Asian boys in matching oversized Illini football jerseys. Even small children, whose attention spans one would expect to barely encompass a 30-minute TV show, remained raptly hushed and intrigued for the approximately two hours it takes to see all 200 plastinations.
Overheard: "I have to keep reminding myself these are real bodies..." "You know, these [translucent slices of human brain in square resin casings] would make the most twisted kitchen tiles!" Strangely, even toddlers seem intrigued by the bodies. As a very pregnant mother holding her small daughter in her arms stood in front of a pregnant female plastinate with its abdomen dissected, the little girl exclaimed while pointing at the fetus, "Look! A baby!" Bodyworlds is the ultimate in "anatomical correctness": double takes abound as even the most jaded-looking viewer first contemplates the frankness of skinned, expanded dissections of male and female bodies.
Then I get it. Much of the discomfort comes from the jarring, unexpected intimacy we are afforded when looking at a piece such "The Teacher," where a skinless male plastinate "smiles" toothily in a chalk-in-hand pose (a German version of the Bodyworlds tourguide cheekily placed as an "inside joke" in his left hand), writing on an unseen blackboard as his spine, arteries and veins, genitalia, muscles, grinning teeth and lidless eyeballs greet the onlooker without the slightest hint of embarrassment or false modesty. When you look straight-on at the eye-level square white chalk in the body's hand, and stare at the "Teacher"'s dissected face, the effect is mesmerizing; you really have to remind yourself continually that these were once living, breathing people prior to their transformation - and each time you remember, you feel a brief inevitable pang of emotion.
Remember, the majority of the plastinations are mounted open-air, not behind glass; one mingles in closer proximity with the dead here than one would with the living at a cocktail party, and they don't mind if you stare. Though viewers are warned by numerous signs, "do not touch" - one obviously could.
The bodies are mounted in very functional, minimal surroundings, with low-key brick, stone and metal display areas lit by small focused halogen lamps. The effect is both coldly clinical and esthetically pleasing. Separating the various areas are hanging maroon banners containing philosophers' pointed historical quotations on life and death:
"Get used to the idea that Death should not matter to us, for good and evil are based on sensation. Death, however, is the cessation for all sensation. Hence, Death, ostensibly the most terrifying of all evils, has no meaning for us, for as long as we exist, Death will not be present. When Death comes, then we will no longer be in existence." --- EpicurusPerhaps one of the most enlightening aspects of Bodyworlds are its full-body and partial plastinates of disease processes. While no obvious traumatic or violent injuries are shown, the plastination process shows with stark wordless clarity the blackened smoker's lung, the plaque-ridden artery, and the blood-filled brains and hearts of stroke and cardiac victims. Translucent plastinates of virtually every organ system illuminate and demystify the realities of cancer and degenerative disease like no other educational aid I've seen.
"Death is neither good nor evil, for good and evil can only be something that actually exists. However, whatever is of itself nothing and which transforms everything else into nothing will not at all be able to put us at the mercy of fate." --- Seneca
More than a day later, I'm still going over the images in my head and processing what I've encountered. While I would caution that those with genuinely delicate sensibilities might want to acquaint themselves from a distance first (perhaps through the Bodyworlds books or DVD), there is nothing in Bodyworlds I would call genuinely horrific or frightening.
That said, as I mentioned earlier, the dissections will likely stir up old images and associations, and the more you've seen in your life, the more preconceptions you will come across that require tending. Some of the "exploded" plastinates recall Gary Baseman's "popping skeletons," and one piece in particular, the Winged Man, looks uncannily like the Hannibal Lecter-gutted "spread-eagle" policeman's corpse in The Silence of the Lambs, complete with a Lecter-esque white Panama with black rim band jauntily propped on the cadaver's head. Bodyworlds is disturbing at times, yes; but I can also see that people who lived in the ages prior to commonplace human cadaveric dissection would find any sight of human inner working shocking.
More than almost any other exhibit I've ever seen, I think Bodyworlds has the unusual potential to engage our collective subconscious and fascinate all through its never-before-seen revelation of the uniting human substance we all share beneath our differing skins.
Friday, March 04, 2005I'll probably get this one wrong: bold the states you've visited, italicize the states you've lived in, underline the one where you currently reside.
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /
[via Trish Wilson's Blog]
- Hunter S. Thompson has the last word: "counselor." [Guardian UK]
- Exotica bandleader Martin Denny has gone to the great Tiki bar in the sky; he died in his sleep Wednesday...at age 94...at his home in Hawai'i.
- He probably did not eat Lutherburgers
- Listening: Neil Gaiman's BBC streamed radio play based on his graphic novel, Mr. Punch, and never-before-heard pre-fall-of-the-Wall Polish New Wave from 1983 [via mp3 Blogs].
- Watching: "Giant Steps," a film by Michal Levy that sets the classic Coltrane music to Flash animation. [via Wither in the Light]
- Tim at Freespace tips us to a bellwether CNet story [via Little Green Footballs] on the coming crackdown on blogging, which would apply the McCain-Feingold election campaign finance regulations to blogs, considering them "press outlets":
Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over. In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.
Q: What rules will apply to the Internet that did not before?
A: The commission has generally been hands-off on the Internet. We've said, "If you advertise on the Internet, that's an expenditure of money--much like if you were advertising on television or the newspaper."
The real question is: Would a link to a candidate's page be a problem? If someone sets up a home page and links to their favorite politician, is that a contribution? This is a big deal, if someone has already contributed the legal maximum, or if they're at the disclosure threshold and additional expenditures have to be disclosed under federal law. Certainly a lot of bloggers are very much out front. Do we give bloggers the press exemption? If we don't give bloggers the press exemption, we have the question of, do we extend this to online-only journals like CNET? [continue reading on CNet]
- The Friday Random Ten:
- Otep - Blood Pigs
- Lemon Curry - Lemon Curry
- Vic Reeves - Vienna (Ultravox cover)
- Harold Budd - The Room (Fila Brazilia mix)
- Oxford Collapse - The Money You Have Is Maybe Too Little [via 3hive]
- Orquesta RCA Victor - Bolihna de Sabao [via Sabadabada]
- Esoteric - Close Encounter
- The JB's - Soul Power '74
- Jon Sheffield - Carol's Cells
- Starfrosch - Cafe del Frosch
- "If you wanna ride...don't ride the Chinese Bus..." [via Suzette, Suzette!]
- Amanda at Mouse Words' take on the true symbolism of Ten Commandments statues displayed at government venues:
This has nothing to do with the gentle figure of Jesus Christ or his arguments to his followers not to worry overmuch about government because of the End Times and all that. Nor does it have anything to do with our actual laws. In fact, if people took to heart the commandment not to covet, we would shortly be facing economic collapse.
But you know what? I believe them that it's about "heritage", or at least taking possession of what Americans believe that our heritage is. Going back to the relational way that people think of dichotomies, it's easy to see. Conservative/liberal is to strict father/nuturant parent is to Old Testament/New Testament. A monument to the 10 Commandments is a symbol of the Old Testament and therefore evokes the multitude of things that we relate to that half of the Bible dichotomy--maleness, discipline, rules, favoritism, everything that is dear to conservatives. The heritage that is being asserted may not be religious at all so much as political. The Commandments symbolize a belief that American history adheres to conservative values and to make people think that liberalism is an uppity newcomer. It's a symbol--that's why the text of the Commandments is pretty much irrelevant to monument supporters. [continue reading at Mouse Words]
A anonymous commenter at Life of Brian claims to know the Poole family, and states that the arrest was not William Poole's first. It's hard to judge the commenter's veracity, since he/she mentions no names or identifying information; "I know his sister" isn't much to go on. But, the story gets interesting. A Friday, February 25th piece from the AP reads:
WINCHESTER, Ky. - An 18-year-old high school student was in jail Friday, charged with threatening an armed takeover of his school. William Poole, a junior at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, was arrested Thursday at school on a terroristic threatening charge.This story says the writings talk about a gang of students Poole was allegedly recruiting to take over the school - no mention of killer zombies. What's the truth here? The inconsistency is more than a little strange.
The arrest came after a tip from a family member that Pool was trying to "recruit a gang to take over the school," Detective Berl Perdue said. "He didn't have a gang, but he was attempting to organize one," Perdue said.
Police said writings in which Poole tried to persuade other students to take part in the takeover were found. "We don't know who's included in this," George Rogers Clark Principal John Atkins said. "That's what we're working on, to see if there were other individuals involved. ... We're not sure that there are."
Thursday, March 03, 2005Surely, I can't be the only one that sees the utter, preposterous hypocrisy in the fact that coming out as gay or lesbian can get you kicked out of your church leadership position, but if you're a notorious serial killer, you can stay?
- "Bubba the lobster's dead..undead, undead, undead..."
The 23-pound lobster was estimated to have been old enough to have survived two world wars and Prohibition, not to mention the supper table. He was pulled from the waters off Nantucket, Mass., and shipped to a Pittsburgh fish market. Based on how long it typically takes a lobster to reach eating size -- about five to seven years per pound -- Bubba may have been 100 years old.
- Coudal Partners of Chicago recently held a one-day contest, challenging
"[I]nterested parties...to edit archival NASA footage of plane test crashes by setting the destruction to music - in essence creating art (a music video) from otherwise soulless, scientific film reels of burning crash test dummies and falling planes. The contest lasted only one day, and a person by the name of Ethan Mitchell won by making an edit that used the Interpol song 'Untitled.' Haunting is a word that I feel is often too carelessly used in describing a work of art, but the final product of this contest [.mov, QuickTime req.] is actually worthy of being described as 'haunting.'"
- That's Sir Bill Gates to you.
- A sounds-too-good-to-be-true 24 hour indoor trash composter/air purifier from Sharp, as "yet only available in the land of the rising sun." [via BoingBoing]
- Ex-Pistol Glen Matlock just says "no" to f---king dirty language [Guardian UK via BoingBoing]
- Maryland's molten marshmallow mêlées: Peeps jousting [via Punkasspunk]
- Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig to speak at New York Public Library on April 7:
"Pair to Explore the Topics of Copyright, Downloading and File-Sharing in 'Who Owns Culture?'"
Jeff Tweedy, whose band Wilco recently earned two Grammy awards for their current Nonesuch Records release A ghost is born has openly embraced the culture of digital downloading and file-sharing by routinely offering free downloads of live music and new music on the Wilco Web site wilcoworld.net. "A piece of art is not a loaf of bread," explains Tweedy. "When someone steals a loaf of bread from the store, that's it. The loaf of bread is gone. When someone downloads a piece of music, it's just data until the listener puts that music back together with their own ears, their mind, their subjective experience."
- On NPR's Morning Edition:
Kevin Young talks about his new book, Black Maria. The poems in the collection tell the story of a private detective and femme fatale. The action takes place on the wet, neon-lit streets of a place called Shadowtown, a "gritty cross between Hollywood and Chicago...."
- Is "pen blogging" the new meme? Like Tim Sandefur and Ed Brayton, I'm something of a "pen snob." No, wait: snob is the wrong term. More like connoisseur. After spending a couple of decades reshaping my fingers into keyboard-optimized positions, the class note-taking pen-in-hand position requires a lot of effort to stay comfortable for extended periods. For me, the ideal pen grip should be "soft" but not jelly-soft, not too large or small in diameter (1 cm across is about perfect) and positioned fairly close to the pen's tip for best leverage. Just as crucial is the ink's consistency, opacity and drying time. The ink should flow evenly without gaps or thin spots, while avoiding "globs" at the ends of letters or loops. I don't like those too-runny "marker-style" inks, the kind that form round pools at pause points on anything but the least absorbent of papers. I know: picky, picky, picky. My personal favorite writing sticks are the medium-point Pilot G-2 gel pen and the Papermate Xtend, both for their smooth writing and mucho comfortable grips.
- Listen to former Dead Kennedys leader Jello Biafra's monologues (and a small collection of others by luminary gadflies like Abbie Hoffman, Hunter S. Thompson, Dr. Timothy Leary, and more) available as downloadable .mp3's - and as the disclaimer says, don't hassle him about the copyright, he doesn't have any money. But Jello would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From WLEX-TV, Lexington, Kentucky: Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.Were the grandparents so fearful of William Poole or out of touch with their family that they couldn't even approach him (or his parent(s)) with their concerns? Good luck re-establishing a speaking relationship, Grandma and Grandpa; way to go.
Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding. He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class. "My story is based on fiction," said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. "It's a fake story. I made it up. I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies."
Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill. Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone. "It didn't mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn't mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn't mention no principal or cops, nothing," said Poole. "Half the people at high school know me. They know I'm not that stupid, that crazy."
On Thursday, a judge raised Poole's bond from one to five thousand dollars after prosecutors requested it, citing the seriousness of the charge. Poole is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
- Like, this is really cool, eh? The Canadian Encyclopedia bills itself as the "most comprehensive and authoritative source of information on all things Canadian," and they just might be right. A good place to check out bios and discographies of Canadian bands is the Jam! Pop Music encyclopedia on canoe.ca.
- Losergeek's Bob and Doug McKenzie tribute page
- Protect your banana(s) (and everything in your bag or briefcase from mashed banana goo) with the Banana Bunker; but can you ship one to Alabama? [via Gizmodo]
- Do a monster mash again: listening to CCC's Revolved, a Grey Album-like mashup of the classic Beatles album - get it while it's hot (and online)
- The iPod, hacked: Francis Hwang's one-off U2-vs-Negativland iPod draws the ire and fire of Apple, Inc., forcing its withdrawal from eBay. However, he's still auctioning off the parody piece/artwork on his own website. [via Wired mp3 News]
- Reasons to love the miltary/industrial complex, No. 87: New Scientist reports that military R&D is using medical technology originally designed to relieve the suffering of intense, intractable pain to create a weapon that produces maximum pain without damaging the body.
The research came to light in documents unearthed by the Sunshine Project, an organisation based in Texas and in Hamburg, Germany, that exposes biological weapons research. The papers were released under the US's Freedom of Information Act. One document, a research contract between the Office of Naval Research and the University of Florida in Gainsville, US, is entitled "Sensory consequences of electromagnetic pulses emitted by laser induced plasmas"."Sadists? Us?"
It concerns so-called Pulsed Energy Projectiles (PEPs), which fire a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma when it hits something solid, like a person (New Scientist print edition, 12 October 2002). The weapon, destined for use in 2007, could literally knock rioters off their feet. According to a 2003 review of non-lethal weapons by the US Naval Studies Board, which advises the navy and marine corps, PEPs produced "pain and temporary paralysis" in tests on animals. This appears to be the result of an electromagnetic pulse produced by the expanding plasma which triggers impulses in nerve cells.
- Amanda at Mouse Words at last weighs in on the Larry Summers-ignited "women and math" debate with a great post:
The miracle is not that most historical geniuses are men. The real miracle that there are any female historical geniuses at all, considering all the obstacles in women's way. For instance, the exceptional Marie Curie did what none of the men nodding away in agreement with Summers's low assessment of women's scientific abilities have probably done--she taught herself physics and acquired her degree by exam.More: read the official transcript of Summers' speech, the words that launched a thousand blog posts
Mozart was a genius, and also a prodigy that was pretty much forced to practice day in and out from the time he could reach the piano keys. I think it's safe to say that if Mozart were born a girl, this would not have happened. We can't know if there could have been a female Michelangelo--a woman in his time would not have been allowed to paint the Sistine Chapel.
We don't have evidence that points definitely one way or another on whether or not women are mentally limited compared to men, but we have mountains of evidence that women have been socially limited for all of history. It's a shame to see otherwise smart people ignore the known--the historical oppression of women--in favor of a bunch of cobbled together theories about women's genetic inferiority that have rather scant evidence to support them. [read full article]